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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.

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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.

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Dan Rutherford greets supporters.
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Monday is day two of state Treasurer Dan Rutherford's three-day tour of Illinois. He's meeting with supporters to say he's officially running for governor. Rutherford has been laying the groundwork to run for years, making the formal announcement one of the least surprising events in Illinois politics. So we asked reporter Brian Mackey to find something about Rutherford's announcement that was surprising.

The sponsor of same sex marriage legislation is facing a backlash for not calling it for a vote before the General Assembly adjourned on Friday.  

 

Gay rights activists praised Rep. Greg Harris in 2011 for helping pass Illinois' civil unions law.

Some of those same activists are now criticizing him for how he's handled a measure to legalize same sex marriage.

Harris was tearful when he announced just before the House adjourned its spring session that there would be no vote because he didn't believe it could pass.

For Whom The Bells Toll

May 31, 2013
www.carillon-rees.org

Carillonneur Robin Austin calls Thomas Rees one of his “great heroes”.

Last fall the Springfield Park District chose Austin to succeed Karel Keldermans, who played the 67-bell instrument dedicated to Thomas Rees for 35 years.

This week Robin Austin follows in the footsteps -or on the foot pedals - of the Keldermans family.  It will be his first year as host of the city’s annual International Carillon Festival.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois has the worst funded pension system in the nation, and lawmakers have until today to do something about it.  The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn by midnight.  After that, it requires extra votes to get legislation to the governor's desk. Pensions are not the only thing left.  Plenty of other big-ticket policy issues are also unresolved.

                                                                      

The Illinois Senate overwhelmingly rejected legislation on Thursday that would curtail government employees' and teachers' retirement benefits.

It raises the question of whether lawmakers will do anything to address Illinois' indebted retirement systems before they adjourn Friday night.

The pension-cutting legislation passed the House at the start of month.

But when it got a vote in the Senate yesterday, it didn't just fail - it plunged.  The Senate vote was 16 to 42.

  We’ve brought you interviews with new Springfield school board members over the past couple days. Today we speak with Donna Moore about her background and goals for district 186:

Dynamic Patterns Theatre

Famed poet Emily Dickinson dedicated herself to documenting the joys and sorrows of life in the 1800s.

This month actor Sherri Mitchell brings Dickinson's life and work to the stage in Springfield and Jacksonville.

Mitchell joined Peter Gray on Illinois Edition to talk about her one-woman production, The Belle of Amherst, and what it's like to transport audiences back to the 19th century:

For information about Jacksonville performances May 30-June 2, CLICK HERE

Sheila Simon
Illinois.gov

The Illinois Senate has approved a multi-faceted change to the state's election laws. The legislation is almost as notable for what it does not do, as for what it does.

The proposal would make dozens of changes to state law, including online voter registration. But until Wednesday, the legislation also would have changed how Illinois gets a lieutenant governor.

Amanda Vinicky

Even as the legislative session winds down -- its last day is Friday -- there's no agreement on a solution to the state's pension problem.   

It's not like the problem came out of nowhere.  The $100 billion dollars of unfunded liability accumulated over decades.

And legislators have been talking about what to do about it for years.   Especially this session.

The House and Senate each passed legislation to cut Illinois' costs by reducing state employees and teachers' retirement benefits.  But both measures are stalled in the opposite chamber.

Another key component of the Illinois state budget moved through the General Assembly on Wednesday. The Democrats' spending plan prevents what could have been steep cuts for schools, but Republicans say students outside Chicago are getting shortchanged.

  Democrats are approving mostly level funding for elementary and high schools in Illinois. That's significant because education spending, like most areas of the state budget, has been cut in recent years. And Gov. Pat Quinn's budget proposal said even deeper cuts would be necessary.

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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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PodCamp

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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