The chime tower at the University of Illinois' Altgeld Hall
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 31, 2017

Altgeld Concerts, Tours, On Hold For Some Time

For decades, the chimes at the University of Illinois’ Altgeld Tower were open for tours and featured in daily noon hour concerts. But that’s all over for the foreseeable future until safety repairs can be made to the tower. Meanwhile, some of the volunteers who have been giving the concerts question why it’s taken administrators so long to make a decision. The Altgeld Tower bells were dedicated in 1920.


City of Decatur logo
City of Decatur
March 30, 2017

Economy, Taxes, And Fees Among Debate Areas In Decatur Mayor’s Race

Decatur’s ability to attract business has become one of the main issues of debate before next week’s mayoral election. Challenger and longtime businessman John Phillips also contends recent hikes in property taxes and water and sewer fees are creating a burden for residents. Incumbent Julie Moore-Wolfe, a former city council member, has been in office since 2015, appointed after the passing of former mayor Mike McElroy.


Southern Illinois University seal
Wikipedia
March 29, 2017

SIU Looking At $30 Million In Budget Cuts

Illinois' budget impasse has prompted another "doomsday scenario" at Southern Illinois University – which could be voted on as early as next week. In a letter to the SIU system, President Randy Dunn outlined what he'll be asking from the Board of Trustees when they meet in Carbondale. The request includes declaration of a financial emergency.


A view of downtown Cairo shows an "Historic Downtown Cairo" gateway but also vacant lots.
Kirk Siegler / NPR
March 28, 2017

Tired Of Promises, Struggling Cairo, Ill. Wants Problems Solved

At the very southernmost tip of Illinois, the pancake flat cornfields give way to the rolling, forested hills of the Delta.

Here, at the windy confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, it feels more southern than Midwest when you arrive at the old river port and factory town of Cairo, once made famous in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.


In this June 9, 2015 photo, members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees protest outside the in Chicago.
Christian K. Lee/AP
March 18, 2017

Rauner Takes Union Fight To Illinois Supreme Court

Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken his confrontation with the state's largest public-employee union to the Supreme Court. The Republican announced Friday that his office has asked the high court to uphold a labor board ruling in his favor. That ruling last fall allowed Rauner to impose his preferred contract conditions on 38,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.


The proposed Cronus site on the north side of the highway on March 21, 2016
Darrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
March 15, 2017

Delays At Proposed Illinois Fertilizer Plant Put Tax Breaks At Risk

Cronus Chemicals will start losing part of its nearly $40 million in state tax incentives if its proposed $1.9 billion ammonia fertilizer plant in Tuscola, Ill., is not operating by July 2, according to tax credit agreements.


Candidates for Parkland College's Board of Trustees gather in the Student Union cafeteria for Monday's debate.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 07, 2017

State Budget Impasse Dominates Talk At Parkland Trustees Debate

Some of the candidates seeking seats on the Parkland College Board of Trustees admit further budget cuts may have to be considered amid a nearly two-year state budget impasse. Tuition hikes, the future of Parkland's sports programs, and the viability of having some four-year degree programs were also among the topics discussed among the community college's ten Board of Trustees candidates Monday night. 


Mayor Laurel Prussing with Alderwoman Diane Marlin at the Brookens Administrative Center Tuesday night.
Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media
March 01, 2017

Marlin Wins Primary, Tops Prussing By 900 Votes

For the first time since 2005, Urbana will have a new mayor. Alderwoman Diane Marlin bested incumbent Mayor Laurel Prussing by more than 900 votes in Tuesday’s Democratic primary – and she’ll take on Republican Rex Bradfield in the April 4th election. Marlin maintained the early lead she held through early voting, finishing with an unofficial total of 2,427 votes. Prussing had 1,510, while Evelyn Burnette Underwood finished third with 316.


Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, walks into Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office during veto session at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Springfield.
AP Photo/Seth Perlman
February 28, 2017

Illinois Senate Makes Progress On ‘Grand Bargain’

The Illinois Senate has moved forward on pieces of a budget compromise. But the tough votes are scheduled for Wednesday. The Senate approved non-contentious parts of what's called the "grand bargain'' on Tuesday. It's an effort to find a breakthrough on a two-year stalemate between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Legislature.


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