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Illinois goes Hollywood

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:26 Published in Local News
CHICAGO (AP) - Hollywood is spending big money in Illinois.
The state said Tuesday that the film industry generated $358 million in spending in the state during 2013. Officials say that easily surpasses the previous record of $184 million in 2012.
Chicago officials say filming last year included six TV series, three studio feature films and 137 commercials. Some of those projects include TV series like "Chicago Fire" and movies like the upcoming "Divergent" and "Transformers 4."
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says "Chicago fire" spent $58 million in 2013. "Chicago PD" has spent $21 million in Illinois.
The Chicago Film Office and Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events cite a 20 percent increase in overall production compared with 2012. The city says 2012's numbers were 40 percent higher than 2011.
 

Illinois pension reform won't make much difference

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:21 Published in Local News

A report being released today says Illinois' plan to save 160-billion dollars ultimately won't make much of a dent in the state's growing deficits.  The University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs study says changes to the state's major public pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, but the state's deficit will increase to $13 billion during that time.  Institute researchers projected a $14 billion deficit - a $1 billion difference - if the state had not implemented pension reform.  Institute Director Chris Mooney says the study was released as campaigns for the 2014 general election begin to heat up in order to make sure the state's fiscal crisis is addressed.

Food for Thought will help hungry students

Tuesday, 21 January 2014 10:14 Published in Local News
HAZELWOOD, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis area school district has launched a food pantry program to help ensure needy students don't go without nourishment outside the school day.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Hazelwood School District's "Food For Thought" program is the second in the area. The Jennings district opened one for its students in the fall of 2012.
Hazelwood's pantries will be housed at the district's three high schools. But they'll be available to all students who lack a reliable source of food for evenings, weekends and other breaks from school.
 About 57 percent of Hazelwood students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, compared to nearly 50 percent statewide.  
 

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