The Illinois trooper who hit and killed a pair of Illinois sisters while driving a police cruiser, is not getting his driver's license back.
Matt Mitchell was driving 126 miles an hour, using his cell phone, and using his computer to send emails, when he hit the car carrying 13-year-old Kelli and 18-year-old Jessica Uhl. In 2010, Mitchell pled guilty to all charges. He served probation and lost his license.
This summer, Mitchell appeared in court to ask for his license to be reinstated, saying he needed it to find a job. Thursday, his appeal was denied.
Mitchell now lives in Texas.
CHICAGO (AP) - A Cook County judge has ruled that Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to halt lawmaker pay over the pension crisis is unconstitutional and has ordered Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka to pay them immediately.
Judge Neil Cohen made the ruling Thursday.
He says the state Constitution makes it clear that lawmakers' pay can't be changed while serving they're serving their terms.
Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators' salaries from the state budget because they hadn't fixed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying Quinn's actions were unconstitutional and violated the state's separation of powers. They asked a judge to order paychecks be issued.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A year after Illinois was sued and reached a settlement over inadequate conditions in its juvenile detention centers, two separate reports are detailing a number of conditions that the authors say must change.
The first report, submitted in federal court as part of the settlement, describes incarcerated teens mowing lawns during the school day, being improperly medicated and being routinely subjected to more solitary confinement than necessary.
Watchdog group the John Howard Association is releasing a separate review Thursday on conditions at a Kewanee facility specializing in treatment for juveniles with mental health issues.
Juvenile detention centers house more than 800 inmates between the ages of 13 and 20.
The Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice says it is addressing the problems.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials have decided on a brand name for the new health insurance marketplace set to open Tuesday.
Gov. Pat Quinn's administration unveiled the name Wednesday: It's "Get Covered Illinois." The brand tagline is "The Official Health Marketplace."
Deputy Gov. Cristal Thomas says the administration wanted a name that was "very clear about what this product has to offer."
The brand and logo are part of a multimillion-dollar ad campaign beginning Tuesday and building through the fall and winter. Uninsured Illinoisans have until the end of March to buy health insurance through Get Covered Illinois.
State officials expect at least 300,000 people to sign up for coverage using new options available through President Barack Obama's health care law. The Affordable Care Act requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance.
An Illinois man, accused of tying up two people and sexually assaulting them, is in custody.
Jerry Sutt was arrested Monday in Tennessee. Police say Sutt broke in to a rural Collinsville home on September 18 and bound the two people. He then allegedly assaulted one of them. That victim was taken to the hospital.
Sutt is now held on a half-million dollar bond and facing multiple felony charges.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - So far, more than 50 instructors have been approved to train Illinois residents applying for applications to carry concealed weapons.
The Daily Herald reports 54 instructors have been OK'd for the program - most of them in northern Illinois.
Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says as many as 1,000 more applications have been received.
In July, Illinois became the last state in the nation to approve a law allowing the public possession of firearms.
Anyone who wants to apply for a concealed-carry license must complete 16 hours of training from a state-approved instructor. The instructor also must use the state's training curricula.
Applications for concealed-carry licenses will be available from state police beginning Jan. 5.
A list of instructors can be found here.
CAVE-IN-ROCK, Ill. (AP) - Vendors at a recently completed outdoor festival featuring the Insane Clown Posse rap-metal group say they haven't been paid thousands of dollars by promoters of the yearly southern Illinois event.
The Southern Illinoisan reports that several vendors at the Gathering of the Juggalos say they've received bad checks from the promoters of the event near Cave-In-Rock.
Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker says his department got a check from the promoters, Michigan-based Psychopathic Records Inc., as a donation for equipment such as protective vests and stun guns. But Fricker says that check bounced.
The festival has been staged for the past several years near Cave-In-Rock, drawing thousands of people for a week.
A message seeking comment was left Thursday with Psychopathic Records.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - New Census Bureau figures show Illinois' poverty rate remained stubbornly near 15 percent last year, and anti-poverty advocates say that's a sign an economic recovery isn't trickling down to the least fortunate.
The latest figures suggest that 14.7 percent of Illinoisans, or about 1.85 million people, lived in poverty last year. That's down ever slightly from 15 percent, or 1.88 million, in 2011.
The national rate also remained at 15 percent.
Amy Terpstra of the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance's Social Impact Research Center says the latest figures may make the case for raising Illinois' minimum wage. It's set at $8.25 an hour. Gov. Pat Quinn is pushing that idea, but business executives say it could backfire and force employers to eliminate jobs.
CHICAGO (AP) - With his top Democratic challenger out of the 2014 race, Gov. Pat Quinn says he remains focused on his day job.
Quinn addressed reporters Wednesday in Chicago. The appearance was his first since former White House chief of staff Bill Daley bowed out of the 2014 race.
Quinn shied away from addressing Daley's criticisms, including parting statements that Quinn wouldn't win.
With just one lesser known candidate left, he's widely expected to get the nod from his party during the March primary.
Quinn says he'll still attend a statewide slating discussion this weekend in Springfield by the state's Democratic party.
Four Republicans are running for governor. Quinn says it'll be a tough contest.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois officials say the state saved about $44 million in five months because of a vendor's work to scrub unentitled Illinois residents from the Medicaid rolls. Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos detailed the savings Tuesday at a legislative hearing in Chicago.
The work by Reston, Va.-based Maximus resulted in the state canceling Medicaid for more than 125,000 people. Outsourcing that task will cost the state about $70 million over two years.
Hamos says 40 percent of the people kicked off Medicaid had no medical costs in the past six months, resulting in lower than projected savings.
She says Illinois officials still would like to complete the contract with Maximus and will appeal an arbitrator's ruling that would require the contract to be canceled Dec. 31.