Illinois

Illinois
6:29 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Tens of thousands still without power after Tuesday morning storms

Late Tuesday Afternoon Update:

Tens of thousands of people in northern Illinois were without electricity hours after a fast-moving thunderstorm downed trees and severed power lines.

The early morning storm knocked out power to about 300,000 homes and businesses in the northern part of the state.

Commonwealth Edison said that by mid-afternoon, 91,000 customers were still without electricity, most of them to the west of Chicago.

Company officials expect power will be restored to most of them by Thursday evening or Friday. 

Read more
Illinois
6:53 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Quinn asks for more federal help for drought-stricken counties

WNIJ

Governor Pat Quinn has asked for federal disaster designations for virtually all Illinois counties. His request comes amid one of the state's worst droughts on record.

Read more
Illinois
6:44 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Illinois part of whooping cough trend

Director of Illinois Department of Public Health, LaMar Hasbrouck

Nationally, rates of "pertussis" are up.  And Illinois is no exception. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports just over one thousand cases of the disease known as "whooping cough" already this year.

Read more
Blagojevich corruption aides
10:51 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Levine relieved by light corruption sentence

Stuart Levine

A relatively short prison sentence seems to be bringing some relief to Stuart Levine, one of the central figures in the Blagojevich scandal.
After being sentenced yesterday, Stuart Levine smiled and shook hands and joked with many of the prosecutors and FBI agents who investigated him and brought him down.
And what a downfall it's been.
Levine went from being a multi-millionaire to working at a kiosk in a mall.

Read more
Open Meetings Act
10:30 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Quinn signs law closing open-meetings loophole

Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Thursday to strengthen the Illinois Open Meetings Act by requiring that notice of public meetings and agendas are posted for two full days before the meeting.

“This law gives the public greater access to information and activities that impact their lives,” Quinn said. “Increasing government openness and accountability from the statewide level to the local level will make Illinois a stronger, more ethical state.”

Read more
June home sales
10:17 am
Fri July 20, 2012

June home sales, median price rise in Illinois

Statewide home sales in June surged 18 percent over previous year levels to 13,111 single-family homes and condominiums. This was the best June performance since 2010, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

The statewide median price in June was $155,000, up 3.3 percent from June 2011, the fourth straight month of median price increases in Illinois. The median price -- where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less – has risen $32,650 since January.

Read more
Illinois Insurance Exchange
11:31 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Illinois will partner with feds on health insurance exchange

Illinois will seek a partnership with the federal government to set up a health insurance exchange for the first year, aides to Gov. Pat Quinn said Wednesday.

That online marketplace eventually could help more than 1 million Illinoisans obtain affordable insurance as part of the federal health-care law.

Read more
Drug prevention
11:21 am
Thu July 19, 2012

$1 million gift will help fight drugs in Illinois

A private donor has come through with a grant to make up for state cuts to drug prevention. Five years ago, Illinois was spending about $7.5 million to keep young people from trying drugs.

This year, the state's spending $1 million, and the future is cloudy; the governor tried to cut all of the funding.

Larry Goodman of Highland Park says the cut is unconscionable when teens across Illinois are increasingly using heroin.

Read more
Illinois bond sale
10:47 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Illinois gets 'rock bottom' rate on $1.5 billion in bonds

The state of Illinois didn’t have any trouble selling $1.5 billion in debt to repay a federal loan for its unemployment-insurance program, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Crain’s Chicago Business said interest rates for the three-series offering were “rock bottom,” thanks to the dedicated stream of unemployment insurance taxes backing them up -- separate from Illinois' general fund. Also, any extra money from the tax can be used only to pay off the debt, providing extra protection for investors.

People familiar with the deal said it received many more orders than there were bonds available.

Read more
Consumer protection
1:34 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Quinn signs four consumer-protection laws

Gov. Pat Quinn
WNIJ

Gov. Pat Quinn today signed four consumer-protection laws banning false phone charges known as “cramming,” lowering utility costs, and helping resolve billing and credit issues.

“When everyday people work together for the common good, we can improve our state,” Quinn said. “We need to keep fighting for consumer rights in Illinois and ensure those rights are protected from those who would take advantage of them.”

Read more

Pages