illinois

AFSCME COUNCIL 31

A bipartisan panel of Illinois lawmakers heard hours of testimony Monday from both sides regarding Governor Rauner's desire to close the Hardin County Work Camp.

The Illinois Supreme Court today struck down a recently passed law designed to fix the nation's worst funded public pension system, putting Illinois lawmakers and the state's new Republican governor back to square one as they try to solve a huge state budget crisis.

The law enacted in December 2013, would have eliminated annually occurring 3% cost of living increases in pension benefits. It also would have upped the retirement age for state workers and limited the amount of salary that could be used to calculate pensions.

Democratic lawmakers in Illinois sought to turn back proposed cutbacks in workers' compensation benefits with a rare eight-hour hearing Tuesday before the entire Illinois House.

House Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan convened the hearing in response to workers' compensation changes proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Health officials in Illinois are trying to find the source of a measles infection, after five babies were diagnosed with the contagious respiratory disease in a Chicago suburb. Saying that more cases are likely, a health official warns, "The cat is out of the bag."

Because the Illinois patients are all under a year old, they can't be vaccinated. The new cluster of cases joins more than 100 other reports of measles in 14 states this year; most of them have been traced to an outbreak at Disneyland in California in December.

iStockPhoto

WKMS staff will have ongoing coverage throughout today and tonight with the latest poll results in state and local elections. Information on Kentucky election results are here.

Tennessee numbers come from the Tennessee Board of Elections website. Illinois numbers are from WBEZ.

Races with a candidate's name italicized and in bold have been named winner.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we'll be posting updates and winners. 

Frank Hennenfent is a typical Illinois farmer. At this time of year, he spends countless hours in an air-conditioned, GPS-equipped combine – an enormous machine that can harvest as many as 12 rows of corn at a time.

But in late September, Hennenfent was going back to the basics. He was a top competitor at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.

Area Grape Harvest Ahead Of Schedule

Sep 2, 2014
The recent heat wave in the Midwest has sped up the harvesting process for local wine producers. In addition, the heavy amount of rainfall throughout the spring has cost some vintners a significant amount of money. 

According to Jerry Smith, owner of River Ridge Winery in Commerce, Mo., vintners want little to no rainfall after late June.Vintners need it to be dry when they harvest their grapes.

Lance Dennee

Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representative’s 15th District, Eric Thorsland told residents in Brookport he wants to see funds put into the village’s levee repairs.

New Law Passed on Poker Runs in Illinois

Jun 11, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Charity Poker Runs are now under the control of local county governments in Illinois. The law simplifies the permitting process and reduces the fee for charity poker runs to a maximum of 25-dollars.  

Pokers Runs typically involve five pre-determined stops where participants on some sort of vehicle, often motorcycle, draw a playing card or a colored marble in an effort to build a winning poker hand. Governor Pat Quinn signed the Poker Runs law Tuesday at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Marion.  

Severe Weather Sweeps Through Western KY and Southern IL

Jun 5, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Communities throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois are contending with high water, hail damage, and downed trees this morning following severe storms that passed through our region last night. 

Residents in Beulah in Hopkins County reported a large funnel cloud at about 7:30 p.m., and a large wedge-shaped tornado close to a mile wide was reported in Christian an hour later.  Winds of up to 70 miles an hour were recorded near Elkton in Todd County. 

Pages