NIU Passes Water Test For Lead

Nov 16, 2015
Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency requires drinking water testing for lead every three years. Northern Illinois University passed – with one initial exception.

The EPA requires corrective action if 20 percent of a system’s samples have more than 15 parts of lead per billion. Only one NIU fountain -- located in the visual arts building -- tested positive for lead under these criteria. That’s according to an NIU staff memo.

Officials say the unsafe sample was taken from a mechanical hot water heating line. They corrected the problem and drew another sample, which passed.

Illinois General Assembly

Republicans interested in running for Raymond Poe's former district in the Illinois House have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit an application to the Sangamon County GOP.

Poe on Friday announced he'll begin Monday as the agriculture director, meaning he won't be running for reelection.

Sangamon County Republican Chairman Rosemarie Long says the party will run a candidate in the primary, even though petitions are due the end of this month.

"Very short, very short time," Long said with a chuckle.


The Illinois Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all.

The gathering has been postponed until next month.

Even with the state’s ongoing, unprecedented fiscal situation, Wednesday’s meeting would’ve been the first time since the end of May that Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly's four top Republicans and Democrats all got together.

Illinois House Democrats

One of the longest-serving state representatives in Springfield is responding to a potential challenge from the son of Congressman Bobby Rush.

Flynn Rush hasn’t run for office, but he recently filed paperwork against the No. 2 Democrat in the Illinois House.

Barbara Flynn Currie has represented Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood since 1979. She’s had a few challengers along the way, but she’s always won handily.

Illinois Public Radio asked Currie what her relationship is like with her congressman.

There's still a half a billion dollar hole in the Chicago public schools budget. It could mean thousands of layoffs in the middle of the school year.

A top Chicago Democrat says there is a solution, but some of the people standing in the way are the very people he wants to help.

Chicago Public Schools has had round after round of layoffs in the past couple years. Thousands of employees are gone and district officials say we're in the midst of even more financial pressure.

WNIJ’s Gas Price Monday: Nov. 16, 2015

Nov 16, 2015
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Unleaded gas prices declined by more than a dime in some areas since last week.

According to AAA, gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $2.18 on average. That’s a dime less than last week but about 70 cents less than last year.

Chicago prices are at $2.56 per gallon. That's 15 cents less than a week ago and about 70 cents less than a year ago.

Studying for a quiz usually involves reading textbooks, reviewing notes, and staying up late the night before.  But a road trip across northern Illinois is just what the teacher ordered to get ready for the online Lincoln Highway quiz.

Jenna Dooley/WNIJ

The Stevens Building renovation project at Northern Illinois University was halted at the end of June due to the Illinois budget stalemate.

The NIU Board of Trustees this week took action to protect the work done so far from winter damage.

The trustees approved spending $300,000 to protect a portion of the project so it can be heated as protection from the cold. Empty windows and doors also will be sealed throughout the structure to keep out animals as well as inclement weather.

South Beloit High School

South Beloit High School parents be assured: There is no hard evidence of a school shooting threat and no imminent danger to students, despite a viral Facebook post to the contrary.

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is officially asking Illinois leaders to come to terms on a state budget for the current fiscal year.

At their meeting in Chicago Thursday, the trustees approved a resolution urging an end to the budget impasse, and signed a presentation copy.

U of I President Timothy Killeen says a hiring freeze affecting 230 full-time positions at the university is just one of the cutbacks instituted to cope with the budget delay.