News from the local region for a station

State Ready To Pay Daycare Providers

11 hours ago
Brian Mackey

When the income tax rate rolled back in January, it left Illinois without money for certain programs. Like one that helps low-income parents go to work or school, by alleviating their child care costs. The program didn't shut down; Illinois just stopped paying.

Rich Carter is spokesman for Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger.

"Many of them have actually gone more than six weeks without their promised state payment, so it's been very difficult for them," Carter said.

City of DeKalb

The DeKalb County Circuit Court has found that the property at 509 N. 7th Street to be hazardous and uninhabitable.

According to a news release, the Court ordered that the property be secured. The conditions in the house are not believed to present a threat to the general public at this time, but no person is permitted to enter the property without the City’s prior approval.

Rauner Signs Temporary Plan To Fill Budget Hole

19 hours ago
Office of the Governor

Illinois Senators followed the lead of the House by approving a budget plan that fills a $1.6 billion hole.

The plan is supposed to rescue a program that subsidizes low-income families' daycare expenses and ensure the state can continue to pay prison guards and court reporters.

The package gives new Republican Governor Bruce Rauner some spending flexibility. It also dips into special state funds that have leftover cash and reduces spending in most state agencies and programs.


DeKalb police say they identified nine more victims of sexual abuse by former substitute teacher Andrew Arison.

The victims were students in the early childhood program in the DeKalb School District and all were younger than age 13. The attacks happened between 2013 and through this month.

This brings the total number of allegedly abused children to 12. 

Arison faces a total of 19 charges. The new charges are in addition to existing ones of aggravated sexual abuse, predatory sexual assault of a child and possession of child pornography.

Janette Beckman

This weekend, the Amphion String Quartet joins with clarinetist David Shifrin for a concert at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford.

Health Officials Remind Residents To Get Wells Tested

21 hours ago

Clean water is on the minds of many health officials. There's even a week in March devoted to groundwater awareness. Bill Hatfield is the Boone County Health Department Director of Environmental Health. He says testing is important because there are residents who haven’t had their wells tested in more than twenty years. 

“Protecting against pollution and so on, and it just kind of just goes along with that to test your well water because it’s underground and you never know what’s  happening-- you don’t see it.”

Finding Heroes Around Us

22 hours ago

  Where are the Superheroes?

I can still see myself in a corner of my room reading my favorite comic books. Superman was the first and best. I devoured all things superheroes.

Today, I devour Captain America, the Avengers, X-Men -- Superman has fallen to the back of the line.

Superheroes have superhuman powers derived from a mysterious source. They use those powers for good, protecting all of us mere mortals.

Victor Yehling/WNIJ News

The report of the death of passenger rail service to Rockford, to paraphrase Mark Twain, was an exaggeration.

That’s the position Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey took at a news conference today to clarify a comment Wednesday by Amtrak Representative Ray Lang to an Illinois House committee.


A recently released audit from the Illinois Office of the Auditor General found in a testing of travel expenditures, $31,945 of the $46,501 tested were reimbursements to an employee for travel between the employee’s home and the official headquarters listed on filed forms. The audit says "travel expenses between an employee’s official headquarters and home are not reimbursable."

Prison Reform Commission Holds First Meeting

Mar 26, 2015

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s prison reform commission has its first meeting today. 

Rauner tasked the group with finding a way to cut the state’s prison population by 25 percent over the next 10 years.

John Maki is one of the members.

"This commission is different and this commission is important because we’ve had this goal. No governor has been willing to say this is what I want. So Illinois is really … we’re gonna lead here." 

Maki says the group will be looking back to see how Illinois prisons got overcrowded in the first place.