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' department of revenue says more than 300 state employees, including two lawmakers, are delinquent in paying their taxes for the 2014 calendar year.  Department of Revenue officials say the 312 state workers are getting their salaries but still haven't filed returns for calendar year 2014, which were due two springs ago.

A rule change governing legal clients' funds made by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2015 has generated more than $1 million for legal help for the poor.  The court adjusted a rule dealing with unidentified funds in pooled client trust accounts handled by lawyers. 

College students and faculty in western Illinois will get more travel abroad opportunities because of a U.S. Department of Education grant.  Western Illinois University officials say the grant of over $400,000 dollars will benefit their school and also Spoon River College in Canton.  WIU officials are directing the grant, which covers three years of academic travel.

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Some Illinois doctors are traveling to Springfield to help residents enroll in the state's medical marijuana program.  Medical marijuana advocates in Illinois say doctors' willingness to help patients remains the biggest hurdle to long-term success for the pilot program. The program's enrollment since fall 2014 stands at 18,300, and the number of potential enrollees is believed to be two to five times higher.

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The Illinois panel tasked with reviewing claims of police torture is overwhelmed with claims, and is short on funding, especially with the state budget impasse.  A recent law change expanded the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission's jurisdiction beyond claims of torture related to disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge to anyone convicted in Cook County based on confessions allegedly coerced through torture.

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Many of Chicago's recreational softball teams have been displaced from lakefront fields because of damage from a World Series celebration last year. Chicago hosted the parade and rally to celebrate the team's first World Series championship since 1908.

State officials say that they're making changes to Illinois' newly-designed license plates to make them easier to read.  Secretary of State Jesse White's office has received complaints.  The new licenses, designed by White's office, were rolled out in January. 

 CHICAGO (AP) - Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has contributed $7 million to his campaign fund for Illinois governor. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - While pressure grows on Gov. Bruce Rauner to identify where he would cut state spending, an Associated Press analysis shows that much more cutting would be needed to make a real difference.

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Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is opposing legislation that would allow the state to cover abortions for its employees and Medicaid recipients.  Eleni Demertzis is Rauner's spokeswoman. She says the governor is committed to protecting women's rights under current law but recognizes the sharp divisions of opinion on taxpayer-funded abortion coverage. 

The Environmental Protection Agency says water sampling in Lake Michigan and a tributary shows no significant discharge of a potentially carcinogenic chemical from a U.S. Steel Corp. wastewater spill in northern Indiana.

A federal class-action lawsuit has been filed by three suburban Chicago men who say they were targeted as suspects in the 2015 shooting a police officer whose death was later declared a suicide.  Raymond Willoughby, Damien Ward and Dan Cooper allege they were unlawfully arrested based on Gliniewicz's fabricated description. They were handcuffed and held in custody for hours. 

An Iowa man has been given 27 months in federal prison for his role in a scrap metal scheme.  Patrick Williams was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Rock Island for money laundering. He'd pleaded guilty. Williams must pay more than $259,000 in restitution to Moline-based John Deere.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has granted four new petitions for clemency, acted again on a previous case and denied 140 others. The first-term Republican first granted Neil Hebert clemency in 2015. He was convicted in 1992 of theft in Champaign County. However, the Illinois Prisoner Review Board says it was unclear whether the first granted petition would've allowed Hebert gun ownership rights. Friday's action does. 

United Airlines pilots want it known that they had nothing to do with the incident in which a passenger was violently dragged off a United Express plane in Chicago.  In a statement, the pilots union says that the forcible removal of Dr. David Dao by O'Hare International Airport security officials happened Sunday night on a United Express carrier that is separately owned and operated by Republic Airline.

CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Prisoner Review Board is being asked to intervene on behalf of an Army veteran with a green card who faces deportation because of a drug conviction.

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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Officials at Bradley University say a building on campus has become the first to use solar panels as its primary source of energy. 

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Illinois political leaders have asked federal housing authorities to find adequate and safe housing for 185 families ordered to relocate from two public housing developments in southern Illinois.
 
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to move residents of the Alexander County Housing Authority properties in May due to concerns such as poor heating and mold.
 
Federal housing officials said there was no plan to provide new housing and that residents would be given vouchers and have their moving expenses paid.
 

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who fatally shot a judge outside his Chicago home.  Authorities say Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles and a woman were getting ready to go to a gym early Monday when they were shot outside his home. The 66-year-old Myles was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The 52-year-old woman was reported in serious condition with a gunshot wound to the leg.

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Obstruction of justice charges have been dropped against a former worker at a northern Illinois youth home who was implicated in the death of a 16-year-old resident.  Shaquan Allen was living at the Allendale Association in Lake Villa in March 2016 when Justin Serak and James Davis struggled with the boy while responding to a behavioral issue. 

Illinois officials are urging motorcyclists to brush up on their skills and use proper equipment as they take to the roadways.   The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police say more motorcycles will be on the road as the weather improves. They're launching a joint safety campaign aimed at reducing accidents and deaths.

CHICAGO (AP) - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is launching the first official campaign tour of his re-election bid as Democrats line up to try to defeat him in 2018.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced that the Anti-Defamation League will develop a program with the Illinois State Police to train police officers in identifying and investigating hate crimes.  Rauner says the plan is the fourth part of a program he laid out two weeks ago to battle crimes against people due to of race, religion or national origin. 

A Cook County Circuit Court judge has been shot to death outside his home on the South Side of Chicago.  Chicago police say Associate Judge Raymond Myles and a female acquaintance were shot shortly before 5 a.m. today.  Myles was pronounced dead at a hospital. The unidentified woman is expected to survive.

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Illinois legislators are joining a national flurry of efforts to curb laws that allow police to confiscate property even if the owner isn't convicted of a crime.  The contentious practice permits law enforcement to permanently seize vehicles, cash and other property associated with illegal activity and profit from it. The Illinois proposal would allow the Prairie State to join 12 other states in requiring a criminal conviction to formally confiscate assets.

The conservative Club for Growth says it is launching TV spots pressuring moderate Republican lawmakers to support the party's languishing health care bill.  The ads are the latest step in a GOP civil war that derailed the House measure last month. 

The Better Business Bureau has a warning for sports fans who suspect the prices for tickets to the Chicago Cubs home opener at Wrigley Field or to see the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs are too good to be true: They might be right. 

Western Illinois University is giving students and natural resource professionals a chance to flock to a community along the Mississippi River to learn more about the migration and health of ducks.  The school says the program is offered at its Kibbe Life Science Station in Warsaw. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Old State Capitol plaza in Springfield may be getting a bit of a face lift.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois General Assembly left the capital city last week for a two-week spring break - without progress on an annual budget. 

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