News Headlines – October 5, 2017

October 4th, 2017

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Federal prosecutors now want to try the man suspected of kidnapping a Chinese scholar for her death. Students will be back at Metamora High School after the all clear was given yesterday. Illinois politicos are waiting to see what the Supreme Court case on political maps will mean for Illinois. State Farm says Illinois isn’t among the top ten deer crash states.

New Indictment: Man Charged With Kidnapping And Death Of Scholar

(Urbana, IL) — It’s not murder charges, but a central Illinois man is facing charges for the death of a Chinese scholar at the U of I. Federal prosecutors filed new charges yesterday against Brendt Christensen in the kidnapping of Yingying Zhang. Christensen is now charged with ‘kidnapping resulting in death.’ FBI agents say the believe Zhang is dead after Christensen snatched her back in June, but they have not found her body. Christensen was previously only charged with kidnapping.

All Clear At Metamora High School

(Metamora, IL) — Students will be back in class, like usual, at Metamora High School. The school canceled classes yesterday after a ‘credible threat.’ The Woodford County Sheriff’s office on Monday said it has three ‘people of interest,’ but wouldn’t say yesterday if any of those people have been arrested. Metanora school officials sent a note to parents last night, updating them on the situation.

Illinois Politicos Waiting On Impact From Supreme Court Maps Case

(Washington, D.C.) — Political leaders in Springfield say it’s too early to guess what may happen to Illinois’ political map if the Supreme Court changes the rules. The high court listened to oral arguments in a Wisconsin case yesterday. The issue is the politics of how political maps are drawn. Illinois politicos say even if the court rules against Wisconsin, Illinois’ map making process could still stand.

Police Put Out APB On Dixon Man In Home Invasion Case

(Dixon, IL) — Police officers across Illinois are looking for a Dixon man who police fear is out for revenge. The Lee County Sheriff’s office yesterday said that Lowell Ambler stole a car in Mendota late Monday night, and drove to Plainfield near where the victim of Ambler’s last crime lives. Ambler was out of jail on a home invasion and aggravated battery charge. Police say he should be considered armed and very dangerous.

Illinois Not Among Top Deer Crash States

(Bloomington, IL) — Illinois isn’t among the top ten deer crash states. State Farm Insurance released its annual list of the places where drivers are most likely to hit a deer. West Virginia is one again at the top of the list. Iowa and Wisconsin round out the top five. State Farm says deer vs car crashes cost more this year that last. And one last thing, insurers say it’s better to hit the deer than swerve and risk hitting a tree or rolling your car.

News Headlines – October 4, 2017

October 3rd, 2017

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Governor Rauner and other Illinois leaders are expressing their sadness after the shootings in Las Vegas. Police in the Quad Cities say they did not find the body of a girl missing since 1996, but did find some items in their search yesterday. A suburban high school is resuming varsity football after a complaint about hazing turned up empty. Southern Illinois’ airport will get a lot busier this time next year.

Governor Rauner, Others Express Sadness Over Las Vegas Shootings

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is leading a crowd of Illinois officials with his response to the shootings in Las Vegas. The governor yesterday took to Twitter to ask for prayers for the victims. Other Illinois elected leaders also chimed in. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth tweeted her support of first responders, who she says risked their lives. Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger said the country must stand together to oppose hate.

Quad Cities Police Find Items, Not Body In Search

(Moline, IL) — Moline Police say they’re waiting for test results on a number of ‘items’ that they took off of a Mississippi River island before they’re ready to comment more on on the investigation into a long-missing girl. Trudy Appleby went missing in 1996. Crews searched the island yesterday, police say they didn’t find Appleby’s body, but her father says he believes his daughter was there. Investigators back in August named a dead man as the person who likely killed Appleby. The search was in a spot where the suspected killer’s son-in-law once lived.

Decatur Police: Driver High On Heroin, Crashes Into Hospital

(Decatur, IL) — Police in Decatur don’t think the woman who crashed into a local hospital security gate was looking for help. Police yesterday said the driver, a 45-year-old woman, was high on heroin when she crashed into the gate at Decatur Memorial Hospital on Saturday afternoon. Officers say they had to wake the woman up after the crash. Prosecutors are looking at possible charges.

No Hazing Found, Niles North Returns To Varsity Football

(Skokie, IL) — The varsity football team at Niles North High School will be on the field this Friday. School leaders in Skokie yesterday said they reinstated the team after looking into hazing allegations, and finding no evidence of a crime. The school also said district leaders couldn’t find any violations of the school code. Niles North had to forfeit last week’s game because varsity football was suspended during the investigation.

Fly In Could Draw Five Thousand To Southern Illinois

(Carbondale, IL) — Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale should be very busy this time next year. Airport managers yesterday announced that they have signed on to host the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Midwest Fly-In next October. Airport director Gary Shafer said the fly-in could bring as many as 700 aircraft to the airport, and as many as five thousand people to southern Illinois.

News Headlines – October 3, 2017

October 2nd, 2017

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: A northern Illinois man is behind bars after police say he beat A DCFS case worker who’d come to check on his child. An Elgin school board member who compared the American flag to toilet paper says she’s received death threats. Students at a fire damaged Quad Cities school are heading back to class in a new building today. Southern Illinois University’s library is canceling over 100 subscriptions to try and cut costs.

Dixon Police Arrest Man Accused Of Assaulting DCFS Worker

(Dixon, IL) — A northern Illinois man is looking at charges after police say he assaulted a social worker sent to check on his child. Dixon Police arrested 25-year-old Andrew Sucher late Friday night. Officers say Sucher attacked a DCFS case worker who came to his house to check on his child. The DCFS worker had to be flown to a Rockford hospital for treatment. Sucher is being held in the Carroll County Jail on 200 thousand-dollars bond.

Elgin School Board Member Says Death Threats Followed Flag Comment

(Elgin, IL) — An Elgin school board member who compared the American flag to toilet paper says she’s received death threats. U-46 board member Traci O’Neal Ellis told local police last week that she’s received online threats since she posted a comment on Facebook about the flag. O’Neal Ellis said last month that ‘the flag means nothing more than toilet paper to me.’ School leaders said at the time they didn’t receive any complaints. But O’Neal Ellis says she showed police comments from people who threatened to kill her, talked about raping her, and told her to get back ‘in her place.’

Moline Elementary Students To Attend Class In Former WIU Building

(Moline, IL) — It’s back to class, albeit in new classrooms, for students at one Quad Cities elementary school. Kids missed last week after a fire damaged Benjamin Franklin Elementary school. A local businessman bought the former Western Illinois University building in Moline last week, with the plan to let Moline Schools use it as a new school for kids from Franklin. Moline Superintendent Lanty McGuire said it may take the rest of the school year to clean the damaged school. Students head back to class today.

Metamora Football Players In Trouble Over Racially Insensitive Video

(Metamora, IL) — The father of a freshman football player at one central Illinois school says he’s now satisfied with the punishment for four teens accused of sending a ‘racially insensitive’ video to his son. Willie Williams said Metamora High School officials originally gave the teens involved a ‘slap on the wrist,’ but Williams said he left a Saturday meeting with a better appreciation for a new punishment that will be handed down this week. Metamora varsity football coach Pat Ryan yesterday said he’s aware of the video, but didn’t offer any specifics as to what the video said or what punishments his players would receive.

SIU Library Cancels 142 Subscriptions To Save Money

(Carbondale, IL) — Researchers at Southern Illinois University will need to find a way to live without the journal “The Problems of Post Communism,” “The Journal of Taxation,” and “The Australian Journal of French Studies.” The three are part of the nearly 150 subscriptions that SIU’s Morris Library is canceling. The hope is to save about 200 thousand-dollars. SIU librarian Andrea Imre said without the subscriptions, some researchers will have to ask to borrow a copy of a journal or report from another school, because many of the works are not available on Google.

News Headlines – October 2, 2017

October 1st, 2017

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news:  The Supreme Court says it will hear arguments in an Illinois case that could change how public employee unions work. The sheriff in Rockford says he’ll know soon who he’ll have to fire to balance his budget. The U of I’s chancellor says his school is not a part of the sweeping NCAA basketball scandal.

Supreme Court To Hear Illinois Case Challenging Union Dues

(Springfield, IL) — An Illinois case could mean huge changes for how public employee unions across the country operate. The Supreme Court has agreed to listen to arguments in the ‘Janus’ case. The case centers on a state of Illinois worker who says he shouldn’t be forced to pay dues to AFSCME. Right to Work supporters say the high court could issue a clear ruling on the idea of forced union membership. AFSCME officials in Illinois say the ‘Janus’ case is politically motivated, and that it is designed to break public sector unions.

Winnebago County Sheriff To Announce Budget Cuts Monday

(Rockford, IL) — The sheriff in Rockford says he’ll know later today how he’s going to manage a nearly four million-dollar cut to his budget. Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana says he needed the weekend to figure out who, and how many people will lose their jobs. Caruana has said for weeks that he will be forced to layoff courthouse security workers and even 911 dispatchers if the county slashes his budget. Winnebago County leaders last night approved a nearly seven million-dollar budget cut.

More Peoria Guardsmen Heading Out On Hurricane Duty

(Peoria, IL) — More Peoria-based Illinois National Guardsmen are heading out on hurricane duty. The Illinois Air National Guard yesterday said 15 members of the 182nd Airlift Wing’s security police squadron will leave for Puerto Rico in the next few days. The troops are the latest from Peoria to be assigned to hurricane duty this year. Teams from the 182nd went to Texas, Florida, and the Virgin Islands to help when storms cut through those areas. Commanders say the security forces could be in Puerto Rico for as long as 30 days.

>>U Of I Chancellor: Illinois Not A Part Of Scandal

(Urbana, IL) — The University of Illinois is not a part of the recruitment scandal in college basketball. U of I Chancellor Robert Jones says that the school is not a target of the sweeping investigation into allegations that coaches steered players toward agents or shoe companies in exchange for money. A former assistant coach who worked for Illini coach Brad Underwood during his time at Oklahoma State University is a target of the probe. But U of I leaders say Underwood is not even mentioned in the FBI’s report on the matter.

News Headlines – September 29, 2017

September 28th, 2017

The Latest

(Undated) — Here’s the latest news: Some Illinois congressmen like what they see in the new tax plan from President Trump. One of Rockford’s hospital will have to start over with expansion plans after state regulators said ‘No.’ Illinois Conservation Police are warning folks to be on the lookout for ginseng poachers. Hugh Hefner leaves a legacy in Illinois after his death.

Illinois Congressmen Like Trump Tax ‘Opportunity’

(Washington, DC) — A pair of downstate Republican congressmen say they like the opportunity that President Trump’s tax plan provides. Southern Illinois Republican Mike Bost and Congressman Rodney Davis from central Illinois yesterday both said taxpayers are crying out for a simpler tax plan that frees them from the burden of government. Bost said the president’s plan to cut the number of tax brackets, and lower the tax on many businesses could finally create opportunities for people to expand their businesses or for business owners to hire more people.

State Regulators Nix Rockford’s Swedish American Expansion

(Rockford, IL) — State regulators think the expansion plan for Rockford’s Swedish American Hospital is too much. The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board yesterday effectively stopped the 130 million-dollar expansion because regulators thought the plan to build a new nursery, ER, and surgery center was ‘too big.’ Hospital managers say they hope to still be able to move forward on the plan, but will have to ‘tweak’ their designs before January.

Illinois Conservation Police Patrolling For Ginseng Poachers

(Springfield, IL) — It’s harvest season for more than just corn and beans in Illinois. The state’s Conservation Police say they are increasing their patrols to make sure people don’t illegally harvest wild ginseng. The root is popular as an alternative medicine, and can fetch 350 dollars a pound. But police yesterday said anyone caught trying to poach the plant will face a 150 dollar fine and a criminal record.

Moline Okays Urban Deer Hunt

(Moline, IL) — One of the Moline city council members who doesn’t want to see hunters take deer inside the city limits brought a Bambi figure with her to city hall last night. But Sonia Berg’s plea to save the deer feel on deaf ears. Moline last night approved deer hunting, with bows and arrows only, inside the city’s limits this fall. Neighbors say huge deer herds are eating everything in sight, and there’s a fear the deer will cause more traffic accidents.

Hugh Hefner Leaves Illinois Legacy As Well

(Los Angeles, CA) – Hugh Hefner will always be remembered for the Playboy Mansions, including the one in Chicago. Hefner, who died yesterday at age 91, started his Playboy empire in Chicago. He also graduated from the University of Illinois. Hefner’s legacy grew from 1953 when he launched the magazine for men, through the 1990s when he became a reality TV star. Hefner said in an interview a few years ago that he wants to be remembered for changing how America thought about sex. His family says Hefner died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones.