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News Headlines – April 25, 2018

April 25th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois’ Comptroller says the state’s inability to pay its bills is hurting schools, veterans, and the vulnerable. The Republican running for congress in the Quad Cities says Facebook is censoring him. Investigators in the Metro East say the cause of death of a mother and her disabled daughter are unclear. Preservationists hope they can save Rock Island County’s old courthouse.

>>Illinois Comptroller: State’s Unpaid Bills Ate Up Money For Needs

(Springfield, IL) — The woman who pays Illinois’ bills says money that could have gone to veterans, or the mentally ill, or schools instead went to pay a penalty on the state’s unpaid bills. Comptroller Susana Mendoza yesterday released her report that she says shows Governor Rauner ran up two decades worth of late payment penalties in just two-and-a-half years. Mendoza says the late payment fees alone on Illinois bills topped a billion dollars. She says that’s money that could have been spent in other parts of state government.

>>QC Republican Congressional Candidate Claims Facebook Censorship

(Galena, IL) — The Republican candidate for congress in the Quad Cities says Facebook is censoring his campaign page. Bill Fawell sent out a press release this week that says Facebook removed a couple of posts from his page that talked about President Trump and a change in America. Fawell said censorship is a ‘funeral’ for America. Fawell is running against incumbent Quad Cities Democrat Cheri Bustos.

>>Inconclusive Cause Of Death For Mom, Disabled Daughter In O’Fallon

(O’Fallon, IL) — Investigators in the Metro East say they don’t have many answers about how a mom and her disabled daughter died. St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Dennis Nichols yesterday said his autopsy into 62-year-old Linda Lyons and 33-year-old Victoria Lyons’ deaths was inconclusive. O’Fallon Police found the two, dead in their home Monday morning. Nichols says there is no sign of trauma on either woman, and he says he’ll have to wait for toxicology tests to see if he can find a cause of death.

>>Historic Preservationists Hope To Save Old RICO Courthouse

(Rock Island, IL) — If county leaders won’t save the old Rock Island Courthouse, maybe history buffs and state lawmakers will. Linda Anderson with the Rock Island County Preservation Society says she’ll be in Springfield today to name the old county courthouse as one of Illinois’ most endangered landmarks. County leaders in Rock Island say it’d cost at least 16 million-dollars to be saved, and that’s money the county doesn’t have. Anderson says some private investment and state historic grants could help save the building from the wrecking ball.

>>No More Catsup Festival In Collinsville

(Collinsville, IL) — The cap is being put on the Catsup festival in Collinsville for good. Organizers of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival Birthday Party & Car Show yesterday announced that they are not hosting the festival again this year. Mike “Big Tomato” Gassmann told “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch” that he and the two other people on the festival board felt it was time to move on. Last year’s event drew about five thousand people to see the world’s largest catsup bottle at the old Brooks Catsup bottling plant in Collinsville.

News Headlines – April 24, 2018

April 24th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Tazewell County’s sheriff is making it clear that his deputies never had the accused Waffle House shooter’s guns. This is distracted driving week in Illinois. Illinois’ attorney general is looking to shutdown a bus company that serves the U of I. Authorities in Peoria are identifying the man they found in the Illinois River yesterday.

>>Tazewell County Sheriff: We Didn’t Have Waffle House Shooter’s Guns

(Pekin, IL) — The sheriff in Tazewell County is making it clear: His office never had the gun that police say was used in the Waffle House shooting. Sheriff Robert Huston ‘s office released a statement yesterday that said they never had physical custody of the weapons that the Illinois State Police took from Travis Reinking last summer. The statement says the weapons were given to Reinking’s father. Police in Tennessee say Reinking used one of those weapons, an AR-15 style rifle, to shoot and kill four people in a suburban Nashville Waffle House early Sunday morning.

>>IDOT, State Police Launch Distracted Driving Week Crackdown

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois State Police are telling drivers to put down the phone. This week is Distracted Driving Awareness Week in Illinois, and the State Police and I-DOT are gearing-up for a crackdown. I-DOT Secretary Randy Blenkenhorn says the state is spending a half-million-dollars to help local police departments across Illinois ticket drivers who are talking on the phone, eating, or applying make-up. Illinois lawmakers expect to pass some resolutions about distracted driving as well.

>>A-G Madigan Sues Over Bus Company That Serves U Of I

(Chicago, IL) — Illinois’ attorney general says the bad behavior from Suburban Express goes way beyond some off-color jokes and claims of racism. A-G Lisa Madigan yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against the bus company that serves the University of Illinois. Madigan claims Suburban Express operators didn’t serve students from certain Jewish neighborhoods, made jokes about Asian students, and took excessive retaliatory steps against students who negatively reviewed the company. Suburban Express’s Dennis Toeppen told “The News-Gazette” in Champaign that the lawsuit is an assault on the company’s reputation. Madigan wants a judge to shut down the bus company.

>>Peoria County Authorities ID Man Found In River

(Peoria, IL) — Investigators in Peoria County say a man found in the Illinois River was likely in the water for days. Peoria County’s coroner yesterday identified the man found in the river near Mossville as 26-year-old Maurice Wells. Authorities say he was last seen March 22nd. Coroner Jamie Harwood says Wells was in the river for three or four days, but may have been out in the elements for longer. Harwood is not yet saying how Wells died.

>>Prison Terms In 2016 QC Robbery Turned Killing

(Rock Island, IL) — Two young men are heading to prison for no more than 20 years for their roles in a Quad Cities drug robbery gone bad. A Rock Island County judge yesterday sentenced Kire Carr and Trey Gustafson to prison for the 2016 shooting death of Jescie Armstrong. Police say Carr, Gustafson, and third person killed Armstrong over about 150 dollars worth of marijuana. Carr will serve 20 years, and Gustafson is looking at a 15 year prison term.

News Headlines – April 23, 2018

April 23rd, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois is among the states with someone who got sick after eating tainted lettuce. Illinois lawmakers will need to find 265 million-dollars if they want to fix the problems at the Quincy veterans home. Officials at the University of Illinois say #MeToo may be the reason the school is seeing more harassment reports. Illinois’ bicentennial best-of voters are picking historic sites this week.

>>Illinois Among States With Case Of Lettuce Sickness

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois is on the list of states with someone who got sick after eating tainted lettuce. The Centers for Disease Control on Friday issued a warning that no one should eat Romaine lettuce after an outbreak of sicknesses across the country. The CDC says unless you are absolutely sure that your lettuce is not from Arizona, you should probably throw it away. The state’s Department of Public Health isn’t offering much information about the single case in Illinois.

>>Price Tag For Quincy Home Repairs Over 260 Million

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois lawmakers are going to have to find 265 million-dollars if they want to end the Legionnaires outbreak at the veterans home in Quincy. That’s the price tag included in a new report to lawmakers. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs delivered the report last week. Most of the cost, about 220 million-dollars, comes from building a new home for veterans in Quincy. The rest of the money is aimed at improving the water treatment facility. Illinois lawmakers aren’t sure yet where the money will come from.

>>Report: University Of Illinois seeing More Harassment Reports

(Urbana, IL) — University leaders in Champaign-Urbana are wondering if #MeToo is driving an uptick in sexual harassment reports. “The News-Gazette” in Champaign reported yesterday that the U of I has seen a dramatic increase in the number of harassment reports over the past two years. In 2014, the paper says the school saw 26 reports of harassment against university workers or faculty members. That jumped to 51 in both 2016 and 2017. Most reports never lead to an investigation or charges. In fact of the 102 reports, only 18 ended with the finding of a violation.

>>Quad Cities Healthcare Company To Layoff Almost 50

(Moline, IL) — One of the Quad Cities’ largest healthcare companies is getting ready to cut about 50 jobs. Genesis Health Systems on Friday announced that it is laying off 48 people in both Iowa and Illinois. A company spokesman says 12 management positions are among the cuts. There’s no word when the affected workers will see their last days on the job.

>>Illinois Historic Sites Up For A Vote This Week

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ bicentennial best-of voters have a tough decision to make this week. Which is Illinois’ best historic site? The list includes Ronald Reagan’s boyhood home, Lincoln’s home, and Lincoln’s New Salem. The list also includes Illinois’ old capitols in Springfield and Vandalia, and Route 66. Voting is open till Friday at IllinoisTop200.com.

News Headlines – April 21, 2018

April 22nd, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Lawmakers could see the final report on the Quincy veterans home next week. Illinois lawmakers say they want to be able to track who is actually working in state government. Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and her baby, made history on Capitol Hill. Crews in western Illinois are already cleaning-up after Wednesday’s fire at a chemical plant in Orion.

>>Final Quincy Veterans Home Report Could Come Next Week

(Springfield, IL) — Lawmakers in Springfield could soon get a look at the final recommendations to end the Legionnaires outbreak at the Quincy veterans home. The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the state’s Department of Public Health promised lawmakers a plan to fix the home’s outdated plumbing by May. Mike Hoffman, who Governor Rauner tapped to oversee the report, told lawmakers yesterday that he hopes to have a report by next Friday. Hoffman said the report would be ready no later than May 1st.

>>Illinois House Okays ‘Off Shoring’ Law

(Springfield, IL) — It may soon be a bit easier to know who is working in state government. The Illinois House yesterday approved a plan to end ‘off shoring’ in the governor’s office. Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the woman who pays the state’s bills, said the new law is needed to make sure Governor Rauner is living within his budget. Mendoza said the governor is supposed to have just 44 employees and spend less than five million-dollars a year, but in reality he has over 100 people on his staff and spends over ten million-dollars a year. The plan now heads to the Illinois Senate.

>>Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth Votes With Baby In Lap

(Washington, DC) — Illinois U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is now in the Capitol Hill history books. Duckworth yesterday became the first sitting U.S. Senator to ever vote with a baby in her lap. Duckworth delivered her second daughter earlier this month, and the Senate this week changed their rules to allow her to bring the baby on the floor. Duckworth told reporters in Washington D.C. yesterday that it felt great.

>>Bloomington Leaders Detail Alleged Fraud From Former Coliseum Managers

(Bloomington, IL) — City leaders in Bloomington are painting a picture of off-book companies and short changed receipts at the city-owned coliseum. The city yesterday responded to a lawsuit from the former managers of what is now the Grossinger Motors Arena. The managers are suing the city for breach of contract. Bloomington’s response says the leaders at Central Illinois Arena Management schemed for years to pay the city less than what the arena owed for food and drinks. Four former managers are facing criminal charges for their roles in the scheme.

>>Clean-Up Already Underway At Western Illinois Chemical Plant

(Orion, IL) — Crews are already getting to work cleaning up the chemicals and what’s left of the chemical plant in western Illinois. Managers at the Helena Agri-Enterprises plant in Orion yesterday said that they’re confident that they contained the chemical runoff from Wednesday’s fire. That fire destroyed a storage facility. There’s no word yet as to what started the fire. No one was at the plant when the flames broke out, and no one was hurt.

News Headlines – April 20, 2018

April 20th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: There’s another candidate in the race for Illinois governor. A federal court says the Trump administration can’t withhold federal grant money from sanctuary cities. Illinois’ unemployment rate is at its lowest point in eleven years. Prosecutors in Putnam County want more time to start their murder case against the man accused of killing his sister-in-law.

>>Putnam County Prosecutors Want Delay In Murder Trial

(Hennepin, IL) — Prosecutors in Putnam County are asking for more time in making their murder case against a man accused of killing his sister-in-law. State’s Attorney Christina Mennie yesterday told a judge that she needs more time to gather more evidence in the case against Clifford Andersen Jr. Police say he beat Deborah Dewey to death back in 2016, but they still aren’t saying why. Andersen’s lawyers said the case has been pending for more than a year and a half, and they want the trial to begin sooner rather than later. The case is now set to begin in July.

>>Sam McCann Announces Third Party Bid For Governor

(Springfield, IL) — There’s another candidate in the race for Illinois governor. West central Illinois state Senator Sam McCann yesterday announced that he is running for governor in the Conservative Party. But Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady yesterday said McCann isn’t a true conservative. Other politicos at the statehouse say McCann is looking to run not to win, but to siphon votes from Governor Rauner in this fall’s race against J.B. Pritzker.

>>Federal Court Rules For Sanctuary Cities

(Chicago, IL) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he wants his money. The mayor yesterday told reporters that he expects the Trump administration to pay up after a federal appeals court sided with sanctuary cities in a fight over federal grant dollars. The three-judge panel said the Trump White House overstepped its bounds by creating new requirements for cities to collect grants that had already been awarded.

>>Illinois Unemployment Rate Falls Again

(Springfield, IL) — You have to go back eleven years to find the last time Illinois’ unemployment rate hit four-point-six-percent. The state’s Department of Employment Security yesterday released its latest report. Illinois’ unemployment is still a bit higher than the national rate of four-point-one percent. IDES says the state added 39-thousand jobs over the past year.

 

>>WIU Faculty Members Okay Strike Authorization

(Macomb, IL) — Teachers and professors at Western Illinois University could walk out of their classrooms before the end of the month. The union that represents faculty members at the school yesterday said they’ve approved an authorization to go on strike. Faculty members want a new contract. They’ve been talking with university leaders about a new contract since 2016. Union faculty members say they’re planning a rally at the Macomb campus on Monday to try to drum up support.