(Reuters) – Illinois, the longtime home of President Barack Obama, has chosen Democrats for president in every election since 1992 and for governor since 2002. But this year Republicans, finding a weak incumbent in Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, see an opening.
The Republican front-runner ahead of the March 18 primary, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, has emerged as a deep-pocketed and potentially formidable rival. The Republican National Committee already has staff on the ground in Illinois and plans to add more this spring.
A Christian ministry that plans to build a Noah’s Ark replica in Kentucky has raised enough money to go ahead with the $150 million project – and is thanking an adversary for boosting its support.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Prisoners at Cook County Jail in Chicago live in fear due to a “culture of brutality and lawlessness” that subjects them to physical abuse by guards, charged a lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago on Thursday.
The civil rights complaint, brought on behalf of about 2,000 male prisoners, claims that detainees at the nation’s largest single-site jail are stomped, kicked, punched and slammed to the floor by officers. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court contends that the conditions flourish in large part because of the county’s failure to address overcrowding.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Same-sex couples in the central Illinois county that includes the state’s largest university can get a marriage license immediately and won’t have to wait to tie the knot until a state law legalizing gay marriage takes effect in June, the county clerk said Wednesday.
The decision by the Champaign County clerk followed a federal judge’s ruling last week that allowed same-sex couples in Cook County, which includes Chicago, to wed immediately.
MILWAUKEE/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Investigators looking into possible wrongdoing by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker expanded their probe the day before he was elected governor in 2010, seizing computers and hard drives from his offices, documents revealed on Wednesday.
The documents were released in connection with a criminal case involving a former Walker aide, as part of an investigation into county workers illegally campaigning for Republican candidates when Walker was working as county executive.
(Reuters) – Journalists and opponents of Wisconsin governor and possible Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker on Wednesday were poring over some 28,000 pages of newly released documents connected to a criminal investigation into a former Walker aide.
The documents involve Kelly Rindfleisch, deputy chief of staff to Walker while he was Milwaukee County executive, who is appealing her conviction for misconduct in public office. A state appellate judge ordered the documents unsealed at the request of news organizations.
(Reuters) – Eight collector Corvettes that were swallowed by a sinkhole beneath a Kentucky museum may be stuck in the pit for weeks before General Motors Co can attempt to restore them, officials said on Thursday.
The historic cars, including the millionth Corvette built in 1992, fell up to 30 feet on Wednesday in a scene captured by security cameras at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors on Thursday filed an appeal of the sentence of probation that kept billionaire Beanie Babies soft toy creator Ty Warner out of jail for his conviction on tax evasion.
Warner pleaded guilty in October to tax evasion and in January was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Chicago to two years probation and at least 500 hours community service that includes mentoring high school students.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Three men accused of plotting to attack high-profile targets during a 2012 NATO summit in Chicago were convicted by a jury Friday on mob action and arson charges, but acquitted on terrorism-related charges, a setback for prosecutors.
The men, known as the “NATO 3,” had faced seven charges each, including conspiracy to commit terrorism under a state anti-terrorism law adopted after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago jury began deliberations on Thursday in the trial of three men who face terrorism charges for allegedly plotting to attack high-profile targets during a 2012 NATO summit.
A prosecutor said in closing arguments in Cook County Circuit Court that the so-called “NATO 3″ were bent on mayhem. Defense attorneys described the three as drunken braggarts who had talked big to impress undercover officers.