The Associated Press

Jim Browne/WGLT

The bison population is growing on a northern Illinois prairie.

The Chicago Tribune reports that, after bison were reintroduced to the Nachusa Grasslands, there are obvious signs that the bison are introducing themselves to each other. Fourteen bison calves were born this past spring at the 3,500 acre grasslands owned by The Nature Conservancy.

The conservancy's website says bison were returned to the area last October. The Tribune says the latest births bring the number of bison in the area to 44.

Wikipedia

A former U.S. congressman has failed to appear at a scheduled arraignment to enter a plea on federal tax charges.  
 

Mel Reynolds' lawyer explained Monday that his client traveled overseas in early June and couldn't return for his arraignment because his daughter fell ill.  
 

Monday's hearing in federal court in Chicago was supposed to be the Democrat's first court appearance since his indictment two weeks ago for allegedly not filing income tax returns for four straight years.  
 

Andrew Epstein / WNIJ

Illinois residents affected by last month's tornados in Lee and Grundy counties will get extra time to file state tax returns. 

Governor Bruce Rauner's office said Wednesday the deadline to file tax returns and make payments will be Dec. 31. He says that will allow residents to recover from the storms and file their returns on time.

Taxpayers who mail their returns and payments should write “Tornado June 2015” in red ink on the outside of the envelope and at the top of each page. Those filing electronically should check the Illinois Department of Revenue website.

Wisconsin Public Radio

  Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says 9,500 people plan to attend his rally tonight in Madison, Wis.

The Vermont senator says he will draw on the state's long progressive political history during the event. Sanders says he believes the progressive movement that existed for years in Wisconsin is now spreading throughout the country.

Flickr user Danny Hahn / "Rain" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois's wet June is now going to the record books.

State Climatologist Jim Angel says rainfall within the past few days made the month Illinois's wettest June in recorded state history. State records go back to 1895.

Angel said through Saturday, the statewide average rainfall total for the month was 8.91 inches. That tops the previous record June in 1902 -- 8.27 inches of rain fell that year.

sexoffenderrecord.com

A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of a suburban Chicago man convicted of groping a passenger on a flight while she slept in a seat next to him. 

Lawyers for Srinivasa Erramilli say the trial judge abused her discretion in allowing evidence that Erramilli committed prior sexual assaults. The lawyers also contend U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow issued improper jury instructions.

The appeals court said in its ruling Lefkow did not abuse her discretion in admitting Erramilli's prior acts.

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

Payton Chung / "O'Hare Concourse C" CC by 2.0

Screening for the Ebola virus begins today at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Customs and health officials will take temperatures of passengers from three West African countries. They will use no-touch thermometers to try to halt the spread of the Ebola virus that has killed thousands.

Customs officials say about 150 people travel daily from or through west African countries to the U-S. Almost all of them land in New York, Chicago, Newark, Atlanta or Washington, D.C.

Metra

Starting next year, passengers on Chicago area trains and buses will be able to use smartphones to pay.

Transit officials announced Wednesday that a free mobile app will be available in the first half of 2015 from Ventra, the company that produces fare cards. Passengers will be able to use it system wide — on C-T-A trains and buses, suburban Pace buses and the Metra commuter rail service.

Flickr user / Andrew "Chickens" (CC BY 2.0)

Elgin will welcome chickens to 15 backyards in a pilot program.

The city will accept applications in January 2015. Permit holders will be allowed to house four hens but no roosters.

Coops must be at least 25 feet from neighbors' and they can't be visible from the street.

The city will review the program after a year.

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