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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

Congressional Democrats appeared on Capitol Hill Thursday to push for a new ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

The bill's author, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, started her remarks with a roster of tragedy: "Columbine. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Tucson. Oak Creek. The common thread in these shootings is each gunman used a semiautomatic assault weapon or large-capacity ammunition magazine."

LeBron James is arguably the best player in the NBA. His salary is $17.5 million a year. He's worth much, much more.

"He's getting hosed," says Kevin Grier, an economist from the University of Oklahoma.

James used to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. When he left, the value of the team fell by tens of millions of dollars — and the value of his new team, the Miami Heat, rose by tens of millions. The economists I talked to said James should be making closer to $40 million a year.

If you want to make a movie, you generally need a lot of money. And filmmakers have to be creative about raising it.

Just ask the filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival, taking place this week in Park City, Utah. Some 10 percent of the films selected for this year's iteration of the prestigious festival raised money through the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

In the three years since the website launched, Kickstarter-funded films have been nominated for Oscars, picked up by Showtime and HBO, and honored with awards at Sundance, South By Southwest and Cannes.

Svetlana Anikeeva was 15 in the early '90s when she visited America as an exchange student.

"And it was completely different place in every imaginable aspect," she recalls.

Anikeeva grew up in Vladivostok on the eastern edge of Russia, and studied abroad in Savannah, Ga., where the experience, she says, changed her life.

"The people were different. The culture was different. The weather, the food, the school. Everything was fascinating," she says. "I knew that I wanted to come here."

Gareth Morgan hasn't said he's a dog person, but he's definitely not a cat person. Morgan, a top New Zealand economist and environmentalist, is campaigning for a cat-free country.

In an interview with The New York Times, Morgan said "cats are a 'friendly neighborhood serial killer' of birds."

Manti Te'o: 'What I Went Through Was Real'

Jan 24, 2013

In his first TV interview, Manti Te'o told Katie Couric Thursday that what he "went through was real."

The Notre Dame linebacker, whose athleticism and tragic personal story buoyed him to stardom, has been in the spotlight ever since DeadSpin revealed part of that amazing story wasn't real.

Update at 9:25 ET Senate OKs Filibuster Deal

The Senate voted Thursday to limit filibusters in a rare bipartisan vote that would reduce but not end the number of times opponents can use the procedure.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

David Coleman Headley, whose scouting missions were central to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, was sentenced to 35 years in prison today.

According to the AP, one American woman injured during the attacks that killed 160 people testified that because of Coleman, she knew the "sound of life leaving a 13-year-old child."

"I don't have any faith in Mr. Headley when he says he's a changed person and believes in the American way of life," US District Judge Harry Leinenweber said before handing down the sentence.

The future of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is in the hands of the State Department. President Obama rejected a similar pipeline proposal last year, but now that Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved an alternative route through his state, the approval process is back on track.

If you thought 140 characters of text was too short, try grabbing your Twitter followers' attention with six-second videos. Six seconds.

Twitter on Thursday launched the video app Vine, which allows users to shoot brief videos and directly tweet them. The social media company acquired the video-sharing startup last fall, according to All Things D.

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