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News Headlines – June 16, 2018

June 17th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: A jury says a southern Illinois man is guilty of murder for a fight that lead to the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student. Illinois will see its second ever African American Supreme Court justice sworn in today. Decatur’s new VA clinic is open. Governor Rauner talked-up higher education in his latest budget stop in the Quad Cities.

>>Guilty Verdict In SIU Student’s 2014 Death

(Murphysboro, IL) — A southern Illinois man is looking at 60 years in prison for a fight that lead to an SIU student’s 2014 death. The jury in Pravin Varughese’s death returned a guilty verdict late last night against Gaege Bethune. Prosecutors say Bethune punched Varughese during a fight over gas money or drugs, and that fight drove Varughese into the woods in southern Illinois, where he’d eventually die of exposure.

>>Illinois’ New Supreme Court Justice To Be Sworn In Today

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois will see only the state’s second ever African American Supreme Court justice sworn in. Justice P. Scott Neville Jr. will be sworn in today. Neville is replacing Justice Charles Freeman, who was the first state’s first African American justice. Neville will serve till 2020, then he would have to run for election.

>>Decatur VA Clinic Opens

(Decatur, IL) — Veterans in central Illinois have another choice for care. The VA opened its new clinic in Decatur yesterday. Todd Oliver with the VA Illiana Health Care System says the new clinic will give veterans options for primary care, optometry and mental health services. Vets who need more specialized care will still be sent to the VA clinic in Danville.

>>Governor Touts Budget, Higher Education Funding In Quad Cities Stop

(Moline, IL) — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is getting a lot of miles out of the new state budget. The governor stopped in the Quad Cities yesterday to talk about the state’s new 38-and-a-half billion-dollar spending plan. Rauner says the biggest accomplishment is that the state will pay its bills this year. The second biggest achievement in the budget is the 25 million-dollars in new money that will be invested into MAP grants for college students.

>>Five Hundred Thousand-Dollar Bond In Western Illinois Officer-Involved Shooting

(Aledo, IL) — The suspect in a western Illinois officer-involved shooting needs 50 thousand-dollars to get out of jail. A Mercer County judge yesterday ordered that Alex Cady be held on a 500 thousand-dollar bond. He’d have to post ten percent to get out. Police say Cady and another man had guns and drugs during a bust this week. Somehow a Mercer County deputy ended up shooting the other man, who has not been charged in the case.

News Headlines – June 15, 2018

June 15th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois’ unemployment rate is down once again. Parts of southern Illinois could see dangerous heat this weekend. Western Illinois University’s president says his school is not out of the woods yet. Illinois is looking to auction off some seized outdoor gear.

>>Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops Again

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to fall. The Illinois Department of Employment Security yesterday said the jobless rate for May dropped to four-point-three percent, and that’s down a tenth of a percent from the month before. IDES Director Jeff Mays says job gains for the first five months of the year are growing faster than in each of the past two years.

>>Illinois Metro East Looking Heat Advisory

(St. Louis, MO) — Illinois’ side of the St. Louis suburbs are looking at dangerous heat this weekend. The National Weather Service is leaving a Heat Advisory in place for the Metro East from noon today till 8 p.m. on Sunday, Forecasters say high temperatures in some places will hit 100 degrees, and the humidity will make it feel hotter than that.

>>WIU President: University Not Out Of Woods Yet

(Macomb, IL) — Western Illinois University is still facing a number of challenges. WIU President Jack Thomas told trustees at the school last week that Western is not out of the woods yet. Thomas says it helps that the state of Illinois has a budget this year. But he says WIU must find a way to reverse a massive drop in enrollment, and the financial challenges that come with that.

>>Broker Says There Interest In Bloomington’s Old State Farm Building

(Bloomington, IL) — There is interest in State Farm’s old headquarters in Bloomington. But, so far, there isn’t a buyer. The broker who is helping with the sale, Chad Freese, told “The Bloomington Pantagraph” yesterday that there’s a diverse interest in the historic building in Bloomington’s downtown. But, because State Farm will only sell the building as a whole, Freese said it may take a while to sell the 13-story, 200 thousand square foot building.

>>Illinois DNR To Auction Seized Hunting, Fishing Items

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources may have a bargain for some outdoorsmen. The state yesterday announced an auction for next Saturday in Pawnee, in central Illinois, where the state will sell seized bows, tree stands, traps, fishing tackle, and even trail cameras and coolers. The IDNR says there won’t be any boats, RV’s, ATV’s, or firearms for sale. All the gear was taken from hunting and fishing violators.

News Headlines – June 14, 2018

June 14th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: State of Illinois workers could soon be in for a big payday. One person is in jail and another is recovering after an officer-involved shooting in western Illinois. Tazewell County could be Illinois’ next gun sanctuary county. The state is looking to showcase Springfield’s biggest attractions later this summer.

>>>>State Of Illinois Workers Closer To Step Raises

(Springfield, IL) — State of Illinois workers are a big step closer to a 400 million-dollar payday. The Illinois Labor Relations Board on Tuesday denied Governor Rauner’s challenge to an order to pay state workers ‘step increases’ that date back to Pat Quinn’s time in office. Step increases are automatic pay raises for longevity at a state job. The governor’s office said the raises will cost at least 412 million-dollars.

>>One Injured, One Arrested After Officer-Involved Shooting

(Aledo, IL) — One person is in jail and another is recovering after an officer-involved shooting in Mercer County. It happened Tuesday night in Viola, Illinois. Mercer County deputies say they were looking for drugs and guns when the shooting started. Prosecutors filed charges yesterday against Alex Cady, and deputies say the wounded suspect Donovan Smith has not been charged yet. Mercer County’s Major Crime Task Force is investigating the shooting.

>>Tazewell County Leaders Looking At Gun Sanctuary Declaration

(Pekin, IL) — Tazewell County could be Illinois’ next gun sanctuary. County leaders aren’t saying when they may vote to declare the county a place when gun owners don’t have to fear their overreach. County Board Chairman David Zimmerman yesterday said the county would still have to abide by state and federal laws, but he wants to send a message to the people who live in the county that he respects their Second Amendment rights.

>>Quincy Airport Lands Two Million-Dollar Runway Grant

(Quincy, IL) — Quincy’s airport is in line for some work. Managers at the Quincy Regional Airport yesterday said that they secured a two million-dollar grant to rebuild their runway. Airport Director Terrance Ward says the money will help defray the cost of updating the pavement at the airport’s runway 13/31. Work is expected to start in the next few months.

>>Illinois Looking At State Fair, Lincoln Museum Combo Ticket

(Springfield, IL) — The only other Springfield thing that’s missing is a horseshoe. Managers at the Illinois State Fair and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum yesterday announced that they’re offering a two-for-one combo ticket later this summer. The 12 dollar ticket will get you into both the State Fair and Lincoln Museum. It’s a bargain, because a Fair ticket usually costs ten dollars and a Lincoln Museum ticket is 15. The combo tickets are on sale now.

News Headlines – June 13, 2018

June 13th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: The man charged with first degree murder in the 2014 death of an SIU student says he lied to police, but did not murder the young man. There is another confirmed case of West Nile in mosquitoes, this time in McLean County. Illinois’ new lawyers could soon have some more opportunities. A Quad Cities police officer could be facing battery charges.

>>Suspect Testifies At Murder Trial For SIU Student’s 2014 Death

(Murphysboro, IL) — The suspect in the 2014 death of an SIU student says, yes, he lied to police about driving drunk, but insists but he didn’t murder the young man. Gaege Bethune testified yesterday in court in Murphyboro. Prosecutors are pushing a first degree murder case against him. They say Bethune got into a fight with Pravin Varughese, who then ran into the woods and died of exposure in February of 2014. Bethune is due back on the stand later today.

>>McLean County Mosquitoes Test Positive For West Nile

(Bloomington, IL) — There’s another case of West Nile in mosquitoes in central Illinois. The McLean County Health Department yesterday confirmed that a batch of mosquitoes captured on June 8th tested positive for West Nile. County health managers say people need to protect themselves with long sleeves and bug spray. Illinois hasn’t yet seen a confirmed case of West Nile in humans.

>>Illinois To Adopt Uniform Bar Exam

(Chicago, IL) — New lawyers in Illinois who pass the bar will soon have the opportunity to practice law in more states. Illinois is the 30th state to adopt the Universal Bar Exam. Prospective lawyers will take the new test in Illinois for the first time next July.

>>East Moline Police Officer May Face Battery Charges

(East Moline, IL) — A special prosecutor is looking into possible charges against an East Moline police officer accused of battery. Rock Island Police arrested officer Logan Wolfe last month on suspicion of battery. East Moline city leaders this week said that they are aware of Wolfe’s arrest, but are not commenting on the specifics or whether Wolfe is still on duty.

>>Quincy Schools Unveil Universal Back To School List

(Quincy, IL) — Back to school shopping in Quincy is a bit easier this year. Quincy Public Schools this week unveiled a new universal school supply list. The new list replaces supply lists for individual classrooms. Parents in all grades from kindergarten through fifth will all need the same supplies. Junior high and high school students will get their own lists closer to the first day of school in August.

News Headlines – June 12, 2018

June 12th, 2018

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Illinois’ Republican congressmen don’t want President Trump to let former Governor Rod Blagojevch out of prison early. Bloomington Police are not guessing at a motive for a shooting that left two people dead, and two others wounded. Chicago’s mayor says tiny houses could have a big impact on the city’s homeless. Moline High School’s principal says students did the right thing when they said something about a student with a pellet gun at school yesterday.

>>Illinois Republican Congressmen Write Trump To Oppose Blagojevich Clemency

(Washington, DC) — Illinois’ Republican congressmen don’t want to see Rod Blagojevich released from prison early. The state’s seven Republicans yesterday all signed a letter to President Trump formally opposing any clemency for the former Illinois governor. Congressman Darin LaHood, who helped write the letter, said yesterday that releasing Blagojevich early would send a terrible message to prosecutors who are looking to fight public corruption. LaHood says Blagojevich has never accepted his guilt or showed any remorse for his crimes.

>>No Motive Yet In Bloomington Shooting That Killed Two

(Bloomington, IL) — Bloomington Police are still not saying what they think led to a shooting that left two people dead and two others wounded. McLean County’s coroner yesterday identified the victims as 20-year-old Taneshiea Brown and 18-year-old Steven Alexander Jr. as the two who died. Police are not identifying the two who were wounded. There’s also no word on suspects or a motive.

>>Chicago’s Mayor Looks At Tiny Homes As Homeless Solution

(Chicago, IL) — Chicago may be the next big city to embrace tiny homes. Mayor Rahm Emanuel last week suggested that the same kind of small homes that are in Los Angeles and Seattle might work for Chicago’s most vulnerable. Emanuel says he thinks Chicago can invest about two million-dollars on tiny homes, and he hopes to create new fees or taxes on places like Airbnb to pay for them.

>>Student With Pellet Gun Sends Moline High School Into Lockdown

(Moline, IL) — Moline High School’s principal says students did the right thing when they told teachers about a student who had a pellet gun at school. Principal Dan McGuire says students saw a picture of the pellet gun online yesterday, and went straight to school officials. McGuire says he placed the school on lockdown about 12:40 yesterday afternoon, but students stayed in class. Police say they ‘got’ the student and the gun yesterday, but they’re not releasing the student’s name.

>>Woodford County Teen Found Safe And Sound

(Eureka, IL) — A missing Woodford County teen is back home, safe and sound. The Woodford County Sheriff’s office yesterday posted on Facebook that 16-year-old Nicole Keller has been found and returned home. The sheriff’s office is not saying where Keller went, or who found her. Keller was last seen Friday morning.