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Chicago Violence Gets National Attention

(Washington, D.C.)  --  President Obama is calling on Congress to pass stricter gun laws.  He says there should be background checks to make it harder for criminals to get guns, he wants new laws that prevent people from buying guns for resale to criminals, and he wants assault weapons and magazines off the streets.  President Obama says more than one thousand people have been killed by gunfire since the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, including Chicago's Hadiya Pendleton.  The President says Hadiya's parents and the parents of every other community impacted by gun violence deserve a vote on stricter gun laws.  Hadiya's mom, Cleopatra Pendleton, attended last night's State of the Union as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Lawmaker Wants Less Tackling In High School Football

(Springfield, IL)  --  Less tackling in high school football seems almost impossible to regulate.  But one Illinois lawmaker is trying to make it a reality.  State Rep Carol Sente says students should only be allowed to tackle during one practice a week.  She says doing so would protect athletes from having brain damage from repeated hits.

Pension Reform Gets Committee Hearing

(Springfield, IL)  --  Pension reform is on the docket in Springfield, today.  A Senate committee is scheduled to take up SB1 this afternoon, which contains a Part A and a Part B.  Part A caps pensionable salary, temporarily suspends and reduces the amount of automatic annual increases, requires the pension systems to be fully funded by 2043, and increases required employee contributions.  Part B is the alternative if Part A is deemed unconstitutional.  It requires employees and retirees to choose between the compounded Cost Of Living Adjustment or accept a reduced COLA and keep healthcare benefits in retirement.

Illinois Gets Grant For Disability Housing

(Chicago, IL)  --  Rental assistance will soon be available for low-income people with disabilities.  The state received a 12-million dollar grant from the federal government to help with about 825 rental subsidies.  Governor Quinn says the money helps support his mission of moving more people into community care settings, where they can live independently.  The Illinois Housing Development Authority will begin accepting applications from low-income people with disabilities later this year at

No Gun In ISU Scare Yesterday

(Normal, IL)  --  Illinois State University was put on a one hour lockdown yesterday after reports of a man carrying a gun on campus.  But police say there was no gun involved in an incident between a Chicago man and his girlfriend, an ISU student.  Chief Aaron Woodruff says after interviewing both the student and the suspect, they determined the student's original statement was based on fear that the man might have access to a weapon, but she admitted she never saw one.  No one was injured.

Mayoral Candidate Charged With Felony

(Alorton, IL)  --  The woman accused of smuggling a cell phone into an Alorton jailhouse is looking to lead the city.  JoAnn Reed is running for mayor in Alorton.   She's accused of giving her niece a cell phone and food on February 3rd, while the niece was locked up.  Reed was arraigned on Monday, charged with official misconduct and bringing contraband into a penal institution.  She was released on bond.

IL Lawmakers Split Over Obama Address

(Peoria, IL)  --  Illinois lawmakers are largely split in their opinions of President Obama's State of the Union address last night.  Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin praised the address and said Obama focused on the "economy" and "working families."  However Republican Representative Aaron Schock said he's concerned Obama didn't spend enough time on job-creation.  In his first major speech since his re-election Obama unveiled a plan to bring home 34-thousand U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan by February 2014.

Pendletons Are Guests Of Obama's At D-C Address

(Washington, DC)  --  The parents of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton were invited guests at President Obama's State of the Union address last night.  Nathaniel Pendleton and Cleopatra Pendleton sat next to First Lady Michelle Obama as the President delivered his first address since being re-elected.  Obama urged Congress to act in favor of his gun restrictions in light of recent shooting tragedies.  The girl's parents applauded when Obama told Congress they and all deadly shooting victims quote, "deserve a vote."

Pekin Airport Gets 43K For Resurfacing Project

(Pekin, IL)  --  An Illinois regional airport gets the OK for a new project.  Despite concerns over whether Pekin Municipal Airport use is waning, City Councilors narrowly approved 43-thousand-dollars in funds for a resurfacing project.  City Councilors said they're more concerned about what happens if they let the airport fall into disrepair.

U-I Forms Athletics Advisory Board To Boost Chicago Ties

(Springfield, IL)  --  University of Illinois officials are creating a special board in an effort to strengthen the school's athletic ties to the Windy City.  The "Tribune" reports the Chicago Athletics Advisory Board will be comprised of nine volunteer members each with "deep connections" to Chicago.  U-I athletics officials have tried in recent years to boost exposure and increase support for Illini sports around Chicagoland.  The school estimates nearly one-and-a-half-million Illini fans live in the Chicago area.


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