Chicago, IL – Illinois' Governor-elect Rod Blagojevich and his transition team are being swarmed with resumes from people looking for jobs in the new administration.
Blagojevich says people even ask him as he walks down the street.
He's the first Democratic governor in 26 years, meaning a lot of jobs will be up for grabs but maybe not as many as people think. Blagojevich promises he'll balance the budget without raising taxes, which means more jobs cuts are likely.
St. Louis, MO – An investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch finds St. Louis' sheriff and some of his deputies did not take a required firearms test last year.
The copyrighted story reports that Sheriff James Murphy requires each deputy to qualify on his or her gun at a police department range each year. There's no state law requiring such a test, but Murphy's policy is similar to those at other local police departments.
Jefferson City, MO – Biologists in Missouri took samples from about six thousand deer this week to test for the fatal chronic wasting disease, but officials won't get the test results until March or April.
The brain-wasting disease is similar to elk and deer what mad cow disease is to cattle. It has never been identified in Missouri, but the state's Department of Conservation have been collecting deer heads from hunters for samples.
Metro-East, Illinois – Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois are offering free bus rides during the holiday season.
In St. Clair County, there will be a free Holiday MetroBus painted on the outside with candles, bows and garlands. It will make surprise appearances on regular bus routes for part of every day from today through Christmas.
In Madison County, the transit district is offering free bus rides to Christmas light displays for people with disabilities or groups of senior citizens.
Kansas City, MO – Missouri officials say at the current rate, the account from which unemployment checks are written will dry up early next year.
The Kansas City Star reports that checks written to unemployed Missouri residents have dwarfed funds received from a tax on employers.
Heightened unemployment rates and an extended economic downturn have combined to drain the fund, and the head of the state's Division of Employment Security says that fund will likely spend its last $200 million by the first quarter next year.