Higher education will see a funding cut next year, but Democrats want to lessen the impact compared to what the Republican governor called for.

Despite overall cuts to higher education, "MAP" grants could see an increase in the next fiscal year. The grants help Illinois students -- especially ones from low-income families -- pay for college. 

Democratic Rep. Christian Mitchell from Chicago says this will help get rid of the barrier of access for some students. He says those who qualify and are able to get into college should have the money to go so that they can “be productive citizens.”

Residents Can Check Licenses Of Area Swimming Pools

May 25, 2015
flickr user / Oatsy40 / "Swimming Pool" (CC BY 2.0) /

Swimming season is starting in Illinois, and the state has been licensing public pools and beaches.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is in charge of the regulations under the Illinois Swimming Facility Act. The Champaign News-Gazette reports there are 952 city-owned swimming pools in Illinois.

That number goes up every year.

Police Body Cameras On Lawmakers' List

May 25, 2015
Chris McDaniel/St. Louis Public Radio

In the wake of officer-involved deaths in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York City, Illinois lawmakers are looking at how to change state laws regarding police officers.

In the final days of the General Assembly's session, Rep. Elgie Sims, Jr., D-Chicago, says he'll sponsor legislation that would require police to wear body cameras. He says the package also would ban law enforcement officers from using chokeholds.

Little Cubs Field Hosts Eighth Pee-Wee Classic

May 25, 2015
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Sixteen teams from Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa played in a tournament at Little Cubs Field in Freeport this Memorial Day weekend. It's the eighth Pee Wee Classic since the field opened, and the diamond is the closest to-scale replica of Wrigley Field you can find. 

At least, that's according to its owner Denny Garkey.

New Power Plant Rules May Force Rate Hikes

May 25, 2015

Proposed rules to lower carbon emissions by electricity-generating power plants will force unnecessary rate increases.

That's according to U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. 

Barring additional delays, the new rules will now be out in August. They require new and existing power plants that burn coal and other fossil fuels to reduce emissions to levels 30-percent below those in 2005 over the next 15 years.

Veterans Share Their Stories In 'Veterans' Voices'

May 25, 2015

Western Illinois University's Department of English and Journalism published the first edition of "Veterans' Voices," which is a collection of writing by those who have served.  

The publication is more than a literary exercise. It's an attempt to create conversation.

Victor Yehling/WNIJ

With a brand new pavilion providing shelter for about half of the vendors, the Rockford City Market opened for its sixth season Friday night along Water Street on the east bank of the Rock River.

The pavilion, which replaces a crumbling parking deck that was closed for safety reasons, was finished just days ago to be ready for the opening.

Cathy McDermott, administrator of market operator  Rock River Development Partnership, said 65 vendors -- eight more than last year -- were participating in the opening day.

Suzanne Pupino is stepping down from her position as DeKalb City Clerk.

The move comes less than two weeks after being sworn-in.

According to a news release issued Friday night, Mayor John Rey said Pupino resigned to "spend more time enjoying her retirement."

Pupino was sworn-in on May 11, 2015 for a two-year term.


Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Jeffrey Yordon to the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

According to a news release, Yordon was CEO and Chairman of Sagent Pharmaceuticals for nine years. He founded the company in 2006, which developed and made injectable pharmaceuticals. Prior to that, he worked as the founder, president and COO of American Pharmaceutical Partners.