Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on March 15, 2012. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday tossed out some of Blagojevich's convictions. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP hide caption

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Then-U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert greets a supporter in Yorkville, Ill., in August 2007, after he announced that he would not seek another term in Congress. Hastert was indicted May 28 on charges of evading cash-withdrawal reporting requirements and lying to the FBI, in connection with what the indictment described as $3.5 million in hush money slowly taken out and paid to an unnamed individual. John Gress/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Purdue University students are testing new software that may track and warn about tornadoes, such as this one which struck Rochelle, Ill., in early April. Walker Ashley/AP hide caption

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In this Aug. 14, 2013 file photo, former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandra, arrive at federal court in Washington to learn their fates when a federal judge sentences the one-time power couple for misusing $750,000 in campaign money. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Christopher Abernathy (center) is released from the Stateville Correctional Center on Wednesday in Crest Hill, Ill. Terrence Antonio James/TNS /Landov hide caption

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The Illinois State Corn Husking Competition is one of nine competitions happening during harvest season all across the Midwest. Abby Wendle /NPR hide caption

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Vernita Gray (left) and her partner Patricia Ewert had a civil union in Chicago's Millennium Park in June 2011. A judge ruled Monday that they should be allowed to legally marry now because of Gray's health. Timmy Samuel/Lambda Legal hide caption

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Nathaniel Iovinelli (left) and Ted Daisher join other supporters of same-sex marriage at a rally in Chicago to celebrate the Illinois General Assembly's passing of the gay marriage bill on Nov. 7. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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The recent cuts in federal food benefits may be felt most in rural areas and the grocery stores that serve them. USDA hide caption

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A firefighter searches through debris in Washington, Ill., on Sunday. Tornadoes and severe weather roared through the area earlier in the day. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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