* Rep. Smith pleads not guilty to bribery charges
* Berrios gets new term as county Democratic boss
* Del Mar easily retains Cook GOP chairmanship
* Long, Turner get new terms leading Sangamon County parties
* Kane Co. GOP selects Hartwell as new party chairman
* Lake County GOP chooses new leader: In their own conference, held simultaneously in Gurnee, the Democrats re-elected state Sen. Terry Link as their chairman.
* ComEd asks state for rate hike to help fund smart grid: Electricity customers would pay the higher rate regardless of which electricity provider supplies their electricity because its pays for upgrades to the ComEd-owned system that delivers that power. “These improvements, if done right, should pay for themselves in the long run, but the key moving forward is to hold ComEd accountable,” said Jim Chilsen, a spokesman for consumer advocacy group Citizens Utility Board in Chicago.
* New warden named for Menard prison: Kim Butler, a 20-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Corrections, was named warden of Menard Correctional Center on Wednesday. She is the first woman to serve as warden at the maximum-security prison in Chester.
* Diversity helps justice system, Garman says
* Study: Jail now housing more serious offenders
* Lawmakers propose emergency responder task force
* Opponents of Murray center closure win round in court: The decision means a public guardian can continue his job of overseeing some residents of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center. The ruling stems from a decision last year in which attorney Stewart Freeman was named as the legal guardian of 28 Murray residents after questions were raised about the representation they were receiving from a state guardian. In his position, Freeman has the power to block the state from taking certain steps to move the residents out of Murray, potentially stymieing the governor’s push to shutter the facility.
* DCFS warning Il lawmakers against budget cuts
* Fake Twitter account prompts real raid: Police searched a West Bluff house Tuesday and seized phones and computers in an effort to unmask the author of a parody Twitter account that purported to be Mayor Jim Ardis. The account — known as @Peoriamayor on the popular social media service that limits entries to 140 characters — already had been suspended for several weeks when up to seven plainclothes police officers executed a search warrant about 5:20 p.m. at 1220 N. University St. Three people at the home were taken to the Peoria Police Department for questioning. Two other residents were picked up at their places of employment and taken to the station, as well. One resident — 36-year-old Jacob L. Elliott — was booked into the Peoria County Jail on charges of possessing 30 to 500 grams of marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia, but no arrests were made in connection with the Twitter account.
* Illinois Lottery looking at new ways to distribute winning ticket information
* Proposal to deny firearms ID cards to medical pot users is nixed
* Kane County works on concealed carry policy
* Senator Kirk Promotes Stroke Research Funding
* Sente to hold Environmental Citizens’ Advisory Committee Meeting
* Opponents of Flooding Prevention Plan Fear Contamination
* Bolingbrook School First in State to Receive National Counseling Honor
* Local attorney Jeff Flanagan named temporary chief public defender for Peoria County