>>Rauner Hits The Town In Springfield
(Springfield, IL) — Governor Rauner is hitting up local events in Springfield. He hit the city in his old green van on Saturday and spent part of the weekend sitting in the stands at a high school boys’ basketball tournament. The locals say they’re impressed to see Rauner hanging out and getting to know people but some aren’t so quick to express appreciation. They’re wondering if Rauner is trying to butter people up so they won’t be so disappointed about any potential cuts coming down the pike.
>>Senator Wants Money For Child Care Assistance
(Springfield, IL) — State Senator Emil Jones is trying to shore up funding for child care programs in Illinois. He wants lawmakers to approve an extra 300-million dollars for the effort. The money would help low-income working families pay for child care services. The program which usually offers support has run out of money, which means many daycare providers are turning kids away. Jones says that’s putting a real hardship on families across Illinois.
>>Lawmaker Moves To Ban Powdered Alcohol
(Springfield, IL) — Powdered alcohol is creating a buzz in some areas across the nation, but Illinoislawmakers are taking steps to keep it off store shelves. State Senator Ira Silverstein has introduced a bill that would ban a product known as “Palcohol,” which is supposed to hit the market sometime this spring. Silverstein says banning the product is an issue of public safety but the makers of Palcohol say keeping it off the shelves will only force people to buy it on the black market.
>>Chicago Police Make Major Drug Bust
(Chicago, IL) — Police are reporting a major drug bust out of Chicago. They recovered nearly 400-pounds of pot during a traffic stop in the city’s North Austin neighborhood Saturday night. That’s worth more than one-million-bucks on the street. Police say James Hargett was driving the SUV with the weed inside but he jumped out of the vehicle and ran away when officers pulled him over. They found him a short time later hiding under a nearby porch.
>>College Basketball Star Dies In Michigan Car Crash
(Hazel Crest, IL) — A former Hillcrest High School basketball player is being remembered as a pillar in the community. Shannise Heady’s friends and family members say she was fierce on the basketball court and could light up any room with her personality. She was killed in a head-on car crash in Ypsilanti, Michigan early yesterday morning. She and the passenger in her car were both dead at the scene. Heady was a star forward at Eastern Michigan University. She played varsity all four years at Hillcrest, from 2008 until 2012, and helped the team win two second-place finishes in Class 3A state finals.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2015 | Comment (0)
1-24-14 FRIDAY’S AREA BASKETBALL
HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Newman 53 – Princeton 47 (Soph: PHS 55-51)
Bureau Valley 67 – Amboy 41 (Storm improve to 20-0 on season)
Kewanee 65 – Hall 48
Ottawa 55 – LaSalle-Peru 37
Putnam County 83 – Low Point-Washburn 41
Kewanee at Bureau Valley (on Z98 with Charlie Waca at 6:15 pm)
>>Former Hawaii Governor Tapped As State’s COO
(Chicago, IL) — The former governor of Hawaii is taking over as the state’s new Chief Operating Officer. Republican Linda Lingle served in Hawaii from 2002 until 2010. She was the first female governor there and the first with a Jewish background. Governor Rauner announced her appointment to his team yesterday. He called her “a superstar governor” who will help him bring about the “biggest turnaround in America.”
>>Board Of Education Asking For 760-Million
(Chicago, IL) — The State’s Board of Education wants an extra 729-million-dollars next year. Most of the cash would be divvied up among schools to make sure they get about 61-hundred-dollars for each student. That’s actually required by law but schools have been shortchanged in recent years. Right now schools are only getting about 89-percent of what they’re supposed to get.
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>>Special Investigative Team To Crack Cold Case
(LaSalle, IL) — A group of special investigators is coming to Illinois to try and crack a 23-year-old murder mystery. Members of the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society have agreed to take a fresh look at the Tammy Zywicki murder investigation to see if they can find any new clues. Zywicki disappeared back in 1992 after dropping her brother off at Northwestern University. She was headed back to Grinnell College in Iowa but her car broke down and was abandoned on I-80 near LaSalle. Her body was found nine-days later near Joplin, Missouri, she’d been raped and stabbed to death.
>>Justices Say No Extension For Pension Case
(Springfield, IL) — The pension case before the state’s Supreme Court will stay on the fast track. Union lawyers wanted justices to hold off at least a month on hearing oral arguments. They say they need extra time to review some of the paperwork that’s been filed, but justices denied that request. They’ll hear the case in March.
>>Preliminary Deer Numbers Down
(Springfield, IL) — Hunters came up a bit short on deer this year. The preliminary numbers show 145-thousand-804 deer were taken during the 2014, 2015 seasons. That’s down by about 28-hundred compared to last year.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2015 | Comment (0)
The United Pentacostal Church of Princeton at 2303 S. Main is holding a huge winter garage sale on Thursday from 1 to 4 pm and Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Everyone is welcome.
Bureau County Police dog gets a new bullet proof vest.
The Bureau County’s police dog named Chica is one of several police dogs across the country to receive a new bullet proof vest, thanks to a nationwide Groupon Event that raised over $335,000 for the cause. K9’s incorporated and Groupon Grassroots teamed up to raise the money for the police dogs. The Groupon Event ran a nationwide drive from February 15th thru March 5th to get donations for the bullet and stab proof vests for K9s. 350 police dogs nationwide received a new ballistic vest from the donations.
The donation drive was inspired by a police dog named Rocco with the Pittsburg police department who sacrificed his life in the line of duty in January 2014.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2015 | Comment (0)
>>Rauner Talking About State’s Structural Challenges
(Chicago, IL) — Governor Rauner will be talking about the state’s structural challenges today. He’s slated to give a speech in the Gleacher Center at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Rauner has said the state’s money troubles are much worse than people think. He says he uncovered hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars in additional debt when he opened the books for the first time. Rauner will be talking about some of the problems during the session today that gets underway at 12:30.
>>People Leaving Illinois In Droves
(Springfield, IL) — The poor economy is apparently driving people out of Illinois. Michael Lucci, with the Illinois Policy Institute, says nearly 95-thousand people left Illinois last year. He says many of them moved to other states so they could find work and, they took their money with them. The rough estimates reveal that Illinois’ state and local governments lost about 350-million dollars in tax money because of the migration.
>>911 Center Taking Text Messages
(Harrisburg, IL) — A 911 center in southern Illinois is making upgrades that allow people to contact them from just about any mobile device. People can now send a text message to the dispatch center and officials say soon, they’ll be taking pictures and videos as well. Someone who’s on duty will send an immediate response to the message. The Saline County 911 director tells the “Southern Illinoisan” that they’ve used this method to help people in the past, particularly those who’d gotten lost in the Garden of the Gods. The texting capabilities actually helped them find their way to safety.
>>Tootsie Roll Chief Passes Away
(Chicago, IL) — The man who’s been making the decisions for chewy, sweet Tootsie Rolls has passed away. Melvin Gordon died Tuesday at age 95. He was the lead man at Chicago Tootsie Roll Industries for more than 50 years. Gordon is responsible for rebranding the company, which includes the launch of Mr. Owl, who still hasn’t figured out how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.
>>Schools Get Free Trips To Abe Lincoln Museum
(Springfield, IL) — Kids who make a trip to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum with their school can get in free. The deal is available until the end of February. Schools can book their trips through the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. Check out PresidentLincoln.gov for more details.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2015 | Comment (0)
>>Davis: Obama Needs To Back Words Up
(Washington, DC.) — Congressman Rodney Davis says President Obama is fudging the truth when it comes to how well the economy is doing. He says the unemployment rate is more like 11-point-two-percent when you factor in people who want to work full time, but can only find a part time job. Davis also says the president needs to back his own words up when it comes to equal pay for women. Davis says women who work in the White House make nearly 20-percent less than their male colleagues.
>>Obama Wants More People Connected To Information Highway
(Washington, DC) — President Obama wants to make sure more people across the nation have access to high speed Internet, but some people in southern Illinois are still having a hard time getting connected at all. Republican Congressman Mike Bost says there’s definitely a digital divide in his district, but private investors have been coming in and running lines. Some places are still very hard to reach, though. Bost says he’d like to see the president cut back on regulations or offer incentives to companies that are helping people get connected.
>>Steel Plant Shutting Down
(Granite City, IL) — Nearly 200-people in Granite City could soon be out of a job. Reports indicate the U.S. Steel plant is shutting down in March. The terms of the closure are still being worked out.
>>Murphysboro Alderman Replaced After Sex Abuse Charges
(Murphysboro, IL) — The Murphysboro alderman who pled guilty to sex abuse charges has officially been replaced. Tom Ridings was chosen to serve out the last two years of Roland Nolan’s term. He’ll have to run for election if he wants to keep the job longer than that. Nolan got in trouble with the law early last year after riding around with a Carbondale woman in his car, against her will.
>>Florida Man Pleads Guilty To Scamming Illinoisans
(Edwardsville, IL) — A Florida man is admitting his role in a nationwide scam that cashed in on millions-of-dollars. Lev Derbaremdiker was working with a telemarketing company in West Palm Beach back in 2009, when he and others preyed on people who owned timeshares. Officials say they pulled in more than 14-million-dollars. Many of their victims live in Illinois. Derbaremdiker faces up to 25 years in federal prison.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2015 | Comment (0)
1-21-14 TUESDAY’S BASKETBALL
HIGH SCHOOL BOYS
Kewanee 59 – Princeton 54 (Soph: PHS 55-43)
Bureau Valley 65 – St. Bede 61 (Storm improve to 19-0 on season)
Putnam County 78 – Woodland 52
Rockridge 58 – Fulton 34
HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS – Little 10 Tournament
Somonauk 43 – LaMoille-Ohio 40
Newark 56 – Earlville-Leland 30
JUNIOR COLLEGE MEN
Black Hawk 69 – IVCC 66
>>Business Should Keep Count Of Minorities, Veterans Hired
(Chicago, IL) — Businesses that do contract work with the state will now have to keep a running tab on how many minorities and veterans they hire or train. Governor Rauner signed an executive order for the mandate yesterday, but he didn’t give any details about a specific quota. He also didn’t say if there would be consequences for companies that don’t put minorities or vets on the payroll. Rauner says the goal is to get a gauge on hiring trends, and once he has that information, he’ll have a better understanding of how to make any necessary improvements.
>>Two Dead In Convenience Store Shootout
(Joliet, IL) — A convenience store clerk who was trying to defend himself during a robbery is dead. Officials say the clerk pulled a gun and exchanged fire with two masked men who’d come into the store and announced a robbery. It happened just after 3:00 yesterday afternoon at a Gardner Street Food Mart in Joliet. The 24-year-old clerk and one of the suspects were injured in the shootout and died at the hospital. The second suspect is still at large.
>>Trial Delayed In SIU Bomb Threat Case
(Benton, IL) — The man accused of threatening to set off bombs and behead people at the SIU Carbondale campus is going to have to wait a bit longer before going to trial. Derrick Burns was supposed to face a judge on February 2nd, but that’s been pushed back to April 6th. That gives officials time to conduct a court-ordered mental fitness test on Burns. He’s accused of mailing in several letters to the university in 2012 and 2013, threatening to rape students, cut their heads off, set off bombs, and go on a shooting spree at the school. He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges.
>>Duckworth Eyes U.S. Senate Run
(Chicago, IL) — Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth may be looking for a new gig. Reports indicate she has her eye on a U.S. Senate seat. She’d be up against Republican Mark Kirk in 2016, a Navy veteran who’s been on the job since 2010. Kirk suffered a stroke a couple of years ago but has remained active in Congress. Duckworth is an Army National Guard veteran who lost her legs in Iraq when her Black Hawk chopper was shot down.
>>Illinois Teens Invited To State Of Union Address
(Chicago, IL) — Two Illinois teens will be sitting in the gallery as President Obama delivers his State of the Union Address tonight. Thirteen-year-old Malik Bryant, from Chicago, will be the First Lady’s guest. His note to Santa prompted a personal response from the President when Bryant said all he wanted for Christmas was to be safe in his community. Nineteen-year-old Homira Wardak, from Elgin, will also be in the gallery supporting plans to make community college free for those who get good grades.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2014 | Comment (0)
>>Rauner Heads To Chicago For MLK Day
(Chicago, IL) — Governor Rauner is spending the day in Chicago. He’ll be participating in an MLK Day of Service on Rockwell Street. And, he’ll put his signature on an Executive Order aimed at empowering minorities and veterans.
>>Suit From Former NIU Officer Can Go Forward
(DeKalb, IL) — A former police chief for Northern Illinois University can proceed with a civil rights case against the university. Donald Grady was fired back in 2013 for allegedly mishandling evidence in an investigation against an officer who was accused of sexual assault. Grady denied any wrongdoing. He wants university officials to apologize and give him his job back.
>>Cops Find Marijuana In Spare Car Tire
(McLean County, IL) — Police in McLean County say they found a stash of pot inside a man’s spare tire in his car. Joel Ziegler was pulled over on I-74 on Saturday because he was following another car too closely. Police searched the car and uncovered three-and-a-half pounds of marijuana. Ziegler reportedly told cops he was headed to Pennsylvania to sell the drugs.
>>Attorney Gets Probation For Meth Possession
(Granville, IL) — A 77-year-old attorney from Will County is going to spend the next two-years on probation for being busted with meth. Charles Helmig was arrested during a traffic stop in Joliet back in October. Police found syringes filled with meth during the stop. Helmig recently pled guilty to drug possession charges. It was his first offense so the charges will be dismissed if he successfully completes probation.
>>Investigation Underway After Pinckneyville Cop’s Death
(Pinckneyville, IL) — A Pinckneyville police officer is dead after being shot in the head. Officials say the officer was shot inside his home. At this point, it appears he pulled the trigger himself. An investigation is underway.
>>Mega Millions Winner Has Yet To Come Forward
(Glendale Heights, IL) — There’s still no word who hit that big Mega Millions jackpot on Friday. The winning ticket was sold at Bucky’s Express on Bloomingdale Road in Glendale Heights. The winner will get a cash payout of about 181-million-dollars before taxes. The winning numbers were 26, 32, 44, 45 and 58 and the Mega Ball was 11.Filed under Local News, News 2014, News 2014 | Comment (0)
1-18-14 SATURDAY’S AREA HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
LaSalle-Peru 49 – Princeton 41 (Soph: LP 46-26)
Hall 50 – Annawan 39
GIRLS – Tri-County Tournament
Roanoke-Benson 56 – Henry-Senachwine 16
Peoria Christian 76 – DePue 34
Marquette 58 – Midland 29