Illinois | WGLT

Illinois

Headlines from around the state, curated by the GLT newsroom. If you want more state news, listen to Illinois Public Radio's The 21st on Mondays-Thursdays at 11 a.m., and Statewide at 11 a.m. Fridays.

Victims of domestic violence are told to seek help.  But what happens when a child is violent toward parents?  A central Illinois couple says there's not enough support available.  We'll have a report.

We also hear about special education students being shipped out of state.  There are questions about the schools where they are kept at taxpayer expense.

And we hear how some people handle a holiday tradition: the political argument among family members. 

That and more on this week's Statewide.

Travel during the holidays can be stressful.  It can be even more so with a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in tow.

But the Alzheimer’s Association has some suggestions to make things go smoother and make sure all of the family can participate in activities. 

When Avital van Leeuwen was in 10th grade, she was into skateboarding, punk rock, smoking pot and feminism. Her home life was in turmoil in the aftermath of her parents’ divorce, and even though — or maybe because — she’s high IQ, she was having problems at school. She wanted to transfer to a completion program, get her high school diploma and move on. 

That plan got derailed in the wee hours one morning, when she was sitting in bed reading Bitch magazine.

“I just remember my parents coming into my room out of nowhere — both of them, which was weird… I was at my dad’s house. And they said, ‘Avital, we love you very much.’”

She instantly knew: “Something really bad’s about to happen.”

As expected, Central Illinois' congressional delegation split along party lines on the roll call for two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) both voted no.

Last year, Illinois amended its school code to limit options for districts sending special needs students out of state. Under this new amendment, districts are no longer be able to send students to states that don’t provide oversight of residential facilities. But some families quickly found a way to work around the new law. 

The amendment might as well have been called the Utah law. Because even though the plain language doesn’t mention Utah, that’s the state it excluded.

Stephanie Jones was general counsel for the State Board of Education in 2017, and she advocated for the change. But today, she acknowledges that families quickly resorted to unilateral placement as a workaround.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker approved a plan Wednesday to pool the pension funds of nearly 650 downstate police and fire departments.


Three people earned their way out of Tazewell County Drug Court Wednesday after years of effort to get clean and rebuild their lives.

Thirteen members of Peoria's Bomb Squad gang were convicted on federal racketeering charges Tuesday.

The charges alleged the 13 men engaged in murder, attempted murder, assault, and arson as part of their gang activities. 

The federal jury found Eugene Haywood, 25; Raevaughn Rogers, 20; Kenwan Crowe, 21; Ezra Johnson, 24; Jahlin Wilson, 23; Andre Neal-Ford, 21; Lance Washington, 23; Torieuanno White, 25; Sherman Williams, 25; Lloyd Dotson, 29; Keith Gregory, 20; Mytrez Flora, 25; and Kentrevion Watkins, 21; all guilty.

A University of Illinois farm economist painted the picture of just how bad 2019's wet weather was for the agricultural community.

Sterling Family Restaurant owner Louie Trilikis was honored by the City of Peoria for 30 years of service.

Every child in America has the right to a “free and appropriate public education,” thanks to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush almost three decades ago.

And if that education can’t be provided in the student’s home district, the student can go elsewhere —  also for free. Illinois taxpayers typically spend at least $25 million per year to place hundreds of students outside the state, in residential treatment centers, therapeutic boarding schools, and other private facilities designed to serve students with special needs. 

A frequent forum for political protest in Peoria was the host for about 100 ralliers calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment Tuesday.

Freshman Illinois Congresswoman Lauren Underwood says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Tazewell County deputies have arrested a 52-year-old Sunnyland man for the murder of a missing Morton man.

Representative Cheri Bustos says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

East Peoria's NuMed cannabis dispensary will sell adult-use products on New Year's Day.

The dispensary was quietly awarded permission to sell recreational cannabis last Friday by state regulators. An employee of the store confirmed they expect to have product on January 1st...but didn't know what time they'll open their doors.

The city of East Peoria approved recreational cannabis zoning regulations earlier this year. 

Former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth will join KISS next year at the Peoria Civic Center.

The show is scheduled for Feb. 20. It's part of KISS' "End of the World" Tour. 

Tickets are on sale now. 

Copyright 2019 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

The Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Bradley University students to connect Latinx businesses with resources in the community.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has not spoken to House Speaker Michael Madigan about a series of federal inquiries. That’s despite reports that investigators appear to be targeting the speaker's inner circle.

After three years of planning and construction, Peoria’s Ronald McDonald House has officially opened its doors.

It will probably be a while yet before autonomous vehicles are deployed on a widespread basis. 

The Illinois State Board of Elections' general counsel is recommending tossing out a petition challenge to 17th District congressional candidate Bill Fawell. 

In the 2017-18 school year, Illinois sent close to 350 students with special needs to private boarding schools in other states. The cost added up to more than $10 million for tuition, and close to $20 million for housing. But it’s not always possible for school officials to know exactly what that money buys, or for parents to know what’s happening to children in those facilities.

Former Democratic campaign staffer Alaina Hampton has found a new job. The news comes on the heels of her settlement in a discrimination lawsuit against organizations tied to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

The CEO of a Morton self-driving vehicle company says he doesn't think automation will impact the workforce as much as people think.

As members of the U.S. House of Representatives prepare to vote on whether to impeach President Trump this week, Republican interest groups have been waging an ad war in selected districts across the country, including in Illinois.

As members of the U.S. House of Representatives prepare to vote on whether to impeach President Trump this week, Republican interest groups have been waging an ad war in selected districts across the country, including in Illinois.

Cresco Labs is announcing the first cannabis harvest from its expanded marijuana cultivation center in Logan County.

Cresco expanded its Lincoln facility to 224,000 square feet after adult-use recreational cannabis was legalized. The company estimates it controls about 25 percent of the state's total cannabis market.

The owners of the Pillsbury Mills site will have another day in court. The Illinois attorney general’s office claims the owners have not properly secured the site against trespassers, despite a court order to do so.

That’s according to a petition filed in Sangamon County Circuit Court in Springfield last month. A hearing is set for Thursday, December 19.

A 22-year-old Mapleton man faces multiple animal cruelty and burglary charges linked to a string of disturbing incidents across rural Peoria County.

The Peoria County Sheriff's Office said Dahlton B. Deal was arrested Friday for burglary, criminal trespassing, four counts of disorderly conduct, and six counts of animal cruelty.

Police believe Deal is responsible for a number of raccoon and opossum hangings in the Glasford and Trivoli areas over the last six months.

Deal was taken to the Peoria County Jail.

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