FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

Michigan company files lawsuit over cannabis licensing process

A company in Michigan has filed a lawsuit challenging Illinois’ new cannabis law, which plans to award 185 new marijuana dispensary licenses through lotteries.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Chicago, claims the new scoring system is unfair and gives Illinois-based companies an advantage.

Sozo Companies Incorporated filed 11 applications and said it spent more than $350,000 pursuing the licenses.

IDES reveals some of unemployment fraud costs

Fraud has been plaguing the Illinois Department of Employment Security since the pandemic began, and now the scope of the damage is being partially revealed.

According to WGN-TV, the agency reported to the U.S. Department of Labor that it lost more than $14.8 million to fraud.

An IDES spokesperson told the media outlet that the amount is reflective of fraud committed by people who were allegedly working while collecting benefits, but didn't include identity theft-related unemployment fraud.

Illinois caverns open

After being closed for over a decade, the Illinois Caverns in southern Illinois are back open.

In 2010, officials closed the cave to the public in an effort to slow the spread of white-nose syndrome which is a fungus that kills bats.

The caverns are now open Wednesday through Sunday and for safety reasons, visitors must venture into the cave in groups of at least four people.

Pritzker calls for Congress to repay National Guard

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday called on Congress to repay the National Guard for providing security at the U.S. Capitol following the January 6 riots.

The governor urged the U.S. Senate to immediately take up legislation that would provide funding to avoid potential furloughs.

Over 25,000 troops were called to the Capitol following the riots, including hundreds of men and women from Illinois.

Galesburg alderwoman steps down after third arrest

A Galesburg alderwoman is stepping down after being arrested three times this year.

Lindsey Hillery reportedly was arrested for battery last week after allegedly hitting a woman in a bar, as well as being arrested twice for possession of meth in March and a DUI in 2019.

Hillery was elected to the Third Ward in 2019.

Illinois manufacturer helps with Blue Origin launch

A piece of Illinois manufacturing was present Tuesday at Blue Origin’s manned rocket launch.

The civilian crew, including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, were transported by a Rivian R1T to the launch pad.

Rivian is the Normal-based electric vehicle manufacturer that moved into the former Mitsubishi plant. Rivian plans to produce the R1T for consumers by September.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.

Staff Reporter

Andrew Hensel has years of experience as a reporter and pre-game host for the Joliet Slammers, and as a producer for the Windy City Bulls. A graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University and Illinois Media School, Andrew lives in the south suburbs of Chicago.

Regional Editor

Brett Rowland has worked as a reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin. He most recently served as news editor of the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He previously held the same position at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb.