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Village of Rockton, Illinois

Rockton officials unanimously approved a resolution opposing the construction of an asphalt plant. Northern Illinois Service Co. submitted a special use permit request in October to build the plant along Black's Quarry on Illinois Route 2. This site is on unincorporated property just outside Rockton. However, residents expressed their concerns about increased noise, odor, truck traffic, and a possible decline in property values. City officials sided with more than 100 residents in approving...

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen says the school’s three campuses can’t serve as sanctuaries for undocumented students. He cited the need to uphold state and federal laws, but said leaders will do all they can within the law to protect students, including the undocumented. Killeen's remarks come after petition drives on all three campuses, citing incidents of intimidation of women and under-represented students. Asian American Studies Professor Naomi Paik was among those who...

Tom Vilsack knows the life-altering effects of addiction. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary watched his mother battle drugs and alcohol and nearly die. "She got introduced into this as a result of a surgery she had when I was a young boy," Vilsack says, "and that turned her on to pain medications." Vilsack's mom spent the next five years in and out of hospitals, attempting suicide, quitting and using again. "But eventually she found the strength, support and help to begin the...

"First Aid Kits" by Flickr User Medisave UK / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says first aid kits, flashlights, and weather radios can make useful stocking stuffers. The group says it’s focusing on holiday safety, but the items could be used throughout the year, in case of flooding or other natural disasters. Patti Thompson, with IEMA, says safety gifts are important, but often overlooked. “Things like a weather radio that will alert them when there’s severe weather or a tornado headed their way – even like stocking stuffers,...

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are succeeding more at frustrating each other than at striking a deal to end an 18-month budget impasse that's damaging the state's fiscal health every day. The relationship between ruling Democrats, Republican leaders, and Rauner has only grown more toxic after several meetings in recent weeks where both sides are more likely to lash out at each other than to report meaningful progress in passing a full budget. Last week,...

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