News

Pages

Business
3:47 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Komatsu fined for violations that led to worker death

The Komatsu facility in Peoria has four federal fines related to the death of an employee last summer.  A Komatsu employee was injured, and later died, after testing hydraulic cylinders for leakage when an equipment failure released hydraulic fluid.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Komatsu failed to develop and train employees on understanding machine energy control procedures. OSHA says it found similar violations at the Peoria facility in 2011. It also says the company failed to correct repeated failures of machine parts or document annual inspection reviews.

Read more
Government
3:36 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Counties focus on mental illness, gun access

More Illinois counties are complying with a law intended to keep guns away from people with mental illness. IPR’s Chris Slaby reports: 

 An audit last year found only three county court clerks reported people with "disqualifying mental health conditions" to the Illinois State Police.  Now, that number's up to 27.  Jessica Tramme is chief of the firearm services bureau for the Illinois State Police.She says a change in January means judges MUST order court clerks to notify the State Police when people are found "mental defective" or "intellectually disabled."
Read more
State News
8:03 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Quinn submits budget to General Assembly

Illinois pensions would eat up about a fifth of state spending under the budget Governor Pat Quinn proposed Wednesday. As IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports, Quinn say it’s the most difficult budget he's ever submitted to the General Assembly.

Read more
State News
7:23 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Gov. Quinn highlights contract deal with government-employee union

Governor Pat Quinn's budget speech highlighted his administration's recent contract agreement with AFSCME, the state's largest government-employee union.

Read more
State News
7:08 am
Thu March 7, 2013

State Senate moves forward with gambling expansion

Days after Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a measure that would authorize a major expansion of gambling in Illinois, the state Senate is moving forward with new legislation that would expand gambling even further.  

Read more
State News
7:02 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Seven surprises from Gov. Quinn's budget address

There were few surprises Wednesday in Gov. Pat Quinn's budget address in the Illinois General Assembly. He called it a "difficult" proposal, with steep cuts in spending on education. So we challenged Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey to find seven things that were surprising about the governor's speech.

Read more
State News
6:52 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Schock, Braley legislation aims to boost rural health care

Congressmen from Iowa and Illinois want to improve health care in rural parts of their states. Wednesday, democrat Bruce Braley from Iowa's First District and republican Aaron Schock from Illinois' 18th district introduced the Rural Health Clinic Fairness Act.  Braley says Medicare currently has an incentive program, with grants up to 44-thousand dollars, to encourage hospitals and other health professionals to transition to electronic medical records. Their bill would make rural health clinics eligible for these grants. 

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
4:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Animal rights group protests at Peoria Walmart

Mercy for Animals brought its national tour to the Walmart on University in Peoria.  The group is traveling the country protesting the living conditions of pregnant pigs at pork suppliers for Walmart.  Members of Mercy for Animals displayed a 10-foot inflatable pig in a narrow crate as part of its protest.  Phil Letten is with Mercy For Animals.  He says the display aims to highlight how pregnant sows live at some suppliers:

Read more
Government
4:16 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Quinn urges pension action, calls for education cuts

 In his annual budget address Wednesday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn laid the blame on the General Assembly for forcing him to cut spending on schools and other key state priorities.  Quinn says the cost of pensions is "squeezing" Illinois' finances, to the point that he's calling for a $400 million hit to education.  IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports:  Governor Pat Quinn unveiled a budget that spends around $35 and a half billion dollars from the state's main checking account.One fifth of that would go toward the states' public pension systems.

Read more
Theatre Reviews
12:30 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Review - "A Raisin in the Sun"

Lorraine Hansberry’s play “A Raisin in the Sun” tells the story of one African-American family in the early days of the civil rights movement. A production is now on stage at Bradley University. Reviewer Douglas Okey says the play has as much to say today as it did in 1959. He has this review for Peoria Public Radio and the Live Theatre  League of Peoria.

Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer, not those of Peoria Public Radio or the Live Theatre League.

Read more
Developing
10:10 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Peoria Police arrest husband for Denise Leuthold's murder

Nathan Leuthold

The Peoria Police Department arrested Nathan Leuthold Wednesday morning for the murder of his wife, Denise Leuthold on February 14. Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says  his department arrested the 37 year-old Leuthold in Pekin during a traffic stop they initiated. He says people have shared information that’s helped his department meet the probable cause standard to make Leuthold’s arrest. But Settingsgaard says detectives are still actively following-up on details.  

Read more
State News
8:53 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Preview of Gov. Quinn's budget address

Illinois' finances were already bleak when Pat Quinn became governor in 2009.  Despite heavy cuts and an end to the national recession, they remain so.  


Read more
State News
6:53 am
Wed March 6, 2013

IL remembers first woman elected to statewide office

The first woman elected to statewide office in Illinois has died. Dawn Clark Netsch was 86. In January, she revealed she had ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
10:19 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

East Peoria to get new residential cable option

East Peoria residents will have another cable provider to choose from this summer.  Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports the City Council approved a franchise agreement with ITV-3: 

  The agreement means Comcast won’t be the only residential provider of TV, internet and phone service in East Peoria.  ITV-3 is owned by the same family that owns Family Video rental chain.  Levi Dinkla is Vice President of ITV-3. He says the agreement means more healthy competition:
Read more
Education
9:48 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Quinn to call for cutting education in address

Budget director Jerry Stermer outlines Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins this summer. He and other top aides spoke with reporters Tuesday evening at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

  Governor Pat Quinn is expected to call for cuts in education funding in his annual budget address Wednesday. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more.  Although overall state spending is expected to increase in the coming budget year, the money that goes to education would be cut under Quinn's proposed budget.His top aides hammered what they say is the cause. Brooke Anderson: "It is the direct product of inaction on pension reform.Jack Lavin: "This budget is a direct result of the inaction on stabilizing pensions."Jerry Stermer: "...

Read more
East Peoria
8:42 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Target opens in East Peoria's new Levee Distrist

Ribbon cutting at East Peoria's new Target Store

  The new Target Store in East Peoria is open for business. It’s part of the city’s new downtown that includes new roads with a roundabout and storefront opportunities for shops and restaurants. The Costco Store opened about four months ago as one of the anchors to the Levee District. East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus says, "target is really very symbolic of our vision being enforce. It's been a long journey and now with these openings and more to come, it really just makes it a reality for our public and our region.

Read more
Sports
4:54 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Chief's look to fans for hot dogs picks

Peoria Chief’s opening day is less than a month away, despite today’s wintry conditions across Central Illinois. This year game-goers will be able to experience three new hot-dog options. Rocky Vonachen is the president of the Peoria Chief’s. He says fans can vote online for their favorite loaded hot dog. 

Read more
Politics
2:57 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Dawn Clark Netsch, Illinois political trailblazer, dies

Pioneering Illinois politician and former state comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch died Tuesday at age 86.  Many Illinois Constitutional Officers, Congressman Mike Quigley, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Senator Dick Durbin have issued statements about Netsch and her service to the state.  Senator Durbin called her an indomitable force who blazed a path suitable for generations of Illinois women to follow.  IPR’s Brian O’Keefe talked with Illinois political expert Kent Redfield about Netsch’s life and contributions to state government:

Read more
Courts
12:28 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Peoria Judge Risinger reassigned over sentencing notes

10th Judicial Circuit Judge Michael Risinger is reassigned to civil court over concerns about his notes regarding his sentencing philosophy.  Chief Judge Michael Brandt says Risinger shared his rough agenda notes with lawyers and others ahead of a meeting about misdemeanor court.  One of the notes referenced a tie-in with the race and dress of the defendant when sentencing.  Risinger says his note should not stand alone, and he explained during the meeting that a sentencing hearing should take into account special circumstances with the defendant.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
7:55 am
Tue March 5, 2013

A new method for teachers to monitor students progress

The Illinois State Board of Education has introduced a new way for kindergarten teachers to determine if students are ready for grade school. IPR’s Chris Slaby reports.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
7:43 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Quinn vetoes measure for five new casinos

Governor Pat Quinn Monday, vetoed a measure that would have put casinos in Chicago, Danville, Rockford and Chicago's suburbs.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
6:57 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Effects of state AFSCME deal

A tentative agreement between Governor Pat Quinn and the state's largest public-employee union, AFSCME, means retired workers finally know how much they should budget for health care. And it means the state will finally get the savings it had already been counting on.

Read more
Government
8:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

State AFSCME deal carries effects

   A tentative agreement between Governor Pat Quinn and the state's largest public-employee union, AFSCME, means retired workers finally know how much they should budget for health care.  And it means the state will finally get the savings it had already been counting on. State and university employees who retired after long government careers have not had to pay any health care premiums. A new state law requires them to contribute. But how much they pay was subject to contract negotiations. And AFSCME and the Quinn administration's negotiations dragged on for 15 months.

Read more
Government
8:49 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Tri-County Commission details top priorities

  Local, state, and federal lawmakers or their aides attended an annual meeting held by the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission yesterday. Larry Whitaker is the Chair of the Tri-County Commission. He says the meeting is an opportunity to update lawmakers on projects, as well as for the commission to get feedback from them: “The other thing that we think that’s important is that the community understand through our legislators the work the commission’s doing.

Read more
Government
2:57 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Quinn vetoes gambling bill

Governor Pat Quinn

Legislation to expand gambling the General Assembly approved nearly two years ago is finally dead. As IPR's Amanda Vinicky reports, Governor Pat Quinn vetoed a measure that would have given Illinois five new casinos.

When Governor Quinn gives his annual budget address later this week, he's expected to highlight Illinois' plethora financial problems. Which is what frustrates supporters of gambling expansion, who say more casinos would be like hitting the jackpot.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
7:06 am
Mon March 4, 2013

IL agriculture department expecting budget cuts

With Governor Pat Quinn scheduled to give his budget address this Wednesday, the director of the state's agriculture department says he's expecting another round of budget cuts. IPR’s Chris Slaby has more:

Already, Bob Flider says his agency has seen its state funding cut in half, from 41 billion dollars five years ago to about 21 billion in the current budget year. Flider says the department is looking into alternative funding, like by soliciting foundation grants.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
7:02 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Pensions to be key point in Quinn's budget address

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is scheduled to present his budget address in Springfield later this week.

Read more
Peoria Public Radio News
6:23 am
Mon March 4, 2013

IL running out of college financial aid money

Illinois has once again run out of money to help needy students go to college. The cutoff to be considered for a MAP grant expired over the weekend. IPR’s Brian Mackey has more.

Read more
Government
5:25 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Cuts expected for IL Ag Department

  The director of Illinois' Department of Agriculture says the agency will have to "get creative" if its budget continues to get cut.   IPR’s Chris Slaby reports. In the last five years, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has seen its state funding cut by nearly half.  Ag Director Bob Flider says he's expecting more cuts in the next budget.  So he's looking for alternative revenue sources. “Other states have been able to, through foundations, bring in some dollars.  We're going to be looking at some of those possibilities as well.”  But he says finding private donors will take time.

Read more
Government
5:22 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Quinn to give budget address this week

  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is scheduled to present his budget address in Springfield later this week. “Obviously our pension reform will be part of the address, the need for getting that done right and getting it done now,” Quinn says.   Illinois is reported to have the worst-funded pension system in the country - and has about $97 billion in unfunded obligations. Quinn has said the pensions are unsustainable.

Read more

Pages