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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is making his push to increase Illinois' minimum wage by shopping at a Gap clothing store in downtown Chicago.
 
The chain has instituted a policy of paying entry-level employees a higher minimum wage.
 
Quinn bought three sweaters for his young nieces on Thursday. The total was about $77 and he paid cash. Quinn called the store an example and added that he got quality clothes at a good price.
 
Illinois' minimum wage is $8.25, which is $1 more than the federal wage. Quinn wants to see Illinois' rate jump to at least $10 by the end of the year.
 
The issue also is a major campaign theme in his re-election bid against Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.
Thursday, 20 March 2014 15:43
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - UPDATE: Police say they have found the stolen car. Driver of the car and both infants are safe.

 

EARLIER: A search is underway after a car was stolen while two infants were in the vehicle.

 

Just before 3 PM, St. Louis police say the car was taken from on the 4300 block of Lee in North St. Louis. Witnesses said a nine-month old child and 7-month-old child were in teh car when it was taken. The vehicle is a newer model Pontiac Grand-AM. Police do not believe this was a carjacking at that all parties involved in the incident know each other.

 

This is a developing case and more information will be posted as it is available.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 15:42
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CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment held steady across the state in February at 8.7 percent.
 
The department said Thursday that the statewide jobless rate was unchanged from January. The federal government said earlier this month that the nationwide unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. Illinois has one of the highest jobless rates among U.S. states.
 
The department said Illinois added a net 6,400 jobs in February. That's an improvement from January when the state lost jobs.
 
Companies that work in the professional and business services sector added 10,400 jobs in February and leisure and hospitality employers added 4,000 jobs. But firms in trade, transportation and utilities cut 6,100 jobs.
 
Manufacturing companies continued their decline in January by dropping a net 1,100 jobs.
 
Thursday, 20 March 2014 13:49
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 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state funding shortfall is hitting some Missouri school districts harder than others.
 A report released Wednesday by the Missouri Budget Project says the state is underfunding public school districts by $656 million this year. That's based on the amount called for under a 2005 law that re-wrote Missouri's school funding formula.
The report says the shortfall amounts to about $700 per student on a statewide basis. But those figures vary widely by district.
The largest discrepancy is a $978 per student at the Potosi School District in Washington County in rural eastern Missouri. The smallest state funding gap is a $34 per student shortfall at the Clayton district in St. Louis County.
A budget plan pending in the Missouri House would narrow but not eliminate the funding shortfall.
Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:15
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   Despite months of speculation and tweets this week indicating a big announcement, former Missouri State Senator Jane Cunningham says she's not going to run for St. Louis County Executive.  

   The West County Republican says the party has another candidate in mind, but declined to name names.  Cunningham says voters should expect an announcement on Monday.  

   There had been some criticism of a potential run by Cunningham, since she's only one year into a six-year term as director of the Monarch Fire Protection District and had promised constituents that she wouldn't leave the post early.  

   The GOP will formally nominate a candidate for County Executive in the August primary.

Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:52
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   Bridgeton city officials want to transfer control of the of the West Lake Landfill and the radioactive waste buried there to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The Bridgeton City Council Wednesday night passed a resolution asking the Corps to take charge.  
   Proponents say some of the materials buried at West Lake came from other sites controlled by the Corps, so it makes sense for them to take over of the Bridgeton site too.
   Bridgeton homeowner Dawn Chapman agrees. She spoke with Fox 2 News about the vote. "We want the experts to come in and figure out what needs to happen to this," she said.  "We want objective, scientific results and then let's make a decision." 
   Concern continues to grow over the risks posed to the local community by a slow-smoldering fire at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.  EPA officials have said the fire is inching closer to West Lake.
 
Thursday, 20 March 2014 03:14
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   The St. Louis Police Department's move to its new headquarters building is being delayed again.  Chief Sam Dotson tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the $6.3 million renovation of the department's new home won't be finished until June and the move will take about three weeks.  Dotson says the good news is that renovations to the seven story building at Olive and 19th Streets are still within budget.  
   Police had hoped to move into the building last spring, but disputes over the bidding process delayed the project's start to summer.  Other construction delays have pushed back next month's move until summer.
   The police department used $2.7 million in asset forfeiture money to buy the building after engineers said it would cost at least $75 million to bring the Clark Street headquarters up to code.  
   Renovations of the building are being financed through a $3 million donation from the St. Louis Police Foundation, private donations, asset forfeiture money and city bond funds.
 
Thursday, 20 March 2014 02:53
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