Illinois Public Radio

The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party is trying to get all Illinois delegates behind Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

Typically at convention breakfast events, the speakers get the crowd excited about the week ahead and their candidates.

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider is the party’s top cheerleader, and he’s got his work cut out for him.

Many Illinois Republicans strongly oppose Trump.

"Are you ready to take back the White House in 2016?" Schneider asked.

"Yeah," the crowd responded.

Officials in Rockford say a 12-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot multiple times.


The Rockford Register Star reports that the girl was hospitalized Monday morning after the Sunday afternoon shooting.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea said officers are looking for occupants of a dark-colored sport coupe.

The vehicle was seen at about 3 p.m. Sunday chasing and its occupants opening fire on another vehicle.

Police say as many as five people were in the vehicle being chased.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation banning the sale of synthetic drugs known as ``bath salts'' in Illinois.

Rauner traveled Monday to the courthouse in Taylorville, about 25 miles southeast of Springfield, to sign the bill aimed at curbing what he called an "epidemic'' afflicting rural communities.

Most states have passed laws to ban the chemicals, which mimic the effects of powerful drugs like cocaine.

The bill that takes effect Jan.1 makes selling bath salts a felony punishable with a fine of up to $150,000.

WNIJ's Gas Price Monday: July 18, 2016

Jul 18, 2016
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

 The average price of a gallon of unleaded gas in the state of Illinois is $2.27.   This is three cents cheaper than last week, according to AAA.  

The most expensive gas in the state can be found in the City of Chicago, at$2.69/gallon.  The cheapest gasoline is in Champaign-Urbana, at $1.96/gallon.   

Rockford's average per-gallon gas price is $2.19.  This is ten cents cheaper than last week.   

  Applications by immigrants living in Illinois who want to become citizens are on the rise, and the presidential race may be playing a role. 

The federal government has seen a twenty five percent increase in citizenship applications from Illinois compared with other years, says Breandán McGee with the Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. 

McGee says he thinks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's remarks about Mexicans and building a wall on the U.S. Mexico border are a large factor since most immigrants in the state are Latino. 

Amanda Vinicky


  A mix of Illinois political newcomers, elected officials, lobbyists and others have arrived in Cleveland, as the Republican National Convention gets underway.

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Take this scene from the TV show The West Wing, when a couple of Democratic White House staffers jealously scoff at Republicans’ easy rally behind a nominee.

“Get ready for press questions about how organized and unified the Republicans are compared to us," says one.


As Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began re-establishing control Saturday, he immediately pointed the finger of blame for the failed coup attempt against him.

So who does he consider most responsible? A rogue general?

Nope. Erdogan directed his outrage at an elderly, reclusive Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania's Pocanos: Fethullah Gulen.

'Nuns On The Bus' Are Driving Toward Social Reform

Jul 16, 2016
Judith Valente/WGLT

The socially-conscious Nuns on the Bus tour, which gained national attention during the 2012 presidential election, rolled through Illinois last week as part of a 13-state schedule that will include stops at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

Their theme this year is "Mend the Gaps: Reweave the Fabric of Society." The nine sisters on board said they hope to draw attention to the growing gap between rich and poor, among other social justice issues. 

Iftekhar Ahmad

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is holding an event at the Sycamore Public Library to generate religious discussion.

It's a national group with about 70 chapters, including Northwest Chicago.

The Association is hosting events in more than 60 towns across the U.S. to inform people of the Islamic religion and answer questions.

Illinois Department of Agriculture

A "must" of any visit to the state fair is the Butter Cow: a large -- though not life-sized -- sculpture of a cow, made entirely of butter.

Illinois has had one for some 90 years.

But the woman who's been doing it recently, is "mooving" on, to retirement. State fair organizers and the Midwest Dairy Association held a search for a replacement.

With a little "bovine intervention," they found Sarah Pratt, of Des Moines; she's made butter art at the Iowa State Fair for the past decade -- and not just of cows.