SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The unemployment rate rose slightly in Illinois in July, according to preliminary data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
State officials say Thursday that Illinois' unemployment rate inched to 9.2 percent last month. That's up from an adjusted 9.1 percent in June. The figure was 9 percent in July 2012.
Employers around the state added a net 6,600 non-farm jobs in July. Overall, the private sector added 7,100 positions.
Meanwhile, manufacturers cut a net 900 jobs in July. Illinois' manufacturing had been one of the state's strongest employment sectors until recent months.
Construction firms added 1,600 jobs in July while the education and health services sector cut 3,600.
Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in July 2013, although the state's figure is often higher than the national one.
A suspicious incident at a school bus stop is putting Ellisville parents on alert.
A fourth grade-student was waiting at the bus stop when she says a woman in a white minivan pulled up and asked her if she wanted a ride. The same woman came back to the bus stop two more times. The girl ran home and old her parents. The community is using the incident as an opportunity to remind kids to stay away from strangers.
SEDALIA, Mo. (AP) - Controversy over a rodeo clown who mocked President Barack Obama isn't keeping Gov. Jay Nixon away from the annual governor's ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair.
Plenty of other executive officials and lawmakers also attended the event at the fairgrounds in Sedalia on Thursday.
The ham breakfast is only part of the allure. The event also offers the opportunity for politicians to shake hands with hundreds of rural Missourians in an informal atmosphere.
Earlier this week, many Missouri officials denounced a rodeo skit in which a clown wore an Obama mask while another riled the crowd with statements suggesting the president could be run down by a bull.
Lawmakers at the fair said they plan to continue funding the fair.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that bans tanning in Illinois for anyone under age 18.
Quinn signed the measure on Thursday, saying he wants to spare families "serious and preventable" health problems.
Its supporters include 51-year-old Donna Moncivaiz of Beach Park. Moncivaiz is a former tanner who suffers from late-stage melanoma. She testified at a Senate committee hearing in support of the ban. Her daughter had an early-stage melanoma removed from her hip.
Tanning industry advocates say a ban is bad for small businesses. They say parents, not the government, should decide if children can use tanning equipment.
The American Academy of Dermatology says about 8 percent of those who tan indoors in the U.S. every year are teens.
Chicago and Springfield already ban teen tanning.
ARNOLD, Mo. (AP) - A suburban St. Louis police chief claims harassment from a current councilman and former councilwoman in a lawsuit filed in St. Louis County.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Robert Shockey's lawsuit also alleges retaliation, negligent supervision and training, and age discrimination.
The allegations stem from a complaint city parks director Susie Boone filed last year with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights against councilman Ken Moss. It alleges she experienced problems with Moss after his sister was fired from her department.
Shockey is also the interim city administrator. He hired a private investigator, and the city ultimately agreed to pay Boone a $55,000 settlement and give her extra job security.
Moss previously filed a defamation lawsuit against Shockey and other officials claiming they orchestrated a "sham investigation."
Authorities are left with more questions than answers after finding a woman dead inside a car this morning.
The body was found around 6:30 this morning in St. Peters. Authorities doe not know the cause of death, but do not believe she was the victim of a homicide.
Police said they could not give any more details until an autopsy was performed.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that prohibits the use of electronic cigarettes in Illinois by anyone under age 18.
Quinn signed the measure on Thursday. The new law applies to electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products. Electronic cigarettes don't contain tobacco, but do contain nicotine which is the addictive substance that makes smoking difficult to quit.
State Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago is the bill sponsor. He says governments ban minors from buying other forms of nicotine and electronic cigarettes should be no exception. Mulroe says the new law helps the government "keep up with the advancements" in the ways nicotine is being sold.
The law takes effect Jan. 1.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.
The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.
Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
States are scrambling because makers of drugs previously used in executions now prohibit their use.
Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the court declined last August to set dates for six inmates.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded the court's decision. But Death Penalty Information Center executive director Richard Dieter says using propofol will essentially be "an experiment with a human subject."
It is National Check the Chip Day. That's not chocolate chips or potato chips. It's microchips!
Those little silicon chips implanted in pets greatly increase the chance of finding your furry friend if it's lost or stolen. But a microchip only works if it's registration information is accurate.
Call in the Humane Society of Missouri and their Animal Medical Center of Mid-America. They are offering free chip checks for you pet and a discount on having a chip inserted. Microchips usually cost $42 but through Saturday, you pay only $25.
The Humane Society asks that you make an appointment for that, but if you just want a check of an existing chip they offer free walk-in visits. For more information call 314-951-1534.
As first In a letter leaked to KTRS News, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is telling County Executive Charlie Dooley to back off his investigation into the contract award process.
In today's letter, Fitch accuses county COO Gatry Earles of requesting information from the police that had been shared with the FBI. Fitch says this request for confidential information is "at the very least unethical and unprofessional". Fitch ends the letter by asking Dooley to instruct his staff to not have contact with employees regarding this matter.
The issue came to light after the Post-Dispatch revealed that one of Dooley's political appointees, Gregory Sansone, created a company that won the lucrative contract shortly after his appointment. Chief Fitch contacted the FBI to investigate the matter. Dooley was frustrated that Fitch involved the FBI in the matter before giving his office a chance to investigate.