The weekend is right around the corner. Before you unplug for a couple of days, catch up with the stories you might have missed this week from The Southern.

Here's a look at the top trending stories on thesouthern.com:

Alligator gar being re-introduced in Illinois waters

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An alligator gar taken from Powerton Lake in Tazewell County, which was stocked with the fish in 2011.

From this week's Outdoors section, Les Winkeler brought us the story of the alligator gar, believed to have been extinct in Illinois since about 1966, which is being re-introduced in Illinois.

Hackers penetrate Illinois voter registration database

The Southern's Springfield bureau reporter reported Thursday that hackers attacked the statewide Illinois Voter Registration System on July 12.

20 safest cities in Illinois

A couple of months ago, we looked at the most dangerous cities in Illinois using FBI Crime Report statistics. This week, we looked at the 20 safest cities in the state.

Governor signs 'Molly's Law' in Southern Illinois

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Gov. Bruce Rauner (left) speaks with Larry Young (center), father of Molly Young, after Rauner signed the two bills collectively known as "Molly's Law" on Tuesday afternoon, July 19, 2016 at the SIU Transportation Education Center at the Southern Illinois Airport. House Bill 4715 strengthens Illinois' Freedom of Information Act by increasing fines on public bodies that fail to comply with a court order resulting from a FOIA action. HB 6083 extends the statute of limitations on filing wrongful death lawsuits.

Gov. Bruce Rauner was in town this week to sign a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, which increases fines for public bodies that fail to comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests, and extends the statute of limitations in wrongful death lawsuits. 

The law is named after Molly Young, a 21-year-old woman who died in 2012 from a gunshot wound to head in the apartment of former boyfriend, Richie Minton, who was a Carbondale Police dispatcher at the time. Several questions have remained about Young’s death, including whether she was murdered or committed suicide.

Drinking water dispensary Watermill Express opens in Marion

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Watermill Express in Marion

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, and Watermill Express franchise owner Pradeep Reddy talk about the operation of a new self-service bottled water stand at 1114 N. Carbon St. in Marion. Customers can buy one gallon of water for $0.25, or five gallons for a dollar. Ice in 10- and 20-pound bags are also available. 

One of the largest drive-up drinking water dispensary chains in the United States opened a stand in Marion this week.

alee.quick@thesouthern.com

618-351-5807

On Twitter: @the_quickness​ / On Facebook: facebook.com/aleequickmedia

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Alee Quick is the digital editor for thesouthern.com, and the editor of weekly local entertainment guide Scene618. She is an opinion columnist and a member of The Southern Illinoisan editorial board.

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