Higher education budget approved, sent to governor

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate on Thursday approved a higher education budget for the year beginning July 1 that would keep the University of Illinois at the governor's proposed funding level, eliminating the $5.36 million the House tried to restore.

Equal Rights Amendment passes House

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois House voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on Wednesday, a measure that had previously failed more than a dozen times, prompting protesters to spill pig's blood on the floor of the Capitol Rotunda back in the early 1980s.

Curbs proposed for teen drivers

SPRINGFIELD - New drivers would have to wait six months before tooling around town with a carload of buddies, under legislation the House sent to the governor's desk Tuesday.

Community colleges facing cuts

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois House added more than $280 million to elementary and secondary education last week and $10 million to state universities, but community colleges did not benefit from the House's largess.

Rantoul will receive $460,000 federal grant

   RANTOUL ? The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday that Rantoul will receive a $460,000 community development block grant.

It's Your Business: Bayou Express restaurant opens in Champaign

   Marcus Terhune, a chef and restaurateur, has moved his Creole-style restaurant from Monticello to Champaign and has changed the name from The Bayou to Bayou Express.

Contraceptive coverage bill clears Senate

SPRINGFIELD - Health insurance plans would be required to cover contraceptives under a bill the Senate approved Friday, potentially saving women hundreds of dollars in out-of-pocket costs each year.

UI alumni group ignored by Blagojevich

SPRINGFIELD - Four new members have been appointed to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in the last three months.

Tornadoes, funnel clouds reported in area

   Despite their menacing appearance, the storms that swept through East Central Illinois on Wednesday evening did no damage.

Illinois ranks near bottom on lobbyists

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois deserves a failing grade for its lobbyist disclosure and enforcement, according to a study The Center for Public Integrity released today.