A bridge on the north side of Cairo Illinois.

Madelyn Beck/Illinois Newsroom

Illinois Newsroom

One Town’s Hope Rests On Money And The Mighty Mississippi

The Mississippi River system is both an artery and a vein. It pumps ag products out of the heartland and into the world while bringing back fertilizer and steel to keep that economic engine purring.

But there’s too much water. Flooding is forcing boats and barges to wait for the river to drop. In the Quad Cities, bordering Illinois and Iowa, the Mississippi just dropped below flood stage for the first time in 96 consecutive days, crushing the prior 42-day record.

Construction workers are building the foundation for new tracks at a train crossing at Ash and Third streets in Springfield. The city is hoping for money in an infrastructure bill to pay for the rest of the project.

Mary Hansen/Illinois Newsroom

May 31, 2019 - News Local/State

Why There’s A Push To Change How Illinois Funds Road Projects

For decades, lawmakers would trade votes to get a new bridge in their district for a tough vote on a tax increase to fund infrastructure. But legislators are considering a proposal to get rid of that practice.


Vicki White, president of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, reads a letter sent from an incarcerated woman. She is standing in a room lined with bookcases and book shelves full of books.

Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Newsroom

May 08, 2019 - News Local/State

Illinois Prison System Requests Huge Increase In Education Funding

Last year, the department requested and received $7,000 to spend on educational supplies. This year, the agency requested $350,000, according to Lindsey Hess, a spokesperson for IDOC.

If the proposed budget is approved by state lawmakers, IDOC Director John Baldwin said a portion of the funding would be used to purchase books for state prisons.


An employee at the Night Ministry talks with two residents of the program while they sit on a couch in a meeting room.

Vincent Johnson/The Night Ministry

April 29, 2019 - News Local/State

The Fight Over What It Means To Be Homeless — And How That Could Affect Illinois

Just because someone has four walls around them every night, that doesn’t mean they’re housed. That’s what Paul Hamann believes. He’s the president and CEO of the Night Ministry, a Chicago-based non-profit that provides shelter and healthcare services to the homeless.


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