Charlie Schlenker

GLT Assistant News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio and has won numerous state and national awards for journalism. He lives in Normal with his family.

"U.S. Capitol Building detail" by Flickr User Kevin Burkett / (CC x 2.0)

Republicans and Democrats are each blaming the other party for the impasse that has caused government funding to expire and a partial government shutdown to loom on Monday.

During a conference call with reporters Saturday, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said six years of government funding for a children's health insurance program (CHIP) should have been enough to encourage bipartisan support, though it did not get that in either chamber.

jasonbarickman.com

The issue of legalizing recreational use of marijuana is rising in profile this year. Currently, there are two bills in the General Assembly. Several Democratic candidates for governor have embraced the proposal, saying it would bring badly needed revenue to the state and reduce black market and gang control of an existing industry.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, though, bluntly opposed the idea last week in a WSIL television interview in Marion.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated

At least one tornado struck Pontiac, Illinois Wednesday night causing heavy damage and at least three injuries. Information is still being collected by fire and law enforcement officials, though some reports indicate children were among those injured when a mobile home was destroyed. The Fire Department said overnight "some injuries appeared to be somewhat serious."