Republicans Sue Over Elections Procedures – 10/24/14

October 24th, 2014

>>Republicans Sue Over Elections Procedures

(Rock Island, IL) — Republicans are suing Rock Island County over elections procedures. GOP County Chair Bill Bloom says elections officials are violating state law because they’re already opening absentee ballots and running them through the tabulator. He says that could have a negative impact on Republican candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner. Bloom wants a judge to intervene and ensure that the ballots can stay sealed until Election Day.

>>Rauner Tosses Another Three Million Into Campaign

(Springfield, IL) — Bruce Rauner is shoring up his campaign account in the final days before the election. He gave himself another three-million bucks this week. Altogether, he’s tossed in more than 23-million dollars into his bid for the state’s top job. He’s in a head-to-head battle with Governor Quinn. Recent polls put Rauner ahead by just one-or-two points, but that’s within the polls’ margins of error.

>>Gloria Steinem Stumping For Quinn

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn’s team is trying to win over women voters. They’ve brought in Gloria Steinem, a popular feminist who’s widely known for heading up the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. She’ll headline an event at the Godrey Hotel on Huron Street in Chicago this afternoon at 2:30. Quinn, Steinem, and other elected leaders will be urging people to get out and vote early.

>>GOP Wants Answers About IDOT Political Hires

(Chicago, IL) — Republicans are applauding a judge’s decision to put a federal monitor over IDOT hiring but they still want more answers. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says she wants to know who signed off on hiring nearly 400-people based on clout instead of qualifications. The former IDOT secretary says she got direct recommendations from Governor Quinn’s office but the governor says he never personally suggested anyone. Even so, Quinn says the secretary knew the law and should’ve enforced it no matter who made job recommendations.

>>Unemployment Down In Every Metro Area

(Springfield, IL) — The unemployment rate is steadily going down in every metropolitan area in the state. Decatur has seen the biggest improvement over the past year, with the rate dropping from 12-point-two-percent to seven-point-nine-percent. The Bloomington, Normal area has the lowest unemployment in the state, at five-point-six-percent. That’s down from just over seven-percent compared to September of 2013.

>>Feds Make Indictment Over SIUC Bomb Threat

(East St. Louis, IL) — The man accused of making a series of threats at SIU in Carbondale is facing federal charges. Derrick Burns allegedly mailed multiple threats to the school, threatening to carry out rapes and behead people on the campus. He also allegedly made several bomb threats over the span of a year, in 2012 and 2013. He was indicted on Wednesday and faces up to 40-years behind bars.

>>Farmers Urged To Be Careful In The Fields

(Springfield, IL) — Farmers are being encouraged to be careful out in the fields. Experts say there were more than 80-thousand ag-related injuries across the U.S. last year, and most involved the big machinery. Farmers usually work long hours during harvest season but they should remember to take a break and get rested up. They should also use extra caution when kids or teens are out working with them.

Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force – 10/23/14

October 23rd, 2014

>>Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force

(Chicago, IL)  –  There’s a new task force in Illinois designed to help ensure the public health system across the state is prepared for the Ebola virus.  The task force is made up of mostly health care professionals who can lead a coordinated effort to ensure everyone in Illinois receives timely and accurate information regarding any potential threat. So far there haven’t been any confirmed cases in Illinois, although at least a handful of people are under medical watch or voluntary quarantine.  People who have questions about the Ebola virus can call the state’s hotline at 800-889-3931.

>>Reporter Quits After Complaints From Rauner

(Springfield, IL)  –  A longtime political reporter at the “Chicago Sun-Times” is walking away from the job after Bruce Rauner complained about one of his stories.  Dave McKinney was suspended for five days after reporting that Rauner once threatened to ruin a female executive with ties to his firm.  Editors at the paper supported McKinney and ran his story, even though Rauner’s camp wanted it squashed.  A few days later the paper reversed its policy of not endorsing candidates and came out in support of Rauner.  McKinney says he has serious doubts about the paper’s commitment to journalism.

>>Oberweis Now Supports Gay Marriage

(Chicago, IL)  –  State senator Jim Oberweis says he’d favor a federal law that allows same-sex couples to say their I-do’s.  That’s a shift in attitude for the Republican from Sugar Grove.  He voted against the deal that legalized same-sex marriage in Illinois last year but says the climate has changed surrounding the issue.  There have been quite a few cases tossed out of court and essentially gave same-sex couples in dozens of states the right to tie the knot.  Oberweis says he was raised Catholic but the courts have spoken so, it’s not an issue anymore.

>>Durbin, Oberweis Fight For Black Vote

(Chicago, IL)  –  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his GOP opponent Jim Oberweis are fighting to win the African American vote.  The minority group usually leans Democratic but they’ve been supporting Republican candidates this year.  During a debate last night Durbin said he finds it hard to understand how Oberweis can tell the Black community he understand their pain when he doesn’t support a minimum wage hike and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Oberweis bit back at Durbin claiming Black leaders are supporting him because he has a record of creating jobs and a plan to give kids access to the best quality schools.

>>Group Wants Supreme Court Justice Off The Bench

(Springfield, IL)  –  State Senator Dave Luechtefeld [[ Luck-tuh-feld ]] is going to bat for a Supreme Court Justice who’s under attack.  A group called “Campaign for 2016″ has been running ads against Justice Lloyd Karmeier in southern Illinois.  They want people to vote “No” on retaining the judge when they head to the polls on November 4th, but Luechtefeld says that would be a travesty.  He says the “Campaign for 2016″ group has been funded by attorneys who represent companies in cases before the court.  He says the companies stand to make billions if the court comes down in their favor and Karmeier has sided against them in previous rulings.

>>Biden To Headline Rockford Rally

(Chicago, IL)  –  Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Rockford next week.   He’ll headline an early voting rally to boost support for Governor Quinn and other Democrats who are on the November ticket.  Details on location and time haven’t been released yet but the event will be open to the public.

Biden In Chicago For Quinn – 10/22/14

October 22nd, 2014

>>Biden In Chicago For Quinn

(Chicago, IL)  –  Vice President Joe Biden is in Chicago stumping for Governor Quinn today.  He’s the last of the scheduled heavy hitters to come in and rally the base, hoping to get Democrats to the polls for Quinn.  The governor is in a dead heat with Republican Bruce Rauner.  The election is November 4th.

>>Group Wants Supreme Court Justice Off The Bench

(Springfield, IL)  –  A group known as “Campaign for 2016″ is trying to get Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier off the bench.  They’ve been running ads against him in southern Illinois.  Lawyers connected to a Phillip Morris case before the Court have given half-a-million-dollars to the effort. They say people should know about the judge’s poor record.  Karmeier has sided against the company in previous rulings.

>>Rock Island Family Under Voluntary Ebola Quarantine

(Rock Island, IL)  –  Health officials are keeping an eye on a Rock Island woman who just came from Liberia, where Ebola is running rampant.  The woman doesn’t have any symptoms of the virus and she says she didn’t have any contact with anyone who had it.  She and her family are under voluntary quarantine just to be safe.  They’ll take their temperatures twice a day and monitor for other symptoms for the next three weeks.  Health officials say there’s no reason for the community to be concerned.

>>Cubs Scouts Injured In Explosion

(Rockford, IL)  — Three Cub Scouts are recovering after an explosion left them with burns on their faces and arms.  The scouts were injured during an experiment in Raymond on Monday.  Scout leaders were mixing laundry detergent with anti-freeze hoping to create green flames but after a couple of attempts, the mixture erupted into a ball of fire.  An adult was also injured.  None of them were wearing eye protection.

>>Full Length High School Championship Games To Go Online

(Springfield, IL)  –  The Illinois High School Association is making some of their championship sporting events available to the public.  They’ve posted dozens of full-length videos of championship soccer games, volleyball games, swim meets, and tennis matches on their YouTube page.  The oldest video is of the 1952 Boys Basketball Championship between Hebron and Quincy.  Hebron won that game 64-to-59 in overtime.

Man Sentenced Six Years In Prison For Break-In – 10/21/14

October 21st, 2014

>>Three Boy Scouts And Adult Hurt In Explosion

(Raymond, IL)  –  Four people, including three children, are suffering injuries after an explosion Monday night in Raymond.  The incident happened at the Living Center.  Fire officials say the kids were Boy Scouts, who were trying to make a blue flame in an experiment using borax and Heet gas line antifreeze.  The mix resulted in a blast that left the boys and one of their moms with face burns.  Two victims were flown to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.  Two others were taken by ambulance to Springfield’s Memorial Medical Center.

>>Man Sentenced Six Years In Prison For Break-In

(Effingham, IL)  –  An East St. Louis man will spend six years behind bars after he broke into a home in Effingham in March of 2013.  Prosecutors say 28-year-old Aaron Broadnax pleaded guilty to a charge of residential burglary.  He was also ordered to repay the homeowner more than one-thousand dollars in restitution.

>>Baby Found In Dumpster In Foster Care

(Jacksonville, IL)  –  The baby found in a Jacksonville dumpster last summer will remain in foster care, until a hearing is set later this month.  A temporary custody hearing was originally scheduled for last Thursday.  The baby’s mother, a 17-year-old from Jacksonville, faces attempted murder charges.  The child was found in August and placed in a temporary guardianship of DCFS, and then in foster care.  DCFS wants to place the child with his maternal grandmother, but the Morgan County State’s Attorney is against that move.

>>Champaign Police Urging People To Travel In Pairs

(Champaign, IL)  –  Champaign and University of Illinois police are urging people to travel in twos after violent attacks on campus.  The two law enforcement departments say they’re working closely to come up with ways to counter the recent crime wave.  Over the past two weeks, 12 incidents of mob action and robbery have taken place in the U. of I. campus area.  Champaign Police Lieutenant Jim Clark says he is designating plainclothes and uniformed officers to monitor the campus.  He says he’s also delivering public safety alerts and bulletins to all students and staff.

>>Belvidere High School Football Coach Is Suspended Indefinitely

(Belvidere, IL)  –  Belvidere’s head football coach has been suspended indefinitely. The school district will not say why Chuck Leonard is sidelined.  He has been placed on leave for the last two games of the regular season.  The Bucs need to win their final games to qualify for the playoffs.

Rauner Gets Three Endorsements Over The Weekend – 10/20/14

October 20th, 2014

>>Rauner Gets Three Endorsements Over The Weekend

(Undated)  –  Newspaper endorsements seem to be pouring in for the Republican candidate for Illinois governor.  Bruce Rauner has gained the support of the “Chicago Sun-Times,” “Champaign News-Gazette” and “Peoria Journal Star.”  All of the endorsements came over the weekend and are all calling for a change in office.  The three publications believe a Rauner administration would help speed up the state’s economic recovery.

>>Springfield Cop On Restrictive Duty After DUI Charge

(Springfield, IL)  –  A Springfield police officer facing a DUI charge has been placed on restrictive duty while his case is awaiting a court date.  Sixteen-year-veteran cop James Stewart is back at work but has no police powers, and his job is outside the public eye.   He was off-duty when he was arrested April 12th.  Police were called to the 16-hundred block of Stevenson Drive on a report about a disabled vehicle. That is where they found Stewart behind the wheel.

>>Champaign Man Arrested After Stand-Off

(Champaign, IL)  –  A Champaign man is in police custody after a four hour standoff.  Officers arrested 31-year-old Joseph Harris Saturday morning after a domestic incident in the 400 block of North Prospect Avenue.   A woman contacted police and told them she was being threatened and battered by Harris.  She was able to run out of the house to a safe place.  A SWAT team was able to coax Harris out of the home without incident.  He was charged with domestic battery

>>Decatur Officials Are Preparing For Bad Winter

(Decatur, IL)   –  The city of Decatur is getting ready for winter.  Officials were forced to use more than double the salt on the roads and now they are almost out.  Decatur is expecting a delivery of close to two-thousand tons of salt next week.  They also have a contract for two-thousand more tons as winter goes on.  The National Weather Service is predicting a rather dry winter with normal temperatures.

>>Tornado Recovery Volunteers Are Still Needed

(Washington, IL)  –  Volunteers are still needed to help in the cleanup from last year’s tornado in the town of Washington.  Bethany Community Church is organizing the effort and they have two more dates to accept help, October 25th and November 15th.  Volunteers are needed not only for debris removal, but also building garden sheds for those returning to the community.  If you would like to help call the volunteer hotline at (309) 572-2670

State Prepares For Ebola – 10/18/14

October 18th, 2014

>>Illinois Jobless Rate Down Again

(Springfield, IL)  –  Unemployment in Illinois continues to fall, but is still higher than the national average.  The Department of Employment Security says the September jobless rate was six-point-six-percent, down a tenth of a percent from the month before.  Unemployment has fallen from nine-point-two-percent in August 2013, but remains above the national average of five-point-nine-percent.

>>Police Chiefs, Unions Seek Rules For Body Cameras

(Chicago, IL)  –  Police unions across the state say there should be a state law governing the use of body cameras, an increasingly popular piece of technology.  Union reps testified at an Illinois House hearing today in Chicago, saying that privacy and cost issues should be addressed before the cameras go into widespread use.  Police chiefs also favor a state law to set standards for the use of body cameras and how that will work with the state’s eavesdropping law, which the Illinois Supreme Court has ordered to be rewritten.

>>Landowners Sue Over Lack Of Fracking

(Springfield, IL)  –  A group of about a dozen landowners from Southern Illinois is suing the state, claiming the Quinn Administration is dragging its feet on awarding permits for hydraulic fracking.  Individual landowners stand to make thousands of dollars once they are allowed to lease their land to oil companies for the controversial horizontal drilling procedure.  The suit claims oil companies are abandoning Illinois because permits weren’t forthcoming, but the state says it’s still in the midst of the rulemaking process and that the rules should be ready by the November 15th deadline mandated by the state law.

>>Waukegan Teachers Remain Off The Job

(Waukegan, IL)  –  It’s another day without classes for the thousands of students in the Waukegan school district and there’s no end in sight to the teachers’ strike.  The district claims the union has suspended talks indefinitely and refuses to negotiate, but the union says they are giving the district time to review their budget and return with a better offer.  Classes have been cancelled for ten days after teachers walked off the job in a dispute over salary and the cost of health care.

>>State Prepares For Ebola

(Chicago, IL)  –  State health officials are briefing the public this afternoon on the state’s readiness to cope with any Ebola cases that may arise.  No cases have been reported in Illinois and advanced screening has begun at O’Hare Airport in Chicago for any travelers arriving from West Africa where the disease has been rampant.  The state has activated a hotline to answer the public’s questions about Ebola, staffed by the Illinois Poison Center.  That number is 800-889-3931.

Gas Prices Down – 10/17/14

October 17th, 2014

>>Early Voting Starts Monday

(Springfield, IL) — Registered voters can start casting a ballot as early as Monday. They can head out to their county clerk’s office during regular business hours to vote. The clerk will hold on to the ballot. It will not be counted until after the polls close on November 4th.

>>Quinn Getting Presidential Boost

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn is getting a bit of presidential help as he rounds out the final weeks of his campaign. President Obama will be in Chicago on Sunday to stump for Quinn and encourage people to cast an early ballot. Former President Bill Clinton will hit the city on Tuesday. And Vice President Joe Biden will attempt to rally the base in Chicago on Wednesday.

>>Teacher cleared To Work After Visit To South Africa

(Decatur, IL) — A central Illinois teacher who recently came back from South Africa has been cleared to head back to work. Decatur school officials say the MacArthur High School teacher was never in the regions where Ebola has been a threat. The teacher was checked out and cleared by a doctor after the school received calls from concerned parents. Officials say the teacher will not work directly with students.

>>Ebola Hotline Number Unveiled

(Springfield, IL) — There’s a new hotline for people who have questions about Ebola. State officials say someone will be on hand 24-hours-a-day to answer questions like how to avoid getting Ebola. Operators will also be able to tell you how the virus is spread and provide details on who’s at risk of getting infected. The hotline number is 800-889-3931.

>>Gas Prices Down

(Springfield, IL) — Gas prices are down and it may be that way for a few months. The demand for gas goes down during the winter months so that usually means lower prices. But there’s also a price war on crude oil between several countries in the Middle East. That’s a very big part of why gas has dropped below the three-dollar-mark in many cities in central and southern Illinois.

Voters Can Change Constitution – 10/16/14

October 16th, 2014

>>Quinn, Rauner Spend 35-Million In Last Three Months

(Springfield, IL)  –  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner are spending big bucks in their efforts to win in November.  The latest campaign finance reports show that Quinn put out more than 15-million-dollars between July and September trying to defend his job.  Rauner put out more than 20-million.  The two will keep doling out the cash over the next three weeks, hoping to give themselves an edge and win voters over.  Quinn still has about four-point-seven-million-dollars to spend and Rauner has about three-point-six-million.

>>Chicago Minimum Wage Push

(Chicago, IL)  –  Minimum wage workers in Chicago could be getting a raise.  Mayor Emanuel plans to get the wage boosted to 13-bucks-an-hour.  It’ll be phased in over a five year period and, it’ll rise with the cost of living.  Emanuel plans to implement the first ramp-up by the end of the year.  He says Chicago can’t succeed unless people have the chance to have a good paying job.

>>Voters Can Change Constitution

(Springfield, IL)  –  Voters are getting a chance to make a change to the state’s constitution this November.  A couple of constitutional amendments will be on the ballot.  The first will give more rights to victims of violent crimes.  It will ensure they get a fair shake when it comes to making a statement in court and being notified when their offender is released from jail or scheduled to appear in court.  The other is a Right to Vote amendment, which will ensure that people can’t be denied the right to vote based on their race, religion, sexual orientation or income.

>>State Setting Up Ebola Hotline

(Chicago, IL) — The state is setting up an Ebola hotline.  Officials say the hotline will provide answers to some of the questions that people have about the virus, like how it’s spread and how to avoid it. At this point, no one in Illinois have been diagnosed with Ebola. The hotline should be up and running by the end of the week.

>>White Students Population Dropping In Public Schools

(Springfield, IL)  –  White students are no longer making up the majority of public schools across Illinois.  The State Board of Education says there’s a sharp rise in the Hispanic student population.  Nearly 25-percent of all students are Hispanic.  The white student population has dropped to 49-point-nine-percent.  The Board will release a more comprehensive demographics report in just a few weeks.

Six Tornadoes Spotted In Central and Southern Illinois – 10/15/14

October 15th, 2014

>>Quinn, Rauner Spar For Black Voters

(Chicago, IL)  –  Black voters are critical in this year’s governor’s race and the two top candidates know it.  Governor Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner both made strong pitches to win the voters over during last night’s debate in Chicago. Quinn had to come clean about why only one-percent-of-all state contracts went to black owned firms last year.  Meanwhile Rauner denied claims that there aren’t any African Americans working at his investment firm.  Black voters are normally loyal to Democratic candidates, no matter who’s on top of the ticket but this year, quite a few prominent Black leaders switched it up and endorsed Rauner.

>>Fracking Rule Approval Pushed To November

(Chicago, IL)  –  Fracking is still hanging in the balance in Illinois.  A legislative panel was slated to approve the rules yesterday but decided to push back until next month.  Once the rules are approved, businesses will be allowed to pull oil and gas from large rocks that are buried deep underground. Supporters hope it’ll lead to an economic boom in Illinois.  But opponents argue fracking will contaminate drinking water and cause earthquakes.

>>SIU Chancellor Battling Breast Cancer

(Carbondale, IL)  –  The interim chancellor at SIU is battling a rare form of breast cancer.  Paul Sarvela says he was diagnosed with a treatable type of carcinoma after getting a series of medical tests.  He says he’s been given an excellent prognosis for a positive outcome.  Sarvela plans to stay on the job while he undergoes treatment.  He took over for Dr. Rita Cheng back in July.

>>High Cell Phone Taxes In Illinois

(Undated)  –  Cell phone taxes in Illinois are among the highest in the nation.  The Tax Foundation reports people are paying nearly 16-percent in state and local tax rates.  It gets even worse in Chicago, where nearly 25-percent of the customers’ monthly bill is strictly taxes and fees.

>>Six Tornadoes Spotted In Central, Southern Illinois

(Undated)  –  Weather experts say tornadoes were spotted on the ground in at least six central and southern Illinois towns on Monday.  EF-1 twisters hit in Freeburg, New Baden, and Long Creek, near the Decatur Airport.  An Ef-2 hit in Moweaqua.  Weaker tornadoes were spotted near Ruma and Argenta.  The twisters uprooted trees and ripped the roofs off of several homes but no injuries were reported.

>>Earthquake Drill Tomorrow

(Springfield, IL)  –  More than half-a-million-people in Illinois will be participating in an earthquake drill tomorrow.  It’s designed to help people understand what to do if they feel the ground shaking.  Officials say the best things to do is drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops.  Tomorrow’s drill will take place at 10:16 in the morning.  Anyone who like to participate can register at

Quinn/Rauner to debate tonight – 10/14/14

October 14th, 2014

>>Quinn, Rauner To Debate

(Chicago, IL)  –  The election is just three weeks away and there’s still no clear indication on who’ll be the next governor of Illinois.  Democratic Governor Quinn is in a tough race with Republican Bruce Rauner.  They’re essentially tied in the latest polls.  The two will appear in their second televised debate tonight.  It’ll be streamed live on the “CBS Chicago” website starting at 6 p.m.

>>Complaint Filed Against DCFS

(Romeoville, IL)  –  A Romeoville woman is hoping to shed light on what may be outdated policies at the Department of Children and Family Services.  Rochelle Vermeulen filed a complaint against the agency, claiming they took her kids while she was trying to escape an abusive situation.  She left her boyfriend back in August and moved in with her stepfather, but someone told DCFS that the new home had mold growing inside.  Vermeulen says agents never conducted an investigation and used intimidation tactics before forcing her to turn her kids over to her abuser’s family.  The Family Defense Center stepped in on her behalf and helped her get the kids back, earlier this month.

>>Durbin Backs Minimum Wage Hike

(Springfield, IL)  –  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is on board with the state’s plan to raise the minimum wage to ten-bucks-an-hour.  He says it’ll innovate the economy and give workers more purchasing and spending power.  The minimum wage is set at eight-25 in Illinois now, but Governor Quinn and Democrats have been trying to boost it.  They say people shouldn’t work 40-hours-a-week and still live in poverty.  Voters will be allowed to weigh in on the issue when they head to the polls on November 4th.

>>Tornado Rips Through Belleville

(Belleville, IL)  –  People in the Metro-East are picking up the pieces after a tornado reportedly touched down in St. Clair County.  It ripped through a couple of neighborhoods in Belleville, uprooting trees, damaging corn crops, and taking roofs off of homes in its path.  A winery along Route 15 reportedly suffered extensive damages.  No injuries are reported.

>>Illinois Has Poor Economic Outlook

(Undated)  –  Illinois’ economic outlook is one of the worst in the nation.  The American Legislative Exchange Council ranks the state at number 48 in its latest edition of “Rich States, Poor States.”  The ranking is based on 15 variables, including business tax rates and workers’ compensation costs.  Illinois’ businesses tax rate comes in at number 44, at nine-and-a-half-percent.  And the workers’ comp payout comes in number 47, at two-dollars-and 83-cents for every 100-dollars in payroll costs.