Illinois' economy still faltering

What, if anything, is going to be done to boost Illinois' sluggish economy?

This country got some good news last week when the U.S. Labor Department produced its June report on job growth. Employers added 222,000 jobs, increasing opportunities for new entrants to the job market as well as those who had given up looking for work.

A senseless (literally) crime

A hate crime in Champaign-Urbana? Here's the rest of the story.

Champaign-Urbana, the proud home of the University of Illinois, has more than its share of flaws.

But it doesn't have as many flaws as some of its detractors wish it did.

A budget? Sort of

Legislators may have passed a budget, but the state's serious fiscal problems remain.

Illinois' epic budget battle ended Thursday after 737 days of increasing financial chaos that strained the operation of public universities, caused some social service agencies that rely on state dollars to close and pushed the state's backlog of unpaid bills to around $15 billion.

Who needs an insider?

Outsiders have served Illinois well in the past. Why not again?

President Donald Trump, acting on the advice of state Republicans, recently nominated Chicago lawyer John Lausch to be the next U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

Government in action

Since everything else in Champaign County government is perceived through the lens of partisan politics, why not the new county executive post?

Since the movement to create the Champaign County executive's post combined politics with policy, it is no surprise that the debate over the executive's salary does the same.

North Korea rattles its saber

Tensions continue to rise in the Far East.

Many people don't pay much attention to North Korea, the so-called "Hermit Kingdom" where paranoia and a ruthless brand of authoritarian oppression reign supreme.

Judge puts hold on soda tariff

The delay in the implementation of a soft-drink tax is giving consumers more time to stock up.

Cook County taxpayers got a reprieve last week when, one day before it was scheduled to take effect, a judge put a hold on a big tax increase on sugary drinks.

Minimum wage maxed out

University of Washington study indicates that Seattle's ever-higher minimum wage is hurting, not helping, workers.

Proponents of raising the minimum wage embrace a position that couldn't be more clear — the higher and the sooner, the better.

The problem with hanging out

Downtown Champaign is the life of the party. But a recent shooting shows the city needs to step up policing.

Crowds, guns, alcohol and an anything-goes atmosphere are always a recipe for big trouble.

Cook County's new sin tax

Will a penny-per-ounce tax on soft drinks improve health, or force consumers to buy their soda elsewhere?

Revenue-hungry elected officials in Cook County had two goals: They wanted more tax money to spend and a self-aggrandizing way of explaining their decision to jack up taxes on ordinary Joes and Janes.