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Environmentalists: Vistra Power Plant Closures Favor Dirtier, Cheaper Facilities

Environmentalists are blasting Vistra Energy’s coal-burning power plant closure announcement as a cynical cost-cutting move.

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Rich Pedroncelli / AP File Photo

Illinois Lawmaker Is Optimistic New EpiPen Law Will Lower Costs, Despite Critics’ Concerns

Illinois will soon require insurers to cover EpiPens and similar devices for children 18 and under. But questions remain about whether the law will really lower costs for consumers.

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Addiction Clinics Market Unproven Infusion Treatments To Desperate Patients

Jason was hallucinating. He was withdrawing from drugs at an addiction treatment center near Indianapolis, and he had hardly slept for several days. "He was reaching for things, and he was talking to Bill Gates and he was talking to somebody else I'm just certain he hasn't met," his mother, Cheryl, says. She remembers finding Jason lying on the floor of the treatment center in late 2016. "I would just bring him blankets because they didn't have beds or anything." Cheryl had taken Jason to the...

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Burger King has acknowledged this week that some of its burgers in Britain and Ireland included horsemeat, the latest development in an ongoing scandal.

Horsemeat actually contains just as much protein and far less fat than beef, according to nutritionists.

Years of criticism and even a U.S. Supreme Court challenge couldn't force the Boy Scouts of America to admit openly gay members and leaders. But money talks, and after the defections of major donors, the 103-year-old organization is poised to lift its national ban.

Just last summer, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed the ban after a lengthy internal review. Several incidents since then have tarnished the organization's image and fueled an aggressive nationwide protest led by an Eagle Scout.

The Department of Agriculture has proposed a new "Smart Snacks in School" rule that aims to promote more healthful options in school vending machines, snack bars and cafeterias across the country.

The USDA's updated regulations, which are open to public comment for 60 days, will set nutrition standards and calorie limits for snack foods that are sold in schools.

Earlier this week, we told you that Iran was claiming a "major achievement." State media reported the country had sent a monkey into space.

A boycott by vendors starting this weekend at one of the nation's largest hunting and fishing shows has led to the event's indefinite postponement. Pennsylvania businesses stand to lose tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

Some 200 shops and groups pulled out of the Harrisburg, Pa., event after organizers banned the sale and display of certain types of guns.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will retire after 30 years in service, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

Sullivan is retiring after a tough year for the agency. If you remember, 11 of its agents were involved in a prostitution scandal in Colombia.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And at week's end, we say hello once again to our Friday political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and David Brooks of the New York Times. Welcome back to you both.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be here.

Of all the individuals in President Obama's first-term Cabinet, physicist Steven Chu was arguably the least likely to be found in official Washington.

The Energy Department secretary, after all, was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist from the University of California, Berkeley, the first science laureate to serve as a Cabinet secretary.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission says that "child-resistant" caps on some bottles of cough and flu syrup aren't as sturdy as advertised.

That's a problem, because products implicated in the agency's latest recall announcement — Triaminic and Theraflu syrups and "warming liquids" — contain acetaminophen and diphenhydramine.

Happy days are (or might be) here again: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 14,000 Friday, marking the first time the stock market measure has broken that barrier at close since October 2007.

The average closed at 14,009.79. That's up more than 149 points, or about 1.1 percent for the day. The closing comes hours after the release of a new monthly unemployment report that indicated jobs grew at a faster rate late last year than previously estimated.

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