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.

An analysis of data from the agency that investigates Chicago police misconduct shows it rarely recommends punishment and that the Chicago Police Board often doesn't follow its recommendation to fire officers.

The Chicago Tribune's investigation of the Independent Police Review Authority focused on cases where the complainant signed a sworn affidavit.

The police oversight agency recommended punishment in less than 4 percent of thousands of cases.

Of 43 cases where firing was recommended, the police board agreed in 20 cases.

Victor Yehling/WNIJ

At 9 p.m. Thursday -- one week to the hour after a gunman opened fire on police officers providing security for a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas, Tex. -- the Rockford Police and Fire Chaplains Division began a 15-hour vigil to honor the slain officers and to recognize the police who protect the Forest City as well.

Guests began arriving nearly half an hour earlier, pausing to speak to police officers and Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea before signing a remembrance book that will be sent on to the Dallas Police Department after the vigil ends at noon today.

DeKalb IL Police Department Facebook Page

Several northern Illinois communities have reached out to their local police departments after five Dallas officers were killed in a sniper attack last week.

“In law enforcement, there is a bond and brotherhood of the understanding of what each other does in the performance of our duties, and anytime a police officer’s life is lost in the course of duty, it is a sad moment for all of us,” DeKalb Police commander Jason Leverton said.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Chrysler’s parent company confirms it: the Jeep Cherokee will be produced at the Belvidere Assembly Plant starting next year.

Fiat-Chrysler America’s spokesperson Jodi Tinson says the company is making a big investment in Belvidere: $350-million to retool the plant and eventually, 300 new full-time jobs.