Illinois Department of Insurance

'Obamacare' Rates For 2018 Are Going Up -- But Less Than In 2017

Illinois residents shopping for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace for next year could see rate increases as high as 40 percent, under rate plans submitted through the Illinois Department of Insurance. Illinois premium increases are, on average, lower in 2018 than 2017 for all levels, the department said in a news release. A 21-year-old non-smoker in the 10-county Rating Area 5, which covers most of northern Illinois, would see an increase of just 3 percent for the...

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U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson joined East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks and U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) for the handover ceremony held in the city’s municipal building.

Jackson-Hicks, a Democrat, said she was thrilled that city officials will now take over jurisdiction of the housing program. “It took a lot of hard work for us to get to this point,’’ said the mayor, noting that she had been working on the issue since she took office two years ago.

Public Comment Ends Soon On New DeKalb Transit Plan

2 hours ago
Northern Illinois University

Residents can give input on the new DeKalb transit plan until Tuesday. It includes more frequent service overall, a line going to Cortland and more trips to the Elburn Metra train station throughout the week.

DeKalb Public Works director Tim Holdeman says the new plan suggests merging the Northern Illinois University bus line and the TransVAC lines, which currently serve Kishwaukee College students, DeKalb and Sycamore.

“There’s an inefficiency in having two bus systems serve generally the same population,” Holdeman said.

Sessions from Studio A - The Full Monte Project

13 hours ago
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The Full Monte project performs "Slick" in WNIJ's Studio A.
Find The Full Monte Project on Bandcamp.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The Winnebago County Coroner says there have been 23 documented deaths by suicide so far this year. It's among the top 10 leading causes of death in the nation.  

Groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of northern Illinois are not staying silent on the issue during Suicide Awareness Prevention Month. The coalition recently organized an event at Stepping Stones in Rockford. The diverse group included community activists, veterans, and students.

Mosquitos which tested positive for West Nile Virus were found recently near the Whiteside County Fairgrounds in Morrison.

The virus was first detected in the county in July, and it’s also been found in Carroll and Ogle Counties.  Whiteside County Health Department Public Health Administrator Beth Fiorini said the last cases usually show up in late August, making this a highly unusual case.

“It’s been a really, really dry season," she said. "I don’t know if that’s why. We haven’t had rain in Whiteside County for weeks.”

One promise heard repeatedly during debate over the state's new school funding plan was that no schools would get less funding than before. But lawmakers siphoned $300 million from a fund that schools and local governments rely upon.

It was part of a separate action implementing the state budget. Vic Zimmerman is superintendent of Monticello schools. He says that fund represents 40% of his budget. 

"We certainly now have huge red numbers because of the divergence to CPPRT and the estimate for this year compared to last year," Zimmerman said.

"Syringe and Vaccine" by Flickr User NIAID / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Department of Public Health says it isn’t too early for residents to get their flu shot.

Flu season typically runs from October through March, and it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. That’s why Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Layden says it’s a good time to get immunized. 

"There's several options," she said. "There's multiple flu vaccines. The main message is we do not recommend, nor does the CDC, that individuals get the nasal spray."

Mark Schultz/Illinois Public Media

Students at Parkland Community College in Champaign rallied in support of a student arrested earlier this month. They said police and administrators are “persecuting” black students and teachers.

Members of the Parkland Social Justice club organized the rally Wednesday to protest Parkland Police arresting student Toby Mordi September 7.

The Champaign News-Gazette reported that police wanted to question Mordi about an earlier incident on campus. Mordi allegedly struck a police officer and led them on a foot chase before being arrested.

Northern Illinois University

Pay raises may be on the way for some Northern Illinois University employees.

In her State of the University address Wednesday, Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman touched on subjects like the delayed presidential search, the school’s fiscal future and university building projects.

Freeman also mentioned this in her speech:

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A subpoena for emails in a libel suit by the DeKalb Police chief against a Crystal Lake man will be at issue when the case returns to DeKalb County court in late November.

Dr. Thomas Salvi sent e-mails to then-mayor John Rey saying that DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery was an “aggressive thug” and should be fired. Lowery later sued Salvi for more than $300,000 last year.


News From NPR

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Uber's license to operate in London expires in eight days — and London's transportation agency says it won't be renewed, citing a range of problems that make the company "not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license."

The issues raised by Transport for London include Uber's "approach to reporting serious criminal offences" and how it handles background checks.

Uber says it will appeal the decision. Transport for London had been considering granting Uber a five-year license. The company was first licensed in London in 2012.

Tensions continue to mount at the University of California, Berkeley, where a conservative student group is planning to host an event it's calling "Free Speech Week" starting on Sunday.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Cattle pass a lot of gas, and the methane from their flatulence and especially, their belches, is an expanding burden on the planet. The greenhouse gas has a warming potential 25 times of carbon dioxide.

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