SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - One out of every five Illinois legislators taking the oath of office next winter will be new to the General Assembly. Thirty lawmakers, many worn down by years of skirmishing between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan have retired. Add to that the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement; Rauner stances on abortion and immigration; and the malaise wrought of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt, and there enough to push voters past the boiling point.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' governor has issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hard hit by flooding. The proclamation for Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties will ensure state support to communities battling floods caused by heavy rains earlier this week. The governor also directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield. The National Weather Service has forecast more rain this weekend in southeastern and southern Illinois.
ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - The sole full-time federal judge in one northern Illinois community says he'll retire after 35 years on the bench. Rockford-based U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala told the Rockford Register Star he can see a local bar from his chambers. And the 67-year-old added that when he's retired he's "going to go in there, order a beer and watch that TV." His retirement becomes effective only in May next year. He opted for senior status, allowing him to hear a handful of cases each year.
CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Experts say a wetter winter means that sap production is looking good for this weekend's Touch of Nature Maple Syrup Festival in southern Illinois. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that warm, dry weather negatively affected sap production last year, leading to a syrup shortage. But Touch of Nature Environmental Center marketing director Patrick Jones says that this season "the sap has been running like crazy."
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