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The Mazon Creek Fossil Bed in Grundy County is one of the country’s most pristine fossil caches, located in a shale deposit that was once a tropical river system nearly 300 million years ago. Mazon Creek is distinguished from other fossil beds in the area for its serendipitously perfect conditions, allowing for many rare soft-tissued plants and animals to be preserved in the sediment. 

Illinois is a state where citizens can rack up tickets and fines in certain urban areas, mostly around Chicago. Those fines come from parking tickets, tollway charges, or red-light camera tickets.

A parking ticket is issued for a traffic violation and the ticket is issued to the owner of the vehicle. As the registered owner of a vehicle, citizens have the right to contest the issuance of a parking ticket. Citizens have seven days from the date of the ticket issuance to contest it, and if neither a contest nor payment is received, a second Notice of Violation is mailed allowing 21 days to request a hearing. If there is still no response, a notice will be mailed that the person has been found liable by default. The citizen now has 21 days to appear in person, and once that time period has passed, any ability to contest or appeal has expired. After 25 days, a final determination is mailed that all options to challenge the ticket have been forfeited. A late payment penalty will be assessed. 

In the past 3 years, Illinois state leaders and medical facilities have teamed up to bring cancer patients coverage for Proton Beam therapy.

This is all thanks to House Bill 2799, sponsored by State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb). The bill looks to open up doors for Illinois Cancer patients who are seeking proper care and treatment.

3 years ago, State Representative Norine Hammond got a call from a constituent who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The patient's doctor recommended Proton Beam therapy, but because some insurance companies couldn't cover the cost, the family had to pay tens of thousands of dollars. Read the rest of the story by Mackenzie LaPorte with KHQA ABC News.

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Pricey programs included in Restore Illinois September 2023 report. The data was included in the Pritzker administration’s “Report to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission: September 2023.” The Commission was created by General Assembly action in 2020 during the opening phase of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. As a Commission, it was created to serve as an oversight panel over the State’s pandemic-oriented Economic Recovery Plan, and possesses no administrative powers.

Who doesn’t enjoy a big slice of pumpkin pie, or how about carving and decorating those pumpkins every October to celebrate Halloween? And where did those pumpkins come from? There’s a good chance they were grown right here in Illinois, which leads the nation by a wide margin in pumpkin production. In fact, nearly 40 percent of the pumpkins produced in the United States come from Illinois.

Illinois produced over 650 million pounds of pumpkins in 2021, more than the next five top states combined. Indiana was the second-largest pumpkin producing state with 181 million pounds.  Illinois is home to well-draining soil and hot, dry weather, and those are ripe conditions for pumpkin production.

Technology addiction is a growing problem in Illinois and the rest of the world. As more people become dependent on technology, negative impacts on mental and physical health are increasing. The statistics are alarming, with the average person spending nearly nine hours a day in front of an electronic device. Cell phones are unlocked 150 times a day on average, and 72 percent of teens and nearly half of adults feel the need to immediately respond to texts and other notifications. Americans check their phones nearly 100 times a day, a 20 percent increase from a similar survey conducted two years ago. The statistics by demographic group are also eye-opening. 

The annual Candlelight Walk at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site will be held on Friday, October 6, and Saturday, October 7, from 7-9 p.m. each night. New Salem features a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood, and the Candlelight Walk offers the only opportunity to see the village at night. 

The grounds at New Salem include a recreated 1830s village of log buildings, and during the Candlelight Walk visitors will find a place of warm campfires, flickering candles, and swirling glow sticks. There will be live music each night, and staff and volunteers will be dressed in clothing of the 1830s era. Interpreters will also be on site talking about 19th century life in Illinois inside the log homes and shops. Seasonal favorites such as gingerbread cookies and cider will be served.

New Salem is located in Menard County just outside of Petersburg, about 20 miles northwest of Springfield. Lincoln spent six years in New Salem, engaging in a variety of activities. He clerked in a store, spit rails, enlisted in the Black Hawk War, and served as postmaster and deputy surveyor. Lincoln was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1834 and 1836. 

The grounds at New Salem include 12 log houses, the Rutledge Tavern, 10 workshops, stores, mills, and a school where church services were held. The furnishings were actually used by the people of New Salem during Lincoln’s time and were assembled and donated by the Old Salem Lincoln League. The collection includes 19th century articles such as wheat cradles, candle molds, cord beds, flax hackles, wood cards, dough and cornmeal chests, and early American pewter. Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site - Tour (

“Come see history in real life during the Candlelight Walk,” stated Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville). “Seeing the New Salem village at night is a truly unique and one-of-a-kind experience. This is a fun and family-friendly event to be enjoyed by all ages.”

“New Salem is a true gem that attracts visitors from all over the state and country,” stated Rep. Mike Coffey (R-Springfield). “These two nights offer an incredible look back into history and what life was like in the early 19th century.”