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Illinois Democrats and senior-citizen groups are challenging Governor Bruce Rauner’s push to change home health care services. With a growing elderly population, Rauner says the state needs more control over how much it pays home health care workers, and what those services include. Donna Peek is a home health care aid, and member of the union SEIU. She says Rauner’s plan will upend close relationships between clients and their caregivers.

A man who died in the fire last month at Glen Oak Tower in Peoria was asleep, when a lit cigarette incinerated his couch and the rest of his one-bedroom apartment.

The Illinois Senate is plunging back into the "grand bargain" budget compromise with three weeks remaining in the legislative session.  

The Senate voted 35-15 to give local governments flexibility on paying debts. It's one of the few measures with bipartisan support in a package that's supposed to help break a logjam on a state budget deal.

Chicago Democratic President John Cullerton wanted to call others, but Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said they weren't ready.

Flickr Creative Commons/Miquel C.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is about to disappear. However, Illinois State University will be able to offer a peek under the big top.
The university says the son of a man who once helped lead the "Greatest Show on Earth" donated more than 15 boxes of letters and documents that once belonged to his father. The papers will become part of the school's collection of memorabilia, posters and other papers from circuses around the world.  

Facebook/Chicago State University

Chicago State University officials say they will work to boost enrollment, resolve financial concerns and improve the reputation of the institution in the coming year.
Interim President Rachel Lindsey was appointed to the post last month. As part of a leadership shake-up, university trustees also appointed former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas to a top administrative post.

Flickr Creative Commons/Larissa Puro

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure intended to protect abortion rights … and expand access to the procedure.

The legislation would allow for coverage of abortion under state health plans to include government employees and women on Medicaid.
Senator Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Chicago Heights, made what she called an “economic argument” for the legislation.

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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University trustees are poised to choose a new chancellor to lead the Carbondale campus.

Peoria Revises Penalties for Cannabis Possession

May 10, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

There was wide opinion among Peoria City Council members Tues., regarding penalties for possession of marijuana.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The single most expensive contract for the city of Peoria is solid waste collection.

Rep. Bustos Visits With Lineworkers On the Job

May 10, 2017
Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Line workers at parts manufacturer in Peoria got a visit from their congresswoman Tues.

Flickr Creative Commons/Emmett Tullos

A railway says it has implemented new security measures at a Chicago rail yard where thieves stole 150 guns in recent years, most of which ended up in the hands of drug dealers and gangs.  Norfolk Southern wrote a letter to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin that describes measures put in place for the South Side yard as of April 1, including rules requiring better train-cargo locks.

A Chicago tax policy and research group is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a full budget instead of "piecemeal" solutions in the final weeks of the legislative session.  The Civic Federation says in order to close an estimated $4.6 billion deficit, Illinois needs spending restraints, increased revenues, and borrowing for unpaid bills.

New bylaws from the University of Illinois fraternities' governing board will require all chapters to train their members on how to intervene to prevent sexual assault.  The change from the university's student-run Interfraternity Council requires all 42 campus fraternities to teach every second-year member about "bystander intervention" in addition to the two sexual-assault-prevention programs already mandated for all students on campus.

Flickr Creative Commons/Ren Rebadomia

Authorities in the Philippines have arrested an American suspected of exploiting dozens of Filipino children using webcams to sell videos, images and livestreams.  

Northern Illinois University officials say there will be 150 staff position reductions as the school tries to cut expenses.  NIU president Doug Baker says most cuts will be achieved through attrition however 30 of the affected jobs will be active positions. He says most of the affected employees were notified by Monday.

Three people are in jail after Will County authorities pulled over a car and found the trunk held several bricks of cocaine with a street value of more than $1 million.  The Will County Sheriff's Department says the discovery happened Monday night after deputies pulled over a car they'd spotted swerving on a road in Green Garden Township. 

Greg Hume / Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials have released detailed plans for how they'll reintroduce a giant fish that was thought to be extinct from the state's waters. 

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

The Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools has seven senior staff members with new three-year-contracts. The PPS Board approved the contracts on a 5-2 vote.

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has unveiled his formal portrait in the state Capitol. The 68-year-old Democrat who stepped into the job when his predecessor was ousted donated the first "interactive" portrait.  The portrait depicts Quinn in his "lucky" purple-striped tie. He stands in front of a background of 44 representations of people, issues and events from more than four decades in public service.

The state treasurer says not enough people realize Illinois’ credit could soon be rated “junk.” That’s if lawmakers and the governor don’t agree on a budget by the end of this month.  Treasurer Mike Frerichs has mostly avoided the political fight surrounding the state’s budget crisis. But he says if former Republican Governor Jim Edgar can criticize the current governor, piling on isn’t political.

Authorities say the house where a toddler was found dead has burned to the ground one day after her funeral.  East Joliet Fire Chief Robert Scholtes says fire crews were called about 3 a.m. Saturday to the Joliet Township home where 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead under a couch April 26.

Flickr Creative Commons/Boston Public Library

New Illinois tourism figures show about 110 million tourists from around the country visited the state last year, a more than 1 million increase compared to 2015.  Eighty three percent of visitors came for leisure and 17% came for business. 

Officials with the American Association of University Professors say an academic censure of the University of Illinois over a professor who lost his job offer over a series of anti-Israel tweets could end next month.  Delegates to the national AAUP meeting in June are scheduled to take up the Steven Salaita case again after voting last year to leave the 2015 censure in place.

Pekin high school is recovering from a cyberattack on its computers last month, and officials say they're trying to determine how to prevent future attacks.  When officials at Pekin Community High School turned on their computers on April 24, they were unable to access files and student information. 

Some Illinois school districts are revamping their summer school programs this year with virtual programs designed to allow students to complete lessons outside of the classroom.  But some education experts worry that online learning programs aren't the best approach for younger students. 

Data from Chicago police show that the number of tickets officers have issued for distracted driving has plummeted over the last three years.  Chicago police gave out 25,884 tickets for motorists using mobile devices in 2015. That number was 186 tickets in 2016 and 24 tickets through April 16 of this year.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing legislation aimed at protecting Illinois students who take out college loans.  The plan would establish a "student loan bill of rights" outlining information companies have to provide, including all repayment options. 

Attorneys for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock have asked a judge to drop a charge against him, saying it's too broad.  Schock's attorneys say a charge alleging theft of government funds contains too many allegations, makes it too difficult to prepare for trial, and is therefore improper. They say prosecutors have bundled five years' worth of alleged thefts into a single count.

A Chicago-based federal appeals court is looking into allowing TV cameras to cover some of its proceedings. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could join state high courts and several federal appellate courts in permitting live broadcasts.

Wikimedia Commons

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House has appointed envoys to find areas of compromise on a state budget deal with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.