Illinois Public Radio

Posts tagged with this author are either entirely or partially reported by the staff at Illinois Public Radio. If possible, the specific staff member who reported each story will be listed within the body of each corresponding post.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Mon June 6, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, June 6, 2011

A contractor packs down mud to strengthen the levee and a berm of sandbags line local residential and businesses to help contain the rising Missouri River in Pierre, June 1, 2011.
Flickr/SDNG photo by OC Chad Carlson

Second Breach on Missouri River Reported

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the first breach on the levee near the Missouri-Iowa border yesterday. The second breach, which is about 10 feet wide, was reported this morning.

The corps says the Iowa National Guard has been dropping thousands of pounds of large sandbags to help fill the breaches, but the damaged areas are expected to fully breach as water levels rise.

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Morning round-up
9:36 am
Tue May 31, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Illinois State Capitol
Flickr/ jglazer75

Ill. General Assembly Approves Budget

Schools are traditionally an area Illinois legislators have left untouched when they're looking to cut spending. But the budget the General Assembly approved Monday night gives 3 percent less to education for the coming year that begins in July.

Overall cuts are wide ranging and total $2.3 billion less than what Gov. Pat Quinn proposed  in Feb. That was enough for Republicans in the House, but the Senate GOP says it's still too rich.

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Illinois Redistricting
2:27 pm
Thu May 26, 2011

Ill. Republicans propose redistricting map

The Illinois Republican's version of changes in the state's legislative districts. Shown is the St. Louis surrounding area. You can explore the full map via a link in the story below.
(Screen capture via Illinois House Republicans website)

Updated at 3:52 - Replaced story from the Associated Press with story from Illinois Public Radio.

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon was used in this report.

Republicans at the Illinois statehouse Thursday countered new legislative boundaries drawn by the ruling Democrats. The GOP touts its map as far superior, but at this point it may be moot.

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Illinois & Firearms
3:17 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Names of licensed gun owners in Ill. likely to remain private

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

A plan to prohibit public disclosure of licensed gun owners is headed to the Governor, who has indicated he supports it.

The 42 to 1 Senate vote Friday would overturn a ruling earlier this year by Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office that the names are public under the Freedom of Information Act.

Madigan responded after the Illinois State Police refused to release the names to reporters.  Roughly one million people are registered to own firearms in Illinois.

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Morning round-up
9:30 am
Mon May 16, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, May 16, 2011

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to meet daily through the end of this month, when they're supposed to adjourn.
(via Flickr/Photo Illustration/Jason Dunnivant)

Illinois Legislators Return to Springfield

When Illinois legislators return to the Capitol Monday afternoon, it could be the beginning of the end. The General Assembly is scheduled to meet daily through the end of this month, when they're supposed to adjourn.

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Illinois / Education
5:59 pm
Thu May 12, 2011

Ill. House votes to cut education spending

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Legislators have given their equivalent of an "A" to an education measure heralded as landmark. After heavy negotiations, it's on its way to the governor's desk.

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Illinois Legislature
5:07 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Ill. House rejects medical marijuana, conceal-carry

The Illinois State House voted today to reject legislation legalizing medical marijuana and allowing residents to carry concealed weapons.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois state House has rejected a measure that would have allowed Illinois residents to carry a concealed weapon.

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Concealed Gun Legislation
4:47 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Ill. committee passes gun bill despite veto threat from Quinn

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn sent a message Tuesday asking lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow concealed carrying of firearms.  But an Illinois House committee ignored Quinn and advanced the measure.   It could be called for a floor vote this week.

Quinn says he doesn't want residents carrying loaded guns.

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Developing: Spring Flooding
3:07 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Communities continue to battle flood conditions in Mo., Ill.

Water has surrounded the Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church in Poplar Bluff, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A levee protecting the town from major flooding breached today and authorities are planning to evacuate about seven thousand residents.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 1:51 p.m. April 28:

Via the Associated Press:

The Black River is receding at Poplar Bluff, Mo., and some 1,000 evacuees are now allowed to go home.

Officials in the southeast Missouri community of 17,000 residents on Thursday lifted a mandatory evacuation order for a large section of town, where river water has been pouring over the top of the levee.

Residents in the impacted area can return home whenever they choose.

Many will find a mess left behind by the murky water. Officials don't yet know how many homes were damaged in Poplar Bluff and in a rural area of Butler County also protected by the levee.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that after a crest of 21.4 feet on Tuesday, the Black River at Poplar Bluff was down to 19.1 feet.

Updated 11:14 a.m. April 27:

Via the Associated Press:

The Army Corps of Engineers says it will wait until this weekend to decide whether to intentionally break a southeastern Missouri levee along the Mississippi River.

The Corps has said it may have to blow holes in the Birds Point levee to ease rising waters near the Illinois town of Cairo which sits near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Missouri has sued (see 12:58 update) to block the effort because it would swamp farmland. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

But Corps spokesman Bob Anderson tells The Associated Press that even if a judge gives the go-ahead, the agency will wait until it gets a better forecast of the river crests to see if the breach is necessary. That decision isn't likely to come until at least this weekend.

Updated 5:06 p.m. April 26:

Via the Associated Press:

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is defending the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo.

Missouri officials object to the plan, saying it would endanger 130,000 acres of prime farmland.

But Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that farmers will be compensated for their losses and will be able to use the land next year. On the other hand, flooding could devastate the poor town of Cairo.

She noted an Illinois levee was intentionally breached during 1993 flooding.

Simon also says the Army Corps of Engineers would not break the Birds Point levee until water had already topped the levee.

The Corps of Engineers says it will put off a decision until at least Wednesday.

Updated 4:20 p.m. April 26:

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she has concerns about the intentional breaching of the levee at Birds Point (via a press release):

“While emergency responders and volunteers work to save lives and protect property as best they can, the Army Corps of Engineers are working to find a solution to alleviate the stress from our levees.  I have grave concerns about the plan to intentionally breach Bird’s Point Levee that is being considered. In the effort to prevent more damage, we may do additional significant harm to the agricultural economy of the region that will last well after the flood waters recede.”

The release says McCaskill has already communicated her concerns with the Army Corps of Engineers' leadership.

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Cycling Accident Statistics
5:22 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Ill. to begin documenting "dooring" statistics from bicycle accidents

A bicycle tire.
(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

The Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't keep statistics on accidents unless a moving car is involved.  That's why Ed Barsotti with the League of Illinois Bicyclists says "dooring" was invisible in state record books.

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