Reunifying Parents And Children — How It Works On The Ground

Across the country, lawyers and advocates are working with U.S. government officials to reunite parents and children who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Over half of the children under the age of five were reunited this past week. Thousands more face a court-ordered deadline for reunification by the end of this month. Taylor Levy is the legal coordinator for Annunciation House, a migrant shelter in El Paso, Texas. She and her team are trying to help about 50 parents reunite with...

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Editor's note: Our original interview with Marnie Mamminga was published in June, 2013. The author returned to the WNIJ studios in July, 2018, to add the video excerpt below.

450 miles. That's the distance Marnie Mamminga's family traveled every summer from suburban Chicago to their cabin in northwest Wisconsin.

Mamminga recalls the cabin, and the long journey it took to get there, in her memoir Return to Wake Robin: One Cabin in the Heyday of Northwoods Resorts.

Southern Illinois University Trustees will meet in special session Monday to vote on a separation agreement for System President Randy Dunn.




The agreement spells out that Dunn's employment as President ends July 30th - but that he will be on leave starting July 17th. He'll receive a six-month severance equaling $215,000, and will then be assigned as a visiting professor on the system's Edwardsville campus starting in the Spring of 2019.



The Illinois Commerce Commission won't be issuing a fine in connection to a fatal gas pipeline explosion that killed two men and injured two others in the northern part of the state.

M&R Farms workers operating a tiling plow ruptured the high-pressure pipeline on Dec. 5, causing the explosion near Nachusa, about 95 miles west of Chicago. The workers were installing drainage tile.

Keicher Appointed To Illinois General Assembly

Jul 13, 2018

A Sycamore man will finish out the term for former State Rep. Bob Pritchard.

Members of the Representative Committee of the 70th district selected Republican Jeff Keicher to replace Pritchard in the role. Pritchard recently accepted a seat on the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees after previously announcing he would retire from the General Assembly. Keicher faces Democrat Paul Stoddard in November in the election for a full term. 

The Sound of Science - "Wavy View"

Jul 13, 2018

Welcome to The Sound of Science on WNIJ.

(K) We’re answering listener questions this month and today we have another summer question. Andy asks, “Why do things look wavy when looking at them across the roadway in the summer?”

(P) Great question, Andy. There’s a lot of science in the answer. First, you likely know from experience that the air you are looking through when things look wavy is hotter than the air around it. That’s usually from heat radiating off a dark surface like the road or the hood of your car. Let’s talk about what that does to light speed.

"Soybeans" by Flickr User Aerna's Mom / (CC x 2.0)

Farmers are entering their 5th year of low crop prices and now soybeans have reached a 10-year low, in part due to Chinese tariffs. Economists say this could be a pivotal year for farmers in Illinois and across the country.

Chicago Park District

The drowning of a 13-year-old girl in Lake Michigan a half-hour after lifeguards at the beach went off duty has triggered a petition that urges Chicago officials to extend lifeguard hours.

Darihanne Torres drowned in a rip current around 7:30 p.m. last Friday. That would have been 90 minutes before lifeguards punched out prior to 2009 when, to save about $700,000 a year, the city's park district cut the hours lifeguards both in the morning and at night.

Officer Cleared In Deadly Rockford Traffic Stop

Jul 12, 2018
Guy Stephens

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced Thursday morning that the Rockford Police Officer killed during a traffic stop on Nov. 5, 2017, has been cleared. A Winnebago/Boone County Integrity Task Force investigation into Officer Jaimie Cox’s use of deadly force shows that he was justified when he shot and killed Eddie L. Patterson. According to a news conference held Thursday, the results of the investigation show Officer Jaimie Cox died as a direct result of the actions of Eddie Patterson, Jr.

Daniel Baker / Illinois Public Media

U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is calling on the Trump administration to clarify statements made in June about child separations at the border.

In a press release, Durbin and 3 other U.S. Senators say they’ve sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The letter questions the accuracy of testimony from Azar last month–when he said HHS has 2,047 separated children in its custody. The following week, Azar told reporters in a conference call there were up to 3,000 children in custody.

Russia's information attack against the United States during the 2016 election cycle sought to take advantage of the greater trust that Americans tend to place in local news.

The information operatives who worked out of the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg did not stop at posing as American social media users or spreading false information from purported news sources, according to new details.

They also created a number of Twitter accounts that posed as sources for Americans' hometown headlines.


News From NPR

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As the #MeToo movement has spread, more and more women - and some men - have been coming forward from more and more workplaces and other institutions to share their stories and to demand change.

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And finally today, we are going to hear more about the creative life of Robin Williams. He is the subject of a new HBO documentary airing tomorrow night called "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET

Protests in Chicago escalated on Saturday night, becoming a tense clash between demonstrators and police over the fatal shooting of a man on the city's South Side.

On Sunday, police released a 30-second video clip from an officer's body-worn an camera showing a black man shot by Chicago police had a gun in a holster at his hip. According to The Associated Press, the man was "running away and reaching toward his waist when he was shot multiple times."

France is the champion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, besting Croatia by 4 goals to 2.

France entered the tournament as a favorite, powered by stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Croatia was seen as a longshot for victory.

"We are world champions and France are going to be on top of the world for next four years," French coach Didier Deschamps said after the game. He called the tournament a "beautiful celebration of football."

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