Dick Durbin | St. Louis Public Radio

Dick Durbin

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold used in this report.

Illinois' two U.S. senators are saying party leaders are trying to avoid a government shut down. Lawmakers are facing a Friday deadline to finalize the federal budget.

Illinois' senior U.S. senator, Democrat Dick Durbin, said budget negotiations with House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner are close to wrapping up.

Illinois senators question nuclear experts

Mar 25, 2011

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says the size of the evacuation zones around the six nuclear power plants in Illinois should be reviewed.

Kirk and fellow U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin held a forum Friday with a panel of four nuclear experts that resembled a congressional hearing to talk about safety in Illinois in the wake of the disaster in Japan.

(via Flickr/RealEstateZebra)

The East St. Louis Fire Department will soon be able to bolster their efforts and staffing with a federal grant, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Durbin says he'll ask nuclear experts about safety

Mar 24, 2011
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Sen. Dick Durbin says he wants answers from nuclear experts about the safety of some of Illinois' aging nuclear plants in the wake of the crisis in Japan.

The Democrat says he and fellow U.S. senator, Republican Mark Kirk, will host a forum in Chicago on Friday that will include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Morning headlines: Monday, March 7, 2011

Mar 7, 2011
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

  • A Pennsylvania man has been charged with three counts of child molestation and one count of statutory sodomy after he allegedly forced his way into a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton and molested a 9 year-old girl. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that after returning to the hotel intoxicated at around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, 42 year-old Daniel T. Hughes went to the wrong room.

A MetroLink train
File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

  • MetroLink is running regular service this morning across both tracks at the scene of an accident that happened yesterday in Pagedale. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several injuries were reported after a MetroLink light rail train hit a tow truck stalled at a crossing. The eastbound train struck the flatbed truck around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Passengers reported seeing at least five people being taken to hospitals by ambulance. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams said she was told the injuries did not appear to be serious. The tow truck was unoccupied. Investigators are trying to figure out why it stalled on the tracks.
  • The new arms control treaty with Russia approved by the Senate Wednesday had the support of Democrats in the Missouri and Illinois delegations, but not the Republicans. The treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume on-site inspections that expired a year ago. Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Dick Durbin of Illinois in voting for the START treaty, which she calls critical to the national security of the United States. Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri did not cast a vote on the treaty, while Mark Kirk of Illinois voted no.

"The relationship with Russia is key in terms of us getting the missile defense systems in place that can check Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, if in fact they decide that they will either utilize the nuclear weapons they have, the case in Pakistan, or continue to move towards nuclear capability, in the case of North Korea and Iran." - Sen. Claire McCaskill

  • St. Archbishop Robert Carlson is continuing work on what he has called his top priority - improving Catholic schools in the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that for the past year, Carlson has been meeting with parents, teachers, pastors and national experts. The goal is to develop strategies to improve Catholic education in the St. Louis Archdiocese, where enrollment in its 11 counties has been steadily declining for four decades. The newspaper says Carlson is positioning the St. Louis Archdiocese to follow the lead of other large Catholic school systems that have restructured to stop the loss of students.

"We don't have to sit by and let this happen. Let's grow this system again." - Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois is set to get millions of dollars for high-speed rail projects that were supposed to go to two other states. But that news may not be as good as it sounds.

Metro East incumbents win as expected

Nov 5, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 5, 2008 - They voted in the metro-east Tuesday, but the campaign season had little of the fervor common in the "battleground" states around the nation. With more than half of the votes in, favorite son Barack Obama rolled up a large majority in Illinois, and incumbent U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin swamped his dentist opponent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 17, 2008 - Republicans used to have a fighting chance in Illinois politics. The GOP for years held the governor's mansion and at least one of the U.S. Senate seats with such officials as Gov. James Thompson, Gov. Jim Edgar, Sen. Charles Percy and Sen. Peter Fitzgerald. Incumbent Democrats didn't have a lock on re-election in statewide races.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 7, 2008 - Update: Gov. Rod Blagojevich's spending veto, which would cut many social services, dares his fellow Democrats in the House to do something. Read the Chicago Tribune article. 

Our eariler story: Richard Durbin, senior U.S. senator from Illinois, says that not only do his constituents complain vociferously about the clash of wills between Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan, they even express their frustration to him "in writing."

Pages