Rich Egger

Rich is the News Director at Tri States Public Radio. Rich grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago but now calls Macomb home. Rich has a B.A in Communication Studies with an Emphasis on Radio, TV, and Film from Northern Illinois University. Rich came to love radio in high school where he developed his âââââââ

AIRSS

Illinois lawmakers return to work this week, and one of the decisions they face is whether to pass a school funding reform plan.

David Ardrey, executive director of the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools, says it’s important to keep the issue in the forefront until the state’s school funding system is changed.

“I don’t think this conversation is going to go away,” Ardrey said. “Will it pass this year? I don’t know. Will it pass in this state some day? I think it will.”

The new state treasurer is in the middle of an extensive review of how the office is managed.

Democrat Mike Frerichs says he brought in “outside eyes” to make sure the office is operating efficiently. 

U of I Extension

Advocates for better healthcare in Illinois’ rural areas say one problem is a lack of doctors. But they believe a long-running program is making a difference. 

The Rural Medical Education Program is offered through the University of Illinois at Rockford. The school says the program graduated more than 260 students since 1993. Most of them went to practice in rural communities.

Margaret Vaughn, who is the executive director of the Illinois Rural Health Association, says the program is a big help.

The central Illinois community flattened by an EF4 tornado one year ago (November 17, 2013) is bouncing back.

State of Illinois

Agriculture is one of the issues discussed in the waning days of the Illinois Treasurer campaign. The office maintains state funds and acts as the state's bank.

Republican Tom Cross says he would ensure the "ag invest" program remains available to farmers. Democrat Mike Frerichs says the office could help farmers transition to more sustainable practices, and those transition costs can be high.

Frerichs and Cross are vying to replace Dan Rutherford, who's leaving office after a failed bid for governor.

There’s a reason why this might have felt like one of the coolest summers in memory.

Land in Fulton County that was farmed for more than 80 years is being returned to its original wetland state – and the early results are promising for what’s now the Emiquon Nature Preserve.

John Draws is making a lot of noise – literally and figuratively – with three-string guitars made from cigar boxes and other bits and pieces.

Farmers and ag groups in the Midwest say the U.S. river system needs an upgrade, and they’re hopeful it will come with proposed improvements in legislation recently passed by Congress.

The Illinois State Board of Education will take care of a task that was supposed to be handled at the local level.

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