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   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Doctors providing primary care in Illinois can get higher Medicaid reimbursement rates through the end of 2014.

   Illinois officials are reminding doctors to sign up online for the higher rates, which are expected to increase by an average of 93 percent. If doctors sign up by June 30 they can get reimbursed at the higher rate retroactively to the beginning of this year.

   Julie Hamos is director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. She says the temporary raise should help increase doctors' participation in Medicaid.

   That's important because thousands of uninsured Illinois residents will be newly eligible for Medicaid in 2014.

   The pay increase for primary care was authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

 

Friday, 21 June 2013 03:15
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The chairman of the Republican Party in Montgomery County has resigned after writing what's been called a racist and sexist email about U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis' primary challenger.

Illinois Republican Party chairman Jack Dorgan says he accepted Jim Allen's resignation on Thursday afternoon. Allen wrote an email Tuesday suggesting Erika Harold could fill a "minority quota" if she lost the Republican primary. The biracial Harvard law school graduate was crowned Miss America in 2003 and launched her bid to challenge Davis this month.

During a conference call Thursday, Davis said Allen should step down from the county post. That call was echoed by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who said Allen should apologize to Harold and resign.

Allen's name already was removed from a list of Davis supporters.

 

Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:23
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The jobless rates in Missouri and Illinois are moving in opposite directions.

Despite adding 4,600 jobs in May, Missouri's rate climbed to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent in April. For the first time in several months, the government sector added jobs.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate fell in May to 9.1 percent. It was the second straight monthly drop after a series of increases earlier this year. State officials says that May's decrease was due in part to gains in construction employment.

Illinois' jobless rate still remains much higher than the 7.6 nationwide unemployment rate for May that was reported earlier this month.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Thursday, 20 June 2013 16:19
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The owner of the troubled Frison Flea Market in north county, is facing federal charges.

The US Department of Justice say Jack Frison let people renting booths in his business sell counterfeit goods. Prosecutors also say Frison knew the vendors were selling fake goods.If convicted on the three felony charges he faces, Frison could get 20 years in prison and over $2 million in fines.

 

Thursday, 20 June 2013 15:06
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4 window washers are lucky to be alive after the scaffolding they were standing on collapsed.

It happened around 10:00 this morning at a building in the 1,000 block of Bellevue Avenue in Richmond Heights. 3 of the workers were pulled to safety through a nearby window and the fourth was rescued off a ladder. One of the workers suffered a non-life threatening injury and was taken to the hospital.  

Thursday, 20 June 2013 14:21
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The first of two outlet malls scheduled to open in Chesterfield this year, is hosting a job fair.

St. Louis Premium Outlets will have 90 stores who are looking to fill a total of 800 jobs. The event is being held at the DoubleTree on Swingley Ridge Road from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013.

The outlet mall has their grand opening ceremonies starting August 22 and running through the weekend.

 

Thursday, 20 June 2013 13:42
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Four inmates at the St. Clair County Jail face additional charges after officers uncovered an escape plot.

Correctional officers started investigating after they heard rumors about an plan to escape by some inmates. During a surprise search of the suspected inmates' cells, authorities found a hole in the ceiling. The inmates were all designated as an extreme escape risk.

The four suspects are in jail on charges ranging from murder to manufacturing meth.

Thursday, 20 June 2013 13:04
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A St. Louis County police officer is in the hospital after she crashed into a KFC.

Police say the officer was responding to a call when her car was clipped by another driver. The cruiser crashed into a nearby KFC restaurant. The officer suffered a broken ankle, but is expected to be okay. Employees were inside the business when the accident happened, but none were injured.

Police say the officer had her lights and sirens on when the accident happened. The driver who hit the officer stayed at the scene.

The accident happened near Bellefontaine and Larrimore in North County.

Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:29
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A $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase in Illinois isn't having the financial impact that state officials had hoped for. The year-old increase was expected to rake in $350 million in tax revenue, but instead the total is closer to $212 million. Illinois raised the cigarette tax from 98 cents to $1.98 in June of last year, hoping to bring in much-needed revenue and discourage people from smoking. Authorities say fewer people are buying cigarettes, which explains the decline in tax revenue. 

 
Thursday, 20 June 2013 07:42
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 Leaders in East St. Louis are considering allowing all-hours nightclubs in the crime-plagued southwestern Illinois city.

 

   The community cut the clubs' hours last year, requiring them to close at 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends. The change came after pressure from police, prosecutors and even U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who wanted to limit liquor sales.

 

   Clubs had been open until 6 a.m.

 

   But the Belleville News Democrat reports some members of the city council now want to create an entertainment district for 24-hour and late-night clubs. They argue concentrating them in a single area would make it easier to control public safety.

 

   The city also wants to double the cost of liquor licenses.

 

   A public hearing on the proposal will be held later this month.

 
Thursday, 20 June 2013 07:13
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