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Republican State Sen. Darin LaHood made it official: He says he’s already filed paperwork to open a federal campaign account to replace resigning U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.

Other Republican politicians are still considering their options, and two early possibilities have declared their intentions not to seek the 18th District Congressional seat.

LaHood, 46, is a lawyer from Dunlap. His father, Ray LaHood, held the seat before Schock and also served as Secretary of Transportation in the Obama administration.

But the younger LaHood says he'll stand on his own record.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Unions and other advocates for raising Illinois' minimum wage won a small victory yesterday. For the first time in years, an increase is advancing in the Illinois House.  

Even Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he can get behind it — if it comes after a long list of pro-business legislation.

Democrat Art Turner, from Chicago, got the measure through a committee on a party-line vote.

WBEZ

Gun owners from around Illinois rallied in Springfield Wednesday in support of their Second Amendment rights.  

Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day, or I-GOLD, involved a march to the Capitol and a rally to get the attention of the governor and legislators.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Criminal charges have been filed against a Freeport-area woman after 143 cats and dogs were seized Monday from her home. Many of them were dead. 

Tina McKinnon, 45, is charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, plus three misdemeanor charges. Officials say they had been trying to find her home after she reached out to animal control and another local animal rescue organization for help with all of the animals, only to back away.  

Flickr user frankieleon / "Vaccination" (CC BY 2.0)

Test results show two potential measles cases reported over the weekend in the Bloomington-Normal area actually were not instances of the highly infectious malady.

OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center says tests for the rubeola virus on the mother and daughter who had a rash were negative. The two went to OSF Promptcare on Fort Jesse Road in Normal on Sunday, and healthcare workers there shut down part of the facility until it could be decontaminated. OSF says it cannot say what illness caused the rash that presented similar enough symptoms to prompt a measles inquiry.

New DCFS Director Struggling To Defend Cuts

Mar 18, 2015
DCFS

The new director of Illinois’ child welfare system is having a hard time defending Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts.

Democratic state senators are pushing the head of the Department of Children and Family Services to account for more than $100 million in cuts. Under Rauner’s proposal, 18-year-olds would be cut out of state services.

Kraft Recalls Batch of 'Mac & Cheese'

Mar 18, 2015
Kraft Foods Group

Kraft is voluntarily recalling about 242,000 cases of its Original Macaroni & Cheese. 

Some boxes may contain small metal pieces.

The recall is limited to boxes with “Use By” dates of September 18th through October 11th and the code “C2″ directly below the stamped date. 

Some products were also in multi-packs that have a range of different code dates and manufacturing codes on the packaging.

wnij

Nippon Sharyo’s production milestone comes as several labor groups question safety standards at the Rochelle facility.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A railcar factory in Rochelle hit a major milestone Tuesday -- it completed its one-thousandth passenger rail car since opening in 2012. 

Pension Fight Won't End Regardless Of High Court Ruling

Mar 17, 2015

Union members and state employees can expect another pension battle ahead, regardless of what the Illinois Supreme Court says about the the current law meant to stem the tide on pension expenses.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll push forward with his pension fix no matter how the seven justices rule on the 2013 legislation that was passed and signed into law before being put on hold by litigation.

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