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Articles filed under Illinois

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  • Heart attack blamed in vehicle crash at restaurant Dec 23, 2014 5:38 AM
    Authorities in a small eastern Illinois town say a heart attack led to an automobile crash that killed one man and injured a woman. The police department in Monticello said Monday that 79-year-old Robert L. Howard of Decatur suffered a heart attack while driving through Monticello late Saturday morning. Monticello is about 30 miles northeast of Decatur. According to the Herald & Review in Decatur, police said Howard’s vehicle crashed into the Red Wheel Restaurant. Howard died at a local hospital. Police said a woman who worked at the restaurant had minor injuries.

     
  • University of Illinois gets grant to catalog rare Italian books Dec 23, 2014 5:38 AM
    The University of Illinois is getting a grant to catalog a collection of rare Italian books that it’s had for more than nine decades. The university said Monday that its Rare Book & Manuscript Library will use the nearly $500,000 grant to catalog a collection of more than 20,000 Italian imprints from the 16th through 19th centuries. The library bought the collection in 1921 from the family of a count who was considered an authority on the local history of northern Italy. Library Director Valerie Hotchkiss says the books are “one of the world’s premier collections for Italian studies.” But until now, the library didn’t have the money to catalog them. They’ll be made available to scholars. The grant comes from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

     
  • Topinka’s death renews talk of merging offices Dec 23, 2014 1:01 PM
    The unexpected death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has renewed talk of combining the office’s duties with those of the state treasurer. Lawmakers and newspapers have urged the adoption of the idea that’s been discussed for decades, saying it could save money and streamline government.

     
  • Man gets 37 months for tax evasion, weapons charges Dec 23, 2014 9:45 AM
    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A western Illinois man has been ordered to spend three years and a month in federal prison and pay nearly $1.3 million in restitution in a tax-evasion and weapons case. Fifty-five-year-old David Ray of Fieldon in Jersey County was also fined $7,500 and forced to forfeit a gun collection estimated to be worth up to $100,000. Ray pleaded guilty to felony charges of tax evasion and possession of firearms by a user of controlled substances. He admitted using his businesses between 2005 and 2010 to pay his personal expenses, at times filing false tax returns or none at all. Authorities say federal agents found 110 grams of cocaine in his home when it was searched. Ray remains in federal custody pending his transfer to prison.

     
  • Alton police captain suspended in evidence probe Dec 23, 2014 9:48 AM
    An Alton police captain has become the department’s second officer suspended over allegations that evidence in various criminal cases was wrongly destroyed. An attorney for the captain tells the (Alton) Telegraph that the suspension is unwarranted and that his client will have a hearing next month before the Alton Civil Service Commission. The captain has not been charged. Earlier this month, a Madison County grand jury indicted 38-year-old Jonathan Forrler on a felony count of official misconduct over the destruction of evidence in a sexual assault case. Forrler was the department’s evidence officer. The county’s state’s attorney, Tom Gibbons, has said his office filed notice in 130 criminal cases advising defendants and their attorneys of the destruction of evidence in their cases. Forrler hasn’t commented publicly about the case.

     
  • St. Clair County to pay $300,000 to deputies union Dec 22, 2014 1:41 PM
    St. Clair County is set to pay $300,000 to a union that represents county sheriff’s road deputies after a state labor board found the county had engaged in an unfair labor practice. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the St. Clair County Board will vote Monday to establish the settlement fund and a new three-year labor contract with the union. The Illinois Labor Relations Board ruled in the union’s favor in 2011 after it filed a complaint. It said the county and its sheriff’s department established a security division that included two nonunion members without going through a bargaining process. The county disputes that it engaged in unfair labor practices but has agreed to pay the settlement by March.

     
  • Knox County officials weigh overtime options Dec 22, 2014 1:41 PM
    Knox County is considering ways to cut down on overtime pay as it works to finalize a 2015 budget. The Galesburg Register-Mail reports the county has spent more than $454,000 in overtime since December 2013. Treasurer Robin Davis is suggesting that departments offer compensation time rather than pay out overtime costs. The sheriff’s office was budgeted for $45,000 in overtime costs this year but has spent $144,000. Sheriff Dave Clague says he is mandated to maintain certain staffing levels. He says he could reduce overtime if he had more employees, but costs for new employees would outweigh overtime savings. The county’s landfill, highway and nursing home departments are also exceeding their overtime budgets. Department heads that aren’t going over say they make sure their employees take comp time instead.

     
  • Quincy Regional Airport updates security layout Dec 22, 2014 1:41 PM
    Quincy Regional Airport has updated its security system as it closes in on 10,000 Cape Air flight departures this year. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports the Transportation Security Administration and airport management moved equipment last week to revamp the security layout. Manager Jarred Hester says they quietly moved 7,000 pounds of machinery without passers-by noticing the change. Hester says the airport’s goal is to reach 10,000 departures for the year so it qualifies for a $1 million maintenance grant. Cape Air had reported 9,568 enplanements by Dec. 15. Hester says reservations show the airport on track to hit its goal of 900 flights by the end of the month.

     
  • Illinois State University’s food chief retiring Dec 22, 2014 1:41 PM
    The director of campus dining services at Illinois State University is retiring after a decade in the position. Arlene Hosea oversees 150 full-time employees and 950 student workers. She will retire at the end of the month after working at the school for 24 years. She became the school’s interim food director in 2003 and was named permanently to the position a year later. Associate Director of Campus Dining Services Dianne Feasley tells the (Bloomington) Pantagraph that Hosea has transformed the university’s dining experience. The changes Hosea has brought to the university during her tenure include putting more of an emphasis on healthy foods such as lean grilled fish and whole grains.

     
  • Springfield mayor predicts 'very' tight budget Dec 22, 2014 6:29 AM
    SPRINGFIELD — The mayor of Springfield says he anticipates the "most difficult" budget he's had to put together. Mayor Mike Houston tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register for a story published over the weekend that it's a "very very tight budget." For three years, Springfield officials have been making cuts. City officials say there aren't many obvious places left to make reductions. The city has little revenue growth. A proposed corporate fund budget includes an increase of less than 1 percent, or about $713,000from the $117.4 million in the current fiscal year's budget. City officials say the overall increase is from rising employee health care costs and pension funds for police and fire departments. The heads of city departments have been asked to submit budget requests.

     
  • Quinn departs for Maryland to visit soldiers Dec 22, 2014 7:00 AM
    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has departed for his annual holiday trip to deliver Christmas cards to wounded soldiers. This year the outgoing governor is headed to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland. He’s delivering cards made by Illinois children. In a statement released late Sunday, Quinn says the cards are a small way to show gratitude to men and women who have served. Quinn made a similar trip in 2013, but in previous years he’s visited U.S. service members in Germany. Quinn has said there aren’t as many U.S. soldiers in Germany there as there once were. Quinn leaves office next month when Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will be sworn into office.

     
  • Following IT breaches, Jewel scanning driver’s licenses irk customers Dec 22, 2014 2:47 PM
    Itasca-based Jewel-Osco started a policy in late October that allows cashiers to scan your driver's license when purchasing liquor or tobacco products. The grocer follows other retailers, including Target, who do similar scans. While consumers may be upset, considering these stores have had previous data breaches, the companies say it's done to verify birthdates and authetic driver's licenses.

     
  • Leva finds sweet spot by expanding Long Grove Confectionery Dec 22, 2014 5:28 AM
    Kukec's People features Craig Leva, owner of Long Grove Confectionery and Arway Confections, who talks about how some sweet deals came about to expand the legendary brands.

     
  • Authorities offer snowbird safety tips Dec 22, 2014 5:35 AM
    Authorities in Illinois are offering safety tips for snowbirds heading to warmer climates for the winter season. Police departments in some Chicago area communities, including Crystal Lake and Huntley, say residents can sign up for officers to check on their homes while they’re away. Huntley Police Chief John Perkins tells The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald that officers from the department will make routine inspections on foot. He says roughly 100 people sign up for the service. Authorities say residents should take precautions, like ensuring the mail doesn’t pile up and that driveways and sidewalks get shoveled after snow fall. Otherwise it can look like nobody’s home. Neighbors can also be a help.

     
  • Holiday travelers could see rain, snow Dec 22, 2014 5:22 PM
    Rain or snow could fall across a big swath of the nation’s midsection as holiday travel gets underway. National Weather Service meteorologist Amy Seeley says parts of Illinois area could see rain switching over to snow on Christmas Eve.

     
  • Rauner concert: Toby Keith, Buddy Guy, trio of politicians Dec 22, 2014 5:53 PM
    An unpredictable political year has done it one last time: A trio of Illinois state lawmakers and their Jimmy Buffett-inspired band will open a concert for country superstar Toby Keith and blues legend Buddy Guy next month. Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner announced the lineup for his inauguration concert Monday.

     
  • Blagojevich brother: I was a ‘pawn’ to get then-governor Dec 22, 2014 5:40 PM
    The brother of imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich says in a new book that prosecutors tried to use him as a pawn to get his younger sibling on charges he sought to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.

     
  • Congresswoman speaks at Bradley graduation Dec 21, 2014 11:12 AM
    U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly told graduates at Bradley University that changing the world requires dedication and patience.

     
  • Mixed reviews for raising juror pay, reducing juries Dec 21, 2014 11:17 AM
    A newly signed law that’ll more than double what Illinois jurors are paid while reducing the size of civil case juries is earning mixed reviews from criminal justice experts. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure Friday that backers say could lead to more diverse juries and offset anticipated costs by cutting back jurors in all civil cases from 12 to 6.

     
  • Incoming leader sees U of I as economic asset Dec 20, 2014 1:01 AM
    Incoming University of Illinois President Timothy L. Killeen says he wants to build the school into a stronger economic asset to the state. Killeen takes over in July, when President Robert Easter retires.

     
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