The cold winter turned out to be a boon to car thieves in the Stateline area. Police say Rockford alone had many vehicles stolen that were left running and unattended by people trying to warm their cars. Authorities believe many of those cars were cut up into parts and sold as scrap. They say to reduce theft that drivers should never leave their vehicle running unattended.
Thousands of Illinois teachers could be out of a job next year. Officials say the state school superintendent has told legislation that more than 13,000 educators could be laid off if proposed budget cuts take effect for the next school term. A skeptical Republican says Democrats are presenting “doom and gloom” scenarios to justify a temporary income tax increase that’s scheduled to expire.
Illinois officials are reminding people without health insurance to sign up for coverage before the March 31 deadline. People without it can be fined either 1 percent of income or $95 when they file for their 2014 federal taxes. A call center will be taking questions about insurance coverage and will extend its hours ahead of the deadline.
Two state lawmakers want another Illinois college in the Big Ten Conference. The legislation is being sponsored by Republican Senators Matt Murphy and Michael Connelly. The plan passed a Senate Higher Education committee and now will head to the chamber floor. Murphy says that when Illinois students see their applications declined, they often then travel to other Big Ten schools out of state.
An aide to former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has been sentenced to four years in federal prison. Eugene Mullins was convicted in a corruption case last year. Federal prosecutors say Mullins got about $35,000 in kickbacks for steering no-bid contracts to friends. Mullins had been Stroger's communications director.
A new survey by a Chicago-based nonprofit group finds Illinois has more than 96,000 people working in clean-energy jobs. That number is expected to top 100,000 this year. The Clean Energy Trust's survey found that growth in those jobs stalled in 2013. The group in part blames the expiration of a federal wind-energy tax credit.