News Headlines – January 4, 2018

Last Updated on January 3rd, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: The Metro East is seeing more than its share of flu cases. Illinois lawmakers have a light schedule at the statehouse to start the new year. A conservative group isn’t giving up on its challenge to Illinois’ new abortion law. One southern Illinois town may not get back all of the money its former treasurer is charged with stealing.

>>Metro East Leads Illinois’ Latest Flu Outbreak

(Springfield, IL) — The Metro East is seeing the worst of the latest flu outbreak in Illinois. The state’s Department of Public Health’s latest report on the flu shows most of the new cases over the past few weeks have hit people in the Metro East. IDPH says Champaign is a distant second. Illinois is one of 35 states with widespread flu activity.

>>Illinois Lawmakers Briefly At Capitol In Early 2018

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois lawmakers don’t appear to be in a hurry to start the new year. Both the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate are scheduled to be in session in Springfield less than 20 days each, in the first three months of 2018. The House’s first day isn’t until January 23rd, and the Senate isn’t due back till January 30th. One reason for the slow start is the looming primary election on March 20th.

>>Religious Group Appeals Illinois Abortion Law Ruling

(Springfield, IL) — The court battle over Illinois’ new law that will have taxpayers pay for abortions in the state isn’t over. The Catholic Thomas More Society yesterday filed an appeal to a Sangamon County Court ruling that allows Illinois’ abortion law to move forward. State Rep Peter Breen, who is a lawyer for the group, wants an appeals court to decide if the law can proceed without state funding to pay for it.

>>Former Geneseo Teacher Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges

(Cambridge, IL) — A former western Illinois high school teacher is pleading not guilty to charges that he had sex with a student. Jayme Farrell entered his plea yesterday, he’s charged with eight felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say he had a months-long affair with a student back in 2015.

>>Zeigler May Not Get All Of It Embezzled Money Back

(Zeigler, IL) — City leaders in the small southern Illinois town of Zeigler may be out a couple of hundred thousand-dollars. Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell yesterday said that the towns’ insurance is only paying back 100 thousand of the more than 300 thousand-dollars that former city treasurer Ryan Thorpe is alleged to have stolen. The FBI arrested Thorpe last year. Mitchell says the hope is to get back some of Zeigler’s money by selling Thorpe’s property, including two motorcycles, a diamond ring, and more than a dozen guns. But that probably won’t total anywhere near 200 thousand-dollars.