Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Tricky, Unpopular Spending Plan At Crux Of Senate 'Grand Bargain'

The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" budget compromise comes down to three pieces of legislation. There's a $36.5 billion outline for spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The state hasn't had a budget since 2015 because of wrangling between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. A second measure provides language authorizing the spending. And the final is the third-rail income tax increase and expansion of the sales tax. Individual tax rates would go up 32 percent...

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Jury selection begins Monday in a criminal trial against comedian Bill Cosby on felony charges of sexual assault — and just a few hours into the process, it's evident that seating a jury is going to be a challenge.

Illinois Issues: State Marches Toward Clean Energy

6 hours ago
Dylan Blake

Even as a landmark clean-energy plan unravels in Washington, D.C., Illinois is on track to meet the coal emissions-reduction goals it set.

For Dulce Ortiz, the Clean Power Plan was a long-awaited victory.

For years, Ortiz and fellow environmental activists had been trying to get rid of the coal-fired power plant in their hometown of Waukegan. Yet pleas to the energy company, to Waukegan’s mayor, and to Illinois energy regulators all had proven unsuccessful.

Medical marijuana is still new to Illinois, but some lawmakers are taking a look at expanding its use to help stem the opioid epidemic.

State senators heard from recovering opioid addicts on how marijuana has helped them manage chronic pain from injuries. Ingalore Wood of Auburn said opiates made her angry and reluctant to leave the house. Then she switched to medical marijuana.

WNIJ Gas Price Monday: May 22, 2017

7 hours ago
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The average Illinois price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.40 -- two cents more expensive than last week. 

AAA reports the City of Chicago has the highest state gas price, at $2.75 per gallon. By contrast, the cheapest gas is in Danville, at $2.17 per gallon. 

Rockford's average price per gallon is $2.27, which is one cent higher than last week. 

Illinois Tollway

The Illinois Tollway will close lanes of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) intermittently next week as overnight work continues on the Illinois 23 Bridge near Marengo.

Crews will place beams overnight from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., necessitating intermittent lane closures.  On Wednesday, westbound I-90 lanes will close intermittently for periods of up to 15 minutes.  The same disruption is expected Thursday, except with eastbound lanes.  The Illinois 23 bridge will remain open during the entire process, but be limited to a single lane of traffic.

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Banking in Illinois ranks fourth among all the states for choice, stability, best rates, and customer satisfaction, according to a recent survey by Money-Rates.com.

The survey compared the number of banks in each state, the number of bank failures, the interest rates for savings and deposits, and the JD Power ratings of banks to generate the list.

DeKalb Juvenile Offenses Increase By 100 In One Year

May 21, 2017
DeKalb, Illinois Police Department

Juvenile crime in DeKalb rose from 2015 to 2016, according to the last police department annual report – and overall crime this year is on track to increase from last year.

The most recent DeKalb Police annual report says there were 480 juvenile offenses in 2016. That tops the 2015 figure by more than one hundred offenses; there were the same number of juvenile offenses in 2014 as there were in 2015.

President Donald Trump's first day in Saudi Arabia began with a lavish reception and ended with an ostentatious ceremony, but not before Trump and the Saudi king signed several agreements spanning diplomatic, governmental and commercial ventures, including an arms deal worth $110 billion.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Road closures begin at 4 a.m. this Sunday for the annual Rockford Marathon. The race kicks off at 7 a.m.

The Marathon will start and end on Wyman Street near Chestnut Street, traveling from Rockford to Loves Park, Machesney Park, and portions of unincorporated Winnebago County.

Marked detour routes will be in place for state roadways and police traffic control on arterials like Jefferson Street.

Whitman Street will allow traffic to cross periodically.

Travelers are urged to find alternate routes and to be aware of the increase in pedestrian traffic.

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Illinois will soon eliminate the statute of limitations in child sex-abuse cases through legislation passed with support from a victim of imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert.

The Illinois House unanimously approved the measure on Thursday, sending it to a supportive Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Hastert's case provided a prime example of why the law should be changed.

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News From NPR

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.

Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has extended for six months a program that has allowed tens of thousands of Haitians to remain in the U.S. following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

But Trump administration officials say they believe conditions are improving on the Caribbean island and that Haitians should make plans to return to their home country.

The ransomware attack on worldwide computer networks earlier this month largely spared those of the federal government. While the government dodged a bullet this time, experts say, its systems are still vulnerable — although perhaps less so than in the past.

When the global malware attack — dubbed "WannaCry" — was first detected, a government cybersecurity response group moved quickly.

Building a better battery is the holy grail for people who want better technology. Now researchers at the University of Texas, Austin say they may have found that battery — or something close. But their claims have sparked controversy.

At the center of this debate is a towering figure in the world of science — John Goodenough, who teaches material science at the university.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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