Illinois

"Corn" by Flickr User Miroslav Vajdic / (CC X 2.0)

Crop experts say the recent heat and humidity that has hit Illinois is ideal for the state's soybean and corn crops.

Nikki Keltner is a program coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension, which covers Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

She says early ear counts indicate above-average corn production in the area unless there is severe weather or other issues.

Premier Cooperative recently completed a survey of local cornfields in Champaign County as well as parts of Vermilion, Piatt and Douglas counties.

"Electronic Stethescope" By Flickr User Ted Eytan / (CC BY 2.0)

Higher prices and fewer choices on the Illinois "Obamacare" marketplace will make choosing a health plan for 2017 a potentially frustrating experience for families who buy their own coverage.

The Illinois Department of Insurance released information Wednesday on rates it submitted to federal officials. Statewide, the average rate increase for a typical benchmark plan is 43 percent.

In eight counties, only Blue Cross Blue Shield will sell individual coverage.

CREDIT "COURTROOM ONE GAVEL" BY FLICKR USER BETH CORTEZ-NEAVEL / (CC BY 2.0)

Rod Blagojevich's lawyer has notified a federal court that the imprisoned former Illinois governor plans to appeal his 14-year sentence for corruption imposed at a resentencing earlier this month.

Leonard Goodman filed the brief notice with U.S. District Court in Chicago Tuesday informing sentencing Judge James Zagel that the 59-year-old Democrat will appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Zagel on Aug. 9 rejected pleas for leniency from the now white-haired former governor and kept the sentence originally imposed in 2011 at 14 years.

Rauner Signs Measure To Curb Gun Trafficking

Aug 23, 2016
Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner today signed into law a measure that would increase the sentences for illegal gun sales.

People with a record of firearms offenses who try to sell guns will face harsher penalties.

Rauner says the law targets so-called straw purchasers.

“Now, someone who’s bringing guns into the state to sell, just bringing them in for that purpose, we can now go after them and we can prosecute them in a very aggressive way,” Rauner said.

The measure imposes a sentence of up to 20 years for a first offense and up to 30 years for a second one.

Jenna Dooley

Earlier this week, Amy Fontana popped the trunk of her large, red vehicle next to Huntley Middle School. She’s been collecting yard signs that read “We Support Our Teachers.” It was an effort by the DeKalb Classroom Teachers’ Association to drum up support for a new contract.

She says more than 600 went up around the city.

Negotiations wrapped up with a three year contract.

Fontana, who is a spokesperson for the DCTA, says compromises were made.

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