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Illinois Issues: Legislative Checklist

Maureen McKinney interviews Daisy Contreras about recent legislative action. The spring legislative session is in full swing under the shadow of a failed Grand Bargain, which aimed to end a 20-month stretch without a budget. Bills proposed are diverse, including lobbyist ethics, an Obama holiday, wage theft and animal welfare.

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Julia, A Muppet With Autism, Joins The Cast Of 'Sesame Street'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWrg5b9DQbE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8QQRtA0hVA For the first time in a decade, the classic children's television show Sesame Street will introduce a new Muppet on the air. Her name is Julia. She's a shy and winsome 4-year-old, with striking red hair and green eyes. Julia likes to paint and pick flowers. When Julia speaks, she often echoes what she's just heard her friends Abby and Elmo say. Julia has autism. "There's so many people that have given her...

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Community Events Calendar

Find out about events across central Illinois with Peoria Public Radio's community events calendar

Back in the day – the 17th century – Vermeer, Rembrandt and the rest of the Dutch Golden Age crew blazed a trail for realism in art. Their work wasn't just technically dazzling; it was also distinctive. Instead of fat baby cherubs and saints, they painted the stuff of every day life. Often, that meant food.

In their hands, grapes popped with juiciness. Lobsters steamed, ready for cracking. Milk practically splashed the viewer as it poured from the jug.

Israel, Germany and Canada are among the countries that have already marched down the path the U.S. will soon follow in allowing women a role in front-line combat units.

And most experts say the integration of women into such roles elsewhere has gone smoothly, despite concerns as to whether they would be up to the physical demands and about the question of fraternization between male and female troops.

Saying he is choosing "one of my closest friends and one of my closest advisers" for the job, President Obama on Friday said that longtime aide Denis McDonough will be his next chief of staff.

During a midday event at the White House that was remarkable for the expansive comments the president made about his friend's character, his dedication and the respect he gets from those who work in the administration, Obama said McDonough has "the kind of heart that I want in the White House."

A hubbub's been building up north for the past week or so about the maple leaf on Canada's new $20 bills.

Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.

Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.

A Brief History Of Women In Combat

Jan 25, 2013

Traditions break down fast during times of war, and history is full of examples where women assumed dramatic new roles that never would have been possible in times of peace.

As this photo gallery shows, the pressing demands of World War II led many countries to call on women to bolster their armed forces, in jobs ranging from nurse to front-line soldier.

From Madrid, correspondent Lauren Frayer writes:

Editors at Spain's El País newspaper thought they had a scoop: The first glimpse in more than six weeks of cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

A large, blurry photo above the fold on Thursday's front page showed a chubby-faced, bald man on an operating table surrounded by doctors, with a breathing tube in his mouth. A caption identified the ailing patient as Chavez, who is undergoing cancer treatment in Cuba.

Good morning.

The stories making headlines today include:

-- " 'March For Life' Rally Expected To Draw Huge Crowd In Washington." (Our first post of the day.)

-- "Snow, Ice Target Midwest, East." (The Weather Channel)

Organizers say today's March for Life rally in the nation's capital may bring more anti-abortion activists to the streets than last year's estimated 400,000. By midday, a large crowd was gathered in the National Mall, listening to speeches from former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum and others and preparing to march toward the Capitol and the Supreme Court.

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