Illinois | WGLT


Headlines from around the state, curated by the WGLT 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.

The University of Illinois Springfield is requiring weekly screening of COVID-19 for students, faculty and staff who regularly go to campus. The university is offering a saliva test developed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, named SHIELD Testing.

Roberta Koscielski realized her calling at an early age.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Monday, August 17, 2020.

The longest serving governor in Illinois history died Friday.  James R. Thompson was 84  Known as Big Jim for his stature (he stood 6'6"), he had a personality to match.  

Charlie Wheeler was already a veteran of the statehouse press corps when Thompson took office in 1977.  He would continue to cover Illinois government through Thompson's fourteen year tenure.

Despite challenges imposed by the coronavirus, area symphonies are tuning up for another season.

Jim Thompson
M. Spencer Green / AP

Former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson has died. He was 84.

Thompson was known as “Big Jim” during a long career that eventually made him the state’s longest-serving chief executive.

His wife, Jayne, told the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times that he died shortly after 8 p.m. Friday at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago. The Tribune, citing a police report, reported Thompson had been recovering there for several weeks after suffering heart problems.

Chicago’s election agency plans to allow voters to drop off their mail-in ballots at all early voting sites starting in mid-October. In Champaign County, the county clerk plans to have up to six drop boxes for voters to put their ballots in through Election Day.

Would Caterpillar Ever Abandon China?

Aug 15, 2020

U.S. companies are leaving China thanks to the trade war, noted the business magazine Forbes earlier this year. Would Caterpillar Inc., which has doing business in the country since 1975, ever consider such a move?

Officials from the Peoria Public Library and the Rotary Club of Peoria believe a new feature at the library’s Lincoln branch serves as a testament to a shared commitment to literacy.

An overnight crash caused a Peoria Fire engine to roll over–and resulted in a DUI for the driver of the second vehicle.

Health officials announced Friday the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Tri-County area since the start of the pandemic has risen to 2,633.

The conference fall sports seasons for Bradley and Illinois State universities have officially ended before they got a chance to start.

This week, the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved Governor Pritzker's intent to fine business owners who don't enforce the state's COVID-19 mitigation orders.  Also, state Senator Terry Link has been charged with tax fraud.

Amanda Vinicky of WTTW's Chicago Tonight joins the panel.

Public school students in Peoria have two options for remote learning this fall.

On this week’s episode of Out and About, George Stelluto and Mae Gilliland Wright join Jenn Gordon to talk about the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s shrewdly innovative approach to moving forward with their 123rd Season which includes access to concerts through an expanding partnership with WTVP. Learn more at Peoria Symphony Orchestra.

A passing visitor to the Sheridan Village shopping center now dominated by the Hy-Vee supermarket would see the Bergner’s name over a set of doors. Only when you look through those doors there’s only sky.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Friday, August 14, 2020.

The Springfield School District 186 board reconsidered Thursday night its decision of how to start the school year. In an emergency meeting, the board voted 5-2 for nearly all students to begin online just over a week after they voted to move forward with a plan that offered both in-person and online options.

Local health officials announced Thursday that a Tazewell County man in his 80s died from COVID-19 complications, marking the Tri-County area's third pandemic-related fatality this week.

On Wednesday, a Peoria County woman in her 40s was confirmed as the region's youngest patient to succumb to the disease since the pandemic began. Both recent victims had underlying health conditions.

The death toll for the area now stands at 46, with 34 coming from Peoria County.

School school districts are having trouble getting laptops and tablets in the hands of students, as the start of the fall semester inches closer. That comes amid shipping and fulfillment backlogs born of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week on Statewide, many small colleges and universities were struggling before COVID-19.  Will the pandemic deal a final blow to more institutions?  

We also hear about the rise of home schooling.  And we look back to a time of lawlessness in southern Illinois, when prohibition era gangs went to war with each other and the Ku Klux Klan. 

When Prohibition became law 100 years ago, it led to bootlegging and gang warfare throughout Illinois. Its effect in Chicago is well-known, but its impact on Southern Illinois was equally devastating. 

In the 1920s, among Southern Illinois’ hundreds of moonshine stills, hills  and hamlets were gangsters whose lawlessness rivaled Chicago’s. However, few people outside of those bottomlands know their names today. 

This week we are happy to bring to the podcast, Dan Cockerell. Dan spent a twenty-six-year career with the Disney company in multiple roles. Beginning in the Disney College Program and ultimately becoming VP of Epcot Center, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. This week Dan has released a new book called "How's the Culture in Your Kingdom" which you can find on Amazon or wherever books are sold. We speak to Dan about the current situation inside the Disney Parks, his thoughts on leadership and his new book!

Forty-three Tri-County businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from an Illinois emergency grant program.

Pritzker: All Regions Of The State 'Going The Wrong Direction'

Aug 13, 2020
Pritzker at YMCA
Capitol News Illinois

Illinois has now recorded more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic first arrived in the state.

Supreme Court Moves Bailey's Lawsuit To Sangamon County

Aug 13, 2020
Exterior of IL Supreme Court
Capitol News Illinois

Illinois’ highest court on Tuesday moved Rep. Darren Bailey’s ongoing lawsuit to Sangamon County, effectively ending a Clay County court's role in the case regarding the limits of Gov. JB Pritzker's authority to respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Natural Fiber Welding Inc., a Peoria company developing plant-based alternatives to leather and plastics, has raised $13 million in new investments, with Ralph Lauren Corp. leading the latest round of financing.

WCBU's On Deck has everything you need to know to start your day for Thursday, August 13, 2020. Our top story is about how a new downtown location for the Susan G.

Dunlap School Board Hears Concerns About Reopening

Aug 12, 2020

With school set to open in just days, members of the Dunlap School Board heard concerns about the possible spread of the coronavirus at Wednesday’s board meeting at Dunlap High School. Classes at the district are set to reopen Monday.

Shauna Segler, a seventh-grade teacher at Dunlap Middle School, said educators are facing the most difficult school year of their careers. She told the board that classrooms will not accommodate the adequate social distancing.

Peoria Public Schools have pushed the start of classes back three days to Monday, Aug. 24.

The school year was originally scheduled to begin next Wednesday. The delay announced Wednesday night comes two days after the decision by the Board of Education to switch to full online instruction for the entire first semester.

In an email announcing the move, the district said the schedule adjustment will provide more preparation time for the virtual learning format.