Illinois Public Media News

AP - Illinois Public Media News - January 17, 2012

Counselors: Plan Could Cut U of I In-State Spots

High school counselors worry that if the University of Illinois starts using an application system that allows students to apply to a number of top schools at once, spots at the university for in-state students could drop.

The university is considering joining the Common Application Consortium as part of a new enrollment plan. Administrators who like the application system say it gives universities access to a broader pool of applicants.

But The News-Gazette in Champaign (http://bit.ly/zV1UDn ) reports that many high school counselors wrote President Michael Hogan last year to complain.

They say it could limit students' access to the university while also adding to their workload. The system requires recommendation letters from counselors and teachers that the university doesn't now consider.

A decision is not expected soon.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 17, 2012

Champaign County Board to Consider Raises for Elected Officials

The Champaign County Board will get its first look Tuesday night at a proposal to raise salaries for countywide elected officials.

County Administrator Deb Busey's proposal outlines three options, providing the greatest increases to the county clerk, treasurer, and sheriff. The memo applies to fiscal years 2013 through 2016.

But County Board Chair and Democrat Pius Weibel, who would also benefit under the memo sent out by Busey, said he is leery of any increases when Illinois' fiscal situation is so unstable.

"The state has been erractic in making payments to us, so we can't depend upon them," he said. "This deals with more than the issue of pay raises, how to budget when you have an uncertain income?"

Democrat Brendan McGinty, who chairs the board's finance committee, suggests the proposal comes from overconfidence in one-time balances. He favors Option 1 of 3, which freezes salaries for the Circuit Clerk, Coroner, Recorder, and Auditor over four years, while the County Clerk, Treasurer and Sheriff receive 2-percent increases each year through 2016.

"That's something we think we can afford," McGinty said. "That's something that I think is fair, based on today's economy, and something that also reflects our seriousness as a whole with the county when we deal with nearly 1,000 employees."

A comparison with other Central Illinois counties shows average salaries for officials are more in McLean, Peoria, and Sangamon. But County Board Republican Alan Nudo said the memo should be expanded to salaries in the private sector.

"It's a self-fulfilling prophecy," he said. "One county looks at what the others are doing, and they say 'hey, we're behind', so then they jump ahead, and then the next county looks at it and says 'hey, we're behind', and they jump ahead. I want to see what competition in the private sector is doing as a true base."

Nudo also said he wants the board to consider some worst-case scenarios, like members did in the spring of 2008.

There's no rush for the board consider the raises. A new salary schedule must be released by May.

The Champaign County Board Committee of the Whole meets Tuesday night at 6 as the Brookens Administrative Center.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 17, 2012

Victim in I-74 Accident Identified

The Champaign County Coroner's office has identified the woman who died after she apparently jumped from a highway overpass in Champaign Monday afternoon.

46-year old Stephanie Wallace of Champaign died from multiple blunt force injuries, striking a van on eastbound Interstate 74, and rolling to the south side of the roaway. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 1 p.m.

State Police Sergeant Bill Emery said METCAD received numerous calls around 12:45 Monday that a woman was on the Neil Street bridge. The accident remains under investigation by the Coroner's Office and Illinois State Police.

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - January 16, 2012

Ill. Union Alleges Secrecy on Closing Facilities

A major Illinois union is accusing Gov. Pat Quinn of excluding the public from the process of deciding whether to close some state institutions.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is angry that Quinn aides have been meeting quietly with a handful of legislators to discuss closing facilities for people with mental disabilities and illnesses.

The Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled also complained about the meetings Monday.

Quinn tried to close several facilities last year but was rebuffed by lawmakers. Now he is working on a new proposal, which his office says will be announced soon. The Democratic governor says closing outdated facilities will save money and improve care.

Another group, Equip for Equality, supports the way Quinn is planning the closures.

Categories: Business, Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - January 16, 2012

Ind. Lawmakers Ponder More for State Fair Victims

Indiana lawmakers could provide an additional $4 million for victims of last summer's stage collapse at the state fair.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, said Monday he plans to introduce legislation for fair victims by the end of the week or early next week.

Espich has not settled on a final amount, but said $4.2 million would pay for medical costs not already covered by the $5 million already paid out by the state and give each family of those who died an additional $400,000. The additional money would help make victims and their families "financially whole" again, he said, but would not be enough to compensate for every loss.

"There is no right or wrong answer on these things," Espich said. He plans on adding the money to a broader spending bill that could include funding for full-day kindergarten and restore some cuts in education spending.

Gov. Mitch Daniels included a one-time payout for fair victims in his 2012 legislative agenda but said he wants to hear from lawmakers before deciding on a specific amount.

Seven people died and 58 others were injured in August when stage rigging collapsed at the fair before a scheduled performance by the country duo Sugarland. International engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti is conducting an investigation of the rigging and national emergency planning advisers Witt Associates are reviewing the state's emergency plans and its response to the collapse.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Kenneth Feinberg, a victims' claims expert who crafted formulas for compensating victims of tragedies ranging from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to the Virginia Tech shootings, developed a plan that covered two-thirds of medical costs for most of the people who survived the collapse. It also paid out at least $300,000 to each of the families of the deceased.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, said he has not had a chance to review any state fair proposals yet, but Espich's idea sounds logical.

Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, introduced legislation to raise the state's total liability to $22 million and increase the individual maximum payout to $1.3 million. He came up with the amount using cost-of-living adjustments since the $5 million cap was set in 1974. He has not been able to get a hearing for his legislation yet.

DeLaney said the response he has received from constituents supporting his measure is: "'Why don't we just fess up and pay a fair amount?

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - January 16, 2012

Ill. Union Alleges Secrecy on Gov’s Plan to Close Facilities

A major Illinois union is accusing Gov. Pat Quinn of excluding the public from the process of deciding whether to close some state institutions.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is angry that Quinn aides have been meeting quietly with a handful of legislators to discuss closing facilities for people with mental disabilities and illnesses.

The Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled also complained about the meetings Monday.

Quinn tried to close several facilities last year but was rebuffed by lawmakers. Now he is working on a new proposal, which his office says will be announced soon. The Democratic governor says closing outdated facilities will save money and improve care.

Another group, Equip for Equality, supports the way Quinn is planning the closures.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 16, 2012

Rantoul Woman Dies After Accident at I-74

Illinois State Police say a Rantoul woman is dead after apparently jumping from the Neil Street highway overpass in Champaign Monday afternoon.

Sergeant Bill Emery says the 46-year old woman then struck a van on Interstate 74 at 12:45 p.m., and was pronounced dead about an hour later. Emery says no motorists were injured. The woman's name is not being released pending notification of family.

Eastbound I-74 was closed for more than an hour, but the highway was re-opened to traffic at 2 p.m.

Categories: Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 16, 2012

Report Inconclusive on Verchota Death

The Champaign County Coroner says it will be several weeks before results are ready from additional testing in the death of Champaign Attorney Allen Verchota. The body of the 50 year old Verchota was discovered lying along the side of Briar Hill Road in west Champaign, early Friday morning, during last week's snowfall.

Coroner Duane Northrup says the results of a preliminary autopsy into the cause of death were inconclusive. Northrup doesn't suspect foul play. But he says he hasn't ruled out death due to exposure, pre-existing medical conditions or a combination of those factors.

Categories: Biography, Government, Politics

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 13, 2012

Several Events Scheduled to Remember Rev. Martin Luther King

There will be music and speeches at Friday's Martin Luther King Jr. Countywide Celebration in Champaign. It's the 11th year for the annual program which is just one of several area events remembering the accomplishments of the late civil rights leader.

But besides looking at King's legacy, the program also looks at the contributions made by Champaign-Urbana area residents. Celebration Committee member Joan Walls says the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award will go to Champaign Consortium director Al Anderson.

"When you look at Al's biography, he talks about wanting to make a difference", says Walls. "He talks about being raised in Cabrini-Green, one of the nation's most dangerous public housing complexes in the Chicago area. And it's always been a passion for him not only do great things for himself, but to reach out and be of service to so many others."

Others being honored at the Friday program include Donna Camp, for her work in organizing the Wesley Evening Food Pantry, and Carlos Donaldson, who worked for the desegregation of Urbana schools as a member of the Urbana Neighborhood Committee.

In Danville, activities remembering Dr. King include the annual march and motorcade through the city. Danville Human Relations Administrator Sandra Houston says everyone is welcome to walk or ride in the event, which begins Monday morning at 10 AM at the corner of Main and Logan in Danville.Along the way, participants will stop at the Martin Luther King monument at the corner of Jackson and Williams for a small ceremony. Then, it's on to St. James United Methodist Church at 504 North Vermilion, for the celebration service at 11:30 AM.

Houston says the event, which started in 1986, is a happy time for the participants. "We recognize we are a city of different cultures and ethnic groups, and it's just our time to come together and fellowship with each other", she says. "People are there because they believe, they believe in civil rights, they believe in and human rights, and they believe in the legacy of Dr. King."

At the Eastern Illinois campus in Charleston, members of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will mark the 25th anniversary of their Martin Luther King March and Candlelight Vigil on Monday afternoon. The event is open to the EIU and Charleston community.

The march begins at 5:30 PM at Thomas Hall on the EIU campus, with participants proceeding to the Martin Luther King Union, where a vigil program will be held in the Grand Ballroom at 6 PM.

Khelan Todd of Alpha Phi Alpha's Zeta Nu chapter at EIU says the march and vigil brings students and faculty together. "It's very warm and welcoming", says Todd of the annual event. "I think the students and the faculty really enjoy it."

Other Champaign-Urbana programs remembering Martin Luther King:

FRI, Jan. 13th: MLK Countywide Celebration, 4 PM, Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S Neil, Champaign. Keynote Speaker: State Sen. Kwame Raoul. Music: Noah Brown & Company and Mo' Betta' Music program, directed by Nathaniel Banks.Free to the public.

SUN Jan 15th, The annual Martin Luther King Community Celebration, 5 PM, University of Illinois Krannert Center.

MON, Jan. 16: The Martin Luther King Unity Breakfast, 8:30-10:30 am, at the Vineyard Church, Urbana.

MLK Day Events in Danville:

SUN Jan. 15: MLK Scholarship Banquet, 4 PM, Days Hotel, 77 N. Danville. The recipient of the annual MLK scholarship will be announced. Banquet admission: $20. Reservations taken through noon on Friday, Jan. 12th, at Danville Human Relations Dept., 217-431-2280.

MON Jan. 16 MLK March/Motorcade, Vigil & Service, motorcade beginning at 10:30 AM (lineup starts at 10AM) at corner of Main & Logan, with 11:30 AM Service at St. James United Methodist Church, Danville. Info: Danville City Hall: 217-431-2280.

MLK Day Events in Decatur:

SUN Jan. 15, 4 PM Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gospel Concert. Free. Antioch Missionary Baptist Church 530 W. Mound Road Decatur, IL Info: Tony Carson, 520-7260.

MON Jan. 16; "Remembering the Dream" panel discussion, Old King's Orchard Community Center, 815 N Church St., Decatur IL.

MLK Day Events in Charleston;

MON Jan. 16 MLK March and Candlelight Vigil, with March beginning at 5:30 PM at Thomas Hall on the EIU campus, and Vigil at 6 PM at the Grand Ballroom of the MLK Jr. Union. Open to EIU and Charleston community. Contact: Khelan Todd, khelantodd@gmail.com

Categories: Civil Rights, History

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - January 13, 2012

U of I Professors Criticize Enrollment Management Plan

University of Illinois Michael Hogan's controversial enrollment management plan came in for criticism in a memorandum sent to the Board of Trustees Thursday by 123 professors holding chair appointments on the Urbana campus.

The letter was written by Professor Edward Kolodzief, director of the U of I Center for Global Studies. He argues that treating the University of Illinois as a single entity for enrollment purposes creates an "artificial whole" that is less than the sum of the school's three individual campuses. Kolodzief raises concerns that such "rebranding" of the U of I will create new administrative layers. At the same time he says it could weaken the capacity of each campus to match resources to student needs. Kolodzief says a centralized enrollment process will add new layers of administration, which won't have the knowledge and experience that current admissions staff at each campus have developed.

"It is a continuing process of people expert in Admissions to have a marriage between the diversity of the student body that we bring here ... and the faculty capabilities that we have", Kolodzief said in an interview with Illinois Public Media. "And you can't command that."

Kolodzief also raised concerns that a centralized enrollment management system will impair the university's fund-raising efforts. And he says it would drive away top faculty talent.

"Eventually, we all die, don't we?" says Kolodzief. "And other people have to replace us. And this university will survive, I would like to believe, even at a point now if which we have some challenges. But on the other hand, it might not survive as well as it might, if we, in effect, begin losing the core leadership --- intellectual and academic --- of our core faculty."

The 123 Urbana faculty members who signed the letter include novelist Richard Powers, pianist and conductor Ian Hobson and Nobel Physics Laureate Anthony Leggett.

PDF Text of Memorandum: Hoganfinalshortercopy.pdf

Categories: Education

Page 525 of 849 pages ‹ First  < 523 524 525 526 527 >  Last ›