Bull Riding Highlights Day 3 Of The Bureau County Fair

August 22nd, 2014

Bull Riding by the Southern Extreme Bull Riding Association highlights day 3 of the Bureau County Fair in Princeton. The bull riding starts at 7 in the grandstand. Lunch In The Park, normally held at Soldiers & Sailors Park, is being moved to the fairgrounds today only from 11 to 1. The hospitality tent features musical performances from Hit & Miss duo, Double Shot duo and the Generics Goodies band. The band Forgotten Highway performs in the beer garden beginning at 9 tonight. A complete listing of the daily free attractions and other fair events can be found online at WZOE-AM 1490 is broadcasting on-location at the fair from 1 to 4 this afternoon.

Illinois Briefs – 8/22/14

August 22nd, 2014

Durbin Wants More Options For Paying Student Loans

(Edwardsville, IL) — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says college grads should be able to refinance their student loan debt. He says many of them didn’t realize what they signed up for when they took the loan out, and now they’re having trouble paying the loan back. Durbin says refinancing will drop the interest rate and lower the monthly payment amount. He plans to call the measure for a vote in the second week of September.

State Sets Up Human Trafficking Fund

(Chicago, IL) — The state is stepping up to help victims of human trafficking and prostitution. A new law creates a fund that will help pay for things like emergency housing and specialized treatment services. Illinois already has several measures in place to help those who’ve come out of the sex trade, for example they can have some of their prostitution convictions cleared from their records.

Parents Should Know Details On School Security

(Springfield, IL) — Parents should keep school security in mind as their kids head back to the classroom. It’s a good idea to come up with a plan on how you’ll communicate with your kid in the event of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to get details about the school’s emergency preparedness plans and find out what the protocol is for before and after school activities. Social media is a way of life in today’s world, so parents should brush up on the school’s social media policies and go over them with their kids.

Simon Donates Books To Springfield School District

(Springfield, IL) — Hard copy books seem to be a thing of the past but Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is making sure kids can still get their hands on them. She donated hundreds of books to the Springfield School District yesterday. Her staffers collected the books during the Illinois State Fair, where people could drop off new or slightly used books. They’re hosting another back-to-school book drive at the DuQuoin State Fair, which starts today.

“Walking Dead” Star Pushes For Safe Driving

(Springfield, IL) — One of the stars from “Walking Dead” is teaming up with state officials to promote safe driving. Michael Rooker is featured in a new video series and social media campaign, coined “The Driving Dead.” He says their main goal is to target people between the ages of 21 and 34, who are less likely to buckle up and more likely get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. Rooker says his own brother died in a car accident because he wasn’t strapped in.

Beach Boys Perform Tonight At The Bureau County Fair

August 21st, 2014

A concert by the legendary band “The Beach Boys” highlights day 2 of the Bureau County Fair in Princeton. The mega event starts at 8 in the grandstand. It’s also “Senior Citizen Day” with admission 2-dollars for those 62 and over. Bingo is played from noon to 2:30 with refreshments provided in the hospitality tent. The hospitality tent also features musical performances from Jack Ness, Alison Coyer and The Generics. The band Forgotten Highway performs in the beer garden following tonight’s Beach Boys concert. WZOE-AM 1490 is broadcasting on-location at the fair from 1 to 4 today and tomorrow.

Illinois Briefs – 8/21/14

August 21st, 2014

Rauner Making Last Ditch Effort For Term Limits

(Chicago, IL) — Time is winding down on efforts to get a term limits measure on the November ballot. GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says he’s taking his fight to the state’s Supreme Court, hoping justices give the measure the green light by tomorrow. That’s the last working day before elections officials finalize the ballot so they can get it mailed to people who are overseas or serving in the military. Rauner wants to limit lawmakers to just eight years in the legislature but the proposal has already been deemed unconstitutional by a couple of courts in Chicago.

Rauner, Quinn Neck To Neck In Recent Poll

(Undated) — Governor Quinn seems to be gaining ground on his Republican opponent. A new poll conducted by the Garin Hart Yang Research Group puts Quinn down by just three-and-a-half percentage points to Bruce Rauner. Forty-four-percent of 802 likely voters say they’re backing Rauner, compared to Quinn’s 41-percent. That’s a near dead-heat when you consider room for margin of error.

Quinn, Rauner Agree To Debate

(Chicago, IL) — Debate season is just around the corner. Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner have agreed to hash it out in at least three traditional debates this October. Two of them will be in Chicago and one will be in Peoria. The two have been sparring over taxes, job creation, and off-shore investments in recent weeks. Rauner has maintained a slight lead in the polls. The election is November 4th.

Biden Stumping For Illinois Democrats

(Chicago, IL) — Vice President Joe Biden is headed to the Land of Lincoln to raise money for Governor Quinn and Democratic candidates for governor. He’ll attend a couple of events in Chicago on Monday, including a high-dollar private dinner reception with a suggested donation of 15-thousand-dollars. Biden won’t stick around the Windy City too long. Aides say he’ll take off after his events on Monday night.

Illinois Fares Well On College Prep

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois is a leader when it comes to preparing kids for college. The Board of Education’s Mary Fergus says stat’s show that the Class of 2014 scored an average of 20-point-seven on the ACT. That’s a slight improvement over last year and just under the national testing average, which is 21.

Du Quoin State Fair Starts Tomorrow

(Du Quoin, IL) — The Du Quoin State Fair starts tomorrow. The Miller Carnivals will open up at 3:00 in the afternoon and the fair parade will take off at 6:00 p.m. Fairgoers can enjoy harness racing, motorsports, cooking contests, and concerts during the duration of the fair. Kenny Rogers, .38 Special, and KC and the Sunshine Band are among those slated to perform. The fair runs through September 1st.

159th Bureau County Fair Begins Today

August 20th, 2014

The 159th annual Bureau County Fair begins today at the fairgrounds in Princeton. Gates open at noon, with the carnival starting at 5. Other attractions include a chain saw carving artist, a family magic fun show, new this year; the Galaxy Girl Aerial Thrill Show. A beer garden opens at 5 and tonight’s grandstand event is an Antique Tractor Pull beginning at 6. The highlight of the fair’s five-day run is tomorrow night’s grandstand concert by The Beach Boys. WZOE-AM 1490 is broadcasting on-location at the fair from 1 to 4 tomorrow and Friday.

City of Princeton To End Yearly Spring and Fall Cleanup

August 20th, 2014

The City of Princeton is doing away with yearly Spring and Fall cleanup days. Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson says after the fall cleanup beginning October 6th, the city will begin a new program to pick-up items routinely with your regular weekly garbage pick-up. Beginning on October 20th, all eligible items will be picked up week to week with your regular garbage. No additional fees will be charged as long as the volume of garbage overall does not increase beyond regular routine garbage pick-up. Clawson says if an item is eligible to be thrown away under the current standards, it will be eligible to be tossed under the new standards. He also says recycling pick-up will remain unchanged.

Illinois Briefs – 8/20/14

August 20th, 2014

Quinn Says Illinois Economy Is Strong

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn says he believes that the state’s economy is strong. His Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the state leads the Midwest in job losses this year. Quinn says the state’s unemployment rate has dropped since he took office. Quinn says Illinois has the highest wages compared to its neighbors. Rauner says the BLS data shows Illinois has lost 42-hundred jobs since the beginning of the year. He also says more people have left the workforce than have gained jobs since Quinn took office.

Rauner Pushing For Term Limits

(Springfield, IL) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is making one last push to get term limits put on the November ballot. Rauner is facing a Friday deadline to get the question on the ballot. He’s also facing a ruling by a Cook County judge who ruled the question was not constitutional. Rauner says the people of Illinois want term limits. He says more than half-a-million people signed petitions to put term limits on the ballot. Rauner disagrees with the judge and says the amendment is constitutional.

Governor Signs New Regulations To Prevent Concussions

(Oak Park, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn signed new legislation that’s designed to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. It requires the IHSA to develop an online training course for high school coaches and athletic directors. Coaches and athletic directors will need to renew their certification every two years. Meanwhile, athletes will be required to watch a concussion awareness video each year.

Illinois Crops Fairing Well

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois crops continue to do well. The latest crop report from the USDA shows the state had cool weather last week and some places got some showers. Rainfall averaged just over an inch last week, which is slightly above normal. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is progressing nicely with 86 percent in the dough stage and 34 percent in the dent stage. Eighty percent of the crop is rated as good to excellent.

Delong Gets 20 Years In DUI Deaths

(McLeansboro, IL) — The man that killed five people in a crash in November in Hamilton County has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Darrell Delong will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence for aggravated DUI. He was the lone survivor in a crash that killed his wife and other family members. Delong’s Trailblazer went off the road and overturned several times.

Remains Found In Rochester Identified

(Rochester, IL) — Authorities say the skeletal remains found in a shed in Rochester are those of 43-year-old Tracy Trimby. Coroner Cinda Edwards says the remains were found wrapped in plastic and that Trimby had been dead for a number of years. Edwards says they were able to positively identify the remains through DNA testing and by using teeth. Police are investigating when the body was put in the shed. The family that found the remains are not suspects in the death.

Carbondale Police Chief Fired

(Carbondale, IL) — The city of Carbondale has fired police chief Jody O’Guinn. The chief was recently sued by the family of a Southern Illinois University student who died in February. City Manager Kevin Baity says the firing has nothing to do with the lawsuit. Pravin Varughese’s body was found in a wooded area near the campus of SIU. The family asked for an autopsy and it found Varughese died from blunt force trauma to his head. Initially police said he died from the cold weather. O’Guinn has come under fire before. His gun was stolen in 2011 and later used in a fatal shooting. A year later a woman was found dead in a police dispatcher’s apartment.

Multi-Vehicle Accident On Interstate 80 Injures Three

August 19th, 2014

Three people are injured following a traffic accident on Interstate 80 near LaSalle. The accident happened just after 2 yesterday afternoon and closed down the westbound lane of I-80 for more than 2 hours. State Police say 19 year old Kayla Guenther of Ottawa struck a semi while merging onto eastbound I-80. Her car crossed over into the westbound lanes. A Spring Valley couple traveling westbound on a motorcycle tried to avoid the car and crashed into a guardrail. Guenther and the man driving the motorcycle were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The woman passenger on the motorcycle was taken to the hospital by helicopter. Guenther was ticketed of improper lane usage.

Illinois Briefs – 8-19-14

August 19th, 2014

First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Found

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been reported. A woman in the Chicago area in her 70s that became ill in July. Last year there were 117 human cases of West Nile Virus, but IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the weather has been on our side this year. She says the mosquitoes that carry don’t breed as much in cooler, wetter weather. She says you should still take precautions at dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites since they spread the disease. Arnold says insect repellents with DEET or picaridin work the best. So far this year, West Nile Virus has been found in birds or mosquitoes in 32 Illinois counties and Arnold says they expect to see more human cases this year.

Aircraft Maintenance Facility Opening In Rockford

(Rockford, IL) — Government leaders announced the AAR Corporation is going to open a new maintenance and repair hangar in Rockford. Governor Pat Quinn says the facility will create up to five-hundred new jobs over five years. The 200-thousand square-foot facility will operate around the clock. It will repair, maintain and overhaul military and commercial aircraft. Construction on the project is expected to start within the next year and the facility will open in the spring of 2016. Quinn says this project also shows that Illinois is an aerospace hub and leader in the industry.

Governor Signs Laws To Protect Seniors

(Chicago, IL) — Two new laws are designed to protect senior citizens and other vulnerable adults in Illinois. The laws improve the procedures for reporting for people in nursing homes and other community settings. Senator Heather Steans sponsored one of the bills, that expands the Long Term Ombudsman Program. She says every senior deserves high quality care while their loved ones deserve to know there’s going to be accountability for that care. The expansion will make sure older adults and people with disabilities living in a community setting have the same rights as those living in nursing homes. Another law creates a pilot program that will let certified nursing assistants administer medication under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Fees, New Challenges Greet Students Going Back To School

(Bloomington, IL) — It is back to school for most students in Illinois this week, and parents and students are being greeted by new costs and challenges. This is the first year where all Illinois students will be tested on the new Common Core learning standards. McLean County Regional Superintendent of School Mark Jontry says almost all of his schools are ready, but says statewide only about half of Illinois’ schools will be able to take the test as planned this spring. Jontry also says he’s gotten calls from parents upset about new fees to register students. Jontry says the average fee is about $300-dollars, but says parents need to be angry with state lawmakers who continue to send just 89-cents on the dollar to local schools.

State Fair Attendance Down

(Springfield, IL) — State Fair organizers say rainy weather is to blame for a drop in attendance this year. Attendance was down 11 percent, but fair manager Amy Bliefnick says they had rain on eight of the 11 days of the fair. They had to cancel seven events this year, including the parade on the opening day of the fair. This year’s fair drew 847-thousand people. That’s down from last year’s record of 961-thousand, but Bliefnick says attendance is up from three years ago.

Thomson Prison Names Warden

(Thomson, IL) — Officials named a longtime veteran of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to be the first warden at the Thomspon Correctional Center. Donald Hudson has spent 24 years with the Bureau of Prisons and was most recently a warden in Pennsylvania. The feds will use Thomson to house 1900 maximum security inmates and two hundred minimum security inmates. The maximum security inmates are expected to arrive by the end of next year.

Interstate 80 Traffic Detoured After Multi-Vehicle Crash

August 18th, 2014

Westbound traffic on Interstate 80 is being detoured this afternoon. District 17 State Police Master Sergeant Anthony Kestner reports they’re handling a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 Westbound at mile post 79. Westbound traffic on I-80 is being rerouted at mile post 81 (south) to US Route 6 (west) to Interstate 39 (north) to Interstate 80 (west). This detour is expected to be in effect until at least 4:30 this afternoon. Further information will be released as it’s available.