Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

The relatives of 16 victims of the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., reached a proposed $1.5 million settlement Monday against the estate of the shooter's mother.According to the Hartford Courant, each family will receive $93,750 apiece from a homeowners insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on a Newtown home she shared with her son Adam.The lawsuits were filed by the families of 14 victims who died in the school shooting and two who survived.On the morning of Dec. 14, 2012,...
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About 160,000 high school graduates took the ACTs in Illinois last year. That cost the state several million dollars, but that might not happen this coming school year if the state budget impasse continues. 

While there's no solution for the state budget, students in districts that signed up to take the ACT test will get to take them in the spring. But those in other districts might not be able to unless they pay for the tests themselves.   

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Renewable energy may be getting a boost from President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. For one business owner in Rockford, it’s part of his mission.

Lee Schreiner shows off the meter connected to his new solar panels at 201 7th Street. On a fairly sunny July afternoon, it was producing six to seven thousand watts of power. And Schreiner was happy.

University of Illinois Leads State In Mumps Cases

12 hours ago
CDC / Courtesy of A. Harrison and F. A. Murphy

 The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging University of Illinois students to get vaccinated to help curb a growing mumps outbreak. 

The department said in a news release Tuesday that 69 cases have been reported on the Urbana-Champaign campus and new infections continue to be seen. A week earlier about 50 cases were known. The department knows of 18 other cases around the state. 

Director Nirav Shah says most of the infected people have received two rounds of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine but believes a third round could help control the outbreak. 

The continuing state budget impasse is going to hurt some of Illinois' most vulnerable residents. That's according to Comptroller Leslie Munger, who visited several agencies today that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

More than a third of Illinois human service agencies are already cutting back while the state is without a budget.

United Way of Illinois says more than 130 agencies reported cutting services, and slightly more are using cash reserves to continue operating.

Most of them say they'll deplete their reserves in about three months. About 80 say they’ll run out of money by the end of this month.

Rauner Issues State Disaster Proclamation For 23 Counties

21 hours ago

Gov. Bruce Rauner has issued a state disaster proclamation for 23 counties devastated by severe storms this summer and has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help assess the damages there.

Rauner on Monday said a series of storms in June and July caused heavy rainfall, flash and river flooding, tornadoes and straight-line winds in the 23 counties stretching from Alexander County on the Ohio River to Grundy County in north central Illinois.

A panel of lawmakers will weigh in Wednesday on the planned closure of two state facilities. But the final decision rests with the governor. 

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed closing the state museum in Springfield and the Hardin County Work Camp to save money.  But many disagree, including central Illinois state Senator Andy Manar.

"I think the governor is correct in pointing out that operating a museum and preserving history comes at a cost.  But I, like thousands of others across the state, believe the cost is worth it," Manar said.

A Chicago alderman has proposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks in that city.  There is also an effort to make that happen statewide.

Elissa Bassler says this idea can both bring in revenue and improve health.  She's the CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute and head of the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.

The definition of sugary drink would of course include soda.  But also juice and even teas and coffees that have sugar added. 

University of Illinois / illinois.edu

An outside investigation of women’s basketball at the University of Illinois’s Urbana campus has found no evidence to support claims of abuse or racism by former players.

And athletic director Mike Thomas and Urbana Chancellor Phyllis Wise say there will be no personnel changes after seeing the findings by the Chicago law firm hired by the university to conduct the investigation. But they do expect other changes within U of I women’s basketball and other sports, and some of those were in the works before the lawsuit surfaced.

Local Schools Receive Fitness Centers

Aug 3, 2015

Lincoln Middle School in Rockford is one of just three winning schools that will receive a state-of-the-art Live Positively Fitness Center.

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils is supported by Governor Bruce Rauner and fitness icon Jake Steinfeld.

The Foundation provides Live Positively Fitness Centers that are fully funded through public and private partnerships with companies like Coca-Cola, Anthem Foundation and Nike. The National Foundation's goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.