Illinois

Lincoln
5:35 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Lincoln Museum's 10th Anniversary Events Coincide With Assassination Observance

Credit Flickr user ego technique. / " Bust of Abraham Lincoln" (CC v. 2.0)

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield will host new exhibits, features, and events this coming year. The facility's 10th anniversary will coincide with the 150th observance of Lincoln's assassination. 

At an announcement this week, Clare Thorpe, who manages guest services at the museum, listed off a variety of events which will help celebrate the coming milestones, from the scholarly to the family-friendly. She says the museum is going digital; through tablets and smart-phones, visitors will be able to access supplemental info:

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Politics
5:57 am
Tue December 9, 2014

DeKalb City Candidate Petitions Open Next Week

Credit City of DeKalb

The filing period for DeKalb city candidates’ petitions for the April election starts next week and ends Dec. 22.

The offices up for election are: Wards 1, 3, 5, 7 and City Clerk.

Petition packets are filed with the City Clerk’s office. The Candidates’ Guide can be downloaded from the city’s website.

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Common Core
9:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

State-Wide Test Replaces ISAT, Prairie State Assessment

Credit Flickr user / alamosbasement "old school" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois students are scheduled to take the new Common Core test this spring, despite a growing chorus of parents and educators opposing it.

To get some idea of how controversial the test is, consider this: The number of states that have legalized marijuana use -- 23 -- is double the number of states that have agreed to use this test -- just 11. Of those 11, only eight have agreed to use both the elementary and high school portions of the test. Illinois is one of these states.

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Illinois
8:54 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Rockford Reachout Gives Coats To Released Jail Inmates

Credit John Howard Association of Illinois

When they have served their time, jail inmates are released wearing the clothes they wore when they arrived.

Inmates may check in in shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops in warm weather and remain in jail while seasons change. That could make their wardrobe woefully inadequate.

Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry Director George Hofstetter understands that risk, so he’s providing a simple solution: offer freed inmates a coat.

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Politics
7:07 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Illinois House, Senate Approve Eavesdropping Bill

Credit state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers approved eavesdropping restrictions to replace those the state Supreme Court struck down.

The Senate voted yesterday to prohibit recording private conversations without the consent of everyone involved.

The measure exempts recording police in the line of duty, loud conversations in public or cheering fans at a ballgame. Critics objected the bill does not include provisions for police to wear body cameras.

The measure goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has not said if he will sign it.

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Illinois
7:05 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Former Illinois State Rep. Changes Plea In Child Porn Case

Credit Keith Farnham - Illinois General Assembly

A former Illinois state representative changes his plea in a child pornography case today as part of a plea deal.

  

Elgin Democrat Keith Farnham pleaded not guilty earlier this year to possessing, receiving and transporting child pornography. Prosecutors say Farnham possessed videos depicting illegal images of children, some of whom were allegedly under 10.

The defense asked the court to allow Farnham to remain free on electronic monitoring pending sentencing because he requires treatment for bladder cancer, hepatitis and pulmonary fibrosis. 

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Politics
6:36 am
Fri December 5, 2014

State Lawmakers Done For The Year

Credit state of Illinois

State legislators are done with their work until Republican Bruce Rauner becomes governor next month. Members of the House finished their work Wednesday, and after a morning of debate, the Senate adjourned yesterday afternoon.  The General Assembly meets over a two year cycle.  This one is coming to a somewhat lackluster close. Though the House declared itself totally done, Senate President John Cullerton is leaving open the possibility of calling legislators back to Springfield. "But it's not anticipated we'll be having any more action.

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Hunting Season
6:30 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Illinois Legislators Vote For Bobcat Hunting

Credit Flickr user / docentjoyce "Bobcat - Lynx rufus" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers voted to create a bobcat hunting season.

The once-threatened species rebounded to the point the state's Department of Natural Resources says there are too many. Supporters say Illinois needs a bobcat hunting season to manage their growth.

Senator Dave Koehler, a Peoria Democrat, says this is a way to bring their numbers under control.

"Prevent starvation, overaggressive animals from having to survive ... that hunters are really used as part of a management tool."

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Politics
6:45 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illinois General Assembly Approves Rideshare Regulations

Credit Uber

Illinois lawmakers passed driver regulations for ridesharers. 

The House and Senate approved creating statewide regulations yesterday for drivers working for services such as Uber and Lyft. It includes modified insurance requirements, background checks and a zero-tolerance substance policy. 

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Politics
6:26 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illinois Senators Approve Wage Hike...Without House

Credit Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Illinois Senators approved a plan last night that would hike the state's minimum wage to eleven dollars an hour. 

Jackie Collins, a Chicago Democrat, says that would improve quality of life for low-income workers, and reduce their need for government assistance.

"I believe that what we are doing here, we will send a message to those corporations - the multi-billionaire corporations, that no longer will we support sub-par wages, in the knowledge that the government will help their workers afford food, housing and healthcare."

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