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Illinois
4:00 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Deceased Homeless Rockford Residents Remembered At Memorial

A candle was lit for every person recognized at the Rock River Homeless Coalition's Memorial for the Homeless on Friday.
Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Rockford residents gathered to mourn the lives of the city’s homeless Friday at Carpenter’s Place. 

Shelton Kay is the director of community services at Crusader Community Health. He is also chairman for the Rock River Homeless Coalition, who hosted the annual event.

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Contract negotiations
3:37 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Union Rejects Kishwaukee College's "Last, Best Offer"

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Kishwaukee College faculty members voted down a contract proposal from school administrators today after a two-hour meeting.

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Illinois
2:21 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Quinn Names Stermer To Comptroller Post

Credit State of Illinois

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn has chosen longtime friend Jerry Stermer -- his former chief of staff and current budget director -- to take over as Illinois' Comptroller. 

Quinn had to choose someone for the position, following the unexpected death last week of Republican Judy Baar Topinka.

Stermer will only hold the job for 24 days; he says he'll step down January 12th, Quinn's last day as governor.

That will allow Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner to appoint someone else as comptroller, for what would have been Topinka's next term.

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Arts
9:46 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Five Under-The-Radar Reads From Nancy Pearl

NPR's Book Concierge: Browse more than 250 standout titles from 2014 selected by NPR staff and critics, including Nancy Pearl.
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Illinois
8:20 am
Fri December 19, 2014

St. Charles Students Expelled After Shutting Down School Computer System

St. Charles school officials expelled two high school students who they say shut down the district's computer network. Officials say the students overloaded the district's servers using their cell phones.  

For almost a month, teachers were blocked from online grading and homework programs. The students were caught after they were overheard by staff members bragging to their classmates.

Both students enrolled in an online school and will be able to re-enroll in the district for the next school year. No legal charges have been made.

Politics
7:45 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Proposed Eavesdropping Law Allows Recording Police, Contrary To Internet Rumors

Credit David Schaper / NPR

Nine months after the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s eavesdropping law, the legislature passed a bill to replace it. The legislation, which defines eavesdropping and its consequences, is currently waiting on the governor's desk.

Already, the proposed law faces criticism, and a flurry of misinformation. 

Here's a sampling of some headlines from around the web:

"Illinois Passes Bill That Makes It Illegal To Record The Police"

"Illinois law would make recording the police a felony"

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Illinois
5:39 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Parents Of Children With Disabilities Can Now Better Prepare For The Future

Credit GovTrack.us

Parents of those with disabilities will be able to save more in the New Year to care for their adult children. Previously, working adults with disabilities could keep no more than $2,000 for additional care and basic life expenses without being penalized by Social Security. 

Northern Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock says the measure allows savings of up to $14,000 per year, tax deferred, on behalf of those with disabilities:

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Illinois
5:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Auditor General Finds Gaps In DCFS Reporting On Runaways

Credit DCFS

A state audit finds an Illinois agency could do more to track runaways. 

The Illinois Auditor General finds the Department of Children and Family Services did not report the number of wards missing in a given year.

According to the report, the agency used daily lists of missing wards which showed about 230 wards were missing each day.

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Employment
5:42 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Strong Jobs Report For Illinois In November

Credit IDES

Illinois employers added 2,300 jobs in November. The unemployment rate fell to 6.4  percent. That's despite more people looking for work. The latest numbers come the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. 

The data is seasonally adjusted.

According to a state news release, the last time the rate was lower was June 2008 when it was 6.3 percent. It was 9 percent in November 2013.

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-Illinois
1:56 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Illinois Businesses, Farmers, Officials React To President's Announcement on Cuba

Credit Illinois Corn Growers Association

President Obama's announcement that the U.S. will start talks on normalizing relations with Cuba includes plans to allow more exports to that country.  Some say that could offer new opportunities for Illinois farmers and businesses.

One of those people is William Delaney. He chairs the International Business Council for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and reacted positively to the possibility of greater exports to Cuba being allowed.

"The impact would be direct, immediate and hugely beneficial for the state of Illinois."

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