Sen. John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer, Hospital Says

Arizona Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix says. McCain, 80, underwent surgery for a blood clot on July 14. The hospital says testing revealed that a tumor "known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot." "The Senator and his family are reviewing further treatment options with his Mayo Clinic care team. Treatment options may include a combination of chemotherapy and radiation," the hospital statement said. A statement from...

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The Illinois Constitution has been in place since 1970, but there's an effort to consider drafting a new one. 

State Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield, has introduced a plan to hold another constitutional convention. He says there's plenty to talk about -- from the way the state taxes its residents and funds schools to how political district boundaries are drawn.

"Money" by Flickr User 401(K) 2012 / (CC X 2.0)

Next year, Illinois could have one of the most expensive gubernatorial campaigns the country has ever seen.

Among Democrats, recent filings show that J.B. Pritzker spent more than $9 million in the last three months, much of it on media.  The candidate says he plans to spend only his own money on the campaign. By contrast, State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie, raised about $1 million from donors.

Chris Kennedy raised $700,000 and spent almost all of it. Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar raised $139,000.  State Rep. Scott Drury, D-Highwood, raised $66,000.

Carter Staley/NPR Illinois

The new state budget will fund Illinois colleges and universities at the level they received in 2015 — minus 10 percent. But there’s one area of higher education that got a boost.  

The Monetary Award Program, known as MAP, provides grants of up to $4,700 to low-income college students.

The two-year budget impasse caused a break in MAP funding, and affected students spoke out about how this interruption threw their lives into chaos. Lawmakers responded by increasing the amount going to MAP scholarships by 10 percent in the new state budget.

The Ogle County Board wants to continue negotiations with the Oregon City Council over a sally-port for the new county jail.

Plans for the jail included vacating part of Sixth Street  in Oregon for an uninterrupted path between the jail and courthouse. This would allow authorities to escort inmates directly between the two buildings for hearings without the need for additional security.

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In 2015 the state of Illinois was forced to largely eliminate solitary confinement in youth prisons. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union says guards at the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg have come up with an even worse substitution: charges and, consequently, some long sentences for kids committing minor infractions.

 

Early Finding For West Nile Virus In Sterling

Jul 18, 2017

A batch of mosquitoes recently tested positive for West Nile Virus in Whiteside County. Health officials say it’s an early result in the testing season.

Health officials have been testing for West Nile Virus since 2002.

Gene Johnston, Director of Environmental Health at the Whiteside County Health Department, says it’s common to get positive results -- but usually in August or September.

Blindsided by the latest collapse of a Republican health care bill, President Trump took to Twitter to voice his frustration. Trump complained of being "let down" by a handful of Republican lawmakers. And he insisted that the fight over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is not over.

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Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been released from prison in Minnesota and transferred to a Chicago re-entry facility.

Hastert is nearing the end of a 15-month sentence that a federal judge gave him in April 2016 in a case that revealed accusations that he had sexually abused teenagers while he coached wrestling at Yorkville High School.

ICash Program Posts Record Year Returning Assets

Jul 18, 2017
"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

It has been a record-breaking year for the ICash program, according to the Illinois Treasurer's office.

"In the past year, Treasurer Michael Frerichs returned more than $159 million in unclaimed property to Illinois residents," spokesman Greg Rivara said. "It was $4 million more than the previous year, and the average claim amount was $2,700."

The program aims to reunite individuals, employers, and non-profits with forgotten assets, which can include cash, stocks, insurance benefits, and what's left in safe-deposit boxes.

U Of I Could Host New Bioenergy Research Center

Jul 18, 2017
Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media

If Congress approves, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host a $104 million center for research into new biofuels and bioproducts.

The U.S. Department of Energy is awarding the money over the next five years to help create the university’s new Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation --- CABBI for short.

Plant Biology Professor Evan DeLucia, who will be CABBI’s director, says the Energy Department was attracted to U of I because of the bioenergy work it’s already doing.

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News From NPR

Chester Bennington, one of the lead singers for the band Linkin Park and the former singer for Stone Temple Pilots, has died. His death was confirmed to NPR this afternoon by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, which said that his body was discovered at a house within the 2800 block of Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles, and that investigators are currently on the scene. The death is "being looked at as a possible suicide at this time," according to Brian Elias of the L.A. County Coroner's office. Bennington was 41 years old.

Jim Schott had one goal when he abandoned academic life to start the company called Haystack Mountain: He wanted to make some of the finest goat cheese in the country. With cheese in hand, he visited supermarkets, trying to persuade them to sell his product. Some didn't take him seriously. But Whole Foods did.

"From the very beginning, they wanted to taste it," Schott recalls. "And they wanted to know the story. They wanted to know where the cheese came from; who was making it; where it was made."

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

A Nevada parole board has granted O.J. Simpson parole from prison after he served nearly nine years following a conviction on armed robbery and other charges.

On Thursday, the four-person panel unanimously voted to grant parole. The parole board said that Oct. 1 is the earliest the former NFL star is eligible for release.

NPR's Ina Jaffe walked us through the incident that led to his conviction:

Empty streets, makeshift barricades, burning tires, signs scrawled with "No to dictatorship": Protests continue on the streets of Venezuela as a 24-hour general strike takes hold, the latest development in an ongoing political and economic crisis.

Some citizens are trying to go to work despite the shutdown of public transportation; others are taking to blockaded streets in protest. There is widespread fear of more bloodshed after months of conflict and dozens of deaths.

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