News Headlines – March 19, 2018

March 19th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  There’s one more day of campaigning ahead for candidates in tomorrow’s primary election. Gun supporters in central Illinoisaren’t waiting to see what lawmakers do with a series of gun control plans. Mayors in southern Illinois say Governor Rauner’s budget is going to leave them short again. A former Quad Cities casino barge may be scrapped after a fire last week at its new home in Memphis. 

>>Primary Election Day Is Tomorrow 

(Springfield, IL)  —  It’s the last full day of politicking in what’s already been a jam-packed election season. Voters across the state will head to the polls tomorrow, looking to narrow the races for Illinois governor, attorney general, and some congressional seats. There are also a number of local primary contests that will essentially decide who will be sheriff, state representative, or county leaders. 

>>Hundreds Turn Out For Second Amendment Rally In Decatur 

(Decatur, IL)  —  Gun rights supports say they’re not going to sit and wait to see what lawmakers will do with a wave of gun control measures this year. Hundreds of people turned out for a rally in downtown Decatur yesterday, and their message was to leave their guns alone. Organizer Jim Owens says lawmakers in Illinois, and across the country, have been quick to try and ban certain guns or keep people from buying them after the latest school shooting in Florida. Owens says gun owners need to make their voices heard as well, and he said he hopes lawmakers in Springfield are listening. 

>>Southern Illinois Mayors Worry About Rauner Budget Cuts 

(Carbondale, IL)  —  It”s hard enough to manage a local budget when people are moving out of town or shopping online. But a number of mayors across southern Illinois say it’s that much harder when Governor Rauner is talking about short changing them once again. “The Southern Illinoisan” reported yesterday that a number of mayors in the southern third of the state are worried about what state budget cuts will mean for their bottom lines. Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry says the governor may cut over 300 thousand-dollars from his budget, about the same amount that the governor cut last year as well. 

>>Chicago To Roll Out Red Carpet For Amazon This Week 

(Chicago, IL)  —  Chicago is looking to put its best foot forward this week. “The Chicago Tribune” reported over the weekend that Amazon officials are expected in the city this week to scout possible locations for Amazon’s HQ2. Mayor Emanuel’s office said it couldn’t comment on the visit, but a source told the paper that Amazon leaders will visit some of the ten sites being offered as possible HQ2 hubs. Amazon says its second headquarters will be worth six billion-dollars and bring 50 thousand jobs to whichever city wins the bidding process. 

>>Former Rhythm City Casino Barge Burns In Memphis 

(Memphis, TN)  —  No one is sure what the future holds for the old Rhythm City Casino after a fire gutted part of the former casino barge. Crews were renovating the barge in Memphis, Tennessee last week when it caught fire. No one was hurt, but there was plenty of damage. The old Rhythm City floated in the Quad Cities’ as one of the state’s old riverboat casinos. The barge’s new owners had hoped to turn the old casino into a new floating venue for weddings and other receptions in Memphis.

News Headlines – March 17, 2018

March 17th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Chicago River gets dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. Most Illinois cities saw both more jobs and a lower unemployment rate to start 2018. Get ready for little more than Illinois campaign commercials on your TV or internet this weekend. Federal prosecutors want a judge to look at the law, not Congressional rules in dealing with Aaron Schock. Cinderella’s journey continues, with the Loyola Ramblers moving ahead in the NCAA Tournament. 

>>Chicago River Dyed Bright Green For St. Patrick’s Day 

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago River has been dyed a bright shade of green, kicking off the city’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Thousands of people lined the riverfront downtown Chicago on Saturday to see the dyeing, a tradition for the holiday that dates to 1962. A parade is scheduled for later Saturday. The Chicago Plumbers Union started the tradition of dyeing the river green, with a material once used to locate leaks in buildings. Organizers say the powder used is a secret recipe and is environmentally safe.

>>Quad Cities Jobs Report: More Working, Lower Unemployment 

(Moline, IL)  —  Most Illinois cities are seeing more people working and a lower unemployment rate. The Illinois Department of Employment Security yesterday released a city-by-city jobs report for the start of 2018. The Quad Cities, Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, and of course Chicago all added jobs over the past year. Springfield, Danville, and Carbondale all reported to the state that they lost jobs since last January. 

>>Get Ready For Campaign Ad Flood 

(Springfield, IL)  —  Chances are you’re not going to be able to watch much TV or do much online this weekend without seeing a campaign commercial for an Illinoiscandidate. This is the final weekend before next week’s primary, and political parties and candidates themselves are gearing-up. Governor Rauner, and the three top Democrats running for governor are all out with new commercials. But local candidates are also using this last weekend as their chance to get some air time. Don’t worry if it all stops, at least for a bit, as of Wednesday. 

>>Federal Prosecutors Say Laws, Not Congressional Rules Matter In Schock Case 

(Urbana, IL)  —  Federal prosecutors want a judge to rely on the law, not rules written by congressmen for congressmen when dealing with former Congressman Aaron Schock. The Justice Department filed a response this week to Schock’s lawyers who say prosecutors are beyond their scope in trying to charge Schock with a crime for how he reported campaign and congressional expenses. The feds say a court ruling based on a 1995 case, ironically dealing with another Illinois Congressman, is wrong. 

>>Southern Illinois’ Snake Road Officially Closed 

(Harrisburg, IL)  —  Southern Illinois’ Snake Road is living up to its name this week. Managers at the Shawnee National Forest closed the road yesterday to give snakes, turtles, and all manner of creatures a free shot at their annual migration. But just because the road is closed, doesn’t mean it won’t be busy. Researchers are expected to be out in force too, to study the snakes along Snake Road. 

>>Loyola Can Keep Dancing 

(Dallas, TX)  —  Guess those experts who called Loyola a Cinderella-to-be weren’t wrong. The Ramblers hit a last second three-pointer to knock off the sixth seeded University of Miami, 64-62. Loyola kept the game close all day, and the game was tied with just over a minute left to play. Senior Donte Ingram fired off the game winning shot, then lead the team’s celebration. It’s Loyola’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1985. Next up for the Ramblers, the University of Tennessee next.

News Headlines – March 16, 2018

March 17th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Some lawmakers in Springfield aren’t impressed with the governor’s latest promises about the veterans home in Quincy. Police say two missing Chicago-area girls are safe and sound and with their grandmother. Prosecutors are dropping attempted murder charges against a former central Illinois deputy who shot at his wife. Governor Rauner is picking a Big Ten team to win it all this year in college basketball. 

>>Governor Again Says All Options On Table For Quincy Vets Home 

(Quincy, IL)  —  Illinois lawmakers say Governor Rauner’s latest proclamation that all options are on the table for the Quincy veterans home is confusing. The governor went to Quincy once again yesterday to tell reporters and the veterans who live there that he is trying to end the Legionnaires outbreak that’s killed 13 people and sickened dozens of others  at the veterans home since 2015. The governor yesterday talked of building a state of the art, new building, or perhaps buying a nearby nursing home, or even using modular housing units. State Senator Christina Castro said that’s the opposite of what the governor’s administration told lawmakers earlier this month. State Senator Bill Haine said the governor is still making promises about things that will be done in the future, but says it’s been three years since Legionnaires was first discovered. 

>>Two Missing Chicago-Area Girls Found Safe 

(Markham, IL)  —  The Illinois State Police say a pair of Chicago-area girls are safe and sound after an Amber Alert. Police in Markham say Lynn Roby and Roby Washington were dropped off with their grandmother. Officers issued and Amber Alert Wednesday night after they say the girls’ father took them. Police say their father, Lynn Washington, is a suspect in the death of their mother. 

>>Plea Deal Ends Attempted Murder Charges For Former Deputy 

(Taylorville, IL)  —  A former central Illinois deputy is still looking at more than a decade behind bars even after prosecutors dropped attempted murder charges against him. Markes Rodgers pleaded guilty this week to aggravated discharge of a firearm charges. Police say Rodgers threatened his wife with a gun, then fired at her as she ran off last year. Rodgers then held-up in his house for nine hours. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors say they’ll ask for no more than 13 years in prison. 

>>Rock Island County Gets Somber Look At Finances 

(Rock Island, IL)  —  Add Rock Island County to the list of governments in Illinois with more financial questions than answers. County leaders got a sobering look at their finances Wednesday. County auditor April Palmer told county board members they will be at least three million-dollars in the hole because of the county’s nursing home. She said the county’s old courthouse will also cost them money. County leaders say they’re trying to find a way to provide necessary services, meet their payroll, and not raise taxes. 

>>Governor Rauner Picks Purdue To Win NCAA Tournament 

(Springfield, IL)  —  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has Loyola from Chicago getting to the Sweet 16, but he has Purdue winning it all. The governor shared his bracket on Twitter as the NCAA Tournament began. Illinois has just one team, Loyola, in the big dance this year. The governor has them winning three games. Mr. Rauner’s final four consists of Arizona, Xavier, Kansas, and Purdue. He has Purdue beating Xavier in the national championship game. 

News Headlines – March 15, 2017

March 14th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state doesn’t need another burdensome law to make people safe.  Four central Illinois men are facing federal charges for a pair of bombing plots.  The man accused of kicking an Illinois child welfare worker to death last year is dropping his mental health defense. 

>>Governor Rauner Vetoes State Gun Licensing Plan 

(Chicago, IL)  —  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state doesn’t need another burdensome law to make people safe.  The governor yesterday vetoed a plan that would have created tougher, new state-issued licenses for small gun dealers in Illinois.  He said the plan is good political cover, but likely won’t stop someone who shouldn’t have a gun from getting a gun.  Democrats say the new law was aimed at making sure smaller gun shops didn’t funnel weapons into the hands of criminals in and around Chicago. 

>>Federal Prosecutors Charge Four In Bombing Plots 

(Urbana, IL)  —  Four central Illinois men are facing federal charges for a pair of bombing plots.  FBI agents arrested Michael Hari, Joe Morris, Michael McWhorter and Ellis Mack yesterday for an August 2017 bombing at a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, and a planned bombing in November of that year at a women’s clinic in Champaign.  Investigators say they got a tip about bomb-making materials and weapons at Hari’s house.  The FBI says it was during their investigation into the guns that McWhorter admitted his role in the 2017 bombing.  Prosecutors say he said he wanted to scare Muslims out of the country. 

>>No Mental Health Defense In Northwestern Illinois DCFS Worker’s Beating 

(Carrollton, IL)  —  The man accused of kicking an Illinois child welfare worker to death last year is dropping his mental health defense.  Lawyers for Andrew Sucher last week withdrew a request for a mental fitness exam.  Investigators in Carroll County say Sucher attacked and savagely beat DCFS case worker Pamela Knight when she tried to take his child into protective custody last fall.  He was arrested not long after the attack.  Prosecutors upgraded the charges against Sucher to murder charges when she died last month. 

>>Missing Indiana Woman Found Dead In Ogle County 

(Rochelle, IL)  —  Authorities in Ogle County say they don’t suspect foul play in the death of a missing Indiana woman.  Deputies say they found 80-year-old Smire Negishi ‘s body in her car yesterday at a local landfill.  She’d been missing since Monday from West Lafayette, Indiana.  Deputies also found her husband wandering near the landfill.  They took him to a local hospital for observation. 

>>Ohio River Falling, Metropolis Casino To Reopen 

(Metropolis, IL)  —  The Ohio River is still high in southern Illinois, but managers at Metropolis’ casino hope the river will soon fall enough to reopen its doors.  Chad Lewis with Harrah’s Metropolis yesterday said crews have been working since they closed the casino back on February 25th to get ready to reopen.  Lewis said they hope to be able to open the doors tomorrow.  Lewis says the only other time he can remember closing because of high water was during the flood of 2011.

News Headlines – March 14, 2018

March 14th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Illinois’ new plan to pay hospitals in the state based on the number of people they treat is not set in stone despite the governor’s signature.  A pair of Danville police officers will miss a few days of work, but they will be able to keep their jobs after being caught drinking after hours in a local bar.   Some faculty members at Southern Illinois University say they’re not sure the school will see less than a thousand freshmen next fall. 

>>Illinois Must Hurry To Get Medicaid Changes Approved 

(Chicago, IL)  —  Illinois’ new plan to pay hospitals in the state based on the number of people they treat is not set in stone despite the governor’s signature.  Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday signed Illinois’ new Medicaid assessment.  The plan changes how the state both taxes and pays hospitals for Medicaid patients.  The big change is that dollars will now follow patients.  But federal Medicaid managers still have to okay the changes and that could take months.  The state’s old payment schedule expires in July. 

>>Two Danville Cops Suspended For After-Hours Drinking 

(Danville, IL)  —  A pair of Danville police officers will miss a few days of work, but they will be able to keep their jobs after being caught drinking after hours in a local bar.  Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason yesterday said the two officers will be suspended without pay for five days.  Thomason said the officers broke a city ordinance by drinking past closing time, not a state law.  Danville caught the officers drinking after reviewing the tape from the bar as part of the investigation into the bar owner’s murder.  The officers are not connected to that case in any way. 

>>SIU Faculty Question Low Freshmen Numbers For Next Year 

(Carbondale, IL)  —  Some faculty members at Southern Illinois University say they’re not sure the school will see less than a thousand freshmen next fall.  The school’s Faculty Senate president, Kathie Chwalisz, told “The Southern Illinoisan” yesterday that estimates that SIU will see between 870 and 970 new students are just guesses, and are low.  Chwalisz said she’s seen estimates that the school will see almost twelve-hundred new students next fall.  An SIU spokeswoman yesterday said she doesn’t have official numbers.  If SIU sees less than 900 new students, the school would once again be looking at a multi-million-dollar loss next school year. 

>>No Injures After Small Plane Crash-Lands At Rockford Airport 

(Rockford, IL)  —  An eastern Iowa man is okay after bringing his small plane in for a crash landing in Rockford.  It happened yesterday at about 9:30 in the morning.  Police in Rockford say the crash happened as the pilot was trying to land.  Federal investigators say the plane is registered to a man from Zwingle, Iowa.  The plane took off from Dubuque.  The pilot was not hurt in the wreck. 

>>Two-Year Sentence Possible For Death of Quad Cities’ ‘Can Man’ 

(Rock Island, IL)  —  The woman who hit and killed the Quad Cities’ “Can Man” is looking at the possibility of two years in prison.  Kristianna Granada pleaded guilty yesterday to hitting Robert Moldenhauer, better known as “The Can Man,” in December of 2016.  Granada pleaded guilty to reckless homicide charges.  Prosecutors agreed to cap her sentence at no more than two years.  Investigators say Granada likely never saw Moldenhauer as he was riding his bicycle in the street in Moline on that cold December day.  She told police her windows were iced up and she could barely see the road.