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In preliminary rules for implementing Illinois law allowing the medical use of marijuana, state officials would have barred users and their caregivers from obtaining a Firearms Owner ID card. But in rules that will be officially filed for review later this week, that provision has been removed. | Sun-Times File Photo

Proposal to deny firearms ID cards to medical pot users is nixed

Sen. Mark Kirk pushing his "stroke agenda"

Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., suffered a stroke on Jan. 21, 2012 and he spent almost the entire next year recovering, returning to the Capitol on Jan. 4, 2013 with a newfound interest in stroke research.  Kirk on Wednesday met with a team of doctors to discuss his "stroke agenda, " a quest to win more federal funding for stroke research and victim assistance.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill., talks about why he's campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim Oberweis on Wednesday during a news conference in Chicago. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

Why Kirk is now campaigning for Oberweis for U.S. Senate seat

After distancing himself from GOP Senate nominee Jim Oberweis last month — and saying he wanted to “preserve” his relationship with Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and not engage in a “partisan jihad” — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., in a switch said Wednesday he will campaign for Oberweis. “I was already at the Lake County Republican dinner last week with him,” said Kirk.

Records show that in a little over a year in office, Cook County Recorder Karen Yarbrough has put one relative on the payroll, hired others with ties to her or her husband and been criticized by the county inspector general and a federal monitor. She says the county ethics ordinance doesn't apply to her. | Sun-Times File Photo

Recorder blasted for hiring; says ethics law doesn't apply to her

Cook County Recorder Karen Yarbrough has been blasted by the county inspector general and a federal monitor for hiring people with ties to her or her husband. But like Assessor Joe Berrios, Yarbrough claims the county's ethics ordinance doesn't apply to her.

Why police recover more guns in Chicago than any other city

It’s not news that Chicago has a gun problem. But that doesn’t make it any more palatable for Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, a firm believer in systems management and improved gun laws as he works to reduce crime in the city.

If the state's income tax rate is rolled back as scheduled next year, Illinois school districts would lose more than $450 million in general state aid funding next fiscal year, according to data released by Senate President John Cullerton’s office Wednesday. | Associated Press Photo

Democrats say schools lose $450 million if tax rate rolled back

Illinois school districts would lose more than $450 million in general state aid funding next fiscal year, according to data released by Senate President John Cullerton’s office Wednesday, if a hike in the state income tax rate is not made permanent. Chicago Public Schools would lose almost $174 million, according to the data.

U.S. readies sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to ratchet up sanctions on Russia and boost assistance for the Ukrainian military in the coming days, U.S. officials said Wednesday, as Ukraine struggles to contain a pro-Russian uprising in its eastern cities.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, visited children suffering from schistosomiasis during their Feb. 15, 2007, trip to Nasarawa North, Nigeria. The Carters traveled to the community to bring national attention to the country's need to make disease prevention methods and treatments with the medicine praziquantel more accessible in its rural and impoverished communities. Photo courtesy of The Carter Center

Jimmy Carter talks gender equality

Human trafficking, unequal pay, sexual assault. We have “a long way to go” in solving these issues, according to former President Jimmy Carter, who hopes his new book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power,” will prompt societal change in the way we approach these problems.

John Racasi (left) was sentenced to 18 months and Thomas Hawkins received two years for taking bribes to lower property tax bills. | Sun-Times file photo

Two Cook County employees get prison for bribery scheme

Two Cook County employees who took bribes to lower property tax bills were sentenced Wednesday to two years and 18 months behind bars respectively.