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State News

New Illinois crime law is put to the test.

Chicago Tribune With crime spiking across the state, both parties in Springfield find themselves wrestling with a life-and-death issue that’s begging for problem-solvers, not demagoguery. Yet politics is never far behind. In Illinois, the issue provides an obvious target for Republicans, who have too little power at this point to bear much of the blame.…

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Irvin, Aurora’s 1st Black mayor, makes GOP bid for governor

JOHN O’CONNOR AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin joined the gubernatorial fray on Monday, entering the race as a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Elected the first Black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city in 2017, Irvin, 51, is the fifth candidate seeking the GOP spot on the November ballot.…

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Tornado victim’s family sues Amazon over warehouse collapse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The family of a delivery driver who died last month when a tornado collapsed the central Illinois Amazon facility where he worked filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday in Madison County. The action on behalf of Austin McEwen, 26, claims that Amazon failed to warn employees of dangerous weather or provide…

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Chicago conservatory’s Agave tops 15 feet, set to bloom

CHICAGO (AP) — An agave plant at a Chicago conservatory has grown to over 15 feet in height — roughly triple its expected size — and is set to bloom in coming weeks for the only time in its roughly 35-year lifespan. The Agave guiengola at the Garfield Park Conservatory’s Desert House was expected to…

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Illinois authorities probe 7 overdose cases that killed 2

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in northeastern Illinois are investigating seven fentanyl overdose cases over 24 hours that left two people dead. The Kankakee Police Department and Kankakee County Coroner’s Office said the two victims who died were a 20-year-old female and 37-year-old male, both of Kankakee, according to The (Kankakee) Daily Journal. Kankakee is…

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Chicago cites restaurants, gyms for COVID vaccine violations

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago officials have handed out more than 30 citations to businesses for failing to enforce the city’s requirement that people show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in many places. The order took effect Jan. 3, and through Wednesday, the city’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection agency had issued 32 citations to 16 businesses.…

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Springfield museum exhibit features artists from Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A museum exhibit in Springfield is featuring a range of work from Illinois artists including Muddy Waters, Earth Wind and Fire and Chance the Rapper. It’s called the “State of Sound” and runs through Jan. 23 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The exhibit features personal papers, rare artifacts…

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Inmate allowed to attend funeral doesn’t return to jail

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities have been searching for a suburban Chicago inmate who was allowed to leave jail to attend a family member’s funeral but did not return. An arrest warrant was issued for 23-year-old Bruce T. Berrier after he left DuPage County Jail on Tuesday at 8 a.m. A judge had granted his…

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Ex-Chicago alderman seeks prison release over COVID concerns

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Chicago alderman convicted of tax evasion has sought an early release from prison due to his age, medical conditions and the omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge. Attorneys for Edward Vrdolyak filed an emergency petition Friday, according to The Chicago Tribune. Attorneys said the 84-year-old suffers from medical conditions including dementia and has…

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