A white Chicago police officer who fatally shot a black 19-year-old Northern Illinois University student and accidently killed a neighbor has filed a lawsuit against the teenager's estate.

Robert Rialmo argues the shooting left him traumatized.  His lawsuit filed Friday provides the officer's first public account of how he says the December 26th shooting happened. It says Rialmo opened fire after Quintonio LeGrier swung a bat at his head.

Every four years as the caucuses and primaries begin for the presidential nomination process, pundits and pollsters -- as well as quite a few voters -- once again raise the question: Why Iowa? Why New Hampshire.

The question about which states get to go first got the NPR political team thinking. If a different state were to be chosen to vote first, one that was more representative of the country as a whole, which would be?

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Kishwaukee College is talking with its faculty and staff unions about possible layoffs. The Daily Chronicle reports the college’s board will discuss possible job cuts next week, and could vote on them at its March 8 meeting. 

Both the college and the unions blame the state budget impasse for the situation. The school has yet to receive $5 million it is owed by the state for this fiscal year. That amounts to nearly a quarter of the college’s budget.


FBI data shows Illinois has recorded 38 gun-related domestic violence homicides since 2006, but the number is likely higher because the data are incomplete.  

Only the Chicago and Rockford police departments report firearm-related domestic violence homicides to the FBI.  The Illinois State Police says the relationship of a homicide victim to the offender is considered supplementary data that is not required to be reported. 

Chicago Police Department

Chicago police say the bodies of four men, one woman and a child have been found inside a home on the city's South Side in what they say could be a murder-suicide.

Interim police Superintendent John Escalante says there is “no known threat'' to the neighborhood.

Authorities are still working to identify the dead. Escalante says it's probable they were all family members.

He says police entered the house in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood after receiving a call from a co-worker to check on person who lived there.

Rockford Public Schools


  Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan Thursday announced that he will re-convene hearings on the state’s education funding formula. The state's current formula relies heavily on property taxes, creating a big disparity among schools based on their property values. Some districts can spend more than $32,000 per student every year, while others scrape by on a fraction of that amount.

NIU athletics

A couple of NIU freshmen who thought they were in the running for free tuition learned this week they were out of the contest earlier than they thought.

Last semester, Northern Illinois University offered a chance to win free tuition for a semester to one lucky student who attended all six home football games.

A total of 86 students recorded their attendance at all of those games, but the student body as a whole failed to fulfill another condition.

Chicago State University


Chicago State University trustees have declared a financial emergency at the troubled school that could make it easier to lay off employees.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, trustees at the predominantly black university on Thursday declared a type of emergency that, in the academic world, means the school faces an imminent threat to its survival that could require such measures as cutting faculty jobs.  The board also created a committee to decide on actions that could include layoffs and pay cuts.  

Gov. Rauner Talks Adding Toll Lanes To I-55

Feb 4, 2016
Leskra /

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to add lanes to a part of I-55 in the Chicago area.  But you may have to pay to drive in those new lanes.

Jim Durkin lives in Chicago's southwest suburbs.  He often has to get downtown - and he says I-55 backs up a lot.

"I take Ogden Avenue. You wanna follow me into the city?  I know all the routes.  I’ve been doing this for years," he says.

Durkin’s I-55 commute is sometimes to downtown, but also, sometimes, to Springfield.  He’s the House Republican Leader.

"Metra" By Flickr User Chris Phan / (CC BY 2.0)

The Metra Railroad says it will miss its 2018 deadline to install safety technology on all of its Chicago-area routes.

Metra says the cost of its upgrade – which could reach $400 million – is one factor in the delay.

Congress’ technology mandate included almost no funding nationwide for these kinds of projects.

The technology known as Positive Train Control can monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger.

Metra outlined a plan to satisfy certain criteria for the government if an extension is granted through 2020.