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Authorities: Wave of hoax bomb threats made across US

by MICHAEL R. SISAK, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of bomb threats emailed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the U.S. triggered searches, evacuations and fear — but there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt. Law enforcement agencies…

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First Woman Speaker of Will County Board Elected

Six New Board Members Sworn Into Office Long-time Will County Board member Denise Winfrey made history when she was sworn in as the first-ever woman Speaker of the Will County Board. As leader of the majority party on the board, Winfrey was elected to the top post recently, where she will serve as the chief constitutional…

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Glenn Beck gives $50K to Lincoln artifacts debt

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Media personality and political commentator Glenn Beck is pitching in to keep a trove of artifacts related to Abraham Lincoln in the 16th president’s hometown. Beck’s charity, Mercury One, has donated $50,000 toward a $9.2 million debt owed for a collection of 1,400 artifacts purchased a decade ago for the Abraham…

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Illinois county gains $10M detaining undocumented immigrants

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — A northwest Illinois county’s decades-old deal with the federal government to detain immigrants living in the country illegally will bring in $10 million this year, according to records. McHenry County entered into the bed-rental program with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the early 2000s after the federal government agreed…

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New U of Illinois center to focus on autonomous technology

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is creating a new center to focus on autonomous technology such as self-driving cars and robotic assistants. The university has allocated $2.1 million for the Center for Autonomy. The College of Engineering is providing another $2.1 million to recruit new robotics faculty. Professor Geir Dullerud is…

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Illinois adopts nation’s toughest test for snitch testimony

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have created the nation’s toughest test for allowing testimony from jailhouse snitches at criminal trials. Inspired by reform of the state’s notorious and now-discarded system of capital punishment, it requires judges to make pretrial inquiries into the veracity of testimony by incarcerated informants before…

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PJHS Girls BB in State Finals!

The Peotone Junior High eighth grade team has advanced to the girls basketball state finals. The Lady Blue Devils beat Paxton -Buckley-Loda in the sectional game, 32-24, on December 5. Peotone will face Germantown Hills on December 8, at Hillsboro at 1 p.m., in 3A quarterfinals. The winner will compete in the 6:30 p.m. semifinal…

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Truck collides head-on with Illinois school bus; 2 dead

DOWNS, Ill. (AP) — A semitrailer heading the wrong way on an interstate crashed into a school bus carrying an Illinois high school girls’ basketball team, killing the truck driver and an adult on the bus, authorities said Thursday. Illinois State Police said eight girls were injured when the truck collided head-on with their bus…

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Illinois hunters take nearly 81K deer during firearm season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois hunters took nearly 81,000 deer during this year’s firearm deer hunting season. That’s a slight increase over last year. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reported Wednesday that 22,060 deer were harvested during the second segment of firearm season, which ran from Nov. 29 through Sunday. That was a decrease…

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Illinois steel company announces $19.7M move to Indiana

GARY, Ind. (AP) — An Illinois steel company has finalized plans to move its operations to northwestern Indiana . The state of Indiana announced Wednesday that Alliance Steel plans to invest $19.7 million in Gary, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from its plant in Bedford Park, Illinois. The company is beginning renovations in Gary in…

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Illinois gears up for 200th birthday party Monday

by JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois turns 200 on Monday. And the state has a gala celebration planned The Illinois Bicentennial party that organizers have arranged at Chicago’s Navy Pier will be at times solemn, like a Cahokia Woodhenge solstice observed 1,000 years ago by some of the state’s earliest inhabitants…

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