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Illinois
5:07 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

New Governor Defends Top Salaries

Credit State of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says his staff deserves to be paid more than his predecessors’.

Rauner defended the pay increases today after the Associated Press reported that his top ten staffers make about $380,000 more than Governor Pat Quinn’s aids.

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Politics
6:18 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rauner Wants Gov't Unions Banned From Political Campaign Contributions

Credit Hannah Meisel/IPR

Gov. Bruce Rauner lit a fire under labor unions this week when he suggested local governments should be able to implement their own right-to-work laws. Yesterday, Rauner went one step further, saying government unions should be banned from contributing to political campaigns.

Rauner had largely been silent about unions since winning his primary campaign last March. In the general election, the candidate abandoned his talk of "government union bosses" who he says control contracts with the state, driving up the cost of business. But this week, that talk and phrase is back.

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Politics
6:06 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rauner Criticizes School Admin Costs But Pays His Aides Higher Salary

Credit twitter.com/BruceRauner

Gov. Bruce Rauner is criticizing the number of school districts and administrators in the K-through-12 system as too costly, but he is paying his top aides more than the people in similar positions received under former Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rauner is calling for a paring down of what he calls "education bureaucracy," citing the more than 850 school districts and 13,000 administrators in the state. 

The governor said Thursday in Champaign that not enough of the state's tax dollars actually make it to the classroom.

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Groundhog Day
5:00 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Woodstock Theater Dedicates Auditorium To Harold Ramis

submitted by Rick Bellairs

This is the first year Groundhog Day will go on without Harold Ramis.

More than two decades ago, the famed movie director chose Woodstock, Illinois to shoot his 1993 comedy "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Ramis died Feb 24. 2014, at the age of 69.

Rick Bellairs is with the Woodstock Groundhog Days Committee. He was also an extra in the movie. Bellairs says, because of Ramis, the Woodstock town square is recognizable around the world.

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Union vs. Chief Epperson
1:12 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rockford Police Chief's Discipline Hearing Continues In Mid-February

A retired deputy chief was the star witness for the Rockford Police Union Thursday at a conduct hearing for Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

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Illinois
2:48 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Mendelssohn Director Stepping Down

Credit MPAC

The Executive Director of Rockford's Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is stepping down. Kathleen Montgomery is moving out of state. A replacement for Montgomery has not yet been hired.

According to an email newsletter from Mendelssohn, Mongtomery says she is moving to Tulsa due to a job change for her husband.

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Politics
6:27 am
Thu January 29, 2015

House Rules Break Bipartisanship

Credit state of Illinois

The Illinois House voted to pass the rules for how the legislature will run itself for the next two years. But Republicans took issue with a few of the procedures. 

Representative Ed Sullivan from Mundelein wants to extend the time period that information is posted online before legislators can debate a bill. The rules require only a one-hour notice before a hearing.

"I want to talk a little bit about the voice of the public, those that we serve, and what their voice is within the rules, and their ability to have more transparency."

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Politics
6:20 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Rauner High On List Of "Sugar Daddies Of State Politics"

Credit WUIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner nears the top of a national list of last year's biggest campaign contributors. 

The Center for Public Integrity gathered data on political giving to state races. It used that information to crown "sugar daddies of state politics."

Rauner and his wife, Diana, came in seventh. That's just counting the money Rauner put into his campaign committee before Election Day.

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Fire and Police Commission Hearing
5:48 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Rockford's Police Chief Answers Union's Misconduct Accusations

Rockford’s police chief goes before the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners today. It’s the continuation of Monday’s meeting. That’s where Chet Epperson spent nearly seven hours defending himself against misconduct charges filed by the police union.

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Illinois
3:57 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

No Strike: Kishwaukee Faculty, Trustees Approve Contract

Kishwaukee College's Board of Trustees just before their unanimous vote in favor of the three year contract deal with the KCEA.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

Members of the Kishwaukee College Education Association (KCEA) voted Wednesday to ratify their tentative agreement with Kishwaukee College. The college's Board of Trustees followed suit less than two hours later, unanimously approving the contract.

Bargaining teams from both sides agreed to this tentative agreement during an all-day bargaining session called on Jan. 19th. 

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