Local

Government
6:47 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Lisa Madigan calls same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
lisamadigan.org

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the state's current prohibition against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

The Democrat is throwing her weight behind a pair of lawsuits in Cook County court that are challenging the state's marriage laws. She says she personally supports gay marriage.

I don't believe that the current law that prohibits gays and lesbians from being able to marry in the state of Illinois - uh, meets - uh, equal protection," she said.

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Politics
6:31 am
Tue June 5, 2012

Small margin, big turnout expected in Wisconsin vote

Both sides of the recall election targeting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are prepared for a razor-thin margin as the Republican tries to become the first U.S. governor to successfully fend off a recall effort.

Also targeted in today’s voting are Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and majority control of the state Senate.

A record turnout -- estimated as high as 65 percent of registered voters – is expected. Polls opened at 7 a.m., and voting continues until 8 p.m.

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Government
11:08 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Around Illinois – June 4

  • Does more truck traffic mean economy improvemnent?
  • Pension-reform session is a must: Quinn
  • Will the governor approve Rockford’s casino?
  • Chicago schools reach agreement with a union

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Government
9:55 am
Mon June 4, 2012

With no budget help, state Natural Resources will struggle

The failure of Illinois lawmakers to approve a plan to support state parks means the Department of Natural Resources will continue to struggle financially. The agency is still figuring out what that mean for its parks, trails, beaches and programs.

Attempts to institute an entrance fee to state parks were shoved asside in the Genereal Assembly, and supporters attempted to raise the price of a vehicle license plate by $2 and dedicate those funds for state parks.

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Business
5:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Construction slows traffic in Machesney Park

Road construction is becoming a familiar scene this time of year. For the month of June, construction is expected to continue around the revamped Machesney Town Center.  All businesses will remain open during the road improvements, but it may take longer to get around.

Construction continues this month for the inside lane of Highway 251 around the area formerly known as the Machesney Park Mall.  New turn lanes are being added on 251 between Copper Drive and Roosevelt Road.

Meanwhile, pavement will be moving east, framing the intersection of Illinois 173 and Illinois 251.

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Arts
1:27 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Rock Icon Todd Rundgren joins 2012 All Starr Band

This summer rock icon Todd Rundgren will be joining The Beatles Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band.  It has been 13 years since Rundgren’s last stint as guitarist of the ever-changing line up of the All Starrs. 

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Government
10:25 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Around Illinois -- June 1

  • Ottawa shooting range settles safety case with state
  • Waterman bank agrees to end “unsafe” practices
  • President visits hometown to raise money
  • Cancer center groundbreaking is Monday

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Government
9:37 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Dixon mayor says comptroller used pension funds to pay city bills

Rita A. Crundwell

  Two interim comptrollers hired by the City of Dixon have discovered that fired Comptroller Rita Crundwell transferred money out of the police and fire pension funds to pay city bills Dixon Mayor Jim Burke told sauk valley.com about $100,000 was transferred out of the pension fund, which is not supposed to be touched, and into the general fund from which bills are paid.

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Arts
8:57 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Belvidere preacher rides a Harley for Jesus

Robert Kopp's new book
  • Rev. Kopp reads an excerpt from "I Just Wanna Ride."
  • Rev. Kopp discusses the book's subtitle, FTW.
  • Morning Edition version with Steppenwolf intro

Robert Kopp wants you to know something:  Jesus loves you, and he would've ridden a motorcycle back in the day.  The Rev. Dr. Kopp's new book, I Just Wanna Ride (FTW), describes how the biker lifestyle leads to a more authentic faith.  It's the first installment of WNIJ's Summer Book Series.

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Government
5:36 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Pension bill stalls, gambling expansion passes as session ends

Illinois lawmakers have wrapped up their spring session. But they left some work on the table. 

The General Assembly did send the governor a budget. But Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, says it contains "gimmicks" meant to disguise bad policies.

"Pushing bills off. Moving them around," he said. "Trying to deceive the people into believing that fiscal responsibility has finally been visited upon their Capitol when clearly it has not."

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