All buildings on the campus of Northern Illinois University have been evacuated because of a bomb threat this evening. 

During the 6:00 hour, students were informed they needed to leave their buildings and stay more than 500 feet away. 

American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers from northern Illinois have been working all week in South Carolina as much of that state continues to battle disastrous floods.

Patricia Kemp, communications manager for the American Red Cross northern Illinois region, has been there since last Saturday. She says a number of volunteers from Illinois are there to manage shelters and meals for the flood victims, as well as another important aspect of recovery:

Mental Illness Awareness Week began 25 years ago. In 1990, Congress designated the first week of October every year to eliminate stigma against those dealing with illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia.

Some have taken to social media to post about their own experiences with #IAmStigmaFree.

Flickr User Medisave UK / "Littmann Stethoscope" (CC BY 2.0)

At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours. More are expected unless the state comes through with funding.

It comes as flu season approaches, after regional outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease and the mumps, and after the state announced that it will no longer pay for testing STD specimens. This means the local departments have to take on an additional cost.

President of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators, Miriam Link-Mullison, says the fiscal situation is increasingly desperate.

Illinois House Democrats

Illinois Democrats started the process of choosing a replacement for the late state Rep. Esther Golar of Chicago.

Alderman Raymond Lopez says Democratic committeemen from the 6th House district will meet Monday to consider candidates to serve the remainder of Golar's term. He says he wants to make sure someone who echos Golar's values is selected.

Golar represented parts of Chicago's southwest side from 2005 until her death last month at age 71. She was known as an advocate for the poor and middle class and for breaking into song on the House floor.

Fox Lake Police Department

A review of personnel records from 50 police agencies working on the unsolved shooting death of Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz has found that more than $300,000 has been spent on the investigation.

The Daily Herald analysis found almost two-thirds, about $196,000, was related to overtime. The review also found that departments with employees assigned to the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force had some of the highest costs.

Gliniewicz's Sept. 1 shooting death prompted a manhunt. Authorities later confirmed he was shot twice with his own weapon.

Illinois Senate Republicans /

State Sen. Kyle McCarter says he'll challenge 10-term U.S. Rep. John Shimkus's re-election bid in the Republican primary in Illinois' 15th Congressional District.

The conservative lawmaker from Lebanon says Shimkus has been in Washington too long after promising to serve no more than six terms when he was first elected in the district covering all or parts of 33 counties in eastern and southern Illinois.

Chicago Taxi Drivers Plan 24-Hour Strike

12 hours ago
United TaxiDrivers Community Council

Chicago taxi drivers are planning a 24-hour strike until Friday morning. 

The strike is to protest Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s plan to allow rideshares like UberX to pick up and drop off passengers at airports.

The United Taxidrivers Community Council say the move could finish off the taxi industry altogether. They are also opposing a fare increase and a 50-cent surcharge for each fare.

state of Illinois

Illinois’ budget impasse has forced a Rockford-area domestic violence shelter to turn away some victims and their families. Remedies Renewing Lives CEO Gary Halbach says the shelter serves more than 1,600 people each year dealing with domestic violence and another 1,800 for substance abuse. 

He says the organization is looking at dipping into reserves to cover costs.


An advisory board has voted to add eight health conditions, including chronic pain syndrome, autism, and post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of illnesses that can be treated by marijuana in Illinois.

The state's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board made the recommendations Wednesday at a meeting in suburban Chicago.

The suggestions next need approval by Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah, an appointee of Gov. Bruce Rauner.