Penn State Extension

Spring is in the air, and that means more large trucks and farm machinery on the roads.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott says as the snow melts and the ground thaws, the softer ground makes roads more susceptible to damage.  To protect them, many side roads are closed to semitrailers until the soil dries and stabilizes. / Susan G. Komen For The Cure

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget includes cuts to a program that allows uninsured women to receive access to cancer screenings.

Cuts to the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program could mean about 14,000 uninsured women will lose access to free cancer screenings.

Doris Garrett from “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” says 27,000 women in Illinois received screenings last year, but that number will plummet if Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to cut nearly $10 million makes it into the budget.

Leslie Munger/twitter

Illinois' bill backlog is growing once again as the state's budget for the current fiscal year runs out of money.

Though state money is supposed to last through July 1, funding for programs like subsidized childcare, prison guard salaries and court reporters began drying up last month. 

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says her office is doing what it can to normalize funding to these programs. That includes ballooning the backlog back up to $8 billion.

Youngstown State University - Randy Dunn

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to cut higher education by more than 30 percent. Presidents of three state universities appeared before lawmakers to explore ways to minimize such drastic cuts. 

Committee chair Kenneth Dunkin, a Chicago Democrat, challenged the members to make their decisions based on information, rather than along party lines.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois congressman Aaron Schock built his personal wealth off of extensive business dealings with campaign contributors. 

That’s according to an AP review. The Republican was under scrutiny for lavishly redecorating his Capitol Hill office and flying aboard private planes owned by donors.

Protestors filled the Illinois capitol yesterday and staged a small sit-in in front of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office. They're trying to pressure Rauner and legislators to come up with money for a program that helps low-income families afford daycare. 

Valena Mulonzi works at Steps to the Future daycare in Calumet City. She says lawmakers should listen to parents' pleas.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford Dance Company closes its current season with performances this weekend at the Coronado Performing Arts Center.  It also finishes the company’s first season under its new artistic director.

On a Monday night, under the watchful eye of Artistic Director Wayland Anderson, a half-dozen members of the Rockford Dance Company practice a number from his interpretation of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Rachel Hackler has been with the company for four years.  She’s stoked.

New Rockford City Government Phone System Launched

Mar 12, 2015
city of Rockford

Yesterday was the first live day of Rockford’s new phone system. 

The original system consisted of five separate, outdated ones. The new system consolidates the five segments into one modern system.

Doctors, lawyers, and teachers are required to take continuing education courses. Rockford-area Senator Dave Syverson wants to know why the same rules don’t apply for elected officials. Syverson’s proposal would require public officials to take an eight hour course on economics every two years.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Wednesday was “change the world” day at Northern Illinois University. And since the students were away on Spring Break, it was a good opportunity to invite local high schoolers interested in medical careers to meet one of their own.