On the 21st: We explored why the state seems so divided along partisan lines. We also talked about the University of Chicago's letter to incoming freshmen about trigger warnings and safe spaces, and learned about a new exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
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.
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 first Urbana Sweetcorn Festival was held more than 40 years ago. Urbana Business Association Executive Director Paris Blalock says the list of food options keeps expanding, with more than 80 vendors downtown this weekend.
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.
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.
On the 21st: We got advice from retirees, a financial planner, and healthy aging expert for how to plan for - and enjoy - retirement. We also learned about why small music venues are being asked to pay thousands of dollars in unexpected taxes and met a jazz band that will be performing in Illinois this weekend.