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NIU Board Approves 3-Percent Campuswide Pay Increase; Cuts Out-Of-State Tuition

A 3-percent pay increase for Northern Illinois University faculty and staff was approved this morning by the NIU Board of Trustees, which then voted to extend the raise to employees in union bargaining units that still are negotiating contracts but have signed off on the increase. NIU Acting President Lisa Freeman recommended the increase in her State of the University address last month for all NIU employees hired before Jan. 1, 2017. That issue, among other concerns, attracted a full house...

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Economist Richard Thaler (@R_Thaler), whose work helps explain how people reject rational thinking when making financial decisions, speaks with Here & Now‘s Robin Young about winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Jenna Dooley

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has been taking a victory lap for the new school funding formula at schools across the state. Such visits can be a low-stakes way for the state’s top politicians to interact with their youngest constituents.

Last month, Rauner took questions from several inquisitive students at Galapagos Charter School in Rockford.

Rauner: So do you have any questions for me?

Student: How much do you get paid?

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis was back in his central Illinois district Friday, donating blood in Springfield.

He’s among the Republicans who’ve indicated an openness to tighter regulations on "bump stocks," devices that enabled the Las Vegas shooter to fire more rapidly. Davis had personal experience of a mass shooting earlier this year, when a man opened fire as he and other Congressmen were playing baseball.

jb-pritzker.com

J.B. Pritzker won another big-ticket endorsement in his campaign to win the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor.

The Democratic County Chairmen’s Association met in Springfield over the weekend and picked Pritzker from the large field of candidates. Association President Doug House says Pritzker — a billionaire who’s self-funding his campaign — is the only candidate who can build the infrastructure to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner next year.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The average Illinois price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.44. This is seven cents cheaper than last week.

AAA reports the most expensive gas is in the City of Chicago, at $2.79 per gallon. By contrast, the cheapest gas can be found in Springfield, at $2.32 per gallon.  

Rockford's average price is $2.40 per gallon. This is two cents cheaper than last week.  

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The Democratic candidates for Illinois Governor convened at a progressive forum yesterday to stake out the distinctions in their campaigns.

Evanston state Sen. Daniel Biss started with a question.

 

“Are we going to listen to the insiders and let it be all about billionaires again, or are we going to build a progressive movement to make transformational change that we have needed for so long?" he asked. 

 

WalletHub

School funding problems, including disparities between districts, have grabbed the headlines in Illinois the last couple of years.  But a website recently ranked Illinois schools among the best in the country for teachers.

Personal finance website WalletHub said it looked at two broad areas when ranking the states:

One -- Opportunity and Competition -- included average starting salaries, income growth potential, pensions and tenure protections.

USDA Agricultural Research Service

Hunting is an activity that crosses state lines, with hunters looking for the best spots for game, and game not even having a concept of political boundaries. But a disease is infecting deer herds in both Illinois and Wisconsin, and it could pose a threat to hunters. 

Chronic Wasting Disease is a malady that’s existed among deer in the region for more than a decade. It was first detected in southern Wisconsin around 2002. Since then, infected herds have spread to at least 19 counties.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Jordan D. Spates, the Rockford man wanted in connection with the Sept. 23 shooting of a Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputy, has been arrested in Georgia. More arrests may be coming.

Spates, 27, is wanted for aggravated battery to a police officer with a firearm, which is a class X felony with a penalty of six to 30 years in prison.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department developed information late last week that the fugitive was in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville, Ga. They worked with the Rockford FBI office, which obtained a warrant for Spates's arrest.

Updated at 12:26 p.m. ET

Hurricane Nate is a hurricane no more.

It is now a tropical depression, dousing the Deep South, Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains with heavy rains, expected to continue through Monday.

Nate first struck near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the southeastern Louisiana coast as a Category 1 storm Saturday night and again near Biloxi, Miss., early Sunday morning.

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News From NPR

On most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mary Grimes can be found pacing along a crowded street in Orlando, Fla., with clipboards in both hands.

"Can I have five minutes of your time?" the 58-year-old says to a parade of passers-by. Those who are in a rush, she quickly wishes well; the others, Grimes directs to a blue and yellow form, reciting her spiel and soliciting a signature from each.

The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were canceled for 260,000 students in 600 schools.

And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many that may not resume classes for days or even weeks.

A congressional candidate in Florida drew a little ridicule this week.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, one of the Republicans in the crowded field in Florida's 27th Congressional District, said in 2009 that she was taken aboard a spaceship when she was 7 years old.

She does not mean at Disney World.

"I went in," she says in a 2009 Spanish language interview that appeared on YouTube this week. "There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes.

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

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

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Spain's prime minister says he'll fire the government officials of Catalonia and hold new elections there within six months. Spain's Senate will have to approve that plan next week.

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