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.

At least one injured in I-80 crash near Annawan

October 13th, 2014

At least one injury is being reported following an accident on Interstate 80 near the Bureau-Henry County line.  The crash happened this morning and caused numerous delays.  A tanker truck apparently rolled over in the eastbound lane of Interstate 80 at Mile Marker 38, about 18 miles west of Princeton.  The driver is reportedly the injured person in the accident.  Traffic was down to one lane and moving slowly as many emergency vehicles were on the scene.  Some reports had traffic backed up for miles with frequent stop-and-go activity.  We’ll have more information on the crash as it’s made available.

Illinois Briefs – 10/13/14

October 13th, 2014

>>Peoria County Inmate Found Dead In Cell

(Peoria, IL)  –  Peoria Police are investigating the death of an inmate at the Peoria County Jail.  The local coroner say 22-year-old Tylor Young was found dead in his cell Sunday morning.  She says it seems that he tied a bed sheet to a metal light cover and hanged himself.  Young was last seen by a correctional officer around 10:15 a.m. and his body was discovered at 11:01 a.m.  An autopsy is scheduled for today.

>>Fighting Illini Football Official Arrested For DUI

(Urbana, IL)  –  A University of Illinois sports official has been charged with a DUI.  Police say 32-year-old Ryan Cubit was arrested early Sunday morning and was driving with a blood-alcohol level of point-zero-eight or more and disobeyed a traffic-control device.  He is the director of football student-athlete development at the university.  Cubit, who is the son of U of I offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, was released after paying ten-percent of his three-thousand-dollar bond.

[[ Watch for updates ]]

>>Husband Of Missing Woman Arrested

(Ullin, IL)  –  Authorities are arresting a man whose wife disappeared from Ullin.  Forty-five-year-old Sylvia Tipler is from Paducah and was last seen Wednesday in Ullin with her husband, 45-year-old Clarence Williams, Senior.  Willliams had an arrest warrant for kidnapping and was caught Sunday night and booked in Mississippi County, Missouri.  The sheriff says a body of a woman who was missing was found in the county Sunday night but officials have not confirmed the name.

>>Panhandling On The Rise In Downtown Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  –  Even though panhandling is illegal in downtown Springfield, a local group says that it continues to be a huge issue.  Downtown Springfield Inc.has come up with an idea to counter the problem.  The group is now passing out flyers with the reminder that asking for money from people passing by is banned in the downtown area.  They’re also handing out informational cards to hand to panhandlers that list social services and their contact information.

>>Springfield Elementary School Gets Five-Thousand Dollar Donation

(Springfield, IL)  –  A Springfield grade school has received a hefty donation from one of its former students.  Don Bolin presented a five-thousand-dollar gift on Friday to Dubois Elementary.  He attended the school in the 40s and 50s and wanted to thank all the teachers past and present who helped him.  Bolin had a long successful career with Edward Jones Investments.  Meanwhile, Dubois’ principal says the money will be used to assist in the school’s technology and environmental goals.

Illinois Briefs – 10/10/14

October 10th, 2014

>>Quinn, Rauner Battle It Out In First Debate

(Peoria, IL) — Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner battled it out in their first televised debate. Both of them stuck with their main talking points for the most part last night. Quinn slammed Rauner on his budget and tax plans, but touted his own success on rebuilding the auto industry and driving the unemployment rate down. Rauner says the unemployment rate isn’t down far enough. He says his business savvy will help bring the state out of a fiscal crisis and into prosperity. The two will debate again next Tuesday.

>>Anti-Violence Hearings Wrap Up

(Peoria, IL) — Lawmakers have wrapped up their hearings on what went wrong with Governor Quinn’s 55-million-dollar anti-violence program. Republicans grilled several of Quinn’s former top aides for two days this week, hoping they’d admit that the program had ties to the 2010 election. They say Quinn was banking on winning votes in black communities but Quinn’s aides denied that. Quinn himself spoke directly to his efforts to win votes during a debate last night, claiming he goes after everyone’s vote in Illinois, from tornado victims in Washington to victims of violence in Chicago.

>>Fight Ensues Over Baby Found In Dumpster

(Jacksonville, IL) — There’s a fight brewing over who should have custody of a newborn baby that was tossed into a dumpster in Jacksonville. DCFS officials say he should be with his biological relatives, particularly his maternal grandmother, but Morgan County Assistant State’s Attorney Chad Turner doesn’t like that idea at all. He says it’s not in the best interest of the child because his mother is the one who allegedly put him in the trash back in August. Turner wants the baby to stay with his foster parents. A judge has agreed with Turner for now and has issued an injunction that prevents the DCFS from moving the kid.

>>Woman Killed Before Home Set On Fire

(Williamson County, IL) — Police in southern Illinois are shifting gears on what started as a fire investigation. They say a woman’s body was found in the rubble of a home on South McGeesville Road in rural Williamson County last month. New evidence reveals she was shot multiple times before the fire was set. Police are now looking at the case as a homicide

>>Driver Who Killed Trooper Gets Probation

(Litchfield, IL) — The semi-truck driver who hit and killed an Illinois state trooper on I-55 won’t serve any jail time. Johnny Felton made a plea deal with prosecutors and will spend the next two-and-a-half-years on probation. He admitted to “zoning out” before he hit Trooper Kyle Deatherage near Litchfield back in November of 2012. Deatherage was in the middle of a traffic stop at the time. The trooper’s family is suing Felton and his employer for wrongful death.