Associated Press

Wikipedia

Two members of Illinois's congressional delegation want the state to release millions of dollars to complete improvements at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

Senator Dick Durbin and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, both Democrats, are urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to allow the state to send the money for the renovation project. They've sent a letter to the governor asking him to release more than $16 million for midfield improvements at the airport south of Rockford.

jackson.house.gov

The Bureau of Prisons says former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has officially completed his 21/2-year prison sentence for spending $750,000 in campaign money on personal items.

Bureau spokesman Edmond Ross says the Illinois Democrat's home confinement in Washington, D.C., will be lifted Friday and his ankle monitor removed. Ross says inmates whose release dates fall on a Sunday are always released two days earlier.

College of DuPage

Trustees of a suburban Chicago college have voted to void the contract of its embattled president about a month after beginning the process of firing him.

College of DuPage trustees voted 4-3 Thursday night to void Robert Breuder's contract. He's on paid administrative leave and is set to retire in March. 

Lake County Sheriff

Tuesday, 7:00 pm

Joseph A. Battaglia has been released from jail after posting bond. Defense attorney Myron Goldstin told The Associated Press that his client had put down the required $10,000 cash.  A Lake County judge refused to lower the $100,000 bond at a Tuesday morning hearing.   Battaglia is accused of telling investigators he would hurt them unless they declared Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz death a suicide.  Goldstin says he told the judge that if such statements were made, they were ``stupid and wrong.'' 

Monday:

Illinois Police Officers Memorial

A candlelight vigil was held in Illinois's capital to honor police officers recently shot and killed on the job.

About 200 people gathered Saturday at the Illinois Police Officers Memorial. Organizers included a retired state police sergeant, Kim Hayes. She says one goal of the vigil was to emphasize officers are dedicated to protecting communities.

Wikipedia

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker is calling for sweeping restrictions on organized labor in the U.S. He says he seeks to replicate nationwide his successful effort as Wisconsin's governor to curb the power of unions.

At a town hall meeting in Las Vegas today, Walker will propose eliminating unions for federal workers and making all workplaces right-to-work … unless individual states vote otherwise.

He also wants to scrap the federal agency that oversees unfair labor practices and make it more difficult for unions to organize.

The Fox Lake police lieutenant who was killed Sept. 1 while chasing three men actually was shot twice, officials revealed Friday.

The Associated Press also reported that investigators — who have yet to identify any suspects — lashed out this week at a county coroner, saying he jeopardized their investigation into the death of Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz by publicly discussing details of the officer's wounds as he announced that he could not yet rule the death a homicide, suicide or accident.

A federal judge has given lawyers for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert more time to file pre-trial motions in his hush-money case.

Attorneys for the Illinois Republican and federal prosecutors filed a joint motion Thursday asking for a two-week extension of Monday's filing deadline.

The two sides say they've been discussing issues Hastert's lawyers may raise. They say the extension may give them time to address those issues so the motions won't be necessary.

U. S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin granted the motion Friday without comment. 

CDC

Ten people in western Illinois now have died from Legionnaires' disease after a state veterans home reported two new fatalities among its residents.

An outbreak first identified in late August has sickened 53 residents at the Quincy home, nine of whom died.  Four others in Quincy have been diagnosed with the illness, one of whom died. Officials say those cases aren't connected to the larger outbreak. 

College of DuPage

Trustees of Illinois' largest community college have fired its top two finance officials after internal reports found weak controls and violations of the school's investment practices.

The Chicago Tribune reports the firings Wednesday of College of DuPage Treasurer Thomas Glaser and Controller Lynn Sapyta were the first among officials at the suburban Chicago school since a new majority took over the board of trustees in April.

The two had been on paid leave since June. College President Robert Breuder remains on paid administrative leave. 

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says two more residents at its Quincy veterans home have been sickened by Legionnaires' disease, boosting the total number of people stricken in the outbreak to 52.

The veterans agency said Tuesday that while there have been two new cases, no residents of the 129-year-old facility have been hospitalized or treated for Legionnaires-like symptoms since Aug. 31.

Fox Lake Police Department

Investigators said Tuesday that three men seen in a video from a home near where a northern Illinois police officer was fatally shot were not involved in the slaying.

The announcement by the leader of the task force investigating last week's killing of Fox Lake Police Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz dashed hopes for what authorities had called a promising lead into the identities of the suspects.

University of Wisconsin System

A University of Wisconsin-Madison fundraising drive that began last fall with a $100 million pledge has generated about $250 million.

Alumni John and Tashia Morgridge pledged last November to match up to $100 million in donations to fund endowments for faculty. UW officials announced Tuesday that more than 1,000 donors have responded with $125 million and the Morgridges have agreed to match that figure.

The Morgridges' donation is the largest in school history.

City of Rockford

Rockford's city council is close to a decision on $12.7 million worth of downtown construction projects.

The Finance Committee meets Tuesday to consider a $6.2 million bid to rebuild the city's Concourse parking deck and a $6.5 million federal loan application to support two proposed hotels. If approved, the parking deal could come up for a council vote.

The federal loans would be used to help finance more than 225 new hotel rooms, restaurants and other attractions. 

After previous delays, Alderman Tom McNamara says the council is “really close” to an agreement.

Authorities investigating the killing of a northern Illinois police officer say they've received several more videos from residents and businesses. 

Lake County Major Crime Task Force Cmdr. George Filenko told reporters Friday that he believes the new videos are "even more relevant'' than one received earlier in the week. Some of the new videos came from intersection traffic cameras.

He said he hasn't yet had a chance to view any of them himself because they're being analyzed and processed by the FBI and the federal Department of Homeland Security.

Twitter

The former principal of a northern Illinois middle school has been charged with forgery and theft. 

Authorities say Jerome Wakitsch of Woodstock unlawfully withdrew thousands of dollars from various non-district bank accounts associated with the Parent Teacher Organization and the Fox Valley Junior High School Conference. 

Authorities say Wakitsch, who was an authorized user for both accounts, forged the signature of another authorized user on checks for the PTO account. Police said the stolen funds were allegedly used for personal gain. 

CDC

A suburban Chicago county is seeing a record number of wildlife rabies cases.

Will County has confirmed rabies in 14 bats this season. That's one more than the previous record of 13 found in the county last year.

Eight of the bats have been found in the community of Homer Glen.

Animal Control Administrator Lee Schild says the bats likely are concentrated around Homer Glen because of its wooded areas, which contain sources of food and water. Schild says it's possible there will be more cases because there are still a few weeks of "peak bat activity" left in the year.

Two West Nile deaths have been confirmed in Illinois this year.

The state public health department says the deaths were reported in Cook and Kendall counties.

One victim was a man in his early 90s from south suburban Chicago. The Kendall County victim reportedly was someone in their 70s.

Health officials recommend wearing mosquito repellent when outside between dusk and dawn. They also say it's important to remove standing water around homes and to repair or replace broken window screens.

glbtq.com

A national survey conducted by the University of Illinois-Springfield shows growing positive attitudes toward the rights of transgendered people…but maybe not when it comes to their medical care.

The online survey shows 81 percent support those who are transgendered having the same rights as the rest of us. But only about half are for using public funds to help provide medical treatment for transgender people.

Teamsters Local 916 Facebook

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration says it reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with several Teamsters Union groups representing almost five thousand workers.

The administration reached agreements with Local 916, which represents professional and technical workers at IDOT, and the negotiating committee representing highway maintenance workers.

Both groups must still vote to ratify the agreements. They call for a four-year wage freeze, continuation of a 40-hour work week before overtime is paid and a reduction in payouts for unused vacation days.

dojmt.gov

The Illinois Attorney General is hailing a new state law that will prevent hospitals from billing survivors of sexual assault for medical forensic exams.

Lisa Madigan, who pushed for the legislation, says it removes a barrier that may keep some rape victims from going to the hospital immediately after the crime.

Federal law requires Illinois to certify that survivors are not being billed for “rape kit” exams. That’s a condition of receiving federal funds.

Flickr user frankieleon / "Vaccination" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois parents who cite religious objections to not having their children immunized will have to get a doctor's signature confirming they've been informed of the risks. 

A new law requires parents of children entering kindergarten and grades six and nine to provide Certificates of Religious Exemption with a health care provider's signature if they opt out of vaccine requirements. Supporters hope it will reduce the number of religious exemptions, which have more than doubled since 2009.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

Wisconsin may ban research on aborted fetal tissue. A bill moving through the legislature would outlaw selling, donating, and experimenting with fetal body parts in Wisconsin. Republican lawmakers behind the measure say it wouldn’t affect current research using existing cell lines.

  The Wisconsin Assembly’s criminal justice committee held a hearing Tuesday: supporters say they hope to have the votes lined up to pass the ban as early as next month.

The Illinois State Museum

A mysterious fungus is threatening to wipe out some isolated populations of rare rattlesnakes. 

In Illinois, the fungus infects about 15 percent of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes: it kills up to 90 percent of those that contract it. There are only about 300 of the snakes in Illinois, mostly in Clinton county. The swamp rattler has also been found in Cook, DuPage, and Will counties. It was already a candidate for the federal endangered species list before the fungus was discovered. 

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to end mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

The Republican signed the measure Monday. It will take effect Jan. 1.

The Legislature approved the bill in response to a 2012 U. S. Supreme Court ruling that sentencing people under 18 to mandatory life without parole is unconstitutional.

Flickr user Lindsey G "Beer Trio Horizontal" CC BY 2.0 / http://bit.ly/1SnzmJP

Happy hour drink specials will make a comeback in Illinois under legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The discounted drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980s over concerns about excessive drinking and impaired driving.

A lawyer for former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert says media reports of alleged past misconduct have severely complicated the hush-money case.

Attorney Thomas Green told a federal judge during a Tuesday status hearing that the allegations are "an 800-pound gorilla'' in the room.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

The Wisconsin State Assembly has passed a bill banning non-emergency abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

The Republican-controlled chamber approved the bill 61-34 Thursday. The Senate passed the measure in June. It now goes to Governor Scott Walker, who has said he will sign it into law. 

Under the proposal, doctors who perform a non-emergency abortion after 20 weeks could be punished by up to $10,000 in fines and 3 1/2 years in prison. The bill doesn't provide exceptions for pregnancies resulting from sexual assault or incest.  

JENNIFER BRDLIK / ELEVATED CARE

Illinois residents who want to add specific diseases to the state's medical marijuana pilot program have another chance to submit their suggestions starting tomorrow.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will accept petitions through July. Instructions will be posted on the program's website. An advisory board will review the petitions and hold a public hearing.

YouTube

The poisoning death of a Highland Park couple draws more attention to the potential dangers of keyless auto ignitions.

Pasquale and Rina Fontanini were found dead last week. Their son, who is a local fire department lieutenant, says lethal levels of carbon monoxide were in the home after the couple left their car with a keyless ignition running in the garage.

Safety advocates say up to a dozen deaths nationwide occur because of such scenarios and want immediate action.

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