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One of the primary ways that local governments get revenue is through property taxes. The amount of each property tax bill is determined by what various government entities need and the value of each home or business to be taxed. In this week’s Friday Forum, we look at how that value is determined and what you can do if you think they’re asking for too much.

Sessions from Studio A - Northern Wind Trio

Nov 9, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Northern Wind Trio performs "Cavalry" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Legislature Approves Teaching Cursive Writing In Schools

Nov 9, 2017
pxhere.com

Penmanship disappeared from the curriculum in many schools because teachers are devoting more time to preparing students for standardized tests. A new state law approved Wednesday will bring it back to ensure elementary students get instruction in cursive writing.

State Rep. Chris Welch, D-Hillside, filed the measure the same day lawmakers approved his resolution on zombie apocalypse preparedness. At the time, Welch wasn't sure anybody would care about cursive.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says state government has begun paying off a significant chunk of overdue bills.

Illinois owes vendors more than $16.7 billion dollars as a result of significant growth during the two-year budget standoff. Mendoza said $4.5 billion in payments – more than a quarter of the total -- went out Wednesday night. 

“Two billion of that will be spent on group health insurance payments," she said. "These are folks like dentists, who have been waiting often more than two years to get paid for services already rendered."

Darius Dauzvardis

The Northern Illinois University STEM Outreach program recently gathered grade schoolers to get them engaged with robotics and programming. They also got a chance to see what their future could hold in larger scale civic hacking.

On the second floor of NIU’s Holmes Student Center, several grade schoolers were huddled around laptops, getting one of their first forays into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. Their guide was Sam Watt, STEM Educator for the NIU STEM Outreach program.

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