A yard sign.
Susan Stephens / WNIJ
December 21, 2016

Railroad Will Need Eminent Domain Powers To Acquire Land

In part three of this in-depth series, before a company like Great Lakes Basin can build a railroad, it needs land.  And since much of that land is privately owned, the firm needs a way to buy it. How can a company like Great Lakes Basin Transportation convince people to sell their land when it's needed for their project? 


The Altgeld Hall bell tower, on the University of Illinois Urbana campus quad.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 21, 2016

Nearly A Century Of Chimes At Altgeld

Since the 1920's, daily concerts played on the chimes at Altgeld Hall have regaled students on the Urbana campus Quad of the University of Illinois. But only a few have been responsible for playing those chimes over the years. There’s no doubt performances will continue – it’s just a matter of who may be giving them.


A pump jack sits atop an oil well drilled by Campbell Energy this fall behind the Super 8 hotel in Grayville.
Richard Sitler / The Southern Illinoisan
December 21, 2016

Illinois Issues: Frackonomics

A few years ago, Illinois adopted regulations for high-volume horizontal fracking, but it was slow to get the permitting process up and running. Those in southern Illinois who were hoping for an economic boom have since seen the promise of fracking go bust. 


Chairs in a school classroom.
Flickr user / Alamogasement "Old School" (CC BY 2.0)
December 21, 2016

Higher Education Enrollment Numbers Down Across The State

A preliminary report on college enrollment in Illinois shows a decline at all sectors of higher education.

All three categories -- public universities, community colleges and private colleges — showed an overall drop in enrollment, according to a report from the Illinois Board of Higher Education.


U of I Law Professor Francis Boyle addresses the Urbana City Council Monday night.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
December 20, 2016

Sanctuary City Measure Passes Urbana Council On 5-1 Vote

After extensive discussion the last two weeks, the Urbana City Council has approved a resolution reaffirming its ‘sanctuary city’ status. The 5-to-1 vote was met with sustained applause from roughly 50 people who filled the council chambers Monday night. The measure saw changes from the prior week, including language specifying that no city employee can request information about someone's citizenship unless required by court order.


Firefighters walk past ambulances after a truck ran into a crowded Christmas market and killed several people in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016.
Michael Sohn/Associated Press
December 19, 2016

At Least 12 Dead After Truck Driven Into Berlin Christmas Market, Police Say

German police said at least 12 people were killed and at least 48 people were injured after a truck barreled into a packed Christmas market in Berlin. The truck was driven into the crowd on a sidewalk, bringing down Christmas lights and smashing stalls at the festive market near the Gedaechtniskirche, or Memorial Church, in western Berlin. The black truck had Polish license plates. Dozens of ambulances and hundreds of rescue workers were on the scene, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported.


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