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Politics
6:57 am
Tue January 27, 2015

New DeKalb City Clerk Announced

Credit City of DeKalb

Marcia Sweigert was sworn in as DeKalb City Clerk at Monday night’s Council meeting. She was appointed by Mayor John Rey and received unanimous approval by the Council.

Sweigert starts her duties immediately, and her interim appointment will end this spring. The Clerk’s office is up for election on April 7th. Officials elected at that time will begin serving in May.

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Health
6:31 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Common Meds May Be Linked To Dementia

Over-the-counter meds for conditions like insomnia and hay-fever may be linked to dementia.

That’s according to a study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers say the findings suggest prolonged use for three years or more posed a higher risk of dementia for elderly people.

Winter Weather Delays
6:20 am
Tue January 27, 2015

East Coast Storm Cancels 200+ Chicago Flights

Credit Flickr user jen light / "airplane" (CC v. 2.0)

A winter storm forecast to bring up to two feet of snow to the East Coast contributed to more than 200 flight cancelations at Chicago's two major airports.

Chicago’s Aviation Department says 190 flights were canceled at O'Hare and around 30 were canceled at Midway.

The National Weather Service said a major storm moving up the East Coast is bringing heavy snow and powerful winds through today. A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, including New York and Boston.

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Online Sales Tax
6:14 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Brick, Mortar Retailers Praise Illinois Online Sales Tax

Credit Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Brick and mortar retailers in Illinois are rejoicing.

That's after Amazon announced it would soon comply with a new state law, forcing the online retail giant to collect a sales-tax.

But some worry about the law's unintended consequences.

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Politics
6:10 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Rauner Supporter Will Chair Illinois Sports Facilities Authority

Credit NIU

An ally of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner will chair the state agency that owns the Chicago White Sox stadium, and oversaw the renovations of Soldier Field. But one of former Governor Pat Quinn's closest confidants will still retain another high-paying post. 

The Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has been home base for all sorts of political wins and losses over the years. And there's a whole roster of players.

Most recently, Quinn secured the executive director's job for his former campaign manager.  Lou Bertuca was hired without a national search.

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Illinois
4:24 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Former Illinois Public Health Director Lands New Job

Credit IDPH

LaMar Hasbrouck will take over next month as the head of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

In a news release, Hasbrouck calls strong local health departments a "backbone."

He'll begin his new job Feb. 10.

Illinois' new governor, Republican Bruce Rauner,  named Nirav Shah as Illinois' new public health director.

Shah had been working as an attorney at a top Chicago law firm, and lectured at the University of  Chicago medical school.

He holds both law and medical degrees from the U of C.

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Transportation
4:23 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

What's The Future Of Passenger Rail For Rockford?

Credit IDOT

Illinois has agreements in place for two new railroad projects.

One would allow passengers to travel by train to Rockford.  The other, to the Quad Cities.

But the head of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association,Rick Harnish,  says they could be in jeopardy because of Governor Bruce Rauner's hold on all non-essential state spending. Harnish says that delays could derail the projects.

"This was the year - it is the year - that really is the make or break difference. So it needs to move forward very quickly."

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Illinois
4:14 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Legal Dispute Over Illinois Lottery Management

Credit Illinois Lottery

The management of Illinois’ lottery is under legal review.

Illinois’ lottery is run by a private company named Northstar.

And Northstar is part of a partnership made up of two large gambling companies that run lottos around the world.

Northstar is only partially through its 10-year contract with the state. Former Governor Pat Quinn’s administration had said the company wasn’t performing up to standards.

And Quinn wanted to end the contract before his term ended earlier this month.

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Health
7:06 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Flexible Hours Can Decrease Sleep Deficiency

Credit Flickr user Betsssssy / "100/365: Sleeping fine..." (CC BY 2.0)

Giving employees flexible work hours can help curb sleep deficiency and improve overall health. 

That’s according to a new study in the journal Sleep Health.

Sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of automobile crashes, disease and early mortality. Improving sleep is a goal of Healthy People 2020, which is a federal initiative that sets national objectives and monitors progress concerning the health of the nation.

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Conversion Therapy
7:04 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Ill. Legislators Try To Ban LGBT Conversion Therapy Again

Illinois lawmaker Kelly Cassidy is again trying to ban counseling that tries to make gay kids, straight.

Sexual orientation conversion therapy can cause depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, according to reports from psychologists. A proposal to make the therapy off limits for minors failed last year in the Illinois House. 

The CEO of the gay rights group Equality Illinois, Bernard Cherkasov, is hopeful it will pass this time. 

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