CHICAGO (Reuters) – The upper Midwest was recovering on Saturday from an unusual autumn wallop from a fierce snowstorm that trapped dozens of people in vehicles in western South Dakota and a swarm of tornadoes that left at least 15 people injured in rural Nebraska and Iowa.
More than 80 motorists remained stranded in western South Dakota after a blizzard rolled out of the Rocky Mountains and dumped up to three feet of snow on parts of the Northern Plains.
By Greg McCune
(Reuters) – With daylight on Saturday, emergency responders began assessing the destruction from a series of more than a dozen rare autumn tornadoes that caused injuries and significant damage in rural areas of Iowa and Nebraska.
The National Weather Service received 18 reports of tornadoes touching down in the two states on Friday night, including one or more that were a mile wide. The two hardest hit areas were Wayne County, Nebraska, and Woodbury County, Iowa, local officials said.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Saying Illinois does not need a “Palace of Versailles,” Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday halted new money for renovations on the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield after reports of lavish spending.
State lawmakers have been embarrassed by news reports that four new chandeliers cost $323,000 and three copper-plated doors $670,000 at a time when Illinois is billions of dollars behind in paying for basic social services such care for the elderly.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said on Monday she would not run for governor because her father is the speaker of the state House of Representatives and the state “would not be well served” with the same family controlling top positions of government.
Lisa Madigan had been considering a challenge to unpopular Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary in 2014. Opinion polls showed her beating Quinn and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who has declared he will challenge Quinn for the Democratic nomination.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Illinois House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to allow residents to carry concealed guns, which would bring Illinois into line with gun laws in all of the other 49 states.
If the state Senate also votes in favor later on Tuesday it would formally end the last state prohibition on concealed carry and hand a significant victory to the gun rights lobby, the National Rifle Association.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois, the only one in the United States to have a law prohibiting the carrying of concealed guns, could lift the ban on Tuesday when lawmakers are expected to vote on the measure.
Leaders of the state House of Representatives and Senate have scheduled debate on Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of parts of the proposal to allow concealed guns in public.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday vetoed parts of a concealed-carry gun bill that would have allowed the carrying of more than one gun, carrying guns into some places that serve alcohol, and the carrying of a partly exposed gun.
If the state legislature votes to accept the changes proposed by Quinn, the revised measure would become law. But several lawmakers said they would try to override Quinn’s veto, which would allow the original version to become law.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ice hockey fans thronged Chicago on Friday to celebrate the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship with a parade to a boisterous rally at the lakeside park where President Barack Obama marked his historic election victory in 2008.
A sea of red-clad fans stretched through Grant Park from Lake Michigan, with the gleaming city skyline as the backdrop on a bright summer day. Fans lined the route as the players paraded on double-decker buses from their home arena at the United Center to the rally.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A violent storm swept across the upper Midwest on Wednesday and headed toward the U.S. East Coast, spawning several tornadoes as well as damaging hail and high winds, but skirted Chicago without doing major damage.
The storm had been described by the National Weather Service as “very dangerous” because of its potential to produce tornadoes and “derechos” – storms in which wind speeds increase as they move.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A violent weather system packing severe thunderstorms, damaging winds and possibly strong tornadoes hit parts of the upper Midwest on Wednesday and may soon batter Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, the National Weather Service said.
Some 12 million people in four states live in the area at high risk of severe storms that include baseball-size hail, possible strong tornadoes and heavy rainfall that could result in flash flooding, the agency said.