Illinois Briefs – 7/31/14

July 31st, 2014

State Imposes New Rules For Hepatitis C Meds

(Chicago, IL) — The state has spent 16-million dollars this year on a drug to treat Medicaid patients that have hepatitis-C, but now they’re cutting back. Officials are putting tight restrictions in place that’ll require patients to meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before getting access to Sovaldi, the pill that costs one-thousand-dollars a pop. The disease is most typically spread among drug users who share needles. According to the new state rules, anyone with a history of using drugs or alcohol in the past year will be out of luck if they’re hoping the state will pick up the tab for their meds.

Teacher Unions Back Quinn

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Quinn is getting the support of both major teachers’ unions. The Illinois Federation of Teachers announced its support for Quinn yesterday. Board members say Quinn is committed to making sure students have the resources they need to succeed in school. The group slammed Bruce Rauner’s ideas on education, claiming his budget plan would force layoffs, larger class sizes, and deeper cuts to public education. The Illinois Education Association is also backing Quinn.

Students, Trained Staff Can Administer Epi-Pen Shots

(Chicago, IL) — A new law allows students to carry epi-pens at school and give themselves a shot when they’re having a severe allergic reaction. Trained staff will also be allowed to administer the injection when someone is in need. In the past, only nurses were allowed to give the shots, but state officials say this will get students, workers, and even school visitors the help they need when they need it. The law takes effect tomorrow.

Trucks Increase Dangers On Route 66

(Elwood, IL) — Increased traffic along Route 66 in Elwood is creating a problem. Police Chief Fred Hayes says more than eight-thousand trucks pass through the area each day, many are speeding and some have been busted crashing through a railroad crossing arm. At least one young girl was killed when a semi rammed into the car she was riding in. Hayes says many of the trucks are heading to and from industrial areas and pass through town hoping to avoid construction on I-55 at Arsenal Road but, he says that’s the safest way to go at this point.

Workers Comp Rates Going Down

(Springfield, IL) — It looks like workers’ comp rates are headed downward. The National Council on Compensation Insurance has suggested that Illinois drop its rate by five-point-five-percent. That could save taxpayers about 143-million-dollars on workers’ comp costs in 2015. Governor Quinn says if the reduction is enacted, it’ll be the third time the rate has gone down since 2011, with a cumulative drop of 18-percent.

Family wins Chula Vista getaway from WZOE-Z98-WRVY and ZavingsOnline

July 30th, 2014

Kary Snyder and her kids are all smiles as they pick up a Chula Vista getaway prize package Kary won courtesy of WZOE-Z98-WRVY and ZavingsOnline!

Illinois Briefs – 7/30/14

July 30th, 2014

Quinn Blows Off Poll That Puts Him Behind

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Quinn is blowing off a new poll that puts Bruce Rauner up by 14-points in the race for state’s top job. Forty-seven percent of respondents in a recent “We Ask America” poll said they’d vote for Rauner if the race were today. Thirty three-percent said they’d back Quinn. Quinn say it’s too early to gauge on who’s up on the race. He notes that he was the underdog in 2010, but he pulled through and his opponent “is still looking for his gym shoes.”

Quinn Launches New Comeback Ad

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Quinn is getting a bit of pushback from members of his own party over his new campaign ad. It paints Quinn as a courageous leader who’s willing to go against the grain to get things done in Springfield. The ad points out that Quinn was quick to lead when he cut lawmakers’ pay last year, when they couldn’t reach a deal on pension reform. The only problem with that was it was illegal. Democrats sued to have their pay reinstated and a judge ruled Quinn had violated the state’s constitution and ordered him to pay lawmakers immediately.

Voters To Weigh In On Millionaires Tax

(Berwyn, IL) — Voters will get a chance to decide whether millionaires should pay an extra three-percent in state income taxes in order to shore up funding for schools. Governor Quinn approved a measure that’ll put an advisory question on the November ballot. But it’s a non-binding question so lawmakers won’t be required to act, no matter what voters say. Republicans say Democrats are trying to build up steam so they can draw more of their supporters to the polls.

Man Stabbed Banker 50-Times

(Cairo, IL) — More details are being released about a deadly bank heist in Cairo. Officials say James Watts forced three women back inside the First National Bank after it closed back in May. He then allegedly cut each other their throats and stabbed one of the victims 50-times. Watts had previous contact with one of the women, who’d turned him in for trying to cash stolen checks back in 2009. During a standoff with police after the murders, Watts asked if the three women were dead. When police answered no, he allegedly said, “Yes they are, I made sure of it.”

Mercer County Treasurer Admits to Stealing Money

(Mercer County, IL) — The former Mercer County treasurer is facing prison time after he admitted to stealing 13-thousand-dollars from the 9-1-1 fund. Mike Bertelsen resigned his post earlier this week after pleading guilty to the crime. He’ll be sentenced October 20th and faces up seven-years behind bars. Bertelsen was in his fifth term as treasurer.

Surgeon General Warns Against Tanning

(Washington, DC) — It may be tempting to get a little sun or head to the tanning bed for a nice summer complexion, but the U.S. Surgeon General says, don’t do it. Dr. Boris Lushniak says he’s seeing a spike in skin cancer cases. Nearly five-million-people across the country are treated for skin cancer each year and at least six-thousand-of those cases are directly linked to indoor tanning. Lushniak says people should also avoid extensive exposure to the sun; they should stay in the shade and wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen if they’re out in the heat.

Spring Valley motorcycle accident kills a Peru man

July 29th, 2014

The investigation continues into a motorcycle accident in Spring Valley that left a Peru man dead. The accident happened Sunday evening. Spring Valley Police say 34-year old Randy Mosell Junior was traveling east on Route 6 on the Spring Valley curves when, after passing a vehicle, his motorcycle went off the road and he hit a sign. Mosell was taken to St. Margaret’s Hospital but died soon after arriving. An investigation into the accident is being done by the Spring Valley Police Department and Bureau County Coroner’s Office.

Illinois Briefs – 7/29/14

July 29th, 2014

Ryan Questions Whether Quinn Is Headed To Prison

(Chicago, IL) — Former Governor George Ryan says he wouldn’t be surprised if Pat Quinn becomes the third consecutive Illinois governor who ends up behind bars. Ryan spoke exclusively to ABC-TV in Chicago yesterday. He says he hopes Quinn isn’t convicted but the fact of the matter is he’s under investigation for possibly using 55-million dollars in taxpayer money as a slush fund to woo voters back in 2010. Ryan spent five years behind bars and says he wouldn’t wish that on his worst enemy. He also says Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year-sentence on corruption charges is too harsh.

More Than 130 Accidents In I-55 Work Zone

(Springfield, IL) — There have been more than 130 accidents in the I-55 construction zone near Channahon in the past year-and-a-half. IDOT reports seven people have been killed in the work zone, even though it has some of the most advanced safety measures in place. They include reduced and extended work zone speed limits, signs alerting drivers of upcoming construction, and rumble strips were put down last week after five people were killed. Drivers have an option to take a detour off I-80 and Illinois 47 to avoid the area. Work is tentatively set to wrap up in August.

NIU Alumni Creates Safety Device

(DeKalb, IL) — Three former roommates at NIU are making a buzz for creating a new safety device. It’s a small, wireless handheld remote that sends an alert to police when someone is in trouble. That alert includes the person’s exact location and records all video and audio of what’s going on. The trio created the device in response to the growing number of violent attacks at colleges and universities, but they say anyone can use it, not just students. Check out for more details.

New Campaign Promotes Products By Veteran Farmers

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who’ve served in the military are getting a boost to help promote their Ag products. The state is unveiling a new logo today that lets people know which of the products they see in stores were grown right here in Illinois, by a farmer who served his or her country. The state also wants to recruit more veterans to become farmers. The Homegrown by Heroes program will offer them the training and informational resources they’ll need to get started.

Herrin School Protects Students From Lightning Strikes

(Herrin, IL) — School officials in Herrin are being proactive when it comes to protecting kids from lightning strikes. They’ve installed a new detection system from WeatherBug near the football field so they know when danger is on the way. The system will sound a horn when lightning is within a ten-mile radius of the school and it’ll also sound-off when the threat has cleared. Schools are required to suspend outdoor sporting events when lightning is on the horizon.

Delays Slow Final Day of DePue Boat Races

July 28th, 2014

The Pro National Championship Boat Races are over at DePue for another year, but not without some excitement on the final day. Strong winds forced a 3-hour delay. When racing did resume late in the afternoon, an accident happened in the first heat of the 1100cc Hydro. Sean McKean of Texas and Jim Wright of New York were taken to the hospital. McKean was in stable condition with a leg injury and Wright received stitches on his nose.  With the delays caused by the wind and the accident, some races were shortened in order to get all the champions crowned before nightfall.  DePue’s Paul Bosnich III jumped the gun and was disqualified in the first heat of the 350cc Runabout and took third in the second heat. He did win a national title on Saturday in the 250cc Runabout. Among the other local racers, DePue’s Jake Quesse finished sixth in the 125cc Hydro while Ladd’s Steve Niesen took seventh in the same event.

Illinois Briefs – 7/28/14

July 28th, 2014

Quinn Takes Low-Wage Challenge

(Springfield, IL) — Governor Quinn is taking a challenge that’ll force him to live on the minimum wage for a while. He made the pledge yesterday after being called out by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. She just wrapped up a week of living on just eleven-bucks a day. It’s part of a movement designed to get more people out to the polls this fall where they can weigh in on whether the state’s minimum wage should be raised to ten-bucks-an-hour. Lawmakers won’t be required to change the wage no matter what voters decide.

More Than 212-Thousand Job Postings In June

(Springfield, IL) — There are a couple-hundred-thousand job openings in Illinois. Employers posted more than 212-thousand help-wanted ads on the internet in June. Eighty-five-percent of the postings were for full-time workers. Anyone looking for work can check out for more details.

Madigan Contender Down By Less Than 10-Points

(Undated) — A new poll suggests Attorney General Lisa Madigan may be in for a close race this fall. Her opponent, Paul Shimpf conducted the poll earlier this month, asking 800-likely voters who they’d vote for if the election were today. Forty-six-percent of the respondents say they’d keep Madigan on the job, 37-percent said they’d go with Shimpf, and 17-percent were undecided. The same poll put Republican Bruce Rauner over Governor Quinn by six-percentage points.

More Cameras In The Courtroom

(Sangamon County, IL) — Cameras could soon be allowed in six more courtrooms in central Illinois. Officials with the 7th Judicial Circuit say they’d like to get in on the pilot program that allows courts to record trial cases. They’ll be submitting an application to the state’s Supreme Court sometime this fall. If approved, cameras would go up in Sangamon, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, Morgan and Scott counties. Certain cases would be off-limits though, including jury selection and cases involving divorce, adoption, and child-custody battles.

State Considers Changes To Motorcycle Licensing Program

(Springfield, IL) — There could be a few changes coming to the motorcycle licensing program in Illinois. State officials are looking to add a third licensing category that would call for more specified training on bigger bikes. The riders also would be required to prove they can handle the bike when they go through their motorcycle safety class. The idea is to cut back on motorcycle deaths, which have skyrocketed in recent years.

Final Day of DePue Boat Races – Bosnich III wins title

July 27th, 2014

DePue Boat 2014 AMore national champions are being crowned on this final day of the Pro National Championship Boat Races on Lake DePue. Saturday was a big day for DePue racer Paul Bosnich III, who won a national title in the 250cc Runabout. He’s trying for the 350cc Runabout title today. Besides racing, attractions include carnival rides, games and food booths. Speaking of food, there’s the DePue Men’s Club food stand. Publicity chairman Eric Bryant says the folks who run the food stand are especially proud of their double cheeseburger.  This marks the 30th consecutive year for the DePue Men’s Club sponsoring the races and Bryant says they’re very pleased.  A raffle wraps things up this evening. Admission is $3. WZOE-AM 1490 is broadcasting on-location from the DePue Boat Races again this afternoon.

Awards Program Highlights Today’s 4-H Fair events

July 26th, 2014

Today marks day 3 of the Bureau County 4-H Fair. Highlights include this afternoon’s “Sale of Champions” and “Awards Program”. The 4-H food stand is open until 4 this afternoon, offering a variety of sandwiches, salads and pies. The fair runs through tomorrow at the Bureau County Fairgrounds in Princeton.

Second Day of Championship Boat Races on Lake DePue

July 26th, 2014

It’s the third and final day of the Lake DePue Pro National Championship Boat Races. Six more racers will win national championships today, joining the 14 other national champs crowned Friday and Saturday. Besides racing, other attractions include a carnival, food stands and games. Raffle drawings wrap things up at 6:30. Admission is three-dollars. WZOE-AM 1490, is broadcasting on-location from the boat races again this afternoon.