The Illinois Senate has advanced a plan requiring public schools teach a unit on the role and contributions of gays, lesbians and other LGBT individuals in society.

Illinois House Republicans are lashing out at a Democratic suggestion that the state should adopt a graduated income tax.

The Illinois state comptroller is releasing $350 million to public school districts statewide as part of the newly approved education-funding overhaul. 

Alessio Jacona / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

IDOT District 4

A semi carrying a combine failed to make it under the overpass at Pinecrest Drive on Interstate 74 Monday evening. The semi was traveling eastbound about 6:30 when it struck the overpass. Debris from the combine struck the 2003 Ford pickup truck traveling behind the semi and flatbed.

Police Seek Information on Weekend Shootings

Apr 9, 2018
Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

Peoria Police are asking for help in solving three separate shootings between Saturday and Sunday nights. Five people total were shot. Three are dead.

24-year-old John W. Bell III was killed at the corner of Wyoming and Oregon Streets Saturday, April 7th at 9:15 p.m. He was shot 10 times, twice in the back of the head, with six penetrating wounds. The coroner says Bell died on the sidewalk in front of a church.

Daryl Scott / Peoria Public Radio

Illinois climate experts say the state saw the fourth wettest February and March on record this year. Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says the statewide average precipitation for the two months was nearly 8.7 inches.


The wettest February-March period was in 1898 with nearly 9 inches.

Quinn Dombrowski / CC by-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is set to release $5 million to fund the state's soil and water conservation districts for the fiscal year that ends June 30.


The money is much less than the $13.5 million which lawmakers appropriated for the 96 county-based offices. But Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold said the Republican governor is trying to manage spending because the budget the Legislature adopted has a deficit.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

The old-fashioned town meeting, where local citizens vote directly on the affairs of town government, may seem like a thing of the past. But they are an annual affair, right here in Illinois, and the state’s township governments will be holding them Tuesday evening. Jim Meadows reports on how they work. 

  Story Source: Illinois Public Media


As the opioid epidemic continues across the nation, the number of babies being born with opioid withdrawal symptoms is rising. Crain's Chicago Business health care reporter Kristen Schorsch looked into the difficulties it's causing, not only for families, but for Illinois finances, in her article titled "In Withdrawal: Treating the babies of Illinois' opioid crisis."

China's Threatened Tariffs Would Impact IL Economy

Apr 8, 2018
Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

  China’s newly imposed tariffs and those threatened are of pressing concern to the Illinois agriculture economy. China’s move comes in response to the Trump administration’s call for new tariffs on Chinese aluminum and steel.


A Bradley University student was one of the two people shot and killed early Sunday morning. It's one of two deadly shootings in Peoria separated by about 5 hours. The Peoria County coroner identified the Bradley student as 18 year-old pre-med major Nasjay Murry from Chicago.


She was shot at the same time 22 year-old Anthony Polnitz was shot and killed and another female Bradley student was injured. Polnitz lived at 6516 N. University Street.


It's been written that you can't go home again.

While some people think of me as a hometown athletic hero, not everyone remembers my time as a high school basketball player in Peoria or a collegian at Indiana. This helps me to concentrate on my work today, and planning for the future, rather than reflecting on former glory.

Yet, we cannot forget the forces that formed us.

Reflecting on his first ballot election to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Jim Thome noted that “Everything starts at your roots."

Peoria Ballet / Facebook

The mission statement for Peoria Ballet is 'Art That Moves,' which is certainly true when one considers the physical movement of dance. Stirring the souls of the audience and aspiring dancers is also part of Peoria Ballet's mission, and the group's upcoming performance is no exception.

Daniel Baker / Illinois Public Media

A student-organized town hall on gun violence brought out a crowd of more than 100 people to the Champaign Public Library Thursday. The event was hosted by students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and five area high schools.

Abby Weber urged the crowd to contact their lawmakers to pass stricter gun control measures at the state and local level. The U of I freshman says a single law won’t curb gun violence. She says it will take a bigger effort, and students won’t give up on the cause. 

Kyle Travers / WFYI


It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she’d been on for two years.

Brown had been taking the pills since an injury in 2010. It wasn’t until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in non-pharmacological approaches to pain management that she learned she had some control over her pain.

“That’s when life changed,” she said.

Southern Illinois University trustees at their next meeting are to consider a plan to gradually shift state funding from the Carbondale campus to the Edwardsville campus.

Illinois courts are considering if a state law that allows judges to limit teen defendants' social media postings unfairly restricts defendants' First Amendment freedoms.

University of Chicago officials say a school police officer shot and seriously wounded a student while responding to a call about a burglary.

Sen. Durbin: President is Unreliable on DACA

Apr 4, 2018

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says tweets by President Trump that the DACA program is attracting new undocumented immigrants is false.


Trump tweeted this week that crowds were coming up from Mexico to take advantage of DACA, short for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.


Durbin says no one can claim DACA protection at the border. "That statement by the President reflects either willful ignorance or a deliberate misrepresentation of what the DACA program is all about."


A preliminary report on ending the Legionnaires' disease crisis at the Quincy veterans home recommends building a state-of-the-art facility and other improvements costing up to $278 million.

Members of the village board in the northern Chicago suburb of Deerfield have voted unanimously to ban certain semi-automatic firearms.

  CHICAGO - A federal judge in Chicago says a city ordinance prohibiting the posting of commercial advertisements on lampposts and other public objects is too vague and therefore unconstitutional.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by RCP Publications Inc. RCP publishes a weekly paper of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA.

An apparent supporter posted a notice about RCP showing a movie. RCP was held responsible under the ordinance and ordered to pay a $350 fine.

The Center For Land Use Interpretation

  HAMMOND, Ind. - U.S. Steel will pay more than $1.2 million in a civil penalty and various federal agency reimbursements for costs and damages. This after one of its northwestern Indiana plants discharged wastewater containing a potentially carcinogenic chemical into a tributary of Lake Michigan.

3 Arrested For Selling Deadly Synthetic Cannabis

Apr 3, 2018

  The owner of a Chicago convenience store and two employees have been charged with selling synthetic marijuana that has been linked to two deaths.


Federal prosecutors have charged 48-year-old Fouad Masoud and 44-year-old Jamil Abdelrahman Jad Allah, both of suburban Justice, and 44-year-old Adil Khan Mohammed of Chicago with conspiring to distribute and sell a controlled substance. Federal prosecutors say U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents made undercover buys of the synthetic cannabinoids at Masoud's West Side Chicago store.

The Springfield Housing Authority is going to share its expertise with the Peoria Housing Authority. Rather than hire a new executive director, the PHA is temporarily calling on the SHA to address deficiencies.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has rated the Peoria Housing Authority as substandard since 2011. But the SHA is labeled a high performer. The Springfield Housing Authority will manage the PHA for at least the next twelve months.

Dr. King's Lasting Impact

Apr 3, 2018
Selma Best Videos / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. While many will remember King for his leadership, Illinois Public Radio’s Brian O’Keefe has the story of King’s personal impact on one man’s life. 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign / Department of Economics

The University of Illinois Flash Index measured the Illinois economy at 104.5 in March. That’s down a tenth of a point from February. But economist Fred Giertz says it’s still an indicator of steady economic growth.

Giertz says the Illinois economy is getting help from the strong national economy. That’s reflected in Illinois’ statewide unemployment rate of five percent in February.

The Illinois Attorney General's Office is working with state lawmakers to draft legislation that would require hospitals to have a specially trained medical provider available to examine a sexual assault victim.

A change in Illinois law aims to improve how police respond to sexual assault allegations by requiring officers undergo new training to improve sensitivity toward victims and learn about trauma.