Rauner Brokering A Deal Businessman-turned-governor Bruce Rauner is trying to broker a deal to advance his pro-business priorities through the Legislature in exchange for new revenue to save programs Democrats support. Democratic leaders who control the Legislature say they're willing to negotiate and talks could start soon. The Republican Rauner has been promoting an agenda he says will end years of financial mismanagement.
Bomb Threat at Streator High School
A bomb threat in a restroom at Streator High School prompted officials to put the building on lockdown. Superintendent Matt Seaton said a custodian found graffiti in a bathroom at 11 AM yesterday morning that said a bomb was in a specific closet within the school. Seaton said the area mentioned was immediately evacuated and Streator Police and Fire was contacted. Officials say the soft lock-down lasted until 11:35 when it was deemed safe and students could return to class. High school officials along with the police department continue to investigate the incident.
Funds Coming Back to Schools
Three area schools will be getting some funding back from the state. At a hearing in Springfield on Wednesday, State Superintendent Christopher Koch brought forth a plan to give $97 million back to schools who lost funding through the passing of House Bill 317 in March. Under the Public Act passed by the State Board of Education, Streator Elementary, Ottawa Elementary and Princeton Elementary are expected to get 95 percent of the funding lost in March back through hold harmless allocation.
Other area schools receiving at least 73.6 percent of funding back include Oglesby Elementary, Hall High School, Mendota Elementary, Streator High School, La Salle Elementary, Peru Elementary, and Ottawa High School. La Salle-Peru High School was not eligible to receive money back.
Drought Conditions Slowly Worsening
Some areas are starting to become dry from the recent lack of rainfall. According to the US Drought Monitor, all of Bureau County is classified as "abnormally dry," with extreme portions of western Putnam County and northwestern La Salle County being under the same classification. Data from the Illinois State Climatology Office shows La Salle, Bureau and Putnam Counties are between two and three inches below normal for the year.
National Weather Service officials say chances of rain will come between Saturday night and Wednesday, but are only expecting an inch of rain at most.
Settlements in Joliet Church Sexual Abuse Cases
Lawyers for 14 men who claimed they were sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests say the Diocese of Joliet has agreed to pay $4.14 million to settle the claims. The diocese says the cases were settled last year. The alleged incidents occurred from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Dog Flu Outbreak
Experts say doggie day care contributed to an outbreak of dog flu in Chicago spreading in the Midwest. The illness is believed to be caused by an Asian viral strain. It gained a foothold in the doggie day care centers in Chicago and got an extra boost from spring break when pets were boarded in kennels. Not all infected dogs show symptoms.
Illinois Right to Try Act Passed
The Illinois Senate has passed the Right to Try Act on a 52-0 vote a day after the House passed its version. The measure would give terminally ill people access to experimental drugs that don't yet have full government approval. The governor hasn't said if he'll sign it but the chief sponsor says he's "pretty confident" he will.
Aaron Schock Spending
Aaron Schock spent a lot of money on gifts, meals and travel in the months before he resigned from Congress. A new federal report says the Peoria Republican's campaign spent more than $3,000 on Tiffany bowls for donors and $4,000 on "fundraising lodging" in Massachusetts during the first three months of the year. It also ran up a more than $300,000 legal bill.