State Authors Featured On Annual Reading List

52 minutes ago

Works by several authors with ties to Illinois are included on the recommended Illinois statewide reading program for 2015.

The Illinois Reading Council on Wednesday named books for everyone from adults to newborn babies. The program is intended to promote reading for people of all ages.

Monsters: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football, the Rich Cohen paean to Windy City football at is finest, and Chicago author Scott Turow's Identical are among the six recommendations for adults.

Rauner Takes Collective Bargaining Message Downstate

17 hours ago

Governor Bruce Rauner traveled outside Springfield Wednesday to continue his push to let voters decide whether to allow collective bargaining for local unions. 

Rauner delivered a single, bare-bones message during scheduled stops in Peoria, Canton and Havana to support letting local voters weigh-in on whether to permit collective bargaining for government and private unions: “They should control what collective bargaining occurs inside their schools, and they should control whether local employers need to be closed shop, forced-unionization or free-employment flexibility.” 

Lawmaker Targets "Sexting" In Schools

18 hours ago

An Illinois lawmaker wants to help make parents and students aware of the potential legal consequences of sexting -- or sending nude photos via a text message -- by requiring local school districts add it to their codes and handbooks.

A House committee passed his proposal, but some lawmakers question how effective it would be.

Representative Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, says there may be better ways to inform the public of the crime.

Bryan Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

The newly appointed Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform includes a significant number of members who are well known as advocates for a more rational approach to criminal justice — that is, basing sentencing decisions on what's most likely to rehabilitate an offender while also protecting the public.

Training a new generation of effective leaders often involves mentoring through a shared passion. It involves someone with a strong skill set who is willing to help someone else feel the spark. We continue our occasional series "Pass the Torch" in the middle of a guitar circle.

Deep within Northern Illinois University's music building sits a group of musicians. Some have studied jazz, others classical, but it doesn't matter, because their maestro is the epitome of fusion.

Still No Agreement, But State Budget Plan Moves Forward

Mar 4, 2015

Illinois Senate Democrats are proposing that the state sweep outstanding balances from special state funds to fill the current budget gap – and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's office is calling the plan "half-baked."

This partisan feuding means there's still no agreement on how to fill a hole in this year's budget.

The Illinois budget year goes through June but, thanks in part to the reduction in state income taxes, money already is running out for such needs as a program that helps low-income workers send their kids to daycare.

Calls for appointments are pouring in at DeKalb’s Elder Care Services. Mary Rongey came in for the second year in a row. She says she knew she needed the extra help because her husband used to keep track of the couple’s finances.

“This is where he came before he passed away, and then I just came back here. It’s all kind of new to me.”

Rongey says she’s been satisfied with the help she gets.

“I think you need someone who knows what they are doing, somebody that can answer your questions if you have any questions. They know what they are talking about.”

Northern Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18) reimbursed the federal government more than $1,200 for a flight to a Chicago Bears football game last November.

The Peoria Republican had charged the private air travel to his House office account, which is funded by taxpayers. A spokesman says Schock wrote a check to cover the costs of the trip.

Newly released congressional reports show Schock charged more than $14,000 in private air travel last fall. Those costs add to a list of flights he took on planes owned by donors.

Prescription-Reform Bill Aims At Heroin Problem

Mar 3, 2015
Amanda Vinicky

Legislation intended to combat a heroin epidemic has been introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators.

Longtime Rockford Police officer Rep. John Cabello, R-Machesney Park, says more than 40 people died last year from overdosing in Winnebago County

"The measures in this are going to be a little controversial to some folks,” Cabello said, “but when we realize that lives are more important ... if we are going to look at trying to solve the problem, we need to look at all of the solutions."

Author? Author?

Mar 2, 2015

WNIJ is calling all authors in the Northern Public Radio listening area to submit their published work for consideration in the summer edition of the #WNIJReadWithMe Book Series which airs in June. Submissions will be accepted through April 3.