Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner were part of some of 2016's biggest stories for Illinois Issues.

Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr / Rauner by Brian Mackey/WUIS

December 28, 2016

Illinois Issues: Top Stories Of 2016

There’s still no budget for Illinois, but some big changes to education policy kicked in this year. As the contentious presidential election played out, several national issues affected the lives of citizens here.

Illinois guard Malcolm Hill, top, fights for the ball against Maryland guard Dion Wiley, bottom, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016, in College Park, Md.

Nick Wass / AP

December 28, 2016

Maryland Never Trails In Big Ten Opening Rout Of Illinois

Melo Trimble scored 20 points and Jaylen Brantley added 13 as Maryland routed Illinois 84-59 on Tuesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Malcolm Hill had 21 points for the Illini (10-4), who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.

Carrie Fisher during Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, in Chicago.

Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

December 27, 2016

Actress Carrie Fisher Dies At Age 60

Actress Carrie Fisher, who found enduring fame as Princess Leia in the original "Star Wars,'' has died. She was 60. Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, released a statement through her spokesman saying
Fisher died Tuesday just before 9 a.m PST. Lourd said her mother was "loved by the word and she will be missed profoundly.'' 

One of Marc Nelson's pieces featuring the White Helmet rescue workers.

Rich Egger / Tri-States Public Radio

December 27, 2016

The Art of Touching Lives

Marc Nelson's goal is to teach his students at Central Junior High School in Kewanee that there is more to art than paintings hanging from a gallery wall. The students are learning that lesson by creating images of the civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria -- artwork that is shared on Twitter via the hashtag  #StandWithAleppo.

Gov. Bruce Rauner in a visit to an AutoZone distribution facility in Danville March 29.

Jeff Bossert/Illinois Public Media

December 26, 2016

Democrats Weigh 2018 Challenge To Rauner; GOP On The Attack

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner sent two clear signals when he dumped $50 million into his campaign fund: The 2018 race for Illinois governor will be a rough one, and the contest starts now. What's still unknown is which Democrats will try to unseat the multimillionaire former businessman. 

In this Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016 courtroom sketch, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, right, appears via video from a Colorado prison during his re-sentencing in a federal courtroom in Chicago.

Tom Gianni/Associated Press

December 24, 2016

Blagojevich Seeks Presidential Commutation Of Prison Term

Imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is seeking a presidential commutation of the 14-year sentence he's serving for his corruption conviction. U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Dena W. Iverson said Friday the department has received a petition for commutation from Blagojevich.

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