>>Quinn Pens Letter To House Speaker John Boehner

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn says the government shutdown is hurting Illinois’ economy.  He says about 100 people who work for the state are out of a job because they’re paid through a federal grant, and if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, more layoffs could be looming.  Quinn penned a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, asking him to take action to end the shutdown and put people back to work.

>>State Rep Wants Mandatory Minimum Sentencing For Gun Crimes

(Chicago, IL)  --  If a Chicago lawmaker has his way, people who are busted carrying guns illegally would serve up to four years behind bars.  State Rep Michael Zalewski is pushing a bill that will enhance penalties for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.  That means convicted felons, people who are in a gang, and even those who have an order of protection against them could be looking at prison time if they’re caught with a gun.  Zalewski says a mandatory minimum sentencing law would send a strong message to criminals, letting them know that they will be punished for their crimes.

>>Grandmother Accused Of Killing Six-Month Old Grandbaby

(Chicago, IL)  --  An Oak Lawn woman is accused of killing her six-month-old granddaughter.  Police say Alfreda Giedrojc was babysitting the child Sunday morning when she put the baby on the floor and hit her several times with a sledge hammer.  When the baby wouldn’t stop moving, Giedrojc allegedly grabbed a knife and slit the baby’s throat.   She’s been charged with first-degree-murder and is being held without bond.

>>Illinois Has 12th Lowest Drug overdose Rate

(Undated)  --  Illinois has the 12th lowest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States.  A new report reveals just 10 out of every 100-thousand people in Illinois die from using too many drugs.  A majority of the deaths are from prescription drugs. 

>Car Pulled From IL River Carried Female Body

(Peoria, IL)  --  Investigators in Chillicothe are looking into a grisly discovery made on the Illinois River.  Authorities say when officers pulled a car from the river last night they found a female body inside the vehicle.  The site of the discovery is near the location where an Edwards woman named Julie Peters disappeared late last month.

>>Would-Be Fracking Firms To Register Soon

(Undated)  --  The muddied outlook for natural gas drilling in Illinois is about to get more clear.  That's because a new requirement means companies with aspirations for starting a fracking operation must register with the state.  Once companies file their applications for drilling, the information will be available to the public online.  The "Tribune" says the oil and gas industry is expecting more pressure from anti-fracking groups once the company information is made available.

>>Modified Food Debate On Front Burner Again

(Undated)  --  The debate over genetically modified food products is heating up in Illinois.  Democratic Senator David Koehler is proposing a bill to require labels on all food products made with the use of G-M-Os otherwise known as genetically modified organisms.  Anti-G-M-O groups say Illinois is important in the battle for improved food safety because it's one of the nation's largest producers of agricultural goods.

>>U.S. Census:  Nearly 2M Illinoisans Live In Poverty

(Undated)  --  Illinois' poverty rate remains a major concern for experts.  A spokesperson with the IMPACT Research Center says the state's most recent poverty statistics from the U.S. Census are "concerning" because they demonstrate a drop in Illinois' job quality.  According to the Census, Illinois' poverty rate was almost identical to the 15-percent reported just one year earlier.  In 2012 one-point-nine million Illinoisans lived below the poverty line.


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