State of Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner is renewing his call for term limits and says the General Assembly should vote on the idea in the fall.

Rauner delivered a campaign-style speech Monday in Chicago. Relying on a teleprompter, he spoke for less than 10 minutes and wouldn't take reporters' questions.

The first-term Republican says Illinois politics needs new ideas and faces. He says he'll be pushing term limits during a two-day state tour.

Rauner backed term limits in his 2014 gubernatorial campaign, but a judge found a signature-driven ballot question was unconstitutional.

"Dennis Hastert 109th pictorial photo" by United States Congress

An attorney for Dennis Hastert has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a victim of sexual abuse seeking outstanding hush-money payments from the imprisoned former U.S. House speaker.

The 74-year-old Hastert is serving a 15-month prison sentence for violating banking laws by trying to pay $3.5 million to silence the victim, who says he was abused when Hastert was a high school wrestling coach decades ago.

In April, the victim filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit contending Hastert still owes him $1.8 million. The man isn't identified in court documents.

Top-ranking Republican state Rep. Ron Sandack from suburban Chicago says he is resigning from the Illinois House, citing "cyber security issues."

The House Republican floor leader from Downers Grove issued a statement late Sunday that said he began to "re-evaluate his continued public service" his role "after some cyber security issues arose." Sandack used Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Sandack also says in the statement released through a House GOP spokeswoman that he is no longer willing to miss important family events.

WNIJ's Gas Price Monday: July 25, 2016

Jul 25, 2016
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

  The average state price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas is $2.18.  That's nine cents cheaper than last week's average, according to AAA.

The most expensive gas in the state can be found in Chicago, at $2.61 per gallon.  By contrast, the cheapest per-gallon price is in Danville, at $1.91.  

Rockford's average price is $2.11 per gallon.  

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois’ delegates to the Democratic National Convention are in Philadelphia, where they’re set to nominate Hillary Clinton for President.

Philadelphia made efforts to make good on its “City of Brothery Love” appellation: Greeters waited near the baggage claim, to welcome convention guests, with miniature colonial-era American flags and packages soft pretzels made in Philly.

Philadelphia, of course, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

We’re learning a lot more about the workhorse of the world’s flower beds and planter boxes: the Petunia Genome Project is complete, with the help of researchers from Northern Illinois University.

NIU professors Tom Sims and Rick Johns were among the primary researchers in the four year project. Johns says mapping the petunia’s DNA involved 50 researchers from 10 countries.

Science used to be one scientist working in a lab with a few students but now international collaboration is the rule, not the exception.

Unions Blast Rauner For Wage Vetoes

Jul 25, 2016

  Labor unions are attacking Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for several vetoes issues late last week. The Republican governor rejected measures that would have raised wages for state contractors that take care of the elderly and disabled.

Thousands of the affected workers are represented by the Illinois Healthcare chapter of the Service Employees International Union. KeithKelleher is president of the Illinois Healthcare chapter of the union. He said Rauner, like Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is waging a "war" on working women, African Americans and Latinos.

DeKalb Police Facebook

On Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m., NIU Police received information that a bank robbery occurred at the Fifth Third Bank at 2707 Sycamore Road. Witnesses reported the offender displayed a black handgun and was last seen running west.

According to a campus safety bulletin, the offender is described as a dark skin male, with a bald head, muscular build, 6 foot 2 inches, 220 pounds, carrying a werewolf mask, wearing white-leather work gloves, long-sleeve blue shirt, heavy work style boots, and blue jeans.

Artifacts Found At Glidden Homestead Excavation

Jul 23, 2016
Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ News

Eli Orrvar is an archeology graduate student at Northern Illinois University. He’s been leading the excavation at the Glidden Homestead barn in DeKalb since March.

Joseph Glidden is known for inventing barbed wire in the late 19th century. 

Orrvar says he's found a variety of artifacts throughout the barn, like a horseshoe, a pocket knife, and a lot of different animal bones. 

He says the digging goes about four feet beneath the ground, and the barn is separated into sections. 

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Social service providers suing Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration over fallout from the budget impasse say the stop-gap budget won't have "meaningful" impact.


Nearly 100 groups named in a lawsuit filed new court documents this week assessing the impact of the partial spending plan lawmakers approved.

The groups contend the stop-gap plan doesn't "guarantee any meaningful payment."

The Pay Now Illinois coalition says it's owed roughly $161 million in unpaid work. They want the court to force payment.

After a yearlong budget stalemate, legislators approved a temporary measure to cover parts of the previous and current fiscal years.

Rauner said this week that he understands the groups' frustrations.

The organization led by his wife is among the groups suing. Diana Rauner says suing was a "business decision."

The next hearing is Monday.