Associated Press

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The board decided this week during a public hearing to vote on rezoning July 1 when no objections came from the crowd. Local officials say the April 9 tornado caused $7.9 million in damages to 90 properties in the small community of about 150 people. Only 25 houses withstood the storm.

Rezoning would ease restrictions if residents decide to rebuild. Many of the houses in Fairdale were in place before county zoning was established in 1948.  

The Daily Chronicle reports Fairdale residents can start rebuilding as soon as the next day if the rezoning is approved.

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A judge has approved prosecutors' request to keep some evidence against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert secret.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin granted the motion for a protective order Monday. It says any discovery the U.S. Attorney's Office provides Hastert's attorneys may not be disclosed to anyone not involved in the case, even after the proceedings end. 

Prosecutors argued disclosing the information ``could adversely affect law enforcement interests and the privacy interests of third parties.'' They say lawyers for the Hastert agreed with the request. 

getcoveredillinois.gov

A hospital group says Illinois could lease HealthCare.gov if the

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the subsidies that help some people afford

health insurance. An Illinois Hospital Association memo released to The

Associated Press lays out that option for Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers.

The memo is the clearest plan yet for how Illinois could pass legislation and

create a state-based exchange.

 An Illinois lawmaker has announced he will receive treatment for recently diagnosed esophageal cancer.  

State Rep. Frank Mautino of Spring Valley says his doctor found a mass in his esophagus during a routine physical in late January. The 52-year-old Democratic lawmaker says he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer after a biopsy was conducted in February.  

Mautino told The (Ottawa) Daily Times  during a phone interview on Monday that doctors have told him the cancer is 97 percent treatable.  

Bruce Rauner has been sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor.

 

 The Republican businessman took the oath of office Monday during an inaugural

ceremony in Springfield. He is the first Republican to lead the state in more

than a decade.

 

 Rauner defeated Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November with promises to ``shake

up'' state government. He faces an immediate challenge in working with a

Democratic-controlled Legislature to eliminate a multibillion-dollar budget

hole.

 

A published report says outgoing Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford gave pay raises to dozens of employees over the past year. 

CHICAGO (AP) -  Jane Byrne, Chicago's first and only female mayor, has died at the age of 80. Byrne's daughter, Kathy, says her mother died Thursday at a hospice in Chicago. With Byrne's election in 1979, she became part of Chicago history. And she was part of the city's lore because of a big reason why she was elected: Voters blamed the sitting mayor, Michael Bilandic, for what they saw as the city's slow reaction to a blizzard.

 The Illinois Department of Public Health has activated a hotline to answer the public's questions about Ebola.  

Department Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck announced the hotline Thursday. It will be managed by staff from the Illinois Poison Center who will be able to answer questions about the virus and the state's response.  

 The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Operators will answer questions about how Ebola is spread, who's at risk, when someone should go to a doctor and other topics.  

The hotline number is 800-889-3931.  

 Illinois Republicans are mounting what they say is an unprecedented and costly campaign to purge ineligible people from voter lists and recruit their own election judges before November. 

It's a sign of how close the contest is expected to be for control of President Barack Obama's home state.  

Republicans have allocated $1 million in Cook County alone to examine voter rolls and recruit 5,000 GOP election judges to watch over polling places in Democrat-heavy Chicago. Efforts to go through voter rolls are underway in two counties east of St. Louis.  

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis have staked out opposing positions on whether to require universal background checks for firearms purchases.  

Oberweis is trying to unseat Durbin in November. They met Monday before the Chicago Tribune editorial board.  

Durbin says mandatory background checks would help keep convicted felons and mentally unstable people from getting guns. He says a federal law would reduce violence in places like Chicago, where police say felons get weapons from other states with weaker laws.  

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation overhauling the state's grant oversight and accountability process.  

Quinn's office said Wednesday that he has signed the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act. The governor says it will give Illinois a comprehensive set of uniform rules for grant applications and make those who receive grants more accountable to taxpayers.

The signing comes on the same day as legislative hearings are to begin on a controversial Quinn program.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Congress has easily passed a $1.1 trillion bill easing the harshest effects of last year's automatic spending cuts after tea party critics chastened by the government shutdown in October mounted only a faint protest.  The sweeping 72-26 Senate vote to fund the government through September sends the bill to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature before a midnight Saturday deadline.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

 

Front-runner Mitt Romney called the Illinois primary an ``extraordinary victory.''

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

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