The former principal of a northern Illinois middle school has been charged with forgery and theft. 

Authorities say Jerome Wakitsch of Woodstock unlawfully withdrew thousands of dollars from various non-district bank accounts associated with the Parent Teacher Organization and the Fox Valley Junior High School Conference. 

Authorities say Wakitsch, who was an authorized user for both accounts, forged the signature of another authorized user on checks for the PTO account. Police said the stolen funds were allegedly used for personal gain. 


A suburban Chicago county is seeing a record number of wildlife rabies cases.

Will County has confirmed rabies in 14 bats this season. That's one more than the previous record of 13 found in the county last year.

Eight of the bats have been found in the community of Homer Glen.

Animal Control Administrator Lee Schild says the bats likely are concentrated around Homer Glen because of its wooded areas, which contain sources of food and water. Schild says it's possible there will be more cases because there are still a few weeks of "peak bat activity" left in the year.


Government labor unions lost a fight with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday.

AFSCME and other unions say the governor is making unreasonable demands in contract negotiations. But the governor and like-minded Republicans, such as Representative Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, say unions are asking for more than Illinois can afford.

"Some of you are going to be winners, and some of you are going to be losers,” Ives said. “And what you're going to lose is your livelihood, because there's no other way to pay for this."

Two West Nile deaths have been confirmed in Illinois this year.

The state public health department says the deaths were reported in Cook and Kendall counties.

One victim was a man in his early 90s from south suburban Chicago. The Kendall County victim reportedly was someone in their 70s.

Health officials recommend wearing mosquito repellent when outside between dusk and dawn. They also say it's important to remove standing water around homes and to repair or replace broken window screens.


Illinois may miss a deadline to rule on proposals for more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. The main sponsor of the program in the General Assembly says he’s not worried.

Monday went by without Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah ruling on whether to add 11 illnesses to the 40 to be covered when the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries open. That will likely be sometime in the fall. 

The list of recommendations from Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Advisory Board include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, osteoarthritis, and migraines. 


A government labor union says it's confident the Illinois House will side with it over Gov. Bruce Rauner. A key vote on whether to override Rauner's veto of a union-backed bill is expected Wednesday.

The legislation would bar unions from striking and prohibit the governor from locking workers out. Instead, if the parties can’t agree on a contract, an arbitrator would decide.

Teamsters Local 916 Facebook

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration says it reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with several Teamsters Union groups representing almost five thousand workers.

The administration reached agreements with Local 916, which represents professional and technical workers at IDOT, and the negotiating committee representing highway maintenance workers.

Both groups must still vote to ratify the agreements. They call for a four-year wage freeze, continuation of a 40-hour work week before overtime is paid and a reduction in payouts for unused vacation days.

Chicago Ford Plant Workers Vote On Strike

Sep 1, 2015

Workers at the Ford Plant on Chicago’s Southeast side started voting this morning on whether to go on strike.

The United Auto Workers Local 551 represents about 4,300 workers who make the Explorer and Lincoln MKS. Their contract with Ford doesn't expire until September 14th but UAW workers throughout the country will be taking a strike vote.

“We really don’t want to strike,” Chris Pena, 551’s president, said. “That’s the last resort but we also would like to see us gain something when every contract they have steadily taken from us.”

Candidates with political ambitions both high and low in Illinois have one thing in common today: They can start collecting signatures to get on the 2016 ballot.

Collecting signatures is the kind of thing that can end a candidacy if they aren’t valid.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin hopes to win the Democratic nomination to run against Republican U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. He says a candidate collecting thousands of signatures has to do three things:

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A credit analyst with Moody's Investor Service says Illinois's bond rating will remain unchanged, despite the state entering its third month without a budget. But the chances of a downgrade increase the longer a gridlock continues.

Illinois has the nations' lowest credit rating -- a grade that symbolizes its fiscal troubles, and adds to them. A lower score makes it costlier to borrow.

But the rating won't drop any further just yet.