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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago violence-prevention program ordered by Gov. Pat Quinn was so poorly put together that auditors questioned 40 percent of the expenditures turned in by contractors.
 
   The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative announced by Quinn in August 2010 spent $55 million in the first two years that were examined by Auditor General William Holland. His report was released Tuesday.
   The effort was run by the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority. But the agency relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen when choosing community agencies to run the programs. Those agencies charged $4.4 million, but poor record-keeping led auditors to question $1.8 million of that spending.
   The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took over the Violence Prevention Authority last year. A spokeswoman says the program has been revamped with much tighter grant rules.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:45
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Madison County law enforcement is trying to get the word out to local businesses on how to deal with some of the new gun laws in the state of Illinois.  
 
States Attorney Tom Gibbons and Chief Deputy Sheriff Brad Wells were on hand at the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce meeting Teusday morning to discuss questions and concerns over the new conceal carry law that was passed last summer.  
 
The major topics covered at the meeting included how businesses handle the concealed carry law, what to do should those businesses want to prohibit its customers or employees from carrying concealed weapons, safe harbors for gun owners, and what to do in the event of a shooting incident.
 
On July 9th, Illinois became the last state in the country to allow carrying concealed firearms in public.  Registration for the conceal carry licenses have been going on since January.
 
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 13:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House panel has endorsed legislation that would move the state's presidential primary to March 15.
 
The primary is currently scheduled for February but sponsoring Rep. Tony Dugger says keeping that date could cause Missouri to lose delegates at the 2016 national party conventions.
 
Dugger, a Hartville Republican, says moving the date would avoid a repeat of 2012, when the state held a non-binding presidential primary. Faced with losing delegates, state Republican officials decided that year to select convention representatives with a caucus system held after the election.
 
National party rules allow only certain states to hold contests before the March 15 date.
 
The House Elections Committee voted 10-0 on Tuesday to adopt the legislation. It now heads to the Rules Committee.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 12:37
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former Republican Sen. Kit Bond is citing problems with the federal health care law as a reason to embrace one of its key provisions by expanding Medicaid coverage.
 
Bond was part of panel discussion Tuesday about Medicaid hosted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The former longtime U.S. senator has been hired by the chamber to lobby Republican state lawmakers who have repeatedly defeated a Medicaid expansion.
 
He said Medicaid expansion would draw additional federal dollars, thus helping to offset federal funding cuts due to hit hospitals that treat uninsured patients.
 
Bond said Medicaid expansion can be paired with "reforms" that model the program on the private sector and require participants to pay more out of pocket.
 
Some Republican lawmakers have cited concerns about its long-term costs.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 12:20
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