flickr user Kam Abbott / "Pumpkin Patch 100_9300" (CC BY 2.0)

Crop experts say there should be enough pumpkins for Halloween, but that supplies of canned pumpkin could be scarce by Thanksgiving. 

Illinois is the country's top pumpkin-producing state. Mohammad Babadoost is a plant pathology professor at the University of Illinois. He says ``we'll have a pumpkin for everybody'' for Halloween, but cautions that canned pumpkin could run low by Nov. 26's Thanksgiving holiday. He says he'd ``buy it whenever it comes to the store.''

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says he plans to stay in his job as long as he can.

The police chief spoke to reporters Tuesday, a day after a group of mostly black aldermen called for him to step down.

McCarthy testified before some of those same aldermen at an afternoon budget hearing.

Most of the aldermen demanding McCarthy's firing are African-American. They contend McCarthy has had plenty of time to reduce street violence plaguing the city and hasn't done so.

Twitter / ECC

A suburban Chicago community college was recognized by state officials for completing a campus safety initiative. 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency announced Elgin Community College received the “Ready to Respond Campus” designation.

The goal of the program is to help students, administration and faculty prepare for hazards and emergencies. That includes campus shootings.

To get the status, a college or university has to develop a violence prevention plan and start a campus outreach and education campaign.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

A Wisconsin state Senate committee is holding a public hearing on a Republican bill that overhauls the state's 110-year-old civil service system. It would affect about 30,000 state employees.

The bill would do away with the civil service exam, speed up the hiring process, define “just cause” for disciplining employees and eliminate “bumping” rights that protect more experienced workers from losing their jobs.

Flickr user E Photos / "IMG_1927 - Power Lines" (CC v 2.0)

Commonwealth Edison's CEO says the state's largest utility is about halfway through with a major component of a grid modernization program.

A controversial law passed in 2011 hiked the price for the delivery of electricity. Ameren and ComEd were to use the money for infrastructure upgrades, like the installation of so-called "smart meters."

Smart meters are digital devices that measure electricity use, and send that information back to the utilities.

State of Illinois

Illinois public colleges and universities have become collateral damage in the state’s months-long budget impasse, fueled by political stalemate between Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the democratically-controlled General Assembly.

Rauner says he’s willing to consider more state revenue to pay for support to items like public colleges and universities, but only if lawmakers pass his pro-business, union-weakening “Turnaround Agenda” first.


The head of a suburban Chicago school district that evacuated because Legionella was found says there is a lack of public health guidance for schools to help deal with the bacteria.

Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders tells the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that he didn't receive guidance from state or federal agencies on when it was safe to reopen schools and it "was incredibly frustrating.''

The district evacuated and shut three schools for three days last month after high levels of Legionella were found in water cooling towers.  

Flickr User James Bowe / "Lightbulb" (CC BY 2.0)

The CEO of Commonwealth Edison says the utility is continuing to push for changes that failed to win legislative approval in the spring.

Anne Pramaggiore told an audience at the City Club of Chicago that a 2011 so-called "Smart Grid" law has led to savings and a more reliable power network.

But she says further improvement—like microgrids that can keep electricity flowing when there's an outage, and charging stations for electric cars—depends on help from Springfield.

UPS Set To Hire 1,000 Employees In Rockford Area

Oct 5, 2015
Flickr User SalTheColourGeek / "Full-res silent-pic test." (CC BY 2.0)

UPS announced Monday it will be hiring more than 1,000 seasonal workers in the Rockford area.

The company is hiring at the Rockford Air Facility. 

According to a news release, the company will be offering a number of positions with the following starting wages:

  • Pre-loaders: $10.10/hour
  • Package handlers: $11.76/hour
  • Package delivery drivers: $19.58/hour
  • Tractor-trailer drivers: $27/hour

Although these positions are seasonal, UPS says it can be a way for workers to get their foot in the door. 

NIU Releases Latest Safety & Security Report

Oct 5, 2015
Northern Illinois University

There are a few things to take note of in Northern Illinois University’s most recent safety and security report.

According to the report, no hate crimes have been reported at NIU in two years. But you might notice drug law violations more than doubled from 2013 to 2014.