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Trustees of the College of DuPage are expected to take another vote on a $762,000 buyout package for the school's president.  

The board of trustees last week voted 6-1 to accept the severance deal for President Robert Breuder. The deal will pay Breuder nearly three times his base salary when he retires in March 2016, three years before his current contract expires. He's been the college's president since January 2009.  

Illinoisans who have led
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia that includes a lock of the slain president's hair has been sold for more than $800,000 at auction in Dallas. 

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says the Donald P. Dow collection brought top bids totaling $803,889. Heritage spokesman Eric Bradley says that's double expectations.  

The lock of hair taken by Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes shortly after Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth sold for $25,000.  

An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and value as an actor also brought $30,000.  

Severances and bonuses seem to be a way of life for Illinois colleges and universities.

College of DuPage officials have voted to approve a  $762,000 buyout package for the school's president when he retires next year.
 The board of trustees accepted the severance deal Thursday as part a four-page agreement regarding the early retirement of President Robert Breuder next March.

Logan Correctional Center
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The union that represents Illinois prison guards says inmates at the Logan Correctional Center committed about 400 assaults since the lockup was converted to an all-women facility in 2013.  

However, Corrections Department officials are disputing the numbers.  

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees released documents Thursday showing assaults ranging from spitting to fighting, kicking and punching.  


House Speaker Michael Madigan is stressing the importance of bipartisanship as Illinois enters its first divided government in more than a decade.  

Madigan was again selected House speaker by the 99th General Assembly in a vote along party lines Wednesday. The Chicago Democrat is the country's longest serving House speaker. He's served all but two years in the role since 1983.  

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is arguing that a landmark Illinois pension overhaul should be upheld because the state has ``police powers'' that allow it to change a contract in extraordinary circumstances.

Madigan is appealing a lower court ruling that found the 2013 law unconstitutional. She filed an opening brief to the Illinois Supreme Court Monday.  

Several groups filed briefs supporting the state's arguments. They include the city of Chicago, the Illinois Municipal League and Chicago Public Schools.

WUIS/Brian Mackey

Illinois' new Republican governor says he held a ``very productive'' Tuesday afternoon meeting with state legislative leaders.
Bruce Rauner met with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate
President John Cullerton, and Republican House Leader Jim Durkin and Senate
Leader Christine Radogno in his office shortly before issuing an executive order
on ethical practices for state employees.
Rauner says the leaders discussed their various communication styles as
Illinois enters its first divided government in more than a decade.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

Bruce Rauner has been sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor.
 The Republican businessman took the oath of office Monday during an inaugural
ceremony in Springfield. He is the first Republican to lead the state in more
than a decade.
 Rauner defeated Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November with promises to ``shake
up'' state government. He faces an immediate challenge in working with a
Democratic-controlled Legislature to eliminate a multibillion-dollar budget


Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a bill that would have allowed bobcat
hunting in Illinois for the first time in more than 40 years.
 Quinn says allowing hunting would violate a responsibility to maintain Illinois
wildlife, noting that the population only recently rebounded enough to be
removed from the threatened species list.
 He says bobcats are ``a valuable part of Illinois' ecosystem and continue to
need protection.''

Gov. Pat Quinn has pardoned a man who spent more than a decade in prison before DNA evidence cleared him in the 1993 murder of his girlfriend.  

Quinn's 232 granted clemency petitions announced Friday included one for Alan Beaman. It's Quinn's first innocence-based pardon.  

Beaman was convicted in the strangulation death of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller and spent 13 years in prison. He was serving a 50-year sentence when the Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008, and DNA testing pointed to two previously unknown suspects.  

New reports from several Illinois agencies propose ways lawmakers could help keep the state's nuclear plants open.  

The reports issued Wednesday suggest the state could favor Chicago-based Exelon Corp. because its six nuclear plants generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases.  

The Chicago Tribune reports) such a policy would punish providers, such as coal-burning power plants, that emit carbon dioxide.  

Exelon has been lobbying for such policies, saying it otherwise might have to close at least three of its financially struggling Illinois plants.  

The Springfield School Board has approved the full-time staffing of police officers at the city's three public high schools.  

Board members voted unanimously Monday. It will cost more than $115,000 to provide policing at the schools throughout the rest of the school year.  

Superintendent Jennifer Gill tells The State Journal-Register that the city is helping the school district with the cost. She says the officers will likely start working full time next week.

Incoming freshmen from Illinois would see no increase in base tuition at the University of Illinois next fall under a proposal announced by the school's leadership.
It will go to the full board on Jan. 15 at a meeting in Chicago.
The proposal calls for in-state tuition that matches rates for the current
school year. That's $12,036 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,584 in Chicago and
$9,405 in Springfield.
University officials say holding the line on tuition will help middle-class

flickr/Chris Vreeland

A newspaper reports the owner of the St. Louis Rams plans to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles County, boosting the chances that pro football could return to the region.  

The Los Angeles Times says Stan Kroenke has partnered with Stockbridge Capital Group, owners of the 238-acre Hollywood Park site in Inglewood.  

Kroenke and Stockbridge say they plan to add an 80,000-seat NFL stadium and 6,000-seat performance venue to a massive development of retail, office, hotel and residential space.  

Gov. Pat Quinn has called for the closing of Tamms Correctional Center.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Gov. Pat Quinn enters his final week in office with a speech and special session on the agenda, but it's unclear how hard lawmakers and leaders will work with the Democrat on a possible special election or other issues.  

Quinn has called legislators to Springfield Thursday. He wants legislation for a special election to replace late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Senate President John Cullerton supports the idea, but House Speaker Michael Madigan says it's an executive branch issue.

The director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services says she'll resign Jan. 9 as Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner prepares to take office.  

Julie Hamos is a former Democratic state representative who oversees the state's $18 billion Medicaid program. She released a statement Friday about her resignation. She says leading the department has been ``one of the most fulfilling jobs'' she's ever had _ ``as well as the hardest.''  

Sangamon County has seen a slight increase in homicides in 2014.   The State Journal-Register ( ) reports seven homicides were investigated in the past year, compared to five in 2013. Police made arrests in five of the 2014 homicide cases.  

Chief Deputy Joe Roesch of the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office says investigators spent weeks working on the first homicide. Three people were eventually arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 31 shooting death of 24-year-old Justin Sharp.  

WUIS/Brian Mackey

The new year will see an increase in the amount Illinois pays into the state's five publicly-funded pension systems.  

The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports ( Illinois' auditor general on Wednesday released a report by the state actuary showing a more than $680 million increase in pension payments in 2015 to $7.5 billion.  

The report doesn't explain the increase. However, it noted three of the five pension systems lowered the estimated rate of return they expect from investments.

The brother of former state lawmaker Rosemary Mulligan says she has died after her health suffered in recent months.  

Stephen Granzyk says the 73-year-old Republican died Tuesday, months after moving into a retirement community in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines.  

Mulligan represented the Northwest suburbs in the Illinois House from 1993 to 2013. She was considered a social moderate with expertise in the state's human services budget and the disabled.  


Illinois veterans with disabilities will be eligible for more property tax exemptions under a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.  

Quinn signed the measure Tuesday. It takes effect immediately.  

The new law allows veterans with disabilities and their spouses expanded property tax exemptions. Disabled veterans will also see an increased homestead exemption to $100,000 from $70,000.  
 In a statement, Quinn says the law will help ensure that veterans aren't ``burdened by overwhelming property taxes.''  

Secretary of State's Office

Motorists may drive without an up-to-date vehicle registration sticker under a law that takes effect Thursday.

Gov. Pat Quinn has called for the closing of Tamms Correctional Center.
WUIS/Illinois Issues

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a plan that lets people charged with some minor traffic offenses pay penalties without a court appearance.  

In a Sunday statement, Quinn says the legislation helps reduce the burden on drivers and the court system by cutting the number of ``unnecessary minor cases.''  

Under the plan motorists cited with petty traffic violations can plead guilty and pay fines without showing up to court.  

Earlier this year, Quinn signed a law that ends the practice of posting a driver's license in Illinois as security after certain traffic citations.  

consumer product safety commission

Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve coffee brewing machines because of reported burns.
 Keurig says its Mini Plus Brewing Systems, with model number K10, can overheat and spray water during brewing. Keurig says it had received about 200 reports of hot liquid escaping from the brewer, including 90 reports of burn-related injuries.

Country singer Toby Keith will headline a concert celebrating Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner's inauguration. 

An audit has found that Illinois does a poor job monitoring and tracking children who run away from foster homes.  

Auditor General William Holland reported Thursday the Department of Children and Family Services does not keep reports on the total number of missing children in a year or their previous locations.  

In 2011 and 2012, DCFS estimated as many as 3,100 children went missing in up to 29,200 separate incidents. But they were not all runaways. They included wards of the state whose caregivers did not know their whereabouts.  

University of Illinois

 A University of Illinois task force on sexual assault has started meeting and plans to survey the school's three campuses to assess the situation at each.  

University spokesman Tom Hardy says the new task force met for the first time Wednesday. The group is supposed to finish surveys at the Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield campuses by the spring.  

Late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has been remembered
as a tough, honest leader with a signature sense of humor.
 Crowds filled a union hall in suburban Chicago on Wednesday to pay respects.
Individuals included the state's top leaders, lawmakers, local leaders and
Illinoisans who knew her for more than 70 years.
 Gov. Pat Quinn says Topinka took on tough challenges in life. She was also a
former state treasurer, GOP head and lawmaker.
 Portraits of Topinka lined an entrance, along with photos of past campaigns,


Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner's inaugural festivities will include a dinner at the Illinois Capitol, a concert and a free event at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
The Winnetka Republican launched a website Monday with a schedule for the 2015
Rauner takes the oath of office during a ceremony Jan. 12. Rather than the
traditional inaugural ball that evening, he's planning a concert with a
yet-to-be-named ``famous musical act.''

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka leaves essentially two vacancies that should first be filled by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn and then Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner. But she says voters should also get a chance to cast ballots for the office in 2016.
 Topinka died last week. The Republican had won a second term, which starts next
 In a legal analysis released Monday, Madigan says Quinn should appoint someone
until Jan. 12, when the current term ends and new elected officials are sworn

Illinois' senators say federal defense legislation includes a request to a study if a National Park designation is merited for the New Philadelphia archaeological site in western Illinois.  

Congress on Friday sent the defense bill to President Barack Obama. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk say the bill includes a provision directing the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study on the site.