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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – More than 40,000 employees of the Illinois Department of Human Services who provide senior care in the home and child care services will get long-overdue salary increases. SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an agreement Monday to implement the rate increases and provide back pay. There’s $29 million in an escrow account for the back pay. Pritzker’s office says the rate increase will take effect April 1. It says back pay should be distributed by fall.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) – A southern Illinois husband and wife have been found dead in their home. Authorities say the bodies of 68-year-old Lois Ladd and her husband, 79-year-old Michael Ladd, were found early Monday in their Edwardsville home. Police went to the home at the request of an employee of Lois Ladd, a chiropractor. Police say the Ladd’s were victims of a homicide. Major Case Squad deputy commander Jeff Connors declined to provide information regarding a possible motive or other details of the crime.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) – A federal jury in western Illinois has found a 30-year-old man guilty of conspiring to distribute cocaine and heroin. A Monday statement from prosecutors says jurors convicted Omar Gutierrez-Valle last week of trying to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin. Sentencing is set for July 11. Gutierrez-Valle faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. He could also be given a sentence of life behind bars.

LAKE ZURICH, Ill. (AP) – The northwestern Chicago suburb of Lake Zurich is taking a barely used park and turning it into an arboretum. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that 8-acre Kuechmann Park will become Kuechmann Arboretum on Wednesday at a rededication ceremony. The park doesn’t have a ball field or playground but it does have many impressive, old trees. The village plans improvements that officials say should be done by next year.

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