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

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Gov. Quinn backs state spending for Obama library

CHICAGO (AP) - Governor Pat Quinn is throwing his support behind a proposal to spend $100 million in state funds to sweeten Chicago's bid for the Obama presidential library and museum.

The state is grappling with budget woes, but Quinn said Saturday the spending would be "an important investment."

He pointed to the state's financial support for the Lincoln library in Springfield, saying "it's paid tremendous dividends in terms of tourism."

The measure passed a House committee Thursday after Democrats used a procedural maneuver to record a 9-0 vote even though none of the committee's four Republican members was there. one Republican lawmaker is protesting.

Asked whether the vote should be retaken, Quinn said that was a matter for the Legislature, adding both houses will ultimately have a chance to vote on it.


Quinn: New controls after Medicaid paid for dead

CHICAGO (AP) - Governor Pat Quinn is promising tighter controls after a review found that the Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people who were dead.

Quinn told reporters Saturday he's not happy with the findings and the state is on track to recoup all of the money.

The Associated Press learned of the mistakes from an internal state government memo it obtained Friday through the Freedom of Information Act.

The memo says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.

Quinn said Saturday that in most of the cases, managed care insurance companies had billed the state improperly.


Ill. GOP officials who wanted Brady out replaced

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Six of the seven members of the Republican state central committee who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady over his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.

Republican officials across the state elected a new crop of state central committee members this week. All but one of those who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman were either voted out or retired. The seventh was re-elected to a four-year term.

Brady had said Republicans were "on the wrong side of history" for opposing a gay marriage vote in the state Legislature.

New committee members say the party should be more inclusive and let social views take a back seat to winning races in November.


5 killed, 14 wounded in Chicago shootings

CHICAGO (AP) - Five people have been killed and at least 14 others have been wounded in shootings across Chicago since Friday evening.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that two teens were shot around 10:30 a.m. Saturday at an apartment on the city's South Side. A 43-year-old man was found with multiple gunshot wounds in an alley on the West Side earlier Saturday. And another man died after being shot following a car chase, also on the city's West Side.

A fifth man was shot to death Friday night in the South Austin neighborhood.

No one was in custody for any of the shootings as area detectives continue to investigate.


Chicago cops to patrol most violent areas on bikes

CHICAGO (AP) - Some of the police officers who have been patrolling Chicago's most violent neighborhoods on foot are getting bicycles.

The idea is to extend the amount of territory they can cover while allowing officers to maintain close interaction with residents.

More than a third of the 360 foot patrol officers assigned to those areas have already been trained and equipped with bikes.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday that nothing compares "to officers getting out of their cars, engaging the community and knowing the names, faces and stories of everyone in that neighborhood."

The mayor says bike patrols will keep officers "visible, accessible and knowledgeable about the area."

The patrols are part of a year-old operation in which hundreds of extra officers have fanned out across 20 trouble spots.


Chicago man killed in Salt Lake City stabbing

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Police are searching for two men in the fatal stabbing of a Chicago man early Saturday morning in downtown Salt Lake City.

Investigators say 33-year-old Joaquin Gonzalez was in a vehicle with a woman when they were approached by two men.

The two men immediately started a fight with Gonzalez and he was stabbed multiple times.

The woman, who escaped unharmed, tried to help Gonzalez but he died at the scene.

The only description police have of the suspects is that both were wearing dark, hooded sweatshirts and one of them had a black beanie.

The 1:20 a.m. stabbing is under investigation.


$14M awarded in suit linking contraceptive, stroke

CHICAGO (AP) - A jury has awarded $14 million to a suburban Chicago woman who sued her doctor over a debilitating stroke she suffered after taking the birth control drug Yasmin.

Lawyers for Mariola Zapalski, of Elmwood Park, say the stroke occurred 13 days after she began taking the drug, paralyzing her left side and causing permanent brain injury.

Defendant Doctor Zbigniew (ZBEEG'-nyehf) Aniol declined to comment Saturday.

Friday's verdict came after a two-week trial in Cook County Circuit Court. A $2.5 million settlement in the same matter was reached a month ago with Resurrection Medical Center.

Drugmaker Bayer has also faced lawsuits from women claiming the contraceptive caused blood clots that led to serious health consequences.

The company stands by the drug and says it is safe if used as directed.


Chester launches school construction effort

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois school district has begun work to replace an elementary school's gymnasium and two classrooms rendered unusable because of structural issues.

Construction began this week southeast of St. Louis in Chester, where the elementary school gym and its connecting classrooms were condemned in mid-2012 because shifting ground made them unstable.

The condemnation resulted in more than 600 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade having no facility for physical education classes during inclement weather.

The project is being paid for by nearly $4.4 million from Illinois taxpayers and $1.5 million from the Chester school district.

The new buildings will be erected on more stable ground near the school.


Illinois Democrats plan organizational meeting

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Democratic Party is planning to hold an organizational meeting for the state central committee.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is the party chairman. He says there are new members of the state central committee since the March 18 primary election. Members will elect party officials at Tuesday's event in Springfield.

Madigan says members of the public are invited to attend.

The state central committee now has 36 members, down from 38 - one man and one woman from each congressional district.

Each member has a weighted vote equal to the number of Democratic ballots cast in that member's congressional district in the primary election.


Illinois county requiring reflective house numbers

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois county is reminding residents about a new ordinance that requires property owners to post reflective house numbers so first responders can find them in an emergency.

The Pekin Times reports the Tazewell County Board approved the ordinance for homes in unincorporated areas last year. It took effect on August 1st.

But some residents haven't complied. So county officials are noting which homes don't have the signs and mailing reminders.

Kristal Deininger is the county's community development administrator. She says the fine for violating the ordinance is $25, but the county isn't yet issuing notices of violation.

Larry Mayberry is Cincinnati Township's supervisor. He says the signs are important because often when people call 911 they're not calm enough to give good directions to their home.


New festival to honor Studs Terkel

CHICAGO (AP) - The University of Chicago plans a festival to honor late writer and broadcaster Studs Terkel.

The new "Let's Get Working" festival will be at the school's Logan Center for the Arts from May 9th to 11th. The free festival will feature concerts, discussions, performances and screenings.

Terkel was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He died in 2008 at age 96.

The university says the festival will spotlight "This American Life" host Ira Glass of NPR and filmmaker Alex Kotlowitz, among others.

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

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