Posted September 19, 2014

News for Sept. 19, 2014

LOCAL
MVPD To Hold RSC Tonight

The Mt. Vernon Police Department has announced that there will be a roadside safety check held this evening from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the city of Mt. Vernon.  Authorities will be checking for impaired drivers as well as other driving offenses and hazards.  The funding for this safety check is made possible by the Mission Possible Coalition.

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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Releases Monthly Numbers

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office have released their monthly numbers for August.  The JCSO booked 143 detainees for the month, a number that has dropped by 53 over the past two months.  This included 5 out of county detainees. For the county, there was an average of 71 daily detainees, good for 2,257 days in custody, and a total of 143 bookings.  For the month, authorities had 65 citations, 49 arrests, and 23 traffic crashes attended to by the Sheriff's Office.

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Report: 6 SIU students arrested in sex assaults

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Six students at Southern Illinois University have been arrested in connection with two reported sexual assaults on the school's Carbondale campus last weekend, according to a newspaper report Thursday. Four of the suspects — all 18 years old — were taken into custody last Saturday on suspicion of criminal sexual assault in the alleged attack on a fellow 18-year-old student, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. That person was treated at a hospital and released. Two other students, ages 20 and 18, were arrested late Sunday as suspects in an alleged criminal sexual assault involving an 18-year-old who does not attend the school, the Post-Dispatch reported. That person also was treated at a hospital. Rae Goldsmith, a spokeswoman for the school, said both cases were being investigated.

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Coast Guard: Towboat sinks in the Mississippi

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — The Coast Guard said Thursday it was investigating what caused a towboat carrying 3,500 gallons of diesel fuel to sink in the Mississippi River near the southern Illinois city of Chester. Two crew members of the Maverick were rescued by another towboat when the sinking happened about 12:30 a.m. Thursday three miles south of Chester, the Coast Guard said. The Maverick's crew sustained no injuries but was examined at a hospital. A Coast Guard unit from Paducah, Kentucky, was assigned to oversee the Maverick's recovery efforts, and pollution cleanup contractors were responding to the scene. There was no immediate evidence that the fuel on the sunken vessel had leaked, the Coast Guard said.

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Robbery Turns Out To Be False Alarm

(Belleville, IL) -- A misplaced purse is being listed as the reason for a massive emergency response to a Goodwill store in Belleville. Five police cruisers were dispatched to the Carlyle Plaza Chapping Center after an elderly woman claimed she'd been robbed. She was so upset, officers told the "News-Democrat" they called an ambulance. Eventually, the purse was found and it was determined the woman had put it down and forgotten where she'd left it. Nothing was missing from the purse.

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Illinois man gets 8 years in fatal DUI crash

GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — A Godfrey man who drove into a house while intoxicated and killed a 73-year-old widower inside has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Jacob Fickle, 25, was sentenced Thursday in Madison county court on charges of driving under the influence resulting in a death. He had pleaded guilty and faced three to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors dropped four other felony charges in the plea deal. Fickle was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol when he crashed his SUV into the home in January 2013 and killed Marlon Bushnell, authorities said. Fickle will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence

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Highland teachers accept new contract, end strike

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — Highland teachers overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract Thursday, ending a six-day strike that kept about 3,000 students out of the classroom. The Highland Education Association announced the vote was 150-2 to approve the contract. The agreement provides a 4.3 percent salary increase over three years, and teachers agreed to give up six personal days to make up for the days students weren't in school because of the strike. District and union leaders met Thursday for more than five hours to hammer out final details of the contract proposal. The two sides began negotiations in April and reached an impasse over pay raises and the teachers' demand that their insurance costs don't increase. Highland, which is located about 40 minutes northeast of St. Louis in Madison County, operates six schools. Students and teachers will be back in the classroom on Friday, in time to prevent the forfeiture of a second game by the district's ranked football team.

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Godfrey man in child porn case gets 14 new charges

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Godfrey man who faced four child pornography charges has been charged with an additional 14 felony counts. David Von Bergen, 33, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography and predatory criminal sexual assault, the Madison County Sheriff's Office said. He was being held on $250,000 bond but a judge ordered him held without bond after the new charges this week. The additional charges are related to evidence uncovered during the investigation, authorities said. He is charged with committing sex acts with a 7-year-old girl shown in the material, they said. Madison County prosecutors requested to determine probable cause for seizing Von Bergen's house and car. They were listed as items used in criminal acts and may be subject to forfeiture, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Each additional count carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Von Bergen was previously convicted of possessing child pornography in 2001. It wasn't immediately available if he has an attorney.

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Southern Illinois barn fire kills 2 horses

TAMAROA, Ill. (AP) — Authorities on Thursday were trying to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed a barn and stable in the southern Illinois community of Tamaroa, killing two horses before the property owners could save them. With help of other relatives, Judy and Doug Heape managed to save a third horse, two combines and two tractors from the Wednesday fire, Judy Heape's daughter, Amanda Heape, told WSIL-TV. An apartment attached to the barn also was destroyed along with 800 bales of hay, WSIL reported. That dwelling's occupant, Seth Heape, was not there at the time. Family members believe the blaze began in that apartment.

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Man gets 7 years for assaulting pregnant wife

MURPYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man has been ordered to spend seven years in prison for assaulting his then-pregnant wife nearly a year ago. Brian Kleinhans, 32, of Carbondale, was sentenced this week in Jackson County, where he pleaded guilty to a felony battery charge, WSIL-TV reported. Police said the woman sustained a broken nose, fractures around her eyes, and bruises on her face and body during the attack in October of last year. The outcome of her pregnancy was not immediately available.

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Hundreds March To End Domestic Violence

(Alton, IL)  --  The Alton Police Department is trying to raise awareness of domestic violence.  Thirty-seven percent of their calls are concerning domestic abuse.  On Thursday night, hundreds of people marched to the Alton amphitheater to listen to the survivor stories.  Money raised at the event goes to a local women's shelter.

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STATE
Illinois Innocence Project awarded $250K grant

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A project at the University of Illinois Springfield that is dedicated to investigating wrongful convictions has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. University officials say the $249,999 in federal funds will allow legal staff and students at the Illinois Innocence Project to continue to bring closure to existing cases and expand the project's effort to look at other wrongful convictions. The Illinois Innocence Project was founded in 2001. Over the past 13 years, it has assisted in the release of six people who were wrongfully convicted. The project provides services at no cost, and works with inmates' private attorneys. This is the second grant awarded to the Illinois Innocence Project by the Department of Justice. The Project previously received a grant of the same amount in 2011.

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GOP's Rauner not a fan of airport slot machines


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner said Thursday he's not a fan of gambling or a plan to put slot machines at Chicago's international airports, but he wouldn't stand in the way of adding casinos if local communities support it. Lawmakers for years have pushed for expanding gambling as a way to generate funds to address Illinois' huge financial problems. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rauner said any gambling expansion must maximize taxpayer benefit. But he made clear he has misgivings. "I don't gamble. I don't like gambling," said Rauner, a businessman from Winnetka who's challenging Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November. "It can be an addictive thing and it can hurt families that can't afford to be hurt." Rauner also said he'd likely lean against putting slots at O'Hare and Midway airports — one of the proposals being considered in the Illinois Legislature. "When visitors are coming into Illinois there's a certain image you project when folks are coming through, and I'm not sure I want that to be the image of Illinois," he said. Quinn has twice rejected gambling expansion proposals, largely over ethical concerns about corruption. He's said Illinois shouldn't settle for a gambling bill that "includes loopholes for mobsters." Rauner said he also would push for "careful, thoughtful restrictions about who's involved" in any gambling expansion. Lawmakers have considered adding five casinos statewide, including in Chicago. Another option would put a mega casino in Chicago and nowhere else.

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Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Can Be On Ballot

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Libertarian candidate for governor remains in the election race.  On Thursday, a Sangamon County judge ruled against the Republican Party's attempt to remove Chad Grimm from the November 4th ballot.  The GOP lawyers were challenging whether the voter signatures were valid.  The Peoria native's name will appear with Governor Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.

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ComEd settles for $46M with state of Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission on Thursday approved a $46.2 million Commonwealth Edison settlement over lawsuits with the state that could mean refunds of about $8 for customers on their November electric bills, the Illinois attorney general's office said. The settlement resolves two lawsuits that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan brought in 2008 and 2010 challenging the utility's rates. Madigan's office said the settlement will result in credits to ComEd customer accounts in November based on electricity usage in October 2014 and on an individual account basis. Former ComEd customers from October 2010 to December 2012 also are eligible for refunds if they show they were customers.

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Lawmakers Want C-O Detectors In All Illinois Schools

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois lawmakers are taking action after a school in the state was closed due to a carbon monoxide leak.  They're proposing legislation that could require a C-O detector in every school in Illinois.  The devices are already required by law in all residential areas.  The proposed bill would have the state fire marshal decide where the carbon monoxide detectors are to be installed.

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Illinois Has Fourth Worst Highway Congestion

(Undated)  --  Illinois has the fourth-worst highway congestion in the nation.  A report issued by the Reason Foundation reveals more than half of the state's highways are crowded during rush hour.  The group didn't make any suggestions on how the state could relieve the back-ups  They say they're conducting that study now and plan to release it next year.

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NWS in Paducah Holds Open House

The National Weather Service in Paducah invites you to its open house Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the weather service office located at 8250 Hinkleville Road in West Paducah. You will be able to take a peek inside the National Weather Service where all of your forecasts, warnings, hydrological and climatological data originates. Tours will last 20 to 25 minutes and include a short informational multimedia video and then a walkthrough of the building. Many other attractions will be available such as a power line demo, NOAA Weather Radio programming, safety houses, giveaways, weather displays and more. Concessions will be available.

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NATIONAL
Dempsey says may take 1 year to train Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (AP) —Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey says it could take a year before moderate Syrian rebels trained by U.S. troops return to the battlefield to fight the Islamic State militant group. The Senate yesterday approved legislation allowing U.S. troops to train and arm the rebels, and the House passed the bill the day before. But the arm-and-train authority extends only until December, and lawmakers are to revisit the issue in a post-election, lame-duck session.

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Convicted felon kills family

BELL, Fla. (AP) — A man who spent time in prison a decade ago for the shooting death of his young son killed six of his grandchildren, including an infant, his adult daughter and himself in a rampage at a home where authorities in the small Florida town say they had been called to in the past. Officials in Gilchrist County say 51-year-old Don Spirit called 911 Thursday afternoon to say he might harm himself or others. When a deputy arrived, Spirit committed suicide and authorities then found the seven gunshot victims. Schultz wouldn't say if a weapon was recovered or what sort was used. He didn't have a motive for the massacre but said deputies had been to the home in the past for various reasons.

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King Fire Suspect Has Long Criminal History

(El Dorado Co., CA)  --  The man suspected of deliberately starting what is now California's massive King Fire has a long criminal record.  Wayne Huntsman has served time for assault with a deadly weapon, petty theft, vehicle theft and buying and receiving stolen property.  Huntsman was arrested Wednesday and held on ten-million-dollars bail.  About four-thousand firefighters are battling the blaze that is now threatening 12-thousand homes.

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U.S Border Patrol To Use Body Cameras

(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S Border Patrol will soon be using body cameras.  The move comes after Customs and Border Patrol released a critical review of the handling of use of force incidents, concluding some incidents lacked justification.  Testing of the body cameras will take place at the Border Patrol's training academy in New Mexico.

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Utah doctor to be sentenced for killing wife

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A doctor who was convicted of murder after his wife was found drugged and dead in the bathtub of their Utah home will be sentenced today. Prosecutors say Martin MacNeill gave his wife drugs following cosmetic surgery then left her to drown in 2007 so he could begin a new life with his mistress. The 58-year-old doctor could face 15 years to life on the murder charge and another one to 15 years on an obstruction of justice conviction.

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Search to resume for Texas deputy missing in flood

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A search will continue today for a Central Texas sheriff's deputy whose patrol car was found swamped by floodwaters minutes after she radioed for help. The search for the deputy was suspended overnight because of the storms, which are remnants of Hurricane Odile. Authorities in Travis County say the deputy had been checking low-water crossings.

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Hamm, other stars join campaign against assault

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House has enlisted Hollywood stars including Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and Connie Britton of "Nashville" to help fight campus sexual assault. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are unveiling the "It's On Us" campaign Friday at a White House event. The website went live Friday morning. It's called ItsOnUs.org and features a PSA with Obama, Biden and other familiar faces telling viewers it's their responsibility to stop sexual assault. Celebrities also include actresses Kerry Washington and Mayim Bialik, comedian Joel McHale and musicians Randy Jackson and Questlove. With an estimated one in five college women attacked, the campaign says to make sure friends are safe and to intervene before an assault happens. The message is particularly targeted at men.

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FDA tweaks food safety rules due next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is rewriting sweeping new food safety rules after farmers complained that they could hurt business. The Food and Drug Administration is proposing the revised rules Friday. The FDA is tweaking earlier proposals that included water and soil quality standards that farms big and small say are too burdensome. Final rules are due next fall. FDA Deputy Commissioner Michael Taylor says the agency is trying to "achieve the goal of food safety in a practical way." Congress passed the food safety law in 2010. The rules come after major foodborne outbreaks in spinach, peanuts, eggs and cantaloupe. There are an estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illnesses.

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California wildfire grows more slowly

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that has driven some 2,800 people from their homes in Northern California is growing but not as substantially as in previous days. Fire officials say the blaze about 60 miles east of Sacramento had burned through 119 square miles as of Friday morning, up about 5 square miles from the previous day. It remains 10 percent contained. The wind-whipped blaze more than doubled in size on Thursday, when it grew to 114 square miles. It is threatening 12,000 homes around the community of Pollock Pines, though there are no reports of any damage. Winds were expected to be light on Friday.

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Anti-Islamic ads coming to New York transit system

NEW YORK (AP) — Anti-Islamic ads will begin appearing on a hundred New York City buses and at two subway entrances next week. The six ads include an image of American journalist James Foley, just before he was beheaded, standing next to his masked executioner. The ads are paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative run by anti-Islam blogger Pamela Geller. She says the campaign tells truths about Islam and Jihad that the U.S. government and mainstream media ignore. All the ads feature a disclaimer that says the viewpoints are not endorsed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Under a federal court ruling, the agency is required to run viewpoint ads. But the MTA requires a disclaimer. The American Freedom Defense Initiative has posted ads on New York's transit system in the past that called enemies of Israel "savages."

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INTERNATIONAL

France targets Islamic State fighters

PARIS (AP) — Iraq's military spokesman says four French airstrikes killed dozens of fighters from the Islamic State group in a contested area of northern Iraq. French President Francois Hollande announced the first airstrikes Friday morning, saying Rafale fighter jets struck a logistics depot in northeastern Iraq, and the target was "entirely destroyed." The U.S. has also carried out airstrikes against the extremist group. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Iraqi military, said four French airstrikes hit the town of Zumar, killing dozens of extremist fighters. Zumar and surrounding towns have remained heavily contested by Islamic State fighters, even though Iraqi and Kurdish security forces have managed to make headway in nearby regions with the support of US airstrikes.

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Cameron promises new autonomy for Scots

LONDON (AP) — Leaders of Britain's three largest parties are promising Scots more autonomy following yesterday's Scottish referendum for independence. The majority of voters chose to stay with the United Kingdom, but Prime Minister David Cameron says he wants to give Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland greater independence from central government. Plans call for new powers on taxes, spending and welfare. Cameron says the new plans will be agreed by November, with draft legislation by January.

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Police: American suspect confesses in Bali killing

BALI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police say an American man has confessed that he killed his girlfriend's mother in a Bali hotel, and the girlfriend has acknowledged helping him stuff the body into a suitcase. Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend Tommy Schaefer, 21, both from Chicago, were arrested in Bali on Aug. 13, a day after the body of Sheila von Wiese-Mack was found in a suitcase inside the trunk of a taxi at the St. Regis Bali Resort. Police chief Col. Djoko Heru Utomo said Friday that Schaefer confessed during an interrogation on Monday and that Mack acknowledged her role in separate questioning later this week. Attempts to reach their Indonesian lawyers were not immediately successful. Utomo said Schaefer confessed that he killed the woman after an argument.

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Iranian youth behind 'Happy' video sentenced

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A defense lawyer in Iran says six young Iranian men and women videotaped dancing to Pharrell Williams' "Happy" and the video's director have been sentenced to suspended jail terms and lashes. Lawyer Farshid Rofugaran said Friday the seven have been sentenced to six months in jail and 91 lashes each, though the verdict won't be carried out unless the defendants commit crimes and are found guilty in the future. He says the suspended jail term is the punishment for acting in the video and the lashes are over ignoring Islamic norms. He says one of the defendants also received another suspended sentence of six months over charges of possessing alcohol, which is banned in Iran. The seven men and women were arrested in May, but they were released soon afterward.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

L.A. Dodgers 8, Chicago Cubs 4
St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 2, 13 innings

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay 6:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs 12:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay 6:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

College Football

Western Illinois at Northwestern 11 a.m.
Southern Illinois at Purdue 11 a.m.
Austin Peay at Eastern Illinois 1:30 p.m.
Texas State at Illinois 3 p.m.
Northern Illinois at Arkansas 6 p.m.

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay 12:40 p.m.
LA Dodgers at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis 7:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:09 p.m.)

NFL

Dallas at St. Louis 12 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX)
Indianapolis at Jacksonville 12 p.m.

NHL Preseason

St. Louis at Columbus 5:30 p.m.

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Chicago Bulls sign guard E'Twaun Moore

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have signed former Orlando Magic guard E'Twaun Moore. The team didn't announce contract terms Thursday. Moore, 6-5 and 191 pounds, played in 79 games with the Magic last season, averaging 6.4 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. He shot 43 percent from the field. He was with Orlando for two seasons and the Boston Celtics for one season. Boston drafted him in 2011 out of Purdue. Moore is from East Chicago, Indiana.

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Rizzo wins 2014 Branch Rickey Award

DENVER (AP) — Chicago Cubs All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo is the winner of the 2014 Branch Rickey award in recognition of his community work with pediatric cancer patients. At 25, he's the youngest person to receive the award — 4 1-2 months younger than last year's winner, Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. Created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 1991, the Branch Rickey Award honors individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models for young people. Each year, major league teams nominate a player, coach or executive, either active or retired, for the award. The award is named in honor of the late baseball executive known for creating the framework for the modern minor league farm system and for breaking baseball's color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the major leagues.

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News for Sept. 18, 2014

LOCAL
Highland teachers, district resume negotiations

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — The Highland teachers union and school board were set to meet Thursday to hammer out a three-year contract agreement that could end an ongoing teacher strike. The Belleville News-Democrat reported that both parties said Wednesday they made significant progress in a negotiation session that went late into Tuesday night. Students will miss class for a sixth day Thursday because of the strike, which started on Sept. 11 after nearly six months of negotiations. Thursday's session will be the eighth time the two sides have met with a mediator since July. The union proposed a three-year deal Tuesday that would cost the district about $730,000 total, a school board negotiator said. The district counter-offered with a three-year contract costing about $519,000. The union didn't comment on details of its proposal. Students are "one salary step" away from returning to the classroom, the union president said.

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Carbondale Police Searching For Suspects In Overnight Shooting

Police in Carbondale are investigating a home invasion and shooting that took place early Wednesday morning. Police say around 12:35 a.m., officers went to the 900 block of East Grand Avenue after getting a report that someone had been shot. Officers found the victim inside the home and confirmed the victim had sustained a gunshot wound. Officers learned three suspects forced entry into the home and demanded property from the four victims who were present.  Two of the suspects were armed with a handgun and one the suspects shot the victim during the incident.  The suspects were described as three black men in their late teens or early 20s. One of the black males was wearing a red hooded sweat shirt, dark hat, a dark skull cap, Nike gym shoes and jogging pants.  The other two black men were only described as wearing navy blue hooded sweat shirts. The victim was transported to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale for treatment of a life-threatening injury. The investigation into this incident is continuing.  Anyone with information about the incident should call Carbondale Police at 457-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 549-COPS.

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Jackson County Teen Pleads Guilty In Shooting

A Jackson County teen pled guilty Tuesday in connection with a January shooting outside of a Carbondale alternative school.  Eighteen-year-old Omari Tinsley pled guilty Tuesday to one count of aggravated battery with a firearm. Authorities say Tinsley shot a student’s father in the chest after the man broke up a fight between Tinsley and the student on Jan. 27 outside the Rebound school on North Oakland. Tinsley fled the scene. He was arrested later at a Carbondale apartment complex. Tinsley was also charged with two counts of attempted murder, but they were dismissed in exchange for his plea. Tinsley will be sentenced Dec. 10. He faces six to 30 years in prison.

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Murray Center Fundraiser This Sunday

The Murray Center Regional Coalition is joining efforts with Centralia High School to raise funds for the Murray Parents Association and its legal efforts to halt the closure of the development center in Centralia. The fundraising team will be hosting a pasta dinner and luncheon from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. this Sunday in the Centralia High School cafeteria.  There will be dinner entertainment provided by the CHS choirs and band, along with kids’ games and activities in the gym. Voter registration will be available and in addition to a dessert raffle, there will be a 50/50 drawing.  But the biggest prize draw of the night will be a silent auction of an Orphan’s season ticket. According to CHS Superintendent Chuck Lane, the auction winner will have the first choice of four seats, a first ever opportunity for Orphans fans.Tickets for Sunday’s pasta dinner and luncheon may be purchased at the high school, Centralia City Hall, Centralia Chamber of Commerce and from Coalition Committee members. All proceeds will go to benefit the Murray Parents Association, and the event will kick off a week of celebrations and events honoring the Warren G. Murray developmental center for its 50th birthday.

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Franklin County Accident Injures One

A pickup truck driven by an unidentified 67 year old male was eastbound on IL Route 149 near Jackanicz Road Wednesday morning.  Witness reports indicated, the truck travelled into the westbound lane of IL Route 149, down the shoulder and into a creek. The driver was removed by members of the West Frankfort Fire & Rescue Squad.  The driver was transported to the Herrin Hospital, where he was airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The crash is still under investigation.

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Report Reveals Computer Security Breaches At Scott Contractor

(Belleville, IL) -- A newly-declassified U.S. Senate report says the Chinese government successfully launched 20 cyberattacks in a one-year period on the civilian agency based at Scott Air Force Base that handles troop and equipment logistics. The Chinese hackers stole computer access codes, assorted documents and emails as they broke through the security of the U.S. Transportation Command, known as Transcom. The Chinese reportedly tried fifty attacks in all during that period. Two cybersecurity squadrons, under the Air Force, will be set up at Scott by 2016.

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Scott AFB Among Finalist For New Mission Support Center

(Scott AFB, IL) -- Scott Air Force Base is one of ten finalists to be the home of the Air Force's new Installation and Mission Support Center. Scott could have an advantage over the others on the list like Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland or Wright-Patterson in Ohio. The new center will report directly to Material Command, which is also headquartered at Scott. The final decision on a site will be announced in January.

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Man Accused Of Meat Tampering Ruled Too Dangerous

(East St. Louis, MO)  --  A federal judge has ruled that a man accused of tampering with meat in a supermarket must stay behind bars and cannot be released on bail.  The court decided Wednesday that 68-year-old Ron Avers won't be allowed to leave jail because he's too dangerous.  The Belleville man admitted tampering with meat at the store he regularly shopped for no really good reason.  Avers now must remain in the St. Clair County Jail until his trial on November 3rd.

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Ex-teacher admits misconduct involving girls

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A former southern Illinois math teacher and cross country coach pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges involving sexual misconduct with girls. Timothy Going, 43, of Fairfield entered the pleas to a three indictment counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of possessing visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Each exploitation charge is punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison. The other count carries a possible 10-year prison term. Going remains jailed without bond, pending sentencing scheduled for Jan. 5. St. Clair prosecutors also have charged Going with four counts related to the videotaping girls ages 15 to 18 last November in the bathroom of a Super 8 motel in Fairview Heights, near St. Louis. Going also is accused in Wayne County with illegally placing a video camera in the girls' locker room at Fairfield Community High School, where he taught and coached cross country.

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Naturalization Ceremony Part Of Belleville Bicentennial

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois will host a Naturalization ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 19, 2014, at the Belleville Town Square in Belleville, Illinois. The Naturalization ceremony will take place as part of the Belleville bicentennial festivities.  The Southern District of Illinois is one of three federal judicial districts in Illinois and is comprised of the 38 southernmost counties. Although the ceremony is an official court proceeding, the Court elects to host Naturalization ceremonies at various locations in the communities which the Southern District of Illinois serves. This provides opportunities for citizens to witness the Naturalization process first-hand and learn more about how immigrants to the United States become citizens. There will be 109 candidates presented to the court on behalf of the Department of Justice by United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton. For more information, please visit the court’s website, www.ilsd.uscourts.gov, or contact Justine Flanagan at 618/482-9373.

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STATE
Illinois school to resume classes after gas leak

GIRARD, Ill. (AP) — School was set to resume Thursday at a Springfield-area middle school after a carbon monoxide leak that sickened more than 140 students and adults led district officials to cancel classes for two days. Levels of the odorless gas were at zero at North Mac Schools on Wednesday after repairs to the faulty furnace flue at the intermediate school, Superintendent Marica Cullen wrote on the district's website. Carbon monoxide detectors were installed and tested in buildings in Girard and Virden, the State Journal-Register reported.  Experts verified the flue was the source by recreating the problem and monitoring carbon monoxide levels in the building on Tuesday. School officials called students who had sought treatment after the leak Monday and were told that everyone was doing well. Illinois doesn't require schools to have carbon monoxide detectors.

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Quinn Wants Black Voters To Take Another Look

(Chicago, IL) -- Black voters have been coming out in support of Bruce Rauner, but Governor Quinn's team is trying to get them to take a closer look at the Republican. A new radio ad points out that not one African American is on the payroll at Rauner's investment firm. Rauner has been accused of trying to buy the black vote. He donated a million dollars to a south side Chicago bank aimed at helping minorities get loans to start businesses. He also opened a campaign office on Chicago's south side last month, complete with a barbecue for people in the community. But one prominent black voter says Rauner hasn't given him anything for his support. Former state senator James Meeks says he's backing Rauner because it's time to shake up the Democratic Party and hold them accountable to the promises they make on the campaign trail.

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Illinois Tax Structure Among Worst In Nation

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois' tax structure is one of the most unfair in the nation.   A study conducted by WalletHub.com shows that people tend to favor a progressive tax structure which requires people who make more money to pay more taxes.  Illinois has a flat-rate structure, which means everyone pays the same percentage from their paychecks no matter how much they make.  Lawmakers pushed to implement a progressive structure earlier this year but that requires changing the state's constitution. 

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Rauner Throws Jabs At Top Democrats

(Springfield, IL) -- Bruce Rauner is throwing jabs at House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. His latest ad claims the two top Democrats have helped produce 100-years of failure in Illinois. The ad goes on to say that the Democrats have been involved in hiring scandals, federal investigations, and secret insider deals. They're specifically referring to Governor Quinn's patronage scandal at IDOT, and the fact that the federal government is investigating his troubled anti-violence program. Governor Quinn's team is firing back though. They say Rauner has zero credibility when it comes to ethics. They point out that Rauner pays to get what he wants and that his businesses have been connected to Medicaid fraud and abusing seniors in nursing homes.

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Rauner Unveils Ethics Blueprint

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner says he has a plan to help get rid of corruption in state government.  His ethics blueprint aims to put a hiring monitor in place at IDOT.  The agency has been under fire since news broke that there were hundreds of people on staff who were hired based on clout and not on skill.  Rauner also wants a revolving-door ban which means senior executive officials and former lawmakers would not be allowed to become lobbyists for at least a year after they've left their government job. 

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Ruling expected on Libertarian's place on ballot

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Sangamon County judge is expected to rule Thursday on an appeal by Republican attorneys to remove a Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor from the November ballot. Sangamon County Circuit Judge Patrick Kelley heard arguments in which the GOP attorneys questioned the validity of signatures Libertarian candidates gathered to get on the ballot. Political analysts say Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm could draw votes that otherwise would go to Republican candidate Bruce Rauner in the expectedly close race against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The State Board of Elections decided last month to allow Grimm to appear on the ballot. At the same time, the board ruled that Green Party, Constitution and Independent candidates should not be included on the ballot because the parties gathered too few valid signatures. Democratic Party attorneys had challenged the validity of the signatures for the Green candidate, who could have taken votes away from Quinn.

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Bloomington group helps NFL with domestic violence

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A national organization based in Bloomington will team up with the National Football League to address domestic violence. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence signed on to work with the NFL to review and ramp up its policies regarding sexual assault and domestic violence. The organization helps companies develop policies and training that raise awareness and prevention of domestic violence in the workplace. "What people see are the players every week," said Kim Wells, executive director of the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. "There are 1,000 men and women who work for the NFL. Our work on the policies is to keep everybody safe," she said. The NFL's effort coincides with a recent viral video that shows Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice physically assaulting his then-girlfriend. The incident occurred at an Atlantic City casino in February. He has since been charged and suspended for two games. The NFL was one of the organization's founding corporate partners when it was established in 1995.

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Illinois launches catch-and-release fly fishing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Selected Illinois waterways will open ahead of the regular trout season for catch-and-release fly fishing, the Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday. The new catch-and-release season will open Oct. 4 with the regular trout fishing season starting Oct. 18. The department stocks about 50 Illinois lakes and rivers with approximately 80,000 trout before the season opens. The catch-and-release waters are located in Apple River State Park in Jo Daviess County, White Pines State Park in Oregon County, Siloam Springs State Park in Adams County, Gridley Lake in Cass County, Horton Lake in Hancock County and IDOT Lake in Sangamon County. Most adults must have a fishing licenses and inland trout stamps to fish during either the catch-and-release or the regular season. Licenses and stamps are available at many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. The daily limit is five trout per angler.

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NATIONAL
Senate to vote on arming Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is expected today to approve President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels in an effort to destroy the militant group Islamic State. The Republican-controlled House gave its approval Wednesday in a 273-156 vote. The provision was added to spending legislation that will ensure the federal government operates normally after the Sept. 30 end of the budget year.

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Obama, Ukraine president to meet at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Oval Office today, hours after the leader of the former Soviet republic speaks to a rare joint session of Congress. Poroshenko arrives in Washington seeking more robust U.S military assistance to help his country in its fight against Russian-backed rebels. Obama has so far resisted Ukraine's request for lethal assistance, though the U.S. has provided about $60 million in nonlethal aid to Ukraine's military. White House officials made clear that Poroshenko's visit — his first to the U.S. since being elected this summer — is aimed in part at sending a message to Russia about the West's backing for the embattled former Soviet republic.

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Wildfire emergency

WEED, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency because of a major wildfire that threatens 2,000 homes and another 1,500 smaller structures. It has scorched nearly 44 square miles and is only 5 percent contained. About 2,500 firefighters are taking on the fire, which is east of Sacramento. The declaration will free up funds for the blaze and a wildfire that destroyed 110 homes and damaged 90 in the town of Weed.

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New Yorkers React To Times Square Drill

(New York, NY)  --  Worries over the threat of terrorism are looming over New York's Times Square.  Police conducted a counter terrorism drill yesterday, and many New Yorkers seemed to welcome it.  In what he called an "evolving world of terrorism," Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the city is well prepared to handle an emergency, although no specific threat has been made.

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Police trooper killed in ambush to be laid to rest

UNDATED (AP) — Hundreds of mourners, including law enforcement officers from around the country, are gathering in Scranton, Pennsylvania today, for the funeral of a state trooper as a manhunt continues 40 miles away for the killer. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was gunned down late Friday outside a rural barracks in the Pocono Mountains. Another trooper was wounded in the ambush that touched off a massive manhunt for 31-year-old Eric Frein (freen), an anti-law enforcement survivalist identified Tuesday as the suspect. Dickson's viewing Wednesday at Scranton's Marywood University drew a crowd that snaked around the block, with Pennsylvania's attorney general among the mourners. Gov. Tom Corbett plans to attend Dickson's funeral at St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton. The Marine Corps veteran joined the state police in 2007. He's survived by his wife of 10 years and two young sons.

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Jury won't consider deaths in Ga. salmonella trial

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A jury weighing criminal charges against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak will decide the case without hearing one fact — that nine people died after eating the company's tainted peanut butter. Jury deliberations are set to resume today in the federal trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two co-defendants. Prosecutors say Parnell knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter and faked lab tests for salmonella. During nearly six weeks of testimony, jurors heard evidence that people got sick. But prosecutors never mentioned deaths. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore says prosecutors felt they could build their strongest case around fraud charges, and testimony regarding deaths would have distracted jurors and possibly made any convictions vulnerable to appeals.

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Senate to vote on arming Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is expected today to approve President Barack Obama's plan to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the militant group Islamic State. The House approved the measure yesterday. Top leaders of both parties stood with the president despite reservations that Obama's strategy of arming moderate rebel groups could backfire or won't be enough to blunt the advance of Islamic State forces.

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Yellen says US families need to boost savings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the Great Recession showed that a large number of American families are "extraordinarily vulnerable" to financial setbacks because they have few assets to fall back on. She says a Fed survey finds that an unexpected expense of just $400 would force the majority of American families to borrow money, sell something or simply not pay. She says the bottom fifth of households by income — about 25 million households — had net worth in 2013 of just $6,400 and many of these families had nothing saved or negative net worth. In a speech delivered by video to a Washington conference, Yellen says there is a critical need to encourage people to take small steps to boost their savings.

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Border town of Nogales avoids flooding from storm

NOGALES, Ariz. (AP) — The mayor of Nogales, Arizona, says city crews were able to prevent the flooding of two trailer parks as a Pacific storm slammed much of southern Arizona on Wednesday. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning for the border community, where a major street was flooded with several inches of water. Mayor Arturo Garino said officials initially thought they would have to evacuate two nearby trailer parks where about 100 families live. However, the water receded, and the city's public works department was able to clear the street. Earlier, a larger wash that cuts through the middle of the city was close to overflowing. Garino said it also receded from an at-risk level of 12 feet to between 5 and 6 feet. Meanwhile, a flash-flood watch for Tucson was canceled.

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Storms blamed for power outages in parts of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Storms have dumped heavy rain on parts of Texas, leading to several high-water rescues in the Austin and El Paso areas. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Austin area through Thursday night. A similar watch applied hundreds of miles away in El Paso County. Austin-Travis County EMS has carried out at least four high-water rescues since Wednesday night. The city's utility company reported about 5,500 homes and businesses without electricity Thursday. Several hundred customers in the El Paso area also lost power. El Paso firefighters rescued two people from a swamped vehicle. Battalion Chief Carlos Franco says a third person swam to safety and was being treated for minor injuries. Lightning was blamed for an oil tank fire Wednesday afternoon in Baytown. Nobody was hurt.

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Bullying Common In All Workplace Levels, Survey Says

(Undated)  --  A new survey says bullying is a problem in the American workplace, at all levels.  The survey by CareerBuilder finds that 28-percent of U.S. workers report being bullied at work.  Nearly one in five say it was so bad that they quit.  The survey says bullying is more prevalent among certain minorities and lower-paid workers, but it's a problem for college-educated workers and those in management positions as well.  CareerBuilder surveyed private sector workers at firms of all sizes across a range of industries.

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Cyrus Flag Twerking Incident Upsets Mexican Authorities

(Monterrey, Mexico)  --  Pop star Miley Cyrus is causing quite a stir south of the border after one of her dancers slapped her on the backside with a Mexican flag.  The incident occurred Tuesday night while Miley was "twerking" onstage in Monterrey, Mexico on what just happened to be Mexican Independence Day.  The congress of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon wants to see the 21-year-old prosecuted for desecrating the Mexican flag -- a crime that carries a 12-hundred dollar fine and 36 hours in jail.

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INTERNATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL
Thwarted beheadings plot

SYDNEY (AP) — Australian officials say the plan by supporters of the Islamic State group was to carry out random beheadings in Sydney and videotape the attacks. But officials say the plot was thwarted when 15 people were taken into custody during about a dozen raids today. Nine of them were later released. Australia's attorney general says a person born in Afghanistan who had spent time in Australia had ordered Islamic State supporters to carry out the beheadings.

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British Muslims plead for hostage under threat

LONDON (AP) — British Muslim leaders are pleading for the safety of a British hostage threatened with beheading by Islamic State extremists in Syria. The leaders say in a letter published today that hostage Alan Henning is a humanitarian aid worker who went to Syria to help victims of the civil war. The religious leaders and community organizers ask the Islamic State group to "show him some mercy." Henning was taken captive in December.

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Polls open in historic Scottish independence vote

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — The fate of the United Kingdom is at stake today as voters in Scotland go to the polls to decide whether to become an independent country. More than 2,600 polling places are open and turnout is expected to be high. Polls suggest the result is too close to call.

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UK nurse who survived Ebola flies to US to help

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Foreign Office says a nurse who recovered from Ebola has traveled to the U.S. to donate blood to an American patient who is fighting the disease. William Pooley caught Ebola while working in Sierra Leone and was flown back to London for treatment, where he recovered. The American patient who received Pooley's blood wasn't identified. Scientists think antibodies in the blood of people who have survived Ebola might help others infected with the disease. The Foreign Office said it arranged for Pooley to get an emergency passport. His original passport had been burned. "This enabled him to fly out to the U.S. immediately and potentially assist with the treatment of an Ebola victim," the office said in a statement. Pooley's trip was paid for by the World Health Organization.

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NKorea unresponsive to US envoy offer

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior U.S. official says North Korea has been unresponsive to U.S. offers for an envoy to negotiate the release of three detained Americans. This week, North Korea sentenced 24-year-old Matthew Miller of Bakersfield, California, to six years hard labor after being convicted of entering the country illegally to commit espionage. Robert King, the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, says freeing the detainees could provide a diplomatic opening between the nations.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Kansas City 6, Chicago White Sox 2
Chicago Cubs 3, Cincinnati 1
St. Louis 2, Milwaukee 0

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

L.A. Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

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WR Bailey back at practice for Rams

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Stedman Bailey emerged as a consistent threat late in his rookie season and the St. Louis Rams anticipate plugging the wide receiver back into the mix right away this weekend against Dallas. Bailey served half of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. He was at home in Miami when he learned about the agreement on a new policy and took the first plane out Wednesday, arriving in time for practice. Coach Jeff Fisher said Bailey was eager to return to the fold and had no rust. Bailey could replace former West Virginia teammate Tavon Austin, who injured his right knee in Sunday's victory at Tampa Bay. Quarterback Shaun Hill (left quadriceps) was limited and Fisher said backup Austin Davis took virtually all of the first-team snaps.

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Bears Rookie Fuller Named Defensive Player Of The Week

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Bears rookie Kyle Fuller is off to a pretty good start to his career.  The cornerback was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after posting two fourth quarter interceptions and six tackles during the Bears 28-to-20 come from behind victory at San Francisco. Fuller flourished after taking over for veteran defensive back Charles Tillman, who suffered a season ending triceps injury during the game.

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News For Sept. 17, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon Receives Federal Grant

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Springfield; U.S. Representative Bill Enyart, D-Belleville; and Mount Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley announced a $3.25 million grant to Mount Vernon. The grant was provided by the U.S. Department Of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to create jobs and help in the construction of infrastructure, according to a news release from Durbin. The project is expected to create 500 jobs.  Chesley said, “This grant shows the faith that Senator Durbin, Congressman Enyart and the federal government have in the city of Mount Vernon to provide jobs for the people of the city, the county, and for the southern Illinois region and the potential for future economic growth.” The funding will be used to help construct road, water and other infrastructure needed to accommodate the expansion of the Mount Vernon’s new 100-acre industrial park. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Commerce Department and supports the economic development needs of distressed communities throughout the United States.  Its mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.

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Southern Illinois airport receives $3.2M grant

MARION, Ill. (AP) — A Southern Illinois airport is receiving $3.2 million in federal funds for construction of a new terminal. The grant for Williamson County Regional Airport in Marion was announced Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, both Democrats. The money is from the Federal Aviation Administration's Airport Improvement Program. The airport offers eight daily flights from Marion to St. Louis. The current terminal is more than four decades old. "Having access to reliable air service is essential to growing businesses that create jobs in Illinois," Durbin said.

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West Frankfort Man Guilty Of Aggravated Battery

A West Frankfort man has been found guilty of aggravated battery for throwing meth-making chemicals on his girlfriend. A Franklin County judge handed down the verdict to Christopher Rollins Tuesday morning. The 30-year-old Rollins was arrested in Aug. 2012 for throwing the chemicals on Tessa Leech causing her to receive severe burns over most of her body. Rollins will be sentenced Nov. 18.

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Man gets 6 years prison for ramming police cars

MARION, Ill. (AP) — A man who authorities said rammed two patrol cars during a chase in southern Illinois has been ordered to spend six years in prison. Victor Shea, 28, of Herrin was sentenced Monday in Williamson County Circuit Court after pleading guilty to two counts of criminal damage to government property, WSIL-TV reported. Police have said that while leading Herrin and Energy police on a chase in July, Shea used his vehicle to ram two patrol cars before he fled on foot. He was arrested after being shot by officers with a stun gun, authorities said. Prosecutors dropped four other counts, including aggravated fleeing and aggravated assault of an officer, in exchange for Shea's guilty plea.

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Trial set for man accused in infant son's death

MARION, Ill. (AP) — A trial has been scheduled for early next year for a southern Illinois man accused of killing his 3-month-old son. Prosecutors in Williamson County have accused Brandon Vaughn, 22, of Johnston City of suffocating Brayson Vaughn in October of last year. The baby was found unresponsive at his home and was declared dead at a hospital, authorities said. Brandon Vaughn has pleaded not guilty to two murder counts and remains jailed. Brandon Vaughn's trial in Marion was scheduled Monday for Jan. 20, WSIL-TV reported.

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Murder Suspect Transferred To Jail

(Brookport, IL)  --  The Mayfield, Kentucky mom and son who were allegedly killed by an Illinois man are being laid to rest today.  Funeral services for 34-year-old Kim Thomas and 17-year-old Michael Mohney will be held at 2 p.m. at His House Ministries in Mayfield.  Police say Thomas's ex-boyfriend, Terry Froman, from Brookport, shot and killed Mohney last Friday then kidnapped Thomas and fled the state.  Police caught up with him near Cincinnati, Ohio and found Thomas's body in the back seat of the vehicle.  Froman allegedly tried to kill himself but survived a gunshot wound. 

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Still No Classes In Highland

(Highland, IL)  --  It's day five of a teacher strike in Highland.  Negotiations have stalled between both sides who say they can't find a middle ground on the issue of pay.  Teachers have been without a contract since the end of August.  Students have been out of class since last Thursday and all athletic and extra-curricular activities have been called off.   

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Man Who Put Needles In Meat Wants Out Of Jail

(Belleville, IL) -- The man accused of putting needles inside packages of meat in Belleville wants out of jail. Robert Ayers is challenging a ruling that keeps him behind bars until his trial gets underway in November. He was charged back in July after an investigation revealed he'd put sewing needles inside packages of ground beef, roast, and steak at Shop 'N Save stores. One customer actually bit into a needle, and another got poked in the hand.

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Former Illinois state's attorney disciplined

MARION, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has censured a former long-time southern Illinois state's attorney in connection with racial comments he made during a 2011 murder case. The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission on Monday announced the state high court's decision regarding former Williamson County State's Attorney Charles Garnati. In a February disciplinary complaint, Garnati is accused of making racial comments during opening and closing arguments of Marcus Marshall's trial that may have swayed the all-white jury. Marshall, 32, of Creal Springs was sentenced to 85 years in prison in the August 2010 slaying of LaQuinn Hudson. Two years later, an appellate court reversed the conviction after it found Marshall, who is black, was denied the right to a fair trial because the state's "use of race was an egregious and consistent theme throughout the trial." Garnati, the longest-serving state's attorney in Illinois, stepped down earlier this month after more than 30 years in office. He decided to resign because of health concerns, Garnati said, and not because of the allegations. But he disagrees with the censure, he said. "It's a situation where I didn't feel I was doing anything improper," Garnati said. "They apparently felt I did, and they're the boss and slapped my wrist. We'll go on." A censure doesn't prevent a lawyer from continuing to practice, it simply reflects the determination that he or she engaged in misconduct, according to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Garnati plans to open his new Marion office for private practice in about a week.

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Columbia murder victims' family seeking damages

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — An attorney for the family of three southwestern Illinois murder victims filed another motion requesting the assessment of damages. Angela and Mario DiCicco of Chicago are seeking money to cover the cost of legal battle over the final resting place of the bodies. Their lawyer, Jack Carey, filed the motion asking Associate Judge Richard Aguirre to reconsider his dismissal of an initial petition to assess damages in Randolph County Court, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Sheri Coleman, 32, Angela DiCicco's daughter and Mario DiCicco's sister, was found strangled in her Columbia home in May 2009, along with her two sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9. Two years later, Christopher Coleman was convicted of killing his family so he could be with his mistress. He's now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. After Christopher Coleman's conviction, the DiCiccos filed paperwork to exhume the bodies from a Chester cemetery and move them to Chicago. His family filed a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in an effort to keep the bodies in Chester, but they ultimately lost. Sheri Coleman's family is also continuing to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against Joyce Meyer Ministries, which employed Christopher Coleman as a personal bodyguard for the televangelist, in Monroe County.

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Police Find Missing Collinsville Man With Dementia

(Collinsville, IL)  --  Collinsville police say a missing elderly man suffering from dementia has been found.  Cops say 83-year-old Walter Fedder was located overnight and is alive.  He's being checked by paramedics.  Fedder was last seen yesterday afternoon in his home in the 68-hundred block of Fedder Lane.

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Bulgarians Want Metro East Fortune

(Granite City, IL)  --  Some people in Bulgaria have their eyes on one Metro East community.  According to KSDK-TV, 30 Bulgarians are laying claim to a fortune left behind by a Granite City woman.  Mary Petroff died in 2011, leaving behind an estate worth more than a million dollars, but no will and no children.  Petroff was the daughter of Bulgarian immigrants, and now dozens of distant Bulgarian relatives are reportedly making claims on her legacy.

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STATE
Poll Shows Quinn Ahead For The First Time

(Springfield, IL)  --  A new poll shows Governor Quinn in the lead for the first time in his re-election bid.  The "Chicago Tribune" survey has the governor ahead of Republican challenger Bruce Rauner by eleven points.  Both sides downplayed the numbers while continuing to blast the opposition.  The newspaper polled 800 people over the phone for its survey.

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New Grand Jury Subpoena For Quinn Anti-Violence Program

(Chicago, IL) -- A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for records from Governor Pat Quinn's 2010 anti-violence program that's been criticized as a political slush fund. The subpoena seeks records about the now-defunct 55-million-dollar Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which doled out money to local groups, some with political connections, to fight urban violence. The indictment also means that federal authorities in Chicago are investigating how that money was handed out, in addition to a federal probe based in Springfield, though the two probes could be connected. Quinn maintains that once he was made aware of irregularities with NRI, he reformed the grant-making process.

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Quinn Tells Court Hiring Monitor Not Needed

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn has told a federal court that the state does not need a court-appointed monitor to make sure that patronage doesn't figure into state hiring. Quinn was responding to a petition filed by anti-patronage crusader Michael Shakman in the wake of a state investigator's finding that IDOT had hired some 250 people for political reasons over the past decade for jobs that were supposed to be free of clout. Quinn says a monitor isn't needed because he had accepted all of the recommendations of the Office of the Executive Inspector General and laid of 58-people who were improperly hired.

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Committee Taking Time On Fracking Rules

(Chicago, IL) -- The legislative committee in charge of setting the rules for companies conducting the oil extraction process called fracking has given itself 45 more days to review the proposed regulations. The 12-member Joint Committee on Administrative Rules said today it needs more time to review the complicated rules developed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Even with the delay, the committee would still meet the November 15 deadline set by the law to have the rules in place. Oil industry groups object to the latest version of the fracking rules, saying they're so strict that it's doubtful anyone would apply for a drilling permit.

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Rauner Says Marijuana Law Clouded In Secrecy

(Chicago, IL) -- Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is using the state's new medical marijuana law to level new charges of cronyism against Governor Quinn. The law keeps much of the information about companies seeking to become marijuana growers and dispensaries secret, and Rauner says that opens the door to favoritism in selecting who gets those licenses. Both Quinn and Rauner have political allies who are working with companies that are seeking state licenses to grow or sell medical marijuana.

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No School In Girard For Second Day

(Girard, IL)  --  School is canceled for a second day in Girard.  Officials say they're still conducting air quality tests within their facilities.  They want to make sure there are no traces of carbon monoxide in the buildings before allowing the kids to come back. There were no carbon monoxide detectors inside the building. Officials at the Springfield-area middle school have installed carbon monoxide detectors and tested a water heater after more than 140 students and adults were sent to hospitals when they became ill from a carbon monoxide leak.

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U of I chancellor regrets uproar over professor

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise told a committee of faculty leaders that she regretted the uproar that resulted from the decision not hire a professor whose Twitter messages were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. Wise told the campus' Senate Executive Committee on Monday that the university's board of trustees will be asked to sign off on the hiring of future tenured faculty much earlier in the process. She also said she wished she would have consulted with faculty who already had signed off on the decision to hire Steven Salaita, a Native American Studies professor, the (Champaign) News-Gazette reported. Salaita accepted a job offer starting this fall but later was told after he posted numerous anti-Israel Twitter messages that he would not be hired. The Board of Trustees last week declined to change that decision. His supporters believe he effectively already had been hired, so his speech was protected by academic tenure. They point out that professors routinely begin work before the board approves their hires. Salaita has said he plans to sue the university.

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USDA: Rain, cold hampering Illinois corn harvest

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Wet, cool conditions across much of Illinois have put farmers behind schedule in bringing their corn in from the fields, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Illinois corn growers through Sunday had only managed to harvest 2 percent of their crop, down 12 percentage points from the average of the previous five years, the USDA said in its weekly crop progress report Monday. Last year at this time, just 1 percent of the state's crop was reaped. The USDA blamed rainfall averaged 2.3 inches statewide last week, nearly an inch above normal. The autumn-like temperatures didn't help, averaging 59.8 degrees — more than nine degrees below normal. Roughly half of the Illinois corn crop was rated as good while 31 percent was deemed to be excellent. The USDA said last month it expected the nation's corn growers to bring in by far the largest harvest ever this year — nearly 14.4 billion bushels, up from last year's 13.9 billion bushel record. The forecast yield of 172 bushels per acre is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 165 bushels per acre. Record yields will be set in 18 states, the USDA said, and 10 states including the nation's top three producers — Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska — have the highest number of ears per corn stalk ever. A massive harvest has been expected this year as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions.

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NATIONAL
Obama heads to US Central Command

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — President Barack Obama is consulting today with military officials about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants. He'll be visiting U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida. Meanwhile, House lawmakers are expected today to give President Barack Obama approval to have U.S. soldiers train and provide weapons to Syrian moderate rebels in the fight against the group Islamic State. Obama also has vowed to use air power, not ground forces, against militants in Iraq and Syria. But Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said yesterday that if the current plan doesn't work, he might have to recommend that ground forces be used.

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Vikings place Adrian Peterson on exempt list

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt/commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges. The Vikings made the announcement today after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son. The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. And several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson.

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Missouri teen critically injured after police use stun gun on him

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Doctors are trying to awaken a suburban Kansas City teenager who was put in a medically induced coma after a police officer critically injured him with a stun gun during a traffic stop. An attorney for the family says 17-year-old Bryce Masters is being treated for a lack of oxygen to the brain. The FBI is looking into whether excessive force was used when Masters was pulled over Sunday afternoon. Police say he was uncooperative and physically resisted getting out of the car, which had a warrant on the license plate. The car didn't belong to the teen.

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Man drives across US, confesses to 1997 homicide

PHOENIX (AP) — A North Carolina man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after confessing that he killed an Arizona woman with a flashlight more than 15 years ago. Police say they probably would have never solved the cold case had 55-year-old Matthew Gibson not driven across the country to confess killing Barbara Leone Brown in 1997. Gibson's attorney says since the murder, his client has found religion.

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Financial markets awaiting any Fed signal on rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — The presence or absence of two key words could signal investors today on the Federal Reserve's interest rate plans. The Fed will issue a statement after wrapping up a two-day meeting and the phrase that investors will be alert for is "considerable time" as they search for clues about the timetable for a change in a key short-term rate. The Fed has kept that rate at a record low since December 2008. Since March, the Fed has said it expects to keep this rate near zero for a "considerable time" after it stops buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds. Those purchases are set to end in November. It could sub out that phrase in this week's statement. Or it could wait until its next meeting in October. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will also be pressed when she meets with reporters later to clarify the Fed's intentions.

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No Labels gathers allies in DC to start 2016 push

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers and strategists is outlining a plan to save Social Security, add 25 million jobs and balance the federal budget. The group called No Labels says it intends to deliver its ambitious plan in October 2015, right as the next presidential campaign starts to rev up. More than 200 lawmakers are gathering today to take the first steps in drafting it. The move is a bid for relevance by No Labels. The group formed after the 2010 midterm elections with a goal of bridging the chasm between Republicans and Democrats. Their wins, so far, have been scarce, but No Labels is looking to play a role in 2016's presidential election with a policy platform that contenders will be forced to endorse or reject.

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Group levels abuse allegations against NM dairy

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Undercover video showing workers at a southern New Mexico dairy whipping cows with chains and wire cables and kicking and punching the animals has led to a state investigation into possible animal cruelty violations. The New Mexico Livestock Board confirms it has launched an investigation into the practices at the Winchester Dairy near Dexter. The group Mercy for Animals presented the video footage to the livestock agency last Thursday. And it plans to publicly release clips that show the abuse during a news conference today in Albuquerque. The dairy says animal care and well-being are central to its operations. As a result, the dairy fired all employees and referred the abusive workers to law enforcement for further review. Milking operations and shipments to vendors have been halted.

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Cuts to food stamps will only hit four states

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review finds that cuts to the nation's food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed. As a result, it's unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had advertised. The food stamp cuts were passed as part of a massive farm bill. The intent of the legislation was to save money by clamping down on states that were using certain provisions of a federal heating assistance program to increase food stamp benefits. Of the 16 states that allow the practice or some form of it, 12 governors have taken steps to avoid the food stamp cuts. This practice has infuriated Republicans who pushed the cuts.

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Pacific storm starts pushing rain into Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) — Rain is falling in much of Arizona as the remnants of Tropical Storm Odile move across the state. National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Carlaw in Tucson says overnight accumulations in southern Arizona range from a third of an inch to 2 inches. Carlaw says some normally dry washes had flows late Tuesday and early Wednesday as a result of the storms passing through. Light rain also is falling in the Phoenix area. Storm activity is expected to pick up during the day, and much of Arizona is under flash flood watches.

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Family Dollar tells investors to reject takeover

MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) — Family Dollar is telling shareholders to reject an unsolicited, $9.1 billion takeover bid by its rival, Dollar General. Family Dollar is currently trying to arrange a sale to another bargain chain, Dollar Tree. After repeated rejections by Family Dollar Stores, Dollar General Corp. last week appealed directly to shareholders of Family Dollar Stores Inc., offering them the same price for their shares. Family Dollar accepted an $8.5 billion buyout offer from Dollar Tree Inc. in July. Shares of Family Dollar, based in Matthews, North Carolina, are trading close to all-time highs, as are shares of Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

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Ohio police says no to crimes reported on Facebook

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police department wants residents to stop reporting crimes on its Facebook page. Kettering police spokesman Ron Roberts tells the Dayton Daily News that three minor crimes were reported via the department's Facebook page last weekend alone: someone spotted on the roof of a vacant building, a child riding on a motorcycle without a helmet, and a loud party. Roberts said just he and two other officers have access to agency's Facebook page. He says the page is not monitored around the clock, and residents should call 911 or police dispatchers if they witness a crime in progress. Bob Cornwell of the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association says it's reflective of "society's dependence on technology."

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AP Interview: Iraq premier says no foreign troops

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new prime minister says foreign ground troops are neither necessary nor wanted in his country's fight against the Islamic State group. In an interview with The Associated Press, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also urged the international community to expand the campaign against the extremists to neighboring Syria. He said the fight against the Islamic State group will be endless unless the militants who control a large swath of land spanning both countries are hit in Syria as well.

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Islamic State group warns U.S. in video

BEIRUT (AP) — The militant Islamic State group has issued a video warning to Washington today saying if the U.S. sends ground troops to Iraq there will be fighters waiting for them. The White House says ground troops aren't part of the plan. The video could be a response to Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said in Senate testimony that he may recommend the use of ground troops under certain circumstances.

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Liberia hopes US Ebola aid pushes world to do more

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's president is welcoming promised U.S. military aid to fight Ebola and says she hopes it spurs the international community into further action. President Barrack Obama announced Tuesday he will order 3,000 U.S. military personnel to West Africa to help contain the dreaded disease, which has killed at least 2,400 people. The U.S. is also planning 17 treatment centers of 100 beds each in Liberia. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday called that commitment significant and said she hopes it will only be the beginning. "We hope this decision by the United States will spur the rest of the international community into action," she said in a statement read by a spokesman. She said the world community has a stake in ending the outbreak that's affected five nations.

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Germany to provide logistical help in Ebola crisis

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her government will provide logistical help in response to the Ebola crisis in Liberia. Merkel told reporters Wednesday that Germany is considering sending a mobile hospital to Liberia. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had sent a letter to Merkel earlier this month asking Germany for help. A government spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz, said Germany was also considering sending help by transport planes, possibly coordinated by the German army. President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that the United States will send troops in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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Government urges end to Air France pilots strike

PARIS (AP) — The French government wants Air France pilots to end a strike that has grounded half of the airline's flights this week amid anger over plans to shift much of its operations to a low-cost carrier. Air France argues that it needs to cut costs to stay competitive in the face of tough rivalry from budget airlines and Gulf state carriers. Pilots are protesting plans to shift some activities to low-cost carrier Transavia and shift some jobs to countries with lower taxes and labor costs. Government spokesman Stephane le Foll said Wednesday that the strike should stop and urged a return to negotiations. The French state owns 15.9 percent of Air France. Air France is running only about 40 percent of its flights worldwide Wednesday, day three of the strike.

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Emotions mount on final day of Scottish campaign

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Excitement and anxiety are mounting in Scotland on the final day of campaigning before an independence referendum. Supporters of separation feel they are within touching distance of victory, but wonder whether their surge in the polls will be enough. Voters who want to stay in the United Kingdom fear the country they live in may soon cease to exist. The campaign has been peaceful, if heated. But the gravity of the imminent decision is hitting home as political leaders make their passionate final speeches on Wednesday. Cathy Chance, who works for Britain's National Health Service in Edinburgh, says she'll leave Scotland if it becomes independent: "I don't think the world needs another political barrier." On the other side, Yes campaigner Roisin McLaren says she "can almost taste" independence.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 7, Kansas City 5
Chicago Cubs 7, Cincinnati 0
Milwaukee 3, St. Louis 2, 12 innings

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 7:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

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Cards Launch "Bird To The Future" Webseries

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Cardinals are launching another "Nestflix" series on their Instragram page. Episodes of "Bird to the Future" started posting yesterday, investigating where the artifacts in the baseball museum at Ballpark Village come from. Spoiler alert: It appears Fredbird has perfected time travel. Last year's Nestflix series, "The Front Office," was a parody of "The Office" featuring Fredbird, Cardinal execs, and cast members from the NBC show.

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Cubs moving Class A affiliate to Myrtle Beach

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are moving their top Class A affiliate from Daytona in the Florida State League to Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League. The team made the announcement Tuesday. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein says the team thinks the Carolina League is the best high-A league for its purposes and provides the best situation for the organization's minor league players and their development. Myrtle Beach, which has played in the Carolina League since the team's inception in 1999, was previously affiliated with the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers. Daytona had served as the Cubs' home for their high-Class A farm team for the past 22 years. But unlike most of the major league teams with affiliates in the Florida State League, the Cubs hold spring training in Arizona rather than Florida.

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Chicago Cubs extend contract with Triple-A Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Chicago Cubs and Triple-A Iowa agreed Tuesday to a two-year player development contract extension that will guarantee the partnership between the two teams will continue through the 2018 season. In announcing the deal, the teams noted it would ensure the affiliation between the teams would stretch to at least 38 years. The affiliation began in 1981, and the next year Iowa changed its nickname to the Cubs. It's the eighth-longest current affiliate relationship between a major league team and the 160 minor league clubs. The Iowa Cubs play in Principal Park in downtown Des Moines.

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Bears promote Frey, Ross from practice squad

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have promoted cornerback Isaiah Frey and receiver Rashad Ross from the practice squad. They also waived running back Shaun Draughn and receiver Chris Williams while terminating the contract of tight end Matthew Mulligan on Tuesday. Frey spent last season as Chicago's primary nickelback and could play a similar role with cornerback Charles Tillman suffering a season-ending arm injury at San Francisco on Sunday and rookie Kyle Fuller replacing him as a starter. Ross spent most of last season on Tennessee's and Kansas City's practice squads after being signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State.

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Area Football Teams Ranked In AP Poll

Class 3A- 6. Mt. Carmel 77 points, 9. Nashville 24 points, NR Fairfield 3 points
Class 4A-4. Greenville 120 points, 5. Althoff 91 points, 8. Columbia 32 points, 9. Herrin 26 points, NR Carterville 17 points, NR Mater Dei 10 points
Class 5A- 6. Highland 98 points, 10 Waterloo 16 points, NR Centralia 3 points
Class 6A- 8. E. St. Louis 41 points
Class 7A- 10. Belleville West 18 points
Class 8A-4. Edwardsville 101 points, NR Belleville East 2 points, NR O'Fallon 1 point

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News For Sept. 16, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Met Monday Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council met Monday evening.  Among items on the agenda, the Council heard bid results for the fire station alerting system.  The City Manager requested permission to seek bids for the 42nd Street sidewalk project and the City Attorney gave a first reading on an ordinance authorizing the annexation of property located at the southwest corner of 34th Street and Veterans Memorial Drive and a second reading on ordinance declaring surplus property.

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Slain Illinois cab driver's family awaits justice

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) — Relatives of a 75-year-old southern Illinois cab driver who was shot and killed more than three years ago said they are waiting for the cases in the killing to be resolved. One of the defendants, Christopher Wells, 18, of Mount Vernon, has pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder count related to the May 2011 killing of Charles Ellis, 75, of Mount Vernon. Wells is awaiting sentencing. Three other defendants have pleaded not guilty and await trial. Ellis was found dead in his cab after being shot in the back during what police suspect was an attempted robbery, authorities said. The family's wait for disposition of the court cases is "just hard to believe," one of the victim's sons, Bobby Ellis, told WSIL-TV.

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Ground Broken For New MVTHS Facility

Construction for a new Mt. Vernon Township High School is finally underway Monday as school leaders broke ground on the new 315,000 square foot project, which will hold more than 1,800 students.  The new facility will also be equipped with a football field and theater, additional designs that were nearly cut because of budget concerns but were put back in after the project was rebid.  The state will supply nearly two thirds of the money, with the remainder being paid through bond sales. The school also plans to sell plaque engravings for the grounds outside the school to help raise money for additional expenses.  The project is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016, and open for class the following semester.

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Williamson County Murder Suspect Fit For Trial

A Williamson County woman accused of murdering Barbara Beers last November as been found fit to stand trial. The Williamson County State's Attorney's office says a judge found 30-year-old Tamara Williams of Johnston City mentally fit to stand trial Monday. She had previously been deemed unfit during a court apperance in May. Williams is charged with four counts of murder in the stabbing death of Beers. Williams was arrested by authorities in Tennessee a day after the murder but fought extradition and didn't come back to Illinois until January. A pretrial hearing has been set for Sept. 22.

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Perry County Accident Victim Identified

The name of the person who was killed in that weekend crash in Perry County has been released. The Perry County Sheriff's Office says around 11 Saturday night, 28-year-old David Gonzales of Ava was driving southbound on Whitetail Road just north of Pyatt-Cutler Road when he failed to make a curve, left the roadway and hit several trees. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident is still under investigation.

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Two Injured In Franklin County Collision

Two people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday in Franklin County. Illinois State Police say the crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. on Route 149 and Orient Road near West Frankfort. According to the accident report, the driver of one car was going south on Orient Road at Route 149 and the driver of the second car was going east on Route 149 at Orient Road. The southbound car then pulled into the path of the eastbound car causing the crash. The southbound driver was airlifted to a St. Louis hospital while the eastbound driver was taken by ambulance to Herrin Hospital.

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Hearing set for man accused in deadly bank holdup

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A man accused of fatally stabbing two southern Illinois bank workers and critically wounding a third during a botched robbery has been scheduled for another federal court appearance. U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert has ordered James Nathaniel Watts to appear Oct. 1 in Gilbert's courtroom in Benton. Watts, 30, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the May 15 holdup at the First National Bank branch in Cairo. Authorities allege Watts was armed with a gun and wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he confronted three female employees as they emerged from the bank after closing. Watts had been released from prison two weeks earlier. The FBI has said the suspect forced the women back inside, but because the bank was closed, he was unable to get any money from the holdup. He ultimately herded the women into an employee lounge and cut each woman's throat, stabbing one woman more than 50 times. Killed were Anita Grace, 52, of Olive Branch, Illinois, and Nita Jo Smith, 52, of Wickliffe, Kentucky. A 23-year-old woman survived. Watts was arrested a short time later and remains jailed without bond.

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St. Clair Sheriff Hosting Fraud Prevention Seminar

(Belleville, IL) -- A rise in fraud cases has the St. Clair County Sheriff's Office trying to educate people in the hopes of preventing future cases. The FBI, the Postal Inspector, and local bank investigators will also take part in the Fraud Prevention Seminar next week. It will cover topics like ID theft, telephone fraud, and cybercrimes, and ways to recognize when you're a victim.

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ISP District 12 Announces August Enforcement Activity

Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, today announced activity and enforcement figures for the month of August.  Troopers in District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, and Richland Counties, answered 339 calls for service and initiated 1,592 incidents in the field during the month. In addition, enforcement figures totaled 941 citations and 876 written warnings, including 499 speeding citations, 22 DUIs, 88 seatbelt citations, 8 child restraint citations, 295 written warnings for speeding, and 43 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 228 motorists, conducted 223 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 72 traffic crashes.  District 12 investigated 5 fatal traffic crashes in August. During the month, 5 citations and 358 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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We’ve Got Your Child’s Back – FREE Car Seat Safety Check

(Mt Vernon, IL) – Did you know that seven out of ten kids in child safety seats are not properly buckled in?  In addition, motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of kids – in many cases, it’s because children are either not properly buckled into their safety seats, or their parents don’t realize that a booster seat is vital to ensuring children fit safely into their vehicle’s seat belt. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers will learn whether their child’s seat is safe and properly installed by Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Obstetrics staff and the Mt. Vernon Fire Department Saturday September 20th, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kroger Parking Lot off of 42nd Street in Mt. Vernon.  Seats will be check to determine whether it is expired or recalled and staff will also check to assure the appropriate seat is being used based upon the child’s size or age.  This is a city-wide car safety seat check, where all are invited to come and get their car seats checked by a certified child passenger safety technician, free of charge.  National Child Passenger Safety Week is this week, September 14 through 20.  To learn more, visit buckleupillinois.org/infants.

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Simon Donates Books To Du Quoin

(Du Quoin, IL)  --  Kids in Du Quoin now have access to at least a-thousand more books.  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon collected the books during a drive at the Du Quoin state fair this year.  She turned them over to the elementary schools and middle schools in the city yesterday.  Simon says the whole idea is to make sure kids are reading.

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STATE
Girard Middle School Closed For Inspection

(Girard, IL)  --  There's no class at North Mac Intermediate School in Girard today.  Crews will be inspecting the building to figure out what caused a carbon monoxide leak, which left dozens of students sick.  More than 60 were treated at area hospitals yesterday.  Most were reported to be in good condition. 

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Union Backs Quinn

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois' largest union is backing Governor Quinn over Bruce Rauner. AFSCME made the announcement over the weekend. The union has had a tumultuous relationship with Quinn since he's been in office. They went to bat with Quinn after he refused to honor pay raises for thousands of workers. He claimed lawmakers did not put the cash in the budget but a judge eventually told him to pay up with interest. Unions also disagreed with Quinn on the pension issue. Despite the disagreements, union leaders say Quinn is the better candidate than Rauner.

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Poll Gives Durbin Clear Edge Over Oberweis

(Chicago, IL) -- A new poll shows incumbent U.S. Senator Democrat Dick Durbin with a comfortable lead over Republican challenger Jim Oberweis. The "Chicago Tribune" poll finds Durbin with 55-percent support and Oberweis with 32-percent, while Libertarian Sharon Hansen has five-percent, and seven-percent are undecided. The poll found that while there was high recognition of Oberweis' name, nearly 60-percent said they had no opinion of him or viewed him unfavorably.

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Rauner Heats Up Rhetoric Against Quinn

(Chicago, IL) -- With his lead in the polls evaporating, Republican challenger Bruce Rauner today launched a strong attack on Governor Pat Quinn, focusing on allegations of politically-based hiring in the state Department of Transportation. Rauner said Quinn has presided over a cesspool of corruption, and said Quinn is not "the folksy, bumbling fool he'd like us to think he is. He knows what he's doing. He knows what he's done." Earlier today, Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas blasted Rauner, pointing out that a healthcare company owned by Rauner's investment firm was fined 13-million-dollars for sending fraudulent bills to the Georgia Medicaid program.

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Chicago A Finalist For Obama Library, Museum

(Chicago) -- President Obama's Library and Museum could be coming to Illinois. Officials say UIC and the University of Chicago have made it into the final four. They're up against New York's Columbia University and the University of Hawaii. Each of the locations will go on to the next round of competitions. The finalists must submit a more detailed proposal by mid-December. The winner is expected to be announced sometime early next year. State leaders have been pushing to bring the library to Illinois. They say it'll bring in millions-of-tourism dollars and give people a glimpse of where the president got his political roots.

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Lincoln Vault Getting Facelift

(Springfield, IL) -- The vault that held President Lincoln's casket before it was moved into its final resting place is getting a facelift. Officials are pumping 300-thousand-dollars into the old vault at Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery. That will cover the cost of repairs to the stone façade, gate restoration, drain installation, and waterproofing. President Lincoln and his son Willie's caskets were kept in the vault for just over seven-months back in 1865. The repair work should be done by next May, in time for the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's funeral.

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2nd year of Illinois osprey project wraps up

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois biologists are finishing the second phase of an eight-year project to strengthen the osprey population in the state. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources hopes to re-establish the fish-eating hawks as a nesting species by releasing them at Anderson Lake in Fulton County and Lake Shelbyville in Moultrie County. "The young birds are loyal to the place where they grow up and often return to nest," biologist Patrick McDonald said. "Similar programs carried out in other states have been successful in boosting the number of nesting birds, and we hope to have the same result here in Illinois." The osprey were taken from a Virginia military base where they posed a threat to flying aircraft and brought to the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur. The birds received check-ups and were cared for by students and field technicians from the University of Illinois Springfield. Before they were released this summer, they were equipped with satellite transmitters that track their movement. The osprey is listed as a state-endangered species in Illinois, which means it is at risk of disappearing as a breeding species.

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Lisa Madigan Travel Club Scams Illinois Residents

(Undated)  --  A travel club is accused of swindling Illinois residents out of tens-of-thousands-of-dollars.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against the Global Discovery Vacation Program.  She says the Kansas based company and two of its Chicago area reps charged people eight-thousand-dollars up front plus 400-bucks a year to get discounted rates on lavish trips all across the world.  But, they never delivered on that promise.  Madigan says people receive the offer through direct mail and telemarketing calls that claim the person has won a free prize or free roundtrip airfare.

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NATIONAL
Discussing arming Syria rebels

WASHINGTON (AP) —The U.S. House could vote as early as Wednesday on whether to authorize arming and training moderate Syrian rebels in a mission to destroy the Islamic State militant group. Republicans are holding internal talks today. The Obama administration says arming the rebels is needed to accompany U.S. air strikes against militants who've seized large parts of Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, a senior administration official says the U.S. would go after Syrian President Bashar Assad's air defenses if he were to attack American planes launching airstrikes in his country.

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US to assign 3,000 from US military to fight Ebola

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis. It's going to send 3,000 military personnel to the region to provide medical and logistical support. The Ebola outbreak is blamed for more than 2,200 deaths.

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Lava enters vacant lots in Big Island subdivision

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava is moving closer to homes in a rural subdivision on Hawaii's Big Island. Officials say right now the lava is moving over a vacant lot in the Kaohe (kah-OH'-hay) Homesteads subdivision and that no homes are in imminent danger. They say the lava from the Kilauea (kih-luh-WAY'-uh) volcano is slowing and no evacuations have been ordered. Meanwhile, workers are paving defunct roads that would be used as alternate routes if the lava reaches a major highway. Officials say that could happen within weeks.

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Jury Has Until January To Decide Brown Shooting

(Clayton, MO)  --  A Missouri grand jury has nearly four months to decide whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should be charged with killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown.  Officials say extending the grand jurors' term to January 7th doesn't mean the job will take that long.  A St. Louis County grand jury normally sits for four months, but state law calls for a term of up to six months.

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Ceremony To Mark One Year Since Navy Yard Shootings

(Washington, DC)  --  The Washington Navy Yard marks the anniversary of a tragedy today.  The Navy Yard in Southeast Washington, DC will commemorate the shootings that left a dozen people dead one year ago.  DC Mayor Vincent Gray will attend this evening's ceremony, along with several members of Congress, and the commander of the Naval Sea Systems Command.  The service will include prayers, readings and music to honor the victims and first responders.

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Trio of California wildfires destroy or damage scores of homes; thousands evacuated

WEED, Calif. (AP) — Intense winds are fanning a destructive and dangerous California wildfire threatening the little town of Weed, near the Oregon border. The blaze damaged a saw mill and burned a church to the ground. Officials say 100 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Evacuation orders have been given for at least 1,500 people. Two other blazes, one near Sacramento and the other in the center of the state, have destroyed dozens of structures and forced evacuations.

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NYer to be sentenced in fatal girlfriend stabbing

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A man who's been attacking women with knives for decades will appear in a court in White Plains, N.Y., today to be sentenced for stabbing to death his girlfriend in 2012. Lucius Crawford could be given 25 years to life in prison for the stabbing in Mount Vernon. And he's facing trial on another murder charge in the Bronx. The same jury that convicted Crawford of killing his girlfriend could not reach a verdict on a third knife killing.

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US tobacco growers brace for tougher competition

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — Starting next month, America's remaining tobacco growers will be totally exposed to the laws of supply and demand. The very last buyout checks go out in October to about 425,000 tobacco farmers and landowners. They're the last holdovers from a price-support and quota system that had guaranteed minimum prices for most of the 20th century, sustaining a way of life that began 400 years ago in Virginia. Cigarette makers will have paid $10 billion to compensate growers for surrendering their quotas. Growers got another $5 billion from the companies as part of their 1998 settlement of state lawsuits over smoking-related health care costs. When the last checks are cashed, surviving growers will be on their own, forced to find profits in a tremendously competitive global market.

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Georgia man gets 20 years for gun battle at school

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man who was persuaded by a bookkeeper to surrender during a 2013 gun battle with police at a school near Atlanta has pleaded guilty to multiple charges. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Michael Brandon Hill entered the plea during a Tuesday court hearing in Decatur. Police say Hill entered the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur on Aug. 20, 2013, with a rifle and nearly 500 rounds of ammunition. Police say he exchanged gunshots with police from inside the school before bookkeeper Antoinette Tuff persuaded him to surrender. Tuff said later that she prayed as she tried to convince him to surrender. No one was hurt in the gunfire. Hill's attorneys have said he was trying to commit suicide and did not intend to hurt anyone else.

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More children live to age 5, work still to be done

WASHINGTON (AP) — More of the world's children are surviving to their fifth birthday, but a new report finds 6.3 million still died last year, mostly from preventable causes. The U.N. children's agency said Tuesday that while death rates have dropped by half since 1990, the world still is short of meeting a goal of a two-thirds decrease in child mortality by next year. The UNICEF report found that by region, the greatest burden is in sub-Saharan Africa. With their large populations, India and Nigeria together accounted for more than a third of all the deaths. Newborns, in the first month of life, make up 44 percent of the deaths; progress has been slowest for that age.

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House panel: Safety agency mishandled GM recall

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee has determined that the government's auto safety agency should have discovered General Motors' faulty ignition switches seven years before the company recalled 2.6 million cars to fix the deadly problem. The report issued Tuesday by Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee raises serious questions about the agency's ability to keep the public safe as cars become more complex. The report says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration misunderstood how vehicles worked, lacked accountability and failed to share information. A Senate panel is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on the issue. At least 19 people died in crashes caused by the switches in GM small cars. The company acknowledged knowing about the problem for at least a decade, but it didn't recall the cars until February.

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Poverty rate drops for the first time since 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) — The poverty rate in the United States has dropped for the first time since 2006. This comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, which released its annual study on Tuesday. The 2013 poverty rate was 14.5 percent, down from 15 percent in 2012. There were 45.3 million people living in poverty, a statistically similar number for the third straight year. Officials also say that the number of children under 18 in poverty declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000. The number of children in poverty dropped from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013, and the number of children in poverty also declined from 16.1 million to 14.7 million.

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UPS expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

ATLANTA (AP) — UPS plans to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers to help with package deliveries during the busy holiday season. The Atlanta company said Tuesday that the positions will include package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers. Since last year's holiday season, UPS has implemented several measures to help prepare for this year's onslaught of deliveries. This includes making improvements to schedule planning, installing temporary mobile sorting and delivery centers and adding thousands of new or leased delivery vehicles, trailers, aircraft and portable loading aids. It's also adding operating days and shifts. Last year, a last-minute surge in holiday shipments drove up the shipper's costs and hurt its profits. United Parcel Service Inc. said that the seasonal jobs have long served as an entry point for permanent employment.

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Social Security resumes mailing benefit statements

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has resumed mailing statements to workers letting them know the estimated benefits they will get when they retire. The agency stopped mailing the statements to most workers two years ago to save money. Instead, Social Security directed workers to track their future benefits online using a secure website. Congress, however, passed a bill last year requiring Social Security to resume mailing the statements. The agency said Tuesday that many workers will now start receiving the paper statements every five years. Once workers reach 60 they will get them every year. The statements include a history of taxable earnings for each year so people can check for mistakes. They also provide estimates of monthly benefits, based on current earnings and when a worker plans to retire.

---------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Hagel, Dempsey defend Obama military strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top military leader says strikes against Islamic extremists in Syria will be persistent and sustainable as President Barack Obama expands the military campaign to combat the terrorist threat. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the airstrikes will not resemble the "shock and awe" bombardment of the Iraq war that began in March 2003. Dempsey said the Islamic State militant group is not organized. He said the strikes will degrade the group. Joining Dempsey was Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who defended Obama's strategy. Hagel said the U.S. is at war with the extremists as it is with al-Qaida. He said the fight will not be easy or brief. Anti-war protesters filled the front rows at the hearing.

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UN: Nearly $1 billion needed now to stop Ebola

GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization is warning that the number of Ebola cases in West Africa could double every three weeks. The estimate comes Tuesday as the U.N. health agency said the cost of containing the deadly virus has risen to nearly $1 billion since it was identified in March. The unprecedented Ebola outbreak is believed to have killed more than 2,400 people across West Africa, with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea the hardest-hit countries. President Barack Obama is expected to announce later Tuesday that the United States will be sending 3,000 American troops to help provide aid amid the crisis. Still, Doctors Without Borders said again the global response is "dangerously behind." Joanne Liu, president of the medical charity said more countries need to stand up and provide aid soon.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 1, Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 4, Chicago White Sox 3

NFL

Philadelphia 30, Indianapolis 27

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 7:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

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Highland Football Players Concerned Strike Will Affect Scholarships

(Highland, IL)  --  The Highland teacher's strike is entering its fourth day today. The high school football team is getting antsy as games are canceled and the future of players are affected.  Highland High School's varsity squad is still practicing despite the walkout, but there are no games scheduled. That makes it difficult for players to get recruited by a college team. The strike also affects the team as a whole, because Highland was ranked second in the state last year, but every game they miss is like a loss.

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Injury Ends Season For Bear's Tillman

(Chicago, IL)  --  The season is over for Bears corner back Charles Tillman. The 12-year veteran was placed on season-ending injured reserve after suffering a ruptured triceps muscle during Sunday night's win over the San Francisco 49ers. His season ended early last year with the same injury. Tillman's future with the team is now up in the air since he signed only a one-year contract before this season.

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News For Sept. 15, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council is slated to meet this evening at 7 p.m.  Among items on the agenda, the Council will hear bid results for the fire station alerting system.  The City Manager will request permission to seek bids for the 42nd Street sidewalk project and the City Attorney will give a first reading on an ordinance authorizing the annexation of property located at the southwest corner of 34th Street and Veterans Memorial Drive, a second reading on ordinance declaring surplus property, and a resolution granting a conditional sign permit for property at 200 Potomac.  The meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building.

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Groundbreaking Today

Just a reminder that today is the day for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new high school project in Mt. Vernon.  The ceremony will take place at the new high school site at North Wells Bypass and Ambassador Road.  The event will take place at 11:30 a.m.

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Highland teachers reject contract offer

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in southwestern Illinois' Highland School District rejected a contract offer Sunday, so their strike will continue. The teachers voted 140-20 against the offer, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Superintendent Michael Sutton told the newspaper he was surprised the tentative deal didn't pass. Highland Education Association President ShiAnne Shively said union leaders took their direction from the members. No new bargaining sessions were scheduled as of Sunday night. Teachers in the 3,000-student district went on strike Thursday after nearly six months of negotiations. While extracurricular activities were held, sporting events were cancelled Friday, including a varsity football game. Officials have said the district lost around $1 million a year over the past four years because of state budget problems. Union officials contended that the district's budget could cover the salary and benefit increases it has proposed.

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International Enrollment Is Up Sharply At SIU

(Carbondale, IL)  --  An increase of international students has caused Southern Illinois University-Carbondale to see its first enrollment hike in a decade.  Foreign student population rose by close to 25 percent to one-thousand-817 students.  SIU classrooms are filled with enrollees from 108 different countries.  Students from India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil make up well over 50 percent of the international student population.

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Glen Carbon village names next police chief

GLEN CARBON, Ill. (AP) — The southwestern Illinois village of Glen Carbon soon will have a new police chief. The village's governing board has approved of Collinsville Police Department Assistant Police Chief Todd Link as John Lakin's eventual replacement, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Lakin is running unopposed for Madison County sheriff as a Democrat in the November election. Link, 48, is a Collinsville High School graduate who has bachelor's degrees in English and political science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He has a master's degree in criminal justice from Lindenwood University. Link is expected to begin work on Oct. 1, with an annual salary of $87,300.

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Callis Residency Challenged

(Troy, IL)  --  There seems to be an issue of residency for Ann Callis, a former Madison County judge who's trying to become the next U.S. Rep for the 13th Congressional District. According to Lee Enterprises, Callis lived in Kirkwood, Missouri while serving as a judge in Madison County, Illinois.  Her campaign reps say she also owns a home in Troy, Illinois but is renting a spot in Edwardsville while running for office.  Congressional candidates are not required to live in their district. 

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Brookport Man Allegedly Kills Ex-Girlfriend, Son

(Brookport, IL)  --  A Brookport man is behind bars and accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her son.  Terry Froman allegedly shot 17-year-old Michael Mohney to death in Paducah, Kentucky then kidnapped the teen's mom, Kimberly Thomas on Friday.  Police caught up with him on I-75 in Ohio.  Froman allegedly fired off a couple shots inside the car while trying to get away from the officers.  When he finally pulled over, police found Thomas's dead body in the back seat of the vehicle. 

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Voter rolls issues reported in southwest Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Issues with multiple voters being listed to single address were among the potential problems with voter rolls in southwestern Illinois, according to a published report on Sunday. The (Belleville) News-Democrat examined voter registrations in Madison County, St. Clair County and East St. Louis, a move that comes after recent purges to remove inactive voters from databases. The newspaper's findings include 15 registered voters listing their address as a 900-square-foot home in Washington Park, 27 voters listing the same home in East St. Louis and another 27 voters listing their homes as a Highland campground open only seven months a year. The newspaper's review also found three registered voters who list Casino Queen as a home address. St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook declined to speak about potential problems because of possible ongoing law enforcement investigations. "Because of the voter integrity task force, there may be ongoing investigations of this issue, so I can't comment any further," Holbrook told the newspaper. "Needless to say, law enforcement is aware of the information." Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza said she didn't see an issue with voters registered at the Highland campground, saying some were possibly snowbirds. She said election officials work daily to make sure only those qualified to vote cast ballots. East St. Louis Election Commission Executive Director Kandrise Mosby didn't respond to newspaper questions.

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Irate Driver Hit On Interstate

A man suffered minor injuries after he was hit by another car while acting in an unsafe manner on I-57 in Benton Friday. Witnessess told Illinois State Police that around 5:10 p.m., 47-year-old George G. Scanlon Jr. of Lemont, IL had stopped his vehicle across both southbound lanes of I-57 at the Benton exit and was acting erratic and running around his vehicle. When another car, driven by a 31-year-old Mt. Vernon man, tried to go around Scanlon’s vehicle, Scanlon approached the man’s car yelling and aggressively gesturing. As the man’s car passed Scanlon, he was struck. The southbound lanes of I-57 were shut down for 30 minutes so a medical helicopter could arrive and take Scanlon for treatment of his injuries. The Mt. Vernon man was not injured.  The investigation continues. No charges are pending against the Mt. Vernon man. 

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Ava Man Dead In Perry County Accident

A 28-year-old Ava man is dead after a traffic crash in Perry County.  It happened around 11 p.m. Saturday on Whitetail Road, north of Pyatt-Cutler Road. Perry County Coroner Paul Searby says the car failed to make a turn, left the road, and hit a tree. A passerby reported the accident to authorities. Searby says the driver was pronounced dead at the scene just before midnight. The accident is still under investigation. The driver's name is not being released pending the notification of family members.

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One Injured In Motorcycle/Vehicle Crash

One person was injured in a crash involving a car and a motorcycle Sunday afternoon in Saline County. Illinois State Police say the accident happened just after 2 p.m. on US 45 just south of Hill Top Road near Ledford.  Officials say the driver of the motorcycle, 26-year-old Joseph J. Reese of West Frankfort, was going south on US 45 just south of Hill Top Road when for unknown reasons, the driver of the car, 40-year-old Angela R. Reid of Harrisburg, failed to yield as she pulled out of her driveway onto US 45 in front of Reese. Reese attempted to avoid striking Reid’s vehicle, but was unable to do so.  Reese was taken by ambulance to an Evansville hospital. Reid was not injured.  Reid was cited for failure to yield at a private road.

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STATE
Closer Look: Rauner's schools plan raises eyebrows


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Proposals to tie teacher merit pay to student test scores and alter tenure policies to make it easier to fire bad teachers are among the most recent education ideas being pushed in Illinois by GOP gubernatorial bidder Bruce Rauner. The ideas were introduced last week as part of Rauner's 26-page education blueprint and did not offer many details. But school officials and education reform advocates are nonetheless questioning whether the state needs to be immediately tinkering after the passage of other significant reforms in recent years and while education budgets remain tight. Some note that teacher salaries normally are left to local school districts, while others are concerned about teacher evaluations becoming too punitive. Rauner, a Winnetka venture capitalist running against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, has contributed millions to school reform efforts in Illinois. His new plan suggests tying "student academic growth to teachers' compensation." He also calls for changing the way Illinois schools grant teacher tenure and highlighted a Florida practice providing annual contracts for teachers. The Quinn campaign has criticized Rauner's approach to education overall. The governor's running mate, former Chicago Public School's CEO Paul Vallas, called Rauner "reckless and irresponsible" for pitching reforms that allegedly would cost the schools districts billions of dollars, increase classroom sizes and raise property taxes. Rauner rejects those claims.

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US awards $12M to Illinois health centers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $11.7 million in funding to community health centers across Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin announced Friday. The money is available through the Affordable Care Act. It will be used to hire additional health care workers, hire new care providers, and allow the facilities to stay open for longer hours. Durbin said the community health centers serve an important purpose for Illinois families. He said with the federal resources Illinois health centers can "continue to improve the care and critical services they offer those in need throughout the state." Durbin said the grants will support 78,815 new patients and expand outreach and enrollment assistance efforts as more Illinois residents are able to take advantage of coverage through the health care reform law.

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Freshmen enrollment drops at U. of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Freshman enrollment at the University of Illinois's flagship campus is down this semester by 5.4 percent from a year ago, according to the school.
The freshman class enrolled this fall at the Urbana-Champaign campus has 6,937 students. That's down from 7,331 in the fall of 2013. The record high was 7,583 in 2005.
The university didn't provide a reason for the drop but noted without details the percentage of students who are accepted to the university is down. That's become an ongoing problem at the university as the cost of attendance has risen. A year at the university including housing now costs more than $20,000. Of the freshmen enrolled this fall, 4,297 are from Illinois, according to the release. The class includes 1,061 foreign students. The largest group is from China, with 658 students.

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Southeastern Illinois College To Receive New Vocational Addition

A new vocational addition to the David L. Stanley Center at Southeastern Illinois College’s Carmi facility is on the way. Gov. Pat Quinn Friday made a stop at the college’s main campus in Harrisburg to announce that the almost $1.5 million investments comes from his Illinois Jobs Now! Capital construction program.  The Carmi/White County Vocational Building will be a 5,000 square-foot addition adjacent to the current Stanley Center. This new career and technical education facility is expected to meet the needs of the communities of White County, local business and industry, as well as the area’s public K-12 school districts. The building will also house instructional areas and labs in welding and other vocational programs. The Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) Board of Trustees has already committed $465,000, its 25 percent match portion of the project. Land was donated by the City of Carmi in 1997 to be the future site of a vocational addition.  Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, with an extension center in Carmi, was founded in 1960 and serves more than 10,000 district residents in the counties of Gallatin, Hardin, Pope and Saline, as well as portions of Hamilton, Johnson, Williamson and White Counties.

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State of Illinois Proclaims September 14th - 20th Illinois Rail Safety Week

Carmi, IL – The State of Illinois, with support from the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Operation Lifesaver, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Illinois Truck Enforcement Association, has declared September 14th to September 20th Illinois Rail Safety Week in order to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains.   In Illinois during 2013, there were 126 crossing collisions involving motor vehicles, which resulted in 40 injuries and 21 fatalities.  In addition, there were 52 trespasser incidents that resulted in 27 injuries and 25 fatalities when people trespassed on to railroad property.  During 2013, Illinois ranked 3rd in the nation in both vehicle collision fatalities and trespasser fatalities. To promote rail safety awareness and education, the Illinois State Police in District 19 will be participating in Illinois Rail Safety Week.  Enforcement details are planned throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings within District 19 to cite both drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property.  According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, 50 percent of all collisions occur at crossings with active warning devices (flashing lights, gates, and ringing bells).  When crossing railroad tracks, you must always obey the law and be aware of your surroundings.  For more information about Illinois Rail Safety Week, please visit illinoisrailsafetyweek.org.

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ISP Looking For Suspect In Carjacking

The Illinois State Police of District 13 and ISP Zone 7 Investigations are requesting the public’s assistance in locating 27-year old Tyree M. Neal Junior of Carbondale.  He is a 27-year old, black male, who is 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighs 150 pounds, with short black hair, brown eyes and gold teeth.  Neal was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jeans, and was on foot in the New Burnside area.  Neal is currently being sought in connection with a vehicular high jacking, ramming a squad car, aggravated fleeing and eluding, and also has outstanding warrants.  He is to be considered armed and dangerous. If you have any information, contact the ISP Communications Center at 618-542- 2171 or your local law enforcement agency.

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NATIONAL
US creating programs to counter extremists

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is launching a series of pilot programs to deal with American extremists intent on joining the fighting in countries like Syria and Iraq. Attorney General Eric Holder says in a video message that the pilot programs will involve religious leaders, prosecutors and community representatives. He says the goal is to counter violent extremism, share information on best practices and improve training. The White House, meanwhile, is scheduled to host a summit on the topic next month. American law enforcement and intelligence officials have for months expressed concerns about Westerners who have traveled to Syria to take part in the fighting there. Last week, a 19-year-old Colorado woman pleaded guilty to trying to help the militant Islamic State group.

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Hundreds evacuate from 3 California wildfires

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two out-of-control wildfires in California are forcing hundreds of residents to flee from their homes. One blaze near Bass Lake in Central California, prompted authorities to evacuate about 1,000 residents from 400 homes. Farther north, a wildfire about 60 miles east of Sacramento has forced the evacuation of 133 homes. Meanwhile, a three-day-old wildfire in Southern California is 20 percent contained, but more than 200 homes remain evacuated near the Cleveland National Forest.

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Civil War officer to receive Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is bestowing the nation's highest military honor on a Union Army officer who was killed more than 150 years ago during the Battle of Gettysburg. First Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing died in July 1863 while standing his ground against Pickett's Charge. Congress had to grant an exemption for Cushing, since recommendations for a Medal of Honor must be made within two years of an act of heroism. Lawmakers also granted exemptions for two Vietnam War veterans. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and Army Spc. Donald P. Sloat will also receive medals from Obama today. Adkins plans to be at the White House. Sloat was killed in action in 1970.

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Reward Offered For Information On Shooting

(Blooming Grove, PA)  --  Pennsylvania is offering a 50-thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest in the fatal shooting of a Pennsylvania state police officer.  Two troopers were ambushed late Friday night in the parking lot of the barracks in Blooming Grove, east of Scranton. Corporal Bryon Dickson was killed and Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded and is in critical but stable condition.  

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Tapes in missing NY boy case expected in court

NEW YORK (AP) — A Manhattan judge must decide whether to allow the videotaped confession of a man charged with murder in the death of a 1979 missing boy. The hearing begins today and is expected to last several weeks. A lawyer for Pedro Hernandez says his confession was wrongly obtained. He says in court papers that his client lacks the mental ability to understand his rights. Prosecutors have argued the confession was legally obtained. Etan Patz disappeared on May 25, 1979 walking to school. His body has never been found. Hernandez was charged with the crime two years ago after he confessed, but pleaded not guilty. His attorney Harvey Fishbein says the confession is false. The hearing will determine whether the confession is admissible in court, not whether it's true.

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Skin shocks used at Mass. school draw FDA look

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to ban electrical skin shocks as treatment for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. It's a rare move by the FDA, following years of complaints from disability rights' groups and even a U.N. report that the shocks are tantamount to torture. Self-injury is one of the most difficult behaviors associated with conditions such as autism. The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, is the only place in the U.S. known to use skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients who may hurt themselves. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says shock therapy has raised a lot of questions. She says, "We really wanted to take a much more focused and rigorous look at it." Hamburg says, "There's a lot of concern about the downside of this approach and the harm and the risk to the patients receiving it." Rotenberg must first get a court's approval before administering skin shocks to a student. Some patients compare the shocks to a hard pinch or bee sting. Others say it's far more painful.

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US reopens embassy in Central African Republic

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says it's reopening the U.S. embassy in the Central African Republic. The U.S. evacuated the facility in Bangui, suspended operations and urged Americans to leave in December 2012 because of sectarian violence that left thousands of people dead. The U.N. has stationed peacekeepers in the country, and Secretary of State John Kerry said in statement Monday progress has been made at putting the nation on "a path toward peace and stability." Kerry says the U.S. is giving the Central African Republic an additional $28 million in humanitarian aid, bringing the U.S. total to $145 million this year. Kerry made the announcement in Paris where he's participating in an international conference on finding a strategy to combat Islamic State militants.

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Apple iPhone 6 pre-order demand overwhelms supply

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple says it had more than 4 million pre-orders of its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 24 hours, exceeding its initial pre-order supply. The company says the phones will be delivered to customers starting Friday and throughout September, but many won't be delivered until October. Phones will be available on a walk-in basis beginning Friday at Apple retail stores. Both phones will also be available beginning Friday from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and other carriers and other authorized Apple resellers. The new phones were announced last week and have larger screens, faster performance, and come equipped with Apple Pay, a contactless payment service. They start at $199 at most wireless providers with a two-year contact.

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Microsoft to buy Minecraft maker for $2.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft will acquire the maker of the popular game Minecraft for $2.5 billion. The technology company said it will buy Stockholm-based game maker Mojang. Minecraft, which lets users build in and explore a virtual world, has been downloaded 100 million times on PC alone since its launch in 2009. It is the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating system in the U.S. The deal is expected to close in late 2014. Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in fiscal 2015. Microsoft is primarily known for business software like Word and Outlook. But this acquisition will help Microsoft expand its gaming division which also includes game franchises such as the "Halo" shooter game and "Forza" racing game.

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Safety agency investigates Ford Fiesta latches

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that the doors won't latch properly on some Ford Fiesta subcompact cars. The probe announced Monday covers about 205,000 Fiestas from the 2011 through 2013 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 61 complaints about the doors. Some said the latches wouldn't catch. A dozen said a door opened while the cars were being driven. The agency says one person was hurt when a door rebounded after an attempt to close it. Investigators will analyze how often the problem happens to see if a recall is needed. Ford says owners with door latch problems should contact their dealer.

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Detroit bankruptcy trial may be suspended again

DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit says it has ironed out details of a settlement with a major opponent in its bankruptcy case. The disclosure was made as a judge resumed the trial Monday after a three-day break. The timeout allowed Detroit and bond insurer Syncora to finish a deal announced last week. The trial may not get too far Monday. Another bond insurer, Financial Guaranty Insurance, wants to suspend the trial for five more days to understand the details and possibly change its trial strategy. Judge Steven Rhodes is hearing evidence to decide whether Detroit's overall bankruptcy plan is fair to creditors and feasible in the years ahead. The trial started Sept. 2. Thousands of retirees would see a 4.5 percent cut in their pension.

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INTERNATIONAL
Diplomats meet in Paris to discuss Islamic State group

PARIS (AP) — As diplomats from around the world look for a global strategy to fight Islamic State extremists, the U.S. says several Arab countries have offered to conduct airstrikes. So far, the U.S. has been alone in carrying out airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State group. Neither Iran nor Syria was invited to the international conference under way in Paris. French reconnaissance planes have started flying over Iraq today. French President Francois Hollande says, "The terrorist threat is global and the response must be global." Iraqi President Fouad Massoum says the militants' sources of financing must be dried up.

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Iran says rejects US call to fight IS militants

PARIS (AP) — Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says he received a request from the United States to join the fight against extremists from the Islamic State group but rejected it because of Washington's "unclean intentions." Khamenei says Iran privately rejected the American request long before the U.S. publicly opposed an Iranian role in the coalition that is seeking to fight the militants. The Iranian leader made the remarks after being discharged from the hospital today. Khamenei says Iran is proud not to be part of the U.S.-led coalition and warns that it will suffer the same problems it suffered in Iraq should it enter Iraq and Syria without authorization. U.S. officials opposed France's attempt to invite Iran to an international conference to tackle the Islamic State group threat.

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Pistorius free to compete, SA Olympic body says

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP) — The chief executive of South Africa's Olympic committee says Oscar Pistorius is free to compete, even after his conviction for culpable homicide in the shooting death of his girlfriend. South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee chief executive Tubby Reddy tells The Associated Press that the sports body has no regulations that prevent someone with a criminal record from representing the country. Reddy says "as he stands right now, he is free (to compete)." Reddy adds the South African Olympic body would also allow Pistorius to run after his sentence is decided next month as long as competing doesn't go against the ruling of the judge. Pistorius faces years in prison for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, but there is no minimum sentence and he could receive no jail time.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 5, Minnesota 1 Game 1
Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 6 Game 2
Chicago Cubs 6, Pittsburgh 4
St Louis 5, Colorado 4

College Football

Washington 44, Illinois 19
Illinois St. 34, E. Illinois 15
N. Illinois 48, UNLV 34
W. Illinois 38, Drake 13
S. Illinois 50, SE Missouri 23

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Pittsburgh 7, Chicago Cubs 3
Minnesota 6, Chicago White Sox 4
St. Louis 4, Colorado 1

NFL

St. Louis 19, Tampa Bay 17
Chicago 28, San Francisco 20

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 7:10 p.m.

NFL

Philadelphia at Indianapolis 7:30 p.m.

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News For Sept. 12, 2014

LOCAL

Bus Collision On I-57 Injures 3

An accident that happened last night on Interstate 57 near the Ina exit involved a school bus. Reports indicate that a marked police vehicle was on scene providing traffic control for the construction. Traffic had come to a stop in the right lane.  A school bus driven by 54 year old Kenneth G. Summers of Belleville was unable to stop in time and struck the rear of a Chevrolet driven by an unidentified 50 year old man from Mt. Vernon. Neither Summers, nor the 23 passengers on the bus, most of which were high school students, were harmed in the accident. The driver of the Chevrolet and two passengers in his vehicle a 40 year old female and a 14 year old female were transported to a local hospital via ambulance with injuries. Summers was charged with failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident. Both north bound lanes of I57 at mile post 89 were closed for approximately two hours. The south bound lanes were closed for approximately 15 minutes to facilitate removal of the bus from the median.

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ISP District 19 Announces August Activity and Enforcement

Carmi, IL – Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today activity and enforcement figures for the month of August.  Troopers in District 19, which includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties, answered 318 calls for service and initiated 1,177 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 388 citations and 698 written warnings, including 125 speeding citations, 2 DUIs, 89 seatbelt citations, 4 child restraint citations, 179 written warnings for speeding, and 26 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 63 motorists, conducted 189 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 21 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal traffic crash, resulting in one fatality, investigated by District 19 during August. During the month, 239 citations and 268 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations.  These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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Hamilton County To Feature Several Ballot Referendums This Election Day

Hamilton County voters will have several referendums to vote on Nov. 4. One of those will ask residents if they want to use the ambulance fund to assist in setting up an Enhanced 911 system for the county. The county’s Emergency Telephone System Board says in a press release that there are benefits of an Enhanced 911 system. They include your address and phone number being displayed when calling 911 from a landline phone. If you call 911 from a cell phone and the phone provider sends the information, your location can be plotted on a map. If you currently call 911 from a cell phone, those calls are answered by a neighboring county. With an Enhanced 911 system, cell phone calls would be answered in Hamilton County. Everyone will have a new address and that process has already been completed.  You will be notified of your new address in the near future.  The dispatch center will be located at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Telecommunicators in that office are on duty 24 hours a day and will become certified in Emergency Medical Dispatching, which will allow them to provide assistance to a caller until responders arrive. Hamilton County is one of only 10 counties in the state that doesn’t have an Enhanced 911 system. If approved by the voters, it will be in place within two years. It will also lead the way for the county to seek a Next Generation 911 system that would allow text messages, video and other data into the 911 center to assist with emergency calls.  The county did receive approval from the state legislature last year to access the ambulance fund to assist with 911.

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Franklin County To Hold Emergency Response Exercise

The Franklin County Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with the City of West Frankfort will be conducting a full scale emergency response exercise on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. near the business incubator on Ken Gray Boulevard in West Frankfort.  Traffic will be detoured near the east rear entrance of the City Facility. Local business should not be affected.  Emergency response agencies will be testing capabilities for hazardous materials transportation accidents. Residents are reminded that testing of various emergency response components will be tested during the exercise and not to be alarmed as the exercise poses no safety risks to the public. Emergency responders will be operating in the area so please use caution and stay clear of the designated exercise areas on site. For additional information, call the Franklin County Emergency Management Office at 439-4362.

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Southern Illinois Fire Victim Yet To Be Identified

The name of the victim whose body was found in the site of a house fire Sunday has not been released because the person has yet to be identified, a county official said Thursday morning.
Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti released the information during a meeting with members of the media. He said no additional information could be released at this time.
The body was found Sunday in a South McGeesville Road residence. Lake of Egypt firefighters battled a blaze at the home, eight miles south of Marion near the Johnson County line, hours before the body was discovered. Coroner Michael “Junior” Burke declared the death suspicious after an autopsy.

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Man Charged After Peeping Into Kids Window

(Waterloo, IL) -- Police in Waterloo say they've busted a possible peeping tom. Nicholas Devan was allegedly looking in a child's window at a home on Osterhage Drive around 5:30 Wednesday morning. A family member confronted Devan and held him until officers got arrived on the scene. He was charged with disorderly conduct and booked in the Madison County Jail.

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Missouri man sentenced in Chili's robbery

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri man who robbed a Chili's restaurant with a BB gun has been sentenced to nearly five years in federal prison. Christopher Ford, 29, was sentenced Thursday to four years and nine months and was ordered to pay nearly $2,000 in restitution. He and two other men were involved in the robbery at the Chili's in Fairview Heights, Illinois, in August 2013, prosecutors said. Ford and one of the men wore masks and were armed with BB guns that resembled handguns. Ford ordered the manager at gunpoint to open the safe, while the two others watched more than 20 customers and employees, prosecutors said. It's unclear how much money was taken. The three men were arrested after their getaway car turned onto a dead-end street in St. Louis during a police chase. The two other men were sentenced earlier this year to nearly five years and almost four years in prison.

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Teachers Picket In Highland

(Highland , IL)  --  The Highland teacher's strike is entering its second day.  Instructors took to the picket lines on Thursday in front of Highland High School and the district's five other schools.  All extracurricular activities and practices have been suspended.  Teachers and district officials failed to reach a deal on salaries and benefits.  No new talks have been scheduled.

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STATE
Illinoisans mark 13th anniversary of 9/11

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Flags flew at half-staff and ceremonies were held Thursday cross Illinois to commemorate the thirteenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In Peoria, Bradley University students arrived on campus to the sight of 3,000 flags the College Republicans placed outside Bradley Hall in honor of the victims of the attacks. In the Chicago suburb of Palatine, a flight attendant who lost friends in the attacks attended a ceremony at the Palatine Firefighters memorial. Gov. Pat Quinn unveiled a "Portraits of a Soldier" exhibit at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, his office said. His challenger in the governor's race, GOP candidate Bruce Rauner, was to attend a ceremony in the morning at Lockport City Hall, his campaign said. The Champaign Fire Dept. Local 1260 Honor Guard gathered at the Police and Fire Memorial at West Side Park to mark the day when hijacked airliners slammed into New York's World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. In Bethalto, Civic Memorial High School physical education teacher Angie Parish told her students to reach out to survivors of the attacks. At least one family responded, and a student gave a speech about it during a memorial service. Students placed flags across the school's football field for each of the 2,977 victims. During a prayer service outside the Quincy City Council chambers, Police Chief Rob Copley said like before the attacks, the U.S. has a false sense of security. He added the anniversary is a reminder to be vigilant.

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Illinois lawmakers push plan for police cameras

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two Illinois lawmakers on Thursday pushed for a hike in traffic and other fines to raise money for police body cameras and dashboard cameras in the wake of the Ferguson Police shooting. State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, a Peoria Democrat, introduced a bill allowing police departments to apply for grants to purchase either body cameras or video recording equipment for squad cars. She told reporters in Springfield the proposal would be funded by an additional $6 surcharge on fines for criminal or traffic offense convictions, which she estimates would bring in $4 million to $6 million annually. The circumstances surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson might be clearer if the officer had worn a camera, Gordon-Booth said. Demands for police body cameras have increased around the country since the shooting. Some Ferguson officers began wearing them last week. Sen. Bill Haine, an Alton Democrat who also is sponsoring the bill, said the legislation will "remove controversies and remove doubt on what's going on with a lawful arrest." Several law enforcement groups attended the news conference in support of the bill, including the Illinois Sherriff's Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police and the Illinois State's Attorneys Association. So did the NAACP. Brian Towne, president of the state's attorney's association, said the bill would help review of evidence in issuing charges and in avoiding frivolous lawsuits.

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National GOP May Leave Oberweis Alone

(Chicago, IL) -- Republican Jim Oberweis may have to go it alone financially in his effort to unseat U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who sits on the National Republican Senatorial Committee, today declined to say if the group will be lending their support to Oberweis. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to win control of the Senate, and when asked about Oberweis, Portman indicated the party is already concentrating on races in a number of other states.

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U. of Illinois trustees OK $5.64 billion budget


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved a $5.64 billion budget for the current fiscal year. That's an increase of $11.1 million, or .2 percent. University President Robert Easter said the small increase reflects in part of the university's hope that it can keep students costs from rising too rapidly. A year on campus at the flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign costs a student more than $20,000. The vote by the Board of Trustees approving the new spending plan was unanimous and made without comment. The new budget includes $4.5 billion for daily operations at the three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago. The state appropriation this year is $667.5 million. Tuition provides $1.1 billion. The budget includes money for merit pay raises that will average 2.5 percent, which Easter called critical to hiring and holding onto key faculty.

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Judge awards $10M to school over collapsed mine

GILLESPIE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois school district has been awarded nearly $10 million in a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad after claiming a collapsed mine left an elementary school damaged. Macoupin County Judge Patrick Londrigan awarded the Gillespie School District the judgment on Wednesday. The district sought $22 million when it filed the lawsuit in 2010, claiming Benld Elementary School was damaged beyond repair. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said Thursday that the railroad planned to appeal. The district sued the railroad because Union Pacific's predecessors were subsidiaries of a company that mined the land where the school was built, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported. The school, which was built in 2002, is about 60 miles south of Springfield. Pillars of coal that held up the roof of the old mines under the school property collapsed in 2009, causing structural damage to the school including busted pipes, cracked walls, floor buckling and structural separation. The state condemned the school and it was demolished. A new school was building using $7 million in district bond money. Any money the district receives from the lawsuit will be used to pay back debt to build the new school, Gillespie School Superintendent Joe Tieman said.

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'Outdoors Woman' celebrates 20 years in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois program to help women become outdoors enthusiasts will celebrate its 20th anniversary this month. The "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" workshop will be Sept. 26 to 28 at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton. Thousands of women have participated during the past two decades in the Department of Natural Resources' program offering two dozen classes. Officials say the past six workshops — during the past three years — have reached full participation of 85 registrants. The program provides "introductory experiences" for women in various outdoor activities, from shooting sports to nature crafts and skills. Instructors emphasize the basics while providing needed equipment. Participants may sign up for four classes during each three-day workshop. Officials say that instructors provide a safe, supportive, and non-competitive environment.

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NATIONAL
Justice Dept. seeks new tool against data fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Department officials are pressing Congress for a new law to help them prosecute criminals overseas who traffic in stolen credit cards. It's part of an effort to combat an increasingly lucrative crime that crosses national boundaries. Authorities say the current law is too weak because it allows people in other countries to avoid prosecution if they buy and sell stolen card data entirely outside the United States. The Justice Department is asking Congress to amend the law to make it illegal for an international criminal to possess, buy or sell a stolen credit card issued by a U.S. bank no matter where in the world the transaction occurs. Leslie Caldwell, the Justice Department's top criminal official, says it would be a simple fix.

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Convicted killer of 3 students escapes and is recaptured

LIMA, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio have recaptured a 19-year-old prison escapee who in 2012 shot and killed three students in a high school cafeteria. Authorities say T.J. Lane and two other prisoners escaped from a prison in Lima (LY'-muh) last night. One prisoner was recaptured right away. Lane was caught early today. The third escapee, 45-year-old Clifford Opperud, is still at large.

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Ebola survivor gives blood to ill American

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An American aid worker infected with Ebola has been given blood from a fellow doctor who has recovered from disease. Doctors treating Dr. Rick Sacra at the Nebraska Medical Center say he has responded well to aggressive treatment in the past week, including two blood transfusions from Dr. Kent Brantly. Brantly is one of the two Americans treated for Ebola in Atlanta last month.

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Nevada governor enacts Tesla tax break package

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada's governor has signed into law an unprecedented package of incentives to bring Tesla Motors' $5 billion battery factory to the state. Gov. Brian Sandoval put his signature to the measure shortly after the state Legislature approved the package late last night. The package of tax credits and other incentives is worth up to $1.3 billion. The Senate passed the bill with the largest tax abatements to the Assembly on a 21-0 vote. Final passage followed in the Assembly, which sent it to the governor on a vote of 39-0. The electric car maker's "gigafactory" east of Sparks is expected to produce up to 22,000 jobs and inject up to $100 billion in Nevada's economy over the next 20 years.

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Appeals court to decide on Wisconsin voter ID law

CHICAGO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court is set to hear arguments today on whether a Wisconsin law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls should be reactivated in time for the November elections following a nearly three-year legal battle. Attorneys for the state of Wisconsin's Justice Department will defend the law in front of a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and minority rights groups will speak against it. Under the measure adopted in 2011, those arriving at polling stations must produce a government-issued ID with a photo to vote. The legal fight over the Wisconsin requirement is significant in part because of its duration. Because of various challenges, it hasn't been enforced since the February 2012 primary.

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Memorial set for 5 slain kids; dad heads to court

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The five children who police say were slain by their father will be remembered at a memorial in Mississippi today. And 500 miles away, their father will make his first court appearance in South Carolina. Timothy Ray Jones Jr. is accused of killing his three boys and two girls, wrapping their bodies in separate trash bags and driving around for days with their decomposing bodies before dumping them on a rural hilltop in Alabama. Authorities released those details earlier this week.

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RadioShack Considering Bankruptcy

(Fort Worth, TX) -- RadioShack is considering bankruptcy so it can reorganize. The Fort Worth-based electronics outlet announced today their balance sheet has to be completely overhauled and they are talking to a number of parties about possible moves. Sales in the second quarter dropped 20-percent to about 674-million dollars. The company had over 861-million in sales this time last year.

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San Diego cabbies cry foul over body odor test

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Many San Diego taxi drivers say they're being discriminated against because not only are their cabs inspected, but their body odor. One's personal scent is among 52 criteria that officials at San Diego International Airport use to judge taxi drivers. Anyone who flunks the smell test is told to change before picking up another customer. Leaders of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego union say the litmus test perpetuates a stereotype that predominantly foreign-born taxi drivers smell bad.

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Search underway for bodies in vermin-infested home

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) — Authorities haven't ruled out the possibility that there are more bodies inside a squalid Massachusetts home where three dead babies have been found. Prosecutors say the bodies of three infants were found Thursday inside a Blackstone home infested with vermin and soiled diapers. Four other children were removed by authorities last month. Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. says the house was in "deplorable condition." Authorities don't know when or how the babies died, or their ages and genders. He says the search of the house could take several days and the possibility of finding more bodies hasn't been ruled out. No charges have been filed in connection with the deaths, but a woman who lived in the home is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on a witness intimidation charge.

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2 dead, others hurt after Detroit vigil shooting

DETROIT (AP) — Police say two people are dead and several others wounded following a shooting at a vigil on Detroit's west side and a vehicle crash afterward. Authorities told reporters at the scene the shooting took place following a vigil Thursday night and eight people were shot, including one who died. Residents said the vigil was for a recent victim of violence in the neighborhood. Police say some vehicles sped away and one person died, possibly after being ejected from one of the vehicles during a crash. Assistant police Chief Steve Dolunt called the incident "senseless and it's stupid." Two people were taken into custody in the area of the shooting and crash; five others were taken into custody at a hospital. Police recovered three weapons.

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New Sanctions Imposed On Russia Over Ukraine

(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S. is imposing another round of economic sanctions on Russia.  Targets include Russia's largest bank.  Similar steps are being taken by the European Union.  The Treasury Department says the actions are being taken because of ongoing Russian efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine. 

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Pilot Missing As Navy Jets Collide Over Pacific

(Undated)  --  A U.S. Navy pilot is missing after two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets collided over the western Pacific today.  Rescue crews found one pilot and he's back on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson.  The Navy says a cruiser, a destroyer and helicopters are searching for the second pilot. 

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Memorial Service In NYC Today For Maya Angelou

(New York, NY)  --  A memorial service will be held in Manhattan later today for Maya Angelou.  The late poet, actress and civil rights activist will be celebrated in a star-studded tribute at the historic Riverside Church.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and author Toni Morrison are among the speakers.  Scheduled performers include Valerie Simpson and the Brown Sisters.  The legendary Angelou died in May at her home in North Carolina at the age of 86.  

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INTERNATIONAL
Pistorius is guilty of culpable homicide

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius could see anything from a suspended sentence and a fine to up to a maximum of 15 years in prison for shooting to death girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013. A judge in South Africa today found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide, and declared him not guilty of murder. Pistorius has contended that he fired his gun through a bathroom door, believing there was a burglar inside his home. Prosecutors say they'll decide whether to appeal after he's sentenced.

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Pakistan nabs militants linked to attack on Malala

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's army says it has arrested 10 militants suspected of involvement in the 2012 attack on teenage activist Malala Yousafzai, who won world acclaim after she was shot by the Taliban in the country's northwest. Army spokesman Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, said Friday that the detained men attacked Yousafzai, then 16, on orders from Mullah Fazlullah, the head of Pakistani Taliban. He said the Taliban had tried to kill Malala over her advocacy for gender equality and education for women. Malala was shot in the head in October 2012 while returning from school. She was initially treated in Pakistan, but was later flown to a hospital in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

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US, Turkey mull strategy against Islamic militants

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Top diplomats from the United States and Turkey are meeting to discuss what Ankara is willing to contribute to a growing worldwide coalition to defeat the Islamic State militant group. The talks Friday between Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu came a day after Ankara refused to embrace plans by the U.S. and Mideast nations to defeat the Sunni militant group. The U.S. wants Turkey to tighten its borders against fighters and funding that has been flowing to the militants in Iraq and Syria. But the State Department believes Turkey has not publicly endorsed the plans out of concern for 49 of its citizens who are being held hostage by the Islamic State. Cavusoglu cited challenges and distresses that the extremists pose to the world.

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Iraqi premier: France offers to strike militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says France has agreed to take part in airstrikes as part of an expanding international effort to target the positions of militants with the Islamic State group. Al-Abadi, speaking on Friday at a press conference in Baghdad alongside French President Francois Hollande, did not provide details about when any such aerial campaign would begin. Hollande says France has delivered four arms shipments and 60 metric tons (66 tons) of humanitarian equipment to Iraq. Hollande's trip and a conference that Paris is hosting Monday on Iraq are the first steps in a long-term effort to bolster the new Iraqi government and weaken Islamic State militants who have seized much of Iraq's north and west.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Cincinnati 1, St. Louis 0
Chicago White Sox 1, Oakland 0

Frontier League

Schaumburg 2, Southern Illinois 1 (Schaumburg wins series 2-1)

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh 6:05 p.m.
Minnesota at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh 6:05 p.m.
Minnesota at Chicago White Sox 6:10 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

College Football

Eastern Illinois at Illinois State 12 p.m.
Drake at Western Illinois 3 p.m.
Illinois at Washington 3 p.m.
Northern Illinois at UNLV 6 p.m.
Southeast Missouri State at Southern Illinois 6 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE


MLB

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh 12:35 p.m.
Minnesota at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.
Colorado at St. Louis 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

NFL

St. Louis at Tampa Bay 3:05 p.m.
Chicago at San Francisco 7:30 p.m.

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Illinois Point Guard Is Out For The Season

(Champaign, IL)  --  The University of Illinois' basketball team will have to do without their starting point guard for the upcoming season.  Tracy Abrams tore a knee ligament on Monday during preseason drills.  The senior will redshirt this season, which will give him a final year of eligibility in the 2015-16 season.  Abrams started 35 games last season and led the team in assists per game.  The Fighting Illini is expected to take a close look at  transfer Ahmad Starks to fill the position in the starting lineup.

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Bears back Goodell, support Rice investigation

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears top executives say they back Commissioner Roger Goodell and support an independent investigation into the NFL's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case. Chairman George McCaskey calls Goodell "a man of integrity" and says the Bears have "complete faith in him." He also said Thursday that fans deserve to know the facts. The NFL has brought in a former FBI director to look at how it handled the case involving the former Baltimore running back. The move Wednesday came hours after The Associated Press reported that a law enforcement officer said he sent a league executive a video in April showing Rice striking his then-fiancee in a casino. Goodell has said no one in the league saw the video until TMZ Sports released it on Monday.

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News For Sept. 11, 2014

LOCAL
Man gets 4 years for bogus Election Day threat

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in federal prison for falsely telling an FBI agent he knew of a plot to disrupt the 2012 general election with weapons and explosives. Ray Allen Flener, 26, of Sesser pleaded guilty in April in U.S. District Court in Benton to charges of making a false statement to a federal officer and of conveying a false threat. Prosecutors say Flener was a Franklin County detainee in November 2012 when he told the FBI he knew of a plan by a group called "the New World Order" to disrupt the approaching general election by using weapons and explosives. Flener insisted he knew where the weapons and explosives were stored. The claims turned out to be untrue.

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Severe Weather Leads To Power Disruption

Severe storms that rolled through the area Wednesday night left several Ameren customers without power including the Selmaville Road area and some Tri-County customers in the Patoka area.  Area law enforcement received reports overnight of fallen trees and road flooding.
Temperatures for the remainder of the week and throughout the weekend will be noticeably cooler, and the forecast is for much calmer skies, with a slight chance of showers Friday night.

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McLeansboro Man Charged After Auto Accident

A McLeansboro man was injured in a one vehicle crash Wednesday morning in Hamilton County.  Illinois State Police say the accident happened around 9:30 on County Road 1150E at County Road 525.  According to the accident report, 29-year-old Chance Ty Gilbert was driving his car southbound on 1150E when he swerved to avoid hitting a semi that was turning on to that road. Gilbert then struck a ditch embankment. Gilbert was taken by ambulance to Hamilton Memorial Hospital.  Gilbert was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, No valid driver’s License and DUI-drugs.

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Granite City Couple Accused Of Breaking Infant's Ribs

(Granite City, IL)  --  A Granite City couple is being held on 200-thousand-dollars bond after they were accused of beating their newborn baby.  The seven-week-old infant has broken ribs, a broken leg and is in serious condition at a local hospital.  Madison County prosecutors say 20-year-old Kamryn Kerr and 18-year-old Ashlee Wethington allegedly squeezed the baby boy until several ribs broke.  They also allegedly pulled his leg until it broke.

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Alton police: Suspect in custody in shooting death

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that an Illinois man accused of playing a role in last weekend's shooting death of a St. Louis man was being held Wednesday in lieu of $1 million bond. Prosecutors in Madison County charged Antione Parker, 33, of Belleville with three counts of murder and one count apiece of armed robbery and armed violence. State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Parker was not the gunman in last Saturday's death of 39-year-old Melvin L. Hayes. The victim's body was found behind an abandoned Alton home. Gibbons said Parker was charged based on accountability for his role. Gibbons said the shooting appeared to be drug-related and that other charges are expected as the investigation continues. Online court records don't show whether Parker has an attorney. He does not have a listed telephone number.

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Highland teachers gear up for walkout

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in a southwestern Illinois' Highland School District appear headed to the picket lines, shutting down the schools as part of a labor dispute. Highland teachers rejected by 139-16 vote the district's latest contract proposal, setting the stage for a walkout to begin Thursday morning. District Superintendent Mike Sutton said all buildings except for the main office will be closed and no school-sponsored activities held during the strike. Sutton said both sides met Monday with a federal mediator and exchanged contract proposals, but that fizzled. No other meetings were scheduled. Highland Education Association President ShiAnne Shively called the developments "very disheartening."

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Fracking Opponents Scam Homeowners

(Johnson County, IL)  --  People who are opposed to fracking are trying to pull a fast one on landowners in southern Illinois.  They sent out a fake letter to Johnson County residents who've signed oil and gas leases on their property, telling them that the leases have been terminated because of health and environmental factors.  The letter claimed to be from Woolsey Energy Corporation and was even written on company letterhead.  Company officials weren't happy about the letter and called it very disturbing. 

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Kidnapping suspect awaits separate attack trial

COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) -- A southwestern Illinois man accused of kidnapping a boy and keeping him in his basement has been awaiting trial on 2009 charges that he attacked a different boy in a store's bathroom, court records show. Prosecutors in Monroe County charged Robert Fricke, 45, with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint in connection with the case of a boy found Saturday in Fricke's Columbia home. Authorities have declined to say how long that boy, identified only as being younger than 13, had been missing. Fricke remained jailed Wednesday on $250,000. Fricke has been awaiting trial on a St. Clair County misdemeanor battery count related to his alleged August 2009 attack of a 7-year-old boy in a Target store's bathroom, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The criminal complaint alleges Fricke choked the boy before he managed to escape. The boy's father told the newspaper the boy was with his mother when he went in to the bathroom, though it isn't clear if Fricke allegedly already was in that restroom or followed the boy into it. Fricke's attorney, James Gomric, has frequently delayed the trial, court records show. In November 2009, Gomric filed a motion to determine Fricke's competency, arguing Fricke has had diminished mental capacity and Gomric "has a bona fide doubt as to the defendant's ability to appreciate the criminality of his conduct." That competency hearing is scheduled for Dec. 1. A message left Wednesday with Gomric was not immediately returned.

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Scammers Targeting Netflix Customers

(Alton, IL) -- Internet thieves are turning to Netflix to bilk people out of their money. Better Business Bureau investigator Bill Smith says scammers are trying to convince Netflix users into downloading malicious software that's disguised as "Netflix support software." To avoid this scam and others like it, Smith says you should never let someone log into your computer remotely. He says people should also pay close attention to the URL in links and emails and be careful not to click on links that have a common name with a mix of jumbled letters or numbers. And, always look up the business' phone number on its website.

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Belleville bar grills 100-foot-long bratwurst

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — About 50 people volunteered to carefully grill a 100-foot bratwurst without burning or breaking it at a Belleville bar on Tuesday. Silver Creek Saloon hosted the practice run to prepare for the city's 200th anniversary celebration, where the volunteers will attempt to grill a 200-foot-long bratwurst, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The Bicentennial Oktoberfest Weekend Celebration is set to be held Sept. 19-21 in downtown Belleville. On Tuesday, Larry Schubert, who made the 60 pounds of brat, led the effort to unroll it onto a specially made 100-foot metal trough. Volunteers exercised more caution after practicing in August with a 50-foot bratwurst that broke in several places because it was turned too quickly and the grill was too hot. Organizers walked around to inspect and fix splits in the meat. A nearby baking company will make a 200-foot-long bun to go with the bratwurst when it's grilled at the community event on Sept. 21. Donations will be collected from people who want to eat a piece of the giant sausage. Proceeds will benefit local food pantries.

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STATE
New Jersey governor stumps for Rauner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has pledged to come back to Illinois a "number of times" to help the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, stopped in Springfield Wednesday for two private fundraisers and to join Rauner in meeting and greeting lunchtime diners at a local restaurant. Christie told The Associated Press that the governor's race is "the top challenger race for the RGA in the country." Quinn has similarly received help from national Democrats and even the White House. "We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of energy, give a lot of money, to help Bruce," Christie said. Christie's visit comes a day after Quinn and Rauner ratcheted up the governor's campaign on a personal level, taking jabs at each's character and honesty in a televised newspaper editorial board meeting. The Chicago Democrat accused Rauner of bribing lawmakers, lying about state pension business, "profiteering" with his venture capital business and not taking responsibility for companies in which he had a stake. The Winnetka Republican claimed Quinn has misled taxpayers, harmed the state's business climate and continued the hiring practices of now imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. On Wednesday, Christie said Rauner "speaks his mind" and "makes sure he's holding Gov. Quinn to account."

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Christie Says He'll Still Take Illinois Jobs

(Springfield, IL)  --  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says nothing will stop him from trying to steal jobs away from Illinois, not even putting his pal Bruce Rauner in office.  Christie says that's the nature of competition when it comes to growing the economy.  He says he has no doubt that Rauner would try to woo jobs from New Jersey if he's put into office.  Christie and Rauner made the rounds in Springfield yesterday and appeared at several fundraisers.   

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Issues Not Resolved In Maywood Fire Department

(Maywood, IL)  --  The Firefighters in Maywood suspended for not taking down their patriotic decals are allowed to come back to work but certain issues remain unresolved.  WFLD-TV reports the firefighters union is filing a grievance with the Illinois Labor Relations Board and wants Chief Craig Bronaugh to be replaced.  Chief Bronaugh ordered that all stickers or decals be removed from lockers and helmets so the station can be more uniform.  Some of the firefighters refused to remove their American flag decals, which led to their suspension.  Bronaugh says station approved flag decals can be displayed but he still needs to further discuss what is allowed overall.  

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2 Illinois schools get $8.435 million from DOE

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded more than $8.4 million to research centers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. In a news release, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Rep Bill Foster and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky announced the money will be used to study, research and develop cutting edge forms of clean energy. Durbin said in the award will not only help to drive the economy and change "the way we conserve and use energy resources," but will help ensure that there remains a strong federal commitment to universities in Illinois. Northwestern University in Evanston will be awarded $5.985 million to study solar energy sciences and materials for solar energy. Nearly $3 million of that amount will go to the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Research Center. The rest of the money — $2.45 million — was awarded to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study carbon dioxide capture and storage.

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Caterpillar plans new lab at U. of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc. plans to open a new data analytics laboratory at the University of Illinois, the Peoria-based company announced this week. The heavy equipment-maker already operates a center in the university's Research Park where it uses computer-aided engineering to simulate and develop new products. It employs about 55 people in addition to the 60 students working there. The new lab is expected to open in the Research Park later this year, Gwenne Henricks, Caterpillar's chief technology officer, told The News-Gazette. It isn't clear yet how many people will work there. The lab will focus on analyzing data on areas such as fleet and equipment management. The new lab expects to rely on university faculty and students for some of its work, Henricks said.

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Illinois State Lottery announces end of My3 game

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Lottery has decided to remove My3 from its draw game portfolio, following a recommendation from its private manager. Northstar Lottery Group initiated the game two years ago and suggested that it end because of low sales performance. It's a daily game that holds drawings twice per day. My3 was designed to be an easier alternative to the Pick 3 and Pick 4 options. Participants pick three lucky numbers between 0 and 9. My3 prizes can be claimed within one year of the drawing date. The final My3 drawing will be on Sunday evening.

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NATIONAL
Obama presents plan to destroy Islamic State militants

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he's sending nearly 500 additional troops to Iraq to help Iraqi security forces and to conduct intelligence and reconnaissance flights. Last night, Obama outlined his plan to destroy militants from the group Islamic State. The president also says he's authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq. Obama says the mission will not involve any U.S. combat troops.

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Missouri lawmakers enact 72-hour abortion wait

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have overridden a veto to enact one of the nation's longest abortion waiting periods. Legislators have passed a measure to require women to wait 72 hours after consulting a physician before having an abortion. Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon had vetoed the legislation partly because it lacked exceptions for rape or incest. But the Republican-led Legislature argued that all lives deserved an equal value no matter how they're conceived.

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Missouri lawmakers expand gun in schools, cities

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have overridden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill creating a training program for teachers to carry guns in schools and expanding where residents can openly carry firearms. The veto override early today marks a victory for the Republican-led Legislature, which was unsuccessful last year in overriding the Democratic governor's veto of a bill that sought to nullify some federal gun control laws. This year's bill would create a special training program for schools wanting to arm some of their teachers. It also will allow residents with a concealed-gun permit to openly carry firearms, even in cities that have ordinances against it. The bill will lower the age to obtain a concealed gun permit to 19 from 21.

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FEMA wants at least $5.8M in Sandy aid repaid

NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of people who received aid money after Superstorm Sandy may have to pay it back. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been scrutinizing about 4,500 households it suspects received improper payments after the storm. Some recipients were ineligible for aid because their damaged properties weren't their primary residence. Others had double dipped into the aid pool and some had received FEMA money for things later covered by insurance.

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Dad accused of killing 5 kids could be extradited today

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — A father accused of killing his five children could return to South Carolina today to face murder charges. Timothy Ray Jones Jr. has been behind bars in Mississippi, where authorities say he was stopped at a DUI checkpoint and officers found blood and children's clothes in his SUV. Jones led investigators to his children's bodies on an isolated hilltop in Alabama, where authorities believe the children were dumped after being killed in South Carolina shortly after they were last seen Aug. 28.

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Change of venue sought in loud music killing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man accused of killing a teenager in Florida during an argument over loud music is scheduled to be back in court today as his attorneys argue that a new trial should be held outside of Jacksonville. Michael Dunn was convicted of three counts of second-degree attempted murder for shooting into a carload of teenagers during a dispute over their loud music, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. But the jury could not reach a verdict on the first-degree murder charge. The retrial is scheduled to begin Sept. 22.

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Tropical Storm Odile is slowly strengthening

MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Tropical Storm Odile could become a hurricane on Friday. The storm is slowly strengthening as it swirls in the Pacific off Mexico's southern coast, with maximum sustained winds near 50 mph. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Mexico's coast from Lazaro Cardenas to Manzanillo.

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9/11 commemoration begins with bell toll

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual Sept. 11 commemoration ceremony has started with the tolling of a bell and a moment of silence. The private anniversary ceremony is being held at the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum plaza on Thursday morning. The tribute has centered on reading the names of the nearly 3,000 people killed in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the 2001 attacks, as well as recognizing the six people killed in the 1993 trade center bombing. Families have started to read the names of the deceased, pausing during the sad roll call only four times: to mark the times when the first plane struck the World Trade Center, when the second plane struck, when the first tower fell and when the second tower fell.

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Homeland Security chief says ISIL not only threat

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Homeland Security Department says that while the surging Islamic State group is taking most U.S. attention now, officials must stay on top of other terrorist threats as well. Secretary Jeh Johnson says the US should "not let our guard down," even as it gears up for confrontation the Islamic militants. Interviewed on CNN Thursday, Johnson calls the Islamic State group "a dangerous organization."But he also says officials also are keeping tabs on possible domestic terrorist plots and must watch organizations like al-Qaida on the Arabian Peninsula. Johnson says in the interview that he wants to avoid trying to rank one terrorist organization over another in terms of threat, although he concedes the Islamic State group currently is the issue of greatest concern in Washington.

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Apple Doing Away With The iPod Classic

(Cupertino, CA)  --  Apple is quietly removing the iPod classic from its lineup.  The click wheel-enabled device descended from the original iPod and was in service for 13-years.  The device was removed from Apple's online store, paring the company's musical offerings to the iPod touch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle.  "Tech Crunch" says Classic was no longer relevant in the day of high-capacity flash storage and streaming music services.

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Starbucks Reviewing Visible Tattoo Ban

(Seattle, WA)  --  Starbucks is reconsidering its ban on visible tattoos for its baristas.  The debate over inked employees is just a part of the dress code discussion, as the coffee chain is currently revamping its entire employee uniform.  The company is planning on announcing a dress code update by the end of the month, which would affect 300-thousand employees worldwide.  Last month, a barista in Atlanta started an online petition after her manager said she would have to get a small tattoo on her thumb removed.  A Starbucks spokesman says the review over the dress code began before the petition was created.

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INTERNATIONAL
Britain: Won't take part in airstrikes on Syria

BERLIN (AP) — Britain's foreign secretary says his country won't participate in airstrikes on Syria, following an announcement from Washington that it would begin hitting targets inside the country. Speaking Thursday after talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Philip Hammond said Britain won't be "revisiting" the issue after Parliament decided last year against participating in airstrikes. Germany often shuns taking part in combat operations and Steinmeier said his country also wouldn't join in any airstrikes. The comments come after President Barack Obama said late Wednesday that he had authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a "steady, relentless effort" to root out Islamic State extremists.

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Kerry to press Mideast allies for anti-IS fight

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Saudi Arabia to try to pin down Middle Eastern allies on what support they will give to worldwide efforts to beat back the Islamic State militant group that has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria. Kerry arrived in the Red Sea city of Jiddah on Thursday and held talks with his Saudi and Bahraini counterparts. He is expected to meet later in the day with officials from across the Gulf Arab region as well as envoys from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey to press his case for greater regional support. The U.S. already has launched more than 150 airstrikes against militants in Iraq over the past month, and has sent military advisers and millions of dollars in humanitarian aid.

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Syrian air raids kill 11 in extremist-held town

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activist groups say government airstrikes on a northern town controlled by the extremist Islamic State group have killed at least 11 people. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says six air raids struck the town of al-Bab in Aleppo province Thursday. It says at least 11 people were killed and more than 17 wounded in the strikes, one of which hit a crowded market. Another activist group, the Aleppo Media Center, put the death toll at 19 and said another 20 people were wounded. It was not possible to reconcile the difference in casualty figures, but numbers frequently vary in the chaotic aftermath immediately following attacks.

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Oscar Pistorius Not Guilty Of Intentional Murder

(Pretoria, South Africa)  --  The world will have to wait until tomorrow to find out if Olympian and Paralympian track star Oscar Pistorius will be found guilty of culpable homicide in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend.  After finding the "Blade Runner" not guilty of premeditated murder, the judge adjourned the trial today before reaching any further verdicts.  Reeva Steenkamp was shot on Valentine's Day 2013 in Pistorius' South African home.  Pistorius claims he thought she was an intruder.  In handing down her partial ruling, the judge said the state had not proven that Pistorius deliberately acted to kill Steenkamp. 

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Cincinnati Reds 4, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Toronto Blue Jays 11, Chicago Cubs 1
Chicago White Sox 2, Oakland Athletics 1

Frontier League

Schaumburg 14, Southern Illinois 4

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Cincinnati 11:35 a.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 10:39 a.m.)
Oakland at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Schaumburg at Southern Illinois (Series tied 1-1)

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White Sox's Konerko hopes to return next week

CHICAGO (AP) — Retiring Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko hopes to return next week from a broken bone in his left hand. Konerko says he might take some swings on Friday and hit some balls over the weekend. He thinks he will be ready to play during a nine-game trip to Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Detroit that starts next week. The 38-year-old Konerko was injured while tagging out Danny Santana in a game at Minnesota on Sept. 2. The White Sox will hold Paul Konerko Day on Sept. 27 at U.S. Cellular Field during the final weekend of the season. Konerko has played for the White Sox since 1999 and is the team's captain.

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Ex FBI Director Mueller To Conduct NFL Investigation

(Undated)  --  Former FBI director Robert Mueller the Third will conduct an independent investigation into the NFL.  Commissioner Roger Goodell will fully cooperate with Mueller and the findings will be made public.  Giants owner John Mara and Steelers owner Art Rooney will oversee the investigation of how the league handled and gathered the domestic violence evidence of former Ravens running back Ray Rice.

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Injuries hamper Bears practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears offensive linemen Roberto Garza and Matt Slauson and wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery remain sidelined with injuries, although the team is not discussing their severity. Coach Marc Trestman called the receivers "day to day" Wednesday and said they are receiving treatment. Jeffery has a pulled hamstring and Marshall an ankle sprain. The two linemen have ankle sprains, and Michael Ola played for Slauson at left guard and Brian de la Puente for Garza at center. The Bears are having problems practicing without their starting two receivers on the field because backup Josh Morgan also has a groin injury and another reserve, Michael Spurlock, was cut on Tuesday.

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Now minus 2 star players, Rams get back to work

ST. LOUIS (AP) — There were so many shortcomings in the St. Louis Rams' woeful opening loss to Minnesota that the best option is flush it out of the system. In Week 2 at Tampa Bay, they'll try again to act the part of a franchise on the rise. After practice Wednesday, coach Jeff Fisher told players they'd done a good job of getting back to business. Still, the team defensive end Chris Long will have surgery on his left leg and miss much of the year. Sam Bradford is out for the year with a knee injury and backup Shaun Hill did not practice nursing a left quadriceps injury.

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DC's Nationals Park to host Winter Classic

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The season's Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park. The NHL announced Wednesday that the home of baseball's Washington Nationals will host the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals on New Year's Day. The Capitals were selected as the home team for the 2015 game nearly a year ago, but the league then needed to choose among several possible stadiums — including RFK Stadium and FedEx Field. Nationals Park was the favorite all along. The 41,000-seat ballpark opened in 2008 and is located about a mile south of the Capitol along the Anacostia River.

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News For Sept. 10, 2014

LOCAL
Store Clerk Arrested In Casey's Burglary Case

Mt. Vernon Police have arrested a 46-year-old store clerk in connection with a September 4, robbery of the Casey’s General Store. According to a press release, Anita Bailey, an employee of the Casey’s General Store was charged Tuesday with felony theft and obstruction of justice in connection with last week's robbery. It was first reported that a white male wearing a neon yellow shirt and riding a bicycle was suspected in the robbery. The man reportedly took the bank bag from an employee and fled on the bicycle. Upon investigation, the suspect with long hair seen in previously released surveillance photos was identified. He cooperated fully with the investigation and has reportedly been exonerated of any wrong doing. Further investigation by the Mt. Vernon police department resulted in Bailey’s arrest. Bail for Bailey has been set at $25,000. She remains in custody of the Jefferson County Jail.

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Three Arrested In Huck's Armed Robbery Case

A 20-year-old Mt. Vernon man was the first of three people arrested for an armed robbery at Huck’s Convenience Store. It happened around 3:30 a.m. Monday at the store on Second and Broadway in Mt. Vernon. Police Chief Chris Deichman says a man with a gun demanded money from the clerk on duty then fled with the cash. Officers later arrested Codey C. Ince, of Mt. Vernon, for the robbery. Deichman says investigators were able to recover the stolen money. Ince is being held in the Jefferson County Jail, with additional charges pending. Two additional suspects were arrested later for the armed robbery, leaving 22-year-old Megan R. Stroud and 21-year-old Jarrod T. Robinson behind bars. Both have been charged with felony theft. Bail has not yet been set. The investigation is ongoing.

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Highland Teachers Vote To Strike

(Highland, IL)  --  Teachers in the Highland School District are expected to go on strike tomorrow.  The union voted by an overwhelming margin Tuesday to turn down the most recent contract offer.  The dispute between the union and school leaders hinges on issues like teacher evaluations, layoffs and wording that protects teachers from bullying by administrators.  The last contract ended August 31st.

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Murphysboro Man Arrested For Business Vandalism

A Murphysboro man was arrested Monday in connection with Saturday's vandalism at a local business. Murphysboro Police say 23-year-old Cody Augustus Cox is charged with criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct. Cox allegedly glued shut the front, side and back doors at Brews Brothers Taproom and spray painted the words "The Game" on a trailer in front of the building. A lewd picture was also found spray painted on the side of the building. All of this was found by the manager Saturday morning. The manager told police that this happened between 3:30 and 7 a.m. Police noted that Cox made a false report to police of suspicious subjects in the area after committing the vandalism. He posted bond and was released.

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Route 14 Railroad Crossing To Undergo Construction Near Mulkeytown

IDOT says a section of Route 14 near the intersection of Routes 14 and 184 in Mulkeytown will be closed starting Tuesday, Sept. 23 so the Canadian National Railroad can make repairs to the crossing in that area. The road will be closed at 7 a.m. and will stay closed for the duration of repairs. Traffic will not be allowed in the area. You should follow the marked detour.

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Benton City Council Approves Sewer Rate Hike

The Benton City Council Monday night approved an ordinance raising the city's sewer rate by one dollar. City Clerk Brook Craig says residents will now be charged $13.65 a month for using 2000 gallons or less.  City leaders decided to increase the sewer rate to help fund the new sewage treatment facility on Petroff Road. Water rates are not affected by the increase.

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Woman pleads guilty to drug-related forgeries

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois woman faces up to four years in federal prison after admitting she forged prescriptions for a powerful painkiller. Abbe Terry, 49, of Granite City pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to a three-count indictment alleging she obtained controlled substances by fraud and forgery. Prosecutors said Terry admitted that in May of 2013, and twice the following October, she used prescriptions she made on a home computer to obtain fentanyl from an Alton pharmacy. Fentanyl is a narcotic typically administered to people in chronic pain, including end-stage cancer patients. It's considered 80 times more powerful than morphine. Terry's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12.

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Southern Illinois man dies in zip-lining accident

TAMAROA, Ill. (AP) — A Tamaroa man died when he fell 33 feet in a backyard zip-lining accident, Perry County authorities said. William "Bill" Harris, 38, died instantly in the Sunday accident, Perry County Coroner Paul Searby said. He was pronounced dead at Marshall Browning Hospital. Harris was a correctional officer at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. He also was an operator for the Illinois Department of Transportation and a U.S. Marine veteran, serving from 1993 to 1997 with the rank of corporal. Tamaroa is a village in Perry County in southern Illinois, about 75 miles southeast of St. Louis.

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SIU Chancellor says more work needs to be done

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus still has much work to do to increase enrollment and retain students, interim chancellor Paul Sarvela said Monday during his first State of the University address. The school recorded its first enrollment increase this year, after nearly a decade-long decline that accounted for a 16.8 percent decrease in its student body. Officials reported last week that the school has 25 more students this year than it did last year. Sarvela said SIU needs to continue to focus on boosting enrollment and enhancing both faculty research and creative activities. If the community works together to fulfil goals of "shared governance, open communication, and true collaboration and respect," the university will have continued success in the future, he said. Student retention continues to be one of the university's greatest hurdles. Just over 60 percent of 2011 freshmen returned for their sophomore year, the Southern Illinoisan reported. The school is also facing a $6.7 million budget deficit. Sarvela said he is making plans to address all of the key issues at SIU. "We have many internal gaps and holes that will impede our progress if we do not address them ... I believe I can serve the university best by not kicking the can down the road for the next person to solve," Sarvela said. Sarvela replaced former chancellor Rita Cheng, who was named president of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Nearly 18,000 students are enrolled at SIU this year.

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Godfrey Man Charged With Child Pornography Counts

The Madison County State's Attorney's Office charged a 33-year-old Godfrey man Monday with four felony counts of child pornography. According to a spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff's Office, investigators developed information linking David Von Bergen to the distribution of child porn. Detectives learned Von Bergen had previously been convicted of possession of child pornography in 2001. Authorities searched Von Bergen's residence, located in the 7700 block of Humbert Road, on the afternoon of September 5 and seized electronic computer and media devices. A preliminary examination of these devices revealed the presence of child pornography. Von Bergen, who was charged with one count of distribution of child porn and three counts of possession, remains in custody at Madison County Jail on $250,000 bond.

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More suicides prompt awareness efforts in Illinois

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials worried about a surge in suicides in southwestern Illinois' St. Clair County said they hope increased use of social media about the issue saves lives. The 22 suicides declared by the county's coroner this year through July are just five fewer than the number over all of 2013, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The number of people who have taken their own lives in the county has ranged from 19 to 37 since 2008. The reasons for the growing number of suicides this year remain elusive. The county's board chairman, Mark Kern, signed a proclamation Monday to raise awareness about this growing danger. Kern also met with members of the Suicide Prevention Alliance and the county's mental health board in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week. About 20 county organizations will turn to social media such as Facebook and Twitter to post links and videos about suicide prevention, the newspaper reported.

--------------------------------

STATE
Rauner Accused Of Trying To Bribe Lawmakers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn is making a scathing accusation against his GOP opponent, Bruce Rauner. Quinn says Rauner wanted to dish out campaign cash to any Republican rep who voted against the pension deal but Rauner adamantly denies that claim.  And House Leader Jim Durkin denies that claim, calling it an outrageous lie and a new low from Governor Quinn.  Republicans say Quinn is desperate to deflect attention off of the fact that he's under federal investigation.  And, they say Quinn is the one who offers bribes for votes.  They point to former state reps Careen Gordon and Bob Flider, who both got high paying state jobs after voting in favor of the income tax hike in 2011. 

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Quinn, Rauner To Meet With Tribune Editorial Board

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn and his GOP opponent Bruce Rauner are sparring over who can and can't be trusted when it comes to hiring practices. The two appeared on the same stage this morning to field questions from the "Chicago Tribune" editorial board.  But before they could get to the meat of issues like taxes and education, they started swinging about hiring scandals that are lingering for each candidate.  Rauner slammed Quinn on IDOT patronage while Quinn says Rauner hired former Rod Blagojevich conspirator, Stuart Levine, to handle Illinois pension business.  He says Rauner kept his mouth shut about the hire and took the money. 

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Firefighters Sent Home Over Patriotic Decals

(Maywood, IL)  --  Some firefighters in Maywood are being punished for not taking down their patriotic decals.  Chief Craig Bronaugh issued a memo last week, ordering that all stickers or decals be removed from lockers and helmets so the station can be more uniform.  Issues arose after some decals were considered racist and offensive in nature.  Some of the crew was sent home after they refused to remove their American flag decals.  Chief Bronaugh says further disciplinary action could be taken if the firefighters continue to disobey an order.

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19 Illinois communities get landfill grants

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Local governments will get more than $1.5 million in grants to inspect pollution-control facilities such as landfills and to investigate complaints about illegal dumping, Illinois officials said Tuesday. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced grants to 19 communities. Local officials must use the money to hire and train landfill inspectors under state requirements. EPA Director Lisa Bonnett says partnerships with local authorities help taxpayers. She says city and county officials are more familiar with their communities and can respond to complaints more quickly. The partnership program began in 1987. The delegation of state authority includes investigating violations of land pollution laws and open-dumping reports, and inspections of permitted landfills, transfer stations and compost facilities. Money will be awarded to the Ambraw Valley Solid Waste Agency, which includes Crawford, Lawrence and Richmond counties and the city of Chicago. Other counties receiving grants include Christian, DuPage, Jackson, Lake, LaSalle, Macon, Madison, McHenry, Montgomery, Ogle, Perry, Sangamon, St. Clair, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wayne and Will.

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Springfield open house shows inmate-made products

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Products made by Illinois prison inmates will be demonstrated and displayed in Springfield starting Wednesday. Illinois Correctional Industries will host a two-day open house at the Illinois Department of Corrections' Concordia Campus to show off goods including outdoor furniture made from recycled materials and meat products such as hamburgers, the State Journal-Register reported.  Illinois Correctional Industries CEO Jen Aholt said organizers hope to attract anyone who has a business that could hire inmates. The biggest customers are other state agencies, county and local governments and nonprofit organizations, she said. Different prisons manufacture various items including signs in Lincoln and wooden office furniture in Hillsboro. Inmates at the Illinois River Correctional Center bake 16 million pounds of dough every year. Working Illinois inmates can make up to $1.40 an hour. Some of that money is sent to the state's victim fun, and inmates can save some for after their release. Inmates who participate in work programs nationally have a lower recidivism rate than the total inmate population, Aholt said.

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Fewer Motorcycle Deaths This Year

(Springfield, IL) -- Fewer people are dying in motorcycle crashes on Illinois roads this year. According to IDOT data, there were 84 deaths last year between January and July and only 60 during the same time period this year. The most significant drop in fatalities is in Morgan County. There were five motorcycle deaths there last year and none so far this year.

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U of I professor who lost job offer will speak

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A professor who lost a job offer from the University of Illinois over dozens of profane Twitter messages that critics deemed anti-Semitic plans to break weeks of silence with a campus news conference on Tuesday. Steve Salaita and others plan to speak at the University YMCA in Urbana about his situation, according to the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights. The advocacy group is part of Salaita's legal team. Salaita was a professor at Virginia Tech University in 2013 when he accepted a job offer at the University of Illinois. He would have started teaching last month, before the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved his hire. But over the summer he posted dozens of messages on Twitter about Israeli military action in Gaza. Some, his critics say, were anti-Semitic. Salaita is from the United States but his father is Jordanian. Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise told him Aug. 1 that the job was no longer being offered. She said her decision was based on what she believed was the abusive nature of some of those messages. Salaita's supporters argue he already had been essentially hired when Wise told him he didn't have a job, meaning that his tenure as a professor could have protected his speech. Several campus departments have approved votes of no-confidence in Wise. Other faculty members have expressed support for her. Some Salaita supporters also have called for a campus walkout to support him on Tuesday.

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NATIONAL
Colorado woman set to plead guilty in terror case

DENVER (AP) — A 19-year-old suburban Denver woman is expected to plead guilty today to trying to help the Islamic State militant group in Syria. Shannon Conley was arrested at the Denver airport in April as she boarded a flight she hoped would get her to Syria. Documents say Conley told FBI agents that she wanted to use her skills as a nurse's aide to help the militants.

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Missouri executes man for killing 2 in robbery

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — A man convicted in a 1998 robbery and double murder in Columbia, Missouri, has been put to death by lethal injection. Earl Ringo Jr., was pronounced dead shortly after 12:30 a.m. today. He's the eighth person executed in the state this year. Ringo and an accomplice killed a delivery driver and manager trainee at a Ruby Tuesday restaurant.

---------------------------------

Heated Ferguson City Council meeting

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — One local activist in Ferguson, Missouri, says the City Council has lost its authority to govern the community. The first council meeting since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white city police officer was intended to promote community healing. Instead council members were greeted Tuesday night with anger and warnings of voter retribution at the ballot box. Lawmakers are proposing overhauling the municipal courts and creating a citizen police review board.

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5 children found dead in Alabama; father detained

CAMDEN, Ala. (AP) — It's unclear when and how five children were killed, allegedly by their father in South Carolina. Timothy Ray Jones Jr., who right now is only charged with child neglect, faces additional charges after leading authorities to the bodies, which had been dumped on a secluded dirt road in Alabama. Jones, who authorities say fled to Mississippi, is awaiting extradition to South Carolina.

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Court Rejects Last Minute Lawsuit Over Texas Execution

(Houston, TX)  --  A federal court is rejecting a last-minute lawsuit to stop a Texas execution.  The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday night that Willie Trottie's attorneys didn't prove his 8th Amendment rights are being violated.  Trottie is scheduled to die today for the shooting deaths of an ex-girlfriend and her brother in 1993.

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Senators Want Investigation Into Home Depot Breach

(New York, NY)  --  Two U.S. senators want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the massive Home Depot data breach.  They claim that if the company did not take proper precautions into protecting consumers, it may have violated the FTC Act.  Some experts fear the hackers may now have information on more than 40-million cards, which would exceed the amount of information stolen in last year's attack on Target. 

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Netflix, Reddit Part Of 'Internet Slowdown Day'

(Undated)  --  Net neutrality is in danger and a number of websites are staging an online protest today.  Reddit, Netflix, Vimeo and Etsy are just some of the sites participating in "Internet Slowdown Day."  They'll be showing nothing but a perpetual "loading" symbol and a message advising consumers to contact their lawmakers.  In recent months broadband Internet providers -- mainly cable companies -- have pushed the FCC to reverse net neutrality so they can charge individual websites based on data consumption and peak hours.

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Older Americans struggle with student debt

WASHINGTON (AP) — Student loan debt can follow some people into retirement. A Government Accountability Office report says in 2010, 4 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 still owed money on federal student loans. Eighty percent of that number owed money on their own loans, and 20 percent were loans they took out for their children. The report says the number of older Americans who have money taken out of their Social Security checks to pay on their student loan debt has increased about fivefold from 2002 to 2013.

----------------------------------------

Senator: Congress must vote on fighting Islamists

WASHINGTON (AP) — An independent member of the U.S. Senate is voicing uneasiness with the Obama administration's push toward a more fierce confrontation with Islamic militants, while criticizing Congress for doing too little. Maine's Sen. Angus King, who organizes with the Democratic caucus, says he's uncomfortable with the expansion of presidential authority "to take military action anywhere in the world." King says he understands political concerns, but argues that's no reason for Congress not to be heard on the issue. President Barack Obama is set to tell the nation Wednesday night what steps he plans next against Islamic State militants. King tells CNN he believes Congress ought to step up and vote, saying it's more inclined to second-guess and criticize. He says the critical issue is preventing creation of safe havens for terrorists.

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Ferguson protesters plan highway shutdown

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Protesters in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black 18-year-old was fatally shot by a white police officer plan to block part of Interstate 70 this afternoon in an act of civil disobedience. Organizers say they want to bring rush hour traffic on I-70 in Ferguson to a standstill and expect to be arrested at the demonstration. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and city and county police departments say they will "enforce the law and ensure public safety" at the planned shutdown. A similar protest was planned on the day of Michael Brown's funeral but was mostly curtailed at his family's request. Protesters spoke last night at Ferguson's first City Council meeting since the shooting. Council members had hoped to use the meeting as a chance to promote community healing. Instead, they were greeted with outrage and promises to vote them out of office.

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No delay in Detroit cop's manslaughter trial

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer for a Detroit police officer who accidentally killed a girl during a raid fears that widespread media coverage of a police shooting in Missouri could harm his client's right to a fair trial. Steven Fishman sought a delay in Officer Joseph Weekley's trial, which starts Monday. But Wayne County Judge Cynthia Hathaway turned down the request last Friday. Weekley is charged with involuntary manslaughter. He admits shooting 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during a 2010 raid but says the shooting happened when the girl's grandmother grabbed his gun. Mertilla Jones denies any interference. A trial last year ended without a verdict. Fishman says police in general have been vilified in news coverage of the recent shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. He wanted to postpone Weekley's trial until 2015.

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Detroit bankruptcy trial on hold after major deal

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has suspended Detroit's bankruptcy trial until Monday to give the city more time to work out details of a settlement with a major creditor. The time-out Wednesday also gives the city an opportunity to reach other settlements. The city reached a deal Tuesday with Syncora, a bond insurer that stood to lose $400 million under Detroit's plan to get out of bankruptcy. Detroit would extend Syncora's lease on a tunnel between the U.S. and Canada and also get a long-term lease on a parking garage. The financier would get 26 percent of what it's owed. Judge Steven Rhodes is holding a trial to determine if Detroit's bankruptcy exit plan is fair and feasible. Thousands of retirees would see a 4.5 percent pension cut.

--------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Double car bomb in Baghdad during Kerry visit

BAGHDAD (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is pressing Iraq's Shiite leader to quickly deliver more power to the Sunnis, or jeopardize any hope of defeating the militant group Islamic State. Kerry is in Baghdad two days after newly sworn Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi seated his top government ministers. Meanwhile, Iraqi officials say twin bombs went off in a market in Baghdad today, killing at least 13 people, including three traffic policemen. Another 28 people were wounded.

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Weapons watchdog: Chlorine likely used in Syria

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog says a toxic chemical, almost certainly chlorine, was used "systematically and repeatedly" as a weapon in attacks on villages in northern Syria earlier this year. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Wednesday that a report by a fact-finding mission it sent to Syria based its conclusion on dozens of interviews with victims, physicians, eye-witnesses and others. The report does not apportion blame for the chlorine attacks on three villages in northern Syria. Human Rights Watch said in May that it had strong evidence that in April this year Syrian army helicopters dropped bombs containing chlorine on the same rebel-held villages mentioned by the OPCW report. Chlorine is a toxic industrial gas that is not specifically classified as a chemical weapon.

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European envoy to Israel blasts land expropriation

JERUSALEM (AP) — Europe's top diplomat in Israel has urged it to reverse its expropriation of 1,000 acres of West Bank land even as he stressed the European Union is not considering anti-Israel sanctions over the issue. Wednesday's remarks by Lars Faaborg-Andersen came two weeks after Israel announced the move. The expropriation stirred criticism from U.S. and Palestinian officials, who see it as undermining prospects for a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Faaborg-Andersen says the expropriation is "one of the worst signals to send in the current situation." He says even if Israel refuses to reverse it, anti-Israeli sanctions aren't "on the agenda now." The expropriated land is in an area near Jerusalem that Israel hopes to keep under any future peace deal.

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Putin: new weapons to counter threats to Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia has no intention to launch a new arms race, but will respond to all security challenges. Addressing a meeting in Moscow Wednesday on weapons modernization plans, Putin said Russia will focus on developing new strategic nuclear weapons, aerospace defenses and high-precision conventional weapons. He said potential threats to Russia's security must be thoroughly analyzed, and an "adequate response" given to each of them. Putin added that Russia shouldn't hike its military spending beyond its economic capabilities. Russia-West relations have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War times over the crisis in Ukraine. A NATO summit last week decided to create a rapid-reaction "spearhead" force to protect Eastern Europe from Russian bullying. Putin said that the West used the Ukrainian crisis to "resuscitate NATO."

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Toronto 9, Chicago Cubs 2
Cincinnati 9, St. Louis 5
Oakland 11, Chicago White Sox 2

WNBA PLAYOFFS
Phoenix 97, Chicago 68, Phoenix leads series 2-0

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.
St. Louis at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Oakland at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Schaumberg at Southern Illinois (SI leads 1-0, best of 5 Divisional Series)

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Bears sign OL Britton to 1-year contract

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Eben Britton to a one-year contract with center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson nursing ankle injuries. The Bears announced Tuesday they were bringing back Britton after releasing him at the end of the preseason. He appeared in the final 13 games for Chicago last season. Garza and Slauson were injured in the season-opening loss to Buffalo. The Bears visit San Francisco this week. Chicago also released receiver and kick returner Micheal Spurlock on Tuesday. He had one catch for 8 yards and saw time as a punt returner with a fair catch against Buffalo.

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Big Ten suspends Northwestern's C.J. Robbins

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — The Big Ten has suspended Northwestern defensive lineman C.J. Robbins for one game for punching a player during last weekend's loss to Northern Illinois. The conference also issued a public reprimand of Robbins for violating the conference's Sportsmanship Policy. It announced the punishment in a news release on Tuesday. Robbins, a junior, was ejected in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats' 23-15 loss last Saturday to NIU. Northwestern's next game is against Western Illinois on Sept. 20.

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News For Sept. 9, 2014

LOCAL
Arbitrator named new Williamson County prosecutor

MARION, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission arbitrator was sworn in Monday as the new Williamson County state's attorney, making it the first time the southern Illinois county has had a new top prosecutor in 30 years. Williamson County State's Attorney Charles Garnati last week announced his resignation was effective Monday. The Williamson County Board held a special meeting Monday morning and nominated Johnston City native Brandon Zanotti to the position. Zanotti then took the oath for the office. The county has several important murder cases in the next year and a new prosecutor was needed as soon as a possible, said Williamson County Commissioner Brent Gentry. Zanotti previously specialized in workers' compensation cases at a private firm. He also was congressional clerk to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a finance degree and earned his law degree from Washington University School of Law. Garnati resigned because of health issue. He plans to open a private practice and have a lighter case load.

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Man Gets 12 Years For Trading Naked Pics With Teen

(East St. Louis, IL) -- A Highland man who exchanged naked photos with a teenage girl will spend 12 years behind bars. Daniel Shaw was sentenced today in East St. Louis for sending explicit pictures to the then-15-year-old in 2011. According to the FBI, Shaw admitted sending the images and receiving about six in return.

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Columbia Man Facing Kidnapping Charges

(Columbia, IL)  --  A man from Columbia, Illinois is facing kidnapping charges.  Police say 45-year-old Robert Fricke was playing with kids in his neighborhood on Saturday when he suddenly picked one of the boys up and ran away with him.  Fricke allegedly went into his own home and locked the door.  Police say they found the kid in Fricke's basement.  He'd been bitten on the ear but his injuries are not life threatening. 

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Illinois woman charged in shooting of pit bull

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois woman was charged with a felony Monday after police said she shot her boyfriend's pit bull in the face and paw. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly charged Angela Willig, 32, with aggravated cruelty to animals, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. The dog named Bob was locked in a kennel and presented no threat when the Fairview Heights woman shot it with a .22 caliber rifle on Sunday, police said. Bob survived the shooting and is recovering, Kelly said. Willig is in the St. Clair County Jail on $25,000 bond. Online court records didn't indicate an attorney.

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8 closed Illinois interstate rest areas to reopen

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Eight of Illinois' 30 interstate rest areas that have been closed are set to reopen this fall. Maintenance was required at the closed facilities, but it's not clear why most of it happened around the same time period, Paris Ervin, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises The Salt Kettle rest area, on Interstate 74 west of Danville, parts of the Silver Lake rest area, along Interstate 70, and the Gateway rest area, Interstate 64 near St. Louis, have been undergoing bathroom renovations and upgrades. The Funks Grove rest area, south of Bloomington on Interstate 55, has been shuttered the longest. It was closed in spring 2013 because of a septic system failure. The Trail of Tears rest area along Interstate 57 near the Missouri border has been closed for sewer work since July. The Pride of the Prairie rest area on Interstate 72 was closed last month for a pavement project, while the Coalfield rest area on Interstate 55 was closed for roofing repairs. The closed rest areas should all be reopened by November. The cost of the work was not immediately known.

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Traveling Vietnam Wall heads to Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The Traveling Vietnam Wall is heading to southern Illinois. The Southern Illinoisan reports the wall, a three-fifths scale of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to arrive in Anna on Wednesday afternoon. The wall will then be escorted to Southern Illinois University's practice football field in Carbondale by fire trucks, military vehicles, municipal vehicles, and local motorcycle clubs. An opening ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the field, with more than 1,500 area children expected to visit the wall Friday. A ceremony featuring a Vietnam veterans group, the Black Tigers, will follow the SIU football game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. A closing ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

--------------------------------

Rollins Hearing Pushed Back

A verdict in the trial of Christopher Rollins case will not be given this week.  A hearing was originally set for today after Franklin County Judge Tom Tedeschi said last week that he needed more time to review the evidence before making a decision regarding Rollins.  Rollins is accused of setting his former girlfriend, Tessa Leech, of fire using a meth-making chemical in August 2012. She spent months in a coma recovering from burns to more than half of her body. Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens said he was told that case would be continued due to an illness. Rollins waived his right to testify in his own defense. He remains in custody in Franklin County.

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Highway Dedicated To Fallen Firefighter

The official dedication of the Firefighter Tim Jansen Memorial Highway will be held Saturday, September 13th in Bartelso, and the public is invited to attend in remembrance of a local hero who gave his life fighting a fire.  State Representative Charlie Meier said the Illinois Department of Transportation signs are ready to go up, designating Route 161 between Hanover Street in Germantown and South B Street in Bartelso as the Firefighter Tim Jansen Memorial Highway in honor of his ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in 2012.  Meier said the official dedication ceremony will take place at the Bartelso Fire Station at 11AM this Saturday and the Bartelso Community Band will play the National Anthem in Tim’s honor.

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STATE
Illinois AG denies conflict in anti-violence probe


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday defended her right to give legal advice to state lawmakers conducting a probe into a troubled Chicago anti-violence program that was overseen by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration. Madigan's role has been questioned by Paul Schimpf, a Republican attorney running against the three-term Democrat in the November election. His campaign has argued that she faces a conflict of interest because a member of her staff served as co-chair of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority Board, which oversaw the agency that distributed $54.5 million for the 2010 program. Schimpf says Madigan should recuse herself from giving legal advice to members of the Legislative Audit Commission, which is investigating irregularities in the program. But Madigan denied she has a conflict. She said it was her duty to help in state legal matters. "There is no problem there," she said after an unrelated news conference. "As the Attorney General, I am the lawyer for the state. Every single day we're giving legal advice to local, county, state, even federal government and elected officials - Republicans and Democrats. ... That is the job." Madigan's office was asked for advice by the legislative panel's co-chair, Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman, about whether the governor's office can legally withhold emails regarding the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. The program also is being scrutinized by federal prosecutors and the Cook County state's attorney's office. Schimpf was not immediately available to respond to Madigan's comments.

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Rauner Lays Out Education Plan

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner says he'll boost education funding within the first year if he's elected governor but, he hasn't talked about how he plans to do that.  He says the specifics need to be worked out with lawmakers.  What he will say is that he wants to freeze property taxes, which provide a nice chunk of funding for schools all across the state.  Rauner also wants to start rolling back the income tax hike. That'll take billions out of the state's bank account and if you ask Governor Quinn what he thinks about that, he'll say schools and students will ultimately be hurt by the lost revenues.

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Christie Headed To Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is making a pit stop in Springfield tomorrow.  He's going on behalf of the Republican Governor's Association, trying to build support for Bruce Rauner.  Rauner is in a heated race with Governor Quinn.  Christie will attend a couple of "closed door" events in the capital city.  The election is less than 60-days away.

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Dozens Fall Sick With Rare Enterovirus

(Springfield, IL)  --  Nearly a dozen people in Illinois have fallen sick with a rare virus.  Several hospitals have recently reported clusters of a severe respiratory illness, especially children.  Officials say the virus is transmitted through person-to-person contact and by touching objects after an infected person has touched them. People can keep the virus at bay by washing their hands with warm, soapy water, avoiding shaking hands with people who are sick, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces. Anyone who's having a hard time breathing should see a doctor immediately and, they should stay home from work or school until they feel better.

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New proposal would allow cameras at nursing homes

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday said she will fight for new legislation that would let nursing home residents and their families have video or audio recording devices in their rooms to monitor patient treatment. The idea for the proposal comes after Madigan's office fielded complaints from nursing home residents and families concerned about safety and security, Madigan's office said. Democratic state Sen. Terry Link of Waukegan said he would sponsor the bill. Madigan called the monitoring devices the "next line of defense in protecting older people. This should give us peace of mind in circumstances when we can't physically go to the nursing homes." The need for monitoring is increasing as the state's population continues to age. More than 100,000 people live in more than 1,200 nursing homes in Illinois, Madigan's office said. Video and audio recordings from patient rooms could help resolve disputes about suspected abuse or neglect, Madigan said. Patients and their families could install the devices at their own cost and privacy concerns would be addressed, she said. "Our loved ones in nursing homes are not always safe and well-cared for," she said. Illinois would become the sixth state to allow electronic monitoring in nursing home patient rooms if the proposal becomes law.

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Justice Dept. awards $2M to programs in Illinois

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded more than $2 million in grants to establish or improve a number of justice system programs in Illinois.  In a news release, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said the largest award — $500,000 — went to a program called Life-Span, which provides representation to victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault in Cook County. The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago received more than $483,000 to provide similar services in the county. Sangamon County and Macon County were each awarded $200,000 to help them better provide local drug court services. Other organizations to receive funding were the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

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ISU President 'enjoying the heck' out of the job

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State University's new president says he's enjoying every aspect of the job. Larry Dietz, who recently began his first full academic year as the president of the university, told The (Bloomington) Pantagraph that everything is "hunky-dory." He was named president of ISU on March 22, following Timothy Flanagan's disorderly conduct conviction and resignation. Dietz is focused on the future of the university, prioritizing stronger enrollment and more stable leadership this semester, he said. All four vice president positions will be filled in an effort to bring fresh eyes and perspectives to the university, Dietz said. His Educating Illinois strategic plan aims to provide a supportive, student-centered educational experience, strengthen organizational operation, enhance outreach and partnerships, and prepare students to excel in a globally competitive, culturally diverse and changing environment. "I'm enjoying the heck out of this position," Dietz said. He is set to give his first State of the University address next Thursday.

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State Accepting LIHEAP Applications

(Springfield, IL) -- The state is accepting applications from people who might need help with their winter utility bills. The program specifically helps people who don't make a lot of money. Seniors and people with disabilities are given preference under the LIHEAP program. They can start applying now. People with small children will also be considered. And those who have had their utilities shut off can start applying for help next month. Funding is provided on a first-come first-serve basis. Check out LiheapIllinois.com or call 877-411-WARM for more information.

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NATIONAL
4th US citizen with Ebola to be treated in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — An American with Ebola is expected to arrive at an Atlanta hospital today for treatment. It'll be the third Ebola patient to be treated at Emory University Hospital. Two others, who contracted Ebola while working with Ebola patients in West Africa, have recovered. A fourth American is being treated in Nebraska.

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Obama to undertake broader counterterrorism mission

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama meets with congressional leaders today, who'll hear his plans to combat militants from the group Islamic State. U.S. officials say Obama will outline a broader counterterror mission that he previously had planned. But, officials say, he is not committing U.S. troops to a ground war. Tomorrow, Obama will address the nation.

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Record Arizona swamp cars, lead to 2 deaths

PHOENIX (AP) — Forecasters in Arizona say remnants of Hurricane Norbert will probably linger through this evening. Monday's rains pushed into the desert Southwest, turning freeways into small lakes and trapping motorists. At least two people died when floodwaters swept away their vehicles in southern Arizona.

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New VA chief vows lessons from Phoenix problems

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department says it has reached out to all veterans on official and unofficial waiting lists at the VA's troubled Phoenix medical center, where a whistleblower first exposed long delays in patient care. VA Secretary Robert McDonald says the Phoenix hospital has hired 53 additional full-time employees in recent months as officials move to address a patient backlog that resulted in chronic delays for veterans seeking care. Officials completed nearly 150,000 appointments at the hospital in May, June and July, a significant increase over previous years. McDonald plans to testify today as the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee examines an investigative report on delays in patient care at the Phoenix hospital. His testimony marks McDonald's first appearance before Congress since being confirmed as VA secretary in July.

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Safety board to take up fatal cargo airline crash

WASHINGTON (AP) — An accident investigations board is scheduled to meet today to decide the cause of a fatal cargo plane crash that has become the focus of dispute between UPS and its pilot union over whether work schedules are inducing fatigue and jeopardizing safety. The National Transportation Safety Board is also expected to make safety recommendations based on the crash of UPS Flight 1354 on Aug. 14, 2013, during a landing approach in Birmingham, Alabama. The plane clipped the tops of trees and then slammed into a hillside just shy of an airport runway. The pilots, who were killed, had complained about fatiguing work schedules. The pilots union wants Federal Aviation Administration work schedule regulations that apply to passenger airline pilots to also apply to cargo pilots, but UPS opposes that.

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Ferguson city council says it plans review board

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Officials in Ferguson, Missouri, say they plan to establish a review board to help guide the police department, as the city council prepares to meet for the first time since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. The City Council has set a meeting for tonight. In a statement released by the Devin James Group public relations firm, the council says other changes include reducing the court fine revenue used for city operations and reforming court procedures. It says the review board will provide citizen oversight and guidance for police. Michael Brown's death last month sparked sometimes-violent protests that led to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon summoning the state Highway Patrol and National Guard. It also exposed an undercurrent of racial unrest in Ferguson.

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Clinton to join Obama for AmeriCorps anniversary

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton will join President Barack Obama at the White House this week to mark the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Clinton launched the first class of AmeriCorps members in September 1994. AmeriCorps officials say Clinton and Obama will address hundreds of AmeriCorps members on the White House South Lawn as they are being sworn in for duty Friday. The event will begin a year of national service for some 75,000 AmeriCorps members who have signed up to serve their country. It is one of dozens of pledge ceremonies being held Friday in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and several U.S. territories. The agency says that, since 1994, more than 900,000 people have spent more than 1.2 billion hours volunteering on projects around the country.

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College savings on the rise as plans average $20K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The good news is that Americans are saving more than ever for college. The bad news is that the average amount still isn't enough to cover one year at a four-year public university. The College Savings Plan Network says the average 529 college savings plan is worth about $20,671. That's almost double since 2008, when the country was in the grips of the recession. The size increase in 529 accounts appears to be the result of both a healthier stock market and an ability of many Americans to save more. The group said in a report released Tuesday that contributions jumped from $16.5 billion in 2009 to $22.5 billion in 2013. The nation now has some $244 billion in assets managed under 529 plans.

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Senator: US must take on Islamic State militants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says it's critically important that the United States strongly confront the insurgent Islamic State organization. The New York Democrat tells MSNBC she knows that won't be easy. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, concedes many Americans are tired of protracted overseas conflicts. But she says people also are concerned about the intentions of the Islamist militant movement in Iraq and Syria. Gillibrand notes in the interview Tuesday that New York City is a prime target for terrorists and calls Islamic State a fast-moving organization. Asked about the attitudes of lawmakers returning from summer recess, Gillibrand replies that she believes there may have to be a congressional authorization if the Obama administration is going to be involved in a prolonged engagement against the militants.

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Complaint sparks probe of minivan stalling issue

DETROIT (AP) — A man's complaint that his Chrysler minivan stalled unexpectedly after refueling has brought an inquiry from U.S. safety regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will look into the problem that could affect 160,000 Dodge Grand Caravan minivans from 2007 and other model years. The agency says it will study how often the problem happens and whether it occurs in other similarly equipped minivans. The inquiry will determine if a formal investigation should be started. In his complaint, the man told the agency the van stalled on his wife while she was driving with children on a freeway. The man cited eight complaints of similar problems from other drivers. The agency doesn't identify people who file complaints.

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Sentencing scheduled for mom of autistic girl

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan woman accused of trying to kill her autistic 14-year-old daughter after writing online about the family's struggles to raise her is scheduled to be sentenced next month. The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that Kelli Stapleton's hearing is Oct. 6 in Benzie County Circuit Court and could continue Oct. 7. The 46-year-old pleaded guilty last week to first-degree child abuse, a day before she was scheduled for trial on a charge of attempted murder. Police say she drove her daughter Isabelle to an isolated spot last year, gave her sleep-inducing medication and ignited charcoal in two grills inside a van, intending to kill both of them. Authorities say the girl has recovered after suffering carbon-monoxide poisoning that left her in a coma for several days.

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Texas mom found not guilty in strangling of 2 kids

DALLAS (AP) — A North Texas woman accused of strangling her two special-needs children because she wanted "normal kids" has been found not guilty by reason of insanity. The Dallas Morning News reports Saiqa Akhter must remain at a state mental hospital for treatment unless a judge approves her discharge. Medical experts testified Monday that Akhter was diagnosed as schizophrenic and insane when her children were attacked and died in July 2010. Relatives say the Irving woman's 5-year-old son, Zain, had severe speech problems. Her 2-year-old daughter, Faryaal, was developmentally delayed. Akhter told a 911 operator that she strangled the children because they were a burden, saying, "I want normal kids." Attorneys for Akhter, who was originally charged with capital murder, said she belonged in a mental hospital and not prison.

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Trump casinos file Chapter 11; Taj threatened

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Trump Entertainment Resorts has filed for bankruptcy and threatened to close the Taj Mahal Casino resort in November if it can't get concessions from its unions. The company filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday, saying it has liabilities of more than $100 million and assets of no more than $50,000. The firm runs two Atlantic City casinos, the Trump Taj Mahal and the soon-to-close Trump Plaza. The Taj Mahal has had financial problems, and Trump Plaza is scheduled to close next week. The bankruptcy is the fourth for the company or its corporate predecessors. Three other Atlantic City casinos have closed this year, as the industry struggles with competition in nearby states.

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US, Mideast envoys to meet in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it will host a meeting later this week, bringing together the United States and several Middle East countries to discuss terrorism in the region. The official Saudi Press Agency says the gathering, which is to take place on Thursday in the Red Sea city of Jiddah, aims to address ways to combat the extremist organizations contributing to terrorism in the region. It will include representatives from Gulf Arab nations, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is traveling to the kingdom and neighboring Jordan this week to discuss ways to bolster the stability of the new Iraqi government and combat the Islamic State militant group that has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

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Israel fires new missile in test of defense system

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has fired a missile over the Mediterranean Sea to test a new missile defense system designed to intercept long-range rockets. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that Tuesday's test of the Arrow 2 missile "performed its flight sequence as planned" after being launched. It is part of a multilayered system Israel is developing to protect itself from a range of missile threats, from short-range rockets fired in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon to longer-range threats, like a missile launch from Iran.

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UK leaders to make last-minute Scotland trip

LONDON (AP) — Britain's prime minister and main opposition leader are canceling their weekly showdown in Parliament to unite in a last-minute bid to persuade Scots to reject independence. Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband say they will skip Wednesday's scheduled House of Commons faceoff and travel separately to Scotland. They said "our message to the Scottish people will be simple: 'We want you to stay.'" Britain's political leaders have been rattled by polls suggesting the two sides are neck-and-neck ahead of a Sept. 18 referendum on independence. Labour, Cameron's Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have all promised Scotland more autonomy if voters say no to separation. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said Tuesday that the last-minute proposals were a "sign of the total disintegration of the No campaign."

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SPORTS
MONDAY’ RESULTS


MLB

St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 0
Toronto 8, Chicago Cubs 0
Chicago White Sox 5, Oakland 4, 12 innings

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 9, Schaumburg 5 (SI leads best of 5 series 1-0)

TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Toronto 6:07 p.m.
St. Louis at Cincinnati 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Oakland at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.

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NFLPA To Vote On New Drug Policy Today

(Undated)  --  The NFL Players Association is set to vote on a new drug policy.  ESPN reports the 32 player representatives will vote today on a radically revised drug policy following negotiations with the league in New York.  The proposed policy is expected to include human growth hormone testing, significant changes that raise limits for marijuana tests and expanding neutral arbitration.

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NCAA Lifts Postseason Ban For Penn State Football

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The postseason ban is over for the Penn State football program.  The NCAA announced it is lifting the remaining sanctions levied against PSU as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal.  The Nittany Lions were halfway through a four-year penalty but are now postseason-eligible and will have a full complement of football scholarships by 2015.

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Cilic Wins U.S. Open Men's Championship

(Flushing Meadows, NY)  --  Marin Cilic is celebrating his first career Grand Slam title.  The 14th-seeded Croate captured his first major championship with a three-set win over 10th-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan on Monday.  It marked the first time in nine and a half years that a men's Grand Slam final did not feature Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.

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Bears sign S Dixon, waive CB Hurst

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed safety Ahmad Dixon off the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad and waived cornerback Demontre Hurst. Dixon was a seventh-round draft pick by Dallas this year after playing at Baylor. He got waived by the Cowboys at the end of the preseason and was signed to the Vikings' practice squad last week. Hurst made his first NFL appearance in Sunday's overtime loss to Buffalo, playing on special teams, after spending last season on Chicago's practice squad. The Bears announced the moves on Monday.

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Trestman: Bears' injury evaluations 'ongoing'

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Coach Marc Trestman gave little clarity about the status of the Chicago Bears' injured players, a day after Pro Bowl receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall got banged up along with center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson. The Bears suffered a surprising 23-20 overtime loss to Buffalo on Sunday. Garza and Slauson exited with ankle injuries, leaving the Bears without two starters on the line. Jeffery spent most of the second half on the sideline with a hamstring injury and Marshall limited down the stretch after twisting his right ankle. Trestman says the evaluations were "ongoing" for the next two days. Chicago plays at San Francisco on Sunday night.

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Fisher quashes rumors he benched Hill

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Fisher called "absurd" speculation he yanked quarterback Shaun Hill at halftime of the St. Louis Rams' opening blowout loss to Minnesota. Fisher reiterated Monday that the 34-year-old Hill is his starter, and if healthy will get the call next week at Tampa Bay. He said Hill was day to day with a quadriceps injury and added he's never played games with quarterbacks, and that Hill was "clearly ahead" of untested Austin Davis. Hill made his first start since 2010, inheriting the job after Sam Bradford's second season-ending left knee injury in nine months. The Rams trailed 13-3 at the half of Sunday's 34-6 loss to the Vikings. Hill fed the rumor mill after the game by being extremely guarded about how or when he was hurt. Fisher speculated Hill was injured fleeing the pass rush at some point.

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Illinois-Texas State kickoff time 3 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The kickoff for Illinois' Sept. 20 home game against Texas State will be at 3 p.m. CT, the Big Ten announced Monday. The game will be broadcast on ESPNews, according to a release from the conference. The Illini travel to face Washington this Saturday before returning home to take on the Bobcats. Texas State plays Navy at home this Saturday.

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Illinois' Lunt, Dudek win Big Ten honors

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Illinois quarterback Wes Lunt and receiver Mike Dudek both received player of the week awards from the Big Ten for their roles in the Illini's 42-34 win over Western Kentucky, the conference announced Monday. Lunt was the conference's co-offensive player of the week after completing 35 of 50 passes for 456 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday. The redshirt sophomore was sharp during the team's fourth quarter comeback. Lunt was 10-11 for 154 yards and a touchdown over the final 15 minutes. Lunt shares the award with Minnesota running back David Cobb, according to a Big Ten news release. Cobb ran for 220 yards and scored twice in the Gophers' Saturday win over Middle Tennessee State. Illinois' Dudek was the Big Ten's freshman of the week. He caught four passes for 55 yards and a touchdown Saturday.

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News For Sept. 8, 2014

LOCAL
Williamson County Authorities Investigate Fatal Fire

Lake of Egypt Fire Department responded to a house fire on Saturday on South McGeesville Road in rural Williamson County, in which the body of a female was located inside the structure.  The death is considered suspicious at the conclusion of the autopsy Sunday evening according to Williamson County Coroner Michael 'Junior' Burke.  The incident is currently under investigation by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, Williamson County Coroner's Office, Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, and the Illinois Police Crime Scene Investigators.

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Williamson County Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearm Offense

On August 29, 2014, Dennis A. Higgins, a/k/a “Dingo,” 43, of Marion, Ill., pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Friday. Evidence at the plea hearing established that, on May 9, 2014, agents executed a search warrant at Higgins’s Marion residence. Agents located two 12 gauge shotguns. Higgins admitted that the guns were his. Because Higgins had previously been convicted of a felony, he is prohibited from possessing firearms.  The firearm offense carries a penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Higgins is currently being held without bond pending a December 10, 2014, sentencing hearing. The investigation was conducted by the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group. The Marion Police Department, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, and Williamson County State's Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.  The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution

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Ill. prisons still grapple with overtime costs

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Some state prison workers in southern Illinois are making near $200,000 a year as the state grapples for a second year in a row with overtime payouts topping $60 million. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that a shift supervisor at the Vandalia Correctional Center earning nearly $96,000 a year made almost an additional $107,000 in overtime last year. Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says the prison system has made strides in paring overtime costs. He says that between the past two fiscal years there were 178,000 fewer overtime hours worked, though the department only saved $2 million. Shaer says factors that limited the extent of savings included a court ruling to pay wage and overtime rate increases suspended by the administration because of a lack of funds.

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East St. Louis assistant chief focus of probe

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — East St. Louis' city manager says she's investigating a complaint that the assistant police chief acted inappropriately with a female summer youth program worker. City Manager Deletra Hudson told the Belleville News-Democrat that the unidentified young woman made a four-page written complaint involving Ronald Ike during the beginning of her summer program. Hudson did not elaborate about the misconduct allegations. Ike has been on an unpaid suspension. The 18-year East St. Louis police veteran does not have a listed home telephone number and could not be reached for comment Friday.

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No Injuries In Car, Train Crash

(Godfrey, IL)  --  No injuries are being reported after a minor Amtrak versus car crash.  Officials say the train hit the car on the tracks in Godfrey just before 4:00 yesterday afternoon.  The train had just taken off from St. Louis and was headed toward Chicago.  There were about 147 passengers on the train. 

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18-year-old gets 20 years for role in killing

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois 18-year-old has been sentenced to two decades in prison for his role in the 2012 shooting death of a man over a six-pack of beer. The (Alton) Telegraph reports Brian Lee Taylor of Madison was sentenced Friday in Madison County after pleading guilty to an armed robbery charge. Prosecutors dropped two counts of first-degree murder. Taylor was 16 at the time authorities say Charles Weiss was fatally shot in the chest in November 2012 after Weiss allegedly refused to give up a six-pack of beer. Taylor was the oldest of four suspects, and investigators don't believe he's the one who fired the fatal shot. Taylor's plea agreement with prosecutors stipulates that he will testify against any of the three co-defendants if they go to trial.

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Police cleared in 2 Granite City shootings

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A grand jury in southwestern Illinois' Madison County has deemed justified two Granite City police shootings, including one that killed a man. The county's state's attorney, Tom Gibbons, says one case involved two officers fatally shooting 45-year-old Stephen Minch of St. Charles in July after Minch allegedly pointed a gun at the officers and refused to put it down. That shooting happened after police say Minch called 911 and was believed to be distraught. The other shooting happened last month when an officer wounded 52-year-old Thomas Noser after Noser reportedly refused orders to drop a knife. Investigators said Noser had just used a baseball bat to beat his 76-year-old mother and another man. Noser is jailed on charges of attempted first-degree murder and felony assault and domestic battery.

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Boy Scouts Holding Shoe Drive

(Belleville, IL) -- The Boy Scouts in the Metro-East are stepping up to help people in need. They're hoping to fill a semi-truck with 25-thousand pairs of new and used shoes. They've already collected about half of that. Anyone who'd like to pitch in can drop shoes off at the Lewis and Clark Council office in Belleville on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The drive runs until September 13th. The Scouts are working an international anti-poverty group that will distribute the shoes to those in need in places like Costa Rica, Ghana, and Haiti.

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SIU -C Selected For Governor's Award

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has been selected to receive the Spring 2014 Governor's Award for Excellence in Veteran Education. This will be the second time SIU is honored. It's the only college to have been selected for a second award. SIU received the inaugural award of this class in 2010. The award highlights the work of Illinois colleges and universities whose veterans' programs go above and beyond basic services, and whose accomplishments in veteran-friendly programs significantly impact the overall experience of the student veteran community.  Governor Pat Quinn recognizes a different college or university for excellence and achievement and the award is typically presented by Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs acting Director Rodrigo Garcia. The award will be presented Thursday, Sept. 11 at 4 p.m. outside the Traveling Vietnam Wall on Saluki Drive in Carbondale.

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Rosiclare Man Dies In Vehicular Accident

A Rosiclare man died in a two-vehicle accident early Saturday morning in Saline County. Illinois State Police say around 5:30 a.m., 38-year-old Jeffrey T. Shaffer was driving his car north on Route 145 south of Triple S Road  near Harrisburg when for unknown reasons he crossed the center line  and struck a semi going south driven by 51-year-old Tony D. Tite of  Ozark. Shaffer was pronounced dead at the scene by the Saline County Coroner's Office. Tite was not injured. The crash remains under investigation. The roadway was closed just over six hours due to the crash.

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I-57 Patchwork To Start Today

Starting today, patching work will begin on I-57 between Bonnie and Mt. Vernon. This means there will be a lane closure from 6 p.m. to 11 a.m. all week long. Work will begin in the northbound lanes and then move over to the southbound lanes. You should use caution when driving through the work zone or take an alternate route to avoid this area altogether.

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STATE
Quinn, Maryland governor tout higher minimum wage


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has received help from a fellow Democrat in Maryland as he continues to make the minimum wage a focus in his re-election campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley appeared Sunday with Quinn in Chicago. O'Malley touted legislation he signed this year that'll eventually increase his state's minimum wage to $10.10. Quinn highlighted how he lived on $79 for this past week to draw attention to how minimum-wage workers can struggle on Illinois' current $8.25 rate. In a statement, Quinn says the experience gave him "a small glimpse" into those struggles. He wants the rate raised to at least $10. Rauner's position has shifted during his campaign. He now says he'd back an increase under certain circumstances, including if it came with business reforms.

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Rauner give nearly $1M to credit union, foundation

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has invested nearly $1 million in a credit union aimed at providing loans to small African-American businesses on Chicago's South Side. The venture capitalist stopped Friday at South Side Community Federal Credit Union for paperwork. Rauner says $200,000 is a donation to a related foundation and $800,000 was deposited in an account. The money will be used for small business loans. Rauner says he'll earn a small percentage of interest. Since the multimillionaire made the pledge weeks ago, critics have claimed he's trying to buy votes in the competitive race against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner dismissed that, saying he's continuing his practice of giving to causes and his action helps create jobs. The credit union's president confirms the money was wire transferred.

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Two Thousand Apply For Medical Pot In First Few Days

(Springfield, IL)  --  Thousands of people are trying to get licensed to smoke medical marijuana in Illinois.  The state started accepting applications from people whose last names begin with the letters A through L earlier this week.  Officials say they were expecting a few hundred patients and caregivers to register in the first couple of days, but by the end of the day yesterday, more than two-thousand people had started the application process.  Those who are approved will be allowed to get two-and-a-half-ounces of medical pot every two weeks. 

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Illinois pension case might head to Supreme Court

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A court ruling barring increased health insurance premiums for state-employee retirees might speed up a decision on a separate case over Illinois' overhaul of its public pension system. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that Sangamon County Judge Jon Belz said Thursday he'd like to move a challenge over the pension overhaul to the Supreme Court quickly. Litigants initially didn't think the case would be settled before 2015. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in July that a law requiring retirees to pay more for health insurance was unconstitutional. Whether changes in conditions on retiree payments are constitutional is also at the heart of the pension challenge. The overhaul was approved in December because of a $100 billion debt in five pension accounts.

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Fines, hearings among lingering 'fracking' issues

CHICAGO (AP) — Industry and environmental groups still hope for changes to new rules governing high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois. Both sides will submit comments to a legislative panel that must approve the rules before hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," can begin. The Department of Natural Resources submitted them to the panel after making some changes to an earlier draft based on public comments. Industry officials still want the rules to more narrowly define who can ask for a public hearing. Environmentalists dislike a cap on the total amount that companies can be fined for violations. Fracking uses a chemical-laced mixture to release oil and gas deep underground. Opponents fear it'll cause pollution. Industry says it's safe and will boost economic development in southern Illinois. Hearings on the rules begin Sept. 16.

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Moody's: Ill. pension debt versus revenue is worst

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A major credit-rating house reports that Illinois' pension liability as a percentage of its revenue is far and away the nation's highest. Moody's Investors Service has released a report showing that the state's three-year average liability over revenue is 258 percent. The next closest is Connecticut at about 200 percent. The report averaged the Illinois percentage from 2010 through 2012. The state has a $100 billion deficit in the amount of money it should have invested in five state-employee pension accounts. Lawmakers adopted an overhaul plan last fall that cuts benefits and increases worker contributions to significantly cut that debt. But Moody's points out that even if the law gets Illinois constitutional approval from the Supreme Court, the state will face decades of financial digging out.

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NATIONAL
Obama to give speech Wednesday on Islamic State

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to begin laying out his strategy for defeating Islamic State militants expanding their grip in Iraq and Syria. He'll outline his evolving tactics when he meets with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Tuesday and then in a speech on Wednesday on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Lawmakers said in advance that they would like the president to give specifics. And some on both sides say he has been too cautious.

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Summer break over, must-do tasks await Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is returning for a short September session in between its summer break and the November elections. The must-do list includes preventing a government shutdown and extending a freeze on taxing access to the Internet. Lawmakers also will find time for votes conveying political messages primed for fall campaigning. Republicans who run the House may have lousy approval ratings, but they are poised to increase their majority and are determined to avoid mistakes like last year's partial government shutdown. Now, the GOP is pressing for drama-free passage of a temporary spending bill to prevent a federal shutdown at month's end and fund government agencies past the Nov. 4 election into mid-December. The Senate is sure to go along if that measure is kept free of objectionable add-ons.

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Norbert's rains bring flooding to SCal

LOS CABOS, Mexico (AP) — Forecasters expect Tropical Storm Norbert to weaken to a tropical depression sometime today. But they say the storm will still likely bring more rain to the Baja desert and to the U.S. Southwest, as it heads back toward land in the coming days. On Sunday, thunderstorms brought on by Norbert caused flooding in Southern California streets. Dozens of cars were stuck in knee-deep water.

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4 children killed in fire on Chicago's South Side

CHICAGO (AP) — Four children were killed early today in a fire on Chicago's South Side. Police say two adults also were injured in the blaze and taken in critical condition to the hospital. The blaze struck a multi-unit building in the city's Roseland neighborhood.

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Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada gay marriage laws in court

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some two years after an appeals court in San Francisco overturned California's gay marriage ban, the same federal appeals court will hear arguments over same-sex weddings in three other states. The three judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have allotted a combined two hours today to hear arguments on gay marriage bans in Idaho, Nevada and Hawaii.

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Thyroid, kidney cancers up in kids but still rare

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal researchers are wondering if the rise in childhood thyroid and kidney cancers is related to the rise in obesity in children. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the increase in such cancers from 2000 to 2009 is relatively small. But they say studies showing increases in both kinds of cancers in adults have suggested causes might include rising obesity rates, and they're wondering if the same is possible in children. The study is in today's Pediatrics.

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Children's hospital-linked infections fall sharply

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study says improved patient safety may be helping reduce the number of dangerous infections very sick children can sometimes contract while in the hospital. Researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at 174 hospitals in 39 states. The say between 2007 and 2009, infections spread through breathing machines and intravenous catheters dropped significantly. Infections can sometimes be transmitted when health care workers don't properly wash their hands or through other lax hygiene practices.

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Treasury to limit profitability of overseas shifts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew says the Obama administration will decide 'in the very near future' what actions it can take to make it less profitable for U.S. companies to shift their legal addresses to other countries. A growing number of U.S. companies are shifting their addresses abroad in an effort to reduce their U.S. taxes. The maneuver is known as a corporate inversion. In a speech Monday morning, Lew says these companies are eroding the U.S. tax base and shifting the burden of funding the government to other taxpayers. He said the best way to address the issue is for Congress to act. But with congressional action unlikely in the near term, Lew said Treasury is developing options to at least make inversions less profitable for companies.

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Survey of company execs: US pay likely to stagnate

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. workers face a dim future, with stagnant or falling pay and fewer openings for full-time jobs. That's the picture that emerges from a survey of Harvard Business School alumni. More than 40 percent of the respondents foresee lower pay and benefits for workers. Roughly half favor outsourcing work over hiring staffers. A growing share prefer part-time employees. Nearly half would rather invest in new technology than hire or retain workers. At the same time, it's becoming harder for the executives to find skilled workers, according to the survey results being released Monday. Jan Rivkin, one of the survey's lead authors, suggested that a failure by companies to develop a skilled workforce could ultimately hurt those companies and the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.

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Man who rescued woman says she begged for help

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — A man credited with rescuing a woman allegedly held captive for two months by a southwestern Indiana couple says the woman begged him to help her escape. Ron Higgs tells WEHT-TV his ex-wife and her boyfriend were holding the woman in a small wooden cage, but that they allowed her out to cook and clean. Higgs says he visited Kendra Tooley and Ricky Roy House Jr., Thursday and was dumbfounded when Tooley told him, "I've got a girl back here in a cage." The 61-year-old Higgs tells WFIE-TV the woman, who was reported missing July 9, pleaded for help. He drove her to safety Saturday after convincing House and Tooley that he wouldn't tell police. The Posey County couple faces preliminary charges of rape and criminal confinement.

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Heavy rain snarls morning commute in Phoenix area

PHOENIX (AP) — Heavy rain has snarled the Monday morning commute in Phoenix, closing sections of several freeways and numerous local roads. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for most of the Phoenix area and its outskirts because of heavy thunderstorms and rain. Flash flood watches cover most of the rest of Arizona. Sections of the major commuter freeways Interstate 10 and 17 in Phoenix were closed in the run up to rush hour. Television video showed traffic crawling through standing water on I-10 in west Phoenix, and the state Department of Public Safety asked drivers to postpone their commute. In central Phoenix, Sky Harbor International Airport received over 2 inches of rain since midnight. Scattered electricity outages are reported in the metro area with over 5,000 customers losing power.

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Twitter tests shopping service

UNDATED (AP) — Twitter is testing a way to let users go shopping or make charitable contributions between tweets. A small percentage of users will receive tweets from Twitter test partners Monday featuring a "buy" button that lets them make purchases or donate money. Initial partners include the musical groups Soundgarden and Panic! At The Disco, retailers Home Depot and Burberry, and nonprofits The Nature Conservancy and GLAAD. After clicking the buy button, users will be prompted to enter shipping and payment information. Then the order will be sent to the merchant for delivery. Users' personal information will be encrypted. And their credit card details won't be given to sellers without permission.

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INTERNATIONAL
Arab League agrees to combat Islamic State group

CAIRO (AP) — The Arab League says its member states have agreed to combat, either individually or collectively, the Islamic State group and other militants in the region. The resolution, issued Monday after late-night meetings a day earlier, doesn't explicitly back American military action against the group. U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking an international coalition to challenge the Islamic State group and is expected to outline his plan Wednesday. But the resolution, issued as a separate statement from a comprehensive one dealing with Arab affairs, said immediate measures to combat the group are to be implemented on the political, defense, security and legal levels. It didn't elaborate. Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told reporters late Sunday that members decided to consider any armed attack on one country an attack on all.

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Afghanistan's Abdullah rejects election outcome

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says that he rejects the outcome of the second round of Afghanistan's presidential election, expected to be released this week after an audit of ballots. Abdullah said in a nationally televised announcement on Monday that he believes he won both rounds of Afghanistan's presidential election. The former foreign minister also said that the political process to form a national unity government with his opponent, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, is deadlocked. Afghanistan's presidential election has been gridlocked for months in ballot examinations and recounts following accusations from both sides of voter fraud. The two candidates had carried out extensive political talks in the hopes of forming a national unity government.

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Relatives mark 6 months since MH370 went missing

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese relatives of passengers from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have prayed at a Beijing temple to mark six months since the plane went missing despite attempts from police to persuade them to leave. One of the relatives, Dai Shuqin, said more than 30 people gathered outside the Lama Temple on Monday and listened to another relative talk about how much he missed his daughter. Many of the family members broke into tears in the presence of journalists. Dai said police then tried to separate reporters from relatives and told the family members not to enter the temple in a big group. The family members later entered the temple in smaller groups. The jetliner disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. Most of the passengers were Chinese.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Pittsburgh 5, Chicago Cubs 3, 11 innings
Pittsburgh 5, Chicago Cubs 0
Cleveland 3, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 5, Milwaukee 3

Frontier League

Washington 4, Evansville 2

College Football

Illinois 42, W. Kentucky 34
Wisconsin 37, W. Illinois 3
N. Illinois 23, Northwestern 15
S. Illinois 38, E. Illinois 21
Illinois St. 62, Mississippi Valley St. 0

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Cleveland 2, Chicago White Sox 0
St. Louis 9, Milwaukee 1
Pittsburgh 10, Chicago Cubs 4

NFL

Minnesota 34, St. Louis 6
Buffalo 23, Chicago 20, OT

PGA

BMW Championship  (at Englewood, CO)

1. Billy Horschel (-14)
2. Bubba Watson (-12)
3. Morgan Hoffmann (-11)

WNBA Finals

Phoenix Mercury 83, Chicago Sky 62
(Mercury lead best-of-five Finals, 1-0)

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Toronto, 6:07 p.m.
St. Louis at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Oakland at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Divisional Series  

Southern Illinois at Schaumburg

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Top Teams Unchanged In "USA Today" Poll

(Undated)  --  The top-five college football teams remain unchanged in the latest "USA Today" Coaches Poll.  Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon and Auburn make up the top teams in the nation.  Georgia moved up from eighth to sixth while Baylor is up to seventh.  After a road loss to Oregon, Michigan State fell from sixth down to 13th.  Texas A&M, LSU and USC round out of the top-10.

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News for Sept, 5, 2014

LOCAL
MVTHS Dismissing Early Due To Freon Leak, Subsequent Air Conditioning Outage

A pipe leaking freon in the basement of "H" building at the Mt. Vernon Township High School will lead to an early dismissal of students today. Dismissal is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.  Officials observed the leak and Mt. Vernon Fire Department was called to the scene.  Ventilation to the basement and stairwell took place and the rest of clean-up and maintenance was left to the staff at the school.  The early dismissal will be enforced due to the lack of air conditioning now at that building and the impending heat in the forecast for the Mt. Vernon area.

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MVPD Searching For Robbery Suspect

A late morning robbery In Mt. Vernon has police asking the public for help in identifying the suspect. According to Mt. Vernon Police, the robbery occurred around 11:40 this morning at Casey’s General Store.  The suspect is described as a white male, possibly in his 40s, with long hair. He reportedly fled the area on a bicycle. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mt. Vernon Police Department at 618-323-2131.

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Illinois State Police Announces Roadside Safety Check Results

Carmi, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the results of a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) held during the late evening hours of Saturday, 08/30/14, and early morning hours of Sunday, 08/31/14.  The detail was conducted at Illinois Route 1 and Interstate 64 in White County by ISP District 19 officers. Alcohol is involved in nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to remove alcohol-impaired drivers, however, when other violations are observed such as driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating a vehicle without a valid registration or valid proof of insurance, or safety belt violations, enforcement action may be taken.  A total of 196 vehicles were checked and the following citations were issued at the Roadside Safety Check. Authorities issued 14 citations or arrests and 14 total written warnings including 10 registrations offenses, 1 driver's license offense, 1 DUI arrest, and 1 other alcohol/drug arrest.  There were no occupant restraint offenses. This project was funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.                                                          

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Ill. teacher admits making in-school bomb threat

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A western Illinois woman faces up to five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge that she threatened to blow up the high school where she taught special education. Thirty-six-year-old Michelle Lynn Smith of Jerseyville pleaded guilty to one count of conveying a false threat. She remains jailed, pending her sentencing on Dec. 15. Authorities say Smith left a computer-generated note April 28 in a restroom at the Calhoun County High School in Hardin, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis. The letter prompted an evacuation of the 170-student school, but no bomb was found. The district's superintendent, Kate Sievers, says Smith was fired by the school board in May. Smith's public defender has said Smith had no means by which to carry out the threat.

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Services set for bicyclist killed in hit-and-run

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — Funeral services are set for a southwestern Illinois bicyclist who police say was hit and killed by a vehicle that fled the scene. Illinois State Police Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. says 54-year-old Richard Thomas of Granite City died at a hospital a day after the Aug. 28 crash. Dye says investigators have identified a person of interest in the case, though he declined to elaborate. Dye says a car was driving behind Thomas when its front passenger side hit Thomas about 11 p.m. He says Thomas was knocked off the bike and struck the car's windshield before landing in the road. Authorities say Thomas didn't have reflectors on his clothes or lights on his bike. Thomas' funeral will be held Saturday in Granite City.

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State Pumps Millions Into Southern Illinois Roads

(Undated)  --  The state is spending nearly nine-million-dollars to improve roads in southern Illinois.  Alexander County will get more than a-million-bucks for work on a four-and-a-half mile stretch of road on Illinois Route Three.   Johnson County will get 925-grand to do work on U.S. 45 and Illinois Route 37.   And Marion County will get 916-thousand-dollars to resurface parts of Illinois 161, from I-57 to Route 37.

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Franklin County Man Awaits Fate In Meth Assault Case

A Franklin County judge is expected to decide the fate of Christopher Rollins early next week. Rollins is accused of setting his girlfriend, Tessa Leech, on fire on August 20, 2012 using a meth-making chemical. She spent months in a coma recovering from burns on more than half of her body. She also lost a few fingers. During a hearing Thursday, both sides in the case presented their arguments, but Judge Tom Tedeschi asked for more time to review the evidence in the case. Rollins waived his right to testify in his own defense. Rollins remains in custody in Franklin County.

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McLeansboro Man Pleads Guilty in Baseball Bat Attack Case

A McLeansboro man will spend the next eight years in prison for beating another man with an aluminum baseball bat back in August. Thirty-six-year-old Terry L. Morgan pled guilty Thursday to one count of aggravated battery. The Hamilton County State's Attorney's office  says Morgan hit a man a number of times with the bat causing head and  body injuries to the victim. The victim was flown to an Evansville hospital for treatment. Morgan was also sentenced to two years of mandatory supervised release.

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Trial Date Set In West Frankfort Murder Case

A trial date has been set for a Franklin County man accused of killing his wife earlier this year at their home in West Frankfort. Both sides in the case of 67-year-old John Adams agreed that Adams will face a jury trial Dec. 2. Both sides agreed to the date after defense attorney Mike Rowland told Judge Jerry Crisel Wednesday during a hearing that Adams wanted to move toward a jury trial and continues to waive his right to a speedy trial. Adams shot his wife Kendra Adams in the back of the head with a small caliber handgun March 31. She died the next day at an Evansville hospital. Then last month, West Frankfort police announced that Adams had secured the transfer of money while in jail to have someone kill members of his wife's family and another person close to the case. Police were able to stop that from happening. Adams faces five counts of solicitation of murder by hire. If convicted, he could face 20 to 40 years in prison. Adams is set to return to court for a final pre-trial conference on Nov. 5 and for a final pre-trial on Nov. 20.

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STATE
Illinois governor race turns to issue of wealth

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois governor's race has turned to the question of whether a candidate's personal wealth should be a qualifying factor in holding public office. Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas was asked Thursday if he believed Republican Bruce Rauner was "too rich to be governor." He eventually answered "yes." Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf scoffed at Vallas' contention. He says he wasn't aware a person's income level was a direct qualification for office. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign has tried to paint Rauner as out-of-touch with working class voters in the hotly contested race, but has stopped short of saying directly it is because he is too wealthy. Rauner calls Quinn a career politician whose policies hurt business. The multimillionaire has touted his business acumen as a venture capitalist.

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Rauner Admits Once Favoring Abolition Of Minimum Wage

(Springfield, IL) -- Bruce Rauner's stance on the minimum wage is back on center stage in the campaign for governor. A newly-released radio interview from earlier this year has Rauner admitting he once favored eliminating the minimum wage altogether. Rauner goes on to say that position was ill-advised and there are better ways to increase the state's competitiveness than focusing on the minimum wage. Democrats were quick to react to the revelation. Lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas says Rauner may be too wealthy to relate to working families.

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Chamber of Commerce Backs Cross For Treasurer

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is backing Tom Cross in the race for Illinois Treasurer.  Chamber officials say there's a stark difference between Cross and his Democratic opponent when it comes to financial policies.  They say Cross has what it takes to restore fiscal integrity in Illinois, especially when it comes to taxation.  It's the first time the chamber has ever endorsed a candidate for Treasurer.

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Gov. Quinn attends Garth Brooks event

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is calling Illinois the "land of Garth Brooks."
The Chicago Democrat put a temporary twist on the state's official slogan as the "Land of Lincoln" while attending the country music star's Thursday news conference in suburban Chicago. Quinn sat in the front row as Brooks took questions before a concert kicking off his world tour. Brooks plans 11 concerts at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Quinn has spent much of the week touting efforts to spend on a minimum wage budget for seven days. His running mate is lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas. Vallas campaigned on his own Thursday calling Bruce Rauner out of touch with Illinois voters, which Rauner's campaign disputes. Quinn didn't take questions.

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Ameren Customers To Pay $20 For Refusal To Upgrade

(Springfield, IL)  --  Ameren customers will be dishing out a little more cash if they refuse to upgrade to advanced meters.  The Illinois Commerce Commission has given Ameren the green light to charge people 20-bucks if they don't comply with the upgrades.  Company officials say they'll make several attempts to contact the customer before assessing the fee.   The new meters are being installed now and the process will continue through 2019.  Anyone who'd like to avoid the charge can call the company to schedule a meter exchange at no cost.

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Jimmy Carter to speak at Illinois College

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Jimmy Carter is scheduled to speak next month at a liberal arts college in central Illinois. The (Springfield) State Register-Journal reports the former president will be on campus at Illinois College on Oct. 14. A spokesman for the Jacksonville-based school, Todd Spann, says details of Carter's visit will be worked out later. The 89-year-old Democrat will speak as part of the Phi Alpha lecture series. It's named for a literary society at Illinois College. Previous speakers have included U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and journalist Helen Thomas. Carter served in the White House from 1977 to 1981. He turns 90 on Oct. 1. Illinois College is located about 35 miles west of Springfield.

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Counties declared disaster areas after hail storm

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has declared several counties in Eastern Illinois and Western Indiana a disaster area after a spring hail storm ruined area strawberry crops. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the declaration in a news release Thursday. It applies to Vermilion, Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, and Ford counties in Illinois and Benton, Vermillion and Warren counties in Indiana. The area's strawberry crop was reaching maturing when the May 21 hail storm hit and destroyed the entire crop. Illinois' crop is located primarily in Vermilion County. The federal disaster declaration extends to contiguous counties. The declaration allows farmers who suffered losses to apply for low-interest loans from the U.S Department of Agriculture. The storm didn't have a big impact on the area's corn and soybeans.

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U. of Illinois may consider more financial aid


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A top administrator says the University of Illinois may need to increase its spending on financial aid after watching growing numbers of students decide to go elsewhere because of rising costs. According to university spokesman Tom Hardy, Vice President for Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre said during a board of trustees committee meeting Wednesday the money could come from increasing the enrollment in higher-tuition programs such as engineering or adding higher-paying international students at the Chicago campus. Hardy says students who are accepted but decide not to enroll usually cite costs. They often get better aid packages from other public or private schools. A year of tuition at the Urbana-Champaign campus costs $12,036. Four years of tuition, room and board tops $100,000.

--------------------------------

NATIONAL
Quadruple murder suspect arrested, boy found safe

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Police say they've arrested a man who's a suspect in a quadruple murder in the Tampa Bay area and a 4-year-old autistic boy believed to be his son has been found safe. SWAT teams from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and Tampa Police Department swarmed the Floridian Hotel in downtown Tampa early today after tracking 28-year-old Adam Matos to the area. The child (Ismael Tristan Santisteban) was with Matos at the hotel. The search for Matos and the boy began yesterday after Pasco County Sheriff's deputies conducting a welfare check at a Hudson home found the bodies. The deputies found no one at the home but noticed a horrible odor. They walked down the street toward an area where birds were circling and found four bodies.

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Solid economic data lift hopes for Aug. job report

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts say they expect today's employment data from the Labor Department to continue the recent, positive trend. Economists surveyed by FactSet predict that the government's report will show that employers added 220,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent in July. The Labor Department will issue the jobs report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Employers have added an average of 230,000 jobs a month this year, up from an average of 194,000 in 2013. The increased hiring has boosted consumers' confidence and should support healthy second half growth. Most economists doubt that another strong jobs report would, by itself, alter Fed Chair Janet Yellen's timetable for raising short-term interest rates. Economists generally expect that to start by roughly mid-2015. The short-term rate has been at nearly zero for almost six years.

---------------------------------

Miscommunication blamed for deadly US mistake

WASHINGTON (AP) — A military investigation has determined that avoidable miscommunication between U.S. air and ground forces led to a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan that killed five U.S. soldiers and one Afghan. The incident last June was one of the deadliest friendly fire episodes of the war, which began 13 years ago next month. The report was released Thursday by U.S. Central Command, which oversees operations in Afghanistan. It cites a collective failure by soldiers, commanders and air crew members to execute the fundamentals of the mission. As a result, the five Americans and one Afghan were mistaken for the enemy and were attacked with two laser-guided bombs from a B-1 bomber. A two-star Air Force general led the investigation. Many details of the report were blacked out before its public release.

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Florida service set for slain journalist Sotloff

PINECREST, Fla. (AP) — A service is being held at a South Florida temple this afternoon for journalist Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded in Syria by militants from the group Islamic State. Sotloff went missing in August 2013 while writing about the Syrian civil war as a freelance journalist for several publications. His beheading followed that of another American journalist, James Foley. The public service for Sotloff will be held at Temple Beth Am in his hometown of Pinecrest, Florida.

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Comedians pay their respects to Joan Rivers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comedienne Amy Poehler says every woman in comedy is "indebted" to Joan Rivers.Tributes are pouring in after Rivers died Thursday at age 81. She had gone into cardiac arrest Aug. 28 following a routine procedure in a doctor's office. Wanda Sykes tweeted, "Thank you Joan for paving the way for broads like me." In his monologue Thursday, David Letterman called Rivers, "a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy."

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Another American Ebola patient getting treatment

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A doctor infected with Ebola while working in Liberia is expected to arrive today at a Nebraska hospital for treatment. Dr. Rick Sacra is the third American aid worker sickened with the virus. The 51-year-old will be treated at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where there's a 10-bed isolation unit. Two other American aid workers were treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital, and they've both recovered.

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Gulf of Mexico residents hail ruling against BP

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmentalists, recreational fishermen and people who make their living on the Gulf of Mexico are hailing a federal judge's ruling that could mean $18 billion in additional fines for BP over the nation's worst offshore oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday that the company acted with "gross negligence" in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster. He said the London-based oil giant showed a "conscious disregard of known risks" during the drilling operation and bears most of the responsibility for the blowout that killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil over three months. In the next stage of the case, set for January, the judge will decide precisely how much BP must pay. BP, meanwhile, said it would appeal Barbier's ruling.

----------------------

Flight returns to DC area over alleged kidnapping

CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — A United Airlines flight bound for China has returned to Washington Dulles International Airport for a child custody investigation. The flight was bound for Beijing on Thursday afternoon, but law enforcement authorities asked that it return about five hours after takeoff. The FBI says it was alerted that a child on board was allegedly being taken out of the country illegally by his mother. According to the FBI, the woman was taken into custody when the flight returned. The father took custody of the child. The flight was allowed to take off again Thursday evening from Dulles airport.

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European official confirms cease-fire deal

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — A European official confirms that Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels have signed a cease-fire deal that takes effect in less than two hours. The announcement -- which confirmed a Twitter posting by the rebels -- came as representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe met in Belarus. The official from the OSCE said the cease-fire would take effect at 11 a.m., Eastern time. Since mid-April, Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine in a conflict the U.N. estimates has killed nearly 2,600 people. Yesterday, a NATO military officer told The Associated Press that the ranks of Russian soldiers directly involved in the conflict have grown. Associated Press reporters today heard heavy shelling north and east of Mariupol, a key Ukrainian port on the Sea of Azov, between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula -- which Russia annexed in March. The shelling appeared to indicate that rebels had partially encircled the area and were probing its defenses.

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Alliance leaders approve new rapid response force to counter Russian threat

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance's leaders have agreed to create a rapid response force to address the threat of aggression from Russia. Rasmussen says the force will include several thousand land troops ready to deploy within just a few days. He says the force will include land and sea assets. The force is part of a new readiness action plan that NATO leaders agreed to Friday at a summit in Wales. Rasmussen says the plan will strengthen NATO's collective defense capabilities. He says the alliance will also establish command and control facilities in the eastern part of the alliance's territory. Rasmussen says anyone who threatens any country in NATO will be facing the whole alliance.

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Hamas leader: No to Israeli disarmament demand

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A senior Hamas leader has rejected Israel's demand that the group be disarmed as a condition for ending the long-running blockade of the Gaza Strip and permitting the opening of an air and seaport there. Ismail Haniyeh told a gathering on Friday near Gaza City that "we cannot accept or deal with any international decision to disarm the resistance" -- a reference to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups. Israel has said it will press for Hamas' disarmament in indirect talks in Cairo aimed at charting a way forward for Gaza in the wake of a 50-day war that killed more than 2,200 people — almost all Palestinian. The fighting ended Aug. 26.

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UN report confirms nuke probe of Iran stalled

VIENNA (AP) — A new U.N. report on Iran's nuclear program says that the latest effort to probe allegations of secret work on atomic arms by Tehran has failed to make headway. Iran agreed in February to cooperate in restarting the investigation by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, after a decade of deadlock. Since then, the U.N. agency has sought information on alleged experiments with detonators that can be used to set off nuclear explosions; separate work on high-explosive charges used in nuclear blasts, and alleged studies on calculating nuclear explosive yields. The confidential IAEA report, issued Friday, made clear that there has been little progress. Iran insists that it never worked on such arms. The report comes two days after diplomats told The Associated Press that the probe was stalled.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 2

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 6, Lake Erie 5
Evansville 1, Washington 0
Gateway 9, Joliet 8

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland 6:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Milwaukee 7:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs 3:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland 6:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Milwaukee 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville (Wild Card)

College Football

Western Kentucky at Illinois 11 a.m.
Western Illinois at (18) Wisconsin 11 a.m.
Northern Illinois at Northwestern 2:30 p.m.
Southern Illinois at Eastern Illinois 6 p.m.
Mississippi Valley State at Illinois State 6:30 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Cleveland 12:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Milwaukee 1:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.

NFL

Minnesota at St. Louis 12 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX, pregame at 11 a.m.)
Buffalo at Chicago 12 p.m.
Indianapolis at Denver 7:30 p.m.

--------------------------

Cardinals activate Wacha, call up Scruggs

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals activated Michael Wacha from the disabled list to start Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The move was expected for the 23-year-old Wacha, who was on the disabled list since June 18 with a right shoulder stress reaction. He is 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts. St. Louis also called up first baseman Xavier Scruggs from Triple-A Memphis. Scruggs, who was batting seventh Thursday, was hitting .286 with 21 home runs and 87 RBIs in the minors. The Cardinals moved outfielder Shane Robinson from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list. St. Louis has won five straight to take a three-game lead in the NL Central over Milwaukee.

--------------------------------

Bradford has no date set for surgery on torn ACL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — After suffering a season-ending torn left anterior cruciate ligament for the second time in nine months, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford said Thursday he will be back. Bradford vowed: "I'm coming back as strong as ever." The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick was injured in the first quarter in the Rams' third preseason game at Cleveland. Bradford was hit on his left side by Browns defensive end Armonty Bryant as he threw a pass. Bryant ran around left tackle Jake Long on the play. Bradford hopped briefly on his right leg before dropping to the ground. At first Bradford believed he would be OK. His first thought was maybe just some scar tissue was broken up.

----------------------------------------

Rams Restructure Long, Pettis

(Undated)  --  The Rams are trying to free up some salary cap space.  The "Post-Dispatch" says the contract of Chris Long and Austin Pettis were restructured to save nearly 2.5-million-dollars this season.  Long didn't lose any money while Pettis cut down from 1.431-million to 950-thousand.

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News for Sept. 4, 2014

LOCAL
Longtime southern Illinois prosecutor resigning

MARION, Ill. (AP) — The top prosecutor for three decades in southern Illinois' Williamson County says he's resigning within days. WSIU Radio reports Charles Garnati says in a resignation letter Tuesday to the county board's chairman, Ron Ellis, "the time has come for me to step down," effective next Monday. Garnati is midway through his eighth term, and Ellis says Garnati suggested a successor. Ellis adds that he's working with local Democratic Party leaders on a consensus about who will close out the remainder of Garnati's four-year term. Ellis declined to publicly name that person, other than to say he's an attorney who doesn't work in Garnati's office. Garnati says "it has been my great pleasure to serve" as the state's attorney.

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Local Nurse Sentenced For Prescription Drug Abuse

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 3, 2104, Amber Jennings, 29, of Mt. Vernon, Illinois was sentenced to a term of three years’ probation. The two-count indictment alleged that Ms. Jennings obtained a controlled substance by fraud, misrepresentation and deception. At her plea on September 3, 2014, Jennings admitted to having a long history of drug and alcohol abuse which lead to the theft of prescription drugs from her workplace. The investigation in this case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control. The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley Killian and Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hallock.

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Prison Inmate Cheats Taxpayers Out Of Medicaid Funds

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on September 3, 2014, Christopher Spivey, 30, pled guilty to submitting false and fraudulent bills in relation to personal assistant services in the Home Services Program, a Medicaid Waiver Program designed to allow individuals to stay in their homes instead of entering a nursing home. The investigation determined that Spivey was submitting bills claiming to care for the customer while he was incarcerated in Richland County Jail in Olney, Illinois. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the Illinois State Police’s Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Liam Coonan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Hallock.

----------------------------

Outside Agency Investigating Assistant Police Chief

(East St. Louis, IL) -- East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks says an outside agency is being brought in to investigate Assistant Police Chief Ronald Ike. Ike, an 18-year-veteran of the force, was suspended by the city last week, but Parks wouldn't say what agency is conducting the probe nor would he discuss the nature of the alleged misconduct. The Illinois State Police and the St. Clair County State's Attorney's office say their offices are not handling the investigation of Ike.

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Illinois State Police District 19 Releases Results from Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol

Carmi, IL - Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 has released enforcement figures from the Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol (O.R.E.P.) conducted in Saline County on Wednesday, 08/27/14 and in Hamilton County on Thursday, 8/28/14.  Authorities in Saline County issued 16 total citations and 5 total warnings with 13 safety belt citations and no child restraint citations. On Thursday, authorities in Hamilton County issued 17 total citations and 8 total warnings with 15 safety belt citations and 1 child restraint citation. Most motorists have learned that safety belts save lives, but some ignore their safety and that of their families by neglecting to use safety belts and child restraint devices.  These patrols reinforce the occupant protection message by targeting those who choose to ignore the law.  Lives can be saved if people simply buckle up!  This project was funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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Illinois State Police District 19 Announces Results of Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrol

Carmi, IL – Captain Kelly Hodge, District 19 Commander, announced the results of an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrol which was conducted in White and Edwards Counties on Friday, 08/29/14. Authorities issued 6 total citations and 17 total written warnings with 2 drug/alcohol related arrests and a speeding citation. There were no driving under the influence arrests, suspended driver's license citations, or occupant restraint citations. The Illinois State Police (ISP) reminds those who drink and drive that future patrols will be conducted.  The ISP will continue to work to save lives by taking DUI offenders off the road, arresting them, and locking them up.  This project was funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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Benton Man Arrested For Assault On Police Officer

A Benton man is in the Franklin County Jail after allegedly assaulting a West Frankfort police officer following a traffic stop early Tuesday morning. Police say 22-year-old Joshua Briscoe was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.  Police say Briscoe got mad when the car he was a passenger in was going to be towed away from Casey's East around 3 am. The driver of the car, 31-year-old Craig Parrish of Herrin, was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Police were going to let Briscoe go following the stop, but when Parrish was taken to jail, Briscoe tried to leave before police allowed him to do so.   When an officer told Briscoe to stop, he ignored it and then hit the officer with an object wrapped in plastic. Briscoe then resisted the officer again when he tried to put handcuffs on him which led to a brawl between him and the officer. The officer injured his hand and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

------------------------

IDOT Will Hold Public Forum Regarding Multi-Year Program

IDOT officials will be seeking input from the public into the development of its upcoming multi-year program for fiscal years 2016-2021 on Wednesday, September 24 at John A. Logan College in Carterville. The public meeting will be held at the college's Center for Business and Industry from 4 to 7 pm.  The multi-year program is a multimodal planned program for statewide transportation investment. It is based on current estimates of local, state and federal funding including funding from Governor Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! Capital program enacted in 2009. The multi-year program for the current fiscal years 2015-2020 is $14.3 billion.  More information can be found at idot.Illinois.gov.

--------------------------------------

STATE
Poll Shows Tightening Race For Governor

(Chicago, IL) -- A new poll shows that the race for governor between incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is getting tighter. A Reboot Illinois/We Ask America poll finds Rauner's lead over Quinn at eight-point-five-percent, down from 14-percent in July. The poll of likely voters conducted Tuesday finds Rauner favored by 45-point-five-percent, Quinn by 37-percent and Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm by seven-percent.

------------------------------

New Gubernatorial Campaign Ads Are Released

(Springfield, IL)  --  Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner is airing a new TV ad that vows he'll freeze property taxes if elected governor.  He first brought up the issue in July along with announcing he would find 600 million more dollars in revenue from taxing services.  Meanwhile, Governor Quinn's camp put out a web-only ad.  It focuses on a Washington Post article that indicates that Rauner spends more annually on wine than the average Illinois households spends "on everything."

--------------------

Kirk: America Needs To Bomb ISIS

(Chicago, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Mark Kirk says America needs to "bomb the hell" out of the militant Islamic group known as ISIS.  He says there's little hope that any American who's been captured by the group will return home.  ISIS has taken credit for beheading two U.S. journalists in recent weeks and all but dared President Obama to act.  ISIS officials say they'll keep committing acts of violence as long as the U.S. airstrikes continue in their region.  

-----------------------

10,000 Illinois immigrants risk losing Obamacare

CHICAGO (AP) — Some 10,000 immigrants in Illinois are among more than 200,000 nationwide whose insurance bought through President Barack Obama's health care initiative could end this month if they don't prove this week they're legally in the country. The federal government mailed letters in English and Spanish last month notifying about 300,000 people that if immigration and citizenship documents aren't submitted by Friday, their coverage under the Affordable Care Act will end Sept. 30. But few seem to be responding. U.S. Health and Human Services officials released information Tuesday showing that 239,000 of the original 300,000 still were receiving final notices. Immigration advocates say the notices in only two languages don't take into account the wide variety of immigrant languages.

-------------------------------

Audit: Illinois needs better health care oversight


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A state audit has found that Illinois officials are not doing all they can to determine whether children are eligible for state-subsidized health insurance. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the state did not conduct required annual reviews to determine qualification for the program called Expanded All Kids. The audit says operators also didn't verify incomes as required to ensure eligibility. Some received benefits after age 19 and nearly 300 recipients had more than one identification number. Sen. Dale Righter is a Mattoon Republican. He says the audit shows that Gov. Pat Quinn's administration is not ensuring proper use of Medicaid money. Januari Smith is spokeswoman for Quinn's Department of Human Services. She says the administration has made "tremendous progress" in ridding the system of waste and fraud.

----------------------------

GOP Not Impressed With Illinois Governor's Wage Challenge

(Bloomington, IL)  --  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is being criticized for his efforts to connect with minimum wage workers.  He's going into his fourth day living on just 79-dollars for the week, but Republicans are calling it a political stunt.  State senator Bill Brady says Quinn is trying to take the focus off of more serious issues like high unemployment and scandals within his administration.  He says Quinn has a paid-for mansion and a paid-for driver so there's no way he can get a real idea of what minimum wage life is like.

-------------------------

Police in Illinois could be wearing body cameras

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Some police officers across Illinois could soon be wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public. The idea is under consideration in Chicago and Springfield. Deputies and correctional officers with the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department already are wearing the devices. Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the department has been working on the pilot program but there's no timetable when the cameras will be used. He says he endorses the cameras, but he's not sure if officers are going to feel the same way. The mayor of Springfield says he'd like to spend $200,000 on the cameras in the next budget year. The small cameras attach to officers' uniforms. Videos could be used to review incidents, especially if an officer were accused of inappropriate behavior or excessive force.

--------------------------------

Illinois schools start year with 24 new mandates

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State records show schools in Illinois will start the academic year having to comply with at least two dozen new statutes, or mandates from lawmakers. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers says that reports collected by the Illinois State Board of Education show the 24 additional requirements are down slightly from the average 27 new rules imposed each year since 2007. This year the new rules include training students how to use automatic external defibrillators and practicing how to evacuate schools in emergencies. However the mandates can cost the districts money and be a time squeeze. Ben Schwarm is deputy executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards. He says lawmakers' intent behind the mandate is fine. But he says they should provide funding too.

--------------------------------

Possible Data Breach At Home Depot

(Chicago, IL)  --  Anyone who used their credit or debit card at Home Depot in recent weeks should keep a close watch on their statements.  Company officials say they may be the latest victims of a data breach.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says customers should start monitoring their accounts immediately and set up transaction alerts, so they know when something changes.  Madigan says anyone who notices unauthorized charges should report them right away.

------------------------------

ADM Sells Off Chocolate Business

(Chicago, IL)  --  Archer Daniels Midland is selling off its global chocolate business because of weak returns on cocoa.  Cargill has agreed to pick the company up with a price tag of 440-million-dollars.  Cargill officials say the new acquisition will fit right in with their existing chocolate business and help them better serve their customers.  The sale is expected to close during the first half of 2015. 

-------------------

NATIONAL
Disturbance at detention center where 32 escaped

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — News video shows some teens attacking guards at a juvenile detention center in Nashville, Tennessee. It happened last night, during what authorities are calling a disturbance at the same detention center where more than 30 teens escaped earlier this week. Six of them are still on the run. The Tennessee Department of Children's Services says about 28 teens were involved in Wednesday's incident and he says 10 of the ringleaders have been taken to another detention center. Two staff members sustained minor injuries.

--------------------------------

Investigators issuing report on Oklahoma execution

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma investigators are expected today to release their findings into an April 29 execution that went wrong. Clayton Locket died of a heart attack 43 minutes after being given three lethal drugs that made him moan clinch his teeth and his body contort. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin ordered the state Department of Public Safety to investigate the execution.

-----------------------------

Fast food protests expected in push for higher pay

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of workers from McDonald's, Taco Bell, Wendy's and other fast-food chains are expected to walk off their jobs today, in their latest national protest to push the companies to pay employees at least $15 an hour. Organizers say they plan to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience, which may lead to arrests and draw more attention to the cause. They also say home-care workers will join the protests, which are expected to take place at fast-food restaurants in 150 cities nationwide, including Detroit, Chicago and New York.

----------------------------

AP source: US to investigate Ferguson police

WASHINGTON (AP) — An announcement is expected today by the Justice Department that it plans to open an investigation into the practices of the police department in Ferguson, Missouri. A person familiar with the decision says the government will look at practices in the past few years, including patterns of stops, arrests and use-of-force and officer training. The government is already investigating the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white officer.

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Body of Alaska serial killer's victim exhumed

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The remains of a victim of recently deceased Alaska serial killer Robert Hansen were being exhumed from an Anchorage gravesite, 30 years after her killer led authorities to her body near a lake north of the city. Hansen confessed to killing 17 women in the 1970s and early '80s. He died last month at age 75 while serving a 461-year sentence in Alaska. The exhumation at Anchorage Memorial Park Wednesday afternoon was for the remains of an unidentified woman believed to be in her late teens whose body was found April 25, 1984, near Horseshoe Lake. The Alaska state medical examiner's office is among those participating in the exhumation. The work is being paid for by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which hopes to identify the woman.

---------------------------------

Massachusetts Kayakers Attacked By Shark

(Plymouth, MA)  --  Massachusetts officials think a great white shark attacked two women kayakers near Plymouth Wednesday.  The women were a good distance from shore when the shark hit the underside of their kayak, tossing both of them into the water.  Neither of the women was injured, but the kayak did suffer a substantial bite mark. 

-----------------------

NY Health Dept. Launches Review Of Joan Rivers' Clinic

(New York, NY)  --  The New York City clinic where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest is now under review by the New York Department of Health.  TMZ.com is reporting state health officials have contacted Yorkville Endoscopy twice since Rivers' suffered the medical emergency while having an outpatient procedure done on her vocal cords last Thursday.  The 81-year-old comedienne has been moved out of intensive care and into a private room at Mount Sinai Hospital. 

------------------------

More Americans Having "Breakfast" For Dinner

(Seattle, WA)  --  More than 90-percent of the respondents in a Krusteaz poll say they enjoy having breakfast foods for dinner.  Overall 56-percent say they eat things like eggs and pancakes at their evening meal at least once a month -- and that number rises to 67-percent among families with children. 

----------------------------

Court grants Obama plea to re-hear health case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal appeals court in Washington has thrown out a ruling that called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their premiums under the president's health care law. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Thursday that its full complement of judges will re-hear a challenge to Obama administration regulations that allow health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. The announcement diminishes the prospect of Supreme Court review of the issue in the near term. The initial appeals court ruling in Washington came out the same day that a panel of appellate judges in Richmond, Virginia, sided with the administration on the same issue.

------------------------------------

Judge: Michigan teachers can exit union anytime

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A labor judge has ruled that Michigan's largest teachers' union should let members drop out at any time. Administrative law judge Julia Stern recommended Tuesday that the Republican-controlled Employment Relations Commission order the Michigan Education Association to stop enforcing its August opt-out window. She says Michigan's right-to-work law that took effect last year incorporated a federal law and gave public employees the ability to leave their union anytime. The decision directly affects seven employees in four school districts who complained that they were unable to drop out of the 112,000-member teachers' union after missing a little-known window in 2013. The decisions could have broader implications for other unions. Conservative groups are claiming victory. Unions are likely to appeal, and the dispute may reach the state Supreme Court.

---------------------------------------

Creditors lay out view in Detroit bankruptcy trial

DETROIT (AP) — Creditors who oppose the proposed settlement of Detroit's bankruptcy case have been having their say to the judge deciding whether to approve it. Thursday will be the third day of opening statements in the trial over the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Detroit wants to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion through its plan of adjustment, which a judge must approve. Most creditors, including more than 30,000 retirees and city employees, have endorsed it. Bond insurers Syncora Guarantee and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. lead a small list of creditors opposing it. The insurers and the city have made their opening statements. The proceedings could take many days, with dozens of witnesses — including the state-appointed emergency manager and possibly Detroit's mayor — called to testify.

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Georgia Hot Car Death Case Goes Before Grand Jury

(Cobb Co., GA)  --  The fate of a Georgia father accused of leaving his toddler son to die in a hot SUV may be in the hands of a grand jury today.  The "Atlanta Journal Constitution" reports prosecutors will be presenting evidence against Justin Ross Harris to Cobb County grand jurors.  The grand jury will decide what charges Harris will face when his case goes to trial, and whether he can face the death penalty.  His son, Cooper, died in June.  Harris maintains he forgot the child in the SUV while he went to work. 

-------------------------

Lea Thompson, Tommy Chong among new 'Dancing' pack

NEW YORK (AP) — Actress Lea Thompson, "Duck Dynasty" diva Sadie Robertson and NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip are making tracks for the new season of "Dancing With the Stars." ABC on Thursday announced the 13 contestants for its fall round of the dancing competition. They also include talk-show host Tavis Smiley, "Pretty Little Liars" star Janel Parrish, Olympic athlete Lolo Jones, actor Antonio Sabato Jr. and fashion designer Betsey Johnson. Other amateur hoofers include comedy veteran Tommy Chong, YouTube star Bethany Mota, Ultimate Fighting champ Randy Couture, "Mean Girls" star Jonathan Bennett and actor-dancer Alfonso Ribeiro. The new lineup was unveiled on "Good Morning America." The 19th season of "Dancing" premieres Sept. 15. Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews return as co-hosts.

-------------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Russia: Ukraine's NATO ambitions threaten talks

NEWPORT, Wales (AP) — Ukraine's president has been meeting with President Barack Obama and other top NATO leaders in Wales. This, as Russia warns that Ukraine's NATO ambitions are threatening to derail a deal it's working on with Ukraine to halt months of fighting in the eastern part of the country. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Ukraine's desire to join NATO is "a blatant attempt to derail all the efforts" to seek a peaceful solution in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine said Wednesday that they're working on a deal to halt months of fighting in eastern Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin spelled out a seven-point plan for ending hostilities and expressed hope for a breakthrough at talks in Minsk, Belarus tomorrow.

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UN: 250,000 have fled militia fighting in Libya

CAIRO (AP) — A United Nations report says four months of fighting by militias in Libya's two biggest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, has forced some 250,000 people to flee, including 100,000 who have been internally displaced. The report released Thursday by the U.N. Support Mission in Libya and the U.N. Human Rights Office estimated that some 150,000 people, including migrant workers, have fled the country. The report says a "climate of fear" has made citizens reluctant to speak about militia abuses. The last four months have seen a renegade general battle Islamic militants in the eastern city of Benghazi -- cradle of the 2011 uprising that toppled Moammar Gadhafi -- and powerful regional militias fight for control of the international airport in Tripoli. Islamist-allied militias have seized virtually all of the capital.

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Nigerian officials monitor 200 for Ebola

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria (AP) — Health officials are monitoring more than 200 people in the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt who may have been exposed to Ebola after a single man infected a doctor who then continued to treat patients before he himself died of the disease. Authorities thought they had largely contained a small outbreak in Nigeria, but the World Health Organization says the doctor's actions created "multiple high-risk opportunities for transmission of the virus." On Thursday, some Port Harcourt residents expressed confidence all the sick would be isolated, but others feared the disease will spread. Ebola has killed more than 1,900 people in West Africa. A sick traveler from Liberia brought the disease to Nigeria; someone he infected then spread it to Port Harcourt.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 1, Pittsburgh 0
Chicago Cubs 6, Milwaukee 2
Minnesota 11, Chicago White Sox 4

Frontier League

Joliet 4, Gateway 2
Southern Illinois 9, Lake Erie 1
Evansville 10, Washington 5

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Milwaukee, 7:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Lake Erie
Gateway at Joliet
Evansville at Washington

------------------------

Cubs SS Castro expected to miss rest of season

CHICAGO (AP) — All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro is expected to miss the remainder of the Chicago Cubs' season with an ankle injury. Castro left Tuesday night's 7-1 win over Milwaukee after getting hurt on a first-inning slide into home plate. Tests showed he sustained a high ankle sprain. Castro, a three-time All-Star, was holding out hope that he could beat the four-week prognosis to return. But general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday the organization will move forward as though Castro had played his final game this season. Cubs rookie Javier Baez, a natural shortstop, will shift over from second base and take Castro's place in the field.

-----------------------------

No turnovers an ongoing problem for Illini defense

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — For a moment Saturday it looked like Illinois' turnover drought might end. But linebacker Austin Teitsma dropped Youngstown State quarterback Dante Nania's poorly thrown pass. With its 28-17 victory Saturday, Illinois has gone more than two games now without forcing a turnover. The Illini had just 11 last season. Coach Tim Beckman calls the lack of turnovers an Achilles heel for his defense. The near interception in Illinois' victory might have helped seal up the game much earlier than Illinois managed to and get a tired defense off the field. But defensive coordinator Tim Banks says his players also missed a couple of chances to create fumbles. The Illini could use the help turnovers offer this weekend when Western Kentucky brings its powerful passing attack to Champaign.

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News for Sept. 3, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets

The Mt. Vernon City Council met Tuesday evening at the Rolland W. Lewis Building. The Council quickly approved of the temporary closings of many streets for an upcoming festival event. The Council also approved a waiver for the bidding procedures for a new Live Scan Digital Fingerprint Scanner for the Mount Vernon Police Department. Permission was also granted to seek bids for the replacement of a water main on Main and Broadway Streets, as well as to seek bids for a sidewalk/trails project on Richview Road (24th-27th st.) The city attorney brought up amending the Article regarding burning ordinances. The Council narrowly approved a ban on the burning of leaves within city limits. This amendment was supported by a few citizens present at the Council meeting, saying that the amount of debris caused by storms can sometimes be too costly to buy bags for yard wastes. Severe storms frequent the area and can leave fallen limbs or even trees in extreme cases. City residents will now be able to dispose of their leaves and yard waste with the city's new waste management plan, which includes year-round landscape waste removal.  

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Printer Error Results In Reprint, Re-mail of Area Tax Bills

Due to a printer's error, the postal bar code was incorrect on approximately 10,000 real estate tax bills to Jefferson County residents.  The bill will be reprinted and mailed out at no cost to the county.  The error was discovered on Saturday.  Treasurer Dan Knox states that several residents of the county could receive duplicate copies of their tax bill.  Residents are urged to dispose of any duplicate real estate tax bills that they have received.  The error did not affect any information or amounts on the tax bills.  If residents have questions regarding the issue, they are recommended to contact the Treasurer's Office at 618-244-8010 extension 8 or email them at treasurer@jeffil.us.

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Highland Teachers Vote To Authorize Strike

(Highland, IL) -- Teachers in Highland are one step closer to going on strike. The contract between the teachers and the Highland Community Unit District Number Five expired Sunday. The teachers and the district have been trying to negotiate a new deal for five months without any success. Representatives told KSDK-TV that 97-percent of teachers voted to strike if no deal is hammered out at a session involving a federal mediator this coming weekend.

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Levee districts in southern Illinois seek tax

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — Property owners near the Mississippi River in southern Illinois soon may be facing tax increases to pay for repairs to drainage pipes in levees. The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports several levee districts are joining together on the proposed property tax increase to raise about $1.2 million. Randy Lambdin of Preston Levee District says the money would be used to reline pipes. He says the repairs are needed to avoid the collapse of drainage pipes that could cause a levee to fail. The levee districts of Preston, Clear Creek, East Cape Girardeau/McClure and North Alexander are proposing the drainage tax. The tax would range from $7 to $75, depending on how the property is used.

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Metro-East Police Official Suspended For Alleged Misconduct

(East St. Louis, IL)  --  An East St. Louis police official has been suspended after allegations of misconduct.  Assistant Chief Ronald Ike was disciplined Friday for inappropriate conduct.  He worked for the police force for 18 years and was promoted to the Assistant Chief post in January of 2012.  Authorities aren't revealing anything about his record because that's part of the investigation.  City Manager Deletra Hudson says she has ten days to conduct the investigation and reach a conclusion about the allegations.

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Marion VA To Hold Town Hall Meeting

The Marion VA will hold a town hall meeting for veterans on Monday, September 22. It will be held in the recreation hall at the VA hospital starting at 1 pm. This will be an open forum designed for feedback from veterans, their families and others to let VA officials know how they can improve health care services offered to those who use VA health care. For more information, call 997-8241.

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Water Bill Scam Reported In West Frankfort

Police in West Frankfort say a scam regarding water bills has been reported there.  Officials say a company called "Environmental" is calling residents, trying to get them to pay their water bills by credit card. A New York phone number is given by the company. The city of West Frankfort does not ask customers to make credit card payments by phone. You need to use caution when giving your personal information to solicitors.

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Wayne County Man Arrested For Alleged Stabbing

A Wayne County man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing another man over the weekend in Grayville. Grayville police say Donald Carrier the fifth of Golden Gate stabbed Dustin Robson in the abdomen during an argument at the Grayville Days festival. Robson was taken to the hospital in Mt. Carmel for treatment. Currier ran from the scene. He was arrested in Wayne County early Tuesday morning on a charge of aggravated battery. He is lodged in the White County jail.

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Illinois prisons struggle with backup power issues

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Department of Corrections officials are investigating a prison power outage to decide whether the state's correctional facilities are adequately prepared for emergencies. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports a storm on Aug. 20 caused a 92-minute blackout at Vandalia Correctional Center. One prisoner at the maximum-security facility attacked a guard and others became unruly. Other prison power outages caused similar upheaval of inmates, at Vienna Correctional Center in January and East Moline Correction Center in 2012. The department says all of the state's prison facilities have backup generators, except Vandalia and a Peoria halfway house. A corrections spokesman says portable generators, flashlights and lanterns can also help in the event of a prolonged power outage. A spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union says the light failures highlight a lack of necessary funding.

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Former Bank Employee Of U.S. Bank Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

Cynthia L. Palmer, 45, of Alton, Illinois, entered a plea of guilty to bank fraud in a scheme to defraud and embezzle from U.S. Bank, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Palmer faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and up to 5 years’ supervised release after serving her sentence and mandatory restitution. Sentencing has been scheduled for December 15, 2014. As part of the plea, Palmer was employed by U.S. Bank at the Bethalto Airport Branch in Bethalto, Illinois, as a Universal Banker. Palmer admitted she made unauthorized debits on customer’s accounts. Palmer principally targeted older individuals to take unauthorized activity on their accounts with customers' ages ranging from 65 to 96. Palmer was terminated by U.S. Bank effective December 12, 2013. Palmer caused a direct loss of $105,827.62. The successful prosecution is the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service with the assistance of U.S. Bank. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Norman R. Smith.

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STATE
Quinn Ad Touts Budget Cuts

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Quinn's latest campaign commercial shows him mowing his front yard and says he's been cutting government excess like office spending, unneeded state properties and the state's fleet of planes in much the same way. Quinn claims to have cut spending by five-billion-dollars, as well as suspending lawmakers pay, as well as his own, until they balance the budget. The tag line is: "I'm working to fix the mess and I'm not finished."

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Jeb Bush Headed To Chicago

(Chicago, IL)  --  Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is headed toward Illinois.  He'll be in Chicago on September 18th raising money for Bruce Rauner.  Rauner is in a heated race for governor.  Polls have him and Governor Quinn in a near dead heat.  Bush will speak at the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue.  Tickets are going for as much as five-thousand-dollars.

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Two Green Party Candidates To Run As Write-Ins

(Undated)  --  A pair of Illinois Green Party candidates who were knocked off the ballot last month will run as write-in hopefuls this November.  Scott Summers will run for governor and Sheldon Schafer will compete for secretary of state.  Summers said on Tuesday that he and Schafer are filing to run in nearly 25 counties that either are among the most populous in the state or have major Green Party support.

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Rauner Says Quinn Hurts Veterans

(Chicago, IL) -- GOP challenger Bruce Rauner today stood with Congressman Adam Kinzinger, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk and a number of military veterans to demonstrate his support with that constituency. He said that corruption and cronyism under Governor Quinn has actually hurt veterans' chances of getting a state job, even with a veterans' hiring preference law in place. Meanwhile, Rauner also admitted under a reporter's questioning that he does belong to an elite wine club that costs 100-thousand-dollars to join. The question arose after a picture was published showing Rauner with Mayor Emanuel as Emanuel holds a bottle of wine that can only be bought through such a club.

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Quinn: Eating crackers on minimum wage challenge

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says his experience trying to live on the minimum wage for a week has meant graham crackers for dinner. Raising the state's $8.25 hourly minimum wage to at least $10 an hour has been a re-election focus for the Chicago Democrat. Quinn is facing a tough November challenge from Republican Bruce Rauner. Quinn told reporters Tuesday that he's opted for water instead of iced tea while eating out. He made the comments after talking to Chicago students returning to school for the first day of classes. Other governors have tried similar challenges previously. Quinn says he'll spend $79 this week on food and other expenses. His campaign says that's the estimated amount left for minimum wage workers after transportation and housing costs.

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First medical marijuana tally expected next week


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials say they expect to get the first indications next week of how many patients are applying for special ID cards allowing them to use medical marijuana. Authorities began accepting applications for medical marijuana Tuesday from patients whose last names start with letters A through L. Applications can be submitted both online and through the mail. The Illinois Department of Public Health has 30 days to review an application. Lawmakers adopted the medical marijuana law in 2013. Under its provisions, patients must have a written certification from a doctor and get a background check. Only patients with certain medical conditions will be approved. Patients whose last names begin with M through Z will have to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

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Illinois schools recognizing language proficiency

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is expected to soon be one of a handful of states that formally recognize students' mastery of two or more languages. State Board of Education Officials Announced Tuesday they're moving forward with an initiative awarding students with a "Seal of Biliteracy" on high school diplomas and academic transcripts if a high level of proficiency in one or more languages besides English is met. The initiative was authorized through legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn last summer. A 12-member legislative committee is tasked with reviewing the program's proposed rules this fall. If approved by the panel, Illinois will join states including California and New York in offering seals to graduating students this school year. Illinois education officials hope that offering the biliteracy seal will inspire students to learn multiple languages.

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Climatologist says August warmed up in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois state climatologist says that after a cooler-than-usual July the summer finally turned warmer in August. And the season has been one of the wettest on record. Climatologist Jim Angel said Tuesday that the statewide average temperature in August was 73.9 degrees. That's just above the average for the month and about 3.6 degrees warmer than July's 70.3 degrees. The July figure tied the coolest July on record for the state. Angel says statewide average precipitation for August was 5.18 inches. That's 1.59 inches above average. The statewide average rainfall for the three summer months of June, July and August has been 14.96 inches. That is the 10th wettest summer on record. Angel noted that the warmer August was good for the state's crops.

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NATIONAL
US says Sotloff beheading video is authentic

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it has determined that a video showing the brutal killing of freelance journalist Steven Sotloff is authentic. Islamic State extremists on Tuesday released the video showing Sotloff's beheading. It comes two weeks after the militants released a video showing the killing of James Foley, another American journalist. In the Sotloff video, a masked militant warns President Barack Obama that continuing airstrikes against the group in Iraq will be met with the killing of more Western captives. Sotloff is a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines. He vanished in Syria in August 2013.

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Detroit-area man faces prison for death on porch

DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of an unarmed woman on his porch is scheduled for sentencing today. The defense attorney for Theodore Wafer is asking for six years in prison, saying her client shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride because he feared for his life, and that he's haunted by what happened. The jury rejected Wafer's claim of self-defense.

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Lawsuits seek any Michael Brown juvenile records

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered today as two news organizations seek the release of any possible juvenile records for the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police officer last month. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a California online journalist have filed petitions seeking to determine whether Brown had past legal trouble. Missouri juvenile records are confidential. So the legal question boils down to whether Brown still has privacy rights. Police have said Brown had no adult record. The family's attorney has refused to discuss whether Brown had a juvenile record. One petition cites a 1984 Missouri Court of Appeals ruling in which the juvenile records of an 18-year-old killed while shoplifting at a supermarket were released as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Casino closings lead to mass unemployment filing

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Thousands of newly laid-off casino workers are expected to turn out at the Atlantic City Convention Center for a mass unemployment filing. The session this morning comes after a brutal weekend that saw more than 5,000 employees at the Showboat and Revel lose their jobs. Officials from the state Department of Labor and the main casino workers' union, Local 54 of Unite-HERE, will help displaced workers file for unemployment, and give them information on signing up for health insurance and other benefits. Four of the 12 casinos with which Atlantic City started the year will have closed by the middle of September. That is putting almost 8,000 people out of work. Trump Plaza is closing Sept. 16, and the Atlantic Club shut down in January.

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CVS Ends Tobacco Sales Today

(Undated)  --  As of today, CVS is out of the tobacco business.  CVS announced in February that its 77-hundred drug stores would stop selling tobacco products because it's at odds with the pharmacy company's mission as a health care business.  CVS is the first large retail drug chain to stop selling tobacco, four years after the American Pharmacists Association called on all drug stores to stop.

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Third American Doctor Tests Positive For Ebola

(Undated)  --  Another American doctor working in Liberia has Ebola.  The Christian aid group SIM USA announced yesterday that a third doctor working at its hospital in the capital city of Monrovia tested positive for the deadly disease.  However, this doctor was working in obstetrics and not with Ebola patients.  The group says the doctor isolated himself when he first felt the symptoms and he's being treated in an isolation facility. 

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Bank Regulators Announcing Sweeping New Rules Today

(Undated)  --  Federal bank regulators will announce sweeping new rules aimed at preventing another economic meltdown today.  The rules include requiring big banks to hold more assets that could be easily sold in a credit crunch.  The so-called liquidity rules call for major banks to keep enough liquid assets to cover all their cash needs for 30 days. 

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Fund Set Up For Beaten World War II Vet

(Cleveland, OH)  --  A fund has been set up to help a World War Two veteran who was attacked Sunday after visiting his wife in a Cleveland hospital.  Eighty-six-year-old Paul Browning is now hospitalized himself after he was beaten during an attempted robbery outside Good Samaritan Hospital.  Craig Phelps was later arrested in connection with the attack.  Browning's family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help pay the elderly man's expenses.  They say they've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community.

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No word on whether third American with Ebola will go to Atlanta

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — The doctor who oversaw treatment of two American missionaries who contracted the Ebola virus in west Africa says he doesn't know if a third sick American will be coming to his Atlanta hospital. Dr. Bruce Ribner told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he doesn't know if the doctor now in isolation in Liberia will be sent to Emory University Hospital. The North Carolina-based group Serving In Mission said Tuesday that the obstetrician has developed the Ebola virus. Ribner said Emory is prepared to handle any infectious disease. One of his patients, Dr. Kent Brantly, said he knew the sick doctor quite well and has prayed for him and his family, whom he said were holding up "pretty well." SIM was expected to discuss more about the doctor's condition later Wednesday.

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Girl who survived 19 stab wounds returns to school

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — The 12-year-old Wisconsin girl who nearly died after she was stabbed 19 times is back in school. A spokesman for the girl's family says it has been a summer of doctor's appointments, surgeries, specialists and recovery. Stephen Lyons says the girl has been eager to go back to school in Waukesha. She started the 7th grade on Tuesday. Lyons tells WITI-TV that the girl and her family continue to attend therapy sessions to deal with the emotional scars of the ordeal. Court documents say two classmates plotted for months to kill the girl to curry favor with a fictional Slender Man character they read about online. One of two preteens accused in the stabbing has been ordered to receive treatment rather than stand trial.

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Man fatally stabbed on Md.-Fla. bike ride

VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police say a Connecticut man who was biking from Maryland to Miami to propose to his girlfriend was fatally stabbed by a homeless man outside a McDonald's restaurant. The Vero Beach News Journal reports that 28-year-old Kevin Adorno stopped at the restaurant Monday night and was talking to his girlfriend on a cellphone when he was attacked. Witnesses say Adorno stumbled into the restaurant. One person started administering aid while another called 911. He was pronounced dead a short time later. Officers arrested 59-year-old Rene Herrera Cruz at a Burger King across the street. He is charged with first-degree murder. Cruz told officers he thought Adorno was directing people by cellphone to attack him. Police Chief David Currey says the trip was a "bucket list" item for Adorno.

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Consumers See Link Between How Chickens Live, Quality Of Meat

(New York, NY)  --  The vast majority of Americans want the chickens they eat to be treated well when the birds are alive.  More than 80-percent of people surveyed in an ASPCA poll say it's important to provide quality care to chickens raised for food.  Just under 80-percent believe humanely raised chickens reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses from eating the birds.  

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Lambert, Bryan, Urban early CMA nomination leaders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan and Keith Urban are the initial top nominees for this year's Country Music Association Awards. The country stars have three nominations apiece, including entertainer and album of the year, after five categories were announced Wednesday by Darius Rucker and Little Big Town on ABC's "Good Morning America." The remainder of the nominations will be revealed at a news conference later in the morning. George Strait and Lambert's husband, Blake Shelton, join Lambert, Bryan and Urban as entertainer of the year nominees. Lambert and Bryan are seeking their first win in the category, the CMA's top honor. Shelton, Dierks Bentley and Eric Church had two nominations apiece after the early announcement. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will host the Nov. 5 awards.

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INTERNATIONAL
Obama: US won't be deterred

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — President Barack Obama says Americans will not be intimidated by the "horrific" violence of Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second U.S. journalist. The president is vowing that "justice will be served" after the U.S. verified the authenticity of a video of freelance reporter Steven Sotloff's killing. The video comes just two weeks after another video showing the beheading of another U.S. reporter, James Foley. Obama said at a news conference while traveling Wednesday in Estonia that their deaths only unite Americans. He says Americans will not forget and the country's reach is long. In the Sotloff video, a masked militant warns Obama that continuing airstrikes against the group in Iraq will be met with the killing of more Western captives.

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Putin calls on insurgents to 'stop advancing'

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine to "stop advancing" and for the Ukrainian army to withdraw their troops from the region. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said earlier Wednesday that Kiev and Moscow agreed on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine but Putin's spokesman said later Moscow was not in a position to agree to it because it is not party to the conflict. Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies on Wednesday saying that Kiev must withdraw its troops and stop artillery strikes. Putin said he expected the final agreements to be reached in Minsk, Belarus, on Friday.

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Somalia tries to verify if top militant killed

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A spokesman for Somalia's government says local officials are trying to verify whether the leader of al-Shabab was killed or wounded in a U.S. airstrike. Abdiwali Ridwaan said Wednesday that the government is "in the process" of verifying who was hit in the attack Monday night. He said they are certain the strikes hit "a gathering" of al-Shabab leaders. Ridwaan praised U.S. support in the war on the al-Qaida-linked militant group whose leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack a year ago on an upscale mall in Kenya. The U.S. confirmed Tuesday that the strikes, conducted by special operations forces using manned and unmanned aircraft, targeted Godane. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. launched the operation based on "actionable" intelligence.

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Malaysia Airlines Scrubs "Ultimate Bucket List" Contest Name

(Undated)  --  Malaysia Airlines is changing the name of an online contest after people pointed out the title was really insensitive.  The airline called the contest "My Ultimate Bucket List."  A bucket list refers to things to do before you die.  More than 530 people have died this year in two Malaysia Airline disasters, the disappearance of a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and the shooting down of a jetliner over eastern Ukraine.  The contest rules now ask players to describe activities and destinations on their "to-do" lists.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 7, Milwaukee 1
St. Louis 6, Pittsburgh 4
Chicago White Sox 6, Minnesota 3, 10 innings

 

Frontier League

Washington 3, Evansville 1
Washington 2, Evansville 1
Southern Illinois 10, Lake Erie 2
Joliet 17, Gateway 5

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 12:45 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 11:49 a.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Joliet
Southern Illinois at Lake Erie
Evansville at Washington

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Cubs SS Castro leaves with leg injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro left Tuesday night's game against Milwaukee after injuring his left leg sliding home in the first inning. Castro scored on a single by Jorge Soler, but rolled over his lower left leg in an awkward slide. The three-time All-Star stayed on the ground in pain for a few minutes before being helped to his feet by Chicago's training staff. Castro later walked off the field with assistance from a team trainer. Going into the game, Castro was hitting .290 with 14 home runs and 65 RBIs. Javier Baez moved from second base to shortstop following Castro's injury. Logan Watkins entered the game at second.

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Cubs 1B Rizzo maybe done this year with bad back

CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo could be done for the rest of the season because of a strained lower back. An MRI before Chicago played Milwaukee on Tuesday night revealed the injury. Rizzo said he will miss an extended amount of time. Rizzo was hurt on Aug. 26 and has been out of the lineup for a week. The 25-year-old Rizzo is hitting .278 with 30 home runs and 71 RBIs.

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Wacha to start Thursday for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha will replace Justin Masterson in the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation on Thursday and make his first start since mid-June. Manager Mike Matheny said Wacha, a breakout rookie star last year who was the NL championship series MVP, will be limited to around 60 pitches at Milwaukee. He's 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA in 15 starts and has been on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder stress reaction. Rookie Marco Gonzales and Tyler Lyons, lefties who were among five players added Tuesday, will be ready for long relief in that game. The Cardinals activated reliever Jason Motte from DL from a lower back strain and also recalled lefty Nick Greenwood and catcher Tony Cruz before Tuesday's game against the Pirates.

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Bears place Wilson on IR with return designation

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have placed receiver Marquess Wilson on injured reserve with a designation to return this season and signed cornerback Kelvin Hayden. The moves were announced on Tuesday. Wilson, who appeared in 10 games last season, broke his collarbone in training camp. He will miss the first eight weeks and will not be eligible to play until Nov. 9, when the Bears visit Green Bay after their bye. Hayden was released by the Bears on Saturday as they trimmed their roster to 53. He missed last season because of a torn hamstring after appearing in 16 games in 2012.

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Colts Owner Jim Irsay Suspended Six Games

(New York, NY)  --  The NFL is suspending Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay six games and fining him 500-thousand-dollars after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of OWI.  Irsay can't attend games or practices during the ban.  He also can't represent the team or engage on social media.

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Sam Set To Join Cowboys

(Irving, TX)  --  Michael Sam has apparently found a new home.  The St. Louis Rams' seventh-round draft pick is signing with the Dallas Cowboys as a member of their practice squad.  St. Louis cut the defensive end this weekend.  Sam is the first openly-gay player to be drafted into the NFL.

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News for Sept. 2, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets Tonight

Mt. Vernon City Council is scheduled to meet this evening at 7 p.m.  Among items on a busy agenda, the City Manager will request permission for several street closures for festival activities, and permission requests to waive bidding procedures for a purchase of a live scan digital fingerprint machine for the police department, to seek bids for water main replacement on Main and Broadway Streets, and to seek bids for the Richview Road Sidewalk/Trails Project between 24th and 27th Streets on Richview Road.  The City Attorney will give a second reading on the open burning ordinance and a first reading on an ordinance declaring surplus property. The Mayor will ask the Council for the appointment of Chris Deichman to both the 911 Board and the Minority Affairs and Human Relations Commission to replace Chris Mendenall.  The meeting will take place at the Rolland W. Lewis Building at Veteran's Park.

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Temporary Closure of Saddle Dam II Roadway

The Saddle Dam II Roadway between McNair Recreation Area and Dam East Boat Ramp at Carlyle Lake will be temporarily closed to the general public from September 2nd through the 10th for road maintenance.  The McNair Campground and Recreation Area and Dam East Boat Ramp will remain open to the general public during this timeframe.  All visitors are asked to use the South Shore State Park entrance to access the Dam East Boat Ramp.  For more information about Carlyle Lake, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at 594-2484 or email at carlylelake@usace.army.mil.

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Veterans Get Second Shot To Clear Up Outstanding Warrants

(Madison County, IL) -- Veterans who have outstanding warrants in Madison County are getting a chance to clear things up without the fear of being arrested. Those who received things from traffic warrants to felony warrants in Madison County can go in to the courthouse on September 12th and make arrangements to deal with them. The amnesty program does not apply to federal warrants or civil contempt citations. Veterans must bring a photo ID in with them, along with a DD-214 form to qualify.

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Archaeologists excavate historic Illinois home

BROOKLYN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois archaeologists are excavating the remains of an 1851 home owned by a former slave in an effort to get the village of Brooklyn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the archaeologists are digging up the buried remains of the home of Priscilla Baltimore. Slaves led by Baltimore who fled St. Louis founded the village around 1830. It now has a population of about 650 and its local government depends on revenue from strip clubs. Excavation leader Joe Galloy says the team hopes to unveil archaeology about 2 feet below the village's surface. He says the strip clubs shouldn't prevent the village from being listed but there isn't enough surviving architecture. There are about 88,000 historical sites on the national register.

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Fatal Accident On I-70 Near Brownstown

According to Illinois State Police in Effingham, there was a fatal crash in District 12 over the weekend. Police report that the crash occurred in Fayette County, yesterday afternoon at 1:52pm, on Interstate 70 westbound at milepost 68, at the Brownstown/Bluff City interchange. According to the police report, 71-year-old Jeanette Sassae, of Shobonier, il, entered the interstate going the wrong way; coming off of the Brownstown/Bluff City interchange going eastbound in the westbound lanes. She was then struck head-on by a semi-truck, which was driven by 22-year-old Uulu Marifa Tazamat, of Chicago. Sassae was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident; Tazamat received minor injuries and was transported to Fayette County Hospital, in Vandalia. The accident was investigated by Illinois State Police, a state police accident reconstruction team, and the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

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Arizona Man Arrested In Mt. Vernon On Suspected Robbery Charges

An Arizona man is being held in the Jefferson County following an alleged foiled bank robbery late Friday morning. Clark Wayne Kirkman, 72, Mesa, Arizona, was arrested around 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Fifth Third Bank in Mt. Vernon. Kirkman has been tentatively charged with robbery of a financial institution and theft. Formal charges are expected to be filed this week. An employee of nearby JC Penney reportedly alerted police of the suspect when he was seen taking off the license plates of the employee’s vehicle and placing them on his vehicle. The witness was able to provide police with a description of the suspect and the Buick LeSabre he was driving. Police tracked Kirkman to the parking lot of the bank, where they say he was preparing a written note to deliver to bank tellers. He was also putting on a ball cap and sunglasses to disguise his identity. Police were able to secure the bank ahead of time by notifying employees of the impending robbery attempt. Police moved in on Kirkman when the bank and the parking lot were secured. He was arrested without incident. Local police are working with the FBI on the case, and as Kirkman is on probation for a previous robbery conviction, it is anticipated the feds will issue a warrant for violation of probation. Kirkman’s tan LeSabre was confiscated by police. Authorities said they also found Texas license plates inside the vehicle.
   
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Edgewood Couple Charged In Meth Arrest

An ongoing investigation by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force and with the assistance of the Clay County State's Attorney, resulted in multiple people being arrested in Edgewood on methamphetamine related charges. A search warrant issued in the investigation resulted in 24-year-old Kevin Dietz, and 26-year-old Sarah Russell, both of Edgewood, being arrested and charged with aggravated manufacturing of methamphetamine, methamphetamine related child endangerment and possession of methamphetamine manufacturing materials.  In addition, 53-year-old Henry Dietz, also of Edgewood, was arrested and charged with unlawful use of weapon. Bond was set at $125,000 for Kevin Dietz, $150,000 for Sarah Russell, and, $100,000 for Henry Dietz; all three are currently held in the Clay County Jail.

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IDOT Announces Maintenance On I-57 Bridges Near Ina Have Been Postponed

IDOT wants you to know that the previously scheduled Tuesday lane closure on I-57 north of exit 83 near Ina over Atchison Creek has been postponed and will be made up at a later date.

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STATE
US Rep. Duckworth announces she's pregnant


CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth says she's pregnant and expecting a baby girl in early December. The Iraq veteran and double amputee says she and her husband are "thrilled." Duckworth is a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Hoffman Estates. She announced the pregnancy Monday on NBC's "Today" show. The announcement was part of a segment about four amputees from the Iraq War who have recently had babies or are pregnant. Duckworth says the women were there for her during her greatest trauma, when she lost both legs after her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004. The 46-year-old says the women will now be together for their "greatest joy." Duckworth is running for re-election on Nov. 4. She faces Republican Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville, a fellow veteran.

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Rockford Man Announces Bid For 2016 Presidential Run

(Rockford, IL)  --  A Rockford man is running for the White House.  Randall Courts cast his hat into the presidential race on Monday at Memorial Hall.  The Independent candidate decided to announce on Labor Day in order to gain momentum early in the election cycle.

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Kraft Recalling 7,700 Cases Of Cheese Singles

(Northfield, IL)  --  Northfield based Kraft Foods has ordered a large recall of its single packaged American cheese slices.  Nearly 77-hundred cases of the product are being recalled.  The company says a storage issue could have caused some of the cheese to spoil.  The cheese was produced at the Kraft plant in Springfield, Missouri.  Anyone who purchases a package labeled with the "Best When Used By" dates of February 20th and 21st, 2015, should return it to the store. 

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Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford Announces Upcoming Unclaimed Property Auction

SPRINGFIELD – Sept. 1, 2014 – Broaches, jewelry, and stamp collections are just some of the items that Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is offering in the next Illinois Treasurer’s Online Unclaimed Property Auction. It begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 8 and will begin closing at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 12. If you are interested in previewing the items up for auction, please go to the treasurer’s office’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and click on the auction preview button.“Our vaults are filled to capacity and during this auction we have 5,482 pieces of unclaimed property to sell because the rightful owners have not come forward to claim the items in more than five years,” said Rutherford. “We have a variety of interesting items to sell in this auction. This auction features watches, coins, costume jewelry, collectible spoons and other rare items. There’s something that appeals to everyone.” All items for sale in this auction have been appraised by an outside vendor. The sale price of each lot must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value. Buyers are responsible for purchasing their auction winnings with either Visa or MasterCard (other arrangements will be available for purchases over $10,000). Additionally, a 2 percent administrative fee will be assessed. Buyers are required to pay for shipping through the preferred list of shippers. If you would like to participate in the upcoming 2014 Illinois Treasurer’s Online Unclaimed Property Auction, please visit www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the link to the auction.  One must register to become an active bidder. For questions about registration, please contact 217-785-6998.

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Illinois agency promoting disaster preparedness

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging people to be more prepared for disasters. The agency will team up with local emergency management agencies, as well as local, state and federal agencies across the U.S., throughout September to observe National Preparedness Month. The campaign explores a different area of emergency preparedness will be explored each week, including reconnecting with family after a disaster, planning for specific needs before a disaster, building an emergency kit and practicing for an emergency. The agency plans to post daily preparedness tips through Facebook and Twitter. Jonathon Monken is director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. He says: "Spending just a few minutes today on personal preparedness can help you and your family stay safe when disaster strikes."

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NATIONAL
More than 30 teens escape from detention center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in Nashville, Tennessee say 17 teens are still on the loose after dozens of them escaped from a youth detention center. A Children's Services spokesman says 32 teens, ages 14 to 19, escaped late last night by crawling under a weak spot in a fence that surrounds the center's yard. Two teens were captured right away and others were caught overnight. Authorities say teens staying at the center have committed at least three felonies.

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Blackwater legacy: a faint memory of Nisoor Square

WASHINGTON (AP) — A jury is about to consider the fates of four former Blackwater security guards who face charges stemming from the shooting of 30 Iraqis on a Baghdad street in 2007. The 12-member jury in Washington is to get the case today. One of the guards is on trial for first-degree murder. The other three are accused of voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges. If convicted, the guard charged with murder could be sentenced to life in prison. The sentences for the others would be a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison if convicted on the gun charge and at least one other charge. Lawyers for the guards say insurgents fired on a Blackwater convoy of vehicles, prompting a justifiable response. Prosecutors say there was no incoming gunfire.

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More storms roll through Midwest with hail, winds

ST. LOUIS (AP) — More strong storms are rumbling through the Midwest. The National Weather Service says a tornado touched down near Cedar Vale, Kansas last night, and other places saw heavy rains, large hail and strong winds. The Detroit Free Press is reporting that two tornadoes hit northern Michigan earlier Monday. The National Weather Service says there was property damage, but no injuries. And a storm spotter was hospitalized in Iowa after he was struck by lightning.

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Detroit's historic bankruptcy trial to begin

DETROIT (AP) — Lawyers for Detroit will try to convince a judge with the start of the city's bankruptcy trial that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved. The trial begins Tuesday in federal court and comes just over 13 months after Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. A spokesman for Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr says the city expects to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion. Most creditors have endorsed the plan, which includes commitments from the state, corporations and foundations to donate $800 million to soften cuts to city pensions. In return, city artwork would be protected from being sold. Bond insurer Syncora Guarantee opposes the plan, and says Detroit has unfairly discriminated against financial creditors.

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School begins in Chicago with more safety guards

CHICAGO (AP) — Classes resume today for children in Chicago, and they'll be walking past even more guards on their first day of school than last year. Thanks to an infusion of $1 million from the city and $10 million from the governor, another 700 "Safe Passage" workers will eventually be on routes that students walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods to get to school. Some 1,200 "Safe Passage" workers lined the streets last year.

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Dollar General raises Family Dollar bid to $9.1B

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dollar General is boosting its bid for rival Family Dollar to approximately $9.1 billion and says it's now willing to more than double the number of stores it would shed to avoid trouble with regulators. The newest bid from Dollar General is worth $80 per share, up from $78.50. Dollar General's previous bid, worth nearly $9 billion, was rejected by Family Dollar in favor of an offer of about $8.5 billion one Dollar Tree Inc. Dollar General Corp. it will now divest 1,500 stores to steer clear of antitrust issues. It previously said it would divest up to 700 stores. The Goodlettsville, Tennessee company has also agreed to pay a $500 million reverse break-up fee to Family Dollar Stores Inc. if the deal runs into antitrust roadblocks.

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Waldo suspends 2 police chiefs after quota claims

WALDO, Fla. (AP) — The tiny Florida town of Waldo has long had a reputation as a speed trap. The AAA auto club named the tiny town between Jacksonville and Gainesville one of only two "traffic traps" nationwide. The other town is nearby Lawtey. AAA has placed billboards outside the limits of both towns to warn drivers to slow down before entering. Now Waldo is facing a scandal over its traffic tickets. Two police chiefs have been suspended, the police department has rebelled and the state is investigating possible wrongdoing. A group of Waldo's police officers attended a council meeting on Aug. 26 and accused the police chief of ordering them to write a minimum of 12 traffic tickets during each 12-hour shift.

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Obama leaves for Baltics today

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama leaves today for Estonia for meetings with Baltic leaders before traveling to Wales for a NATO summit. As Obama heads for Russia's backyard, there's still criticism over the president's response to the crisis in eastern Ukraine and the West's inability to halt Russia's aggression. Obama has so far resisted calls for the U.S. send in military support to help Ukrainian forces fight off pro-Russian forces.

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Ex-House majority leader joins investment bank

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has a new job as vice chairman and managing director of a global independent investment bank. New York-based Moelis & Company announced Cantor's appointment Tuesday in a news release. Cantor lost his re-election bid in the June primary and left Congress in August. The Virginia Republican had served seven terms representing the state's 7th Congressional District. Cantor says in the release that he considered his career options and knew he wanted to join a firm with what he calls "a great entrepreneurial spirit that focused on its clients." Moelis & Company has 15 offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

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Chris Brown pleads guilty to assault in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in Washington, where he was accused of punching a man who tried to join a picture the singer was taking with two women outside a hotel. Brown was sentenced to time served on Tuesday. He had been in jail for two days in the case. He had been arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault in October after the scuffle outside the W hotel. The victim in the case says Brown hit him after he tried to get in a photograph Brown was taking with two women. Brown had previously acknowledged to a judge in Los Angeles that he had violated probation by committing a crime in Washington. He had been on probation for a 2009 attack on the singer Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time.

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Politico founder to be Washington Post publisher

WASHINGTON (AP) — Katharine Weymouth is stepping down as publisher of The Washington Post and will be replaced by Frederick Ryan, who previously led Politico. Weymouth, a member of the Graham family that owned the Post for 80 years, announced Tuesday that she will leave the Post after serving for 17 years in various roles. She has been publisher for seven years. The move follows the sale of the publication last year to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. On Tuesday, Bezos also announced the appointment of Ryan as the new publisher. Ryan had served as president and CEO of the political news outlet Politico, which he co-founded in 2007. In the 1980s, Ryan was chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan. In a statement, Ryan called the Post a "crown jewel" of journalistic values.

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Topeka City Council to consider public nudity ban

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The City Council in Topeka, Kansas, will consider a ban on nudity in public places after a nude man strolled down city streets last week. Councilwoman Michelle De La Isla has asked that the proposal be placed on the Sept. 9 agenda. The Topeka Police Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff's Department say being nude in public is legal in Kansas, and is only illegal "in the context of sexual arousal." De La Isla says she's received calls from worried constituents. She says no one wants their kids "exposed to naked people." The council last considered a public nudity ban in 2005. That proposal wasn't seconded and died without a vote.

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INTERNATIONAL
Ukraine says Russian forces are in major rebel cities

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says Russian military forces have been spotted in both of the major cities held by rebels in eastern Ukraine. And that has prompted Ukraine to declare that it now has to fight the Russian army -- not just the pro-Russian separatists -- in a war that Ukraine's defense minister says could cost "tens of thousands" of lives. A spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council says Russian troops have been seen in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in other locations throughout the east. The claim couldn't be independently confirmed. Meanwhile, in Moscow, a Kremlin aide is sharply criticizing the president of the EU Commission for quoting Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying Moscow could take over Kiev in two weeks if it wished. The Kremlin says it was a breach of confidentiality, and that Putin was "taken out of context."

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Six militants killed in US strike in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A member of the Somali group al-Shabab says its leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit Monday night in a U.S. military strike but the spokesman would not say if the leader was among the six militants who were killed. Abu Mohammed told The Associated Press on Tuesday that six militants were killed in the attack. He said the two vehicles were heading toward the coastal town of Barawe, al-Shabab's main base when they were hit. He said al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was in one of the vehicles. The targets were fighters for the al-Shabab network, which has ties to al-Qaida. Somali officials say the group launched an attack yesterday on an interrogation center.

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Saudi arrests 88 suspects in alleged al-Qaida cell

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it has arrested 88 men who are suspected of being part of an al-Qaida cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside of the kingdom. The announcement Tuesday comes amid the advance of the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria, which has prompted Saudi Arabia to take harsher measures against sympathizers who could threaten the kingdom's stability. Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki says some of the men had previously served prison sentences for similar offenses. He says that Saudi security forces monitored the group for months and learned about their plans. He said the arrests came over the past several days. The police say that three of the men are Yemeni nationals, one is still being identified and the rest are Saudis.

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UN provides aid for record 4.1 million in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The World Food Program says it provided food to a record 4.1 million people inside Syria last month. The U.N. agency says it was able to reach more people because of a Security Council resolution adopted in July that authorized the movement of humanitarian aid to Syrians in rebel-held areas without government approval. The aid is moved through crossings with Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. Previously, the Syrian government had to approve all aid shipments. The U.N. agency said in a statement on Tuesday that over the last six weeks, it has reached more than 580,000 people with deliveries that crossed across battle lines. That number includes five cross-border convoys that delivered rice, lentils, oil, pasta and other staples for 69,500 in hard-to-reach zones in Aleppo, Idlib, Quneitra and Daraa provinces.

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SPORTS
MONDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4
Chicago Cubs 4, Milwaukee 2

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Evansville at Washington (2)
Southern Illinois at Lake Erie
Gateway at Joliet

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NIU to honor Brigham through athletes' uniforms

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois University says its student athletes are honoring a former athletic director by wearing his initials throughout the school year. The university says Robert J. Brigham has made a lasting impact on thousands of Huskie athletes. He was a fixture of the athletic community for more than 50 years, starting as an athlete in 1946 and ending as the special assistant to the president in 2001. Brigham served as the athletic director for 19 years, from 1968 to 1987, when he took NIU from NCAA College Division to University Division status. He also helped enhance athletic facilities and advance multiple teams to NCAA championships. Members of all 17 sports will add stickers and patches reading "RJB" to their helmets, hats and uniforms. Brigham died in May at age 90.

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Bears sign long snapper Cain

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed long snapper Jeremy Cain to replace the retired Patrick Mannelly. Cain played for the Bears from 2004-05, seeing time on special teams and as a backup linebacker, and served as the long snapper for the final two games last year. He has also played for Tennessee and Jacksonville. The move announced Monday comes one day after Chicago waived long snapper Brandon Hartson. He initially beat out former CFL player Chad Rempel, who was waived Aug. 18, in a preseason competition to replace Mannelly, but the Bears ultimately decided to part ways with him, too. Chicago opens the season at home against Buffalo on Sunday.

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News for Sept. 1, 2014

LOCAL
City Council To Meet Tuesday

The Labor Day holiday has pushed back the first meeting of the month for the Mt. Vernon City Council.  The Council will meet Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veteran's Park.

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Engine trouble force cancellation of Amtrak train

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Passengers were forced to leave an Amtrak train traveling from Carbondale to Chicago when engine trouble forced the cancellation of service. The train, which was scheduled to arrive in Chicago at 9:45 p.m. Friday, slowed to a stop shortly after leaving Carbondale. Amtrak Media Relations Manager Marc Magliari told The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale that Amtrak decided to cancel the train after efforts to repair the engine were unsuccessful. Magliari said the city of Carbondale helped pick up riders on North U.S. 51 and bring them back to the Amtrak station. The number of passengers affected wasn't given. According to Magliari, passengers were able to take a Saturday morning train to Chicago or received a refund.

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Man brings 2 military flares to Illinois sheriff


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southern Illinois moved jail inmates and evacuated a restaurant after a man came to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office with empty casings of two military flares. The incident happened Saturday evening in Murphysboro. The sheriff's office says a "mentally unstable" man wanted to turn the flares over to authorities. He said he'd had the flares for a number of years and they were previously detonated. Sheriff's officials say deputies formed a perimeter around the office and moved 30 inmates to another cell block "out of an abundance of caution." Patrons at the nearby Brews Brothers Tap Room were asked to leave. The joint Carbondale Police and Southern Illinois University Police Department bomb squad responded and confirmed the devices couldn't be detonated. Authorities say they don't plan criminal charges.

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Southern Illinois Man Charged With Stalking Woman

(Collinsville, IL)  --  Police say a Collinsville man faces criminal charges after he allegedly stalked a woman and broke into an area church.  Edwardsville Police say 24-year-old Angel Granados stalked his female victim in July.  He also has been charged with breaking into Gateway Family Church in Glen Carbon several times.  Granados is accused of stealing electronic items between May 30th and August 9th.  He's being held on 135-thousand dollars bond and is expected to appear in court on September 5th.

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Cahokia Police Search For Suspect After Pursuit

(Cahokia, IL)  --  Police in Cahokia are on the lookout for the driver that led them on a pursuit on I-255 Saturday night.  Cops say the chase started during a traffic stop linked to a series of retail thefts and suspicion of the motorist driving under the influence.  The suspect allegedly tried to hit a police vehicle as he fled and drove north on I-255.  After the driver crashed, he took off running.

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Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Check Results

(DuQuoin), IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the results of a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) held during the late evening hours of Friday, August 29, 2014, and early morning hours of August 30, 2014 and the late evening hours of Saturday August 30, 2014 and the early morning hours of August 31, 2014.  The details were conducted at (Illinois Route 13 @ Division Street, Carterville, IL) by ISP District 13 officers.  Alcohol is involved in nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to remove alcohol-impaired drivers, however, when other violations are observed such as driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating a vehicle without a valid registration or insurance, or safety belt violations, enforcement action may be taken. On the first night of the detail, there were 16 total citations or arrests with 15 total written warnings. Among them, there were 2 registration offenses, 6 driver's license offenses, 4 occupant restraint offenses and an alcohol/drug arrest. There were no driving under the influence arrests.  The second night of the detail yielded 15 total citations or arrests and 24 total written warnings with 2 registration offenses, 2 driver's license offenses, 2 occupant restraint offenses, 1 driving under the influence arrest, and 5 other alcohol or drug arrests. This project was funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.        

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SIU hoping enrollment doesn't fall again this year

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Officials at Southern Illinois University say they're "guardedly optimistic" new figures will show an end to a trend of dropping enrollments. The Southern Illinoisan reports that official enrollment numbers for the Carbondale school are expected to be released on Tuesday. The school has seen its student body drop from about 21,600 to just less than 18,000 since 2004. That's a 16.8 percent fall. Figures show that just 60.8 percent of SIU's 2012 freshmen class stayed or came back for their sophomore year. Interim Provost Susan Ford says "that's not a good number." The school created a retention task force two years ago to address the problem. Members put together a plan that was initiated in January. It includes mentoring, accountability and curriculum efforts.

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Carmi Woman Hospitalized After Spending Night In Mud With Hip Injury

A Carmi woman trapped in mud for about 24 hours and believed to be dead turned out to be very much alive Sunday, according to White County Sheriff's Office. The county dispatch received a report of a dead body just before 10 a.m. Sunday near Little Wabash River Dam in Carmi. The woman, 39-year-old Amy Chitwood, was located down a steep embankment and covered in mud at the edge of the river. A sheriff's deputy and a Carmi police officer discovered that Chitwood was still alive and rescue efforts began with the aid of White County Ambulance Service and Carmi Fire Department. She had been walking near the dam Saturday morning and slipped and fell down the embankment and sank in mud to her waist. Chitwood suffered a hip injury and was unable to remove herself from the mud. She was spotted Sunday morning by a passerby, who called 911. She was alert and conscious when airlifted to a Mount Vernon hospital for treatment.

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Temporary Closure of Saddle Dam II Roadway

The Saddle Dam II Roadway between McNair Recreation Area and Dam East Boat Ramp at Carlyle Lake will be temporarily closed to the general public from September 2nd through the 10th for road maintenance.  The McNair Campground and Recreation Area and Dam East Boat Ramp will remain open to the general public during this timeframe.  All visitors are asked to use the South Shore State Park entrance to access the Dam East Boat Ramp.  For more information about Carlyle Lake, contact the Carlyle Lake Project Office at 594-2484 or email at carlylelake@usace.army.mil.

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STATE
Illinois governor grants 38 clemency requests


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has taken action on 124 clemency petitions, granting 38 and denying 86. The Chicago Democrat announced the news in a release Friday afternoon. His office says those who were granted clemency have recently undergone criminal background checks. Clemencies that the governor granted were for crimes such as forgery, drug convictions and burglary. Quinn says he's granted more than 1,100 clemency petitions since he took office and denied about 1,900 requests. His office says the governor is making progress on clemency decisions aimed at clearing a backlog of more than 2,500 cases that built up under his predecessor.

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Senator Durbin Endorsed By AFL-CIO

(Springfield, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has the support of one of the largest labor unions.  He received the endorsement of the AFL-CIO in Springfield on Sunday.  Union reps say their decision was a no brainer.  They selected incumbent Durbin over Republican challenger state senator Jim Oberweis based on their voting records.  The AFL-CIO, which represents 900-thousand union members, says Durbin has a 96 percent voting record since 1996.  The union says Oberweis has a 17 percent voting record.

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CUB Keeping Close Watch On Rate Hike Request

(Alton, IL) -- Ameren is asking the state for a 206-point-four-million-dollar rate hike but that isn't sitting well with the Citizen's Utility Board. The hike is supposed to help pay for upgrades to the power grid, but the CUB hopes to get the rate reduced so people aren't hit so hard in the pockets. A CUB spokesman says improvements to the power grid, if done right, should pay for themselves in the long run.

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Medical marijuana applications posted for business

CHICAGO (AP) — The official applications have been posted for aspiring medical marijuana businesses in Illinois. The applications and detailed instructions were posted Friday on the program's website. The application period opens Sept. 8 and runs through Sept. 22 for a limited number of permits. For cultivation center applicants, only applications submitted to the Department of Agriculture by certified U.S. mail, or in person, will be accepted. Applications to obtain medical marijuana must be hand delivered to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in Chicago. Patients whose last names begin with A through L and their designated caregivers can submit applications from Sept. 2 through Oct. 31. Patients whose last names begin with M through Z and their caregivers can submit applications from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.

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Illinois museum to display 1916 military equipment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — If you've ever wondered how Americans waged war 100 years ago, the Illinois State Military Museum will give you a glimpse of the past. The Springfield museum plans to put uniforms, weapons and other equipment on display that was used by the Illinois National Guard during a 1916 border campaign against Pancho Villa. The Mexican revolutionary raided New Mexico, and Maj. Gen. John Pershing launched a yearlong effort to get him. Illinois' guardsmen were mobilized along the Texas border. A Friday press release from the National Guard says the campaign was the first time the Army used airplanes and trucks. It turned out to be a dress rehearsal for American participation in World War I. The items will be displayed at the military museum, starting Sept. 6.

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Candidates Agree On Food Labeling Issue

One’s a dairyman and one’s a lawyer, but the two men running for U.S. Senate in Illinois this year do agree on this: mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods is wrong. State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), whose family’s dairy sells milk and ice cream at premium prices, says he’s against GMO, RBGH, and any other artificial boost. He says rather than maintain its own herds, Oberweis purchases milk from 20 family farms in Illinois and Wisconsin – all of which pledge not to give their cows such additives. But in the name of opposing government overreach, Oberweis says mandating that they label the foods is wrong. Durbin agrees, saying the mere presence of a label suggests there could be something wrong with the product.

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NATIONAL
Lawmakers say Islamic State groups wants to hit US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are warning that the United States and Western Europe are likely to be future targets of Islamic State militants. They say President Barack Obama needs to take action. Without offering specifics on threats or suggestions on how to confront them, the leaders of intelligence committees in the Senate and House are sharing a dire warning about the Islamic State group. Those fighters now control vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, have killed civilians from that region and beheaded American journalist James Foley. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California leads the Senate intelligence panel. She says Islamic State fighters want to, quote, "kill with abandon." And the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, says the group might use Americans to strike inside the U.S.

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Obama promoting economic gains as elections near

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is sounding more bullish these days about the nation's recovery from the Great Recession. And the White House is encouraging Democrats to show similar optimism as they head into the November mid-term elections. Obama says, "There are reasons to feel good about the direction that we're headed." Despite turmoil in the Mideast and along the Ukraine-Russia border, the top issue with Americans remains the economy. And while consumer confidence appears to be improving, the public remains anxious over how strong the recovery is going to be. Today, Obama will deliver a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he is expected to promote the economy in a state that was at the center of a fight over the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

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US judge blocks enforcement of new La abortion law

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. District Judge John deGravelles says the law can still take effect today, but he says officials cannot penalize the doctors and clinics that sued for breaking it until after a hearing. The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

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Ferguson police start wearing body cameras

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in the St. Louis suburb where a white officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old have started wearing body cameras. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ferguson police began wearing the cameras Saturday. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told the newspaper officers had the devices on during a protest march Saturday. The march marked the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. Jackson said the department was given about 50 body cameras by two companies about a week ago. Company representatives offered training to officers Saturday on using the devices that attach to their uniforms and record video and audio. Jackson said each officer will get one to use.

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Revel starts shutdown today after just 2 years

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City's 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out today when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel. Its casino will close early Tuesday. Revel is shutting down a little over two years after opening with high hopes of revitalizing Atlantic City's struggling gambling market. But mired in its second bankruptcy in as many years, Revel has been unable to find anyone willing to buy the property and keep it open as a casino. Analysts and competitors say Revel was hampered by business decisions including a total smoking ban, the lack of a buffet and daily bus trips to and from the casino, and the lack of a players' database from which to solicit customers.

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Report: Joan Rivers Being Brought Out Of Coma

(New York, NY)  --  The are reports that Joan Rivers is being brought out of a medically-induced coma, although it could take a few days for doctors to determine the 81-year-old comedian's status.  A source tells the "New York Daily News" the waking up process has begun but doctors won't know until Tuesday, at the earliest, the extent of the damage.  Rivers has been unconscious since she was rushed to a New York City hospital Thursday after reportedly going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure.  

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All 5 Passengers Dead In Colorado Plane Crash

(Eire, CO)  --  Authorities say all five people on board a small plane that crashed in Colorado Sunday are dead.  The Piper PA-46 crashed in a field while coming in for a landing at a small airport about 25 miles north of Denver.  The crash happened just before noon.  

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War Veteran Representatives On ISIS

(Undated)  --  Congressmen who've served in the military are talking about the crisis in Iraq.  Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland and Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" to discuss the Iraqi situation after pro-government forces took a city back from terrorist group ISIS.  Ruppersberger calls ISIS "barbaric" and says not only is the military necessary to defeat them, but also a coalition of allies in the region.  Kinzinger agrees, saying air power works and half the battle is public perception in the United States and abroad.  Senator John McCain says more U.S. troops are necessary to deal with the growing threat from ISIS.  Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," the Arizona Republican said American troops should play a support role because ISIS is a direct threat to the U.S. 

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Perry: Tweet About Lehmberg "Unauthorized" And Deleted

(Austin, TX)  --  Texas Governor Rick Perry says a deleted tweet featuring a photo of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg "unauthorized."  Perry's Twitter account made both tweets last night, but Perry says he doesn't condone the Lehmberg post.  The deleted tweet featured a picture of Lehmberg from a publication called "The Patriot Post" which claimed the DA indicted Perry over his veto of cash meant for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit.  A grand jury indicted Perry.

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Showboat Closes After 27 Years In Atlantic City

(Atlantic City, NJ)  --  The Labor Day weekend is a bust for many casino-goers and workers in Atlantic City.  The Showboat Casino Hotel officially closed its doors this weekend after 27 years.  Caesars Entertainment decided to close the Mardi Gras-themed establishment to alleviate some of the competition with its other three casinos.  

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Actresses Fall Victim To Hackers

(Undated)  --  Hackers are apparently behind the release of private photos of a number of celebrities.  According to TMZ.com, nude or nearly nude photos appearing to be of stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Victoria Justice, Ariana Grande, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and many others have hit the internet.  A rep for Jennifer Lawrence promised to prosecute anyone who puts up the photos.  

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Shoppers Preparing For Labor Day

(Undated)  --  Shoppers are taking advantage of Labor Day sales.  A recent survey has found nearly 65-percent of Americans are shopping during the holiday weekend, which is an increase from last year's 59-percent.  Most of the increase is coming from people looking for back-to-school deals.  

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INTERNATIONAL
Americans Detained In North Korea Speak With U.S. Media

(Pyongyang)  --   The world is hearing from three Americans being detained in North Korea.  Kenneth Bae, Matthew Miller and Jeffery Fowle were each given five minutes to speak with CNN on Monday.  Bae, who was convicted of "hostile acts to bring down the government" says he is regularly forced into hard labor, but treated humanely.  Miller said his situation is very urgent.  He's headed to trial and won't learn about the charges against him until he's in court.  After that, he'll likely go straight to prison.  Fowle, on the other hand, said he's being treated well and has "no complaints" about the conditions of his captivity.

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Menendez Speaks On Ukrainian Situation

(Kiev)  --  Senator Bob Menendez calls Russian involvement in Ukraine an invasion.  Speaking from Kiev, the New Jersey Democrat told CNN's "State of the Union" Russian President Vladimir Putin has sized up the West and believes it won't defend Ukraine.  Menendez says Russian soldiers, not Ukrainian rebels, are creating violence in eastern Ukraine.  Meanwhile, Putin is calling for immediate talks on what he called the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine.  Putin said on Sunday that talks should focus onthe political organization of society and statehood in eastern Ukraine.  

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Parents of ill UK boy to remain in Spanish custody

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has ordered the detention for 72 hours of a British couple who took their critically ill 5-year-old son abroad against doctors' advice. A spokesman at the National Court in Madrid said the judge ruled Monday the couple must be held while the court considers whether to grant Britain an extradition request. The judge could have opted to let the parents to go free while the case is considered. The spokesman said Ashya King's parents told the judge they don't want to return to the U.K. They were arrested Sunday in southeastern Spain after a European arrest warrant was issued by Interpol at the request of British police. Their son is receiving medical treatment for a brain tumor and is currently at a Malaga hospital. The spokesman said the legal process also involves requesting the advice of Spanish doctors and translating legal documents deemed pertinent to the case.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 5, St. Louis 1
St. Louis 13, Chicago Cubs 2
Chicago White Sox 6, Detroit 3

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 7, Normal 5
Washington 11, Gateway 4
Florence at Evansville (PPD. to 8/31)

NCAA Football

Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
California 31, Northwestern 24

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 6, Detroit 2
St. Louis 9, Chicago Cubs 6

Frontier League

Florence 6, Evansville 4
Evansville 3, Florence 0
Southern Illinois 12, Normal 4
Washington 6, Gateway 0

NASCAR

Oral-B USA 500  (at Hampton, GA)
1. Kasey Kahne
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Denny Hamlin

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

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Dunn heads to Oakland

UNDATED (AP) — The Oakland Athletics have acquired slugger Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn. Second in the AL West, the Athletics were looking to add a hitter after trading Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for starter Jon Lester before the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Dunn has 460 career homers but struggled in four seasons with the White Sox. The 34-year-old Dunn has played more games, 1,976, without reaching the postseason than any active major leaguer. This is his 14th season and season and he says he is planning on retiring at the end of it.

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Sam Goes Unclaimed On Waivers

(Undated)  --  Michael Sam's dream of becoming the first openly gay player in the NFL is on hold for now.  Sam went unclaimed on waivers after the Rams released him prior to Saturday's 53-man roster deadline.  He is now free to sign with any team in the NFL, though he may ultimately wind up sitting out the year.  Sam could also be signed to a team's practice squad, which would allow him to practice every week but not play in games.  

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News for Aug. 29, 2014

LOCAL
Formal Charges Filed In Connection With Weekend Shooting

Jefferson County State's Attorney Douglas R. Hoffman announced the filing of formal criminal charges against 43 year old Charles A. Beckley of Dix in connection with a shooting that occurred over the weekend in rural Jefferson County.  By way of information, Beckley is charged with four counts, a Class X Felony Charge of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm, a Class 1 Felony of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, and two Class A Misdemeanor Charges, one for Domestic Battery and one for Possession of a Firearm Without Requisite Firearm Owner's ID Card.  Beckley is currently in custody of the Jefferson County Sheriff on $250,000 bond.  He made is initial court appearance on Thursday.

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False Report Claimed In Arrest of Mt. Vernon Man

The Nashville Police Department responded to a call of a dispute at the apartments on the 300 block of West Belleville Street Sunday afternoon and took 21-year old Christopher R. McKenzie of Mount Vernon into custody on a charge of Battery, as he allegedly grabbed and scratched the arm and wrist of alleged girlfriend, 20-year old Codi Bridges of Nashville, causing injury.  Charges were dropped against McKenzie, as Bridges has now been arrested and is in jail, as she allegedly knowingly falsified the report.  She is charged with Disorderly Conduct and has bond set at $10,000, while McKenzie was released. 

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Illinois prosecutor to appeal in 1972 baby killing

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois prosecutor says he will appeal a St. Clair County judge's decision not to reinstate murder charges against an Indiana man in a baby's 1972 beating death. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly told the Belleville News-Democrat on Wednesday that he will appeal to the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon. Judge Robert Haida on Wednesday said he saw nothing in additional records filed by Kelly's office that would cause him to reconsider his May decision to dismiss charges against Gary Warwick of Portage, Indiana. The murder charge was related to the 1972 death of 1-year-old Joseph Henry Abernathy III. Warwick was charged in 1973 in the baby's death, but the case was dismissed without explanation. New charges were brought in September.

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K-9 Dog Dies Of Heat Stroke

(East St. Louis, IL)  --  The excessive heat has gotten the best of a K-9 officer in East St. Louis.  Officials say the dog, better known as Officer Simmie, had a heat stroke after doing training exercises in the park.  Simmie started having trouble walking when he got home and was rushed over to the veterinarian.  That's where he went into cardiac arrest and died.

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Sheriff: Illinois man charged with theft, battery

LITCHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man has been charged with stealing copper wire from cellphone towers and fighting with authorities while resisting arrest. The Belleville News-Democrat reports 32-year-old Lee Franks was charged this week with three felony counts of theft of more than $500. He was also charged with two felony counts of aggravated battery of a police officer and one felony count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The Madison County Sheriff's Office says Franks recruited a minor to help steal copper in rural Madison and Macoupin counties. Authorities found Franks in East Alton on Tuesday. They say he fought with officers when they tried to put him in handcuffs. He's in the Madison County Jail on $100,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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Missouri couple pleads guilty to Illinois robbery

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A St. Louis-area couple has pleaded guilty to robbing an Illinois bank. A U.S. attorney says 43-year-old Darren Everett and 28-year-old Mackenzie Leonard entered the plea Thursday in federal court. They admitted to robbing the Commerce Bank in Columbia in February. They say Leonard disguised herself as an elderly woman using a wig and fake facial wrinkles. Prosecutors say Leonard left the bank with nearly $1,800. Police arrested the couple four days later. They found multiple items linking the pair to the crime, including a note Leonard had handed to the bank teller claiming to have a gun. They each face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. They are both detained on unrelated charges in St. Louis.

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Illinois halts roadwork to speed Labor Day traffic

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Transportation says it will suspend non-emergency roadwork over the Labor Day weekend to help reduce congestion and speed traffic. Thousands of motorists are expected to hit the roads in Illinois during the three-day holiday. The state agency is also giving advance notice of lane closures that will remain in place. The halt in construction will start at 3 p.m. Friday through the end of Monday. Officials are urging drivers to slow down, obey speed limits and drive carefully through work zone. Construction zone speed limits remain in effect even when work crews are not present. In Wayne County, Illinois Route 15 east of Fairfield is undergoing bridge rehabilitation with stage construction with one lane open.  There are traffic signals and concrete barrier in place. In Clinton County, IL Route 127 structure over the Kaskaskia River will continue to be closed 2.5 miles south of Carlyle.  The road closure is required to replace the structure over the Kaskaskia River and is expected to be completed by October 2014.  A marked detour route utilizing Slant Road and IL Route 161 will be in place. 

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Cahokia Mounds plans Indian culture weekend

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville is offering a chance to explore Native American culture next month. The historic site has scheduled "American Indian Educational Days" the weekend of Sept. 13-14. The free event will include demonstrations and hands-on activities for children. The Missouri Atlatl Association will hold its annual competition on the first day. Participants will compete for distance and accuracy with a spear-throwing device that was used for 10,000 years before the development of the bow and arrow. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site is eight miles from downtown St. Louis in Collinsville, Illinois. The historic site's mounds are the largest Native American earthworks north of Mexico. They were part of a city built by the Mississippian culture that flourished 1,000 years ago in the Midwest and South.

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Church in Hoyleton Suffers Fire Damage

There was a lightning strike at a church in Hoyleton that led to it catching fire several hours later.  A neighbor saw lightning strike Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ on East Saint Louis Street just before 8 PM as the storm rolled through the area Wednesday night.  During an early check, they did not find a fire in the area near the steeple, where the lightning struck, but it finally caught hold about 4 hours later and burned the roof to the point that the steeple fell off the building.  He says it looks really bad from the outside and there are a few holes in the roof, but the inside really only received water damage and is in decent shape.  The State Fire Marshal was on the scene Thursday morning as crews are cleaning up and making sure there is no rekindling of the fire.  The Holyeton Fire Department was joined by fire departments from Nashville, Ashley, Addieville, Okawville, Irvington, Hoffman and Centralia.  Schorfheide says no one was injured in initial lightning strike or in the fire. 

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STATE
State Officials Urge Participation In Great Shakeout

(Springfield, IL) -- People don't often think about earthquakes rattling in Illinois, but IEMA's Patti Thompson says we get them more often than people know. She says small quakes can actually be felt very often in parts of the state. Thompson and other state officials are urging schools, businesses, families, and governmental bodies to get signed up for the upcoming "Great Shakeout." It's a brief event that teaches people what to do if they feel the ground shake. The event is being held on October 16th. Registration is available online at ShakeOut.org/CentralUS.

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U of I plans to boost cell reception at stadium

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois officials plan to make it easier for sports fans to use cellphones at Memorial Stadium. The News-Gazette reports the university hopes to boost cell reception through added capacity this season, and then add a more permanent digital antenna system next year. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics also wants to eventually provide Internet access to Illini fans at the stadium. The goal is to allow people to post on social media, stream video and order food on their electronic devices in a way that doesn't consume data plans or overload networks. The plans follow upgrades made by many collegiate and professional teams throughout the country, including the universities of Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, Texas Cristian and Stanford.

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Seminar Aims To Help Identify Signs Of Elder Abuse

(Alton, IL) -- A Metro-East agency is hosting a seminar to help people identify some of the not-so-obvious signs of elderly abuse. It comes in many forms and ranges from physical abuse and sexual abuse to isolation and financial exploitation. Those are just a few of the topics that will be up for discussion at the seminar. It's being held at Senior Service Plus in Alton from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. It's open to the public and there's no need to register in advance.

----------------------------

Fracking industry officials donating to Rauner

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Oil producers, drilling companies and geologists frustrated with the slow process of implementing rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling are putting their money behind Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports that the Winnetka businessman received nearly $240,000 from oil company officials looking to get the process up and running during a stop last month in southern Illinois. The news comes as the state Department of Natural Resources is expected to submit proposed fracking rules to the Illinois Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Friday. The 12-member panel has 45 days to sign off on the suggested rules, change them or prohibit their filing. The department faces a November 15 deadline for the rules to be established.

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Lincoln hits the road
  
SPRINGFIELD – President Lincoln is taking a road trip across central Illinois, and everyone is invited to come along with him. An Abraham Lincoln historic interpreter will make stops at state historic sites in Bement, Lerna and Vandalia on Saturday, Sept. 6. The public can cruise across the prairie with Abe to see all three sites or people can simply meet him at one of his stops. The sites will offer “passports” that visitors can have stamped at any or all of Lincoln’s stops. On Saturday morning at 9, Lincoln will be escorted to the Bryant Cottage State Historic Site by the Bement School marching band and youngsters waving Old Glory. He will greet visitors at the site and reminisce about his 1858 Senate race against Stephen Douglas. The race featured a series of debates about slavery, and it was at Bryant Cottage that the two candidates agreed to the debates. Mrs. Bryant will be on hand to escort visitors through her 1856 home, and artists will demonstrate crafts of the period. His Bement visit ends at 11, when Lincoln hits the road for the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site near Lerna. He’ll be there, at the farm once owned by his family, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. His beloved step-mother Sarah Lincoln will lay out a table groaning with all sorts of sweet treats. Neighbors will join the festivities, which include musical entertainment provided by Lincoln Log Cabin's own volunteer musicians.   Lincoln visited the farm many times, including early in 1861 just before leaving for Washington to assume the presidency.  The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site is the final stop. Lincoln will be there 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join Lincoln as he recounts his early years in the Illinois Legislature and find out how he took his first public stance against slavery here in 1837, a move which started the young politician on a path which would lead to slavery’s ultimate demise.  The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency operates all three sites, which are all part of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.

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Jesse White’s Vehicle Renewal Sticker Receipt Legislation Signed Into Law

Legislation proposed by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to allow a printed receipt from the Secretary of State to serve temporarily as the vehicle renewal sticker was signed into law by the governor.  The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015.  Senate Bill 2802 will allow motorists to drive without an up-to-date vehicle renewal sticker affixed to their license plate provided they have a receipt from the Secretary of State that proves they purchased a sticker online before expiration, but have not yet received the registration sticker. The receipt is valid for no more than 30 days from the expiration of the previous registration’s sticker’s date.“This is another consumer friendly initiative that encourages online transactions with my office,” said White.  “Our Driver Services facilities have many customers come in to buy their stickers a day or two before they are set to expire.  This new law will allow such customers to make the same purchase online, and then use the receipt as proof of up-to-date registration compliance.” Last year, more than 150,000 customers purchased vehicle renewal registration stickers during the last two days in May.  The vast majority of customers visited a facility to conduct these transactions; just over 6,300 people purchased their renewal stickers online.  White’s office continues to provide more services online to further improve customer convenience.  Over the last seven years, internet transactions have increased by nearly 300 percent in the Secretary of State’s office. Senate Bill 2802 was sponsored by state Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago).

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NATIONAL
Obama cautions against using force to solve crises

WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict. That stance is in keeping with Obama's long-standing aversion to military entanglements. But it comes at a time when the effectiveness of his preferred options is being challenged and there are indications that some in the administration are ready to take more robust actions. In the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Obama has relied largely on coordinated U.S. and European Union economic sanctions to try to shift Russian President Vladimir Putin's calculus. While the White House can claim credit for inflicting some pain on Russia's economy, Putin appears to be only getting more aggressive.

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Cops: Angry passenger attacks worker at LaGuardia

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say an angry passenger punched and kicked an airline employee while looking for his bag at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Port Authority police say Antonio Sappleton attacked the United Airlines employee around 8 p.m. Wednesday, sending him to a hospital with a split lip and loose teeth. Police say Sappleton became agitated when the 23-year-old employee asked for his checked bag ticket. They say he punched the employee repeatedly and kicked him multiple times once he fell to the ground. Port Authority officers arrested Sappleton outside the terminal. The 22-year-old Yonkers man is charged with assault and harassment. Information on his lawyer wasn't immediately available.

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Closing arguments set in former Va. governor trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Closing arguments are scheduled in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. Prosecutors and defense lawyers will sum up the case for the jury Friday. The five-week trial featured the testimony of the former governor and the prosecution's star witness, wealthy vitamin entrepreneur Jonnie Williams. Maureen McDonnell did not testify. The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his company's supposed cure-all, the tobacco-derived anti-inflammatory Anatabloc. They could face decades in prison if convicted. Williams testified under immunity that he spent lavishly on the McDonnells only to secure their help. Bob McDonnell said Williams never really asked for anything and didn't get anything other than routine political courtesies.

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USDA seizes more than 1,200 illegal giant snails

WASHINGTON (AP) — The giant African snail damages buildings, destroys crops and can cause meningitis in humans. But some people still want to collect, and even eat, the slimy invaders. The Agriculture Department is trying to stop them. Since June, department authorities have seized more than 1,200 live specimens of the large snails, all of them traced back to someone in Georgia who was selling them illegally. After receiving a tip, the department in June seized more than 200 snails from a person on Long Island, New York, who identified the seller in Georgia. The department then interviewed the seller and seized almost 1,000 more snails. Authorities say it's important to capture the snails without delay because they multiply quickly, producing 1,200 or more offspring a year.

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Crews Find Body Of Missing F-15 Pilot

(Westfield, MA)  --  A pilot is dead after his F-15 fighter jet crashed in western Virginia on Wednesday.  An official with the National Guard in Massachusetts said the pilot was unable to eject and died in the crash.  Search teams reached the crash site Thursday afternoon where they discovered the pilot's body in the wreckage. 

----------------------

Melissa Rivers: Mom Joan Is "Resting Comfortably"

(New York, NY)  --  Melissa Rivers says her mom, Joan Rivers, is "resting comfortably" at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.  The 81-year-old comedienne was rushed there on Thursday after she reportedly stopped breathing during vocal cord surgery at her doctor's office.  Melissa tweeted thanks for the overwhelming love and support late Thursday and asked that everyone continue to keep her mom in their thoughts and prayers.   

----------------------

Google Testing Delivery Drones

(Undated)  --  Google isn't saying anything but the search engine giant is secretly testing drones.  Google revealed on Thursday that it started testing delivery drones in Australia earlier this month.  Google says its engineers and experts have safely carried out 30 test flights of what are sometimes called unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs.  The company also says it's years away from actually using drones for deliveries.

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2016 GOP hopefuls vie for attention at Texas event

DALLAS (AP) — A parade of potential 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls will be on display at an influential conservative group's annual summit. Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence are appearing today at a gathering of Americans for Prosperity in Dallas. On Saturday, the crowd at the Koch brothers-backed event will hear from tea party-backed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. For months Cruz has starred at many conservative grassroots gatherings around the country, but he'll be competing for attention this weekend. Perry's favorability outside Texas has climbed since his indictment on two felony counts of abuse of power. Paul, meanwhile, has hired staff in Iowa, which opens presidential voting. And Pence may get a bump because some of his ex-staffers now work for Koch Industries.

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Officials: school bus driver had prior DUI arrest

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut officials have examined a school bus company's records after one of its drivers was charged with driving drunk with 20 children on her bus. And authorities have learned the woman had been arrested before on a DUI charge. Department of Motor Vehicles inspectors went to the M & J Bus Co. yesterday. The New Britain Herald reports the DMV questions whether there was a proper background check on the driver. Police say they arrested 44-year-old Tammy Costello on Wednesday morning after she dropped the children off at a Farmington school. M & J officials say Costello's 2004 DUI arrest wasn't on her driving record. DMV officials say records show Costello entered an education program that results in charges being erased after the 2004 arrest. Costello didn't return a phone message Friday.

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NYC developer makes changes in 'poor door' design

NEW YORK (AP) — A developer and city officials say some changes have been negotiated in a plan for a so-called "poor door" for less-affluent residents of a Manhattan skyscraper. People who live in the pricey condos will still enter through the front lobby. But The Wall Street Journal says residents of the affordable portion will now get shared access to a courtyard and a roof deck facing the Hudson River. Executives from developer Larry Silverstein's company and its partner say they'll position that entrance to face a planned public park. It also will feature custom wood and a lobby with a glass facade. City officials call the project a model for integrating affordable and market-rate apartments. But they're also hoping for changes in the law to forbid separate entrances.

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INTERNATIONAL
More Ebola cases in past week than any other

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says the past week has seen the highest increase of Ebola cases since the outbreak began, more evidence that the crisis is worsening. In an update Friday, the U.N. health agency said more than 500 cases were recorded over the past week, by far the worst toll of any week so far. The vast majority of the cases were in Liberia, but the agency said it was also the highest number of cases in one week for Guinea and Sierra Leone. WHO warned Thursday that the outbreak in West Africa is accelerating and could eventually infect 20,000 people. So far, it has killed more than 1,500 of the 3,000 people it has sickened. Nigeria has also recorded a small number of cases.

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Britain raises terror threat level

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May says the country has raised the terror threat level from substantial to severe, but says there is no specific threat. The threat level means that a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely," but May insisted Friday there is no information to suggest an attack is imminent. She says higher threat level is related to developments in Iraq and Syria. Severe is the second-highest threat level. May says the decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Center is made on the basis of intelligence and is independent of government. Britain has repeatedly expressed concern about British nationals traveling to the Middle East and returning to wage attacks in the U.K.

--------------------------

US delivers military aid to Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) — The United States has delivered the first shipment of weapons to Lebanon to help bolster its military as it faces a growing threat from Islamic militants amid the fallout from neighboring Syria's civil war. The weapons were displayed at the Beirut military air base on Friday after arriving earlier this week. The shipment included anti-tank artillery, mortars and rifles. A sample of the weapons was placed on a white satin-covered table with camouflage netting. Earlier this month U.S. Ambassador David Hale announced the deliveries and said they were in response to a request from the Lebanese armed forces for emergency assistance after Islamic militants overran a Lebanese town near the Syrian border, killing and kidnapping soldiers. Since 2006, the U.S has given Lebanon more than $1 billion in military assistance.

---------------------------------

4 Iraqi soldiers killed in clashes with militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi police officials say that clashes between Iraqi soldiers and militants with the Islamic State group south of Baghdad have killed four soldiers. The hour-long clashes took place in Latifiyah, some 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad. At least 14 militants were also killed in the clashes, and the rest were forced to retreat, the official said. Hospital officials confirmed the casualty figures. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to brief the media. Militants with the Islamic State group have waged a fierce offensive this year across large swaths of northern and western Iraq. The U.S. military launched airstrikes in northern Iraq on Aug. 8 to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces curb the militant threat.

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Arson attack interrupts Berlin public transport

BERLIN (AP) — Police say a leftist group is claiming responsibility for an arson attack on Berlin's subway system that is causing delays for thousands of commuters. Police spokesman Klaus Schubert said Friday an anonymous online message from the group claims it set fire to a power-cable shaft in the capital's Treptow neighborhood Thursday morning to call attention to the conditions of illegal refugees in Germany. Schubert says police are trying to verify the authorship of the statement as part of the investigation into the attack. Germany's national railway Deutsche Bahn, which operates the Berlin commuter system and whose trains use the same tracks, said repair works would last until Sunday. In the meantime, passengers are being transferred to buses.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Cincinnati 7, Chicago Cubs 2
Cleveland 3, Chicago White Sox 2

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 5, Traverse City 3
Gateway 12, Frontier 10
Windy City at Evansville (Cancelled)

NFL Preseason

Miami 14, St. Louis 13
Cleveland 33, Chicago 13
Cincinnati 35, Indianapolis 7

College Football

Minnesota 42, E. Illinois 20
N. Illinois 55, Presbyterian 3
W. Illinois 45, Valparaiso 6
S. Illinois 45, Taylor 0

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Detroit at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Evansville (2)
Washington at Gateway
Normal at Southern Illinois

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Detroit at Chicago White Sox 12:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Evansville (2)
Washington at Gateway
Normal at Southern Illinois

College Football

Youngstown State at Illinois 11:05 a.m.
California at Northwestern 2:30 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Detroit at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Evansville (2)
Washington at Gateway
Normal at Southern Illinois

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News for Aug. 28, 2014

LOCAL
Still unclear how mortar shell ended up at plant

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — Investigators are still trying to determine how a live mortar shell ended up at a recycling plant in southwestern Illinois where it exploded and killed two people this week. Totall Metal Recycling in Granite City receives some material from the U.S. military, including spent shell casings. But company spokeswoman Rebecca Rausch tells the Belleville News-Democrat that under that contract, shipments are not supposed to include live ammunition. The village president of nearby Fairmont City, Alex Bregen, called Monday's explosion a "terrible accident" and said one live shell out of hundreds of thousands sent to the plant "slipped through the cracks." The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is handling the investigation. The victims were identified as 46-year-old Rodolfo Romo of Fairmont City and 24-year-old Tyler Muenstermann of Edwardsville.

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St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Being Sued

(East St. Louis, IL)  --  The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department is facing legal scrutiny.  A lawsuit was filed yesterday claiming deputies forced a teenager with the mental capacity of a nine-year-old to confess to an armed robbery back in August of last year.  Several Chicago lawyers are behind the suit.  They say there's no evidence that links the teen to the crime and when you take a look at the taped testimony, it shows he was in tears, begging for his mom to be with him.  The young man spent nine months behind bars before the charges against him were dropped.  

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School District Shuts Down Ferguson Talks

(Edwardsville, IL)  --  Teachers in Edwardsville aren't allowed to talk about what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri.  Superintendent of Schools Ed Hightower says it's too soon to talk about the shooting, the protests, and anything else related to the unrest in Ferguson.  He says there are still too many unknown facts surrounding the case and everyone has an opinion.  Hightower doesn't want teachers to find themselves in the middle of a heated discussion or playing moderator in an intense debate.  Edwardsville is about 25-miles outside of Ferguson. 

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Road Work Begins Thursday In Benton

IDOT says milling and paving work will begin today on West Main stretching from I-57 to the square in Benton. Officials say concrete patching will be done first, then milling of old asphalt will take place. Once that is done, a new layer of asphalt will be put down.  Work will cease on the project Friday for the Labor Day holiday weekend and will resume Tuesday. You can expect some traffic delays with this project, so you should seek alternate routes to your destination.

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Cisne Area Fire Department Among Eight Recognized For Their Fire Prevention Efforts

CHICAGO – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) congratulates the eight fire departments from Illinoi, including Bedford Township Fire Department in Cisne, that are being recognized with the 2013 Life Safety Award for their commitment to fire prevention efforts in their communities. The recipients have received the award from the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation) and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.  “This recognition is a testament to the work that all our fire departments in this state do in regards to fire suppression efforts and engaging the communities in fire prevention and public education activities,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “Receiving this award shows that their efforts in educating the community make a difference in saving lives.”  The primary requirement to qualify for the award is that the department has a record of zero fire deaths in residential structures or a 10 percent reduction of fire deaths in their district from the prior year. In addition, departments must also document active and effective fire prevention programs.  This year’s award recipients utilized an array of fire prevention and public education techniques. Among other activities, award recipients organized educational programs designed to teach children basic evacuation skills and how to call 9-1-1, promoted fire safety at community events, conducted fire safety inspections, and checked and installed free smoke detectors.  The 8 fire departments from Illinois being recognized were among a total of 143 fire departments nationwide that earned the Life Safety Achievement Award for their fire prevention and public education accomplishments in 2013.

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West Frankfort Murder Suspect Trial To Wait

A West Frankfort woman accused of killing her daughter at their home in July 2011 will not go to trial as planned on Sept. 9. Mary Jophlin appeared in Franklin County Court Tuesday and learned her trial date had been moved to Oct. 7. It was moved so a psychological evaluation can be done on her at the request of the state's attorney's office.  Jophlin is charged with murder, concealment of a homicidal death and obstruction of justice in the death of 8-year-old Alexus Smothers.   Jophlin told police she found her daughter missing when she went to check on her in her room. After telling police a few more stories, she told officers she panicked after Alexus fell in the bathtub. She then told police she carried Alexus back to her bed and later took her to the basement. That's where police found the child the next day.  Jophlin remains in the Franklin County Jail.

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Orient Woman Arrested For Aggravated Battery

An Orient woman was recently arrested after she allegedly used a hammer to hit a man over the weekend. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office says 30-year-old Amy Jo James was charged with aggravated battery. Deputies found out about the incident after James went to a local hospital for treatment Saturday. The victim told deputies James hit him in the head with the hammer the night before.  James is lodged in the Franklin County Jail pending a review of charges by the state's attorney's office and the setting of bond by a judge.

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Centralia To See Road Construction In Airport, High School Areas

Centralia motorists will be facing some detours that will be effective immediately. Due to construction activities on the Calumet /Airport Road project, in Centralia, East Calumet from the west entrance of the high school to the intersection of Airport will be closed to all traffic except for residents living in the area until further notice. No other traffic will be allowed.  Also, the intersection of Airport Road and Calumet will be closed until further notice. A temporary access will be open on the south side of the intersection of Airport and Calumet for any airport traffic and businesses east of the intersection. Access will only be allowed from the south.

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IDOT Announces Maintenance On I-57 Bridges Near Ina

IDOT wants you to know that starting Tuesday there will be a lane closure on I-57 north of exit 83 near Ina so maintenance crews can start repairing the structures carrying northbound and southbound I-57 over Atchison Creek. The lane closure will be in effect all week.  Officials say emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction site as quickly as possible. You are encouraged to seek another route to your destination while the work is underway.

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STATE
Teamsters vow to fight IDOT layoffs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawyers representing 55 Illinois Department of Transportation workers laid off last week say the employees should be able to continue working for the agency in their staff assistant positions. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the employees are members of the Teamsters union. Their positions were criticized by a state inspector general's report and are at the crux of a federal lawsuit alleging illegal hiring at the agency. IDOT officials said the dismissals were designed to boost accountability. But the inspector general's report released on Friday found anti-patronage rules were ignored in hiring. The federal lawsuit seeks an investigation into IDOT and an independent monitor to oversee employment practices. Attorney Carl Draper says the employees shouldn't be punished for being hired for work that needed to be done.

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Governor Candidates Face Off At Forum


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he plans to invest more in the state Department of Agriculture. The Chicago Democrat is making a tough, nationally watched election bid against Republican Bruce Rauner of Winnetka. Quinn at a forum in Bloomington Wednesday coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau blasted Rauner's pledge to roll back the state's income tax which is set to expire at the end of the year. He says the state must ensure the department has proper resource to perform important regulatory functions. Quinn has advocated for keeping the tax increase in place at its current 5 percent for individuals and 6.75 percent for corporations. The GOP candidate for Illinois governor says if elected he'd work to overhaul the state Department of Agriculture.  Rauner told attendees that the agriculture department is "full of cronyism" and has 'folks running things that generally don't have much expertise.' Rauner has previously criticized agriculture department director Bob Flider — a former Democratic state lawmaker — for not being a farmer. He says he wants "farmers and farm experts running the Department of Agriculture." Gov. Quinn has defended Flider's work as well as the agency.  Quinn, Rauner, Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis participated in the forum.

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Fracking Rules Available To Public Tomorrow

(Springfield, IL)  --  The state's new fracking rules are slated to be available to the public tomorrow but oil and gas drillers will have to wait a while longer before applying for a permit.  That's because a legislative committee will need to sign off on the rules first.  The fracking issue has been the center of intense debate in Springfield over the past couple of years.  Supporters say it could lead to an oil boom, which would boost the state's economy and put people to work.  Opponents argue there are too many health risks associated with fracking. 

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Vallas: Rauner plan would cost schools $4 billion

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate says Republican Bruce Rauner's plan to roll back the temporary state income tax increase would "decimate" education in Illinois. Paul Vallas is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and former head of public schools in Chicago and other big cities. He says if Rauner rolled back the income-tax increase, public schools would see a $4 billion-a-year loss in state revenue. That's because the income tax increase brings in $8 billion a year and education makes up half of the discretionary part of the budget. Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the numbers Vallas uses "are just made up." He says even though Quinn raised the tax 67 percent in 2011, he cut school spending by $500 million. He says Rauner will "fully fund our schools."

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Illinois Supreme Court reopens after renovations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill (AP) -- The Illinois Supreme Court building officially reopened Wednesday after 13 months of extensive renovation work.Chief Justice Rita Garman led members of the media on a tour of the restored building where the state's seven justices will return to begin the court's fall term on Sept. 8. The building was built in 1906 and saw updates to its courtrooms, library, offices and work areas. Renovations include new heating, cooling, plumbing and ventilation systems, as well as a new video recording system to record oral arguments and courtroom events. The cost of renovation work came in just under $16 million and was approved by the Legislature in 2009. The Supreme Court met in Chicago while the building was closed.

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More Than 1000 Businesses Hit By Hackers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the people and businesses in Illinois need to be on guard when it comes to identity theft.  She says more than a thousand businesses have been hit by hackers in the past year.  Madigan says businesses should create strong network passwords and update their antivirus software regularly so it can detect malicious software.  People should be sure to set up transaction alerts on their accounts and review their credit report, bank statements, and credit card statements regularly.

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US Senate candidates disagree over debate schedule

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis is pushing U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to participate in more debates by releasing emails detailing campaign negotiations over venues. Oberweis wants seven before Nov. 4. His campaign on Wednesday accused Durbin of limiting free speech, saying Durbin has only agreed to one. Durbin spokesman Ron Holmes says nothing is finalized and campaigns were in the middle of discussions. He says emails released were edited down by Oberweis' campaign, which didn't respond to Durbin camp questions before going public. Holmes adds Oberweis agreed to one debate with his Republican primary challenger. Durbin's four proposed events include a League of Women Voters and Chicago WLS-TV debate. Other joint appearances include a Wednesday agricultural forum, a Chicago Tribune endorsement session and a radio debate. Dates aren't set.

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Police Stepping Up Patrols For Holiday Weekend

(Springfield, IL) -- Police are beefing up their patrols now through the holiday weekend. The end of summer push will focus on catching drunk drivers, people who are speeding, and those who aren't strapped in. Drivers can expect to see extra patrols on the streets and more roadside safety checks. More than 560-people have been killed on Illinois roadways this year.

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NATIONAL

FBI investigating reports of attacks on US banks

NEW YORK (AP) — The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several U.S. financial institutions. Bloomberg.com says Russian hackers attacked the U.S financial system this month in possible retaliation against U.S. government-sponsored sanctions aimed at Russia. The New York Times says account information and other data were stolen this month from JPMorgan Chase and at least four other firms.

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Revised estimate of Q2 growth likely to stay solid

WASHINGTON (AP) — This morning, the government will revise its estimate of just how fast the economy grew in the April-June quarter. It'll be the second of three estimates. In its first estimate last month, the Commerce Department said the U.S. gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 percent, which was a striking turnaround from the first quarter, when the economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.1 percent — the biggest quarterly drop since the depths of the Great Recession in 2009. The decline largely reflected the effects of a harsh winter that kept consumers away from shopping malls, disrupted factory production and depressed the economy. Economists believe the government will slightly downgrade its second-quarter growth estimate to 3.9 percent. Most think the trade deficit will prove to have been less of an economic drag than first estimated but that stockpiling by businesses will provide a bit less support.

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Survey: Americans' pessimism on economy has grown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite many signs of a business recovery including improved hiring, Americans are more worried about the economy than they were right after the Great Recession. A survey released by researchers at Rutgers University says that this pessimism exists despite record Wall Street gains and a host of upbeat economic indicators. Seventy-one percent of Americans surveyed say the recession put a permanent drag on the economy. In contrast, Rutgers researchers found in a similar survey in November 2009 that only 49 percent thought the downturn would have lasting damage. That earlier 2009 survey was conducted five months after the recession officially ended. And when the 2009 survey was undertaken, national joblessness was at 9.9 percent of the labor force, compared to the current 6.2 percent. The survey says people's confidence in the economy has been eroded by the slow pace of improvement during the recovery.

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Testimony wrapping up in former Va. governor trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The jury is set to hear from the final witness in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. U.S. District Judge James Spencer says at least one more rebuttal witness will testify today. Closing arguments are expected Friday. The McDonnells are charged with taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements. The defense has suggested the McDonnells' marriage was so fractured that they couldn't have conspired with each other. Bob McDonnell testified that their communication was perfunctory, at best, as he avoided his wife to escape her anger. Williams testified under immunity that he spent lavishly on the McDonnells only to secure their help.

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Poll: Parents uncomfortable with youth football

UNDATED (AP) — Nearly half of parents who answered a new poll say they're not comfortable letting their child play football, as concerns over head injuries increase. Forty-four percent of parents who responded to the Associated Press-GfK poll say they're uncomfortable letting their kids play football. But only five percent say they've actually discouraged their child from playing in the last two years. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

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Another day to ride the wave

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A third day of huge waves is expected today off the Southern California coast, thanks to a far-off Hurricane Marie. Yesterday, spectators lined the shore of the Wedge in Newport Beach to watch the world's best surfers ride 20-foot waves. Lifeguards have been trying to keep anyone out of the water who doesn't have strong experience, but they were kept busy making rescues all day Wednesday.

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Santa Fe City Council votes to decriminalize pot

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The city council in Santa Fe, New Mexico has voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The vote last night was 5-4. The measure makes possession of an ounce or less of marijuana a civil infraction punishable by a fine of no more than $25. It had been a criminal misdemeanor.

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US to begin safety testing Ebola vaccine next week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal researchers next week will start testing humans with an experimental vaccine to prevent the deadly Ebola virus. The National Institutes of Health announced Thursday that it is launching the safety trial on a vaccine developed by the agency's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline. It will test 20 healthy adult volunteers to see if the virus is safe and triggers an adequate response in their immune systems. That testing will be at NIH's campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Later in September, NIH and a British team will test that vaccine on volunteers in the United Kingdom, Gambia and Mali. American health officials are also talking about a future trial in Nigeria. So far Ebola has killed 1,552 people in West Africa.

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CDC worker flown home to US over Ebola concerns

ATLANTA (AP) — Health officials say a CDC staff member who worked in close proximity to someone with the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa has been flown by charter jet back home to Atlanta to monitor potential symptoms. U.S. Centers for Disease Control spokesman Tom Skinner said Thursday that the staffer had low-risk contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. Skinner says the CDC worker isn't sick, isn't showing signs of illness and poses no risk to others. The CDC says the staffer worked within three feet of the ill international health worker in the same room for a prolonged period. Skinner says the staffer arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday and is at home. Skinner says the worker's temperature will be monitored for 21 days as a precaution.

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Workers cheer restored Market Basket CEO

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) — The restored chief of the Market Basket supermarket chain told workers at company headquarters in Massachusetts that he loved them and appreciated their efforts in helping him regain control of the company. In a speech Thursday morning that sometimes resembled a political victory speech, and often took on the tones of a rock concert, Arthur T. Demoulas told several hundred cheering workers in Tewksbury that "It's great to be back together again." Demoulas on Wednesday announced that an agreement has been reached for him to buy for $1.5 billion the 50.5 percent of the company owned by his rival cousin Arthur S. Demoulas and his allies. Demoulas said he is "in awe of what you have all accomplished." He said his employees' actions have given him "renewed vigor and sense of purpose."

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Gun company cuts ties with reality TV star

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A firearms company affiliated with reality TV star Will Hayden is distancing itself from him after his arrest on rape charges. In a statement on its website, Red Jacket Firearms LLC says it has legally separated from Hayden. The Baton Rouge-based company says it will remain in business. The Discovery Channel canceled "Sons of Guns" after Hayden's arrest on Tuesday. Discovery says it killed the show due to "the serious and horrific nature of the charges" against Hayden. The show featured Hayden and his firearms business. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says Hayden was arrested on aggravated rape charges involving a child. He already faced child molestation and aggravated crime against nature charges. It wasn't immediately clear whether Hayden had an attorney.

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INTERNATIONAL
UN Security Council meets on Ukraine crisis

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is preparing to meet in emergency session on the growing crisis in Ukraine. Diplomats said Thursday that the council will meet at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) at the request of Lithuania. Alarm has grown as a top NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops have poured into Ukraine with sophisticated equipment and have been in direct "contact" with Ukrainian soldiers, resulting in casualties. Russian Ambassador to the U.N. Vitaly Churkin told reporters "You're at a loss" as he walked into a morning council session and gave no further comment. UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters that "Russia will be asked to explain why Russia has its troops inside Ukraine. It's very clear that Russian regular troops are now in Ukraine."

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Official: Two tank columns from Russia enter Ukraine

NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukraine security spokesman says two columns of tanks from Russia have entered a strategic town. Ukrainian security council spokesman Col. Andriy Lysenko says Ukrainian forces were fired at using Grad missile systems from Russian territory at about 11 a.m. Lysenko says about an hour and a half later, two columns, including tanks and other fighting vehicles began an attack. They later entered Ukraine from Veselo-Voznesenka and Maximovo of the Rostov region in Russia. Ukrainian border guards retreated because they didn't have heavy equipment.

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Islamic State group kills captured Syrian soldiers

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the Islamic State group has killed dozens of government soldiers it captured after overrunning a military base this week. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday the militants seized the soldiers in the countryside near the Tabqa airfield on Wednesday. Observatory's director Rami Abdurrahman says the extremists then killed up to 65 soldiers. He says some were shot to death, while others were killed with knives. An online statement circulated on Twitter by supporters of the Islamic State group claimed the extremists killed "about 200" government prisoners captured near the Tabqa base. It also showed photographs of what it said were the prisoners: young men stripped down to their underwear marching in the desert.

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UN: Afghan election audit done around Sept. 10

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United Nations representative for Afghanistan says an audit of the country's presidential election should be completed around Sept. 10 and that the inauguration could happen after that. The announcement by Jan Kubis came after a meeting with President Hamid Karzai on Thursday. The United Nations has been helping supervise an audit of eight million ballots from the country's presidential election to see who will succeed Karzai. Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai are both vying for the job in a fiercely contested race that has seen widespread allegations of fraud. Karzai has been pushing for the new president to be inaugurated on Sept. 2, two days ahead of a NATO summit to be held in Wales.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Pittsburgh 3, St. Louis 1
Cincinnati 7, Chicago Cubs 5
Chicago White Sox 3, Cleveland 2

Frontier League

Evansville 9, Windy City 2
Evansville 2, Windy City 0
Gateway 5, Frontier 4
Southern Illinois 4, Traverse City 3

THURSDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati 11:35 a.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Windy City at Evansville
Frontier at Gateway
Southern Illinois at Traverse City

NFL Preseason

St. Louis at Miami 6 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX, pregame at 5 p.m.)
Indianapolis at Cincinnati 6 p.m.
Chicago at Cleveland 7 p.m.

College Football

Valparaiso at Western Illinois
Eastern Illinois at Minnesota
Presbyterian at Northern Illinois
Taylor at Southern Illinois (kickoff at 6 p.m. on X95)

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Cubs put Sweeney, Ruggiano on DL

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Chicago Cubs put outfielders Ryan Sweeney and Justin Ruggiano on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday before the second game of their series against the Cincinnati Reds. Sweeney had to leave the Cubs' 3-0 victory on Tuesday with a pulled hamstring. Ruggiano hadn't played since last week because of a sore left ankle. The moves opened a roster spot for outfielder and top prospect Jorge Soler, who was called up from Triple-A Iowa and was in the starting lineup for his major league debut. The Cubs also recalled infielder Logan Watkins from Iowa a day after he was optioned down.

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News for Aug. 27, 2014

LOCAL
Jefferson County Crime of the Week

Jefferson County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any tips resulting in an arrest or arrests for the persons involved in the shooting of a woman at 4162 Willow Springs, August 22nd, 2014 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. She survived her wounds and her vehicle was shot multiple times as well. There have also been other shootings, possibly related, during the last two weeks and the Mt. Vernon Police Department is seeking information from any crime stopper caller.  If you have any knowledge or know the names of any suspects responsible for burglarizing these vehicles, please call. Contact the Jefferson County Crime Stoppers at 618/242-8477 (TIPS) or the Mt. Vernon Police Department at 242-2131 or 242-0215. Callers will remain anonymous.

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Mt. Vernon Public Works To Do Road Work

Weather permitting, the City of Mt. Vernon Public Works Department will be putting down the bottom life of asphalt on Cherry Drive from Lime Avenue to South 27th Street on Thursday.  Cherry Drive will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be no parking or traffic allowed on Cherry Drive during these hours.  Residents will need to park on adjacent streets.  If you have questions, contact the Public Works Department at 242-6853.

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United Way of South Central Illinois To Cut Ribbon on 2-1-1

The United Way of South Central Illinois will host a ribbon cutting for the new 2-1-1 service at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Thursday from 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m.  Refreshments will be served and they will make the first call to 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is a new service to the area that provides free and confidential information and referral.  An individual may call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling, and more.

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Granite City Recycling Plant Had Violations

(Granite City, IL)  --  The company that blew up in Granite City the other day apparently had prior marks against it.  Reports indicate Totall Metal recycling had been cited quite a few times in the past five years for things like exposure to lead, fumes and dust.  The OSHA citations also involved a plant in Fairmont City.  Two people were killed when a live mortar exploded Monday morning.  The facility will be opening back up today and counselors will be on hand to meet with grieving employees.   

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Forensics Lab Opens In Belleville

(Belleville, IL)  --  There's a new, state of the art forensics lab in the Metro-East.  The Belleville-based facility will offer crime scene services and forensics like DNA, latent print, drug chemistry, and firearms testing.  Police departments all over the region will have access to the lab. 

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Illinois State Police Announces Roadside Safety Check Results

Carmi, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the results of a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) held during the late evening hours of Saturday, 08/23/14, and early morning hours of Sunday, 08/24/14.  The detail was conducted at Illinois Route 34 and Illinois Route 13 in Saline County by ISP District 19 officers. Alcohol is involved in nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to remove alcohol-impaired drivers, however, when other violations are observed such as driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating a vehicle without a valid registration or valid proof of insurance, or safety belt violations, enforcement action may be taken.  A total of 152 vehicles were checked and the following citations were issued at the Roadside Safety Check. There were 23 written warnings and 20 citations or arrests, including 11 registration offenses, 4 driver's license offenses, 4 occupant restraint offenses, and 1 alcohol/drug arrest.  There were no driving under the influence arrests.  This project was funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.              

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Illinois woman gets 75 years for father's murder

MARION, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois woman has been sentenced to 75 years in prison for soliciting and aiding in the 2011 murder of her father. Williamson County Judge John Speroni sentenced 55-year-old Cindy Stearns on Tuesday. She was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm for plotting to kill her father, 73-year-old Charles James of Freeman Spur. Speroni says she was the most at fault in the murder even though she didn't shoot her father. Thirty-eight-year-old Kate Bodie was sentenced to 50 years in prison for firing the shots. Bodie's 18-year-old son, Joshua Dallacosta, was sentenced to 45 years for similar charges. James and his girlfriend were shot at Stearns' home after she invited them there to play cards. James died at the scene. His girlfriend survived.

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Murray Parents Association Officially File Notice To Appeal

As we reported earlier this month, attorneys for the Murray Parents Assocation had filed a notice to appeal a federal judge's ruling in the case against the State of Illinois and its efforts to shutter the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. The appeal has now been officially filed in the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, against Federal Judge Marvin Aspen's ruling that denied a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the Department of Human Services from moving Murray residents from the Centralia facility. Aspen ruled that the plaintiffs in the case did not adequately show irreparable harm to residents would result from a closure of the center. But the appeal says the loss of Murray, and a lack of clear choice regarding alternative options for care, qualifies as irreparable harm. The appeal also claims that attempts by the state to transfer Murray residents into four-bedroom community integrated living facilities qualifies as intra-class discrimination against the developmentally disabled because of the different levels of developmentally disabled residents housed at Murray. The intra-class discrimination claim is based on a very recent court case against the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in the 7th District Court. The appeal also cites Affordable Care Act language interpreted earlier this year by another federal court. Aspen noted the day he issued his ruling that he fully expected an appeal of his decision, which ultimately came on the last day an appeal could have been filed. As the case continues, DHS has confirmed that any closure of the facility is a long-way off, with no specific date having yet been set.

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12th Congressional District Candidates To Debate Twice

The three candidates running for the 12th Congressional District have agreed to debate twice in October. Incumbent Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville and challengers Republican Mike Bost of Murphysboro and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale will meet in the first debate on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. It will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The second debate will be in Belleville on Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the Lindenwood University auditorium. Both debates will be free and open to the public.

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STATE
Quinn signs pregnancy discrimination measure

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law aimed at curbing workplace discrimination against pregnant women. The plan extends workplace protections to pregnant women, including requiring employers to consider accommodations if asked. That includes limits on manual labor and break space for breast feeding. State Sen. Toi Hutchinson is a sponsor. She says it's the same situation as an employee who may have an injury affecting their work and may ask for modified duties, like being able to sit down. The Democrat said Tuesday at an event marking the signing that it's an acknowledgement of issues pregnant women face, but also affects every family in the state. Quinn signed the measure Monday. It also outlines penalties for employers. The law takes effect in January.

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Quinn Denies Patronage Hiring At IDOT

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Quinn is denying reports he recommended people for jobs they weren't necessarily qualified for at IDOT. He says he was disappointed when he found out about the positions and took immediate action to fix it. But that's not the story former Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider has. She says she received resumes from Quinn's office with recommendations to fill some of the staff assistant positions that have recently come under fire. Quinn says the bottom line is Schneider had a responsibility to follow all of the hiring rules that are in place. Schneider resigned at the end of June.

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Top Quinn Aide Resigns

(Chicago, IL)  --  One of Governor Quinn's top aides is calling it quits.  Deputy Chief of Staff Sean O'Shea has just two more days on the job.  He's held the post for three years and is responsible for keeping watch over which senior officials are hired at IDOT.  The transportation agency has been under scrutiny in recent months for hiring people based on political connections instead of skill.  Quinn's office insists that O'Shea is not leaving because of the ongoing hiring controversy. 

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Gov. Pat Quinn vetoes bill increasing speeding

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed legislation aimed at increasing the speed limit from 65 to 70 miles per hour on interstate highways around Illinois. The legislation was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis. It follows the passage of a 2013 law increasing the speed limit to 70 miles on interstates which the Quinn administration interpreted to only apply to rural areas. Oberweis' bill would have empowered the state Tollway Authority and the Department of Transportation to impose higher limits in urban areas. Quinn Tuesday cited studies showing increased speeds lengthen stopping distance, and produce more violent collisions. The governor's action follows the veto of another bill also that would have let large trucks go faster on interstate highways in the Chicago area.

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Quinn signs law allow study of industrial hemp


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law allowing universities and the Illinois Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp. The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday creating a pilot program. Industrial hemp is in the same species as marijuana but has a negligible amount of marijuana's active ingredient. Hemp can be used in the production of plastics, fuel, textiles and food. The Illinois law says an institution of higher education or the state's Agriculture Department can study the growth, cultivation and marketing of hemp. Those wanting to participate have to notify the state and local law enforcement and provide reports to the state. Several other states have similar programs. Illinois' law takes effect in January. The state approved a plan legalizing medical marijuana last year.

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Midwest states share bat-disease funding

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Illinois and seven other Midwestern states will share more than $280,000 in federal money intended to help combat white-nose syndrome among bats. The service said in a news release Tuesday that the money will be divided among state natural resource agencies in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The money is part of $1.3 million in grants divided among 30 states. The money is intended to help pay for research, bat monitoring and disease detection. White-nose syndrome is a frequently lethal disease among bats named for the white fungus that appears on the animals' noses. The disease was first detected in New York in 2006-07. It has since spread extensively through the eastern United States and parts of Canada.

--------------------------------

NATIONAL
Journalist held captive in Syria back home in US

BOSTON (AP) — Journalist Peter Theo Curtis is beginning his first day at home in the United States since being freed by a Syrian extremist group over the weekend. Curtis arrived in Newark, New Jersey, yesterday afternoon, and flew on to Boston last night, where he was reunited with his mother. Curtis had been held by al-Nusra Front for 22 months.

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American dies fighting with Syrian militants

NEW HOPE, Minn. (AP) — U.S. officials say they're still trying to verify information about the death of an American man, who they believe was killed while fighting alongside the extremist militant group the Islamic State in Syria. Investigators say they were aware that Douglas McAuthur McCain was in Syria to fight with the militant group, blamed for the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley and the kidnapping of a 26-year-old American female aid worker.

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Bound bodies of 2 men found in Pa. river; 3rd hurt

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police say the bound bodies of two men have been found in a Philadelphia river and a third man who was stabbed is being treated at a hospital. Police say officers were called to the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park early today. Police say the surviving victim, who had duct tape on his face, told police that he and two other men were abducted, blind-folded and repeatedly stabbed by several men. He say they were then tossed into the river. The man says he was able to free himself and swim to shore. The bodies of the other two men were found in the river.

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APNewsBreak: Jindal suing feds over Common Core

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's Republican governor is planning to file a federal lawsuit today against the Obama administration, accusing it of illegally using federal grant money and regulations to force states to adopt the Common Core education standards. The U.S. Department of Education has used a $4.3 billion grant program and federal policy waivers to encourage states to adopt uniform education standards and testing. Gov. Bobby Jindal says that violates the state sovereignty clause in the Constitution and federal laws that prohibit national control of education content. A copy of the draft lawsuit was provided to The Associated Press by Jindal's office. Jindal is considering a run for president in 2016. This legal challenge puts him at the forefront of a dispute between conservatives and President Barack Obama.

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Dispatcher faces discipline over response to call

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Tampa 911 dispatcher faces disciplinary action because of his response to a mother who called for help after her 10-month-old son accidentally locked himself in her car while playing with a set of keys. The Tampa Tribune reports Shana Dees put her son Jack into his car seat while she moved a cart in a store parking lot Saturday afternoon. The boy hit the lock button. Dees dialed 911 and says the dispatcher told her they couldn't gain access to the vehicle unless the child was in distress and they'd probably have to smash her window. He hung up without getting additional information. An off-duty officer at the store called 911 again, and got help to come. The child was fine. Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy says the dispatcher faces disciplinary action.

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Alleged Audio Of Brown Shooting Given To FBI

(Ferguson, MO)  --  The FBI now has an audio recording which may have captured the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb.  The attorney for the unidentified man who made the recording said she turned it over to federal investigators on Monday.  The attorney says her client was sending a video chat on his smartphone when shots rang out in Ferguson, Missouri.  He later realized the shots may have been those fired by officer Darren Wilson when Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9th.  

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Report: September 9th Launch For Apple iPhone 6

(Undated)  --  Reports say Apple will launch its new iPhone 6 less than two weeks from today.  The French website Nowhere Else reports the tech giant's newest smartphone will be introduced on Tuesday, September 9th.  The iPhone 6 reportedly will come with either a 4.7-inch screen or a 5.5-inch screen.  It's also been reported that the iPhone 6 will have longer battery life.

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CDC: Ebola Outbreak Worse Than Expected

(Atlanta, GA)  --  The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is worse than expected.  Doctor Thomas Frieden is in Liberia to evaluate the situation.  Frieden said in a phone interview that health officials never have seen anything on this scale before and that the outbreak is outpacing their response.  He said Liberia needs treatment centers because some patients are being put out on the street.

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Sheriff's office: Military jet crashes in Virginia

DEERFIELD, Va. (AP) — A sheriff's dispatcher says authorities are searching for a military jet that crashed in western Virginia. Augusta County Sheriff's Office dispatcher Becky Coynter says witnesses reported hearing a loud noise that sounded like an explosion just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. Coynter says authorities don't know whether anyone was injured in the crash. A news release from state police says officials located the crash site, with heavy smoke coming from the side of a mountain. The statement says state and local police are trying to reach the site. Police did not offer other details.

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Texas road-rage murder case coming to a close

ANGLETON, Texas (AP) — A Southeast Texas jury is to hear closing arguments in the trial of a Texas father accused of fatally shooting a drunken driver who killed his two sons in a crash. The Brazoria County jury will hear arguments Wednesday before deliberating the murder case of David Barajas. Both sides rested their cases Tuesday in a state district court in Angleton, with the defense calling just three witnesses. Barajas is accused of fatally shooting Jose Banda in December 2012 near Alvin, minutes after Banda hit a truck Barajas and his two sons were pushing after it ran out of gas. Twelve-year-old David Jr. and 11-year-old Caleb were killed. If convicted, Barajas faces up to life in prison.

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Altitude issue reported before crash that killed 4

CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal officials say the pilot of a small plane carrying four Ohio college students radioed the tower after takeoff to say he was having problems climbing and would be returning to the airport. A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says a preliminary report on the Monday night plane crash in suburban Cleveland should be ready within 10 days. All four people aboard the plane were students at Case Western Reserve University. They planned to take a short sightseeing flight after their first day of classes when the plane crashed near Cuyahoga County Regional Airport in Willoughby Hills. The plane is being stored in an airport hangar as the NTSB completes its on-scene investigation. A man who lives near the airport says he heard a plane engine sputtering before the crash.

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Time Warner Cable has widespread outages

NEW YORK (AP) — Time Warner Cable says a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours on Wednesday morning. The company says it is still investigating the cause of the problem, which occurred with its Internet backbone, the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances. The company says the problem affected all of its markets and started at 4:30 a.m. and was largely restored by 6 a.m., and updates continue to bring all customers back online. The outage sparked widespread complaints on social networks. Time Warner Cable, which is being acquired by rival cable company Comcast, has about 11 million subscribers nationwide.

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INTERNATIONAL
Sources: US considering new relief mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. defense officials say the Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants. The imperiled town of Amirli is about 105 miles north of Baghdad and just a few miles from Kurdish territory. About 12,000 to 15,000 people are estimated to have no access to food or water. The United Nation's top representative in Iraq earlier this week called for relief there. Three U.S. defense officials said a humanitarian mission is under consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they could not discuss internal administration deliberations by name. It could be similar to the humanitarian airdrops of food and water to Iraq's Sinjar area earlier this month, which included airstrikes.

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Syrian rebels seize border crossing with Israel

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian rebels have captured a border crossing with Israel in the Golan Heights after deadly clashes with President Bashar Assad's forces. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees say the rebels seized the crossing Wednesday. The Observatory says the rebels come from the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front and other Islamic factions. It says they were fighting Assad's forces in the towns of Jaba, Tal Kroum and Rawadi in Quneitra province. It says at least 20 Syrian soldiers and an unknown number of rebels were killed. Israel said earlier that an officer stationed in the Golan Heights was wounded Wednesday by errant fire from the Syrian side of the frontier. It didn't comment on the crossing takeover.

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3rd doctor dies from Ebola in Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — A senior adviser to Sierra Leone's president says a third doctor has died from Ebola, marking a setback in the country's fight against the virulent disease. Presidential adviser Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday that Dr. Sahr Rogers had been working in a clinic in the eastern town of Kenema when he contracted the virus. News of his death came as a Senegalese epidemiologist working in Sierra Leone was evacuated to Germany for medical treatment. He had been doing surveillance work for the World Health Organization. Ebola is spread by direct contact with the bodily fluids of people sick with the virus. Health workers have been the most vulnerable because of their proximity to patients. The WHO says more than 120 health workers have died in the four affected countries.

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Experts find 283 DNA samples from MH17 site

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Experts working to identify the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 say they have gathered DNA samples from 283 different people and have positively identified 173 of them. Wim Heijnen of the Netherlands Forensic Institute said Wednesday the DNA samples do not all equate to a positive identification of a victim. Some of the samples could be from workers who gathered the bodies where the jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board died when the plane heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam was shot out of the sky on July 17 over an area controlled by pro-Russia separatists. The victims included 196 Dutch citizens. Heijnen said he was hopeful that forensic experts can identify more DNA samples using more sensitive equipment or new samples.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2
Chicago Cubs 3, Cincinnati 0
Cleveland 8, Chicago White Sox 6, 10 innings

Frontier League

Frontier 10, Gateway 6
Traverse City 8, Southern Illinois 7

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 11:35 a.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 10:39 a.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Windy City at Evansville (2)
Frontier at Gateway
Southern Illinois at Traverse City

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White Sox activate OF Eaton from DL

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have activated outfielder Adam Eaton from the 15-day disabled list. Eaton is leading off and playing center field for Tuesday night's game against Cleveland. Eaton, 25, was placed on the disabled list Aug. 9 with a strained right oblique. He went 3 for 10 in two games with Triple-A Charlotte on a rehab assignment. In 94 games in his first season in Chicago, Eaton is hitting .304 with seven triples and 55 runs scored. He was on quite a roll before the DL stint, hitting .435 in his previous 22 games. Eaton takes the roster spot of outfielder Jordan Danks, who was sent down to Charlotte on Monday.

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Cubs reinstate SS Castro from bereavement list

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Chicago Cubs reinstated shortstop Starlin Castro from the bereavement list in time to start Tuesday night's game against the Reds. Infielder Logan Watkins was optioned to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, making room on the roster for Castro, who hasn't played since Aug. 19. Castro went on the bereavement list on Aug. 21 to attend the funerals in the Dominican Republic of a relative and three friends who were killed in a car accident. "He looks like he's in a good place," manager Rick Renteria said. "He's doing fine."

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News for Aug.26, 2014

LOCAL

MVFD Respond To Residential Fire

The Mt. Vernon fire department responded to 510 S. 15th Street on Saturday August 23, 2014. The call was received at 9:10 p.m. Eleven firefighters, two engines and one aerial responded. One ambulance was requested to standby at the scene due to the heat. The fire started in the bedroom and was contained to that room. There was heat and smoke damage throughout the rest of the home. Firefighters were on scene for about two hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but is not considered to be suspicious. There were no injuries reported. Hollie Hardin was the occupant and no owner was listed on the report. We also responded to 510 S. 15th Street Sunday morning for a rekindle. The call was received at 08:28. Two firefighters and one engine responded. A charred header in the attic was smoldering and was quickly extinguished. The two firefighters were on scene for about 30 minutes.

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Mt. Vernon Man Arrested In Nashville

The Nashville Police Department responded to a call of a dispute at the apartments on the 300 block of West Belleville Street Sunday afternoon.  According to the report, 21-year old Christopher R. McKenzie of Mount Vernon allegedly grabbed and scratched the arm and wrist of 20-year old Codi Bridges of Nashville, causing injury.  McKenzie was arrested and is in the Washington County Jail awaiting the formal filing of a charge of Battery and bond to be set. 

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Report: Two Killed, One Injured In Recycling Plant Explosion

(Granite City, IL)  --  At least two people have been killed and another is injured following an explosion at a recycling plant in Granite City.  According to KTVI, the bodies cannot be recovered yet due to fears of additional explosions; however, the injured person has been taken to a hospital.  It's reported that a mortar shell exploded at the Totall Metal Recycling plant in the 27-hundred block of Missouri Avenue.  The bomb squad is responding to the scene.

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Mt. Vernon Public Works To Do Road Work

Weather permitting, the City of Mt. Vernon Public Works Department will be putting down the bottom life of asphalt on Highland View from Wilshire to Route 37 on Wednesday.  Highland View will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be no parking or traffic allowed on Highland View during these hours.  Residents will need to park on adjacent streets.  If you have questions, contact the Public Works Department at 242-6853.

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Dix Man Behind Bars For Shooting

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at approximately 10:01 p.m. on Saturday of a person being shot in the head while in a vehicle in the area of Prairie View Resort.  The person, later identified as 29 year old Jason Wright of Salem, was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia.  Also responding to the incident was personnel from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Centralia Police Department, Lifestar Ambulance, and Illinois State Police.  Initial investigation indicates that Wright and 32 year old Nykeyda Porter of Mt. Vernon were present when an altercation occurred outside 8502 E. Garfield Road at Prairie View Resort in Dix between 43 year old Charles Beckley of Dix and 31 year old Angela Beckley of Mt. Vernon. The investigation indicates Wright, Porter, and Angela Beckley were leaving the scene in Wright's truck and that Wright was struck in the back of the head and neck area with shot gun pellets and glass shards from his rear window breaking as Charles Beckley followed and shot into Wright's truck.  A short time later, Charles Beckley was taken into custody without incident during a traffic stop in the area of East Base Line Road and Medlin Road and transported to the Jefferson County Jail for incarceration.  Charles Beckley is currently charged with attempted murder, armed violence, aggravated reckless discharge of a firearm into an occupied vehicle, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a FOID card, and domestic battery with bond to be set.  An investigation is ongoing by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Jefferson County State's Attorney, and the Illinois State Police.  All subjects are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

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Franklin County Resident Sentenced On Methamphetamine Offense

On August 21, 2014, Samantha J. Plumlee, 28, of Christopher, Ill., was sentenced for her involvement in a methamphetamine conspiracy, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Plumlee, who had previously pled guilty to the one-count indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison, 3 years of supervised release, and fined $250. The offense occurred between 2012 and June 2013, in Perry, Jackson, Randolph, Franklin, and Williamson Counties. Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings established that Richey obtained over 43 grams of pseudoephedrine to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Two co-defendants have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Drug Task Force, Illinois State Police/Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, Murphysboro Police Department, DuQuoin Police Department, Pinckneyville Police Department, Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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Wayne County Crash Causes Injuries

A personal Injury traffic crash took place on Interstate 64 westbound at mile post 93 on Monday at approximately 2:25 p.m. A 2013 Freightliner truck tractor pulling a black 2014 Utility semi-trailer driven by 48 year old Lisa Gail Franklin, of Evansville, IN was traveling westbound when, according to the driver, a deer came into her lane of travel.  The truck tractor was steered to the right to avoid striking the deer when the driver lost control.  The truck tractor with semitrailer went off on the right side of the interstate before rolling onto its right side.   Lisa Franklin and her passenger, 53 year old Clalmale Franklin were both transported to a hospital in Mt. Vernon. The Illinois State Police was assisted at the traffic crash scene by the Wayne County Fire Department and Ambulance Service. Charges are pending investigation.

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Cahokia man gets 25 years in prison for kidnapping

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Cahokia man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for kidnapping a man in East St. Louis. The Belleville News-Democrat reports U.S. Chief District Court Judge David Herndon sentenced 27-year-old Antwon D. Jenkins on Friday for kidnapping and using a firearm during a kidnapping. Trial evidence showed Jenkins lured a young man to his East St. Louis home on July 17, 2012, attacked him and accused him of burglarizing another of Jenkins' homes. Jenkins drove the man into Missouri. During the drive, he pulled over on Interstate 44 and threatened the man at gunpoint. He told the victim to get out of the truck so he could shoot him. The victim ran into nearby woods and escaped. Jenkins was arrested several days later.

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Marion Awaits Opening Of Rec Center

Work on Marion's Hub Community Recreation Center is moving along, but due to unforeseen construction issues and bad weather, it's unknown right now as to when the $12 million center will officially open.  Officials say as soon as they have a better timetable, they will let the community and those who have bought Hub memberships know. Since the city began registration in June, the center has about 200 members and is continually adding more. The city is funding construction with a $2.5 million state grant and is borrowing the rest through bonds without affecting local taxes.

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I-Cash Coming To Red Bud, Carbondale

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office is bringing I-Cash events to Red Bud and Carbondale Wednesday. Rutherford will be in attendance and staff members will help Randolph and Jackson County residents discover any unclaimed property.  The Red Bud event will take place from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Red Bud Regional Hospital. The Carbondale event will take place from 2:30 to 4 p.m. at Manor Court. To find out if you have any unclaimed property through I-Cash, go to www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the I-Cash link.

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Missing Women May Be Linked

An area mother is searching for answers in the disappearance of her daughter. Megan Nichols has been missing from her home in Fairfield since July 3. She's one of four women who've disappeared in the past several months across southeastern Illinois, southwest Indiana, and western Kentucky. The combined cases have been getting increased attention.  Ashley Higgs went missing from Owensboro, Kentucky in March. Joelle Lockwood disappeared in Evansville, Indiana after visiting a friend's home in July. Kristy Kelley hasn't been seen since August 15th, when she left her shift at the Boonville, Indiana VFW. Kelly did not take her cell phone and purse with her. Police believe Megan left her house under her own free will, and she did leave a note behind.  However, her family says they would have never expected her to runaway. Weeks of investigation and dozens of leads haven't found the teen. Nichols was 15 when she disappeared and turned 16 on July 18th. The city of Fairfield has held fundraisers and collected enough money for a $2000 reward. 

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Convicted Murderer Challenges Sentence

Convicted murderer Danny Coston is scheduled to appear in Appellate Court today in Mt. Vernon, challenging his 53 year prison sentence. After an August 2013 bench trial in White County, Coston was found guilty in the shooting deaths of 17-year-old Jessica Evans and 22-year-old Jacob Wheeler.  The bodies of the victims were found in a remote area of the county near the Little Wabash River in august, 2012. Coston received 45 years for first degree murder, four for second degree murder and four for sexual assault to be served consecutively.  Officials say Coston must serve a minimum of 50 years before being eligible for early release Coston was turned over to the Illinois Department Of Corrections. Officials tell us every inmate is allowed to comment publicly at their sentencing, but Coston declined on advice of counsel.

----------------------------------------------------

STATE
Hot Weather Continues

(Lincoln, IL)  --  The National Weather Service says hot weather will continue through most of the state today in most parts of the state.  High temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 90s. The heat index could make it feel as hot as 110 degrees in some parts of the state.  Forecasters say that's dangerously hot weather.  If you're going to be outside, they say wear light weight and loose clothing, drink plenty of water and take regular breaks.  The very young and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the heat and they're being urged to stay in air conditioning as much as possible.

------------------------

Cooling centers open around Illinois in high heat

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Human Services has set up more than 100 cooling centers around the state as high heat and humidity linger. Gov. Pat Quinn's office said in a news release Monday that the centers are open in Department of Human Services offices. Their locations are available by calling the agency or checking its website. The National Weather Service issued heat warnings for all of Illinois except the extreme northern counties. With highs in central Illinois expected to reach the mid-90s and heat-index readings forecast well above 100 many schools that lack air conditioning are sending students home early.

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NJ governor stumps for Illinois GOP Rauner

CHICAGO (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is questioning the motivation behind Illinois' new same-day voter registration and the state's certified ballot as he campaigns for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Christie is Republican Governors Association chairman. He stopped at Rauner's Chicago campaign headquarters Monday and was to attend fundraisers. Christie scrutinized the timing of Illinois' same-day voter registration law and the State Board of Elections' decision to allow a gubernatorial candidate from the Libertarian Party, but not the Green Party, on the Nov. 4 ballot. Election officials say the Green Party didn't have enough valid signatures. Christie claims that decision and voter law are attempts to boost votes for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner wasn't at the event because he's taking his son to college. His campaign wouldn't say where.

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New Law Makes Bears, Cougars, Black Bears Protected Species

(Springfield, IL) -- Even though they're not seen too often in Illinois, bears, cougars and wolves are now protected species under state law. Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill today putting those animals in the state's wildlife code and starting the process for the Department of Natural Resources to begin developing management plans. Only about 15-percent of the state's land is considered suitable habitat for black bears, 14-percent for gray wolves and six-and-a-half-percent for mountain lions.

------------------------------

Madigan Investigating Worker Abuse At Chinese Buffets

(Chicago, IL)  --  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office is teaming up with the Department of Labor to investigate alleged worker abuse at Chinese buffets around Illinois. She says there are allegations of wage payment and minimum wage violations and discrimination against mostly immigrants. Workers say they're being asked to work 11-to-13 hours per day without breaks, six days a week. There are also claims that some are forced to work under threats of abuse and violence. Madigan says they take these kinds of threats seriously, and she's encouraging any current or former workers to contact her office to report any instances of abuse or discrimination.

--------------------

Illinois seeks medical marijuana board nominees

CHICAGO (AP) — The new medical marijuana program in Illinois is looking for health professionals and patients to serve on an advisory board. The 15-member board will make recommendations about which medical conditions can be added to the list of those approved for medical marijuana use in the state. Board members will be appointed by the governor. There is no compensation other than expenses. Only patients with certain medical problems can apply for ID cards to use medical marijuana. But the new law allows the public to petition to add medical conditions to the list. The board will review the petitions, hold public hearings and make a written report based on experience and evidence-based medical research. More information about how to apply can be found on the program's website.

------------------------------

NATIONAL
VA says no proof delays in care caused vets to die

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Veterans Affairs Department says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix. Revelations that as many as 40 veterans died while awaiting care rocked the agency last spring, bringing to light scheduling problems and allegations of misconduct at other hospitals as well. Today, President Barack Obama speaks to the American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

---------------------------------

Wisconsin, Indiana set to defend gay marriage bans

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for Wisconsin and Indiana are set defend their states' gay marriage bans before a federal appeals court in Chicago. Civil rights advocates had challenged both states' bans, arguing that they violated gay couples' right to equal protection. Federal judges in both states struck their respective bans down in June. Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller have asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the bans. Both argue states have the authority to set marriage standards.The court consolidated the appeals and is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday. It's unclear when the court might rule. The outcome could directly affect hundreds of couples who were married after the judges overturned the bans but before their rulings were put on hold.

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NY teen faces sentence in wreck that killed 4 pals

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York City teenager involved in a fiery crash on a Long Island roadway that killed his four friends is set to be sentenced. Joseph Beer of Queens pleaded guilty in July to aggravated vehicular homicide. He told a Nassau County judge he had smoked marijuana and was speeding when his high-performance sports car crashed into a tree on the Southern State Parkway in October 2012. A jury in June had deadlocked on the aggravated vehicular homicide charge. A month later, Beer pleaded guilty, saying he wanted to spare the victims' families the ordeal of a second trial. Beer was 17 at the time of the crash. A judge will decide Tuesday if he gets 4 years as a youthful offender. Otherwise, he's looking at a 5-to-15 year term.

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Obama To Speak At American Legion Convention Today

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama speaks to the American Legion's national convention today in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Obama is expected to update the group on efforts to reform the troubled Veterans Affairs Department.  He recently signed legislation aimed at fixing the VA's wide-ranging problems, including deep backlogs and long wait times for medical appointments.  Many vets now have the option of seeking private healthcare and more doctors and nurses will be hired.  Plans are also underway to expand VA facilities.  

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Americans Oppose Ransom For Hostages, Poll Finds

(Undated)  --  More than 60-percent of Americans say governments should not pay ransom to terrorists to free hostages.  The Reuters Ipsos poll released today reports 62-percent of people surveyed support the U.S. and British policy of refusing to pay ransom.  The militant jihadist group ISIS demanded a multi-million dollar ransom for American journalist James Foley before murdering the free-lance reporter.  ISIS released a video showing the beheading of Foley last week. 

----------------

Judge Ends Oversight Of Detroit Police

(Detroit, MI)  --  Federal officials are ending oversight of the Detroit Police Department.  A federal judge has terminated an eleven-year agreement with DPD and the U.S. Justice Department to reduce excessive force and make other changes.  At a hearing Monday morning, the government declared that the Detroit Police Department is compliant with federal standards.  A court-appointed monitor has been watching over the department since the agreement went into effect in 2003.

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Hamas official: Cease-fire reached with Israel

UNDATED (AP) — A senior Hamas official says a cease-fire has been reached with Israel to end a seven-week war that has killed more than 2,000 people. The official said the deal calls for an "open-ended" cease-fire, and an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief supplies and construction materials into the war-battered territory. Talks on deeper issues, such as Hamas' demand to reopen Gaza's airport and seaport, would begin in a month. The official said Egypt planned an announcement later Tuesday. He spoke on condition of anonymity pending the announcement. There was no immediate Israeli comment.

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Burger King buying Tim Hortons for about $11B

MIAMI (AP) — Burger King is buying Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc. for about $11 billion, creating the world's third-largest fast-food company. The corporate headquarters of the new company will be in Canada, a move that may help Burger King lower its taxes. Burger King will still run its business out of Miami. Burger King Worldwide Inc. will pay $65.50 Canadian ($59.74) in cash and 0.8025 common shares of the new company for each Tim Hortons share. This represents total value per Tim Hortons share of $94.05 Canadian (US$85.79), based on Burger King's Monday closing stock price. Alternatively, Tim Hortons shareholders may choose either all-cash or all stock in the new company.

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US probes Ford Explorer police SUV brake hoses

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating a complaint that front brake hoses can fail on some Ford Explorer Police Interceptor SUVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the probe covers about 20,000 Explorers from the 2013 model year. Failure can cause increased stopping distances. An unidentified metropolitan police department complained to the agency that 13 brake hoses failed on 11 of its 45 Explorers. Small splits were found in an inspection of the hoses. The agency says it's investigating to see how often the problem happens and assess the consequences. Ford says it's cooperating with the investigation.

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Napa rattled by 3.9 aftershock

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Napa County has been rattled by a small aftershock to the strong and damaging earthquake that hit California's wine capital over the weekend. The US Geological Survey says the 3.9-magnitude quake struck at 5:33 a.m. Tuesday about 7 miles south of the city of Napa. A sheriff's dispatcher says the station shook a little, but there have been no calls reporting damage or injuries. California's wine capital is still recovering from Sunday's 6.0-magnitude earthquake, which is estimated to have caused at least $1 billion in property damage. There have been a series of small aftershocks, mostly in the 2.0-magnitude range.

--------------------------------

New York City subway train goes wrong way

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City transit officials say a subway operator and conductor have been taken out of service while they investigate how a train ended up going the wrong way. Officials say the uptown "A'' train pulled out of the Canal Street hub onto downtown tracks on Aug. 11. The crew apparently did not hear a dispatcher's radio warning. The operator stopped after seeing another train's headlights at West 4th Street. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says there was no danger because the oncoming train had been halted. The MTA says there had been signal problems, and the operator had been told to back up and switch to the other track. Instead, she kept going. The MTA said a wrong-way train is "extremely uncommon."

---------------------------------

Florida condo's name gets tainted by extremists

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A planned South Florida condo that shared its name with a group of Islamic extremists is getting a new identity. ISIS Downtown is a major development being built in West Palm Beach. ISIS is also one of the names for the al-Qaida splinter group behind the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley. The Palm Beach Post reports the new building is now being called 3 Thirty Three Downtown. The developers haven't commented on the change. Tim Harris, the past president of the Realtor Association of the Palm Beaches, said the prior name had become "scarily negative."

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INTERNATIONAL
Israel destroys 2 Gaza high-rises in escalation

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A resident of a high-rise complex in Gaza City says he, his four children and 70-year-old mother fled their building right before it was bombed by an Israeli F-16 fighter jet. The building was one of two city high-rises bombed by the Israeli military earlier today, and the fifth tower or shopping complex since Saturday. A health official says 25 people were wounded.

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Putin sits down with Ukrainian president for talks

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The presidents of Russia and Ukraine have sat down for talks, meeting face-to-face for the first time since June on the fighting that has engulfed eastern Ukraine. Russia's Vladimir Putin and Ukraine's Petro Poroshenko were joined by the presidents of Belarus and Kazakhstan and three senior officials from the European Union. In opening Tuesday's meeting in Minsk, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko urged both sides to "discard political ambitions and not to seek political dividend." The Ukrainian president was expected to face pressure to find a negotiated settlement — not a military victory — to the fighting that began in April. That was the option called for by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a visit to Kiev last weekend.

-----------------------------------

US surveillance planes fly over Syria

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey isn't commenting on the U.S. beginning surveillance flights over Syria, but he says the U.S. does want a clearer picture of militants from the group Islamic State operating in the country. The information gathered could pave the way for airstrikes on militants in Syria. The U.S. began launching strikes against the Islamic State inside Iraq earlier this month.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 3, Pittsburgh 2

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Frontier at Gateway
Southern Illinois at Traverse City

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White Sox send OF Danks to Triple-A Charlotte

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have optioned outfielder Jordan Danks to Triple-A Charlotte. The White Sox, who have lost six in a row, announced the move on Monday. The team says it will make a corresponding move before Tuesday night's game against Cleveland. The 28-year-old Danks is batting .190 with two homers in 33 games over two stints with the White Sox this year. He hit .289 in 12 games after he was recalled from Charlotte on Aug. 9.

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Molina, Wacha on comeback trail for Cardinals

PITTSBURGH (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and right-hander Michael Wacha are ready for the next step in their return from the disabled list. General manager John Mozeliak said Monday that Molina and Wacha will report to Double-A Springfield this week to continue their rehabilitation. Molina has been on the disabled list since July 10 with a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery. Wacha has been on the DL since mid-June with a stress reaction in his right shoulder. Wacha will throw live batting practice with Springfield on Wednesday. The Cardinals have managed to stay in the middle of the NL Central Division race without Molina and Wacha. St. Louis entered Monday night's game in Pittsburgh just 1 1/2 games behind Milwaukee.

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Cardinals Recall Lyons, Option Garcia

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  The Cardinals are shuffling their roster a bit.  They recalled pitcher Tyler Lyons from Triple-A Memphis before Monday's game against the Pirates and optioned infielder Greg Garcia to Double-A Springfield.  Lyons was 0-and-3 with a 5.46 ERA in seven games earlier this year.

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Cubs Recall Soler, To Join Team In Cincinnati

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The Cubs are reportedly calling up outfielder Jorge Soler from Triple-A Iowa.  The 22-year-old Cuban is ranked as Chicago's fifth-best prospect according to MLB.com and has soared through the system this year.  Soler is reportedly set to join the team in Cincinnati tomorrow.

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Hill confident he can run Rams offense

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Shaun Hill has been here before. A career backup quarterback, Hill is certain he will be able to successfully run the St. Louis Rams' offense after Sam Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury during the weekend. Hill has been forced into an extended relief role for the second time in his 13-year career. He replaced Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford for 10 games in 2010 when Stafford went down with a shoulder injury. St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher has the utmost confidence in Hill, who Fisher said looked good handling the offense in practice on Monday. Hill admits he is a little rusty as he attempted just 36 passes as a backup in Detroit the last three seasons. However, he is ready to embrace his new role since he was signed to a one-year deal by the Rams in March with this scenario in mind.

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Illini look to shore up Big Ten-worst run defense

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coaches and players are talking frequently about the need to start fast as they get ready for the season opener Saturday against Youngstown State. A season ago the Illini regularly found themselves trailing early. A big reason was the team's struggles to stop the run. Illinois had the Big Ten's worst run defense in 2013 when the team went 4-8. It gave up 238.6 yards a game. That's 5.6 yards a play, the kind of yardage that makes it tough for a defense to get off the field. Beckman said Tuesday that inexperience and lack of depth were serious defensive problems. He believes those problems have been solved. Junior linebacker Mason Monheim believes Youngstown will run a lot on Saturday and give Illinois's run defense its first test.

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News for Aug. 25, 2014

LOCAL
Prison guard and instructor charged with forgery

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois prison guard who worked a second job as an instructor for those arrested for driving under the influence has been charged with forgery. The Belleville News-Democrat reports 42-year-old Kevan Caliper was hit with felony forgery charges Saturday. He allegedly signed documents for a defendant's court-ordered treatment which hadn't been completed. Such documents are used to evaluate if a defendant is a public safety risk. Caliper's Belleville-based business is First Choice DUI Services and Evaluation. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly says discrepancies in paperwork led the Illinois Attorney General's office to investigate. Caliper's attorney James Stern says Caliper pleaded not guilty. Caliper also works at Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center in Washington Park. Corrections officials say there'll be a hearing determining if Caliper will face suspension.

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Section of Interstate 70 named for Jerry Costello


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A section of Interstate 70 in southwestern Illinois has been named in honor of former Congressman Jerry Costello. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, and Costello's replacement in Congress, Democrat Bill Enyart were among those agreeing Costello was worthy of the tribute. They noted he was instrumental in the building of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge across the Mississippi River. A sign declaring the stretch of interstate approaching the bridge the Jerry F. Costello Expressway was unveiled Friday. Costello said that while he was honored to have the road named after him, the dedication was a gift to his family. He noted his wife and children paid a high price while he was away so often during his two-and-a-half decades in Congress.

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Ameren Begins Natural Gas Upgrades

(Chatham, IL)  --  Ameren Illinois is starting work on a upgrade to its natural gas distribution system.  Ameren plans to replace 350 miles of steel lines in central and southern Illinois. They'll also upgrade 70 stations that regulate gas and they're planning to install 468-thousand smart meters. They allow communication between customers and Ameren. The project is expected to take about a decade and will cost four-hundred-million-dollars.

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Durbin Addresses Record Levels Of Amtrak Delays Along Carbondale Route

CARBONDALE, IL – Persistent Amtrak delays, caused largely by freight train interference, are threatening the success of passenger rail in Illinois and have made the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale line the worst performing state-supported train in the nation, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said on Saturday. Priority given to freight train interference along lines operated by Canadian National (CN) has caused Amtrak trains on the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route to be delayed more than half the time. “It is clear that we are experiencing a renaissance of passenger rail in Illinois. Amtrak ridership is at all-time high and we are investing almost $2 billion in federal funds into our passenger rail infrastructure in the State. These funds are building new locomotives and train cars that will be used here in Carbondale and across the Midwest. However, this progress is threatened when the trains we have are not reliable and on-time. The Illini and Saluki trains are consistently delayed by freight trains, resulting in trains arriving on-time only 49% percent of the time this year. The 392 train from Carbondale to Chicago is arriving on-time only 34 percent of the time. These poor performance numbers risk us wasting the investments we have made,” Durbin said. “CN has a long history of holding up Amtrak trains and holding back investments that could improve passenger and freight service in downstate Illinois. We are here today to encourage CN to step up and make the changes necessary to improve Amtrak service on this line.” Earlier last week, Durbin met with the Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairman Dan Elliott, to call to renewed efforts to end the delays in Illinois. In 2008, Durbin helped pass legislation that gave the STB the authority to enforce Amtrak’s rights to the rails. Last month, Durbin called on the STB to exercise its authority to investigate the causes of Amtrak delays and enforce on-time performance standards. Earlier this month, Durbin wrote to Amtrak’s president and CEO Joseph Boardman and its board chairman, Anthony Coscia, asking for a study to increase the number of trains along the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale line. Amtrak is currently undertaking the study.

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Carbondale Police Part of Sober Driving Initiative

Carbondale Police will be involved in this year's Labor Day 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' impaired driving crackdown. Police say the intensified enforcement effort against the overwhelming number of late-night impaired drivers and seat belt law violators emphasizes the disproportionate number of traffic deaths occurring during late-night hours. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the midnight to 3 a.m. time frame is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. The data also shows this time of day has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest occupant restraint use. Police say if you must drink, designate a sober driver or call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Drivers should report drunk drivers immediately if they see them on the roadways. And you should remember to wear your seatbelt and that all passengers are buckled up too. The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT's Division of Transportation.

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STATE
Rauner says he'll continue to push for term limits


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says not having a term limits measure on November's ballot is a temporary setback. He told reporters Sunday he'll "campaign very aggressively" on term limits in both his bid to unseat Gov. Pat Quinn and on behalf of state lawmakers who commit to term limits. A new ad released Sunday focuses on term limits. Rauner led a petition drive for the ballot measure calling for term limits, among other things. Courts deemed it unconstitutional. On Friday the Illinois Supreme Court rejected a request to consider the measure and the State Board of Elections certified a ballot without the question. Rauner says even longtime Republicans officeholders he's publicly praised — recently U.S. Rep. John Shimkus and state Sen. Chapin Rose — "should term limit themselves."

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Federal subpoena sought email of ex-Quinn advisers

CHICAGO (AP) — A grand jury has subpoenaed the emails of three former top advisers to Pat Quinn as part of a federal investigation into the governor's troubled anti-violence program. The July 28 subpoena seeks messages from the state email accounts of Quinn's one-time chief of staff Jack Lavin, former Chief Operating Officer Andrew Ross and former adviser on social justice issues Billy Ocasio. A state audit of the now-shuttered program found money unaccounted for and pervasive mismanagement. The subpoena was first reported Saturday by the Chicago Tribune, which obtained it from the Quinn administration through an open records request. Spokesman Grant Klinzman confirmed the report and released the documents along with a statement saying, "The Governor has zero tolerance for any mismanagement and took decisive action to fix the problems long ago."

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Illinois DNR to use $1.7M grant on recreation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced it will receive more than $1.7 million to expand the Illinois Recreational Access Program. The department says it will use the $1.74 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide additional hunting, fishing, boating and birding opportunities for children and families. The department's Illinois Recreational Access Program offers rental payments, habitat management plans and restoration project assistance to landowners who agree to allow recreational activities on their property. The department says 65 private landowners have enrolled 13,000 acres in 29 counties within the first three years of the program. The department says the expansion of access to outdoor recreation, especially for young hunters and anglers, is one of its top priorities.

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State renews Get Covered Illinois PR contract


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has renewed its contract with the public relations firm that handled promotion of Get Covered Illinois in the first year of President Barack Obama's health care law. The $25.6 million contract with St. Louis-based FleishmanHillard includes tighter controls over who gets paid at the highest rate of $282 per hour. The first-year contract drew criticism for its hourly rates when first reported by The Associated Press. Get Covered Illinois' chief marketing officer Jose Munoz says Illinois "negotiated very aggressively" on who could bill the highest hourly rates. The new contract allows 16 individuals to bill at $282 per hour. That compares with 68 people who billed at $282 per hour last year in documents reviewed by the AP. The new contract expires April 30.

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U of I Second Most Expensive Big Ten School

(Urbana, IL)  --  Freshman are starting classes at the University of Illinois and their wallets are taking a hit. A survey done by the "News-Gazette" finds the school ranks second about public universities in the Big Ten for costs. Northwestern tops the overall list. The private school costs 47-thousand-dollars annually. Penn State is the most expensive public university at 17-thousand-dollars a year followed by Illinois at 15-thousand a year. Illinois ranked third in costs last year among 34 public universities in a survey by the Association of American Universities.

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Illinois And Indiana AG's Working To End Youth Smoking

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is teaming up with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to try to end youth smoking. They're joining in with Legacy's truth youth smoking prevention campaign called "Finish It." Youth smoking rates are at their lowest levels in 22 years, but nine percent of teens still smoke and nearly all lifetime smokers have their first cigarette before they turn 18. Madigan says they want to see the first generation of tobacco-free teens. She says there are already restrictions to market tobacco to kids and they want to see the same restrictions on e-cigarettes.

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Illinois Cracks Down On Drunk Teens

(Springfield, IL)  --  Parents that let their kids drink in cars could now face criminal charges.  Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill that expands the current law that allows the punishment of parents that allow kids to drink in their homes. The expansion also includes boats, campers and private aircraft. It takes effect on January 1.

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Repeat Of Last Winter Not Expected

(Champaign, IL)  --  State Climatologist Jim Angel says the latest long range forecast shows that a repeat of last winter's snowy conditions is not expected. He says the forecast right now is calling for below average precipitation in Illinois. Angel warns that it is still early for a winter forecast, so things could change. The forecast for September and the fall is calling for equal chances of above, below and average temperatures and precipitation. Angel says El Nino conditions could have an effect on the weather, but the forecast says there's only a 65 percent chance of those conditions. Even if they do occur, he says they likely won't have a strong effect. Strong El Nino conditions usually mean a wet and cool fall and a dry and warm winter.

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Springfield site celebrates new butterfly garden


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new butterfly garden at a historic site in Springfield will be the setting for a talk by a biologist and gardening expert. Susan Dees-Hargrove will share her experience gardening for moths and butterflies on Sunday afternoon at the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site. She's a biologist with the Illinois Department of Transportation and specializes in endangered species and wildlife habitats. The Dana-Thomas House in Springfield was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1902. The site has a new butterfly garden installed by volunteers at the White Cottage, next door to the house. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteers will talk to visitors about the plants. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

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NATIONAL
CA wildfire threatens homes

WEAVERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Residents in some 500 homes in Northern California are wondering if they'll eventually have to evacuate because of a fast-growing wildfire. The blaze already has forced the evacuation of about 150 homes near the town of Weaverville. Emergency officials say some 20 facilities, including the town airport and high school, also are being threatened by the 1-square-mile blaze.

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Michael Brown to be laid to rest

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The family of the unarmed black 18-year-old shot to death by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri lays him to rest later this morning. And the father of Michael Brown is asking protesters to take a break today, so that the family can grieve. The funeral will be held in St. Louis. President Barack Obama is sending three White House aides, and Gov. Jay Nixon said he will attend.

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American journalist freed in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — The release of an American journalist in Syria is likely to renew questions about the intentions of different militant groups in Syria and Iraq and how the U.S. should deal with hostage takers. Journalist Peter Theo Curtis was freed Sunday, days after another U.S. journalist kidnapped in Syria was beheaded by Islamic militants. Secretary of State John Kerry says Curtis was held by an al-Qaida-linked militant group. Journalist James Foley was executed by the group Islamic State, which al-Qaida disavowed earlier this year after deeming it too brutal.

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TS Cristobal expected to move away from Bahamas

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to move northward away from the Bahamas. At last check, the storm's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says gradual strengthening is expected and Cristobal could become a hurricane in the next few days. Cristobal is centered about 110 miles east-northeast of San Salvador and is moving north near 3 mph. The storm's forecast track shows it staying away from the U.S. East Coast. Meanwhile in the Pacific, Hurricane Marie is moving west-northwest as a major Category 4 storm. Marie's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph with general weakening expected to begin tonight. Marie is centered about 465 miles southwest of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

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Pediatricians' Rx for schools: Later start times for teens

CHICAGO (AP) — Pediatricians are sending a back-to-school message: Let teenagers sleep in a bit. In a new policy statement in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics says delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. for teens would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and even depression and suicide. The influential group says studies have found that most U.S. students in middle school and high school don't get the recommended amount of sleep — 8½ to 9½ hours on school nights. Kristen Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, says later start times for teens is really an issue of cost because bus drivers would have to be added and buses rerouted. And, she says, later start times also would mean later dismissal times, affecting sports practices, games, after-school jobs and homework time.

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PlayStation Targeted In Cyber Attack

(Undated)  --  Sony is confirming its online gaming network was the target of a cyber attack.  The company on Sunday said it was forced to take its popular gaming network offline after being hit with a distributed denial of service attack.  That's when a massive number of artificial users log on in an attempt to jam up the servers.  A hacker group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility.  The same group tweeted a bomb threat that forced a flight carrying the president of Sony Online to be diverted to Phoenix Sunday.

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Videos Reveal Scene Of Suge Knight Club Shooting

(West Hollywood, CA)  --  Video footage is surfacing of the West Hollywood nightclub where rap music mogul Suge Knight and two others were reportedly shot early Sunday morning.  TMZ says Knight was hit by six bullets while attending a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party hosted by singer Chris Brown. 

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Soldier Involved In Army Base Shooter Scare

(Fort Lee, VA)  --  An active duty soldier is being identified as the cause of a shooting scare this morning at the Fort Lee Army base in Virginia.  The base was placed on lockdown when the female soldier reportedly entered a building waving a gun around.  She then turned the gun on herself and fired.  The soldier has not been identified.  She was taken to a hospital.  The lockdown has since been lifted.  No other injuries were reported. 

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More aftershocks expected in Napa area

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — Scientists say there could be aftershocks for several weeks following yesterday morning's 6.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Napa, California. The quake struck the heart of the state's wine country. The damage assessment continues today -- but the initial assessment found that dozens of homes and buildings in the region were unsafe to occupy. They include an old county courthouse, where a 10-foot wide hole opened a view of the offices inside. The quake was the largest to shake the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989. State Geologist John Parrish is warning that buildings damaged in the quake will be more susceptible to collapse from aftershocks. The quake caused gas and water lines to rupture, sparking fires. Four homes in a mobile home park were destroyed. A Napa hospital treated more than 170 people in the emergency room, though hospital officials couldn't say how many of them were there for injuries suffered in the quake. Twelve more people were admitted for broken bones and other medical problems directly related to the quake, including an adult who remained in critical condition last night.

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No deal yet in Market Basket feud

TEWKSBURY, Mass. (AP) — The family feud that has brought the Market Basket supermarket chain to its knees may be nearing its end. Ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has reportedly made a $1.5 billion offer to buy out the part of the company controlled by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, and his allies on the board. The board was scheduled to meet Sunday but the meeting was called off due to disagreements over some terms of the sale. Arthur T. Demoulas' ouster earlier this summer prompted an employee walkout and customer boycott that has led to empty shelves and a mere trickle of business at the private company's 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Store managers and employees expressed confidence over the weekend that a deal was imminent.

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Tribe's casino plan roils quaint Martha's Vineyard

AQUINNAH, Mass. (AP) — An American Indian tribe says its plan to build a casino in a remote part of Martha's Vineyard is about providing "economic self-sufficiency" to its some 1,200 members. But not all visitors are convinced the Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe's proposal fits with the character of the island, with its quaint towns, soft sand beaches and rolling dunes. Tribal members living near the proposed site, meanwhile, are concerned about traffic and safety. They also complain they've been largely left in the dark about the plans. Tribal leaders want to turn an unfinished tribal community center into a "high stakes" bingo and poker hall filled with electronic betting machines. Gov. Deval Patrick has sued in federal court to block the project.

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INTERNATIONAL
Liberia: Doctor given experimental Ebola drug dies

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberia's information minister says a doctor given an experimental drug to fight Ebola has died. Lewis Brown confirmed the doctor's death to The Associated Press on Monday. He was one of three Liberian health workers to receive the untested ZMapp drug that had earlier been given to two American health workers. Only five people in the world have received the experimental drug. The two Americans survived Ebola and were discharged from an Atlanta hospital. A Spanish priest who received it died. There was no update on the two other Liberians who took doses of the drug. Health experts caution that the drug had never been tested in humans before and it is unclear whether it works. The current Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,400 people across West Africa.

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Ukraine: Russian tank column enters southeast

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says a column of Russian tanks and armored vehicles has crossed into the country in the far southeast, away from where most of the intense fighting has been taking place. A spokesman for Ukraine's National Security Council says the column of 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks crossed the border near a city (Novoazovsk) that was shelled during the night. He says the vehicles were Russian military vehicles bearing flags of the separatist Donetsk rebels. The reported incursion and shelling could indicate an attempt to move on Mariupol, a major port on the Azov Sea, an arm of the Black Sea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he has no information about the column.

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Syrian FM warns US against airstrikes on militants

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's foreign minister has warned the U.S. not to conduct airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State group without Damascus' consent. Walid al-Moallem says such an act "by anyone," without the approval from President Bashar Assad's government, would be a violation of Syrian sovereignty and would be considered an aggression. But the top Syrian diplomat also said on Monday that Syria is ready to work with regional states and the international community in the war on terror amid the onslaught of Islamic militants. Al-Moallem's remarks at a press conference in Damascus marked the first public comments by a senior Assad official on the threat posed by the Islamic State, which has captured large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory. Al-Moallem denounced the Islamic State's killing of U.S. journalist James Foley.

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UN rights chief: Crimes against humanity in Iraq

GENEVA (AP) — U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Islamic State fighters reportedly killed up to 670 prisoners in Mosul and committed other horrific abuses in Iraq that amount to crimes against humanity. The U.N.'s top human rights official says the grave human rights violations carried out by the Islamic State group and other fighters allied with it include ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious purges in areas under its control in an aggressive push to gain a firm grip on the northern and eastern provinces. Pillay said a statement Monday the violations include targeted killings, forced conversions, abductions, trafficking, slavery, sexual abuse, destruction of places of religious and cultural significance, and besieging entire communities for ethnic, religious or sectarian reasons.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

NY Yankees 5, Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 7, Baltimore 2
St. Louis 6, Philadelphia 5

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 11, Florence 4
Washington 11, Gateway 3
Evansville at Rockford (PPD. Until 8/24)

NFL

New Orleans 23, Indianapolis 17
St. Louis 33, Cleveland 14

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

NY Yankees 7, Chicago White Sox 4
Philadelphia 7, St. Louis 1
Chicago Cubs 2, Baltimore 1

Frontier League

Evansville 7, Rockford 2
Rockford 4, Evansville 2
Washington 6, Gateway 0
Southern Illinois 8, Florence 4

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Pittsburgh 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

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Mt. Vernon Gridiron Club To Meet

There will be a meeting of the Rams Gridiron Club on Monday night, Aug 25th.  The meeting will begin at 6:45 and will be held in the football meeting room at the Stadium (entry at the concession stand doorway).  All members and friends of Rams football are welcome to attend!

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Miners Host Farmer's Appreciation Night

Marion, Ill. (August 19, 2014) - The Southern Illinois Miners announce that they will host Farmer’s Appreciation Night on Friday, August 29th when they welcome the Normal CornBelters at 7:05 p.m., sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau. The fun starts when fans walk in the gate- the first 500 fans that arrive at the ballpark will receive an Illinois Farm Bureau & Miners logo baseball. Also, the Miners will conduct a special fundraiser in partnership with the Illinois Farm Bureau to support “Ag In The Classroom.” Fans are encouraged to contact their local farm bureau to purchase tickets to the game, with a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold going to support the agriculture education initiative.But that’s not all- Ag In The Classroom will be conducting a fun activity- “Baseball Farm Charm”- for the kids in the ballpark on August 29th. There will also be local farm equipment dealers on the concourse promoting their products.

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Clausen wins backup QB job with Bears

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have cut Jordan Palmer, making Jimmy Clausen the backup quarterback behind Jay Cutler. The Bears also released linebacker Jordan Senn and wide receiver Darius Reynaud on Sunday, leaving them with 78 players on their roster ahead of the 75-player cut down deadline. Clausen signed with Chicago in June and won the backup job with a solid camp. He appeared in 13 games for Carolina from 2010 to 2013 after starring at Notre Dame. Clausen made 10 starts as a rookie and threw for 1,558 yards with three touchdowns and nine interceptions during a 2-14 season. The Panthers drafted Cam Newton the following April.

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Reports: Bradford out for season with ACL tear

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has a torn ACL in his left knee for the second straight year and is out for the season, according to multiple reports. Bradford was injured in the first quarter of Saturday night's 33-14 preseason victory at Cleveland. He landed hard on the knee when hit by Browns defensive end Amonty Bryant after throwing a pass. ESPN and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch both reported the extent of the injury. Coach Jeff Fisher is scheduled to meet with reporters on Sunday evening. Bradford, the first overall pick of the 2010 draft, missed the last nine games last season after getting injured at Carolina. Veteran Shaun Hill has been the backup and the Rams also have rookie Garrett Gilbert and Austin Davis on the roster. After the game, Fisher thought Bradford might have hyperextended the knee.

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News for Aug. 22, 2014

LOCAL
Coroner: Illinois student dies of heart disease

O'FALLON, Ill. (AP) — The St. Clair County coroner says southwest Illinois junior high school student who died after suffering a medical emergency during a basketball practice had heart disease. The Belleville News-Democrat reports coroner Rick Stone identified the 13-year-old boy as Demetrius Simpson on Thursday. Stone said an autopsy conducted Thursday revealed the eighth grader died of hereditary heart disease. District 90 Superintendent Douglas Wood says Simpson went to the bathroom during training Wednesday at Fulton Jr. High School for his basketball club and didn't come back. He says Simpson was found there later in distress and was taken to a hospital. A funeral service for Simpson will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Marie Schaefer Elementary School. Wolfersberger Funeral Home in O'Fallon is handling the arrangements.

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Sewer blast launches manhole covers; 1 injury

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials in a small town in southwestern Illinois are trying to figure out what caused a sewer explosion that sent manhole covers flying so high they damaged power lines. According to the Belleville News-Democrat, one employee of a chemical plant near the site of the explosion in Sauget was injured by the blast just after 5:15 a.m. Thursday. The injuries weren't believed to be life-threatening. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sauget has just 150 residents. The town sits just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Sauget Police Chief Patrick Delaney said the explosion happened when workers tried to turn the power to the sewer system on after it went down. One power line was knocked down, forcing the closure of Illinois Route 3.

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Local Unemployment Jumps From Last Month, Still Down From Last Year

Unemployment declined in all 18 counties in South Central Illinois when compared to one year ago, but overall was up from a month ago. The data is not seasonally adjusted. Payroll gains occurred in Wholesale Trade, Professional-Business Services, and Financial Activities. Employment advances also were reported in Health Care Services, Food Services, and Accommodations throughout the area. Many job openings were also reported in Office and Administrative Support, Recreation, and Production occupations. Advertisements for employment included jobs in Business and Finance, Construction, Computer Services, and Hospitality. Jefferson County posted a 7.3% for July 2014, up from 7.0% for June 2014, but down from 9.3% in July2013.  Marion County jumped to 9.2% for the month after holding steady at 9% for the two months prior, and Washington County from 5.2% to 5.5%, over the past month. Hamilton County posted went from a 6.1% to 6.6% over the last month and Wayne County went from 7.1% to 7.4%, but Clinton County dropped from 5.8% in June to 5.5% in July.

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Illinois State Police Trooper Rescues Driver Trapped Inside Fully Submerged Vehicle   

Hamilton County – Illinois State Police (ISP) Officials are crediting District 19 Trooper
Jason Blessing, a 13 year veteran of the ISP, with helping save the life of a motorist whose vehicle became fully submerged in rapidly moving water.  On Sunday, at approximately 8:30 a.m., while on patrol, Trooper Blessing came upon a 2012 Dodge Avenger that had driven off the roadway and into a flooded drainage ditch adjacent to a creek near Route 14 and Hamilton County Road 100E.  The vehicle was nearly fully submerged with its driver trapped in it.  As the vehicle continued to descend, Trooper Blessing immediately and without regard for his own safety, tied a rope around his waist and swam out to the vehicle to rescue the motorist.  In an attempt to assist the trooper, a passerby also swam out to the vehicle with a hammer and the two were able to break one of the vehicle’s windows; however, by this time, the vehicle had become fully submerged.  Following his assistance to the officer, the Good Samaritan began experiencing difficulty swimming and had to be pulled to safety by Trooper Blessing with the help of another passerby.  Once the Good Samaritan was safe, Trooper Blessing reentered the water and returned to the location of the submerged vehicle where he found the vehicle’s driver floating face down and motionless.  Trooper Blessing immediately pulled the driver to safety where additional passersby and an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) officer rendered aid and were able to revive him.  The driver was later transported to an area hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery.  At this time, it is not known what caused the driver to leave the roadway, the matter remains under investigation.“This is an example of the public and police working together to prevent a tragedy,” said ISP District 19 Commander Kelly Hodge.  “I am especially proud of Trooper Blessing for his courageous efforts and for disregarding his own safety so that another could be saved,” added Hodge. Other agencies that assisted the ISP during the incident included the Illinois Department of Transportation, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, McLeansboro Police Department, Hamilton County Rural Fire Department and Benton Fire Department.

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Power Outage Leads To Officer Assault At Vandalia

A power outage Wednesday night at an Illinois prison resulted in a corrections officer being assaulted by an inmate. According to Illinois Department Of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer, power went out around 10:30 Wednesday night at Vandalia Correctional Center. Shaer says that when the outage occurred, some of the backup lights in the housing areas failed to come on, a matter he said will be looked into by IDOC. During the outage, approximately 20 inmates in two dorm units became rowdy, yelling and banging objects, but remained housed inside their dorms. A liquid believed to be milk was thrown among inmates and at staff members. As officers worked to quell the situation, Shaer said one inmate who was being removed from a dorm room struck a lieutenant one time and tackled him. The officer sustained a bruise and scratch to his facial area as well as a cut. Shaer said there was no other physical violence. Power was restored at 11:52pm. The inmate who struck the guard is being investigated and is being transferred to maximum security segregation. IDOC may pursue criminal prosecution against the inmate for assaulting a peace officer in a prison.  Other inmates who became rowdy during the outage have also been identified and are being appropriately transferred.

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MVPD Investigating Shooting

The Mt. Vernon Police Department is investigating a shooting that took place in the early morning hours Friday.  Authorities responded to 4162 Willow Springs in Mt. Vernon at 1:45 a.m. after receiving a call reporting the sound of multiple gunshots nearby the complex.  While officers were checking the area and others arrived at the complex, the caller reported being shot twice in the leg.  The investigation is ongoing.

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STATE
Term-limit backers seek Supreme Court intervention


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Bruce Rauner and other supporters of political term limits have asked the Illinois Supreme Court to quickly decide whether the question can go on November's ballot. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits filed an emergency petition Thursday morning. Friday is the deadline for election officials to certify the Nov. 4 ballot. The committee is headed by Rauner, the GOP candidate for governor. An appellate court ruled Wednesday that the plan to ask voter permission to limit legislators to eight years in office did not meet constitutional requirements to go on the ballot. Rauner says the court should consider the proposal's overwhelming voter support. The State Board of Elections meets Friday. It could also vote to suspend the process until the term limits issue is resolved.

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Illinois' share of bank settlement totals $300M

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the state will receive $300 million in its share of a national settlement with Bank of America. The deal announced Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department stems from the bank's role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. Nationwide, the settlement adds up to more than $16.6 billion. It's the largest deal the Justice Department has reached with a bank over the 2008 mortgage meltdown. In Illinois, the settlement includes $200 million to fully recover losses incurred by Illinois' pension systems and $100 million in consumer relief. An independent monitor will oversee the relief distribution. Madigan says Bank of America and its subsidiary Countrywide "were major players in virtually every aspect of the market that caused the crisis."

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IDOT cuts positions following questions on hiring

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Transportation is eliminating 58 positions that are at the center of a lawsuit alleging questionable hiring practices. Acting Secretary Erica Borggren said Thursday the move is designed to boost "accountability and restore public trust." In addition to eliminating "staff assistant" positions, IDOT is creating a board to evaluate hiring, and is continuing a freeze on hiring for positions that can be filled based on political connections. This year an anti-patronage attorney filed a federal lawsuit seeking an investigation and independent monitor to oversee employment practices at IDOT. That followed a 2013 Better Government Association report saying Quinn and predecessor, ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, hired as many as 200 "staff assistants" without adhering to rules prohibiting political considerations and without properly offering the jobs to the general public.

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Parents Should Know Details On School Security

(Springfield, IL) -- School bells are ringing back up and some experts say parents should remember to get the details about school security plans. Paul Timm, president of RETA Security Incorporated in Chicago, says they should know the protocol for before and after school activities, what kind of emergency preparedness plans the school has in place, and what kind of social media policies are in place. Parents should take what they know about that information and relay it to their kids. They should also establish plans on how they'd communicate with their child in the event of an emergency.

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Durbin Wants More Options For Paying Student Loans

(Edwardsville, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says college grads should be able to refinance their student loan debt.  He says many of them didn't realize what they signed up for when they took the loan out, and now they're having trouble paying the loan back.  Durbin says refinancing will drop the interest rate and lower the monthly payment amount.  He plans to call the measure for a vote in the second week of September.

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NATIONAL
Warning on militants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain a foothold in Iraq. But Hagel warns Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup. Speaking alongside Hagel at the Pentagon, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey said although the Islamic State group can be contained, it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria.

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Missouri governor orders withdrawal of Guard from Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The National Guard is leaving Ferguson, Missouri. Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Guard to begin pulling out of the St. Louis suburb after a third night of relatively peaceful protests following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

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Mud, slides close roads, trap motorists in Wash

TWISP, Wash. (AP) — Thunderstorms have dropped heavy rain on areas of north-central Washington hard-hit by wildfires this summer, triggering flash floods and mud slides that have damaged some homes, blocked portions of at least three highways and stranded some motorists. The sheriff in Okanogan County tells the Wenatchee World that some homes along State Highway 153 near Twisp were damaged by mudslides. And state police say up to 10 vehicles were marooned Thursday night on Highway 153 by mud and slides. There are no reports of injuries.

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With 2016 in mind, Perry heads to New Hampshire

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry is testing his presidential prospects in New Hampshire while carrying the scars of old political stumbles and a recent indictment. Perry is scheduled to be in the key early voting state today and tomorrow, where he'll attend at least a half-dozen events. Perry was indicted last week by a grand jury in Austin, Texas, on charges stemming from his veto last summer of state funds for public corruption prosecutors. He pleaded not guilty and has called the indictments politically motivated. Perry's 2012 presidential bid fizzled after well-publicized gaffes. Steve Duprey, former chairman of New Hampshire's Republican Party and a national committee member, says Republicans will be more interested in seeing whether Perry can handle adversity this time around.

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GAO: Defense Department Violated Law With Bergdahl Swap

(Washington, DC)  --  The Government Accountability Office says the Defense Department violated the law when it carried out a controversial prisoner swap for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl.  The GAO says the Pentagon should have let the relevant congressional committees know about the planned exchange 30 days before doing it.  The U.S. got Bergdahl back from the Taliban when it released five Guantanamo Bay inmates to Qatar in late May. 

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Ryan, Romney Appear Together In Chicago

(Chicago, IL)  --  Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan isn't ready to see former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney give up on trying to win the White House.  Yesterday, the pair made their first joint public appearance in Chicago since the 2012 election, with Ryan telling Romney quote, "the third time's the charm." 

----------------------

Family Dollar Rejects Dollar General Bid Over Antitrust Fears

(Undated)  --  Family Dollar Stores is turning down Dollar General's bid to buy the discount retail chain.  Family Dollar's board said Thursday it unanimously rejected Dollar General's nine-billion dollar bid because it's concerned the deal wouldn't be able to pass antitrust hurdles.  The board reaffirmed last month's deal to merge with Dollar Tree, which has agreed to pay about eight-and-a-half-billion for Family Dollar.

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More schools are mixing beer, football at stadiums

UNDATED (AP) — Walk through the tailgate area at a college football stadium, and beer drinking is as common a sight as fans adorned in jerseys of their favorite players. A growing number of schools are bringing the party inside, opening taps in concourses that traditionally have been alcohol-free zones. North Texas, SMU and Troy University will begin beer sales to the general public this season. They're among 21 on-campus football stadiums where any fan of legal age can grab a brew. That's more than twice as many as five years ago. most schools continue to keep alcohol restricted to premium seating areas, if they allow it at all. But offering alcohol is increasingly attractive for some campuses, especially for cash-strapped athletic departments outside the Power 5 conferences. Those schools, especially, are looking for ways to keep fans coming to stadiums instead of sitting at home or at sports bars.

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Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — The parents of slain journalist James Foley say they regarded an email they received from his captors last week as a hopeful sign they could negotiate with Islamic militants. Foley's Islamic State captors had demanded $132.5 million from his parents and political concessions from Washington. Authorities say neither obliged. The militants revealed Foley's death in a video released Tuesday. Speaking on NBC's "Today" John and Diane Foley from Rochester, New Hampshire, said they had last heard from the captors via several emails in December. They say they set up a special email address and sent multiple messages to try to engage them. John Foley said he was excited to see the latest email, even though it threatened execution. He says he had hoped they would be able to negotiate with the captors.

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Deere to lay off about 460 from Iowa tractor plant

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Agricultural equipment maker Deere is laying off about 460 employees indefinitely from an Iowa tractor factory as it continues to adjust to market demand. The Moline, Illinois, company said Friday the latest round of layoffs will be effective October 20. Deere said last week that it would lay off more than 600 employees at four Midwest factories that make harvesting and other agricultural equipment due to slumping demand. Deere & Co. is the world's biggest farm equipment supplier and employs about 67,000 people globally. It said earlier this month that it planned to reduce agricultural equipment production for the remainder of the year. Company shares are down 63 cents to $85.58 in early trading.

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2 parolees charged in suburban Chicago standoff

CHICAGO (AP) — Both suspects in a 20-hour hostage standoff this week in a Chicago suburb are parolees, and one is a convicted murderer who was under electronic monitoring. Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says that when 40-year-old David Jordan did not return to his home Tuesday afternoon, an alarm was triggered. By then, the hostage drama in the city of Harvey was already unfolding. Shaer says authorities monitoring Jordan made six attempts to reach him, and a warrant was issued by about 10:30 p.m. Jordan, who is from Dixmoor, and 41-year-old Peter Williams of Chicago were charged Friday with attempted murder, home invasion, kidnapping and sexual assault. Police say the standoff began as a burglary attempt, but the suspects barricaded themselves inside the home with eight hostages including six children.

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6 soldiers hurt when lightning hits Fort Drum range during training exercise; 2 hospitalized

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) — Army officials say six soldiers are recovering after lightning struck during a field exercise at Fort Drum in northern New York. A Fort Drum spokeswoman says the soldiers were training on a range when lightning hit the area around 9:15 p.m. Thursday. Officials say six soldiers were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening. Spokeswoman Julie Halpin says four returned to duty as of Friday morning, while two remain hospitalized. The nature of the injuries and details of the lightning strike haven't been released. In August 2012, a lightning strike injured 10 New Jersey National Guard soldiers who were training at Fort Drum, 70 miles north of Syracuse.

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INTERNATIONAL
Nigeria confirms 2 new Ebola cases

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu says the country has confirmed two new Ebola cases, the first two to have spread beyond those who had direct contact with the ill traveler from Liberia who brought the disease to Nigeria. Chukwu said Friday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, that the two new cases are spouses of patients who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into the country last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died. The two are spouses of caregivers who treated Sawyer, both of whom later died. These two new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria, including the traveler, to 14. Chukwu says five patients have died, five have recovered and four are being treated in Lagos.

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Iraq: at least 40 killed in Sunni mosque attack

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials in Iraq's Diyala province say militants have opened fire on worshippers at a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers, killing at least 40 people. A police officer said that local militants broke into the mosque and opened fire in Imam Wais village, some 120 kilometers northeast of Baghdad. Another 35 people were wounded in the attack. Two medical officials confirmed the casualty figures. Imam Wais remains in government control, although nearby areas have fallen to militants from the Islamic State group. All officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.

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UN: death toll from Syrian civil war tops 191,000

GENEVA (AP) — The United Nations says the death toll from Syria's civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people killed between March 2011 and April 2014. The figure is the first issued by the U.N.'s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed. The U.N.'s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, who oversees the Geneva-based office, said Friday the new figures are so much higher because they include additional killings from earlier periods, as well as deaths since the last report.

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Germany backpedals on claim Qatar funds extremists

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is seeking to calm a diplomatic spat with Qatar after the Gulf nation took umbrage at a German official's claim that it is funding the extremist Islamic State group. Germany's development minister said in a television interview Wednesday that it was important to examine who is financing the group. Gerd Mueller told public broadcaster ZDF that "the key word is Qatar." His spokeswoman, Katharina Maenz, told reporters Friday that Mueller had merely been referring to media reports about Qatar's involvement. Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schafer said German diplomats in Doha had met with Qatari officials to reassure them that Berlin considers the oil-rich Arab country a partner and that "if there were misunderstandings then we regret this." Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has invested billions in major German companies.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, San Francisco 1
San Francisco 5, Chicago Cubs 3

Frontier League

Gateway 6, Lake Erie 4
Traverse City 4, Evansville 2
Frontier 8, Southern Illinois 3

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE


MLB

Baltimore at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees 6:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Philadelphia 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Washington
Evansville at Rockford

NFL

Chicago at Seattle 9 p.m.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees 12:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.
St. Louis at Philadelphia 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Washington
Evansville at Rockford

NFL

New Orleans at Indianapolis 7 p.m.
St. Louis at Cleveland 7 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at NY Yankees 12:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Philadelphia 12:35 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 11:39 p.m.)
Baltimore at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.

Frontier League

Florence at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Washington
Evansville at Rockford

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Illini Open Big Ten Basketball Season At Michigan

(Champaign, IL)  --  Illinois' 2014-15 Big Ten basketball schedule is out.  The Fighting Illini will open conference play on the road December 30th at Michigan.  Their league home opener will be January 7th against conference newcomer Maryland.

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Jackson put on DL, Castro on bereavement

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have placed struggling right-hander Edwin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a lat strain, and they have also put shortstop Starlin Castro on the bereavement list. The moves were made Thursday, a day after Castro left the team because of a family emergency. Bereavement leave rules require that Castro must be out for three days and can miss a maximum of one week. Jackson lasted only 2 2-3 innings Wednesday, allowing seven earned runs. He is 6-14 this season with a 6.09 ERA. To fill their places, the Cubs called up left-hander Zac Rosscup and infielder Logan Watkins from Triple-A Iowa.

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Angels get 2B Beckham from White Sox

BOSTON (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels have acquired second baseman Gordon Beckham in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. Beckham has struggled offensively this year, but he gives the AL West-leading Angels another sure-handed infielder with six seasons of major league experience. He turns 28 on Sept. 16. The White Sox, who selected Beckham with the eighth overall pick in the 2008 draft, will receive a player to be named or cash in Thursday's trade. Beckham made his major league debut in 2009 and hit .270 with 14 homers and 63 RBIs in 103 games with the White Sox. But he is batting .221 this year with seven homers and 36 RBIs in 101 games. He also has a .981 fielding percentage. The White Sox will make a corresponding roster move before Friday night's game at the New York Yankees.

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News for Aug. 21, 2014

LOCAL
Postal Worker Finds Dead Body In Front Yard

(East St. Louis, IL) -- Police are investigating a dead body found by a postal carrier this morning. The dead man was discovered this morning in the front yard of a home on 73rd Street in East St. Louis when the mail was delivered. The "Belleville News-Democrat" reports the victim has been identified, though his name hasn't been released. It's also not clear how the man died.

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Class-Action Suit Targets Shop 'N Save Data Breach

(Belleville, IL) -- Two Shop 'n Save customers from Southern Illinois are among four people who have filed a class-action lawsuit, charging Shop 'n Save parent Supervalu with a data breach. The grocery store chain said last week that someone hacked into its computer network this summer and may have stolen account numbers and other personal information from customers who used a credit or debit card at its stores. The lawsuit claims the company failed to safeguard customer data and failed to promptly notify customers of the breach.

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Belleville yoga studio ignites after smoke bomb

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Belleville fire authorities say they've extinguished a yoga studio fire after a woman used a smoke bomb to drive squirrels out of the walls. Belleville Fire Department Chief Tom Pour tells the Belleville News-Democrat that a woman underestimated the flame from a smoke bomb on Wednesday. He says the Surya Rakta Wellness building caught fire when she pulled some siding away to let the smoke in the wall. The woman quickly called 911 and firefighters doused the fire. No injuries were reported. Pour says the smoke bomb was only intended for outdoor use to chase animals out of holes in a lawn. Fire officials didn't identify the woman. The newspaper's calls to the yoga studio weren't returned Wednesday.

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Du Quoin State Fair Starts Tomorrow

(Du Quoin, IL)  --  The Du Quoin State Fair starts tomorrow.  The Miller Carnivals will open up at 3:00 in the afternoon and the fair parade will take off at 6:00 p.m.  Fairgoers can enjoy harness racing, motorsports, cooking contests, and concerts during the duration of the fair.  Kenny Rogers, .38 Special, and KC and the Sunshine Band are among those slated to perform.  The fair runs through September 1st. 

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West Frankfort Dress Thief Makes Court Appearance

The woman who stole a dress from a West Frankfort boutique and then posted pictures of herself wearing it on Facebook recently made a court appearance in Franklin County, where she was appointed a public defender. Judge Thomas Tedeschi appointed lawyer Kevin Popit to represent 27-year-old Danielle Saxton in the case. Saxton is charged with retail theft. She allegedly stole the dress and other items from Mortie's Boutique on July 11. Saxton, who is pregnant, was set to appear in court again in late October, but the judge moved the date up to Sept. 24 due to her due date.

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Psych Evaluation For West Frankfort Murder Suspect

A psychological evaluation will be done on a West Frankfort woman accused of killing her daughter at their home on East Oak Street in July 2011.  Franklin County Judge Tom Tedeschi approved Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens motion for Mary Jophlin to be examined even though defense attorney Terry Green disagreed.  Clinical Psychologist Dr. Daniel Cuneo of Belleville will perform the evaluation.  Reports say Jophlin called police on July 19, 2011 saying that her eight-year-old daughter, Alexus Smothers, was missing. West Frankfort Police showed up and found Alexus' body in the basement of their home located at 1704 East Oak Street. Officials say Jophlin drowned her daughter, hid the body and lied to police. She is charged with murder, concealing a homicidal death and obstruction of justice. Jophlin's jury trial is set for Sept. 9. She is due back in court on Tuesday for a final pre-trial hearing.

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Franklin County Board Approves Enterprise Zone Development

The Franklin County Board Tuesday night approved an agreement with Moran Economic Development of Edwardsville to begin work on the new enterprise zone application for Franklin County. The enterprise zone will consist of West Frankfort, Benton, West City and rural parts of the county.  The cost of the contract will be somewhere around $40,000 and will be split between each party.  The board also approved an ordinance establishing a system for the licensing of organizations to operate raffles and poker runs. Groups will have to pay a $25 fee and fill out an application at the county clerk's office.

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IDOT To Begin Work On Stretch of Primary Thoroughfare In Benton

IDOT says milling and paving work will begin Sept. 2 on West Main stretching from I-57 to the square in Benton. Officials say concrete patching will be done first, then milling of old asphalt will take place. Once that is done, a new layer of asphalt will be put down. The project calls for all of this to be done in 20 working days, but officials believe it will be done in less than two weeks.

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Appeal Filed In Murray Developmental Center Case

Attorneys in the federal case seeking to halt the closure of the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia have filed a notice of appeal over a recent decision that would allow the state to shutter the home. Judith Sherwin filed the motion this morning on a July 21, ruling by Magistrate Judge Marvin Aspen, denying the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction and of lifting the temporary restraining order previously entered on June 12, 2013. The plaintiffs, including the Murray Parents’ Association, seek to have the court’s July 21, 2014 order reversed, with this case remanded for entry of a preliminary injunction in favor of plaintiffs and against the defendants. The group of plaintiffs had sought a court order to block the state’s plan to close the center. Aspen commented in his ruling that the court recognizes Murray’s closure may cause distress and disruption for plaintiffs, their wards, and their families. Aspen also noted in court Monday afternoon that he guaranteed his ruling would be appealed. A spokesperson for the Illinois Department Of Human Services, says a closure would be a long process and that there's no timetable for shuttering the facility.

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Pittsburg Man Dies In Home Fire

A 48-year-old Pittsburg, Illinois man died Wednesday in a fire at his home. Jeffrey Glover was pronounced dead at his Ervin Street home by Williamson County Coroner Junior Burke. The fire was reported at 4:30 p.m. and was contained to the front bedroom of the residence, according to Burke. The Pittsburg Fire Department responded to the fire, with Williamson County Fire Protection District and Johnston City Fire Protection District providing mutual aid assistance. The fire is under investigation by the Williamson County Coroner, State Fire Marshal and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. An autopsy is scheduled for today, but Burke said he doesn’t suspect the fire to be “suspicious.”

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Collinsville Man Earns Prison For Aggravated DUI Case

A 49-year-old Collinsville man is headed to prison for decades for a drunk driving crash in McLeansboro last November, in which five people died. The driver, Darrell DeLong, pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in the case last month. His sentencing hearing Tuesday marked one of the few times since his arrest that he's seen his twin daughters and other family and friends. New information brought out Tuesday revealed DeLong’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit and he was going nearly 90 miles an hour before the crash. Killed in the accident were Tammy Delong, 35, Lori Parker, 42, Robert Parker, 49 and Katelynn Fancher, 16, all from Collinsville,  Tammy DeLong, Lori Parker and Robert Parker, were pronounced dead at the scene, as was Diana Wright, 23, of McLeansboro.  Darrell DeLong and Fancher were transported by helicopter from Hamilton County Memorial Hospital to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IN, where Fancher later died. Darrell and Tammy DeLong were brother and sister. Tammy DeLong was Katelynn Fancher’s mother. All passengers in the vehicle, except 16-year-old Katelynn had alcohol or some other substances in their system at the time of the accident.

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STATE
Governor candidates set on 3 traditional debates


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' gubernatorial candidates will appear together at three traditional debates before November. They are Oct. 9 in Peoria, hosted by PBS and the League of Women Voters; Oct. 14, hosted by the Chicago Urban League; and another in Chicago later in October, hosted by the League of Women Voters and WLS-TV. Republican Bruce Rauner's campaign released a list Wednesday of eight debates and forums ahead of Nov. 4. That list includes a joint live-streamed Sept. 9 Chicago Tribune endorsement session and an Aug. 28 Metropolitan Planning Council event where organizers say the two candidates won't appear jointly. Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for "hiding," saying Wednesday that Quinn confirmed for 11 events. Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says Rauner's list is diverse and more than the U.S. president does.

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U. of Illinois can expect presidential pay to rise

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An employee of the firm helping the University of Illinois search for a new president says the school should expect to pay a salary in line with its status as a top university. Data that Laurie Wilder of Parker Executive Search presented Wednesday to members of the university's search committee made clear that will likely mean paying more than current President Bob Easter earns. University spokesman Jan Dennis said Wilder told committee members the average compensation for Big Ten presidents is $780,000 a year and the average for presidents at top public universities the firm surveyed is $969,000. Easter is paid $552,375. University trustees hope to have a new president hired in November. Easter has said he plans to retire in January.

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Biden Stumping For Illinois Democrats

(Chicago, IL)  --  Vice President Joe Biden is headed to the Land of Lincoln to raise money for Governor Quinn and Democratic candidates for governor.  He'll attend a couple of events in Chicago on Monday, including a high-dollar private dinner reception with a suggested donation of 15-thousand-dollars.  Biden won't stick around the Windy City too long.  Aides say he'll take off after his events on Monday night.

-------------------

New Poll Shows Rauner Lead Shrinking

(Chicago, IL) -- A new poll shows the race for governor in Illinois between incumbent Pat Quinn and challenger Bruce Rauner is tightening in the days after Quinn began an ad push critical of Rauner. A poll done for Dick Durbin's U.S. Senate campaign finds Rauner ahead of Quinn, but just by three points, 44-percent to 41-percent, within the poll's margin of error. The same pollsters had Rauner up by six points in May and ten points in April.

--------------------

Officials Hold Talks On Reducing Amtrak Train Delays

(Champaign, IL)  --  National and state lawmakers are discussing ways to make sure Amtrak trains are on time in Illinois.  Democratic Senator Dick Durbin chaired a meeting on the issue Wednesday in Champaign.  He says this year, freight train interference on the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale rail line operated by Canadian National has caused Amtrak trains to be delayed around half the time. 

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NATIONAL
Hospital to discuss discharge of Ebola patients

ATLANTA (AP) — A spokeswoman for Samaritan's Purse says an American doctor who was infected with Ebola will be released from an Atlanta hospital today. Alison Geist tells The Associated Press she doesn't the exact time Dr. Kent Brantly will be released but confirms it will happen today. Emory University Hospital says it will hold a news conference to discuss his and the other aid worker's discharge. Brantly and Nancy Writebol were flown out of the West African nation of Liberia earlier this month and have been getting treatment for the deadly disease in an isolation unit at the hospital. The two were infected while working at a missionary clinic outside Liberia's capital.

------------------------------------------

Quieter protests

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri say Wednesday's crowds of protesters were much smaller than they've been, since the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer. State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says there were no fires and no shootings, and officers used no tear gas or mace. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson Wednesday and met with federal officials investigating the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Holder also met with Brown's parents.

---------------------------------

Military posture in Iraq unchanged

WASHINGTON (AP) —President Barack Obama says the U.S. won't scale back its military posture in Iraq in response to the beheading of American journalist James Foley. But the president is offering no specifics about what new steps he might take to protect additional captives and other Americans. The Obama administration disclosed yesterday that earlier this summer U.S. troops were sent on a mission to try to rescue Foley and other hostages, but they were not at the location intelligence had identified.

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CA fire burns as evacuees return

KERNVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Residents of some 200 homes northeast of Bakersfield have been allowed to return home as a five-square-mile wildfire continues to burn nearby. The blaze has destroyed eight homes and 10 other structures and is only 15 percent contained. Firefighters are working in drought conditions, trying to build containment lines after stopping the spread of the flames.

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Marine who vanished in Iraq has court hearing

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) — A Marine who mysteriously disappeared in Iraq 10 years ago is due in military court after an investigation into whether he deserted his unit. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is scheduled to appear at Camp Lejeune today in an Article 32 hearing, which is the military equivalent of a grand jury. Military investigators are looking at whether he deserted his unit in Iraq in 2004. He turned up days later after photos were released of him in a blindfold with a sword above his head. He said he was kidnapped by insurgents, but some in the military doubted his story. Once back in the U.S., he disappeared again when he failed to return to Camp Lejeune in January of 2005 following a visit with family.

---------------------------------

Hearing set in Amish girls' kidnapping in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A preliminary hearing is scheduled for today in St. Lawrence County, New York for a woman accused along with her boyfriend of abducting two Amish girls and sexually assaulting them. The lawyer for 25-year-old Nicole Vaisey says she's the victim of an abusive relationship with co-defendant 39-year-old Stephen Howells Jr. The lawyer says Vaisey "was in a master-slave relationship with Howells." Howells has waived his right to a similar hearing and his case will go straight to a grand jury.

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Security Fails To Detect Guns, Knives

(Undated)  --  A commonly used security scanner apparently fails to detect dangerous weapons and explosives.  Researchers report that it's possible to conceal knives, guns and explosives from detection by the scanner.  The researchers say the scanner that was retired from airports last year is still in use at courthouses and prisons.  The Transportation Security Administration spent more than a billion dollars upgrading airport security technology last year. 

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No Ice Bucket Challenges For Catholic Schools In Cincinnati

(Cincinnati, OH) -- Students who attend Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have been forbidden to take the "Ice Bucket Challenge." The viral fundraiser, where people are challenged to donate 100-dollars to ALS research or dump a bucket of ice on their heads, has so far raised millions of dollars for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease. An email obtained by WCPO-TV quotes Catholic Schools Superintendent Jim Rigg, who writes, "If your school is planning an effort to raise funds, you should immediately cease such planning." The email goes on to say ALS research is against the teachings of the Catholic Church, as it utilizes stem cells. Rigg advises Cincinnati Catholic schools to choose other charities for their fundraising efforts.

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Justice Dept. announces $17B settlement with BofA

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has announced a $16.65 billion settlement with Bank of America over its role in the sale of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. The deal announced Thursday calls for the bank, the second-largest in the U.S., to pay a $5 billion cash penalty and provide billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners. Bank of America says its cash payouts will total $9.65 billion. The settlement is by far the largest deal the Justice Department has reached with a bank over the 2008 mortgage meltdown. In the last year, JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to a $13 billion settlement while Citigroup reached a separate $7 billion deal.

---------------------------------

Holder pledge thorough probe of Ferguson shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder says he's been trying to reassure residents of Ferguson, Missouri, that the federal government will conduct a fair, thorough and independent investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown. Holder says the unrest that has followed the Aug. 9 shooting has highlighted the mistrust the community feels toward law enforcement. But he says the relative calm in the street last night leaves him hopeful. Authorities in Ferguson say last night's crowds of protesters were much smaller than they've been. State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says there were no fires and no shootings, and officers used no tear gas or mace.

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AAA: Nearly 35 million will travel Labor Day weekend

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — AAA Travel says some 34.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend. That's the highest volume for the holiday since 2008 and a 1.3 percent increase over last year. Nearly 86 percent of the vacationers will travel by car. As for the price at the pump, drivers will likely pay the lowest gas prices for August since 2010. Barring a major development, such as a Gulf Coast hurricane, prices are expected to remain relatively low leading up to the holiday weekend compared to recent years. The current average price of gas is $3.44, down from $3.59 on Labor Day last year. AAA expects gas prices to have little impact on the number of people traveling for Labor Day, though lower prices could make travel more affordable.

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CHP: Potentially Serious Charges Against Officer In Freeway Beating

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  California Highway Patrol officials say an officer faces "potentially serious charges" for beating a homeless woman along a Los Angeles freeway.  The CHP says it has passed its investigation into the incident along to the District Attorney's Office.  A freeway passerby recorded Officer Daniel Andrew repeatedly hitting Marlene Pinnock by the I-10 Freeway on July 1st.  

--------------------

Report: Robin Williams Cremated, Ashes Scattered In San Francisco Bay

(Undated)  --  Robin Williams' ashes are now scattered on San Francisco Bay.  TMZ.com reports Williams was cremated the day after he died and his ashes were scattered on the Bay.  Williams was found dead in his Bay Area home August 11th.  Marin County authorities said the actor died from an apparent suicide.  His widow, Susan Schneider, said Williams was suffering from anxiety, severe depression, and early stages of Parkinson's Disease at the time of his death.

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INTERNATIONAL
Israeli air strikes kill 3 senior Hamas

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel says three Hamas leaders who've played a key role in expanding the group's military capabilities in recent years have been killed in an airstrike in Gaza today. The Israeli strike in Rafah killed a total of six people when it leveled a four-story house. A Hamas spokesman says, Israel "will not succeed in breaking the will of our people or weaken the resistance." He says Israel "will pay the price."

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Authorities analyze voice in hunt for Foley killer

LONDON (AP) — Experts say police and security services are using voice-recognition software and other technology, as well as human tips, as they scramble to identify the militant recorded on a video showing the killing of American journalist James Foley. Prime Minister David Cameron has said the masked jihadi is likely British. Linguists say his accent suggests he is from the London area. The Guardian newspaper quoted an unnamed former captive who was held in Raqqa, Syria, as saying he appeared to be one of several British militants — nicknamed "The Beatles" by hostages — charged with guarding Islamic State prisoners. John O'Regan, a linguist at London's Institute of Education, said Thursday that analysts would likely make a voice print of the speaker and compare it to recordings of known suspects.

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2 Red Cross jeeps pass into Ukraine from Russia

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian border guard service says a massive Russian aid convoy has begun clearing customs at a rebel-held border crossing in eastern Ukraine. Two Red Cross jeeps crossed from Russia into the war-torn region of Luhansk ahead of the trucks. Russia has been hoping to send a massive aid convoy of over 200 trucks to help civilians in the city of Luhansk, but Ukraine fears the move is a ploy to aid pro-Russian separatists.

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Pakistan protest leader backs out of talks

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's famous cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan says he has suspended talks with the government after it appointed a new police chief in the capital Islamabad for an expected crackdown on anti-government protesters. Thousands of Khan's supporters are besieging parliament for a second day Thursday to pressure Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign over alleged election fraud. Protesters led by Khan and anti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri tore down barricades late Tuesday and entered the so-called Red Zone that houses key government buildings. Their representatives held talks with the government early Thursday after Pakistan's powerful army chief, Gen. Rasheel Sharif, requested that Sharif's government negotiate with the protesters. The protests have raised tensions in the nuclear-armed U.S. ally, which has a long history of political turmoil and military dictatorships.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 7, Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 8, Chicago Cubs 3
Baltimore 4, Chicago White Sox 3

Frontier League

Lake Erie 10, Gateway 2
Lake Erie 12, Gateway 3
Traverse City 4, Evansville 1
Traverse City 5, Evansville 2
Southern Illinois 22, Frontier 0

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Lake Erie
Evansville at Traverse City
Frontier at Southern Illinois

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Rams Rank As Least Valuable Team In NFL

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Rams are the least valuable team in football. In its annual ranking of NFL teams, "Forbes" put St. Louis at the absolute bottom of list, worth a mere 930-million dollars. That may seem like a lot, but the average NFL team is worth nearly one-and-a-half-billion, up nearly a quarter of a percent since last year. The Dallas Cowboys topped the list for the eighth straight year. They're worth three-point-two-billion dollars.

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SIU Football Team To Take Ice Water Challenge

(Carbondale, IL)  --  The SIU Carbondale football team is getting in on the ice water challenge.  Some of the players lined up on the 50-yard line yesterday and had buckets of cold water poured over their heads yesterday.  It's part of a new viral craze aimed at raising money for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.  Athletes, actors, singers, and even former presidents have taken part in the challenge and raised tens-of-millions-of-dollars for the cause.  The Saluki softball team took the challenge earlier this week.

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Illinois Names Lunt Starting Quarterback

(Champaign, IL)  --  The Fighting Illini will start the football season with a new quarterback.  Illinois head coach Tim Beckman has named Wes Lunt from Rochester High School as its new field general.  The six-foot-five athlete started two years ago as a freshman at Oklahoma State.  Coaches say the choice of Lunt was easy because he was effective in spring football and has proved that he can lead the team.  Illinois opens the season at home on Saturday August 30 against Youngstown State.

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Giants Protest Against Cubs Upheld, Game Resumes Today

(Chicago, IL)  --  Major League Baseball is upholding a protest filed by the San Francisco Giants over the result of Tuesday night's rain shortened game against the Cubs.  MLB officials say Chicago was negligent because grounds crew members did not put the tarp on the field fast enough during a downpour.  The Cubs were eventually declared the winners following a four-hour, 34-minute rain delay.  The two teams must now resume the game this evening at 5:05.  The game will be pick up in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Cubs leading 2-to-0.

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Cubs SS Castro late scratch from Wednesday's game

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs say shortstop Starlin Castro has been scratched from the lineup because of a family emergency. The Cubs made the announcement before Wednesday night's game at Wrigley Field against the San Francisco Giants. The team didn't disclose specifics on the emergency or how long Castro might be out. Castro has played in all 125 games for the Cubs games this season and is batting .283 with 13 homers and 64 RBIs. He had been set to bat fourth on Wednesday. Rookie Javier Baez moved from second base to shortstop to take Castro's spot on the field. Luis Valbuena was inserted in the cleanup spot in the order.

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NFL Extra Point Experiment Ends For Now

(Undated)  --  The NFL's experiment with longer extra points is over for now.  Extra point kicks will move back to the two-yard line beginning with this week's preseason games.  The league pushed kicks back to the 15 during the first two weeks of the preseason to provide an extra challenge.  The conversion rate was 94.3-percent from the 15-yard line, with eight of 141 PAT's missed.  The conversion rate was 99.6-percent last regular season.

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Tony Stewart Won't Race At Bristol

(Charlotte, NC)  --  Tony Stewart will not be behind the wheel of the number-14 Chevy this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Stewart will miss his third consecutive Sprint Cup race since his car struck and killed driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a dirt track race in New York this month.  Jeff Burton will once again replace Stewart as he has the previous two weeks at Michigan and Watkins Glen.   

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News for Aug. 20, 2014

LOCAL
Allegiant adds flights from MidAmerica to Tampa

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois residents have a new way to get to Florida. Allegiant announced Tuesday that it's adding nonstop jet service between MidAmerica St. Louis airport in Mascoutah and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. The twice-a-week flights will begin Nov. 19. Allegiant officials say a 166-seat aircraft will fly round-trip to the Tampa Bay area on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Officials say the new flights will be provided year-round. Airport Director Tim Cantwell tells the Belleville News Democrat that the airline and airport were able to make the deal by reducing the airline's gate fees from $75 to $25. The airport is operated by St. Clair County. Allegiant spokesman Micah Lilliard says the airline thrives in smaller airports like MidAmerica. It has been providing service to Sanford, Florida, outside Orlando, since 2012.

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Illinois State Police Honor Women Who Found Willow Long

EFFINGHAM, IL – The Illinois State Police honored four Salem women, who found the body of seven-year-old murder victim, Willow Long.  District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge presented the certificates of appreciation to Hattie Williams; her daughter, Jamie Thompson; and Thompson's two daughters, Frankie Smith and Jonny Smith. "Despite being turned away due to sheer number of volunteers, they continued to search the area on their own. The girl's body was found as they located a barely visible object in a nearby pond.  Their persistence and decisive actions were crucial to the criminal case and subsequent arrest of the killer," said Hodge.

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Benton Seeks Grant For Sewage Treatment Plant

The Benton City Council Tuesday decided that it will seek a grant from The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help with the construction of the city's new sewage treatment plant on Petroff Road.  Brian Buchheit with HMG Engineers says council members are hoping to get money from the IEPA's water pollution control state revolving loan fund program, which has a two percent interest rate over 20 years.  Buchheit says the city will contribute two million dollars of cash on hand in the sewer fund and with the projected cost of the project, the city is looking at borrowing just under 12 million dollars unless other grant funds are received. Buchheit says design work on the new facility continues and bids are set to go out in the spring or summer of next year. The city hopes to have its new 13.9 million dollar sewage treatment plant up and running sometime in 2017.

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Carbondale To Hold Public Forum For Central Business District Development Plan

The city of Carbondale is currently developing a new master plan for its central business district and would like for you to attend a meeting tonight so they can hear what you have to say about it. The meeting will start at 6:30 at the Carbondale Civic Center. Members of the Downtown Advisory Committee will be there to hear your opinions and seek ideas from you on how to bring more people downtown.  Officials say the current downtown master plan was done 14 years ago and covered the decade through the year 2000. They say a consultant will be hired when community meetings are done in December with hopes of having a draft of the master plan in May or June of next year. You can find out more at downtown-carbondale.org.

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Indiana county accepts closed Wabash River bridge

NEW HARMONY, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a southwestern Indiana county are taking over a Wabash River bridge between Indiana and Illinois that's been closed for more than two years. The Posey County Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept ownership of the New Harmony Bridge at the prompting of a community group made up residents from that county and White County, Illinois, who hope to reopen the span. Posey County commissioner Jim Alsop tells the Evansville Courier & Press he still believes the bridge's future should be a state matter, but saw no other options. The bridge was built in 1930 and was operated for decades as a private toll bridge. It was closed in 2012 after inspections found extensive deterioration. Bridge supporters say the county is better able to seek funding for repairs.

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STATE
Governor Signs New DNA Law

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn has signed a law that will give defendants a chance to use DNA evidence to clear their name.  Senator Kwame Raoul sponsored the legislation.  He says it will probably be used mostly in murder and rape cases, but defendants could use the evidence in other cases too.  Illinois was one of only a few states that blocked testing after a guilty plea.  A defendant will need to prove to a judge that new evidence has been found that could lead to the original sentence being overturned.  Raoul says a history of wrongful convictions in Illinois made him push for the law.

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Cayman Islands Accounts Become Campaign Fodder

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas slammed Republican Bruce Rauner today after a news story detailing how Rauner's former private-equity firm set up a dozen investment vehicles in the Cayman Islands, well-known as a tax haven. Vallas says the disclosure by the Chicago "Sun-Times" showed that Rauner worked to avoid taxes for himself and his investors, and he renewed the call for Rauner to reveal more details about his taxes. Rauner's campaign called Vallas' attack "pathetic" and said there was nothing improper about the Cayman Islands accounts and that they didn't reduce Rauner's state or federal taxes.

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Illinois Crops Fairing Well

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois crops continue to do well. The latest crop report from the USDA shows the state had cool weather last week and some places got showers. Rainfall averaged just over an inch last week, which is slightly above normal. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is progressing nicely. Meanwhile, 96-percent of soybeans are blooming and 89-percent are setting pods. Schleusener says 78-percent of beans are in good to excellent condition. He adds 93-percent of oats have been harvested and 56-percent of the third cutting of alfalfa is finished.

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Rauner urges quick decision on term limits measure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Advocates for term limits in Illinois say the state Supreme Court likely will decide whether the issue can appear on the November ballot, no matter how an appeals court rules. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is urging the high court to take up the issue "immediately" once the lower court issues a ruling. The decision must be made within days because the ballot must be certified by Friday. Rauner predicts the measure will pass overwhelmingly if it's on the ballot. A term limits committee gathered about 600,000 signatures to limit legislators to eight years in office and increase the number of votes needed to override a veto. But attorneys with ties to top Democrats sued to keep the measure off the ballot. A circuit court called the effort unconstitutional.

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Illinois schools see modest gains on ACT scores

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois' high school graduating class of 2014 earned a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT. The score on the four-subject test is slightly higher than the class of 2013's score of 20.6. The national average is 21. Board officials say Illinois had the second-highest composite score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of graduates, next to Utah. This school year was the last year the ACT served as a mandatory test given to high school juniors in Illinois. The state will administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in 2014-15, which are tied to the Common Core Standards. Slightly more than 158,000 students were tested in the Class of 2014, compared to 160,066 in 2013.

--------------------------------

Growing numbers in eastern Illinois need food aid

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An eastern Illinois food bank says about one in every five residents of the region relies on food pantries and other forms of food aid. Food bank officials say the number of people using those services has increased since 2010. According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, the news comes from a report released this week by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana and the organization Feeding America. The report indicates the number of people relying on food aid to eat has increased over the past four years from about 105,000 people to 116,800. Foodbank CEO Jim Hires said the number of households his group helps that rely on a single income has increased from just under half to 54 percent over that period.

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Jesse White Urges Student Readers to Enter “Letters About Literature” Competition

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in grades 4 through 12 to enter the 2015 “Letters About Literature” contest — a national reading and writing competition sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book. Letters About Literature invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their life or view of the world. Students can enter on their own or through their schools, libraries or other youth organizations. “Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” said White.  “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for seven years in a row.  Anyone who has read these letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our young people.  I encourage all our students to take part in Letters About Literature, and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading." There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8 and Level III for grades 9-12.  One Illinois winner will be selected for each level and receive a $200 cash award.  Teachers of the winning students will receive a $100 cash award to purchase materials for their school library.  Winners and teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Springfield.  The state winners’ letters will be forwarded for national judging. The deadline to enter the competition is Monday, December 15, 2014, for Level III, and Thursday, January 15, 2015, for Levels I and II. State winners will be announced in April 2015.  For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065. Information also is available at illinoiscenterforthebook.org.

---------------------------

NATIONAL
Holder gets ready to visit Ferguson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder is promising a thorough investigation into the fatal police shooting of a black 18-year-old. Holder travels to Ferguson, Missouri today to meet with authorities taking part in a federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown. Meanwhile, Holder is calling for "an end to the acts of violence in the streets." He says Ferguson's citizens should "join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions."

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American journalist beheaded

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement today about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group. Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. The militants say his killing is in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Islamic State is also threatening to kill American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013.

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Changes planned on how travelers can protest no-fly list

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it plans to change the way travelers can ask to be removed from its no-fly list of suspected terrorists. The move comes after a federal judge in Portland, Oregon ruled that there was no meaningful way to challenge the air travel ban, which the judge says is unconstitutional. The Justice Department says the U.S. will make changes during the next six months, but it's offered few details. As of late last summer there were about 48,000 people on the list.

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Wildfire evacuees return home

OAKHURST, Calif. (AP) — Some of the more than 1,000 people who evacuated because of a fast-moving wildfire have returned to their homes near Yosemite National Park in California. Madera County Sheriff John Anderson says, "We're not seeing the fire expand like we thought." He says the one-square-mile blaze is now 35 percent contained. Fire officials had previously thought the fire had been twice that size.

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Floods force dramatic rescues in Phoenix area

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says Tuesday's floods in her state "looked absolutely devastating." The Phoenix area was battered by torrential rain storms Tuesday that caused severe flooding across the desert region. Rescuers across the state rushed to save people trapped in cars and homes. One helicopter crew rescued two women and three dogs from a home surrounded by swift-moving waters in a town about 30 miles north of Phoenix.

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TransUnion: Late-payment rate on US home loans falls to 6-year low in 2Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that's brought down the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years. Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell to 3.46 percent in the second quarter. That's down from 4.32 percent in the April-June period last year. All told, the nation's late-payment rate on home loans is down nearly 20 percent from a year ago. The last time the rate was lower was in the first quarter of 2008, when it stood at 3.39 percent. The mortgage delinquency rate has been steadily easing over the past two years as U.S. home sales and prices have rebounded and foreclosures have declined.

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Virginia prepares for possibility of gay marriage

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that gay marriages could soon be legal in Virginia. The State Registrar of Vital Records is drafting a revised marriage license form that will be used if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order ending Virginia's same-sex marriage ban goes into effect Thursday morning. Attorneys representing a county clerk in Virginia have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the appeals court's decision while it is appealed. Virginia is also supporting a delay to minimize disruptions while the issue is resolved. The Supreme Court has twice granted delays in related cases. Meanwhile, clergy supportive of gay marriage are making plans to be at courthouses throughout the state Thursday morning to perform marriages for same-sex couples.

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Sullivan wins GOP US Senate primary in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Alaska. Sullivan had been the presumptive front-runner in a race featuring three prominent candidates. He had scored the backing of Washington, D.C., establishment Republicans and raised about four times as much as his nearest GOP rival, Mead Treadwell. The race also featured tea party favorite Joe Miller, the 2010 GOP Senate nominee in a race won by Sen. Lisa Murkowski with a write-in campaign. For months, Sullivan had been the focus of attacks by a super PAC supporting Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, creating an opening for his rivals. But his campaign, run by a professional staff of 14, grew increasingly confident of his chances as the primary neared.

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Hostage Situation Over

(Harvey, IL)  --  A couple of children and two women are finally free, as a 20-hour hostage situation has come to an end in Harvey, Illinois.  The six and 12-year-old girls and the women were escorted from the home about 15 minutes after police stormed the house.  A pair of suspected burglars barricaded themselves in the home yesterday.  About 200 officers from nearly two-dozen agencies are on the scene.  Surrounding homes have been evacuated with officials telling people to remain inside.   

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Patient Tested For Ebola Virus In Sacramento

(Sacramento, CA)  --  Doctors at Kaiser Permanente South in Sacramento are confirming that a patient is being tested for the Ebola virus.  Because the patient may have been exposed to the virus, blood tests are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The California hospital is taking actions to make sure no one else comes in contact with the patient, including a negative pressure isolation room and the use of personal protective equipment. 

---------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Twitter is trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers the publicity they crave is also gaining momentum. In a Tweet published late Tuesday California time, CEO Dick Costolo said his company "is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery," and he gave a link to a New York Times story about Foley's killing. Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler confirmed Costolo's Tweet and referred further questions to a company policy page. Twitter allows immediate family members of someone who dies to request image removals, although the company weighs public interest against privacy concerns. Twitter users who oppose spreading the images are using the trending hashtag #ISISMediaBlackout.

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UK: man in beheading video appears to be British

LONDON (AP) — UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the person appearing in the video posted by Islamic militants beheading American journalist James Foley appears to be British. Hammond's comments come after U.S. officials confirmed the grisly video showing Islamic State militants beheading Foley and threatening to kill another hostage. Hammond says the person in the video with Foley "appears to have been a British person." Hammond told the BBC on Wednesday that Britain was aware that UK nationals were involved in the commission of atrocities, making jihad with Islamic State extremists and other organizations. Hammond says the possible involvement of a Briton underscored the risks that those now fighting with Islamic militants could return to Britain and carry out attacks at home.

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Germany prepared to send arms to Kurds in Iraq

BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it is prepared to arm Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany would closely coordinate its efforts with France, Britain and other European countries who are already delivering weapons to the Kurds. Wednesday's announcement follows intense domestic and international pressure for the German government to provide more than humanitarian assistance to those fighting the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq in recent weeks. Sending weapons would be a significant step for Germany, which traditionally has shied away from such moves. Steinmeier said the decision was taken in light of the fact that a collapse of Kurdish defenses could precipitate a wider catastrophe in Iraq that would directly affect Europe.

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Fighting in eastern Ukraine kills 43 residents and govt troops in 24 hours, authorities say

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops are fighting to gain control of the rebel-held city of Donetsk and a major railroad and a highway that leads to Russia. The Kiev-backed administration in Donetsk says 34 "local residents" have been killed in the fighting, while the Ukrainian National Security Council says nine troops were killed in overnight fighting in a town (Ilovaysk) near Donetsk. Ukrainian forces are trying to encircle Donetsk, the largest city still in rebel hands, and also drive the rebels out of the city of Luhansk. Several neighborhoods in Donetsk have been hit with artillery fire in the last few days and fighting on the outskirts has become more intense. Local authorities in Luhansk say government troops and rebels have been fighting running battles in city streets. The besieged city has been without electricity, running water or phone connections for 18 days and residents are reported to be standing in lines to buy bread baked on portable generators as food grows scarce.

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Protesters plant Ukraine flag on Moscow skyscraper

MOSCOW (AP) — Protesters have scaled one of Moscow's famed Stalin-era skyscrapers and painted the Soviet star on its spire in the national colors of Ukraine. They also attached a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag to the top of the 176-meter (580-foot) building early Wednesday. Russian authorities were not amused by the prank in support of Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russian separatists. Police said they have detained four suspects and charged them with vandalism, a crime punishable with up to three years in prison. The LifeNews media site posted a video it says shows one of the protesters parachuting off of the building and landing in an inner courtyard. Russian news agencies, citing police, said the four suspects had climbing equipment with them when they were detained.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, San Francisco 0, 5 innings
Baltimore 5, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 3, Frontier 2
Gateway at Lake Erie (PPD. to 8/20)

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Cincinnati at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Lake Erie (2)
Evansville at Traverse City (2)
Frontier at Southern Illinois

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Law aims to prevent student athlete concussions

CHICAGO (AP) — High school coaches and athletic directors will have to take concussion training courses under a new Illinois law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. The law requires the Illinois High School Association to develop an online concussion certification program. Quinn says the idea is to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday at a school on Chicago's South Side. The law takes effect immediately. Studies indicate concussions in children and teens have increased in recent years, along with awareness about the dangers of these head injuries. The training will center on preventing and recognizing concussions, including what the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma are. Student athletes will also get awareness training.

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Wacha Looks Sharp In Bullpen Session

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha looked strong in his second throwing session since being placed on the disabled list on June 18th.  Manager Mike Matheny said while he was only throwing at about 75-percent speed, it looked he was throwing it with little effort or discomfort.  There is no set timetable for Wacha's return, but Matheny stated the club wants him to face live competition first.

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Cardinals put 2B Mark Ellis on DL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have put second baseman Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to Aug. 15. Infielder Greg Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis before Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati. The 37-year-old Ellis has not played since last Thursday against the Padres. He made four starts after rookie Kolten Wong returned from the disabled list on July 6. The 25-year-old Garcia was batting .275 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 103 games at Memphis. The left-handed hitter is batting .367 in August. Garcia appeared in seven games earlier in the season and was 2 for 10 with an RBI. He was hit by a pitch in the 12th inning for the game-winning RBI against the Cubs on May 13.

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Cutler thinks Santonio Holmes can be good fit

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler thinks wide receiver Santonio Holmes can be a possible solution for the team's problems at the third wide receiver spot. Cutler has worked closely with Holmes since his signing Saturday as a possible third receiver to replace the injured Marquess Wilson. Although Holmes had a reputation for not getting along with teammates while with the Jets, Cutler thinks Holmes can be a fit in Chicago because of the team's leadership. Coach Marc Trestman said veteran Josh Morgan will get the first chance at playing the position Friday when the Bears are at Seattle in the third preseason game.

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Greg Robinson has double duty on offensive line

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Greg Robinson has been getting double duty at guard and tackle in training camp for the St. Louis Rams. The No. 2 pick has been equal to the task. Robinson projects as a main tackle eventually, but being versatile is always a plus. He admits it's been difficult mentally at times. The Rams had a need early in camp with left tackle Jake Long and guard Rodger Saffold rehabbing from injuries. Even though both likely will play in the third preseason game at Cleveland, Robinson will be alternating spots again. Robinson left Auburn after two seasons and at age 21 is the second-youngest player in camp. The Rams are factoring in the youth element, anticipating he'll grow into his role, but he's already good enough to start at two spots.

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Carl Edwards To Drive For Joe Gibbs Racing

(Undated)  --  NASCAR's worst-kept secret has been confirmed.  Carl Edwards is switching to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015.  The 11-year Sprint Cup veteran will drive the number-19 Toyota and join a JGR team of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and former series champion and Roush teammate Matt Kenseth.

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News for Aug. 19, 2014

LOCAL
Deichman Named MVPD Chief

Mt. Vernon has a new Chief of Police. Chris Deichman was sworn into the post Monday morning at City Hall during a ceremony. Deichman had been pulling double duty as acting Chief as well as his duties as Assistant Chief since the retirement of former Chief Chris Mendenall in February to accept a position as the City/County 911 Coordinator. Deichman has been with the Mt. Vernon Police Department for 25 years, the last 10 in the capacity of Assistant Chief.

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City Council Met Monday Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council met at 7 p.m. Monday evening. Among the items discussed, The Council approved permission to seek bids for a fire station alerting system, second readings were given following up on some items from last meeting regarding downtown sidewalk dining and potential liquor license classifications regarding those establishments, as well as revised ordinance codes regarding speed limits on Veteran's Memorial Drive between 26th and 42nd Streets, which was also approved. Also a first reading was given on an ordinance approving tax increment redevelopment agreements with Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation, Mt. Vernon City Schools District 80, and Granada Center for the Performing Arts which was approved 

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Community Health Systems Experiences Data Breach

Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals across the United States, including Crossroads Hospital in Mt. Vernon, announced today that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients. Hackers have gained access to patients’ names, social security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers.  Anyone who received treatment from a physician's office tied to a network-owned hospital in the last five years -- or was merely referred there by an outside doctor -- is affected.  Other affiliated hospitals in the region include Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Union County Hospital in Anna, Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City and Red Bud Regional Hospital in Red Bud. The large data breach puts these people at heightened risk of identity fraud. That allows criminals open bank accounts and credit cards on their behalf, take out loans and ruin personal credit history.  Community Health Systems hired cybersecurity experts at Mandiant to consult on the hack. They have determined the hackers were in China and used high-end, sophisticated malware to launch the attacks sometime in April and June this year.  The FBI said it's working closely with the hospital network and "committing significant resources and efforts to target, disrupt, dismantle and arrest the perpetrators." It's been a rough month for the health network. Community Health Systems  agreed  earlier this month to pay an $89 million settlement in connection with a medicare and medicaid fraud suit filed by a former EMS director at heartland regional medical center in Marion.

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Rauner Makes Campaign Stop In Marion

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner made a campaign stop in Marion Monday where he told supporters at Ray Fosse Park that he wants to see Illinois families thrive especially in southern Illinois.  He says a big part of that will be for the state to have high quality, outdoor natural resources. Rauner says natural resources can become a big economic growth engine and job creator. Rauner noted that the state is suffering as it has lost 4,200 jobs just this year alone unfortunately under Gov. Quinn, who he says is a failure on economic growth and job creation. Rauner added that he wants to bring to state government people who are experts in their fields, especially when it comes to natural resources, so they can help enhance what the state has to offer those who enjoy the great outdoors.

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Carbondale Dismisses Police Chief

City leaders in Carbondale will be looking for a new police chief after City Manager Kevin Beity dismissed Chief Jody O'Guinn Monday.  Beity released a statement Monday morning stating he had dismissed O'Guinn, but that his decision had nothing to do with the unsolved cases or recent litigation filed against the city and chief. He added any assumptions and/or allegations to this effect are completely unfounded. He says the dismissal was strictly a confidential matter.
Beity says no timetable has been established for finding his successor. O'Guinn has served the city since June 2009. Beity named Deputy Chief Jeff Grubbs to serve as Interim Police Chief for the foreseeable future.

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Williamson County Man Pleads Guilty To Crack Cocaine Offenses

On August 15, 2014, Eric Scott Russell, 48, of Carbondale, Illinois, pled guilty to a two-count superseding indictment, charging conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and distribution of crack cocaine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. The offenses occurred between 2012 and April 2013, in Williamson and Jackson Counties. Evidence at the plea hearing established that Russell was involved with co-defendant Albert Wesley, a/k/a “Boogie,” and others in the distribution of crack cocaine. On April 7, 2013, Russell sold crack cocaine to a confidential source working for law enforcement. Russell faces a prison term of up to 20 years on each count, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine. Russell is currently being held without bond pending a December 3, 2014, sentencing hearing. Wesley has previously pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing.  The investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, Carbondale Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Williamson County and the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Offices also assisted in the investigation. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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STATE
Rauner Sign Company Facing Possible City Fines

(Chicago, IL) -- A sign company GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner helped to start is in hot water with the city for putting up a digital billboard in West Rogers Park without the necessary permits. Rauner is a passive investor in Digital Greensigns and while the company did have a city permit to put up the sign, it didn't have a special-use permit needed because the sign hung over the sidewalk. The company complied with a judge's order and took the sign down, but could still face fines as much as 15-thousand-dollars a day, dating back to February 25. The sign company, run by Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Marino, has given Rauner free advertising over the past five months.

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New Law Designed To Make 9-1-1 Universal

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn has signed a bill designed to make sure that people can call 9-1-1 from any phone. The bill's sponsor, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood, says it was prompted by a tragedy last year in Texas when a little girl couldn't summon help for her mother because their hotel room phone required callers to dial "9" first. The bill takes effect next July and will mean newly installed or upgraded phone systems will have to allow 9-1-1 to be called directly, with a pre-dial code number.

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First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Found

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been reported.  A woman in the Chicago area in her 70s that became ill in July. Last year there were 117 human cases of West Nile Virus, but IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the weather has been on our side this year. She says the mosquitoes that carry don't breed as much in cooler, wetter weather.  She says you should still take precautions at dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites since they spread the disease.  Arnold says insect repellents with DEET or picaridin work the best.  So far this year, West Nile Virus has been found in birds or mosquitoes in 32 Illinois counties and Arnold says they expect to see more human cases this year.

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Governor Quinn Signs Law To Help Seniors

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn has signed a bill that will help defend vulnerable adults and seniors across Illinois.  House Bill 5703 allows complaints about a nursing home or long-term care facility to be sent in electronically to the Department of Public Health.  It also requires that complainant's questions are available on the IDPH website.  The agency will annually review the anonymous complaints while getting rid of the non-relevant ones.  The bill goes into effect right away.

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Ill. AG wants treasurer's office lawsuit dismissed

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants portions of a lawsuit filed against Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office dropped, and a court to sanction the former staff lawyer who filed it. Madigan's office asked a federal court on Monday to dismiss claims by Edmund Michalowski against two treasurer's office employees and the Republican state treasurer's office. Michalowski says the employees were involved in racketeering and retaliated against him for refusing to do political work. He also says Rutherford sexually harassed him. Madigan calls the racketeering changes "baseless," and says the harassment allegations of harassment involving the office weren't "sufficiently severe or pervasive." Madigan wants Michalowski's lawyers to pay her costs to defend racketeering portions of the suit. Rutherford is represented by his own attorneys. Michalowski's attorney wasn't immediately reached for comment.

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Governor Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is taking part in one of this summer's viral sensations.  The Ice Bucket Challenge raises money and awareness for ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  Quinn says ALS effects 56-hundred Americans each year.  So far, there is no cure for the disease.  In addition to taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, Quinn also made a donation to the ALS Association.  The governor challenged three members of the Chicago White Sox to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.  He wants to see first baseman Paul Konerko, pitcher Chris Sale and infielder Gordon Beckham take the challenge.

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Blagojevich, state corruption feature in ruling

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court has taken on the issue of pay-to-play corruption in Illinois under disgraced ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit by riverboat casinos in a late Friday ruling. The suit alleges that racetrack owners bribed Blagojevich to push through legislation that transferred 3 percent of casino revenue to the racetracks. The Chicago-based court says the case required it to "once again to decide whether some shenanigans" in the Legislature "and governor's office crossed the line from the merely unseemly to the unlawful." The same court is still considering Blagojevich's appeal of his corruption convictions. Jurors convicted him on 18 counts. Three related to his bid to extort a racetrack executive for a donation. Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year prison term.

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State hearing to focus on cutting greenhouse gases

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission is holding hearings on how to reduce the state's global warming pollution. Monday's meeting is the first of three to determine how to meet tougher federal limits on greenhouse gases. It's part of a sweeping initiative to curb carbon dioxide emitted by the nation's power plants 30 percent by 2030. Each state has a customized goal — Illinois' is 33 percent. State officials and environmentalists say Illinois should be able to meet the limits with a mixture of power sources and energy-efficiency initiatives. Almost 49 percent of Illinois' power came from nuclear and 41 percent from coal-fired plants in 2012. Renewable energy and natural gas supplied the rest. The coal industry says the new rules could force power plants to close and hurt the electricity supply.

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NATIONAL
2 shot, dozens arrested in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say at least two people were shot and 31 were arrested in clashes last night in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer ten days ago. Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and police say bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.

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California brush fire spurs evacuations

GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) — An out-of-control wildfire is growing near Yosemite National Park in Central California. The blaze in Madera County has grown from 500 acres to 1,200 acres as authorities try to get residents in the area to evacuate. The county sheriff says he's issued mandatory evacuation orders to some 13,000 homes and businesses. And another 2,500 calls have gone out, telling people that they eventually may need to leave. Also four hotels in the community of Oakhurst, about 16 miles away from the entrance to Yosemite, were evacuated. Authorities have closed down State Route 41 toward Yosemite and they say travelers will need to use different routes into the park. There's also a fear of explosions. Fire officials say the blaze is burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on the site. Firefighters are still trying to save the facility. Meanwhile, another blaze that began Monday some 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield has surged to 3,000 acres, or nearly five square miles.

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Los Angeles schools make discipline less harsh

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The second largest school district in the United States is making major reforms in how it deals with students who commit low-level offenses. The Los Angeles Unified School District will announce today that students caught fighting or possessing marijuana or alcohol will receive interventions by a guidance counselor or school administrator instead of being handed over to local authorities.

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Two CA Teens Arrested After Plotting School Shooting

(Los Angeles, CA)   --  Police in Southern California say they've arrested two teenagers who plotted a mass shooting at a high school.  The two were taken into custody after a tip from administrators from South Pasadena High School led to both the students' homes being searched.  Police say the two were plotting to kill three staff members and as many students as possible.  More details are expected to be released at a news conference today.

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Governor Rick Perry's Legal Team Denies Ulterior Motive In Veto

(Austin, TX)  --  Texas Governor Rick Perry's legal team says there was no ulterior motive when Perry vetoed millions of dollars for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit.  Lead attorney Tony Busby says there is no proof suggesting Perry was trying to keep the unit from investigating the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, where a former executive is under indictment.  Perry was indicted last week on felony abuse of office and coercion of a public servant charges.

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American Teen Suspect In Mother's Bali Death Tested For Pregnancy

(Undated)  --  Authorities in Bali are waiting for results of a pregnancy test on an American teenager suspected in her mother's death.  Indonesian police say they tested 19-year-old Heather Mack after she told them she's pregnant.  Mack and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are being held in the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack.  The 62-year-old Chicago woman's body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside a luxury hotel last week.  Police think Mack might have told them she's pregnant as a ploy to be allowed to return to the U.S.  

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Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

NEW YORK (AP) — Announcer Don Pardo, whose booming baritone was known to fans of "Saturday Night Live," ''The Price is Right" and other programs, has died. He was 96. Pardo's daughter, Dona Pardo, says her father died Monday afternoon at his home in Tucson, Arizona. She says he moved to Tucson after retiring from "SNL" in 2006. For decades, Pardo's majestic voice graced game shows and television programs. During shows such as the original version of "Jeopardy!," his answers to the question, "Tell 'em what they've won, Don Pardo," became a memorable part of the program. And though rarely seen, he was an integral part of "Saturday Night Live" for more than three decades in his role of introducing the cast to kick off each show.

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Woman shoots grandson; thought he was an intruder

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 7-year-old boy is in critical condition in Tampa, Florida after his grandmother mistook him for an intruder and shot him. Sixty-three-year-old Linda Maddox told sheriff's deputies that she had placed a chair against her bedroom door handle for extra protection early this morning. When she heard the chair sliding against the floor, she assumed it was someone breaking in and she grabbed a loaded .22-caliber revolver. Instead, she shot one of her twin grandsons.

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2 shot, dozens arrested in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say at least two people were shot and 31 were arrested in clashes last night in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by a white police officer ten days ago. Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and police say bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades. Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol says "a dangerous dynamic" is developing at night in Ferguson. He's urging protesters with peaceful intent to demonstrate during the daytime hours. The National Guard is in the area but keeping its distance for now. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to travel to Ferguson tomorrow to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

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Landowners cited for pile that damaged Del. bridge

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The owners of land in Delaware where a huge mound of dirt damaged a highway bridge have been served with violation notices by state environmental regulators. The notices are the first effort by the state to recoup repair costs estimated at $45 million. The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the DuPont Co. and Wilmington-based Alma Properties LLC received letters claiming numerous violations of state law or administrative code. The letters from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control don't assign blame for the damage but list violations that could lead to fines of up to $2,000 a day. The bridge carries Interstate 495 over a river. It was closed in June because support columns were tilting. The southbound lanes reopened July 31 and the northbound lanes are expected to reopen by Labor Day.

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Dozens seek release of video in Wal-Mart shooting

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Ohio attorney general's office to call for the release of store security video in the fatal police shooting of a man at a Dayton-area Wal-Mart. Organizers tell the Dayton Daily News they want to see what happened on Aug. 5 when 21-year-old John Crawford III was fatally shot by police. Officers say he refused to drop an air rifle inside a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek. The group that gathered Monday night in Columbus called for transparency in the investigation, which is being headed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a branch of Attorney General Mike DeWine's office. DeWine's spokeswoman Jill Del Greco says she's not aware of any plans to release video before the case is closed.

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Veteran rock climber killed in fall in Yosemite

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a veteran rock climber died in a fall while climbing alone in Yosemite National Park — just hours after proposing to his girlfriend during an earlier climb. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat says Brad Parker's girlfriend, Jainee Dial, had accepted his marriage proposal after the pair completed a climb of Cathedral Peak Saturday. Parker's father Bill says his son told him it was the happiest day of his life. Later in the day, Brad Parker headed off by himself to climb nearby Matthes Crest. Park Ranger Kari Cobb says the Sebastopol resident was climbing without ropes on an established route when he fell. The fall was witnessed by other climbers. Parker appeared on the cover of California Climber magazine in 2012. He worked as a yoga instructor.

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INTERNATIONAL
Israel launches airstrikes after Gaza rocket fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has carried out a series of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in response to renewed rocket fire. There was no immediate word on casualties from the strikes. In a statement Tuesday, the military accused Palestinian militants of violating a cease-fire and said it maintains "both defense and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression." The airstrikes came minutes after Palestinian militants fired three rockets into Israel, breaking a temporary cease-fire and endangering negotiations in Egypt over ending a monthling war between Israel and Hamas. Authorities said the rockets landed in open areas and caused no injuries.

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Activists: Jihadi killed near Syria-Lebanon border

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian opposition group says Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have killed a senior member of the Islamic State group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that the man known as Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was killed by a bomb planted in his car in the rugged Qalamoun region along the border with Lebanon. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reported al-Iraqi's death but said he was killed in a "qualitative" operation carried out by the Syrian army. It said he was in charge of rigging cars with explosives and preparing suicide bombers which he sent to Lebanon. The Shiite group, a longtime staunch ally of the Syrian government, is heavily involved in fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria. The group typically does not claim responsibility for operations inside Syrian territory.

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Watchdog: Syria's chemical weapons destroyed

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The organization charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program says the most crucial part of its operation has been completed. The Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons said Tuesday that an operation carried out aboard U.S. vessel Cape Ray has destroyed 581 metric tons of a precursor for sarin nerve gas, and 19.8 metric tons of mustard gas. The toxicity of the chemicals was reduced by 99.9 percent by a hydrolysis technique aboard the ship, and the resulting liquid will now be transported to Finland and Germany for final disposal. OPCW experts ensured that none of the chemicals escaped into the sea, the agency's director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement.

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WHO says Ebola has killed more than 1,200

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed more than 1,200 people. The World Health Organization says the death toll has risen to 1,229 from among the 2,240 reported cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The latest figures include 84 additional deaths from 113 new cases reported between August 14 and 16. Agency officials warn that measures to restrict travel in heavily infected areas, including quarantines of whole villages and counties, are limiting access to food and other basic necessities in many cases.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Baltimore 8, Chicago White Sox 2
Chicago Cubs 4, N.Y. Mets 1
St. Louis 6, Cincinnati 5, 10 innings

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Frontier at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Lake Erie

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Blackhawks sign Leighton to 1-year deal

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old Leighton provides some organizational depth behind starter Corey Crawford and backup Antti Raanta. Barring injury, he could spend much of the year with Chicago's AHL affiliate in Rockford. Leighton was drafted by Chicago in the sixth round of the 1999 draft and made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in January 2003. He has a 35-41-14 record with a 2.97 goals-against average in parts of eight seasons with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina. Leighton was in goal for Philadelphia when Patrick Kane scored in overtime in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, giving the Blackhawks the title. The Blackhawks announced the contract on Monday.

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Report: Ohio State's Miller Re-Injures Shoulder

(Columbus, OH)  --  Ohio State's football season might have taken a huge blow.  "The Columbus Post-Dispatch" reports starting quarterback Braxton Miller re-injured his right shoulder in Monday's practice and could miss the entire season.  The Buckeyes have not confirmed any such news.

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Rams Provide Free Tickets For High School Teams Near Ferguson

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Rams are reaching out to some high school football players affected by the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  MMQB.com reports a Rams staffer provided 75 free tickets to Saturday's preseason game.  The gesture was an effort to provide a distraction from protests.

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Manziel Delivers Middle Finger During Preseason Game

(Landover, MD)  --  Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is getting some bad publicity after Monday's preseason game.  "Johnny Football" was caught on camera issuing the middle finger to the Redskins sideline.  Manziel said after the game he made a mistake.

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News for Aug. 18, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon Township High School BOE Meets Today

Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education meets today.  Among items on their agenda are discussions of tentative budgets for the Area Vocational Center and for the District for fiscal year 2015, an establishment of a public hearing for the purpose of budgets, the coach and sponsor list for 2014-2015 school year and the MHCA Contract for 2014-2017.  The board will also hear reports from the finance, building, and policy committees.  The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council is set to meet this evening at 7 p.m.  Among items on their agenda, the City Manager will request permission to seek bids for a fire station alerting system, the City Attorney will give second readings following up on some items from last meeting regarding downtown sidewalk dining and potential liquor license classifications regarding those establishments, as well as revised ordinance codes regarding speed limits on Veteran's Memorial Drive. Also several first readings, among them, a reading on an ordinance approving tax increment redevelopment agreements with Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation, Mt. Vernon City Schools District 80, and Granada Center for the Performing Arts.  The meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Building at Veteran's Park.

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US service members complain private cars missing

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AP) — According to a published report, hundreds of U.S. service members are reporting that their privately owned vehicles have gone missing or been damaged while being shipped to and from overseas bases. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that after months of complaints, the military is sending teams to find the vehicles. The survey teams are from U.S. Transportation Command, which is run out of Scott Air Force Base in southeastern Illinois and is responsible for air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense. Shipping of the vehicles is handled by International Auto Logistics, a Brunswick, Georgia-based contractor. Company spokeswoman Amanda Nunez blamed the high volume of vehicles it's been asked to move in too short a time period. The survey teams will visit vehicle staging areas starting next week.

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Lightning sparks southern Illinois oil tank fire

ELDORADO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois business has contained an oil tank fire started by a lightning strike. WSIL-TV reports lightning ignited oil tanks at Campbell Enterprise early Sunday. The Eldorado Fire Department responded and said the only option was to let the fire burn. Company workers used limestone to contain the flames after fire crews left the scene. The company says no one was injured. The company had trucks and workers onsite all day to handle cleanup. It didn't give an estimation of damages.

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Illinois State Police Partner With School Communities On Back To School Safety Messages

Effingham, IL – Students are headed back to school and the Illinois State Police are reminding the citizens of Illinois to take necessary safety precautions while driving through school communities. The Illinois State Police is urging motorists, cyclists, school bus drivers, students and parents about the increased vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian traffic in and around school zones.  ISP wants to remind the public that school zone speed limits will be enforced and drivers should pay attention to the pedestrian traffic and school buses with flashing lights and safety signals. Officers will also increase their presence to focus on school zone speed; electronic device and seatbelt violations and other forms of distracted driving.  These violations are serious and can result in hefty fines and possible license suspensions.  To be safe in school zones, motorists should follow these safety tips: Motorists must stop for red flashing lights when stop arms are extended, whether driving behind a bus or coming toward a bus on an undivided road. Also, If the roadway is divided (two lanes in each direction) motorist traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop. Illinois State Police Safety Education Officers are available to provide educational presentations at area schools and throughout the community promoting safe driving habits. 

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McLeansboro Man Rescued From High Water Area

A McLeansboro man had to be rescued from high flood waters Sunday morning following a one car crash he was involved in on Route 14 near County Road 100E in Hamilton County.  Illinois State Police say  shortly after 8:30 a.m. 54 year old Allen L. Klein was driving his car  east on Route 14, near Hamilton County Road 100E, when for  unknown  reasons, he left the north side of the roadway and became stranded in  high water.  A few minutes later a state trooper came upon Klein's vehicle stranded in the high water, with Klein still inside the vehicle. The trooper, along with two other people who stopped to assist, entered the water to try to rescue Klein from his vehicle.   The back glass of the vehicle had to be broken out, allowing for Klein to escape the submerged car.   Initially, Klein appeared to be able to get himself out of the high water; however, he succumbed to his efforts and had to be pulled from the water by the Trooper.  Once out of the water, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer and yet another volunteer provided first aid to Klein until an  ambulance arrived on scene.   Klein was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being transferred to an Evansville hospital.

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Rauner In Southern Illinois Today

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner be in our area today, visiting Williamson and Johnson counties as part of his Shake Up Express Bus Tour. Rauner will be at the middle shelter at Ray Fosse Park in Marion at 1:15 p.m.  He will then make an appearance in Vienna at 2:30 at the Vienna Library.

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Balloon Fest Washed Out Early

Heavy rains caused localized flooding this weekend, forcing the cancellation of all Sunday Balloon Fest activities. Centralia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Kelsheimer announced that flooding conditions Sunday in Foundation Park prevented Balloon Fest activities to continue. Despite weather conditions over the weekend, Kelsheimer reports excellent crowds attended Friday night's events. They were able to have a Friday night flight, and a few balloons, including a number of special shapes, performed a balloon glow.  Entertainment went on as planned Saturday, as did the fireworks show and another balloon glow. The more than 3-inches of rain that fell overnight Saturday caused additional headaches in the area, with Brick Hill Road from Green Street to Gragg Street in Centralia being closed after it flooded, and new curbing on Calumet Street in Centralia was washed out due to the heavy rainfall. According to the Centralia water plant, 3.5 inches of rain fell overnight Saturday until 7 Sunday morning.  

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STATE
Quinn signs law improving Latino data collection


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law making it easier to track statistics about Illinois' Latino population. The Democrat attended the Fifth Annual Cuban Festival Sunday to sign the legislation requiring state agencies to update data-collection practices. It adds "Hispanic or Latino" as a separate racial or ethnic category in state agency reports and the collection of information. Chicago Democratic Sen. Iris Martinez and Rep. Lisa Hernandez, a Democrat from Cicero, sponsored the plan. They say it makes state data collection more consistent with racial and ethnic classifications used by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hernandez says it will help lawmakers advocate for Latino communities in Illinois. Martinez says it will "break down barriers to improvement" in the lives of Latinos.

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Illinois increases penalties for drug crimes

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has increased the penalties for some drug offenses. Gov. Pat Quinn signed three drug-related pieces of legislation Saturday. They take effect Jan. 1. Manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. It was previously considered a Class 1 felony. Another new law adds synthetic drugs known as 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute. Quinn's office says the hallucinogenic drugs have been available online and linked to serious and fatal reactions. Quinn also signed a bill that makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or possess products containing the herbal stimulant Kratom.

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Illinois law limiting medical marijuana locations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State restrictions are largely limiting potential sites for growing and selling medical marijuana in Illinois' capital city. And it's likely the rules could have a similar impact in other communities. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Springfield officials are considering zoning for medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program prohibits dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center or child care facility. Cultivation centers must be 2,500 feet away. Dispensaries and cultivation centers also are banned from residential areas. In Springfield, maps prepared by planning officials show small pockets of centrally located areas could accommodate a dispensary. But much of the city will be off-limits. Still, a local lobbyist says at least one group of investors is eyeing a site for a Springfield dispensary.

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Attorney General warns about IT telephone scam

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois residents are being warned to watch out for telephone scammers who pose as representatives from Microsoft or other technology companies. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the callers claim they've detected virus or malware on the person's computer. They then try to trick them into providing remote computer access or to pay for unneeded software fixes. Madigan says her office has received several complaints from central Illinois residents. She says residents should hang up on anyone who calls claiming they can fix a problem or asking for personal information. She says never give out your password or provide credit card or financial information.

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State Fair strives to be most eco-friendly in US

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Fair officials say they're ramping up recycling at this year's event as part of an effort to have the most eco-friendly fair in the country. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports that the fair last year recycled more than 25,000 pounds of aluminum, cardboard and plastic. This year it added paper to the recycling effort. Fair manager Amy Bliefnick says the efforts began about four years ago with the goal of become the nation's most sustainable fair. The fair partners with Illinois Correctional Industries and inmates work in the program. This year, the program placed 200 trash and recycling containers around the fairground, more than doubling last year's number. The corrections program sells the materials. Officials say manure from the fairgrounds also is used to fertilize gardens.

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Event to raise money for Old State Capitol grounds

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The bicentennial of Illinois' statehood is still four years away, but it's apparently not too soon to start preparing. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it's planning an overhaul of landscaping at Springfield's Old State Capitol to mark statehood in 1818. Among other things, plans call for planting more trees and adding hand-crafted urns. The agency on Friday announced a Sept. 6 fundraiser to raise money for the beautification project. It'll be a lawn party featuring fine food and jazz at the historic site. The Old State Capitol was built about 20 years after statehood. The building is closely associated with Abraham Lincoln. It's also where Barack Obama announced his presidential run in 2007. Fundraiser tickets range from $100 for a single ticket and $150 for two.

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Illinois Colleges Will Become Smoke-Free In 2015

(Chicago, IL)  --  Starting next summer smoking will not be allowed on state-run college and university campuses.  The ban begins July 1, 2015 and covers indoor and outdoor spaces on campuses.  Governor Quinn signed the bill on Sunday.  The exception to the law is that smokers can light up in their parked cars.

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State Fair Attendance Expected To Top 800-Thousand

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Fair attendance figures are expected to reach more than 800-thousand.  Event manager Amy Bliefnick is excited about the number of people who showed up despite eight of the eleven days included rain.  She says fair attendance was down only by nine percent in comparison to last year.  Heavy rain caused the cancellation of the Twilight Parade on August 7 and three days of harness racing had to be rescheduled due to the condition of the track.

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NATIONAL
Obama back in Washington on rare vacation break

WASHINGTON (AP) ---- President Barack Obama returned to Washington just after midnight for a two-day break from a summer vacation during which airstrikes in Iraq and violent clashes in a St. Louis suburb intruded on his golf and beach plans. The exact reason for Obama's return remains unclear, though it appears aimed in part at countering criticism that Obama was spending two weeks on the Massachusetts resort island of Martha's Vineyard in the midst of multiple crises. His return to Washington was planned even before the U.S. military began striking targets in Iraq and before the standoff between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama has meetings on both matters scheduled for today. The president is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard Tuesday night.

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Food Assistance Network Finds Military, Veterans' Families Needing Help

(Undated)  --  Military members and veterans are turning to food banks and food assistance programs to feed their families.  The latest Hunger in America survey reports 20-percent of the households served by the Feeding America network have at least one member who has served in the military.  The survey also shows 620-thousand households getting food help have at least one member who is currently serving on active military duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard.  

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Survey: Interest In Buying Apps Decreasing

(Undated)  --  Smartphone apps are losing popularity.  A new survey conducted by Deloitte finds that in a typical month, 31 percent of smartphone users say they don't download any apps for their devices, compared to 20 percent of respondents in the same poll last year.  Apps that cost money are even less popular.  

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Perry moves ahead with '16 courtship despite case

WASHINGTON (AP) --- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is moving ahead with plans to visit 2016 primary states and calling his indictment politically motivated as he faces two felony counts in his home state. The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate could be forced to sit for a booking photo and fingerprinting this week in response to a political dispute that has roiled Texas politics. Perry has tried to rally conservatives to his cause, saying the indictment is symbolic of government overreach. The governor will be in New Hampshire this coming weekend, with events planned with Republican activists on Friday and Saturday. The allegations could pose a distraction for Perry, who stumbled in his 2012 presidential campaign and has tried to gain a second look from GOP voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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Defense begins case in former Va. governor trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) --- The defense is going to start presenting its case in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The jury will hear the first defense witnesses today as the trial enters its fourth week in U.S. District Court in Richmond. Forty-five witnesses testified for the prosecution. Among them was former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams. Prosecutors claim the McDonnells accepted more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements. Williams received immunity for his cooperation with the government. Defense attorneys have said Bob McDonnell will testify at some point. They indicated in court papers that Maureen McDonnell probably will not testify. The McDonnells could face decades in prison if convicted.

---------------------------

Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- There's now a bidding war for Family Dollar store. Dollar General is offering about $9.7 billion for the discounter in an effort to trump Dollar Tree's bid, which is about 3 percent less. Last month, Dollar Tree made an $8.5 billion bid for Family Dollar, and Dollar General's board unanimously approved the deal.

-------------------------------

Missouri governor sends National Guard to Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's governor says the National Guard will help "in restoring peace and order" to the town of Ferguson, where there've been protests, some violent, since an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer. Gov. Jay Nixon's order to send in the Guard came after Sunday night's violence in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew. Police say they were responding to vandalism, looting, gunfire and some people tossing Molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on Michael Brown. The 18-year-old was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer earlier this month. The New York Times reports a preliminary private autopsy found Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Results of a state-performed autopsy have not been released.

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NEW: House Republicans' campaign arm has $48M banked

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans trying to hold onto their majority are sitting on almost $48 million heading into what is already a costly fall campaign. The National Republican Congressional Committee said Monday it raised $8 million in July, bringing fundraising totals for the 2014 elections to $109 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not yet reported its totals from last month. Like other political committees, it faces a Wednesday deadline. Heading into July, the Democrats' House campaign panel had outraised the GOP in 16 of the previous 18 months. Both parties now are ready to spend that cash. House Republicans have reserved more than $30 million in ad time. Democrats have booked $44 million.

--------------------------------

Maine woman sues GM after suffering burn

YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman who says she suffered a third-degree burn from a heated seat in Chevrolet Suburban has sued General Motors. Emma Verrill says in her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine, that GM failed to adequately test the rear seat heaters to prevent them from reaching "dangerously high temperatures that would burn human flesh." Verrill is paralyzed from the waist down and can't feel hot and cold in her lower body. She tells the Portland Press Herald her burn was so serious it required surgery and months in bed. She's seeking unspecified damages. Verrill grew up in Yarmouth and now lives in Texas. GM denied the seat heater was defective or dangerous, denied causing Verrill's injury, and denied knowledge of a defect or failure to fix a defect.

------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Activists say extremist Islamic State group kills hundreds of tribesmen in eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the extremist Islamic State group has crushed an uprising against them in eastern Syria. An activist originally from the region says he's been told as many as 200 tribesmen were shot and beheaded over the past two weeks. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll at closer to 700. Tribesmen expelled the jihadi fighters from three villages earlier this month before the Islamic State launched a counteroffensive. Meanwhile, activists say Syrian warplanes have bombarded jihadi positions in the northern province of Raqqa as Muslim extremists close in on the last army base in the region. The Tabqa air base is the last position held by Syrian government troops in Raqqa province — which is mostly under the control of the extremist Islamic State group.

---------------------------------

Fatah: Activists in Gaza under Hamas house arrest

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Fatah officials say the rival Hamas movement has placed scores of Fatah activists in Gaza under house arrest during the Gaza war and has shot several in the legs for not staying indoors. One of those attacked, Sami Abu Lasheen, told The Associated Press on Monday that Hamas gunmen shot him in both legs in late July. Abu Lasheen is undergoing treatment at a Jordanian hospital, but says he will need several months to recover. The shootings came despite a power-sharing deal between the Islamic militant Hamas and Fatah's leader, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, earlier this year. Hamas and Fatah representatives are also part of a joint Palestinian delegation negotiating a cease-fire in Egyptian-mediated talks in Cairo. A Hamas official denied that house arrests were imposed as a policy.

-----------------------------------

Ukraine claims rebels fire on a column of refugees, killing 'many'

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's national security council is accusing rebels in the east of the country of firing rockets and mortars at civilians trying to flee from the region's intense fighting. The barrage took place between two towns on the main road leading from the besieged city of Luhansk to Russia. A security council spokesman says "many people were killed," including children, when their convoy was hit. But he does not say how many people or vehicles were in the convoy. The road is the one that a Russian aid convoy likely would take if Ukraine allows it into the country. The International Committee of the Red Cross is to take responsibility for the aid convoy when it enters Ukraine. It's demanding security guarantees from all sides, including the rebels, for the mission. So far, there's no indication that the guarantees have been given.

--------------------------------

Kenya anti-terror police accused of abuses

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An international human rights group says there is strong evidence that the Kenya Anti-Terror Police Unit has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch said Monday that research conducted between November and June documented at least 10 cases of unlawful killings and 10 cases of enforced disappearances carried out by the anti-terror police. The rights group says it also documented 11 cases of mistreatment and harassment of terrorism suspects. Suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks and denied contact with their families and access to lawyers, the group says. The counterterrorism police unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom.

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Some who fled Liberia Ebola clinic re-hospitalized

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — An official says some of the people who fled an Ebola quarantine center when it was looted in Liberia's capital are again under observation. Late Saturday, residents of Monrovia's West Point slum attacked a quarantine center, where people were being monitored for possible infection with Ebola. Up to 30 of these suspected Ebola patients fled during the raid, when items including bloody sheets and mattresses were stolen. Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said that at least some of the suspected patients were again being monitored at a hospital on Monday. It was not clear how they had been identified. Liberian authorities have struggled to contain the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and there are concerns that the raid will fuel the infection's spread.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

NY Mets 7, Chicago Cubs 3
San Diego 9, St. Louis 5
Toronto 6, Chicago White Sox 3

Frontier League

Evansville 4, Washington 3
Gateway 2, Schaumburg 1
Southern Illinois at River City (PPD. Until 8/17)

NFL

NY Giants 27, Indianapolis 26
Green Bay 21, St. Louis 7

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, NY Mets 1
St. Louis 7, San Diego 6
Chicago White Sox 7, Toronto 5

Frontier League

River City 11, Southern Illinois 9
River City 5, Southern Illinois 3
Schaumburg 18, Gateway 7
Washington at Evansville (PPD. Until 9/2)

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 11:10 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

----------------------

Sox great Minoso hospitalized after fall from boat

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Chicago White Sox legend Minnie Minoso has been hospitalized in Chicago after falling from his boat. Team spokesman Scott Reifert tells WMAQ-TV the 88-year-old was pulled from the water Friday and taken to St. Joseph Hospital for tests. Team representatives spoke with Minoso Saturday, and the baseball great reportedly said he is "feeling fine." Reifert says Minoso will likely remain at the hospital for more tests and is expected to be released Sunday. The nine-time All-Star outfielder and Gold Glove winner made his debut at Comiskey Park in 1951. He spent 13 full seasons and part of four others in Major League Baseball until 1980.

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Cardinals recall Martinez, demote Siegrist

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals recalled right-hander Carlos Martinez from Triple-A Memphis and demoted struggling lefty Kevin Siegrist to the minors. Manager Mike Matheny said the 22-year-old Martinez will be used in relief. Before Sunday's game against the Padres, Matheny said Martinez was en route from El Paso, Texas. Martinez, one of the team's top pitching prospects, was 2-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 38 games earlier this season, seven of the last eight appearances as the starter. The 25-year-old Siegrist is 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA. He was 3-1 with an ERA of 0.45 as a rookie last year but has been off-kilter all of 2014 and missed 52 games from May 24 through July 22 with a left forearm strain.

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Florida State starts on top

UNDATED (AP) — Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and defending national champion Florida State are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason college football poll. The Seminoles start the season No. 1 for the sixth time after receiving 57 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. Second-ranked Alabama, third-ranked Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma all received one first-place vote. Ohio State is fifth, followed by Auburn, UCLA, Michigan St., South Carolina and Baylor. The Bowl Championship Series is being replaced this season by the College Football Playoff. A selection committee will pick the top four teams in the country for two national semifinals.

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Gordon wins

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Pole sitter Jeff Gordon finished first in the Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon finished in front of Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano for his third win of the year, and his first at Michigan since 2001. Tony Stewart skipped the event, in the wake of the accident last week that took the life of dirt track racer Kevin Ward Jr.

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Power starts from the front and wins

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — IndyCar points leader and pole sitter Will Power took the checkered flag at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. He finished in front of Juan Pablo Montoya for his third victory of the season. The win just increases Power's lead in the overall drivier standings. Before the race it was announced that Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay had signed a three-year contract extension with Andretti Autosport.

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News for Aug.15, 2014

LOCAL
Personalized Flag Honoring Military Service to be Presented by Frontier Communications 

MT. VERNON, Ind., August 14, 2014 – Frontier Communications will present a personalized “Honor and Remember” flag to the mother of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian L. Mintzlaff during a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 2 p.m., at her home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  Army Staff Sgt. Brian Mintzlaff was killed December 18, 2006 when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over in Taji, Iraq. He joined the Army in 2001 and was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. The Honor and Remember Flag Ceremony will feature a gold star, eternal flame, and folded flag over a red background. The Honor and Remember Flag is part of a national campaign of remembrance symbolizing gratitude and respect for those who make the ultimate sacrifice in military service. The flag is personalized with the name of SSG Brian L. Mintzlaff and date of death. Mintzlaff's mother, Maria Brown, Frontier leadership and employees, community veterans and honored guests will be present. Frontier supports the Honor and Remember Flag program as part of its national commitment to recognize the contributions of U.S. military veterans. Frontier has been recognized as a 2014 “Top 100” Military Friendly Employer and is an active member of Joining Forces, the 100,000 Jobs Mission, the Military Spouse Employment Program and other coalitions and initiatives that help employ veterans and reservists.

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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Releases Monthly Numbers

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office have released their monthly numbers for July.  The JCSO booked 175 detainees for the month, the lowest number since January and 21 less than in June.  This included 3 out of county detainees. For the county, there was an average of 75 daily detainees, good for 2,406 days in custody, and a total of 175 bookings.  For the county, there were 535 citations, 416 arrests, and 295 traffic crashes attended to by the Sheriff's Office.

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Alton woman sentenced for neglect of mother

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Alton woman has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal neglect of her elderly mother. A Madison County judge sentenced 48-year-old Marjorie E. Phillips Thursday. She failed to provide sanitary living conditions and medical care to her 71-year-old mother. The felony is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Police say the mother was found dead in January among food, dirty dishes and household goods piled throughout their house. An autopsy showed evidence of neglect. Prosecutors dropped two other criminal neglect charges in the plea deal. Phillips' attorney says she isn't dangerous. The lawyer says Phillips' mother was a hoarder so living in "filth" is "all (Phillips) ever knew." Phillips says she's sorry and she should have arranged for professional care.

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Illinois school guard charged with sexual assault

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — St. Clair County officials have charged an East St. Louis high school security guard with having sex with a minor. The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that 42-year-old Isaac Turner was charged Aug. 8 with one count of criminal sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl in 2012. He was arrested on Wednesday and booked in county jail. A St. Clair County judge set his bond at $100,000. Turner had been a security guard at East St. Louis Senior High School. It wasn't immediately clear how long he had been working there. The Belleville News-Democrat couldn't reach a District 189 spokesman for comment Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if Turner has an attorney.

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Man Wanted In Two Shootings

(Alton, IL)  --  Police in Alton Illinois are seeking help in finding a suspect wanted in two shooting cases.  The first shooting occurred Monday night in the 13-hundred-block of Taylor Street when a man fired a gun at a occupied vehicle.  The second happened Tuesday in the 19-hundred-block of Central Avenue when a 17-year-old was shot in the leg.  Authorities say the primary suspect is 19-year-old Brandon McGee. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to contact the Alton Police Department.

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Hamilton County Crash Results In Injury, Citation

A traffic crash early this morning resulted an injury and a citation to the driver and a fleeing from the scene by the passenger.  According to a preliminary traffic crash investigation, the driver of the Ford F-150, Derek Smith, was Eastbound on IL Route 14 at Hamilton County Road 675 East when, for unknown reasons, the pickup left the roadway to the right and struck multiple culverts on the south side of the roadway.  After striking the last culvert, the pickup rolled onto the passenger side and came to rest.  Upon arrival by law enforcement officials, the passenger of the pickup, Andy Vaughan, fled from the scene on foot.  A search of the area for Vaughan was unsuccessful.  Smith was transported from the crash scene by Air Evac to an area hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash. The Ford F-150 pickup removed from the scene by J & R Towing of McLeansboro, Illinois. Smith was cited for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol.  Additional charges against Smith and charges against Vaughan are pending. 

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Arrest Made In West Frankfort Fires

Police in West Frankfort have made an arrest in connection with the multiple fires that happened last month at the Anna Gray high rise on East Main. Police Chief Shawn Talutto says 24-year-old Christopher A. Evrard, who lives at the building, was taken into custody without incident at a family member's home Thursday after a $100,000 arrest warrant was issued Wednesday charging him with one count each for attempt of aggravated arson and arson. He is currently lodged in the Franklin County Jail. Talutto says through the course of the evening on July 26, the fire alarm went off five times with a total of five fires at the building. Police started their investigation and identified Evrard as being a suspect in this case. Detectives conducted an interview with Evrard and through the course of this interview. Evrard admitted that he had started the fires. The investigation was concluded after sufficient evidence was obtained to substantiate Evrard's involvement.  The chief says an arson conviction is a Class 2 Felony which carries a possible sentence of up to 7 years in a state penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

-----------------------------------------

STATE
Jobless Rate

(Springfield, IL) -- The state's jobless rate has dropped for the fifth month in a row and it's roughly where it was prior to the Great Recession. The state Department of Employment Security says the July jobless rate was six-point-eight-percent, down from nine-point-two percent a year ago, and the lowest since August 2008 when it was six-point-seven-percent. Some eleven-thousand-two-hundred jobs were created in July, meaning the employment rate is being affected less by people leaving the work force.

-----------------------

Quinn: Illinois' unemployment drop is 'momentous'

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois' drop in unemployment is a sign his policies addressing the state's business climate are working. He addressed reporters Thursday at a Chicago pipe and conduit manufacturer calling it a "momentous" day. Officials say unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. That's a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower in August 2008 when it was 6.7. Quinn says his administration's investments in manufacturing and overhauls to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance helped create jobs. Jobs have been a major issue in the governor's race with Republican Bruce Rauner criticizing Quinn for tax policy. A Rauner spokesman said Thursday that Illinois still has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates.

------------------------

Rauner Will Release Tax Returns, Not Schedules

(Springfield, IL) -- Bruce Rauner has been criticized for trying to hide some of his wealth in the Cayman Islands. He says that's not the case but Democrats are firing back, saying the only way he can prove it is by releasing his tax returns with the full schedules. Rauner says he'll release his returns, not the schedules, in October.

----------------------------

Edgar Says State Is A Disaster Under Governor Quinn

(Springfield, IL)  --  Former Governor Jim Edgar is jumping into the governor's race with full support for Bruce Rauner.  Edgar says it's time to mix things up in Springfield because the state hasn't fared so well under Democratic leadership.  In fact, he says things have been in a state of disaster under Governor Quinn and former Governor Rod Blagojevich's watch.  Edgar supported Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary back in March but he says that's all behind him now and party unity is what's important. 

-----------------------

Rauner Says He'll Live In Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner says he's planning to do what no other Illinois governor has done in years, and that's to live in the governor's mansion.  He says the seat of Illinois government should be in the capital city and he'll make sure that's the case if he wins the election in November.  But, he isn't missing the chance to point out at the home is deteriorating under Governor Quinn's care.  Rauner says he'll have to put a few contractors to work on fixing the mansion's leaky roof and pumping out the basement.

------------------------

Madigan Busting Consumer Myths

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is spreading the word about “Consumer Mythbusters,” the theme of her office’s tent at this year’s Illinois State Fair. Student loan forgiveness, or credit card consolidation/forgiveness, are often the subject of scams, says Madigan.  She harkens to the bromide “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” “When you call the number, and you contact these scam artists,” Madigan says, “you very quickly find out what they really want is your credit card number (or) your debit card number, they want a payment, we’ve seen, as large as $1,200 up front, for doing either nothing, or something you can do completely for free, on the Internet, yourself.” The tent also has information about fighting identity theft, of which Madigan says she has been a victim; somebody tried to use her credit card number.  What’s more complicated, she says, is when crooks try to take out credit or open new accounts in your name.

-----------------------------

NATIONAL
Change in protest atmosphere

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Protests in Ferguson, Missouri have a much lighter atmosphere since Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday placed the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge. Late Wednesday, some protesters angered over the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer threw molotov cocktails and other items at local officers, and demonstrators were met with flash grenades and tear gas. On Thursday, several protesters stopped to shake hands with state police officers who walked among the crowd.

--------------------------

Congressman wants to curb military surplus program

WASHINGTON (AP) — Images of police in paramilitary gear clashing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri have prompted a Georgia congressman's efforts to rein in a military surplus program. The Pentagon program provides free machine guns and other surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. But Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson says next month he plans to introduce legislation to curb that program. Johnson says, "Our Main Streets should be a place for business, families and relaxation, not tanks and M16s."

---------------------------------------

Abducted Amish sisters found safe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two missing Amish sisters have turned up safe, about 24 hours after they were apparently abducted from their family's roadside farm stand in northern New York. Authorities say 12-year-old Fannie and 7-year-old Delila Miller were dropped off Thursday evening in Richville, about 13 miles from where they disappeared in the rural town of Oswegatchie on the Canadian border. They knocked on someone's door, asking for help. Investigators believe more than one person is responsible for the girls' disappearance.

--------------------------

Times Square Protests Police Shooting Death Of Black Missouri Teen

(New York, NY)  --  More than one-thousand people rallied in Times Square last night, protesting last weekend's police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb.  They brought traffic to a halt as they marched up Broadway and Seventh Avenue from Union Square chanting "Hands up, don't shoot."  In Detroit, a few hundred people gathered at Hart Plaza last night for a protest and to take part in a moment of silence in memory of Michael Brown and others who have died. 

------------------------

809-pound tiger shark fed to Texas poor, homeless

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — An 809-pound tiger shark caught in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month has been cooked and served to more than 90 poor and homeless Texans. Timon's Ministries in Corpus Christi set up the donation of about 75 pounds of shark meat. Executive director Kae Berry tells the San Antonio Express-News that the 12-foot, 7-inch shark was the biggest fish ever donated to the center. A volunteer chef breaded and baked the meat. Fisherman Ryan Spring of San Antonio had said he caught the shark after reeling it in for more than seven hours. Berry says the volunteer chef did a great job preparing the food and "most people really enjoyed it." And the center says there are enough leftovers to serve up some shark stew next week.

--------------------------------

Whitey Bulger Appeals Conviction

(Boston, MA)  --  Former Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger [[ BUL-jur ]] is appealing his conviction on racketeering charges.  The 84-year-old Bulger was convicted last year of charges he committed or ordered eleven murders while running Boston's "Winter Hill" crime gang.  Bulger's lawyers claim the federal judge who heard his trial committed a "constitutional error" when she refused Bulger's request to argue that he had been granted immunity.  Bulger is serving two life terms in prison. 

-------------------

Ford Recalls More Than 83,000 Vehicles

(Undated)  --  Ford is recalling more than 83-thousand vehicles.  Ford is notifying owners of its Edge, Flex and Taurus models, as well as Lincoln MKS and MKX owners.  The recall affects vehicles from the 2012 through 2014 model years.  The problem could cause the vehicles to slip out of gear while moving, raising the risk of a crash. 

-----------------

Ice Bucket Challenge Raises Millions

(Undated)  --  The ice bucket challenge is a fundraising goldmine.  So far the social media fad has helped raise more than two-million dollars for the national ALS Association since July 29th.  Compare that to 25-thousand dollars in donations for the same period last year.  The challenge is being done to raise awareness of ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

----------------------

Police reveal officer's name in teen's death

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in Ferguson have revealed the name of the six-year veteran accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in the St. Louis suburb. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Friday the officer's name is Darren Wilson. Jackson said earlier this week he wasn't naming the officer due to death threats. Police have said 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot Saturday after an officer encountered him and another man on the street. They say one of the men pushed the officer into his car, then physically assaulted him and struggled with the officer over the officer's weapon. At least one shot was fired inside the car. The struggle then spilled onto the street, where Brown was shot multiple times. Witnesses say the officer fired on Brown as he ran away.

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NASCAR adds new rule on exiting cars after crashes

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — NASCAR has added a new rule telling drivers to not approach the track or moving vehicles after accidents. The rule comes less than a week after a driver was struck and killed during a dirt-track race at a small New York track. NASCAR star Tony Stewart is skipping this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Last Saturday, Stewart's car hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York. After Stewart clipped Ward's car, sending it spinning, Ward left the car during the caution period, walked down the track and was hit by Stewart. NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton says the new rule merely formalizes reminders that take place during drivers' meetings. NASCAR will address violations of the rule on a case-by-case basis.

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'62 Ferrari sold at auction for $34 million

CARMEL, Calif. (AP) — A rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO once owned by a famed racing driver and Olympic gold medalist has sold for $34.65 million. Thursday's sale at an auction in California during Monterey Car Week is believed to be a record public auction price for a classic car, topping the nearly $30 million paid for a Mercedes W196 last year in England. The Los Angeles Times reports the $38 million total price — including 10 percent buyer fees — is half of what experts said it could fetch. One example reportedly sold for $52 million in a private transaction. The car is one of just 39 Ferrari GTOs produced and was once owned by racer and retired Olympic gold medal skier Henri Oreiller, who died after crashing it into a building.

---------------------------------

Robin Williams To Become Character In "World Of Warcraft"

(Undated)  --  The people who created the hugely popular online game "World of Warcraft" are honoring the late actor Robin Williams.  Williams will become a character in the fantasy game which takes place in the kingdom of Azeroth.  The award-winning actor and comedian was an avid gamer and a fan of "World of Warcraft."  He even named his daughter Zelda after the Nintendo video game "Legend of Zelda."  The 63-year-old Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday.  

--------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Hamas negotiators in Qatar to discuss Israel truce

CAIRO (AP) — Hamas negotiators are consulting with the militant group's leadership in Qatar on a proposal for a long-term truce with Israel. Israel and Hamas are observing a five-day temporary cease-fire in an attempt to allow indirect talks in Cairo to continue. The negotiations are meant to secure a substantive end to the month-long Gaza war and draw up a roadmap for the coastal territory, which has been hard-hit in the fighting. Hamas is demanding the lifting of the blockade Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant group seized power in the coastal strip in 2007. Israeli officials have largely kept quiet about the negotiations, saying only that the country's security needs must be met. Representatives of Palestinian factions in Cairo said Friday that progress was being made.

------------------------------

Iran: Nuclear deal by November deadline unlikely

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says it is unlikely to reach a final nuclear accord with world powers by a November deadline. Parliament's news website on Friday quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that even if a general agreement is reached by the deadline, the two sides will require more time to discuss details. "Hence, it is unlikely to reach a final conclusion before a four-month span," he was quoted as saying. Iran and the P5+1 group -- the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- in July extended their nuclear talks until November. Western powers have long suspected Iran is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program, charges denied by Tehran.

------------------------------

Ebola centers fill faster than they can be opened

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says beds in Ebola treatment centers in West Africa are filling up faster than they can be provided. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said in Geneva Friday that the flood of patients to newly opened treatment centers shows that the outbreak's size is far larger than official counts show. WHO said Thursday that recorded death and case tolls may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak." Hartl said that an 80-bed treatment center opened in Liberia's capital in recent days filled up immediately. The next day, dozens more people showed up to be treated. According to WHO figures, the outbreak, which began in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, has killed more than 1,060 people and sickened nearly 2,000.

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2 deaths overshadow end of Chess Olympiad

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A major international chess tournament in northern Norway has ended on a grim note, with one player dying in the middle of a game and another found dead in a hotel room. Organizers say a 67-year-old member of the Seychelles team collapsed and died during the final round Thursday of the Chess Olympiad in Tromsoe. Tournament spokesman Jarle Heitmann says another player, from Uzbekistan, was found dead in a hotel room later Thursday. Heitmann said Friday that both died of natural causes. Tromsoe police said on Twitter there was "no crime" suspected in either case. China won the men's title and Russia won the women's title in the biennial chess tournament.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Milwaukee 6, Chicago Cubs 2
St. Louis 4, San Diego 3

Frontier League

Evansville 6, Schaumburg 1
Southern Illinois 6, Rockford 3
Normal 13, Gateway 4

NFL

Chicago 20, Jacksonville 19

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 6:10 p.m.
Toronto at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Toronto at Chicago White Sox 6:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 6:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

NFL

Green Bay at St. Louis 3 p.m.
NY Giants at Indianapolis 6 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 12:10 p.m.
Toronto at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

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Manfred to replace Selig

BALTIMORE (AP) — Major League Baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred has received a promotion. Manfred has been elected baseball's 10th commissioner by team owners and will succeed Bud Selig in January. Manfred is a labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998. He beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. One baseball executive who attended the 4 ½-hour meeting told The Associated Press that Manfred was elected on approximately the sixth ballot. The initial vote was 20-10 for Manfred, three short of the required three-quarters majority. The 80-year-old Selig has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced Commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation.

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Bears cornerback Fuller leaves with ankle injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller left the Bears' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night because of an ankle injury. A first-round pick from Virginia Tech, he was injured on the opening position. Drafted 14th overall, Fuller has been playing with the first team in nickel situations. He started 42 of 50 games at Virginia Tech and had 129 solo tackles along with six interceptions, 21 pass break ups and four forced fumbles in his career. He had 24 tackles, broke up 10 passes and picked off two in nine games last season.

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Fisher: Bradford to play quarter or more

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, coming off knee surgery that sidelined him the final nine games last season, will play at least a quarter in the second preseason game. Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday Bradford could run the offense into the second quarter Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers. Fisher said there were no concerns about Bradford's left knee. Left tackle Jake Long, also coming off knee surgery, will be held out until the third preseason game. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned to practice from a hamstring injury, but Fisher wasn't sure whether he'd play. Fisher said rookie Michael Sam's playing time could hinge on how well the defense plays. Sam got 32 snaps at left defensive end in a 26-24 loss to New Orleans, many of them on two long drives early in the game, plus six snaps on special teams.

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Florida charges dropped against Rams LB Dunbar

MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors in Miami have dropped battery and disorderly conduct charges against St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar stemming from a fight outside a South Beach nightclub. Dunbar attorney Howard Srebnick said Thursday that prosecutors told a judge that the case will not be pursued. Dunbar and NBA free agent Donte Green were both charged following a July 20 altercation outside the Dream nightclub. The charges are still pending against Green. Dunbar had claimed he was only defending himself. Dunbar, 29, was signed in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College by the New Orleans Saints and has played for the Rams since 2012. The NFL suspended Dunbar four games in 2013 for violating its substance abuse policy.

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News for Aug.14, 2014

LOCAL
Illinois EPA Announces Fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett Wednesday announced household hazardous waste collections have been scheduled for the area for the fall of 2014.  The location of the collection will be at 32 Salem Business Center South in Salem and will take place on Saturday September 6th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through household hazardous waste collections, citizens are given the opportunity to safely dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes, basements and garages.  Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. “Community household hazardous waste collections are providing a vital service for local residents,” said Director Bonnett. “Every day, Illinois citizens are doing their part to protect their health and the environment and Illinois EPA is happy to partner with community leaders to provide these collection events.”  Through the collections, residents are encouraged to bring oil-based paints, thinners, chemical cleaners, unwanted pharmaceuticals, mercury and mercury-containing items, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides, pesticides, adhesives, hobby chemicals, household batteries and similar products. Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collections. The public is encouraged to find alternative uses for latex paint since it is not considered hazardous. Items not accepted include explosives, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, medical waste, sharps, controlled substances, agricultural chemicals and all business wastes. Propane tanks and lead acid auto batteries cannot be accepted at most of the events, but should be taken to local recyclers.

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ISP District 12 Announces July Enforcement Activity

Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, today announced activity and enforcement figures for the month of July.  Troopers in District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, and Richland Counties, answered 305 calls for service and initiated 1,460 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 870 citations and 721 written warnings, including 467 speeding citations, 11 DUIs, 93 seatbelt citations, 9 child restraint citations, 257 written warnings for speeding, and 22 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 222 motorists, conducted 168 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 65 traffic crashes.  Traffic safety efforts yielded zero fatal traffic crashes investigated by District 12 during July.  “During the busy summer travel season, we are pleased to report zero fatal traffic crashes were investigated by District 12 in July”, said Captain Hodge.  “The goal of preventing all traffic fatalities is a driving force behind our efforts, and we will continue to work toward maintaining a safe experience for those traveling on Illinois roadways”, he added.   During the month, 577 citations and 358 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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4th Judicial Circuit Law Enforcement Joins Illinois Effort To Combat Crimes Of Violence Against Women

Alexandria, VA/Vandalia, IL – Chief Daniel Bland of Pana Police Department, Sergeant Mark Berndsen of Breese Police Department, Chief Deputy Dan Cheadle of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and Ken Ingersoll, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator at Kaskaskia College, were chosen from law enforcement executives from across the state to participate in the Illinois Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women hosted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Through the Institute experience, IACP intends to raise the response to violence against women crimes higher on law enforcement’s agenda and support the adoption of best practices by the officers in the 4th Judicial Circuit. During the four-day Institute that recently took place in Fairview Heights, IL, these criminal justice professionals, along with the other selected participants, explored innovative approaches for investigating crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking. Additional attention centered on assessing agency performance and sharing challenges and solutions with law enforcement colleagues. In an effort to help law enforcement agencies enhance their response to crimes of violence against women, the Illinois Institute focused on planning and methods for effective resource allocation to help crime victims and hold perpetrators accountable. The participating law enforcement executives will be engaged in the development of action plans throughout the Institute in order to adopt new strategies for pro-active coordinated community collaboration upon returning to their local departments.  Attendance at the Institute is supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Grant to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Orders of Protection awarded to the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council and the IACP.

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Appeals court reinstates Coleman family lawsuit

WATERLOO, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appeals court has reinstated the wrongful-death lawsuit claiming Joyce Meyer Ministries should have done more to prevent Christopher Coleman from killing his family. The Fifth District Appellate Court on Tuesday remanded the lawsuit back to the circuit court. It was filed on behalf of the family of Sheri Coleman, Christopher Coleman's wife. Coleman strangled his wife and two sons inside the family's Columbia home in 2009. He was security chief for the suburban St. Louis-based televangelist. Prosecutors said Coleman was having an affair and didn't want to divorce because it would cost him his job. The lawsuit alleges the ministry should have known Coleman was behind anonymous threats made before the killings. Attorneys for Joyce Meyer Ministries argued that the employer isn't responsible for ensuring an employee's conduct.

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Ex-Trooper Involved In Fatal Crash Tries Again For License

(Mount Vernon, IL) -- Once again, former Illinois state trooper Matt Mitchell appealed today to get his driver's license back, nearly seven years after two Collinsville sisters died in crash with Mitchell's squad car. Mitchell was traveling at 126 miles-per-hour, talking on cell phone and manipulating an onboard computer at the time. At today's hearing, Secretary of State's representatives questioned Mitchell about that crash and seven others he was in while working as a trooper. This is the fifth time Mitchell has attempted to have his license restored.

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Illinois officials hold medical cannabis town hall

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The first of three town hall meetings to answer questions about the Illinois medical marijuana application process is about to get underway in southern Illinois. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday in Collinsville. Patients, caregivers and aspiring business owners are invited to attend to learn about how the application process will work. Two other meetings are set for later this month. One will be Aug. 18 at the Peoria Public Library and the other is set for Aug. 20 in Chicago at the student union building on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University. More details about the meetings and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at the program's website.

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$3.3M grant to benefit 3 Illinois groups, youth

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Sen. Dick Durbin has announced that Illinois organizations supporting at-risk youth will benefit from a $3.3 million U.S. Department of Labor grant. The department's YouthBuild program will provide money to several groups that help the state's at-risk youth strengthen academic and occupational skills through training programs. Durbin says the funding will be split equally between the Emerson Park Development Corporation in East St. Louis, the United Methodist Children's Home in Mount Vernon and YouthBuild McLean County in Normal. The federal YouthBuild program helps young people receive their diplomas or GEDs and prepares them for post-secondary education and employment. The program awards community-based grants to ensure resources are provided to youth that need them the most, including kids who dropped out of high school or are aging out of foster care.

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Marion Count y On The Search For Animal Control Officer

Marion County will once again be without an animal control officer, when the current officer's resignation goes into effect at the end of the month. Bobby Patton has handed in his resignation, as he is taking a full-time job in Centralia. The Marion County Board Community Relations Committee will address the issue at its Tuesday, September 2nd, meeting, at which time a temporary animal control officer should be named until a permanent solution can be found to replace Patton.

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Construction Mishap Causes Injury On Interstate

A driver of a 2006 Freightliner Truck was stopped on the inside shoulder ramp of I 57 N/B at I 64 W/B on Wednesday when that vehicle's trailer was loaded with hot asphalt and was attempting to dump. The truck and trailer turned over while dumping the asphalt product due to being on uneven pavement. The vehicle came to rest on the driver’s side and sustained moderate damage to both truck and trailer. The driver, whose name was not released, received minor injuries and was transported to Crossroads Hospital by Jefferson Co Fire Dept.

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West Frankfort Tables Mobile Home Ordinance

The West Frankfort City Council tabled its action regarding the city's amended mobile home ordinance at Tuesday night's meeting. City Clerk Angie Baker tells us no decision was made so more discussion about the ordinance can take place at the next planning commission meeting on August 25. The ordinance eliminates anything to do with trailer parks because the state health department now has jurisdiction over them.  Mobile homes must now be 20 feet by 40 feet instead of 12 feet by 50 feet. The lot size for a mobile home has been reduced to 50 feet by 100 feet.  The ordinance now makes it illegal to turn portable buildings or pole barns into residences. It also allows temporary 60-day permits to stay in a camper, which can be renewed if there is a valid reason, but outlaws campers as permanent residences.

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STATE
Quinn Slams Rauner From State Fair Stage

(Springfield, IL) -- It's Democrats Day at the Illinois State Fair, and Governor Pat Quinn used his time on the stage to blast Republican opponent Bruce Rauner as an out-of-touch millionaire who wants to reduce the minimum wage and cut education funding. Quinn said, "I'm running against someone with more money than King Midas and who lives to stash some of it in the Cayman Islands." Leading chants of "Raise that wage," Quinn says he wants to be the champion of everyday people who live from paycheck to paycheck.

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White Worried Rauner Attempting To Buy Black Vote

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is concerned the Republican candidate for governor is trying to buy the black vote.  He told the media at Wednesday's State Fair in Springfield that according to news reports Bruce Rauner offered one-million dollars to a credit union in a mostly African American Chicago neighborhood.  The GOP hopeful's camp says Rauner is committed to providing resources to improve minority communities.

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GOP gathers to make push for governor's mansion

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republicans are gathering in Springfield to make a push to reclaim political power in Illinois, including the governor's mansion. Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Thursday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Republican State Central Committee and the County Chairmen's Association. The event is followed by Republicans' annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner is making a bid against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in a nationally watched race. Rauner says it's time to "shake up Springfield." Party officials are also hoping to pick up a number of seats in the state legislature. Democrats held their own breakfast and party at the fair Wednesday. They portrayed Republicans as "out of touch" with average Illinoisans.

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Law Gives Vets Easier Access To Handicapped Parking

(Springfield, IL)  --  A new law makes it easier for disabled veterans to get a handicapped parking placard.  Those who've lost a limb or have some other permanent injury no longer need the doctor to sign off on their renewal application each year.  State Senator Tom Cullerton says it's just one less hassle that vets have to worry about. The new law takes effect January 1st.

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10,300 Illinoisans' health coverage in jeopardy

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 10,000 Illinois residents who bought insurance through President Barack Obama's health care law could have their coverage canceled if they don't send citizenship and immigration documents to confirm their eligibility by Sept. 5. Federal officials say they're sending letters to approximately 10,300 Illinois consumers asking for their paperwork. The letters caution that coverage will end by Sept. 30 without the documentation. The letters were sent in English and in Spanish. Illinois is on the top-10 list of states with unresolved cases. People living in the country illegally are not allowed to get coverage. Officials say the letters tell consumers with unresolved citizenship and immigration issues that they can upload their documents to the HealthCare.gov website, or mail them in. Officials say most haven't responded to repeated outreach efforts.

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Term limits group to give oral arguments in appeal

CHICAGO (AP) — A group led by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner will present oral arguments in its ongoing court battle to get a term limits measure on the November ballot. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits ran a signature-driven effort to limit lawmakers to eight years in office and change the size of the Illinois House and Senate, among other things. However, a Cook County judge ruled the effort unconstitutional after a lawsuit was filed. The group is set to appeal that decision Thursday before the Chicago-based First District Appellate Court. If the appellate court doesn't reverse the Cook County judge's ruling, the committee wants the court to urge the Illinois Supreme Court to change an earlier decision. The high court declined to immediately hear the lower court's ruling.

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Quinn wants Springfield building named for Dixon

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is calling for the Illinois State Museum Building in Springfield to be named after the late former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. Quinn's office says the governor will announce it on Wednesday. He's working with the Illinois General Assembly to make the designation official. Dixon died July 6 at age 86. The Democrat's political career spanned more than 40 years. He was in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993 and chaired a subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. Quinn says naming the building for Dixon will serve as a reminder of his legacy of public service and his dedication to Illinois residents. The facility will be named the Alan J. Dixon Building of the Illinois State Museum after lawmakers pass a joint resolution.

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Report: Bias seen in Illinois police search data

CHICAGO (AP) — A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday. It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are 49 percent more likely than blacks to have contraband found during such a search and 56 percent more likely when compared to Latinos. The analysis is based on figures reported by law enforcement agencies during 2013 under the Illinois Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act. Adam Schwartz of ACLU says the figures are "troubling" and the situation "must be addressed."

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Illinois Schools Make Forbes Top College List

(Undated)  --  Forbes has named some Illinois schools on it list of top colleges.  Northwestern is number 19 nationally and is the leading Illinois school.  Other notable educational institutions include Knox College at 149th nationally and fifth in the state, Illinois Wesleyan ranked 253rd nationally and ninth in Illinois.  Bradley ranked tenth in the state and Illinois State was number 15.

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NATIONAL
Protests Continue In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Protesters continue to keep law enforcement busy in Ferguson. St. Louis County Police say tear gas was used last night after a bottle was thrown in their direction by a group of people in front of the burnt down QuickTrip.  Demonstrators also blocked traffic on West Florissant Avenue. Reports say around ten people were arrested last night including St. Louis City Alderman Antonio French. 

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Second Teen Shot By Police Charged

(Ferguson, MO)  --  A second teen shot by police early Wednesday near Ferguson has been charged.  Authorities say Esrail Eli Britton faces charges of second-degree assault and armed criminal action after he allegedly pointed a gun at an officer right before he was shot.  The 19-year-old was taken to the hospital where at last check he was in critical condition.

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Reporters Arrested In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Two reporters covering the events surrounding the Michael Brown shooting say they were arrested last night.  Wesley Lowery of "The Washington Post" and Ryan Reilly of "The Huffington Post" report they were working inside a Ferguson McDonald's when SWAT officers came in demanding everyone exit the restaurant.  Both say they were taken in custody only to be released shortly thereafter without any charges.  

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2-star general killed in Afghanistan to be buried

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in America's post-9/11 wars will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. A burial service will be held this afternoon for 55-year-old Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene. The two-star general was an engineer who worked his way up through the ranks in a 34-year Army career. Most of it was spent developing, building and supplying soldiers with equipment and technology. Greene's deployment to Afghanistan in January was his first to a war zone. He was killed on Aug. 5 when a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military academy near Kabul.

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California Lawmakers Send $7.6-Billion Water Supply Plan To Voters

(Undated)  --  The decision to approve a multi-billion dollar tax plan to improve California's water supply now rests with voters.  Governor Jerry Brown got Democrats and Republicans in the legislature to agree on a seven-point-six-billion dollar bond measure Wednesday.  If voters approve the plan in November, the state will build new water storage facilities and invest in groundwater cleanup in Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley.  The drought-stricken state would also build drinking and wastewater treatment projects and make statewide investments to address drought and climate change.

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US jury set hear terror finance case against bank

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. jury is being asked to decide whether a large Middle Eastern bank should be held liable in terror attacks that killed Americans. Opening statements are set for today in federal court in Brooklyn in the case against Arab Bank. The trial stems from a lawsuit filed by victims of terror attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank during a Palestinian uprising from 2001 to 2004. They have accused the bank of setting up accounts that it knew were being used to funnel death benefits to families of suicide bombers. Lawyers for the bank have denied that it was aware it was doing business with terrorists when it processed electronic transfers.

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Man to get life for killing woman after rejection

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man convicted of raping and killing a University of New Hampshire student who twice rejected his sexual advances will be sentenced to life in prison when he appears in a court in Dover later this morning. Seth Mazzaglia was convicted in June of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth Marriott. Prosecutors say Mazzaglia's girlfriend lured Marriott to the apartment she and Mazzaglia shared as a sexual gift to her domineering boyfriend. The girlfriend is serving up to 3 years in prison for hindering prosecution.

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Funeral set for driver hit by Tony Stewart's car

TURIN, N.Y. (AP) — A funeral will be held this morning near Syracuse, New York for racecar driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was struck and killed Saturday by a racecar driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The accident at a dirt track in Canandaigua sparked controversy after a bump from Stewart sent Ward's winged car spinning into the wall. The 20-year-old Ward climbed out and stalked onto the track, gesturing angrily. Stewart's car seemed to fishtail, and Ward was thrown through the air as fans watched in horror.

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Obama briefed on violence in St. Louis suburb

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama is being briefed on the situation in a St. Louis suburb where police used tear gas and smoke bombs to repel protesters. The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been sparked by the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer. The officer is white and 18-year-old Michael Brown was black. The White House says Obama was briefed late Wednesday night by Attorney General Eric Holder and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Obama is vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, as are Holder and Jarrett. The White House says Obama has another briefing scheduled for this morning. Earlier in the week, the president issued a statement saying that Brown's death is stirring "strong passions," and he appealed for reflection.

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Ohio to help cities with water tests

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials are responding to last week's water emergency in Toledo with a plan to help cities test their drinking water and fix up their treatment plants. The state is making $150 million in low- and no-interest loans available so that cities can upgrade water treatment and wastewater plants. The plan being announced Thursday and outlined to The Associated Press also calls for the state's Environmental Protection Agency to put $1 million toward new drinking water testing equipment and training for city water operators. All of those programs will target communities in the Lake Erie watershed and those relying on lakes and rivers for drinking water. It was nearly two weeks ago that 400,000 people around Toledo were warned not to drink their tap water after it became contaminated.

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Deputies: Man calls 911 after assaulting woman

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Palm Beach County Sheriff's officials in Florida say a man called 911 on himself after sexually assaulting a woman who had responded to a Craigslist ad for a cleaning job. The Palm Beach Post reports 47-year-old Joel Jones flagged down deputies responding to the call Tuesday evening. Before they could ask his name, he began shouting, "Take me to jail." According to an arrest report, Jones told deputies he "tricked" the woman into meeting him and had "brutally raped her." The victim said Jones attacked her as he was showing her an office building she would be cleaning. She says he let her go after sexually assaulting her and she heard him calling 911 as she left.

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INTERNATIONAL
Russian aid convoy nears Ukraine border

VORONEZH, Russia (AP) — It's not clear whether a convoy of Russian trucks will be crossing into Ukraine today, or spending the night on the Russian side of the border. The convoy today moved closer to Ukraine -- but it was headed toward a crossing controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Ukrainian officials have demanded that the convoy pass through a government post, so that the cargo can be inspected. Russia says the trucks are carrying relief supplies for eastern Ukraine -- ranging from baby food and canned meat to portable generators and sleeping bags. Ukraine says it's sending its own aid convoy to the region.

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Nigeria confirms 1 more Ebola case

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has announced there is another Ebola case in Africa's most populous country, bringing the total confirmed cases there to 11. Chukwu told reporters in Abuja, the capital, Thursday that the latest patient is a doctor who helped treat the first Ebola case in the country, Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who arrived from Liberia last month with the virus and died on July 25. All those who are ill with Ebola in Nigeria had direct contact with Sawyer. Nigeria has recorded three deaths: Sawyer, a Nigerian nurse who helped treat him as well as an employee of the Economic Community Of West African States who helped transport Sawyer to a hospital after he landed in Lagos, the commercial capital, and collapsed at the airport.

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NewLink Genetics: Ready to test Ebola vaccine

UNDATED (AP) — An Iowa drug developer says it has enough doses of a possible vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus to launch an initial round of human testing. NewLink Genetics Chief Financial Officer Gordon Link says the timing of the trials is uncertain, but the company is receiving help from a number of sources to speed up the process. NewLink Genetics Corporation says the vaccine has been 100 percent effective in preventing deadly Ebola infections in non-human primates, and it acts quickly enough to show effectiveness in animals that received a typically lethal dose of the virus. There is no proven treatment or vaccine for Ebola. A current outbreak of the virus in West Africa is the biggest in history. It has killed more than 1,000 people.

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Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

LONDON (AP) — A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just before touchdown the limb became detached. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said Thursday he then moved his right hand to the yoke to regain control. Winds caused the plane to land heavily with a bounce. No one was hurt in the incident.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 7, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 5, Miami 2
Chicago Cubs 4, Milwaukee 2

Frontier League

Schaumburg 6, Evansville 1
Rockford 6, Southern Illinois 2
Normal 11, Gateway 0

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Evansville at Schaumburg
Gateway at Normal
Southern Illinois at Rockford

NFL Preseason

Jacksonville at Chicago, 7 p.m.

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Illini hope to turn the corner with new QB

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Wins have been scarce the past few seasons at Illinois. Tight end Jon Davis believes this team could change that. Davis says this Illini team should aim for six or seven wins and get there. That would be a big improvement on last season's 4-8 record. Illinois will be leaning heavily on transfer quarterback Wes Lunt when it kicks off Aug. 30 against Youngstown State. Lunt started at Oklahoma State his freshman year before losing the job to injury. Coach Tim Beckman says he's also counting on improvement on defense through experience. Last season's defense was young and lacked depth and gave up 35 points a game. Beckman begins the season under pressure after winning just six games his first two seasons.

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RB Mark transferring from Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern running back Venric Mark, who was recently suspended for the first two games of the season, will transfer and wide receiver Christian Jones will miss the season with a knee injury. Northwestern says Mark wants to play closer to his family. Mark, who is from Tomball, Texas, missed most of last season with a broken ankle and was granted another year of eligibility. As a junior in 2012, he ran for 1,366 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He ranks fourth all-time at Northwestern with 4,271 all-purpose yards. Mark was suspended last week for the first two games of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Jones was the Wildcats' leading receiver last season with 54 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns. He was injured in practice.

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Tiger Woods Says He Can't Play In Ryder Cup

(Undated)  --  Tiger Woods is pulling out of the Ryder Cup.  Woods told U.S. captain Tom Watson not to consider him for the tournament.  He posted on his website that he's been told by doctors the muscles in his back "need to be rehabilitated and healed" and that he should not play or practice golf.  Woods added that he plans on returning to competition in December.  The 2014 Ryder Cup will be played September 25-28 in Scotland.

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News for Aug. 13, 2014

LOCAL
Bids For New High School Pushed Back

Construction bids for the new Mt. Vernon Township High School have been pushed back.  The school board was expected to receive bids this Thursday, but they will now be delayed an extra week. The change was made to allow potential bidders more time to gather information. School leaders hope the added time will result in more bids being submitted.  Currently there are more than 100 contractors that have expressed interest in submitting bids. The groundbreaking is expected later this fall.  

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Morthland Groundbreaking Today With Developer Change

Morthland College officials say groundbreaking on the Adams House student housing complex will take place as planned today, but there has been a last minute change regarding the developer. Emily Hayes, the college's executive vice president, announced Tuesday that Brad McMillan will be in charge of the project replacing Capstone Development Group of St. Louis. The West Frankfort Daily American reports McMillan is from O'Fallon but is originally from West  Frankfort. He entered into an agreement with the college Tuesday to purchase the former UMWA hospital site where the complex will be built. Capstone pulled out at the last minute Tuesday because they wanted to buy the property instead of leasing it and change other items of the deal. Plus, Capstone wanted a TIF agreement for the project something the city said was unfavorable. McMillan says construction will start in October with hopes of having it done by next fall.

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Marion Cracks Down On Loitering

The city of Marion is cracking down on loitering. Mayor Robert Butler told the Southern Illinoisan that loitering continues to be a problem in the mall area and in some areas not associated with the mall. City council members Monday voted unanimously to fine tune the city's loitering ordinance. It now allows police to write a citation after one warning even if the offender leaves the property and comes back to the same property even if it's a few days later. It also prohibits littering while loitering and adds details to better spell out the offense like blocking someone or vehicles from entering a place of business.

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Kilquist Gains Endorsement

The Illinois Federation of Teachers Tuesday endorsed Democrat Bill Kilquist for state representative in the 115th District. The IFT represents 103,000 working women and men in the education field and other professions.  Kilquist says he's honored to received the IFT's  endorsement and will work hand-in-hand with them and everyone who aims  to improve the quality of education in our region. The Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses candidates who they see as willing to work closely with their membership to provide the best public services available and supports candidates who share similar goals of improving education and services in Illinois. Kilquist is looking to replace current Republican State Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro, who is stepping down to run for the 12th Congressional seat now held by Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville.

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Prosecutor: Evidence from 100 Alton cases missing

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois are trying to determine how and why evidence in more than 100 Alton cases has been destroyed or discarded. The (Alton) Telegraph reports that nearly half of the cases involve felonies, and that the missing evidence now clouds prosecutions in several Alton cases. The Madison County State's Attorney, Tom Gibbons, says his office learned on July 23 that an evidence officer for the Alton Police Department improperly disposed of the evidence in pending criminal cases. Gibbons says he does not believe criminality factored into how the evidence went missing. Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons says his department is cooperating in the investigation. Mayor Brant Walker calls the situation an "egregious breach of protocol."

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Perry County Man Pleads Guilty To Methamphetamine Conspiracy

On August 8, 2014, a Perry County, Illinois, man pled guilty to an indictment, charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Tuesday.  Thomas D. Tindall, 21, of Willisville, pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The offense occurred between 2012 and February 2014, in Jackson, Randolph, and Perry Counties. The factual basis for the guilty plea established that Tindall was involved with others, including juveniles, in the manufacture of methamphetamine. During a February 20, 2014, search of defendant’s vehicle and residence, agents located methamphetamine, methamphetamine-making materials, and drug paraphernalia. Tindall is currently being held without bond pending a November 21, 2014, sentencing hearing.  The methamphetamine offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000.  The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Coulterville Police Department, Randolph County Drug Task Force, Steeleville Police Department, Percy Police Department, Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Randolph County States Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.  The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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Chicago Area Man Sentenced In Teen Prostitution Ring

(Collinsville, IL) -- A Chicago area man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for forcing two teenage girls into prostitution. Thirty-year-old Reginald Williams was arrested two years ago after Collinsville police were alerted to an online sex ad featuring pictures of a missing 16-year-old girl. They alerted St. Louis County police and the FBI, and Williams was arrested at a St. Louis area hotel, where the two girls were also found.

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Saluki pride posters available in Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce is attempting to pump up Saluki pride this fall with posters promoting Southern Illinois University. Chamber Executive Director Les O'Dell tells the Southern Illinoisan that the "Welcome to Saluki Country" poster will be available this week. He says the chamber ordered 12,000. The project is part of the work of the chamber's Saluki Pride Committee. It aims to bring businesses and the university together. O'Dell says volunteers will walk around town this week to hand a poster to anyone requesting one. He says it is a way to support SIU and let students know they are welcome. A saluki is one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dogs and come from the Middle East. Southern Illinois is also known as "Little Egypt."

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Simon Band Playing At Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon will be playing the banjo at the state fair today.  Her  band "Loose Gravel" will perform at the Shed from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. The Carbondale-based blues band debuted at the state fair three years ago and is the only group fronted by a constitutional officer to perform.

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Johnson County Resident Wins Auctioneer Bid Calling Contest

Alex Belcher of Buncombe won the 31st Annual Illinois Championship Auctioneer Contest held by the Illinois State Auctioneers Association.  Belcher has been competing for seventeen years. He started in 1998 after college and primarily auctions cattle and cars.   "By far, this win has made me a better person and a better auctioneer," Belcher said. For winning the contest, Belcher was named the auctioneer of the Governor's Sale of Champions. The 2014 Reserve Auctioneer was Abbey Schmid of Clinton.

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STATE
Rauners buy Grand Champion Steer at State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Republican candidate for Illinois governor placed a winning bid on a champion steer at the Illinois State Fair. Bruce Rauner is a Winnetka businessman. His campaign says he and wife Diana, as well as the Friends of Pike County 4-H bought the Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer at the Governor's Sale of Champions at the fairgrounds Tuesday. His spokesman says Rauner is vacationing in Montana, so the bid on the steer was made by others on his behalf. The auction was hosted by Rauner's Nov. 4 election rival, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The purebred Hereford steer was raised by 11-year-old exhibitor Braden Musgrave. It sold for $56,300. Rauner's campaign says the steer will be donated to the University of Illinois' College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

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GOP: Quinn Passing Out Cash Without Accountability

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois Republicans aren't letting the headlines fade about Governor Quinn's troubled anti-violence program.  They say he may be trying to pull the same stunt again.  He apparently hid 20-million-dollars in the Department of Labor budget this year, then split it up and handed out more than half-of it in the first three weeks of July.  Republicans say the money is being diverted to other agencies then doled out under the premise of helping at-risk communities.   That's almost identical to the 55-million-dollar program Quinn initiated just before the 2010 election, which is now under state and federal investigation.

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Illinois Democrats make play for unity, victory

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats are gathering to promote party unity as they kick off the final months of the 2014 campaign. Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Wednesday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Democratic County Chairman's Association at Springfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates is the breakfast's keynote speaker. The event is held several hours prior to the party's annual day at the Illinois State Fair. For the second year in a row, Gov. Pat Quinn canceled the afternoon rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Quinn was booed by union members at the fair in 2012 after he canceled their raises. Quinn says the afternoon lineup of musical acts replacing political speeches will be more fun.

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Quinn signs bill to better emergency response

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) --- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed two pieces of legislation aimed at improving emergency response in rural areas around Illinois. One bill is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Don Moffitt and Democratic state Sen. John Sullivan. It allows ambulance providers in rural areas to be upgraded to the highest emergency medical technician license of any person staffing that ambulance. Current law restricts an ambulance to a set level of emergency care regardless of the qualifications of those staffing it. The sponsors say the change allows more kinds of life-saving procedures to be performed in an ambulance. Another bill is sponsored by Moffitt and Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose. It allows firefighters trained as paramedics to use those skills in their roles as firefighters.

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Illinois treasurer race heats up over accusations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The normally lackluster race for Illinois state treasurer is becoming increasingly contentious. Republican candidate Tom Cross is scheduled to appear at a series of stops around central Illinois Tuesday. He'll talk about what he says were financial mismanagement and patronage by his opponent, state Sen. Michael Frerichs, in the Democrat's previous role as Champaign County auditor. Cross says an early retirement program proposed by Frerichs cost taxpayers millions. He also says Frerichs improperly pushed the county to hire two local Democrats. Frerichs says his decisions didn't lead the program to lose money. And he says he never employed the Democrats in his post. Recently, the Cross campaign also circulated allegations that Frerichs didn't pay $1,800 in back taxes and interest. Frerichs disputed the county's determination that he owed the money.

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Governor's Day Won't Be So Political

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor's Day at the state fair won't have much of a political flair.  That's because Governor Quinn has canceled all political speeches, for the second year in a row.  He says the Black Ensemble Theatre will be taking the stage instead.  Quinn says the whole idea is to make the event more fun and family friendly.  He denies the notion that he's staying off the stage to make sure unions don't have a chance to boo him, like they did a couple years ago.  

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IDOT Launches Operation Teen Safe Driving

(Springfield, IL)  --  Schools can win cash to help teens come up with a safe driving program.  It's part of IDOT's Operation Teen Safe Driving initiative.  The students' campaign must include a slogan, educational materials, and a public service announcement.  The state will kick in up to two-thousand-dollars to winning schools.  Applications are available online now and due by September 15th.

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Illinois state education reports from 2013 overdue

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Board of Education officials say problems collecting information have forced a delay in the release of last year's state education reports. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that the 2013 reports were required to be completed last October. But the state board says they've had trouble collecting school district teacher and administrator salary details. State education officials say the data weren't released piecemeal because that would have created skewed statewide information. The annual report cards track each district's student performance history, class sizes, spending on students and attendance. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia is an Aurora Democrat who serves as chairwoman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. She says citizens "should know exactly where every dime and penny is being spent."

----------------------------------------

NATIONAL
Governor Nixon Speaks Out About Shooting

(Florissant, MO)  --  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has spoken out for the first time since the shooting death of Michael Brown.  The Governor made a speech last night at a community forum at Christ is King Church in Florissant.  Nixon said the situation "feels like an old wound that has been torn open..." He said there must be a focus "to keep the peace, while remaining uncompromising in our expectation that justice must not simply be pursued, but achieved."

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President Makes Statement On Shooting

(Washington, DC)  --  The White House has released a statement from President Obama on the police shooting of Mike Brown. The President said "the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed." He also stressed non-violence by saying, "We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

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Nine Charged For Looting In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Authorities say nine people have been charged for the looting that occurred in Ferguson Sunday night. Riots and looting broke out in the aftermath of the shooting death of Mike Brown Saturday afternoon. All nine individuals face a felony charge of second-degree burglary.  The St. Louis County Prosecutor says there could more charges to follow.

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Lauren Bacall, sultry-voiced actress, dead at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Award-winning actress and Academy Award-nominee Lauren Bacall is dead at the age of 89. Bacall died Tuesday at a New York City hospital. She once said, "Stardom isn't a career, it's an accident." Bacall had a long movie career, starring in films such as "How to Marry a Millionaire" and "Murder on the Orient Express," and with husband Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep." Bacall would outlive Bogart by more than 50 years.

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Robin Williams remembered throughout country

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Makeshift memorials of flowers and notes are popping up around the country for actor and comedian Robin Williams, who was found dead in his San Francisco Bay Area home Monday. Authorities say the 63-year-old, who had suffered from severe depression, had hanged himself with a belt. Williams' 25-year-old daughter Zelda released a statement Tuesday, saying, "I'll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay."

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More help for Oregon wildfire

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Help is on the way for crews facing a new wildfire that is threatening more than 130 homes in southern Oregon and has grown to 300 acres. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has authorized the state fire marshal to send in structural firefighters and equipment.

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Report: White House didn't OK immigrant releases

WASHINGTON (AP) — An oversight report says government officials decided to release more than 2,000 immigrants facing deportation in 2013, strictly for budget reasons. And they didn't tell Homeland Security about the plan. Homeland Security's inspector general says the lack of communication led the Obama administration to wrongly deny for weeks that 2,228 immigrants facing deportation had been released.

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Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people are about to get letters warning them to resolve issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law. The Obama administration says the letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file. These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5 to keep coverage.

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Memorial service set for boy stabbed at playground

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A memorial service will be held today for a 9-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed at a western Michigan playground, allegedly by a 12-year-old playmate. Authorities say Michael Conner Verkerke was stabbed repeatedly August 4 near Grand Rapids. He then ran home, collapsing on his porch. He died at a hospital. The 12-year-old suspect has been designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, meaning if he's convicted he'll be sentenced as a juvenile and then as an adult once he turns 21. The boy has been ordered to undergo a mental competency exam.

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Lawyers: Teen suffered 'numerous' acts of violence

CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — Lawyers representing the New Hampshire teenager who returned home nine months after she vanished on the way home from school say she "suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence." They put out a statement Tuesday on behalf of Abigail Hernandez and her mother. It was featured on the "Bring Abby Home" website created after the 14-year-old disappeared Oct. 9 on her way home from school. Now 15, she's alive and home with her family "through her faith, fortitude and resilience," the statement says. The statement asks that people be sensitive to Abigail's well-being and "give her the time and space she needs" to heal. She came home July 20, but the circumstances of her return are just as murky as the details of her disappearance. Police charged 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby with kidnapping her.

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New York town gets entire summer's worth of rain

DEER PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A storm has slammed a New York town with over 12 inches of rain — an entire summer's worth — leaving cars trapped in flooded roads. Stranded drivers had to be rescued in Islip, New York. Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service says the Long Island town's normal total for June, July and August is 11.75 inches. The Southern State Parkway was closed around Baldwin and about 20 miles east in Deer Park, where cars were stuck in a couple of feet of water. WPIX says fire crews in boats rescued drivers in Nesconset. Central and eastern Long Island roads that were still open had bumper-to-bumper traffic Wednesday. The rain started around 6 p.m. Tuesday. It tapered off Wednesday morning.

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UNM reinstates players after rape charges dropped

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is reinstating two football players who were suspended from the team after being arrested in April on rape and kidnapping charges. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Athletic Director Paul Krebs confirmed Tuesday that running back Crusoe Gongbay from Rockville, Maryland, and cornerback SaQwan Edwards from Houston had been reinstated and are rejoining the Lobos. The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office chose to drop the criminal case against the two players and Ryan Ruff, a former New Mexico student who wasn't on the team. The District Attorney's Office had dismissed the charges in June, but at that time held open the possibility that they could be refiled.

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No charges filed against dad in NY toddler's car death

DOLGEVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Prosecutors say they won't file criminal charges against a central New York man whose 15-month-old daughter died in June after being left inside a vehicle for nearly seven hours. Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter tells the Observer-Dispatch of Utica that "simply forgetting" isn't enough for prosecutors to file criminally negligent homicide charges. Police say 33-year-old Alan Lyon of Dolgeville was supposed to drop off daughter Sophia Lea Marie at a baby sitter's on June 4. He forgot her in the car after getting ready for work and leaving in a different vehicle around 8 a.m. The girl was discovered by another family member around 2:30 p.m. as temperatures reached the 70s. An autopsy determined the girl died from hyperthermia and dehydration.

------------------------------

'Street view' goes undersea to map reefs, wonders

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — U.S. government scientists hope people will soon be able to go online and get a 360-degree view of reefs and other underwater wonders, much like Google map's "street view" lets people look at homes. This week, scientists are learning to use underwater cameras in the Florida Keys in the hopes of applying 360-degree mapping to research and managing marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, opening a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time. About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia and in the Caribbean, but this is the first time the technology is being used in U.S. waters.

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INTERNATIONAL
Sierra Leone : another lead doctor dies from Ebola

LONDON (AP) — An official in Sierra Leone says another of the country's leading physicians has died from Ebola. Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people in a West African outbreak that has also hit Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Many of the dead are health workers, who are often working with inadequate supplies and protection. Sidie Yayah Tunis, director of communications for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, announced that Modupeh Cole died Wednesday. The U.S.-trained Cole was one of the lead doctors working in the Ebola isolation ward in Connaught Hospital in Freetown, the capital.Cole's death comes on the heels of that of another physician who was leading Sierra Leone's fight against Ebola, Sheik Humarr Khan.

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France to send weapons to Iraq

PARIS (AP) — France says it's sending arms to Kurdish forces in Iraq because the Kurds are in "urgent need" of support against radicals of the Islamic State group. The French presidency says the arms shipment will be delivered "in the coming hours" and that authorities in Baghdad are in agreement. Meanwhile, Australia's prime minister says he's holding open the possibility of sending a combat force to Iraq in addition to military transport aircraft that would deliver humanitarian aid to refugees trapped by insurgents in Iraq's northern mountains. The U.S. already has sent another 130 troops to Iraq to act as "advisers." The Pentagon says they're not combat troops, but they'll be assessing the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing Iraqi minorities threatened by the militant group Islamic State.

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Iraq PM warns of more turmoil if replaced

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the president's tasking of another politician with forming a new government amounts to a "constitutional violation" and would have worse consequences than the militant takeover of much of the country's north. He also says he will not relinquish power until a federal court rules on the move, which was aimed at paving the way for new leadership that could reverse the militants' gains. "This constitutional violation... will be yield more damage than of the state collapse that took place in Ninevah," al-Maliki said during his weekly address Wednesday, referring to the northern province which includes Iraq's second largest city Mosul. Al-Maliki has vowed legal action against President Fouad Massoum for carrying out "a coup against the constitution and the political process."

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Miami 3, St. Louis 0
Chicago Cubs 3, Milwaukee 0
Chicago White Sox 3, San Francisco 2, 10 innings

Frontier League

Gateway 9, Normal 7
Normal 8, Gateway 4
Schaumburg 12, Evansville 5
Southern Illinois 12, Rockford 7

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at San Francisco, 2:45 p.m.
St. Louis at Miami, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

Evansville at Schaumburg
Gateway at Normal
Southern Illinois at Rockford

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Clippers Sale To Ballmer Complete

(New York, NY)  --  Steve Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.  The sale of the team from the Sterling Family Trust to the former Microsoft CEO was finalized yesterday.  The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.  Ballmer is believed to have paid two-billion-dollars for the NBA franchise.

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IHSA Fall Sports To Begin Practice

This is the day that IHSA allows for the first practices of the year for Boys and Girls Golf, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball, and Boys Soccer.

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News for Aug. 12, 2014

LOCAL
Jefferson County Man Sentenced To 188 Months On Methamphetamine Charges

A Jefferson County man was sentenced on August 8, 2014, to federal prison on methamphetamine charges, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced Monday. Jose A. Roman, 37, of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release following his imprisonment, and was fined $200. The Court sentenced Roman as a Career Offender due to Roman’s previous criminal history. Roman had previously pleaded guilty to a two count federal indictment. Counts 1 and 2 charged that on two separate occasions on May 7, 2013, in Jefferson County, Illinois, Roman knowingly and intentionally distributed methamphetamine. The investigation in this case was conducted by the Joint Narcotics Unit of the Mt. Vernon Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney George Norwood.

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Illinois concealed carry process getting easier

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — There are signs that the initial rush of applications for permits to carry concealed weapons in Illinois is slowing down and the process is getting a bit easier to navigate. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that observers say technology issues and other problems that applicants experienced when the process started in January have been largely remedied. Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says some people are getting their permits within 35 days of when they submitted their applications to police. State Rep. Brandon Phelps supported the bill that made Illinois the last state in the nation to allow concealed weapons. He says that between February and July nearly 69,000 permits have been issued.

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Shimkus Office Hours In McLeansboro August 18

Maryville, Illinois... Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) will be available to meet with local constituents in Hamilton County on Monday, August 18. The Congressman will be available for one-on-on meetings from 9:15 till 10:45 a.m. at the McLeansboro City Hall, 102 West Main Street. “This is a great opportunity to meet with me personally to discuss a problem you are having with a federal government agency or to express your thoughts on legislation or other issues,” Shimkus said. “Please call to schedule your time to visit with me.” To schedule an appointment with Shimkus on August 18 in McLeansboro, call Shimkus’ office at (618)288-7190. Those who cannot attend in person may contact Shimkus via mail at 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062. More information on services offered by the Congressman's office is also available on his website: shimkus.house.gov. You may sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter or send a message to the Congressman on the website. Shimkus also maintains Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (@RepShimkus) accounts, where regular updates are posted. Constituents requiring special accommodations should call at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled office hours.

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West Frankfort Mobile Home Ordinance On Agenda

It looks like the West Frankfort City Council may approve the city's amended mobile home ordinance at tonight's meeting.  The item is on their agenda, and if approved, will update the city's current ordinance that has been in place since 1969. The changes will include eliminating in the ordinance anything to do with trailer parks because the city no longer has jurisdiction over trailer parks. That now belongs to the state health department.  It also calls for limiting the size of a mobile home to a minimum width of 20 feet and a minimum length of 40 feet.  City leaders say none of the changes will affect current mobile homes because they have been grandfathered in.

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Morthland Breaks Ground On Housing Complex

Morthland College will hold its groundbreaking ceremony for the new Adams House student housing complex tomorrow. It will be held at 507 West St. Louis Street in West Frankfort starting at 11. Adams House will be the new and first student housing complex at the college. It's being built to reflect the college's rise in enrollment. The $3 million, three-floor building will offer two, three and four bedroom units with a total of 64 beds. Adams House will also include common areas such a study rooms, a game room and a fitness room. The complex is expected to be finished in time for students next fall.

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Illinois man dies in fall while trimming trees

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southwestern Illinois officials say a 75-year-old man has died from a fall while trimming trees. The Madison County coroner said Monday that Dan Dauderman was found dead on Saturday in Alhambra. His preliminary cause of death is a broken neck and severing of the spinal cord. Dauderman's family members found him Saturday on his 300-acre farm after they couldn't reach him by phone. The coroner says he was trimming trees from the bucket of his tractor when a limb fell and hit the tractor's manual bucket release. He fell about 10 feet to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene. The family told the coroner he might have been out in the wooded area since last Tuesday, based on uncollected mail.

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STATE
Quinn calls on Rauner to confirm debates


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has called on Republican challenger Bruce Rauner to "come out of the gopher hole" and commit to debates ahead of the general election. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat has confirmed his appearance at eight debates and forums ahead of the Nov. 4 election along with a ninth potential venue. Rauner's campaign says the businessman plans to appear at a number of debates and will announce those dates "soon." Quinn told reporters Monday that debates are voters' best chance to see candidates side by side on the issues. Rauner participated in fewer debates than his GOP opponents ahead of the four-way March primary, something that prompted criticism from those challenging him.

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Nicholas Sheley sentenced to 4 more life terms

MORRISON, Ill. (AP) — A man serving two life sentences for a pair of Illinois killings has been sentenced to four more. Nicholas Sheley was convicted in May of murder for fatally beating three people and a 2-year-old with a hammer in a northwest Illinois apartment. The Telegraph in Dixon reports he was sentenced Monday to four life terms in those deaths. The killings were part of a series of eight murders authorities say Sheley committed in summer 2008, stretching from his hometown of Sterling, Illinois, south to St. Louis. Sheley already is serving life sentences for the deaths of two Illinois men that June. The new sentences will run consecutively to those. Sheley will be tried next in Missouri for an Arkansas couple's deaths. He could face the death penalty there.

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University of Illinois proposes off-campus cameras

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — City council members in Champaign are considering a proposal from the University of Illinois to expand its network of surveillance cameras off campus and onto city streets. University Police Chief Jeff Christensen tells The News-Gazette in Champaign that adding more cameras where students congregate would help his department and city law enforcement.
If approved, it would be the first time the university has put security cameras on property it doesn't own. Christensen says footage from the university's camera network helped solve 15 investigations during the 2012-2013 school year and provided evidence in another six cases. The university wants to phase in off-campus cameras starting with a control box at Sixth and John streets that could later connect cameras along Green Street, a high-traffic corridor.

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Arrest in theft of Illinois hospital laughing gas


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A 33-year-old central Illinois man has been charged in connection with the theft of laughing gas from the hospital where he worked. The (Peoria) Journal-Star reports that Eric Rebholz of Chillicothe was charged with theft and delivery of nitrous oxide Sunday. Online records show he's in custody Monday at the Peoria County Jail. A police report says a security officer from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria interviewed Rebholz while investigating reports of missing nitrous oxide tanks. Rebholz allegedly admitted to stealing nitrous oxide tanks weekly for seven or eight months. He allegedly sold them for $10 per pound. His job was terminated in late July. It's not immediately clear if Rebholz has an attorney and no home telephone listing could be found.

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Public defender in Illinois' McLean County resigns

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The public defender in McLean County in central Illinois has resigned.
The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports that Kim Campbell's resignation was announced to her staff Friday by Judge Elizabeth Robb. The judge also announced a temporary replacement. Peoria lawyer Jeff Flanagan will step into the top post in the public defender's office. He's the former Peoria County public defender. Campbell released a brief statement to the newspaper saying it was time for her "to move on to new challenges." She said she would take time to focus on her family and "pursue new opportunities." She said it had been an honor to serve. She had been public defender in McLean County since replacing Amy Davis when she retired in 2010.

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Ag Day At The State Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  It's Ag Day at the state fair.  That means Ag products that are raised and grown right here in Illinois will be on display.  And, Governor Quinn will be on hand to host the Sale of Champions on the fairgrounds later tonight.  The best of Illinois' processed foods are auctioned at the Commodity Auction.

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State Fair Harness Racing Continues Today After Cancellations

(Springfield, IL)  --  Harness racing at the Illinois State Fair will resume today.  The event was canceled for the last three days due to poor track conditions.  The races scheduled for Monday will run Wednesday starting at noon.

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Springfield plans rainwater recycling project

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Springfield officials are moving forward with a project to recycle rainwater runoff. The Springfield Journal-Register reports bidding is set to begin Thursday for the water reuse and bioswale project. A bioswale is a shallow ditch that uses special soil to filter pollutants out of water. Springfield's public works director says officials hope to finish the project by the end of the year. They say it will help keep toxins out of the city's sewer system and will limit sewer backups from rainwater entering the system. The city will used recycled runoff to water plants downtown and to clean sewer lines. A $600,000 Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant is expected to cover most of the project costs. The state Environmental Protection Agency will review acceptable bids.

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NATIONAL
Nation Mourns Robin Williams, Chicago Native

(Tiburon, CA)  --  The nation is mourning the death of actor and comedian, Robin Williams.  He was found dead in his California home yesterday and at this point, all evidence points to suicide.  Williams is a Chicago native who suffered with severe depression.  His death is serving as a reminder that depression can strike anyone and is an illness that shouldn't be ignored.  If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, and is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help at 800-273-8255.

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More unrest in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — It was a second night of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, following the weekend shooting death of an unarmed black teen. Monday night, police in riot gear fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters. Police say there were several arrests. The night before, dozens of people were arrested as some people began looting and vandalizing businesses following a candlelight vigil for 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police say he was shot several times. Witnesses say his hands were raised when the officer fired repeatedly.

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Name Of Officer To Be Released

(Ferguson, MO)  --  The name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is expected to be released today.  Ferguson Police say the name will be revealed during a news conference set for noon.  Protesters demanded the information while gathering outside the police department yesterday morning.

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Attorney General Speaks Out On Shooting

(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S. Attorney General has released a statement on the shooting of Mike Brown.  Eric Holder says this case deserves a "fulsome" review.  He says federal authorities will be working with local law enforcement to make sure their investigation is thorough and fair.  

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US sends food, water, other aid to Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is delivering more food, water and aid teams to try to help tens of thousands of people who've been forced from their homes in Iraq in the fresh wave of violence in the country's north. The U.S. Agency for International Development says the humanitarian aid mostly will go to members of an Iraqi religious minority group known as Yazidis, who've been trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq by Sunni militants.

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Fire burns over 3 California firefighters; all OK

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wildfire in Northern California could have become deadly as winds quickly shifted Monday. Authorities say three trapped firefighters had to deploy their fire shelters, but all three survived with no serious injuries. A fire spokesman says the firefighters had created a predetermined safety zone earlier in the day, but the flames burned over their location. The fire is burning near Klamath River.

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Preliminary Reports Show Officer's Bullets Killed Bank Customer

(Stockton, CA)  --  Stockton, California police are reporting the hostage killed in a violent bank robbery last month died of gunshot wounds inflicted by an officer's weapon.  Misty Holt-Singh was a customer when three armed men robbed the bank and took hostages before leading police on a high speed chase.  Preliminary reports indicated that Holt-Singh was struck about ten times and died at the scene. 

----------------------

Study: Keystone Pipeline Could Produce More Carbon Emissions

(Steele City, NE)  --  Building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline could mean more carbon emissions than the State Department is estimating.  A new study says the pipeline could produce four times more greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.  The Obama administration has been hesitant to approve the Keystone project because of concerns about carbon pollution. 

--------------------

Author Describes Bills Fans As "The Drunkest"

(Buffalo, NY)  --  The Buffalo Bills have the drunkest fans in football.  Sean MacDonald wrote the book "Ultimate Football Road Trip" which includes accounts of his trips to games at every stadium in the country.  In the book he says Ralph Wilson Stadium was a free-for-all, where too many fans got out of control. 

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Obama, Clinton to attend Martha's Vineyard party

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama will be spending some of his summer vacation with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The White House says Obama and his wife, Michelle, plan to see Clinton at a birthday party on Martha's Vineyard Wednesday for Ann Jordan. She's the wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan. Clinton is on the Massachusetts island for a memoir-signing session at a bookstore. The Obamas are in the midst of a two-week vacation. The Obama-Clinton get-together comes after the former secretary of state gave an interview presenting a contrasting vision for America's role in the world ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid.

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Son of woman with Ebola says she is getting better

UNDATED (AP) — The son of a North Carolina-based missionary says his mother is doing well as she's being treated for the Ebola virus in an Atlanta hospital. Jeremy Writebol told NBC's "Today" show in an interview broadcast Tuesday that Nancy Writebol's eyes are getting brighter and she's even joking a little. Jeremy Writebol said he had been concerned his mother might not make it when she was taken out of an ambulance at Emory University's hospital last week after being flown from Liberia. A second American, Dr. Kent Brantly, had been able to walk from the ambulance into the hospital. Writebol said doctors have said they expect her to recover, though they haven't elaborated. He also said he wouldn't be surprised if his parents want to return to Liberia after she recovers.

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Mayor: Woman dies after being stranded in floods

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit mayor says a woman has died in a vehicle that was stranded in about 3 feet of water after heavy rains caused widespread flooding in southeastern Michigan. Warren Mayor James Fouts told WWJ-AM Tuesday that the woman apparently died of cardiac arrest. It was not clear when she died. Numerous roads have been closed by flooding in the Detroit suburb where 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. Fouts says roughly 1,000 vehicles are abandoned in the city. The Associated Press left a message for Fouts, who has described the flooding as "overwhelming" and "catastrophic." A storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in southeastern Michigan overnight, making several roads and highways impassable. The state warned commuters against taking to the roads Tuesday morning in affected areas.

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NYC official calls for police body cameras

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City official wants to put body cameras on police officers as a check on misconduct. Public Advocate Letitia James on Monday called for a pilot program to put body-worn cameras on patrol officers in 15 percent of the city's precincts. She says she would like all patrol officers to eventually be outfitted with the cameras. James cited last month's death of Eric Garner after he was put in a police chokehold on Staten Island. Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered some patrol officers to wear the cameras in her 2013 stop-and-frisk ruling. But Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch says his union wants to see evidence of the cameras' effectiveness.

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INTERNATIONAL
Iraq: Maliki tells army to keep out of politics

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has ordered the security forces not to intervene in the current political crisis over who will be the next prime minister. In a statement issued on his official website, Nouri al-Maliki urged army, police and security forces to stay out of the political crisis and focus on defending the country. A day earlier, Haider al-Abadi, the deputy speaker of parliament from al-Maliki's Shiite Dawa party, was selected by President Fouad Massoum to be the new prime minister and was given 30 days to present a new government. Al-Maliki rejected the move and described it as a constitutional violation. Just before the announcement he ordered elite army units into the streets of Baghdad.

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Europe pledges help to northern Iraq

LONDON (AP) — Europe is stepping up support for thousands fleeing advancing Islamic militant forces in northern Iraq, pledging more air drops, aid money and non-lethal equipment to ease suffering and bolster fighters battling the Sunni insurgency. Britain and France dropped water, food and solar lamps to afflicted Yazidis sheltering on Mount Sinjar amid fears of a massive humanitarian catastrophe. Britain fast-tracked some 3 million pounds ($5 million) more to help aid groups in northern Iraq deal with the disaster. France plans a second delivery of humanitarian aid in the next two days and was pressing to arm outgunned Kurdish fighters. Germany said Tuesday it planned to send non-lethal equipment such as vehicles, night vision gear and bomb detectors, and said it might review its decision not to send arms.

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Iran voices support for new Iraqi PM designate

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian official has offered his congratulations to the Iraqi politician nominated to replace incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, suggesting key Iranian support for a new leader in Baghdad. The Tuesday report on the official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, congratulating the Iraqi people and their leaders for choosing Haider al-Abadi to be the new premier. Shamkhani is a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the council. He said Iran "supports the legal process for choosing the new Iraqi prime minister." Iran is a key powerbroker in neighboring Iraq and influential with many of the Shiite political parties. It previously supported incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, who is struggling to stay in power.

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UN: It's ethical to try untested Ebola medicines

UNDATED (AP) — The World Health Organization said it's ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the outbreak in West Africa provided the right conditions are met. The U.N. agency issued the statement Tuesday after holding a teleconference with experts Monday to discuss the issue. In the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola, two Americans have gotten an experimental Ebola treatment never tested in humans and two more treatments were reportedly on their way to treat two Liberia doctors. The developments have raised ethical questions about whether it's right to use untested treatments in people sickened by a disease that has no licensed treatment. WHO said Tuesday that people can ethically receive such treatments but sidestepped the questions of who should get the limited drugs and how that should be decided. Spain's Health Ministry has said the drug was also used on a Spanish missionary priest who was evacuated from Liberia last week. A hospital spokesman in Madrid says the priest died today.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Miami 6, St. Louis 5
Milwaukee 3, Chicago Cubs 1

Frontier League

Evansville 11, River City 0
Windy City 3, Gateway 0
Southern Illinois 7, Joliet 4

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Miami, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Southern Illinois at Rockford

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Navy SEAL trying out for Northwestern football

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A 32-year-old father of three who is an active Navy SEAL is trying to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team. Tom Hruby is a junior and wants to walk on as a defensive end. Hruby tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he's not doing anything "outstanding or amazing." Instead he sees it as "just more of a challenging route." Northwestern lists him as 6-3, 230 pounds. He has a dorm room at the school and visits his family on the weekends. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald calls Hruby "absolutely relentless, like you would suspect from a SEAL." Hruby works as a SEAL instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station. He saved up his leave so he could participate in the Wildcats' three-week training camp this month.

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News for Aug. 11, 2014

LOCAL
ISP District 19 Announces July Activity and Enforcement

Carmi, IL – Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today activity and enforcement figures for the month of July.  Troopers in District 19, which includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties, answered 283 calls for service and initiated 990 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 412 citations and 806 written warnings, including 139 speeding citations, 5 DUIs, 97 seatbelt citations, 3 child restraint citations, 250 written warnings for speeding, and 25 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 58 motorists, conducted 166 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 33 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal traffic crash, resulting in one fatality, investigated by District 19 during July. During the month, 269 citations and 369 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations.  These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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Ill. postal worker gets probation in theft case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A St. Louis woman has been sentenced to six months of home detention as part of five years of probation for opening and stealing packages while working as a supervisor at a southwestern Illinois post office. Forty-two-year-old Jane Johanna Emily, who's also known as Jane Moeller, pleaded guilty in April in East St. Louis to charges of obstruction of mail, theft of U.S. mail by a postal employee, and opening of mail. She was sentenced Friday. A federal indictment alleged Emily opened and stole mail packages she believed to contain drugs in March and April of last year while she was a customer-service supervisor at the East St. Louis post office. Emily had been free on bond.

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Man finds drunken trucker stopped on Illinois road

TROY, Ill. (AP) — State police are crediting a vigilant motorist with helping get a drunken driver off the road after the man pulled over to find out why a tractor trailer was stopped with its turn signal still blinking on a highway in southeastern Illinois. The (Belleville) News Democrat reports the motorist stopped Saturday when he spotted the vehicle on state Route 162 near Troy. Initially, he thought the driver might have had a medical emergency. But Illinois State Police spokesman Calvin Dye Jr. says the man noticed the driver's speech was slurred and called police. The trucker was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He was taken to Madison County Jail. Authorities were not releasing his name, pending arraignment. Dye praised the passerby, saying "he possibly saved somebody's life."

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Illinois to hold 3 town halls on medical marijuana

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials are planning three town hall meetings to answer questions about the application process for the state's new medical marijuana program. Officials announced this week that the first town hall meeting will be Thursday in the southern Illinois city of Collinsville. It starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Kenneth Hall State Regional Office Building. Meetings are set for Aug. 18 in Peoria and Aug. 20 in Chicago. Patients, their caregivers, growers and retailers all will be required to submit applications for state approval. The state posted application forms online Friday for patients and caregivers, while telling aspiring marijuana business owners that the application process for them would likely start Sept. 8. More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at the program's website.

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Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Check to be conducted

(DuQuoin), IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 13, will conduct a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) in Williamson County during (August, 2014), according to Acting Captain Brad Lacey. The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois.  Officers working this detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).   Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.

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West Frankfort Murder Suspect May Face Additional Charges

A man accused of killing his wife is now charged with plotting murders from his jail cell.  John Adams was arrested this past spring. He's accused of shooting and killing his wife 52-year-old Kendra Turner Adams at their West Frankfort home. Police Chief Shawn Talluto says they're investigating new allegations he's been trying to coordinate murders for hire and that Adams has already moved money over to the individual allegedly hired to do the killings. West Frankfort investigators say evidence suggests Adams was trying to hire someone to kill not one, not two, but five people, including unnamed family members and someone on the prosecution level of the case. Police are now working with the Franklin County State's Attorney to file charges, five counts of solicitation of murder for hire. Each carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.  Meanwhile, Adams is being held in isolation at the Franklin County Jail. His phone privileges and visitation have been cut dramatically.

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ROE 13 Gets Top Honors For Preschool Program

The Regional Superintendent, Keri Garrett, of the Regional Office of Education Number 13, announced that their “Preschool for All Programs” received top honors in a recent compliance visit from the Illinois State Board of Education.  They were evaluated on the learning environment, teaching quality, administrative standards, as well as staff training and education.  Programs achieve one of 4 Circle of Quality ratings and all of the preschool programs in District 13, which includes Washington, Clinton and Marion Counties, received the highest rating of gold.  This means their programs meet or go beyond the highest quality goals.

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STATE
Rauner Seen As Reform Candidate

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn has painted himself as a political reformer, but a new poll reveals Bruce Rauner may be taking that title.  A recent "Chicago Sun Times" poll conducted by We Ask America shows 47-percent of likely voters consider Rauner to be the reformer on the November ticket, compared to Quinn's 21-percent.  The poll also gives Rauner a 51-to-37 point lead over Quinn.  That's far different from other polls that have come up with Rauner up by less than five-percent.   

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Illinois governor to enact 'Sign and Drive'

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation ending the practice of posting a driver's license as security after certain types of traffic citations. Quinn's office made the announcement late Saturday evening. The Chicago Democrat says the measure will help Illinois motorists hold onto a vital piece of identification and also allow law enforcement officials to do their jobs. The legislation was sponsored by Democrats Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin and Rep. John D'Amico of Chicago. It eliminates posting a driver's license as bail for certain traffic offenses. Instead, it allows drivers to sign a citation as their guarantee that they will appear in court or pay a fine. The "Sign and Drive" legislation will take effect immediately with the governor's signature.

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Medical Marijuana Applications Now Available

(Springfield, IL)  --  People with chronic illnesses can start applying for the medical marijuana program.  State officials will start accepting applications from people whose last names begin with A through L on September 2nd.  Patients whose last names begin with M through Z can start submitting applications on November 1st.  The nine page applications are posted online at MCPP.Illinois.gov.  There is a 100-dollar annual application fee, but veterans or people on Social Security Disability Income will pay half of that.

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Law expands Gold Star plates to sons, daughters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the sons and daughters of fallen members of the U.S. armed forces to apply for special Gold Star license plates. The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Saturday in Rockford. He called the license plates "a small but constant reminder" of the service members' sacrifice. The legislation was sponsored by two Republicans: Rep. John M. Cabello of Machesney Park and Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford. Spouses, siblings and parents of fallen troops already may apply for Gold Star plates. The law expanding the plates to children takes effect Jan. 1. The Department of Defense issues Gold Star lapel pins as a symbol of honor to families of service members who die while engaged in action.

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Illinois attorney general: ban e-cigarette flavors

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging the federal government to strengthen its proposed regulations for electronic cigarettes to include a ban on the sale of flavored products. Madigan and 28 other state attorneys general submitted comments Friday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its proposed e-cigarette rules. The FDA proposal is the first step toward regulating the battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale vapor from a heated liquid nicotine solution. Madigan and the other attorneys general say flavored e-cigarettes attract children and teenagers to the products. They're urging the FDA to prohibit flavors other than tobacco and menthol. They also want the FDA to make e-cigarettes subject to the same advertising and marketing restrictions as tobacco products.

------------------------------

Fair races to go on after horse quarantine lifted

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Fair harness races will go on Monday after nearly three dozen horses were quarantined briefly over the weekend because of concerns they may have been exposed to a virus. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that officials lifted the quarantine Saturday, after the animals were cleared of having the equine herpes virus. The concern followed reports that a horse began exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus at Balmoral Park in Crete and had shared quarters with six other horses brought to Springfield. But a spokesman for the fair, Jeff Squibb, says tests conducted on the sick horse came back negative, making the "heightened biosecurity measures" no longer necessary. Squibb says there's no threat of the virus to humans.

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Dept. of Aging hosts senior activities at fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' Department of Aging is hosting a number of activities for seniors and their families at the State Fair in Springfield. The fair has declared Aug. 11 "Senior Day" with admission free for guests ages 60 and older. "Senior Day" activities include a "not so newlywed" game where couples test their knowledge of one another, senior spelling bee state finals and a grandparent-grandchild contest on Aug. 14. St. John's Hospital and the Lion's Club are also offering free health screenings for seniors. Seminars will also be held on emergency preparedness and understanding Medicare. The fair, a 10-day celebration of agriculture, runs through Aug. 17.

----------------------------

NATIONAL
Vandalism, looting after vigil for Missouri man

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man has turned to mayhem in suburban St. Louis as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police. That followed a candlelight gathering Sunday for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times after a scuffle involving the officer, Brown and another person in Ferguson. Authorities set up blockades, trying to keep people from the most looted areas. Mayor James Knowles told KTVI-TV police were having a hard time catching looters because crimes were happening at several locations. It wasn't immediately clear how many arrests were made or if there were injuries. A spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Executive said there was at least one instance of tear gas being used.

-----------------------------------

New Orleans shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) —Police in New Orleans say a drive-by shooting Sunday killed two people and wounded five others in the city's Lower 9th Ward. Police say killed were a man and an 18-year-old woman, and two of the wounded are ages 2 and 4. They're in critical condition. The Lower 9th ward was overwhelmed by Hurricane Katrina's floods in 2005 and has struggled with crime.

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Teen suspect in 6-year-old's death due in court

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 6-year-old Washington state girl is due in court today. Authorities have not released the name of the teen, who's accused of killing Jenise Wright. Her body was found last Thursday, days after she disappeared from her home in a mobile home park in Kitsap County.

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Probe: No sign of criminal intent in Stewart crash

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities have twice questioned NASCAR champion Tony Stewart about the Saturday crash that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. After getting into a collision at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York, Ward climbed out of his car and walked onto the track, gesturing at Stewart, who triggered the wreck with a bump. Stewart's car hit him. Authorities describe Stewart as "visibly shaken" and they say there's no evidence to support criminal intent.

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Lightning sparks new fires in California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lightning has sparked nine wildfires in the northeastern corner of California, and a stubborn blaze to the west in Mendocino County continues to challenge crews. Fire officials say the new fires in Lassen, Modoc and Shasta counties are not threatening any structures, but crews are trying to contain them so they can focus on the large wildfires. A wildfire sparked by lightning July 30 has burned 13 ½ square miles of dry brush and timber in Mendocino County.

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24 People Rescued Off Stuck Roller Coaster

(Upper Marlboro, MD)  --  It appears no one was injured when two dozen people had to be rescued from a stuck roller coaster at a theme park in suburban Maryland.  Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor says the riders were given water, umbrellas and sunscreen to help with the sun beating down on them Sunday.  The riders were stuck on the Joker's Jinx roller coaster at Six Flags America for about five hours.  

----------------------

NCAA President Plans To Appeal Student Pay

(Undated)  --  The NCAA plans to appeal sections of a federal judge's ruling to allow student athletes to be paid.  The sweeping college sports ruling is raising debates about anti-trust violations.  Speaking on ABC's "This Week," NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert says there is a lot in the decision he disagrees with, but the NCAA's legal team doesn't believe the current rules violate any anti-trust laws. 

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Americans Concerned About Privacy In Technological Age

(New York, NY)  --  Almost nine in ten Americans are worried about their personal information falling into the wrong hands.  Nearly 90-percent of people surveyed in a Harris Poll say they believe cyber-criminals are a significant threat to their privacy.  Three-quarters also see a danger from social networking sites, while 68-percent aren't convinced government agencies can adequately protect information that should remain confidential.  

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Judges extends temporary halt to Ohio executions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has extended a months-long moratorium on executions in Ohio as debate over the state's new two-drug combination continues. The moratorium was to end this week. The new order extends it through Jan. 15. That will delay executions scheduled for September, October and November and highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death. The one-page order by Columbus federal judge Gregory Frost issued Friday affects the state's latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April and increases the amount of the sedative and painkiller Ohio uses. On Jan. 16, an Ohio inmate repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die, and an Arizona inmate who took nearly two hours to die July 23.

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Rescue launched for boat caught in Hurricane Julio

HONOLULU (AP) — A container ship has reached a sailboat stranded in waters roiled by Hurricane Julio off the Hawaii coast. Operations Specialist Andrew Lincoln said Monday that crews are waiting until dawn to evacuate the three people on board the stricken sailboat. He says doing so in the dark, in the midst of rough weather, would be too dangerous. Lincoln says Julio has passed, but it has left behind strong winds and 15-foot swells. The Coast Guard says the sailors aboard the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout sent a message around 7 a.m. Saturday requesting help after the boat became disabled and took on water. The container ship Manukai reached them around 10 p.m. that night.

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Barneys to pay $525K in NY shopper-profiling probe

NEW YORK (AP) — The upscale retailer Barneys has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle allegations of racial profiling at its flagship New York City department store. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the agreement Monday. It comes after several customers complained last year that they were singled out as suspected shoplifters because they were minorities. Schneiderman says Barney's also will hire an "anti-profiling consultant" for two years, update its detention policy and improve training of security and sales personnel. CEO Mark Lee tells the Daily News that Barneys is pleased with the settlement. The newspaper first reported the agreement. Lee says Barneys prides itself on providing unparalleled service for all customers and doesn't tolerate discrimination. In December, Barney's and several other major retailers agreed to create and publicize a customer bill of rights.

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INTERNATIONAL
Israeli-Palestinian talks resuming

CAIRO (AP) — A new 72-hour cease-fire is allowing for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce between Israelis and Hamas in Gaza, and Israel says the break in fighting has been holding today. The lull in the violence is allowing Palestinians to leave their homes and shelters, and there have been long lines at ATMs. The war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.

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US arming Kurds in northern Iraq

SYDNEY (AP) — The U.S. is providing arms to Iraqi Kurds, who are starting to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq. A senior State Department official will only say that the Kurds are "getting arms from various sources. They are being rearmed."

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Iraq political bloc picks PM aside from al-Maliki

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new president has charged the deputy speaker of parliament Haider al-Ibadi with forming a new government in the next 30 days. Fouad Massoum said on television Monday that he hoped al-Ibadi would succeed in forming a government that would "protect the Iraqi people." The president's choice is a very public snubbing of incumbent Prime Minister Nouri el-Maliki who in an angry midnight speech all but demanded he be re-nominated for a third term. Maliki has deployed his elite security forces in the streets of Baghdad, partially closed two main streets — popular spots for pro and anti-government rallies — as hundreds of his supporters took to the streets.

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Islamic militants crush tribal uprising in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Islamic militants have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule in eastern Syria following days of clashes. The armed revolt by the Shueitat tribe in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour was the first sign of local resistance to the Islamic State group since its fighters swept into the province. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Turkey-based activist Thaer ak-Deiri said Monday that Islamic State group fighters regained control of three villages of the Shueitat tribe. Fighting between the two sides erupted July 30 and for a time the tribesmen managed to evict the Islamic State group fighters from their villages. The extremist group has taken over much of northern and eastern Syria as well as western and northern Iraq.

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Dutch push plane inquiry despite lack of access

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Safety Board says it will push ahead with an investigation into the cause of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster, despite not being able to access the site where the plane went down in eastern Ukraine. Flight 17 was shot down July 17 above an area held by pro-Russia separatist rebels, killing all 298 aboard. The board said Monday it is also investigating whether flight routes over the area should have been left open to civilian air traffic. However, it won't "assign blame or responsibility" in its conclusions. The board says it expects to release a preliminary report in several weeks containing information from the plane's cockpit voice recorder, radar analysis and satellite photos. The multinational investigation has now shifted its headquarters from Ukraine to The Hague, Netherlands.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Baltimore 10, St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 4, Chicago Cubs 0
Chicago White Sox 2, Seattle 1

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 13, Joliet 7
Evansville 10, River City 4
Gateway 4, Windy City 1

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 8, Baltimore 3
Chicago Cubs 3, Tampa Bay 2
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 2

Frontier League

Joliet 8, Southern Illinois 3
River City 11, Evansville 4
Windy City 17, Gateway 4

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Miami 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway
Southern Illinois at Joliet

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Coach wants Illinois to reach bowl game in 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' veteran players and coach are beginning the season outlining hopes for reaching a bowl game this season. Michael Heitz is a senior offensive lineman. He reminisced during Illinois' media day Sunday about the team's 20-14 win against UCLA in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. But the (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Heitz is one on the few left on the roster to have such a memory. Of 13 Big Ten schools eligible for bowl games in 2012 and 2013, Illinois is one of two teams that haven't played in postseason games. Coach Tim Beckman says the experience will "reward the players for the heart they've given us."

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High School Football Practice Begins Today

IHSA Football Season officially begins today as it is the first day of the practice season. The games start Friday August 29th with Centralia hosting the Salem Wildcats and Mt. Vernon entertaining the Taylorville Tornadoes.

------------------------------------

Cubs Acquire Turner

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs acquired right-hander Jacob Turner from the Miami Marlins on Friday in exchange for minor league right-handers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer. The 23-year-old Turner was designated for assignment by the Marlins last week. Turner is 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 20 games this season, and manager Rick Renteria said the right-hander's role would be determined after consulting with pitching coach Chris Bosio. Turner was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the first round (No. 9 overall) of the 2009 draft and traded to the Marlins in 2012 as part of the deal that sent Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers.

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Bears waive OL Graham Pocic,Reinstate Tight End Bennett

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears waived offensive lineman Graham Pocic and signed center-guard Rob Turner on Sunday. The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Turner started 24 games and played in 63 over seven seasons with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. He started in six games for Tennessee last season. Pocic, a Lemont, Illinois native, was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent last season out of Illinois. The Bears had signed him at the end of July. Meanwhile, Tight end Martellus Bennett is back with the Bears.  His suspension was lifted by the team after five days.  He was fined and out of action due to an altercation with cornerback Kyle Fuller.  Bennett missed two practice sessions and Friday's preseason opener.  Meanwhile, the Bears battle the Jaguars Thursday.

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Allmendinger Wins At The Glen

(Watkins Glen, NY)  --  AJ Allmendinger outlasted the field despite a near hour-and-a-half red flag delay in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen.  It's his first-ever Sprint Cup Series victory.  The 32-year-old led 30 of the 90 laps.  Marcos Ambrose finished second while Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.  There was a one-hour and 21-minute delay due to a wreck on Lap 57 involving Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell.  Tony Stewart's replacement, Regan Smith, ended 37th.  Stewart pulled out of the race after a fatal accident on Saturday that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Junior.

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McIlroy Wins PGA Championship


(Louisville, KY)  --  Rory McIlroy overcame a rough start of two bogeys on the front nine and darkness on 18 to close out the 96th PGA Championship from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.  He ended 16-under-par for the tournament with a minus-three in the fourth round.  It's his second straight major win and the fourth of his career.  Phil Mickelson shot a five-under on Sunday to finish one stroke back at minus-15.  Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler tied for third at 14-under.

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News for Aug. 8, 2014

LOCAL
Accident This Morning On I-64

There was an accident westbound on I-64 between Nashville and Okawville that had traffic shut down.  Motorists were being diverted to New Minden to then go west to Okawville, where they could get back on the interstate.  ISP tended to the scene.

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Harrisburg mayor dies of cancer

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — The mayor of the city of Harrisburg in southern Illinois has died of brain cancer. Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg says Ron Crank died Thursday at his home after a year-long bout with brain cancer. Crank was 65. A funeral will be early next week. Crank had been a Harrisburg police officer and Saline County sheriff's deputy. He served on Harrisburg's city council for three years before he was named mayor last year. Visitation for Crank will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Harrisburg.

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Dad Of Missing Girl Arrested

(Fairfield, IL)  --  The father of a missing Fairfield teen is behind bars for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender.  Officials say they've been looking for Megan Nichols since July 3rd.  During their investigations they discovered that her dad, John David Nichols, was convicted of sexual abuse in Wayne County back in 1998.  But, he allegedly hasn't registered since 1999.  They found him in Tulsa, Oklahoma and arrested him on an outstanding warrant.  Police interviewed John Nichols and determined that he doesn't know where his daughter is. 

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Family Of Dead SIU Student Files Lawsuit

(Carbondale, IL) -- More details are being released about the death of a 19-year-old SIU Carbondale student. An attorney for Pravin Varughese's family says they have proof that he was beaten before he died. They say an independent autopsy determined he suffered from blunt force trauma and he had defensive wounds on his arms. That contradicts the official coroner's report, which ruled Varughese had frozen to death on a cold February night. He was found in a wooded area five days after he vanished from an off-campus party. Witnesses said he'd gotten into a vehicle with someone he didn't know very well. The family has filed a lawsuit against the man who was driving that vehicle. And, they're claiming the city of Carbondale and the chief of police were negligent in the way they handled the case.

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Missing Rural Altamont Child Located

Effingham, IL - Illinois State Police (ISP) District 12 today confirmed a missing three year old child was located in a cornfield in rural Altamont.  The child was safely reunited with her family after being missing for approximately 3 hours. Illinois State Police Air Operations was called to the scene to assist ground search crews in locating the child.  Search efforts were complicated by dense vegetation and rainfall.  “We are grateful to all the people who volunteered their time and efforts to help search for the missing child,” stated ISP District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge.  “The outpouring of public support and tireless efforts of emergency workers brought this search to a successful conclusion,” he added.  In addition to neighbors and other members of the community, the Altamont Police Department, Altamont Fire Department, Effingham County Sheriff’s Department, Effingham City Police Department Effingham County Fire Department, Tri County Fire Department, Watson Fire Department, Effingham Fire Department, St. Elmo Fire Department, Edgewood Fire Department, Effingham County Search and Rescue, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Illinois Department of Conservation,  Illinois State Police District 12, and Illinois State Police Air Operations worked together to return the three year old safely to her home.   

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Troy Woman Busted For Faking Cancer

(Troy, IL)  --  It's the second time in two months that police in the Metro East are dealing with people who faked having cancer to get money.  Police in Troy say 25-year-old Melissa Barton told people that she and her son both had cancer.  She allegedly used websites like YouCaring.com and WePay.com to plead her case and collect cash.  Police aren't sure how much Barton raised but they say it's more than 500-bucks, which enough to charge her with felony theft.  Barton is being held in the Madison County Jail on a 50-thousand-dollar bond.  A Belleville woman was busted back in June after apparently engaging in a similar scheme.

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Herrin Horse Sculpture Owner Offering Reward For Return

The owner of a horse sculpture that was recently stolen in Herrin is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who may have been responsible for taking it from her yard. Jan McVicker told the Southern Illinoisan she believed the theft was intentional and destructive and questioned why someone would take it. The sculpture was last seen on July 28 and police are following up on a couple of leads in the case. Anyone with information about the theft should call Herrin Police.

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United Methodist Children’s Home Awarded $1.1 Million YouthBuild Grant

MT. VERNON – U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart (IL-12) announced Thursday the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon has been awarded a $1.1 million YouthBuild Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. “United Methodist Children’s Home offers a vital array of services for families and young people in Southern Illinois,” noted Enyart.  “This award will allow them to focus on at risk youth by providing them the training, guidance and support to prepare them for successful employment.”  YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to youth ages 16 to 24 who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones.

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CDC: St. Clair County Most Obese In Illinois

(St. Clair County, IL) -- The Metro East is home to some of Illinois' fattest people. A report from the CDC found St. Clair County to be the most obese in the state. An analysis of statewide body-fat index revealed 40-percent of adults in St. Clair County were classified as obese. The "Belleville New-Democrat" notes the report comes at the same time the county is getting cuts to federal grants for promoting healthy eating and living.

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STATE
Russian Ag Import Ban Won't Hurt Illinois Farmers


(Springfield, IL) -- Russia is banning all American agricultural products from coming in to their country, so how will that impact Illinois? Ag Spokesman Jeff Squibb says Illinois sold 33-million-dollars-worth of products to Russia last year, but that's less than one-percent of the state's total exports. According to the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois sends out some corn and soybeans to Russia but the exports are typically low because they don't accept certain GMO varieties of U.S. corn.

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New U of I union will have to wait on raises

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Some members of a new union for faculty members who aren't on tenure tracks at the University of Illinois will have to wait to get raises that had already been offered. The university this week told the new Campus Faculty Association that salary increases planned for the upcoming academic year can't be given to some "specialized faculty" because the union doesn't have a labor deal. The new union was certified by the state on July 8. It isn't clear how many of the union's 473 members will be affected. According to The News-Gazette, the provost's office also says it is appealing the state's decision to certify the union. Faculty members who formed the union said they were seeking better pay and multi-year contracts.

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Consumer spending bounced back fast in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Just a year after they had seen the worst of the Great Recession, Illinois consumers were spending more than they were before the economic downturn. New federal data show that the average Illinois resident's consumer spending has also grown faster than the average American consumer since that 2009 low. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday show spending by the average Illinois consumer increased 11.3 percent between 2009 and 2012. That's ahead of the country's 10.7 percent growth. People in Illinois spent, on average, $36,292 each on consumer goods in 2012. The average for all Americans was $35,498. The largest expenses were for health care and housing and utilities. Each of those two cost more than $6,000 per person in Illinois.

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Illinois collected $1.4 billion in child support

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois agency says it has collected more than $1.4 billion in child support for the first time in state history. In a news release, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services also announced the fiscal year that ended in June was the tenth straight year that more than $1 billion was collected. The IDHFS says most of the child support is collected through income withholding. But it employs other methods, such as "freezing and seizing" bank accounts. It also notifies professional and occupational licensing agencies to suspend or revoke licenses of a parent until child support is paid. It evens asks the Department of Natural Resources to deny hunting and fishing licenses to non-compliant parents. The agency says parents can sign up for full enforcement services at: http://childsupportillinois.com/customers/apply.html.

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New vaccine requirements for Illinois students

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health officials are reminding Illinois parents about required vaccinations and eye exams for school children. Illinois requires students enrolling in school to be up-to-date on immunizations. Students enrolling in kindergarten for the first time in an Illinois school must have an eye exam by a licensed optometrist or a medical doctor. Illinois has made a few changes in vaccination requirements. Students must show proof of having received two doses each — instead of one — of rubella and mumps vaccines. Children entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time must show that they've had two doses of the varicella — or chicken pox — vaccine. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says the new requirements follow two separate outbreaks of mumps in the state.

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I-Cash Has Successful Month

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford released I-Cash numbers that show the program returned 43 percent more money to rightful owners in July of 2014 versus July of 2013.  I-Cash is the unclaimed property program of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and has more than $2.1 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years.  The cash comes from inactive bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance policies, paychecks and more. “By returning more than $16 million in July alone, and nearly $87.5 million already this calendar year, I-Cash is putting more money in people’s wallets,” said Treasurer Rutherford.  Thus far the office has approved 39,248 claims in 2014.  Checking the I-Cash website often is the key to finding unclaimed cash or assets.  The database is updated every Sunday morning with hundreds of thousands of newly-reported properties added each year.  The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division’s costs, including staff, computers and travel, are paid for through the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, and not by tax dollars.  Visit the Illinois State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and click on the I-Cash link to search for unclaimed property. 

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American Idol Auditions At State Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  American Idol auditions are being held at the Illinois State Fair this weekend.  Anyone between the ages of 15 and 28 can take a shot at making it big.  The celebrity judges won't be there though.  Officials say the show producers will screen talent and determine if they're eligible to move on to the next round of auditions, which will be held in another city.  Auditions are tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. outside the carnival entrance.

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NATIONAL
3-day truce ends

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right after a three-day truce expired today between Israel and Hamas militants, cross-border attacks resumed. Militants from Gaza fired first, launching 21 rockets toward Israel. In Gaza, police say Israel launched 10 airstrikes, wounding seven people. It's not clear if the resumption of strikes will derail peace negotiations in Cairo.

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Hurricane Iselle Weakens To Tropical Storm Status

(Honolulu, HI)  --  Hawaii is now dealing with tropical storm conditions after Hurricane Iselle weakened as it made landfall.  Meteorologist Gary Best says Iselle is hitting the islands with heavy rain and strong winds.  Hurricane Julio will follow Iselle but isn't forecast to affect the Hawaiian Islands until early next week. 

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Obama interrupting summer vacation with trip to DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is doing something unusual with his summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard. He'll return to Washington midway through the two-week getaway to attend "in-person meetings" with White House staff before heading back to the island. Obama's spokesman says the meetings aren't related to any "emerging situation," but he declines to say who the president will be meeting with or what the meetings are about. Aides long have argued that Obama is president at all times and can do the job from wherever he is. Obama is scheduled to arrive on the Massachusetts island on Saturday and return to Washington a week later, on Sunday, Aug. 17. After the meetings, Obama is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard on Aug. 19 for the remaining five days of the vacation.

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Formal ID to be done on body believed to be 6 year old

SEATTLE (AP) — A formal identification is expected today on a body found Thursday in woods in Kitsap County, Washington state. But authorities believe it's the body of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, who was last seen in her home Saturday night before she went to bed. The girl's parents waited a day before notifying police because they say their daughter had wandered around their mobile home park before.

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Evacuated after Oregon fire, some residents return

UNDATED (AP) — Oregon resident Connie Thomasian says "It is a huge relief" to find her home in Rowena still standing after a wildfire got as close as 30 feet to some houses. Hundreds of people forced to flee the wind-driven blaze in Oregon's Columbia Gorge have been allowed to return home. The Rowena fire started Tuesday evening in brush, and by Thursday, it had grown to 4.1 square miles.

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Jury rejects self-defense in porch shooting death

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man has been ordered to jail while awaiting his sentencing in the porch-shooting death of an unarmed young woman. The jury yesterday rejected Theodore Wafer's claim that he acted in self-defense when he shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was banging on his front door last November after crashing her car. The 55-year-old Dearborn Heights man faces up to life in prison when he returns to court August 25.

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Rep. DesJarlais holds on in Tenn. despite scandals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Scandal-plagued Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais (day-zhar-LAY') defied expectations of a blowout defeat in his bid for a another term, instead emerging from the Republican primary with a razor-thin margin that left the race too close to call. With all precincts reporting, DesJarlais and challenger Jim Tracy were separated by a 33-vote margin, illustrating the willingness of the incumbent's tea party base to overlook his personal problems that included once urging a mistress to seek an abortion. The final result of Thursday's election may drag out until the end the month. In the other high-profile Tennessee primary contest, Republican Lamar Alexander became the latest U.S. senator to fend off a tea party challenge, defeating a state representative who had used a familiar tactic in trying to cast him as an out of touch insider.

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Medical Debt Could Raise FICO Credit Score

(Undated)  --  People with heavy medical debts could see their credit scores go up.  The nation's top credit score provider, FICO, is coming out with a new scoring model that doesn't penalize people for medical debts.  FICO says people who have only unpaid medical debts on their credit reports will see their score go up by about 25 points.

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More charges coming, after mother of 3 kids killed in Pa. carjacking dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors say two men will face more charges following the death of the mother of three children killed when a sport utility vehicle that police said was carjacked crashed into a group on a north Philadelphia corner last month. The Philadelphia district attorney's office said an additional murder charge will be filed against 23-year-old Cornelius Crawford and 19-year-old Johnathan Rosa following the death of 34-year-old Keisha Williams on Thursday night at Temple University Hospital. Both were charged earlier with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault in the July 25 crash that killed 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrance Moore as they were selling fruit for a church fundraiser. Authorities allege that the defendants carjacked a real estate agent after a house showing, then plowed into the group at an intersection about a mile away.

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Victoria Jackson loses bid for Tenn. county seat

THOMPSON STATION, Tenn. (AP) — Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Victoria Jackson has lost her bid as an independent candidate for a seat on a county commission in Tennessee. Jackson, who calls herself a tea party conservative, moved to Thompson Station last year and said she filed as an independent to run for the Williamson County Commission because she's "very disappointed with the Republican Party." The Tennessean reports Jackson received 632 votes. Two others received more votes: Judy Lynch Herbert with 1,422 and Betsy Hester with 1,380. The County Commission has two commissioners in each of its 12 districts. Jackson had made appearances at multiple political events in Middle Tennessee since making her home there.

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Army Ends Questioning Of Former Prisoner Bergdahl

(San Antonio, TX)  --  The Army is done questioning Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl about his capture by Taliban militants in Afghanistan.  It's now up to Major General Kenneth Dahl to decide if the soldier from Idaho will face charges over the events that led to his capture in 2009.  Some of Bergdahl's fellow soldiers have accused him of deserting his post.  

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INTERNATIONAL
US launches first airstrikes in Iraq

UNDATED (AP) — The Pentagon says two U.S. fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq towing artillery outside Irbil near U.S. personnel. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. President Barack Obama authorized such airstrikes Thursday when the Islamic state militant group advanced on Irbil, in northeastern Iraq, where U.S. military trainers are stationed.

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Hagel: US has intel to target, hit Iraq militants

NEW DELHI (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. military has enough intelligence to clearly single out Islamic militants and launch effective airstrikes if they threaten U.S. interests or the thousands of refugees who fled to a mountaintop. Hagel also says that more than 60 of 72 bundles of food and water airdropped onto the mountain reached the Iraqi religious minorities stranded there. A day after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes and humanitarian aid in northern Iraq, the military says it has the assets and resources in place to launch strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft based in the region. Hagel says no airstrikes have been launched, and the Iraqis have not requested additional humanitarian aid. He says top U.S. leaders will meet later to assess the situation.

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Afghan candidates agree to end election dispute

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's feuding presidential candidates have agreed to resolve their election dispute and say they will set the inauguration before the end of August. The breakthrough comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened a second day of talks in Afghanistan on Friday aimed at preventing the fragile country from collapsing into political chaos after disputed elections. Kerry paid a courtesy call on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and met later with the two men, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. They've been locked in a bitter dispute over who will succeed Karzai. Abdullah calls the agreement a -- quote -- "step forward in the interests of strengthening national unity ... and bringing hope to the people for the future of Afghanistan."

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Dutch experts identify 23 Ukraine plane victims

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch-led forensic team working on the remains of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says it has identified 23 victims so far. Justice Ministry spokesman Jean Fransman said those include 18 Dutch, two Malaysians, a Canadian, a German and a Briton. All their families have been notified, the ministry said Friday. Flight 17 was shot down last month over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard. Pro-Russian rebels have publicly denied downing the plane but one top rebel has told The Associated Press that the insurgents were involved. In all, 228 coffins have been brought to the Netherlands but it's not known how many victims that represents. The forensic experts at a military base in Hilversum are using DNA samples and dental records in a process expected to take months.

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McCain: Time to ease arms sales ban on Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Sen. John McCain says it's time for the United States to ease restrictions on arms sales to Vietnam, citing progress the communist country has made on human rights. McCain told reporters in Hanoi on Friday that he hopes the easing could begin as early as next month. The sales would be limited to arms with defensive capabilities. The Republican and Vietnam War veteran said the easing of arms sales restrictions has nothing to do with recent Chinese placement of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China Sea. Closer military ties between Vietnam and the United States could anger China, which has been more assertive on its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 2
St. Louis 5, Boston 2
Seattle 13, Chicago White Sox 3

Frontier League

Joliet 3, Evansville 1
Evansville 7, Joliet 5
Southern Illinois 4, Windy City 2
Normal at Gateway (ppd. to 8/8, 8/12)

NFL

NY Jets 13, Indianapolis 10

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 3:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Joliet at Evansville
Windy City at Southern Illinois

NFL

Philadelphia at Chicago, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at St. Louis, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 3:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Baltimore, 3:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 8:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Joliet
River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Baltimore, 12:35 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 11:39 a.m.)
Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Joliet
River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway

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Illini May Allow More Benefits For Student-Athletes

(Champaign, IL) -- The Fighting Illini may soon be able to provide more benefits for its student athletes. The NCAA is allowing the Big-10 and the other four power conferences to make some of their own rules for what the organization is calling "the full cost of attending school." The proposal can be nullified if at least 75 schools outside the five power conferences are against it.

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Illinois appeals court rules against Bears on tax

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois appeals court says the Chicago Bears owe $4.1 million to Cook County in amusement taxes plus interest. A three-judge panel at the 1st District Appellate Court posted its ruling Thursday on the dispute between the football team and the county. Cook County has been seeking the tax payment from the Bears since 2007. Bears lawyers had argued the 3 percent amusement tax should only apply to admission-related fees and not to premium-seat extras, such as the cost of food, drinks and parking. In its 2-1 decision, the judicial panel disagreed. And it ruled the Bears should have paid taxes on the full, face-value of the tickets.

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NCAA structure moves closer to big changes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Board of Directors has overwhelmingly approved a package of historic reforms that will give the nation's five biggest conferences the ability to unilaterally change some of the basic rules governing college sports. If the 16-2 decision stands, there will be striking differences between the 65 largest schools and the more than 280 others in Division I beginning as early as Oct. 1, though few expect change to come that quickly. Representatives the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC will hold nearly twice as much voting power as any other group on a newly created council, where most legislation will be approved or rejected. The legislation still could be overridden in the next 60 days.

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News for Aug. 7, 2014

LOCAL
Body Found In Car Could Be Man Missing Since 2008

(Alton, IL) -- Police aren't jumping to any conclusions about who the dead man found in a car parked in Alton might be. A little girl discovered the body wrapped in a rug when she looked through the window of a car neighbors said had been sitting in a carport of an abandoned home for years. There is speculation it may be Michael Womack, an Alton man who vanished in March of 2008. The body has been turned over to coroners who haven't said how long it might take to identify him.

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Man Guilty Of Setting Fire That Killed Four Children

(Percy, IL)  --  A Southwest Illinois man has been found guilty of setting the fire that killed four young children in Percy Illinois last year.  Derrick Twardoski was convicted of first-degree murder yesterday.  The 34-year-old admitted to setting a house fire in May of 2013, that took the lives of 12-year old Ethan Owen, nine-year-old Kailey Owen, and five-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen.  A sentencing hearing is set for early October. Twardoski faces up 60-years in prison.

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Woman Accused Of Stealing Money From Dead Husband's Charity

(Belleville, IL)  --  A Belleville woman has been indicted on charges she allegedly stole money from a charity in the name of her dead husband.  The U.S. Attorney's offices says 53-year-old Pam Robtoy is accused of embezzling money from the third annual John Perry Gold Benefit in October of 2013.  Perry, who was a U.S. Deputy Marshal, was killed while serving a warrant in early 2011.  Robtoy faces multiple charges and if found guilty could serve 45-years in prison.

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Saline County Accident Fatal

According to the preliminary traffic crash investigation, the driver of the 2014 Freightliner truck tractor/semi-trailer, 41 year old James N. Certain, of Equality, was southbound on Illinois Route 34, approximately a 1/4 mile south of Womble Road in Saline County, when he observed animals on both sides of the roadway. Certain, attempting to avoid one of the animals, drove his vehicle into the northbound lane of Illinois Route 34.  The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica, driven by 61 year old Cheryl R. Shaffer, of Rosiclaire, was northbound on Illinois Route 34 and seeing the truck tractor driving in the northbound lane, moved into the southbound lane to avoid crash.  However, as Shaffer drove into the southbound lane, Certain also returned to the southbound lane, where both vehicles collided. Shaffer was pronounced deceased at the traffic crash scene by the Saline County Coroner’s Office. Certain did not receive any injuries as a result of the crash.  Vernell’s Towing of Marion, Illinois, removed the Freightliner truck tractor/semi-trailer, while Bishop’s Towing of Harrisburg, Illinois, removed the Chrysler Pacifica from the crash scene. An ISP Crash Reconstruction Officer (C.R.O.) and an ISP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer (C.V.E.O.) have been assigned to the crash investigation.  In addition, ISP District 19 was assisted at the crash scene by the Saline County Sheriff’s Department, Saline County EMS, Saline County Coroner’s Office, Carrier Mills Fire Department, and Illinois Department of Transportation (I.D.O.T.). Certain was cited for Improper Lane Usage.

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Durbin, Quinn ask Amtrak to consider adding trains

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' top two Democrats are asking Amtrak to study the feasibility of adding trains along the Chicago-to-Carbondale route. Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin sent a letter Wednesday to Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. It says Amtrak ridership in Illinois grew almost 85 percent between 2006 and 2013. Quinn and Durbin say ridership on the Chicago-to-Carbondale route grew 117 percent during the same period. That route includes stops in Champaign and several other cities. They say: "To facilitate continued growth in passenger rail, we need to increase the number of opportunities available to riders." A formal Amtrak study is the first step in a request to add trains.

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Mt. Vernon Man Charged For Meth Related Felonies

A 33-year-old Mt. Vernon man has been charged in Jefferson County Court with multiple methamphetamine related felonies. Marshall E. Fields was charged Wednesday morning with Class 1 manufacture of less than 15 grams of meth and Class 3 Felony possession of less than 5 grams of meth, as well as Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass to a residence. Fields, a registered sexual predator, has an extensive criminal background, with criminal felonies dating back to 2001, when he was sentenced in Jefferson County Court to 5 years each in prison for four separate cases that included two meth related convictions, a theft conviction and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The sentences were served concurrently. Shortly after his release from prison, Fields was convicted and sentenced in 2008 to 3-years in the department of corrections on a felony violation of the sex offender registry, and in 2009 was sentenced to another 3-years in prison for failure to report a change of address or employer to the registry. Most recently he was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections in December, after completing a 2-year sentence on a 2012 felony conviction for aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm. Fields remains in custody of the Jefferson County Jail.

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Germantown Spassfest Is Coming

You don't want to miss the 47th annual Germantown Spassfest coming Friday, August 15th and running through Sunday, August 17 in Germantown. Grounds open at 4 p.m. the 15th with food, concessions, beverages and amusement rides. The bags tournament kicks off at 7 p.m., and touts 100 percent payout and just for kids, the Kinder Korner is open from 4 until 10 p.m. The third annual beer “brew off” takes place from 3 until 8 p.m. Saturday, and polka mass will be held at 4 p.m. in St. Boniface Church. The fest parade starts at 6 p.m., with the theme “German Over Time,” with cash prizes awarded to the top three theme floats. A washer tournament Saturday also touts 100 percent payout. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon Sunday, with drawings held at noon. This year's grand prize is a 2006 Jeep Wrangler, or $12,000 cash. Parking and admission for the weekend are free. Food and beverages include traditional bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, and funnel cakes.

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West City Interested In Enterprise Zoning

The village of West City is interesting in being a part of the proposed new enterprise zone. During Monday's West City village board meeting, Mayor Charles Cockrum presented the idea of being a part of this new enterprise zone to board members. He says with the exception of a few areas, all of West City will be included in the zone. The village board agreed to tentatively approve the measure and move forward. Cockrum says they are waiting to hear more from the Enterprise Zone board and added that they want what?s best for  Franklin County.

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STATE
Quinn signs payroll card legislation backed by AG


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has taken action on two legislative proposals, both aimed at helping consumers avoid additional fees. The Chicago Democrat signed a bill Wednesday giving workers paid with so-called payroll cards other payment options. Workers with payroll cards can withdraw salaries from ATMs. However, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office received complaints about extra fees that were cutting into workers' salaries. The law says employers have to give workers other payment choices. It takes effect January 2015. Quinn has also used amendatory veto power on a bill designed to cut fees on bills for medical lab work. Opponents say it's not fair. Bill sponsors say they're reviewing changes.

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Sponsors review Quinn changes to medical proposal

CHICAGO (AP) — Lawmakers backing a plan aimed at curbing additional fees on medical bills are reviewing Gov. Pat Quinn's changes and questioning his use of amendatory veto power. It's the first time Quinn has used that power this year. Lawmakers need a three-fifths vote to override. The legislation addresses some types of lab work, requiring ordering physicians to disclose details about services and fees. But opponents say the legislation doesn't fairly address pathologist fees. The Illinois Dermatological Society claims lawmakers were misled and opposes the bill even after Quinn's changes. Among other things, Quinn proposes giving regulators authority to revoke a physician's license for bill markup. Sponsor Democratic Sen. William Haine says lawmakers could've addressed changes in other ways. Quinn said Wednesday that he's improved the bill.

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FBI director says corruption, crime Illinois focus

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — FBI Director James Comey said in a visit to Springfield that stopping violent crime and public corruption are priorities in the region. Comey visited Springfield on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement officers from across Illinois. The State Journal-Register reports it was one of a series of visits Comey is making nationwide. In Springfield Comey met with about 80 police chiefs, sheriffs, state police leaders, federal officers and others. Last month Comey named Sean Cox as the new special agent in charge of the Springfield division. Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow visited with the director and said it was a positive meeting.

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U of I suspends Sierra Leone programs over Ebola

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has suspended study-abroad programs in Sierra Leone and plans extra screening for students arriving from West Africa in response to the outbreak of Ebola. Martin McFarlane is associate director of International Student and Scholar Services at the Urbana-Champaign campus. He told The News-Gazette that only a handful of the 3,500 new international students expected on campus this fall are from the area affected by the Ebola outbreak. Dr. Robert Palinkas of the campus' McKinley Health Center said health care workers screen all new international students. But West African students will go through an additional interview and educational process. The university has programs for students in Sierra Leone that will be suspended this fall. No students were studying in West Africa this summer.

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Illinois Medical Care Facilities Cost Millions

(Springfield, IL) -- The cost of treating and housing mentally ill prisoners in Illinois is going up. State documents show taxpayers in the state will be paying almost 18-million-dollars to convert existing prison space into mental care facilities. "The Quad City Times" reports the amount likely will rise with the hiring of additional workers to treat the inmates. The increasing costs are also as a result of lawsuits filed against the department claiming inmates are not being properly treated for mental health issues.

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Sex trafficking sting in Illinois, around nation

CHICAGO (AP) — Law enforcement agencies in Illinois and around the country participated in a sex trafficking sting operation over several days that led to more than 500 arrests. In a news release, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office says 28 law enforcement agencies in 14 states participated in the "National Day of Johns Arrests" effort that the sheriff launched in 2011. Most of the arrests over the 18-day operation that ended Aug. 3 were alleged perpetrators charged with solicitation. But several men were charged with pimping and sex trafficking. Some were arrested on drug and gun charges. The release says 111 prostitution victims were recovered, including 15 juveniles. Among them was a 15-year-old girl in Seattle whose mother attempting to sell her for sex.

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Twilight parade to kick off Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — High school marching bands and floats are set to compete while entertaining the crowds during the annual Illinois State Fair twilight parade. The parade steps off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ninth Street and North Grand Avenue in Springfield and ends at the fairground's grandstand. The twilight parade kicks off the state fair every year. This year's theme is "Making Memories at the Illinois State Fair." Grand marshal of this year's parade is Kevin McKee, a member of the U.S.'s gold medal-winning Paralympic sled hockey team. Carnival rides will be open Thursday evening and will have discounted ticket prices during the fair's Preview Night. The state fair runs through Aug. 17.

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Illinois gets $1.3 million in drug settlement

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will receive $1.3 million as part of a $35 million settlement with a pharmaceutical company over the marketing of an organ-transplant drug. Illinois and 41 other states are involved in the settlement with Pfizer Inc., the parent company of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. The deal resolves allegations Wyeth misrepresented the uses of the drug Rapamune. Rapamune was approved to help prevent the rejection of kidney transplants. But the states alleged the company promoted it to doctors for uses following other organ transplants. A Wednesday statement from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says "promoting drugs for unapproved uses is a potentially deadly practice." New York-based Pfizer said in a statement the alleged activity occurred before it acquired Wyeth. Pfizer didn't admit wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement.

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Tips To Stay Healthy At Fairs

(Springfield, IL) -- State officials are offering a few health tips for people who are headed out to state or county fairs. They say it's a good idea for people to put on sunscreen before going outdoors so their skin isn't damaged by sun exposure. Fair visitors also are urged to drink lots of water and wear clothes that'll keep them cool. Bugs will be out, so people may want to spray on a bit of insect repellent with DEET to keep them at bay. People are also advised to keep their hands clean. They should wash with warm, soapy water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before indulging in favorite fair foods.

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Illinois State Fair Icon To Be Unveiled

SPRINGFIELD, Ill - The ever-popular butter cow will be unveiled Thursday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Dairy Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider, State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick, Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Summer Robbins and Dairy Building superintendent Marla Behrends are scheduled to attend the ceremony. Dairy refreshments will be served. The butter cow exhibit is a project of the Midwest Dairy Association and paid for by its local farmer members. The 2014 Illinois State Fair will be held Aug. 7 - 17.

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NATIONAL
Obama to sign veterans' health care overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected today to sign a veterans health care bill into law. The $16.3 billion measure allows the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors and other health care workers and make it easier to fire senior VA executives judged to be negligent. It's in response to reports of veterans dying while waiting for doctor appointments and employees covering up those delays.

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275 households told to flee Oregon wildfire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Fire officials in Oregon say a wildfire is burning dangerously close to two communities about 75 miles east of Portland. Residents in about 275 homes in the Columbia River Gorge community of Rowena are being told to evacuate. Residents in about 90 homes in an outlying subdivision of The Dalles (dalz) are being told to be ready to leave if necessary. A section of U.S. Highway 30 is closed in the area.

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Iselle heads for Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is about to get its first direct hurricane in 22 years. State officials are telling the islands to get ready but don't panic. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island today evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas.

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Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk

UNDATED (AP) — Scientists are linking a newly identified gene to breast cancer. Genetics expert Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California says the PALB2 gene is less common than the much-talked-about BRCA genes, but it's almost as dangerous. NA study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine says women with the PALB2 mutation have a 14 percent chance of breast cancer by age 50.

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Former Marine paddles away 2 tours in Afghanistan

VENICE, La. (AP) — A Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says he's found direction paddling a canoe down the Mississippi River. Joshua Ploetz has completed a 71-day trek from Minnesota to Louisiana, paddling 2,300 miles. Ploetz says he spent 49 of those days paddling, and just resting on the other days. Ploetz did two tours in Afghanistan, was injured by a roadside bomb, had a minor stroke and lost friends to combat and suicide.

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Bank of America To Pay $17-Billion To Settle Mortgage Claims

(Undated)  --  Bank of America reportedly will pay 17-billion dollars to settle claims over its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the economic meltdown.  The settlement still needs to be finalized, but would be the biggest the Justice Department has ever imposed over claims growing out of the financial crisis.  BofA will pay about nine-billion in cash and the rest will go toward reducing homeowners' mortgages. 

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Weird Al Fans Petition For Super Bowl Halftime Show

(Undated)  --  Weird Al Yankovic's fans are mobilizing in a drive to see the comedian headline the Super Bowl halftime show.  About 20-thousand people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the NFL to consider Weird Al for next year's game.  Petition creator Ed Ball writes that Al's theatrics would be a "hilarious and welcome change." 

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Hurricane Julio strengthens into Category 2 storm

HONOLULU (AP) — Hurricane Julio strengthened into a Category 2 storm as it spun toward Hawaii, with winds gusting at a sustained speed of 100 mph. The National Hurricane Center said it expected the storm to strengthen even more Thursday before gradually weakening by Thursday night. That weakening is expected to continue into the weekend. Julio is close behind Hurricane Iselle, which was set to make landfall on Hawaii's Big Island Thursday night. The Big Island is under a hurricane warning, while much of the rest of the chain was under a tropical storm warning. The storm could push damaging swells ashore and lead to coastal flooding. The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned Thursday that gusts up to 55 mph could lash the islands, damaging homes.

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Body of US general arrives in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan "insider attack" has arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. A C-17 cargo plane carrying the body of Harold Greene landed Thursday morning at Dover, home to the nation's largest military mortuary. White-gloved soldiers solemnly carried a flag-draped metal case with Greene's remains to a waiting mortuary vehicle as Army officials and other dignitaries saluted. Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War. Greene, a 34-year U.S. Army veteran, also is the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Police: 2 missing boys safe; apparent suspect dead

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say two children reportedly taken from a Philadelphia-area home after a woman was slain have been found safe in New York City. A man in a vehicle that was sought by police has been found dead. New York City police Lt. Thomas Antonetti said a man in the missing vehicle was found dead on Staten Island of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday morning. Superintendent Michael Chitwood of Upper Darby police in Pennsylvania said he was told it was the suspect, 32-year-old Keith Belajonas Police there identified him as a suspect in the slaying at a residence in Abbey Terrace in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. Antonetti said the children were left at CVS on Staten Island around 6 a.m. Thursday. They appeared to be unharmed.

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INTERNATIONAL
Kerry in Afghanistan to meet feuding candidates

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to try to calm tensions between the country's two feuding presidential candidates. Kerry's arrival in Kabul late Thursday also follows the killing Tuesday of a U.S. general by an Afghan soldier at the national defense university. That incident underscored tensions that persist as the U.S. combat role winds down in Afghanistan amid the political uncertainty that Kerry is trying to address. The presidential candidates remain locked in a bitter dispute over election results now being audited in a process that Kerry brokered last month. He planned to see the candidates Thursday night and then meet with current Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday before heading to Myanmar for an Asian security conference.

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Russia allows Snowden to stay another 3 years

MOSCOW (AP) — Edward Snowden's lawyer says the NSA whistleblower has been granted permission to stay in Russia for three more years. Snowden last year was granted temporary asylum of one year in Russia, but that had run out on Aug. 1. His lawyer, Analtoly Kucherena, was quoted by Russian news agencies on Thursday as saying Snowden now has been granted residency for three more years.

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Hamas leader at Gaza rally: War not over yet

GAZA CITY, Gaza City (AP) — A senior Hamas official has told supporters at a Gaza City rally that the war with Israel won't be over until the group's political demands are met. The official, Mushir al-Masri, said Thursday that "our fingers are on the trigger and our rockets are trained at Tel Aviv." Al-Masri spoke as Israel and Hamas were holding indirect negotiations in Cairo about new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza and extending a ceasefire. Hamas demands that the blockade be lifted, while Israel insists the Islamic militant group disarm first. Al-Masri says Hamas would never consider such a demand. He says that "we are not going to relinquish them until all our lands are liberated." Thursday's rally drew several thousand supporters, the first gathering by Hamas activists since Gaza fighting began July 8.

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Liberia, S. Leone race to enforce Ebola quarantine

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Authorities in Liberia are using troops as they step up efforts to enforce quarantines of communities infected by Ebola after the president declared a national state of emergency. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that some civil liberties may be suspended as authorities try to stamp out the disease blamed for more than 900 deaths in four West African countries this year. By Thursday morning, soldiers had deployed to the town of Klay about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Liberia's capital, Monrovia, in an effort to stop people from three Ebola-infected counties from coming closer to the capital. National Health Workers Association president Joseph Tamba said the state of emergency is necessary but that people should have received advance notice to buy food ahead of the movement restrictions.

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Egypt sentences 2 to life for sexual assaults

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian judicial officials say a Cairo court has sentenced two men to life and another to 20 years in prison for sexual assaults on women during public rallies in the city's iconic Tahrir square. The prosecution had charged defendants with kidnapping, larceny, attempted rape, torture and attempted murder. The incident took place on June 3, during public celebrations of former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's victory in presidential elections. The officials said Thursday's verdict is the latest in a series of prosecutions for sexual violence cases. In July, seven people were sentenced to life in prison over four different incidents of sexual assault. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

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Air Algerie cockpit voice recorder unreadable

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — French investigators trying to pinpoint the cause of the Air Algerie crash in northern Mali say the black box that recorded conversations between the pilots is unreadable. Remi Jouty, president of France's national aviation safety agency, says some of the plane's recording devices allowed investigators to trace its fast descent through stormy weather on July 24, but the probe had not yet excluded other possible causes, including error or deliberate actions in the crash. All 116 people on board were killed, nearly half of them French. Jouty said Thursday it wasn't clear why — or when during the flight — the recorder malfunctioned on the MD-83.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Texas 3, Chicago White Sox 1
Boston 2, St. Louis 1
Colorado 13, Chicago Cubs 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 9, Windy City 4
Normal at Gateway (PPD.,to 8/7)

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 2:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame 5:19 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Joliet at Evansville (2)
Windy City at Southern Illinois

NFL Preseason

Indianapolis at NY Jets 6 p.m.

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Soldier Field executive suites vandalized

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are trying to determine who broke into Soldier Field and vandalized several of the stadium's executive suites. Authorities say three suites were vandalized between late Friday and early Saturday. The destruction was discovered by the stadium's cleaning service early Sunday. According to police, cabinets and glass was broken and the carpeting in one suite was set afire. Graffiti was carved into the walls of another suite. Police say surveillance video show an intruder entered the closed stadium by scaling the east colonnade stairs. The Chicago Bears are scheduled to play a preseason game on Friday. Soldier Field officials didn't say Wednesday if repairs to the suites will be completed by then.

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Cubs activate RHP Fujikawa, designate Schierholtz

DENVER (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have activated right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa from the 60-day disabled list. To make room for Fujikawa on the roster, the Cubs designated outfielder Nate Schierholtz for assignment. The 34-year-old Fujikawa has missed 14 months following Tommy John surgery. He made his Cubs debut last year after 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan's Central League. Fujikawa was 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 appearances in 2013 before being injured. Schierholtz hit a career-high 21 home runs for the Cubs last season, but struggled this year. He was hitting .192 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 99 games this season.

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News for Aug. 6, 2014

LOCAL
Ruling: SIU-Carbondale owes $1.9M in back pay

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An administrative law judge says Southern Illinois University officials in Carbondale bargained in bad faith with unions and owes 1,500 current and former employees $1.9 million in back pay. WSIU Radio reports the university says it respectfully disagrees with Colleen Harvey's ruling and is weighing its legal options. As an administrative judge with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, Harvey concluded that SIU illegally pushed three campus unions to the point of impasse. The back pay Harvey ordered involves four furlough days that employees were forced to take in 2011. The SIU administrators involved in 2010 and 2011 contract talks with the unions no longer are with the university. The university now has a new president and Carbondale chancellor and provost. The unions call Harvey's ruling vindication.

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Salem Land New Hotel Deal

The city of Salem has announced a new multi-million dollar hotel will be built in the city, along Kinney Boulevard, and will hopefully open the area to additional development. The project, with mph hotels of St. Petersburg, Florida, will hopefully break ground by December, and when completed in 10-12 months the four-story structure will hold 86 rooms – 15 to 18 of which will be suites --  a 24-hour health club, and will create 25-30 jobs. The project is expected to cost between $7 and $8 million when completed, with $250,000 going to the city for the purchase of the 2 ½ acres of property on Kinney Boulevard. It’s anticipated the new development will attract additional economic growth, bringing in restaurants and other business drawn to the interstate and the hotel business.

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Southern Illinois teachers file strike notice

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in a southern Illinois school district have filed a notice of intent to strike as contract negotiations are ongoing. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Tuesday that a teachers union in Highland filed the notice with the Illinois Labor Education Relations Board last week. Roughly 10 area school districts are negotiating contracts. Highland District 5 and the Highland Education Association say they're not close to agreeing on salary and benefit changes. The district's 174 teachers start work Aug. 12. The contract expires Aug. 31, which is the earliest date a strike would occur. The union president says there are a number of issues to resolve. She says she's hopeful the groups will find a solution before a work stoppage. The schools superintendent says the teachers' demands have been "very high."

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Amtrak expands project that allows pets on trains

CHICAGO (AP) — Amtrak is making it easier for people to take their dogs and cats around Illinois. Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have announced they are adding the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route of the Illini and Saluki trains to a pilot project that allows people to bring pets with them. Small pets have been allowed on the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains between Chicago and Quincy since April. The project was set to run through November but instead it is being expanded and will continue until late April of next year. Those wishing to take pets must make advanced reservations and pay a $25 surcharge. Only animals weighing 20 pounds or less will be allowed to board and they must be in carriers.

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State Rep Still Fighting For Murray Residents

(Centralia, IL) -- State Representative Charlie Meier says he won't stop fighting to protect the people who live in the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. A judge has given the state the green light to go ahead and close the facility. Meier says the court order ensures parents and caregivers will have a say in where their loved ones end up. That means the state can't just load them up on buses and relocate them against the families' will. Meier is also drafting a bill that would halt a multi-million dollar contract that Governor Quinn awarded to an out of state company to work on residents' new placements.

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Shimkus Office Hours In McLeansboro August 18


Maryville, Illinois... Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) will be available to meet with local constituents in Hamilton County on Monday, August 18. The Congressman will be available for one-on-on meetings from 9:15 till 10:45 a.m. at the McLeansboro City Hall, 102 West Main Street. “This is a great opportunity to meet with me personally to discuss a problem you are having with a federal government agency or to express your thoughts on legislation or other issues,” Shimkus said. “Please call to schedule your time to visit with me.” To schedule an appointment with Shimkus on August 18 in McLeansboro, call Shimkus’ office at (618)288-7190. Those who cannot attend in person may contact Shimkus via mail at 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062. More information on services offered by the Congressman's office is also available on his website: shimkus.house.gov. You may sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter or send a message to the Congressman on the website. Shimkus also maintains Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (@RepShimkus) accounts, where regular updates are posted. Constituents requiring special accommodations should call at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled office hours.

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Illinois researchers help declining turtle species

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it is taking steps to protect the state's alligator snapping turtles. The department teamed up with Oklahoma and Louisiana to release 97 turtles into southern Illinois creeks last week in an effort to revive the declining species. Staff from the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Peoria Zoo helped prepare the turtles for their release. Students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Pontiac Township High School and Whitney M. Young High School also helped. The multi-state recovery project is funded by a State Wildlife Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It will cover the costs of monitoring and tracking the radio transmitter-equipped turtles.

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Herrin School District Installs Lightning Detection System

The Herrin School District recently installed a lightning detection system that will help officials there keep students safe during athletic and other events, plus it's going to help students learn more about the weather.  The system will be on from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Monday through Saturday and a horn will sound when lightning is detected within at 10 mile radius. Text alerts will also be sent out to school officials so students who may be outside can be taken back inside or to a place of safety. This system also has its own weather station with live data that will be programmed by Weather Bug, the system provider.

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STATE
Heat Turning Up In Final Months Before Election

(Springfield, IL) -- The election is just three months away and that means political candidates will start turning up the heat. This year's governor's race is expected to be the most expensive in Illinois history and according to Political Scientist Kent Redfield, voters won't be able to run from either of the campaigns. He says they'll eventually start canvassing neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and sending out robo-calls. Negative ads are also expected to hit the airwaves soon, especially once outside groups jump into the race.

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GOP's Rauner in Montana for vacation, fundraiser

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Bruce Rauner has traveled to his family's ranch in Montana to vacation and raise money for his Illinois governor campaign. The fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday at Rauner's 6,000-square-foot home near Yellowstone National Park. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 per person. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for taking the trip. They say the multimillionaire venture capitalist is trying to avoid questions about investments he put in the Cayman Islands, a territory considered a tax haven. Rauner discussed the issue Sunday. He told reporters the business practice didn't impact his personal tax rate and that he disclosed the necessary information to the U.S. government. Campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the Rauner family typically vacations in Montana in August. Rauner left Illinois Monday and returns Thursday.

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Quinn, Rauner Spar Over Money, Taxes

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner are having a war of words over money, taxes, and who is and isn't patriotic enough.  Quinn is blasting Rauner for making investments in the Cayman Islands, which he says is a haven for people who want to avoid paying taxes.  He says it's unpatriotic for Rauner to have his money in the off-shore accounts but Rauner's camp fired back, claiming Quinn needs to take a look at how many veterans are unemployed under his failed policies.  They're also shooting down Quinn's claims that Rauner's trying to get out of paying taxes. 

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Ill. man pleads not guilty to rest stop killing

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — A Rockford man charged in the deaths of two people has pleaded not guilty to murdering one of them at a northern Illinois highway rest stop. According to Sauk Valley Media, Terence P. Doddy pleaded not guilty Monday in Dixon to 12 counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the July 1 strangling of Tonya Bargman on Monticello. She was killed as she left a bathroom at the Willow Creek rest stop on Interstate 39 near Paw Paw. Doddy previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the June 30 killing of co-worker and former friend Todd Hansmeier of Rockford. Doddy, who is 36, was arrested July 4 after a police chase near Beloit, Wisconsin. He is being held in Winnebago County Jail without bond.

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New App Let's People Finger Through State Finances

(Springfield, IL) -- Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is launching a new app that let's state vendors get a heads up on when their next check will be cut. The "Illinois Pays" app for iPhones and Android devices provides easier access to state payments and fund information. You don't have to be a state vendor to access the app, though. Anyone who wants to keep an eye on what's happening with the state's finances can download it at IllinoisComptroller.com.

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Nybo to replace Dillard in Illinois Senate

ELMHURST, Ill. (AP) — An Elmhurst attorney has been named by local Republicans to replace state Sen. Kirk Dillard. DuPage County GOP officials say Chris Nybo will serve the remainder of Dillard's term. Nybo is a former state representative who made an unsuccessful primary bid for Illinois Senate in 2012. Dillard officially announced his resignation from the Illinois Legislature on Monday to become chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority. The Hinsdale Republican was named to the RTA position in June after more than 20 years in the Illinois Legislature and two unsuccessful Republican primary bids for governor. Nybo is running for a full term in November against Democrat Suzanne Glowiak of Western Springs. Nybo is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday in Lombard.

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Duckworth To Keynote Governor's Day Brunch

(Springfield, IL) -- Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is making her way to Springfield. She's the keynote speaker at the Governor's Day Brunch at the Crown Plaza Hotel next Wednesday. Duckworth is an Army vet who lost both of her legs and partial use of her right arm when her helicopter went down in Iraq back in 2004. She entered political life after she recovered and served in several roles before being elected to Congress in 2012. Duckworth will address members of the state's Democratic Party before they head over to the state fair. That's where Governor Quinn and a full line-up of Democratic leaders and candidates will be speaking. Republicans will highlight their candidates on Thursday, the 14th.

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Lincoln's handwriting found on book about race


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Historical experts say they've found Abraham Lincoln's handwriting inside a tattered book justifying racism that he may have read to better understand his opponents' thinking on slavery. "Types of Mankind" was published in 1854 and circulated for decades by the Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton. Director Joan Rhoades brought the 700-page book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in May to determine whether an inscription inside was made by the former president who worked to free the country's slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation. Library and Museum Curator James Cornelius says Lincoln likely read the book to help prepare him to rebut pro-slavery arguments. He says he could immediately tell the book's inscription was authentic by the way certain letters were formed.

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ADM 2Q profit more than doubles, tops estimate

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — ADM's profit more than doubled during the second quarter as grain exports rebounded and demand for ethanol was strong. The Decatur company posted net income of $533 million, or 81 cents per share, from $223 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Zacks Investment Research says earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 77 cents per share, which was 2 cents better than Wall Street was expecting. Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz says the company is preparing for large harvests because crops in North America and Europe "are developing nicely." The agribusiness giant said revenue declined 4.6 percent to $21.49 billion from $22.54 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and that was short of the $23.16 billion that analysts were looking for.

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USDA: Illinois corn, soybean crops excelling

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Illinois' corn and soybean crops are faring well. The USDA says in its weekly crop-status update that 81 percent of the state's corn is rated as either good or excellent. Ninety-four percent of the crop is silking, mirroring the average over the previous five years. Roughly 77 percent of Illinois' soybean crop is considered good or excellent. Seventy-nine percent of the soybeans in the field are now blooming, 5 percent points below the five-year average. The USDA says that's all despite the fact that rainfall statewide last week was a half inch below normal. The department says 65 percent of Illinois pastures were considered good or excellent.

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NATIONAL
Appeals court hears gay marriage cases in 4 states

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments today in gay marriage cases from four states. The three judges in Cincinnati will consider cases in Michigan and Kentucky that stem from rulings striking down each state's gay marriage bans. An Ohio case deals only with the state's recognition of out-of-state gay marriages. And cases in Tennessee are narrowly focused on the rights of three same-sex couples.

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Missouri inmate executed for killing neighbor

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has executed an inmate who raped and killed a college student in 1995. Forty-three-year-old Michael Worthington was the first U.S. prisoner put to death since an Arizona lethal injection went awry last month. Worthington was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. In an interview with The Associated Press just hours before the lethal injection, Worthington said, "I figure I'll wake up in a better place tomorrow."

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Defense says Cole attack mimicked a US ruse

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the deadly bombing of the USS Cole are asking a judge to toss out six of the 11 counts against their client because of what they call U.S. hypocrisy. A judge is hearing arguments today at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. Defense lawyers argue that the ruse of disguising an enemy watercraft as a friendly vessel is an acceptable form of naval warfare that even the United States has used. The attack killed 17 U.S. sailors.

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Obama, African leaders to talk security, economics

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and dozens of African leaders are holding talks today on regional security issues and business investments on the continent. The meetings will close out Obama's unprecedented three-day U.S.-Africa summit in Washington. He hosted the leaders for a dinner at the White House Tuesday night. Much of the summit has focused on Africa's economic potential and new financial commitments from U.S. businesses. But Wednesday's talks will delve into some of the problems still plaguing the continent, including terrorism and extremism. Obama will close the summit with a late-afternoon news conference. First lady Michelle Obama is also hosting a spouses' event with former first lady Laura Bush.

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American with Ebola weak but improving

ATLANTA (AP) — The husband of the second American aid worker recently diagnosed with Ebola says his wife is weak but showing signs of improvement. The president of the aid group SIM USA says he's spoken with Nancy Writebol's husband, who says his 59-year-old wife stood when she got on the plane in Liberia that flew her to the United States. Now Writebol and colleague, Dr. Kent Brantly are being treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital.

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NYPD: Bus driver arrested in Times Square crash

NEW YORK (AP) — The driver of a double-decker tour bus has been arrested in connection with a crash with another tour bus that injured 14 people in Times Square. The NYPD has charged William Dalambert, of Irvington, N.J., with driving while ability impaired. Police say his Gray Line tour bus struck a parked double-decker bus on Tuesday at 47th Street and Seventh Avenue. Officials say none of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening.

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12-year-old charged in fatal playground stabbing

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A 12-year-old Michigan boy accused of stabbing a 9-year-old to death on a playground has been ordered held until an Aug. 13 preliminary hearing. Witnesses and police in Kentwood say the older boy pulled a knife and stabbed Michael Conner Verkerke in the back Sunday, and then went to a home nearby to call police. The boy is in the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Special Election For Cantor's Seat Set

(Richmond, VA)  --  The date is set for a special election to fill the vacancy left by resigning Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor.  Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday the election in Virginia's 7th Congressional District will happen November 4th.  The "Richmond Times Dispatch" says that since it coincides with the general election, voters will have to cast ballots in two elections that same day.

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Walgreen turns down inversion to cut tax bill

UNDATED (AP) — Walgreen plans to keep its roots firmly planted in the United States, saying it will no longer pursue an overseas reorganization of the company that would have trimmed the amount of U.S. taxes it pays. The nation's largest drugstore chain said early Wednesday that as previously planned, it will buy the remaining stake in Alliance Boots that it does not already own, but it will not pull off an inversion with the Swiss health and beauty retailer. The Deerfield, Illinois, company says it is not in the best long-term interest of its shareholders to re-domicile outside the United States. Shares have been down almost 5 percent in premarket trading.

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Dogs that killed Michigan man are euthanized

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two dogs that fatally mauled a Michigan jogger last month have been euthanized. Lapeer County assistant prosecutor Michael Hodges tells The Flint Journal the two cane corsos involved in the July 23 attack on 46-year-old Craig Sytsma of Livonia in Metamora Township were euthanized on Monday. Hodges says another adult cane corso that wasn't involved in the attack about 45 miles northwest of Detroit was euthanized on Friday. Valbona Lucaj and husband Sebastiano Quagliata were charged last week with second-degree murder in the attack. On Friday, the same day they were in court, they agreed to give up ownership of the animals and have them euthanized. Eight puppies will be offered to an animal rescue group. Court hearings in the case are planned this week.

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Syracuse chief: No. 1 party school label not OK

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The chancellor of Syracuse University says his college's ranking as the nation's top party school is a "wake-up call" for change. Kent Syverud's message was posted on the university's website Tuesday and emailed to students, staff and alumni. He says being designated The Princeton Review's No. 1 party school isn't a good thing for a school to be labeled. He says Syracuse alumni, students and faculty like to have a good time, but they didn't pour their lives into building the university "primarily to create a party." The chancellor says Monday's release of The Princeton Review's rankings serves as a wake-up call for working on two things: Enhancing awareness of Syracuse's academic excellence and paying more attention to activities — parties included — that "get in the way of students succeeding."

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INTERNATIONAL
Ebola death toll reaches 932

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 932. The new figures come Wednesday as authorities in Nigeria confirmed the death of a nurse of Ebola. The outbreak emerged in March in Guinea and shows no sign of slowing down. Most of the new deaths are coming from Liberia and Sierra Leone. There now have been 363 deaths in Guinea, 282 in Liberia, 286 in Sierra Leone and one confirmed death in Nigeria, according to WHO's statistics as of Aug. 4.

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Saudi man being tested for Ebola dies in hospital

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says a man who was being tested for the Ebola virus and was in critical condition in an isolation ward has died. The Health Ministry says the Saudi man died Wednesday morning in a hospital in Jiddah. He was hospitalized after showing symptoms of a viral hemorrhagic fever following a recent trip to Sierra Leone, where there has been an outbreak of Ebola. The ministry says it has submitted samples to an international reference lab to test for Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organization. It says the 40-year-old Saudi man had tested negative for dengue fever. Different types of viral hemorrhagic fevers have been found in the kingdom, but the ministry says no case of Ebola has ever been detected there.

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Afghan official: General's killer hid in bathroom

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan military official says the Afghan soldier who killed a U.S. two-star general and wounded other top officers hid in a bathroom before his assault and used a NATO machine gun in his attack. The official identified the soldier as a man in his early 20s who went by the single name Rafiqullah. The official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no motive has been established for the shooting in which Rafiqullah also was killed. However, the official says Rafiqullah came from a district in Paktia province known to harbor fighters from the Haqqani network, which has strong links to the Taliban. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the shooting Tuesday that killed U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene.

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Cease-fire in Gaza holds for second day

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Indirect talks have begun in Cairo in an effort to achieve a longer-lasting peace between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian representatives are not talking face-to-face, but Egyptian mediators are shuttling between the groups. Today is the second day of a three-day cease-fire in the war that's gone on for a month. Some details are emerging about Hamas' negotiating points, including an internationally funded reconstruction of Gaza, which would be overseen by a Palestinian unity government.

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Ugandan lawmakers in campaign to revive gay law

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan lawmaker says he has started a campaign to reintroduce a recently invalided anti-gay measure and have it passed within weeks. Latif Ssebaggala said Wednesday that he had collected the signatures of 150 lawmakers who promised to vote for the bill when parliament emerges from a recess later this month. Uganda's Constitutional Court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay measure enacted in February, saying it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum. Because the court didn't rule on the substance of the law, lawmakers can reintroduce the same legislation, which allows for jail terms of up to life for homosexual offenses. Despite having wide support in Uganda, the law has been condemned by watchdog groups, gay activists and some Western governments that withheld or redirected funding.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Texas 16, Chicago White Sox 0
St. Louis 3, Boston 2
Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 5, 12 innings

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Texas at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

Frontier League

Windy City at Southern Illinois
Normal at Gateway

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Bears suspend, fine TE Bennett

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Tight end Martellus Bennett has been suspended indefinitely by the Bears after an altercation in practice the day before. General manager Phil Emery says the team "made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time," though he wouldn't specify the amount of the fine. On Monday, Bennett was taken to the ground Monday with a grab to the shoulder by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller. The play occurred during a full-pad scrimmage when players are not supposed to be taken to the ground. Bennett responded by getting up, grabbing the first-round draft pick and slamming him to the ground. Emery wouldn't go into specifics about why the decision was made, saying only that Bennett "was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team."

--------------------------------

White Sox's De Aza out of lineup against Rangers

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza was scratched from the lineup against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night because of a bruised left knee. De Aza had been expected to play before he complained of soreness in the pregame warmup. His status was listed day to day. De Aza sustained the injury when he fouled a ball off the knee in the sixth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rangers on Monday. He was removed from the game after the inning. Moises Sierra took his place in the lineup and played right field, while Dayan Viciedo moved from right field to left field.

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Fisher: Unlikely Bradford will play this week

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher says it is "unlikely" quarterback Sam Bradford, coming off knee surgery, will play in the preseason opener. Bradford has said he feels fine with no worries. He missed the final nine games last season and is wearing a brace on the left knee. Fisher said Tuesday night that for now he's seeing enough from Bradford on the practice field. He plans to use Bradford later in the preseason. Fisher said offensive tackle Jake Long, also coming off knee surgery, would be held out Friday. Center Scott Wells also is unlikely to play against New Orleans.

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Spurs Hire First Woman Assistant Coach In NBA

(San Antonio, TX)  --  The San Antonio Spurs are hiring a coach and making history.  The team is adding retiring WNBA star Becky Hammon to Gregg Popovich's coaching staff.  Hammon will be the first full-time woman assistant in NBA history.  Hammon, who is currently in her 16th season, announced on July 23rd that she would retire at the end of the 2014 campaign.  She is a six-time WNBA All-Star and has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars.

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Report:  Manfred, Brosnan, Werner MLB Commissioner Finalists

(Undated)  --  Major League Baseball will soon have a replacement for Bud Selig as commissioner.  "USA Today" reports MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner are finalists.  A vote is expected next week.

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News for Aug. 5, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets Monday

Mt. Vernon City Council met Monday. Among the items discussed at the meeting, The council spent a significant amount of time discussing traffic safety on some of the city's main thoroughfares in regards to traffic safety devices and speed limits including Veterans' Memorial Drive, particularly near Routes 142 and 148 after a first reading by the city manager.  The Council also heard a first reading regarding an ordinance regarding status of territory within corporate limits relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor, regarding an amendment revising code of downtown sidewalk dining, and the addition of sidewalk dining liquor licenses classification. Both items will be visited at a future meeting after further information is gathered.  The City Attorney sought a resolution, that was approved, for a design services agreement with Planning Design Studio LLC regarding Phase I of the Lincoln Park East Addition-South of the Aquatic Zoo.  Finally, The Mayor presented for a proclamation for National Night Out, which will be held this evening.

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Jefferson County Road Crews To Repair Bridge

In a follow up to a story from Monday, Jefferson County Highway Department has announced an upcoming road closure on Log Cabin Road.  The closure, now scheduled for Thursday August 7th, will be located 2 1/2 miles south of Route 142 on Log Cabin Road by East Saddle Brook Road.  They will be repairing a bridge for approximately a few weeks at this location, weather permitting.

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Million-Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Metro East

(Granite City, IL)  --  Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at a Metro East convenience store is one-million dollars richer.  Illinois lottery officials say the Quick Pick ticket was sold at a Super One Stop in Granite City, and matched the first five numbers in Saturday's drawing.  The store will receive a ten-thousand dollar bonus for selling the winning ticket.

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Operation Homefront Event Gives Free Backpacks Full of School Supplies to Military Kids

Mt Vernon, Ill. – Operation Homefront of Central Midwest gave more than 75 military kids free backpacks full of school supplies at a Back-to-School Brigade event August 2, 2014, at the National Guard Armory in Mt Vernon. Operation Homefront volunteers passed out new donated backpacks and school supplies with an estimated value of nearly $2,500. “We’re here to lend a hand to military families who deal not only with deployments and the other stresses of military life, but also the economic difficulties shared by all Americans,” said Darcy Clardy, Executive Director of Operation Homefront’s Central Midwest Field Office. “Getting children ready to go back to school can be a costly venture, but these donated school supplies help ease the burden military families carry.” The school supplies were donated by people from around Mt Vernon and collected at local Dollar Tree stores as part of Operation Homefront’s nationwide Back-to-School Brigade program
 
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Man denied bond in Illinois meat-tampering case


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A 68-year-old southwestern Illinois man accused of inserting sewing needles into packaged meat has been ordered jailed without bond pending his trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams on Monday sided with federal prosecutors in denying Ronald Avers' request to be eligible for release on bond. Avers of Belleville was charged last week with seven felony product-tampering counts. Investigators allege Avers slipped sewing needles into various packaged meat items at a Shop 'n Save in Belleville from May of last year through last month. One customer eventually bit into one of the needles, and a needle that was slipped into a steak stuck another customer. No serious injuries were reported. The FBI says Avers told investigators he allegedly did it "just for the hell of it."

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Man's body found after Washington Park fire

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say the body of a 26-year-old man has been found in the charred remains of a house in the southwestern Illinois village of Washington Park. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County deputy coroner Dean Darnall says Arnold Lark was pronounced dead about 5 a.m. Monday. Illinois state fire marshals are investigating the fire's cause. Lark's funeral arrangements are pending.

----------------------

Illinois doctor's license suspended after charges

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has suspended the license of an Illinois doctor charged with illegally distributing controlled substances. The Effingham Daily News reports that the license for Dr. Naeem Kohli of Effingham was suspended last week. Kohli was charged in March in federal court with health care fraud and illegally dispensing controlled substances such as methadone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. He was licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe those drugs but is accused of illegally dispensing them to patients. Kohli has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 12 in federal court in Benton. Kohli's attorney, Richard Sindel, says he plans to fight the charges in court.

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Possible Serial Arsonist In O'Fallon

(O'Fallon, IL)  --  Police in O'Fallon are searching for a possible serial arsonist.  Authorities say over the past few weeks, fires occurred at three homes within a mile of each other.  The most recent blaze was reported this weekend in the 12-hundred-block of Affirm Drive.  The other two happened at houses on North Yale and Rebecca.  The police department is offering a thousand-dollar reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

------------------

Illinois man shot by police charged with assault

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man shot by police has been charged in a domestic assault. The Belleville News-Democrat reports 52-year-old Thomas Noser was charged Monday with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery and aggravated assault. The Madison County state's attorney's office says police found Noser holding a knife when they responded to a reported family disturbance Saturday. It says Noser ignored orders to drop the knife and charged the officers. Police shot him twice. The attorney's office says he was in custody at a hospital Monday and will be released to the county jail upon recovery. Police say two of Noser's family members had been beaten with a baseball bat to the head. They were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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Vietnam veterans sought as honor guards

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Vietnam War combat veterans are being sought to stand guard over a traveling memorial that will visit Carbondale next month. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (bit.ly/1sn3qdR) that the 80-percent scale model of the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., will be on display Sept. 11th to 14th on the practice football field south of the Southern Illinois University stadium. Mark Cosgrove is a Senior Vice Commandant and Vietnam Wall Committee chairman. He says he'd like three soldiers to stand guard in each hour-long shift. Cosgrove says the guards would provide security, but also stand as a symbol of support for Vietnam veterans — particularly those still recovering from wounds received in the war. The $50,000 fundraising goal for the program has passed the halfway point.

-----------------------------------

Centralia Native, Former White House Press Secretary James Brady Dead at 73

Centralia City Manager Dan Ramey, at the request of Mayor Tom Ashby and the Centralia City Council, has lowered the flags to half-staff in recognition of the passing of Centralia native James Brady.  Brady was the former White House press secretary to President Ronald Reagan and was severely wounded during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, leading to the gun control campaign that bears his name. Brady has died at age 73, his family said in a statement Monday. The family statement cited “a series of health issues” for the long-time political spokesman who was badly injured by the gunfire of 33 years ago. “Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment,” said the family statement. Current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Brady “really revolutionized this job,” and set a standard that successors have tried to emulate. The White House press room is named in Brady’s honor. So does the federal law that requires background checks on handgun buyers. As for Brady’s long-time campaign for gun control, Earnest said he “showed his patriotism and his commitment to the country.”

-------------------------------------

STATE
Longtime Democratic adviser Gene Callahan dies


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gene Callahan has died. He was a former newspaper reporter and longtime aide to top Democratic elected officials, including the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. His daughter, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, said in a Monday statement that he died overnight at his Springfield home. Further details on his death weren't released. Callahan was 80. He worked for a Springfield newspaper before serving as press secretary for several elected officials, including former U.S. Sen Paul Simon while he was lieutenant governor. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Callahan a "trusted friend" in a Monday statement. He says he never made an important decision in politics without calling Callahan. Callahan also worked as a lobbyist for Major League Baseball. Bustos says an event to celebrate Callahan's life is planned in Springfield on Friday.

---------------------------

Dillard officially resigns from Illinois Senate

WESTMONT, Ill. (AP) — State Sen. Kirk Dillard has officially resigned from the Illinois Legislature to become chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority. Illinois Senate Republicans said in a Monday news release that Dillard stepped down from his 24th District seat. The Hinsdale Republican was named to the RTA position in June after more than 20 years in the Illinois Legislature. Dillard made two unsuccessful Republican primary bids for governor. The RTA provides financial oversight for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Dillard submitted his resignation in a July 31 letter to the secretary of the Illinois Senate. The resignation was effective 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

-------------------------------

Illinois historic sites forced to reduce hours

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day. The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four. The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million. Director Amy Martin said that even with the cuts the agency's budget isn't balanced. She hopes the reductions will hold spending in check until lawmakers can consider restoring some agency funding this fall. Martin said some lawmakers have indicated that's possible.

------------------------

Illinois historic sites affected by cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to reduce its operating hours at 13 historic sites after Labor Day because its budget was cut was 19 percent. The affected sites include:
-- Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville), open Wednesday through Sunday instead of six days a week.
-- Fort de Chartres (Prairie du Rocher), open Thursday-Sunday instead of five days a week.
-- Lincoln Log Cabin (Lerna), open Thursday through Sunday instead of five days a week (starting Oct. 1).
-- Vandalia Statehouse (Vandalia), open Wednesday through Saturday instead of five days a week (starts Nov. 1).

--------------------------------

Illinois' animal welfare law toughened

CHICAGO (AP) — Legislation proposed by three suburban Chicago third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Saturday increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills. It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Rep. David Harris and Sen. Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment. But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O'Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris.

------------------------

Fee schedule changed for Illinois ATVs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new state law eliminates the registration fee for owners of all-terrain vehicles who only use them on private property. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure Friday. It also cuts the fees for some ATVs used in local and state parks. Peoria Democratic Sen. Dave Koehler says his measure refines a 2012 registration law. The $15 registration fee is cut to $10 for smaller ATVs — typically used by children. It also exempts golf carts, vehicles for disabled people, and ATVs used by government officials or farmers. ATVs used only on private land or in competitions are also exempt. Koehler says ATV owners want to support state parks but thought the 2012 fee schedule was unfair. The law takes effect immediately.

--------------------------------

Applications open for Illinois 'Hometown Awards'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials say the deadline to submit applications for the "Governor's Hometown Awards" competition is approaching. The contest is in its 32nd year. It recognizes volunteers who improve communities. The application deadline is Aug. 18. Community groups, local governments, youth groups or agencies can apply. The award is given based on population and will be given out based on six categories. Those include are services and mentorship and beautification and sustainability. Award winners will be recognized at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.

------------------------------------

NATIONAL
S&P: Wealth gap is slowing US economic growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Standard & Poor's rating agency says the rising wealth gap in the United States is complicating the rebound from the recession, making the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles. The rising concentration of income among the top 1 percent of earners has contributed to S&P's cutting its growth estimates for the economy to a 2.5 percent annual pace over the next decade, down from a forecast five years ago of a 2.8 percent rate. Part of the problem is that educational achievement has stalled in recent decades. S&P estimates that the U.S. economy would grow annually by an additional half a percentage point —or $105 billion — over the next five years, if the average the American worker had completed just one more year of school. The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap, saying higher taxes on the wealthy could remove incentives for people to work and cause businesses to hire fewer employees. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities.

------------------------

Hearing for Cole bombing suspect continues

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The Guantanamo detainee accused of orchestrating the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen is asking a military judge to order an MRI of his brain. The judge for the U.S. Office of Military Commissions scheduled arguments on the motion today at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. His lawyers say the scan will help doctors determine if al-Nashiri's memory loss could be the result of post-traumatic stress or physical damage caused by harsh treatment in secret CIA prisons. Prosecutors oppose the motion. They say the choice of diagnostic tools for al-Nashiri's medical care is beyond the commission's scope. The Associated Press is covering the hearing from a video feed at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

---------------------------------

Bertha weakens to a tropical storm

MIAMI (AP) — Bertha has weakened to a tropical storm just a day after becoming a hurricane as it moves northward in the Atlantic, posing no direct threat to the U.S. East Coast. The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) early today with gradual weakening expected over the next two days. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Bertha is forecast to pass midway between the East Coast and Bermuda later in the morning. The storm is centered about 475 miles west of Bermuda and is moving north-northeast near 22 mph (35 kph). On Sunday, the storm buffeted parts of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos with rain and gusty winds, after passing over the Dominican Republic. Earlier, it dumped rain on Puerto Rico.

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Tainted Ohio water coming under increased scrutiny

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's governor and several prominent lawmakers promise there will be a lot more attention to Lake Erie after the state's fourth-largest city was forced to tell 400,000 people to stop drinking its water. The drinking ban in Toledo was lifted after more than two days on Monday, but the scrutiny of what happened is just beginning. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says there will be an extensive review of how the water supply became tainted with a toxin suspected to be from algae in Lake Erie. A high-ranking state lawmaker is planning hearings on the algae fouling the lake and says he wants to hear from scientists who can say what's behind the algae. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says more research is needed to understand how to control the blooms.

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Poll: Americans divided on paying for roads

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans agree that the cost of good transportation is worthwhile, but they're divided over how to pay for it. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found 6 in 10 of those surveyed say the economic benefits of good highways, railroads and airports outweigh the cost. Yet there is scant support for some of the most frequently discussed options for paying for construction of new roads or the upkeep of existing ones. Of those surveyed, 58 percent oppose raising federal gasoline taxes to fund transportation projects. Only 14 percent support an increase. By better than 2-to-1, Americans oppose having private companies pay for construction of new roads and bridges in exchange for the right to charge tolls.

----------------------------

Missing girl's parents agree to lie detector test

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff's spokesman says the parents of a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her Washington home and wasn't reported missing for a day have agreed to take lie detector tests and allow a search of the home. Kitsap County Deputy Scott Wilson said both the home search and lie detector tests were in progress late Monday night. Wilson says state child welfare workers removed two other children from the home earlier Monday. About 80 searchers including dog teams looked Monday for little Jenise Wright, who was last seen Saturday night when she went to bed. Her family noticed her missing Sunday morning but didn't become worried and call for help until that night because she had left the home on previous occasions and wandered around the neighborhood.

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'Gluten-free' labeling standards kick in

WASHINGTON (AP) — Food manufacturers have until today to make sure packages labeled as gluten-free meet certain standards. Gluten-free can contain only 20 parts per million of gluten, ensuring those products are technically free of wheat, rye and barley. People who have celiac disease don't absorb nutrients well, and they can get sick from the gluten found in cereal grains.

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5-year-old mayor loses re-election in Minnesota

DORSET, Minn. (AP) — Robert "Bobby" Tufts run as mayor of Dorset, Minnesota is over. The 5-year-old has been bumped by 16-year-old Eric Mueller, whose name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival. Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected mayor of Dorset in 2012. Dorset has a population of no more than 28 people and it has no formal city government. People pay $1 to cast one vote for mayor and they can vote as many times as they want.

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US official: Americans killed in Afghan attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says "about a dozen" of the victims of an Afghan insider attack on Tuesday were Americans, and at least one American was killed. The official says many details of the attack early Tuesday were still unclear and the numbers could change. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details of the attack by name on the record. A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire on foreign troops at Camp Qargha, a base west of the capital, Kabul. Among the wounded was a German brigadier general. Gen. Mohammmad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry, said a "terrorist in an army uniform" opened fire on both local and international troops. Azimi said the shooter had been killed.

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2nd American with Ebola to arrive in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — The second American aid worker who was recently diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa has arrived back in the United States. An official at Bangor International Airport in Maine says the plane carrying Nancy Writebol landed there this morning to refuel and undergo a federal customs inspection before heading on to Atlanta. Writebol will be treated at a special isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, which is already treating the other American aid worker, Dr. Kent Brantly.

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Obama hosts White House dinner for African leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hosting dinner at the White House Tuesday for dozens of African leaders in town for a summit focused on boosting U.S. business and security ties with the continent. The White House says singer Lionel Richie will entertain the leaders during the dinner on the South Lawn. First lady Michelle Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden, will also attend. Guests will dine on chilled spiced tomato soup, chopped farm-stand vegetable salad, grilled dry-aged beef and cappuccino fudge cake. The meal will be accompanied by three American wines. Ahead of the dinner, Obama will speak at a U.S.-Africa business forum. He's also scheduled to attend summit meetings Wednesday.

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Clinic owner charged with distributing steroids

MIAMI (AP) — Federal authorities are charging the owner of a defunct Florida clinic accused of providing steroids and other banned substances to Major League Baseball players, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. According to Miami federal court records Tuesday, Anthony Bosch faced one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone. Court documents say that from October 2008 through December 2012, Bosch willfully conspired to distribute the anabolic steroid testosterone. Fourteen players associated with the Coral Gables clinic were disciplined last year by MLB, including a season-long 2014 suspension imposed on Rodriguez.

-----------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Cease-fire in effect

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The shelling has stopped in Gaza, at the start of a three-day cease fire that sets the stage for peace talks. Israel today withdrew its ground forces from Gaza's border areas, and both sides halted cross-border attacks as the truce took effect. In Gaza City, where streets had been deserted during the war, traffic picked up and shops began opening their doors. Nearly a month of fighting has killed 1,900 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel. Egyptian mediators are planning to begin shuttle negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo to try to work out new arrangements for Gaza.

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Palestinian minister: decision to join ICC soon

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister says that his government intends to apply for membership at the International Criminal Court this year in hopes of holding Israel responsible for alleged violations of war crimes law in Israeli-occupied territories. But after meeting with ICC officials, Riyad al-Maliki said his country hasn't yet made a final decision. An earlier attempt by the Palestinians to join the ICC in 2009 failed because the court wasn't certain the territories qualified as a state. Al-Maliki argued Tuesday that is no longer an issue since the state of Palestine was recognized by the U.N. General Assembly as a nonmember observer state in November 2012. Israel rejects the court's authority, while membership for the Palestinians could also open the door for an investigation of Hamas.

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Iraqi lawmakers postpone PM discussion

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's main political coalition still can't decide who to present as the next prime minister, delaying a scheduled discussion in parliament. With much of the north and west of the country under the control of Sunni militants, there is an urgent need to form a new government in light of April's parliamentary elections. The discussion over the new prime minister is now set for Thursday, said Kurdish lawmaker Perwan Muslih. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law party won the most seats in elections and he has vowed to stay despite pressure to step aside. The State of Law is part of the National Alliance coalition of other Shiite parties, however, many of which oppose al-Maliki. Critics of al-Maliki accuse him of monopolizing power and alienating Sunni and Kurdish minorities.

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UK: Passenger jet lands safely after warning

LONDON (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat after a Qatar Airways flight landed with a military fighter escort at Britain's Manchester Airport. There were 269 people on board Qatar Airways Flight 23 from Doha, Qatar, which made a safe landing on Tuesday after the pilot received a warning of a possible device on board.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 5, Texas 3, 7 innings

Frontier League

Evansville 7, Lake Erie 3
Gateway 10, Windy City 9
River City 5, Southern Illinois 4

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Texas at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

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Blackhawks Preseason Tickets On Sale

(Chicago, IL)  --  Tickets for the Blackhawks preseason games are on sale today.  They have home games scheduled for September 23rd, 26th, and October 1st.  Tickets are available online at ChicagoBlackhawks.com or at Ticketmaster. 

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Cubs prospect Baez set to join team in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Touted prospect Javier Baez will join the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Colorado and could make his major league debut in the three-game series against the Rockies. The 21-year-old Baez got off to a slow start this year in the minors, but has been playing well of late. The middle infielder, who is known for his tremendous bat speed, hit .300 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 32 games for Triple-A Iowa. Baez will have his contract purchased from the minors before the series opener against Colorado. There was no word Monday on a corresponding roster move. Baez is part of a loaded minor league system for Chicago that Cubs fans are hoping will lead the team back to respectability after a string of down years. The Cubs are 47-63 this season and in last in the NL Central.

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Bears' Wilson breaks collarbone, out indefinitely

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson is out indefinitely after breaking his collarbone in practice on Monday. Wilson was injured while diving for a pass in a scrimmage. Coach Marc Trestman said it's too soon to know how long the seventh-round draft pick from Washington State will be out. Wilson is vying for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and appeared to be leading, according to Trestman. Eric Weems, Josh Morgan, Armanti Edwards, Michael Spurlock, Chris Williams, Dale Moss and Josh Bellamy are the other wide receivers trying to secure a roster spot.

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News for Aug.4, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council to Meet Tonight

Mt. Vernon City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m.  Among items on the agenda, The Council will hear bid results for surplus properties, the City Manager will present the Capital Projects Report, the City Attorney will give first readings on ordinances regarding status of territory within corporate limits relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor, regarding an amendment revising code of ordinances by adding Article 32 Downtown sidewalk dining, Amending Article 6 of the revised code of ordinances adding sidewalk dining liquor licenses classification, and amending Article 18, Section 18.6 of the revised code of ordinances regarding the speed limit on Veteran's Memorial Drive, The City Attorney will also seek a resolution approving a design services agreement with Planning Design Studio LLC regarding Phase I of the Lincoln Park East Addition-South of the Aquatic Zoo.  Finally, The Mayor will present for a proclamation for National Night Out. The meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veteran's Park.

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FBI: Suspect in fatal bank heist may have had help
 
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An unsealed court document shows that a man accused of killing two Illinois bank workers and critically wounding a third during a botched robbery attempt — stabbing one of them more than 50 times — may have had some help. The FBI alleges in a search warrant application made public that James Watts was heard by the bungled holdup's survivor and seen on the Cairo bank's surveillance video talking to someone on a two-way radio later during the heist. The radio later was found in Watts' alleged getaway vehicle. The FBI wrote in the warrant application that other possible suspects may be at large. Watts is charged with attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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Southern Illinois Honeywell plant launches lockout


METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — Union-backed workers at a southern Illinois plant that helps make nuclear fuel are locked out of the work site because of a labor dispute. KFVS-TV reported Saturday the lockout involving the Honeywell plant in Metropolis follows the failure by the company and the United Steel Workers union to reach a deal affecting some 130 union workers before the latest contract expired Friday. Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe says the plant will continue operating with federally trained salaried workers until a deal is reached. Union workers at the plant also were locked out of the site in 2010 for more than a year during a contract dispute.

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Susan Ford named interim SIU-Carbondale provost

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has a new interim provost. WSIU Radio reports that the campus' interim chancellor, Paul Sarvela, has asked graduate school interim dean Susan Ford to take on the new role. Sarvela says he made that move after consulting with what he calls key constituency groups on campus. Jim Garvey, the campus' interim vice chancellor for research, will fill Ford's void in the graduate school. The appointments require approval by the university system's governing board next month.

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Air Force staffer's sentencing reset in bomb case


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Federal sentencing of an Air Force staffer who pleaded guilty to possessing pipe bombs has been postponed until October. Investigators say 24-year-old Justin Vangilder told an informant that he fantasized about using the bombs to kill child molesters and sought to "inflict as many casualties as possible." Vangilder was to have been sentenced Friday in East St. Louis. That's where he pleaded guilty in April to possessing an unregistered destructive device. The FBI has alleged in court filings that Vangilder had three pipe bombs in his home. But authorities say there's no indication that he targeted anyone on southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base, where he was stationed. Authorities say Vangilder told an informant he was suicidal and disappointed his parents didn't support him during his divorce.

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Sesser Man Sentenced For Weapons Charge

A Sesser man who authorities say was found with a cache of firearms and explosives was recently sentenced in Franklin County to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a reduced weapons charge.   55-year-old Norman Risley was arrested in December 2012 when investigators allegedly found explosive materials and devices in his home, including blasting caps. They also seized illegal knives and several semi-automatic weapons and ammunition. Risley also was charged with indecent solicitation of a child and sexual exploitation of a child, but prosecutors dropped those counts as part of a plea deal. A judge ordered that Risley can't be with children younger than age 18 unless the child's parent is present.

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Jefferson County Road Crews To Repair Bridge

Jefferson County Highway Department has announced an upcoming road closure on Log Cabin Road.  The closure, slated for August 14th, will be located 2 miles south of Route 142 on Log Cabin Road by East Saddle Brook Road.  They will be repairing a bridge for approximately a few weeks at this location.

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Three Car Crash Kills One, Leaves Two Injured

(St. Clair County, IL)  --  An investigation continues after a three vehicle crash in Southwest Illinois left one person dead and two others injured.  The accident happened on Highway 158 between the cities of Millstadt and Columbia.  Investigators say the accident was a head-on collision near Triple Lakes Road Sunday evening.  The conditions of the other two victims are not known.

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Madison County office focus of investigation

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say they have searched a Madison County office and a special prosecutor is being requested as part of an investigation of possible criminal misconduct. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Edwardsville police have seized various items from the county office in southwestern Illinois. But Police Chief Jay Keeven and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons aren't publicly disclosing any details. Keeven only says that he can confirm an investigation is underway. Gibbons on Wednesday filed a court motion seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor.

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Slain woman's family says money went to shelter


COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) — The brother of a woman who was strangled with her two sons in 2009 says he gave most of the money raised in remembrance of them to a women's shelter in Chicago. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mario DeCicco says he left about $28,000 of the more than $30,000 that was raised to a shelter that he would not identify. He says he handed over the cash anonymously. In 2009, Sheri Coleman and her two young sons were strangled in their Colombia home. Her husband, Christopher, was convicted of murder in their deaths and is serving a life sentence in prison. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Attorney General's office is investigating whether the money that was raised in the community after the slayings was distributed properly.

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New law to double southwestern Ill. port's size

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois port district near the Mississippi River will more than double under legislation signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the measure signed Friday expands the what will be named America's Central Port district and gives the port more borrowing authority. The district now covers the townships of Granite City, Venice, Nameoki and Chouteau. But under the law that takes effect Jan. 1, the district will include the townships of Wood River, Alton and Godfrey in Madison County and Elsah and Quarry in Jersey County. The legislation also gives the district authority to build and run manufacturing, residential and cultural sites.

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Man Shot By Police Following Altercation

(Granite City, IL)  --  Authorities in Granite City are investigating after a man was shot by police following an altercation.  A fight started between three men Saturday afternoon at a home on the 24-hundred-block of Delmar Avenue. Witnesses say there was evidence of a stabbing.  Police say they shot the man because he allegedly charged at officers while holding the knife.  All three men involved were taken to the hospital with one left in serious condition.

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STATE
Report: Rauner funneled money into Caribbean


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says money channeled through the Cayman Islands and connected to his business dealings had no impact on his personal tax rate. Rauner spoke to reporters Sunday, the day a published report detailed how three of his five holdings in the Caribbean were tied to GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm he helped found. The