Illinois

CREDIT "COURTROOM ONE GAVEL" BY FLICKR USER BETH CORTEZ-NEAVEL / (CC BY 2.0)

Hate crimes will be more punishable under a new law the governor signed this week.

The measure was a result of suggestions from the state’s bi-partisan Holocaust and Genocide Commission. It was introduced to the legislature well before the events in Charlottesville. However, State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, said it sends a strong message to those considering acting out their hatred.

File Photo by Brian Mackey

Four more members of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's communications team have resigned weeks after being hired in the wake of the Republican's conflicting response to a political cartoon that critics call racist.

This follows 20 members of Rauner’s administration who quit or were fired last month -- after lawmakers passed a state budget that the governor opposed.

Rauner issued a statement Thursday saying Diana Rickert, Laurel Patrick, Meghan Keenan and Brittany Carl submitted resignations.

Chicago Police Department

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is poised to receive a new kidney from his son.

The superintendent who disclosed in January after suffering a public dizzy spell that he's on a waiting list for a kidney transplant told reporters on Wednesday that 25-year-old Daniel Johnson would be the donor of the kidney.

Johnson did not want to say yet exactly when he will have the surgery but department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said it will be done within the next two weeks.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Hundreds of spectators flocked to the Northern Illinois University courtyard near Davis Hall for the solar eclipse.

Patrons ranged in age and background. Some used eclipse glasses provided by NIU's STEM Department, while others made it a do-it-yourself project. 

Homemade viewing devices included cut-out cereal boxes and paper plates adorned with tinfoil. 

Nicole Henryson is an NIU history professor who brought her kids to work today. She said she's grateful to witness her second solar eclipse as an adult. 

"Groceries" by Flickr User eddie welker / (CC X 2.0)

Some 40,000 low-income students at community colleges around the state could have become eligible for federal food assistance, or SNAP benefits, from a measure approved by members of both parties in the Illinois legislature.

But late Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a portion of the bill, saying that identifying and notifying those students wasn’t the "best use" of limited time and money. Rauner said he supports the underlying effort to help students. 

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