• A Rockford man is free after spending nearly two decades in prison. Reynolds Wintersmith Jr. was one of eight federal prisoners released today, thanks to a pardon from President Obama. Wintersmith was originally sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of selling crack cocaine back in 1994. He was only 19 at the time.
  • An Auburn High School student has been arrested after bringing a BB gun to campus. The school was searched Wednesday and it was determined that the student had left the building. A school resource officer located the teen walking at the corner of Pierpont and School Street, placing him in custody. The BB gun was not loaded. The student has been charged with disorderly conduct and daytime curfew violation.
  • Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey was at Wednesday’s House Executive Committee hearing on the new gambling proposal. The meeting took place in Chicago. He said a Rockford casino could help with the Stateline’s poverty and unemployment problems. Morrissey also said if the Forest City landed a casino that he would be against splitting revenue.
  • A stretch of Harlem Road is set to be fixed after a damaging winter. State Rep. John Cabello has announced that $350,000 has been approved by the state. That will help reconstruct just over one mile of roadway. The project will start at the PCC/HMA joint, ending at McFarland Road. Construction is set begin in late summer.
  • Unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That’s its lowest level since January 2009. Officials say that March unemployment was down from 8.7 percent in February. New-job creation, however, was still down for the month by about 3,200 jobs. Illinois continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Leading the improvement for March was leisure and hospitality, which added almost 4,300 jobs.
  • Illinois is dropping controversial language from a draft of medical marijuana rules. The provision would have barred people with firearms owner ID cards from using marijuana legally. Officials say some people have said they'd rather use pot illegally than give up their gun permit.

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