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Articles filed under Illinois

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  • Painted cellos in ‘cello-bration’ of orchestra Dec 27, 2014 8:03 AM
    It involves painted cellos and world renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It’s what one organizer calls “a cello-bration.” The (Moline) Dispatch reports that the Quad City Symphony Orchestra plans to showcase 100 artistically painted cellos to raise $100,000. It’s all part of festivities to mark the orchestra’s 100th birthday. Cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma will give a concert May 14 at the Adler Theatre. The same day, 10 of the decorated cellos will be sold off at an auction. The rest will be sponsored at $1,000 apiece by individuals and businesses. The Volunteers for Symphony group is helping with arrangements. Its co-president, Mary Kae Waytenick, dubs the next five-month effort a “cello-bration.” The money raised will help fund music education programs for area schools.

  • Southern Illinois racetrack to reopen in 2015 Dec 27, 2014 8:03 AM
    A Southern Illinois racetrack will reopen in 2015 after signing a multi-year agreement with a race promoter. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Belle-Clair Speedway reached an agreement with Performance Open Wheel Racing, Inc., to promote open wheel divisions at the dirt track. Allied will continue sanctioning the stock car divisions. Officials say the full schedule will include events on weekends, in addition to Belle-Clair’s traditional Friday night contests. Kenny Brown of Performance Open Wheel Racing Inc. says the company’s primary goal was to keep Belle-Clair Speedway open, after a previous promoter terminated its partnership with the track. Brown says the company is now working on “bigger and better things” for the speedway and its fans. Belle-Clair Speedway is located at the St. Clair County Fairgrounds.

  • Giant ketchup bottle still unsold 5 months later Dec 27, 2014 8:03 AM
    The towering ketchup bottle that’s a landmark in southwestern Illinois has been up for sale for five months, and apparently no one relishes buying the emblem of roadside Americana. Mike Gassmann of the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group tells St. Louis Public Radio there have been no buyers of the 65-year-old, 170-foot-tall landmark near Collinsville. The item billed as the “World’s Largest Bottle of Catsup” went on sale in July at an asking price of $200,000. A nearby building once served by the tower is listed at $300,000. The landmark replicates a bottle of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was produced in the buildings beneath the tower. The 100,000-gallon tower held water — never ketchup — and hasn’t been used since Brooks moved out in the early 1960s.

  • Former Gov. Jim Edgar to receive honorary degree Dec 27, 2014 8:03 AM
    Former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar will be among several people recognized with honorary degrees from Southern Illinois University at its spring graduation ceremonies. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that Edgar will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Arts degree. SIU President Randy Dunn says Edgar’s “leadership, discipline, vision and commitment” to making difficult choices is a model “of what we look for in today’s leaders.” Dixie Fortis will be honored posthumously for her accomplishments in the advertising industry. The late SIU graduate will receive an honorary doctorate in commerce. Another SIU grad, William Norwood, will receive an honorary aviation science doctorate. Norwood flew a B-52 for the U.S. Air Force, became United Airlines’ first black pilot and served on SIU’s Board of Trustees. He was SIU’s first black quarterback.

  • Catalytic converter thefts reported in Kankakee Dec 27, 2014 8:03 AM
    Police in Kankakee County are investigating after as many as 30 catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles in the last two weeks. The (Kankakee) Daily Journal reports that the converters were cut from exhaust systems. Bradley police say they have investigated between 10 and 15 reports. Kankakee has had about a dozen reports and there were four in Manteno on Monday. Most of the thefts happened overnight in apartment parking lots and residential streets. Police say thieves are targeting Chevrolet Cavaliers, Pontiac Sunfires and Buick Aleros because the converters are easy to access. Authorities say thieves can cut them off in a minute. The converters are attractive to thieves because they contain precious metals.

  • Jackson addresses shooting protest rally in Chicago Dec 27, 2014 2:43 PM
    Dontre Hamilton, a black 31-year-old, was shot and killed by former officer Christopher Manney, who is white, in a downtown Milwaukee park in April. Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Manney in October, saying he ignored department policy and treated Hamilton as a criminal by frisking him. Flynn has said Hamilton resisted arrest and that he and Manney exchanged punches before Hamilton grabbed the officer’s baton and hit him with it. Manney then shot Hamilton 14 times.

  • Man accused of threats against Chicago police Dec 27, 2014 2:51 PM
    Police in Chicago say a man who made threats against police officers and children has been arrested and charged.

  • Quincy art society is rebranding Dec 26, 2014 6:18 AM
    The decades-old Quincy Society of Fine Arts is being renamed as part of a rebranding initiative. The (Quincy) Herald-Whig reports the group will be known as Arts Quincy on marketing materials. The organization was formed in 1947 and claims to be among America’s first arts councils. Executive Director Lenny Bart says the group is “moving forward in a new direction” which also reflects changes to its magazine and offices. Bart says the bimonthly magazine will be produced in color for the first time. He also says the Arts Quincy offices will be redecorated to mirror the group’s new logo. The changes are being paid for through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • Illinois village still rebuilding hacked website Dec 26, 2014 8:57 AM
    The mayor of Swansea says the southwestern Illinois village hopes to be back online soon more than two months after its website had to be taken down because it was hacked. Mayor Ken Mueller tells the Belleville News-Democrat that the village hopes to get a temporary website in place within the next month or so. A permanent website would come in several months. The website was hacked in early October, and the 13,400-resident St. Clair County village hired a Kansas-based company that specializes in municipal and governmental websites to rebuild it. Village Administrator Lisa Powers says the breach didn’t compromise personal information of Swansea residents who had used the website. Swansea is about 20 miles east of St. Louis.

  • Central Illinois schools sanctioned for basketball fights Dec 26, 2014 12:16 PM
    SPRINGFIELD — Two central Illinois basketball programs have been sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association this week after a fight at a recent game. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports a Decatur McArthur High School player punched a Lanphier High School player during the final minutes of a close game on Dec. 19. Pushing and shoving followed and spectators charged onto the court before the game was halted. The IHSA's sanctions include placing the teams on probation for one calendar year, and having team players complete courses on sportsmanship to avoid suspensions. The coaches of both teams are expected to take a seminar on teaching and modeling behavior. Lanphier principal Artie Doss says he plans to hold meetings with parents and students to outline expectations for behavior at future games.

  • New laws in 2015: Bears, boats and a new tollway speed limit Dec 26, 2014 5:30 AM
    Higher speed limits on urban tollways, traffic tickets that don't entail getting your driver's license seized, protection for bears and cougars, and new boater safety programs are just some of the new laws effective Jan. 1.

  • New law expands schools’ authority to fight bullying Dec 26, 2014 3:58 PM
    A law that takes effect next week will allow Illinois school districts to punish students for cyberbullying, even if it occurs outside of school.

  • Notable 2014 deaths in Chicago area and Illinois Dec 26, 2014 2:53 PM
    Jane Byrne, Alan Dixon, Phil Crane, Richard J. Elrod: A look at the notable people from the Chicago area and Illinois who died in 2014.

  • Experts: Wearable tech, connections to our stuff are likely 2015 trends Dec 26, 2014 6:00 AM
    Wearable technology, more connections with your house and car, and faster speeds continue to dominate the hottest technologies expected in the new year, according to suburban tech experts.

  • Springfield seminarians celebrate midnight Mass in Rome Dec 25, 2014 9:34 AM
    Seven seminarians of the Diocese of Springfield served at the Vatican’s Christmas Eve Mass celebrated by Pope Francis.

  • Thousands of clemency applicants wait for Quinn’s action Dec 25, 2014 6:54 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn granted 179 clemency petitions in time for Christmas, but thousands of other applicants are anxiously awaiting word on past criminal records during the Democrat’s final weeks in office.

  • Illinois posts rules on medical marijuana for kids Dec 24, 2014 1:01 AM
    Illinois officials have posted emergency rules spelling out how the state’s medical marijuana program will be extended to children under a law taking effect Jan. 1. The Department of Public Health posted the regulations online Tuesday. Children with certain health conditions, including seizures from epilepsy, will be able to use non-smokable forms of marijuana. But they will need two doctors to sign forms certifying they think the patient will benefit. The rules expand a medical marijuana advisory board to include a parent or caregiver of a patient under age 18 and a medical professional with experience in pediatrics. The emergency rules are in effect for 150 days. A draft of permanent rules will be published later, which will trigger a 45-day public comment period.

  • Illinois woman sentenced for allowing sex abuse Dec 24, 2014 10:27 AM
    An eastern Illinois woman who admitted she knew her boyfriend was sexually abusing young children has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

  • Waterloo police: Body found in school truck Dec 24, 2014 10:27 AM
    Authorities in southwestern Illinois’ Waterloo are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in the back of a school work truck a day after he’d been reported missing.

  • Quinn grants 179 Christmas Eve clemency petitions Dec 24, 2014 5:36 PM
    Gov. Pat Quinn has granted 179 clemency requests after going through 604 petitions filed since 2008. The Chicago Democrat typically makes such announcements ahead of holidays and issued a Christmas Eve statement saying he’s also denied 425 petitions. Quinn still has roughly 3,000 petitions with just weeks left before Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner is sworn in. Quinn inherited thousands of cases from predecessor ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. A spokeswoman says Quinn has nearly eliminated the backlog, but there’s been a surge of new petitions. During his six-year tenure, Quinn has acted on nearly 4,000 clemency petitions. That’s more than several recent governors. In total, he’s granted 1,418. The Democrat’s office says those granted clemency recently underwent criminal background checks. Those granted pardons can seek expungement of their convictions through the courts.

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