Pritzker To Decide If 'Tobacco 21' Becomes Law

The Illinois Senate Thursday approved raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21. All eyes now turn to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has yet to say where he stands on the idea.

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Statewide: Reviewing The 2018 Governor's Race; Should Illinois Reconsider How It Tests Teachers?

Despite all the focus on solving the state's teacher shortage, a new survey finds the problem is getting worse. That has sparked more discussion on how to recruit more teachers. We'll hear why some want to change teacher licensing standards. We also get a recap of the 2018 governor's race, which saw spending at record-setting levels. And we learn how one community is coping with a rise in gun violence. That and more on this week's Statewide:

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Building Teens Into Strong Readers — By Letting Them Teach

Two afternoons a week, Mikala Tardy walks six blocks from Eastern High School to Payne Elementary School, not far from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She signs in at the front desk just after 3:30 p.m. and makes her way to a classroom, where she'll be tutoring second- and third-graders who are full of energy after the school day. Today, Mikala and three students work through an exercise about communities and the building blocks that create them. They learn how to spell people and playground...

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Svetlana Anikeeva was 15 in the early '90s when she visited America as an exchange student.

"And it was completely different place in every imaginable aspect," she recalls.

Anikeeva grew up in Vladivostok on the eastern edge of Russia, and studied abroad in Savannah, Ga., where the experience, she says, changed her life.

"The people were different. The culture was different. The weather, the food, the school. Everything was fascinating," she says. "I knew that I wanted to come here."

Gareth Morgan hasn't said he's a dog person, but he's definitely not a cat person. Morgan, a top New Zealand economist and environmentalist, is campaigning for a cat-free country.

In an interview with The New York Times, Morgan said "cats are a 'friendly neighborhood serial killer' of birds."

Manti Te'o: 'What I Went Through Was Real'

Jan 24, 2013

In his first TV interview, Manti Te'o told Katie Couric Thursday that what he "went through was real."

The Notre Dame linebacker, whose athleticism and tragic personal story buoyed him to stardom, has been in the spotlight ever since DeadSpin revealed part of that amazing story wasn't real.

Update at 9:25 ET Senate OKs Filibuster Deal

The Senate voted Thursday to limit filibusters in a rare bipartisan vote that would reduce but not end the number of times opponents can use the procedure.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

David Coleman Headley, whose scouting missions were central to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, was sentenced to 35 years in prison today.

According to the AP, one American woman injured during the attacks that killed 160 people testified that because of Coleman, she knew the "sound of life leaving a 13-year-old child."

"I don't have any faith in Mr. Headley when he says he's a changed person and believes in the American way of life," US District Judge Harry Leinenweber said before handing down the sentence.

The future of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline is in the hands of the State Department. President Obama rejected a similar pipeline proposal last year, but now that Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved an alternative route through his state, the approval process is back on track.

If you thought 140 characters of text was too short, try grabbing your Twitter followers' attention with six-second videos. Six seconds.

Twitter on Thursday launched the video app Vine, which allows users to shoot brief videos and directly tweet them. The social media company acquired the video-sharing startup last fall, according to All Things D.

Some soul-searching is on the agenda as the Republican National Committee holds its winter meetings in Charlotte, N.C.

November's elections were a big disappointment for the GOP. The party has now lost the popular vote in five of the past six presidential elections.

By most measures, New York City is safer than it's been in a half-century. The city recorded just 418 murders in 2012 — the lowest total since record keeping began in the early 1960s. But there's some debate about where to place the credit for that drop.

No part of New York saw a more dramatic decline in murders last year than the 61st Precinct in South Brooklyn. Two years ago, there were 14 murders in the precinct. Last year, it had only three.

'More Cops, More Safety,' Says One Resident

Maxing Out The Mini Season For Maine Shrimp

Jan 24, 2013

To Mainers, cold-water shrimp pulled from the Gulf of Maine in midwinter by a shrinking fleet of fisherman are many things: fresh, sweet, delicious, affordable, precious.

"The absolute best thing about them is that they are almost exclusively ours," boasts Portland-based architect and Maine shrimp lover Ric Quesada. He revels in the fact that Maine shrimp don't travel well out of state. "You don't run errands with these in your car. They want to go right home and be eaten," he says.

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