The Associated Press

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed new laws over the weekend aimed at protecting the elderly by increasing caregiver oversight and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect. One of the new measures allows prosecutors to ask a court to freeze a suspect's assets if they are charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. It’s meant to keep a defendant from spending stolen money before restitution is collected. Another new law allows police and fire departments access to reports of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation against the elderly.

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Kentucky agriculture is still reeling from a one-two punch of heat and dry conditions. And farmers are feeling the pain from the prospects of shrinking income and inflated expenses caused by weather-related setbacks. Corn fields are shriveled, especially here in western Kentucky where the dry spell has been worst. Poultry farmers are being hit with higher grain prices to feed birds. And pastures turned to stubble are forcing cattle producers to dip into hay reserves. State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said it is a disaster affecting every segment of agriculture.

The National Transportation Safety Board says Kentucky had received a warning about downed lights on the Eggners Ferry Bridge a month before a cargo ship struck it collapsing a 300-foot span. 

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Illinois legislation will raise fines for people that misuse disabled parking tags to $600 next year. The new law also imposes a $1,000 fine on any healthcare provider who knowingly falsifies the certification allowing someone to get a disability plate or parking decal. 

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Tennessee ranks 8th in the country for the volume of federal grants its university research centers receive, but those dollars are not paying off in terms of new products, companies and jobs. 

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Illinois Lottery officials said sales for the fiscal year that ended June 30th topped $2.67 billion, a nearly 18 percent increase over the previous year. 

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A traveling exhibit highlighting the 75th anniversary of Tennessee’s state parks is hitting the road for the next year, touring the parks and various communities. 

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Illinois had a record number of visitors in 2011, with more than 93 million tourists.  The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said the state saw an 8.4 percent bump last year, bringing in over $31 billion for the state economy. 

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A review of last week's traffic fatalities across the Commonwealth showed none of the victims were in cars. Kentucky State Police officials said six people were killed in traffic, four on motorcycles.  

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Illinois legislation will raise fines for people that misuse disabled parking tags to $600 next year. The new law also imposes a $1,000 fine on any healthcare provider that knowingly falsifies the certification that allows someone to get a disability plate or parking decal. 

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