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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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It's been 110 years since the 1908 Race Riot erupted in Springfield. The violence and its aftermath inspired the founding of the NAACP, the prominent civil rights organization. A number of groups in the city recognized and remembered the violence and lives lost in a series of public events earlier this month. There are also plans to ensure more recognition in the future of a violent period many residents say deserves more attention.

Farm towns in Illinois have been shrinking for decades, and the trend doesn’t show signs of reversing.

By 2025, rural counties with populations of less than 10,000 people will see 7.4 percent of their residents leave, while counties with populations between 10,000 and 25,000 will lose 5.4 percent. That’s according to projections from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Burlington Fire Department / https://www.facebook.com/Burlington-Fire-Department-1430508677163672/?fb_dtsg_ag=AdwD8jMjc_T611ki5V74_CQskPuCYUqx78-tBQ49LEDtCA%3AAdw4UHX32gel0ieLSjQgBU8YPUKAGC6NfwIMoBUipJWb2A

The Burlington City Council honored the local fire departments that responded to this month's fire at the Tama Complex in downtown Burlington. All told, more than 50 firefighters from six cities were at the scene.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker were minutes away from crossing paths Wednesday in Normal as they asked a tent full of farmers for their support.

The same day that Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas and the Board of Trustees announced that Tri States Public Radio will "become a self-funded department within the University structure and will be responsible for generating its revenue needs, including personnel expenditures, effective March 1, 2019," the lead story on the WIU website lauded the accomplishments of its nationally award winning Broadcasting and Journalism students.   What??!!??   

The Central Lee School District’s proposal to borrow millions of dollars to upgrade its campus near Donnellson narrowly failed at the ballot box a few months ago. It appears residents will be asked to reconsider the plan in April 2019.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner brought his re-election campaign to the McDonough County Republican headquarters, where he said he wants to make more state  funding available for higher education.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Annette Carper said she was a little surprised when Mayor Mike Inman asked her to apply for an open seat on the Macomb City Council.

Tri States Public Radio last week reported on Western Illinois University's decision to zero out TSPR's funding as of March 1, 2019.  At least one WIU administrator was shocked the radio station reported the story.

Rich Egger

The buildings that once housed Kmart, JCPenney, and Farm King sit vacant on the city's east side, though the mayor said it's not from a lack of trying.

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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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FAQ TSPR Funding Changes

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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