Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Judge Rules Former NIU President Doug Baker Severance Package 'Null And Void' In OMA Case

The severance package for former Northern Illinois University president Doug Baker is now null and void, according to a court ruling Wednesday. A DeKalb County judge ruled that the NIU Board of Trustees violated the Open Meetings Act. Judge Bradley Waller said in his decision that the board did not adequately notify the public of the terms of Baker’s more than $600,000 severance package. Waller also said the board agenda item “Presidential Employment – Review and Approval” was vague enough...

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The chief negotiator for Northern Illinois University says the union representing more than 600 NIU employees turned down the campus-wide three-percent wage approved by the NIU Board of Trustees in October and scheduled to take effect this month.

The chief negotiator for AFSCME Local 1890 says that’s not the whole story.

NIU has been negotiating an initial contract between and a new unit of the largest union representing clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees at NIU for nearly two years.

Rockford's Famous Kantorei Takes On A New Dimension

Nov 16, 2017
Guy Stephens/WNIJ

For more than half a century, the youth choir Kantorei has been known as the Singing Boys of Rockford. This year, that changed.

On a late Tuesday afternoon, members of Kantorei’s Training Choir go through their paces. The treble voices sound a lot like those in years past. It’s when you look at them that you notice the difference. The long-time boy choir now includes … girls.

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The leader of Wisconsin’s firefighters union announced his bid for governor this week. 

Mahlon Mitchell previously ran for public office in 2012 for lieutenant governor, but lost to Rebecca Kleefisch.  However, his 1.2 million votes were the highest tally in a single election received by any of the gubernatorial candidates so far. 

Leaf River Fire Protection District

A memorial fund has been set up for the family of a Leaf River firefighter who died last week.

According to the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, by the time authorities got to the home of the Wood family in Leaf River early Friday morning, they found it engulfed in flames.

The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged assault on a Muslim woman in DeKalb.

The group says the woman was wearing Islamic attire when a man approached her while she was shopping at the DeKalb WalMart. He allegedly began shouting “Muslims are not welcome in this country” and  “Americans don’t want her here.” 

When it comes to funding public schools, Gov. Bruce Rauner has wavered a bit.

A few months ago, he vetoed a major funding reform bill, saying it sent too much money to Chicago Public Schools. Later, he signed a compromise measure that gave the Chicago schools even more.

Now he has another bill on his desk.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford's mayor and police chief met Tuesday with people who are calling for a federal investigation into the deaths of Officer Jaimie Cox and Eddie Patterson. Both were killed in the aftermath of a traffic stop Nov. 5.

The meeting was a result of a march on City Hall Monday by Patterson’s family and supporters, who fear the investigation is biased. Rev. Melvin Brown said he’s planning more protests because he doesn’t trust the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force to investigate fully.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

Federal election law requires states to keep accurate and up-to-date voter registration rolls. But one tool to help them do so is at the center of a partisan debate.

In Illinois, many Democrats are calling on the state Board of Elections to stop participation in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, or Crosscheck, for short.

 

Illinois is one of about 28 states that share voter registration data with Crosscheck, which uses it to look for voters who are registered at more than one address.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

After recent mass shootings, some Illinois lawmakers reacted by filing legislation that would tighten restrictions on guns. But the veto session is over and gun laws remain unchanged.

 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The average Illinois price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.72.  This is 6 cents cheaper than last week.

AAA reports the most expensive gasoline can be found in the City of Chicago, at $3.09 per gallon. By contrast, the cheapest gas is in Springfield, at $2.53 per gallon.

Rockford’s average price is $2.66 per gallon. This is 2 cents cheaper than last week.  

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The closed-circuit television footage is silent, but that makes it no less dramatic.

A jeep speeds through the North Korean countryside, crossing what is known as the 72-Hour Bridge.

Inside the vehicle is a North Korean soldier, making a desperate escape. All but the headlights disappear behind tree cover.

Updated at 6:38 p.m. ET

For a span of some four months earlier this year, demonstrators swarmed Venezuela's city streets in protest of ballooning inflation, diminishing food and President Nicolas Maduro's tightening grasp on power — until, that is, Maduro's efforts to derail the opposition bore fruit. By August the protests ebbed from view, as a new lawmaking body packed with Maduro's preferred politicians took the country's reins.

Still, while the protests have all but disappeared, the economic woes that helped inspire them remain as obstinate as ever.

The Trump Organization is severing ties with the controversial Trump SoHo building in New York City.

The development, which is a hybrid hotel-condominium building where owners of units can only live in their properties for a certain amount of time each year, has the potential to be a thorn in the side of President Trump — linking him to murky financing arrangements, allegations of fraud and a Russian-born developer with a criminal past.

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

While the word "audit" all by itself doesn't sound very fun, for the Colorado Secretary of State it's absolutely celebratory. Following the 2017 off-year election, the state is performing a first-in-the-nation risk-limiting audit of the statewide results.

"We're here to celebrate the fact that we've finally reached this milestone in our nation," Secretary of State Wayne Williams said.

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