News Headlines – February 12, 2018

Last Updated on February 11th, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Lawyers for a former U of I student charged with killing a Chinese scholar are due in court Monday to set a new trial date.  A Rockford-area police officer is facing charges after investigators say he sexually assaulted a teenaged police volunteer. Tuition is going up at Southern Illinois University’s main campus. 

>>Accused U Of I Scholar Killer Due In Court Monday 

(Urbana, IL)  —  The man accused of killing a Chinese-born U of I scholar could find out next week when he’s going to trial.  Both prosecutors and Brendt Christensen’s lawyers are due in court Monday to see when the case will proceed.  Both sides are asking the judge in the case for a delay.  Federal prosecutors say they want to go to trial in October and Christensen’s lawyers say they need more time.  Christensen, a former U of I student, is accused of killing Ying Ying Zhang last summer. 

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>>Charges For Rockford-Area Officer Accused Of Abusing Police Volunteer 

(Rockford, IL)  —  Prosecutors in Rockford are pushing ahead with charges against a local police officer who they say sexually abused a police volunteer.  Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato yesterday announced charges against Cherry Valley Officer Jason Personette for sexual abuse of a teen.  Bruscato says the victim was 17-years-old at the time and the abuse happened sometime last fall.  Personette is currently on paid leave.  Cherry Valley Police commanders say they shut down their police explorers volunteer program. 

>>SIU-Carbondale Trustees Vote To Raise Tuition 

(Carbondale, IL)  —  It’s going to be more expensive to go to Southern IllinoisUniversity’s main campus next year.  SIU trustees yesterday voted to increase tuition two-percent, up to 96-hundred-dollars a year.  It’s also going to be more expensive to live on campus.  Trustees approved a six-percent increase in student housing fees and a nearly two-percent increase in the cost of the school’s meal plan. 

>>Rauner Budget Chief: Governor Will Deal With Nine-Billion Deficit 

(Springfield, IL)  —  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget chief says the governor will deal with the state’s nine-billion-dollar deficit next week.  Budget Director Hans Zigmund told lawmakers on Wednesday that the current budget is only about 600-million-dollars out of whack, but there are over eight-billion-dollars in unpaid bills still lingering at the comptroller’s office.  Zigmund said the governor’s budget address, which is set for next week, will deal with the backlog and the state’s shortfall.