illinois

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

"The Home of Superman," an ancient Native American city, a casino on the river, the birthplace of an African American film pioneer. These are just some of the unique things that drive tourism to Metropolis, Illinois. The Greater Metropolis Convention & Visitor's Bureau has a new director, returning to the position she initially helped create. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with director Trish Steckenrider about how the organization has grown, initiatives coming next year and some lesser known aspects of tourism in the community.

The number of confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease at California's San Quentin prison is holding steady at six, one of three outbreaks of Legionnaires' around the country that have sickened dozens and killed 20.

Another 95 San Quentin inmates are under observation because of respiratory illness, state officials said, but they have not been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease. The inmates are being treated at San Quentin's medical unit.

Illinois lawmakers set aside their bitter partisan bickering Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's partial veto of bill addressing the state's heroin crisis.

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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.

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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.

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