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Several new traffic laws take effect in Illinois January 1st.  

 

The speed limit on rural interstates will go up from 65 to 70-miles-per-hour.  Madison and St. Clair Counties can opt out on heavily congested highways.  Penalties for speeding will get tougher.  Driving more than 26 miles-per-hour over the speed limit will be a Class B misdemeanor.  Exceed the limit by 35 miles-per-hour and is a Class A misdemeanor.  

 

And the use of hand-held cellphones will be banned.  Fines run from 70-to-150-dollars.  Cause a fatal accident because of cellphone use and you could spend three years in prison.  Bluetooth headsets, earpieces, and voice activated commands are still allowed. 

Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is heading to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to deliver holiday cards to wounded armed service members from Illinois.
 
Visiting the troops during the holidays has become an annual tradition for the governor. During the last eight years, he has traveled to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany - the largest American hospital outside the United States. But his office says in a news release that because so many service members have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, he decided to go to Walter Reed instead.
 
Quinn will be giving wounded service members cards made by Illinois children when he visits the hospital Friday. He says the cards are the children's way of saying thank you to men and women who can't be home during the holidays.
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Unemployment dropped in Illinois in November to 8.7 percent. It was the third straight monthly decrease but Illinois' unemployment rate remains one of the highest nationally.
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that the addition of a net 10,300 private-sector jobs helped push unemployment down by two-tenths of a percent in November. The federal government said earlier this month that national unemployment dropped to 7 percent in November from 7.3 percent a month earlier.
 
According the monthly Illinois report, the state added 6,100 construction jobs in November and 6,700 jobs among trade, transportation and utility companies.
 
But the state's manufacturers cut payrolls by a net 10,300 jobs. And government employers cut 4,400 jobs.
 
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 18 December 2013 15:58

Governor Pat Quinn wants to raise minimum wage

CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois' minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year.
 
The Chicago Democrat who's seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.
 
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Quinn said Wednesday that raising the wage will help eliminate poverty.
 
Illinois last raised the minimum wage in 2010. There's legislation pending in Springfield to increase it, including a call for $15 an hour.
 
However Republicans and business groups say raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Quinn says that claims are flat wrong.
 
Some business groups have also accused Quinn of trotting out the issue ahead of the 2014 election.
 
Quinn says it's not a new issue for him.
 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - State regulators allege a doctor misled potential patients by offering "pre-approval" for medical marijuana through a Chicago clinic.
 
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed a complaint Monday against Dr. Brian Murray, who has an active medical license, and a co-worker. Murray has been charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and faces revocation of his license.
 
The general manager with Good Intentions clinic said Tuesday that the allegations are baseless and anti-patient.
 
Illinois legalized medical marijuana this year. The law takes effect in January but medical marijuana won't be available for months as rules are worked out. The law says patients must have a serious medical condition and an established doctor relationship.
 
The complaint alleges the clinic offered potential patients early approval for a $99 registration fee.
 
Published in Local News
An Illinois lawmaker is fighting back against the knockout game.
 
Representative Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon, introduced the Knockout Assault Prevention Act. It would stiffen the penalties for anyone convicted of participating in the knockout game. The attack would become a Class 2 felony and carry a prison sentence between 3 and 7 years.
 
The knockout game has been reported in several states, including Missouri.
 
Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - State regulators allege a doctor misled potential patients by offering "pre-approval" for medical marijuana through a Chicago clinic.
 
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed a complaint Monday against Dr. Brian Murray, who has an active medical license, and a co-worker. Murray has been charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and faces revocation of his license.
 
The general manager with Good Intentions clinic said Tuesday that the allegations are baseless and anti-patient.
 
Illinois legalized medical marijuana this year. The law takes effect in January but medical marijuana won't be available for months as rules are worked out. The law says patients must have a serious medical condition and an established doctor relationship.
 
The complaint alleges the clinic offered potential patients early approval for a $99 registration fee.
Published in Local News
Monday, 16 December 2013 17:27

New rules for same sex marriage in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal court is ordering an Illinois county clerk's office to issue a marriage license to any same-sex couple who wants to wed immediately because one of them has a life-threatening illness.
 
Illinois last month became the 16th state to legalize gay marriage, but couples can't apply for licenses until June 1.
 
But following U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman order Monday to the Cook County clerk's office, they will be able to marry straightaway if they can provide a doctor's note saying one partner has a life-threatening illness.
 
Two Chicago women became the first same-sex couple to wed in Illinois last month after they asked a federal judge for an expedited license. Gay rights advocates say three gay couples have been granted emergency marriage license applications in Cook County.
 
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady paid $37,000 in state and federal taxes in 2012 on $200,500 in income.
 
The Bloomington Republican released income and tax information for his wife and him Monday.
 
Brady is among four hopefuls seeking the GOP nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn next fall.
 
Brady says his salary information comes from his pay as state senator and from gains and losses from various real estate and development companies he owns.
 
Brady's running mate is Maria Rodriguez. She and her businessman husband paid $116,000 in state and federal taxes on gross income of $470,000.
 
Another GOP candidate, Bruce Rauner, reported last month he paid $10 million in federal taxes last year on a salary of $53.4 million.
 
Published in Local News
Friday, 13 December 2013 14:13

Judges hear arguments in Blagojevich appeal

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal judges considering an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have pressed lawyers to differentiate between run-of-the-mill politics and political corruption.
 
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel repeatedly pressed a prosecutor during Friday's hour-long hearing to explain how Blagojevich's actions were criminal.
 
Prosecutor Debra Bonamici explained that Blagojevich never sought favors to help his political causes but always to profit himself personal.
 
A jury convicted Blagojevich of wide-ranging charges, including for trying to profit from his power to name someone to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
 
The defense wants his convictions overturned, arguing he was engaging in legal "political horse trading."
 
Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence.
Published in Local News

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