Election Chiefs 'Straddle The Line Between Sounding The Alarm And Being Alarmist'

Top election officials from across the country grappled with a delicate question this weekend: How do you tackle the threat of election interference, and be transparent in doing so, without further eroding the public's trust in the voting process? "I'm always trying to straddle the line between sounding the alarm on this issue and being alarmist," said Steve Simon, Minnesota's Secretary of State. The four-day annual meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State, which featured a...

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Visitors for sporting events in the Rockford area are expected to bring more than $800,000 into the local economy within the next month or so.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Matt Streb, chief of staff to Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman, says Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed allocation for higher education ignores even a minimal 1.9 percent increase requested by the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Instead, it keeps cuts made in last summer’s budget deal.

“The [university] presidents,” he said, “including Acting President Freeman, have argued that the institutions in the state should revert to the Fiscal ‘15 year allocation, which was the last year that we had a full budget before FY ’18.”

Proposal Aims To Diversify History Lessons

20 hours ago
Flickr User Benson Kua

A state legislative proposal would make sure that schools teach about LGBTQ people who made history. 

Equality Illinois, an LGBTQ advocacy group, says many of the state’s school-aged children who don’t identify as heterosexual feel left out of history lessons.

“The phrase we often hear is that history has been set a little too straight," said Mike Ziri, the group’s Public Policy Director, "and that the contributions of LGBTQ people are not included by omission.”

Outside a Trump campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., there was a cage holding a person dressed up like Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. In the outrageous state of the 2016 campaign, it wasn't altogether shocking to see someone at a Trump event staging the visual stunt, after the "lock her up!" chants that punctuated Trump rallies.

But it's now known that this moment was set up by Russians.

Chicago Police Department

Five Cook County Jail inmates who applauded as the man charged with the fatal shooting of a Chicago police commander was led by their cell could face reprisals for their actions.

  

The incident happened Thursday after suspect Shomari Legghette appeared in court on first-degree murder charges in the Tuesday slaying of Commander Paul Bauer.

scottdrury.org

An appellate court has ruled that Democratic attorney general candidate Scott Drury can remain on ballots for the March 20 primary.

The court ruled Friday. A judge had previously determined that the state legislator running for statewide office couldn't be on the ballot over paperwork issues. Drury immediately appealed.

The case is one reason that early voting has been delayed in parts of the state with election officials awaiting a final decision before they print ballots. 

Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson/ U.S. Air Force

Health officials across the country report flu cases are starting to match numbers seen from the H1N1 outbreak nearly a decade ago.

File photo by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should step down as head of the Democratic Party at least temporarily, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

The speaker fired Kevin Quinn earlier this week after Madigan’s lawyer spent three months investigating accusations that Quinn harassed a campaign staffer.     

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20.  In this Friday Forum, we take a look at both the 14th Illinois Congressional District, where there is a primary competition, and the 17th District, where there isn’t.

President Trump expressed grief Thursday over the school shooting in Florida and sought to comfort victims and their families in his first public address since the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and many others injured.

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," he said.

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The strained – and often strange — relationship between President Trump and Mitt Romney just added another layer of complexity: In a tweet on Monday, the president endorsed Romney to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by the retirement of Utah's Orrin Hatch.

Trump said Romney "will make a great Senator and worthy successor to [Orrin Hatch], and has my full support and endorsement!"

Romney's response (also on Twitter): "Thank you Mr. President for the support. I hope that over the course of the campaign I also earn the support and endorsement of the people of Utah."

The average nine-inning baseball game took 3 hours and 8 minutes to play last season. That's up from 2 hours and 46 minutes in 2005.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has had the goal of moving things along, and on Monday announced new rules aimed at shortening how long it takes to get a game played.

Maia and Alex Shibutani rose to win a bronze medal in ice dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Tuesday, turning in an artful routine named "Paradise."

Canadian legends Tess Virtue and Scott Moir won gold, followed by France's Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron with silver, in a competition marked by both high scores and high drama.

As of today, Virtue, 28, and Moir, 30, are the most successful figure skaters in Olympic history, with five medals (including three gold). That's more than any other competitor, in singles or pairs.

02/19/18: Life after a mass shooting

10 hours ago

A couple of weeks ago on this show, we told you about some of the funding and resources available for mass shooting victims to help with their short-term recovery. Today, we consider what life and work is like five, or even ten years after surviving a high-profile shooting. Two survivors of a mass shooting describe long term recovery. Also on today's show, we continue with our project called "Divided Decade," as we hear stories of how people's lives changed since the financial crisis ten years ago.

Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly, was in the penalty box after a third period fight with a Blackhawks defenseman on Saturday night when four Blackhawks fans started taunting him in unison.

"Basketball, basketball, basketball," they chanted.

"It's pretty obvious what that means," Smith-Pelly said on Sunday. "It's not a secret." The non-secret racial stereotype at play here is that basketball is a "black" sport and hockey is for white people.

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