Daisy Contreras

Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project.  She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield.  She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College.  Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.

As of this month, Illinois is required to have updated signage for emergency situations at railroad crossings. People can call the number on these standardized blue signs to report track obstructions or other safety issues at specific locations. If a crossing gate is malfunctioning, for example, railroad authorities need to know.

Lincoln Land Community College

Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield is addressing the issue of African American male underrepresentation in the workforce. The college launched the Open Door Mentorship Program a year ago, which has so far helped 25 male students get a head start in gaining professional experience.

Local businesses committed time and resources to offer internships, while program coordinator Michael Phelon offers year-round support and guidance. 

Carter Stanley/NPR Illinois

For Carolyn Parrish, a privacy professional based in Evanston, data privacy is just as important in her personal everyday life as is it to keeping her business running.

When Parrish was looking to download a women’s health and menstrual cycle tracker on her phone, she noticed that many of the available U.S.-based apps required access to her location and her phone’s contacts before she could use any of their features. Parrish said this made her feel uneasy.

So she opted for a German-based app that only required a user account without additional data-sharing.

Sean Tenner

In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s order for a 10-day special session, the General Assembly returned to Springfield this week to focus on crafting a budget.

Three weeks ago, legislators tried to beat the end of the official spring legislative session and worked to pass measures dealing with women’s and LGBT rights, farmer’s market concerns, and issues related to women in prison.

 

Justin Wright

Some reformers say the Illinois minimum age for juvenile detention needs to go up. 

Justin Wright still remembers well the time he spent as an 11-year-old at the Cook County Juvenile Detention facility. That was nearly 25 years ago.

“When I went in there, I was a scared little kid. But I came out a hardened criminal,” he said.

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