Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

About 20 Illinois lawmakers so far have announced they are leaving the state legislature. For some, it's effective immediately. For others, it means they will not run for re-election -- and the list keeps growing.

But is this kind of turnover normal in Springfield?

State Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, recently announced he will not run again this coming term. He served for more than a decade in the Illinois Senate after he retired from a 33-year career in law enforcement. So, Bivins says, he thought 11 years was long enough for him to serve as a state senator.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

More than a hundred DeKalb-area residents gathered Thursday night at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway. Some held lanterns, while others carried signs with a call to action. One participant wrapped herself with an American flag.

The group Beloved Community held the candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the recent Charlottesville attack, and also to strengthen community ties in the fight against racism and hate crimes. 

Jessie Schlacks

A smoky haze from a Canadian forest fire settled across Northern Illinois this morning.

A representative from the National Weather Service says the smoke is rolling across Lake Michigan, also affecting parts of Michigan and Wisconsin.

This morning, the National Weather Service in Milwaukee tweeted that "smoke from wildfires in western Canada has been pulled into southern Wisconsin behind last night's cold front."

Little information is available about the wildfire. Effects are expected at least through today, but may continue depending on how the fire is handled.

Gov. Rauner Veto Blocks Fight For $15 Minimum Wage

Aug 30, 2017
"Chicago's Fight for $15" by Flickr User Anna Waters / (CC x 2.0)

Illinois's fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage hit a roadblock last Friday after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill that would make it happen.

The Illinois General Assembly approved a plan in late May that would raise the minimum wage gradually from $8.25 to $15 an hour over the next five years.

But, after two months on the governor's desk, Senate Bill 81 was shot down.

The substantial-raise proposal remains polarizing.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The libel case between the DeKalb police chief and a Crystal Lake man will continue Nov. 8.

DeKalb police chief Gene Lowery sued Thomas Salvi for more than $300,000 last year. Salvi sent e-mails to then-mayor John Rey claiming Lowery was an “aggressive thug” and “fraud” and should be fired.

Rey said he didn’t believe Salvi’s claims, according to court records. Salvi's legal team says there isn’t enough evidence that the claims ruined Lowery’s reputation or otherwise harmed him.