Springfield, IL (AP)–The top 10 news stories in Illinois for 2012, according to the AP’s annual survey of its state member editors and staff:
1. Illinois Legislature, Gov. Pat Quinn fall short in extended negotiations, special session on solving multi-billion-dollar state employee pension crisis.
2. Widespread drought leads to withered crops, water restrictions, fears of commercial slowdowns on Mississippi River.
3. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reports to a Colorado federal prison to begin serving 14-year sentence for corruption.
4. President Barack Obama elected to second term.
5. Gov. Pat Quinn announces plan to close 14 major state facilities, including prisons and mental health institutions; legal battles ensue.
6. Lawmakers approve $2.7 billion package of Medicaid reforms to prevent possible collapse of state’s health care program for poor and disabled.
7. Category EF4 tornado strikes Harrisburg in southern Illinois, killing seven.
8. Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell pleads guilty to stealing $53 million in public money from town that is Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home.
9. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk suffers stroke, goes through rehabilitation and climbs 37 flights of stairs at Willis Tower before announcing return to Senate in January.
10. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns, acknowledges federal investigation into finances after receiving treatment for bipolar disorder.
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