Government

Government and Legislature

Former Winnebago County Sheriff Don Gasparini died Friday in Naples, Florida. He was 72.

The Democrat was first elected sheriff in 1980 and served until he retired in 1997.

Gasparini was popular among county residents for his big, friendly personality. He was an avid hunter and well-known for his wild game dinner fundraisers.

He did, however, gain some national notoriety 20 years ago related to a hunting violation. He was caught hunting on land in Ogle County without permission and fined for failing to immediately tag a deer he had killed.

Amanda Vinicky

For the past couple of weeks, Illinois' new governor, Bruce Rauner, traveled the state giving speeches that mostly told audiences what's wrong with Illinois. Wednesday, he used his "State Of The State" address to begin to describe what he wants to do about it.

Rauner didn't just deliver a big speech. He produced a full manifesto, complete with calls for an upheaval of Illinois' labor laws, changes to the Constitution, a property-tax freeze, and hiring more prison guards. The speech started off on a conciliatory note. Or maybe it was an invitation.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/trawin/ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a list of the companies that will be allowed to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois. Letters to 18 winning cultivation centers and 52 retail stores went out today. 

A retired deputy chief was the star witness for the Rockford Police Union Thursday at a conduct hearing for Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

A retired deputy chief was the star witness for the Rockford Police Union Thursday at a conduct hearing for Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson.

Rockford’s police chief goes before the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners today. It’s the continuation of Monday’s meeting. That’s where Chet Epperson spent nearly seven hours defending himself against misconduct charges filed by the police union.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A new community group is pulling together to improve Rockford by making life better for its young minority residents. About one hundred people showed up for the organizational meeting for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

Warming Centers Help People Escape The Cold

Jan 5, 2015
Early Morning Chill by Bryan Alexander/CC BY 2.0

When harsh winter conditions sweep through the northern Illinois area, it brings a reminder to bundle up or stay inside. Several locations throughout the northern Illinois region offer warming centers to get out of the bitter cold. 

These centers provide safe and warm locations during extreme cold temperatures for those without housing as well as those who may not have the resources to heat their homes adequately. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

One of the toughest eavesdropping laws in the nation has been replaced with restrictions supporters call "more reasonable." 

Ban On 'Revenge Porn' Signed Into Law

Dec 30, 2014
ilga.gov

Taking a bad breakup to the Internet could result in taking a trip to prison.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law this week that aims to protect against so-called "revenge porn."

"Cyberbullying can have lasting and often devastating effects on a person, especially when it involves the distribution of very personal images," Quinn said in a statement. "This shameful act can be as harmful as any other form of abuse."

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