Northern Illinois University

Pay Raises Could Be On The Way For Some NIU Employees

Pay raises may be on the way for some Northern Illinois University employees. NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman gave her State of the University address Wednesday. She touched on subjects like the delayed presidential search , the school’s fiscal future and university building projects. Freeman also mentioned this in her speech: “I’ve asked our Board of Trustees to convene a special board meeting on Oct. 19, where we will request a three percent increase for all eligible employees,” Freeman...

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Northern Illinois University was ordered to stop changing parking fees for union members without bargaining and refund the fee changes. 

That’s according to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. They ruled Thursday that NIU raised parking pass prices in 2016 without bargaining with AFSCME-member employees.

More than 600 clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees should be reimbursed $38 each plus interest, the board ruled. 

By Evadb - Own work, CC0,

Two Rockford natives are among this year’s recipients of the state’s highest honor for professional achievement and public service.

The eight people awarded the Order of Lincoln for 2018 include 16-year-old pianist, composer and songwriter Emily Bear and David Rydell, chairman of Bergstrom Inc., a designer and producer of climate systems for the commercial vehicle industry.

Lisa Madigan issued a statement Friday announcing she will not seek a fifth term as the state's Attorney General.

“I still have much work to do on many important issues, and I will continue to give my best to the people of Illinois and the Office of Attorney General every day through the end of my term in January 2019," Madigan said in the statement.

A Rockford mental health treatment program will not receive $1.2 million in funds that were included in the Illinois state budget approved this summer over Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto, the state Department of Human Services confirmed today.

"The Department has informed Rosecrance on several occasions that state funding for triage services will end," IDHS Communications Director Meghan Powers said in an email to WNIJ News, "and they should seek to get federal funding through Medicaid Managed Care Organizations to cover these services."

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment increased from 4.8% in July to 5% in August.  

IDES spokesman Bob Gough said there also was a loss of 3,700 nonfarm jobs in August, based on data provided by the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

"We look at it and had a pretty large drop in manufacturing and professional services," he said. "Also, the leisure and hospitality industry as the summer season is coming to an end."  

The 2019 campaign for Chicago mayor is off to an unusual start after a new campaign committee was created in the name of former Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

The committee is called “GMFM - Garry McCarthy for Mayor Exploratory Committee.” McCarthy and the chairman of the campaign committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Neither did a campaign spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

A federal indictment alleges Larry Wyllie misused taxpayer money to build a dog-training school and to give himself a retirement bonus. It also says that, as superintendent, he lied about the finances of Lincoln-Way High School District 210, using money borrowed for construction to pay for regular expenses.

District 210 mainly serves Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox, southwest of Chicago. Household income and property values are well above the state average; yet, among hundreds of Illinois school systems, Lincoln-Way’s finances are ranked third from the bottom.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Rockford poet Christine Swanberg has published her latest book. In a career that spans three decades, she’s written hundreds of poems that, in addition to her own collections, have appeared in a variety of periodicals and anthologies. During that time she mostly, though not always, wrote in free verse. But one of her first published poems was a sonnet, written while she was a young English teacher as a class assignment along with her students, and she returns to the sonnet in this collection.

Most Freedom of Information Act requests come from people outside of the journalism field.

"We get requests every single day from regular citizens who are interested just in knowing what the government is up to," according to Annum Haider, civic engagement coordinator with the Better Government Association. "They are trying to get more information to be more engaged."

Sessions from Studio A - Tundras

Sep 14, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Tundras performs "Beyond the Tombs pt. 2" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Tundras performs "Swirling in Obscurity" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find Tundras at Bandcamp and Facebook.


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When 2-month-old Isaac Enrique Sanchez was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition that causes vomiting, dehydration and weight loss in infants, his parents were told that their son's condition was curable. The problem was that no hospital in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas had a pediatric surgery team capable of performing the operation on his stomach.

When the fourth-graders in Mrs. Marlem Diaz-Brown's class returned to school on Monday, they were tasked with writing their first essay of the year. The topic was familiar: Hurricane Irma.

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