Chase Cavanaugh

Chase started in radio while earning his Master's in diplomacy and international commerce at the University of Kentucky.  He was bitten by the radio bug while volunteering at Radio Eye (a local equivalent to NIRIS) and soon became a reporter at WUKY. After four years of reporting in Kentucky's Bluegrass, Chase traveled north to join WNIJ as Morning Edition producer.  He organizes our morning broadcast, making sure the host is well-supplied with interesting, fresh content.  In addition to his pre-dawn duties, Chase reports on a variety of developments in our broadcast area but is particularly drawn to anything with a political or international connection.  He is also an avid board gamer.

The University of Illinois released the latest Flash Index numbers. 

At 105.1, it’s the lowest level this year. It was at 105.4 in July. Economist Fred Giertz  says any measure over 100 indicates an expanding state economy.

“So it’s a slight decline, which means the economy is still growing, but not as rapidly as it was a few months ago," he said.

The Illinois Gaming Board is seeking input on sports betting in the state, which was legalized this year.

Friday is the City of Rockford’s deadline for accepting proposals to build a casino.

The casino license is one of six approved by the state’s gambling expansion. Hard Rock International and Gorman and Company have both expressed interest, but Mayor Tom McNamara says it ultimately comes down to what is submitted.

“They’re due at the city at 2 o’clock," he said. "We’re eagerly anticipating casino applications to be delivered.”

The Illinois General Assembly recently overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on the Debt Transparency Act.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza was a major sponsor of the measure and has been hard at work paying down state debts. She said the biggest change the act makes is requiring state agencies to report their debts to her once a month, rather than once a year.

Asian Carp are an invasive group of fish that can compete with native wildlife for food and habitat. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains an electrical barrier to prevent the fish from entering Lake Michigan, but the problem spans all across Illinois. 

Asian Carp were first brought to the United States through aquaculture facilities, or fish farms, as a way to deal with algae in the tanks and make the resulting product tastier. The fish farms often are placed next to rivers for water sources.

One of the key participants in the Choice Program is regional hospitals. We continue our examination of this program by talking with managers and administrators at two facilities serving veterans in northern Illinois.