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67th District Democrat
4:12 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Jefferson Resigns As Rockford's State Representative

State Representative Chuck Jefferson is flanked by Rockford mayor Larry Morrissey and Governor Pat Quinn in this 2012 photo.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

State Representative Chuck Jefferson surprised constituents and political watchers alike by quietly submitting his resignation. The Rockford Democrat has served in the State House since 2001. 

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Economy
5:36 am
Wed July 2, 2014

"Poaching" Not In Blueprint For Illinois Job Growth

Credit DCEO

Illinois' economy was slow to feel the effects of the Great Recession, and has been slow to recover from it. The state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is submitting a five-year plan to the General Assembly, with suggestions for business growth and more state spending.

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Weather
5:25 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Tornado Confirmed In Earlville Monday Night

NWS

The National Weather Service reports six tornadoes touched down in Illinois Monday night. A damage survey confirmed an EF-1 tornado landed near Earlville. The weather service reports peak winds reached 110 mph in northern LaSalle County. 

Education
5:16 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Taiwanese Students Learn How To "Argue" At NIU Camp

Jenna Dooley WNIJ

There are a lot of summer camps to choose from, with everything from sports to arts and crafts.

Two dozen young students from Taiwan are learning with their American peers how to get their point across. This week, the students are taking part in activities designed around the study and debate of alternative energy.

The students from the National University of Tainan's Affiliated Elementary School will stay in DeKalb through mid-July.

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Illinois
5:23 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Supreme Court Limits Power Of Illinois Home Care Worker Unions

Credit supremecourt.gov

An Illinois home care worker argued that being forced to pay union fees violates her first amendment rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken her side.

But it limited its decision to non-traditional public employees-- like home care workers, who are paid by the state but hired and fired by the people they care for.

Paul Kersey works for the Illinois Policy Institute which helped bring the case.

He says today was a big win, but there’s more to be done.

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Illinois
5:16 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Law Designed To Ease School Transfers For Military Families

Credit state of Illinois

Children in military families should have an easier time changing schools when their parents transferring in and out of Illinois. 

Last summer, Tom White retired from the U.S. Army and accepted a post teaching military law at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. But instead of moving his family near his work in Illinois, White opted to live in Indiana and commute at least an hour each day.

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Government
3:07 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Quinn Makes Minor Changes To State Budget

Credit state of Illinois

Illinois will have a budget in place when the state's new fiscal year begins Tuesday. The governor signed it into law Monday. He left much of the plan approved by Democratic legislators intact, with a couple of exceptions meant to play well with voters.

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Local
7:20 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Hive Talkin': Sticking With Beekeeping As A Hobby

Carolyn Hudon surveys one of her bee hives
Credit Mike Moen/WNIJ

Beekeeping is enjoying a nice comeback in many U.S. states, including Illinois. Renewed interest in the hobby is linked to concerns over declining bee populations. Enthusiasts also say curiosity tends to reel people in.

No matter the case, those with experience say that, while beekeeping is rewarding, it’s not an activity you can just buzz into.

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Illinois
5:21 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Audit Finds State Fairs Did Not Comply With Law

Credit http://www.agr.state.il.us/isf/horse/

A state audit has found that state fairs in both Springfield and DuQuoin overcharged entrance fees for horses in racing events. But the Department of Agriculture says it's a consequence of the state contributing $200,000 less toward the purse.

The audit also found that the DuQuoin fair only held three out of the five prescribed days of horse racing.

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Medical Marijuana
5:01 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Company Seeks Permit For Medical Marijuana Cultivation Center In Peru

  1. The Peru city council will learn more tonight about a request to build a medical marijuana cultivation center. AgriCare Nutrition LLC, based in Sioux Falls, S.D.,  is seeking a special use permit to establish the center on Unytite Drive.
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