Brian Mackey

A U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning an Illinois law requiring non-union home health workers to pay fair-share union fees has prompted a federal lawsuit by home day care workers seeking a refund of millions of dollars in past payments. 

 The class-action lawsuit by two southern Illinois women names Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois & Indiana as defendants. It was filed in August in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois's racing board is taking a gamble in an attempt to save the beleaguered industry.

Two historic Illinois tracks will hold no races next year. That’s a decision that could lead to their permanent closure.

The decision by Illinois's 11-member racing board was unanimous: No horses will run at Balmoral and Maywood parks in 2016.

"We can't sit out a year and survive; we'll have to default on our lease and that'll be the end of it," said Duke Johnston, a partial owner of the tracks. His family has long been in the business.


The Winnebago County Health Department is investigating a pertussis outbreak. It’s associated with cases in Rockford Public Schools. The cases are in seven schools including Auburn and Jefferson high schools; West Middle School; and Carlson, Haskell, Riverdahl and West View elementary schools. The outbreak has affected at least two dozen people aged 2 to 42 years of age.

Todd Kisner, with the health department, says those affected are being treated with antibiotics.

Illinois State Museum / state of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is set to close state museums and a sport-shooting complex to the public because of the budget crisis. But most staff will still report to work. 

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield and four satellite locations -- along with the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta -- will close today.

Rauner's office initially sent layoff notices to more than 100 workers at those sites in an effort to save about $5 million. But unions sued, saying the layoffs violated their contract.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Votes this week will decide the fate of a four-year contract proposal for Fiat Chrysler employees nationwide. Today, union workers in Belvidere’s plant will cast their ballots.

Belvidere is one of the big Fiat Chrysler plants UAW leaders hope will approve the national contract the union hammered out with the automaker. So far this week, workers at a number of factories have rejected the deal. A truck plant in Warren, Michigan approved it.


A 19 year old Northern Illinois University student died this weekend after falling eleven stories from his dormitory room window.  Oluwarotimi "Timi" Okedina is believed to have removed the screen from the window in the Stevenson Towers residential complex Saturday night right before he fell. 

Several Illinois Horse Tracks Struggling Financially

Sep 29, 2015
Flickr user Paul / "Horse racing" (CC BY 2.0)

The owners of Illinois' horse race tracks say the industry is struggling to survive, but key players diverge on how to salvage the industry. 

The stakes are high; so says Dick Duchoissois, chairman of the Arlington Park track:

"We look at this meeting today as probably one of the most important ones that we have ever been to."

A state board gets to decide which track can hold races  -- and therefore make money - on any given day.

A man is in police custody after he fired shots inside Crusader Community Health's facility on Broadway in Rockford.

The armed suspect, 36-year-old Steven Dummer of Rochelle, threatened suicide on the second floor of the clinic Monday afternoon.

Police were able to peacefully negotiate with the suspect after a standoff lasting nearly four hours. The facility was secured and all occupants were able to evacuate safely.


If it felt like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did not spend much time in the state after announcing his run for president…it's because he didn't.

Walker's official calendar for July was released to The Associated Press under Wisconsin's open records law. It shows Walker spent one day that month in Wisconsin on official business after launching his presidential run July 13.

That one day was to attend a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board meeting and to sign a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.


Critics say Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is too liberal, but he's gaining in polls against presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. 

On Monday, he took his campaign to Illinois.

In 1964, Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago in a ceremony at the on-campus Rockefeller chapel.

Now as a U.S. Senator from Vermont, Sanders returned to students packing the pews to hear him speak.