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Illinois sets benchmark for health coverage


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials chose a relatively lean small-group policy Friday as the benchmark plan for essential health benefits in the state, another milepost in implementing President Barack Obama's health care law.

Gov. Pat Quinn's health care council approved Blue Cross Blue Shield's Blue



Moody's downgrades Chicago Board of Education

CHICAGO (AP) — The bond-rating agency Moody's Investor Service has downgraded the Chicago Board of Education debt after a more than week-long Chicago Teachers' Union strike.

Moody's on Friday downgraded the board's debt to A2, reflecting "a weakened financial profile." Moody's said it thinks "the



Michelle Obama to appear on 'Steve Harvey' show

flotus steve harvey

CHICAGO (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama will appear on Steve Harvey's new daytime talk show.

The show's producers say she will tape her appearance on Thursday. It's scheduled for broadcast on Oct. 3. "Steve Harvey" is taped before an audience at NBC's studios in Obama's hometown of Chicago.




Madigan announces $1.4M to help Illinois renters

lisa madigan

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced that nearly $1.4 million from a recent settlement will go toward legal help for renters.

Madigan's office announced Thursday the money has been awarded to Chicago's Lawyers Committee for Better Housing.

The funding is part of a $25



Cook County plans crackdown on tax violators

toni preckwinkle

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County is trying two new methods to go after unpaid taxes and fines.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's office announced the programs Wednesday, predicting they could bring in $4 million to the 2013 budget.

New software will allow the county to identify scofflaw