Illinois Public Media News

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 03, 2011

Butler Wary But Not Obsessed with UConn’s Walker

Butler has stopped a series of college basketball Goliaths on its way to consecutive national championship games, and Monday night will pose a unique challenge: stopping a superstar.

Connecticut's Kemba Walker has carried the Huskies to the finals on a run reminiscent of Danny Manning's performance at Kansas 23 years ago.

Butler's scouting report on the versatile Walker is long and detailed. Unlike Kentucky, which tried to slow Walker down with defensive stopper DeAndre Liggins, the Bulldogs will let a handful of players take a shot at keeping him in check.

Coach Brad Stevens says his team respects Walker but can't focus too much attention on him because it could leave room for other UConn players to get loose.

Categories: Sports
Tags: sports

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 01, 2011

Senator Kirk Says US Should Provide Weapons to Rebels in Libya

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says Libyan rebels should be given weapons to help them quickly overthrow Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

The Illinois Republican says furnishing weapons will help end the Libyan war and limit costs for the United States and its allies.

Kirk told reporters Friday that conflicts should be rough and violent if that's what it takes to achieve a quick victory.

"When you're in a conflict, make it rough make it violent, so that it is over quickly," said the Senator. "If we win this war as fast as possible it will cost less. It will create less turmoil in the Arab world and it will calm international economies."

NATO and some nations say an arms embargo rules out providing weapons to the Libyan rebels. But President Barack Obama's administration suggests arming them might be an option.

Kirk also says the United States should recognize the rebels as the legitimate representatives of Libya's people, as France has done.

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 01, 2011

Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse Set for $25M Upgrade

Butler University officials hope the recent success of the school's men's basketball team can help attract donations for a $25 million restoration of the Bulldogs' home arena.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that Hinkle Fieldhouse's restoration will begin in the summer of 2012.

About $4.8 million has been raised for the project. Butler's vice president for university advancement, Mark Helmus, says he's "certainly pleased'' the Bulldogs' repeat Final Four trip coincides with the school's plans to expand its fundraising appeal to the general public over the coming months.

The Hinkle restoration will include adding more chair-type seats to the 1928 basketball arena. Those chairs will reduce Hinkle's seating capacity from about 10,000 to about 8,500. But Helmus says "most people don't want season tickets if they're not in chairs.

Categories: Sports
Tags: sports

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - April 01, 2011

Monthly Indicator of State’s Economy Shows Gradual Improvement

A quick look at the state's overall economy shows improvement from the recession, but at a painstakingly slow pace.

The author of the monthly University of Illinois Flash Index says March marked the 11th consecutive month of improvement at 96.3, up two-tenths of a point from a month earlier. Anything below 100 still indicates a decline.

U of I economist Fred Giertz cites a January unemployment rate, both statewide and nationally - of 8.9 percent, as well as job growth in the private sector. But Giertz says Illinois is still a long way from where it wants to be, noting the difference between the current recession and those of recent years.

"It was also accompanied by a financial panic," he said. "A lot of people have noted those kind of situations, which occur very rarely, are also much more difficult to recover from. So we're not going to bounce back the way we did in 2001 or 1990."

The flash index is made up of individual and corporate tax receipts through the end of the month. Giertz says the tax hike passed by the legislature in January presented a challenge for him. He says those numbers had to be adjusted to reflect the overall economy, and not solely the higher rates. "So the fact is once you do that, the growth is a whole lot slower than you might think by just looking at the numbers themselves." said Giertz.

Because corporations file tax returns at different times, Giertz says it will take some time before the impact of the tax increase is fully realized.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - April 01, 2011

Quinn to Propose Changes to Workers’ Comp in Illinois

Gov. Pat Quinn is getting ready to propose changes to the workers' compensation system in Illinois.

The Chicago Democrat on Friday said both the law and the Workers' Compensation Commission must be revamped. He says changes to the law would make the system more affordable for businesses while remaining fair to workers.

Quinn's comments come amid a federal investigation into possible workers' compensation abuses at state agencies and in the actions of arbitrators. The Associated Press has obtained five subpoenas looking for claims data.

Quinn says he's talking to lawmakers and wants Republicans and Democrats to work together on an overhaul.


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