Illinois

Illinois budget woes
2:32 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

S&P Lowers State Rating Once Again

Illinois’ large budget imbalance and an $83 billion unfunded pension liability have led Standard & Poor's Ratings Services to lower the state’s credit rating from A-plus to A.

Today’s announcement also gives Illinois a negative outlook for the future.

The action on the state's general obligation bonds comes less than two weeks after a special Illinois legislative session on pension reform ended with no resolution on reining in the pension costs.

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Politics
8:06 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Gay Marriage Advocates Lobby Illinois Republicans At Convention

On Tuesday, gay marriage advocates spoke with Illinois Republicans in Tampa. But it’s not clear how their message was received.

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Illinoisans at the conventions
10:18 am
Tue August 28, 2012

A Future Election Gets Attention During The Storm Hiatus

Illinois delegates to the Republican National Convention in Florida will finally get down to party business today.

When the GOP canceled most activities Monday due to Tropical Storm Isaac, delegates and politicos had plenty of time for speculation about another election … the election for Illinois governor in 2014.

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Illinoisans at the conventions
1:04 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Illinois delegates find different purposes in conventions

Ill. Treas. Dan Rutherford

Though Hurricane Isaac successfully delayed the official start of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Monday, the spirit and excitement of the delegates attending the convention has not been dampened.

Some Republicans already may be thinking a couple of years beyond the event.

Also thinking ahead are Illinois Democrats, as they prepare for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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Public health
7:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Elgin Man Dies From West Nile Virus

umaa.org

Illinois has recorded its second death this year related to the West Nile virus. Public health officials say the victim is a 64-year-old man from Elgin. The longtime village president of Lombard also died last week from complications of the virus. 

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Whiteside County
3:24 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Another Delay Will Be Sought In Next Sheley Murder Trial

Nicholas T. Sheley

A delay will be requested for the upcoming murder trial of convicted killer Nicholas T. Sheley of Sterling.

Defense attorney Jeremy Karlin, of Galesburg, will ask Rock Island Circuit Judge F. Michael Meersman, at a hearing Friday for the fourth delay in Sheley’s first Whiteside County murder trial.

The case, scheduled to go to trial Sept. 10, also would be the first test of active news media presence in a Whiteside County court under the cameras-in-the-courtroom initiative of the Illinois Supreme Court.

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Renewable energy
10:05 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Wind farms advance in Whiteside, Ogle counties

The Whiteside County portion of a proposed wind farm near Deer Grove won approval Tuesday from the county board, while the Ogle County Board okayed a special-use permit for a wind farm near Baileyville.

Subject to conditions, Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power can build seven turbines in far southeastern Whiteside County. The board also approved two others, but officials said those need to get the nod from the Deer Grove village board.

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Science
3:15 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Cantaloupes suspected in salmonella outbreak

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck
idph.state.il.us

Illinois health officials are urging anyone with cantaloupes to inspect them following an outbreak of 17 cases identified in the state in 11 counties. Eight of the people are hospitalized.

Tainted cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana is the suspected source of the outbreak that has so far affected more than 140 people from 20 states. Symptoms of the illness include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Cases go back as far as July 7.

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Streator fire
2:28 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Police are suspicious of Lipton Tea building fire

Streator police chief Jeffrey Anderson he considers that the Saturday night fire that destroyed the historic Lipton Tea building may be connected to 16 suspicious fires in Streator since May 2011.

“They all seem to be the same M.O.,” he told the Lasalle NewsTribune . “We have questioned people but right now we have no definite leads.”

The fire started on the second and third floors on the east side of the four-story building, Streator Fire Chief Tom Risley said. Those two floors were being used for storage of plumbing supplies, pipes, bathtubs and “things of that nature,” Risley said.

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Government
7:44 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Governor, lawmakers look at what's next for pension debate

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to start a campaign to boost support for changes to Illinois' pension systems.  During last week's special session, lawmakers failed to approve a plan that would address the state’s massively underfunded retirement systems.

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