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News Headlines – May 8, 2018

Last Updated on May 8th, 2018

Written by Paul Bomleny

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois is getting a federal waiver to experiment with how it treats mental illness in the state. The family of a murdered Rockford Police officer wants to name one of the city’s bridges in his honor. Normal is the latest in the state to become a “welcoming community.” The Illinois State Police are bragging about a million dollar drug bust on I-70.

>>Illinois Gets Medicaid Waiver For Mental Health Treatment

(Chicago, IL) — Illinois is going to change how it pays for mental health services in the state. Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday announced that the state received a Medicaid waiver for mental and behavioral health programs. The waiver, which is worth two-billion-dollars, will allow Illinois to try new strategies and pilot programs for treating some of the three-million people enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program. Illinois’ director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Felicia Norwood, says the waiver should allow the state to focus on treatment before mental health issues become a problem.

>>Family Of Fallen Rockford Officer Wants Bridge Named After Him

(Rockford, IL) — The family of a fallen Rockford Police officer would like to see his name added to one of the city’s bridges. Officer Jaimie Cox ‘s widow, Andrea, told city leaders yesterday that she would like to see Rockford’s Morgan Street Bridge renamed to the Police Memorial Bridge, in his honor. Cox died in a traffic stop gone wrong late last year, though Rockford Police are still not sure what happened. Andrea Cox says she’s proud of her husband, and his legacy as an officer in Rockford.

>>Normal Council Approves Welcoming Ordinance

(Normal, IL) — Normal is the latest town in the state to officially declare itself a “welcoming community.” The town council last night approved a new ordinance that requires Normal’s police chief to okay any contact between the city’s police officers and immigration officials. Normal Mayor Chris Koos says the ordinance sends the message that all people are welcome in the community, and welcome to use city services.

>>Illinois State Police Find A Million Dollars In Cocaine In I-70 Bust

(Effingham, IL) — The Illinois State Police say they snagged seven figures in drugs along I-70. Troopers yesterday said that they arrested 53-year-old Emigdio Penuelas-Medina from Las Vegas with a million dollars worth of cocaine in his rental truck. Penuelas-Medina is being held in the Fayette County jail and prosecutors say formal charges are coming.

>>Rock Island County Takes Step Toward Demolishing Old Courthouse

(Rock Island, IL) — The old courthouse in Rock Island is a step closer to coming down. County leaders last night voted to find the two-million-dollars needed to tear down the building. They say it’d cost at least 16-million to fix it. But not everyone is happy about the move. Local preservationists say they’ve hired a Chicago law firm to try to save the old courthouse.