An Illinois retirement board is terminating the pension that imprisoned former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert for his service in the Illinois General Assembly.
The General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees voted 5-2 on Wednesday to end Hastert's $28,000 annual pension. Hastert is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case that stemmed from his sexual abuse of students when he taught at an Illinois public school more than 35 years ago.

Kurt Summers Passes on Bid for Governor in 2018

52 minutes ago

Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers says he will NOT run for Illinois governor. Instead - he’s endorsing one of the Democrats hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner.

Summers went so far as to ask Cook County Democratic Party leaders for their endorsement. But today - Summers said he’s not running for governor, without really explaining why.

He endorsed billionaire venture capitalist JB Pritzker, saying Pritzker would best serve the African-American community as governor.

Rep. Ammons Explores Congressional Run

5 hours ago
Carol Ammons / Facebook

State Representative Carol Ammons says she’ll take a couple of months to decide if she’s challenging Republican Congressman Rodney Davis next year. The Urbana Democrat has formed an exploratory committee to look into a run for Congress in Illinois’ 13th Congressional District. Speaking in Springfield after Tuesday’s Illinois Women March, Ammons says it’s time women in Illinois took a stand against “second-class citizenship”

Charles & Hudson / Flickr

Caterpillar’s four-percent increase in sales and revenues in the first quarter is a relief to many after ten periods of declines. Amy Campbell is the Director of Investor Relations. She says the arrow is going in the right direction, but it’s still too soon to count it as a turn around.


“We are at, still at pretty low levels for resource industries. They peaked at over 20-billion-dollars back in 2012 and we still only expect this to be less than 7-billion-dollars in sales this year.”

Campbell says the company’s resource industries are still well below peak and in fact even where they would expect normal demand.

Peoria Police Clamp Down On Loud Music

8 hours ago
Dean Terry / Flickr

Peoria Police are reminding people of the city’s loud music ordinance in an effort to get out the information ahead of an upcoming enforcement campaign. The ordinance allows police to impound a vehicle on a first offense of playing music that can be heard from a distance of 75 feet or more. The driver can be issued a citation, have their vehicle towed and incur a number of related fees.  The ticket for a second offense is $275 and all subsequent offenses are $525. The citation does not include administrative fees, towing and storage.

U.S. government attorneys are appealing a Chicago immigration judge's decision to grant asylum to a teenage blogger from Singapore.  That means 18-year-old Amos Yee remains in U.S. custody. 

A former suburban Chicago police detective has admitted to stealing drugs from his department's evidence room.  Gregory Salvi faces at least 10 years in prison when he returns to court in July for sentencing. He pleaded guilty to possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign athletic director says his department was operating at about a $6.2 million deficit in 2016, with both revenue and spending numbers ranking in the bottom half of the Big Ten. 

wikipedia/Katherine Baskin

State officials say a maximum security prison in southern Illinois remains on lockdown after a weekend assault that left staffers and inmates injured.  The staff assault happened Sunday at Menard Correctional Center. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Larissa Puro

The Democratic-controlled Illinois House has approved public funding for all abortions.  The House voted 62-55 to allow state-employee health insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. Medicaid currently covers abortions in limited cases.  The vote capped a two-hour debate and coincided with the Illinois Women March on Springfield for a progressive agenda.

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog group charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department, details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even though many had little or no experience.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

If you’ve traversed Peoria’s sidewalks lately, you might’ve stumbled across a patch of pavement, decked out with a hand-painted design. It’s part of a student-led public art project that highlights water conservation. 

President Trump: The First 100 Days

Apr 25, 2017
Chelsea Beck / NPR

Before his election, back in October, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a 100 Day Action Plan. He called it his Contract With The American Voter. Among other things, it called for the full repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, suspension of immigration from certain "terror-prone regions," and the lifting of "roadblocks" to let "infrastructure projects like the Keystone Pipeline move forward."

The 100-day mark is not an official milestone, but it is a traditional point to take stock of a new presidential administration. Throughout President Trump's time in office so far, there have been both flurries of action and some setbacks. In many cases, the status of these efforts is not clear-cut, with substantial talk but not yet action. In other areas, progress is clearer.

The end of this week marks the 100th day of President Trump's term, and NPR is revisiting his full action plan, with annotations from journalists throughout the newsroom, taking stock of how the president's accomplishments compare with his campaign promises.

DANIEL SCHWEN / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois General Assembly is back in Springfield and is heading into the final six weeks of its spring session. 

Charleston's TheDigitel / Flickr/Creative Commons

The City of Peoria is offering some tenant training seminars throughout the community, but turnout so far isn't what organizers had hoped. 

Roger W / Flickr/Creative Commons

Caterpillar started off 2017 on stronger footing.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's information technology chief has contracted to spend thousands in tax dollars for two professional memberships despite the budget crisis.

Tamie Yost

Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield today as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget, and prospects for an overall deal look grim.  Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.  But Democrats in the Senate say they don’t know what the Republican governor is talking about. Legislators have been on a two week recess, and say no high-level meetings have been taking place.

Obama Speaks In Chicago

Apr 24, 2017

Barack Obama was back in Chicago today for his first big appearance since leaving the White House three months ago.  Obama sat on a University of Chicago stage with six young people to talk about issues he’d like to address now that he’s no longer president.

Tom Winkle /

Flooding has delayed progress on a new bridge that will span the Illinois River at Meredosia in the western part of the state.  The bridge project was scheduled to be finished next year, but Halverson Construction Superintendent Scott Halverson says now that date is 2019.

Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia are faulting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for rolling back Obama-era guidance they say is helping protect student loan borrowers.  In a letter sent Monday, Democratic attorneys general Lisa Madigan of Illinois, and Maura Healey of Massachusetts called on DeVos to restore the memos instituted by the federal Education Department last year under President Barack Obama.

The 39th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival will celebrate the 100th birthdays of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Ella Fitzgerald.  The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events recently announced the headliners. The three-day festival at Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center will be Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. 

Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week to resume work on trying to end the budget stalemate that has eluded them for almost two years.

Bradley Speech Team Places Second in National Tournament

Apr 24, 2017
Bradley University

Bradley University’s speech team swept several categories during the National Forensic Association’s National Championship last weekend in Eau Claire, Wis.

eric molina / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois county coroner has found a tranquilizer used on elephants and other large animals in the blood of two recent drug-overdose victims. 

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr/Creative Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Democrats are pushing an ambitious minimum wage hike despite opposition from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Clean Energy Deal On Uncertain Footing

Apr 24, 2017
Mike Gifford / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some derided last year’s sweeping energy law as a bailout for power giant Exelon. But it was also a major win for environmentalists — who are now hedging their bets against Illinois’ budget problems.

Flickr Creative Commons/Alan Cleaver

The top government lawyers from 19 states are telling President Donald Trump and the Republican leaders of Congress not to cut federal money for drug treatment programs.  A group of Democratic state attorneys general sent a letter to federal officials saying the government cannot abandon this commitment to our communities.

Flickr Creative Commons/airpix

Illinois' continued state budget problems have prompted S&P Global Ratings to downgrade the credit worthiness of six state universities and the City Colleges of Chicago.  The credit house says it took action with the schools because it's possible lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner will fail to agree on an annual budget by the scheduled end of the legislative session May 31. 

An Illinois State Board of Elections hearing officer is expected to issue a recommendation next month regarding allegations that the state's auditor general violated campaign finance disclosure laws while serving as a Democratic state representative.