SPRINGFIELD – Tens of thousands of Illinoisans who have had their driver’s license suspended or revoked for having too many unpaid parking tickets or fines for other non-moving violations will soon get their driving privileges reinstated.

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HOOPESTON — The Lorraine Theatre Guild will present “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, and Saturday, Jan. 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in the Lorraine Theatre, 324 E. Main St.

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s climatologist is predicting Illinois farmers are likely to endure wet weather while they try to plant cash crops this spring after suffering major losses as a result of a record-wet planting season last year.

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s agriculture director resigned last weekend at the request of Gov. J.B. Pritzker for failing to disclose contents of a 2012 email that pointed to the possible cover-up of a “rape in Champaign” and government “ghost workers,” the governor’s office said Monday.

SPRINGFIELD — Production of Illinois’ two most valuable crops fell by roughly one-fifth last year, according to final crop yield numbers released Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SPRINGFIELD – House Speaker Michael Madigan said Thursday he will not initiate a House-led inquiry into a recently unearthed 2012 email written by a state government insider that alluded to a possible cover-up of a “rape in Champaign” and other criminal activity.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday blasted a draft final report from the special Property Tax Relief Task Force that lawmakers formed last year.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois could lighten its property tax burden by consolidating governmental taxing districts, standardizing property-value assessments, tightening up the appeals process and reining in breaks on commercial redevelopments, according to a draft report obtained Tuesday by The Ass…

SPRINGFIELD – Legislators and advocates began discussions Tuesday of what action the state can take to counteract the overuse of physical restraint and forced isolation of students in Illinois schools, particularly those serving students with special needs.

SPRINGFIELD — Pressure is mounting on red-light camera operators as Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced Monday that, beginning Feb. 6, her office will no longer assist municipalities in collecting fines for violations caught by the devices.

CHICAGO — A report highlighting persistent problems within Illinois’ child welfare agency showed 123 children died in the past fiscal year despite having contact with the Department of Children and Family Services.

CHICAGO — Illinois' governor granted more than 11,000 pardons for low-level marijuana convictions Tuesday, describing the step as a first wave of thousands of such expungements anticipated under the state's new marijuana legalization law.

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s minimum wage will increase by $1 hourly, recreational marijuana will go on sale to those over 21 years of age, and some state taxes and licensing fees will increase when the calendar hits January.

SPRINGFIELD — A tumultuous year in Illinois politics draws to its close as the historic legislative accomplishments of May and June give way to a flurry of ongoing federal investigative activity, resignations and indictments.

SPRINGFIELD — A Capitol dome study conducted earlier this month revealed “some obvious flaws on the exterior of the dome,” a state employee said Tuesday.

SPRINGFIELD — A new law signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker Wednesday will consolidate 649 downstate and suburban police and firefighter pension funds into just two.

DANVILLE – The Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees on Thursday will discuss the renovation of Dr. Alice Marie Jacobs Hall/Carnegie Library.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan said Tuesday that interest in the newly-legalized hemp industry continues to build, but more work needs to be done for the industry to mature.

Head shops, once a business catering to the hippie counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, are getting a second life.

SPRINGFIELD — The Trump administration is about to impose new regulations that would tighten eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, in a way state officials say could cut off benefits for an estimated 140,000 Illinoisans.

SPRINGFIELD – A handful of Illinois House Republicans on Wednesday called for a special legislative session – or at least greater urgency in the upcoming regular session – to pass reforms to state ethics laws.

SPRINGFIELD — The foundation supporting the 16th president’s library and museum announced Wednesday it no longer needs to auction off a collection of more than 1,000 Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln artifacts.

CHICAGO — Private Facebook groups have “emboldened” sellers of illegal drugs and guns to connect with potential buyers over the social media site, Chicago police said Tuesday, as leaders announced that a two-year undercover investigation led to more than 50 arrests.

SPRINGFIELD — Seasonal decorations are filling the Illinois Capitol rotunda — a holiday tree, Nativity scene, satanic sculpture and Winter Solstice sign surround the ever-present “Illinois Welcoming the World” statue in the center of the space.

CHICAGO — Following Injustice Watch reporting last month about more than two dozen state correctional employees who participated in conversations that mocked or disclosed personal information about transgender inmates in private Facebook groups, the Illinois Department of Corrections announc…

Deere’s profit during the fourth quarter dropped 8 percent and it issued a weak forecast for 2020 as U.S. trade disputes and bad weather squeeze its biggest customer, the American farmer.

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DANVILLE – A cozy spot has been created on Danville Area Community College’s campus for students who are veterans that have returned to school.

SPRINGFIELD – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal challenging a controversial state law that allows someone to be convicted of murder, even if the death is caused by someone else, if it occurs during the commission of another forcible felony.

SPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers passed a legislative fix during the recently adjourned fall veto session that proponents say could help the state realize $380 million in annual tax revenue by increasing compliance with existing online retail transaction tax laws.

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services banned the use of shackles and handcuffs on youths in its custody after two teenage boys were restrained while they transferred from one Chicago-area shelter to another.

SPRINGFIELD – Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker thanked lawmakers Thursday for passing legislation to address an issue that has eluded the General Assembly for nearly seven decades – consolidating hundreds of suburban and downstate police and firefighter pensions into two unified systems.

SPRINGFIELD – A cleanup bill written to ensure a smooth rollout of the legalization of adult-use marijuana in January passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on Thursday.

SPRINGFIELD — Bills aimed at curbing where Illinoisans can use electronic smoking devices and with what flavorings appear halted until the spring session of the General Assembly.

SPRINGFIELD – A bill to consolidate 649 suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds into just two cleared the Illinois House Wednesday after negotiators agreed to remove language that just a day earlier had prompted local government officials to withdraw their support.

SPRINGFIELD – Republican lawmakers added to their pile of recently-filed ethics legislation Wednesday, promoting two bills aimed at limiting conflicts of interest on the Illinois State Board of Elections.

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Record throngs of travelers are expected to jam into airports over the Thanksgiving break and airlines are adding hundreds of flights a day in response.

CHICAGO — An arctic air mass that brought snow and ice to an area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to northern New England on Monday was poised to give way to record-breaking cold temperatures.

On Monday, monuments and memorials dedicated to those who served in the armed forces in Illinois will serve as the background for events to recognize Veterans Day, a federal holiday observed annually on Nov. 11 to honor military veterans.

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SPRINGFIELD — A group that advocates for public education in Illinois released a report indicating the state has made some progress in improving educational outcomes over the past five years, but it still has a long way to go to achieve the goal of having 60 percent of all adults attaining s…

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Obituaries

Dixie Myers Hackler, 80, of St. Joseph, passed away at 2:18 p.m., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, at her home with tears of sadness and joy. Dixie was born July 29, 1939, in Danville, the daughter of Hubert and Pearl (Place) Myers. She grew up outside of Catlin, and graduated from Georgetown High Sch…

Richard Phillip "Dick" Layden, 89, of Hoopeston, Ill., passed away at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Living in Hoopeston. He was born on the 11th of March, 1930, in Danville, Ill., the son of Edward and Cornelia (Fitzgerald) Layden. He married Cath…