Illinois head coach Lovie Smith watches during the first quarter of an Saturday's 52-3 win over Murray State Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Bradley Leeb/Associated Press
September 08, 2016

U of I Trustees OK Contract For Coach, Killeen Bonus

University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract with football coach Lovie Smith that will pay him at least $21 million over six years. At their meeting Thursday, trustees also signed off on a $100,000 performance bonus for President Tim Killeen. Under his contract, the bonus was the maximum Killeen could have received for reaching performance goals.

In this April 28, 2014 photo, Students walk past the Alma Mater statue, a landmark on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Ill.
David Mercer/Associated Press
September 08, 2016

U Of I System Enrollment Expected To Top Record 81,000; EIU Enrollment Down

Enrollment figures released Thursday show U of I enrollment from a year ago went up 1.2 percent from last fall, enrolling 77,073. That figure is expected to top 81,000 when factoring in online students. Figures in Urbana show the number of new students went up 1.8 percent, including the largest freshman class in campus history, at just under 7,600.

Champaign Centennial High School, where the District's teachers union approved a strike authorization vote Wednesday.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
September 07, 2016

‘Overwhelming Majority’ of Champaign Teachers Approve Strike Authorization Vote

Champaign Federation of Teachers President Jennifer White says a large crowd turned out at Centennial High School's auditorium Wednesday to approve a strike authorization vote. The soonest a strike could happen is mid-to-late October, but White says the union remains optimistic heading into its ninth bargaining session with Unit 4 adminstrators on September 20.

Champaign Federation of Teachers logo
Champaign Federation of Teachers Local 1925
September 07, 2016

Champaign Teachers Union Plans Strike Vote

The president of the Champaign Federation of Teachers Local 1925 says a few sticking points remain as talks with Unit 4 administrators continue with a federal mediator. A strike authorization vote is planned for Wednesday, but it doesn't necessarily mean a strike would take place. If no progress is made after negotiations on September 20, proposals from both sides will be on public display for a week, as required by law before a strike can happen.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth met with panel of Parkland College students on campus Thursday.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
September 02, 2016

Durbin, Duckworth Address Higher Ed Costs At Parkland

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth say college students are graduating with an 'overwhelming' amount of debt. During a panel at Parkland College in Champaign Thursday, the two discussed efforts to refinance the debt, increase Pell Grants, and allow for two years' free community college.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, left, and his wife Diana Rauner, right, walk down a hallway leading to a meeting of the governor's Cabinet on Children and Youth Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/Associated Press
August 31, 2016

Social Services Lose Lawsuit Asking Judge To Force State Of Illinois To Pay Them

Almost 100 social service agencies in Illinois, including one led by Illinois' first lady, were dealt a blow in a Cook County courtroom Wednesday.  Judge Rodolfo Garcia dismissed their lawsuit against the state of Illinois, which asked the court to force the state to fully pay them for work they were contracted to do during the year-long budget impasse.

The board of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, which serves more than 400,000 teachers outside of Chicago, voted to lower its expected rate of return on investments Friday in Springfield.
Seth Perlman/AssociatedPress
August 26, 2016

Illinois’ Pension Payment Expected To Increase By $400M

Illinois' contribution to the state's largest public-pension fund is expected to increase by more than $400 million next year after the board overseeing the account, trustees with the Teachers' Retirement System, lowered its expected rate of return on investments. The move could lead to higher taxes or massive cuts to education and social services.  Gov. Bruce Rauner says this could have a devestating impact on Illinois' current budget structure.

103rd District State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana)
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
August 22, 2016

Ammons-Sponsored Prison Phonecall Bill Signed Into Law

Legislation curbing the cost of calls made by Illinois prison inmates has been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner. It sets rates for inmates in Illinois correctional facilities at a maximum of 7 cents per minute for domestic calls. Sponsor and State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) says that's about half the current rate.  Rauner signed four other related measures at adult transition center in Chicago Monday.

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