News

AFSCME Members Speak Out At DeKalb County Board Meeting

Apr 21, 2016
afscme.org

About a dozen members of AFSCME attended a DeKalb County Board meeting Wednesday to protest changes to health insurance costs in their current contract.  

Under their current contract, AFSCME members premiums could only rise a maximum of twenty percent each year.  The board wants to eliminate this cap, which union members worry could lead to an unlimited cost increase.  

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center

   

A group of local arts organizations and individuals will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death this weekend in Rockford with a program called “Shakespearience.”

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is presenting the program Saturday night at Rockford’s Court Street United Methodist Church.  The Center’s Rulee Stallman led the effort to celebrate the Bard of Avon.  She says she realized the anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to celebrate the range of local artists.

DeKalb School District Chooses New Principal

Apr 21, 2016

DeKalb County School District 428 Board members just selected a new principal for DeKalb High School.  

 The group voted to hire Michelle Albano as the new principal.  She has around 20 years of experience in systems such as Elgin and Chicago Public Schools, mostly as an English teacher.  However, Albano has spent the majority of this year as interim principal for Bolingbrook High School, part of the Valley View district. 

city of Sycamore

Council members voted unanimously in favor of a system that allows offenders to resolve any citations with an administrative hearing officer. 

This is an attorney who has the ability to act as a judge in various civil cases.  In addition, the system allows parking tickets to be contested through the mail.   Sycamore’s police chief says it will take a few months to get the system up and running.  

Nathan Reading (CC-BY)

Illinois health officials are reporting a cluster of cases of a rare bloodstream infection they detected while investigating a Wisconsin outbreak.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday an additional 10 cases of infection from the bacterium Elizabethkingia, including six deaths. The strain is different from the one in Wisconsin, however.

The majority of the cases are from this year, but some date back to 2014. That's because Illinois hospitals were asked to help with the Wisconsin investigation by reporting cases back that far.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House today.

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools. 

Illinois now has a flat tax on everyone. Madigan wants a 3-percent additional tax added on income above one million dollars. 

Voters went along with a statewide advisory referendum on the issue in 2014.

Madigan: "It's time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the 1-percenters."

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has harsh words for Gov. Bruce Rauner and his leadership.

Union President Karen Lewis calls the first-term Republican a "recruit for ISIS" for "acts of terror" when it comes to dealing with poor people.

Lewis made the comments during a Wednesday speech to the City Club of Chicago. It comes during a 10-month state budget standoff between Rauner and legislative Democrats.

Fantasy Sports Regulation Measure Passes In The House

Apr 20, 2016
DraftKings

The future of fantasy sports betting in Illinois hinges on legislation that’s passed a House committee.

       

It would regulate sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.  

The measure would ban company employees and anyone under 21 from playing the online games and give oversight to the Illinois Gaming Board. 

But Representative Scott Drury, a Democrat from Highwood, said he doesn't think the proposal can stop youth from participating. 

He also complained he needed more time to ask questions about the legislation before voting on it. 

U.S. News & World Report

A few high schools in the WNIJ listening area ranked in the state’s top 50. That’s according to two national lists released yesterday.

Those schools include ones in Saint Charles, Cary, Barrington, Aurora and Naperville.

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

Charles Ridulph, older brother of a Sycamore schoolgirl murdered in December 1957,  has hired an attorney in his efforts to get a special prosecutor appointed to handle the case case.  

Jack McCullough was arrested in July 2011 and convicted in September 2012 for the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. At the time, it was the oldest cold case to be brought to trial in the United States.  

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