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From Plants To Panels: Solar Debate Plays Out In Fields Around Illinois

Rural counties are facing a lot of heat over Illinois’ booming solar power development. The big push started in late 2016 when the state legislature passed the Future Energy Jobs Act. It sets aside between $180 million and $220 million yearly to help fund renewable energies like solar, which will help the state meet its goal of generating 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025. “It seems like almost every day, we see a news article from somewhere around the state of a county board...

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One of Springfield’s top Republican negotiators on higher education said freeing up more money for financial aid might look easy compared to the coming debate over a new funding formula for state universities.

Rich Egger

The Board of Education approved the purchase of an eight-acre site on the south edge of the high school campus.  The district will pay $160,000 to acquire the land from Maple Avenue Christian Church.  The board also agreed to have the district buy the adjoining Youth for Christ house on Maple Avenue for $78,000 plus the cost of demolition.

Courtesy photo / https://precisionenergyservices.net/

The newest addition to Burlington Notre Dame could save the school district thousands of dollars in electrical bills. A solar field with 836 panels is now located next to the soccer field along Terrace Drive in Burlington.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure on Tuesday that will allow medical cannabis to be used as an alternative treatment for conditions often treated with opioids, such as cancer, HIV, Alzheimer’s and more.

The Shop Talk panelists continue a discussion from a couple weeks ago regarding statehouse and investigative journalism.  The panelists also talk about a poll that found 43% of self-identified Republicans said that they believed "the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior." Only 36% disagreed with that statement.

Rauner Vetoes Teacher $40K Minimum Salary Bill

Aug 28, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill last weekend that would have raised the minimum salary for Illinois public school teachers to $40,000 by 2022. In his veto message, Rauner wrote that legislation isn’t the best way to raise teacher pay.

TSPR

Western Illinois University is still trying to secure its financial footing due to the two-year state budget impasse and declining student enrollment. President Jack Thomas has said repeatedly that everything is on the table when it comes to making cost saving measures. But it turns out there is one exception:  the furlough program.

Consumers are buying more certified organic fruits and vegetables every year, and in the Midwest and Plains states, much of it is grown on small farms.

To comply with organic rules, some use livestock to provide natural fertilizer. Two separate studies in Iowa are trying to quantify the soil health, yield and, eventually, economic impact of grazing animals on the fields after vegetables are harvested.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University administration and Board of Trustees caught an earful Friday morning about the decision to zero out funding for Tri States Public Radio.  But the comments did not persuade them to change course.

Illinois police officers who want to seek mental health care can now do so without jeopardizing their jobs.

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Folk Weekend Live in Concert

Mari Black, 7:00pm October 13, 2018 - Vallillo/Holtz Performance Studio

Multistyle violinist and champion fiddler Mari Black is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing, engaging stage presence, and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari is the 2015/2013 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion,...

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Harvest Public Media

U.S. REP. ROGER MARSHALL'S OFFICE

Held up over disagreements over federal food stamps, the first draft of the 2018 farm bill arrived Thursday, bearing 35 changes to that program, including starting a national database of participants.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

As agriculture intensified in the 20th century, summers in the Midwest became wetter and cooler.  An MIT study published this month looked at whether vegetation from crop production, rather than greenhouse gas emissions that are an established source of climate changes, could have driven these regional impacts.

Ben Kuebrich/Kansas News Service/Harvest Public Media

A new, widely debated federal mandate requires truckers to electronically track the number of hours they're on the road — a rule that is meant to make highways safer. But there is a big difference between hauling a load of TVs and a load of cattle destined for meatpacking plants.

DARRELL HOEMANN / FILE/MIDWEST CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Lawsuits filed in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in the federal court in St. Louis.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it will spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.  The massive piece of legislation known as the farm bill affects all taxpayers -- whether they know it or not.

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TSPR wins a Regional Murrow Award

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