"First Aid Kits" by Flickr User Medisave UK / (CC X 2.0)

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says first aid kits, flashlights, and weather radios can make useful stocking stuffers.

The group says it’s focusing on holiday safety, but the items could be used throughout the year, in case of flooding or other natural disasters. 

Patti Thompson, with IEMA, says safety gifts are important, but often overlooked.

“Things like a weather radio that will alert them when there’s severe weather or a tornado headed their way – even like stocking stuffers, like a flashlight, extra batteries, and a first aid kit," Thompson said.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are succeeding more at frustrating each other than at striking a deal to end an 18-month budget impasse that's damaging the state's fiscal health every day.

The relationship between ruling Democrats, Republican leaders, and Rauner has only grown more toxic after several meetings in recent weeks where both sides are more likely to lash out at each other than to report meaningful progress in passing a full budget.

Longtime state Rep. Jack Franks is moving from Democratic maverick in the Illinois House to leading the heavily Republican McHenry County Board.

The Northwest Herald reports that Monday was Franks' first official day on the job as board chairman.

In a speech prior to his first board meeting, the Marengo Democrat said he wants to work with other board members to reduce taxes, improve roads and provide higher-quality services to residents.

"83" by Flickr User allison.hare / (CC X 2.0)

Several students at a suburban Chicago high school who became sick after eating gummy bears laced with an unknown substance have been hospitalized.

WLS-TV reports that officials say 13 students at Naperville North High School Tuesday experienced symptoms of fast heart rate, dizziness and dry mouth after eating the gummy bears and were taken to the Edward Hospital as a precaution.

As of Tuesday afternoon, two of the students had been released and 11 remained hospitalized.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

Those who work for Illinois organizations that provide services to survivors of domestic violence say the fact there’s no funding for them in the state’s soon-to-expire spending plan was an unfortunate surprise.


The stopgap budget doesn’t have a line item for domestic violence programs, but directors say they thought they would be paid out of the Department of Human Services' budget.