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CHICAGO (AP) - Parts of Illinois reported a slow start to early voting, but Cook County's suburbs saw an uptick.
 
Cook County Clerk David Orr's office said Tuesday that 2,354 people cast ballots Monday, the start of early voting for March 18's primary. In 2010's primary, nearly 1,300 suburbanites cast first day ballots. In 2012, it was roughly 2,100.
 
Orr's office covers over 120 municipalities excluding Chicago. The region has previously reported a higher turnout than Illinois' average.
 
About 8 percent of Illinois voters cast early ballots in 2010 and 2012 primaries. In suburban Cook, 9.5 percent voted early in 2010. More than 11 percent did in 2012.
 
Orr's office says availability of suburban early voting sites might explain the turnout. There are 43. Chicago has 51.
 
Early voting ends March 15.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 13:57
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A new report shows Missouri revenues were up slightly as the state reached the two-thirds mark of its budget year.
 
State figures released Tuesday show that Missouri's net general revenues had risen 2 percent through February compared with the same point the previous fiscal year.
 
Sales taxes were up by more than 4 percent and individual income taxes were up 2.5 percent. But those gains were partially offset by a growth in tax refunds.
 
The 2 percent overall revenue growth matches the forecast embraced by the Republican-led Legislature but is slightly less than what Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration projected.
 
Missouri's 2014 budget year began last July and runs through June 30.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 13:56
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CHICAGO (AP) - Republican candidate for Illinois governor Kirk Dillard says he plans to "campaign like crazy" in the final weeks before the March 18 primary.
 
The state senator from Hinsdale spoke during a news conference Tuesday where he also discussed his plan to improve Illinois' economy.
 
The proposal includes capping state spending at this year's levels "for the foreseeable future," reducing the state's debt and repealing burdensome business regulations.
 
Dillard faces state Sen. Bill Brady, businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford for the GOP nomination.
 
Dillard says he plans to focus on his economic plan and improving Illinois schools during the campaign's final days. His campaign also launched statewide cable TV ads on Tuesday.
 
The candidates are scheduled to debate Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 13:53
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Phil Allen and other Illinois gun enthusiasts eager for the right to publicly carry concealed handguns are celebrating as their long-awaited permits showing arrive in their mailboxes.
 
As a licensed concealed-carry instructor in Mascoutah east of St. Louis, Allen says receiving his permit Monday made him "ready to do a happy dance."
 
Allen's permit is among the first batch of roughly 5,000 that Illinois State Police are mailing under the state law passed last year. Illinois is the last state in the nation to allow the practice.
 
The agency says about 46,000 applications have been received so far.
 
While cheering the milestone of the mailings, Democratic State Rep. Brandon Phelps from Harrisburg says there's room for relaxing where concealed handguns may be carried.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 12:59
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A metro east man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for a 2012 drunk driving wreck that killed a passenger in another vehicle.  

Twenty-five-year-old Travis King of New Douglas was sentenced Monday in Madison County.  Authorities say that on Oct. 20, 2012, King drove into the back of a pickup truck at the interchange of Interstates 270 and 55 near Troy.

Sixty-two-year-old Geraldine Davis of Granite City died and her daughter was injured.  Prosecutors say King's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the state's legal limit.

Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:20
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The final job fair to fill open positions for Ballpark Village is being held in downtown St. Louis today.  The fair is underway and will continue until 4 o'clock this afternoon at the SLATE Missouri Career Center located at 1520 Market St..  
There is also be a security recruitment event at SLATE today and Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Those attending must have a valid security license.
Applicants won’t be hired at these meetings, but those who stand out will be called back for interviews.
Participants will be able to submit their resumes, as well as meet employers. Applicants should bring updated resumes and dress in business attire.
Applicants must pre-register for one of the Sessions through SLATE’s Skills team.  For more information call 314-657-3519.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:14
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Doctors from all over Missouri will rally in their white coats in Jefferson City on Wednesday to urge legislators to rein in lawsuits in an attempt to control medical liability insurance premiums.
Doctors will take the day to travel to the state capitol hoping lawmakers will undertake tort reform and limit non-economic damages to $350,000.
The Show Me Tort Reform Coalition is supporting legislation that would restore the state's cap on damages that could be awarded for such things as loss of enjoyment and pain and suffering.  
The cap was lifted by a deeply-divided Supreme Court in 2012.  The White Coat Rally Day will begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow in the rotunda of the first floor of the Missouri Capitol.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 10:42
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