5:32 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Durbin: Companies Should Disclose Stance On Birth Control Coverage


After a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month, certain companies are exempt from providing birth control as part of their insurance plans. They don't have to cover contraception if it conflicts with owners' religious beliefs.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is proposing legislation to require these companies to share that information with job seekers.

Durbin, a Democrat, says potential employees have the right to know.

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6:12 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Quinn Signs Billion Dollar Construction Plan

Credit WNIJ

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new state capital construction bill. It invests $1.1 billion in road and bridge projects around the state. The plan will be paid for by selling bonds. Among the projects:

Ogle and Winnebago County

·         $26 million to resurface 31 miles of Interstate 39/U.S. 51 in Winnebago and Ogle counties.

Carroll and Whiteside County

·         $4 million to resurface 14.3 miles of Illinois 40 from Milledgeville to Coleta in Carroll and Whiteside Counties.

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fall referendum
5:54 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Rockford Public Schools 10 Year Plan: Close 8, Build 2, Consolidate

The Rockford School Board will decide on a major facilities overhaul from these seats next month.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A plan to close eight Rockford elementary schools and build two new ones is on its way to a vote by the school board. Last night, the school district held the last of 39 public meetings about the proposal. 

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10:47 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Rey Calls For "Changing Direction" In State Of The City Address

NIU President Doug Baker (left) DeKalb Mayor John Rey (center) City Manager Anne Marie Gaura (right)
Credit N'Jema McIntyre

DeKalb Mayor John Rey delivered his second "State of the City" address Tuesday. His focus was the future of the city and the role of Northern Illinois University. He says he continues to work with NIU President Doug Baker's leadership team to find ways to make DeKalb more attractive to prospective students and residents.

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6:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Northern Illinois Counties Get Power To Remove Political Appointments

Chris Lauzen

Current state law doesn't allow county governments to remove an appointed official suspected of an ethics violation. But some northern Illinois counties will soon have that power.

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6:29 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Rauner Continues Fight For Term Limits Initiative

The Republican candidate for Illinois governor says he’ll take his term limits proposal to the state Supreme Court.

That’s after his effort received a setback late last week.

Republican Bruce Rauner got the signatures needed to have voters weigh in on how many terms an Illinois legislator can serve.

But a Cook County judge ruled his plan to be unconstitutional - and kicked it off the ballot.

Attorneys for the term limits effort wanted the Illinois Supreme Court to take up the case so it could be decided ahead of November election.

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6:11 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Illinois Making Changes To GED

Credit flickr user/ Ramunas Geciauskas "Lonely Pencil" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation that will remove all references to the GED from Illinois law. It’s part of a much broader change in the education program for people who didn’t finish high school. 

This year the GED more than doubled in price, going from $50 to $120.

It also got a lot harder, based on the new, more rigorous Common Core education standards.

State GED administrator Jennifer Foster, with the Illinois Community College Board, says that’s led to a significant drop in the number of people taking GED tests.

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Question ruled unconstitutional
7:28 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Right To Vote For Term Limits This Fall Gets Expedited Appeal

Credit WNIJ

The question of term limits will get its day in court, in time for this fall’s election. An Illinois appellate court agreed to hear an expedited appeal from supporters of a term limits referendum, led by Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner.

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9:42 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Sun + Heat = Alert For Sensitive Lungs


It's been an ideal summer so far for people who enjoy the outdoors, but warmer temperatures expected this week could lead to health concerns for some.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued an Air Pollution Action Day for Kane, McHenry, Lake, Will, Cook, Grundy, Kendall, and DuPage counties.

Kim Biggs, spokesperson for the Illinois EPA, says this is the second Action Day issued this year related to ozone. She says today's weather conditions are part of the perfect recipe for health concerns among those with respiratory or pulmonary diseases:

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6:36 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Study: Americans Trust Word-Of-Mouth For Health Recommendations

Americans trust word-of-mouth and personal recommendations from doctors far more than provider quality data coming from the government or third parties.

The survey was conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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