Rockford Public Schools


  Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan Thursday announced that he will re-convene hearings on the state’s education funding formula. The state's current formula relies heavily on property taxes, creating a big disparity among schools based on their property values. Some districts can spend more than $32,000 per student every year, while others scrape by on a fraction of that amount.

Illinois State Museum / state of Illinois

The museum based in Springfield  closed to the public last fall.  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner ordered the shutdown, calling it a budget move. A lawsuit kept union employees on the job. 

On Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on Senate Bill 317 to reopen the Illinois State Museum. According to a news release, the changes develop a model for funding that does not rely solely on state support.

Chicago State University


Chicago State University trustees have declared a financial emergency at the troubled school that could make it easier to lay off employees.  

According to the Chicago Tribune, trustees at the predominantly black university on Thursday declared a type of emergency that, in the academic world, means the school faces an imminent threat to its survival that could require such measures as cutting faculty jobs.  The board also created a committee to decide on actions that could include layoffs and pay cuts.  

Gov. Rauner Talks Adding Toll Lanes To I-55

Feb 4, 2016
Leskra /

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants to add lanes to a part of I-55 in the Chicago area.  But you may have to pay to drive in those new lanes.

Jim Durkin lives in Chicago's southwest suburbs.  He often has to get downtown - and he says I-55 backs up a lot.

"I take Ogden Avenue. You wanna follow me into the city?  I know all the routes.  I’ve been doing this for years," he says.

Durkin’s I-55 commute is sometimes to downtown, but also, sometimes, to Springfield.  He’s the House Republican Leader.

"Metra" By Flickr User Chris Phan / (CC BY 2.0)

The Metra Railroad says it will miss its 2018 deadline to install safety technology on all of its Chicago-area routes.

Metra says the cost of its upgrade – which could reach $400 million – is one factor in the delay.

Congress’ technology mandate included almost no funding nationwide for these kinds of projects.

The technology known as Positive Train Control can monitor train positions and automatically slow or stop trains that are in danger.

Metra outlined a plan to satisfy certain criteria for the government if an extension is granted through 2020.

Hats As Heritage

Feb 4, 2016
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College Studio Theatre presents the gospel musical “Crowns” this week and next. 

Regina Taylor's "Crowns" follows Yolonda, a tough city girl from Brooklyn who is taken to South Carolina after the shooting death of her brother.  There she is mentored by her grandmother, Mother Shaw, and a group of women who, through their stories, help her heal from her loss and more.

Dorothy Paige-Turner plays Mother Shaw.  She says Yolanda undergoes another, deeper kind of journey over the course of the play.  The women are with her every step of the way

Fitness Tips To Beat Winter Blues

Feb 4, 2016

As winter grinds on and your mood grows darker, maybe you should focus on a new mental fitness routine instead of obsessing about the weather or the steps counter on your Fitbit. Here's a four-step emotional fitness routine to help banish the winter blues.

A 23-year-old Rockford man was killed and two others injured in a crash that shut down a busy intersection for most of the day Wednesday. He’s been identified as Juan Lozano Junior.

The three were spotted driving a stolen car overnight near Rockford and were briefly pursued by Illinois State Police troopers, who gave up the chase. The stolen car was found a short time later after crashing into a tree near Anderson Japanese Gardens at the intersection of Spring Creek and Highcrest Roads.  

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has used his executive powers to create a privately run and funded economic development agency that he says will ``jump-start'' job growth.

The first-term Republican signed an executive order Wednesday establishing the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation. It's a nonprofit group the governor, a former private equity investor, says will work with an existing state agency, though it will be funded with ``millions'' in private donations.

Jenna Dooley

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says the income tax rate in Illinois would need to double from its current rate to combat growing debt. She says Illinois is on pace to spend an additional $6.2 billion dollars more than it brings in.

Last year, the income tax rate dropped in Illinois – from 5 percent to 3.75 percent. Speaking in Rockford, Munger says the tax rate would need to be in the range of 7 to 8 percent.