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March 20, 2013

Ill. officials kick off youth anti-violence week

Illinois officials on Monday kicked off a youth violence prevention week by calling attention to the shooting death of a 6-month-old Chicago baby, but did not offer new strategies or funding to address the problem.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Department of Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck instead talked up the importance of creating awareness and pointed the public to the department's website, which includes a link on cyberbullying. The appearance at a new Chicago children's hospital marked the start of National Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Quinn recently has focused on violence in Illinois. He spent the last two Sundays at Chicago houses of worship reiterating his call for an assault weapons ban and pointing to last week's slaying of Jonylah Watkins, who was shot while sitting on her father's lap inside a vehicle. Police had initially said she was shot while her father was changing her diaper, but they clarified details of the shooting Monday.

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