Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Illinois' state climatologist says January weather was colder and drier than normal in the state without much snow.

Southern Illinois University says its spring enrollment fell 8.8 percent this year compared to last spring.

The mayor of Springfield says he's lobbying Illinois legislators to let the city annex the State Fairgrounds and use some city sales tax revenue generated there to repair several of its buildings.

The Illinois State Police is warning people that if they drink too much at Super Bowl parties this weekend they may end up having a not-so-super time on the way home.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a state law banning guns within 1,000 feet of public park violates a Second Amendment right to self-defense.

The University of Illinois is launching a new bioenergy research center that will be used to generate new fuel products directly from plants.

McLean County

A 40-year prison sentence has been handed a central Illinois woman who pleaded guilty to murder in the stabbing death of her mother. Christine Roush pleaded guilty in December in the July 2017 death of 47-year-old Theresa Poehlman of East Peoria. Forensic pathologist Dr. Scott Denton testified Poehlman suffered at least a dozen stab wounds to her neck and chest, including two knife wounds that pierced her heart. Poehlman's body was found in a wooded area at Funk's Grove Nature Preserve.

 

Federal prosecutors in the case of a former physics student charged with the kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China say they don't object to delaying the trial now that the government is seeking the death penalty.

Six transgender inmates are suing the Illinois Department of Corrections in federal court, alleging inadequate medical care at state facilities.

U.S. Department of State / Public Domain / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A central Illinois sheriff who's the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he's gearing up to donate $1.4 million to pay for wide-ranging expenses from new software at the Macon County Jail to drug-related autopsies. 

The state's education agency wants to hire a "storyteller" to relay "amazing" stories from Illinois' public schools while lawmakers are still trying properly fund them. 

At least three Democratic congressmen from Illinois are boycotting President Donald Trump's first State of the Union address. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says "no private business was conducted on public property" when he met with a former business partner at the Executive Mansion in May 2015.
 
But the Republican didn't answer directly Monday. The Chicago Tribune editorial board asked whether discussion with Harreld "Kip" Kirkpatrick included disbursing $67 million from a 2011 investment with Rauner.  
 
That's key because Rauner promised when elected in 2014 that he would have no day-to-day dealings with investment decisions.
 

The Illinois Department of Human Services has hired a Boston-based company to run an opioid help hotline despite receiving proposals from at least three Illinois providers.

University of Chicago faculty and students are protesting an invitation to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to participate in a debate on immigration and globalization.

A 2020 jury trial date has been set for a transgender inmate suing Illinois Department of Corrections officials for alleged abuses.

A survey shows many school districts across Illinois have seen substitute teacher shortages.
 
The data collected by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools was based on a survey of more than 500 superintendents.
 
Some school officials are recruiting substitute teachers by posting on social media, attending job fairs and asking parents for help. Several are offering substitute teachers more money.
 
The association suggests policy changes at the state level could help schools recruit more substitute teachers.
 

Tom Ruppe / CC BY-NC 2.0 / Flickr

Experts predict that Great Lakes water levels will rise for a fifth consecutive year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says all five lakes should reach above-average levels in 2018, continuing a steady recovery from record lows in 2013.

 

The corps recently released a forecast for the next six months. It predicts Lake Superior will break a record high level set in the mid-1980s.

 

A newly unsealed lawsuit alleges Gov. Bruce Rauner participated in 2015 meetings to manage his personal wealth after his pledge to follow "blind trust" procedures while in office.   
 
The complaint made public Tuesday says the venture capitalist turned governor was unhappy about his cut of a $67.5 million settlement reached with a former investment partner.
 
Lawyers for Harreld "Kip" Kirkpatrick III say Kirkpatrick and Rauner met to discuss the matter, including a meeting on the patio of the governor's mansion in Springfield.
 

Peoria Public Radio

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is pregnant.
 
The Illinois Democrat says she will give birth to her second daughter this spring. It will make her the first U.S. senator to give birth while in office.
 
In a statement Tuesday, Duckworth said she and her husband, Bryan, are thrilled their family is getting a little bit bigger. She also says her daughter, Abigail, "is ecstatic to welcome her baby sister home this spring."
 
Her colleague, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said he couldn't be happier for Duckworth.
 

Brian Mackey (File Photo) / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will propose reversing last year's income tax increase in a "step-down" process that will cover several years.

Rauner pledged the rollback Monday when asked about how he would pay for more than $2 billion in state spending that never received appropriation authority from the General Assembly.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza's first monthly report on the state's pile of overdue bills revealed that the state will spend $2.3 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30 that was never appropriated in law.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cited a racial disparity in enforcement of laws against the use of marijuana as the reason she now favors legalization of the drug.

Daryl Scott / Peoria Public Radio

A proposed bill would give more than 90,000 students across 100 districts in rural Illinois access to high-speed internet. Democratic Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, Republican Sen. Sam McCann of Plainview and Democratic Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood are sponsoring the legislation.

 

U.S. prosecutors have told a judge they will seek the death penalty against a 28-year-old man charged with the kidnapping and killing of a University of Illinois scholar from China.

The Illinois Supreme Court has again upheld the murder conviction of former Chicago-area police officer Drew Peterson in the 2004 drowning death of his third wife.

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs says families in the state that have college savings plans won't get a break on their state taxes if they use those accounts to pay for private K-12 tuition.

Attorneys for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald plan to hire a polling company to look at the question of whether the trial should be moved out of Cook County.

New data from the University of Illinois' expanded background-checks policy show that the school withdrew 35 job offers across three campuses last year.

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will air campaign ads featuring 11 minutes of conversations between a top Democratic rival and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich captured on FBI wiretaps.

University of Illinois trustees have voted to freeze the school's base tuition for incoming, in-state freshmen for a fourth consecutive year.
 
University President Timothy Killeen made the recommendation to the board of trustees in an effort to stop an exodus of Illinois high school graduates to colleges in other states. The board voted Thursday, approving the freeze for the university system's three campuses.
 

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