News

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced in a hush-money scandal and admitted to molesting children; Governor Bruce Rauner said he hopes for a 2-year budget deal with legislative leaders by the end of May; and the governor insists contact negotiations with AFSCME are at an impass.  Kerry Lester of the Daily Herald joins the panel.

The Scene With Photographer David Brodsky

Apr 28, 2016
brodskyphotoart.com

This week The Scene is joined by guest host David Brodsky, who often takes pictures of unwitting subjects. You can find a profile piece about him here. A collaborative show will include his work, it's called Translations and opens on Friday night. Take a listen to learn more:

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A youthful mistake could be a burden for life, according to a study released Thursday by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / NPR | Illinois Public Radio

The advent of warmer weather coincides with the release of yet one more bit of evidence about the positive impact of outdoor play.

While teachers have observed more young children wearing eyeglasses, no real research offered much  explanation for this phenomenon.  Some theorized that children spend more time indoors looking at screens, missing out on using their eyes for much long-distance viewing.

WUIS Public Radio

UIS ethnomusicologist Yona Stamatis speaks with Maestro Alastair Willis and featured musicians Wu Tong and Mike Block about this weekend's Illinois Symphony Orchestra Concert - Musical Pictures of the Silk Road.

The concert will present Borodin’s "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and Zhao Lin’s "Duo for Sheng & Cello" featuring Chinese rock star Wu Tong on sheng and Silk Road Ensemble cellist Mike Block.  Mussorgsky’s epic "Pictures at an Exhibition" brings Alastair Willis’s tenure as Music Director of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra to a brilliant close.

UIS Community Garden Facebook Page

We're more than halfway through Earth Week. At the University of Illinois Springfield, there are still events planned. 

flickr/ Jim Bowen

Looking beyond our state’s borders and into Illinois’ past for a playbook to end the current budget standoff. 

Recently, Illinois Issues looked at the issue of whether the Pregnancy Fairness Law, which was enacted last year, has been effective. This is a story about a woman for whom the law came too late.

Illinois business leaders say the state could significantly grow jobs related to math and science if it can develop the workforce needed to do those jobs.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said he's hopeful he and Democratic lawmakers can reach a two-year budget deal by the end of next month. The state's already gone 10 months without a budget and that's crippled higher education and human services.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois/Illinois Issues

Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Auburn High School this morning. Rauner told students the main reason he was in their gymnasium was to thank their teachers for doing the most important job in the America. But he also promoted his plan to increase school funding statewide by about $50 million.

 

That plan would end up costing some needy districts millions of dollars, while adding funds to wealthier areas, because the money would be funneled through a formula widely described as the most inequitable in the nation.

NPR/Getty Images

A federal judge has sentenced Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison in a hush-money case that centered on accusations that the former U.S. House speaker sexually abused at least four students when he was a high school wrestling coach.  

Ed Yohnka

The bathroom Alex McCray used during his sophomore year at Williamsville High School was small, dark, subject to extreme temperature fluctuations, and inconveniently located. Near the end of his junior year, he asked school administrators to allow him to use the boys' bathroom. McCray, who was born female, has identified as male for several years.

NPR/Getty Images

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is stepping before a judge to learn his punishment in a hush-money case centered on sex-abuse allegations.

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie, chairs the Asian-American caucus.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Members of a tax policy group based in Washington D.C., came to Springfield Tuesday to oppose two pieces of legislation that would change Illinois' income tax from a flat rate to rates based on how much a taxpayer earns. The change would depend on lawmakers passing a proposed amendment to the state's constitution and voters approving it in the fall.

Daniel X. Nell/flickr

NPR Illinois' Sean Crawford talks with the State Journal-Register's Business Editor Tim Landis:

Courtesy of Shannon Bumann

When a member of the military is laid to rest, the funeral traditionally concludes with three volley shots and the playing of "Taps" -- a bugle call that dates back to the Civil War. But finding a musician available to perform on short notice can be a challenge.

A  student in Woodhull, Illinois, about 20 miles north of Galesburg, inspired legislation that could make it easier. 

jhs117.org

Jacksonville High School sports teams will likely continue seeing red.

An advisory committee found little interest in changing the teams' "Crimsons" nickname.

But the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports  the group suggests developing a standardized "J'' on jerseys and clothing.

Committee chairman Craig Albers says no one suggested dropping "Crimsons" but modifying it with "Knights" or other mascot-suitable character.

AFSCME Council 31

Contract negotiations between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and a union representing Illinois state workers have reached the state labor board.

NPR/Stockphoto

Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism.  Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Child protection investigators in Illinois can now get hands-on training in the state's capitol.

As the state budget stalemate drags through its 10th month, school funding has emerged as one of those pivotal issues that has the potential to coerce lawmakers into compromise. After all, neither party wants to be the reason that schools don’t open in the fall. But there’s a big battle brewing over the question of how we should fund schools.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois/Illinois Issues

It’s official: Governor Bruce Rauner today signed legislation that provides a bit of relief to state colleges and universities desperate for funds. 

Dick Durbin
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Fallout continues from the lead contamination of the water supply in Flint, Michigan.

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is among the Democratic lawmakers pushing for a series of new laws in response to the crisis.

UIS Campus Relations

George Sheldon, director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, is expected to be at the University of Illinois Springfield Monday to dedicate a new training center on campus.

The training center opened in February. It  has a mock trial room and a simulated residential setting that are meant to emulate situations that investigators could face in the field.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

The Illinois legislature sent a measure to the governor Friday giving $600 million to community colleges and public universities the first state funding they've seen in almost 10 months. It was a bi-partisan effort to push short-term spending by rank-and-file members frustrated by the budget impasse.

As one statehouse reporter put it, the main headline from this week is "Something finally happens in Springfield." Democrats and Republicans came together to pass stop-gap funding for higher education in Illinois.

Sarah Mueller

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse. 

Illinois university presidents were stunned last night as the funding measure they thought would provide the first state funds in almost a year suddenly disappeared.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

Members of the Illinois House spent Thursday evening congratulating themselves thinking they were minutes from passing a bipartisan measure sending 600 million dollars in emergency funding to the state community colleges and public universities. But, the vote never happened.

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