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Nathan Reading (CC-BY)

Illinois health officials are reporting a cluster of cases of a rare bloodstream infection they detected while investigating a Wisconsin outbreak.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday an additional 10 cases of infection from the bacterium Elizabethkingia, including six deaths. The strain is different from the one in Wisconsin, however.

The majority of the cases are from this year, but some date back to 2014. That's because Illinois hospitals were asked to help with the Wisconsin investigation by reporting cases back that far.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House today.

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools. 

Illinois now has a flat tax on everyone. Madigan wants a 3-percent additional tax added on income above one million dollars. 

Voters went along with a statewide advisory referendum on the issue in 2014.

Madigan: "It's time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the 1-percenters."

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The head of the Chicago Teachers Union has harsh words for Gov. Bruce Rauner and his leadership.

Union President Karen Lewis calls the first-term Republican a "recruit for ISIS" for "acts of terror" when it comes to dealing with poor people.

Lewis made the comments during a Wednesday speech to the City Club of Chicago. It comes during a 10-month state budget standoff between Rauner and legislative Democrats.

Fantasy Sports Regulation Measure Passes In The House

14 hours ago
DraftKings

The future of fantasy sports betting in Illinois hinges on legislation that’s passed a House committee.

       

It would regulate sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.  

The measure would ban company employees and anyone under 21 from playing the online games and give oversight to the Illinois Gaming Board. 

But Representative Scott Drury, a Democrat from Highwood, said he doesn't think the proposal can stop youth from participating. 

He also complained he needed more time to ask questions about the legislation before voting on it. 

U.S. News & World Report

A few high schools in the WNIJ listening area ranked in the state’s top 50. That’s according to two national lists released yesterday.

Those schools include ones in Saint Charles, Cary, Barrington, Aurora and Naperville.

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

Charles Ridulph, older brother of a Sycamore schoolgirl murdered in December 1957,  has hired an attorney in his efforts to get a special prosecutor appointed to handle the case case.  

Jack McCullough was arrested in July 2011 and convicted in September 2012 for the kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. At the time, it was the oldest cold case to be brought to trial in the United States.  

Birding Is A Popular Area Pastime

Apr 20, 2016

Bird watching, better known as "birding," is a fast-growing sector of the tourist industry.

I know many individuals who do not know that many locations in Northwest Illinois, especially along the Rock River National Waterway, are amazing places of bird habitat and bird research.

One function of the Audubon Society is to find natural areas that are home to many birds, especially rare or endangered bird species. Such locations can become an Important Birding Area, or IBA. Three places in the Rock River Valley Region have received that distinction:

staterepwallace.com

Illinois Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger recently announced her office will make legislators wait in the growing line of those trying to be paid by the state, which is entering a tenth month without a budget.

Litesa Wallace represents the Rockford-area in the Illinois House. The Democrat took to social media to vent her frustrations with the news.  The single mother says her state pay is her only source of income.

Brian Mackey

Illinois lawmakers are considering a pair of proposals that would change the way legislative districts are drawn every decade.

The issue is one that first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked lawmakers to address to ensure maps for congressional and state legislative seats are drawn fairly.

It's one of the matters he wants lawmakers to tackle as a condition to resolving the 10-month budget stalemate.

Currently, the majority party draws the maps.

City of Freeport, IL

Freeport’s mayor and council are at odds over the city’s legal department. Mayor Jim Gitz on Monday vetoed a council measure to end the department and outsource its services.

Mayor Gitz says the Council did not give a good explanation of why the measure was a good idea, or even why it was needed.   According to the Freeport Journal-Standard, Gitz also says the ordinance was being used to interfere with the work of the mayor.  

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