Appeals court says term limits can't be on ballot
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois appeals court has upheld a ruling that a term limits question cannot appear on the November ballot.
A three-judge panel of the Chicago-based 1st District Court of Appeals issued its decision Wednesday.
The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits gathered about 600,000 signatures for an initiative to limit legislators to eight years in office, among other changes. The group is led by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur).
But attorneys with ties to top Democrats sued to keep the measure off the ballot.
A Cook County judge sided with the group, calling the effort unconstitutional.
The term limits group appealed. They're now expected to ask the Illinois Supreme Court to consider the issue.
The high court declined earlier this year to immediately consider the lower court's ruling.
Governor candidates set on 3 traditional debates
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois' gubernatorial candidates will appear together at three traditional debates before November.
They are Oct. 9 in Peoria, hosted by PBS and the League of Women Voters; Oct. 14, hosted by the Chicago Urban League; and another in Chicago later in October, hosted by the League of Women Voters and WLS-TV.
Republican Bruce Rauner's (ROW'-nurz) campaign released a list Wednesday of eight debates and forums ahead of Nov. 4. That list includes a joint live-streamed Sept. 9 Chicago Tribune endorsement session and an Aug. 28 Metropolitan Planning Council event where organizers say the two candidates won't appear jointly.
Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for "hiding," saying Wednesday that Quinn confirmed for 11 events.
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says Rauner's list is diverse and more than the U.S. president does.
Last 4 hostages freed in armed standoff at home in Chicago suburb; 2 men in custody
HARVEY, Ill. (AP) - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says the last four hostages have been released unharmed to end a standoff with two armed men in a southern Chicago suburb.
Dart says the two adults and two children were freed Wednesday morning without a shot being fired.
He says two suspects have been arrested.
The standoff began Wednesday afternoon when police in Harvey responded to a neighbor's report of a possible burglary at the home.
Two officers were wounded in an initial exchange of gunfire, and the two suspects barricaded themselves inside the home with eight captives. Four children among them were freed overnight after hours of talks.
Heavily armed law enforcement officers stormed the home to free four remaining hostages and capture two suspects.
INDONESIA-US WOMAN DEAD-SETTLEMENT
Report: Woman slain in Bali received over $800K
CHICAGO (AP) - A published report says a suburban Chicago woman killed on the Indonesian resort island of Bali collected more than $800,000 through a 2011 settlement.
The body of 62-year-old Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found this month inside a suitcase. Police reports say her 19-year-old daughter, Heather Mack, and the teenager's 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, were arrested in Indonesia.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports von Wiese-Mack and her late husband received a settlement in a lawsuit between the couple and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
The newspaper cites court records showing von Wiese-Mack received more than $340,000 in an initial share. Another $500,000 went to her husband's estate and was designated for his daughter, Heather, then a child.
In 2011, a judge allowed von Weise-Mack to pay herself the $500,000 as the estate's "sole beneficiary."
MEDICAL MARIJUANA-TOWN HALL
Marijuana town hall attracts hundreds in Chicago
CHICAGO (AP) - A standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 attended the last of three town hall meetings about the application process for Illinois' medical marijuana program.
The meeting Wednesday morning at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago gave patients, caregivers and aspiring business owners a chance to ask questions about how the application process will work in the state's four-year pilot program.
Most questions centered on the requirements for marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries. Would-be business owners will start applying for a limited number of permits in September.
Program coordinator Bob Morgan says it's been "a long road," and public comments have helped shape the regulations and the application process. Morgan says the program is about helping patients improve the quality of their lives.
DES PLAINES ALDERMAN DIES
Des Plaines alderman, 29, dies of apparent stroke
DES PLAINES, Ill. (AP) - A first-term alderman in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines has died of an apparent stroke.
The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that Joanna Sojka (SOY'-kuh) died late Monday at Alexian Brothers Medical Center. She was 29.
Sojka was elected in April 2013 and represented the city's 7th Ward.
The newspaper says Sojka developed stroke-like symptoms last Thursday, and was treated released from the hospital on Saturday. She returned to the hospital on Sunday after feeling weak.
Alderman Denise Rodd says Sojka thought of herself as a public servant "and not someone above that."
She was chairman of the city council's public works committee, and worked as coordinator of business and financial services at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
City flags will fly at half-staff through sunset Monday.
ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE-QUINN
2 Pat Quinns to raise money for ALS
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is getting a hand from someone with a familiar name to raise money for Lou Gehrig's disease.
The governor's office says the Democrat will appear Wednesday in Chicago with Pat Quinn of Yonkers, New York. The other Quinn is credited with helping jumpstart the so-called "ice bucket challenge" to raise money for the disease also known as ALS. He was diagnosed last year.
The challenge asks those willing to douse themselves with ice water to challenge others to do the same. The fundraising phenomenon has been used for other causes, but has recently gone viral and raised millions for the ALS Association.
The governor did it last weekend and donated $100. His office says the two Quinns will challenge Chicago's North Lawndale Eagles football team.
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