State News

State news stories and features from Illinois Public Radio.

State officials have opened an underpass in Galesburg to ease traffic and improve safety. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has named his former general counsel to serve on the Illinois Racing Board.

Decriminalizing marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in adolescent use, according to research from Washington University.

Farm Bill negotiations have begun between the U.S. House and Senate.

The Farm Bill is a multi-year law that governs food programs and agricultural policy. It’s renewed roughly every five years. The last Farm Bill was drafted in 2014.

The House and Senate will have to agree on a final version before the current bill expires at the end of September.

Illinois is home to more than 70,000 farms, which will be affected by this bill in some way.

Illinois politicians react to President Trump's varied statements on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Gov. Rauner signs a pair of gun-control bills while promising to veto another. And the latest campaign finance numbers show the candidates for governor continuing to burn cash at an unprecedented rate. 

A conservative political group is suing to overturn the Illinois campaign law restricting so-called independent expenditure committees.

This is part of our election-year series, Money Machines, looking at campaign spending in the 2018 election. The first article can be found here.

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said Thursday he’s asked the U.S. Marshals to review courthouse security after a defendant snuck a knife into the building and stabbed himself after being convicted of a sex crime. 

Illinois prison officials are being accused of letting a transgender inmate be harassed and assaulted.

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CHICAGO - A Chicago judge has ordered the release from jail of a woman dubbed a "serial stowaway" for repeatedly trying to sneak onto commercial jets without a ticket.

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PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. - Fire has left homeless hundreds of residents of a suburban Chicago condominium complex.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Authorities say a central Illinois man stabbed himself in a courtroom shortly after a jury found him guilty in a sexual assault case.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Chance the Rapper says he has purchased the former news website Chicagoist, making the announcement in a new song.

A Chicago police officer charged with murder in the fatal shooting of black 17-year-old Laquan McDonald will stand trial Sept. 5.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have gotten the state out of the controversial Crosscheck voter identification program.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he was "deeply troubled" by President Donald Trump's seeming support for Russia and President Vladimir Putin in public comments. 

President Donald Trump has been taking heat from both sides of the aisle following his news conference in Helsinki on Monday in which he sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Champaign Police Sgt. Geoff Coon said he’s waiting on roughly $50,000 in federal grant money that’s due to the central Illinois police department. Another agency that uses the funding to pay for programs that focus on recidivism and re-entry and community-based violence intervention programs in the Rockford area also hasn’t received their funding this year.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law measures aimed at replacing troublesome housing units at the Quincy veterans' home. 

The University of Illinois is paying an alumnus $7,500 to stop selling T-shirts that say "Make Illinois Great Again" with a drawing of the school's former mascot Chief Illiniwek.

GOLCONDA, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois pastor says he still hasn't received reward money for a tip he gave two years ago to the FBI and police about a man accused of shooting an officer.

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URBANA, Ill. - A University of Illinois student has been charged with disorderly conduct after authorities say he called police to report a man with a gun, then pointed a pellet gun at responding officers before they shot him.

Sears Closes Final Chicago Store

Jul 17, 2018
Sears Holding Corp.

CHICAGO (AP) - Sears has closed its final store in Chicago, ending its retail legacy in the city. Sears Holdings Corp. announced this year that the store in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago's northwest side would close. The store that closed Sunday had opened in 1938.

Rauner Honors Dixon Resource Officer

Jul 17, 2018

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Dixon High School Monday to honor the school’s resource officer. Mark Dallas stopped a gunman at the school in May, shooting him before any students or faculty members were harmed. That student was taken into custody.

Officer Dallas spoke about the events of that day, and how important it was to have a trained professional on site.

Putting up a mural is often a community event. The art can be a point of pride for residents. But what happens when the paint peels? One city is trying to figure that out.

Former Illinois State Rep. Bob Pritchard joined NIU’s Board of Trustees on Monday.

Pritchard previously served in the state House of Representatives for the 70th District (which encompasses parts of DeKalb, Kane, and Boone Counties) from December 2003 to July of this year. Pritchard says he’s eager to tackle the challenges facing NIU.

The SIU Board of Trustees met Monday in Edwardsville to vote on a separation agreement with SIU System President Randy Dunn and to appoint an Interim President. 

Western Illinois University has seen a sharp drop in student enrollment in recent years, which means less money coming in through tuition and fees.  That, combined with decreases in state financial support – especially during the two-year state budget impasse – hurt the university's finances, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and an early retirement program.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law allowing courts to take weapons away from people who pose a threat of violence to themselves or others.

Organizations in five communities throughout Illinois will divide $11.5 million to help treat children suffering from mental health problems. 

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