News from the local region for a station

The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rescind Dennis Hastert's honorary degree from the school. The Board met Thursday afternoon to discuss the matter during a special meeting.


Hastert received an honorary law doctoral degree in 1999. Earlier this month, the university announced a move by a committee to revoke the award. 

The committee said in a memo to President Doug Baker that Hastert’s recent felony conviction and sexual abuse testimony “do not reflect the values of the institution.”

Victor Yehling/WNIJ News

The fabled connection between cops and doughnuts takes a charitable turn today as police departments team up with a national chain in the 14th annual “Cop on a Rooftop” fundraiser.

Officers are taking part by perching on the rooftops of Dunkin’ Donut stores in numerous communities throughout northern Illinois to raise money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics.

Loves Park Police Chief Returns To Work Next Week

6 hours ago
Loves Park Police Department

Loves Park Police Chief Rodney Scott is returning to work next week after having been suspended for four weeks without pay. 

The Rockford Register-Star reports that Scott was not suspended for any criminal offense.  Rather, Mayor Darryl Lindberg says that Scott self-reported a violation of the Department’s “behavioral expectation.” 

Both Scott and City Attorney Gino Galluzzo declined to go into specifics.  However, behavioral expectations typically refer to how an officer conducts themselves on and off duty, and whether that behavior reflects poorly on the Department.  

MAP Grant Funding Approved By Both Chambers

7 hours ago
State of Illinois

  Illinois Senate Democrats approved a measure to fund tuition grants for low-income students despite Republican concerns the state can't pay for it.  The measure would fully fund the grants with an additional $227 million.  Republican Chapin Rose of Mahomet blasted the bill, saying Illinois doesn't have money to pay for the grants. 

"Once again shows that this body is writing a check that it darn well knows cannot be cashed," he says.  

Charles Ridulph of Sycamore has added to his request for a special prosecutor in the 1957 murder case of his sister, Maria.  

The Daily Chronicle says Ridulph claims State’s Attorney Richard Schmack made a 2012 campaign promise to drop charges against Jack McCullough, constituting a conflict of interest.  

A Simple Source Of Pride

9 hours ago

Recently a student teased me for having written an L and an R on the back of my hands. “Mr. Libman doesn’t know his left from his right,” she told the class. In fact, I pointed out with some pride, I do know my left from my right; the fact that the letters had been placed on the correct hand was proof.

Next month, we'll introduce you to the latest books from five authors in the WNIJ listening area.

You might've seen short video teasers on social media such as this one, featuring Kristin Oakley.

Oakley begins this Summer's series with her thriller Carpe Diem, Illinois. You can find complete details about the series here.

Illinois Democrats have approved a measure to fully fund tuition grants for low-income students despite Republican concerns the state can't pay for its promises.

The Senate approved the measure Thursday on a 39-15 vote. The bill goes to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner next.

The measure sponsored by Democratic leaders House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton would appropriate about $397 million to colleges and universities for tuition grants under the Monetary Assistance Program.

The plan doesn't include funding for colleges' operational costs.

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois.

The chamber advanced the proposal 42-16 on Thursday.

Backers say they looked at similar laws in states like Oregon when crafting the Illinois proposal. It gives election officials data from five state agencies to automatically register eligible voters unless they opt out.

Proponents include voting rights advocates who say it'd improve access and update voter files before November.

State of Illinois

An investigator hired by then-state Treasurer Dan Rutherford to review a former employee's allegations of sexual harassment by the one-time gubernatorial hopeful found no evidence of harassment or retaliation.

The former employee, Edmund Michalowski, levied the allegation in February 2014 lawsuit, detonating Rutherford's hopes to be the Republican nominee for governor.

The review by Ron Braver & Associates was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. It says interviews, travel vouchers and text messages don't corroborate.