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The windy city of Chicago is famous for its sports teams, world-class museums, and vast array of shopping choices. The city remains a popular tourist destination. However, Chicago is also famous as a setting for numerous holiday films. While it may be called the Second City, Chicago is the king of holiday movies. 

There are some obvious reasons why so many iconic Christmas movies are filmed in Chicago. Downtown provides incredible backdrops and lights, and the suburbs offer huge homes and mansions. And then there is the staple of winter weather – snow. And during the winter months, there’s a pretty good chance there is snow on the ground in Chicagoland. There are also tax rebates, cheaper permits, and a large supply of local actors and crew members that can attract filmmakers and producers. 

GOMB projects State budget deficits in FY25 and following years. The "Illinois Economic and Fiscal Policy Report,” submitted in November 2023 by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), contains long-term projections covering spending and tax revenue trends faced by the State of Illinois. The GOMB projects continued compounding increases in the expenses faced by several key areas of State general-funds spending, particularly health care costs, pensions, and mandated education funding increases. The GOMB projects general funds budgeted spending, including pensions, rising from $48.3 billion in FY24 to almost $55.8 billion five years down the road in FY29. This is independent of further spending increases requested by all of the advocacy groups who push for more State funding every year.

The Illinois House Judiciary Committee held a meeting in early November to receive additional input and consider possible solutions to the fast-rising concerns and issues brought about by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Lawmakers heard from experts in the acting industry, academia, legal, and business communities about the exploding growth of AI, with two panels providing testimony and answering questions for over three hours. Comparisons to the rise of social media were made, and lawmakers are wary of making the same mistakes again. 

The Waltham Curling Club, founded in 1884, is the oldest curling club in Illinois. Located in the tiny village of Triumph near I-39 and just north of I-80 in LaSalle County, the Waltham Curling Club offers fun for the entire family. The club offers leagues for men, women, and children ages 8 and up. They provide group opportunities to learn to curl, and new members are welcome, with or without curling experience. The curling season runs from early November through late March. 

13.6 million units of blood are collected annually in the United States. Each donation can save up to three lives. In the United States alone, someone needs blood every two seconds, which equals about 29,000 units of blood needed daily, and 4.5 million people needing blood annually. With these numbers in mind, only approximately three percent of the eligible population in the U.S. choose to donate blood .

For State Representative Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa), a young boy’s death in 2019 in McHenry County sparked a renewed mission and passion for his work in Springfield. Four years later, two former DCFS workers are on trial for reckless conduct and child endangerment charges following the death of 5-year-old A.J. Freund. The boy’s parents are currently in jail, including the mother for first-degree murder and the father for involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery of a child, and concealment of a homicidal death. 

Living in Illinois means homeowners have to always be prepared for changes in the weather. The climate encapsulates all four seasons in Illinois, and staying ahead of the game can save a homeowner thousands of dollars and days and weeks of unwanted challenges or issues. Winter is a beautiful season, with falling snow and cooler temperatures. But it can also be fierce, with arctic-cold temperatures, ice and risks of damage to homes.