The Associated Press

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Government
7:35 am
Tue May 7, 2013

ILL Opens Grant Process For Health Guides

Credit wikipedia

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that federal grants worth $28 million will be distributed to qualifying community groups that want to help educate consumers about the new online marketplace for health insurance. The state will accept applications through May 30. The national health overhaul law requires insurance marketplaces to be operating in every state by October 1.

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Education
7:32 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN To Use $4 Million In Grants For Leadership Programs

Credit newgre.org

The Tennessee Department of Education plans to use nearly $4 million in federal education funds to pay for eight leadership development programs. The grants are part of the $500 million the state won three years ago in the national Race to the Top education grant competition. Officials say eight recipients received grants, which were awarded to organizations in partnership with one or more school systems.

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Government
7:29 am
Tue May 7, 2013

ILL Unions Ask Lawmakers To Back Senate Pension Plan

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Illinois union leaders are encouraging lawmakers to support a pension reform proposal that they recently agreed on with the state's Senate president. A coalition of unions announced yesterday it reached an agreement with Senate President John Cullerton on a possible solution to the state's $97 billion pension crisis. Michael Carrigan is the president of the Illinois AFL-CIO. He says the group is trying to ensure fairness for public employees and retirees.

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Environment
7:28 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN Health Department Warns Of Mosquito-Borne Illness

Credit wikipedia.org

The Tennessee Department of Health is urging people to protect themselves from viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Last year Tennessee experienced 33 human cases of West Nile virus, including one in December. Four out of five people with West Nile won't show symptoms, but others will develop severe illness that can result in permanent neurological damage or even death.

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Arts
7:26 am
Tue May 7, 2013

TN Arts Commission Reinstates Arts Build Communities

The Tennessee Arts Commission has reinstated its popular Arts Build Communities grant program. Through the program, the commission seeks to build communities by nurturing artists, arts organizations and arts supporters. Awards range from $500 to $2,000 and may be used for a variety of arts projects. Any projects that use ABC funds must be open to the general public.

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Business
7:22 am
Tue May 7, 2013

KY Medicaid Managed Care Group Announces Layoffs

One of Kentucky's Medicaid managed care groups will begin laying off workers next month to prepare for shutting down.  Kentucky Spirit Health Plan, a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Centene Corporation, announced last fall that it would exercise a contractual right to end its contract with the state effective July 5th. The organization notified state and local government officials and its 145 employees of the impending layoffs yesterday.

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Government
8:21 am
Mon May 6, 2013

DEA Collects 7,100 lbs. Of Drugs At KY Take-Back

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration collected more than 7,100 pounds of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications in Kentucky during a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. During last week's event, agents picked up 50 percent more pills than the previous year. The Commonwealth's numbers have been on the rise since the DEA started the National Drug Initiative in 2010.

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Government
8:14 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Quinn Rejects Bill Raising ILL Electric Rates

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has rejected a plan to increase electric rates by roughly $70 million, a proposal ComEd says would have helped get so-called Smart Grid technology back on track. Quinn vetoed the plan yesterday saying the bill would undermine oversight and force automatic rate hikes. ComEd touted the bill as a way to clarify 2011 legislation allowing utilities to raise rates to fund a high-tech system. But executing it has been tricky.

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Environment
8:12 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Scenic And Struggling Southern Illinois Braces For Oil Rush

Credit Jeff Jones / http://salinecountychamber.org

Southern Illinois residents are bracing for change as the Legislature considers a regulatory bill that could set off a rush to drill for oil and gas. The area includes two counties that have never had conventional oil or gas drilling, and its residents are deeply divided over what it could mean for their way of life. Johnson and Pope counties have some of the Illinois' most remote and scenic areas. 

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Education
8:09 am
Mon May 6, 2013

KY School Districts Seek 'Innovation' Status

Kentucky education experts will soon be examining applications from public schools districts across the Commonwealth that want to become "Districts of Innovation." The state Education Department says the designation allows districts to seek exemption from some rules and regulations to try to improve student learning.

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