SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have re-opened talks on a bill to expand gambling, but many of the concerns that doomed earlier proposals remain.
The House Executive Committee held a hearing Wednesday on a measure to add five casinos and allow slot machines at Chicago's major airports. The bill passed the Senate in the spring but didn't get a House vote.
Bill sponsor Rep. Robert Rita is a Blue Island Democrat. He says he'll work to address concerns. They include whether there's sufficient oversight of a Chicago casino and how new revenue would be shared.
Both the House and Senate have adjourned for the week. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield for the second week of the fall session in early November.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - State Sen. Jim Oberweis says he's gathering petition signatures to make a bid for the U.S. Senate.
The Republican from Sugar Grove made the comments Wednesday at a Springfield rally for opponents of same-sex marriage. He says he wants to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Oberweis is a dairy magnate who has made numerous bids for office before.
He made previous unsuccessful attempts for U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004. He also ran and lost in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary, and a congressional bid in 2008. He won a seat to the state Senate last November.
Downers Grove businessman Doug Truax and Kane County Regional School board member Chad Koppie are also making primary bids.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Reser's Fine Foods in Topeka, Kan., is recalling about 22,800 pounds of potentially bacteria-tainted chicken, ham and beef products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Tuesday that the meat products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The meat was shipped to retailers and distributors in 27 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service listed various "sell by" dates for the recalled products.
There have been no reports of illness. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon and potentially fatal disease. Symptoms can include high fever and severe headache.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he has been chosen to head up a public safety committee for the National Governors Association.
Nixon said Wednesday that the association's Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee focuses on the National Guard, criminal justice and veterans affairs, as well as other security and safety issues.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will be the vice chairman of the committee.
Nixon says committee members try to ensure that the governors' views are taken into account in federal policies.
A curious incident from the Belleville East High School homecoming dance.
Police say Curtis Hutchings was sitting in a parked car outside of the dance and was wearing makeup and a pink dress. KMOV reports that the middle-aged man had no legal grounds to be on school property and police were able to verify the possibility of lewd conduct.
Hutchings is held on a $50,000 bond.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A river worker is hospitalized after his boat was struck by a barge on the Missouri River near St. Charles.
The 51-year-old man's name has not been released following the accident on Wednesday. Police say he lives in the Rolla area. His condition was not immediately known.
Authorities say the man was doing work on a train trestle that crosses the river. He was driving a boat struck by a barge, even though the tug boat pushing the barge sounded its horn several times.
The boat capsized and went under the barge. Workers on a rescue boat took the victim to shore.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the crash.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A reputed prison gang leader who was on probation in California has been captured in Missouri.
Forty-five-year-old Albert "Spanky" Amaya is jailed in Missouri's Pettis County while awaiting extradition. No attorney is listed for him in online Missouri court records.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Amays was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison in 2008 after he was convicted of extortion, his third felony conviction. But he was released in June after a voter-approved measure allowed "three strikes" inmates to seek re-sentencing.
The San Bernardino County district attorney's office placed him on GPS monitoring while seeking to send him back to prison. Authorities allege he was a crew chief for the Mexican Mafia prison gang and fled after cutting the GPS device.
The 7-year-old Mehlville boy who died in a house fire on Monday, will be laid to rest this week.
Brian Davis was the only family member who died in the blaze. Visitation for Brian is from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday at St. Mathias Church on Buckley Road.
His funeral will be Friday morning. Brian's grandmother and sister escaped the fire.
A broad warning from the Food and Drug Administration to consumers who buy "jerky treats" for their animals.
Nearly 600 dogs and cats have died from a mysterious outbreak that is tied to the treats. The FDA says there is not one particular brand to watch for, but the questionable treats come from China.
There is a fact sheet on the FDA website, so that owners can identify possible symptoms. That sheet can be found here: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm371413.htm
WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - Insurance brokers in Illinois say they're frustrated with the troubled rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law and the crippled federal website, healthcare.gov.
At a meeting of brokers Wednesday in the Chicago suburb of Wheeling, many of them vented their feelings to Max Fletcher, a policy analyst for the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace.
Brokers also are worried that their profession is being threatened. They want to get the word out that they can help people and small businesses shop for health insurance.
Fletcher told the brokers to call on their legislators to support a state-run health insurance marketplace. He says Illinois could do a better job running its own system, although he concedes that's not likely to be a serious consideration in Springfield during the current veto session.