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Republican Day
1:53 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Things are quieter for GOP at the fair

Members of the Illinois GOP are rallying their supporters for Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair one day after demonstrators booed Gov. Pat Quinn at Democratic events. But Republicans are not talking much about the presidential election just a few months away.

Democrats filled a banquet hall yesterday in a raucus event -- frequently evoking the name Barack Obama and getting the crowd riled up.

Republicans organized a much smaller event today with about 100 attendees, mostly county party chairmen.

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Hackmatack Refuge
12:44 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

New wildlife refuge along stateline is approved

Ken Salazar
U.S. Dept. of Interior

A new federal wildlife refuge has been authorized along the border between Illinois and Wisconsin. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the establishment of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois during a visit Wednesday to Milwaukee.

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LaSalle-Peru sports facility
12:23 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

LaSalle-Peru High weighs $10 million sports facility

The La Salle-Peru Township High School board is considering a $10 million athletic campus on 39 acres on the north side of La Salle.

The initial proposal includes facilities for track and field, 10 tennis courts, a baseball field, two softball fields and two soccer fields, among other amenities.

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Illinois
6:27 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Several northern Illinois counties added to drought list

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack

All counties in Illinois have now been designated as "primary disaster areas" due to drought. That's after the U.S. Department of Agriculture added counties in northern Illinois to the list.

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Education
7:53 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Chief Justice welcomes NIU's new law students

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride speaks to incoming NIU law students
Jacquilyn Stephens WNIJ

Students across Illinois are making their way back to school in the coming weeks. Yesterday, Northern Illinois University’s incoming law students got a special welcome.

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Gambling expansion
2:39 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Madigan says gaming veto override unlikely

Rep. Mike Madigan, D-Chicago
housedem.state.il.us

The Illinois General Assembly is unlikely to override a veto of the controversial gambling expansion bill passed this spring, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, told reporters today.

Lawmakers earlier this year sent Quinn a proposal that would put new casinos in Rockford, Lake County, Chicago, the south suburbs and Danville. It also would permit up to 1,200 slot machines at Illinois horse-racing venues.

Quinn must either sign or veto that legislation by the end of the month, and he has expressed no interest in signing it into law. His primary objection has been a lack of ethical protections built into the legislation.

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Business
2:22 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Another quarter, another record for Deere & Co.

That's exactly the same headline as back in May, when the company reported record performance for the second quarter. This morning, Deere reported third -quarter net income totaled $788 million, or $1.98 cents per share, compared to $1.69 a year ago. It's the ninth consecutive quarter the company has reported record earnings. In addition, revenue and net sales jumped 15 per cent in the third quarter.

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State workers
11:35 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Unions irritated with Quinn over contract, pensions

Gov. Pat Quinn

Illinois labor leaders are accusing Gov. Pat Quinn of trampling employees' rights and betraying the Democratic Party's history of supporting workers. 

They're angry because unions made concessions to help save money and then Quinn canceled raises guaranteed by their contract. They also object to his plans to cut jobs and reduce retirement benefits.  

Roberta Lynch of AFSCME, the state's largest public employees union, says her members ``do not have any faith or trust'' in Quinn. 

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WNIJ web special
10:41 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Illinois Guard unit provides logistical support in Botswana

Sgt. Christopher Huitrado of Streator, Ill., automated logistical specialist with Company A, 405th Brigade Support Battalion out of Streator, locks a container into the enhanced container handling unit on duty in Botswana
Army Staff Sgt. Jaime L. Witt, 139th MPAD

THEBEPHATSHWA AIR BASE, Botswana – Logistics is the backbone of any large-scale operation, and one group of Illinois Army National Guard soldiers is providing that support. Soldiers from the 405th Brigade Support Battalion are currently in Botswana, Africa, supporting Southern Accord 12.

SA12 is a combined joint exercise meant to strengthen the partnership between U.S. forces and the Botswana Defense Force through humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping operations and aeromedical evacuation.

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Illinois
6:32 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Northern Illinois river project gets a thumbs up from feds

Federal officials have recognized local efforts to improve areas along a northern Illinois river. The Pecatonica River Water Trail improvement is one of 11 projects highlighted by the the Department of Interior.

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