Two crows in Winnebago County have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The Winnebago County Health Department also found three mosquito pools that tested positive. So far this year, there have not been any human cases reported in the county. Last year, there were three human cases in Winnebago County. In 2012, county health officials confirmed 30 birds tested positive and 13 mosquito pools.

Chelsey Fulbright/pixlr

The fire destroyed the city's historical society. The second floor held vintage clothing, which could not be salvaged. Firefighters were able to rescue some items: papers, pictures and paintings. They arrived in various levels of disrepair at a nearby factory for "historical triage."  Two boys are charged with starting the July 15 blaze.

Charlene Hanson now spends her days organizing black-and-white photos from Prophetstown's past at the nearby Penberthy factory. Box fans are set on full blast to dry out the hundreds of pictures in neat piles around her.


Illinois health officials now report five cases of a rare stomach illness. The latest case is in McHenry County. Connie Austin is an infectious disease specialist with the state health department. She says more than 400 cases have been reported in 16 states.

"Our numbers are pretty low, which we're pretty happy about. Obviously Iowa and Nebraska were hit the hardest early on. I think we're not hit as hard as other states and hopefully it will remain that way," Austin said.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Victims of violent crime in Illinois can get up to $27,000 to help them deal with the aftermath. But few know they’re eligible for assistance under the Illinois Crime Victims Compensation Act.

Illinois lawmakers and Governor Pat Quinn remain at a standstill over a pension overhaul plan. Legislative leaders sued the Governor last week after he blocked lawmaker paychecks because of inaction on the state's growing pension obligations.

The new law is named after "Rocky" Clark who died in 2012 after injuries from a high school football game in 2000 that left him paralyzed. The legislation requires that schools have a minimum policy covering $3 million in benefits or five years of coverage. The measure was sponsored by Senator Napolean Harris, a former NFL player:

flickr/ dougward / Creative Commons

Governor Quinn recently signed a measure to re-ignite plans for another Chicago-area airport. The announcement doesn't seem to pose a major threat to Rockford's airport.

The Peotone Airport has been in the works for decades, so it's no surprise many are still skeptical the project will get off the ground. The legislation allows the state's transportation department to spend around $70 million to buy more land for Peotone. The plan is still under review by the FAA.

O'Dea / WikiCommons

  Illinois doctors can start prescribing marijuana next year. Governor Pat Quinn signed a medical marijuana bill into law today, making the state the 20th in the nation to do so.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

DeKalb Mayor John Rey and NIU President Doug Baker spoke to business leaders Thursday morning about some of the ways the two groups will work together in the future. Baker half-joked that he would like to see more community members fill Huskie Stadium during football games and buy tickets to other university events.

But much of the discussion on a city/university partnership centers on DeKalb's downtown.

walknboston / Flickr, Creative Commons

A central figure in the Rod Blagojevich investigation was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison.

Jacob Kiferbaum wasn’t in Blagojevich’s inner circle, but it was his cooperation that got the ball rolling in the investigation into corruption under former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Kiferbaum was a construction company owner who conspired with Stuart Levine, a public official in the Blagojevich administration, to rig contracts. Levine would use his clout to steer contracts to Kiferbaum who would kick some of the money back to Levine.