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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thousands of disappointed Illinois residents are expected at the state Capitol to rally for same-sex marriage.

   Organizers say several thousand people are expected to take part in the "March on Springfield" -a grassroots effort to urge the passage of same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois.

   The Illinois Senate approved the measure last February, but the measure has stalled in the House. Speaker Michael Madigan has said about a dozen votes are still needed.

   The event will begin with a noon concert followed by a rally at 1 p.m. and a 2:30 p.m. March. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are participating in the event. The governor says he will sign legislation if passed by the General Assembly.

   Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.

 

 

   Phineas the dog, a golden lab who's been the focus of controversy in Salem, Missouri, is probably still alive.  

   The dog was stolen from the veterinarian's office where he'd been staying since shortly after Salem Mayor Gary Brown ordered him destroyed because the dog allegedly bit a 7 year old girl in 2012.  

   Phineas' owners and their attorney Joe Simon had expressed fears that someone had taken the dog and destroyed him.  But Simon told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday that a letter was received Friday indicating that the dog is being kept in hiding by someone who believes they're helping the animal.  

   Last Thursday, a canine bite expert  and veterinarian both testified that photographic evidence indicates that Phineas isn't the one who bit the child.  The court case is ongoing.

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - State officials say federal employees in Illinois who were furloughed during the shutdown have to repay unemployment insurance benefits.

   The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Monday in a release that preliminary data shows that of the 2,937 federal workers who applied for unemployment insurance, 577 went on to be paid benefits. That represents a total of $231,174.

   The department says that the employees will be sent notices that the money must be repaid. If it isn't, department officials can take steps to recover the money like garnishing tax refunds.

   IDES Director Jay Rowell says the partial shutdown "needlessly scared" scores of workers.

   The partial federal government shutdown lasted 16 days.

 

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