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Illinois Briefs – 8/30/14

State Issues Proposed Fracking Regulations (Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has finally released the set of proposed rules for the oil and gas drilling process known as fracking. Environmentalists have criticized draft versions of the rules as being too lenient, while industry groups have bemoaned the delay that has meant no drilling permits have been issued for sites in southern Illinois. The IDNR report has been delivered to the Joint Committee on…

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Illinois Briefs – 8/29/14

Rain Expected To Stick Around (Lincoln, IL) -- The rain is expected to stick around for the next several days. The National Weather Service reports scattered thunderstorms could hit much of central Illinois between now and next Tuesday. Officials say it's too soon to say if there will be any severe weather risks but with plenty of rain in the forecast, people should keep an eye out for standing water. Never try to walk or drive through standing water because doing so increases the odds of…

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Annual Hog Days Celebration Gets Underway in Kewanee

It’s the opening day of the annual Hog Day Celebration in Kewanee, featuring the world’s largest outdoor pork barbecue, the tallest portable ferris wheel in the United States. Also featuring a craft show and flea market and the featured performers tonight are the Cook & Belle Band playing country rock. Hog Days runs through Labor Day in Kewanee. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, go online to…

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Illinois Briefs – 8/28/14

Fracking Rules Available To Public Tomorrow (Springfield, IL) -- The state's new fracking rules are slated to be available to the public tomorrow but oil and gas drillers will have to wait a while longer before applying for a permit. That's because a legislative committee will need to sign off on the rules first. The fracking issue has been the center of intense debate in Springfield over the past couple of years. Supporters say it could lead to an oil boom, which would boost the state's…

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Illinois Briefs – 8/27/14

Top Quinn Aide Resigns (Chicago, IL) -- One of Governor Quinn's top aides is calling it quits. Deputy Chief of Staff Sean O'Shea has just two more days on the job. He's held the post for three years and is responsible for keeping watch over which senior officials are hired at IDOT. The transportation agency has been under scrutiny in recent months for hiring people based on political connections instead of skill. Quinn's office insists that O'Shea is not leaving because of the ongoing hiring…

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Illinois Briefs – 8/26/14

Quinn Hires Tech Chief (Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn has hired a new digital director for his re-election campaign. Christopher Hass once worked for President Obama's re-election campaign. He will be responsible for a nine-person crew, which is one of the largest in-house digital teams for a statewide race. Galesburg Teachers Walkout Continues (Galesburg, IL) -- The teachers strike in Galesburg is entering its 13th day. Union leaders are hopeful that a deal can be reached today.…

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West Nile Virus Found In LaSalle

West Nile Virus, the virus spread by infected mosquitoes, has been detected in a mosquito in La Salle. Health department officials say it’s the time of year for increased West Nile virus activity. They say it’s important to protect yourself especially when you’re out at night. They suggest you wear insect repellent and get rid of any stagnant water in your yard.  Symptoms of West Nile include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, though you may not experience any symptoms. West Nile…

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Illinois Briefs – 08/25/14

Rauner Speaks Out On Recent NRI-Related News (Chicago, IL) -- The Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is taking jabs at the incumbent for the most recent criminal charges linked to Pat Quinn's former anti-crime program. The new accusation involves a one-time Neighborhood Recovery Initiative employee accused of assisting in breaking into six Chicago area homes in 2011. Rauner held a media gathering on Sunday in downtown Chicago where he said that this news is another sign of…

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Bull Riding Highlights Day 3 Of The Bureau County Fair

Bull Riding by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association highlights day 3 of the Bureau County Fair in Princeton. The bull riding starts at 7 in the grandstand. Lunch In The Park, normally held at Soldiers & Sailors Park, is being moved to the fairgrounds today only from 11 to 1. The hospitality tent features musical performances from Hit & Miss duo, Double Shot duo and the Generics Goodies band. The band Forgotten Highway performs in the beer garden beginning at 9 tonight. A…

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Illinois Briefs – 8/22/14

Durbin Wants More Options For Paying Student Loans (Edwardsville, IL) -- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says college grads should be able to refinance their student loan debt. He says many of them didn't realize what they signed up for when they took the loan out, and now they're having trouble paying the loan back. Durbin says refinancing will drop the interest rate and lower the monthly payment amount. He plans to call the measure for a vote in the second week of September. State Sets Up…

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