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AFSCME picket
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

AFSCME Asks Appellate Court To Bring Rauner Back To Negotiating Table

The latest skirmish between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the AFSCME labor union took place in a Springfield courtroom Wednesday. This time it was before a panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court.

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Trending Stories

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Gallup CEO Visits Springfield To Share Insight On Job Creation

The latest employment numbers show Illinois is adding jobs, and the rate of unemployment across the state is dipping below 4 percent. However, Jim Clifton, CEO of the research firm Gallup, says those reports can be misleading because they count people who have part-time jobs, but who would prefer full-time hours and pay.

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Education Desk

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Turn on the radio between 7 and 8 p.m. on Sunday night in certain parts of Turkey or Syria and this is what you'll hear.

(SOUNDBITE OF RADIO SHOW, "RADIO DODO")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: (Speaking French).

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Statehouse

AFSCME picket
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois

The latest skirmish between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the AFSCME labor union took place in a Springfield courtroom Wednesday. This time it was before a panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court.

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Health+Harvest Desk

via Chad Weber

It’s been just about six months since a new Illinois law allowing 16 and 17 year olds to donate organs went into effect. Has the change made a difference for those waiting for life-saving organ transplants?

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Arts & Life

The Pharmacy / Jeff Williams

Nearly a century ago, a book was published by Vachel Lindsay called The Golden Book of Springfield. In it, he imagines a utopian version of the city, where by 2018 - its citizens have had religious and social awakenings. The ultimate message is one of unity.

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Equity

Marcus Butler of  Springfield has been unemployed since October of 2016.
Katie Buck / NPR IllINOIS

Experts blame the long-standing problem on discrimination, especially the "inadequate, inequitable'' education funding system.

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Illinois Economy

WIkipedia commons/taken by W. Wadas

The latest employment numbers show Illinois is adding jobs, and the rate of unemployment across the state is dipping below 4 percent.

However, Jim Clifton, CEO of the research firm Gallup, says those reports can be misleading because they count people who have part-time jobs, but who would prefer full-time hours and pay.

Read More Illinois Economy Coverage
Peter Gray/WUIS

Springfield residents living near South MacArthur Boulevard could have a new grocery store in the neighborhood by this time next year.

Iowa-based chain Hy-Vee held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning in the parking lot of the old Kmart store and bowling alley just north of Outer Park Drive.

Hy-Vee Asst. VP of Operations Mary Fuhrman says her crews will start tearing down the vacant buildings immediately.  Fuhrman expects the store to open by late spring 2014.

Bill Wheelhouse/Harvest Public Media

Jackie Dougan Jackson grew up like many farm kids. She spent sunbaked summer hours detasseling corn, tending the crops so it can be pollinated. For farm kids, detasseling is one of the ultimate chores. For the 85-year-old Jackson, those memories still put a song in her heart.

Springfield’s Muni out-door theater is putting on its largest production yet. With a cast of just about fifty actors, plus chorus singers, Les Miserables cost 50 percent more than the average Muni show. When Les Mis recently became available to amateur theaters, The Muni was quick to buy the rights. The show is in its second week… performances start at 8:30. They are tonight through Sunday, and again next week – Thursday through Saturday. Here's the interview with cast members Sydney Assalley & Jerry Hicks and the vocal director, Damien Kaplan.

Governor Pat Quinn is giving legislators less than three weeks to come together on a pension overhaul. So far the formation of a rare “conference committee” is the only result of the special legislative session Quinn called to deal with the state’s pension problem.

roe51.org

Regional Offices of Education have often been an overlooked area of government.  But the elected positions have unwillingly been in the spotlight over the last couple of years when Governor Pat Quinn tried to eliminate them.  A compromise with the legislature resulted in a consolidation of the offices that is underway now.  44 offices are required to drop down to 35.   In Sangamon County, an agreement was reached this month to merge with Menard County starting in 2015.

Rep. Davis Asks Supporter To Step Down

Jun 20, 2013
U.S. House

 

Central Illinois Republican congressman Rodney Davis is asking a campaign official to step down from his party position after writing what's been called a racist email about Davis' primary challenger. 

Montgomery County GOP Chairman Jim Allen wrote an email suggesting Erika Harold could fill a "minority quota'' if she lost the Republican primary. The bi-racial Harvard law school graduate was crowned Miss America in 2003 and launched her campaign bid this month. 

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

Midwest waterways are getting lots of attention this summer. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency have immersed themselves in the ecology of 100 streams from Ohio to Nebraska. It’s a first-of-its kind effort to understand how ag runoff is not just changing the water but affecting the critters that live there. Harvest Public Media’s Abbie Fentress Swanson joined a crew on a rainy day while they gathered water samples and searched for fish eggs on three streams in central Missouri.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

The presidents of Illinois' public universities are rallying behind a plan intended to bolster the pension system for their employees. The proposal was the subject of a state Senate hearing Tuesday in Springfield. But its future is far from certain.

One by one, university presidents told senators why they believe something must be done about pensions. University of Illinois president Robert Easter says his schools are at a competitive disadvantage for recruiting top faculty.

Amanda Vinicky

Members of Illinois' General Assembly return to the capitol Wednesday for a special session on pensions, where they're expected to pass off the problem to a yet another legislative committee. 

                      

    

What to do about Illinois' $100 billion pension debt has confounded legislators for years.

The most recent barrier: the House and Senate -- as well as the chambers' respective leaders -- are fixated on different plans.  So they've agreed to a new approach they're putting in motion Wednesday.

Thomas Jefferson was more than a founding father.  He was an avid gardener.  We’ve learned more about Jefferson’s passion for gardening thanks to Peter Hatch and the various books he has written.

Hatch is the retired Director of Gardens and Grounds at Jefferson’s Monticello.  He’ll speak on the UIS campus Thursday night.  He also talked with WUIS’ Sean Crawford about Jefferson’s gardens….

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Raccoon Vs. Skyscraper: The Summer Blockbuster You Never Knew You Needed

Updated at 8:35 a.m. ET on Wednesday High above the bustling streets of St. Paul, Minn., among monoliths of concrete and glass, a daring climber has defied the odds — and the altitude — to capture a city's heart. It just happens that this little hero has paws. A raccoon had climbed since at least Monday, when it was spotted resting in a relatively low-level niche outside the Town Square building downtown, according to Minnesota Public Radio . The station says that after a failed rescue...

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NPR Illinois Hiring - Sales AEs

NPR Illinois is hiring Sponsorship Account Executives . Seeking candidates with track records of success and the passion to innovate and sustain the public media mission. Sponsorship AEs will secure funding primarily from businesses, but also foundations and individuals to support the public journalism of NPR Illinois and the Illinois public radio network through sponsorships and acknowledgements in digital, broadcast and print media.

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Featured

U.S. Suicide Rates Are Rising Faster Among Women Than Men

The number of people dying by suicide in the United States has risen by about 30 percent in the past two decades. And while the majority of suicide-related deaths today are among boys and men, a study published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of girls and women taking their own lives is rising. "Typically there's between three and four times as many suicides among males as among females," says Dr. Holly Hedegaard , a medical epidemiologist at the...

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Illinois Issues

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Money Machines: How Big Donors Dominate Campaign Funding In Illinois

Illinois will host what could be the most expensive race for governor in U.S. history. The huge increase in campaign spending raises a lot of questions about the rise of big money in politics. Between now and the election, Illinois Issues will examine the impact in a series we're calling Money Machines.

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Politics

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Casa Padre is a former Walmart Super Center converted into living, recreation and dining quarters for 1,469 immigrant boys, ages 10 to 17. Located in Brownsville, Texas, across from a pizza joint and a McDonald's, it is the largest government-contracted youth shelter in the country. On Wednesday, reporters were allowed a rare glimpse inside.

The sprawling shelter was opened in March 2017 by the Texas nonprofit Southwest Key.

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

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

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

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The X | 91.9-3 HD

This Year's World Cup Songs, Ranked

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V15BYnSr0P8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8d0-1dk8os https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ2vr7VUytM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6E9R9qv1No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJ9M_7zSa3s It's almost World Cup time — and there's a long, sometimes proud and often embarrassing history of international pop stars creating confections for the games. For every bit of surprising transcendence, like Youssou N'Dour and Axelle Red's collaboration for the 1998 tournament...

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Classical Music Captures A Young Wife's Anxiety In 'On Chesil Beach'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6DWDfMDlM The film On Chesil Beach opens with a cocksure Edward, played by Billy Howle, mansplaining the blues to his new wife, Florence, a classical violinist played by Saoirse Ronan . It's a snapshot of the young couple's relationship, which disintegrates throughout the course of the film due to mismatched expectations and fears of intimacy. Director Dominic Cooke, a veteran of theater making his feature film debut with this Ian McEwan novella adaption,...

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