Illinois

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

More than a dozen school superintendents gathered in the statehouse today to thank lawmakers who went out on a limb to raise taxes and send more money to schools.

That gratitude was also their way of nudging lawmakers not to change their votes Thursday, when the House of Representatives will try to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget veto.

Jeff Craig, superintendent of Aurora West schools, admonished lawmakers with something a teacher might tell students about their classroom or playground.

Officials Still Investigating Two Major Rockford Fires

Jul 4, 2017
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford Fire Department is still investigating the origin of two recent building fires.

A 7th Street structure caught fire Sunday, one week after a fire at the historic Hanley building, which was being demolished with the hopes of completing the task in time for the Rockford Fourth of July celebration. That deadline won't be met, but demolition has been moving quickly.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Two of three major bond-rating firms have chimed in with a positive note on the financial outlook for Illinois.

S&P Global Ratings issued a notice Monday that a House vote to raise $5 billion through an income-tax increase "represents a meaningful step toward the enactment of a comprehensive budget."

Illinois has been without a budget for two years. It has a $6.2 billion deficit and backlogged bills total $14.7 billion. The major credit agencies had warned of a downgrade to "junk" status without swift action.

"SLOW NO WAKE" by Flickr User Kevin Jarrett / (CC X 2.0)

A no-wake ordinance on the Rock River will be lifted in some northern Illinois counties today, according to sheriff's department officials.

The no-wake order was posted in several northern Illinois counties last week after the National Weather Service-issued flood warning.

That included Lee, Ogle and Winnebago counties. Ogle County lifted their no-wake ban early Monday morning. Lee County Sheriff John Simonton says the no-wake signs will be taken down by Monday afternoon.

Rockford Police doled out 459 arrests for drunk driving last year, according to a recent study.

Decatur came in second with slightly more than 400 arrests. Chicago is not factored into the evaluation due to its size. 

Meanwhile, Illinois State Police saw a significant drop in intoxicated driving arrests. 

Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea said his department stepped up its efforts after 16 traffic fatalities in 2015. 

"There's crashes, crime or complaints, if you will," he said. "Those three things drive how we push our traffic enforcement."

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