Illinois

Illinois
8:20 am
Fri December 19, 2014

St. Charles Students Expelled After Shutting Down School Computer System

St. Charles school officials expelled two high school students who they say shut down the district's computer network. Officials say the students overloaded the district's servers using their cell phones.  

For almost a month, teachers were blocked from online grading and homework programs. The students were caught after they were overheard by staff members bragging to their classmates.

Both students enrolled in an online school and will be able to re-enroll in the district for the next school year. No legal charges have been made.

Politics
7:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Proposed Eavesdropping Law Allows Recording Police, Contrary To Internet Rumors

Credit David Schaper / NPR

Nine months after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law, the legislature passed a bill to replace it. The legislation, which defines eavesdropping and its consequences, is currently waiting on the governor's desk.

Already, the proposed law faces criticism, and a flurry of misinformation. 

Here's a sampling of some headlines from around the web:

"Illinois Passes Bill That Makes It Illegal To Record The Police"

"Illinois law would make recording the police a felony"

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-Illinois
1:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Illinois Businesses, Farmers, Officials React To President's Announcement on Cuba

Credit Illinois Corn Growers Association

President Obama's announcement that the U.S. will start talks on normalizing relations with Cuba includes plans to allow more exports to that country.  Some say that could offer new opportunities for Illinois farmers and businesses.

One of those people is William Delaney. He chairs the International Business Council for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and reacted positively to the possibility of greater exports to Cuba being allowed.

"The impact would be direct, immediate and hugely beneficial for the state of Illinois."

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Politics
1:04 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Quinn Calls Special Legislative Session To Consider Election For Comptroller

Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn called a special legislative session for Jan. 8, 2015, to create a special election in 2016 for Illinois Comptroller.  Incumbent Judy Baar Topinka died last week after winning re-election in November.  

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Illinois
6:12 am
Mon December 15, 2014

USPS Braces For Yearly Rush

Credit USPS

The U.S. Postal Service says today will be its busiest mailing day of the year, with more than 8 million cards, letters and packages processed in the Chicago area. 

USPS says it’s delivering seven days a week, including Christmas Day. To ensure delivery by Christmas, materials must be sent by next Saturday.

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Politics
6:04 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Illinois Legislature Attempts Sugary Drink Tax Again

Credit Flickr user Pink Sherbet Photography / "Fizzy Purple Grape Soda" (CC v. 2.0)

Another attempt to tax sugary drinks is expected in the upcoming Illinois legislative session. Drinks like soda and even some juice have been linked to obesity, diabetes and other problems. 

Elissa Bassler, with the Illinois Public Health Institute, says a plan that came up in the past year would have imposed a penny per ounce tax on the drinks.  She says the new measure will be similar:

"It's a big idea and it takes some time for people to wrap their arms around it."

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Illinois
6:46 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Federal Officials OK Illiana Expressway

Credit Illiana Corridor website

The Illiana Expressway has received a green light from federal officials. The 47-mile expressway now moves from the planning phase to implementation. 

That means Illinois and Indiana officials can look for public-private partnerships to help build and operate the $1.5 billion project.

Land acquisition efforts, including landowner relations and local planning activities, also can continue.

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Politics
6:31 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Topinka Memorial Service Next Week; Officials Consider Comptroller Options

Credit WNIJ

A public memorial service for the late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is scheduled for next week. The service will be held Wednesday morning at the Operating Engineers' Local 150 headquarters in Countryside.

Topinka died unexpectedly this week after complications from a stroke. Fellow state leaders, colleagues and family are scheduled to attend.

Meanwhile, Illinois officials are trying to figure out who has the power to name the state’s next comptroller and for how long.

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Politics
9:13 am
Wed December 10, 2014

We Remember Judy Baar Topinka With Favorite Sound Bites

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois political leaders are remembering Judy Baar Topinka.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "heartbroken" about the death of Republican state Comptroller. Topinka's office says she died early Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Quinn called her "a trailblazer in every sense of the word" and a "force of nature."

Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, remembered Topinka for her "magnetic, one-of-a-kind personality." He said she cared "about what was best for the people" of Illinois.

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Holiday Concert
5:51 am
Wed December 10, 2014

DeKalb Band Hosts Holiday Concert, Celebrates 160 Years

Credit DeKalb Park District

The DeKalb Municipal Band celebrates its 160th year with a concert out of the norm from its usual outdoor performances. The band presents its first holiday concert Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre. 

The DeKalb Municipal Band is the oldest continuous performing band in Illinois. 

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