Business
7:32 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Advocates Back Paid Sick Leave, But Opponents Won't Cough It Up

Activists hold signs during a rally on Jan. 18, 2013, at New York's City Hall to call for immediate action on paid sick days legislation in light of the continued spread of the flu. Last month, New York City began requiring employers to provide paid sick days, joining the ranks of other cities such as Washington, Seattle and San Francisco.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 1:03 pm

If you've ever seen your waiter sneeze, you may have asked for a different server. If you've seen one sneeze repeatedly, you might wonder why he's still at work, serving tainted food.

See, most restaurant workers don't get paid when they stay home sick. But, some go to work anyway, when they've got the sniffles or worse, because they need the paycheck.

For labor advocates, that's a problem.

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State News
7:06 am
Thu May 8, 2014

SURS changing interpretation of pension ‘money purchase’ provision

The State Universities Retirement System says it’s changed its interpretation of part of the state’s new pension law after a letter from House Speaker Michael Madigan.  It’s a move that should prevent many employees from losing part of their pension benefits if they don’t retire by June 30th.

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Around the Nation
6:58 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Calif. Boy Enjoys Homemade Roller Coaster

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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State News
6:46 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Manager of troubled Illinois anti-violence program now running similar agency

Toni Irving, the head of Get In Chicago, announces the 11 winners of grant applications Wednesday to mentor and give therapy to Chicago youth at a new conference with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Irving had previously run a similar program for the State of Illinois that’s now under investigation.
Credit Tony Arnold / Illinois Public Radio/WBEZ

The head of a troubled state-funded anti-violence agency is now running a similar program. Get In Chicago is a 50-million dollar public-private partnership that gives out grants to community groups around the city.

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Around the Nation
6:41 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Businessman Buys 'Born To Run' Draft

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:58 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep, with a rough draft of Bruce Springsteen, a single sheet of paper with the original version of the lyrics to "Born to Run." It includes random references to rebels, but no mention of Wendy, the girl he falls in love with.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BORN TO RUN")

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) Wendy wrap me in, I wanna be your friend...

State News
6:39 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Analysis Shows School Funding Plan Would Benefit Downstate Districts

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:06 pm

  Downstate schools would be the primary winners under a proposed school funding overhaul before the General Assembly. A report from Illinois' board of education could lead to a regional divide when it comes up for a vote.

Illinois' public school system relies heavily on property taxes, often meaning the quality of a student's education will depend on his or her zip code.

But a proposal in the General Assembly would completely change the state's complicated funding formula.

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State News
6:38 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Republicans Want State Worker Wages Paid With Extra State Cash

Sen. Sam McCann addresses reporters about SB 3657, a bill that would allow the comptroller to use extra state dollars to pay employee back wages and old bills.

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:22 pm

A report says Illinois officials can look forward to more than a billion dollars in tax collections they hadn't been expecting this year. A group of lawmakers already has a plan for the money.

Thousands of state workers are owed an estimated 112 million dollars in back wages. Governor Pat Quinn negotiated raises with members of AFSCME back before the 2010 elections, but lawmakers never came through with the money to pay them.

Now some Republicans say this year's unexpected tax windfall ought to be used to finally make good on the contract.

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Lee Strubinger is currently working his way through the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting program and will be covering a range of issues...  anything from the steps of Springfield City Council to the Capitol.

He went to Illinois State University as an undergrad.  He worked for several media outlets, including WGLT (Bloomington-Normal public radio), the Indy (ISU's independent newspaper) and student newspaper The Daily Vidette.  He was born and raised in Western Illinois, and has lived in or extensively visited every portion of the state.

When Lee's not working at WUIS or his online class, he enjoys listening to country music on vinyl records, reading modernist literature, wearing denim, and losing at solitaire.  

The Two-Way
5:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Ukraine's Separatists To Proceed With Vote, Despite Putin

Pro-Russian separatists say they'll hold a referendum Sunday on seceding from Ukraine, despite Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments that they should wait to hold the vote. Thursday, a gunman installs a banner reading "Do not forget, do not forgive!" in eastern Ukraine.
Darko Vojinovic AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 1:55 pm

A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin told separatists in Ukraine they should postpone a referendum on secession, leaders of the group say they'll hold the vote this Sunday as planned.

The decision was announced by a committee heading the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine. The group held a news conference Thursday to say they would go ahead with plans to hold the vote.

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Africa
4:15 am
Thu May 8, 2014

U.S. Team To Assist Nigeria In Locating Kidnapped School Girls

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:58 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk through what the United States may be able to do in searching for kidnapped girls in Nigeria. The U.S. has promised assistance, Nigerian officials have now accepted. This would involve the United State more overtly than before in fighting Boko Haram, the extremist group that says it took the girls.

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