Illinois Public Media News

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 26, 2011

Blagojevich Sentencing Delayed

A federal judge has delayed the sentencing date for ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

A notice posted electronically Monday at the U.S. District Court in Chicago says simply that Blagojevich's Oct. 6 sentencing date has been "stricken until further order by the court.'' It doesn't offer a reason for the delay.

There had been speculation that the impeached governor's sentencing could be pushed back because of a scheduling conflict with another trial.

The trial of a one-time fundraiser for Blagojevich, William Cellini, is set to start on Oct. 3. U.S. District Judge James Zagel is the judge in both cases. A new date wasn't immediately announced.

Blagojevich's attorney, Sheldon Sorosky, says a federal judge is likely to set the convicted former governor's new sentencing date for late October or early November. He says Judge James Zagel did put off the sentencing because it conflicted Cellini's trial.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 23, 2011

UI Students Show Off Solar-Powered Home in Energy Competition

University of Illinois students are taking part in a competition where they are presenting a solar-powered home that they have designed and constructed. It's part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, an event that has attracted students from 20 universities around the world.

Graduate student Beth Neuman is the project manager for the U of I's team. She said her team's entry is designed to serve as an immediate replacement for people whose homes were destroyed by a tornado.

"Last year, multiple tornadoes came through Central Illinois, and we actually visited Streator, Illinois, and they were hit by a tornado, and a lot of families were affected by that," Neuman said. "So, we sort of wanted to focus on a market that was closer to home, and help people in our own community."

Neuman said the portable home can be shipped in two units by truck, with solar panels mounted on the roof. She estimates the cost for a single home at around $260,000. However, she said if it was mass produced, it would be more affordable. Neuman said architecture, affordability, and energy balance are just some of the factors that each home will be judged on in the competition.

The houses in the Solar Decathlon are currently on display at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. A winner will be announced Oct 1.

Categories: Education, Energy, Technology

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 23, 2011

VA Health Center in Danville Alerts Vets About Privacy Breach

A veterans health center in Danville has alerted more than 500 veterans of a breach involving their personal information that puts them at risk for identity theft.

The Commercial News in Danville reports an appointment book from the VA Illiana Health Care System has been missing since July 14.

The appointment book included veterans' last names and last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

Illiana director Michael Hamilton says there's no reason to believe the information has been misused or stolen. He says the VA is alerting veterans so they can take precautions against identity theft.

Precautions include requesting a free credit report and placing a "fraud alert'' on credit accounts.

Hamilton says VA staff members are reviewing policies and procedures in hopes of preventing future breaches.

Categories: Criminal Justice, Health
Tags: crime, health

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 23, 2011

U of Ill. Fundraising Campaign Tops $2.25 billion

The University of Illinois has reached its third largest fundraising goal ever of $2.25 billion.

Money from the Brilliant Futures campaign came from university graduates, corporations and other groups. Foundation spokesman Donald Kojich said private donations are becoming more important, especially in this economy.

"State support for public higher education has declined significantly over the last three decades," Kojich said. "Institutions have raised tuition, but to be able to also be able to have another revenue stream, private giving is now more important than ever."

Money from the fundraising campaign will primarily be split up among the university's three campuses. The Champaign-Urbana campus is slated to receive more than $1.5 billion from the campaign. The Chicago campus will receive $593 million and the Springfield campus will get about $26 million.

"It will go to support a variety of different areas - scholarships, faculty support, student support, various academic programs, could be some capital programs in terms of buildings," Kojich explained.

The U of I Foundation said it raised $2.267 billion in donations, but it will continue the campaign until Dec. 31.

Categories: Economics, Education

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 23, 2011

Plan OK’d to Distribute Stage Collapse Donations

The families of the seven people killed in the Indiana State Fair stage collapse will receive $35,000 each from a relief fund that collected donations for the victims.

The Indiana State Fair Commission approved a distribution formula on Friday that would allocate smaller amounts to the more than 40 people injured in the Aug. 13 collapse.

The formula recommended by victims' compensation specialist Kenneth Feinberg will give $25,000 to those hospitalized for at least 10 days and $7,500 or $3,000 to those hospitalized for shorter periods.

Attorney John Trimble says that formula could distribute about $700,000 of the just under $800,000 that has been donated to the fund. The relief fund is separate from the $5 million the state says it will pay toward legal claims.

Categories: Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 22, 2011

Axelrod: Emanuel ‘Never’ Close to Being Fired by President Obama

A new book claims President Barack Obama was close to firing Rahm Emanuel before his chief of staff left to run for Chicago mayor. But the president's top strategist says the book is littered with fiction.

Ron Suskind's Confidence Men quotes an unnamed source saying Emanuel "would have been fired" if he hadn't moved back to Chicago when former Mayor Richard Daley announced his retirement.

Obama strategist David Axelrod - now back in Chicago - was in the White House at the time, and says Emanuel was "never" close to losing his job.

Axelrod says Emanuel provided strong leadership in the White House, and the president appreciated that.

"Rahm was a enormously positive force in the White House and much of what we accomplished, particularly in those early days when we were teetering on the brink of a depression, was absolutely pivotal. And the president recognized that," Axelrod said. "Rahm provided strong leadership in the White House and that was well appreciated by the president."

A spokeswoman for Emanuel declined to comment.

Suskind also describes the White House headed by Emanuel as a "boys' club," in which women had little power. Axelrod dismisses the suggestion.

"I'm not going to comment on docu-dramas," he said. "The fact is that there were so many just flat-out errors of fact in that book that reflect the overall, which is that it's just not an accurate picture."

That's a characterization also made by a White House spokesman. The author is standing by his book.

Axelrod made his comments to reporters on Thursday in Chicago, after headlining a fundraiser for congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth. Duckworth is running for the Democratic nomination in Illinois' 8th congressional district, against Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Axelrod said his endorsement for Duckworth does not mean the president will follow suit.

"No, I don't expect [he will get involved]," Axelrod said. "He doesn't involve himself in primary campaigns, and these are two friends of his, but obviously - you know, he appointed Tammy to a leadership position in his administration, so he has a high regard for her."

Duckworth, who won the Purple Heart for her service in Iraq, was an assistant secretary in the federal Department of Veterans Affairs under Mr. Obama.

The president also has ties to Krishnamoorthi, who advised Mr. Obama during both his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, and the 2008 presidential election.

Categories: Biography, Government, Politics

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 20, 2011

Marine from Champaign Dies in Helicopter Crash

A Champaign native who was a pilot in the Marine Corps has died in a helicopter crash.

Capt. Jeffrey Bland of Champaign and 1st Lt. Thomas Heitmann of Mendota were killed when the helicopter crashed during training at Camp Pendleton in California, according to a statement issued by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Their AH-1W Cobra helicopter went down Monday during training in a remote area of Camp Pendleton. The helicopter burned, igniting a brush fire.

Bland was commissioned in the Marine Corps in 1997 and Heitmann was commissioned in 2008. They were assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303, Marine Aircraft Group 39, of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Air Station Miramar.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Categories: Biography
Tags: people

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 20, 2011

Cook County Man Dies from West Nile Virus

Illinois health officials say a Cook County man has become the first person this year to die after contracting the West Nile virus.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday that the man was in his 60s and had underlying health conditions. He was diagnosed with the virus in August and died earlier this month.

Officials say eight human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois this summer. The first two were reported Aug. 19 - involving a Cook County man in his 80s and a Franklin County man in his 30s.

The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that pick up the virus after feeding on infected birds.

Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches - though most people will show no symptoms at all.

Categories: Health
Tags: health

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 20, 2011

Latinos Make Up Largest Minority Group in Illinois

U.S. Census figures show Hispanics are now Illinois' largest minority group, outnumbering African Americans. But not all communities are welcoming the trend, according to a professor a the University of Illinois.

Hispanics now make up nearly 16 percent of the state's population, an increase of nearly 500,000 people from a decade ago. The shift in demographics has put an emphasis on immigration issues such as housing and educational opportunities for Latinos and Latinas.

Jorge Chapa teaches Government and Public Affairs at the U of I, and he also co-authored the book "Apple Pie and Enchiladas: Latino Newcomers in the Rural Midwest."

"They are growing much more quickly than the capacity and the knowledge and how to serve them," Chapa said.

Chapa said very few Hispanics serve on local school boards or in other administrative roles. He said there are also communication barriers in medical care and schools. In addition to growth in Chicago and the collar counties, Illinois' Cass County has seen an influx in Latinos since the last census.


AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 20, 2011

Typhoon Delays Indiana Trade Mission to Japan

A trade mission by Indiana government and business leaders to Japan is being delayed because of a typhoon expected to hit the island nation.

The group led by Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman was set to fly from Indianapolis on Tuesday and arrive in Tokyo Wednesday evening. The typhoon is forecast to make landfall Wednesday afternoon.

Skillman's office says travel agents are working to find later flights for the trade group.

The group plans to visit Ohta City, Nagoya and Tochigi Prefecture, Indiana's sister state.

Representatives from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., Duke Energy and regional economic development groups are part of the delegation. Japanese companies employ more than 38,000 people in Indiana.


Page 542 of 816 pages ‹ First  < 540 541 542 543 544 >  Last ›