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Government
11:56 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Five non-union retirees sue state over new benefit law

Five retired state employees are suing over a new law that allows Illinois to begin charging some state retirees for health insurance.

The plaintiffs are members of the State Employees Retirement System who all put in at least 20 years of state service. Such retirees had been entitled to premium-free state health insurance, but Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law last month that does away with that benefit.

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Business
11:41 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Illinois electric utilities hit bottom in satisfaction surveys

The two major electric utilities in Illinois ranked at the bottom of the annual household customer satisfaction survey of large Midwest electric utilities released today by J.D. Power and Associates and in the bottom four of 14 in business customer satisfaction.

Commonwealth Edison Co. ranked worst in household satisfaction with a score of 579 on a scale of 1,000 points, and eleventh in business satisfaction with a score of 642.

Ameren Illinois, with a score of 606, was just above ComEd in the household survey and was dead last in the business category with a score of 610.

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-Illinois
11:11 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Storm repairs at Dixon prison top $375,000

An early July storm that raced across the Midwest is responsible for more than $375,000 in damage to the Dixon Correctional Center.

Officials are replacing roofs on numerous buildings as well as installing electrical components and other machinery broken when high winds tore into the facility.

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Business
10:54 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Rock County dairy farm wins water-quality standards case

A Rock County, Wis., town’s attempt to require a livestock farm to meet stricter water than state regulations was rebuffed Wednesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The Town of Magnolia, on State Route 213 in northern Rock County, granted a permit to Larson Acres Dairy in 2006 but imposed conditions aimed at controlling nitrate levels in water sources near the 2,900-cow facility.

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Politics
6:25 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Candidates in Illinois' 17th Congressional District discuss tax breaks

The two candidates are echoing thoughts from their respective parties when it comes to the Bush-era tax cuts.

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Arts
6:00 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Girl Scouts combat bullying in rock opera

Girl scout climbing milk crates at Camp McCormick
Jacquilyn Stephens WNIJ

Set in the halls of a fictional high school, I Am the Music: A Rock Operetta tackles the subject of cyber bullying, cliques and mean girls.

The production included 35 Girl Scouts from 23 cities around northern Illinois. Each girl auditioned and was chosen for the musical.  Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois is partnering with the  filmmakers at Comtech Corporation to generate a video that raises awareness of how to stop bullying.

Government
8:01 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

$1.6 billion for Illinois transportation projects

Jacquilyn Stephens WNIJ

$1.6 billion worth of transportation projects got the go-ahead today when Governor Pat Quinn signed a major capital improvements bill.

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Science
1:57 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

'Probable' case of measles reported in Winnebago County

What may be the first case of measles in two decades in Winnebago County is being investigated by the Winnebago County Health Department.

Sue Fuller, a spokesperson for the health department, reported that a physician confirmed the presence of a measles predecessor rash on a four-year-old child on June 30. The child also exhibited other symptoms consistent with the onset of measles, according to the physician’s report.

The last confirmed case of measles in Winnebago County was prior to 1994.

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Politics
11:20 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Boken will stay on ballot for Illinois House

Thomas Boken Jr. of DeKalb will be on the general election ballot as a Democratic candidate for the 90th House District seat being vacated by state Rep. Jerry Mitchell, R-Sterling, who is retiring after serving for 18 years.

The State Officers Electoral Board on Monday rejected an objection to Boken’s candidacy filed by Lee County Republican Party Chairman Greg Witzleb had objected to 178 signatures on Boken’s petitions.

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Politics
10:57 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Rep. Nekritz expects pension reform will be post-election

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz

Illinois State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, doesn’t expect lawmakers to act on pension reform until after the Nov. 6 general election, though Gov. Pat Quinn said they should be ready to return to Springfield this summer to work on the contentious issue.

A member of the governor’s pension reform committee, Nekritz told the Daily Herald editorial board “it’s not ideal” to delay the issue until after the election.

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