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This Hour: Latest Illinois news, sports, business and entertainment

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GOP leaders introduce Ill. term limits amendment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Republican leaders have introduced a proposal that would force statewide officers to serve a two-term limit.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution on Wednesday.

It would limit state constitutional officers to two, four-year terms. The proposed amendment also would bar office holders from serving more than 10 years if they were appointed to fill a term before being elected.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner of Winnetka also is pushing for his own term limits initiative that would cap lawmakers' terms at eight years.

Durkin and Radogno's proposal needs to pass by three-fifths margins in both chambers of the General Assembly by May 4 before it could be placed on the November ballot.


Quinn says he has no tolerance for improper hiring

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he has "zero tolerance" for hiring that doesn't follow the rules.

His comments to reporters in Macomb came a day after a complaint was filed in federal court alleging patronage hiring within his administration's Department of Transportation. The lawsuit cites a 2013 Better Government Association report claiming jobs may have been based on clout over competence.

The McDonough County Voice reports Quinn said Wednesday that he immediately ordered an audit. He says the agency has done an investigation.

The issue could become a re-election hurdle for Quinn.

He faces a challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur). Rauner paints himself as an outsider who'll clean up Springfield. His campaign said Wednesday that Quinn was continuing a history of hires that rewarded "friends and allies" with jobs.


Free city employee parking costing Chicago money

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago's inspector general says the city could be making more than $45,000 if it charged for 19 parking spots in a warehouse where city employees park for free.

The report notes the value of the property in the pricy River North neighborhood may exceed $1 million based on a similar recently-sold property a block away.

Rachel Leven is the spokeswoman for the inspector general's office. She says the office's staff also found that dozens of other city workers - including 28 from the inspector general's office - also park for free in the immediate area.

The report does not criticize the free parking, but says the city must evaluate all its property to determine if it is being used in the most economical and effective way.


Casey man pleads guilty to attempted murder

MARSHALL, Ill. (AP) - A 20-year prison sentence has been handed a Casey man who pleaded to attempted murder charges in connection with an attack on his estranged wife.

The Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reports Henry Bice initially pleaded not guilty on Sept. 25 to charges of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon for the stabbing of his estranged wife. As part of the plea agreement with Clark County prosecutors, the aggravated battery charge was dropped.

According to Casey police, Bice was arrested after officer responded on Sept. 4 to a report of a stabbing. Responders found a woman bleeding from several stab wounds. An investigation revealed the woman's estranged husband attacked her as she left home for work.


Ill. State Police investigate fatal bar shooting

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois State Police says it is investigating the shooting death of a central Illinois man who was involved in an altercation with police in Lincoln.

Logan County Coroner Robert Thomas tells The Pantagraph in Bloomington the man was 62-year-old Donald Letterle of Lincoln. He died after being shot in a bar in the small town. Lincoln is about 35 miles southwest of Bloomington.

State Police say local officers were called to the Glass House Tavern around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and found a man with a handgun involved in a struggle with a woman.

According to the State Police, the Lincoln officers tried to engage the man but shots were fired.

State Police wouldn't say how the man was shot or who shot him.

The woman suffered minor injuries.


Bronze statue of Roger Ebert to be unveiled

CHICAGO (AP) - A life-sized bronze statue of esteemed movie critic Roger Ebert will be unveiled outside the central Illinois theater that hosts the annual film festival he started, "Ebertfest."

The statue of Ebert sitting between two empty theater seats where visitors can sit will be unveiled during a ceremony later Thursday. It will remain outside the Virginia Theater in Champaign during this year's festival, which ends Sunday. Those who commissioned it hope to have it permanently installed this summer.

Ebert's wife, Chaz Ebert, says her husband would have felt honored that the statue was built, but embarrassed because he was modest.

The longtime Chicago Sun-Times critic and TV personality died last April after a long battle with cancer. He was 70.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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