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Illinois lawmakers are considering a three-year pilot program that would temporarily legalize medical marijuana for people with certain illnesses. Bill sponsor Rep. Lou Lang says he thinks political momentum is on his side and hopes to vote on the bill Wednesday.

A Peabody Energy Corp.  subsidiary is permanently closing a southern Illinois mine because it failed to meet safety, compliance and performance standards. Bay Ridge Inc. says operations at the Willow Lake Mine near Harrisburg are unsustainable. The mine closing will affect about 400 workers.

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The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to an Illinois anti-eavesdropping law. The high court let stand a lower-court ruling Monday that said the law violates free-speech rights when used against people who tape police in public. Violators of the law face a maximum 15-year prison term.

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Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn reminds state residents to support food banks during the holiday season and throughout the year. Quinn's office says there are eight food banks around the state and, according to Feeding Illinois, there are more than 1.9 million people in the state who don't have access to nutritious food. Quinn urges people to volunteer at food banks in their communities and donate to them. 

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The director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is retiring from full-time employment with the state. 65 year-old David Vaught retired Wednesday. His retirement came after an Illinois Inspector General’s Office report that found abuses of hiring laws at DCEO. It also criticized the DCEO for failing to adequately review appointees’ qualifications.

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The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says deer hunters in the state have killed more than 5,000 deer than they did last year. Just in last week’s firearm season opening weekend hunters killed more than 72,000 deer.

A worker has died after being trapped in machinery Saturday at a Saline County, Ill., mine. The incident happened at Willow Lake Mine.  The operation, which employs about 460 people, is run by a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corporation. Peabody Spokesperson Meg Gallagher says 30-year-old Chad Meyers of Goreville died after being pinned by a continuous mining machine he was operating.

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Illinois' home foreclosure rate rose 6 percent in October compared to the previous month, and was 19 percent higher than in October of last year. A RealtyTrac report released Thursday shows Illinois with almost 15 thousand foreclosure filings last month, the third-highest rate in the nation. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions. Nationally, October's foreclosure activity rose 3 percent from the previous month but fell 19 percent from October of 2011.

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The Illinois firearm deer season begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday.  It will conclude November 29th through December 2nd. Hunters harvested more than 98,000 deer during 2011's seven-day hunt. So far this year, about 334,000 permits have been issued.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reminding voters of some basic rights ahead of Tuesday's election. Madigan says voters have the right to vote if they are in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. If a voter makes a mistake or spoils a paper ballot and the voter hasn't cast the ballot, the voter has the right to a replacement ballot. Voters have the right to take unpaid time from work to vote - up to two successive hours - as long as they've applied with their employer before Election Day. However, the employer may choose the time of day.

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