Graph showing Illinois' statewide video gaming machine count, 2012-2016
WNIJ & summer 2016 data visualization course, Department of Computer Science, Northern Illinois University (Mohammed Jaffer Ali)
August 29, 2016

Video Gaming Reaches New Heights In Illinois

Video gaming machines have been popping up in Illinois bars and restaurants for nearly four years. For the most part, the increase in gaming machines and in revenue across the state has been steady. There are nearly 24,000 video gaming machines in Illinois, and the amount played over the last few years is in the billions of dollars -- with a b. 


A picture of the emerald ash borer
USDA Photo Service
August 29, 2016

Emerald Ash Borer Continues Destruction

The emerald ash borer continues to devastate ash trees in Champaign and surrounding areas.  The City of Champaign has removed about one third of the ash trees on its property since the insect was first found in the city in 2006.


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.


Mike Frerichs
(Sean Powers/WILL)
August 26, 2016

New Law Makes Insurance Companies Find, Pay Beneficiaries

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to force insurance companies to locate beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance policies and pay them money they're owed. Democratic Treasurer Michael Frerichs says his office has identified more than $550 million in unpaid benefits owed to Illinois residents.


 In this April 28, 2015 file photo, former Tribune Company CEO Dennis FitzSimons who is part of the group, Independent Map Amendment speaks at a news conference in Chicago.
Sophia Tareen/Associated Press
August 25, 2016

Illinois Redistricting Referendum Won’t Appear On Ballot

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled a voter referendum seeking to change the system Illinois uses to draw political boundaries is unconstitutional, meaning it can't appear on the November ballot. Gov. Bruce Rauner responded Thursday, saying the decision "does nothing to stem the outflow or change people’s views of how the system is rigged and corrupt."


Lisa Creason, members of the Richland Community College staff, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet.
Governor Bruce Rauner's press office
August 25, 2016

Decatur Woman Can Petition To Become Nurse Under New Law

A new state law will enable people with certain felony convictions to get a second chance to pursue careers in health care.  Governor Bruce Rauner signed the legislation Thursday at Richland Community College in Decatur. That’s where local resident Lisa Creason earned a nursing degree in 2014, only to learn she didn’t qualify for an RN license because of a conviction nearly 20 years ago.


Dr. David Gill
David Gill campaign
August 25, 2016

Judge Keeps David Gill On 13th Congressional District Ballot

Bloomington physician David Gill has successfully sued to keep his name on the ballot in Illinois' 13th Congressional race. David Gill is running as an independent, and failed to file the number of valid signatures required by Illinois law. A federal judge says Gill must remain on the ballot, but the Illinois Attorney General is reviewing the judge's order.


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