News Headlines – August 4, 2017

Last Updated on August 4th, 2017

Written by Paul Bomleny

Here’s the latest news:

LaHood, HHS’ Price Talk Opioids In Western Illinois

(Quincy, IL) — Local law enforcement leaders in western Illinois now have a direct line to the Trump Administration to talk about the state’s opioid crisis. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price yesterday toured western Illinois with Congressman Darin LaHood. The two met with police and city leaders in Quincy. Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said Price did more listening than talking, and was eager to see how he could help.

Another Tax Hike Republican Not Running For Reelection

(Clinton, IL) — Another Republican state representative who voted for Illinois’ income tax increase isn’t running for reelection. State Rep Bill Mitchell yesterday announced he won’t run again for his central Illinois seat next year. Mitchell has spent almost 20 years as a lawmaker. He’s one of ten Republicans who voted for the state’s 32-percent income tax increase last month. Mitchell yesterday said he still thinks his vote was the right thing to do for Illinois.

Cook County Suing Retailers Group Over Soda Tax Opposition

(Chicago, IL) — The head of Cook County government wants almost 20 million-dollars from the group that went to court to oppose the county’s new soda tax. Lawyers for the county yesterday filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Retail Merchants’ Association after the group convinced a judge to delay the tax by a month. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s spokesman said the lawsuit seeks 17 million-dollars in damages as a way to send the message that “actions have consequences.”

Report: Contracts For Quad Cities Rail Line Expire In September

(Moline, IL) — The state of Illinois may need to start at the beginning if crews don’t get to work soon on an Amtrak line between Chicago and the Quad Cities. WQAD TV yesterday reported that contracts between the state and BNSF will expire next month if work on the line hasn’t begun. The station also quotes local leaders as saying there’s no way that will happen. Illinois secured 177 million-dollars for the line back in 2010, but has not used that money yet.

State Fair Managers Vow Fair Rides Are Safe

(Springfield, IL) — Managers at the Illinois State Fair say they wouldn’t allow anyone to ride the rides if they didn’t feel they were safe. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon yesterday said they’re bringing in an outside engineering firm to double check the rides. One person died when a ride failed at the Ohio State Fair, Gordon says the Illinois State Fair will have the same ride. He says it will have to pass inspection before anyone will be allowed on.