News

Dennis Hastert Indicted, Accused Of Lying To FBI

May 28, 2015

Federal prosecutors have announced bank-related charges against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. 

A statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago says the 73-year-old Illinois Republican is accused of structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash in order to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000. He's also accused of lying to the FBI.  

Rockford Casino Could Get Caught Up In Larger Battle

May 28, 2015
flickr user Ian Murphy "Solar Casino Night (3)" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois would get five new casinos under Sen. Terry Link's latest proposal. They'd go to Chicago, Danville, Rockford, Lake County and the south suburbs. It could also add so-called "satellite" casinos in places like Decatur.

As with previous proposals, horse race tracks would get be able to get slot machines.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been open to new casinos. But he's upset that Democrats are killing off his pro-business agenda. Link acknowledges, his effort could get trapped in that feud.

senatorbarickman.com / Peoria Public Radio

Governor Rauner spent most of the past four months traveling around Illinois, touting his so-called "Turnaround Agenda."

Some of his requests, like allowing localities to create right-to-work zones, faced an uphill battle from the beginning. But other items, like term limits, have been popular with voters since the governor ran on them last year.

Now Democrats, who control the legislature, refuse to bring a term limit proposal to a vote. They say it's a distraction from passing a state budget before the weekend's deadline.

state of Illinois

The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a plan that seeks to curb the abuse of heroin and painkilling drugs.

It's touted as a comprehensive package - though it was scaled back from its original version.

As painkillers are often seen as a gateway to heroin, the measure says doctors have to record the medical need when they prescribe narcotics for months at time. It enhances an electronic database that's used to make sure patients aren't doctor-shopping and stockpiling pills.

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

An Illinois proposal would provide funding for police body cameras.

The measure creates procedures for arrests and traffic stops, including pedestrian searches. Incidents like officer-involved shootings and arrests would have a standard protocol across Illinois, and the proposal would require more police training.

Funding would come from an increase in fines for traffic tickets.

Democratic Rep. Elgie Sims says when police officers wear body cameras, both the community and police benefit.

Lincoln Museum Inching Closer To Independence

May 28, 2015
WUIS

The Illinois House is advancing a proposal to revamp the management of the state-run Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Since it opened a decade ago, the Lincoln museum has been under the control of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The museum has its own advisory board, but House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says those advisors were frustrated.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office appears to be preparing in case there's a strike. The state's contract with its largest public employees' union, AFSCME, expires when the state's fiscal year ends on June 30.

Crundwell Can't Keep Trophies

May 27, 2015
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A federal judge has ruled that imprisoned former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell can't keep a collection of horse trophies and other personal items stored in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Dixon Telegraph reports U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard on Tuesday ordered Crundwell to forfeit the items to help repay more than $53 million in restitution that she owes the city of Dixon.  

Brian Mackey

The Illinois Senate began taking up parts of Governor Bruce Rauner’s pro-business agenda Wednesday.

First up was the workers compensation system. Rauner and business groups say it's too costly.

Steve Hoekstra is president of a fourth-generation trucking company not far from the Indiana state line.

“The work comp base rate is 135 percent higher for me being located in Illinois as opposed to Indiana," Hoekstra said.

But Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Democrat from Chicago, says there are some areas in which Illinois might not want to compete.

Facebook Use Could Be A Personality Indicator

May 27, 2015
Facebook

If you post Facebook updates about your romantic partner, that could mean you have low self-esteem. 

That’s according to a study at Brunel University in London.

Five-hundred fifty-five Facebook users were observed in the study, and the users also completed surveys about self-esteem, narcissism, extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

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