Local

Government
8:27 am
Thu June 21, 2012

State wants railroad to pay for 2009 fish kill

Illinois wants Canadian National Railway to pay for restocking the Rock River after 72,000 fish died following the fiery June 2009 derailment of a CN train in Cherry Valley.

The Rockford Register Star reports that Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed an amended legal complaint filed in Winnebago County Court stating that ethanol from the 2 million gallons on the derailed train spilled into a nearby creek.

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Education
7:41 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Beloit College professor dies in Chile

Dan Shea, Ph.D.
Beloit College

Dan Shea, an anthropology professor at Beloit College since 1968, died after a fall Tuesday night while on a research trip with students in Chile.

 Shea and five Beloit students arrived June 8 and were scheduled to remain in Chile until June 27. A Beloit College alumnus and an adjunct professor also were on the trip; they remain with the students at this time. Plans are being made for their return as soon as possible.

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Government
6:13 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Quinn signs off on state retirees paying for health care

Governor Pat Quinn

... but lawmakers push off a compromise on other pension reforms

Effective July 1, retired state and public university employees will be required to kick in more money for their health insurance, Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced early today.

But legislative leaders who met later today to pursue a compromise on paying retirement costs for downstate and suburban school districts pushed any decision back well beyond that date.

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Government
12:43 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Rockford's Tapco Building demolition begins

Demolition of Tapco Building in downtown Rockford begins, 6/20/12.
Jacqui Stephens WNIJ
  • Tapco story version 1 as aired on WNIJ 6/20/12.

Demolition began Wednesday on the Tapco Building, one of the crumbling old industrial buildings along Rockford’s downtown riverfront.

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Government
12:17 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

DCFS warns of service cuts due to $85 million funding loss

The Department of Children and Family Services is sounding warnings it will cut services that keep kids from having to go into foster care as a consequence of an $85 million budget cut.

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's unhappy with the cuts, and hinted that he'll do something to try to prevent them when he acts on the budget later this month.

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Politics
6:20 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Poll says Illinois' small businesses appear to favor health care law

The Illinois-based Campaign for Better Health Care reports that  63% of small business owners said they want the Affordable Care Act kept intact. The figure grows to 68% when respondents learn more details about what's contained in the law. Only 22% of respondents said they want the law overturned.

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Government
6:32 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Tamms and Dwight prisons to close

Susan Stephens WNIJ

The state’s most dangerous prisoners may soon be leaving their current cellblocks. It’s part of Gov. Pat Quinn‘s plan to close certain state facilities.

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Government
7:00 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Illinois' probation officers brace for more cuts

After years of cutbacks, probation officers were hoping for a funding increase in the new state budget. Instead, they're facing even deeper cuts.

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Government
6:49 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Governor signs pension bill, but it's not the overhaul he wants

Illinois' pensions systems will get more scrutiny under legislation signed by Governor Pat Quinn. The bill calls on the state to hire an independent actuary. 

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Education
12:31 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

9 Rockford schools will get more resources

Nine Rockford schools will be getting additional resources to help administrators deal with discipline and truancy problems and a lack of parent involvement.

Officials with the Rockford School District say the schools are in what they're calling a neighborhood empowerment zone, which has high crime rates and a higher volume of 911 calls. Officials say more than 90 percent of students at the schools also are economically disadvantaged and qualify for free or reduced lunch rates.

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