Bill Wheelhouse

Retired

Bill Wheelhouse retired in early 2016.

He served as general manager, Morning Edition anchor, economy reporter, Harvest reporter, and the Statehouse Bureau Chief where he was responsible for providing statehouse coverage for a dozen public stations across the state.  He served in that role 1995-2005. During that time he was won several awards including Best Investigative Reporter.  He traveled to Cuba in 1999 with then Governor George Ryan and provided coverage of that trip from Havana. He has covered national political conventions in 1988, 1996 and 2000.

He has also contributed reports to NPR and other syndicated radio programs. Bill also moderated the weekly public radio talk show State Week after Rich Bradley retired. Bill also served as an adjunct professor in the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

He worked as a news director at the public radio station in Macomb and worked in both commercial radio and television.

Bill served two terms as President of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and is a past president of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcast Advisory Board. He was a member of the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association and Public Radio News Directors Incorporated.

He is a 1981 graduate of Rushville High School and a 1985 graduate of Western Illinois University. In 1999 he earned a Masters Degree in Political Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Illinoisroute66.org

Tim and Bill chat about a big Route 66 memorabilia auction this weekend & a car dealership next to White Oaks Mall.

Law firms pushing farmers to sue Syngenta on this week's WUIS/SJR Business Report:

U.S Department of Energy

Illinois appears to have a lot of potential for growth in wind energy.     One area that some say is ripe for development is wind farms off the shores of Lake Michigan.   However one expert is not so bullish on the idea.

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

Illinois' governor and legislative leaders haven't talked to each other in months, and the state continues to spend money without a budget.  Just how long can this continue?  Lee Enterprises' Springfield Bureau Chief Kurt Erickson joins the panel.

nasda.org

The four lane highway between Springfield and Taylorville should be complete by next year.  Bill Wheelhouse and Tim Landis chat about that on this weeks SJR/WUIS Business Report:

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

This week, House Speaker Michael Madigan chastised two of his Democratic members after a failed attempt to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a union bill.  Mike Riopell of the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald joins the panel this week.

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

Despite House Speaker Michael Madigan's confidence that Democrats had enough votes to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of union contract arbitration legislation, he was one vote short.  The Governor and legislative leaders apparently haven't met in weeks and Illinois is no closer to any kind of agreement on a budget.  Meanwhile, in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is talking about raising property taxes.  Crain's Chicago Business' Greg Hinz joins the panel.

http://www.infouas.com/la-policia-de-california-dispuesta-a-emplear-drones/

Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner
Illinois Public Broadcasting

The Governor filed  a police report on his predecessor over a military sketch display.    The bad blood between Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn continued past the election.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald about a state police investigation into a missing tribute to vets.

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

This week, debate over whether Illinois municipalities should have the option to declare bankruptcy, mandatory state spending continues despite no agreement on a budget, and some odd numbers from this year's state fair.  The Chicago Tribune's Monique Garcia joins the panel.

A marijuana advocacy group is urging Illinois lawmakers to accept Governor Bruce Rauner's changes to a marijuana decriminalization plan. 

sj-r.com

On this week's report Tim and Bill discuss some hi-tech jobs coming to Springfield, a drop in soybean prices and some big piles of rubble.

Politicians and the party faithful flocked to the Illinois State Fair this week, with both Democrats and Republicans defining the continuing budget impasse as an epic struggle.  However, the struggle remains static, with no work toward an agreement.  Becky Schlikerman of the Chicago Sun Times joins the panel.

University of Illinois

Do you think downtown Springfield parking is a challenge? Study says about 50% of spaces are used.

That is among topics Bill and Tim discuss on this weeks biz report:

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

Despite having no budget or actual spending authority in place, most state spending is going ahead anyway.  John O'Connor of the Associated Press joins the panel this week.

NASA

Asbestos in a demolition project on Springfield's north end, Krispy Kreme coming to town and "Saving A Seal"

Illinois State Geological Survey- Sam Panno

During one of the heavy rains this summer, a motorist in Pike County was killed when he drove into an area of roadway that had collapsed.   A couple of years ago, a golfer in southwestern Illinois escaped serious injury when the ground collapsed underneath him and sent him into a 20 ft. crevice.     They were both the result of sinkholes, which can occur naturally in some parts of Illinois and can occur elsewhere due to man made causes.

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

Five weeks into the new fiscal year, and Illinois still has no spending plan in place.  While many state functions continue to shuffle along, many services and businesses are folding.   And there seems to be no end in sight.  Chris Mooney, Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, joins the panel.

On this weeks WUIS/SJR Business Report Bill and Tim talk about Obama's energy announcement and Illinois coal,  a Sangamon County wind farm and an update on local hospital construction.

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

The month of July has come and gone and there is still no agreement between the Legislature and Governor Rauner on a state budget for the current fiscal year.  Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of Political Science at UIS, joins the panel this week.

flickr/Benjamin Goodger

It's been 30 years since Illinois' mandatory seatbelt law took effect.   The latest numbers estimate that 95 percent of the state's motorists are using their safety belts. The goal is to try to persuade that other five percent:

State Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says males in their early 20's are primarily the ones who still don't buckle up.   

hilton.com

Spingfield's "skyscraper" will be changing labels at the end of the year.  Tim Landis and Bill Wheelhouse chat about the transition of the Springfield Hilton on the Business report.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

A new report details urban flooding problems in Illinois.  The report from the Department of Natural Resources says damage from urban flooding (flooding on higher ground outside a flood plain) cause more than $2 billion worth of damage between 2007-2014 in Illinois.

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

More political posturing this week, but there seems to be little or no progress on resolving the state budget impasse as Illinois still has no legal spending plan in place.

Alastair Willis
alastairwillis.com

The Conductor of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra is getting an early exit from his contract. Alastair Willis will remain on as a conductor through this season.

A note to symphony supporters says the ISO Board has agreed to accept Willis' request because of his desire to balance the demands of his international performance schedule. Willis is in the third year of a five year contract.     

A statement from the ISO Board President Carolyn Yockey says their goal is have candidates for the job conducting next year's symphony performances.

 

Justin L. Fowler/The Journal Register

Tim chats with Bill about saving the iconic seal from the remnants of the Bel Air Motel & an Emerald Ash Borer infestation at the State Fairgrounds.

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

With still no agreement on a state budget for the fiscal year, questions remain over even a temporary spending plan for the next month.  However, state workers are still receiving paychecks while awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court.  Ed Cross, Capitol Reporter for WAND-TV joins the panel.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

The SJ-R's Tim Landis talks about the Logan County wind farm proposal, gives us an update on demolition around Springfield and a Springfield based company is growing.

University of Illinois Chicago

Springfield residents wanting the city to create "quiet zones" along the Third Street rail corridor want to see some action soon.  Bill Wheelhouse talks with the leader of a petition effort to get changes made on Third Street in order for trains to cut back on whistle blowing.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The war of words continues between Governor Rauner and Democratic leaders in the Legislature and they seem to be no closer to an agreement on a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year - which leaves Illinois facing a possible government shutdown on July 1st.  Doug Finke of Gatehouse News joins the panel this week.

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