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Associated Press

Sarah Mueller

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse.  

Jason Parrott / TSPR

It appears the Iowa Department of Education was long aware of concerns about Midwest Academy but it did not have legal authority to investigate the Lee County boarding school for troubled teens.  The Associated Press reported this week that the agency considered the school an "unregulated home school."

TSPR’s Emily Boyer

Former Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) and his attorneys have reached a temporary resolution with federal prosecutors on civil contempt accusations he faced for failing to produce campaign and congressional records.

Joshua Doubek/Wikimedia Commons

An Illinois appeals court has upheld the state's rules for the high-volume oil and gas drilling technique known as fracking.

Primary election results show Illinois State Senator Darin LaHood of Peoria easily won the Republican nomination in the race to fill the vacant congressional seat for the 18th district. Democratic party voters chose high school teacher Robert Mellon of Quincy by a wide margin to be their party's nominee. 

Wikimedia

The race to replace former Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) has shaped up as a classic Republican primary.  It pits the son of a longtime Illinois congressman and Obama Cabinet member against a conservative writer who has railed at what he sees as the "establishment" GOP hand-picking the disgraced lawmaker's successor.

Des Moines County Corrections

Chris King, 41, was released from the Des Moines County Jail after posting bond Monday afternoon. King was arrested in early May on several counts including sexual abuse, indecent exposure and providing alcohol to minors.

The future of two of Iowa's mental health institutes -- including one in southeast Iowa -- is now in the hands of Governor Terry Branstad, who proposed closing them at the start of the legislative session.

Jason Parrott / TSPR

Iowa's executive branch will pay another $7 million to the company that oversaw construction of the state's problem-riddled maximum-security prison in Lee County.

The State Appeals Board voted Monday to approve the settlement with Walsh Construction to avoid litigation over the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison .

The 800-bed prison remains empty more than a year after it was scheduled to open.

Gov. Pat Quinn enters his final week in office with a speech and special session on the agenda, but it's unclear how hard lawmakers and leaders will work with the Democrat on a possible special election or other issues.  

Quinn has called legislators to Springfield Thursday. He wants legislation for a special election to replace late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Senate President John Cullerton supports the idea, but House Speaker Michael Madigan says it's an executive branch issue.  

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka leaves essentially two vacancies that should first be filled by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn and then Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner. But she says voters should also get a chance to cast ballots for the office in 2016.

 

 Topinka died last week. The Republican had won a second term, which starts next

month.  

 

 In a legal analysis released Monday, Madigan says Quinn should appoint someone

until Jan. 12, when the current term ends and new elected officials are sworn

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has died, less than 24 hours after suffering a stroke.

It looks like Illinois lawmakers will allow the temporary higher income tax rate to expire January 1.

Quinn Concedes

Nov 5, 2014
Rich Egger

Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn has conceded to Republican businessman Bruce Rauner in the Illinois governor's race.

Wikipedia

Illinois regulators have approved a 28-mile FutureGen Alliance pipeline proposal that will carry carbon dioxide through the western part of the state.

Groups Want Coal Mine Rules Enforced

Apr 3, 2014

Groups such as the Sierra Club of Illinois feel the state has plenty of regulations for coal mining, but enforcement of rules has been lax.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) said he will call a vote this spring on making the state's temporary income tax increase permanent.

Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan has resigned after eight months on the job.

Flanagan is being investigated by ISU police after a former campus employee accused him of assault.  

He stepped down during a special Board of Trustees meeting Saturday. The resignation took effect immediately.  

A statement on the university's website says Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Dietz was named to replace him. Dietz was given a three year contract to become the President. He had been a finalist a year ago in the search where Flanagan was selected.

A Lee County emergency dispatcher has resigned after her superiors repeatedly disciplined her for mishandling calls for service, sleeping on the job and accessing police databases improperly, according to internal records.

A quick look at news from around the tri-state region.

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

Wikipedia

Illinois regulators have signed off on the route for a high-voltage transmission line that would run through 19 counties, traveling from Quincy to the Indiana border.

www.facebook.com

A former Congressional candidate in southeast Iowa has stepped down as the head of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

Loco Steve/Flickr

Two Burlington firefighters were sent to the hospital after being injured while battling a fire early on New Year’s Day.

Two more groups of retired Illinois state employees have filed lawsuits challenging a new plan to eliminate the state's $100 billion public pension shortfall.

Illinois State Police said the agency is ready to begin processing applications from residents who want to carry concealed weapons.

Authorities say Hancock County State’s Attorney Jim Drozdz is dead after a traffic accident in Georgia.

Missouri has been awarded a $7.5 million federal grant to continue a program that helps the state's lowest-achieving schools.

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