"Application - pen2" By Flickr User Flazingo Photos / (CC X 2.0)

Fewer than one percent of applicants with criminal records are turned away when they apply to the state for a professional license.

But Illinois' Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation, Bryan Schneider, says anecdotally, the department knows many former convicts don't even try:

"What was going on was people perceived it as being impossible. So why come downtown, or anywhere quite frankly, for an interview, if you know you're going to be denied?"

Schneider is optimistic that a new license application will change that.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

A newspaper investigation has found that self-policing played a role in determining whether neglect has occurred in investigations of Illinois group homes serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Chicago Tribune reports group home employees handled at least 550 cases and helped clear their own group home of wrongdoing in the majority of instances.

Federal regulators say no other states have given caregivers at group homes full-fledged investigative powers.

Sycamore Library Executive Director Search Is Over

Nov 21, 2016
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The Sycamore Library now has a new permanent executive director.

The Sycamore Library Board unanimously voted to make Jesse Butz the new library director earlier this month. That’s after Butz was appointed as interim director in August.

Library board officials say they “could not have been happier” with Butz’s interim role. His appointment came after the dismissal of former executive director Sarah Tobias.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission reports a drop in submitted financial aid applications compared to 2015, but also says it may be too soon to tell.

That’s because the FAFSA filing period for next school year opened early on Oct. 1, rather than January.

Those who apply will use their 2015 tax information and will not need to update it with their 2016 taxes.

Firearm Deer Season Begins In Illinois And Wisconsin

Nov 19, 2016

Hunters with guns can start shooting deer this weekend.

Illinois has its first deer-hunting season from Friday to Sunday, while Wisconsin’s firearm season runs from this Saturday through next Sunday.

A project manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the fall has been uncharacteristically warm, but hunters should expect to see the same level of success as in previous years. He notes that white-tailed deer will be on the move, as it is mating season.