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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The four Republican candidates for Illinois governor are set for another debate ahead of the primary election next month.
 
The Citizens Club of Springfield is hosting a forum Tuesday evening. All candidates are expected to attend. They are Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, businessman Bruce Rauner and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady.
 
All four appeared at a debate earlier this month in the Chicago suburb of Naperville where the main issues were state spending, taxes and Illinois' business climate.
 
The primary contest is March 18
 
Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, is seeking re-election. He faces one primary challenger, activist Tio Hardiman. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat won't participate in any debates ahead of the primary.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 10:19
Published in Local News
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker wants tax soft drinks as part of an effort to promote healthy living.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports the legislation is being sponsored by Sen. Mattie Hunter, a Chicago Democrat.
 
Her proposal would charge a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers.
 
Money generated from the levy would be used to pay for a variety of health services and educational efforts.
 
But Hunter's plan is already drawing criticism from the Illinois Coalition Against Beverage Taxes. The group is an alliance of manufacturers, retailers and union workers. They say taxing sodas would hurt the economy and cost the state jobs.
 
Other states have a similar tax, but previous efforts haven't been approved in Illinois.
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:34
Published in Local News
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   SOCHI, Russia (AP) - A Russian human rights activist says two members of the punk band Pussy Riot have been detained near the Olympics in downtown Sochi.
   Semyon Simonov says he was with Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova at the time. He says the two women have been accused of theft, and says several other activists were also detained by police.
   Alekhina and Tolokonnikova spent nearly two years in prison but were released in December. They were convicted of hooliganism after staging a protest in Moscow's most prominent cathedral in opposition to President Vladimir Putin's government.
   Alekhina and Tolokonnikova recently visited the U.S. to take part in an Amnesty International concert.
 
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