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    Judge sides with bankrupt Patriot in benefits cuts

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    (AP) — A bankrupt coal producer has a judge’s go-ahead to significantly cut health care and pension benefits to thousands of workers and retirees in hopes of regaining its financial footing. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States on Wednesday approved of Patriot Coal’s request to impose wage and benefit cuts by throwing out its collective-bargaining...

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    House budget omits AFSCME contract funding

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    Big issues come and go in Springfield, but the one task facing the General Assembly every year is to build a state budget. The Illinois House is almost done with a $35 billion spending plan, passing a handful of bills Tuesday evening. Democrats say an increase in revenue has helped pay down overdue bills...

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    Cellphone ban goes to Quinn

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    A proposal that would ban the use of cellphones while driving in Illinois is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. The House approved the bill 69-48 Tuesday, following a senate vote late last week. Quinn’s spokeswoman says the Chicago democrat will review the bill once he receives it. The proposal says motorists must use...

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    Lawmakers appear deadlocked on conceal carry

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    With spring session set to adjourn Friday, Illinois lawmakers appear deadlocked on developing a law allowing for the concealed carry of weapons, despite a federal court’s deadline to do so looming less than two weeks away. A Senate executive committee yesterday voted down a measure that passed last week through the House that would...

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    Man files not guilty plea in sexual assault case

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    A 32-year-old Centralia man has been ordered held for trial following a preliminary hearing in Marion County Court. James Merritt made a court appearance Tuesday on charges of criminal sexual assault with force and aggravated domestic battery involving strangulation. Merritt entered a not guilty plea to the early may incident that reportedly took place...

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    Another lawmaker announces gay marriage support

    by  • May 29, 2013 • News

    Another undecided lawmaker is announcing his support of gay marriage. State Rep. LaShawn Ford, a Chicago democrat, said Tuesday a “majority of constituents” in his district support of the legislation, which would make Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex marriage. The Chicago democrat says he received thousands of calls and emails urging his...

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