Illinois Senator Mark Kirk-R

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Senate hopeful Tammy Duckworth's fundraising for the third quarter outpaced incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk by $410,000. The Democratic congresswoman from Illinois reported contributions of $1.46 million since June in the race for the party's nomination to face the first-term Republican in November 2016. Aides say Duckworth has $2.8 million in the bank. Kirk has more on hand - $3.62 million.

Illinois US Senator Mark Kirk is cracking down on the export of synthetic marijuana. IPR’s Mariam Sobh reports.

Kirk says O’Hare International Airport is among the top 5 hubs for the substance. Drug Enforcement Administration officials believe the synthetic drug was invented and produced in China. Kirk says he is applying pressure to the Chinese government, because it’s not only a health hazard, but is also a security issue. DEA officials say side effects of using synthetic weed include psychotic episodes, seizures, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting and even catatonia.

A new audit shows nearly 900 veterans have requested appointments at Illinois' Veterans Administration hospitals in the past decade but not received them. The Veterans Affairs Department released findings Monday of a national audit on quality of care and wait times.

  Illinois ranks number one in the nation per-capita for gang membership with gang members in Peoria outnumber police about two to one. That’s why Illinois Senator Mark Kirk says he worked to get $18.5 million allocated toward suppressing gang activity.