CHICAGO VIOLENCE-TEEN CHARGED
Bond set for teen in shooting of 14-year-old
CHICAGO (AP) - Bond has been set at $950,000 for a Chicago teenager accused of shooting a 14-year-old after the victim denied being a street gang member.
During a Friday hearing, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Glen Runk said 15-year-old Henry Jackson is charged as an adult for attempted murder and aggravated battery in shooting the victim at least six times before fleeing with two accomplices.
Runk says the victim was standing on a front porch with a relative when Jackson allegedly asked him if he was a member of the Gangster Disciples. When the victim said "no," one in the trio said he was and told Jackson to "blast him."
The victim was wounded in both legs and his left arm.
Police officers who were two blocks away when they heard the gunshots apprehended Jackson and one accomplice.
Cook County issues 1,000th gay marriage license
CHICAGO (AP) - Cook County has issued its 1,000th marriage license to a same-sex couple.
Clerk David Orr says he issued the marriage license in downtown Chicago on Friday to a gay couple from Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood.
A state law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1st. But a federal judge in Chicago ruled February 21st that Illinois' original ban was unconstitutional. That means there's nothing to stop couples from marrying now.
Orr says his office has seen same-sex couples from 24 states outside Illinois come to Cook County to get married. He says the top states include Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Florida.
Orr says same-sex couples from 15 Illinois counties outside Cook County have requested marriage licenses.
Financial requirements in Illinois medical marijuana draft rules seen as prohibitive
CHICAGO (AP) - People interested in getting into the medical marijuana business in Illinois say the proposed financial requirements are discouraging, if not prohibitive.
Nick Williams is a partner in a new company founded by owners of a Bloomington-based eyeglasses chain. They plan to apply for a medical marijuana dispensary license, using their experience running 22 eyeglasses dispensaries in three states.
But Williams says he's worried that the financial requirements for growers may drive up prices. The state's new law allows only licensed cultivation centers to grow medical marijuana and patients wouldn't be allowed to grow their own.
Proposed rules require growers to pay $225,000 in first-year fees, have $500,000 on hand and obtain a $2 million escrow account or surety bond.
The public has 45 days to comment on the draft rules.
APNewsBreak: Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead
CHICAGO (AP) - An internal state government memo says auditors have found the Illinois Medicaid program has paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records.
The Associated Press obtained the memo through a Freedom of Information Act request. The memo, dated Friday, says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.
The heads of the departments of Healthcare and Family Services and Human Services outline steps to fix the problem in the memo to their senior staffs.
The memo states that more than $7 million has been recovered and the rest is expected to be recouped by year's end.
IL-ILLINOIS SCHOOLS-FUNDING WAIVER
Illinois approved for No Child Left Behind waiver
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois has obtained a waiver from some parts of federal No Child Left Behind education law.
The waiver will give the state more flexibility when it comes to setting standards for education. It also will let the state look at measures beyond test scores in determining whether schools are succeeding or failing.
Illinois first applied for the waiver in 2012. It wasn't initially approved because Illinois took longer than a number of other states to implement a new teacher evaluation system.
State Education Superintendent Christopher Koch says the waiver allows Illinois to work with local districts to do what's best for students.
More than 40 states and the District of Columbia have also been granted waivers.
No Child Left Behind has been due for reauthorization by Congress since 2007.
Illinois governor grants 43 clemency requests
CHICAGO (AP) - Governor Pat Quinn has taken action on about 100 clemency petitions, granting 43 and denying 65.
Quinn said in a Friday news release that the clemency petitions are part of dockets that date back to 2007. His office says those who were granted clemency have recently undergone criminal background checks. Clemencies that the governor granted were for crimes such as theft, drug convictions, burglary and robbery.
The governor's office says he has granted more than 1,000 clemency requests since he took office and denied about 1,850 requests.
Quinn's office said in the release that the governor was making progress on clemency decisions aimed at clearing a backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up under his predecessor.
Teenager dies after being pulled from Ill. pond
CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (AP) - Suburban Chicago authorities say a teenager has died after he was pulled from a McHenry County pond.
The 15-year-old was in the water for about 90 minutes Thursday night before rescuers were able to pull his body to the surface. He was found in about 8 feet of water around 10:30 p.m.
McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski says Friday that Crystal Lake teenager Jose Esquivel died shortly before midnight Thursday. Majewski says an autopsy found the preliminary cause of death to be drowning. She says there are no suspicious circumstances or foul play suspected.
The Crystal Lake Northwest Herald reports the teenager was at a party at a nearby home when he jumped into the water and never resurfaced.
Former gov't informant charged with wire fraud
CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago real estate developer who was a key government witness in corruption cases is facing federal charges after authorities say he stole $370,000 from a Chicago suburb.
Prosecutors charged John Thomas with wire fraud and arrested him Friday. The Sun-Times reports he pleaded not guilty at an afternoon court appearance.
Prosecutors say the 51-year-old used money awarded to his company to repay personal loans, legal fees and other expenses.
The $900,000 from Riverdale was supposed to be used by Thomas' company for a redevelopment project at the now-closed Riverdale Marina, although prosecutors say only a portion was used for legitimate work.
Thomas was an undercover informant in a series of corruption cases, including the case against fundraiser Tony Rezko, who's serving time in prison.
Sterling company to build new $8.5M headquarters
STERLING, Ill. (AP) - Wahl Clipper Corp. will use a state economic development incentive program to help build a new corporate headquarters in Sterling.
The Daily Gazette reports the company said Thursday that it would build an $8.5 million headquarters building on its campus in the northern Illinois city. Construction is to start this spring and finish before the end of the year.
Wahl employs nearly 900 people in Sterling. The company has promised the state that the expansion will create jobs and let it retain 114 workers at its corporate headquarters.
Wahl qualified for a state program aimed at keeping business in Illinois. State officials say Wahl was looking at a site in Iowa for the headquarters project.
Wahl also will receive other incentives totaling $1.6 million over the next decade.
Ill. woman gets jail for hindering murder probe
CARMI, Ill. (AP) - The girlfriend of a southern Illinois man who's imprisoned for the shooting deaths of two campers has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for hindering the investigation.
Thirty-one-year-old Candice Brown of Olney also was ordered Wednesday to serve two and a half years on post-jail probation. She also must perform 100 hours of community service.
A jury convicted Brown in January of obstructing justice by lying to investigators of the 2012 shooting deaths of 22-year-old Jacob Wheeler and 17-year-old Jessica Evans.
Brown's boyfriend, 38-year-old Danny Coston of Carmi (KAHR'-meye), was sentenced last September to 53 years in prison.
Authorities say the victims had been camping and fishing along the Little Wabash River and were reported missing after they didn't return home.
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-PRESIDENT
U of I names presidential search committee
URBANA, Ill. (AP) - University of Illinois trustees have named a 19-member search committee to look for President Robert Easter's replacement.
Easter plans to retire in June 2015. The university has said it hopes to have a replacement selected by January.
Trustees on Friday named a committee that includes three of their own, Pam Strobel, James Montgomery and Ricardo Estrada. Strobel will chair the committee
It also includes eight faculty members from the university's three campuses and three students.
Alumni and staff members fill the five remaining spots.
The committee will interview candidates and present a list of between eight and 10 finalists to the board.
In 2012 Easter replaced Michael Hogan, who resigned under pressure from faculty who were unhappy over his plans for the university.
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