Importing ivory into the U.S. is already illegal. Senator Linda Holmes wants to ban purchasing, bartering or intending to sell items made with ivory.

"We do have a federal ban, but state by state if you don't have a place to go to sell it, it does reduce the amount of poaching that's done."

The plan exempts antique weapons, but Todd Vandermyde of the National Rifle Association says that isn't enough.

Chicago Casino Talks Back On

12 hours ago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s talked with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner about adding a city-run casino.

It would need approval from state lawmakers.

State Representative Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago,  says the negotiations are still early in the process.

"We’re gonna make it in such a way that Rauner does the right thing for Chicago as well as the rest of the state. It’s too early now. It’s not soup yet."

Emanuel has said money the city makes from a casino would go toward paying pension debt.

Special Election Announced For Schock's Seat

19 hours ago

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner called for a special election to fill Aaron Schock's vacant congressional seat. Rauner's office wants a special primary election held on June 8 and a special election on July 24.

Candidates will be able to file nominating papers with the state board of elections later this month. 

Rauner's office warned Tuesday the actual dates of the election will change in order to comply with federal voting law.

Indiana Public Media

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants legislators to fix a controversial law by the end of the week.

That comes as pressure continues to mount for an economic boycott of the state.

Pence continued to blame the media for spreading misinformation about a Religious Freedom law that he says cannot be used to discriminate against gay people.

He says he wants legislators to draft language to make that message clear and he wants it in two days just as the NCAA’s men's Final Four gets underway in Indianapolis.


Illinois is the latest state to join a national program aiming to reduce childhood obesity. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced a new campaign from the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils yesterday. 

Rauner says Illinois has some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the nation. He says the program has had a “huge impact” in other states.

The program encourages teachers to look for innovative ways to improve students' fitness and nutrition. Three schools will be selected as “National Champion Schools” and will win fitness centers valued at $100,000.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Some of Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock's current and previous employees will appear before a federal grand jury next month, and a former State Representative from Quincy says she won't seek Schock’s open congressional seat. 

The government has been looking into Schock's House office expenses, his re-election campaign spending and his relationships with long-time political donors. The Justice Department issued subpoenas as part of the investigation. 

Schock, a Republican from Peoria, plans to step down today. 

NIU Center for Governmental Studies

New U.S. Census data shows Illinois had nearly 10,000 fewer residents in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s the largest population decline of any state in the country and the first statewide population dip since the mid-1980s. 

NIU Center for Governmental Studies

The mining industry’s economic impact on LaSalle County is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pay It Forward House Celebrates Decade

Mar 31, 2015
N'Jema McIntyre / WNIJ

Pay It Forward House is a place of hope for families of long term care patients in the Sycamore area. The house is celebrating its tenth year of operation. 

Joyce Mathey is the executive director and has been with the house since it opened. The house is for families of patients who are receiving long term care at area facilities including,  Kindred Hospital. 

“The patients are transferred in, because they have had a heart attack, a stroke, some major medical and they’re in the next phase of their treatment.”

Jenna Dooley

In its first award announcement of 2015, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission named 20 recipients of the Carnegie Medal.  The medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

In January 2014, then 20-year-old Michael D. Bates helped save his grandfather, then 78-year-old Roger Bates, from suffocating when he was trapped in a grain bin.