Cancellations

Perry Memorial Hospital CEO Announces Retirement

February 6th, 2016

Rex Conger, President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital, is announcing his retirement, effective January 15th, 2017.  He has held his current post with the hospital for over 9 years.  After hearing from Conger of his intention in 2013, the hospital’s board of directors began putting into place a transition plan.  Annette Schnabel with hired as Chief Operating Officer in 2014 with the expectation she would eventually transition into the President/CEO position when Conger retired.  Next, the board will hire a new Chief Operating Officer, who will replace Schnabel when she becomes the new President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital.  Conger will move into a President Emeritus role until his retirement date.  As President Emeritus, he will have an office in the hospital and will report to the hospital board of directors.  Conger will continue to be involved on various statewide boards and committees.

Illinois Briefs – 2/5/2016

February 5th, 2016

Lead Paint Could Doom Elementary School

The Midland School Board, north of Peoria, has decided to close the elementary school in Lacon after hazardous lead paint was found in several areas inside and outside the building.  For the rest of the school year, younger students will attend class in a nearby middle school, and to make room for them, fifth graders from that school will be shifted to a nearby high school.  All three Midland district schools have been closed for the past seven days for lead paint testing, and it’s still not clear if the Lacon school will be repaired or demolished.

East St. Louis High School Sends Water To Flint

(East St. Louis, IL)  —  A truck loaded with 15-thousand-bottles of water is heading to Flint, Michigan thanks to the efforts of students and East St. Louis High School.  English class discussions about the lead crisis in Flint turned into a two-week collection drive by students, teachers and school staff members.  The water from East St. Louis was taken to Decatur where that load was added to three other trucks full of water gathered in Decatur that are being transported to Flint this weekend.

Archdiocese Contemplates Cuts, Consolidation

(Chicago, IL)  —  Chicago’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese is in line for a radical reorganization over the next 15 years that could lead to the closing of many churches.  Archbishop Blase Cupich [[ SOO-pitch ]] told priests and advisers recently that a shortage of priests that’s not expected to ease could lead to the closing or consolidation of a number of the three-hundred-51 parishes now in operation.  The Archdiocese is also looking to close some dilapidated buildings to save money, though a cost-savings target hasn’t been announced.

Church Leader Accused Of Molesting Girls

(Belleville, IL)  —  In Belleville, the leader of a church youth singing group has left that post after being charged with sexually assaulting two girls in his home.  Police say 66-year-old Dennis Theurer is accused of abusing two girls, aged seven and 13 repeatedly between 2013 and this year.  Police and the church’s pastor say the alleged offenses were not connected to Theurer’s involvement with the Edgemont Bible Church, where he was an elder.

Mayor Will “Discuss” Lucas Museum Site Change

(Chicago, IL)  —  Mayor Emanuel appears open to the possibility of finding a new location for the proposed Lucas Museum, now that a legal challenge to the lakefront site is being allowed to proceed.  The Chicago “Sun Times” reports Emanuel said today he’ll discuss the project’s future with film mogul George Lucas and his wife Mellody Hobson, a Chicago investment executive.  Emanuel said he still supports the lakefront site being opposed by the group Friends of the Parks, but the fear is that Lucas will pull his plans if faced with a lengthy and expensive legal fight.

Chinese Investors Buy Chicago Stock Exchange

(Chicago, IL)  —  A Chinese investment group has established a beachhead in the U.S. equity market with plans to acquire the Chicago Stock Exchange.  The Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group has signed an agreement to acquire the one-hundred-34-year-old Chicago exchange, which handles less than one percent of the nation’s stock trades.  No purchase price was quoted but the Chinese group is expected to use the Chicago exchange to offer shares in Chinese companies to American investors.

Peru Bank Robbery Investigation Continues

February 4th, 2016

The investigation continues into a bank robbery in Peru.  The heist was reported shortly after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon at Peru Federal at Shooting Park Road and Pine Street.  Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei released a description of a suspect described as a skinny white male, around 150 pounds in his mid-20s, wearing a camouflage hoodie and a dark beanie-like stocking hat, round sun glasses, medium-colored jeans, black tennis shoes with neon green around the soles, brown gloves, carrying a Walmart bag and was last seen on foot eastbound on 16th Street.  It’s being described as a strong-armed robbery, meaning a weapon was implied but not displayed.  One witness reported shortly after the robbery seeing a light-colored small station wagon with Oklahoma license plates running a stop sign near the bank.  Anyone with any information regarding the incident is being asked to call 1-815-223-2151 extension 0 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-340-4045.

Illinois Briefs – 2/3/2016

February 3rd, 2016

Governor Signs New E-Cigs Law For Minors

(Undated)  —  It will soon be illegal for minors to use electronic cigarettes.  Governor Rauner signed a law last week that will impose penalties for anyone under the age of 18 caught in possession of e-cigs or other tobacco-free nicotine products.  The law goes into effect June 1st.

One Arrest, Two Wanted In Rochester Death

(Rochester, IL)  —  A person is in custody and two others are wanted after a man was shot to death in Sangamon County.  Authorities say Matthew Grady was found dead last week at his Rochester home.  Travis Ramsey was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.  Arrest warrants have been issued for Dewon Loman Junior and Marcus Russell.  Police believe the suspects tried to rob the victim and ended up shooting him.

Pinckneyville Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Stealing From Fire District

(Pinckneyville, IL)  —  The former bookkeeper of the Pinckneyville Rural Fire Protection District is admitting to stealing a large amount of taxpayer money.  Tammy Kellerman pleaded guilty yesterday to mail fraud.  Prosecutors say she stole more than 450-thousand-dollars by using checks on the district’s account to pay off personal credit cards and expenses.  Sentencing is scheduled for May.  Kellerman faces up to 20 years in prison.

New Rockford Board Member Chosen

(Rockford, IL)  —  A new member of the Rockford School Board could be unveiled soon.  “The Rockford Register Star” reports a replacement for Mike Harner was chosen last night.  Harner announced he was resigning last month.  Board President Ken Scrivano says he will notify all candidates of the decision today.  The newest member will be sworn in during a board meeting next week.

Illinois American Water Investing Millions In Peoria County

(Peoria Co., IL)  —  Illinois American Water is planning on investing a large amount of money in Peoria County.  The utility says it will spend over eight-million-dollars to install water mains in Peoria, West Peoria and Bartonville.  Work could begin this month depending on the weather.

Transgender Girl Scout Responds To Bully By Selling Cookies

(Herrin, IL)  —  A transgender Girl Scout from Illinois won’t let rude comments stop her from selling a lot of cookies.  BuzzFeed News reports nine-year-old Stormi was selling Girl Scout cookies door to door last month in Herrin when a man turned her away.  He told the child, “Nobody wants to buy cookies from a boy in a dress.”  In response, Stormi and her foster mother decided to share her story and move all her sales online.  By last week, she had sold over three-thousand boxes.

Area Boys High School Basketball From Tuesday Night

February 2nd, 2016

Princeton 60 – Prophetstown 51 (Soph: PHS won 52-50 in OT)
Kewanee 76 – Bureau Valley 61
Hall 63 – Amboy 61
Morrison 56 – Newman 52
Fulton 42 – Erie 38
DeKalb 68 – LaSalle-Peru 51 (Cavs first loss of season)
Seneca 53 – Marquette 45
Byron 67 – Mendota 47
Newark 75 – Paw Paw 9

Lingering Questions About Mautino Spending 

February 2nd, 2016

(Springfield, IL)  —  Illinois’ new auditor general can’t shake questions about his final campaign expenses.  A number of reports questions an uptick in how Frank Mautino of Spring Valley spent his campaign money.  Mautino has said all of the expenses are within bounds, but reports say he spent thousands more on auto repairs and even garbage service than in years past.

Illinois Briefs – 2/2/2016

February 2nd, 2016

Rauner Repeats “No” To MAP Grant Bill

(Springfield, IL)  —  Governor Bruce Rauner took a swipe at Senate President John Cullerton today when he said he still plans to veto a bill to fund college tuition grants and community college operations.  Cullerton had said he’s holding on to the bill for a while to give the governor time to rethink his opposition, but Rauner said today that Cullerton is playing games with the bill and holding out false hopes to students.  Rauner says he intends to veto the bill because it contains no source for the 721-million-dollars it proposes to spend.

Munger Says State Sliding Faster Into Debt Hole

(Chicago, IL)  —  Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois is falling ever faster into a debt hole.  Munger tried a graphic demonstration today to illustrate how far the state is falling into debt without a budget.  She said today that Illinois is on track to fall six-point-two-billion-dollars further into the hole this year if there’s no budget, outpacing last year’s decline by one-point-two-billion-dollars.  To make her point, Munger pointed to a chart illustrating what six-point-two-billion-dollars could buy, including both Super Bowl teams, the Willis Tower and two round-trip tickets to the moon.

Illinois Film Industry Showing Healthy Growth

(Springfield, IL)  —  Twenty-fifteen was a marquee year in Illinois for the film industry.  The state says movie and television filming generated three-hundred-30-million-dollars in spending last year, an 18-percent increase over 2014.  In addition to entertainment filming, there were nearly two-hundred commercial projects made in Illinois, as the state remains in the top three for commercial production.

Convicted Dealer Charged In Drug OD Death

(Mundelein, IL)  —  A convicted drug dealer has now been charged in connection with the December overdose death of a man in Mundelein.  Twenty-eight-year-old Joseph Crisera of Island Lake is accused of drug-induced homicide for selling the drugs that killed 27-year-old Jason Erickson, who was found unresponsive in his bedroom the day after Christmas by members of his family.  Police found information on Erickson’s cell phone leading them to Crisera, who was arrested Monday and is due in bond court today in Waukegan.

Rockford Shifts Funds To Balance Budget

(Rockford, IL)  —  Rockford aldermen have approved a budget for the current year that won’t require turning off any street lights, laying off any workers or mothballing any buses.  To bring the one-hundred-28-million-dollar budget into balance, aldermen approved shifting seven-hundred-50-thousand-dollars from a surplus in the city’s sanitation fund. The move avoids the more drastic measures suggested last fall by former Public Works Director Tim Hanson.  Rockford’s financial problems aren’t solved though as the city faces increased pension fund payments next year.

Budget Impasse Slows Historic Site Traffic

(Springfield, IL)  —  The number of visits to state historical sites fell seven-percent last year, in part because of the state’s budget woes.  The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency reports that while visits to the Lincoln museum and library rose by five percent because of the one-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, overall visits to the 29 historic sites fell to just below two-million.  Some of those sites had their hours cut because of reductions in state spending

Illinois Briefs – 2/1/2016

February 1st, 2016

Standoff Ends Peacefully

(Rockford, IL)  —  Rockford police this morning arrested a 27-year-old man, ending a nearly-eight-hour standoff at an apartment building in the eleven-hundred block of Elm Street.  It started when police responded to a report of shots fired inside the building where Anthony Windom was alone in an apartment.  After hours of unsuccessfully trying to contact Windom and with police surrounding the building, the power was cut and Windom surrendered.

More Prison Time In Child Beating Death

(Peoria, IL)  —  A South Peoria man, already sentenced to 40 years in prison for beating his girlfriend’s son to death has now been given an additional four-years behind bars.  Twenty-year-old Deon Wells pleaded guilty to attempting to harass a witness in the case by beating and threatening him.  Wells was convicted in July of beating and shaking 19-month old Koffi Harris as he babysat the child in late December, 2014.

Christiansen Out Of Reelection Race

(Rockford, IL)  —  Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen told his campaign supporters this morning that he’s stepping away from the March primary to focus on his family and his health. Christiansen’s tenure has been under a cloud since the FBI started an investigation of county spending.  In December, federal agents seized a sauna that had been purchased with county funds and that had been in Christiansen’s home for about a year.

Fewer Getting Concealed Carry Permits

(Springfield, IL)  —  The State Police approved far fewer concealed handgun permits last year than the year before and local police filed more objections to the applications that came in. In 2015, about 55-thousand concealed carry permits were granted, compared with about 95-thousand in 2014, the first year of the program. Local police and prosecutors raised objections to nearly 11-thousand applications last year, more than twice the number from the previous year.

State Medicinal Pot Business Has Cloudy Future

(Chicago, IL)  —  A market research company doesn’t like the outlook for the state’s medical marijuana business.  The “Chicago Tribune” reports ArcView Market Research projects that the sales could reach just 15-point-six-million-dollars this year, and just 23-million next year.  Those numbers are less than the 36-million-dollars ArcView predicted last year for Illinois’ medical pot business.  Illinois’ medical pot business is operating under a pilot program that will expire at the end of next year, unless lawmakers intervene.

Rauner Denies New Pot-Eligible Diseases

(Chicago, IL)  — Once again, Governor Rauner has rejected suggestions to expand the list of ailments eligible for treatment with medical marijuana. Friday, he turned down eight recommendations from a board of experts, including PTSD, autism, IBS, osteoarthritis and four kinds of chronic pain. The law includes 39 diseases or conditions that now qualify, but with additions to the list, business experts say the business is doomed to fail in Illinois.

BOYS AREA HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

January 29th, 2016

FRIDAY

Tri-County Conference Tournament
Championship: 
Marquette 45 – Putnam County 43
Third Place:  Peoria Christian 54 – Roanoke-Benson 48
Consolation:  DePue 57 – Woodland 41


OTHER
Kewanee 74 – Princeton 50
Sherrard 72 – Hall 47

BOYS AREA HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

January 28th, 2016

THURSDAY

Tri-County Conference Tournament at Putnam County High School
DePue 44 – Henry-Senachwine 22

FRIDAY

Tri-County Conference Tournament – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

8:00  Putnam County vs. Marquette (7:45 airtime with Charlie Waca on 100.5 WRVY)

OTHER
7:30  Princeton at Kewanee (7:15 airtime with Paul Bomleny & Norm Vandermoon on WZOE-AM 1490 and wzoe.com)