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The main sponsor of Illinois’ medical marijuana program in the General Assembly says he’s not too worried about the state missing a deadline to rule on proposals for additional qualifying conditions. 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A University of Illinois index of the state's economy remained steady in August in spite of volatile U.S. and international stock markets. The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs says its Flash Index declined only slightly last month. It dropped from 106.6 in July to 106.5. Any reading of more than 100 indicates growth in the state's economy. The institute's monthly release on the index says it has remained in a narrow range for more than two years.

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Illinois may miss a deadline to rule on proposals for more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. The main sponsor of the program in the General Assembly says he’s not worried.

Monday went by without Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah ruling on whether to add 11 illnesses to the 40 to be covered when the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries open. That will likely be sometime in the fall. 

The list of recommendations from Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Advisory Board include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, osteoarthritis, and migraines. 

Summit of Hope returns to Chicago

1 hour ago

  JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - Illinois parolees and people on probation are getting a chance to apply for jobs, have a health screening and obtain a driver's license.  The Illinois Department of Corrections is holding a "Summit of Hope" Wednesday at the Salvation Army in the Chicago suburb of Joliet. The event is aimed at helping people recently released from jail or prison to lead a successful life, so they don't return to a life of crime or end up back behind bars.

The state climatologist says most of August was relatively cool and dry across Illinois.  Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois Water Survey said Tuesday that the average rainfall across the state was 2.95 inches for the month. 

Authorities have identified the suburban Chicago police officer who was shot to death after chasing three men on foot. 

An Illinois woman convicted of child endangerment in the 2003 drowning deaths of her three children, is fighting a state agency's decision to take away the three children she has had since serving five years in prison after her conviction.  

The military says it may move 51 supply jobs at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois to Virginia in a cost-cutting move.

Seven people have died from a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in western Illinois.   The cases all involve residents of the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy.  

With the mercury rising and heat index nearing 100 degrees this week, some District 150 Schools are without air conditioning.

Superintendent Sharon Kherat says 11 of the district’s 26 schools have had partial or no air conditioning for years. She says it’s estimated that replacing the systems would cost the district $40 million.

“It’s all about the money and where will that come from," Kherat said. "We’ve begun having those discussions, so we’ll see what happens.”

A former University of Illinois graduate student is suing the school's board of trustees and others, claiming administrators retaliated against her after she accused a visiting researcher of sexual harassment.

A government labor union says it's “positive” the Illinois House will side with it over Governor Bruce Rauner. A key vote on whether to override Rauner's veto of a union-backed bill is expected tomorrow. 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Rauner administration says it has reached tentative or final agreements on new labor contracts with several Teamsters Union units representing about 4,600 workers. The administration has reached agreements with Local 916, which represents 2,700 professional and technical workers at the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the negotiating committee representing more than a thousand highway maintenance workers.

2016 Candidate petition launch day

23 hours ago

Candidates with political ambitions in Illinois, both high and low, have one thing in common today. They can start collecting signatures to get on the 2016 ballot.

United Auto Workers vote on strike

Sep 1, 2015

Workers at the Ford Plant on Chicago’s Southeast side started voting this morning on whether to go on strike. The United Auto Workers Local 551 represents some 4300 workers who make the Explorer and Lincoln MKS.

A credit analyst with Moody's says Illinois' bond rating will remain unchanged despite the state entering its third month without a budget.  But the chances of a downgrade increase the longer gridlock continues.

District 150 is starting a heat schedule Wednesday through Friday due to high temperatures.  That means middle and high schools will dismiss at 1pm and primary schools dismiss at 2pm.  All students will be able to eat lunch before the early dismissals.  Students at schools without air-conditioning will get additional bottled water this week.  Normal school hours will resume next week.  Also during the heat schedule:

The University of Illinois is grappling with a requirement of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 2016. 

The Cook County Department of Public Health says a man in his early 90s from the south Chicago suburbs has died after contracting West Nile virus.

The head of Chicago Public Schools has recommended the district spend more than $900,000 to hire five senior level employees. 

Illinois will begin putting ignition locking devices on the vehicles of drivers with two or more drunken driving convictions.

A Springfield-based forensic scientist has been recognized for her work with the Illinois State Police. 

ILLINOIS PARKS & RECREATION ARCHIVES

On a hot, sultry summer’s day, the Peoria Civic Center announced  that a corner of downtown will become an ice skating rink this winter. It’s part of the Center’s inaugural Winterfest, a 39-day event that organizers hope becomes an annual tradition.

Peoria City Councilman Ryan Spain says the goal is to attract residents downtown during the chillier months.

A high-profile Chicago attorney acquitted at a federal bench trial of instructing clients and witnesses to lie says his win is a win for the entire profession. 

Many wheat growers have seen decent yields across Illinois, but heavy rainfall late in the growing season diminished much of their crop's value.

A major credit rating agency is warning legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner that they need to reach a budget agreement by late September, or else incur massive financial problems.  

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a fourth death from Legionnaires' disease after an outbreak at a western Illinois veterans' home.

istorija / Flickr/Creative Commons

If you've been meaning to visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, the Dickson Mounds archeological site, or museum shops in Lockport and Chicago, you have one month left to do it.

A spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources, which manages the sites, says they're set to close Sept. 30.

That's also when layoffs will take effect for all but three museum employees.

Advocates, like Erika Holst, a curator at Springfield's Art Association, have asked legislators to help save the museum.

Peoria County's sales tax revenue lags

Aug 31, 2015
Aranami / Flickr/Creative Commons

Online sales and big box chains across the river are hurting Peoria County sales tax revenue. That’s according to the latest 2015 financial report presented to a county budget committee last week.

County Chief Financial Officer Eric Dubrowski says the tax from online sales is distributed to Peoria County at a lower rate, based on a per-capita distribution. The County's revenue is based on its unincorporated population of 37,000.  

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