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Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois State Rifle Association president expects an appeal of a court ruling that upheld a Chicago suburb's ban on assault weapons. 

A panel of the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared Highland Park's assault weapons ban constitutional.

A dissenting opinion says individual citizens, not the government, should decide the most effective means of defense. However, the majority opinion says the gun ban does not violate the Second Amendment because it gives would-be owners other options, including buying a handgun. 

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Illinois' second-richest man is backing Gov. Bruce Rauner's agenda, according to a campaign contribution filed on Monday.

Rauner is amassing enough money to dwarf that of his political foes.

Sam Zell sat out of Rauner's race for governor. State records show no listing of Zell giving any money leading up to the election last November.

But now Zell, a Chicago real estate and investment mogul, came through with a record-setting $4 million contribution. Not to the governor himself, but to his new "Turnaround Illinois" Political Action Committee.

idot.illinois.gov

The Illinois Department of Transportation is launching a statewide effort to come up with new revenue sources for construction projects. The state's financial woes have not affected public works projects in the past, but Illinois is beginning to see consequences for under funding maintenance.

IDOT Acting Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says the General Assembly's piecemeal approach to capital construction took the state on a roller coaster ride.

mikefrerichs.com

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs marked 100-days in office with a report of accomplishments and challenges that face the office.

The analysis from Plante Moran identified questionable program expenses with the paid internship program, but noted the program has yet to be activated during the current administration.

Civic Education Could Be Required In All Illinois Schools

Apr 27, 2015
kids.usa.gov

Eighty-three percent of Illinois high schools already require some form of civic education. A measure approved by the Illinois House would require all schools to teach it.

"Obviously, with Illinois' reputation of corruption in politics, I think we need to have an emphasis on responsible citizens and dealing with those issues," Representative Donald Moffitt, a Republican from Galesburg, said.

Representative Deborah Conroy, a Democrat from Villa Park, says teaching students about government is imperative to building future leaders.

IDOT

The Illinois Department of Transportation is considering plans for new transit systems including road, bridge and airport improvements. IDOT is holding local meetings to hear from members of the public.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, along with the Illinois Capital Development Board, will hold a series of listening sessions over the next month to discuss the state’s infrastructure needs. 

Community members are invited to Wednesday morning at Ottawa City Hall.  Another meeting takes place that evening at KSB Hospital in Dixon. 

WUIS

Illinois could join a handful of states that allow cameras to be installed in the rooms of nursing home residents. 

Supporters say it would give families peace of mind to have electronic monitoring of the care their loved ones receive. But there are also concerns, especially when it comes to privacy.

"Nursing homes, a lot of people tend to forget ... that is their home," Hinsdale Republican Representative Patti Bellock said.

Supporters say the cameras would only be installed when the resident or family agrees. They would also have to cover the cost. 

Sustaining members Richard and Debbie Gortowski are the winners of the Northern Public Radio 2015 Spring Membership Campaign's New York City Getaway.

Northern Public Radio's 2015 Spring Membership Campaign began on Thursday, April 16, and ended today at 10 a.m. A total of 851 listeners contributed just over $119,000 during the campaign to support of 89.5 WNIJ and Classical WNIU, and 200 listeners became members for the first time.

Second TEDx Talk At NIU Features Student Speaker

Apr 24, 2015
TEDxNIU.com

The second-ever TEDx talk at Northern Illinois University happens 9 a.m. Saturday. This time, the event will feature a student speaker.

The talks will revolve around a single common theme: hidden superheroes among us.

Maria Senf is a senior psychology major at NIU and director of TEDx NIU. She was inspired to start the student group in 2013 after she attended a similar TEDx event at a Chicago college.

Lincoln Library, Commerce Department Linked Under New Plan

Apr 24, 2015

A measure that would partially privatize the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity while combining it with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is ready for consideration by the Illinois House.

The apparent agreement between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan also would make a new state entity to control the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Steven Beckett, who chairs the library's advisory board, supports the move. He says the various groups in charge of it now have become hostile. 

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