Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College Announces Layoff Proposal

Rock Valley College announced Friday that it will recommend to the College’s Board of Trustees to approve a reduction in force of certain non-tenured and tenured faculty members to be effective for fall 2017. According to a news release, the College is required under the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Faculty Association and the Illinois Public Community College Act to give notice to each individual faculty member of the Board’s action no later than 60 days before the end of the...

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A program designed to get more minority teachers into Illinois classrooms is turning directly to the public for support. 

While the more than 150 headstones that were toppled and damaged at one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis have all now been righted, waiting only to be resealed, the damage still felt in St. Louis’ Jewish community is palpable. This weekend’s actions have compounded the emotional damage from a recurring spate of national and local threats made against the Jewish community, including a January bomb threat to St. Louis’ own Jewish Community Center.

Rudd campaign website

Former Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd has pleaded not guilty to five counts of perjury.

Rudd entered the pleas Friday in Lake County Circuit Court. The 70-year-old is accused of having nominating petitions with signatures of people who were dead or who later claimed they didn't sign when he was seeking re-election in 2016.

Rudd dropped out of the Democratic primary after it was determined he didn't have enough valid signatures on his nominating petitions.

Flickr User Marcin Wickary/CC 2.0

Illinois Tollway officials approved a contract yesterday that would replace the coin buckets at toll booths. 

The Daily Herald reports they would be replaced by touch screen machines that also accept credit cards and bills.  I-Pass lanes have cut down on use of the coin buckets, and there are about 100 remaining at roadside booths.  

Recent data shows more Illinois students are taking Advanced Placement tests.  

The classes and accompanying exams can help them earn college credit.  The State Board of Education is working to ensure more low-income and minority students take the tests, and spokeswoman Jackie Matthews says the effort is going well.  

"The State Board is moving some unused federal funds directly into the AP test fee program to keep the fee for low-income students at $15 per tests, to make sure these tests remain accessible to all students."  

Normally, it cost $93 for each exam.   

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Brian Leaf will be remembered by many as the talented business reporter for the Rockford Register Star. But those who knew him also are sharing stories of his talents as a friend, father, spin-class instructor, musician, local music supporter, hunter, nature-lover, and all-around good guy.

Leaf died Wednesday at the age of 57. He had a heart attack while teaching a spin class at the YMCA in Rockford.

Murders are on the rise in the United States.

The national murder rate jumped dramatically in 2015, and early indications are that it rose again in 2016, though official numbers aren't available yet.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has convened legal and civil rights organizations in the wake of what she calls ``troubling'' executive orders issued by President Donald Trump.

  

Groups attending Thursday's summit include Arab American Family Services, the Chicago Urban League and Lambda Legal. Group leaders say they fear escalating hate crimes.

Lawyers for a 17-year-old transgender student and the Gloucester, Va., school board that wants to limit which bathroom he can use don't agree on much.

But both sides have concluded the Trump administration's decision this week to revoke guidance that protects transgender students' ability to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity only heightens the need for a hearing before the nation's highest court.

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

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is forming a panel to pick up where a recent commission left off revamping the state's outdated public school funding formula.

The Chicago Democrat announced the panel Thursday. He says the group will address questions left unanswered by a funding reform commission convened by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last year.

That commission reported its findings earlier this month. It concluded Illinois must change how it funds schools to ensure all students are properly educated. But it produced no legislative proposals.

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A statewide grassroots initiative launched a decade ago to get more minorities teachers into the classroom lost funding when Illinois went without a budget. A teacher shortage surfaced about the same time. One Peoria educator is working to bring back the Grow Your Own Teacher program to address both issues.

Yahya Abu Romman, a 22-year-old languages major, had just graduated from university. To celebrate, he planned a six-week trip to the U.S., where his brother, uncles and aunts and more than a dozen cousins have lived for years.

With good grades, an engaging personality and fluency in three languages — English, Arabic and Spanish — he had worked as a nature conservation ranger while studying, and had his pick of jobs with tour companies in Jordan, a strong U.S. ally.

The newly appointed Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is moving to scale back the implementation of sweeping privacy rules for Internet providers passed last year.

Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday asked the FCC to hit pause on the rollout of one part of those rules that was scheduled to go into effect next week. This marks the latest in his efforts to roll back his predecessor's regulatory moves.

The Los Angeles Zoo has officially announced its newest addition: a baby bongo.

Eastern bongos are striped forest antelopes, with large ears and horns. They are found in the wild in East Africa and are critically endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which maintains the so-called red list of species facing extinction.

Only 75 to 140 wild bongos are thought to still live in Kenya.

As President Trump prepares a new executive order on vetting refugees and immigrants, one idea keeps cropping up: checking the social media accounts of those coming to the U.S.

In fact, such a program was begun under the Obama administration more than a year ago on a limited basis and is likely to be expanded. But social media vetting is a heavy lift, and it's too early to tell how effective it will be.

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