(Charleston)-One Eastern Illinois University trustee says the state's other struggling universities may want to look to EIU to get their schools back on track. Three years ago, Eastern Illinois University Trustee Dan Caulkins said the outlook for the school was gloomy. Enrollment was falling, the school had just spent $25 million from reserves, and then Illinois' budget stalemate came.  But Caulkins said over the past three years, EIU has cut programs, narrowed its focus and turned around its enrollment numbers. Caulkins said higher education in Illinois and across the country is changing. And higher education institutions must adapt to the changes.  


(Bloomington)-According to an annual survey from the National Federation of State High School Associations, the total number of football players in the state has dropped about 17 percent in the past few years from 47,068 to 40,111. Matt Troha, assistant executive director with the Illinois High School Association, said injury concerns and new research on concussions play a factor. He said the IHSA has taken steps to make the sport safer. “Most of them revolve around the practice schedule,” Troha said. “The amount of time you’re allowed to practice, what days you can practice, how often you can wear equipment and go full pads and hit when you are practicing.” He adds that shifting enrollment patterns in the city Chicago with the influx of small charter schools, is also to blame. “Many of them are very small and don’t field a team. The opportunity to have a team might not be there. They might be located in an old factory or office building where there’s no gym or football field.



Nike has unveiled its first "Just Do It" ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot scheduled to air during the NFL season opener Thursday night as well as during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and other major sporting events.

The two-minute spot released Wednesday highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others, and touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the national anthem.



IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Mexican man charged with killing an Iowa college student was known for years on the dairy farm where he worked by another name: John Budd. Yarrabee Farms is facing scrutiny over whether its managers had any idea that Cristhian Bahena Rivera was in the country illegally before the slaying of Mollie Tibbetts. The name under which Rivera worked for the last four years was confirmed by three people with knowledge of his employment history who spoke on condition of anonymity.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it's convening a meeting later this month to discuss concerns that social media companies may be hurting competition and "intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The statement comes on the same day as Facebook and Twitter executives appeared at congressional hearings. Both companies pledged to better protect their social media platforms in the 2018 elections and beyond.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



(Springfield)-The state of Illinois has less than a month to set thousands of workers five years ahead in pay and explain how it's going to pay them four years worth of back wages with interest, something the state may claim that it can't afford. The state has until Oct. 1 to set 14,000 union workers’ pay to what it would be had they gotten step increases since 2015. This comes from one of the final legal motions regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to freeze the pay of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 members when their contract expired. The state would have to also explain its claim of “insufficient funds” to pay the more than $400 million in back wages, according to the AFSCME release. The Illinois Labor Relations Board wouldn’t turn over the ruling without being legally compelled via a Freedom of Information Act request.



(Springfield)-About 1,000 emergency response crews from around Illinois have been spending time this week in Springfield hearing about lessons learned from recent shootings, both deadly and narrowly averted. Mike Chamness, chairman of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, said attendees will hear about the task force’s proposals to help address school shootings.The 2018 Training Summit event sponsored by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was free for attendees with sessions on a variety of issues. Vendors of various services for emergency managers were also on hand showing off services and goods. It wraps up today.



(Chicago)-With Rahm Emanuel's announcement this week that he won't seek re-election, Chicago has a new opportunity to elect a mayor who will help the city tackle some of the systemic issues that have it held it back for decades. After Emanuel's announcement, Rockford Republican Dave Syverson correctly noted that Chicago is a key economic engine for all of Illinois and that Chicago's mayor holds the key to that engine. Furthermore, Syverson said all of Illinois should care about who becomes Chicago's next mayor


(Champaign)-December corn prices approached contract lows not seen since the second week of July as August ended. The continued weakness in corn prices persists despite 2018-19 marketing-year projections of stocks to use near 11 percent. The August Crop Production report forecasted 2018 corn production at 14.586 billion bushels with a yield of 178.4 bushels per acre. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, the corn yield forecast has recently come under scrutiny due to the latest industry estimates predicting yields below the current projection. “The question is whether the corn production forecast will change enough to result in higher prices than those currently reflected in the market,” Hubbs says.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois city has approved settling two lawsuits accusing police of wrongdoing for a combined $3.7 million. The News-Gazette reports that the Champaign City Council approved the settlement Tuesday, with the bulk of the funds going to a man alleging he was wrongfully incarcerated for nearly 18 years. The council also approved a $220,000 settlement for a man who sued the city and two officers for excessive force. The city doesn't admit any liability or wrongdoing in the settlements.



NEW YORK (AP) — With the start of the NFL season tonight, there is good news for football fans: It's going to be much easier to watch NFL games online this year. The league is finally dropping a requirement that viewers sign in with a cable or satellite subscription, in hopes of expanding its online audience at a time when TV ratings are declining . Though there are restrictions — no free streaming on smart TVs, for instance — the move marks a significant departure for sports. Other major professional leagues still require TV subscriptions for hometown teams.


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