3:02 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Unemployment down, payroll up in Rockford metro

The Rockford metro area unemployment rate fell nearly one percentage point in May  to 10.4 percent and payroll employment grew by 3,400 jobs or 2.3 percent, according to preliminary data released today.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Department of Labor said unemployment fell in eight metro areas, increased in two and essentially was unchanged in two compared to last year, according

The data comparing May 2012 to May 2011 is not seasonally adjusted. The state unadjusted rate has dropped every month this year.

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7:00 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Illinois' probation officers brace for more cuts

After years of cutbacks, probation officers were hoping for a funding increase in the new state budget. Instead, they're facing even deeper cuts.

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12:22 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Nothin' fishy here: Shedd Aquarium is free this week

One of Chicago's top tourist attractions is offering a free week for Illinois residents.

The Shedd Aquarium has free general admission through Sunday. That includes its "Waters of the World" and "Amazon Rising" exhibits. The Aquarium will also offer discounted admission to other exhibits including the Abbott Oceanarium and "Jellies," which showcases several kinds of jelly fish.

The aquarium is also extending its hours through Wednesday. The Shedd will be open until 8 p.m.

6:50 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Mixed reaction in Illinois to President's immigrant order

President Obama has signed an executive order that will stop the deportation of certain immigrants who moved to the U.S. when they were young. The controversial move is drawing praise and criticism in Illinois.

25-year old Alaa Mukahhal has a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois. Her family moved to the state from Kuwait when she was a young child. But she’s still not an American citizen, and she’s currently in the midst of deportation proceedings:

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3:43 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Winnebago Trustee named to first Edgar Fellows class

Kris Kieper

Winnebago Village Trustee Kris Kieper has been named to the first class of Edgar Fellows to address issues facing the future of Illinois.

Kieper is CEO of the Rockford YWCA and writes a blog for the Rockford Register Star.

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6:45 am
Wed June 13, 2012

New anti-gang law will benefit DeKalb

DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell

A newly signed law aimed at weeding out gang leaders in larger cities like Chicago will be beneficial in DeKalb County as well, the chief prosecutor believes.

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7:24 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Court sides with news media in FOIA ruling

A court ruling has been issued in connection with Illinois' Freedom of Information Act. At question is whether text messages city council members send each other during open meetings are public record. A judge says they are.

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6:38 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Governor signs anti-gang law

Illinois Governor signs bill that targets street gang leaders

Illinois has become the latest state to adopt its version of the RICO Act. Local prosecutors now have the power to go after street gangs as criminal organizations.

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11:14 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Flavored cigarette-paper ban awaits Quinn's decision

Most lawmakers believe that tobacco companies with sugary flavors added to their products should have to quit selling them in the state.

But a recent proposal would target only flavored cigarette wrappers, not flavored cigars.

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11:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Mendota bank takes over for closed Shabbona facility

First State Bank of Mendota has added two new branches in Shabbona, both former locations of the Farmers and Traders State Bank of Shabbona, which was closed at end of business Friday by state regulators.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver to protect depositors. The FDIC arranged with First State Bank to assume all deposits of Farmers and Traders.

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