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2014

October issue

  • Analysis – Ad wars by Kevin McDermott
    Illinois’ gubernatorial candidates volley factually flexible salvos in a campaign waged primarily through advertising
  • Legislative races by Mike Riopell
    GOP aims to eat into Democratic majorities in the General Assembly
  • Polling pains by Brian Mackey
    Illinois has had more than its share of polling blunders, but the problems here are also happening nationwide
  • Editor’s note by Jamey Dunn
    Study illustrates unknowns at play when regulating fracking
  • State of the state by Brian Mackey
    Tinkering with the Constitution demands careful consideration
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Term limits wouldn’t shake up Springfield

September issue

  • Just a dollar by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    Not since 2009 has the state allocated funds for homeless education — well, there’s $1.
  • Essay – Race and education by John W. Fountain
    The real issue is about justice.
  • New test, new stress by Tara García Mathewson
    Exam promises headaches as schools adjust to the Common Core’s latest challenge
  • Restorative justice by Brian Mackey
    Stats pointing to racial bias in expulsions and suspensions spur a new look at school discipline.
  • Editor’s note by Jamey Dunn
    Patients pay the price for state’s half-hearted embrace of Obamacare
  • State of the state by Brian Mackey
    Can a governor really create jobs?
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Quinn, Rauner should read between the lines on ruling

July/August issue

  • Where did they go? by Robert Loerzel
    Environmental threats shrink the numbers of Illinois’ beloved state insect, the monarch butterfly
  • Threatened by Kenneth Lowe
    The state is updating its endangered species list, and one bird of prey is among those that may be relieved of the distinction
  • Q&A – Don Fullerton by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
  • Editor’s note by Jamey Dunn
    Study: Mississippi’s natural filtration may be at capacity
  • State of the state by Howard A. Learner
    Illinois’ environmental start-and-stop leadership
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Budget is constitutionally balanced but full of flaws

June issue

May issue

  • Master of persuasion by Kevin McDermott
    State Rep. Greg Harris’ behind-the-scenes dealing brought adoption of same-sex marriage to Illinois
  • Big money by Jamey Dunn
    The Rauner vs. Quinn race looks like a sure bet to make campaign spending records
  • Heroin’s rise by Kristy Kennedy
    The highly addictive drug is ‘devastating communities’ in Illinois
  • Editor’s note by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    Authors contemplate how to fix the funk in Illinois
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Ruling clears way for wealthy to spend more on campaigns
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    One plan to change school funding shines without pizzaz

April issue

  • Coming to a state near you by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois, which sells itself as a great place to shoot film, brought in record dollars from the entertainment industry last year
  • Fair share by Daniel C. Vock
    The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether it is fair for public sector unions to charge nonunion workers
  • Minimum wage by Amanda Vinicky
    The debate is churned up at the state and federal levels
  • Editor’s note by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    Cutting support for kids will lead to larger costs later
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Illinois tops nation for locales buying renewable energy
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Reports say tax cuts won’t spur economic development

March issue

  • Preventable deaths by Kevin McDermott
    Children die even when their tragic situations have been reported to DCFS
  • Analysis – Broken system by Bruce Rushton
    Can Illinois’ antiquated means of generating revenue be overhauled?
  • Hungry in Illinois by Kristy Kennedy
    One in five children in Illinois doesn’t have enough to eat.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    A retiring newsman takes a look back
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    U.S. law needs to keep pace with states on marijuana
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Curtailing lame duck quacking is by no means a necessity

February issue

  • Overtaken by fear by Jamey Dunn
    The effort to reach compromise on concealed carry legislation forced gun rights advocates and firearm opponents to step up
  • The gubernatorial races by Natasha Korecki
    Incumbent Pat Quinn is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and the Republican primary has a funding leader
  • Red state, blue state by Kevin McDermott
    Among its neighbors, Illinois is alone as a predominantly Democratic entity
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Abraham Lincoln papers project faces tough economic times
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Chicago’s southeast side sees new environmental threat
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Illinois should examine its revenue structure

January issue

2013

December issue

November issue

  • His greatest speech essay by Michael Burlingame, photos by Robert Shaw
    This month marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
  • Over the horizon by Kurt Erickson
    The increase in the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent expires in 2015, creating serious questions about Illinois’ finances.
  • Politics of social media by Jamey Dunn
    Once considered a novelty or a teen habit, these platforms are now a way to be in the know about government and election campaigns.
  • Editor’s note guest column by Louis Kosiba
    Building a public pension system from scratch
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Newtown a reminder of need for mental health improvements
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Departing House members may set a record for turnover

October issue

  • Cameras in courts by Jim Grimes
    More than half the state’s judicial circuits participate in pilot program.
  • Saving lives by Debra Landis
    Affordable Health Care Act isn’t just about insurance; it may prevent premature deaths.
  • Home improvement by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois’ real estate market is regaining some lost ground.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Should it be government’s role to decide who can get married?
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Teach students about coal, but give them all the facts
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Senate committee looks at revamping formula for state aid to schools

September issue

  • ‘Let my people go’ by Kevin McDermott
    Lawmakers from outside of Chicagoland feel the frustration that comes with being marginalized
  • Making the rules by Kurt Erickson
    A complicated series of maneuvers will have to be in place before medical marijuana becomes legal in Illinois.
  • Hacker heaven by Jamey Dunn
    Revelations about the government keeping tabs on citizens’ online activities begs a question: Whom can you trust with your information?
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    A lesson in grown-up problem solving
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Policy change could bring needed reform to Corrections
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Never is it safe to say ‘I’ve seen it all’ in Illinois

July/August issue

  • The Great Lakes are in peril…again Essay by Jeff Alexander
    Inland waters are threatened by problems old and new
  • Fractured community story and photographs by Jamey Dunn
    Environmental groups that backed Illinois fracking legislation say, ‘It was a nuanced decision in the political reality
  • Photo essay: Midwestern gems photographs and essay by Robert Pahre
    Illinois is surrounded by states with natural national parks
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Federal act could help quality of beach waters
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    New law should ease landowner worries about liability issues
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Legislators didn’t fix pensions but made other historic moves

June issue

  • Waiting in the wings by Kurt Erickson
    p-and-coming political leaders position themselves to move into starring roles on the electoral stage
  • Squeezed by sequester by Jamey Dunn
    Programs for women and children are particularly hard hit by federal budget cuts
  • Unemployed veterans by Meredith Colias
    Those who’ve served in post-9/11 conflicts discover that civilian occupations may be hard to find
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    State workers don’t fit negative stereotypes
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Abstinence-only sex education carries consequences, as well
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Program aims to produce strong public affairs reporting

May issue

  • Old, but still Grand? by Jayette Bolinski
    At the moment, things can only look up for Illinois Republicans
  • The wait by Dean Olsen
    Whether the Affordable Care Act will make health insurance less expensive is about to unfold
  • The preschool plea by Maureen Kelleher
    Advocates are waiting to see whether President Obama’s interest in early childhood education will aid such efforts in Illinois
  • Juvenile justice by Jamey Dunn
    Program in Illinois leaves some wondering whether the concept of fairness is being served
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Former U.S. rep writes about ‘playing with the big boys’
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois has too many inmates who get health care too late
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Same-sex parents should be the least of concerns over kids

April issue

  • Jr.’s fall by Natasha Korecki
    From the time he became a congressman, much was expected from him. In the end, he was the one who had expected too much
  • Essay: Is affordable higher education a moral imperative for the state? by John Carpenter
    The question of the state’s obligation to provide affordable public higher education is easy to shove aside these days, as our disgraced and dysfunctional state government grapples with more fundamental issues of fiscal survival. Truth be told, it may be a moot point.
  • Trouble on the horizon by Jamey Dunn
    The tax increases set to expire in 2015 raise the spectre of even greater cuts
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    The economic future is bleaker for post-Boom generations
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Report gives insight into role of remap in election results
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Legislature should work smart, not just hard, on the pension fix

March issue

  • Not-so mighty Mississippi by Meredith Colias
    Weather’s whims determine how well barge traffic rolls on the river, and the Mississippi has been plagued by drought.
  • Strained by Jamey Dunn
    The state of mental health funding in Illinois is ill.
  • Charging ahead by Brian Mackey
    Illinois is the launch pad for the nation’s ‘battery moonshot.’
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Oral history project saves key Illinoisans’ memories
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Rating agency that downgraded Illinois whacked with lawsui
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Gov. Quinn’s speech didn’t avoid pension subject

February issue

  • Tracking sex offenders by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois is one of more than 30 states that don’t fully comply with federal rules on registering those convicted of sex crimes.
  • Lessons from the cave by Daniel C. Vock
    The Democrats’ new super-majorities promise to enhance the power of individual caucuses.
  • A dilution of power? by Alexa Aguilar
    Advocates say revision of the state’s legislative district map failed to adequately represent the increase in the Latino population.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Con-con members argued over pension protection
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Same-sex marriage cases are moving through the courts
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    General Assembly ends its term quietly

January issue

  • Testing teachers by Kerry Lester
    As new performance evaluations are implemented, the state’s education community is challenged like never before.
  • What do women, sportsmen and downstaters have in common?
    by Kurt Erickson

    The Democrats’ new super-majorities promise to enhance the power of individual caucuses.
  • Tammy Duckworth by Kenneth Lowe
    She defeated a Tea Party darling to become the first Asian-American woman to serve Illinois in Congress.
  • Rural 911 by Jamey Dunn
    EMS may be a necessary service in Illinois, but that does not guarantee such services are available.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Lame ducks not held accountable to voters
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    ‘Least popular’ doesn’t tell whole Quinn story
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    New lawmakers to take on weightly issues

2012

November issue

  • A city’s sorrow by Robert Loerzel
    Murders, like that of 7-year-old Heaven Sutton, are so prevalent in Chicago that it is on pace to finish the year with more homicides than any other city in the United States.
  • What’s a bond rating worth? by Chris Wetterich
    At the very least, downgrades lead to negative press; at the worst, taxpayers pay a price.
  • Big theft, little city by Kevin McDermott
    Dixon’s former comptroller is accused of stealing $53 million from Ronald Reagan’s hometown.
  • The preview by Jamey Dunn
    Important issues loom as lawmakers – many of them soon-to-be lame ducks – prepare for veto session.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Scholars weigh in on whether Chicagoland deserves its reputation of corruption
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    After the November election, several major issues come to the forefront for consideration by legislators
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Democrats' big election wins make Illinois history

October issue

  • Hidden horror stories by George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer
    Since 2003, the deaths of 53 disabled adults were reported to, but not investigated by, the Illinois Department of Human Services — until a newspaper probe shed light on those stories
  • The human cost by Kristy Kennedy
    Medicaid reform has left many with hard choices
  • Does wefare to work work? by Jamey Dunn
    The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program was slow to respond to the recession, advocates say
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Disturbing photograph tell an important story
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Paul Simon's writing offers lessons in leadership
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    ‘Fire Madigan’ strategy may not work out

September issue

  • Illinois’ watchdog by Adriana Colindres
    In Auditor General William Holland’s world, there is no room for partisan politics
  • Education inequality by Kurt Erickson
    Spending cuts cause the greatest harm to the school districts that can least afford it
  • Aftermath by Jamey Dunn
    Even in the president’s home state, backlash still exists from the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Thanks for sharing your ideas about this magazine
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    State has failed to do much with racial-profiling data
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Gov. Blagoj — oops — Quinn hands down decisions

July/August issue

  • The southeast side by Jamey Dunn
    Environmental gains are pitted against the potential of industrial development in this economically depressed region of Chicago
  • Offshore energy by Kristy Kennedy
    The governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania signed a pact to allow for offshore wind proposals for the Great Lakes. Did that open the door for turbines in Lake Michigan?
  • Photo essay: The river and us by Chris Young
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Desperate times take Democrats two steps to the right
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Global warming ideas are shaped by political beliefs
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Beyond pensions, this session produced meaningful change

June issue

  • The supermax debate by Jamey Dunn
    Are supermaximum-security prisons like Tamms cost-effective deterrents that save lives, or do they violate human rights?
  • The social worker by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    The executive director of the Department of Children and Family Services aims to reorganize his staff to get more front-line child-welfare workers on the job
  • Human trafficking by Ashley Griffin
    Chicago is one of the leading cities in this global epidemic
  • Land of Lincoln by Mike Kienzler
    Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, a 42-county swath of central Illinois stretching from the Indiana border to the Mississippi River, is one of the largest such regions in the nation
  • Guest column by by Dr. Edward Pont
    Medicaid, in fact, is an important asset to Illinois
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    States need a federal solution for online tax collection
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    At least one old Blagojevich idea is worth saving

May issue

  • Generation X by Marcia Frellick
    The financial future for this group looks even shakier than it does for their baby boomer parents
  • The big frack by Jamey Dunn
    While hydraulic fracturing is hardly new, it’s growing and so is the controversy surrounding the practice
  • Same-sex marriage by Kristy Kennedy
    The issue nationwide is a a tipping point
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Family values means more than current political slogan
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Time has come for Quinn’s ‘rendezvous with reality’
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Ideas on easing rate of extreme poverty likely to go nowhere

April issue

  • The revolving door by Kurt Erickson
    Moves from the Statehouse floor to the hallways of the Capitol spark questions about whose interest is being served
  • Fund sweeps by Jamey Dunn
    Special funds blur the budgetary process
  • Medicaid’s cost by Ashley Griffin
    The Illinois health care system is under examination as budget woes loom
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Public perception and truth are sometimes different issues
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    State’s eavesdropping laws have failed to keep up
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Report supports graduated income tax for Illinois

March issue

  • Concealed carry by Jamey Dunn
    If gun rights advocates have their way, Illinois will no longer be the last state to oppose concealed firearms in public places
  • Tough guy by Natasha Korecki
    The Chicago-based U.S. attorney hasn’t shied away from a storm
  • Unintended consequences by David Yepsen
    Illinois delegates may still be a prize worth having
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    We want to hear from our readers
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Backlog of unpaid bills vexes legislators again this fiscal year
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Nearly 80 legislative candidates have no competition

February issue

  • Mendoza’s Chicago by Lisa Donovan
    The city has a new clerk, and she’s not a ‘go-along, get-along’ politician
  • Redistricted by Mike Riopell
    Democrats hope in this election to make the most of their mapmaking victory
  • A room of her own by Jamey Dunn
    As Illinois looks to change the way it provides services to the developmentally disabled, families fight for the care they see as best for their loved ones
  • Baseball and ballots by Stacy Pratt McDermott
    The nation’s pastime and politics intermingled in 1860 for a battle between Lincoln men and Douglas men
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Reports provide a glimpse of richest and poorest Illinoisans
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Settlement points to minorities as targets for subprime loans
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Illinois is not as bad off as it might seem

January issue

  • A year of Quinn by Jamey Dunn
    The governor s
    till struggles to artfully wield the power of his office
  • Undocumented anguish by Kristy Kennedy
    Mental health issues plague immigrant youth
  • Three in one by Dave Newbart
    The University of Illinois takes a united front in its approach for the future
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Gridlock stops progress at state and federal levels
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Gov. Quinn takes a pass on early prison release plan
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    The question of whether Illinois should elect judges is timely

2011

December issue

November issue

  • The movement by Daniel C. Vock
    The Tea Party, which began in Chicago, wants to stir up Springfield
  • Charter schools by Kristy Kennedy
    Judging those institutions depends on their missions
  • All about business by Jamey Dunn
    Indications point to favorable legislative conditions in Illinois
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Despite restrictions, cell phones are still a danger on highways
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Closing hundreds of pools in Illinois may save lives
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Overcrowded and understaffed, Illinois prisons are in crisis

October issue

September issue

  • Adjustment by Daniel C. Vock
    Latinos and the suburbs where they settle deal with a changing reality
  • Localized disease by Jamey Dunn
    When the state budget suffers, municipalities feel the pain, too
  • Sad state of public affairs by Michael Ramsey
    Advocates for civic education say Illinois has lost significant ground
  • ‘Keep calm and carry on’ by Kerry Lester
    Preckwinkle tackles first term with history in mind
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    State gets a red ‘F’ for ending writing tests
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Sex offender legislation is often more about politics than justice
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Illinois’ fiscal situation shows signs of recovery

July/August issue

  • Natural Illinois by Adele Hodde and Chris Young
  • State of the parks story and photographs by Chris Young
    Deferred maintenance of Illinois’ natural sites creeps toward the billion dollar mark
  • The purple river by Kristy Kennedy
    Illinois seeks to balance its agriculture interests against clean water efforts
  • Smart grid by Jamey Dunn
    This new technology is essentially about communication
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    The weather is seemingly getting wilder
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    To get the most out of the green jobs market, politicians have to do more than spend
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Bipartisan mood captures the General Assembly

June issue

  • Welcome visitors by Marcia Frellick
    Illinois’ tourism industry means big business
  • Set up to fail? by Jamey Dunn
    Sweeping changes are proposed for No Child Left Behind
  • Risky borrowing by Chris Wetterich
    Local governments face difficulties in refinancing bonds
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Teachers must feel like targets in a shooting gallery
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Lacking a workable federal guide, states attempt to address immigration
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Serious belt-tightening is needed to avoid a fsical meltdown or a tax increase vote

May issue

  • Analysis – The city under Daley by Dan Mihalopoulos
    The end of the mayor’s tenure comes amid increasing signs that much of the official story line might not stand up to scrutiny
  • Spreading out by Daniel C. Vock
    Illinois’ fastest growing areas are the ‘ring around the collar,’ the suburbs beyond those immediately surrounding Cook County
  • Freedom of information by Jamey Dunn
    Lawmakers weigh the public’s right to know versus the burden on local governments
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Good government advocate steps down
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Audit report cites reason to worry about College Illinois investments
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Democrats likely to have a few tricks up their sleeves when drawing new legislative maps

April issue

  • A tale of three states by Jon Seidel
    Neighboring states weigh in on Illinois’ corporate tax increase
  • The new South by Kevin McDermott
    Whatever happened to the downstate Democrats?
  • A taxing question by Jamey Dunn
    A controversial new law attempts to force collection of taxes on Internet sales
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Outcome of pension struggle will hinge on a constitutional clause
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois’ financial tracking systems are out of date and incompatible
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    School district consolidation plan isn’t as simple as it may seem

March issue

February issue

  • Essay 150 years later by Michael Burlingame
    Lincoln would probably be pleased to see that the United States is trying to nurture democracy in other lands, but on states’ rights, he’d be concerned
  • A taxing time by Jamey Dunn
    Even after the passage of the income tax increase, lawmakers have plenty left to do
  • Prison education by Kurt Erickson
    The percentage of inmates who are involved in educational programming at Corrections facilities has been dropping in recent yearsJanuary issue
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Technology is tempting, but it can lead to insulation
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Emotions roil as the legislature debates the death penalty
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Mapmaking sure to present challenges for lawmakers

January issue

2010

December issue

November issue

  • Who cares? by Burt Constable
    Perhaps Illinoisans can’t muster passion because they can’t see how it would matter.
  • Partnerships by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois in many ways leads the pack on public-private partnerships, but experts say officials must make them beneficial to the public.
  • Federal intervention by Daniel C. Vock
    Is the stimulus program invigorating Illinois’ economy?
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    An attitude of ‘me first’ extends to nearly every sector of America
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Lame ducks may be less cautious with votes
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    What about the deficit?

October issue

  • The Blagojevich legacy by Kevin McDermott
    Not only did he raise the bar for political fundraising and dramatically lower it for political discourse, he presided over a long slide into fiscal catastrophe.
  • Citizen soldiers by Harry Levins
    The National Guard has borne the high costs of deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Has it been overtaxed?
  • Guest Essay - Future vision by Gerald Bennett and Randy Blankenhorn
    Report sets out to be a planning guide for 21st century northeastern Illinois.
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Cracks are forming in the foundation of responsible reporting
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    FutureGen 2.0’s bypass of Coles County tells a story of problem planning
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Voters will be asked whether the Constitution should be changed to allow recall

September issue

  • An astute negotiator Maura Kelly Lannan
    Chicago native Justice John Paul Stevens steps down after serving as the court’s most senior member
  • Being green by Jamey Dunn
    Rich Whitney leads his third-party ticket
  • Dreaming of the Illiana by Jon Seidel
    Two governors say they are trying to get an expressway built that would take drivers from the south suburbs to Indiana
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Freedom of information grapples with privacy in public employee job evaluations
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Our representation should mirror our population in its diversity
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Public opinion appears to have shifted in the capital punishment debate

July/August issue

June issue

May issue

  • Wanted: Leadership by Burt Constable
    A true leader has the courage to do what’s best for society in the long term
  • Q&A: Question & Answer
    Stanley Ikenberry
  • Empty desks by Jamey Dunn
    Gov. Pat Quinn estimates about 17,000 teachers and staff in elementary and high schools will be laid off if legislators do not approve a tax increase
  • On taxation by Rachel Wells
    Taxing services: An old idea re-emerges in the face of economic peril
  • Editor’s note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Authors argue time has come for public subsidization of journalism
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    School choice no longer just a GOP idea
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Illinois’ budget woes could undercut its application for federal education dollars

April issue

  • The accidental celebrity by Kristy Kennedy
    Patti Blagojevich’s family and friends rally around her as her husband’s trial looms
  • Easier said than done by Daniel C. Vock
    Can Illinois wring savings out of its Medicaid budget?
  • Video poker by Jamey Dunn
    The controversial funding source could prove to be a shaky foundation for the state’s capital plan
  • Guest essay by Kevin McDermott
    The challenge of tackling a 21st century technological issue with a 19th century legislative process
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    One man tries to do it all for power agency
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Leaders have responded abysmally to the state’s fiscal crisis

March issue

  • Unpaid bills by Jamey Dunn
    The state’s inability — or unwillingness — to meet its commitments is simply unfair, some say
  • Brady wins GOP governor nomination by Adriana Colindres
    State Sen. Bill Brady beats Sen. Kirk Dillard by 193 votes in the Republican primary race for governor, and Dillard decides against a recount
  • Disinfection dissatisfaction by Rachel Wells
    The water reclamation district in Chicagoland is the only major treatment agency in the nation that does not disinfect most of its wastewater. But the district also empties the water into one-of-a-kind streams
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    People are suffering mightily because our state government is a deadbeat
  • State of the state by Jamey Dunn
    Scandals highlight the need for juvenile justice reform
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    The latest, never-seen-before episode in the state’s storied political history

February issue

  • The pension chasm analysis by Charles N. Wheeler III
    Analysts project state retirement systems will need $131 billion to cover benefits, but there’s only $46 billion in the bank
  • About Rich Miller article and photograph by Kevin McDermott
    His Capitol Fax newsletter came long before blogs and yet includes analysis, opinion and even advice for political types
  • Illinois’ Muslims article and photograph by Susan Hogan/Albach
    The population of Islam followers here has grown substantially
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Other states have tackled the issue of political fundraising
  • State of the state by James Krohe Jr.
    Today’s leaders could learn from a forward thinker from yesteryear
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Is it really election time?

January issue

  • Oh, Oprah by John Carpenter
    Chicago has reaped countless benefits as home base to the Oprah Winfrey Show for the past 24 years. That may make it hard to say goodbye
  • All about the budget by John Patterson
    The upcoming legislative session promises to have a central theme
  • The governor’s race by Dave McKinney
    Nearly a dozen Democratic, Republican and Green Party candidates have lined up in a contest for state government’s highest office
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Forum allows Constitution framers to ponder what they might want to change
  • State of the state by Kurt Erickson
    State continues to plan new facilities but has no money to operate them
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    GOP be aware: The Latino voting bloc is on the rise

2009

December online arts issue

November

  • Democracy by lottery by Bethany Jaeger
    Illinois is unique in how it selects the party that controls the political redistricting process. Voters might want to play more of a role this time around.
  • The new economy by Marcia Frellick
    When the recession eases, Illioisans may find a different financial landscape
  • Opportunity knocks by Joseph Ryan
    Whether Illinois Republicans can capitalize on Democratic missteps remains to be seen
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Groundbreaking broadcaster signs off
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    New Corrections policies take aim at underlying causes of crimes
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Panel aims to free Illinoisans from poverty

October

  • Voice for the man by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    Jerry Stermer spent more than two decades as a lobbyist for children’s programs. This year, he had to help determine which would be cut
  • Joining forces by Crystal Yednak
    To prepare for an uncertain future, nonprofits collaborate rather than compete
  • Pay delay by Bethany Jaeger
    Despite receiving extra federal funds, Illinois’ budget banks on delaying payments to some medical providers
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Illinois has company in its budget woes
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Even small budget cuts hit home in a big way
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    Lawmakers boot the tough choices into next year

September

  • Out with the old by Beverley Scobell
    Educators and policy groups weigh in as Congress prepares to reauthorize the 2001 No Child Left Behind law
  • Her own style by Kevin McDermott
    As Senate Republican leader, Christine Radogno has taken her party away from the legacy of James ‘Pate’ Philip
  • Charity care by Bethany Jaeger
    Health care and public officials look to the state Supreme Court to clarify what nonprofit hospitals need to do to qualify for property tax exemptions
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
    Lawmakers could use courage
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
    Audit highlights prison problems
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist
    The budget is out-of-whack

July/August

  • Wind power by Michael Hawthorne
    Illinois is at a turning point in its energy-producing future
  • River man by Beverley Scobell
    The founder of Living Lands & Waters guides hundreds of volunteers in collecting trash from the state’s major waterways
  • Switched on by Bethany Jaeger
    The fledgling Illinois Power Agency bought electricity
    on behalf of utilities for the first time this spring.
    Consumers’ bills decreased, but market uncertainty
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

June

  • A spectacular collapse by Daniel C. Vock
    How the quest for the American Dream led to a national economic nightmare
  • Culture of caring by Crystal Yednak
    Government relies on a wide range of Illinois nonprofits to provide human services, support education and keep the arts alive
  • Data mining by Bethany Jaeger
    Illinois will start tracking students from preschool through college and career. The trick is whether anyone will know what to do with the new data
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

May

  • A break from the past by Bethany Jaeger
    Senate President John Cullerton has revived a bipartisan spirit, but how long that lasts depends on upcoming polarizing votes
  • Counting Illinois by Daniel C. Vock
    Much is at stake when the federal government takes its census of Americans
  • Clearing the air by Jamey Dunn
    Illinois looks to the federal government for research on whether investing in clean coal technology is worth the risk
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

April

  • The work of nonprofits by Crystal Yednak
    Helpful organizations’ finances are tight at a time when their services are needed most
  • A new identity by Hilary Russell
    A Chicago group redefines its proposal to open an alternative school for the safety and acceptance of all students, regardless of sexual orientation
  • High expectations by Bethany Jaeger
    The federal stimulus package could help, but it won’t solve the expanding budget deficit
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

March

  • Always in the running by Jamey Dunn
    Roland Burris has only been in the U.S. Senate two months, but the controversy over his appointment continues. Even if he stays in office, all eyes are waiting to see whether he’ll run in 2010.
  • Brain drain or political gain? by Daniel C. Vock
    The congressional delegation lost some clout, but having a president from Illinois should more than make up for it
  • Obama's mentor by Phil Davidson
    Community organizer Jerry Kellman trained the man who would become president
  • Turned away by Bethany Jaeger
    The number of homeless youth is increasing, but services and funding haven’t kept pace for years
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

February

January

2008

December Online Issue

Features

  • The perfect storm by Bethany Jaeger
    While the arts community braces for decreased funding from the public and private sectors, advocates focus on positioning the arts as a way to escape economic gloom
  • Active voice by Maureen Foertsch McKinney
    Out of the black arts movement into the classroom
  • Presidential poetry
    Poems inspired by Barack Obama's campaign

Exhibits

November

  • Going for the gold by Mike Ramsey
    A Chicago Olympics is being sold as a lucrative opportunity, but some are concerned about fiscal and social costs.
  • Power of the podium by Bethany Jaeger
    The next Senate president will face high expectations.
  • Roads to nowhere by Daniel C. Vock
    Illinois hasn't been able to cash in on federal clout to collect highway funds.
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

October

  • Home state advantage? by Daniel C. Vock
    An Obama presidency could send clout back to the Land of Lincoln.
  • Congressional call by Aaron Chambers
    Illinois contests may help to reshape the U.S. House.
  • Target time by Kurt Erickson
    The Illinois GOP hopes to close the gap on Democratic legislative majorities.
    That may not be so easy.
  • Q&A Constitutional convention
    To help prepare voters for that first ballot question, here are pros and cons offered by former Illinois Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch and Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn.
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

September

  • On deck by Kristen McQueary
    As Rod Blagojevich proved, political farm teams — where future leaders grow while they await their shot at the big leagues — can comprise little-known rookies who soar to prominence quickly and unexpectedly
  • The spectrum by Bethany Jaeger
    Children diagnosed with autism have unique needs that challenge parents and schools trying to help them become productive adults
  • Why organize? by Barack Obama
    From the archives – Problems and promise in the inner city
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

July/August

  • H20utlook by Chris Young
    Water may not be as plentiful as Illinoisans think.
  • Green houses by Beverly Scobell
    Home buyers are driving a growing trend in the housing market for more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient construction.
  • Fresh air by Bethany Jaeger
    Air quality isn't just for outdoors. Homeowners and building managers also are turning their attention to indoor environments even before mandates kick in.
  • Obituary Former University President Dies
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

June

  • Last Place by Bethany Jaeger
    Human service advocates hope to elbow their way to the front of the line for new state funding, but they have to compete with other legislative priorities and make systemic changes
  • A home of their own by Patrick O'Brien
    State veterans' homes struggle to recruit during a nursing shortage, as demand grows for a facility in the Chicago area
  • Q & A with Kent Redfield by Dana Heupel
  • A thriving press by Robin Huiras
    While mainstream media suffer from dwindling circulation, ethnic publications in Illinois are growing
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel, Executive Editor
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger, Statehouse Bureau Chief
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III, Columnist

May

  • The greening of Chicago by Mike Ramsey
    How Mayor Richard Daley plowed ahead with Earth-friendly measures.
  • Virtual degrees by Patrick O'Brien
    Students have more options to take online classes at public universities, physically and financially reshaping college campuses.
  • Arterial obstruction by Bethany Jaeger
    The challenge of designing and funding a statewide capital plan gets harder with a slowing economy and an increasingly frustrated public.
  • Editor's Note by Dana Heupel
  • State of the State by Bethany Jaeger
  • Ends and Means by Charles N. Wheeler III

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

 

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