Jim Dey | If state isn't growing, is it shrinking?

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will turn into a pumpkin Monday, at least in the political sense.

His four-year term ends with the swearing-in of Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire Democratic businessman who crushed Republican Rauner's bid for a second term in the November election.

Dan McCaleb | Illinois State Capitol remains an unsafe workplace

The best journalists are the ones who ask tough but fair questions. Ethically challenged politicians don't like those journalists and often try to silence them because they don't like the questions being asked.

Off the Bench | Tough decisions often left to judges

Ready or not, we have entered a new year. As is usually the case, many people are talking about their New Year's resolutions.

The minister in a recent church service even made them the centerpiece of his sermon. He observed that most of these resolutions are the same and will be abandoned by Easter.

Scott Reeder | Rauner, Trump parallels are frightening

SPRINGFIELD — Am I the only Illinoisan who is experiencing déjà vu when it comes to the latest antics in Washington?

It seems a petulant chief executive is at loggerheads with a speaker of the House and is allowing a portion of the government to go unfunded unless he gets what he wants.

It could be Gov. Bruce Rauner circa 2015 or President Donald Trump in 2019.

Jim Dey | Was 'messed up' murder confession legal? Just barely, appeals court says

Weep no tears for Decatur hoodlum Matthew Higgins-Vogt.

He's a bad guy. That's why he's serving a 60-year sentence in federal prison.

Higgins-Vogt's partner in crime — Kelton Snyder — is even worse. Snyder is serving a life sentence.

Jim Dey | Tarnished Madigan rehabbing his public persona

Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is the man of the hour in Springfield as well as communities all around Illinois where citizens keep track of the debased state of the state of Illinois.

With the 53-year-old Pritzker to be sworn into office Monday, there's intense speculation about how he'll fare in the herculean task of addressing this state's dire financial problems.

Jim Dey | Define 'I've done nothing wrong,' Alderman Burke

If a giant tree in Chicago falls, are the reverberations felt in the rest of Illinois?

They are if the tree is named Ed Burke, the powerful Chicago alderman charged last week in an extortion scheme.

Scott Reeder | More counseling resources needed in our schools

GALESBURG — Sometimes the only thing a troubled teenager needs is an encouraging word and an adult who is willing to listen.

Being a teenager has never been easy, but today, young people face new pressures.

Guidance counselors are the unsung heroes of education. They not only help youngsters through the academic bureaucracy, but they assist students facing life's challenges.

George Will | Today's Germany ... the best the world has seen

BERLIN — In one of contemporary history's intriguing caroms, European politics just now is a story of how one decision by a pastor's dutiful daughter has made life miserable for a vicar's dutiful daughter.

Austin Berg | Fixing Chicago could be key to fixing state

"We are one Illinois." This was a refrain from Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker during campaign season. It's a nice sentiment. The state is short on pride and solidarity.

But now that campaign season is over, how can Pritzker actually bring Illinois together?

Take Chicago.