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Transform Rockford
7:59 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Top 25 By '25: Ambitious Vision For Rockford

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Energy was high at the Coronado Theater last night: it has been more than seven months since Transform Rockford held its first community rally there, asking people to help create an ambitious plan for the city. 

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Illinois
5:16 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Illinois Ends Fiscal Year In The Black...Temporarily

Credit state of Illinois

The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money.  Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.

"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.

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Sexual Assault
5:08 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Washington, NIU Address Campus Sexual Assaults

Credit mccaskill.senate.gov

A new survey of the nation's top colleges and universities will help shape legislation addressing on-campus sexual assaults. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri calls it “disturbing” that 41 percent of the responding institutions said they have not carried out any sexual assault investigations in five years.

“Which means they are saying there has been zero incidents of sexual assault on their campuses. That is hard to believe and obviously very problematic,” McCaskill said.

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Rockford Federal Courthouse namesake
1:56 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Federal Judge Roszkowski Remembered As A "Great American"

Federal Judge Stanley Roszkowski speaks at the dedication of federal courthouse named in his honor in 2011.
Credit Nels Akerland / U.S. General Services Administration

Funeral services for federal judge Stanley Roszkowski are set for Saturday in Rockford. The man who helped establish a permanent federal court in Rockford died Monday at the age of 91. 

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Transform Rockford
6:15 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Group To Reveal Vision For Rockford Tonight

Transform Rockford's Mike Schablaske and the Rock River, on the river walk behind Riverfront Museum Park.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It has taken hundreds of people pulling together at dozens of community meetings to get to this point: tonight, the group “Transform Rockford” will reveal its draft of a vision for the city at a rally at the Coronado Theater, starting at 6:30.

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Minimum Wage
5:04 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Assessing The Minimum Wage Landscape

Credit WNIJ

Despite Democratic majorities and a push from the governor, Illinois' legislative session adjourned without a bump in the minimum wage.

Lawmakers settled for putting a non-binding question on the November ballot asking if that's something voters want.

Part of the problem was that legislators from downstate -- from both parties -- were against a hike.

Andrew Biggs says it doesn't make sense to make sense to have a national, or even statewide, minimum wage. Biggs is a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C. think tank that leans toward free enterprise.

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Illinois
5:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Report Blames Illinois Exodus On Taxes

Credit Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois is losing more residents than are moving in. For every four people that leave the state, only three people move here.

According to a study by the Illinois Policy Institute, tax rate increases in the state are pushing people away.

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Illinois
6:05 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Rutherford Fires Three Top Administrators

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford
Credit treasurer.il.gov

Treasurer Dan Rutherford dismissed the officials after an investigation by the treasurer's inspector general. The Associated Press obtained letters from Rutherford's office indicating Patrick Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad were fired earlier this month. Each for allegedly violating timekeeping policies and falsifying records.  

Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford Fires 3 Top Aides

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Illinois
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Survey Documents Economic Impact Of Illinois County Fairs

Credit flickr user Ava "Smaller ferris wheel" (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Officials will track the spending habits of fairgoers in more than a dozen Illinois counties this summer. It's part of an effort to get an idea of the economic impact of agricultural fairs. 

The surveys are organized by the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs. The project began last month at the Greene County Fair and includes DeKalb and Whiteside counties.

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Illinois
5:44 am
Tue July 8, 2014

More State Money Coming For Tornado Relief

Credit Peoria Public Radio

More money is on the way for Illinois communities devastated by last fall's tornadoes. Officials are making available more than $11 million dollars of state relief. Governor Pat Quinn announced the city of Washington is getting the majority of those funds. The community will use the money to repair streets and sidewalks. It's part of an overall package to help local governments recoup some of the costs associated with storm cleanup. That’s after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied assistance. 

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