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12/19/2014 10:02:25 AM
Lawmakers will be back in Springfield for a special session on January 8th. Governor Quinn called for the session to decide on whether to hold an election in 2016 for the office of Comptroller. Elected comptroller Judy Baar Topinka died earlier this month following complications of a stroke. Quinn can appoint someone to fill the job, but has yet to do so. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner takes office o...read more

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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne (87) runs away from New York Giants' Jayron Hosley (28) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide


10ThingstoSeeSports - Crystal Palace's Fraizer Campbell, left, competes for the ball with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois during their English Premier League soccer match at Selhurst Park, London, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)Here's a look at some of the defining moments, exciting scenes, triumphs and defeats from the world of sports.


NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Indiana PacersBy Mark Lamport-Stokes LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant has often been a polarizing figure during his illustrious NBA career, criticized by some for being too selfish and not doing enough as a facilitator for his team mates. For his peers, however, Bryant is simply a winner and will do whatever it takes to instill a winning mindset, even though this season has been especially challenging for an injury-hit team decidedly low in overall quality. ...


By Zoran Milosavljevic BELGRADE (Reuters) - Euroleague debutants Nizhny Novgorod and 1999 champions Zalgiris Kaunas booked the last two berths in the competition’s second group stage on Friday. Nizhny overpowered more fancied fellow Russians Unics Kazan 78-74 thanks to an outstanding performance by forward Tarence Kinsey and Zalgiris progressed after a dramatic 80-79 defeat of Italians Dinamo Sassari. ...

NFL: Commissioner Roger Goodell-Press ConferenceBy Steve Keating (Reuters) - The stadiums and arenas where fans go to escape were invaded like never before in 2014 as the reality of racism, domestic violence and equality turned the Fields of Dreams into gloomy landscapes. LeBron James's homecoming, a Super Bowl blowout, a throwback World Series pitching performance and a Stanley Cup comeback for the ages all provided enough drama, suspense and awe to keep the turnstiles twirling and television ratings soaring. ...


National News

U.S. President Barack Obama reponds to a question during his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. blacks are better off now than they were when he began his presidency in 2009, but that the gap between blacks and whites remains. "Like the rest of America, Black America, in the aggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office," he told reporters in an end-of-year news conference. "The gap between income and wealth of white and black America persists, and we've got more work to do on that front. ...


Hayden, defense attorney for Matanov who is accused of lying to federal investigators about his ties to accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, talks to reporters following Matanov's arraignment in federal courtBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A high school friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers pleaded guilty on Friday to charges including having possessed a gun that prosecutors contend the suspects used to shoot dead a university police officer as they tried to flee the city. Stephen Silva, 21, changed his plea from not guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors that was filed under seal. ...


TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - Gay marriages may proceed in Florida next month after the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday declined to extend a stay requested by state officials seeking to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Weddings would be allowed to start on Jan. 6 under an order by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this month. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented with the decision. (Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Chris Reese)
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