Facebook/Bonni McKeown

Protesters urging Illinois lawmakers to agree on an annual state budget stepped off on a 200-mile march to Springfield.  The March to Springfield got underway at noon Monday. Organizers say marchers range in age from 23 to 90. They left the James R. Thompson state office building in Chicago's Loop. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Tony Webster

A University of Illinois at Chicago report examines "pervasive" racial inequalities in the city when it comes to housing, economics, criminal justice and health care.  The 184-page report looks at three groups which each make up roughly one-third of Chicago's population: blacks, whites and Latinos. 

A for sale sign has been put on the Chicago Sun-Times, and the company that operates rival Chicago Tribune has announced it is interested in owning the newspaper.  Chicago-based Wrapports LLC announced it has agreed to enter into discussions with tronc Inc. after failing to interest other media companies in acquiring the Sun-Times. 

United Airlines says it is changing the keypad codes used to open cockpit doors after the previous codes were accidentally posted on a public website.  An airline spokeswoman says United sent a memo to pilots over the weekend telling them to use alternative security measures.  United says the breach in security measures was not the result of hacking and did not cause any flights to be delayed or canceled.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she's seeking a fifth term next year. Madigan revealed her 2018 plans last week during an unrelated news conference in Chicago. The Democrat is already the longest-serving attorney general in the state's history. 

Tax documents show the foundation that'll construct and oversee the Obama Presidential Center received around $13 million in contributions last year.  The Obama Foundation released a tax return Monday. Several $1 million donations were made, including from the George Lucas Family Foundation.  The "Star Wars" creator is married to Mellody Hobson, who is president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments.

Flickr Creative Commons/twak

Law enforcement agencies and health centers in central Illinois are scrambling to address the opioid epidemic.  DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says heroin is the area's top public safety threat. Shofner's office is among six agencies that make up the Illinois State Police Task Force 6 narcotics unit. 

The Illinois State Board of Elections has imposed a $5,000 fine on a defunct campaign fundraising account linked to Auditor General Frank Mautino.  The board voted to fine the committee for refusing to turn over records involving the longtime House Democrat appointed auditor in October 2015. 

Flickr Creative Commons/Hank Hession

The appetite for legal firearms is on the rise in Chicago, even as demand appears to wane nationally.  Illinois State Police say the number of firearm owner identification applications in Chicago doubled from about 19,600 in 2014 to nearly 39,000 last year.  It's on pace to surpass that this year.

Authorities say 24-year-old Chynna Stapleton of Chicago has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly slamming an 18-year-old into a tree with her car after an argument. 

Creative Commons

As Illinois’ record budget impasse nears the 2-year mark, the morale at non-profits across the state continues to decline. 

Robert Lawton / Wikimedia Commons

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A pilot project has kept over 600,000 gallons of rainwater out of Peoria's sewer system.

Flickr Creative Commons/Chris Potter

An Illinois family law judge has been certified as the Illinois National Guard's first military judge.  The Illinois Judge's Association says Madison County Judge Sarah D. Smith recently graduated from the 60th Military Judge Course at the Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia. She was certified as a military judge by the Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army.

The Obama Presidential Center won't be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.  The move will free the Obama Foundation from amassing an endowment equivalent to 60% of the construction cost. 

Incoming Illinois State University students this fall won't pay more to attend the school than last year's freshman class.  ISU trustees voted to hold tuition, fees and room-and-board rates steady for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

A former Illinois prosecutor who was found not guilty two months ago in the 2006 death of his first wife has filed a federal lawsuit for damages.  Curtis Lovelace, his sons Logan and Lincoln, and his wife, Christine, on behalf of minor son Larson, filed suit against several officers and officials in Adams County and the city of Quincy.

Flickr Creative Commons/CCAC North Library

The University of Illinois has approved a nearly $16 million renovation for a new medical school at the Urbana-Champaign campus.  The Board of Trustees voted to spend $15.9 million to upgrade the existing Medical Sciences Building. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Cleve Heidelberg could just be days away from stepping outside Peoria County Jail, for the first time since 1970.

Rauner, Cullerton Point Blame for Budget Impasse

May 12, 2017

Illinois’ top political leaders continue to blame each other for the nearly two-year-long budget impasse.  Democratic Senate President John Cullerton held a press conference this week after Republicans wouldn’t take a vote to end the budget stalemate.  Cullerton said Governor Bruce Rauner doesn’t understand what it takes to pass a bill.

This week, we're talking with photographer Natalie Jackson O'Neal, about her exhibit, "Crowns of Empowerment." The exhibit is inspired by her interest in fashion magazines of the 1940s to 1960s. Noticing that those magazines generally excluded black women. O'Neal set about creating a series of her own photographs, featuring models dressed in vintage clothes juxtaposed with allusions to the history of the civil rights struggle. She talks about the process of creating the exhibit, and about where and how she found her models.

Nick Offerman to Speak at U of I Commencement

May 12, 2017
Nick Offerman / Twitter

Actor and University of Illinois alumnus Nick Offerman will deliver this year’s commencement address to graduates on the Urbana campus this Saturday. Offerman is best known for his role as Ron Swanson in the NBC comedy series “Parks and Recreation.”  Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Moline spoke with Offerman about his message to U of I graduates, and his newest television show for NBC, “The Handmade Project.”

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Chicago police officer with a history of excessive force complaints who claimed he was unfairly targeted by a department review authority.  Glenn Evans alleges the Independent Police Review Authority retaliated against him and set him up for criminal charges by leaking to the media.

Governor Booed At Chicago State University

May 11, 2017

The financially struggling Chicago State University celebrated commencement today at its campus on the South Side.  But the crowd did not celebrate the presence of Governor Bruce Rauner.   

The Illinois Senate unanimously passed legislation today intended to help dentists who’ve been affected by the budget stalemate. Many dentists who treat state employees have not been getting paid for their work.  They’re part of a long list of businesses and institutions waiting to be reimbursed for work they’ve already done.  

Three University of Illinois football players are charged with burglary and robbery after what they claimed to be a prank on a fellow dormitory resident.  First Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler says the three were wearing masks and dark clothing when they entered a 19-year-old man's room about 1 a.m. Wednesday at Bromley Hall with what he thought was a gun but was a BB gun. The prosecutor says the trio described it as "a prank or a joke."

A judge says a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of teenager Laquan McDonald can't skip any court hearings.   Jason Van Dyke's lawyer has been arguing that Van Dyke shouldn't be forced to attend hearings because he's been verbally abused and physically jostled by protesters when he comes to court. Van Dyke's father said the same thing.

A suburban Chicago judge has delayed deciding whether to dismiss charges against a police officer's widow charged with helping her late husband steal thousands from a youth program.  Lake County Judge James Booras says he will take up the issue again on June 13 in the case against Melodie Gliniewicz. She has pleaded not guilty to being involved in her late husband's scheme to steal money from the Fox Lake police program.

Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson says President Donald Trump's commission to investigate voter fraud is itself a fraud.  Jackson says all studies of alleged voter fraud have found it doesn't exist. However, Jackson says there is substantial evidence of voter suppression.

Lisa Napoli / Facebook

Author and public broadcaster Lisa Napoli is speaking on her book “Ray and Joan” tonight at the Peoria Public Library Main Branch. Napoli has studied the McDonald’s founder Ray and his philanthropic wife Joan Kroc for the last five years before the release of her book late last year. Napoli says it’s a great story with Illinois and Peoria roots.

Rich Girard / Flickr/Creative Commons

A Republican Congressman from Peoria is expressing surprise at what he’s calling the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.