Tristian Ellis’ test scores in reading and math dropped dramatically this fall from last. The difference: the Ellis family had its own apartment last year. Now, the family of four stays in a shelter on Chicago’s far north side.

For the 8-year-old student, who attends LEARN Excel Charter on the city’s northwest side, distractions abound. His mother, Latoya Ellis, lost her job in August and moved into the shelter a month later. She describes being homeless as “a very devastating experience,’’ which is particularly hard on Tristian, her youngest child.

U Of I Band Performs In Macy’s Parade

5 hours ago
News At Illinois / YouTube

An Illinois marching band will make an appearance in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Almost 400 students in the University of Illinois marching band will perform in today’s parade.

The U of I band is one of 12 marching in the parade this year. The Marching Illini was selected as the last marching band to perform.

Mariah Carey is scheduled to perform immediately after the band.

Del Monte

Illinois may rank dead last in a number of economic categories, but it ranks much higher in a rather specialized holiday eating measure.

Culinary experts say that 30 million green-bean casseroles will appear on Thanksgiving tables today; and Illinois is ranked 17th among the 50 states for love of the iconic side dish, according to the Del Monte Green Bean Index. 


The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment rates compared to a year ago dropped in most of the state's metro areas in October.  The only increase was in the Peoria area, home to Caterpillar Inc. -- which is in the midst of layoffs.  The Carbondale-Marion area's rate stayed the same as last year.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he’s pursuing legal options to prevent Syrian refugees from coming into the state.

Rauner has said there are security threats to America following attacks in Paris. He says he’s not getting the answers he wants from the Obama administration on who’s coming to Illinois.

Rauner is talking to lawyers about how a governor could actually stop Syrian refugees from entering the state.

RAUNER: “There are many legal options that we are exploring and will explore.”

REPORTERS: “Like what?”

DeKalb's Future Plans Unveiled

Nov 25, 2015

The City of DeKalb has released a draft of its 10-Year Strategic Plan and invites community members to review it and offer comments and suggestions. The plan combines input gathered at more than 40 group discussions held throughout DeKalb and facilitated by Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies.

Illinois State Police

State police are ramping up efforts to keep roadways safe during the busy holiday season.

There have been 821 fatal traffic accidents so far this year. That’s 58 more than this time last year.

Trooper Erin Lanthrop is a safety education officer with the Illinois State Police. She says authorities have placed emphasis on preventing the number from rising.


A pair of Libertarian political candidates are suing the state of Illinois. The state's medical marijuana law prohibits campaign donations from companies that grow or dispense cannabis.

Benjamin Barr is a lawyer with the Pillar of Law Institute in Washington, D.C. He says he filed the lawsuit because his clients favor legalization of drugs and should be able to seek support from like-minded businesses.

Kankakee Community College

Many public Illinois colleges and universities are hard-hit by the budget stalemate. The state isn’t mandated to fund higher education the way it must pay for kindergarten through high school.

Kankakee Community College made cuts earlier in the year due to a continued decline in enrollment. Officials cut down on its award-winning sustainability program and decided to stop operating its public radio station.

Flickr user Teemu008 / "Executive Mansion" (Creative Commons)

The initial phase of repairs to the run-down governor's mansion in Springfield is just about complete.

Architect Jeff Evans, who's coordinating the project as a volunteer , says it was in bad shape.

"The roof has been replaced. We've got about a week's worth of work to finish up odds and ends,” Evans said. “The leaks have stopped. There's no more water infiltration. The next thing will be just to complete the rest of the rehabilitation."