Associated Press

Voters in Pinckneyville, Du Quoin and about 300 Illinois towns have the chance to let local leaders or someone they hire negotiate lower-cost power for residential and small-business customers.

Gov. Pat Quinn's own documents suggest his plan to close state facilities would cost Illinois at least 2,300 jobs and $250 million in economic activity.


Fellow passengers say Illinois' prison-bound ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich was jovial and seemed cheerful when he got on a flight Thursday to report to a federal prison in Colorado.

Now that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied federal disaster assistance to Harrisburg and the other storm ravaged areas of southern Illinois, FEMA officials say the state is free to work directly with other agencies.

A Missouri state trooper continues to recover at a southeast Missouri hospital after a weekend shooting.

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Gregg says he doesn't understand why the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state's request for federal disaster relief.

Authorities in southern Illinois say the death toll from the tornado that devastated Harrisburg last week has risen to seven.

A new audit finds serious problems with the way Illinois awarded $7 billion in contracts for state employees' health insurance.

Illinois lawmakers have agreed on how much money will be available for next year's budget. Now they have to decide how much they'll actually spend on services.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has a federal prison identification number.


Southern Illinois University is parting ways with men's head basketball coach Chris Lowery.

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to 10 teams Friday, adding a second wild-card in each league.

The decision establishes a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records who are not division winners, meaning a third-place team could win the World Series.

This is the only change in baseball's playoff structure since the 1995 season, when wild-card teams were first added.

Storm sirens sounded again today (Fri) in Harrisburg just two days after a deadly tornado ripped through the area killing six people.

Illinois statewide officials are giving a cool response to Governor Pat Quinn's call for them to cut spending by 9 percent.

Voters across Illinois are casting early ballots for the state's primary election next month.

Monday is the first day of early voting. In Illinois, voters don't have to register by party but must choose a party when voting. The primary is March 20 and includes nominating contests for president, the Illinois House and Senate, county offices and congressional races.

Early voting is available until March 15th. In most counties voters must cast their early ballots at the County Clerk's Office.


Youth advocates are applauding Governor Pat Quinn's proposal to close two state juvenile detention facilities.

A judge in northwestern Illinois says he'll allow cameras at the second trial of a man accused of killing eight people in two states.

A Texas corporation is the new owner of the former federal building in Cape Girardeau.

The Southeast Missourian reports that RDRH Holdings Inc., based in Austin, Texas, closed the purchase Tuesday.  Company President Majid Hemmasi says RDRH has bought government surplus property in the past. He says he would be interested in leasing or reselling the property to an entity in either the private or public sector. The old federal building sold for $325,015.

The building became obsolete when a new federal courthouse opened in Cape Girardeau.

Authorities in southern Illinois are trying to figure out what caused a fatal house fire in Perry County.

Illinois residents have more time to register to vote in the state's primary.

The State Board of Elections said Wednesday that a grace period will allow Illinois residents to register or change their voting address. The grace period runs until March 13 at the state's 110 election authority offices. Those who participate must vote at the same election office where they register. They cannot vote early or at polling place on election day. The Illinois primary election is March 20.

The new leader of Illinois' Civil Air Patrol is a southern Illinois man from Mascoutah.


Illinois Republicans are criticizing parts of Governor Pat Quinn's proposed budget along with some of the ideas he's likely to detail.


Gov. Pat Quinn's budget speech won't include specific plans for fixing two of Illinois' biggest financial problems.

Aides say Quinn will outline the depth of the state's pension and Medicaid problems Wednesday and discuss general solutions. But they acknowledge he won't spell out exactly what the governor thinks should be done. Quinn advisor Jerry Stermer told reporters Tuesday evening that the Governor will work with lawmakers and outside groups to negotiate solutions.

US Senator Dick Durbin says Republicans in the U.S. House should start over rather than push forward with a troubled bill on long-term funding for transportation.

Governor Pat Quinn's proposed Illinois budget calls for closing 14 state facilities, including the Tamms Super Max prison and seven others run by the Corrections Department.

Governor Pat Quinn says he's prepared to cut the state budget back to levels Illinois hasn't seen in more than four years.

Governor Pat Quinn says he deserves a better grade on his job-creation policies than the C given to him by the head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

IL Governor Pat Quinn wants to invest $50 million in the state's scholarship program.


Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is planning to cut her budget by 9.4 percent to help Illinois deal with its multi billion-dollar budget deficit.

Chris Miller for Congress

An Iraq war veteran from Carbondale says he's dropping out of the race to succeed southern Illinois Congressman Jerry Costello.