State News http://peoriapublicradio.org en Dixon's lesson: 'trust, but verify,' BGA tells municipalities http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/dixons-lesson-trust-verify-bga-tells-municipalities <p>It's been two years since FBI agents arrested Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell. She's in prison for stealing 53-million dollars over the course of two decades. Since the arrest, the Better Government Association has been working to educate other municipalities about how to prevent such fraud. Illinois Public Radio's Jenna Dooley spoke with BGA investigator Pat McCraney who says the guiding principle should be "trust, but verify:"</p><p></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:13:06 +0000 Jenna Dooley 21907 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Dixon's lesson: 'trust, but verify,' BGA tells municipalities Improving mental health care for children http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/improving-mental-health-care-children <div>Federal data shows that a smaller percentage of children in the state in need of mental health care get it compared to the national average. Health care professionals say part of the reason for that is a lack of resources, and parents not knowing where to turn for help. Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Powers reports on what’s being done to improve care.</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">There’s no silver bullet when it comes to raising a child with mental illness. Just ask Troy and Violet of </span>Rantoul<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Champaign County. They’ve asked not to use their last name to protect the privacy of their children.&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:58:09 +0000 Sean Powers 21906 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Improving mental health care for children DCFS warning Il lawmakers against budget cuts http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/dcfs-warning-il-lawmakers-against-budget-cuts <div>The interim director of Illinois’ child welfare agency is warning state lawmakers against budget cuts.&nbsp;</div><div> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:51:20 +0000 Tony Arnold 21889 at http://peoriapublicradio.org DCFS warning Il lawmakers against budget cuts Il lawmakers hold hearing on gambling http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/il-lawmakers-hold-hearing-gambling <div>The latest chapter in the long-running effort to expand gambling in Illinois happened Wednesday in Chicago. A handful of lawmakers are hearing from interests on all sides of the issue.&nbsp;</div><div> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 23:48:13 +0000 Brian Mackey 21888 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Il lawmakers hold hearing on gambling Rep. Smith pleads not guilty to bribery charges http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/rep-smith-pleads-not-guilty-bribery-charges <p><span style="background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial;">Illinois State Representative Derrick Smith was in federal court in Chicago Wednesday pleading not guilty to bribery charges. Illinois Public Radio</span><span style="background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial;">’s Robert Wildeboer reports.</span></p><p></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:56:55 +0000 Robert Wildeboer 21882 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Rep. Smith pleads not guilty to bribery charges A state push for more early childhood education http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/state-push-more-early-childhood-education <div>As Illinois navigated the economic downturn, lawmakers made lots of cuts including to early childhood education. &nbsp;</div><p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:45:22 +0000 Hannah Meisel 21837 at http://peoriapublicradio.org A state push for more early childhood education Officials tout Illinois military base as closures loom http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/officials-tout-illinois-military-base-closures-loom <p>The secretary of the U.S. Air Force paid a visit Tuesday to Scott Air Force Base. As Illinois Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum reports, it’s part of a push from state political leaders to safeguard the Metro East military installation.</p><p></p><p>U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James spent most of <span data-term="goog_67938621" tabindex="0">Tuesday</span> morning at Scott Air Force Base. She was joined by a slew of Illinois political leaders, including U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.</p><p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:15:45 +0000 Jason Rosenbaum 21834 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Officials tout Illinois military base as closures loom FBI agents say indicted state rep took them to get bribe cash http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/fbi-agents-say-indicted-state-rep-took-them-get-bribe-cash <div>Federal prosecutors say an indicted Illinois state representative took FBI agents to his house and turned over cash he allegedly took as a bribe.&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">But IPR'S</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;Tony Arnold reports Derrick Smith’s attorneys are trying to make sure that information doesn’t come up at his trial.</span></div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Representative Smith was arrested two years ago for allegedly taking a 7-thousand dollar bribe in exchange for supporting a grant application.</span></p></div><div> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:52:27 +0000 Tony Arnold 21816 at http://peoriapublicradio.org FBI agents say indicted state rep took them to get bribe cash Charter schools: what does the future hold? http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/charter-schools-what-does-future-hold <div>Charter schools have long been a divisive issue. Supporters say they allow schools to teach kids free of burdensome regulations. Opponents say they take money away from traditional schools. In Illinois this year, those views are colliding. In the final installment of our series, Illinois Public Radio's Rachel Otwell reports about the fight at the Illinois Capitol and what it might mean for charters:</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Back in 1999, a fight between high school students broke out &nbsp;in the stands at a football &nbsp;game in Decatur. It gained national attention after Reverend Jesse Jackson came to town to advocate for the rights of the students who were expelled as a result. Out of the whole ordeal came a local pastor's idea for an alternative school, one that would cater to low-income minority students.</span></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:12:44 +0000 Rachel Otwell 21802 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Charter schools: what does the future hold? Redistricting reform advocate discusses amendment http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/redistricting-reform-advocate-discusses-amendment <div>Under the Illinois Constitution, it’s the four state legislative leaders who choose members of the commission that draws state legislative district boundaries every ten years. But a reform group wants voters to approve a new process they say is less politicized.</div><div> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:01:12 +0000 Jim Meadows 21801 at http://peoriapublicradio.org Redistricting reform advocate discusses amendment