Illinois Briefs – 7/30/14

Last Updated on July 30th, 2014

Written by Paul Bomleny

Quinn Blows Off Poll That Puts Him Behind

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn is blowing off a new poll that puts Bruce Rauner up by 14-points in the race for state’s top job. Forty-seven percent of respondents in a recent “We Ask America” poll said they’d vote for Rauner if the race were today. Thirty three-percent said they’d back Quinn. Quinn say it’s too early to gauge on who’s up on the race. He notes that he was the underdog in 2010, but he pulled through and his opponent “is still looking for his gym shoes.”

Quinn Launches New Comeback Ad

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Quinn is getting a bit of pushback from members of his own party over his new campaign ad. It paints Quinn as a courageous leader who’s willing to go against the grain to get things done in Springfield. The ad points out that Quinn was quick to lead when he cut lawmakers’ pay last year, when they couldn’t reach a deal on pension reform. The only problem with that was it was illegal. Democrats sued to have their pay reinstated and a judge ruled Quinn had violated the state’s constitution and ordered him to pay lawmakers immediately.

Voters To Weigh In On Millionaires Tax

(Berwyn, IL) — Voters will get a chance to decide whether millionaires should pay an extra three-percent in state income taxes in order to shore up funding for schools. Governor Quinn approved a measure that’ll put an advisory question on the November ballot. But it’s a non-binding question so lawmakers won’t be required to act, no matter what voters say. Republicans say Democrats are trying to build up steam so they can draw more of their supporters to the polls.

Man Stabbed Banker 50-Times

(Cairo, IL) — More details are being released about a deadly bank heist in Cairo. Officials say James Watts forced three women back inside the First National Bank after it closed back in May. He then allegedly cut each other their throats and stabbed one of the victims 50-times. Watts had previous contact with one of the women, who’d turned him in for trying to cash stolen checks back in 2009. During a standoff with police after the murders, Watts asked if the three women were dead. When police answered no, he allegedly said, “Yes they are, I made sure of it.”

Mercer County Treasurer Admits to Stealing Money

(Mercer County, IL) — The former Mercer County treasurer is facing prison time after he admitted to stealing 13-thousand-dollars from the 9-1-1 fund. Mike Bertelsen resigned his post earlier this week after pleading guilty to the crime. He’ll be sentenced October 20th and faces up seven-years behind bars. Bertelsen was in his fifth term as treasurer.

Surgeon General Warns Against Tanning

(Washington, DC) — It may be tempting to get a little sun or head to the tanning bed for a nice summer complexion, but the U.S. Surgeon General says, don’t do it. Dr. Boris Lushniak says he’s seeing a spike in skin cancer cases. Nearly five-million-people across the country are treated for skin cancer each year and at least six-thousand-of those cases are directly linked to indoor tanning. Lushniak says people should also avoid extensive exposure to the sun; they should stay in the shade and wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if they’re out in the heat.