Associated Press


Unemployment rates dropped last month in every Wisconsin county and all 32 of the state's largest cities. The state's Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday on preliminary local unemployment rates for September. It shows unemployment rates fell compared with August in all 72 counties and the largest cities.

"VOTE" By Flickr User Theresa Thompson / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois election officials say the number of registered active voters in the state is at its highest since 1970.

Illinois State Board of Election spokesman Jim Tenuto said Tuesday morning that there are 7.9 million registered active voters in the state. That's more than the 7.8 million who were registered in 2008 before then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois successfully ran for president.

That number was the previous high.

"Cigarette" By Flickr User Conan / (CC BY 2.0)

New research shows cigarettes contribute to more than 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the U.S. The rate is highest among men in southern states where smoking is more common and tobacco control policies are less strict.

The American Cancer Society study found the highest rate among men in Arkansas, where 40 percent of cancer deaths were linked to cigarette smoking.

Kentucky had the highest rate among women - 29 percent.

The lowest rates were in Utah, where 22 percent of cancer deaths in men and 11 percent in women were linked with smoking.

David J. Phillip/AP

Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton Kershaw, Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration at Wrigley Field.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has lagged far behind Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in raising money for the final weeks of his re-election bid.

Documents filed with federal election authorities this month show Kirk raised almost $1.2 million between July 1 and September 30.

Duckworth raised more than three times that amount, bringing in $4.1 million during the same period.

It was her strongest fundraising quarter yet, leaving Duckworth with $4.3 million cash on hand. Kirk's campaign fund had a balance of about $1.4 million.