More Tariffs On China, More Head Scratching From Economists

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here . A couple weeks ago, after trade talks fell apart , President Trump raised tariffs on Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. The tariffs apply to a third of everything — about $250 billion worth of products per year — that we import from China. The U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) tariff list starts with "Frozen retail cuts of meat of swine" and then continues for a couple hundred pages. China has already...

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One of the oldest Jewish synagogues in Illinois has closed its doors.

Worshippers from across the country gathered Saturday to deconsecrate the B’nai Sholom temple, which dates back to the late 1860s. The shrinking congregation of about two dozen was forced to close the Quincy synagogue after it couldn’t keep pace with the cost of upkeep.

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful

Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful is once again accepting paper, plastic, and glass at its recycling center in Rockford. 

The nonprofit’s development director, Beverly Broyles, says they had to temporarily stop accepting the waste because their partners weren’t able to export it to China. Broyles says the group worked out an alternative arrangement with Rock River Disposal.

“That’s going to be a much more feasible operation for us to do, and we’re also able to work with Paper Recovery Services and have a partnership with them to take our paper products,” she said.

"Boats" by Flickr User a.dombrowski / (CC X 2.0)

It’s National Safe Boating Week.

Groups like Illinois Conservation Police are stepping up safety education campaigns for state residents headed out on the water this spring. Sergeant Chris Stone says a major issue is boating under the influence, but he’s also seen boaters with inadequate safety gear. 

A high percentage of boating fatalities are a result of drowning and if someone was wearing a proper sized flotation device, it would cut down a lot on the drownings that we have,” he said.

Victor Yehling

Longtime Rockford Register Star columnist and political reporter Chuck Sweeny died Monday. He was 70. The Rockford native had worked at his hometown newspaper since 1984. The Register Star’s Opinion Editor Wally Haas worked side-by-side with Sweeny for those 35 years.

"He could be a bit curmudgeonly, but he loved Rockford," Haas said. "And that came through in his writing. He would poke public officials and try to get them to do the right thing and quite often he succeeded.”

Illinois officials faced tough questioning Monday over the lease of a warehouse for file storage.

The Legislative Audit Commission hearing also got at broader questions over how state government spends money.

Perspective: Sacred

16 hours ago
Pexels via Pixabay



Chase Cavanaugh

It's national EMS Week. President Gerald Ford designated the week 45 years ago to celebrate the importance of paramedics, ambulance staff, and other pre-hospital emergency workers.

Hospitals around the nation are holding events honoring the work of EMS staff. This includes Dr. Matt Smetana, an Associate EMS Director at MercyHealth in Rockford.  He says the profession has evolved.

Peter Medlin

Companies that had community solar projects picked in last month’s lottery by the Illinois Power Agency say their projects are just the tip of the iceberg.

The selected projects became eligible to obtain renewable energy credits. The credits help make the projects viable. Solar development companies behind the projects are now looking ahead to building the arrays or "solar gardens" at sites across Illinois.


Perspective: Memorial Day

May 20, 2019

Memorial Day approaches, an almost unique holiday for us. We do not celebrate with joy; rather, we honor fallen soldiers with wistful sadness in our hearts. Part of that sadness stems from the fact that so many of us know, or knew, some of those we honor.

We honor those brave men and women who gave what Lincoln termed "the last full measure of devotion." We honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country -- or rather, for us. Given what they did‎, mere words seem inadequate.

Families of those who died at the Quincy Veterans’ Home during a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak are still upset.  Those deaths happened on the Rauner Administration’s watch.  But now they are questioning if the new governor is doing enough.  

Four women who are friends -- and also state lawmakers -- talk about how working on a key piece of legislation has brought them closer together.

And in southern Illinois, one of the oldest homes still standing is state-owned.  But there appears to be no plan for what's known as the Old Slave House. 

That and more on this episode of Statewide.


News From NPR

Taylor Walker is wiping down tables after the lunch rush at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill in remote Arthur, Nebraska, a tiny dot of a town ringed by cattle ranches.

The 25-year-old has her young son in tow, and she is expecting another baby in August.

"I was just having some terrible pain with this pregnancy and I couldn't get in with my doctor," she says.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR, presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg answers questions about everything from trade and the use of military force to love and marriage.

How Schools Can Support Homeless Teens

2 hours ago

More than 1 million public school students experienced homelessness in the 2016-2017 school year. Those students are less likely to finish high school, but one Illinois teenager beat the odds.

NPR's Audie Cornish talks with OutVox crisis expert Tony Keller about Boeing's long, expensive path to rebuilding consumer trust.

Rashema Melson was among the more than 1,750 undergraduates who received diplomas from Georgetown University last weekend.

Before she attended college on a full scholarship, Melson graduated at the top of her class as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.

She was also living with her mother and brothers at D.C. General, a family homeless shelter that shut down last year.

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