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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his corruption convictions, the second time in two years it has declined to take up his case.

The nation's highest court offered no explanation for its decision, letting stand the Chicago Democrat's convictions. They included seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president for campaign cash.

Blagojevich, 61, began serving his 14-year prison sentence in 2012. His scheduled release date is 2024.

"SPILLS PILLS PILLS" BY FLICKR USER OLIVER.DODD / (CC x 2.0)

The opioid epidemic continues to plague communities across Illinois. For the state’s youth, the biggest threat may be hiding in their home medicine cabinet.

In 2016, there were nearly 1,500 prescription opioid overdose deaths in Illinois—a number that quadrupled in 3 years, according to the state’s Department of Public Health. Studies suggest that more youth are experimenting, and dying, from prescription pills.

The Illinois State Police will now house receptacles for people to safely dispose of unused pills. Lieutenant Matt Boerwinkle says it’s greatly needed.

"April10 033" by Flickr User Lord Jim / (CC x 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers are moving ahead with legislation toughening penalties for texting and driving.

If passed, the bill would allow law enforcement to issue a moving violation on a first offense. That carries a fine of $75 dollars for the first violation. Current law only allows a ticket to be issued on the second or subsequent stops.

State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, also sponsored the original ban on texting and driving four years ago. He says everyone knows now that texting and driving is illegal.

One day you're an attractive secret agent. The next day you can't look into a mirror without feeling disgust. That's the basic premise of Seven-Sided Spy, a Cold War thriller featuring a trio of CIA agents and their KGB counterparts.

This debut novel by Hannah Carmack is our Read With Me selection for April.

illinois.gov

There's an important reason for trout-fishing fans to follow all the right steps before taking part in Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season, which begins at 5 a.m.  Saturday, Apr. 7.

Ed Cross, of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says that getting your fishing license (if required) and inland trout stamp not only keeps you legal; it’s also for a good cause.

“You are creating the money needed to provide this program each year," Cross said. "So that each year you participate, you’re making sure that that program will be around next year.”

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