Illinois

Thomson Correctional Center
1:49 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Federal Government Will Buy Illinois Prison

The federal government will purchase the underused state prison in Thomson, Ill., shown here in a screenshot from Google Maps, despite Congressional opposition.
(screenshot via Google Maps)

Updated at 5:45 p.m. with additional comments from Gov. Quinn and comments from Sen. Durbin. Brian Mackey contributed reporting.

Updated at 2 p.m. with statement from Gov. Pat Quinn.

The federal government has agreed to purchase the underused Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois to relieve crowding in its facilities, despite fervent opposition from members of Congress.

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Unemployment Fraud
8:11 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Illinois Cracks Down On Unemployment Fraud

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Illinois is getting $2.7 million to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud in unemployment claims.

The grant from the U.S. Labor Department will help beef up anti-fraud programs launched in the past year.
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats, working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations.

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The Picture Show
2:54 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Bringing Springfield's Photos Back To Life

Triplets born to Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Atterberry of Petersburg at St. John's Hospital, two girls and a boy, Aug. 21, 1930.
Courtesy of Rich Saal/State Journal-Register

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 1:04 pm

The first photography staff at the Illinois State Journal carried heavy, clumsy and slow Speed Graphic cameras. They shot on glass plates, and only had a few precious exposures to use throughout their day.

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Morning round-up
9:20 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, September 20, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Three people killed on Grand Bridge following early morning police chase

The Grand Bridge was closed for several hours early Thursday morning as the result of a vehicle crash that left three people dead and another person critically injured.

The crash happened as the car was fleeing police.

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Campaign finance
11:27 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Federal court upholds Ill. campaign spending disclosure law

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A federal appeals court has upheld the Illinois law that requires disclosure of most campaign spending by groups in excess of $3,000.

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Fraud
5:24 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Fraud conviction reinstated for ex-Ill. official

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A federal appeals court has reinstated the wire fraud conviction of a former supervisor for the Illinois secretary of state's office.

Cecil Turner was convicted on four counts of wire fraud in 2006 for covering up a scheme in which three janitors were paid for hours they didn't work.

Turner did not take any illegal money. He was convicted on the legal theory that he denied taxpayers the honest services they deserved.

The U.S. Supreme Court later narrowed the scope of "honest services" violations, and Turner's conviction was reversed.

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Ill. facility closures
5:22 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Tamms, other prisons will stay open for another month

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

Two major Illinois prisons and other facilities will stay open for at least another month after an arbitrator ruled Gov. Pat Quinn's administration violated workers' rights in rushing to close them

Arbitrator Steven Bierig concluded Friday that the state departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice did not properly negotiate with workers over the impact of closing the supermax Tamms prison, the Dwight women's lockup and several juvenile facilities. 

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Republican National Convention
12:49 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Ill. RNC delegates waiting out Isaac storm with state politicking

Mimosas at the hotel where Illinois delegates for the Republican National Convention are staying this week.
(Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio)

Tropical Storm Isaac has dismantled Illinois Republican’s convention plans. With national convention events canceled, they're no longer spending Monday nominating Mitt Romney as their candidate for president. That leaves an opportunity for them to focus on state politics.

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reports from the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

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Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn
10:23 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Quinn rejects plastic bag recycling bill

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have required plastic bag manufacturers to set up collection and recycling programs, calling it a "roadblock" for local communities to make their own choices.

He rejected the proposed law Sunday.

Illinois State Parks
2:19 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Retirements leave gap at Ill. state parks

Wallula Junction Flickr

Since late last year, almost a quarter of Illinois state park superintendents have retired, taking with them in many cases 30 or more years of experience that will be hard to replace.
 
The loss of that institutional knowledge is one more cost of the state's deep financial crisis. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is among state agencies hit hard by years of budget cuts.
 

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