NIU Interim Budget Considers 'Worst Case' Cuts

Sep 23, 2015
Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The chief financial officer at Northern Illinois University says cuts already are being considered after NIU trustees announced an interim budget last week due to the state budget stalemate.

Al Phillips, the vice president of finance at NIU, says those university cuts include food costs and program prioritization.

“While furloughs or layoffs -- depending on what happens with the state -- could be a possibility, it’s not something that we’re actively considering at this time,” Phillips said.

Fox Lake Police Department

Northern Illinois authorities say they have received the results of gun residue and ballistics tests conducted in the investigation into the shooting death of a Fox Lake police officer earlier this month.

Lake County Sheriff's Office spokesman Christopher Covelli says the results do not support or exclude any theory in the death of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. 

Covelli on Monday refused to provide any of the test results. He said divulging the findings would make it harder to assess if would-be suspects at any future interrogations were telling the truth.

Flickr user Pablo / "Windmill, Windmill for the land." (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois appears to have a lot of potential for growth in wind energy. One area that some say is ripe for development is wind farms off the shores of Lake Michigan. 

However, one expert is not so bullish on the idea.

A federal study says Illinois could become the number two wind energy producer in the next 30 years.

A few years back, the state created a commission to examine wind energy development out in Lake Michigan. However, one expert doesn't see that happening any time soon off the shores of Illinois.

Attorneys for the City of Chicago say city employees will be worse off if Supreme Court justices strike down their pension plan.

A Cook County judge sided with unions in ruling against changes Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make to city employees’ retirement benefits.

In the city’s appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, attorneys write that the two pension funds will run out of money within 13 years without changes. They argue employees may sue the city to put money into the pensions.


A former administrator for Bourbonnais stepped down from his post after the village board found out he sold ammunition to police without proper authorization.

Gregg Spathis stepped down from the village post in July. He owns a business called Sword, Weapons, Ammunition & Tactical Support in Manteno.

Mayor Paul Schore says it appears Spathis was trying to save the village money, but it should have been done through the “proper channels.”

Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board

A state board that's charged with protecting rare flora and fauna has fallen victim to the state's budget woes. Gov. Bruce Rauner 's administration says funding for staff has been eliminated. 


Two members of Illinois's congressional delegation want the state to release millions of dollars to complete improvements at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

Senator Dick Durbin and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, both Democrats, are urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to allow the state to send the money for the renovation project. They've sent a letter to the governor asking him to release more than $16 million for midfield improvements at the airport south of Rockford.

LaHood Sworn Into Congress; Bustos Approves

Sep 18, 2015

Republican Darin LaHood was sworn into Congress Thursday…and a Democratic lawmaker says she’s ready to work with him.

LaHood last week won a special election to fill the vacant seat in Illinois’s 18th District.

Cheri Bustos, who represents the neighboring 17th District, says she’s well-acquainted with LaHood.

U.S. Department of Labor

An Illinois business partnership is getting several million dollars to help create hundreds of apprenticeships in the state.

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the Illinois Advanced Apprenticeship Consortium $3.9 million to fund the creation of 600 apprenticeships over the next five years. The apprentices will attend college through an employer sponsorship and be paid for their work during their time in the program. 

Heartland Alliance

The Illinois poverty rate hovers above pre-recession levels at about 14 percent, according to Census numbers released Thursday.

Meanwhile, income in Illinois is stagnant, according to numbers crunched by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance. 

This is likely a consequence of the state's budget woes, says Kimberly Drew, an economic security specialist at the alliance.

“Many of our anti-poverty programs are essentially imploding because they are not receiving funding,” Drew said. “And this has very real consequences in people's lives."