state of Illinois

You can watch live video of the public portion of the meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders at the Illinois Information Service website.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the four top legislators will gather again after six months. They're set to meet this afternoon in Springfield.

The meeting comes as the state rounds out a fifth month without a budget. Rauner says he'll talk finances once he gets changes he says will improve the business climate.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner hasn't met with legislative leaders since the end of May, so today's expected meeting is important.

Or, rather, it will be if talks continue.

Illinois has been without a budget since July and is one of two U.S. states without a spending plan (Pennsylvania is the other).

Today is the 60th anniversary of the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama. Her action sparked a boycott that ended when the Supreme Court struck down Alabama’s racial segregation laws.

A young pastor named Martin Luther King Jr. led the boycott. Attending King’s church was a college student named Jesse White, now the Illinois Secretary of State.

Illinois farmers ended the season with wet fields.

This is the final weekly Crop Progress and Condition report for 2015.  Weekly reports resume again in April.

Federal authorities say an online threat against the University of Chicago appears to have been motivated by the 2014 Chicago police shooting of a black teenager of which a video was released last week.

A male student was arrested today after a gun was reported at Barrington High School.

There were no shots fired or injuries resulting from the incident.

Officials say a 16-year-old was found in a restroom with an unloaded gun and ammunition in his backpack. An employee had witnessed the handgun fall out of the backpack and alerted administrators.

Authorities were able to quickly identify the student from a surveillance video inside the bathroom.

According to the school district, the teen has been transported to Lake County jail.

While Illinois has been operating without a budget, community colleges have stayed open. But some say without state funding, they can’t hold out much longer.

Public universities have been tapping their reserves to get by. But community colleges typically don’t have deep cushions. 

While a large chunk of their funding comes from local property taxes, Tom Ramage, president of Parkland College, says these smaller institutions can’t survive without state dollars.

Toys for Tots Foundation

DeKalb County residents have until Tuesday to request toys for Christmas through Toys for Tots. But you may have more time still, depending on where you live.

If you’re in Rockford, you have until Friday, and Whiteside County honors applications as late as Dec. 19.

Kathi Hogshead Davis heads the DeKalb County Toys for Tots. She says need is determined by families either showing state medical cards or proving their children are part of the schools' free or reduced lunch program.

Pretzel City Kitchens


University of Illinois Extension gives an update on the Pretzel City Kitchens project tonight at its Openfields Local Foods Harvest Dinner in Freeport.  The Extension and its partners are excited by the project’s potential.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to save taxpayers money by eliminating some of the state's nearly 7,000 units of government.

Now, a task force is preparing its final recommendations.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is the commission's chairwoman. She says its suggestions could make government more efficient and effective if the Legislature and Rauner choose to implement them.

The suggestions include letting voters decide whether a unit of government should be eliminated.

“At the end of the day, the savings are going to be huge,” Sanguinetti said.