News Headlines – February 22, 2017

February 21st, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Illinois’ senior U.S. Senator says no one needs an AR 15 to hunt deer. Some Illinoislawmakers are furious after managers at the Quincy veterans home blew-off a statehouse hearing yesterday. Three downstate airports want permission to tax more people. The owner of an apartment building in Bloomington is due to answer questions next week about the nearly 800 code violations his building racked up before it caught fire earlier this month. 

>>Durbin: No One Needs AR 15 To Hunt 

(East Moline, IL)  —  Illinois’ senior U.S. Senator says AR 15 rifles aren’t for hunting. Senator Dick Durbin told a crowd of school kids in East Moline yesterday that the debate over assault rifles is missing something when people try to make the case that the ubiquitous black rifle is a tool for deer hunters. Durbin told the kids that he thinks states need to get more serious about background checks to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill or dangerous people. 

>>Quincy Veterans Home Managers Skip Statehouse Legionnaires Disease 

(Springfield, IL)  —  A handful of Illinois lawmakers are fuming after the managers at Illinois’ veterans home in Quincy blew-off a statehouse hearing. An Illinois senate panel yesterday wanted answers from the state’s Department of Public Health and the IllinoisDepartment of Veterans Affairs about the ongoing Legionnaires outbreak at the home. But the agency directors were a no-show. It’s not clear when they will be summoned back to the statehouse. 

>>Quad Cities Airport Wants Permission To Expand Tax Reach 

(Springfield, IL)  —  Managers at the Quad Cities airport are asking Illinois lawmakers for permission to tax more people. The Quad-City International Airport is one of three downstate airports included in a new plan that’d expand their tax bases beyond their traditional boundaries. The airports in Bloomington-Normal and Rockford are the other two. Quad Cities airport chairman Jim Bohnsack says the Quad Cities area has grown since the airport started taxing back in 1947, and now serves people who don’t pay for the airport’s operations. Lawmakers filed the plan last week. 

>>Madigan Agrees To Cooperate With Campaign Sexual Harassment Probe 

(Springfield, IL)  —  The top Democrat in Illinois says he will cooperate with a review of sexual harassment policies in his political organization. House Speaker Mike Madigan made the announcement yesterday, just hours after Democratic lawmakers demanded an investigation. State Rep Kelly Cassidy said there are too many unanswered questions about Madigan’s operation. Her calls came a day after a second Madigan political lieutenant was shown the door over complaints about his behavior. 

>>Bloomington Apartment Owner To Answer Code Violation Questions After Fire 

(Bloomington, IL)  —  City leaders in Bloomington will likely have a lot of questions for a local apartment owner cited almost 800 times on a building that caught fire this month. Owner Wayne Pelhank and contract-for-deed purchaser Ed Duran are facing a hearing next week to answer for the 527 pending code violations at their apartment on Bloomington’s east side. No one was hurt in the fire, but a dozen families were left homeless.

Obituary – Gerald Linker

February 20th, 2018
Gerald Lee Linker, 80 of Malden, passed away on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at home surrounded by his family. He was born on May 25, 1937 in Bureau County, IL to William and Lila (Welch) Linker. He married Joyce Hensel on July 27, 1958.
Gerald worked for Kern Motor Company, Skelly Truck Stop and then opened his own business, Linker Custom Repair and Paint in Malden. He was a longtime collector of antique engines and tractors. He was also a longtime member of several clubs, Bureau Valley Antique Club for 35 years, Antique Engine and Tractor Association of Geneseo, Rumely Products Collectors, Badger Steam and Gas Engine Club of Baraboo, WI. for 53 years and Northern Illinois Steam Power Club of Sycamore for 60 years.
He is survived by his wife; two son’s, Steve Linker of Malden and Dave (Brenda) Linker of Malden; one daughter, Vickie (Shannon) Bickett of Princeton; one granddaughter, Kristin (Nathan) Mangrich of Princeton; four grandson’s, Jason (Kim) Bickett of Princeton, Blair Bickett of Princeton, Trevor Bickett of Travis Air Force Base in CA. and Damion Estes of Princeton. Also surviving are two great grandchildren, Easton and Teagan Mangrich; one brother, Bill Linker of Hollowayville and two nephews, Will (Jolene) Linker of Malden and John (Molly) Linker of New Zealand.
Funeral services for Gerald will be Saturday, February 24 at 1 PM at the Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton. Pastor Gary Brooks will officiate. The family will receive friends on Saturday, February 24 from 11 AM until time of service at the funeral home. Burial will take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Malden Fire Dept. or Malden Lions Club.
Online condolences may be left at

Obituary – Kevin Johnson

February 20th, 2018

Kevin C. Johnson, 54, of Princeton, passed away Sunday, February 18, 2018 in Aperion Care of Marseilles.  Private services will be held at a later date.  Arrangements are through the Fiocchi-Jensen Funeral Home, Princeton.  Private online condolences may be left for the family at

News Headlines – February 21, 2017

February 20th, 2018

The Latest 

(Undated)  —  Here’s the latest news:  Illinois’ Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing back on a report that it could have quickly, and easily replaced the pipes at the Quincy veterans home. Looks like there won’t be a Democratic debate for governor outside of the city of Chicago. Illinois has a new sexual harassment complaint hotline. 

>>Illinois VA Pushes Back Against Low Cost Repair Report 

(Springfield, IL)  —  The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs is pushing back against a report that says it could have replaced the aging pipes at the Quincy veterans home for just eight million-dollars.  VA spokesman Dave MacDonna yesterday said that report, based on a 2016 study, doesn’t cover the entire scope of the needs at the home. MacDonna says the 2016 report covers the cost to replace the pipes in just 12 buildings. He said the VA’s price tag to replace the plumbing in all 32 buildings is closer to 25 million-dollars. 

>>Downstate Democratic Governor’s Debate Canceled 

(Champaign, IL)  —  Looks like voters outside of the city of Chicago won’t get a chance to hear the Democratic candidates for governor talk to them. A number of Chicago TV stations reported last night that the Democratic debate planned for Champaign is being canceled. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker doesn’t want to participate, and the Champaign TV station that was to be the host the debate doesn’t want to do it without him. 

>>Illinois Creates Sexual Harassment Hotline 

(Springfield, IL)  —  There is a new hotline for anyone who is a victim of harassment or inappropriate behavior in the workplace in Illinois. The IllinoisDepartment of Human Rights announced a sexual harassment hotline late last week. The idea is to give people a way to report harassment privately, without fear of retribution. The hotline will be staffed during business hours during the week, the number to call is 877-236-7703. 

>>SIU Museum Reopens 

(Carbondale, IL)  —  Southern Illinois University’s museum is back up and running. The school reopened the museum this month. SIU closed the museum last year as part if a round of budget cuts. The museum is home to 70 thousand artifacts that deal with the school and the region. The closure did cost the museum its accreditation, though, and managers say it could take a while to regain that honor.

Obituary – Marcia Becker

February 19th, 2018
Marcia E. Becker, 79, of Princeton, passed away on February 15, 2018 at Perry Memorial Hospital.
Marcia was born on October 17, 1938, in Kewanee, to Joseph and Irene DeClerk. She married the love of her life, Daryl Becker, on November 24, 1956 in Palmyra, Missouri. They shared 61 beautiful years together, he survives. Marcia worked side by side with Daryl in the Beck Oil Company family business which she was very proud of. She enjoyed traveling and especially loved trips to Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas. Most of all, she loved her family very much.
She is survived by her mother; one brother; one sister; three children, Robert (Kim)Becker, Theresa (John) Routh and Rochelle (Dave Schnarr) Becker; five grandchildren, Krista Routh, Jessica Frank, Zachary Frank, Cody Sheldon, and Gavin Brown. Also surviving are two step grandchildren, Kacey Becker and Robby Hash as well as two great grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren.
Marcia was preceded in death by her father, one sister and one grandson in infancy.
Per Marcia’s wishes there will be no funeral services. Friends and family will be welcome to a Celebration of Life that will be held at the Princeton Moose Lodge from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Online condolences may be left at