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CHICAGO (AP) - State regulators allege a doctor misled potential patients by offering "pre-approval" for medical marijuana through a Chicago clinic.
 
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed a complaint Monday against Dr. Brian Murray, who has an active medical license, and a co-worker. Murray has been charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and faces revocation of his license.
 
The general manager with Good Intentions clinic said Tuesday that the allegations are baseless and anti-patient.
 
Illinois legalized medical marijuana this year. The law takes effect in January but medical marijuana won't be available for months as rules are worked out. The law says patients must have a serious medical condition and an established doctor relationship.
 
The complaint alleges the clinic offered potential patients early approval for a $99 registration fee.
Published in Local News
Monday, 16 December 2013 17:27

New rules for same sex marriage in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal court is ordering an Illinois county clerk's office to issue a marriage license to any same-sex couple who wants to wed immediately because one of them has a life-threatening illness.
 
Illinois last month became the 16th state to legalize gay marriage, but couples can't apply for licenses until June 1.
 
But following U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman order Monday to the Cook County clerk's office, they will be able to marry straightaway if they can provide a doctor's note saying one partner has a life-threatening illness.
 
Two Chicago women became the first same-sex couple to wed in Illinois last month after they asked a federal judge for an expedited license. Gay rights advocates say three gay couples have been granted emergency marriage license applications in Cook County.
 
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady paid $37,000 in state and federal taxes in 2012 on $200,500 in income.
 
The Bloomington Republican released income and tax information for his wife and him Monday.
 
Brady is among four hopefuls seeking the GOP nomination to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn next fall.
 
Brady says his salary information comes from his pay as state senator and from gains and losses from various real estate and development companies he owns.
 
Brady's running mate is Maria Rodriguez. She and her businessman husband paid $116,000 in state and federal taxes on gross income of $470,000.
 
Another GOP candidate, Bruce Rauner, reported last month he paid $10 million in federal taxes last year on a salary of $53.4 million.
 
Published in Local News
Friday, 13 December 2013 14:13

Judges hear arguments in Blagojevich appeal

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal judges considering an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have pressed lawyers to differentiate between run-of-the-mill politics and political corruption.
 
The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel repeatedly pressed a prosecutor during Friday's hour-long hearing to explain how Blagojevich's actions were criminal.
 
Prosecutor Debra Bonamici explained that Blagojevich never sought favors to help his political causes but always to profit himself personal.
 
A jury convicted Blagojevich of wide-ranging charges, including for trying to profit from his power to name someone to President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.
 
The defense wants his convictions overturned, arguing he was engaging in legal "political horse trading."
 
Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker says he wants Boeing Co. to build a new manufacturing plant in Decatur.
 
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers reports Forsyth Republican Rep. Bill Mitchell is hoping the Chicago-based aerospace company will build its new factory in the central Illinois community.
 
Boeing is looking for a location to build its new 400-seat 777X jetliner.
 
Boeing is looking at a $7 billion to $10 billion plant that would start with 3,250 workers in 2018 and grow to 8,500 by 2024.
 
Mitchell says Decatur has "great manufacturing capacity and a highly skilled workforce."
 
Several other states also submitted offers by Tuesday's deadline. They include Missouri, Alabama and California.
 
Boeing officials are expected to announce the new plant's location early next year.
 
Published in Local News

A new report places both Illinois and Missouri among the least health states in the nation.

The reports was released by the United Health Foundation and puts Illinois as the 30th healthiest state and Missouri in the 39th spot. The Show me State did move up one spot. The report says the state saw a decrease in smoking, binge drinking, and physical inactivity.

Smoking and high cardiovascular and cancer death rates remain problems for Missouri, and high levels of air pollution and binge drinking are trouble for Illinois.

The full report can be viewed here: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A study by a group of health organizations puts Illinois 32nd in spending tobacco-lawsuit money on smoking-prevention programs.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids looked at how the 50 states and District of Columbia have spent $116 billion in money so far from a landmark lawsuit against big tobacco companies in 1998.

The campaign and other anti-smoking groups want money spent on preventing young people from starting to smoke.

Between settlement money and tobacco taxes, Illinois is getting $1 billion this year. Just more than $11 million is going to tobacco-use-prevention. That's 7 percent of the $157 million federal health officials recommend spending.

Sen. Terry Link - a Waukegan Democrat - says work continues, such as with his bill that failed last year to make university campuses smoke-free.

 

Published in Local News

CHICAGO (AP) - Federal officials say more than 7,000 Illinois residents signed up for insurance coverage in the first two months of the troubled HealthCare.gov website.

Enrollment figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the pace picking up for President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets.

But the Illinois tally is still less than 30 percent of what federal officials originally projected the state's enrollment would be after two months. Illinois is relying on the federal website because the Legislature didn't approve a state-run marketplace

Consumers face a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline if they want to have coverage to start Jan. 1.

In October, when the website was barely working, only 1,370 Illinois residents managed to select a health insurance plan and enroll.

Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A major credit-rating house has taken a more positive outlook on Illinois debt than it has in years after last week's pension-reform vote.

Standard & Poor's affirmed its A- rating on state debt backed by general tax revenue Tuesday but revised its outlook from "negative" to "developing."

The ratings agency says "developing" means the rating could be raised or lowered in the next two years. Analyst Robin Prunty says the change is positive but risk remains because workers unions will likely sue over the pension law Gov. Pat Quinn signed Thursday.

The law reduces state workers' contributions to pensions but cuts their benefits in a 30-year plan to erase a $100 billion retirement-account deficit.

Quinn promised in a statement it would be the "first of many positive developments" for Illinois.

 

Published in Local News

   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the state will build or rehabilitate nearly 1,500 affordable housing units statewide.

   The Chicago Democrat said in a statement yesterday the apartments will ensure working families, seniors and people with disabilities have quality, affordable housing.

   The work will be financed through a federal housing tax credit and the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Preservation Now program.

   Residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income to qualify for the units. That's about $35,000 in the Chicago area.

   In Edwardsville, an existing independent living development serving seniors and people with disabilities will be rehabilitated, and a new wing built, creating and preserving 70 affordable apartments.  

   In Aurora, the state plans to acquire and rehabilitate 40 vacant single-family homes. In Chicago, a 106-unit development for seniors will be built on the site of an abandoned building and unused tennis courts.

   Units also are planned for the Bloomington-Normal area, Galesburg, Marion and Springfield.

 
Published in Local News

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