News

Pritzker Says State ‘In Decent Shape’ to Further Reopen, as Vaccination Pace Slows

May 3, 2021
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Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker said Monday the state could enter the “bridge” phase to greater reopening as soon as next week, while the state’s vaccination rate continues to drop.

Speaking at a news conference at Providence Hospital in Chicago, Pritzker said Illinois is nearing the necessary metrics to reach the next phase of reopening as case numbers stabilize.

Illinois Economy Shrinks 4% in 2020, Despite 4th Quarter Growth

May 3, 2021
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U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The Illinois economy shrank by 4 percent in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on many of its sectors, although there were signs of a recovery taking place late in the year.

Those preliminary numbers, released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, showed that the leisure, hospitality and food service sector was the hardest hit by the pandemic, reporting a nearly 30 percent drop in economic output for the year.

Vienna School District
Vienna School District

Vienna High School was recently highlighted by the state for its innovative practices for juniors and seniors.

The Illinois P20 Council highlighted six schools and institutions throughout the state for implementing innovation practices to in education.

Report Into LaSalle Home Deaths Raises Questions About Criminal Probe

May 3, 2021
People
Capitol News Illinois file photo by Jerry Nowicki

Some Republicans in the General Assembly, including House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, are calling for a criminal investigation into the COVID-19 related deaths at the state-run LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

The push for a criminal probe comes after a state investigative report was released Friday that found there were widespread failures at the LaSalle facility and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs that contributed to 36 resident deaths there since November.

WSIU News Morning Update (5/3/2021)

May 3, 2021

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for May 3rd.

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SIU

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Dr. Sheila Caldwell. Caldwell was named SIU's inaugural Vice President for Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in April.

A new service is available  to help residents decide if a health issue requires going to the hospital.  Heartland Regional's Nurse Help Line is staffed around the clock.    Amy Spiller, Marketing Coordinator at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion says the idea was born after many people were not able to see a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic and small problems festered into larger health concerns.

CAPITOL RECAP: Governor's Office Unveils Energy Overhaul Bill

May 1, 2021
Capitol News Illinois

Capitol News Illinois · April 30 Week in Review

The governor’s office unveiled a 900-page energy overhaul bill Wednesday, accelerating a yearslong process which advocates hope will end in a comprehensive clean energy platform as the session nears its final month.

Delivery Service Rules, Limits on Governor’s Authority Over Unions Advance

Apr 30, 2021
Blueroomstream.com

The Illinois Senate worked through a long list of bills Thursday as lawmakers prepared to enter the final stretch of the 2021 session.

Those bills included new restrictions on third-party delivery services such as DoorDash, limits on the governor’s authority to interfere with collective bargaining agreements and new requirements to collect data on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the LGBTQ community.

Breach Reported by Attorney General Confirmed to be Ransomware Attack

Apr 30, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

A data breach reported by Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office nearly three weeks ago was a ransomware attack, according to a Thursday news release.

Raoul’s office has launched a new hotline to provide information to residents following the data breach first reported on April 10.

Monday afternoon Heartland Regional Medical Center is sponsoring a free screening for people with suspicious lumps or moles. Dr. Kevin Claffey is a General Surgeon at Heartland and says sometimes the early signs  of problems are not very obvious.

WSIU News Morning Update (4/30/2021)

Apr 30, 2021

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for April 30th.  

Pritzker Releases New Plan for Spending Multi-Billion Dollar Volkswagen Settlement

Apr 30, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration released a revised plan for how to spend the state’s share of a multi-billion dollar Volkswagen settlement, which found the vehicle manufacturer in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

Illinois initially received approximately $108 million from the settlement. The plans that were released Thursday include a $9 million grant opportunity to electrify school buses in Chicago and the Metro East, as well as redirecting the remaining $88.6 million to other electric transportation and infrastructure projects throughout the state.

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SIU School of Law

SIU School of Law Dean Camille Davidson talks with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about Law Day 2021.

Emergency Housing Assistance Bill Will Head to Governor

Apr 30, 2021

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to pass House Bill 2877, which aims to extend emergency protections to renters and homeowners financially impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It needs only a signature from Gov. JB Pritzker to become law after passing the House last week.

Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday issued its second report on maternal mortality rates in the state, which found there were 103 pregnancy-associated deaths in Illinois in 2017 – the highest number of any year in that decade.

The report looked at deaths during or after pregnancy from 2016 to 2017, with 175 pregnancy-associated deaths logged during the two-year span.

SIU's campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville will hold tuition and mandatory fees flat next year - as administrators say higher education shouldn't be out of reach because of cost.

Ethics Commission Finds Ex-Exelon Lobbyist Sexually Harassed Colleague

Apr 29, 2021
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Capitol News Illinois file photo

A state ethics commission has found a former Exelon lobbyist sexually harassed one of his female colleagues on two separate occasions in Springfield, in violation of the Lobbyist Registration Act.

David Fein, formerly Exelon’s senior vice president of state governmental and regulatory affairs, will have to pay a $6,000 fine and his lobbyist registration will be suspended until Dec. 31, according to the April 23 decision from the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission.

Southern Illinois Reads
The Carbondale Branch of the NAACP / The Carbondale Branch of the NAACP

The Carbondale Branch of the NAACP will hold book discussions through May to open up conversations across racial and socio-economic lines in the community.

SI Reads is a online discussion forum to educate people on racial issues and how to become active in building a better community.

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Inside The Blanket Fort we continue our discussion with SIU associate professor and author Joshua Vossler as he takes us on a walking tour of LaRue-Pine Hills - the subject of his new book "Snake Road" from SIU Press.

Plus, check out the latest podcast from Blanket Fort Radio Theater of "Survived by One."     Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a story telling initative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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City of Carbondale

The City of Carbondale has selected an architecture firm to design its new downtown transportation center on the east side of South Illinois Avenue.

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Carbondale Police

A man has been arrested for burglarizing a residence in the 600 block of North Allyn in Carbondale.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 37% of American adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

As more people roll up their sleeves to help end the pandemic, the CDC is continuing to study vaccine effectiveness, to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are working as expected.

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Jerry Mathers

Fans of the 1950's and 60's television show Leave It To Beaver may want to make plans to attend this fall's Comic Con in Cape Girardeau.

Judge Finds Firearm Ownership Card Law Invalid – As Applied to One Illinois Woman

Apr 29, 2021
Capitol News Illinois file photo

For the second time, a county judge in southern Illinois has ruled the state’s Firearm Owner Identification Card law unconstitutional, as applied to one state resident, Vivian Brown.

The ruling from Judge T. Scott Webb means the Illinois Supreme Court will, also for the second time, be in a position to decide whether to strike down the FOID card law as unconstitutional.

Pritzker Unveils Energy Plan Amid Session’s Final Stretch

Apr 29, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker’s office unveiled a 900-page energy overhaul bill Wednesday, accelerating a yearslong negotiating process which advocates hope will end in a comprehensive clean energy platform as the session nears its final month.

The stated goal of the bill is to drive Illinois to 100 percent “clean” energy by 2050. That, Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell said in an interview Wednesday, would include nuclear power as a major contributor. Another goal is to bring Illinois to 40 percent of its utility scale energy being produced by renewables, such as wind and solar, by 2030. Right now, that number is around 8 percent.

WSIU News Morning Update (4/29/2021)

Apr 29, 2021

Dan Klefstad and Leah Lerner report this morning's news for April 29th.

GOP Calls Out Pritzker for Backtracking on Independent Maps

Apr 29, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Peter Hancock

Illinois Senate Republicans on Wednesday harshly criticized Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, accusing him of breaking a campaign pledge to support an independent commission to redraw congressional and legislative district maps.

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's production of "Survived by One," Tom Odle briefly enters the army before being discharged, an act that sets his downward spiral in motion.   "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murder," by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is from SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a story telling initative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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Meg Kelly | NPR

The Republican Party is giving its response to President Biden's address to a joint session of Congress. NPR reporters are adding fact checks and analysis to remarks by Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. CT

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