The Illinois Senate returns to the Capitol on Wednesday to begin a weeklong legislative session that could take up pension reform, legalizing gay marriage and banning assault rifles.
The 97th General Assembly will finish its work Jan. 9 when a new Legislature is sworn in. That means there are many lame-duck lawmakers not returning who might feel less constrained to vote for contentious issues. The House comes in Sunday.
Gov. Pat Quinn has made it a priority for the assembly to find a solution to the state employee retirement programs that are underfunded by $96 billion.
Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, has died.
The singer's daughter, Neuka Mitchell, says Bass died at a St. Louis hospice Wednesday night of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago. She was 72. Bass had also suffered several strokes since 2005.
Saint Louis University is hosting a public memorial service Friday for basketball coach Rick Majerus.
Hundreds are expected at the service at Chaifetz Pavilion to honor Majerus. It begins at 3:30 p.m.
Majerus coached for 25 years, the last five at Saint Louis University, where he led the Billikens to the third round of the NCAA tournament in March. He was 517-216 for his career and led Utah to the NCAA finals in 1998.
Illinois and the federal government have approved an environmental impact statement for the high-speed rail line under construction between Chicago and St. Louis.
The review is an important step because it identifies a route through Springfield that would end a dispute that had threatened to hold up the project.
It also recommends a route around some of the congested tangle of rail lines between Chicago and suburban Joliet. Upgrades to that suggested corridor would be $500 million cheaper than the existing route because fewer overpasses would be needed.
Carol Perkins, a conservationist and humanitarian and the widow of famed zoologist Marlin Perkins, has died.
The Saint Louis Zoo says Carol Perkins died Saturday at her home in Clayton, Mo. She was 95 and had been in declining health.
Marlin Perkins was the director of the Saint Louis Zoo who gained international fame after becoming host of television's "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" in 1962. The program aired for 26 years until his death in 1986.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a cleanup agreement with PerkinElmer Inc., a Massachusetts-based firm that operates the Missouri Metals plant. The agreement will be final after a 30-day comment period.
The state says five Missouri charter schools are financially stressed.
Four of the schools are in St. Louis - Carondolet Leadership Academy, Grand Center Arts Academy, South City Preparatory Academy and Jamaa Learning Center. The fifth is Pathway Academy in Kansas City.
This is the first time the state has declared schools financially stressed under a new state law that requires more supervision of the publicly funded but independently run schools. The designation is based on ending balances in two key funds.