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Amanda Vinicky

Rauner Won't Say Whether He Favors Amending Illinois' Constitution

Illinois voters this fall will have a chance to amend the state constitution. The governor refuses to say whether he supports the change. Illinois has gotten into the habit of using money that was supposed to be used to fill pot holes and instead using it to fill holes in the budget. Road contractors and construction workers got sick of it. They came up with an idea of putting road money in a sort of "lock box." To do it, they propose amending the constitution so it has to be used on...
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Amanda Vinicky

Post-9/11 Wars Not Over For Gold Star Families, Deployed Troops

Illinois has long had a day to honor Gold Star Mothers. For the first time Monday the state recognized the rest of their families.
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Election 2016

On Tuesday, after a less-than-stellar debate performance, Donald Trump returned to using one of his favorite measurements to mask his missteps on Monday night — the polls.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Trending Stories

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Free From Prison, Still Awaiting Compensation

When a man or woman is wrongfully imprisoned, Illinois law says they're entitled to compensation. But like so many others owed money by state government, 14 innocent individuals are still waiting. This is one of their stories.
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Illinois Issues

Illinois Issues: Sixteen And (Not) Pregnant

Teen pregnancy rates are going down in Illinois and across the nation because teens are having less sex, and when they do, they’re using contraception more often. The reasons behind these changes in behavior are harder to pinpoint.
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flickr/ 401kcalculator.org

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois. 

In the summer of 1936, a plain and sturdy farm woman from southern Minnesota traveled to New York to meet the mayor, stay at the Waldorf, dine at the Stork Club and make headlines in every major newspaper.

That woman was Susan Eisele, my grandmother, who Country Home magazine selected — out of 4,000 entrants — as its "Rural Correspondent of the Year."

The award came with a $200 prize and a two-week trip to New York and Washington.

Soap opera pioneer Agnes Nixon, who created All My Children and One Life to Live, has died at the age of 93. She is known for highlighted challenging and taboo social issues through daytime television.

Her son Bob Nixon told The Associated Press that she died at a physical rehabilitation facility in Haverford, Pa.

It's once again time for the annual ritual of fear and loathing, also known as the performance review — at least for the companies that still do them.

Many have abandoned the old way of evaluating their employees in recent years. Last year, even General Electric — whose former CEO, Jack Welch, championed the system often known as "rank and yank" — did away with its annual review.

What's taking the old system's place? A hodgepodge of experiments, essentially.

California's state treasurer has announced he is suspending major parts of the state's business relationship with Wells Fargo because of a scandal involving unauthorized customer accounts.

In a letter to Wells Fargo, John Chiang asked, "how can I continue to entrust the public's money to an organization which has shown such little regard for the legions of Californians who have placed their well-being in its care?"

Artificial intelligence is one of those tech terms that seems to inevitably conjure up images (and jokes) of computer overlords running sci-fi dystopias — or, more recently, robots taking over human jobs.

But AI is already here: It's powering your voice-activated digital personal assistants and Web searches, guiding automated features on your car and translating foreign texts, detecting your friends in photos you post on social media and filtering your spam.

A new study of violent behavior in more than 1,000 mammal species found the meerkat is the mammal most likely to be murdered by one of its own kind.

The study, led by José María Gómez of the University of Grenada in Spain and published Wednesday in the journal Nature, analyzed more than 4 million deaths among 1,024 mammal species and compared them with findings in 600 studies of violence among humans from ancient times until today.

The findings tell us two things:

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

The man who calls himself the leader of Illinois' Republican Party conti ues to refuse to weigh in on this year's election.

Hear three sessions recorded during World Cafe's yearly visit to the Camp Stage at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. This year's event, the 55th annual installment of the festival, took place Aug. 18-21, 2016.

Liz Longley

U.S Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said the U.S. has agreed to send an additional 600 troops to Iraq, in anticipation of the major upcoming operation to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

These additional troops "will increase the number of U.S. forces in Iraq to around 5,000," NPR's Tom Bowman told our Newscast unit. American troop levels in Iraq peaked at 170,000 in November 2007.

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Featured

Clinton-Trump Showdown Was The Most-Watched Presidential Debate Ever

An estimated 84 million people watched Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in their first debate Monday, according to TV ratings data from Nielsen, making it the most-watched debate ever.These figures top the ratings for the 1980 debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, when just under 81 million people tuned in. As The Associated Press reports, "No debate since then had exceeded 70 million viewers."Nielsen's numbers include 13 television networks. They don't account for viewers who...
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Statehouse

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

State Week: Live Doesn't Mean Spontaneous

Gov. Bruce Rauner stuck to his script during his Facebook Live event. He also denies that his legislative agenda is "hurting some class."
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flickr/ 401kcalculator.org

The political spotlight has shifted to the election, but the state budget crisis continues to cost the people of Illinois. 

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

The man who calls himself the leader of Illinois' Republican Party conti ues to refuse to weigh in on this year's election.

Could the Republican nominee's emphasis on "law and order" derail a growing bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

Education Desk

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

Education Desk: Teacher Of The Year Makes School Mathalicious

Kimberly Thomas is the reigning Illinois Teacher of the Year. The title doesn’t come with a satin sash and a tiara, but you might think it does once you get a taste of Thomas’s extreme effervescence. This Peoria math teacher has a lot more going for her than just bubbles and fizz, but you have to get you a sip of that first.
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First, a story:

Late one night, a man searches for something in a parking lot. On his hands and knees, he crawls around a bright circle of light created by a streetlamp overhead.

A woman passes, stops, takes in the scene.

"What are you looking for? Can I help?"

"My car keys. Any chance you've seen them?"

"You dropped them right around here?"

"Oh, no. I dropped them way over there," he says, gesturing vaguely to some faraway spot on the other side of the lot.

"Then why are you looking here?"

The man pauses to consider the question.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Bertha Vazquez has taught earth science for more than 25 years.

"For many years I covered the basic standard, probably like most people in the country do," she says.

Then one day, she says, she decided to throw that all out the window after seeing former Vice President Al Gore speak at the University of Miami at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary about climate change.

"And it really ... hit me. This is 2007 and, I've got to tell you, I lost sleep," Vazquez says.

Arts & Culture

Rachel Otwell

Lyndon Barrois Jr. Takes An Artistic & Personal Look At Prince

Lyndon Barrois Jr. is interested in identity, culture and intersection. He's named after his father, who was also an artist. He's lived in Southern Cali and New Orleans and now works as an educator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, where his work has also been displayed. His passion for Prince started as a young kid; influenced by his cousins and young parents. After Prince died, he grappled with it a few different ways - including writing this interesting essay. After you read it -...
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In the summer of 1936, a plain and sturdy farm woman from southern Minnesota traveled to New York to meet the mayor, stay at the Waldorf, dine at the Stork Club and make headlines in every major newspaper.

That woman was Susan Eisele, my grandmother, who Country Home magazine selected — out of 4,000 entrants — as its "Rural Correspondent of the Year."

The award came with a $200 prize and a two-week trip to New York and Washington.

Soap opera pioneer Agnes Nixon, who created All My Children and One Life to Live, has died at the age of 93. She is known for highlighted challenging and taboo social issues through daytime television.

Her son Bob Nixon told The Associated Press that she died at a physical rehabilitation facility in Haverford, Pa.

Curious George famously managed all sorts of escapes — from policemen, firemen, zookeepers and plenty other humans who didn't like his mischief. But many readers don't know that the husband-wife team who created the inquisitive little monkey — who is celebrating his 75th birthday this year — had the most harrowing escape of all.

Equity

UIS Professor Studies Transgender Rights & The Law

Earlier this year Illinois Issues reported on the transgender community in Illinois and whether advocates say there are enough anti-discrimination and supportive policies in place. Illinois saw its own debate over whether transgender people should be able to use the bathroom they feel represents their true gender when a trans student in Palatine went to court over their desire to use the locker and bathrooms that matched their gender - not their biological sex as represented on their birth...
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We've all been there — having fun relaxing with friends and family, when someone says something a little racially off. Sometimes it's subtle, like the friend who calls Thai food "exotic." Other times it's more overt, like that in-law who's always going on about "the illegals."

In any case, it can be hard to know how to respond. Even the most level-headed among us have faltered trying to navigate the fraught world of racial awkwardness.

Wearing overalls and a John Deere baseball cap, 79-year-old Norman Greer stands on the front porch of his home, looking out at his property. There's a grain bin, some tractors, a barn, and rows of corn and soy beans.

"Where I live, right here, is 52 acres, and I farm 300 acres," Greer says. He's also raised hogs and cattle, but as he points out vacant animal pens, he says, "I've gotten too old to fool with it."

Trigger warnings, the heads-up that college professors give to students to let them know disturbing content is coming, have gotten a lot of attention as the school year has unfolded. When a University of Chicago dean wrote a letter to incoming freshmen this fall rejecting the idea of those warnings, it sparked a nationwide debate on the use of advisories in the classroom.

Illinois Economy

elevator down arrow
Eric Skiff

Past Due: Illinois Not Prepared For A Recession

In 2008, the Great Recession helped to tip Illinois into a fiscal crisis it still hasn't recovered from. A new report from Standard & Poor's found that another even moderate recession would mean big trouble for the state's budget. ​ Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to talk about it. You can read the report here.
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flickr/Katherine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with the Business Editor of the State Journal-Register Tim Landis.

flickr/Katheerine Johnson

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register Business Editor Tim Landis:

Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Tim Landis,

Harvest Desk

There are less than 500 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. And now, one less: This weekend, one of the 45-ton creatures was found dead off the coast of Maine, completely entangled in fishing line — head, flippers and all.

This was not an isolated incident.

Even though Marca Engman read countless books, watched YouTube videos and took a beekeeping class before installing her first hive in 2012, she knew she'd need help in the field.

"The whole idea of beekeeping was overwhelming," she recalls. "Every year is different and every hive is different."

Rather than working a backyard beehive solo, Engman installed her first hive in the community apiary at Hudson Gardens, a nonprofit garden near Littleton, Colo.

For the past couple of decades, night owls with the munchies have flocked to a certain street in Beijing that is packed with all-night restaurants. The sidewalks are jammed with cars and have a perpetual patina of rancid-smelling cooking oil.

One of the trendier restaurants on the block is called A Very Long Time Ago. The decor is upscale Paleolithic, with silhouettes of cavemen traipsing across the walls. The clientele is not so fossilized. They're mostly 20-somethings who roast skewers of food over hot coals.

Health Desk

After nearly seven months of bickering and finger-pointing, Congress on Wednesday agreed to allocate $1.1 billion to help fight the spread and effects of the Zika virus.

The deal is part of a broader agreement to continue to fund the government after the fiscal year ends on Friday and the current budget expires.

The Americas Are Now Officially 'Measles-Free'

12 hours ago

The Americas are now free of measles, the first region in the world to achieve that goal, the Pan American Health Organization announced this week. The success is credited to the effectiveness of mass vaccination programs over the past 22 years.

Let's face it: this election cycle has been a bit disheartening for many voters. The candidates are the two most unpopular major party presidential candidates on record and a massive number of people won't commit to either one.

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