News

NIU

Five community colleges northwest of Chicago have partnered with NIU to help business students complete a bachelor’s degree while staying in their region.

The Business Dual Degree program enables students who have received their associate degree to continue their education at the NIU Hoffman Estates campus.

Andrew Epstein / WNIJ

Illinois residents affected by last month's tornados in Lee and Grundy counties will get extra time to file state tax returns. 

Governor Bruce Rauner's office said Wednesday the deadline to file tax returns and make payments will be Dec. 31. He says that will allow residents to recover from the storms and file their returns on time.

Taxpayers who mail their returns and payments should write “Tornado June 2015” in red ink on the outside of the envelope and at the top of each page. Those filing electronically should check the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Doctors who care for patients on Medicaid, drug treatment counselors and probation officers could all go without pay because Illinois is without a new budget. 

But elected officials will keep getting their paychecks.

Without a budget, Illinois loses its spending authority. Much of it anyway. Some spending is built in, automatic: like paying off debt, sending municipalities their cut of the income tax and lawmakers' pay.

A dead bird found in Winnebago County has tested positive for West Nile Virus, which is much earlier than last year when the first positive bird in the county was found on September 2, according to a news release from the Winnebago County Health Department.

Warmer temperatures can increase the rate of Culex mosquito production, flight activity and virus replication, which results in an increased number of WNV infected mosquitos.

flickr user/Chris "Fireworks" (CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/1NxqYWA

Towns across northern Illinois will be celebrating the 4th of July throughout the weekend, whether it’s a parade, a concert or a firework show.

Fireworks are a big tradition for the 4th of July and will be seen sporadically throughout the weekend in professionally produced displays.

Ordinary citizens, however, are limited in what they are legally allowed to use in terms of fireworks.

Former Illinois Treasurer Employees Sue Over Firings

Jul 1, 2015

Three ex-state employees who claim former Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford fired them last year in retaliation for providing damaging evidence in a sexual harassment investigation have filed a lawsuit.

Wednesday's filing in Cook County Circuit Court says Patrick Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad were told they were fired for timekeeping abuses. It describes that allegation as a pretext. Rutherford, his former chief of staff and the agency are named as defendants.

Among other demands, the plaintiffs seek back pay, compensation for future wages and emotional distress. 

WUIS/Illinois Issues

It seems familiar: Illinois government enters a new fiscal year without a budget, and those who get state money start to worry. But the government never stopped running before, so why would it shut down this time?

After all, things worked out in 2007 when then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich couldn't agree with fellow Democrats who controlled the General Assembly. Budget negotiations took until mid-September, but state government remained open.

Wisconsin Public Radio

  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says 9,500 people plan to attend his rally tonight in Madison, Wis.

The Vermont senator says he will draw on the state's long progressive political history during the event. Sanders says he believes the progressive movement that existed for years in Wisconsin is now spreading throughout the country.

CPS

Chicago Public Schools’ financial future is in question after making a massive into its pension system.

The financially struggling school system paid a $634 million lump sum into its retirement fund. The district was hoping for a reprieve, but the House of Representatives -- led by Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan -- rejected CPS’s request.

The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools says about 1,400 jobs will be affected after the district had to borrow money to make a $634 million pension payment.

Brian Mackey

The stalemate that's embodied state politics of late continues -- there is still no Illinois budget for fiscal year 2016.

Now, that has consequences. Without a budget, Illinois doesn't have the authority to spend any money.

That means no paychecks for state employees, and vendors not getting paid -- something which could mean no services.

Diane Gedik, who is with Autism Speaks in Chicago, says a shutdown affects the support Illinois state government provides for her 20-year-old son with autism.

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