Posted October 24, 2014

News for Oct. 24, 2014

LOCAL
Jefferson County CrimeStoppers Crime Of The Week

The Jefferson County Crime Stoppers is asking for help in the identity of offenders stealing central air units in the Mt. Vernon area. The suspects are described as a white male or males in a red and white Ford Ranger pickup. The truck is red on top and bottom with white stripe in the middle. Thefts have occurred at homes that were vacant and had realty signs or rentals signs in yards. Thefts are occurring during day time hours. The Mt. Vernon Police Department is making vigorous efforts in curbing the rash of thefts. Investigations are still ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Mt. Vernon Police Department at 242-2131, 242-0215 or by making an anonymous tip to the Jefferson County Crime Stoppers TIPS line at 242-8477 (TIPS).   You may qualify for a cash reward and you never have to give your name – No caller ID

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Unemployment Falls Across The State From Last Month

Unemployment declined in all 18 counties in South Central Illinois when compared to one year ago, as there was a drop in the rates from August. The data is not seasonally adjusted. Employment activity increased during the fall of 2014 in South Central Illinois. Construction activity on roads, schools and commercial projects continued on a significant pace. Payroll gains occurred in Retail Trade, Wholesale Trade and Transportation. In addition, employment remained at high levels in Health Services and Leisure-Hospitality. Several area manufacturers have added production workers in 2014. Numerous employment opportunities in the fall of 2014 were available in Healthcare, Transportation and Sales. Job openings also were reported in Office and Administrative Support and Production occupations. Advertisements for employment included jobs in Business and Finance, Management, Computer Services and Food Preparation. There also were a number of job openings for Installation, Maintenance and Repair occupations. Jefferson County posted a 6.4% for September, down from 7.5% for August and from 8.4% in September 2014.  Marion County went from 9.5% to 8.2% over the last month after posting an 11% showing in September 2013 and Washington County dropped from 5.4% to 4.7% over the past month. Hamilton County went from a 6.4% to 5.9% over the last month and Wayne County dropped from a 7.5% to a 6.6%. Clinton County dropped from 5.4% to 4.9%.

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Indictment Brought In Bomb Threats At SIUC

(Benton, IL) -- A man is now facing charges for making bomb threats against Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Derrick Burns is accused of mailing several threats to both students and workers at the school between October of 2012 and October of 2013. In addition to bombings, the letters also threatened rapes and beheadings. The FBI finally traced the letters to him in Chicago and arrested him last month. Investigators say his fingerprints are on four of the seven letters.

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Man accused of East St. Louis robbery killing

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An East St. Louis man is accused in the beating and strangling of a man during a suspected robbery. Prosecutors in southwestern Illinois' St. Clair County charged Tracey Vickers on Thursday with two first-degree murder counts, one alleging that the killing took place during a holdup. Authorities say 27-year-old Tobias Gross of O'Fallon was found unconscious and bleeding Monday night in East St. Louis. He later died at a Belleville hospital. Online court records don't show whether Vickers has an attorney. He has no home telephone listing. Vickers is jailed on $750,000 bond.

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Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Improve Campus Safety at SIU Carbondale

CARBONDALE – Governor Pat Quinn today announced an investment to improve campus safety at Southern Illinois University Carbondale by upgrading lighting along campus walkways with environmentally friendly LED lighting. The investment comes from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, and is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve public safety across Illinois. Governor Quinn made the investment after learning about concerns from students, faculty and visitors regarding poorly lit areas on the SIU campus. Improving the exterior lighting will deter crime on campus and help ensure that students have safe, high-quality educational opportunities.   Southern Illinois University will receive $1.5 million to install approximately 400 new LED light fixtures along campus walkways. The project will also include the replacement of old and failing electrical infrastructure and wiring to reduce the risk of electrical shock. The new LED lighting will improve campus safety while reducing electric consumption and light pollution. This project is the second phase of a project to update walkway and roadway lighting with more efficient LED lighting at SIU Carbondale. This project is part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.

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MVPD Have Burglary Suspect In Custody

Mt. Vernon police have a suspect in custody on suspicion of multiple burglaries in the area. The juvenile suspect was taken into custody following an investigation into several residential burglaries in the Mt. Vernon area. He has been charged with three counts felony residential burglary and is currently being detained in a local juvenile detention facility. Police are awaiting forensic analysis of evidence collected from other similar burglaries in the Mt. Vernon area and additional charges against the juvenile are anticipated.

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Illinois Man Sentenced For Hacking Federal Computers

(Salem, IL) -- A Salem, Illinois man will spend the next two years behind bars for hacking into federal computer systems. Daniel Krueger led a group called "Team Digi7al." The group managed to get into 50 computer systems, including the U.S. Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the email accounts of the Peruvian ambassador to Bolivia. Officials say they were trying to steal identities, obstruct justice, and cause damage to a protected computer. Krueger pled guilty to charges back in May and said he hacked the systems because he was bored. He was handed the two-year-sentence yesterday.

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Students Face Expulsion After Alleged Bullying

(Anna, IL) -- Three high school students in southern Illinois are facing expulsion after an alleged bullying incident. Officials won't say what exactly happened at Anna Jonesboro High last month, but they confirm that the incident involves students who were on the football team. All of them have been suspended. Three of the six students may not be allowed to return to school. The school board will make that decision at a hearing next month. The Anna Police Department is investigating but no charges have been filed.

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MVPD To Hold Unclaimed Property Auction

Mt. Vernon Police Department is set to hold an unclaimed property auction of items the police department has collected on Saturday November 8th at I-64 Auction in Woodlawn starting at 9 a.m. The property includes: Bicycles, electronics, new clothing items, Jewelry, collector coins, and tools. For a complete list of property to be auctioned please visit our website at mvpd.org and click the "News" tab.

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Franklin County Man Charged For Domestic Battery, Other Charges

A Franklin County man has been charged for allegedly beating his wife and holding her and their 12-year-old daughter against their will for over 48 hours. West Frankfort Police Chief Shawn Talluto says 37-year-old Doyle E. Marion was charged with domestic battery, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, forcible detention, aggravated unlawful restraint, unlawful restraint and aggravated cruelty to animals. Talluto says police learned about the incident after Marion’s wife called the police department Monday to tell them what had happened. An investigation got underway and evidence found led to charges against Marion. Marion was arrested without incident around 1:30 Monday afternoon at his home on South Taft Street.  He was lodged in the Franklin County Jail.

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STATE
Biden To Headline Rockford Rally

(Chicago, IL)  --  Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Rockford next week.   He'll headline an early voting rally to boost support for Governor Quinn and other Democrats who are on the November ticket.  Details on location and time haven't been released yet but the event will be open to the public.

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Feminist Steinem To Give Governor Quinn Boost Friday

(Chicago, IL)  --  Well-known feminist Gloria Steinem plans to stump for Governor Quinn in Illinois this Friday to stir up the female vote.  The "Chicago Sun Times" reports she'll headline a women's event in support of the governor's reelection bid.  Steinem also is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Quinn on Friday.  The governor faces Republican challenger Bruce Rauner in the November 4th general election.

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Rauner Tosses Another Three Million Into Campaign

(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner is shoring up his campaign account in the final days before the election.  He gave himself another three-million bucks this week.  Altogether, he's tossed in more than 23-million dollars into his bid for the state's top job.  He's in a head-to-head battle with Governor Quinn.  Recent polls put Rauner ahead by just one-or-two points, but that's within the polls' margins of error. 

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Quinn says he'll comply with hiring monitor

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll comply with a court-ordered monitor to review hiring at his administration's Department of Transportation. The Chicago Democrat spoke to reporters Thursday in Carbondale. A federal judge ordered Wednesday that a monitor be appointed. In April, a Chicago anti-patronage attorney filed a motion asking for more oversight on IDOT hiring, which Quinn's attorneys said was unnecessary. The state's Office of Executive Inspector General also conducted an investigation showing hires were made without adhering to rules that prohibit political considerations. Quinn says he made reforms afterward, adding Thursday that the court-appointed monitor should work with the OEIG. The ruling comes less than two weeks before the Nov. 4 election. Republican Bruce Rauner claims it shows Quinn can't be trusted to clean up government, which Quinn's campaign rejects.

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Ameren Says Natural Gas Supply Good, Prices Steady

(Springfield, IL) -- There's good news for Ameren natural gas customers, the company says it has a good supply and that prices will be near last year's levels. Last year's cold winter drove up prices and produced shortages in some areas across the Midwest. While prices rose early this year as utilities replenished their supplies, Ameren says prices have stabilized now and should be about 54-cents per therm.

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Complications arise just 12 days before Ill. vote


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — With just 12 days left before Election Day in one of the nation's most closely watched races for governor, Illinois officials are beginning to deal with complications from balloting procedures to how soon they can count votes. Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion that no votes should be counted before the 7 p.m. close of polls on Nov. 4. Elections authorities in Chicago and suburban Cook County say if they can't even prepare votes for counting before then, vote-total reporting will be seriously delayed. In Rock Island County, Republicans filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Democratic county clerk. It alleges mail-in votes are being opened early and poll-watchers are prohibited from observing the process. Rock Island State's Attorney John McGehee says County Clerk Karen Kinney believes she's acting properly.

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Farmers Urged To Be Careful In The Fields

(Springfield, IL) -- Farmers are in the fields harvesting their crops and according to some experts, they're putting their lives in danger every day. There were more than 80-thousand Ag-related injuries across the U.S. last year, most involved the big machinery. Experts say farmers are often exhausted from working long hours, which could be a hazard while they're in the field. They're encouraged to rest as much as they can and be careful as they push through the harvest season, especially when kids are working with them.

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NATIONAL
NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is reassuring New Yorkers that they are not at risk because of the city's first case of Ebola. The patient is an emergency room doctor who had traveled to West Africa. Dr. Craig Spencer was helping to treat Ebola patients in Guinea as part of Doctors Without Borders. City officials say "clear and strong" protocols have been followed. Spencer is being treated at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.

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White House fence jumper held without bond

WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence was ordered held without bond in an appearance Thursday before a federal magistrate judge. Dominic Adesanya (ah-deh-SAHN'-yah) resisted being taken away and started talking as two court officers removed him from the courtroom. The defendant has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats. A preliminary hearing and detention hearing have been scheduled for Monday. Earlier Wednesday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said options are being considered to enhance security at the White House, including more personnel, technology and physical impediments to get in. He praised the agents' response, saying, "Yesterday's incident underscores the professionalism of the Secret Service."

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Wilson attorneys: Not responsible for leaks

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson say they are not responsible for recent leaks of information related to investigations into the shooting death of Michael Brown. Wilson shot the unarmed 18-year-old on Aug. 9 in a case that has drawn widespread attention. A grand jury is expected to decide by mid-November whether Wilson will face criminal charges, and the Justice Department is investigating for possible civil rights violations. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a leaked copy of St. Louis County's autopsy and toxicology report Wednesday. Other leaks to media have cited unnamed sources saying Wilson told investigators he felt threatened by Brown. Wilson's four attorneys said in an emailed statement that commentary about the case should only come in a legal venue, not through media, while the investigations continue.

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Judge dismisses cases in IRS political controversy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed two lawsuits stemming from the government's alleged mistreatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. Forty-two organizations sued the government, the Internal Revenue Service and individual IRS officials for constitutional violations, saying IRS officials pulled applications from conservative organizations and delayed processing those applications for sometimes well over a year during the 2010 and 2012 elections. In a decision Thursday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said federal courts in Washington do not permit financial claims against individual IRS defendants for alleged constitutional violations. The judge also ruled that the IRS had suspended the practice of using watch lists to identify cases requiring extra scrutiny, thus removing one of the grounds for legal action. Several investigations into the IRS' handling of the applications are underway.

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Official: 3 dead, 2 hurt in Maryland midair crash

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A fire department official says three people were killed and two others were injured when an airplane and a helicopter collided in midair at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland. Capt. Kevin Fox of Frederick County Fire and Rescue says the collision occurred at 3:40 p.m. He says it's not clear how the collision occurred or which victims were aboard which aircraft. The injured victims were taken to a trauma center in Hagerstown. Fox did not know the extent of their injuries. Aerial footage from WJZ-TV in Baltimore showed an airplane that had crashed into a stand of trees. The airport opened in 1948. It has two runways.

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Tornado does damage in Washington state

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Forecasters say a tornado has ripped down power lines and damaged property in Washington state. The National Weather Service says the tornado hit the southwest Washington city of Longview on Thursday afternoon. Police asked residents to avoid a section of the city affected by the strong winds. Video taken by a citizen appears to shows roof tiles being blown off a building. Jennifer Rossetti saw debris flying past her window and says wind blew the door off a nearby office supply store. The Longview Fire Department did not have injury reports or a damage estimate. Longview is about 50 miles north of Portland, Oregon.

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Governor: Ebola doc's activities were limited

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the New York doctor who has tested positive for Ebola "obviously felt he wasn't symptomatic" when he went out "in a limited way." Cuomo made his comments on NBC's Today show Friday after being asked whether Dr. Craig Spencer acted responsibly, even though he rode the subway, bowled and rode a cab. Spencer recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa. The governor told CNN's New Day Spencer had a slight fever of 100.3 degrees when he sought help. Spencer's temperature was previously reported to have been 103 degrees. Ebola patients are not contagious until symptomatic. Spencer tested positive for the virus on Thursday. He is the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation.

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Pat Robertson comment on AIDS angers Kenyans

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenyans are expressing anger and shock on social media and radio stations over comments made by popular American evangelist Pat Robertson in a recent TV broadcast where he warned that towels in Kenya could transmit AIDS. Robertson made the remarks last week while answering a question his show "The 700 Club" from a viewer about whether a planned trip to Kenya is risky. Robertson responded: "You might get AIDS in Kenya. The people have AIDS in Kenya. The towels could have AIDS." Kenyans on social media are demanding that Robertson apologizes personally on the TV show. One Nairobi resident, Terry Kamau, said he was angered by the remarks, especially since they came from a man her family grew up watching on TV.

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Evenflo recalls infant seats to fix sticky buckles

DETROIT (AP) — Evenflo is recalling more than 202,000 rear-facing infant seats because the buckles can become difficult to unlatch. The recall affects Embrace 35/9999 models with an AmSafe QT1 buckle. Documents posted by U.S. safety regulators say that if the buckles don't release easily, it may be difficult to get a child out of the seat in an emergency. The affected seats were made at various times from December 2011 through May of 2013. Not all Embrace 35 models are covered by the recall. For others, the company will provide replacement buckles if requested by customers. The recall comes after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Owners with questions can call Evenflo at (800) 490-7591.

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INTERNATIONAL
Cameron: EU secures $1.25 billion for Ebola fight

BRUSSELS (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron says that the European Union and its 28 member nations have secured $1.25 billion to fight the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Cameron made the announcement as Friday's self-imposed deadline was drawing close to drastically increase the anti-Ebola funds from Europe. Late Thursday, Cameron had shown the way when Britain pledged an additional $126 million to fight the disease, which has killed more than 4,800 people. The EU and its member states were over halfway there when a summit of government leaders opened in Brussels Thursday but there was no immediate information available which other nations had come up with major contributions.

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WHO: 5 more Ebola vaccines to be tested in March

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization says millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines will start being tested in March. Still, the agency warned it's not clear whether any of these will work against the deadly virus that has already killed over 4,800 people this year. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny from the agency told reporters there could be millions of doses of an Ebola vaccine in 2015 if early tests prove that the two leading candidates are safe and effective. If the early trials hint at success, larger trials testing the vaccines in West Africa could begin as soon as December, Kieny said. She said five other possible Ebola vaccines should start being tested in March.

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Putin accuses US of undermining global stability

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. of destabilizing the world by trying to enforce its will on other countries. In a speech to political experts in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi Friday, Putin cited the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria, to back up his claim. Speaking with strong emotion, he said Washington has been "fighting against the results of its own policy" in those countries. Putin has accused the U.S. of trying to cast Russia as a danger to the rest of the world and forcing its allies to impose sanctions against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis. He said the sanctions aim to push Russia into isolation and will not succeed. The Ukrainian crisis has brought Russia-West relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.

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Pakistan detects more polio cases on awareness day

ISLAMABAD (AP) — World Health Organization says three more polio cases have surfaced in Pakistan, bringing the number of those affected by the crippling disease in the country this year to 220. The statement came as many nations observed World Polio Day on Friday to create awareness about polio. Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries where polio remains endemic. The highly contagious virus is transmitted in unsanitary conditions but is easily fended off with a vaccine. Dr. Elias Durry, who heads WHO's polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, says most of the cases were detected in the county's northwest, where Pakistani Taliban have banned immunizations and attacked polio vaccination teams in recent years. In Islamabad, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged the government would provide resources to battle the disease.

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UK boy finishes proton therapy in Prague for tumor

PRAGUE (AP) — A clinic in Prague says British boy Ashya King has completed his proton beam therapy treatment for a life-threatening brain tumor. Prague's Proton Therapy Center says the treatment took place without complications and during his 30 radiation sessions Ashya "was getting better and better." It said Friday that Ashya and his family are leaving for Spain over the weekend for his rehabilitation and a possible further treatment, including chemotherapy. Prague doctors say patients like Ashya have a 70-to-80 percent chance of being cured. Ashya's case caused an international uproar after his parents, Brett and Naghmeh King, fought a protracted battle to get their young son treated with proton beam technology. The therapy targets tumors more directly than radiotherapy but is not yet available for patients with brain tumors in Britain.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

NHL

Vancouver 4, St. Louis 1
Nashville 3, Chicago 2

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

NBA

Chicago vs. Minnesota at St. Louis 7 p.m.

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL

Chicago at St. Louis 7 p.m.

College Football

Minnesota at Illinois 11 a.m.
Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan 12 p.m.
Northern Iowa at Western Illinois 1 p.m.
Tennessee State at Eastern Illinois 1:30 p.m.
Missouri State at Illinois State 6 p.m.
Indiana State at Southern Illinois 6 p.m.

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

NFL

St. Louis at Kansas City 12 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX)
Chicago at New England 12 p.m.
Indianapolis at Pittsburgh 3:25 p.m.

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News for Oct. 23, 2014

LOCAL
Forum Presents Time For State Representative Statements

At Wednesday night's candidates' forum in Mt Vernon, Terri Bryant made an appearance to give a statement regarding her platform for the upcoming election.  Her opponent, Bill Kilquist, was absent due to a scheduling conflict, but had prepared a statement indicating his experience and his willingness to maintain an office with flexible office hours in Mt. Vernon if elected. Bryant said "she knows what it is like to not have a pension guaranteed." She also says the area has access to 4 great junior colleges and one major University and can use that to help students get into programs for a more prepared work force. Election Day is November 4th, but polls are currently open for early voting.

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Two Current Superintendents Vie For New Expanded Region

At Wednesday night's candidates' forum in Mt Vernon, both candidates for Regional Superintendents discussed their views on a series of questions. Both Ron Daniels and Keri Garrett want to tackle the financial problem facing the board.  Jefferson County will consolidate with several other counties due to a cut in the state education budget. While making the district bigger, both candidates are prepared to work keeping education a priority in all counties. Election Day is November 4th, but polls are currently open for early voting.

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Sheriff's Candidates Face Off At Forum

At Wednesday night's candidates' forum in Mt Vernon, Jefferson County Sheriff candidates, Travis Allen and John Lewis, answered questions regarding what changes they would make if elected.  Both candidates want to tackle the fiscal problem facing the department. One idea is to hire part-time officers to cut back on the overtime of current officers. Either candidate says they are able to fix the fiscal problem facing the county; Lewis discussed his experience with both business and law enforcement finances. While, Travis Allen talked about his degree in Business Management and his success while running the Police Department in Ina and other business endeavors.  Both Allen and Lewis also want to train the Sheriff's Department to give the community a more professional department. Election Day is November 4th, but polls are currently open for early voting.

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Marijuana Dispensary Planned Near Metro East School

(Glen Carbon, IL)  --  A medical marijuana dispensary could be located in a Metro East community near a school.  Several parents from the Ginger Creek subdivision in Glen Carbon spoke out at a Tuesday night meeting against the proposed site.  They say its too close to the school and their homes.  The state requires that the dispensary has to be one-thousand feet from a school and this site is one-thousand-144 feet from Edwardsville High School property.  Illinois officials will decide whether the dispensary goes at the Glen Carbon location.

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Police: Illinois thieves lead high-speed chase

NASHVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Police are investigating after thieves stole four cars from a southern Illinois dealership and led officers on a high-speed chase. Police said Wednesday two Dodge Challengers, a Ford Mustang and a Ford Focus were taken from a Nashville dealership Tuesday. They say the thieves fled west on Interstate 64 toward St. Louis. Authorities from at least seven agencies followed in a chase that they say reached "very high" speeds. They say one suspect was captured in O'Fallon after he pulled over in a Challenger and tried to flee on foot. An Illinois State Police spokesman says police dogs helped locate the man hiding in another car dealership lot. He says another suspect pulled over near New Baden and fled on foot. He says at least one other suspect got away.

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Man accused in 2011 shooting death in custody

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A man who spent three years on the run after being charged in connection with a deadly southwestern Illinois shooting is in custody in Illinois after being captured in his native Mexico. Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says 20-year-old Fernando Gallegos-Ochoa was returned to that county Tuesday night and is jailed without bond. Ochoa was captured in Mexico in February. Ochoa is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm related to the August 2011 shooting in Pontoon Beach. Gibbons says Ochoa is accused of fatally shooting Jesus Flores and wounding Luis Ortiz during a dispute outside a restaurant. Online court records don't show whether Ochoa has an attorney.

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Police: Man found dead in wrecked car perhaps shot

ALORTON, Ill. (AP) — The Alorton Police Department and the Illinois State Police are investigating the suspected shooting death of an East St. Louis man whose body was found in a car that ran off the road. Police tell the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that 30-year-old Darian Massey of East St. Louis was found dead early Wednesday. Authorities say they are awaiting the results of an autopsy before releasing more information about the man's death. Alorton police requested Illinois State Police assistance in the investigation. There was no immediate word about arrests or charges in the case.

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Metro-East Store Clerk Maced During Heist

(Fairview Heights, IL)  --  Fairview Heights police are investigating a robbery at a Sports Authority store, where alleged thieves pepper sprayed a clerk.  Video footage shows three men walking into the athletic goods retailer right off of Route 159.  After the store employee was pepper sprayed, one of the suspects ran out with an armful of North Face merchandise. Cops say the suspects left the scene in a black Ford Escape.

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Franklin County Enterprise Zone Talks Uneventful

Not a whole lot happened regarding the new Franklin County I-57 Enterprise Zone at Tuesday night’s Franklin County Board meeting. The board tabled until next month an ordinance establishing an enterprise zone within Franklin County and an intergovernmental agreement between the county, West Frankfort, Benton and West City for the enterprise zone. Officials say the two items were tabled due to a timing issue and how they need to progress. They did however pass a tax abatement resolution for the enterprise zone. The mission of the enterprise zone will be to create and retain jobs and spark investments within this area. Moran Economic Development of Edwardsville is working on the application for the enterprise zone. It must be in the state’s hands by Dec. 31. A decision regarding the enterprise zone will come from the state in September of next year.

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STATE
Biden in Illinois: Each vote for Democrats crucial

VERNON HILLS, Ill. (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is pressing for Illinois voters to rally behind Democrats during the approaching election, calling each vote crucial to advancing the party's progress in health care, education and women's rights. The vice president headlined a rally Wednesday in suburban Vernon Hills in support of Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn. Schneider is battling Republican Bob Dold to retain his 10th District seat. Biden told hundreds packed into a community center that if Democrats lose numbers in the House it will bring the party's progress "to a screeching halt." President Barack Obama was in Chicago on Sunday to help Quinn in his campaign against GOP challenger Bruce Rauner. Quinn campaigned Tuesday with former President Bill Clinton.

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Quinn Calls Rauner "Wolf of Winnetka"

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn's latest web ad blows smoke on Bruce Rauner's jobs record. The Republican claims he's created hundreds of jobs through his investment firm but he couldn't answer questions on how many of those jobs were created in Illinois.  He stumbled over the question during a debate in Chicago the other night.  Quinn's team is jumping on the opportunity, calling Rauner the "Wolf of Winnetka."  They say Rauner's has eliminated jobs in America and outsourced them in foreign lands.  

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Reporter Quits After Complaints From Rauner

(Springfield, IL)  --  A longtime political reporter for the "Chicago Sun-Times" is walking away from his job amid a potential scandal.  Dave McKinney was recently suspended after breaking news that "Sun-Times" former part-owner Bruce Rauner once threatened to ruin a female executive with ties to his firm. Rauner's campaign team tried to stop the story from going to print, but the editors ran it anyway and said McKinney is an upstanding journalist. Even so, McKinney says he has serious doubts about the paper's commitment to journalism.  He's hired former U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins to investigate whether Rauner tried to interfere with his employment. Rauner is in a heated race against Governor Quinn.

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Oberweis Now Supports Gay Marriage

(Chicago, IL)  --  State senator Jim Oberweis says he'd favor a federal law that allows same-sex couples to say their I-do's.  That's a shift in attitude for the Republican from Sugar Grove.  He voted against the deal that legalized same-sex marriage in Illinois last year but says the climate has changed surrounding the issue.  There have been quite a few cases tossed out of court and essentially gave same-sex couples in dozens of states the right to tie the knot.  Oberweis says he was raised Catholic but the courts have spoken so, it's not an issue anymore.  

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Durbin, Oberweis Fight For Black Vote

(Chicago, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and his GOP opponent Jim Oberweis are fighting to win the African American vote.  The minority group usually leans Democratic but they've been supporting Republican candidates this year.  During a debate last night Durbin said he finds it hard to understand how Oberweis can tell the Black community he understand their pain when he doesn't support a minimum wage hike and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Oberweis bit back at Durbin claiming Black leaders are supporting him because he has a record of creating jobs and a plan to give kids access to the best quality schools. 

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Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force

(Chicago, IL)  --  There's a new task force in Illinois designed to help ensure the public health system across the state is prepared for the Ebola virus.  The task force is made up of mostly health care professionals who can lead a coordinated effort to ensure everyone in Illinois receives timely and accurate information regarding any potential threat. So far there haven't been any confirmed cases in Illinois, although at least a handful of people are under medical watch or voluntary quarantine.  People who have questions about the Ebola virus can call the state's hotline at 800-889-3931.

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Voting Machine Casts Wrong Votes

(Schaumburg, IL)  --  A man who's running for state representative says the voting machine he used cast the wrong ballot.  Republican Jim Moynihan says he voted for himself but when he saw the final tally, the machine had logged the vote for his opponent.  In fact, he says the machine was switched several of his votes from Republican to Democratic candidates.  Moynihan alerted the election judge at the Schaumburg Public Library and was eventually allowed to vote Republican.  Elections officials say the machine had not been properly calibrated but has been fixed.  Still, Moynihan is urging people to check and check again before hitting submit on digital voting machines.

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Federal Monitor To Be Appointed For IDOT Hiring

(Springfield, IL)  --  A federal judge has agreed to appoint a monitor to have oversight over Illinois Department of Transportation hirings.  A three year investigation found evidence that hiring rules were broken at IDOT since 2003.  Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says the judge's ruling is proof that incumbent Governor Pat Quinn "is corrupt and can't be trusted to clean up state government."   A monitor is expected to be hired within a week.

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NATIONAL
Fence jumper arrested

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charges are pending after a Maryland man climbed over the White House fence last night. Twenty-three-year-old Dominic Adesanya was quickly taken into custody after video showed him punching and kicking two Secret Service dogs that were released on him. Adesanya was taken to a local hospital. Last month, a man with a knife jumped the White House fence and walked through the mansion's unlocked front door.

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HealthCare.gov's EZ form not for legal immigrants

WASHINGTON (AP) — HealthCare.gov's new EZ application for coverage can't be used by legal immigrants or naturalized U.S. citizens. That's prompting concern that many Hispanics and Asians will go right back into long enrollment queues this year. The Obama administration wants more Latinos to sign up under the health care law for 2015. Hispanics are the nation's largest minority group, and they're younger and more likely to be uninsured. An administration official says there have been significant improvements in the application process for immigrants, but advocates are unimpressed. Alvaro Huerta, a lawyer with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, says the whole idea was that HealthCare.gov was going to be seamless and easy, but that doesn't seem to be the case for immigrants.

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AP source: Goodell told to testify in Rice appeal

UNDATED (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been told to testify in Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension. That word comes from a person familiar with the case. Rice was suspended indefinitely and the Baltimore Ravens cut him after a video became public that shows him knocking unconscious his then-fiancee in an elevator. The players' union appealed Rice's suspension, saying his initial punishment had been a two-game suspension, and he shouldn't be punished twice.

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Concussion study says NCAA needs improvement

BOSTON (AP) — A new survey says colleges are still inconsistent in the way they handle athletes' concussions. The Harvard University study comes more than four years after the NCAA began requiring schools to educate their players about the risks of head trauma and develop plans to keep injured athletes off the field. Researchers looked at the responses of 907 of the NCAA's 1,066 members, and found that nearly one in five schools either don't have the required concussion management plan or have done a poor job in educating their staff about compliance.

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Massive cheating scandal at UNC involved athletes

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — A college professor who studies cheating at universities says the scandal at the University of North Carolina stands out among others. Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, says the existence of fake classes and automatic grades is a pretty extreme example of cheating. An investigative report released Wednesday found that about 3,100 students at UNC took the sham classes in the school's Afro-American Studies department from 1993 to 2011. Nearly half of those students were athletes, many of them football and basketball players. At least nine university employees were fired or under disciplinary review, and the question now becomes what, if anything, the NCAA will do next. Penalties could range from fewer scholarships to vacated wins.

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Boy killed in collision with LA ice cream truck

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say residents in a South Los Angeles neighborhood attacked the driver of an ice cream truck that struck and killed a 7-year-old boy riding a motorized bike. The boy was struck last night and died later at a hospital. Police say after the child was hit, a crowd attacked the ice cream truck driver, who told police that bricks also were thrown at his truck and someone threatened him with a knife. He sustained only bruises. Police say the collision was an accident.

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Patients avoiding Dallas hospital where Ebola hit

DALLAS (AP) — The hospital where a man diagnosed with Ebola died and two nurses were infected with the virus says its revenue and patient roles have plummeted. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said in financial statements Wednesday that its revenue fell 25 percent in the first 20 days of October, shortly after Thomas Eric Duncan was admitted with Ebola. The hospital says emergency room visits have fallen more than 50 percent, and its daily patient census fell 20 percent. Presbyterian Hospital has been criticized for its initial care of Duncan, who was released after coming to the emergency room Sept. 25 with a fever and other Ebola symptoms. He returned three days later by ambulance and was diagnosed with the disease. Its two infected nurses were transferred to other hospitals for treatment.

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Prosecutors: Michigan girl meant to kill family

PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 15-year-old Michigan girl stabbed her 12-year-old brother and conspired to kill other family members so she could run away with her 23-year-old boyfriend. Wayne County prosecutors said Wednesday girl is charged as an adult with assault with intent to murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Her boyfriend faces the same charges and felonious assault. He was ordered held on $1 million bond Sunday. Prosecutors say the girl stabbed her brother in the throat with a knife about 2 a.m. last Friday and tried to stab her younger sister. The boy was treated at a hospital. Prosecutors say the boyfriend was outside the girl's Plymouth Township house sending text messages instructing her. She's due in court later Thursday. The Associated Press sent her lawyer a message seeking comment.

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Maine man's ashes being launched into space

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — The ashes of a Maine man that have been scattered all over the world by strangers who connected with his mother on social media are now being launched into space. Using her Facebook page, Auburn resident Hallie Twomey has mailed hundreds of packets of her son C.J.'s ashes to people willing to scatter them on beaches, mountains and other places he didn't get to visit before he died four years ago. On Thursday morning, a vial of C.J.'s ashes will take a new journey when it is launched in a rocket from the New Mexico desert. The rocket will spend a few minutes in space before landing in the White Sands Missile Range. The roughly $1,000 memorial spaceflight is being paid for by Celestis, the company that arranged the launch.

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INTERNATIONAL
Police: Only one gunman involved

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canadian police now concede there was only a single gunman in a terror attack that killed a soldier standing guard at Ottawa's war memorial and then stormed Parliament in a hail of gunfire. Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy confirmed to The Associated Press Thursday that police are satisfied there was one attacker. Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that "there is no longer a threat to public safety." Police said in the initial hours after the shootings that as many as two other gunmen may have taken part. But as the day wore on, it appeared increasingly likely that the attack was the work of one person.

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Mom of Canada suspect: I cry for victims, not son

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The mother of the man identified as Ottawa gunman has told The Associated Press she is crying for the victims of the shooting, not her son. In a brief and tear-filled telephone call Thursday, Susan Bibeau said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack. "Can you ever explain something like this?" she said. "We are sorry." Authorities have identified the shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, whose gun rampage in the Canadian capital was stopped was stopped cold when he was shot to death by Parliament's ceremonial sergeant-at-arms. One victim was killed and two other people were wounded in the attack.

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EU leaders seek more Ebola funding at summit

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has contributed another $31 million to the fight against Ebola, as the bloc's leaders try to close in on a $1.26 billion) fund to fight the deadly virus. British Prime Minister David Cameron set that high target last week. Going into Thursday's start of a two-day EU leaders' summit, the bloc's total anti-Ebola commitments stood over halfway to that goal. EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Thursday added 24.4 million euros more for medical research on an Ebola vaccine. Britain says it has committed $200 million toward fighting Ebola, more than any other of the bloc's 28 nations.

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NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korean legal experts say the U.S. government must make a formal apology to secure the freedom of two Americans who remain imprisoned in North Korea after the release this week of Jeffrey Fowle. The two North Korean law experts said Thursday that getting Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae out of prison will likely require an official statement of apology and formal request from Washington. Fowle was flown out of North Korea on Tuesday after being detained for six months for leaving a Bible in a nightclub. State media said he was released after leader Kim Jong Un granted him a special pardon following "repeated requests" from President Barack Obama. There has been no word on whether any progress has been made toward getting Miller and Bae released as well.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL

Chicago at Nashville 7 p.m.
Vancouver at St. Louis 7 p.m.

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Bulls Meet T'wolves Friday

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Bulls are headed to St. Louis for Friday's preseason finale against the Minnesota Timberwolves.  Chicago is 4-and-3 so far in the preseason after falling to the Cavaliers on Monday.  The Bulls open the regular season next Wednesday against the Knicks in New York.

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Self, Weber speak at Wayne McClain funeral

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — People who gathered to remember basketball coach Wayne McClain say it was like him not to reveal he was ill with cancer. Former Illinois and now Kansas State coach Bruce Weber was among dozens who spoke Wednesday in person or by video during McClain's funeral. Kansas coach Bill Self, who hired McClain at Illinois, also spoke. Weber told the more than 1,000 people who gathered for McClain's funeral that he was mad McClain hadn't shared the bad news. But he added "that just wasn't him." Terry McClain said he spoke to his 60-year-old brother regularly but didn't know he was ill until days before his Oct. 15 death. Wayne McClain made his name as head coach at Peoria Manual High School. He won three state championships there in the 1990s.

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Illinois adding press-box medical staffer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois will add a medical staffer in the press box at football games to help spot potential injuries. The announcement comes less than a month after Michigan apologized for the handling of quarterback Shane Morris' concussion. Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said in a news release Wednesday that the staff member should help provide an extra set of eyes watching for injuries that may not be easily seen from the sidelines. Thomas did specify what kind of medical professional would serve in the new role. Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon announced plans to add a press-box medical staffer after acknowledging it was a mistake to send Morris back on the field after he was injured during a September game.

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NBA Owners Reject Draft Lottery Reform

(New York, NY)  --  Despite an effort to reform the NBA Draft Lottery, the process will remain the same for at least the 2015 NBA Draft.  Yahoo! Sports reports the league's board of governors failed to accumulate the required 23 votes needed to push the change through.  The proposed new process would have given the league's four worst teams identical odds of receiving the top pick.

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News for Oct. 22, 2014

LOCAL
Newell Pleads Guilty To First Degree Murder

Jefferson County State's Attorney Douglas R. Hoffman has announced that 44 year old Timothy S. Newell of Bonnie, has plead guilty to one count of First Degree Murder for the death of Rita "Betty" Newell on October 3, 2013 in Bonnie.  The plea agreement presented by the Jefferson County State's Attorney's Office and Public Defender Sean Featherstun was accepted by Circuit Judge Eric Dirnbeck on Tuesday.  Judge Dirnbeck sentenced Newell to 40 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  The law requires that he serve 100% of his sentence.  On October 3, 2013, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Ina Police Department authorities discovered the body of Rita Newell at her home in Bonnie.  An autopsy revealed that she was beaten and stabbed once in the neck with a knife.  The defendant, Timothy Newell, was the victim's grandson and lived with her.  He was apprehended the next day in Missouri and confessed to killing the victim. 

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Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Holds Candidates Forum

Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Candidates Forum on Wednesday, October 22 with a Meet & Greet from 5:30 - 6:00 PM, and the forum beginning at 6:00 PM. The event will take place at the Rolland Lewis Building at Veterans Park. The races represented are the Regional Superintendent of Schools, Jefferson County Sheriff, and Illinois Representative for the 115th District. There will be a full forum for the Jefferson County Sheriff's race and the Regional Superintendent of Schools race. Only one candidate from the Illinois Representative for the 115th District race will be in attendance. Therefore, a statement by that candidate will be made, but no forum will take place for that particular race. The public will have an opportunity to write questions upon arrival to possibly be used during the forum.  For those unable to attend, the forum will air on AM 940 WMIX.

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SIU police probe latest reported sexual assault

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities at Southern Illinois University are investigating the third reported sexual assault on the Carbondale campus in about a month. The campus' Department of Public Safety Police Chief Benjamin Newman says the latest reported attack happened Sunday at the Neely Hall dormitory. No charges were filed as of Tuesday, but three male students have been placed on interim separation from the university pending the investigation's outcome. Newman says the suspects and the accuser are acquaintances. Sunday's reported assault follows last month's arrest of six SIU students in connection of two sexual attacks. Jackson County prosecutors still haven't announced charges in those assaults.

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Rauner’s Get Out The Vote Tour Hits Southern Illinois Today


Bruce Rauner’s gubernatorial campaign travels through the area today. He will be making an appearance with Kirk Dillard at 12:35 p.m. at the Union County Republican Headquarters in Anna. Rauner will then be heading toward O’Fallon for a 2:30 p.m. appearance at the Regency Conference Center. The appearances are part of a multi-day tour to encourage early voting.

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Group Wants Supreme Court Justice Off The Bench

(Springfield, IL)  --  A group known as "Campaign for 2016" is trying to get Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier off the bench.  They've been running ads against him in southern Illinois.  Lawyers connected to a Phillip Morris case before the Court have given half-a-million-dollars to the effort. They say people should know about the judge's poor record.  Karmeier has sided against the company in previous rulings.  

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Southern Illinois Towns Compete For Development Money

(Carbondale, IL) -- Several towns in southern Illinois are trying to win six-million-dollars for economic development. Marion, Herrin, and Carbondale are eligible to compete in the "America's Best Communities Prize Competition" sponsored by Frontier Communications and DISH Network. Officials in Carbondale say they're already getting their application together. They hope to win the cash and use it toward revitalizing their downtown area. The application deadline is January 12th. Communities with a population between 95-hundred and 80-thousand can apply.

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Police: East St. Louis man dies after beating

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Police say a man who was beaten and robbed after leaving a friend's house in East St. Louis has died from his injuries. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Detective Carlos Coleman said Tuesday that Tobias Gross of East St. Louis died at a Belleville hospital. He says Gross was beaten and robbed around 8 p.m. Monday as he was walking away from the house. Coleman says a suspect in his 40s was arrested Tuesday for questioning. He wouldn't say what the robber took or whether police recovered any evidence from the East St. Louis resident.

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Congressman Enyart Presents Mt. Vernon Check For New Industrial Park

Mt. Vernon officials and business leaders will gather near the site of a proposed industrial park Thursday to receive a check for $3.25M awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The funds will jump start the project and be used to add roads, water and critical infrastructure.  In addition to construction jobs, expected to begin next summer, the project is expected to create 500 local jobs once complete.  The city began planning the project over two years ago and optioned 100-acres of land near I-57 & I-64 west of town in December 2013. The Federal dollars will be matched with local funds, from the City’s Economic Development Capital Fund, and a $1.37 million Economic Development Program Grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation to support this $8 million investment. In their joint announcement in September, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL) touted the plan as key to area economic development. “Not only will this federal investment support local construction jobs, it will also leverage private investment and help attract new business into the area, spurring economic growth and creating jobs throughout the region, Durbin said. Congressman Enyart added “I’m elated to announce $3.25 million dollars coming to Mt. Vernon for infrastructure in the new industrial park. Mayor Mary Jane Chesley and I, along with Senator Durbin, have been working to continue the expansion efforts of the park, and this federal grant will go a long way. Upon the announcement, Mayor Chesley said “This grant shows the faith that Senator Durbin, Congressman Enyart and the federal government have in the City of Mt. Vernon to provide jobs for the people of the city, county and southern Illinois region, plus the potential for future economic growth.”

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STATE
Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin

CHICAGO (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton says he's supporting the re-election bids of Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin because they're concerned about the future.
Clinton spoke Tuesday at Chicago manufacturing plant. He says the Nov. 4 election is about key issues like jobs and health care. Quinn is seeking a second full term with a challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. It's one of the most competitive governor's races nationwide. Several high-profile Democrats have visited Illinois to stump for Quinn. President Barack Obama headlined a Chicago rally Sunday. Rauner's campaign says it's a sign Democrats are in "full rescue mode." He's repeatedly blasted Quinn's policies on jobs. But Quinn notes unemployment is at its lowest point in six years. Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis is challenging Durbin.

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Durbin, Oberweis to meet in 1st US Senate debate

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis are set to meet for the first debate of the U.S. Senate race. The candidates are scheduled to face off Wednesday at a debate sponsored by ABC 7, the League of Women Voters and Univision Chicago. Oberweis is a dairy entrepreneur from Sugar Grove who was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2012. He says Durbin has lost touch with Illinois voters since he first went to Washington more than three decades ago. Oberweis says he knows how to create jobs and improve the economy. Durbin, of Springfield, is the second-ranking Democrat in the U.S. Senate. He's seeking his fourth U.S. Senate term. Durbin says he's reaped billions of dollars of federal funds and other valuable benefits for Illinois.

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Family Under Voluntary Ebola Quarantine

(Rock Island, IL) -- A Rock Island family is under voluntary quarantine and is being monitored for the Ebola virus. That's because one of the five family members just came back to the U.S. from Liberia, where the disease is running rampant. Officials say the woman did not have contact with anyone with the virus while she was there, and she's not experiencing any symptoms. But the family wants to be proactive and make sure the community is not in any harm. They'll be monitoring their temperatures and keeping an eye out for potential symptoms for the next three weeks. Officials say there's no need for the community to be concerned.

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Biden In Chicago For Quinn

(Chicago, IL)  --  Vice President Joe Biden is in Chicago stumping for Governor Quinn today.  He's the last of the scheduled heavy hitters to come in and rally the base, hoping to get Democrats to the polls for Quinn.  The governor is in a dead heat with Republican Bruce Rauner.  The election is November 4th.

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Libertarian Candidate For Governor Gets Boost From Union

(Chicago, IL)  --  The third party candidate for Illinois governor says he welcomes the financial backing from a labor union that is casting their support behind him.  Libertarian Party hopeful Chad Grimm has already received a 30-thousand-dollar donation from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150.  He expects to get more cash from the union for his campaign.  Grimm is in the race for governor with incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican candidate Bruce Rauner.

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Springfield VA clinic grapples with short staffing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The overseer of federal outpatient clinics for veterans in central Illinois says sudden short-staffing at the Springfield site is posing "unprecedented" challenges in meeting patient demands. Dr. Dexter Hazlewood is chief of the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs' Illiana Health Care System's outpatient clinics. He tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register the problem is the departure of two doctors from the Springfield clinic. Hazlewood insists he doesn't believe any patient conditions have worsened because of the vacancies and related delays in appointments. But he says the clinic is "in a very, very challenged position" at a time when it has the same or greater patient demand and fewer health-care providers.

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Illinois' top educator: Funding problems to remain

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois state superintendent of schools says the outcome of the governor's race won't make a difference for the state's education funding problems. Illinois State Superintendent of School Chris Koch spoke Monday in Peoria to about 600 school leaders at the first day of the Illinois Principal Association conference. The Journal Star reports that he says "revenue is going to continue to be a problem no matter who's elected." Incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is in a tight race with Republican candidate Bruce Rauner in the Nov. 4 election. Koch says a fully funded education budget for Illinois would need an additional $3 billion to $4 billion.

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Illinois schools using emergency response system

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Five school districts in Illinois are testing an emergency response system that gives first responders instant access to information like building layouts before, during and after a crisis. The Illinois Association of School Boards is sponsoring the pilot project, which involves the use of the "NaviGate Prepared" security system. The system stores school information on the Internet so first responders can access it immediately. In a recent newsletter, the organization says the data will allow emergency response teams to view and share crisis plans, locate access points, tap into security camera feeds and easily view other important information. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports schools in Quincy, Grayslake, Fisher, Cuba and Robinson are participating in the state's pilot project. The system is being used by 175 school districts nationwide.

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

NATIONAL
American detained in NKorea arrives home in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — An American man just freed from North Korea has arrived in his home state of Ohio this morning. Jeffrey Fowle was detained for nearly six months after leaving a Bible at a nightclub. The 56-year-old had been awaiting trial. Fowle was flown out of North Korea yesterday on a U.S. military jet. Two other Americans who have been convicted of crimes in the North are still being held.

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New US Ebola czar starts work

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new White House "Ebola czar" starts work today with an afternoon meeting with President Barack Obama and top aides, as well as various White House teams leading the government's response to the deadly virus. And air travelers coming to the U.S. from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will have to arrive at one of five U.S. airports, where there's special Ebola screening. Those airports include New York's Kennedy airport and Washington's Dulles.

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Serial killer suspect to appear in court

GARY, Ind. (AP) — A man who's confessed to killing seven women found last weekend in northwestern Indiana is scheduled to appear in court today. Right now, 43-three-year-old Darren Vann is charged with the strangulation of one of those women, but authorities say more charges are expected.

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Government to announce Social Security COLA

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of older Americans who rely on government benefits are about to find out how much their monthly payments will increase next year. Preliminary figures suggest the annual cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees will be less than 2 percent. That translates to a raise of about $20 a month for the typical Social Security beneficiary. The government is scheduled to announce the increase thid morning, when it releases the latest measure of consumer prices. By law, the increase is based on inflation, which is well below historical averages so far this year. More than 70 million people receive benefits affected by the annual increase. The average monthly Social Security payment is a little less than $1,200 a month.

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Gov't seeks supplies for immigration documents

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Homeland Security Department appears to be readying itself for an increase in the number of immigrants living illegally in the country to seek work permits once President Barack Obama announces his executive action plans to change immigration rules. A draft contract proposal the government published earlier this month shows that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services wants to buy card stock to make as many as 34 million Permanent Resident Cards, or Green Cards, and work permits in the next five years. Administration officials won't say what Obama will do on immigration. But it's widely believed he will announce plans later this year to temporarily protect millions of immigrants living in the country illegally from deportation and give them new work permits.

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Judge reviews mental state of stabbing suspect

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin judge is deciding whether one of two 12-year-old girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online horror character is mentally fit to stand trial. The girl's public defender says she isn't, and notes a psychologist who examined the girl questions whether she'd be able to help with her defense. Waukesha County Judge Michael Bohren could make a ruling today. Prosecutors say the two girls plotted to kill a classmate, who was stabbed 19 times during a walk in a park after a sleepover. She survived by crawling to a sidewalk where a bicyclist found her. The judge ordered the other suspect to receive mental health treatment after a psychologist testified that girl believes she can see things others cannot, including the online horror character Slender Man.

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Methodist panel to hear appeal over gay wedding

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Methodist pastor who became a gay rights activist after he was disciplined for officiating at his son's wedding to another man will find out whether he can remain an ordained minister. The Rev. Frank Schaefer was suspended and then defrocked last year following a church trial in southeastern Pennsylvania when he would not promise to uphold the Methodist law book, which bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages. An appeals panel restored Schaefer's pastoral credentials in June. That decision was appealed to the United Methodist Church's Judicial Council, which hears arguments Wednesday in Memphis. Decisions of the Judicial Council are final. No decision is expected before next week. Schaefer has gained a following among reformers who want the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination to loosen its policies on homosexuality.

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Government ups air bag warning to 7.8M vehicles

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is adding more than 3 million vehicles to a rare warning about faulty air bags that have the potential to kill or injure drivers or passengers in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday put out a new list of vehicles, increasing the number from 4.7 million to 7.8 million. The agency urged people to get their cars repaired if they're being recalled, especially in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. The air bag inflators made by parts supplier Takata can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are inflated. Safety advocates say at least four people have died from the problem. The warning covers many models from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

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J&J to spend up to $200M on Ebola vaccine program

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson will start safety testing in early January on a vaccine combination that could protect people from a strain of the deadly Ebola virus. The health care products maker says it has committed up to $200 million to speed up and expand production of a vaccine program being developed by its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. J&J is developing the vaccine with the Danish biotech company Bavarian Nordic. It involves a regimen in which two vaccines are delivered two months apart. The combination provided complete protection in animals against a virus strain similar to the one causing the current outbreak in West Africa that has killed thousands of people. The New Brunswick, New Jersey, company says it will also determine whether its vaccine protects against the version causing the outbreak.

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Democratic chair: Election is 'neck and neck'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Democratic Party says the mid-term campaign for control of the Senate is "a neck and neck" situation. Florida Congresswoman Deborah Wasserman-Schultz says Nov. 4 isn't a referendum on President Barack Obama. And she's brushing off talk that endangered Democratic Senate incumbents are trying to avoid associating with President Barack Obama. She tells MSNBC Wednesday that Obama was on the ballot in 2008 and 2012, not now. Yet, Wasserman-Schultz cites his economic record when asked about Democratic prospects, saying "we have pulled ourselves out, thanks to his leadership." Former Democratic chairman Howard Dean, appearing on the same network, says "you can't get away with that. ... The president is on the ballot." Republicans could recapture the Senate from Democrats with a net gain of six seats.

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Schools reopen as ambush suspect manhunt continues

SWIFTWATER, Pa. (AP) — Schools in a northeastern Pennsylvania district have reopened after authorities did a precautionary search to make sure they weren't harboring the suspect in last month's deadly ambush of a state police barracks. The Pocono Mountain School District was closed Tuesday while police searched the district's campus in Swiftwater. Police scoured the elementary, junior and high school buildings but found no sign of the 31-year-old suspect, Eric Frein. The district says additional police officers will be on hand Wednesday, and students will remain indoors. Athletic practices and games will take place off-site. Police say there have been two reported sightings of Frein near the Swiftwater campus. Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one trooper and injuring another.

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INTERNATIONAL
Nigeria truce is shaky, no news of abducted girls

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Days after Nigeria's military raised hopes by announcing Islamic extremists have agreed to a cease-fire, Boko Haram is still fighting and there is no word about 219 schoolgirls held hostage for six months. Officials had said talks with Nigeria's Islamic extremist rebels would resume in neighboring Chad this week, but there was no confirmation that negotiations had resumed by Wednesday. The silence raises many questions, especially since Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau has not confirmed the truce. People who escaped this week from a town where Boko Haram has declared an Islamic caliphate say hundreds are being detained for breaking the group's strict version of Shariah law. The insurgents have attacked three northeastern towns and raised their flag in a fourth village since Nigeria's military chief announced a cease-fire Friday.

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Sweden scales back submarine hunt

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's military has withdrawn some of the ships taking part in a submarine hunt in the Stockholm archipelago. Military spokesman Erik Lagersten said some of the naval assets, including the corvette HMS Visby, returned to a naval base Wednesday for "maintenance" as the search entered "a partially new phase." He rejected the move was a de-escalation, saying the operation continued with air, ground and some naval assets. The Swedish military launched its biggest anti-submarine operation since the twilight of the Soviet Union on Friday after receiving credible reports of foreign underwater activity in the archipelago that extends from the capital, Stockholm, into the Baltic Sea. Military officials haven't blamed any country for the suspected intrusion, though most Swedish defense

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Hungary planning onerous tax on Internet use

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungarian Internet users, activist groups and opposition parties are rejecting a government plan to impose a heavy tax on Internet use from next year. The tax, included in the 2015 budget plan, would force Internet service providers to pay 62 cents per gigabyte of data downloaded or uploaded by users. Opposition parties on Wednesday called on the government to scrap the plan, while Hungary's Information and Communication Technology Association said the tax would lead to a fall in Internet use and increase costs for businesses and consumers. The economy ministry estimated annual revenues from the tax at $82.5 million, but experts said that based on recent data on Hungary's Internet use, the figure could be several times higher.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

NHL

Chicago 4, Philadelphia 0

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Area Teams In Weekly IHSA AP Football Poll

Class 1A-None
Class 2A-NR Johnston City 4 points, NR Chester 2 points
Class 3A- 5. Carlinville 85 points, 6. Nashville 67 points, 7. Mt. Carmel 42 points, NR Fairfield 2 points
Class 4A- 4. Greenville 111 points, 7. Herrin 50 points, 9. Carterville 37 points, NR Althoff 19 points, NR Columbia 18 points, NR Mater Dei 1 point, NR Effingham 1 point
Class 5A- 3. Highland 123 points, NR Marion 3 points, NR Jerseyville 1 point
Class 6A- 10. East St. Louis 13 points
Class 7A- 10. Belleville West 9 points
Class 8A- 5. Edwardsville 82 points

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Illinois High School Association sharing videos

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois High School Association says it will start posting full-length video of past state tournament events on YouTube in the coming months. The nonprofit association is in charge of high school sports in the state. The IHSA says it could upload even more of the 1,600 state final events on film and video in its library if the project is successful. Video from the IHSA fall calendar, such as cross country, swimming and diving, soccer, volleyball and football, is already up on the site. The association plans to continue publishing clips weekly throughout winter and spring. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports IHSA has also posted several older videos to its YouTube channel, including highlights of a 1989 boys basketball tournament and footage of the 1952 state championship.

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Murray State once again favored to win OVC title

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Murray State finally is back on top as the favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference title, a position the Racers find pretty comfortable. The program has won 23 OVC regular-season titles and 15 tournament championships. The Racers return four starters — including preseason OVC player of the year Cameron Payne — from a team that won the league's West Division title and advanced to the tournament finals before finishing 23-11 and winning the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Coach Steve Prohm said Tuesday at OVC media day being at Murray State as a coach or player means being ready for pressure and high expectations. He says that means you're doing the right things.

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News for Oct. 21, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets

The City of Mt. Vernon should expect to see more recreational fires this fall, after Monday night's City Council meeting at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building in Veterans Park. The council discussed a burn ordinance saying any property over five acres needs to meet EPA standards. The council says, however, recreational fires are still acceptable. The city of Mt Vernon burns its waste and is approved by the EPA. Mt Vernon's Mayor, Mary Jane Chesley, was also asked about the recent city shootings at Monday night's city council meeting. She simply stated that the police were taking care of the situation at hand and any citizen with information should call Mt Vernon's CrimeStoppers at 618-242-8477.     

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Illinois State Police District 12 Announces September Enforcement Activity

Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, today announced activity and enforcement figures for the month of September.  Troopers in District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, and Richland Counties, answered 267 calls for service and initiated 1,540 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 809 citations and 956 written warnings, including 387 speeding citations, 20 DUIs, 114 seatbelt citations, 10 child restraint citations, 349 written warnings for speeding, and 37 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 191 motorists, conducted 270 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 59 traffic crashes.  District 12 investigated 1 fatal traffic crashes in September. During the month, 548 citations and 457 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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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 November 2014, according to Interim 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 Traffic Safety.

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Man Accused Of Exposing Himself To Children

(Granite City, IL)  --  A Metro East man is accused of exposing himself to a school bus full of children.  Granite City police say 33-year-old Nicholas Patrick has been charged with child exploitation and is being held on 30-thousand-dollars bond.  His relatives say the incident is a big misunderstanding.  The mother of Patrick's daughter believes another man is to blame.  Meanwhile, due to safety concerns the bus route has been changed

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Man Sentenced Six Years In Prison For Break-In

(Effingham, IL)  --  An East St. Louis man will spend six years behind bars after he broke into a home in Effingham in March of 2013.  Prosecutors say 28-year-old Aaron Broadnax pleaded guilty to a charge of residential burglary.  He was also ordered to repay the homeowner more than one-thousand dollars in restitution.

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New Taco Bell Restaurant Set To Open In Centralia

Centralia is preparing to "live mas" again.  The local Taco Bell restaurant should be re-opening by Fall Festival weekend, according to Centralia City Hall. Construction should finish by Tuesday and the new restaurant will be open for customers at a yet undetermined time on either Friday or Saturday. The restaurant closed in August and was completely demolished to make way for a new Taco Bell that was built at the same location.

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Salem Woman Charged For Narcotic Possession

A 22-year-old Salem woman was charged Monday in Marion County Court with possession of narcotics, for allegedly selling prescription drugs to a Salem man. Bail has been set at $20,000 for Britney Altom, who has been formally charged with Class 2 Felony possession of narcotics, after she allegedly sold eight Vicodin to 24-year-old Charles Casner. Casner has been formally charged with Class 4 Felony possession of a controlled substance for allegedly possessing the eight Vicodin pills during a routine traffic stop by Odin Police over the weekend. Bail for Casner has been set at $10,000. Both Altom and Casner have been appointed public defenders to represent them in court.

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Fire chief: Donated oxygen masks may save pets

SOUTH ROXANA, Ill. (AP) — The chief of a Southern Illinois fire protection district says new equipment recently donated to the department may have helped save four dogs that died in a house fire last year. The (Alton) Telegraph reports the South Roxana Fire Protection District received two pet oxygen mask kits from employees of St. Louis' Kennelwood Pet Resorts. Company officials say thousands of pets die in fires every year, most from smoke inhalation. Todd Werner is chief of the fire protection district. He's says he's not sure if the masks would have made a difference in last year's fire. But Werner says: "We could have tried something more than what we were able to do." The kits include different sizes of masks to fit many varieties of dogs and cats.

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Ill. National Guard recruiter makes contest final

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois National Guard recruiter made it to the final round of Ms. Veteran America 2014. Staff Sgt. Katie Jo Williams of Altamont is with the Guard's Recruiting and Retention Command based in Springfield. Williams was the only member of the National Guard to make it to the finals. She landed in the top 25 before falling just shy of the final 10. Williams competed this month in Leesburg, Virginia. She says she is privileged to meet and compete with new "sisters-in-arms." Ms. Veteran America was created by Jaspen Boothe of Chicago. She founded Final Salute. It is an organization that supports homeless female veterans. Boothe says all the competitors have become "ambassadors," advocating for homeless women veterans and their children.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner Spar Over Taxes, Business Climate

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner didn't present any new ideas in their final debate before the election.  In fact, it was pretty much a boxing match between the two last night.  Quinn repeatedly blasted Rauner on his failed business tactics and his plan to let the income tax rate rollback, which he says will make "savage cuts" to education.  Rauner blasted Quinn's plan to keep the income tax rate in place.  He says it hurts both families and the business climate in Illinois. 

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Governor hopefuls disagree on charter schools

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner disagree on whether to impose a moratorium on new charter schools in Illinois. The candidates for Illinois governor are facing off Monday in their final debate before the Nov. 4 election. Rauner is a supporter of charter schools, where teachers usually are not unionized. He says "we need options for parents." Rauner and his wife have given millions of dollars to charter schools. The businessman from Winnetka also supports voucher programs, which typically provide public funds to help pay private-school tuition. Quinn says Illinois should impose a three-year moratorium on charter schools so the state can determine if they perform better than public schools. The Chicago Democrat says: "We need to invest in public education." He also opposes school vouchers.

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University Of Illinois Has Major Stake In Election

(Champaign, IL) -- The University of Illinois has a lot riding on the November election. The next governor, whether it's Pat Quinn or Bruce Rauner, could change the school's board of trustees, because the terms of three members are coming to an end. The terms of Pamela Strobel, Ed McMillan and board chairman Chris Kennedy all expire in early January and the next governor will decide who fills those seats. The changes loom as the main campus is looking for a new president and the Chicago campus seeks a new chancellor.

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Caterpillar Foundation Grant Aids Ebola Fight

(Peoria, IL) -- The Peoria-based Caterpillar Foundation is providing an additional one-million-dollars for the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The money adds to the seven-and-a-half-million-dollars the foundation has contributed to the ONE Campaign that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa. Foundation president Michele Sullivan says Ebola must be stopped so the foundation's other efforts to combat poverty can continue.

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State Goes After Jimmy John's Over Unpaid Taxes

(Champaign, IL)  --  State officials are going after Jimmy John's for allegedly skipping out on paying taxes.  NWI.com reports officials say two of the companies owe nearly one-and-a-half-million-bucks on corporate jets that were purchased back in 2009.  Attorneys for the companies say the state applied the tax code wrong when the jets were purchased but state officials say the planes didn't qualify for a commercial transportation exemption.  Lee Enterprises reports the case has been going on for more than a year now, but it only surfaced after the Jimmy John's owner toyed with the idea of moving his headquarters out of Champaign because of high tax rates. 

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Officials Urge Teens To Be Safe Behind The Wheel

(Springfield, IL)  --  Seventy-one teenagers died in car crashes in Illinois last year.  Secretary of State Jesse White says that's down nearly 55-percent since 2007 but it's still far too many.  He says distracted driving is a big problem even though it's illegal to talk on the phone and text when you're behind the wheel.  Illinois has implemented several measures to help cut back on teen deaths on the road, including the Graduated Driver's License program.  That requires teens to spend nine months behind the wheel with a parent before they can be licensed.   

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USDA: Illinois corn, soybean harvests slogs along

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn and soybean harvests in Illinois are limping along. The USDA says in its weekly crop progress update Monday that three weeks of wet conditions across much of Illinois have left the ground saturated. The agency says that has limited efforts to bring in the crops from the fields. The department says Illinois' corn harvest is 43 percent complete. That's down 20 percentage points from the average over the previous five years. About 37 percent of the soybean crop has been brought in, well short of the five-year average of 66 percent. Still, the USDA says 83 percent of the corn crop is rated as good to excellent. Slightly more than three-quarters of the soybean crop is classified in those two categories.

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Ballot Measure Aims To Dissolve Small Town

(Garrett, IL) -- A small town in east central Illinois could essentially be erased after the November 4th election. The 92-voters in Garrett will decide whether they should dissolve the town and let it become an unincorporated part of Garret Township. Village officials don't like the idea. They say things like snow removal would be cancelled and utility bills wouldn't get paid if voters approved the dissolution measure. That means street lights and water service could potentially be shut off. A public hearing is scheduled for 6:00 this evening so people can learn more about how the dissolution could impact them.

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CBMP To Host Cover Crop Field Day


Bloomington, IL.   The Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP) will host a cover crop field day at Sugar Grove Nature Center in McLean, Illinois on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 1 pm. The event is free and open to the public. After flying on a mixture of oats, oilseed radish and turnips on 20 acres of standing soybeans in August attendees are now invited to see the latest results of the project. Cover crop specialists, Pete Fandel and Mike Plumer, will deliver presentations on the use and management of cover crops and how they can improve soil health, water quality and farm productivity. Bryon Kirwan, State Economist for NRCS, will also present on the economic considerations of cover crops. The event is sponsored by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Zea Mays Foundation and the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (CBMP). These projects are intended to educate both the general public and specific agricultural audiences on the benefits of using cover crops to improve soil and water quality and to improve crop yields. With production farmland and educational facilities in close proximity, the Sugar Grove Nature Center provides an ideal location for the establishment of a Cover Crop Demonstration site. For more information about the field day please contact Caroline Wade at (309) 231-7440 or by email at cwade@illinoiscbmp.org.

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NATIONAL
CDC releases revised Ebola gear guidelines

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal officials have released new guidelines for health care workers taking care of Ebola patients. Health workers had been pushing for guidance since two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas were infected by a Liberian man with Ebola who eventually died. The guidelines call for being covered head to toe with face shields, hoods, boot covers, and training and monitoring of putting on and taking off protective equipment. The CDC cannot require hospitals to follow the guidance; it's merely official advice.

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Washington Supreme Court to hear Backpage.com case

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a case filed by three sex trafficking victims who say the website Backpage.com helps promote the exploitation of children. The suit being argued today is one of two taking on the classified ad website. A federal case was filed in Boston last week. A 2012 Washington law that set limits on Backpage.com was shot down by a federal judge. Backpage.com argues that the lawsuits are an attempt at censorship. They say the Communications Decency Act gives them immunity from the activities of their members or users. Lawyers for the three girls say they were sold as prostitutes in advertisements on Backpage.com. They say Backpage.com and other sites that offer "adult services" are not protected from the communications act because they are responsible for some of the information on the website.

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Wyoming prepares to legalize same-sex marriage

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming stands poised to become the latest state to allow gay marriage as a wave of court rulings brings expanded rights to same-sex couples across the nation. The state was scheduled to file a legal notice saying it won't defend a Wyoming law that defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman. After that formality, county clerks around the state can begin to issue marriage licenses to gay couples and the state will recognize same-sex unions performed legally elsewhere. The change is particularly notable in a state where the 1998 beating death of a gay University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, still influences national perceptions.

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Fugitive spotted again

UNDATED (AP) — Students in a school district in northeastern Pennsylvania are being kept inside for a second day today, after another sighting of a suspected cop killer. A local law enforcement official reported seeing suspect Eric Frein near a post office in Swiftwater in the Pocono Mountains yesterday, just three days after a woman walking in the same area said she had seen a man with a mud-covered face carrying a rifle. Frein is accused of opening fire outside a state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one trooper and seriously wounding another.

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Possible serial killer in Indiana

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Authorities in Gary, Indiana, say a man charged with strangling a woman whose body was found Friday, may be a serial killer. Darren Vann, of Gary, has been charged with the death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, whose body was found in a motel in nearby Hammond. Police say Vann is also a suspect in the slayings of six other women whose bodies were found in northwest Indiana over the weekend. And they say Vann has indicated there could be more victims going back 20 years.

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Home where babies' bodies found being torn down

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) — The squalid Massachusetts house in which the skeletal remains of three dead infants were found is being torn down. The Board of Health in the city of Blackstone ordered the demolition to begin today. It is expected to take two days. The woman who lived in the house with four children and her boyfriend is being held on $1 million bail on charges including fetal death concealment. Erika Murray's lawyer said last week that she appears to have mental health issues. Four children ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years were removed from the house in August, and authorities found the infants' remains in a more thorough search a few weeks later. Authorities said the house was piled high with dirty diapers and infested with rodents and insects.

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Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta has died at age 82. He had spoken in the past of having cancer. De la Renta shaped the wardrobe of socialites, first ladies and Hollywood stars for more than four decades. Most recently, Amal Alamuddin wore a de la Renta-designed wedding dress when she married George Clooney. De la Renta died Monday evening at his home in Connecticut.

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Nobel laureate to be honored in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pakistani teenager awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to promote girls' education will be honored in Philadelphia. Malala Yousafzai will accept the Liberty Medal today at the National Constitution Center. A Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai in the head two years ago because of her vocal support for gender equality and education for girls. Since her recovery, the 17-year-old activist has continued her advocacy through her nonprofit organization called the Malala Fund. She became the youngest Peace Prize recipient on Oct. 10. Yousafzai was chosen months ago for the Liberty Medal, which is bestowed annually on someone who strives to secure freedom for people around the globe.  She is now the seventh person chosen for the medal who subsequently received the Nobel prize.

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Mother of nurse with Ebola says she's doing well

ATLANTA (AP) — The mother of a nurse infected with the Ebola virus says her daughter is doing well and the family is relieved new guidelines for treating patients with the disease are now in place. Debra Berry made the comments during an interview that aired Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Berry's daughter, Amber Vinson, is being cared for in a specialized unit at Emory University Hospital near Atlanta. Berry said the family is "very confident" Vinson is receiving good care at Emory. Vinson was part of the team that cared for Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Another nurse there also became infected. Duncan died on Oct. 8. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines Monday aimed at protecting health workers treating Ebola patients.

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Matthew Charged With Attempted Capital Murder

(Fairfax, VA)  --  The suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham is now facing charges linked to a 2005 rape.  Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh announced Monday that a grand jury has indicted 32-year-old Jesse Matthew on charges of attempted capital murder, abduction with intent to defile and object sexual penetration.  Matthew is also charged with the abduction of Hannah Graham last month.

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Staples investigating possible data breach

NEW YORK (AP) — Staples says that it is looking into a potential credit card data breach and that it has been in touch with law enforcement officials about the issue. The office supplier retailer said that if it turns up any data discrepancies during its investigation, customers won't be responsible for fraudulent activity on their credit cards as long as it is reported in a timely manner. Spokesman Mark Cautela said in a statement that "we take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation." Earlier this month Sears Holdings Corp. reported a data breach at its Kmart stores. Other breaches have occurred at retailers including Target, Supervalu and Home Depot.

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INTERNATIONAL
Oscar Pistorius gets max. 5 years

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A police van has whisked away double-amputee Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius after he was given a maximum five-year prison term for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The maximum sentence means he could be moved from prison to house arrest in eight months. He was convicted of culpable homicide.

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Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January

GENEVA (AP) — A top World Health Organization official says the hunt for an Ebola vaccine will produce data about whether they are safe by December — and they could be in experimental field use by January. Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general for WHO, says clinical trials planned or underway in Europe, Africa and the U.S. are being accompanied by a push among governments for immediate "real-world use" of an approved Ebola vaccine. She told reporters Tuesday in Geneva that, if the vaccines are deemed safe, tens of thousands of doses would be used in a West African trial in January. WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib also promises a thorough public audit of the agency's early missteps in responding to the Ebola outbreak that has already killed over 4,500 people.

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UK suspect extradited to US to face terror charges

LONDON (AP) — A mentally ill British man accused of trying to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon has been extradited to the U.S. after losing a nine-year legal battle. London's Metropolitan Police says Haroon Aswat was taken Tuesday from a psychiatric hospital and escorted onto a plane by U.S. officials. Aswat is accused of conspiring with radical cleric Mustafa Kamel Mustafa — also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri — to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, 15 years ago. Aswat had been fighting extradition since his arrest on a U.S. warrant in 2005, and has been treated for paranoid schizophrenia. Last month Britain's Supreme Court ruled that Aswat could be extradited after receiving assurances from U.S. authorities that he would continue to be treated for his condition.

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At least 19 dead in Iraq bombing attacks

BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 19 people have been killed in a quartet of explosions today in and around Baghdad as a near-daily onslaught against Shiites continues. The attacks in the capital come as the country's Shiite-led government grapples with a rampant Sunni insurgency by the Islamic State group. Yesterday, a wave of bombings killed at least 43 people in Iraq's majority Shiite community. Four of those attacks were separate car bombs that went off simultaneously in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing at least 26 people. Meanwhile Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will stand by its neighbor Iraq in its fight against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group. Rouhani met today with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi.

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Syrian airstrikes kill 8 in town near Jordan

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian government airstrikes hit a rebel-held town along the country's southern border with Jordan, killing at least eight people. Activists with the Local Coordination Committees, and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the number of those killed in Tuesday's strikes is likely to rise as there are more victims under the rubble. The LCC says Syrian government planes dropped crude explosives-laden canisters on the town of Nasib on the Syria-Jordan border. The Observatory says one child was among those killed. The airstrikes are part of battles between Syrian government forces and Islamic rebel groups for control of the area. Syrian government forces have been heavily bombing rebel areas in recent weeks, while the U.S-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Islamic State militants elsewhere in Syria.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

NBA Preseason

Cleveland 107, Chicago 98

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL

Philadelphia at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.

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Illini plan 2-quarterback system for Gophers

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois coach Tim Beckman says both Reilly O'Toole and Aaron Bailey will play at quarterback Saturday against Minnesota. But offensive coordinator Bill Cubit isn't sure just how that rotation is going to work. Beckman said during his regular news conference Monday that with starter Wes Lunt still out with an injury, O'Toole and Bailey will share time for Illinois (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten). Cubit said later he doesn't know how that plan will work against the Gophers. He said he's never used a two-quarterback system. When asked if he liked the idea, Cubit replied, "If it helps us win, yeah." Both quarterbacks played in Illinois' last game, a 38-28 loss at Wisconsin. Bailey came on as late relief for O'Toole and rallied the Illini for two touchdowns.

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Bears a mess after another home loss

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- If the Chicago Bears are coming apart as a team within the locker room, it's news to coach Marc Trestman. An emotional postgame locker room scene following Sunday's 27-14 loss to Miami featured players yelling and wide receiver Brandon Marshall calling the 3-4 start to the season "unacceptable." That had the Bears coach on Monday calling the situation similar to what he's seen in numerous other locker room situations. Some reports said the relationship between Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler had been strained, while others said Marshall was yelling at kicker Robbie Gould, among others.

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Rams release WR Austin Pettis

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Rams have released wide receiver Austin Pettis, citing roster concerns elsewhere. Pettis was inactive for Sunday's victory over the Seattle Seahawks. He caught 12 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown this season. He made 11 starts in four seasons with the Rams, who drafted him in the third round in 2011. The Rams also released wide receiver Emory Blake from the practice squad.

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News for Oct. 20, 2014

LOCAL
House Explosion Claims Ina Couple

Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks confirms an Ina pastor and his wife were killed Friday night when their house exploded. Byford and Wastina Campbell, both 87-years-old, reportedly died in the house-explosion incident that happened around 7:45 p.m. at 205 North Elm Street in Ina. Autopsies were scheduled for Sunday in Mt. Vernon. Officials remained on the scene Saturday evening. Byford was a retired minister of the Freewill Baptist Church of Ina and had worked many years for the village of Ina. When fire fighters arrived at the Elm Street home, much of the house was on fire and a natural gas line was spewing flames. Multiple fire agencies responded to the scene, eventually having to use a backhoe to dig into the ground and shut off the gas supply to the house. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is now looking into what caused the blast and fire. Reports indicate the explosion shook other homes in the neighborhood and knocked the Campbell home off the foundation.

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Mt. Vernon City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council is scheduled to meet this evening at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building.  Among the items on the agenda, the City Manager will request authorization to seek bids for the Richview Road sidewalk project for between 12th and 24th Streets and for 42nd Street sidewalk project from Broadway to Veteran's Memorial Drive.  Also, the City Attorney will read for an ordinance rezoning property at 3906 West Broadway as well as second readings on three other ordinances and three resolutions.  The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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Woman Pulled From Bicycle, Sexually Attacked In Belleville

(Belleville, IL)  --  Belleville Police are on the lookout for a teen suspected of pulling a woman off her bike and sexually assaulting her.  The alleged incident happened early Saturday morning.  Cops say the 51-year-old female victim was riding her bike from a friend's home in the 11-hundred block of West D Street when she was tugged off her bike by her coat.  The offender is described as a black male in his mid-to-late teens, medium build with short hair.  The victim says the suspect was wearing a light colored hooded sweatshirt at the time of the incident.

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Man Disappears After Leaving Work

(Pontoon Beach, IL)  --  Illinois State Police are looking for a man who disappeared after leaving work in Pontoon Beach.  Frank Perry reportedly called a relative asking for a ride home around 10 p.m.  He told the relative he was walking along I-270 near Granite City but ended the call when he thought he spotted a police car nearby.  Perry hasn't been seen or heard from since and officials say no one in law enforcement made contact with Perry.  Anyone with information on where he may be should call police.

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PTA president accused of theft from school account

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The president of a parent-teacher association in southwest Illinois is accused of stealing $2,500 from her school's PTA account. Thirty-eight-year-old Heather L. Hovarth of Collinsville is PTA president for Summit Elementary School. She's been charged with theft. Collinsville Police Lt. Rich Wittenauer says the bank closed the tax-exempt account after it noticed transactions coming from bars, restaurants and casinos. School administrators contacted the police Thursday. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Hovarth was arrested and later released on $20,000 bond. She does not have a publicly listed telephone number and could not be reached for comment.

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Lawsuit accuses St. Clair County treasurer


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A federal lawsuit accuses a county treasurer in southwest Illinois of conspiring to rig auctions of tax lien debt to benefit a handful of investors in return for political contributions. St. Clair County Treasurer Charles Suarez denies wrongdoing. He tells the Belleville News-Democrat his "tax sales have always been run by statute" and are fair. He adds that they are reviewed by the state's attorney's office. The class action lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of four county residents who say they had to pay thousands of dollars in excessive interest penalties to redeem tax liens on their homes because of the alleged conspiracy. The lawsuit accuses Suarez of steering lucrative property tax liens to a group of buyers at the maximum 18 percent interest rate.

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St. Louis Bus Accident Injures Okawville Students

A Friday afternoon collision between an SUV and a school bus on Interstate 64 in St. Louis left several students from an Okawville, Illinois elementary school with injuries. City police and fire officials say the accident happened when the eastbound bus collided with the other vehicle shortly after 2 p.m. on the highway east of Compton Avenue.  The bus was reportedly transporting about 50 students back to Washington County from a second-grade field trip to the Butterfly House in Chesterfield. A school official told a television station that five or six children suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital.

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One Injured In Interstate Accident Near Benton

One person was injured in a one-car crash Sunday morning in Franklin County. Illinois State Police say the crash happened at 7:20 a.m. on northbound I-57 near the Benton exit. According to the police report, a 16-year-old boy was driving north in the left lane when he lost control of the car and struck the left concrete barricade before striking the right guard rail. The driver told police he was eating and lost control of his car. He was taken to Franklin Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He was cited for improper lane usage.

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I-Cash Events Coming To Benton, Carbondale

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be bringing two I-Cash events to the area Tuesday to see if the state is holding any money or unclaimed property entitled to you. The first event will be in Benton at Heritage Woods of Benton from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Heritage Woods is located at 1305 Bailey Lane. The second event will be in Carbondale from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Liberty Village of Carbondale, located at 2950 Westridge Place. Rutherford will be in attendance at both locations.  I-Cash staff will be on site to help you find out if you have any unclaimed property. According to the July list of unclaimed property holders, almost 16,000 owners in Franklin County have close to $3 million in unclaimed property. In Jackson County, there are around 35,000 owners with just over $5.2 million in unclaimed property. The Unclaimed Property Division has $2.1 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years.  To find out if you have unclaimed property through I-Cash, visit www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the I-Cash link or call 217-785-6998. You can also email info@Icash.Illinois.gov. Searches can’t be completed by phone.

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STATE
Early Voting Begins Today

(Springfield, IL)  --  Early voting gets underway today.  Registered voters who want to skip the lines on Election Day can head to their County Clerk's office to cast their ballot.  Grace period registration is also underway.  Anyone who missed the registration deadline can go to their County Clerk's office and sign up.  They'll be required to vote at the same time.  The election is November 4th.

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President Obama Home To Vote

(Chicago, IL)  --  President Obama is casting his vote for Governor Quinn.  He spoke to a crowd of 62-hundred in Chicago last night and said voting was the first thing on his list of things to do today.  The President tried to convince the crowd to give Quinn four more years.  He says Quinn has taken on challenges and made tough calls during his time in office.  Quinn often uses that same line, touting his fight to reform the state's pension system and rein in the state's budget by shutting down prisons.

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Rauner Gets Four Endorsements Over The Weekend

(Undated)  --  Newspaper endorsements seem to be pouring in for the Republican candidate for Illinois governor.  Bruce Rauner has gained the support of the "Chicago Sun-Times," "Champaign News-Gazette," "Belleville News Democrat," and "Peoria Journal Star."  All of the endorsements came over the weekend and are all calling for a change in office.  The four publications believe a Rauner administration would help speed up the state's economic recovery.

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Rauner Accused Of Trying To Intimidate Reporter

(Chicago, IL)  --  A former prosecutor is investigating claims that Republican Bruce Rauner tried to interfere with a "Chicago Sun-Times" reporter's job.  Dave McKinney broke the story about Rauner allegedly threatening a former female executive at a business tied to his firm.  McKinney was taken off his political beat for five days after the story ran.  The "Sun-Times" publisher told "Crain's Chicago Business" that Rauner's campaign spokesman came to him with allegations against McKinney, but they proved to be inaccurate so no action was taken against him.  McKinney has hired former U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins to look into the matter.

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Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally

CHICAGO (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton will stop at a Chicago manufacturing plant to campaign for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn's campaign says Clinton will discuss Illinois' economic "comeback" when he addresses workers and business and labor leaders Tuesday. The economy has been a major issue in the race between Quinn and Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. Quinn notes Illinois' unemployment rate is at its lowest point in six years. Rauner says the rate is still among the highest in the nation and Illinois' economic recovery has been slower than other states. Clinton is the latest Democratic heavy-hitter to stump for Quinn. President Barack Obama will hold a pro-Quinn rally Sunday. First lady Michelle Obama also has campaigned for him. Rauner's campaign says it's a sign Democrats are in "full rescue mode."

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Illinois voters to face a rare 5 ballot questions


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois voters will have a rare opportunity to weigh in on nearly a half dozen hot-button issues when they cast ballots for the November election. The five questions range from constitutional amendments on voter and victim rights to advisory referendums on birth control, the minimum wage and a so-called millionaires' tax. The practice of putting such issues on the ballot is more common in California and some other states. State records dating back to 1970 show the most questions Illinois voters have seen before is three. Lawmakers say the non-binding questions are aimed at taking the public's temperature so they know how to proceed in Springfield. But at least some of the measures also have a political purpose. Democrats are hoping they will help boost turnout for the midterm election.

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

Better Business Bureau warns of Ebola scams

CHICAGO (AP) — The Better Business Bureau and several government agencies are warning the public to be on the lookout for scams related to the Ebola virus. Steve J. Bernas is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. In an emailed statement, Bernas says scammers have moved quickly to take advantage of the public's fear about the deadly virus. The scams include con artists soliciting donations to fake charities that claim to provide relief for victims. Others say they're selling stock for companies they claim have found a cure. The Federal Trade Commission has issued warning letters about scammers that are trying to sell "miracle" products they claim will prevent or cure Ebola. Officials say some of these products contain untested, dangerous ingredients.

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NATIONAL
Tougher Ebola procedures for health workers in US

DALLAS (AP) — There'll be more stringent procedures for health care workers taking care of Ebola patients in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health care workers will have to wear full-body suits and hoods, covering every part of their body, and they'll be checked by at least one other person when entering and leaving contaminated areas. The changes come after two nurses who took care of an Ebola patient in a Dallas hospital contracted the virus themselves.

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

Survey: Pay raises rarer despite strong US hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new business survey finds hiring is healthy but pay raises, not so much. The quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics finds that only 24 percent of companies increased wages and salaries in the July-September quarter. That's down from 43 percent in the April-June quarter and the first drop after three straight increases.

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

Firestorm over Met opera hits fever pitch

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Gov. George Pataki and two U.S. congressmen are among hundreds expected outside New York City's Metropolitan Opera today to protest the Met premiere of "The Death of Klinghoffer." Protesters say the opera glorifies Palestinian terrorists. The opera is based on the 1985 murder of a 69-year-old disabled Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, on the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. Klinghoffer was shot in his wheelchair and pushed overboard.

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Bodies of 3 more slain women found in NW Indiana

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Authorities in northwestern Indiana say the bodies of three more unidentified women have been found, following what police say was the confession of a man to killing a woman who was found strangled at a motel. The Lake County coroner's office says the bodies were found Sunday night at two locations in Gary. Hammond police say the 43-year-old man also told investigators where the bodies of three other women could be found in Gary. Those women were found late Saturday and early Sunday. It's not immediately clear whether the man had directed police to the bodies discovered Sunday night. The coroner's office calls the three new deaths all homicides. The man's name hasn't been released.

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Charlottesville TV Station Reports Body Identified As Hannah Graham

(Charlottesville, VA)  --  A Charlottesville, Virginia TV station is reporting the body found Saturday in Albemarle County is that of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.  WCAV-TV cites two law enforcement officials as its sources.  The state's medical examiner is expected to officially identify the body later this week. 

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Keene Cleans Up After Pumpkin Festival Riots

(Keene, NH)  --  The town of Keene, New Hampshire is still cleaning up following weekend riots at its annual Pumpkin Festival.  Many of those cleaning up were students from Keene State College.  The riots were fueled by drunken parties off-campus Friday and Saturday.  Young people lit fires, tore down road signs, and turned over cars.  Nearly 50 people were arrested and two dozen were injured.

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

IBM Sells Chip Manufacturing Business, Saves Jobs

(Armonk, NY)  --  IBM is expected to announce a major business transaction today that will save thousands of jobs in New York's Hudson Valley.  The company is paying California-based GlobalFoundries, which has a plant in New York's Saratoga County, to take over its nonprofitable chip manufacturing business.  "The Journal News" reports IBM is shelling out one-and-a-half-billion dollars for the deal. 

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

Soda Pop Makes Your DNA Older

(San Francisco, CA)  --  Stop drinking soda-pop if you want to keep your DNA youthful.  A new study by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco found regular soda drinkers have DNA similar to someone four-and-a-half years their elder.  Study subjects who drank more than 20 ounces a day experienced accelerated aging of cells and tissues. 

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

Dallas officials: 120 still on Ebola monitoring

DALLAS (AP) — Texas health officials say 120 people are still being monitored for possible infection with Ebola because they may have had contact with one of the three people who got the disease in Dallas. Officials said Monday that 43 of 48 people on an original watch list had passed the 21-day incubation period for the viral disease and are now in the clear. But others who cared for a Liberian man who died Oct. 8 at a Dallas hospital remain at risk, along with two nurses he infected there. Nov. 7 is when the wait period will end for all of those being monitored. Health officials also say they were unaware that federal officials had allowed one of the nurses to fly the day before she was diagnosed with the deadly virus.

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Toyota adds 247K vehicles to air bag recall tally

DETROIT (AP) — Toyota is recalling 247,000 vehicles in high-humidity areas as an air bag problem that has plagued most of the auto industry continues to widen. The recall posed Monday by U.S. safety regulators covers the 2003 to 2005 Corolla and Matrix, the 2002 to 2005 Sequoia and the 2003 to 2005 Tundra. Also included is the 2003 to 2005 Pontiac Vibe made by Toyota. Inflators can rupture in air bags manufactured by parts supplier Takata, causing metal fragments to fly out when bags are inflated in crashes. The problem has caused serious injuries. So far, automakers have recalled about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem. The recall covers vehicles in South Florida, along the Gulf Coast, in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.

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School boosts security after likely Frein sighting

SWIFTWATER, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania high school is boosting security after the suspect in a deadly police ambush was believed to have been spotted in the area. A woman out for a walk Friday night spotted a rifle-toting man with a mud-covered face near Pocono Mountain East High School in Swiftwater. Police believe the man was Eric Frein, who's eluded capture despite an intense manhunt in the Pocono Mountains. The Pocono Mountain School District says the high school and all other district schools are open Monday. Additional police officers and security officials are on hand to protect students. Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove state police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one trooper and seriously wounding a second.

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Hawaii rides out storm, avoiding serious damage

HONOLULU (AP) — A Pacific storm packing hurricane-force winds brushed Hawaii over the weekend with heavy rain, high surf and strong winds, but the islands rode out the storm with no reports of any serious problems. Hurricane Ana was downgraded to a tropical storm late Sunday afternoon as it began to pull away from the state's more populated islands. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said they "dodged a bullet." The closest Ana got to Hawaii was about 70 miles southwest of the private, sparsely populated island of Niihau on Sunday, leaving the state soaked but largely unscathed. A tropical storm watch was canceled Sunday for Oahu, the state's most populous island. But a flash flood warning remains in effect until 8 p.m.

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Apple Pay Launches Today

(Undated)  --  Apple is rolling out its new pay system today that will let people use their iPhones to make purchases at more than 200-thousand stores.  McDonald's, Target and Walgreen's are among the companies in the Apple Pay network.  At stores, Apple says paying is as easy as holding your phone up to a contactless reader.  A slight buzz will let users know the payment went through.  The payment method will also streamline online shopping by allowing payment with one push of a button. 

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Top Shiite cleric backs Iraqi government

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's top Shiite cleric is giving support to the new government battling the Islamic State group. This, as a wave of deadly attacks on the country's Shiite community has killed more than 40 people today. The country's prime minister met today with the top Shiite cleric in the southern city of Najaf. He said after their talks that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani welcomed the recent formation of the government that Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi now leads. The meeting carried symbolic significance because al-Sistani has shunned politicians in recent years to protest how they run the country. Today's attacks killed dozens in Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Karbala.

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Death toll hits 65 in Libya's eastern strife

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan official says fighting in the eastern city of Benghazi between Islamist militias and pro-government fighters has left 65 people dead as fierce battles continued for a sixth day. The official says the death toll includes all those killed since a pro-government offensive began on October 15. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. The fighting has displaced thousands of residents. It comes as Libyans commemorate the three-year anniversary of the capture and killing of the longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi at the end of Libya's eight-month civil war in 2011. The oil-rich North African country has since faced mounting challenges tied to a mushrooming of militias initially formed from anti-Gadhafi rebel forces.

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China's growth likely to slow, research group says

NEW YORK (AP) — A research group says it expects China's economy to slow over the next decade. The Conference Board on Monday forecast that growth in the world's No. 2 economy will slow to 4 percent per year between 2020 and 2025. Chinese officials have rolled out stimulus measures as economic growth slows. The government is aiming for growth of 7.5 percent this year. China's boom in the past decade, with growth peaking at about 14 percent in 2007, was driven by exports and spending on assets such as factories and apartment buildings. China's leaders now want more growth based on Chinese consumers.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

NHL

St. Louis 6, Arizona 1
Chicago 2, Nashville 1 (OT)

College Football

Eastern Illinois 52, Southeast Missouri State 13
Youngstown State 26, Southern Illinois 14
Illinois State 37, Western Illinois 34
Northern Illinois 51, Miami OH 41
(19) Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

NFL

St. Louis 28, Seattle 26
Indianapolis 27, Cincinnati 0
Miami 27, Chicago 14

NHL

Anaheim 3, St. Louis 0

NBA Preseason

Chicago 101, Charlotte 96

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

NBA Preseason

Chicago at Cleveland 6 p.m.

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Bears CB Fuller leaves with hip injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Cornerback Kyle Fuller left the Bears' game against Miami with a hip injury. Fuller was hurt while making a tackle in the third quarter. He was first announced as questionable to return, but the Bears announced in the fourth period that he would miss the rest of Sunday's game. Fuller was Chicago's first-round pick in this year's draft out of Virginia Tech. He already has three interceptions, tied for the NFL lead.

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Rams' Jenkins returns from knee injury in 2nd half

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned for the first defensive series of the second half after injuring his right ankle late in the first half against Seattle on Sunday. Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon also injured an ankle in the second quarter and his return was questionable. Simon made his NFL debut after missing all last season due to injury. Jenkins was hurt assisting on the tackle after a 22-yard reception by Cooper Helfet. He was down on the field for several minutes with 1:41 to play and Seattle at the St. Louis 36.

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News for Oct. 17, 2014

LOCAL
MVPD Responds To Shooting

Authorities with the Mt. Vernon Police Department responded to reports of a shooting at 1622 S. 12th Street on Thursday at approximately 9:40 p.m.  The suspect is an unknown male that might have been wearing a mask of some type and was wearing a black sweatshirt and brown or black jogging pants.  The male victim was transported to Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.  If you have information that could assist authorities, contact Mt. Vernon CrimeStoppers at 618-242-8477.

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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Releases Monthly Numbers

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office have released their monthly numbers for September.  The JCSO booked 188 detainees for the month, 45 more than in August.  This included 3 out of county detainees. For the county, there was an average of 75 daily detainees, good for 2,337 days in custody.  For the month, authorities had 73 citations, 51 arrests, and 29 traffic crashes attended to by the Sheriff's Office.

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Jefferson County Health Department To Be Closed Monday

The Jefferson County Health Department will be closed Monday due to the upgrading of the state computer system.  There will not be any clinical services available for any of the health department programs including WIC and immunizations.  Immunizations that are typically done on Mondays will be done on Tuesday instead for those wishing to walk-in for immunizations that day.  For more information, contact the Jefferson County Health Department at 618-244-7134 or visit jeffochealth.blogspot.com.

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One Dead After Tractor-Trailer Crashed Into Pickup

(Millstadt, IL)  --  St. Clair County Sheriffs are investigating a deadly tractor-trailer accident.  It happened Thursday afternoon in Millstadt, Illinois.  Police say a pickup truck crossed the median line on Douglas Road when it crashed into the trailer.  The driver of the pickup truck was killed.

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More Police Equals More Arrests At SIU

(Carbondale, IL) -- Southern Illinois University saw a sharp drop in the number of robberies and burglaries last year, but sharp increases in liquor and drug law violations. Crime statistics released today show 73 alcohol arrests in 2013 and more than 90 drug-related arrests, compared with 30 and 60 the year before. One reason may be that the school started a community resource officer program and a police liaison officer last year, bringing an increased police presence to campus.

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Landowners Sue Over Fracking Delay

(Wayne County, IL) -- Landowners in Wayne County say the state is standing in the way of them making money off of fracking. They're looking to get a class action lawsuit against Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The landowners leased chunks of their land to oil and gas developers hoping to cash in on the fracking industry's profits. Developers wanted to start fracking a few months ago but they haven't received their permits to do so. That's because the state still hasn't approved the rules that regulate the industry. A legislative panel was supposed to do that last month but they've delayed the vote until November 6th.

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Scam In Marion Is Being Investigated

(Marion, IL)  --  Marion police are on the lookout for a man they believe scammed a local gas station.  Investigators say the suspect was looking for a refund for items he took from store shelves then claiming he bought the items. After getting money for the return, the man was seen leaving the scene in a  older gray of silver Chevy Camaro.  The alleged incident happened October 5th at the Fast Stop on East DeYoung.  Anyone with information is asked to call Marion Police at 618-993-2124.

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Illinois plans $6.1 million early education center

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois plans to spend $6.1 million to build an early childhood education center at Southwestern Illinois College. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Gov. Pat Quinn announced the project at the Belleville campus Thursday. The 16,000-square-foot building will offer classrooms, a motor skills area, an observation room and an isolation room for sick children. Quinn says the center will increase "badly needed services" for families in the area. Quinn also dedicated the community college's new Veterans and Career Services Center. The school says it serves about 1,800 veterans and 900 dependents.

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Collinsville man pleads guilty to Medicare fraud

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Collinsville man has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing Medicaid fraud. Fifty-three-year-old Lawrence Thigpen faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is set for February. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says Thigpen claimed he was being taken care of by his girlfriend under the Home Services Program. The federal program is designed to help people avoid going into a nursing home by letting them get care at home. Wigginton says investigators determined that Thigpen's girlfriend was in jail for part of the time he filled out time sheets for the payments.

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Murder Suspect Found Guilty In Williamson County

A Williamson County jury Thursday afternoon found Karrae Starr guilty of killing her daughter in 2008, but they say it was not murder. WSIL-TV reports it’s a surprising verdict given the fact that Starr admitted to suffocating and killing her three-year-old daughter Bianca back in 2008. A taped interview of that confession was shown to jurors during the trial. Starr’s attorney said during closing arguments that Bianca’s death was an accident saying that Starr did intend to punish the girl but not kill her. The jury agreed with the defense leading to the verdict. Starr could still face up to 14 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. A sentencing date will be scheduled next week.

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Governor Quinn Announces $42.2 Million for Construction Projects in Southern Illinois

NASHVILLE – Governor Pat Quinn Thursday announced capital investments of more than $42.2 million for construction projects in southern Illinois. The investments, funded by the Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! construction program, are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward. The projects are part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.  In Marion County, The Post Oak Rest Areas along north and southbound I-57 near Salem will be renovated for $316,385 in a project managed by the Illinois Capital Development Board. The general construction work will be performed for $176,177 by R & W Builders, Inc. of Belleville, the lowest of six bidders. The plumbing will be done by Bel-O Sales & Service Co., Inc. of Belleville for $71,215. Brown Electric Inc. of Goreville will do the electrical work – their bid of $68,993 was the lowest of three submitted.   In Washington County, I-64 will receive 8.39 miles of resurfacing and bridge repairs from the Clinton County Line to 0.5 miles west of Beaver Pond Creek for $13,273,810 by The Killian Corporation of Mascoutah, the lower of two bidders.

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STATE
Early Voting Starts Monday

(Springfield, IL)  --  Registered voters can start casting a ballot as early as Monday.  They can head out to their county clerk's office during regular business hours to vote.  The clerk will hold on to the ballot.  It will not be counted until after the polls close on November 4th.

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Quinn Getting Presidential Boost

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn is getting a bit of presidential help as he rounds out the final weeks of his campaign. President Obama will be in Chicago on Sunday to stump for Quinn and encourage people to cast an early ballot.  Former President Bill Clinton will hit the city on Tuesday.  And Vice President Joe Biden will attempt to rally the base in Chicago on Wednesday. 

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

Ebola Hotline Number Unveiled

(Springfield, IL)  --  There's a new hotline for people who have questions about Ebola.  State officials say someone will be on hand 24-hours-a-day to answer questions like how to avoid getting Ebola.  Operators will also be able to tell you how the virus is spread and provide details on who's at risk of getting infected.  The hotline number is 800-889-3931.

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Public school demographics changing in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education has released statistics showing that more than half of public school students in the state are considered low-income, and for the first time less than half of public school students are white. The agency said Wednesday that the state's white public school student population has dropped to 49.9 percent, while its Hispanic population has grown to 24.6 percent. It also said 51.5 percent of all Illinois public school students are considered low-income. The board has said it will add a dozen new categories of data when it releases its annual report card later this month. The new metrics, including principal retention, college readiness and current college enrollment, aim to give parents and members of the community a better understanding of how the state analyzes the numbers.

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

Illinoisans can get help with Medicare decisions

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department on Aging says seniors and disabled people can get free help enrolling in Medicare now through Dec. 7. Agency Director John. K. Holton says deciding on Medicare coverage options can be overwhelming. Counselors from the agency's Senior Health Insurance Program can help beneficiaries and caregivers understand their options. The program — known as SHIP — is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. SHIP counselors can explain the drug, health and supplemental plans available during the annual open enrollment period. The enrollment period started Wednesday. It's the time to review Medicare Part D, the Medicare Advantage plan or to ensure current coverage is working. To contact SHIP, call 800-252-8966 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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Commission: Illinois could become 'sucker state'

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago Crime Commission vice president says Illinois could become known as "the sucker state" if it doesn't eradicate unregulated casino-like machines he alleges can be fixed to cheat players. Art Bilek spoke at a Thursday news conference where the influential anti-crime group launched a campaign against so called "sweepstakes" or "coupon" machines. The unregulated machines accept cash but pay out coupons or wagering credits. Illinois permits licensed video gambling kiosks. Bilek told reporters Illinois was known as "the sucker state" a century ago before crackdowns on crime. He says if the purveyors of the suspect machines aren't stopped, it'll reassume that title. Belik says there may be only 100 operational machines in Illinois now. But likening them to "parasites," he says once they take hold, they "never go away."

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

NATIONAL
1st nurse infected with Ebola delivers a cheerful video message

DALLAS (AP) — The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected Liberian man at a Dallas hospital has been transferred to the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center near Washington for treatment in a specialized isolation unit. But before nurse Nina Pham left Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, she delivered a video message from her Dallas hospital room, which was posted online. In the video, the 26-year-old is sitting up in her hospital bed and is smiling and talking. She says "Come to Maryland. Everybody," and laughs into the camera before wiping away tears with a tissue handed by an attendant in full protective gear. Her attending physician tells her that everyone is proud of her. Pham was transported from the hospital by ambulance and escorted onto an executive jet in Dallas. And upon arrival in Maryland last night, she was able to gingerly walk down the stairs of the plane into a waiting ambulance.

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Obama considers an Ebola czar

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is considering appointing an Ebola czar to lead the nation's efforts to control the deadly virus in the United States. In Dallas, officials are taking a tougher approach toward monitoring dozens of health care workers who were exposed to the infected Liberian man who died in a city hospital last week. They're asking health care workers to sign legally binding documents agreeing not to go out in public for the time being.

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Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo bearing down on Bermuda

MIAMI (AP) — Hurricane Gonzalo is roaring toward Bermuda as a powerful Category 4 storm, and forecasters are warning that the British island territory would likely be hit with damaging winds and life-threatening storm surge in coming hours. The eye of Gonzalo is expected to strike near Bermuda by this afternoon or evening. There are still some 1,500 homes without power from Tropical Storm Fay a few days ago.

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

Investigators Shed Light On Arkansas Train Crash

(Washington County, AR)  --  Investigators think leaves on a railroad track may be the cause of Thursday's train collision in Arkansas.  A representative with the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad Police says a passenger train stalled because of leaves on a grade that kept it from moving.  A freight train coming north then hit the stalled tourist train.  The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management says 44 people were injured on the passenger train and five were in critical condition.


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

Vice President's Son Discharged From Navy Reserve After Failed Drug Test


(Washington, DC)  --  A failed cocaine test is reportedly what got Vice President Joe Biden's son kicked out of the Navy.  The "Wall Street Journal" reports Hunter Biden was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for the drug last year.  The 44-year-old Biden released a statement saying he's embarrassed that his actions led to his administrative discharge.

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Police: Body found near river could be actress

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in the Seattle suburb of Auburn believe they've found the body of missing actress Misty Upham, known for her roles in "August: Osage County," ''Frozen River" and "Django Unchained." Police say a woman's body was found in a ravine Thursday afternoon and that items with Upham's name on them were found nearby. The 32-year-old Native American actress was reported missing by her family Oct. 6, a day after they told police she was suicidal.

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

USS Constitution takes final trip in Boston Harbor

BOSTON (AP) — Old Ironsides is taking one last spin in Boston Harbor before it heads to dry dock for a three-year restoration project. The USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship still afloat, is set to depart from its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard with about 500 specially-invited guests this morning. The ship will give a 21-gun salute at Fort Independence on Castle Island and a 17-gun salute at the Coast Guard's Boston base. After today's trip, the ship will undergo dry-dock preparations, including removal of the ship's upper masts and offloading of the ship's long guns. The USS Constitution still will be open for public tours four days a week. It officially enters dry dock in March 2015.

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

Cruise line says lab worker is isolated and isn't a risk

WASHINGTON (AP) — Carnival Cruise Lines says the Texas health care worker who is on board the Carnival Magic cruise ship is in isolation and is "not deemed to be a risk" to passengers or crew members. The worker had handled a lab specimen from a Liberian man who died from Ebola. Officials in Washington say the woman is self-quarantined on the Caribbean cruise ship, and is being monitored for infection. They say the woman has shown no signs of the disease. A State Department spokeswoman says when the woman left the U.S. on the cruise ship from Galveston, Texas last week, health officials were requiring only self-monitoring. The cruise line says in a statement that it's been in "close contact" with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the company says "the appropriate course of action" is to keep the passenger "in isolation on board." An administration official has said that the cruise ship stopped in Belize, but that officials there would not allow the passenger to leave the vessel.

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

GOP adviser sees problems with Ebola travel ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former HHS secretary under President George W. Bush says he sees "lots of problems" with using travel bans to contain diseases like Ebola. Republican Mike Leavitt was in charge of bird flu preparedness under Bush. He says that at the time, officials studied a travel ban intensely but concluded such an approach might not work. Leavitt tells The Associated Press that a travel ban is intuitively attractive and seems so simple. But would the U.S. expand the ban to European countries if people there got exposed? And what to do about Americans who want to come home? Congressional Republicans are urging the Obama administration to impose a travel ban on West African countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

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Yellen says US experiencing widening inequality

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the last several decades have seen the most sustained rise in income inequality in a century. In a speech to a Boston conference on economic opportunity, Yellen says this problem is of great concern to her and she points to increased education and ownership of small businesses as two ways to deal with the problem. She says that by some measurements income and wealth inequality are now at their highest levels since the 19th century. She says this is a result of significant income gains at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority of Americans. In her remarks, Yellen made no comments on the current state of the economy or on the future course of interest rates.

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Sheriff: Dad fatally shoots 2 kids, himself

PORT ORANGE, Fla. (AP) — Officials say a Florida man fatally shot two of his children and critically injured another, then turned the gun on himself after an argument with his wife. Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson says the man, an 11-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl died in the shooting, early Friday in a neighborhood south of Daytona Beach. Johnson says a 9-year-old girl was taken to an Orlando hospital with critical injuries. Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson says the mother fled to a neighbor's house to get help. The sheriff's office received a call at 5:11 a.m. The woman told deputies that her husband had threatened her with a gun during the argument. Davidson says the woman wasn't injured. The shooting occurred in a home in the Spruce Creek Farms subdivision of Port Orange, which is about five miles south of Daytona Beach.

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Trial set for woman in election domestic dispute

PHOENIX (AP) — A Jan. 5 trial has been set for a Mesa woman accused of running over her husband with an SUV because he didn't vote in the 2012 presidential election. Holly Nicole Solomon, 30, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and disorderly conduct charges in the incident just days after President Barack Obama's re-election. Authorities say Solomon was upset about Obama's re-election and began arguing with her husband when she found out that he didn't vote. Daniel Solomon, who suffered a fractured pelvis, told investigators that his wife believed their family was going to face hardship as a result of Obama's election. Holly Solomon told police she was trying to scare her husband by stopping the vehicle close to him but she accidentally stepped on the accelerator and struck him.

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

INTERNATIONAL
UN health agency: Ebola outbreak over in Senegal

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency has officially declared an end to the Ebola outbreak in Senegal. The World Health Organization says it commends the country for its diligence in putting a stop to the transmission of the virus. In a statement Friday the WHO said the sole introduced case was confirmed Aug. 29 in a young man who had travelled to Dakar, by road, from Guinea, where he had had direct contact with an Ebola patient. The statement called Senegal's response "a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola." It said Senegal government's response included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompt testing of all suspected cases, stepped-up surveillance at many entry points and public awareness campaigns.

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Germany draws up plans to withdraw extremists' ID

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is drawing up plans to withdraw the identity cards of Islamic extremists suspected of planning to travel to Iraq or Syria to join terrorist groups. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Friday security officials plan to issue such suspects with a replacement temporary identity card stating in several languages that it doesn't entitle the holder to leave the country. De Maiziere says it's already possible to withdraw people's passports but officials hadn't previously come up with a way to withhold or mark the plastic identity cards Germans can use to travel to many countries in and beyond the European Union. Details still have to be finalized. More than 2,000 Europeans, including at least 450 from Germany, have joined the Islamic State group and other extremist organizations in recent years.

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

New scuffles break out at Hong Kong protest site

HONG KONG (AP) — New scuffles have broken out between Hong Kong riot police and pro-democracy activists in a district where police cleared protesters earlier in the day. Police used pepper spray and batons to fend off a large crowd of people who had gathered in Mong Kok, and several protesters were seen knocked to the ground or carried away by police. The chaotic scenes Friday unfolded hours after police moved in to clear tents, canopies and barricades at Mong Kok, a smaller protest zone across Victoria Harbor from the main occupied area in the heart of the financial district.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 6, St. Louis 3

NHL

Los Angeles 1, St. Louis 0

NBA Preseason

Chicago 85, Atlanta 84

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL

Nashville at Chicago 7:30 p.m.
St. Louis at Arizona 8 p.m.

College Football

Eastern Illinois at Southeast Missouri State 1 p.m.
Southern Illinois at Youngstown State 3 p.m.
Illinois State at Western Illinois 3 p.m.
Miami, Ohio at Northern Illinois 4 p.m.
(19) Nebraska at Northwestern 6:30 p.m.

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

NFL

Seattle at St. Louis 12 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX)
Cincinnati at Indianapolis 12 p.m.
Miami at Chicago 12 p.m.

NHL

St. Louis at Anaheim 7 p.m.

NBA Preseason

Charlotte at Chicago 7 p.m.

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Renovation project at Wrigley Field in full swing

CHICAGO (AP) — Construction equipment is starting to take big bites out of Wrigley Field's exterior outfield walls. The demolition of the famous bleachers at the historic ballpark in Chicago is part of a project to build a large electronic sign and six other outfield signs. Chicago Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Thursday that the affected walls won't be rebuilt for several weeks. He says the ivy-covered outfield wall will not be taken down. The work is part of the Cubs' privately funded $575 million renovation project. The Cubs started the project despite a legal fight involving owners of rooftop businesses across the street. Those businesses fear their views of the field will be blocked. They have sued the city.

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News For Oct.16, 2014

LOCAL
Ewing-Northern Fire Chief Passes Away

The Ewing-Northern Fire Protection District is mourning the loss of Fire Chief David “Monty” Rea who passed away of natural causes Wednesday morning at his home. He was 57-year-old.  Rea, of Whittington, was on the original group that organized the Ewing-Northern Fire Protection District and was the only chief from 1992 to the present. He was also a coal miner, a member of the Ewing-Northern Grade School Board for 18 years and also served on the Ewing Township Board from 1982 to the present. Rea’s funeral will take place Saturday morning at 10 at the Whittington Baptist Church. A fireman’s walk through will be held Friday at the church. Burial will be in the Masonic and Oddfellows cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 Friday at the church. The Morton and Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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IDOT Announces Lane Closure

IDOT says a lane closure will be in place on I-57 north of exit 83 in Ina starting today and running through Friday, Oct. 24. The lane closure will allow maintenance crews to repair the structures carrying northbound and southbound interstate traffic over Atchison Creek.  Emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction site as quickly as possible. You are encouraged to seek alternate routes while the work is underway. 

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Knife Assault Lands Both Suspect, Victim Behind Bars

A Tuesday night incident not only landed a 36-year-old Wamac man in jail, but also sent his 35-year-old alleged victim to jail from the hospital. According to police reports, Dennis Schuchman allegedly tried to cut the throat of Amanda Marie Redman Tuesday night. When police arrived at the Wabash Avenue location, they say Redman was holding a rag against her throat and had blood on their shirt. At the same time, they report, Schuchman refused to come down from his porch and was attempting to cut his own throat with a butter knife, saying he would not go to jail. Officers from both Centralia and Central City provided additional help to Wamac officers and Schuchman was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail pending the filing of formal charges. Redman was taken to St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Centralia, but reportedly left when informed there was an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Washington County stemming from a 2012 felony meth conviction. She was ultimately located and taken to the Washington County Jail, where she remains after denying the charges against her in a petition to revoke probation.

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Mt. Vernon Fire "Suspicious"

Mt. Vernon firefighters responded to a fully-involved fire Tuesday night at an old apartment complex in the 1500 block of South 9th Street, and are now calling the fire suspicious. Firefighters responded to the scene around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, and advised as they arrived that fire was through the roof of the complex. The Franklin Fire Protection District and Waltonville Fire Department’s were called in for additional support. The apartment building that caught fire was being lived in, although it was surrounded by several abandoned apartment buildings. The fire consumed the two apartment units on the left side of the building and caused smoke damage to other units. The Mt. Vernon Fire Department is now investigating the fire as suspicious. No injuries have been reported.

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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 County on Saturday, 10/11/14.  Authorities issued 10 total citations and 22 total written warnings, which included 1 DUI arrest and 2 arrest for drug or alcohol related activity.  There were no suspended driver's license, speeding, 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 Transportation Safety.

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Air Force sergeant's sex-assault conviction upheld
 
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — An Air Force commander has upheld the seven-month confinement term of a master sergeant convicted of sexually assaulting a female he was supervising at a southwestern Illinois air base. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that as commander of the 18th Air Force based at Scott Air Force Base, Lt. Gen. Carlton Everhart upheld the sentence of Thomas Fry. Fry's sentence also included a reduction in his enlisted grade, and a bad-conduct discharge. The Air Force announced in September that Fry was convicted of sexual assault and abusive sexual contact linked to what prosecutors said was his attempt to have sex with the victim in October 2013 as she slept. Fry had claimed that he was intoxicated and that he mistook the victim for his wife. Fry remains jailed in Virginia.
 
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Metro East Gas Prices Dipping Below Three-Dollars

(East St. Louis, IL) -- Drivers in the Metro East area are starting to see something they haven't seen in years, gas prices below three-dollars-a-gallon. Crude oil price drops are behind the reduction of gas prices to under-three-dollars in places like Godfrey and West Alton. Statewide in Illinois, the gas price is still three-29-per-gallon, but the prices are lower near St. Louis, reflecting competition with Missouri where the average price has been below three-dollars-a-gallon for several weeks.
 
--------------------
 
Politicians Out Downstate Today

Governor Quinn will be making his way to the Metro East today capping off a busy day for him.  After bouncing around Chicago, Rockford, Moline, and Elwin during the morning and early afternoon hours, Quinn will wind up in Belleville at Southwestern Illinois College.  He will make an appearance there to announce an investment in early childhood education as part of his Birth to Five Initiative.  Meanwhile, Congressman John Shimkus is scheduled to travel today.  He will appear at a customer appreciation luncheon for Hamilton County Telephone Cooperative in Dahlgren at 11:30 a.m.  From there, Shimkus will meet one-on-one with constituents in the Harrisburg area in office hours at his office there.  Shimkus will end his day in Grayville to tour the new development at the Grayville City Hall.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner Spend 35-Million In Last Three Months

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner are spending big bucks in their efforts to win in November.  The latest campaign finance reports show that Quinn put out more than 15-million-dollars between July and September trying to defend his job.  Rauner put out more than 20-million.  The two will keep doling out the cash over the next three weeks, hoping to give themselves an edge and win voters over.  Quinn still has about four-point-seven-million-dollars to spend and Rauner has about three-point-six-million.

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Illinois health department plans Ebola hotline

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois health officials plan to launch a hotline to answer the public's questions about Ebola. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the plan Wednesday. Department Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says the hotline will be operating by later this week. Hasbrouck says he wants to reassure Illinois residents after Wednesday's news that a second Dallas hospital employee has tested positive for Ebola. Hasbrouck says the Illinois health department is working closely with hospitals and local health departments "to provide guidance to quickly identify any potential cases of Ebola and contain any possible spread." The second Dallas hospital worker testing positive for the disease provided care for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. It's not clear how the second worker contracted the virus.

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Treasurer Candidates Divided On Suits Against General Assembly For Unbalanced Budget

An issue in the race for state treasurer is whether it makes sense for the treasurer to sue the General Assembly if the budget isn’t balanced. A balanced budget is required under the state Constitution, but there’s no clear enforcement mechanism, and there are ways to make a budget appear technically balanced on paper when in the real world it isn’t. State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), the Republican nominee for treasurer, says suing is something the treasurer must do. “If you are the treasurer and have taken an oath of office to uphold that office, knowing the Constitution requires a balanced budget, I believe you’re in a position to have to say to the General Assembly: We don’t have enough money,” he said. But State Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign), the Democrat, says the courts are not interested in the treasurer suing over political decisions. “No lawyer I’ve talked to says the treasurer has any special standing to sue the General Assembly on the budget,” he said. Standing is a legal concept in which a plaintiff is required to demonstrate to the court that he or she is somehow connected to or harmed by the matter under litigation; those who lack standing cannot sue. Frerichs says suing over the budget, which is a political document, is not the role of the treasurer. The two haggled over this in a
debate Wednesday before the City Club of Chicago.

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Less Money For Basic Education

There's less money to go around for kindergarten-through-12rh-grade education.  A new national report shows how much less. Illinois is about one-third of the way from the bottom – with per-pupil spending down 9.3% since the 2007-09 recession.  Voices for Illinois Children is promoting the results, and that organization's Fiscal Policy Center director, David Lloyd, says he sees no way to fill the hole created by the rollback of the state income tax, scheduled to recede from 5 percent to 3.75 percent at the end of the year. Lloyd says the report does not use the accounting tricks which support the “facts” in the political ads these days.  “It looks at inflation-adjusted numbers, which takes into account the rising costs we all experience every day,” Lloyd says.  “There was the expiration of the stimulus dollars, which provided a crucial lifeline.” The national report comes from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Ebola screening starts at Chicago's O'Hare Airport

CHICAGO (AP) — Screening for the Ebola virus is to begin at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Customs and health officials at O'Hare will take the temperatures of passengers from three West African countries starting Thursday. Federal health officials say the entry screenings add another layer of protection to halt the spread of the Ebola virus that has killed thousands. Screeners will use no-touch thermometers to try to find passengers with fevers. Customs officials say about 150 people travel daily from or through Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea to the United States. Nearly 95 percent of them land first at airports in New York, Chicago, Newark, Atlanta or Washington, D.C. Health officials say they expect false alarms from travelers who have fever from other illnesses. Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms begin.

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State Setting Up Ebola Hotline

(Chicago, IL) -- An Ebola hotline is being set up this week by the Illinois Department of Public Health. State health officials say that while there have been no cases of Ebola in Illinois, the hotline will be helpful in answering questions from the public about the disease. The department also says it's working with hospitals and local health departments to make certain they are ready to identify, treat and contain any Ebola cases that may arise.

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Wet Weather Bogs Down Corn Harvest

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois farmers have a record corn crop on their hands, but rain and wet weather are hampering their efforts to get it out of the fields. As of Sunday, only 35-percent of the crop has been picked, behind the pace of the last five years, when more than half the corn was harvested by this time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also says just 29-percent of the Illinois soybean crop is in, down from the five-year average of 52-percent by this time of the season.

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NATIONAL
Category 4 Hurricane Gonzalo aims for Bermuda

MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Hurricane Gonzalo has strengthened overnight and is again a dangerous Category 4 storm as it barrels toward the small British island territory of Bermuda. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Gonzalo reached Category 4 strength early today for the second time in two days while fluctuating in intensity. Gonzalo is howling with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and is centered about 540 miles south-southwest of Bermuda. It's moving toward the north at 9 mph toward Bermuda, where a hurricane warning is in effect as the territory gets ready. The hurricane center says the eye of Gonzalo is expected to pass near Bermuda sometime Friday, and a dangerous storm surge is expected along with heavy rainfall.

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

US steps up its domestic response to Ebola crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — There are new questions as to whether hospitals and the public health system are equipped to handle the Ebola virus in the United States. Officials now say the second nurse to contract Ebola from a patient at a Dallas hospital was allowed to fly on a commercial plane from Cleveland back to Dallas. She was given the OK after reporting to federal health officials that she had been taking care of patient Thomas Eric Duncan and that she had a slight elevation in temperature. Officials will be questioned today by a congressional committee.

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Modest response by donors thus far to Ebola crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — Individual Americans have been slow to donate money to help fight the Ebola epidemic, and experts are wondering why. There have been some huge gifts from a few American billionaires, but the flow of smaller donations has been relatively modest. The American Red Cross, for example, received $2.8 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, but only about $100,000 in Ebola-related gifts from other donors. By comparison, the Red Cross received more than $85 million in response to last year's Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Save the Children says it has collected about half a million dollars but needs millions more. Joel Charny of InterAction, an umbrella group for U.S. relief agencies, says, "The nature of the disease — being so awful — makes it hard for people to engage."

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Ebola escalation could trigger major food crisis

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. World Food Program says if the Ebola outbreak continues to grow exponentially over the coming months, there could be a major food crisis. The United Nations has said it needs to reach 1.3 million people in need in the countries hardest-hit by Ebola — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The U.N. says so far, it's provided food to a little more than 530,000 people.

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

Millions plan to participate in earthquake drill

LA MIRADA, Calif. (AP) — Millions of people plan to drop, cover and hold on in a drill to prepare communities in California and elsewhere for the next big earthquake. Organizers say more than 10 million Californians registered to participate in the drill at 10:16 a.m. local time Thursday. Schools and universities account for more than half of the participants in this year's Great ShakeOut. A full-scale exercise for emergency responders to prepare for a potential magnitude-6.7 earthquake is planned for Biola University in La Mirada. The suburb southeast of Los Angeles was rattled by a magnitude-5.1 earthquake in March. The annual drill began in 2008 in California. It has since spread to dozens of states and countries, including Italy and Canada.

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2 arrested in shooting of Arizona law officer

PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities say two suspects have been arrested following a weeklong manhunt into a shooting that left an Arizona law officer wounded. Authorities have not named the suspects, but earlier they said they were looking for 39-year-old Ramon Bueno and 26-year-old Danny Angel Vargas as persons of interest. The wounded six-year veteran is listed in stable condition.

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Report: Private student borrowers can't get help

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report says millions of Americans still struggle with high-cost private student loans, with many tumbling into default because the companies servicing the loans aren't offering reasonable options for improved terms. The report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says most of the complaints it receives from borrowers are about the lack of repayment options or lack of flexibility in times of financial trouble.

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Weekly Jobless Claims Lowest In 14 Years

(Undated)  --  First-time unemployment claims are the lowest since the Clinton administration.  Figures from the Labor Department this morning show 264-thousand Americans filed first-time claims for benefits last week.  That's a drop of 23-thousand from the week before and it's the lowest since April of 2000.  The four-week moving average also is at a 14-year low.  

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California city rejects migrant shelter

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California city has rejected a plan to convert a vacant nursing home into a shelter for unaccompanied children arrested by the Border Patrol. U-T San Diego reports the Escondido City Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to deny the proposal by Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit group that operates shelters for child immigrants across the country. The company was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued that the Escondido shelter would have the same number of residents and similar services as the nursing home that once occupied the building. But the council majority agreed with an earlier decision by the Planning Commission that said the proposed facility would be incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood in the San Diego suburb for reasons including traffic, safety, parking and community character.

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Florida Gov. Scott campaign disputes debate delay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott's campaign is disputing the cause of a delay in Wednesday's night televised debate with former Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist was alone on stage for nearly 10 minutes at the debate's start. Moderators told the audience Scott was refusing to take part because Crist had an electric fan under his lectern. Moderators said they'd been told Scott considered it violated the rule prohibiting the use of electronic devices. In an email to campaign supporters hours after the debate, Scott's campaign manager said Scott "never refused to take the stage." Melissa Sellers says the campaign wasn't notified that Crist had taken the stage. She says they were told Crist was talking with debate organizers about the fan. Scott's late entry prompted ridicule and attention nationally and on social media.

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Chrysler recalling nearly 907,000 cars, SUVs

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling nearly 907,000 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep SUVs and cars for failing alternators and heated power mirrors that can cause minor fires. The largest of today's recalls covers nearly 470,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees, Chrysler 300s, and Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Durangos from 2011 through 2014. The alternators can fail, causing the 3.6-liter V6 engines to stall unexpectedly. Chrysler knows of one crash but no injuries or fires. It will replace alternators for free. Owners will be notified in November. The second recall covers nearly 437,000 Jeep Wranglers from 2011 through 2013. Water can enter the heated power mirror wiring and cause a short. Chrysler knows of no fires or injuries. Dealers will move the move the wiring and install a water shield starting in December.

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INTERNATIONAL
EU vows to beef up Ebola exit tests in West Africa

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations are promising to reinforce passenger screening for Ebola at the airports in the hardest-hit West African nations and coordinate a common approach for the deadly virus at EU entry points. EU health chief Tonio Borg said Thursday the World Health Organization and the EU will look into "conflicting reports" about whether the screening in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea is good enough. If lapses are evident, Borg said international measures will be taken to strengthen the controls. At an emergency meeting of EU health ministers, the 28 nations also vowed to better coordinate action at entry points in European airports. Some nations now have Ebola entry checks while others do not. France will begin screening airline passengers for Ebola on Saturday at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.

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Spain Ebola patient improving, 1 to be tested

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish Health Ministry spokesman says the condition of a nursing assistant with Ebola appears to be improving but a person who came into contact with her before she was hospitalized Oct. 6 has a fever and will be hospitalized and tested for the virus. Spokesman Fernando Simon says nursing assistant Teresa Romero is in stable condition at Madrid's Carlos III hospital and the level of Ebola virus in her body is declining. Simon said Thursday the person to be tested reported having a fever above 37.7 degrees Celsius (99.9 degrees Fahrenheit) — the level Spanish authorities have set for at-risk people to be tested. He did not identify the person but said it is not a health care worker. The result is expected Thursday night.

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Iran looks at compromise nuke offer

VIENNA (AP) — Diplomats say Iran is considering a U.S. proposal at nuclear talks that would allow it to keep more of its atomic infrastructure while still reducing its ability to make an atomic bomb. Uranium enrichment can make both reactor fuel and the core of nuclear arms. Tehran says it doesn't want such weapons. It opposes U.S. demands to cut the number of enriching centrifuges now operating from nearly 10,000 to a few thousand. An alternative U.S. offer foresees more centrifuges if Tehran cuts its stockpile of reactor-grade uranium that can be turned to weapons use with further enrichment. Initially non-committal, Iran, say the diplomats, recently began discussions with Moscow on shipping some of its low-enriched stockpile to Russia. The diplomats demanded anonymity because they are forbidden from discussing confidential information.

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Vatican alters draft report translation about gays

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The contentious debate over the Vatican's ground-breaking overture to gays has taken a new twist. The Vatican on Thursday released a new English translation of the draft report of bishops debating family issues. The new translation significantly alters the section about gays, diminishing the welcoming tone from the original Italian. The report has been highly criticized by many conservative English-speaking bishops — Americans and Africans mostly — primarily because of the welcome extended to gays. The original text contained an entire section "Welcoming homosexuals," that asked the church to provide gays a "fraternal space" and said their unions constitute a "precious support" for the partners. The new English version is entitled "Providing for homosexual persons," speaks only of "fellowship" and "valuable support." The Vatican said English-speaking bishops requested the changes.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 6, St. Louis 4

NHL

Calgary 2, Chicago 1, OT

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at San Francisco 7:07 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame 6:11 p.m.)

NHL

St. Louis at Los Angeles 9:30 p.m.

NBA Preseason

Atlanta at Chicago 7 p.m.

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Rams Rank 29th In NFL Popularity

(St. Louis, MO) -- Rams fans aren't an endangered species yet, but they may hard to find outside the city. A new Harris Poll of the most popular teams in the NFL saw the Denver Broncos take over the top spot from the Dallas Cowboys. On the other end of the list, the Rams finished 29th of the 32 teams in the league. Rams fans can take solace that their team is still more popular than the Buccaneers in 30th place and the Titans and Jaguars, who tied for last.

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Bears' Briggs remains sidelined by rib injury

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears are not ruling out Lance Briggs for this weekend's game. They're also not saying whether the seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker will play against the Dolphins. Briggs sat out last week's win at Atlanta because of a rib injury. He did not practice Wednesday, and coach Marc Trestman does not expect him to Thursday, either. The Bears host Miami on Sunday. As for whether Briggs will play, Trestman said Wednedsay, "We'll see." Trestman also said there's no indication Briggs has broken ribs. Briggs did not make himself available for comment.

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Illini plan scrimmage for select fans

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The annual Orange and Blue scrimmage that usually starts Illinois' basketball season is off this year but the Illini plan to let about 200 selected fans get an early look at the team. Illinois said Tuesday that players will scrimmage Oct. 26 at the Ubben Basketball Practice Facility. Fans selected in a drawing can attend. The school says fans will have to nominate themselves for the drawing at the team website, FightingIllini.com, or in a message to the team's Twitter handle, @IlliniHoops. Priority will be given to season-ticket holders and students. The traditional scrimmage at the State Farm Center isn't happening this year because of the ongoing renovation work. But school officials say the facility will be available for the opening exhibition on Nov. 7 against Quincy.

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Former Illini hoops assistant coach McClain dies

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Former Illinois assistant coach and current Champaign Central High School head basketball coach Wayne McClain has died. He was 59. Principal Joe Williams said McClain died Wednesday at a local hospital after an unspecified illness. McClain was an assistant coach at Illinois from 2002 through 2012, ending his tenure there as an associate head coach under Bruce Weber. But McClain made his reputation as a coach at Peoria Manual High School, where he won state titles in his first three seasons in the mid-1990s. Williams says McClain had "really, really, really high expectations, and he never wavered in those expectations." Williams says the Central players were shocked and that McClain's son, former Illinois player Sergio McClain, met with the team.

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News for Oct. 15,2014

LOCAL
Storms spawn 3 tornadoes across Illinois

FREEBURG, Ill. (AP) — The National Weather Service now says that at least three tornadoes touched down Monday across southwestern and central Illinois. Roofs were damaged, trees were uprooted and power interrupted but no serious injuries were reported. Meteorologist Fred Glass said Tuesday that two tornadoes in southwest Illinois were classified as EF1s. That means they had wind speeds of 86 to 110 miles per hour. Glass says one twister that touched down just northwest of the village of Freeburg cut a swath nearly one and a half miles long. The other tornado was west of New Baden in northeastern St. Clair County. Meteorologist Llyle Baker says a third tornado near the central Illinois community of Moweaqua damaged a farm house. That tornado was an EF2 with winds of 110-120 mph.

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Man accused of southern Illinois shooting

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man is being held in lieu of $2 million bond after being charged with attempted murder. He is accused of shooting another man in the back of the neck with a shotgun. Prosecutors in Franklin County also charged 21-year-old Koby Humerickhouse with aggravated battery. Authorities say John Ferketich was shot shortly after 6 a.m. Friday in his home near West Frankfort. Authorities haven't revealed Ferketich's medical status as of Tuesday. Online court records don't show whether Humerickhouse has an attorney.

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Prosecutor backs Illinois inmate's clemency bid

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The prosecutor of a man serving a 90-year prison sentence for a 1992 southwestern Illinois shooting that killed his former girlfriend and wounded her new boyfriend is supporting the inmate's clemency bid. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Michael Strader says he should've taken a plea deal for a 50-year sentence. If he had, he'd be eligible for parole in 2017, not 2037 now. He's got the support of the assistant Madison County state's attorney who took him to trial in 1994. Rich Rybak is now a prosecutor in Howell County, Missouri. He says Strader "is hardly the threatening monster that some who don't know him might claim." Strader was 19 at the time of the shooting. There's no immediate word on when Gov. Pat Quinn may decide Strader's clemency request.

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Mt. Vernon Fire Responds To Apartment Complex Fire

Mt. Vernon firefighters responded to a fully-involved fire last night at an old apartment complex in the 1500 block of South 9th Street. Firefighters responded to the scene around 10:30 Tuesday night, and advised as they arrived that fire was through the roof of the complex. Waltonville responded to a request for mutual aid, and the fire was reportedly under control shortly before 11:15 last night. The extent of damage is not yet known. No injuries have been reported.

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Students learn entrepreneurship with leaders' help

MARION, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois high school students could soon develop their own businesses with help from local leaders. Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities pairs students with Marion business owners to help young people start and run their own enterprises. Marion School District board member Brandi Bradley heard of the program's success elsewhere and wanted it in Williamson County. Craig Lindvahl is founder of the Midland Institute of Entrepreneurship and says the county is a good place for the program. He says it has a vibrant business community, progressive schools and a desire to engage young people. Watermark Auto Group and Farmers State Bank of Marion matched donations of $10,000 to start the program. Lindvahl will make presentations in Herrin and Marion on Oct. 28 describing the program.

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Enyart Presents West Frankfort With FEMA Grant For Water Treatment Plant

Congressman Bill Enyart was on hand Tuesday to present the City of West Frankfort with a Federal Emergency Management Grant for $6.4 million for a new waste water treatment plant.  The FEMA grant will assist in the rebuild of the city’s sewer treatment plant that often suffers from flooding and water pollution concerns.  The City of West Frankfort will also contribute approximately $2.2 million towards the project.

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SIU-C Chancellor Has Cancer

SIU Carbondale Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela says he has cancer. Sarvela informed the college’s faculty and staff about this through a letter Tuesday afternoon. He says he got the diagnosis after undergoing a series of medical tests. He has a rare but treatable tumor that is a type of carcinoma. Sarvela says he's been given an excellent prognosis and plans to maintain a presence on campus.

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Police Search For West Frankfort Woman Accused of Assault

Police in West Frankfort are looking for a woman who allegedly assaulted a bus driver after an argument over her child got out of control late last month. Police say an arrest warrant has been issued for 27-year-old Misty J. Nelson-Rosenow of West Frankfort. She has been charged with aggravated assault against a transit employee and disorderly conduct.  Reports say on Sept. 25, Rosenow got on the bus near where the family lived at the time at the Gray Plaza Motel and began harassing the bus driver about some misconduct slips her child had received. The driver told Rosenow to call the bus company about the issue. Rosenow told the driver she did that and got off the bus. Then Rosenow quickly got back on the bus, verbally abused the driver and threw coffee from her cup onto the driver and some of the children riding behind her. The driver then said it looked like Rosenow was going to throw the cup, but didn’t and got off the bus. The bus driver was able to secure the bus once Rosenow and her child left to go back to the motel.

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Flora HS Locked Down During Police Operation

According to a press release from the Flora Police Department, Flora High School was placed on a “soft” lockdown Tuesday morning, as area law enforcement conducted an operation in the area. Flora Police Chief John Nicholson says that around 10:45 Tuesday morning, Flora Police, Clay County Sheriff’s Deputies, and the U.S. Marshals office conducted an operation in the 200 block of Park Avenue.  Nicholson says a subject with a federal arrest warrant and several state warrants was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit.  The suspect was taken into custody and transported by the U.S. Marshals to the Marion County Jail in Salem — which is a federal holding center — on a charge of meth conspiracy/manufacturing.  According to Nicholson, because police were aware the operation was approximately two blocks from the high school and that the wanted subject had a habit of running from law enforcement, the high school principal was contacted and asked to place the school on a “soft” lockdown as police began the operation.  When the suspect was in custody, the high school resumed normal operation. Nicholson emphasizes that at no time was the high school or its students in any danger, but that law enforcement felt it wise to take the extra precaution. The identity of the subject has not yet been released.

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IEMA Urges Illinois Residents to Join October 16 “Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today urged Illinoisans to participate in the 4th Annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill at 10:16 a.m., on Thursday, October 16. It is expected to be the largest earthquake drill in the history of Illinois and the United States. Governor Pat Quinn has proclaimed October 16 as “Great ShakeOut Day” across Illinois, calling this drill “an effective, grass-roots approach to emergency planning” which has “helped millions of people understand what to do if the ground starts shaking.” Individuals, schools, businesses and others can register for the Great ShakeOut at shakeout.org/centralus, where participants will find expert advice about earthquake preparedness, engaging videos and resource materials. It only takes a minute to register online in the Great ShakeOut and just seconds to participate in the drill itself, but the lessons could make a life-or-death difference. The drill focuses on the protective actions people should take when a quake begins: “Drop” to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk or table, and “Hold On” until the shaking stops.
Illinois has participated in ShakeOut drills since 2011. The largest earthquake ever to rattle North America occurred in 1811 in New Madrid, Missouri. If a similar quake struck the same spot today, the impact would be catastrophic and result in many fatalities and injuries, as well as severe damage or destruction to the region’s hospitals, roads, bridges, fuel pipelines and water infrastructure. Most of southern Illinois sits atop one of two major fault zones - the New Madrid Seismic Zone and Wabash Valley Seismic Zone - but earthquakes have been felt throughout the state. In recent years, Illinois has been slammed by natural calamities: floods, tornadoes, drought and blizzards. On IEMA’s website, Ready.Illinois.gov, residents can find tips for emergency planning, such as building a survival kit, creating escape routes and family reunification plans, and caring for pets.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner spar over how to reduce violence

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner are debating how best to address crime in Illinois. The candidates for governor are faced off Tuesday in their second televised debate. Rauner says the best way to reduce violence it to provide better economic opportunities so people have jobs. He says he'd do that by making Illinois more business-friendly and improving educational opportunities. That includes vocational training. Quinn says he's worked to provide after-school programs and summer programs for young people. He also supports a ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Rauner supports background checks for gun purchases so criminals and people with mental health issues can't get weapons. But he doesn't support an assault weapons ban because he says it runs afoul of the Second Amendment.

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Durbin Backs Minimum Wage Hike

(Springfield, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is on board with the state's plan to raise the minimum wage to ten-bucks-an-hour.  He says it'll innovate the economy and give workers more purchasing and spending power.  The minimum wage is set at eight-25 in Illinois now, but Governor Quinn and Democrats have been trying to boost it.  They say people shouldn't work 40-hours-a-week and still live in poverty.  Voters will be allowed to weigh in on the issue when they head to the polls on November 4th.

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No vote on Illinois fracking rules until November

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois legislative panel has put off voting on rules for high-volume oil and gas extraction until next month, as it grapples with how to ensure regulations are fair to industry while protecting the environment. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules has the last word on whether the rules for hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," can take effect. Fracking supporters say it is safe and will create thousands of Illinois jobs. Opponents worry it will cause groundwater pollution and health problems. The rules under review were written by the Department of Natural Resources to implement a new law allowing the practice. At Tuesday's hearing in Chicago, some lawmakers expressed concern that if no regulations are approved by a Nov. 15 deadline, industry could find a way to begin operating anyway.

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US Rep. Tammy Duckworth retiring from military

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is retiring from the Illinois National Guard after 23 years in the military and ten years after she lost both legs in Iraq when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. The National Guard announced the retirement on Tuesday and Duckworth's office confirmed that Duckworth — a lieutenant colonel — is leaving the military. Duckworth was commissioned with the Army Reserves in 1992 and joined the Illinois Army National Guard in 1996. The 47-year-old Duckworth and her husband Major Brian Bowlsbey of Hoffman Estates are expecting a baby. The suburban Chicago Democrat is running for re-election against Republican Larry Kaifesh on Nov. 4.

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Illinois Supreme Court expands electronic filing


CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has said it will start giving courts a chance to electronically file criminal and traffic case documents. The court said Tuesday that counties can request approval from the high court to start electronically filing in trial courts. Chief Justice Rita B. Garman says it will make courts more efficient, conserve environmental resources and save taxpayer money. The decision is the latest example of the court's push to modernize the state's courtrooms. The court has approved electronic filing for civil cases in 11 counties since a pilot project was launched in 2003. Another pilot program has allowed media organizations to electronically record court proceedings in several counties.

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U. of Illinois plans center focused on gene data

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois and the Mayo Clinic will use a $9.3 million federal grant to set up a new research center focused on data analysis and health care. The university said Monday the grant from the National Institutes of Health will be used to create one of several new Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing. The center will be on the university's Urbana-Champaign campus. Officials of the university's Institute for Genomic Biology say the center will try to create an analytical tool for biomedical researchers to examine gene-based data. The Institute for Genomic Biology and university's Department of Computer Science, Coordinated Science Laboratory, College of Engineering and National Center for Supercomputing Applications will all be involved with the center.

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U of I Foundation names interim president

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Foundation has named Edward Ewald interim president. Foundation board chairman Roger Plummer says the appointment is effective on Saturday. The board will conduct a search for a permanent replacement for outgoing chief Thomas Farrell. Ewald is currently senior vice president for development. He has had a 22-year career with the foundation — including serving as campaign director for the $2.43 billion "Brilliant Futures" campaign. The foundation's mission is to receive and administer private donations to the state's flagship university. It was established in 1935. Ewald will have responsibility for the foundation's day-to-day operations and will be in charge of the university's overall development program. It includes more than 400 professional and support staff members. The 56-year-old Ewald is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University.

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Quinn encourages Ill. residents to get flu shots

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Governor Pat Quinn got an annual flu shot in part to help remind residents around the state about the importance of an annual vaccination. Quinn received his shot Tuesday from a Walgreens pharmacist. His office says it's part of his agenda to improve the health and well-being of the people of Illinois. The Chicago Democrat is encouraging residents to "to get to their nearest Walgreens or local pharmacy as soon as possible." The Illinois Department of Public Health recommends that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated for influenza every year. Officials say approximately 784 flu-related admissions were reported in Illinois hospital intensive care units during the 2013-2014 flu season, resulting in 100 deaths.

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October Is Time To Check Electronic Devices

(Springfield, IL)  --  October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.  The IT Department at the University of Illinois Springfield is bringing students up to speed on how to keep cell phones and computers safe.  Tech security experts suggest checking security settings on your computer and regular updates for virus software you may have.  They say that's required because there are new threats always coming out.

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NATIONAL
Texas dept. 2nd person tests positive for Ebola

DALLAS (AP) — The Texas Department of State Health Services says that a second health care worker at a Dallas hospital who provided care for the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. has tested positive for the disease. The department says in the statement emailed early Wednesday and posted on its website that the worker reported a fever Tuesday and was immediate isolated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. It says a preliminary Ebola test was conducted late Tuesday at a state public health lab in Austin, Texas, and confirmatory testing will be conducted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The statement says the health care worker, who wasn't identified, was interviewed to identify any contacts or potential exposures. Department spokeswoman Carrie Williams confirmed the release with The Associated Press.

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Dallas nurses cite sloppy conditions in Ebola care

DALLAS (AP) — A national nurses' union says nurses at the Dallas hospital where an Ebola patient died worked for days without proper protective gear and with only loose guidelines on how to prevent the spread of the virus. National Nurses United convened a conference call with reporters Tuesday evening to relay what its leaders said were concerns of nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the nation died last week and a nurse is now infected. Executive director RoseAnn DeMoro would not identify the nurses nor say how many had spoken out of concern for their jobs. She said the nurses allege specimens from the victim were sent through pneumatic tubes, potentially contaminating the entire lab specimen delivery system.

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CDC says it missed opportunities to contain Ebola

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — In the days after the first diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S., the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was resolute in his confidence about hospitals' ability to manage the virus. Dr. Tom Frieden said almost every hospital in the country can take care of Ebola, provided health care workers have the right training and materials. Now Frieden says the government wasn't aggressive enough in containing the virus as it spread from an infected patient to a Dallas nurse. He says the CDC could have sent a more robust team and been more hands-on with hospital staff once Ebola was diagnosed here. Frieden also has outlined new steps designed to stop the spread of the disease, including the creation of an Ebola response team.

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Record number of black candidates seeking office

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 100 black candidates will be on the ballot in statewide and congressional races next month, a post-Reconstruction record that some observers say is a byproduct of President Barack Obama's historic presidency. A political scientist who has tracked black politicians for years, David Bositis, says at least 83 black Republicans and Democrats are running for the U.S. House, an all-time high for the modern era. Those House candidates include Utah's Mia Love, who is trying to become the first black Republican woman to be elected to Congress. Bositis says there could be 20 black women among House members after the election, an all-time high. Another record: At least 25 African-Americans are running for statewide offices, including U.S. senator, governor or lieutenant governor.

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US man guilty of assisting suicide to be sentenced

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — A former nurse in Minnesota who has admitted to going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves is scheduled to be sentenced. William Melchert-Dinkel is being sentenced Wednesday on one count of assisting suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide. The 52-year-old was convicted on those counts in September — after the Supreme Court changed the state's assisted suicide law and reversed his prior convictions in the deaths of an English man and a Canadian woman. Melchert-Dinkel's attorney plans to appeal the latest convictions. Among other things, Terry Watkins says he would've used a different defense if the case was originally filed under the law as it now stands. Under current law, it's illegal to assist a suicide, but not illegal to encourage suicide.

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US panel to hear appeal on NY stop and frisk case

NEW YORK (AP) — The city's police unions will argue they should be able to continue to appeal a federal judge's ruling that the NYPD's stop and frisk policy violated civil rights. Lawyers for the unions are scheduled to appear before a panel of judges Wednesday at the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal judge ruled earlier that the unions did not signal soon enough to be included in the lawsuit. The case was heard last year in federal court and a judge ruled after the 10-week trial that the policy sometimes discriminated against minorities. The judge ordered sweeping changes and installed a monitor to oversee the changes. The city appealed at the time, but the de Blasio administration dropped the appeal. The unions wish to keep fighting.

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Second health care worker was quickly isolated

DALLAS (AP) — Officials say a second health care worker who's tested positive for Ebola was in isolation at a Dallas hospital within 90 minutes of the worker finding she had an elevated temperature. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said at a news conference Wednesday that the health care provider at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was monitoring herself for symptoms of Ebola. The unidentified woman reported a fever Tuesday and then was taken to isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian. It's not clear how she contracted the virus during care she provided for Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian. Authorities declined to say what position she holds at the hospital or the type of care she provided.

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Obama plans push to help 7 Dem governor hopefuls

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is planning a major campaign push in seven governor's races, where Democrats' prospects are looking up, while largely avoiding the party's tougher challenges in the Senate as midterm elections approach. A White House official says Obama will spend the last full week of the campaign appearing at rallies for Democratic candidates for governor in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maine. The closing pitch follows rallies in the next few days in Connecticut, Maryland and Illinois. All are states Obama won twice. In nearly all, there's a competitive gubernatorial race. The only Senate candidate Obama has announced plans to campaign for is Michigan's Gary Peters. The focus on governor's races marks a shift for Obama, who has been feverishly raising money for House and Senate Democrats.

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Forecasters: Gonzalo powerful Category 3 hurricane

MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say Hurricane Gonzalo is maintaining strength as a powerful Category 3 storm as it churns over open waters toward Bermuda. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Gonzalo has top sustained winds of 125 mph (205 kph) and is centered about 660 miles (1,060 kilometers) south-southwest of Bermuda. It was moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph) early Wednesday. Bermuda's government has posted a hurricane watch for the British territory, urging islanders to keep an eye on the approaching storm. Officials say flights departing Bermuda on Thursday, Friday and Saturday were fully booked. Authorities on some smaller islands buffeted by Gonzalo say at least one person is dead and two are missing after the storm swept through the eastern Caribbean earlier this week.

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Bus Stabbing Suspect Shot, Killed By CT Trooper

(Norwalk, CT)  --  Police in Connecticut are working to determine what prompted a man to start stabbing people aboard a casino-bound tour bus.  The attacker was shot and killed by a state trooper, but not before stabbing a man, woman and himself.  While frantic passengers called 911 last night, the bus driver pulled into a construction site in Norwalk and flagged down a trooper who was working the area.  The trooper opened fire when the suspect came after him with the blade. 

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INTERNATIONAL
NATO chief: no big Russian withdrawal near Ukraine

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — NATO's top military commander says the alliance would welcome the withdrawal of Russian troops from a Russian region bordering Ukraine, but that it has seen no "major movement" so far. U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told The Associated Press in Thessaloniki Wednesday that a withdrawal of all Russian troops was an "important part of bringing normalcy" to the area. On Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered about 17,600 Russian troops to return to their bases from Rostov. The region in Russia borders east Ukraine, where pro-Russian insurgents have been battling government troops since April. The Kremlin has said troops stationed there were participating in drills, but Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of fueling the insurgency with arms, expertise and fighters.

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Slain girlfriend's cousin testifies

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A cousin of Reeva Steenkamp has taken the stand for the prosecution at Oscar Pistorius' sentencing hearing. Kim Martin is the first family member of Pistorius' slain girlfriend to testify at the double-amputee athlete's trial. Pistorius faces up to 15 years in prison after being convicted of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, for shooting Steenkamp, although he could also receive a suspended jail sentence and a fine. Martin testified Wednesday that Steenkamp was "the first baby I ever held" and "there was a very strong bond from a very young age." Prosecutors have insisted that Pistorius should go to prison for shooting Steenkamp, saying his actions have left a "broken family."  Pistorius' defense lawyers want a correctional supervision sentence which involves periods of house arrest.

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Philippine police accuse US Marine in murder case

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A police inspector says a complaint for murder has been filed in the Philippines accusing a U.S. Marine of killing a transgender Filipino in a motel room. Police Chief Inspector Gil Domingo said Marine Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton was the last person seen with the victim late Saturday, when they checked into a motel after meeting in a disco bar in Olongapo city. Jennifer Laude, whose former name was Jeffrey, was found with her head resting on the motel room's toilet bowl, apparently after being drowned. Domingo said the criminal complaint was filed Wednesday before government prosecutors, who would decide formal charges. Pemberton took part in combat exercises between American and Filipino troops. He is being held on the USS Peleliu in the Subic Bay free port northwest of Manila.

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European Space Agency confirms comet landing site

BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency has confirmed the time and place it will attempt to land the first spacecraft on a comet. The agency said Wednesday its unmanned probe Rosetta will release the 100-kilogram (220-pound) lander at 0835 GMT (3:35 EST) on Nov. 12. The aim is to drop its lander Philae at a location dubbed 'Site J' on the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) wide comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The maneuver will take about seven hours. Because radio signals have to travel more than 400 million kilometers (250 million miles) back to Earth, confirmation of a successful landing won't arrive until about 1600 GMT (11:00 a.m. EST). Scientists hope the mission will help them learn more about the origins and evolution of objects in the universe.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 5, St. Louis 4, 10 innings

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at San Francisco, 7:07 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:11 p.m.)

NHL

Calgary at Chicago 7 p.m.

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Area Teams in The Weekly AP IHSA Football Poll

Class 1A-None
Class 2A-NR Chester (4 points)
Class 3A-6. Carlinville (59 points), 8. Nashville (39 points), NR Fairfield (5 points), NR DuQuoin (3 points), NR Vandalia (1 point)
Class 4A-4. Greenville (97 points), 7. Herrin (51 points), 9. Columbia (32 points), 10. Carterville (21 points), NR Althoff (4 points)
Class 5A-3. Highland (108 points), NR Marion (5 points)
Class 6A-7. East St. Louis (49 points)
Class 7A-NR Belleville West (5 points)
Class 8A-5. Edwardsville (73 points)

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Smithpeters Reinstated at SIU, Basketball Future Still Cloudy

An SIU basketball player who was recently suspended from the university for allegedly breaking the school’s code of conduct policy is back on campus. Guard Tyler Smithpeters of Harrisburg was reinstated Tuesday and can attend classes again. School officials still aren’t saying why he was suspended noting that  they don’t discuss matters regarding individual students due to privacy concerns. Smithpeters still isn’t back with his teammates either at this time. Coach Barry Hinson says a decision on Smithpeters returning to the team may be made today or later this month. The Salukis first exhibition game is Saturday, Nov. 1 against the University of St. Mary. The season opener is Saturday Nov. 15 at St. Louis.

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News for Oct. 14, 2014

LOCAL
Tornado, Strong Winds Wreak Havoc On The Area

Authorities in southern Illinois say strong winds from a storm system moving across the area Monday caused damage in multiple communities. Strong storms had communities in the listening area under multiple weather advisories, including a tornado warning in Marion for about an hour and a tornado watch in Jefferson and surrounding counties that extended through midnight. In addition to flooded roads and downed tree limbs, a barn rural Kell had part of its roof torn off, and a carport on the same property was destroyed. Tree limb damage was reported throughout the listening area and power lines were reported down in multiple areas in Centralia. An extra shift of firefighters was called in to assist with repairs. The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in St. Clair County yesterday near Shiloh. It tore through the Maple Hill neighborhood along Route 15 shortly before 1:30 p.m. Monday. It also toppled a canopy, several trees and a tent at the Weingarten Winery and Restaurant across the highway. The tornado damaged roofs along the subdivision on Roan Hill Drive. The St. Clair Emergency Management Agency also said on its Facebook page it had reports of roofs being blown off of homes. Local forecasters also reported possible rotation moving north from Freeburg toward the vicinity of Eckert's Farm in Belleville The National Weather Service has also confirmed wind damage, including toppled trees and roof damage, in Randolph County.

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Ullin Man Charged In Murder Of Wife

Authorities in Mississippi County, MO have charged 45-year-old Clifford Williams Sr. of Ullin with several charges including first-degree murder, after his wife’s body was found at Moore’s Landing Sunday. KFVS-TV reports Williams is also charged with armed criminal action and abandonment of a corpse in the death of 45-year-old Sylvia Tipler of Paducah. Williams is being held without bond in the county detention center. The coroner said foul play was suspected in the woman’s death. Tipler has been missing since Wednesday and was last seen with Williams. Police believed she had been kidnapped.

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Appeal Denied For Killer

An appeal for a convicted southern Illinois killer has been denied. Danny Coston, of White County, is currently serving a 53-year sentence for gunning down Jessica Evans and Jacob Wheeler. Their bodies were found in a remote area of the county near the Little Wabash River in August 2012. Oral arguments were heard last August before the 5th District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Defense attorneys argued that Coston didn't know if he was in custody when he was being questioned and he didn't voluntarily waive his Miranda rights. The state argued that the law was followed and Coston's confession was voluntary.  The appellate court denied Coston's appeal Friday.

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Another Shooting Reported In Mt. Vernon, PD Continues Investigation

According to the Mt. Vernon Police Department, they are looking for information about a weekend shooting.  Reports say police were called around 8:15 p.m. Saturday to the 700 block of South 21st Street for a report of a shooting. They say 29-year-old Karey Richardson, of Mt. Vernon, was shot in the leg. He suffered non-life threatening injuries. If you have any information about this crime, call Mt. Vernon Police at (618) 242-2727. This is the latest shooting in Mt. Vernon since August, when a woman suffered a non-life threatening leg injury from a gunshot that police say was intentionally fired from outside her home. Last week, multiple Mt. Vernon Schools were placed on lockdown when shots were fired around lunchtime near Casey Middle School.  A home in the area was struck by multiple shots and is believed to have been the only target of the shots that were reportedly fired from a small gray car seen fleeing from the scene. There were no injuries reported.

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Weather camera to be installed on Bald Knob cross

ALTO PASS, Ill. (AP) — Officials of a 111-foot cross in Alto Pass are allowing a small weather camera to be installed on top of the structure. Steve McKeown, a member of the Bald Knob Cross of Peace Board of Directors, tells the Southern Illinoisan that it was an easy decision to let Earth Networks, which delivers weather information online, to place a Weatherbug camera on top of the cross in Alto Pass. Not only will the camera give meteorologists another tool to monitor weather, but McKeown says it will also allow people to see the view online from the cross. McKeown says the camera would also help encourage people who have never visited the structure to make a trek there.

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Jefferson County Historical Village Wins “Small Institution of the Year” Award

The Jefferson County Historical Society has recently been notified by the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM) that JCHS has received the Small Institution of the Year Award for 2014.  This is a competitive award open to all small museums in the state of Illinois.  The criteria for the award is based upon the programming and accomplishments of the museum.  Applicants are required to cover the history as well as events and fundraising of the institution.  JCHS is greatly honored to receive this prestigious award.  Lucy Baker, Museum Curator, and Sharon Francois, President, respectively will accept this award at the IAM Conference in Rockford, IL on October 22.
In 2013, the Jefferson County Historical Society received a Certificate of Excellence from the Illinois Association of Museums for the educational program, A Day in the Life of a Prairie Child. The Jefferson County Historical Society Village and Museum is open to the public from May to October of each year on Saturdays and Sundays.  The Society office is open year-round from 12:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday, and visitors are always welcome to look in the museum during office hours.  For more information about the Jefferson County Historical Society and Village contact the Society office at (618) 246-0033.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner To Debate

(Chicago, IL)  --  The election is just three weeks away and there's still no clear indication on who'll be the next governor of Illinois.  Democratic Governor Quinn is in a tough race with Republican Bruce Rauner.  They're essentially tied in the latest polls.  The two will appear in their second televised debate tonight.  It'll be streamed live on the "CBS Chicago" website starting at 6 p.m.

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Poll Shows Quinn, Rauner Neck-And-Neck

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn was out in front of the Columbus Day parade today in Chicago, while Bruce Rauner marched further back, but in the race for governor, Quinn and Rauner continue to walk side-by-side. A new Early & Often Poll conducted by We Ask America finds Quinn leading Rauner 44-point-five-percent to 41-percent, but that's within the poll's margin of error. The poll also found that 41-percent believe a business background to be more important for a candidate than a political background, but some 60-percent say they could be influenced by televised debates.

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Biden Joins List Of Top Dems Rolling Through Chicago

(Chicago, IL) -- Two days after his boss comes to town to raise money for Democrats including Governor Pat Quinn, Vice President Joe Biden will be in Chicago to raise enthusiasm for Quinn, Senator Dick Durbin and other Democrats. Biden will guest at a fundraiser, and will headline an October 22nd rally for Quinn, Durbin and U.S. Representative Brad Schneider. President Obama hits town October 20th for a big-ticket fundraiser after raising more than a million-dollars for Quinn earlier this month. First Lady Michelle Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were also in Chicago last week to boost Quinn and the Democratic ticket.

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GOP gov candidate explains 'right to work zones'

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says his idea to create so-called "right to work zones" also means designating areas where businesses face fewer "tax and regulatory burdens." But the idea — and its name — are raising eyebrows in union-friendly Illinois. Rauner's website says his proposal allows local communities to decide whether workers must join a union for employment. He explained in an Associated Press interview that other possibilities include temporarily offering a lower corporate income tax rate in economically-depressed regions to lure businesses. He tells AP he's not advocating statewide right to work legislation like governors he's admired. Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters Monday that Rauner's plan would hurt workers, calling him Illinois' "most anti-working candidate." Illinois already has a program carving out "enterprise zones" offering businesses tax breaks.

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Durbin presses for closing of 'skills gap'

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin plans to use a southwestern Illinois trade school as a backdrop to push for legislation that promotes technical job training. The lack of such training has opened a skills gap that means good jobs are going unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates. The Illinois Democrat on Tuesday will discuss that workforce dilemma during a Tuesday visit to the Southwestern Illinois College campus in Granite City. Durbin is to tour the college's industrial technology center. The facility contains precision machines, assembly lines and robotic welding equipment. A Durbin introduced measure called the Community College Career Fund Act is meant to help community colleges train workers for high-needs technical jobs. Many of those jobs are unfilled due to a lack of qualified employees in the workforce.

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Illinois Has Poor Economic Outlook

(Undated)  --  Illinois' economic outlook is one of the worst in the nation.  The American Legislative Exchange Council ranks the state at number 48 in its latest edition of "Rich States, Poor States."  The ranking is based on 15 variables, including business tax rates and workers' compensation costs.  Illinois' businesses tax rate comes in at number 44, at nine-and-a-half-percent.  And the workers' comp payout comes in number 47, at two-dollars-and 83-cents for every 100-dollars in payroll costs.

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U Of I Sees Decline In Black Students

(Champaign, IL)  --  The number of new black students at the University of Illinois in Champaign is dropping.  A school official says the decline reflects a trend of decreasing numbers of students choosing to enroll at U of I, and increasing tuition is also a factor.  In 1968, the school committed to start enrolling 500 new black students each year.  The school hasn't matched that number in the last six years.  Critics say the university is mostly concerned with high-paying international students.

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Illinois College Prepares For Presidential Visit

(Jacksonville, IL)  --  Former President Jimmy Carter is expected to visit Illinois College today.  He's scheduled to speak about peace in the Middle East at the Jacksonville school.  Illinois College officials say reps from the Carter Center in Atlanta will be in attendance to discuss internship possibilities.

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NATIONAL
Obama to meet with allies on militant fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and his military commanders are meeting with defense chiefs from more than 20 nations participating in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. The daylong meeting comes as the White House tries to tout progress in the U.S.-led campaign against the militants, while also girding the public for a military effort that could extend well beyond Obama's presidency. Among the countries represented today will be Arab nations that have joined the U.S. in launching strikes against the militants in Syria, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. European partners like Britain and France are also participating, as is Turkey, a key NATO ally that neighbors both Syria and Iraq.

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Monitoring dozens of health care workers

DALLAS (AP) — A nurse in Dallas who caught Ebola while treating a patient has received a blood transfusion from an Ebola survivor in hopes that it'll help her fight off the disease. Twenty-six-year-old Nina Pham was one of about 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan before he died last week. Duncan got Ebola in Liberia, but he didn't experience symptoms until he arrived in Texas to visit family.

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More than 50 arrested in Ferguson, St. Louis protests

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in the St. Louis area have arrested dozens of people who've been protesting the August fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in the town of Ferguson. Some 50 people were taken into custody on the last day of four days of rallies and civil disturbance. Organizers dubbed the day "Moral Monday." Hundreds of people marched on Ferguson police headquarters, and they used a bullhorn to read the names of people killed by police nationwide.

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Dangerous storm moves through South

ATLANTA (AP) — A large part of the South is watching a dangerous storm system move through the region this morning. The same system killed at least two people earlier in the week as high winds and isolated tornadoes damaged homes, downed trees and left scattered power outages. Forecasters are warning Georgia residents to brace for a wet and messy morning commute. Schools in several states canceled evening activities and delayed classes today.

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NC mayor faces federal prison term in scandal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Charlotte's former mayor is being sentenced in a federal corruption case that stunned North Carolina's largest city. Forty-seven-year-old Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty in June to accepting $50,000 in bribes between January 2013 and February, 2014 - three months after he was elected. An affidavit in the case says Cannon sought more than $1 million in kickbacks. Cannon was arrested March 26 when he met with undercover agents for an illegal payoff. In exchange for Cannon's guilty plea, prosecutors have promised not to ask for a prison sentence of more than four to five years, the recommendation under federal guidelines. U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney is not bound by the plea agreement. The maximum sentence is 20 years in prison.

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Orkin Names Chicago "Rattiest City"

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago ranks as the "Rattiest City" in America.  The extermination company Orkin says the Windy City received the most rodent treatments performed by the company last year.  Los Angeles came in second, while Washington DC-Hagerstown, New York City and San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose round out the top five.  Chicago also topped Orkin's list of the top 50 bed bug cities in 2013.

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Liquid nicotine exposures up sharply among kids

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Poison control workers say that as the e-cigarette industry has boomed, the number of children exposed to the liquid nicotine that gives hand-held vaporizing gadgets their kick also is spiking. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that more than 2,700 people have called about a liquid nicotine exposure this year, up from a few hundred cases three years ago. Though new products often bring a spike in calls to poison control, authorities say liquid nicotine is dangerous because it's more concentrated than traditional cigarettes and comes in candy flavors that can attract kids. Officials are calling for child-resistant caps on refill bottles, which industry representatives say many manufacturers have already begun using. There's no uniform standard, however, because the e-cigarette industry doesn't face the strict regulations governing traditional smokes.

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Supreme Court won't touch foie gras ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is allowing California to continue enforcing a law that bans the sale of foie gras. The justices on Tuesday rejected a challenge to the law from producers of the delicacy in New York and Canada. Foie gras is the fatty liver of a force-fed duck. The California law bars state farmers from force-feeding birds with a tube, the way foie gras is made. The law also bans the sale of foie gras in California. Lower courts in California earlier dismissed efforts to block the law from being enforced.

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Christie: I would rather die than be a senator

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie says he'd rather die than become a U.S. senator. The Republican governor told an NAACP audience Saturday that he'd rather drown himself in the Potomac River than serve as a senator from his state. He said he would be bored to death in a chamber with 99 other people, asking for motions on amendments in subcommittees. Christie is weighing a run for the White House in 2016. His remarks came during a keynote address at the civil rights group's New Jersey State Convention as he discussed how he'll never run for office in New Jersey again. Christie talked about defying political expectations by finding common ground with the group on issues like overhauling the bail system. It was his first keynote in front of the group as governor.

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Ohio groom, friend killed in crash on wedding day

UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Friends say an Ohio man was killed on his wedding day when a pickup truck carrying him, his new wife and friends crashed over the weekend. The Ohio State Highway Patrol says 27-year-old Andrew Bloomfield and a friend were killed Sunday in northern Ohio's Wyandot County when the pickup truck's driver lost control. The Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum reports that Bloomfield had married 37-year-old Ruth Driskill hours before the crash, which happened just before 4 p.m. She was in critical condition Monday. Also killed in the crash was 26-year-old Elizabeth Shelton. The patrol said Bloomfield and Shelton were ejected when the Dodge pickup went out of control and struck an embankment and utility poll before rolling. The driver, Timothy Tebbe, also was in critical condition.

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INTERNATIONAL
WHO: 10,000 new Ebola cases per week could be seen

GENEVA (AP) — A World Health Organization official says there could be up to 10,000 new cases of Ebola per week within two months. WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward says if the response to the Ebola crisis isn't stepped up within 60 days, "a lot more people will die" and there will be a huge need on the ground to deal with the spiraling numbers of cases. He said WHO estimated there could up to 10,000 cases per week in two months. Aylward said for the last four weeks, there have been about 1,000 new cases per week, though that figure includes suspected, confirmed and probable cases. He said WHO is aiming to have 70 percent of cases isolated within two months to reverse the outbreak. He also says the death rate in the current Ebola outbreak has increased to 70 percent. Aylward said that the 70 percent death rate was "a high mortality disease" in any circumstance and that the U.N. health agency was still focused on trying to get sick people isolated and provide treatment as early as possible. Previously, WHO had said the death rate was around 50 percent.

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Doctors Without Borders loses 9 medics to Ebola

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — International aid organization Doctors Without Borders said that 16 of its staff members have been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died. Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg Tuesday, the head of Doctors Without Borders in South Africa Sharon Ekambaram said medical workers have received inadequate assistance from the international community. She said that while many pledges had been made publicly they have not improved the situation in the affected countries. Juli Switala, a doctor working for the international aid organization who just returned from Sierra Leone, said the number of those who have died from Ebola is probably an underestimate because many families hide their sick and dying loved ones. More than 4,000 people have died from Ebola so far, according to the World Health Organization.

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Rollback: Bishops seek to balance opening to gays

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Conservative Catholic bishops concerned about an unprecedented opening to gays and divorcees are seeking to make their voices heard at a Vatican meeting on family life, emphasizing the benefits of faithful Catholics, the fundamentals of church doctrine and the dangers of sin. A document produced at the halfway point of the meeting was praised by gay rights groups as a seismic shift in tone toward acceptance of gays. Tuesday's official summary of the closed-door discussions that followed said that while the document was "appreciated," bishops offered additional reflections "to bring together various points of view." That was widely seen as a reflection of deep concern by conservative bishops over the tone of the document, which said gays had gifts to offer and their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided "precious" support.

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Police removing barriers in Hong Kong protest zone

HONG KONG (AP) — Police in Hong Kong say they'll continue to take down the barricades pro-democracy protesters erected in key business districts. Barricades have choked off traffic for more than two weeks. Police say they arrested 23 men in yesterday's violent clashes, when masked men and taxi drivers led a crowd of several hundred who tried to charge the protest zone. The protesters want the government to drop plans for a pro-Beijing committee to screen candidates in the territory's first direct elections, promised for 2017.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

NFL

San Francisco 31, St. Louis 17

NBA Preseason

Chicago 110, Denver 90

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at San Francisco, 3:07 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:11 p.m.)

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SIU Point Guard Is Suspended

(Carbondale, IL)  --  One of Southern Illinois University's starting basketball players has been suspended.  SIU Coach Barry Hinson has confirmed that point guard Tyler Smithpeters will not practice with the team.  He has been suspended for violating the university code of conduct.  Smithpeters is not allowed to attend class or be on campus.   The Harrisburg native has not been criminally charged but was the target of a university investigation. Smithpeters is awaiting word on an appeal, which the chancellor may rule on later this week.

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Bears elevate cornerback from practice squad

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have elevated cornerback Terrance Mitchell to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Mitchell has been on Chicago's practice squad the entire season. He was drafted out of Oregon by Dallas in the seventh round last spring. The Bears also waived linebacker Terrell Manning and signed safety Shamiel Gary and tight end Jacob Maxwell to the practice squad on Monday.

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News for Oct. 13, 2014

LOCAL
Body Of Missing Ullin Woman Found

An autopsy is planned for later today on the body of a missing Kentucky woman who was found dead Sunday in southeast Missouri. KFVS-TV reports the body of 45-year-old Sylvia Tipler, who was believed to be kidnapped, was found in a rural part of northeastern Mississippi County at Moore’s Landing Sunday. The county coroner says foul play is suspected in the woman’s death. Tipler was last seen with her husband, 45-year-old Clifford Ray Williams Sr. of Ullin, last Wednesday. He was arrested early Sunday morning by Mississippi County Sheriff’s deputies and taken to the county jail.

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Carbondale Girl Missing

Carbondale Police say they are looking for a missing girl.  Seventeen-year-old Morgan May Gonzalez was last seen around 3:10 p.m. Thursday. She was reported missing from the 1000 block of East Park Street. Gonzalez is described as a white female who is 5'5" tall, weighing 115 pounds. She has brown eyes and shoulder length brown hair. Gonzalez was last seen wearing a pink and yellow hooded sweatshirt, black leggings and black shoes. Gonzalez has three tattoos, one on each wrist and one on her hip. Information was developed that Gonzalez was attempting to go to either Chicago, Illinois or Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. She is possibly a danger to herself. The investigation into this incident is continuing. Anyone with information should call Carbondale Police.

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2 men who fled southeastern Illinois jail caught

CARMI, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say two men who escaped from a jail in southeastern Illinois' White County are back in custody. White County sheriff's investigators say 26-year-old Donald Currier of Goldengate and 32-year-old Robert M. Mead of Johnston City were captured Saturday afternoon in nearby Saline County after bolting early that morning from the lockup in Carmi. Authorities say the two were discovered missing during a breakfast head count. A hole was found in the ceiling and roof of the jail. Mead faces various drug-related charges and Currier is charged with aggravated battery. Investigators say two people have been arrested on suspicion of obstructing justice in connection with the escape or their assistance of Currier and Mead after it.

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Man gets 25 years in robbery-related shooting

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man has been sentenced to a quarter century in federal prison for shooting and wounding a store owner during a robbery last year. Thirty-two-year-old Phillip Smith of Caseyville was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. That's where he pleaded guilty in May to three felony counts that included interfering with interstate commerce by robbery and using a firearm as a felon during a federal crime. Authorities allege that while robbing Ferguson Television and Satellite store last Thursday in Caseyville, Smith repeatedly shot 63-year-old Judy Ferguson. Ferguson survived. Smith was arrested less than an hour after the alleged holdup.

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Marion Man Arrested For Firearm Offense

A Marion man was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with aggravated battery with a firearm in a shooting that happened earlier that morning at a home on Sandburg Road in rural West Frankfort. Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones says the man 21-year-old Koby S. Humerickhouse of Marion allegedly shot was taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The investigation continues and no further arrests are expected. Police from West Frankfort, Benton, Marion, Illinois State Police and the Franklin County State's Attorney's office are assisting in the investigation.

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Dig seeks clues about European, Indian interaction

CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) — Archaeologists have been digging in Cahokia in southwest Illinois in hopes of turning up more information on the interaction between Native Americans and European settlers. The researchers have been excavating an area around the old Holy Family log church. European missionaries established a base there in the early 1700s in the middle of a village home to the Tamaroa and Cahokia tribes. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that researchers want to learn more about the generation of interaction that took place between different cultures. Robert Mazrim is a historical resources specialist with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey's Colonial Heritage Program. He says the dig team has turned up evidence of the European settlement, including part of a British tea cup, and was beginning to see signs of the Indian presence.

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Services set for longtime St. Clair County judge

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Services are set for a retired longtime southwestern Illinois judge who died of cancer-related complications. Kassly Mortuary in Fairview Heights says St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley of Swansea died at his home Saturday. He was 61. O'Malley served on the bench for 25 years after being appointed an appointed circuit judge in early 1985 and elected a circuit judge in 1990. He retired in 2010. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Henry's Catholic Church in Belleville, followed by burial at Mount Carmel Cemetery.

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STATE
Rauner Wins 'Tribune' Endorsement

(Chicago, IL) -- In a boost to the Bruce Rauner campaign for governor, the "Chicago Tribune" is endorsing his effort to unseat Governor Pat Quinn. The paper says Rauner would successfully challenge power brokers who are standing in the way of solving the state's financial and economic problems. The "Tribune" endorsed Rauner in the primary, as well. Rauner's also won endorsements from "Crain's Chicago Business" and the "Daily Herald." Chicago's other major newspaper, the "Sun-Times," ceased making political endorsements in 2012.

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Governor hopefuls clash over Rauner's taxes

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois governor candidates are clashing over whether Republican Bruce Rauner should release more information about how he made his money and any tax breaks he may have received. Rauner released eight pages of his 2013 tax returns Friday. They show the Winnetka businessman and his wife earned nearly $61 million and paid $17 million in state and federal taxes. That's a combined rate of about 27.5 percent. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign called the information "wholly insufficient" because Rauner didn't release his full tax schedules. Those documents would provide details on Rauner's sources of income and any conflicts of interest. A Rauner spokeswoman says he has disclosed his investments that do business in Illinois and has pledged use a blind trust if elected. Quinn released his returns and schedules earlier this year.

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Rauner Believes Illinois Should Invest In Prisons

Illinois should be putting more money into prisons, says Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner. Rauner says the problem is safety.  “We have unsafe prisons.  We have corrections officers with their life and their personal safety at risk. We have inmates with their personal safety at risk because we haven’t properly staffed and invested in our corrections system,” he said. The Department of Corrections has 11,000 employees and a budget of $1.3 billion.  The cost of adult incarceration is about $38,000 per inmate per year, when you include the Corrections budget, plus capital costs and employee pensions and health care, which are not included in the Corrections budget. The governor has closed prisons at Tamms and Dwight, and youth prisons at Murphysboro and Joliet.  Illinois has 48,902 adult inmates (as of Oct. 1), in a system with a design capacity of 32,000. Rauner also says the state must find ways to keep non-violent lawbreakers out of prison. Gov. Pat Quinn says he’s doing that.  “We have reduced the number of repeat offenders. One thing we use is what’s called Adult Redeploy.  We invest in the front end, trying to keep people out of our state prisons – alternative ways of punishing people for bad behavior so they don’t have a life of crime,” he said. Rauner made his comments even while he’s running a TV ad that dings Quinn because some prisoners who were let out early – and some who had completed their sentences – went on to commit violent crimes. The two candidates discussed this issue during the public television debate in Peoria.

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Three People Die In Plane Crash

(Palos Hills, IL)  --  Authorities say three people are dead following a plane crash in the Southwest Suburbs.  The pilot and two passengers died when the plane crashed just before 11 o'clock last night in Palos Hills, near the intersection of 86th Court and 101st Street.  The plane went down not long after departing from Midway Airport.  Officials say it was headed for Lawrence, Kansas.

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U. of Illinois opens new engineering building


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus has opened a new $95 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. Gov. Pat Quinn and university President Robert Easter were both at the new building Friday to dedicate it. The 235,000 square-foot building almost doubles the space available to the university's Electrical and Computer Engineering Program. It includes a nanofrabrication laboratory and will have solar arrays installed on both of its roofs this fall. The cost of the project was split between Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program and donations to the university.

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Illinois Non-Competitive In Health Insurance Market

Illinois has become one of the most non-competitive states in health insurance, according to a new American Medical Association report.  It’s in the Top 10 of least competitive, and it showed the biggest drop between 2011 and 2012. The good news, says Illinois State Medical Society president Dr. Bill McDade, is that the Affordable Care Act has taken effect since then. “Over the summer, it was announced that there were going to be eight companies seeking to offer a 504 plan under the Affordable Care Act exchange.  Last year, just six insurers were there, offering 165 plans. Now they are going to offer a 504 plan, so that will give you a lot more options.” An example of how things go wrong, McDade says, is when you have a hospital procedure done, and the surgeon is in-network and the anesthesiologist is not.  “The patient is going to be responsible for paying that other physician.  Even though the patient thinks they’re paying tons of premiums in insurance, if the insurance company does not enroll that physician in its network, then you won’t be covered, and you’ll have to pay that separately.  And that’s really the situation that disturbs us as a state society.  Has that happened? Yes.”

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Secretary of State Offices to Close Monday, October 13 for Columbus Day

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all offices and facilities that are normally open Monday through Friday will be closed today in observance of Columbus Day.  All Driver Services facilities will be open for regular business on Tuesday, October 14. Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, cyberdriveillinois.com, to locate the nearest Driver Services facility and the hours of operation. In addition, drivers can use the website to change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers.

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

NATIONAL
Texas monitoring dozens for possible Ebola

DALLAS (AP) — Health officials in Texas are monitoring some 50 people who may have had close contact with a health care worker who contracted the Ebola virus from a Liberian man who died last week in a Dallas hospital. The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that a breach of protocol led to the worker becoming infected while treating Thomas Eric Duncan. Officials have not been able to pinpoint what went wrong.

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At Least 17 Arrested In St. Louis In Police Shooting Protest

(Ferguson, MO)  --  St. Louis authorities say police arrested at least 17 people Sunday during a weekend of mostly peaceful protests over the Michael Brown shooting.  The protesters hauled away Sunday refused orders to disperse from a spontaneous sit-in outside a convenience store.  Thousands marched, held vigils, and staged demonstrations in the St. Louis area over the weekend.  They continue to call for the arrest of the white Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fatally shot Brown in August. 

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

Authorities Investigate Threat At Penn State

(University Park, PA)  --  Authorities are investigating a threat posted on social media involving Penn State University.  Penn State officials released a statement Sunday night saying police have arrested a student in connection with the threat.  School officials say a post Saturday on a social media platform described a possible shooting at on campus at noon today.

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Federal judge strikes down Alaska's marriage ban

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) —Some same-sex couples in Alaska say they're "elated" but taken completely off guard by Sunday's decision by a federal judge to strike down the state's ban on gay marriages. No rallies were planned and Sunday's celebration for some ended up being drinks at an Anchorage bar. Matthew Hamby and Christopher Shelden are one of five same-sex couples who sued the state. They say they'll be among the first in line this morning to apply for a marriage license.

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Poll: Many insured struggle with medical bills

WASHINGTON (AP) — One-fourth of U.S. adults with private health insurance don't have much confidence in their ability to pay for a major, unexpected medical expense. That's what a survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds. And it helps explain why President Barack Obama faces skepticism from the public that his health care law is holding costs down. The poll found the biggest financial concerns among people with high-deductible plans. Those plans require patients to pay a significant share of their medical bills each year before insurance kicks in. They are a growing share of those with employer coverage and the mainstay of the new health insurance exchanges created by Obama's law. People with high-deductible plans were more likely to forgo needed treatment — and deplete their savings.

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Ferry backs into San Francisco pier, 10 injured

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Coast Guard says 10 people sustained minor injuries when the ferry they were on struck a piling Sunday night at a San Francisco pier. The agency says the injured were taken to a hospital for treatment of mainly cuts and bruises. The ferry Peralta ran into the piling as it backed out of the terminal at Pier 41. The agency says that there was no structural damage to the vessel and just minor damage to the piling. But the Coast Guard says the vessel was temporarily taken out of service as officials began investigating.

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Authorities: Man just freed from prison kills mom

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in Atlantic City, New Jersey are accusing a man of beating his mother to death during an argument, just two days after he was released from prison. Sixty-four-year-old Gwendolyn Pratt was found dead early Sunday in her home in Atlantic City. Prosecutors tell The Press of Atlantic City that she died from massive blunt injuries to her head. Her 45-year-old son Steven Pratt was taken into custody at the scene and is being held on $1 million bail. Pratt had served prison time for shooting and killing a neighbor when he was 15.

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Ebola patient in Nebraska continues improvement

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An American video journalist being treated for Ebola continues to show improvement and is described by hospital officials as steadily heading in the right direction. Taylor Wilson, spokesman for Nebraska Medical Center, said Sunday doctors are pleased with 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo's progress and that he was better Sunday than the day before. He's described as weak but responding very well to treatment. He's receiving an experimental Ebola drug called brincidofovir and IV fluids. Mukpo became infected while working as a freelance cameraman for Vice News, NBC News and other media outlets. He returned to Liberia in early September to help highlight the toll of the Ebola outbreak.

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Captive aid worker's parents: We can't meet demand

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of an Indiana aid worker threatened with beheading by the Islamic State group say they've told their son's captors that they're unable to meet their demands. Paula and Ed Kassig said during interviews broadcast Monday they've been doing all they can to free 26-year-old Abdul-Rahman Kassig since he was captured in Syria in October 2013. Paula Kassig told NBC's "Today" show they received an audio recording of their son, formerly known as Peter, a couple weeks ago in which he said his time was running out. A militant in an Oct. 3 video threatened Kassig's beheading in retaliation for U.S. bombing attacks. Paula Kassig told "CBS This Morning" that the demands are beyond their power.

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1 killed, 4 hurt as storms march across Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Emergency officials say one person was killed and four others were injured in in southwestern Arkansas as a powerful storm system marched across that state, Texas and Oklahoma. Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Rick Fahr (fayr) says the death and injuries occurred early Monday when the storms destroyed a home near Ashdown, or about 150 miles southwest of Little Rock. The Storm Prediction Center estimates more than 36 million people are in the path of damaging winds, possible tornadoes and heavy rainfall Monday. Forecasters say the greatest risk is along the Mississippi River from extreme southern Illinois to northern Louisiana. The storms began their path Sunday across Oklahoma, downing power lines and overturning tractor-trailers along Interstate 40. Thousands of homes and businesses lost electricity in parts of North Texas.

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Transit boss: Rail workers on job 7 days straight

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority told federal safety officials that traffic control staff at the Metro-North Railroad worked seven days straight for weeks when several accidents, including one fatal, disrupted commutes in Connecticut and New York last year. MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said in an interview with the National Transportation Safety Board in March that the overworked staffers direct commuter train movements, making sure trains run without problems. He blamed personnel shortages. The New York Daily News reported the interview Sunday. A Metro-North train derailed in the Bronx, New York, on Dec. 1, 2013, killing four passengers. Earlier that year, a track worker was struck and killed by a train in West Haven, Connecticut, and scores were injured in a derailment in Bridgeport, Connecticut, days earlier.

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INTERNATIONAL
Doctors treating Spanish Ebola nurse hopeful

MADRID (AP) — The director of the Madrid hospital treating Spain's Ebola patient says the woman is stable and doctors are cautiously hopeful she will recover. Antonio Andreu told Onda Cero radio Monday that tests carried out on assistant nurse Teresa Romero on Sunday showed the level of virus had diminished significantly but he warned there could be other complications and it is too risky to make predictions. He said further test results should be known Monday. Andreu said it is important that the 15 people who came into contact with Romero and who are being monitored at the hospital have still not shown any symptoms. He said as the days go by the chances of them becoming infected diminishes greatly. He set Oct. 27 as the date for a possible all-clear.

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UK official: Airstrikes won't stop Iraq militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Britain's foreign minister says coalition airstrikes will not be enough to defeat the Islamic State group, though he also rules out the use of foreign ground forces. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, on a visit to Baghdad on Monday, says airstrikes have halted the advance of the Islamic State group. But what Hammond calls the "heavy work on the ground" will have to come from the Iraqi government and from inside the Sunni communities occupied by the group. The British government is taking part in the U.S.-led aerial campaign combating the Islamic State group. However, it has refused to join the U.S.-led airstrike campaign in Syria.

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Fierce fighting resumes in Syrian Kurdish town

MURSITPINAR, Turkey (AP) — Syrian activists say fierce fighting has resumed in a Syrian Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, where Islamic militants are carrying out a three-pronged attack from the town's eastern side. The sound of shell explosions and occasional small gunfire could be heard across the border from Kobani on Monday, a day after Kurdish fighters managed to slow the advances of the Islamic State extremist group. The Syrian Kurdish enclave has been the scene of heavy fighting since late last month, with the heavily armed Islamic State fighters determined to capture the border post. A U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against militant targets there for more than two weeks. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least four militants were killed in the fighting Monday.

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Officials: Taliban ambush kills 14 Afghan troops

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Authorities say a Taliban ambush in northern Afghanistan has killed 14 local security force troops. Kazim Kenhan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief in Sari Pul province, said Monday that 12 Afghan soldiers and two police officers were killed in the ambush. He said 13 troops were wounded and six are missing. Kenhan said the ambush happened Sunday. He said security forces were still battling Taliban fighters on Monday. Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks against Afghan security forces in a bid to undermine the Western-backed government as most foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 3, St. Louis 0

NHL

St. Louis 4, Calgary 1
Chicago 6, Buffalo 2

NBA Preseason

Chicago 91, Milwaukee 85

College Football

Wisconsin 38, Illinois 28
Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17
North Dakota State 38, Southern Illinois 10
Illinois State 20, Indiana State 18
Central Michigan 34, Northern Illinois 17
Eastern Kentucky 36, Eastern Illinois 33 (OT)
Western Illinois 30, Youngstown State 24

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 5, San Francisco 4

NFL

Chicago 27, Atlanta 13

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

NFL

San Francisco at St. Louis 7:30 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX, pregame at 6:30 p.m.)

NBA Preseason

Denver at Chicago 7 p.m.

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Fighting Illini Football Official Arrested For DUI

(Urbana, IL)  --  A University of Illinois sports official has been charged with a DUI.  Police say 32-year-old Ryan Cubit was arrested early Sunday morning and was driving with a blood-alcohol level of point-zero-eight or more and disobeyed a traffic-control device.  He is the director of football student-athlete development at the university.  Cubit, who is the son of U of I offensive coordinator Bill Cubit, was released after paying ten-percent of his three-thousand-dollar bond.

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Cards C Molina leaves game with strained oblique

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Star catcher Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals has left Game 2 of the NL Championship Series with a strained muscle on his left side. Molina was replaced by Tony Cruz in the top of the seventh inning with the score tied 2-all Sunday night. Cruz's passed ball helped the Giants go ahead in the seventh. Molina hardly budged from the batter's box when he grounded into a double play against San Francisco reliever Jeremy Affeldt in the sixth. The six-time All-Star remained hunched over until a trainer and manager Mike Matheny came out to meet him. Molina walked off on his own, but was clearly in pain. Molina, who missed seven weeks this season with a thumb injury, has won six straight Gold Gloves and finished third in NL MVP voting last year. His loss was a huge blow to the Cardinals, who trailed 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

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News for Oct. 10, 2014

LOCAL
IDOT Announces I-57 Lane Closure

Ina, IL--The Illinois Department of Transportation would like to alert motorists travelling on Interstate 57 that a lane closure will occur north of Exit 83 at Milepost 84, scheduled to begin on Thursday October 16th and extending through Friday October 24th.  Maintenance crews will be repairing the structures carrying northbound and southbound Interstate 57 over Atchison Creek.  Emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction site as quickly as possible.  Drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes while the work is underway. 

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CN Pavilion Dedicated in Centralia

A new pavilion will be dedicated this Saturday at Fairview Park in Centralia.  The ceremony events for the dedication of the new CN Pavilion will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. with CN's own "Little Obie" train available for children to ride.  The dedication itself will take place at 11 a.m.  Lunch will be served and the first 200 attendees receive a souvenir.  Musical entertainment will be provided by Dale Arning and His One Man Band.  Dignitaries include Centralia Mayor Tom Ashby and CN Railways Vice President Jim "Big Al" Danielwicz.

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Two Perry County Residents Charged With Methamphetamine Conspiracy

Two Perry County residents were indicted on October 7, 2014, in an indictment, charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Thursday.  Brant A. Sizemore, 38, and Stephanie A. Ellis, 36, both of DuQuoin, are charged in a one-count indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The indictment alleges that the offense occurred between 2012 and September 2014, in Perry, Jackson, Randolph, Williamson, and Franklin Counties. Sizemore and Ellis made their initial appearances in federal court in Benton on October 9, 2014. They are both currently being held without bond pending an October 14, 2014, detention hearing. If convicted, Sizemore and Ellis face a term of up to 20 years in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Drug Task Force, Murphysboro Police Department, and DuQuoin Police Department. The Pinckneyville Police Department and Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team assisted in the investigation. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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Police: Armed man robs O'Fallon tanning salon

O'FALLON, Ill. (AP) — Police in southwestern Illinois are searching for a masked man who robbed a tanning salon at gunpoint. Police Capt. Mark Berry tells the Belleville News-Democrat the suspect walked into Tan Solutions in O'Fallon around noon Thursday. He says he demanded money from a clerk while displaying a semi-automatic pistol. It's unclear how much money the man took. No injuries were reported. Police say the suspect fled in an older model white, two-door vehicle.

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Williamson County Fire Victim's Identity Released

Officials in Williamson County have released the name of a woman that was found following a fire at her house in rural Williamson County last month. They also say she may have been murdered before the house was set on fire. Williamson County State’s Attorney Brandon Zanotti said during a press conference Thursday that the body of 53-year-old Lisa Uzzle was found in her South McGeesville Road home on Sept. 6. Zanotti says her death is being classified as a homicide. Investigators confirm Uzzle died from multiple gunshot wounds that she sustained before the fire happened. Uzzle's badly burned body was found in the debris. When firefighters arrived only one wall of the home was still standing. The rest of her home was burned to the ground.

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Authorities Respond To Hazmat Alert On CN Railroad Near Tamaroa

A rail car with a possible chemical leak resulted in multiple fire departments responding to the Canadian National tracks Thursday afternoon south of Tamaroa. Crews were called to a railroad crossing on Pintail Road, south of Tamaroa, after CN railroad reported a possible chemical leak to the Perry County Sheriff’s Office. A hazardous materials team responded to the scene and after investigated determined there was no leak. Numerous agencies, including Carbondale, Duquoin, Herrin, Marion, Metropolis and Murphysboro were staged nearby in case cleanup and evacuations became necessary. Authorities did not find a leak so the train was allowed to continue on its route around 4 p.m. Crews did shut down Pintail Road while they investigated. There were no evacuations and no one was hurt.

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West City Water Department Clerk On Leave Pending Investigation

After meeting in executive session for about 50 minutes Thursday night, the West City Village Board voted unanimously to put the village's water department clerk on paid leave pending the outcome of the official investigation into the water department. This decision by the board in no way reflects that the clerk has done any misconduct or wrongdoing. The board will not make any further comment until more is learned from the investigation being conducted by state police and the Franklin County State's Attorney's office into discrepancies found during the annual audit of the village’s water department.

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Asst. principal accused of illegal drug possession

JONESBORO, Ill. (AP) — An assistant principal in a southern Illinois school district is on administrative leave after being accused of illegal drug possession. KFVS-TV reports a Union County grand jury has indicted Tony Rinella with three counts of possession of a controlled substance. The school district's web site lists Rinella as an assistant principal at the junior high school and as athletics director. Superintendent Chuck Goforth wrote in a letter Tuesday that administrators "are of course concerned by these troubling allegations." Union County State's Attorney Tyler Edmonds says Illinois State Police investigated. Goforth says the school is conducting its own probe. Rinella does not have a listed home telephone number and couldn't be reached for comment. Court records don't show whether he has an attorney. Rinella's next court appearance is Nov. 11.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner detail regrets in governor's debate

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner are each detailing their biggest professional "regrets" in their Peoria debate. Quinn says he's "definitely not perfect," and doesn't think any human being is. He says he regrets not cutting lawmakers pay — and his own — to spur an overhaul of the state's underfunded pension systems sooner. Rauner says not every company his private equity firm has created or acquired has been successful. He also noted he's "rarely" seen business executives engage in unethical behavior. He says he's tried to take action to quickly correct that. The candidates are facing off at WTVP studios in Peoria. The event is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters and several of the state's public television and radio stations.

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Quinn, Rauner clash differ on school funding fix

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The candidates in Illinois' nationally watched governor's race have contrasting views on a proposal to fix the formula used to fund the state's schools. Democratic Sen. Andy Manar's proposal would direct more state money to poorer rural districts at the expense of wealthier suburban districts. The plan passed the Senate in the spring and is being considered in the House. Lawmakers from wealthier Chicago suburbs object to the funding cuts some districts would face. Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn says the state needs to increase education investment. But he says Manar's proposal needs "a lot of oversight and review" as well as more debate. Republican Bruce Rauner says he "probably wouldn't support that particular bill." He said he favors an overhaul of the current formula.

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Rauner Hints At Reduced Sentences For Non-Violent Offenders

(Peoria, IL)  --  Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is hinting at the possibility of reducing sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenders.  That could play well with lawmakers and political leaders in Chicago who've been pushing to make that happen.  Just last month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked lawmakers to change the guidelines for people who are busted with one gram or less of any controlled substance.  He wants that to be a misdemeanor, not a felony.  He also wants police officers to be able to write tickets for people who are caught with less than 15-grams of pot.  Emanuel says that'll keep the jail population down and keep officers on the streets, because they don't have to write and file a police report. 

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Driver Who Killed Trooper Gets Probation

(Litchfield, IL) -- The semi-truck driver who hit and killed an Illinois State Trooper on I-55 won't be serving any jail time. Johnny Felton made a plea deal with prosecutors and pled guilty to reckless homicide and operating a commercial vehicle without a valid license. He'll spend the next two-and-a-half-years on probation. Felton admitted to "zoning out" before he hit Trooper Kyle Deatherage near Litchfield back in November of 2012. Deatherage was in the middle of the traffic stop at the time. Deatherage's family is suing Felton and his employer for wrongful death.

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Testimony wraps up in probe on Quinn program

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers have wrapped up a two-day hearing questioning seven former state officials connected to Gov. Pat Quinn's troubled 2010 anti-violence program. Those testifying Thursday included Quinn's former chief operating officer Andrew Ross who says he didn't play a big role. Quinn's former deputy chief of staff says an impetus of the program was the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy in 2010. The Legislative Audit Commission is supposed to sign off on state audits and is reviewing one outlining "pervasive" issues with the program. Members of the bipartisan commission took the rare move of issuing subpoenas for testimony and documents to get more answers. Commission members say they'll keep the audit open until their questions are answered. The group's next meeting is Nov. 19, which falls after the election.

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Vallas: Quinn accurate on violence program


CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate says a troubled anti-violence program has "always" been accurately represented by the governor. Lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas told reporters Thursday that testimony from former Quinn aides before a panel of lawmakers investigating the 2010 program under scrutiny for mismanagement "pretty much supports that." Vallas' comments come after Republicans on the panel pointed to email exchanges from Quinn's former chief operating officer to campaign staff about the program in the context of that fall's gubernatorial race. Jack Lavin says the emails were sent from his personal address on a weekend and it's not unusual for administration officials to brief campaigns. He says he didn't go further in crafting campaign messaging on the issue. Quinn is facing Republican Bruce Rauner.

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Bloomington Man Gets Eight Years For Judge Threat

(Bloomington, IL)  --  A Bloomington man has been sentenced close to eight years in prison for threatening a federal judge.  Twenty-eight-year-old Phillip Porter has already served time for threatening the life of President Obama four years ago.  He threatened the same judge who sentenced him in the case involving the threat against the President.

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New App Connects Illinois Lawmakers To Voters

(Springfield, IL)  --  There's a new way for Illinois voters to connect with their lawmakers.  The VoteSpotter app allows users to enter their location, which finds any elected officials representing them in their area.  They can track the bills, voting trends of the representatives, and even message the officials.  The Illinois Policy Institute released the app.  It can be downloaded at the iTunes store.

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NATIONAL
Prosecutors: Wyoming shooting victim begged for life

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Police in Cheyenne, Wyoming say a man was on his knees begging for his life before being shot in the head at point-blank range in a city park. Authorities accuse 16-year-old Phillip Sam of firing his gun into a crowd of teens last weekend, striking 19-year-old Tyler Burns in the Stomach. Everyone but Burns was able to run away because he was hit in the stomach. Prosecutors say Sam told police, "I thought I should finish what I started. I didn't want him to suffer." Burns died at a hospital on Monday. Sam is now charged as an adult with first-degree murder.

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St. Louis Police, Protesters Clash After Shooting

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Protesters clashed with police again last night in St. Louis after an officer shot and killed a black teenager on Wednesday.  Up to 400 demonstrators are estimated to have confronted officers dressed in riot gear on Thursday night.  St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson confirmed that pepper spray was used on some protestors after they became "aggressive" with police. 

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Metal Falls From Nowhere At Secaucus Treatment Plant

(Secaucus, NJ)  --  Employees at New Jersey's Secaucus Treatment Works say a heavy piece of metal fell from the sky and onto company grounds.  The workers tell  "NBC 4 New York" that the five-by-five piece of debris came out of nowhere on Wednesday.  After searching online, the workers discovered that the object resembled a Space Shuttle tile.  It will be turned over to the FAA today.  

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Rival gun measures on ballot in Washington state

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Two competing measures on the Washington state ballot this fall ask voters to take a stance on expanded background checks for gun sales. One seeks universal checks for all sales and transfers, including private transactions. The other would prevent any such expansion. The measures are bringing in millions of dollars, mostly in support of Initiative 594 for expansion. Initiative 591 would prohibit agencies from conducting any checks beyond the national standard. Under federal law, checks are required for sales or transfers by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers, including those at gun shows or online. What happens if both pass on Nov. 4 is anyone's guess, though Washington's secretary of state's office has said that either the Legislature or the courts would have to sort it out.

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Nevada Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

(Carson City, NV)  --  Gay couples in Nevada are now able to get marriage licenses.  The clerk's office confirmed it issued the first marriage license to a same-sex couple yesterday.  This comes after some confusion over the legal status of same-sex marriages in the Silver State.  Earlier in the day, a conservative group withdrew a last-ditch motion to block an appeals court decision to allow same-sex marriages in Nevada. 

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Family Dollar Reports Rough Quarterly Results 

(Undated)  --  Discount retail heavyweight Family Dollar's fourth-quarter profits are way down.  Family Dollar reports a 66-percent drop in its fourth-quarter profit.  The nation's number two dollar discounter says inventory markdowns, restructuring charges and merger fees ate up profits. 

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4 days of protests in St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS (AP) —Thousands of people plan to gather in the St. Louis area, this weekend to protest racial profiling, police violence and the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson last August. For the past two days, demonstrators in another St. Louis neighborhood have been protesting Wednesday's fatal shooting of another black 18-year-old, this time by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard. Police say Vonderrit Myers had a gun and fired shots before the officer returned fire. But Myers' parents insist he wasn't armed. State and city leaders are urging the Justice Department to investigate Myers' death in the Shaw neighborhood. Police say the white officer who killed Myers was returning fire, but Myers' parents say he was unarmed. Organizers say thousands of activists from around the country will be in the St. Louis area starting today, for four days of rallies, marches and civil disobedience.

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Nissan recalls 2013 Altimas for hood latch problem

DETROIT (AP) — Nissan is recalling more than 220,000 Altima midsize cars in the U.S. because the hoods could fly open while they're being driven. The recall covers cars from the 2013 model year, but the company says it could affect other Nissan models. The automaker says in documents posted by federal regulators that the secondary hood latch can bind and remain unlatched when the hood is closed. If it's unlatched and the main latch is inadvertently released, the hood could open while the car is in motion. Nissan says dealers will modify the latch lever, as well as clean and lubricate the secondary latch joint. The latch assembly could be replaced. The company hasn't come up with a schedule to notify owners. Owners with questions can call Nissan at (800) 647-7261.

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Obama to designate national monument in LA area

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will forever protect from development nearly 350,000 acres within the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles. Obama is stopping at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, California, on Friday, to make the announcement. Supporters say the move will provide recreational opportunities for millions of people — minorities and children in particular — who live in Los Angeles County, one of the most disadvantaged areas in terms of access to open space. Local officials worry about potential use restrictions. Obama has used his authority under the federal Antiquities Act to create or expand 12 other national monuments nationwide. Last month, he created the world's largest marine preserve by expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean.

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INTERNATIONAL
Yousafzai, Satyarthi win Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO, Norway (AP) — News of today's Nobel Peace Prize winners has set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, the main town in Pakistan's volatile Swat  Valley. The Norwegian Nobel Committee is honoring 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education." Malala is the youngest-ever Nobel winner. A Taliban gunman shot her two years ago for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education. The 60-year-old Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the Nobel committee said.

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Islamic State group shells Syrian border crossing

MURSITPINAR, Turkey (AP) — The Islamic State group has shelled a Syrian border crossing with Turkey to try to capture it and cut off the embattled town of Kobani in Syria. A local Kurdish official and Syrian activists say Islamic State fighters want to prevent anyone from entering or leaving Kobani, which it's been trying to capture since mid-September. By mid-morning today, occasional gunfire and explosions that appeared to be rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells could be heard from across the border in Turkey. The new U.N. envoy to Syria says at least 500 civilians are trapped in Kobani. Staffan de Mistura says they could be "massacred" if the town falls to the extremists. Mistura says many of those trapped are elderly, and up to 13,000 other civilians are stuck in an area nearby.

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Liberia leader seeks more power to fight Ebola

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Liberian lawmakers are to meet in special session to debate granting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf more powers to confront the Ebola crisis, including placing restrictions on movement and public gatherings. State media said the session would begin Friday morning. The Nobel Peace Prize winner's request for broader authority has fueled criticism of how she's responded to the epidemic. Critics have described a quarantine imposed on a Monrovia shantytown in August and restrictions on media outlets covering Ebola as ineffective and heavy handed. The World Health Organization says Ebola has killed more than 3,800 people in West Africa. Liberia has been hardest hit with more than 2,000 deaths. Sirleaf declared a state of emergency in August. Her government announced Thursday that Senate elections scheduled for next week would be postponed.

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Leaders of ex-Soviet countries discuss closer ties

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country does not oppose ex-Soviet states seeking closer ties with Western countries, but has criticized them for not taking Moscow's interests into account. Leaders from the 11-member Commonwealth of Independent States met Friday in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to discuss closer ties. The president of Ukraine — which is facing the most violent conflict in post-Soviet history, between government troops and pro-Russian insurgents — did not attend. Putin lashed out at the European Union for "not considering it necessary ... to discuss the risks" of political and economic integration with post-Soviet countries. Ukraine's decision to sign an association agreement with the EU in September provoked complaints from the Kremlin that it would hurt Russia's economy.

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Thousands return to Hong Kong streets in protest

HONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of people are pouring into a main road in Hong Kong to show support for a pro-democracy protest after the government called off talks with student leaders. After a week that saw flagging support for the civil disobedience movement, crowds were surging again Friday evening. Tens of thousands of people have occupied the semiautonomous Chinese city's streets in the past two weeks to demand a greater say in choosing the city's leader. Traffic through three of Hong Kong's busiest districts has been blocked by protesters, who have camped in main thoroughfares and streets. The government has repeatedly urged protesters to allow the city to return to normal, saying their activities are illegal. But student leaders have vowed to stay until the government responds to their demands.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S SCHEDULE


NFL

Indianapolis 33, Houston 28

NHL

N.Y. Rangers 3, St. Louis 2
Chicago 3, Dallas 2, SO

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

San Francisco at St. Louis 7:07 p.m.

NHL

Calgary at St. Louis 6 p.m.
Buffalo at Chicago 7:30 p.m.

NBA Preseason

Chicago at Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.

College Football

Illinois at Wisconsin 11 a.m.
Northwestern at Minnesota 11 a.m.
Southern Illinois at North Dakota State 1 p.m.
Illinois State at Indiana State 2 p.m.
Central Michigan at Northern Illinois 4 p.m.
Eastern Illinois at Eastern Kentucky 5 p.m.
Western Illinois at Youngstown State 6 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

San Francisco at St. Louis 7:07 p.m.

NFL

Chicago at Atlanta 3:25 p.m.

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Former Bears GM Says He Did Not Report Domestic Abuse

(McLean, VA)  --  Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo is claiming that there were "hundreds and hundreds" of cases of domestic abuse that went unreported during his 30-year NFL career.  Angelo told the "USA Today" that he made a mistake when he failed to report the cases to the league in order to avoid player suspensions.  He said his usual response to finding out a player committed domestic abuse was to make sure everyone was okay and then move on.

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Cubs hire Mallee as hitting coach

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have hired John Mallee as their hitting coach after Bill Mueller resigned this week. The Cubs also hired Doug Dascenzo on Thursday as first base and outfield coach, with Eric Hinske shifting from that job to assistant hitting coach. Mallee, a Chicago native, served as the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins and Houston Astros. The Astros finished last in the American League with a .242 average but were third in homers with 163. Dascenzo was drafted by the Cubs in 1985 and played for them from 1988 to 1992. He served as the third base coach for Atlanta this season, his first as a coach in the majors.

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Illini bring back most of NIT team, minus Abrams

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach John Groce says his team's loss to Michigan in last season's Big Ten tournament taught players a lesson. The loss cost the Illini a potential NCAA Tournament bid. And Groce said Thursday during media day that showed his players their margin for error is small. Most of that team is back. It finished 20-15 and went to the National Invitation Tournament. One player who isn't back this season is starting point guard Tracy Abrams. He's out with a knee injury. Groce is looking to transfer Ahmad Starks to take over a big piece of Abrams' role. Illinois struggled to score last season. Starks should help. He set the Oregon State record for career 3-point shots made, with 185. Illinois opens with a Nov. 7 exhibition against Quincy.

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Wainwright to start Game 1 of NLCS

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals are sticking with the same rotation that clicked in the first round of the postseason and ace Adam Wainwright is set to pitch Game 1 of the National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants. Manager Mike Matheny announced his starters on Thursday, two days ahead of the series opener. Lance Lynn will work Game 2, followed by John Lackey and Shelby Miller. Michael Wacha, who didn't pitch in the division series, will remain in the bullpen available for long relief.

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News for Oct. 9, 2014

LOCAL
McLeansboro Man Pleads Guilty To Sexually Abusing Child

(McLeansboro, IL)  --  A McLeansboro man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a child.  Hamilton County prosecutors says 21-year-old Stephen Bridwell pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a child.  He was arrested in May after prosecutors say he sent inappropriate texts and had sexual contact with a child under the age of 13.  In exchange for his plea, three other charges against Bridwell were dropped.

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SIU looking to recruit in southern Illinois

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University is planning to shift its recruitment focus to students from the southern part of the state. The Southern Illinoisan reports school officials hope to boost enrollment by returning to a strategy that worked in the past. SIU enrollment reached an all-time high in 1991 with nearly 25,000 students. More than 20 years later, the Carbondale-based university has less than 18,000 enrolled students. President Randy Dunn says SIU is attracting fewer students from what he calls the "catch basin," an area that begins along Interstate 72 and continues through the southern tip of Illinois. He says there were a significant amount of students from that region throughout the three decades of peak enrollment. There were over 1,200 students from the area's southern counties in 1991.

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Suspect Charged In Granite City Hit-And-Run

(Granite City, IL)  --  A fatal hit and run suspect is being held on 100-thousand dollars bond at the Granite City Police Department.  Cops say 26-year-old Son Nguyen has been charged with failing to report the accident that caused the death of Daniel Embrey.  The coroner says the incident happened Monday when the victim was struck along with a friend while walking along Edwardsville Road at 14th Street.  Embrey died from blunt force trauma to his chest and his friend suffered a non-life threatening leg injury.

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ISP District 19 Announces September Activity and Enforcement

Carmi, IL – Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today activity and enforcement figures for the month of September.  Troopers in District 19, which includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties, answered 258 calls for service and initiated 1,227 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 534 citations and 999 written warnings, including 167 speeding citations, 7 DUIs, 137 seatbelt citations, 5 child restraint citations, 264 written warnings for speeding, and 19 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 34 motorists, conducted 164 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 35 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal traffic crash, resulting in one fatality, investigated by District 19 during September.  During the month, 341 citations and 411 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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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 Gallatin County on Friday, 10/03/14. Authorities issued 8 total citations and 18 total written warnings including 4 speeding citations.  There were no DUI arrests, drug or alcohol related 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 Transportation Safety.

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Ratings released on southern Illinois judges

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois group is releasing its first ratings of judges seeking retention or running in contested races in November. The Illinois Civil Justice League ratings out Thursday focus on southern Illinois. Ratings of judges elsewhere will be released later. All nine of the judges assessed in the southern part of the state received ratings of "highly recommended" or "recommended." One of those assessed is Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier. He was "highly recommended" in his bid for retention. The other rated judges were circuit judges. The group didn't assess two other circuit judges. Illinois Civil Justice League is a coalition of citizen, business and professional associations. The league is posting ratings and responses to questionnaires from candidates on its website, www.IllinoisJudges.net.

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Mt. Vernon Woman Sentenced To Probation For Residential Burglary

A 19-year-old Mt. Vernon woman was sentenced to 48 months probation Wednesday, after she pleaded guilty in Jefferson County Court to one count Class 1 Felony residential burglary. Ashton D. Trotter was arrested in June 2013 and initially charged with three Class 1 Felony counts of residential burglary. Per the plea agreement, however, two of the three counts were dismissed and she was sentenced to probation, as well as ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution.

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Herrin Woman Faces Murder Charges

A Herrin woman is on trial for a second time on charges she killed her 3-year-old daughter six years ago. WSIL-TV reports that jury selection began Tuesday in the Williamson County trial of 24-year-old Karrae Starr. Starr has pleaded not guilty to murder charges linked to the September 2008 death of Bianca Starr. Prosecutors argue the woman covered her daughter's mouth and nose with the intent to kill her. Herrin police later found an unresponsive Bianca while responding to a 911 call from an apartment. The girl later was pronounced dead at a hospital. Jurors in 2010 convicted Starr of first-degree murder, and she was sentenced to 32 years in prison. But that verdict was thrown out on appeal.

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STATE
Quinn, Rauner Debate Tonight

(Peoria, IL)  --  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner are squaring off in their first formal debate tonight.  It's being held in Peoria.  The League of Women Voters and PBS are sponsoring the debate, which gets underway at 8:00 p.m.

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State Prepares For Ebola Outbreak

(Chicago, IL) -- The state's top doctor is taking part in a planning session today in Chicago on how the state expects to confront the possibility of an Ebola outbreak. Public health director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is meeting with federal, state and local health experts to discuss surveillance methods, infection control practices and public information efforts against the deadly disease. Chicago's O'Hare airport is one of five around the country that will see increased screening of all passengers arriving from nations in West Africa.

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Former NRI Boss Denies Politics

(Chicago, IL) -- The head of Governor Pat Quinn's controversial formal anti-violence program denies that politics played a role in how grant money was handed out. At a special legislative hearing, Barbara Shaw admitted that Chicago aldermen were consulted to find local agencies to apply for some of the 55-million-dollars awarded in 2010 under the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. She says though, that the push to get the program in place was because of the violent summer in Chicago that year, not because of the upcoming election for governor. A state audit found pervasive problems in how the grants were administered and tracked.

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Hillary Clinton Helps Quinn Campaign Coffers

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn's campaign is getting another high-profile boost today with an appearance by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While she's in Chicago for paid speeches to a medical technology conference and the Economic Club of Chicago, the former first lady will also be the headliner at a Quinn fundraiser at a Loop law office. Clinton's visit comes the day after First Lady Michelle Obama spoke on Quinn's behalf at a Democratic get-out-the-vote rally and the week after President Obama came to Chicago for a pair of big-ticket fundraisers.

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6,300 Illinoisans apply to use medical marijuana

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois doctors have signed off on Illinois medical marijuana for patients with cancer, severe fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries.
Those are the most frequent health problems showing up in the forms submitted by doctors to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The department announced Wednesday that about 6,300 Illinois patients have started the process of applying to use the state's first legal offering of medical marijuana. But most have sent in applications that are missing crucial documents. Only about 800 have submitted complete applications. To be complete, an application requires a doctor certification form and background check information. Health department officials say people who submit unfinished applications are notified and given 21 days to turn in the needed documents.

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Lawmaker panel to continue probe of Quinn program

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois legislative panel investigating management and spending problems with Gov. Pat Quinn's 2010 anti-violence program continues for a second day. The bipartisan panel oversees state audits and is reviewing one outlining "pervasive" issues with Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Former Quinn chief of staff Jack Lavin is expected to appear Thursday morning. The commission heard testimony yesterday from officials including former Quinn adviser Billy Ocasio and Barbara Shaw, the former head of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority Quinn championed NRI in 2010 to combat violence and says he addressed issues as he discovered them. But Republicans have deemed it a "political slush fund" to help Quinn secure votes in a close election. The issue dogs his current re-election bid against Republican Bruce Rauner.

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State Supreme Court Comes Home

(Springfield, IL) -- After a 16-million-dollar renovation, the Illinois Supreme Court building has been officially reopened. The rededication yesterday ends a year on the road for the Supreme Court justices, who met mostly in Chicago for the past year, but also held a session at the historic courthouse in Ottawa. A new commemorative plaque has been placed on the building in Springfield, next to the original plaque from the 1908 dedication.

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Time To Test Smoke Alarms

(Springfield, IL) -- State law requires every home, apartment, and condo to have a smoke alarm within 15-feet of all bedrooms. Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis [[ Mat-KY-tis ]] says people can put more alarms in their home to make sure they're covered. He also says now is a good time to hit the test button on the alarms and make sure the batteries are still good. That should be done at least once a month.

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Alzheimer's License Plates Coming To Illinois

(Springfield, IL)  --  A state lawmaker is making a push to bring Alzheimer's awareness license plates to Illinois.  State Representative Bill Mitchell   is sponsoring a bill that would create a special fund in the state treasury.  The money would go to the production of special vehicle plates that would help spread awareness.  Before the Alzheimer's plates can be produced there have to be 15-hundred pre-ordered.  So far, just over 300 people have signed up.

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NATIONAL
Fever screening at 5 US airports

WASHINGTON (AP) — Most travelers to the U.S. from the West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus will soon face additional screening at airports. They'll have their temperatures checked after arriving at JFK airport in New York, Washington Dulles and the international airports in Chicago, Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey. Those are the airports that receive most of the travelers from West Africa.

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African leaders, UN, IMF, World Bank discuss Ebola

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leaders of three Ebola-stricken West African nations are meeting with heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank today to discuss the outbreak and what help they need to fight it. The Ebola summit coincides with the fall meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington. The countries fighting the Ebola outbreak want additional treatment centers, protective equipment and money to pay health care workers. They also need financial help.

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Judge to rule on detention in Islamic State case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal magistrate judge will decide if a 19-year-old from suburban Chicago should stay behind bars while he awaits trial for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State group in Syria. Mohammed Hamzah Khan's detention hearing is today in federal court in Chicago. He was arrested Saturday at O'Hare International Airport as he tried to board a plane to Turkey.

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Study: Voter ID laws cut turnout by blacks, young

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional study says states that toughened their voter ID laws saw steeper drops in election turnout than those that did not. And it says there's a disproportionate falloff among black and younger voters. The study says as of June, 33 states have enacted laws obligating voters to show a photo ID at the polls. The report was done by the Government Accountability Office.

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Landscaper killed in bee swarm in southern Arizona

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (AP) — One landscaper is dead and another critically injured after the men were stung by swarming bees in southern Arizona. The attack happened Wednesday morning while the men were working at a home. Emergency officials say a bee hive was found inside the home's attic and a beekeeper later exterminated it after parts of the roof of the home were torn off. Authorities say there were thousands of bees in the swarm that attacked the two men.

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Police mistakenly think black teen is home burglar

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina pepper-sprayed a black teen in the home of his white foster parents because they thought he was a burglar. Police in Fuquay-Varina went to the home Monday afternoon after getting a call from a neighbor who thought she had seen something amiss. Police were met by 18-year-old DeShawn Currie, who came downstairs barefoot and dressed in a tank-top and shorts. Currie says he told police he lived in the home, but they didn't believe him because they saw pictures of the family's white kids on the mantel.

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Green Day, Sting, Withers among rock hall nominees

NEW YORK (AP) — The punk trio Green Day, "Lean on Me" singer Bill Withers and Sting are among the first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Six of the 15 nominees for the hall's Class of 2015 are on the ballot for the first time. Other new nominees announced today are the short-lived British quartet The Smiths, abrasive rockers Nine Inch Nails and the late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Chic is on the ballot for the ninth time. Other repeat nominees include The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, N.W.A., The Spinners and War. Results of the voting will be announced in December, with the induction planned for next April in Cleveland.

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Ex-principal pleads guilty to cheating scheme

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — The former principal of a Massachusetts charter school has pleaded guilty to charges related to her efforts to help students cheat on a statewide standardized test. Janet Henry entered her plea to a charge of mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. Prosecutors say while Henry was the principal at Springfield's Robert M. Hughes Academy in 2009, she told teachers to give clues and other tips to students taking the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System exams. She then falsely certified that the tests had been administered honestly. Henry said she was acting under pressure from a member of the school's board of directors who demanded a boost in test scores. She faces probation and a fine at sentencing on Jan. 3. The school has since closed.

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Report: Boston police more likely to stop blacks

BOSTON (AP) — An American Civil Liberties Union report says Boston's black residents are more likely to be stopped, questioned or searched by police. Police leaders are condemning the study, saying it is based on old data. Black residents make up 24 percent of the city's population. The ACLU of Massachusetts report released Wednesday said between 2007 and 2010, 63 percent of more than 200,000 "civilian-police encounters" involved blacks. The study also found blacks were 8 percent more likely to be involved in multiple police encounters and 12 percent more likely to be stopped and frisked. Commissioner William Evans says the data is old and doesn't take into account new training. He also says police do not focus on race but concentrate their efforts in high-crime areas of the city.

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Man accused of having sex with hypnotized woman

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — An amateur hypnotist in the state of Washington is accused of having sex with a woman while she was hypnotized. Kevin Christian Geyer pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Benton County Superior Court to a charge of indecent liberties. Court documents say the 25-year-old hypnotized the woman June 4 at his home in Kennewick. He reportedly had used hypnotism several times in the past to help her with her problems. The Tri-City Herald reported the woman told police she had vague images of Geyer sexually assaulting her and later found evidence on her clothing. She says when she confronted him he responded by apologizing.

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Mexico's junk food tax hitting Pepsi, Coke

NEW YORK (AP) — No wonder Coke and Pepsi are spending millions of dollars to fight proposed taxes on sugary drinks in California. PepsiCo reported a higher quarterly profit Thursday as global sales increased, but one weak spot was Mexico. The company said a new tax on junk food and sugary drinks hurt its snacks sales volume by 3 percent. The company reported similar declines for the first half of the year, starting when the tax went into effect. Coca-Cola has also blamed the tax for volume declines in Mexico. The declines underscore why the beverage industry is fighting tax proposals on sugary drinks in San Francisco and nearby Berkeley. Voters will decide whether to pass the taxes, which would be the first of their kind in the U.S., on Nov. 4.

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Airline passenger grounded following tweets

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire woman was removed from a JetBlue flight after tweeting about a pilot's sobriety testing. Lisa Carter-Knight, of Exeter, was waiting to board a plane in Philadelphia on Tuesday. JetBlue says it was delayed when the pilot believed another passenger accused him of being intoxicated. JetBlue said as a precaution, a sobriety test was conducted; the pilot was cleared. Carter-Knight made posts to Twitter about the pilot accusing passengers of questioning his sobriety and took photos from the terminal. The flight eventually left four hours behind schedule, but Carter-Knight was denied boarding. WMUR-TV reports JetBlue said if it feels a customer isn't complying with safety instructions, exhibits objectionable behavior or causes conflict, the customer will be asked to leave. Carter-Knight got a refund.

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INTERNATIONAL
Yemen: Death toll in Sanaa suicide blast at 47

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's health ministry has raised the death toll from a suicide bombing in central Sanaa to at least 47 killed. The ministry says the bombing also wounded 75 people. The attack in the Yemeni capital was one of two suicide bombings that struck the country on Thursday. A suicide bomber mingled into a crowd of supporters of the rebel Shiite Houthis preparing for an anti-government rally and set off his explosives. In a separate attack, a suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a military outpost on the outskirts of the southern port city of Mukalla in Hadarmout province, killing at least 20 soldiers and wounding 15.

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Kurdish official denies IS has claimed 1/3 of Kobani

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the Islamic State group now controls more than a third of the Syrian border town of Kobani. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the militants managed to capture a police station, but it was later hit by a coalition airstrike and destroyed. An official with the town's Kurdish government denies militants control a third of Kobani. The official and the Observatory describe today's coalition strikes as the most intense yet.

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Hong Kong gov't cancels talks with protesters

HONG KONG (AP) — A senior Hong Kong government official says talks with student leaders of a democracy protest that has blocked main roads in the Asian financial hub for nearly two weeks are off because they're unlikely to be constructive. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said Thursday that the talks scheduled for Friday will not go ahead because they have been "seriously undermined" by remarks from the student leaders. Her announcement came hours after student leaders called for supporters to redouble their efforts to occupy the main protest zone — a highway outside government headquarters that they're now dubbing "Umbrella Square." Thousands of protesters have occupied the thoroughfare since Sept. 28, when police used tear gas in a failed attempt to disperse the crowd. However, the number of demonstrators has dwindled sharply this week.

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Ukraine adopts law to purge government officials

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's president has approved legislation to purge government bodies of officials linked to the rule of the country's previous leader, Viktor Yanukovych. President Petro Poroshenko's office said in a statement Thursday that the law is aimed at restoring public trust in authorities. Yanukovych was overthrown in February after months of sometimes violent protests ignited by widespread discontent over corruption and maladministration. The prime minister says around 1 million people could be affected by the law. Similar initiatives were pursued in many former Soviet bloc nations in the early 1990s as post-independence governments sought to overturn the legacy of decades of communist rule. Critics of Ukraine's law say the public nature of the purge amounts to a political witch hunt. Prosecutors have warned the legislation may be unconstitutional.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL

N.Y. Rangers at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Chicago at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

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Blackhawks' Versteeg Out Three Weeks

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be without forward Kris Versteeg to start the season. Head coach Joel Quenneville says Versteeg is expected to miss about three weeks with a lower-body injury. He won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010 and was reacquired from Florida last November. Versteeg had 10 goals and 19 assists in 63 regular season games for the Blackhawks last season. Chicago opens the season Thursday at Dallas.

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Bears sign backup safety Shamiel Gary

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears signed safety Shamiel Gary to a one-year contract Wednesday. Gary entered the NFL this season as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots. He made 47 appearances at Oklahoma State (2012-13) and Wyoming (2009-10), recording 311 tackles, six interceptions, 26 passes breakups and one forced fumble. The Bears also signed defense end David Bass to the practice squad. He appeared in 13 games last season, finishing with 20 1/2 tackles, a sack and an interception return for a touchdown.

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News for Oct. 8, 2014

LOCAL
Random Shooting in Mt Vernon

Mount Vernon- Police responded to a report of gunshots on 17th street in Mount Vernon on Tuesday, Oct 7th.  A residential building was hit, but no one was injured. Several area schools followed precautionary procedures and locked down their campuses. An investigation of the shooting is underway. The incident was directed towards the residence and no school or student was involved.

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Judge orders suspect in SIU threat case held

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a Chicago man accused of mailing threats of beheadings, bombings and other violence to Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus must remain in custody. A federal judge in Chicago ruled last week that Derrick Dawan Burns qualifies for bond, but she stayed her decision while prosecutors appealed. Judge Phil Gilbert on Tuesday reversed that ruling. Gilbert said Burns was a potential risk to others and to himself, noting a 2012 suicide attempt. Burns is charged with eight felonies linked to what investigators say were threatening mailings sent over a yearlong span in 2012 and 2013. Prosecutors have said Burns threatened rapes, bombings and beheadings. The FBI says most of the threatening letters suggested SIU would be targeted. Burns' attorney has declined to publicly discuss the case.

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State Police Anti-Gang Squad Claims Success

(East St. Louis, IL) -- The Illinois State Police say their effort to combat street gangs in East St. Louis has had significant success this summer. The Metro East Police Assistance Team of 13-officers was formed with the goal of "eradicating" the drug-dealing gangs from Chicago and Los Angeles that have set up in Metro East. State police Lieutenant Timothy Tyler said this morning that the team has made numerous arrests and taken nearly two dozen illegal weapons off the streets since launching their mission July 1st.

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Fourteen Indicted In Saline County

(Harrisburg, IL)  --  Fourteen people in Saline County are facing drug charges.  A grand jury announced the indictments on Monday.  The charges are the result of a six-month investigation done by the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force.  Several of the cases involve prescription narcotics.  Nine people were arrested on Tuesday and are held in the Saline County Jail.

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Overcrowding At SIU Dorm Rooms

(Carbondale, IL)  --  Southern Illinois University is faced with a housing crunch.  The campus doesn't have enough rooms to accommodate the large number of incoming freshmen.  Some units have more people in them than they're designed to hold.  SIU housing director Jon Shaffer says that there's only 40 students left in an overflow situation.

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Man Accused Of Inappropriate Contact With Child

(Madison County, IL)  --  Madison County Police says they are looking for a man who they believe touched a boy under 13 years of age.  Cops say 64-year-old Cory Blackburn may be hiding in the Metro East area.  The alleged suspect was convicted in 1993 for sexually abusing a five-year-old.  Blackburn served eight years in prison for the conviction.

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Illinois teen saves woman from oncoming train

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — The life of an Illinois woman has been saved by a quick-thinking Frankfort Community High School student. Colton Essary tells KFVS-TV that he and his friend were heading back to school during their lunch break when they saw a woman who had fallen on the train tracks. He says she was screaming for help because she was about to get hit by an oncoming train. Essary says he got out of his truck and ran toward the woman, pulling her off of the tracks just before the train passed by. He says the grandmother of seven thanked him for saving her life afterward. Essary says he felt obligated to help the woman because he wouldn't be able to live with himself if he hadn't done anything.

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Teen Killed In Metro East Hit-And-Run

A teen killed Monday night in a hit-and-run accident has been identified by the Madison County Coroner.  Coroner Stephen P. Nonn says 16-year-old Daniel D. Embrey was walking along the west side of Edwardsville Road at 14th Sstreet in Granite City when he and one of the two friends he was with were struck by a red car driving south. Nonn says preliminary autopsy results show Embrey died from blunt force trauma to his chest. He was taken to Gateway Regional Medical Center where he died. His friend was airlifted to a children’s hospital in St. Louis with a non-life threatening leg injury. Police say the vehicle involved in the accident was recovered Tuesday in the 2000 block of 4th street in Madison. They say they tracked down a 26-year-old male driver of the car and took him into custody for the crime. His name has not been released. Anyone with information about the accident should call Granite City Police at 618-877-6111.

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West City Water Department Under Investigation

More details have been released regarding the search that was done late Friday by state police investigators at West City Village Hall. It seems that discrepancies were found during the annual audit of the village's water department and the court order served Friday asked the village to give investigators access to the department's records. That's according to Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens. Investigators did take some pictures and removed some property during their search. Village officials are cooperating with the investigation. They had nothing to say about the matter at Monday night's meeting.  The village board has called a special meeting for Thursday afternoon at 5. It’s likely the board will discuss this matter during its meeting.

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Township Group Endorses Cavaletto for the 107th Representative District

Springfield, IL--TOIPAC, the political action committee of the Township Officials of Illinois (TOI) has awarded their endorsement to Representative John D. Cavaletto for the 107th Representative District in his re-election effort. TOIPAC Treasurer and TOI Executive Director Bryan Smith said, "Representative Cavaletto has a good rapport with his area township officials.  He also has sought out the position of this association on various issues.  Maintaining a good relationship with his township officials helps solidify a good state-local government partnership for all citizens of the 107th Representative District,” Endorsements were awarded in 97 districts and “No Endorsement designations” were awarded to 65 districts up for election to the Illinois General Assembly.  TOIPAC endorsements are awarded by a bipartisan committee of township officials appointed by the President of TOI.  Members of the committee consider the re-election of Representative Cavaletto and other endorsed candidates as in the best interest of quality township government and the constituents it serves. "We wish Representative Cavaletto a successful re-election campaign," Smith added. TOIPAC is supported exclusively by private funds.

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STATE
Rauner Launches New Attack While Fending Off New Charges


(Chicago, IL) -- In his latest attack ad on Governor Quinn, Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says Quinn is to blame for the deaths of 95-children whose families were being investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services. The attack ad comes as First Lady Michelle Obama came to town to stump for Quinn Tuesday, followed by Hillary Clinton today. Quinn, meanwhile is pointing to a lawsuit filed by the former head of Rauner's outsourcing company in which Rauner is accused of verbally threatening to "hurt" the woman and her family, and to "bury" her and "make her radioactive."

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Michelle Obama campaigns for Illinois governor

CHICAGO (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama says the Illinois governor's race is personal for her as she stumps for Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election bid. She told the thousands at a Tuesday rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago that she's happy to be back in her hometown and will cast her ballot for Quinn. She says Quinn has made tough decisions for Illinois and puts families first. The first lady also attended a small $10,000-a-person fundraiser at a Chicago restaurant. Earlier Tuesday, she appeared in Wisconsin to rally backers of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. Last week President Barack Obama fundraised for Quinn. Quinn faces a challenge from Republican Bruce Rauner. Early voting starts in Illinois this month, with some voters able to vote during a grace period this week.

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Hillary Clinton to deliver 2 speeches in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to be in Chicago on Wednesday to deliver two speeches. The Park Ridge native and possible 2016 presidential contender will deliver the keynote address at the AvaMed 2014 conference at McCormick Place. At 7:30 p.m. she's planning to speak to the Economic Club of Chicago. Clinton is campaigning for the election of a number of Democrats across the country in November. But Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign hasn't yet confirmed whether Clinton will be appearing at fundraisers and events with him on Wednesday. Clinton's appearance follows a Tuesday rally for Quinn headlined by first lady Michelle Obama in Chicago. Quinn is facing a tough re-election bid against Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

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Rauner Drops Another One-Point-Five Million On Race

(Springfield, IL)  --  The GOP candidate for governor just dropped another one-and-a-half-million-dollars of his own money into his campaign account.  That brings Bruce Rauner's total out of pocket contributions to more than 15-million since he decided to run.  Rauner is in a heated race with Governor Quinn and has slipped in the polls in recent weeks.  The latest poll puts Quinn up by four-percentage-points. 

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Kirk questions timing of VA director's exit

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — Republican Sen. Mark Kirk is questioning the timing of the retirement of the director of a Chicago-area veterans' hospital who was criticized for how she administered the facility. Kirk had called for Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital director Joan Ricard's removal. Ricard announced her retirement Tuesday. She says the move is unrelated to the Veterans Affairs Department's firings on Monday of senior executives due to a nationwide scandal over long wait times for care. Hines has been investigated in response to allegations of secret waiting lists to hide delays in granting appointments. Ricard has denied there were secret wait lists. Kirk says he's had discussions with Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson about Ricard's "incompetence." Kirk says he'll "be looking for someone with the highest integrity possible" to run the facility.

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Six Hundred Workers Facing Layoffs

(Springfield, IL)  --  At least 600 workers in Illinois are about to lose their jobs.  Reports indicate that workers in Ottawa, Chicago, Effingham, Dixon, and other cities will get pink slips in the coming months.  Eight companies are either shutting their doors or scaling back, including Microsoft and Jim's Formal Wear.  The state's unemployment rate has been on a steady decline.  This round of layoffs, plus the end of seasonal jobs at the end of the year, could potentially force the numbers in the other direction.

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Attorney: Illinois needs monitor to oversee hires

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago attorney and anti-corruption campaigner is stressing that a court-appointed monitor is needed to ensure the state's Department of Transportation is in compliance with political hiring bans. Michael Shakman's filing Monday in federal court comes in response to a motion by Gov. Pat Quinn's attorneys that the governor's administration's response to allegations of political hiring in the department had been both "prompt" and "appropriate." Last month, Quinn aides announced the transportation department was laying off 58 people at the center of a state investigator's findings that more than 250 people were improperly hired for political reasons at the agency over the past decade. The report found that the questionable hiring of "staff assistants" accelerated under Quinn. Shakman says the state investigator's findings are reason enough for the monitor.

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USDA: Soggy weather slows Illinois corn harvest

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says wet weather has turned Illinois' corn harvest into a slog. The USDA said Monday that last week's heavy rainfall across much of Illinois has kept many growers across the state from bringing in their crop. Just 23 percent of the harvest was completed as of Sunday, half of the pace over the previous half decade. The USDA says an above-normal 2.22 inches of rainfall was recorded statewide last week, including 4 inches in the west-southwest portion of Illinois. About 83 percent of the crop remains rated good to excellent, while 79 percent of the soybean crop was considered in those two categories. The USDA says 18 percent of state's soybean crop has been harvested, down from 32 over the previous five years.

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NATIONAL
Court mulls secrecy of national security letters

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court will consider the constitutionality of the FBI's national security letters to get information on customers from banks, phone companies and other businesses. Today, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will consider whether the "gag order" that comes with the thousands of national security letters the FBI sends annually is a constitutional violation of free-speech rights. A lower court last year ruled that the gag orders — and hence the letters themselves — were unconstitutional. The FBI sends thousands of the letters annually. Recipients are barred from discussing them with anyone. The FBI argues that the letters are an important tool to combat terrorism and that the gag order is needed to maintain secrecy of its investigations.

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Court to hear dispute over pay for security checks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Some warehouse workers who fill orders for Amazon.com customers say they spend up to 25 minutes after every shift waiting to pass through security checks to make sure they aren't stealing from the online retailer. But they don't get paid for the extra time. The Supreme Court hears arguments today in a lawsuit filed by former staffers at a Nevada warehouse who claim they should be compensated for time spent in security screenings under the Fair Labor Standards Act. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs could subject employers to billions of dollars in retroactive pay and increase costs for companies that have expanded security measures to curb employee theft. But it could also mean a boost in wages for millions of employees who spend extra time going through security.

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2 states begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Marriage License Bureau in Las Vegas is expected this afternoon to start issuing licenses to same-sex couples. On Tuesday, Nevada and Idaho joined the growing number of states where same-sex marriage is legal. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that gay couples' equal protection rights were violated by gay marriage bans in both states. Idaho will start issuing the marriage licenses this morning.

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Adrian Peterson heads to court in child abuse case

HOUSTON (AP) — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will be in a Texas courtroom for the first time since being indicted last month on a felony child abuse charge. Peterson is facing a charge of injury to a child. He has said he never intended to harm his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch earlier this year in Montgomery County, north of Houston. A spokeswoman for Peterson's attorney says the NFL player will plead not guilty if asked to enter a plea during this morning's hearing in Conroe. If convicted, Peterson faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Last month, the Vikings placed Peterson on indefinite paid leave so he could focus on his personal life.

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Poll: Most NFL fans think Goodell should keep job

NEW YORK (AP) — Most NFL fans believe Commissioner Roger Goodell should keep his job after his handling of recent domestic violence cases, according to a new Associated Press-GfK Poll. Only 32 percent say Goodell should lose his job over the issue, with 66 percent saying he shouldn't. Support for his handling of the cases is much lower, though, with 42 percent saying they disapprove. The same percentage neither approve nor disapprove, with just 15 percent approving. Goodell initially suspended Ray Rice for two games after the Baltimore Ravens running back was charged with assaulting his then-fiancee. The commissioner defended the punishment at first, before admitting more than a month later that he "didn't get it right." When a video of the assault later surfaced, Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely, saying the images constituted new evidence. Rice was released earlier that day by the Ravens.

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California pilot dies in crash fighting wildfire

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Officials in Northern California say an air tanker pilot may have been trying to lay down fire retardant when his plane smashed into a steep canyon wall, killing him. The crash happened Tuesday, within a mile of the west entrance of Yosemite National Park. A California Highway Patrol sergeant says the plane disintegrated on impact.

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Navy tests out new way of making clothes: welding

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) — Welding isn't just for aircraft carriers anymore. The U.S. Navy could be turning to ultrasonic welding to make its uniforms lighter, stronger and cheaper. And if the project by a Rhode Island company and the Navy Clothing and Textile Research Facility is a success, it could help bring manufacturing back from overseas. Propel LLC is trying to figure out how to make the Navy parka without stitches. It's one of the Navy's more expensive and challenging garments to assemble. Welded seams are created when two pieces of fabric are essentially melted together by sound waves. Industry experts say that if the technology could be perfected for the military, it could seep over into the commercial market.

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Sick journalist to get blood from Ebola survivor

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The first American flown back to the U.S. for treatment of Ebola this summer has donated blood to the most recent one to return from West Africa with the disease. The Nebraska Medical Center said Wednesday that it called Dr. Kent Brantly on Tuesday to tell him his blood type matches that of Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance video journalist who arrived at the medical center Monday. The hospital says Brantly was driving through Kansas City, Mo., and was able to give blood locally that was flown to Omaha. It says Mukpo will receive the transfusion Wednesday. Such transfusions are believed to help Ebola patients because a survivor's blood contains antibodies to fight the disease. Brantly also donated blood to the first Ebola patient treated at the Nebraska hospital.

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Company recalls floor mats fitting GM trucks

DETROIT (AP) — A company that makes after-market floor mats for General Motors full-size pickup trucks and SUVs is recalling more than 45,000 of them because they can interfere with the gas pedal. Omix Ada of Suwannee, Georgia, says the recall covers Cabela's Custom Fit, Line-X Truck Gear, Rugged Ridge All-Terrain and Tread Lightly mats. They can move forward unintentionally and stop the gas pedal from returning to the idle position. That can increase the risk of a crash. The mats fit Chevrolet and GMC trucks and SUVs from 1999 through 2014. The mats were made from Nov. 1, 2009 to Aug. 27, 2014. Most were sold at O'Reilly Auto Parts stores. The company will furnish an anchor and hook system to fix the problem. People with questions can call (844) 642-7625.

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Max term sought in Connecticut attack plane plot

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Prosecutors are urging a federal judge to impose a five-year prison term on a Connecticut man recorded discussing attacks on a federal building and Harvard University with a radio-controlled plane fitted with explosives. The Connecticut Post reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel is seeking the maximum sentence for perjury against El Mehdi Semlali Fathi, a Moroccan national who lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut, until his arrest in April. Fathi pleaded guilty to perjury, which stemmed from lying to a U.S. immigration judge while seeking refuge in America and claiming he was persecuted in Morocco for his political beliefs. Fathi's lawyer, public defender Paul Thomas, has asked Hall to impose a prison term of 15 to 21 months at sentencing Oct. 20. The FBI says it recorded Fathi discussing the attacks and training.

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Coach, 2 players suspended over duct-taped player

NATRONA HEIGHTS, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania high school soccer coach and two players have been suspended for at least five days after an autistic teammate told police the two teens duct-taped him to a goalpost. Sixteen-year-old Austin Babinsack told Harrison Township police he was left taped to the goal for 15 to 20 minutes Sunday evening before passers-by heard his screams and freed him. The Highlands School District says coach Jim Turner, who was not present at the time, and two 17-year-old players identified by Babinsack have been suspended. Police may also file juvenile court charges against the two teammates. The Associated Press couldn't locate the coach's phone number. The district says it doesn't take hazing or bullying lightly. Kristy Babinsack, the victim's mother, says she hopes the coach will be fired and the other players expelled.

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Syrian rights groups call on world to save Kobani

MURSITPINAR, Turkey (AP) — Warplanes believed to be from the U.S.-led coalition have been bombing positions of the Islamic State group near the town of Kobani in Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says coalition strikes have killed 45 militants since Monday night and destroyed at least five vehicles. Several Syrian human rights groups have issued a dramatic appeal, calling on the world to save the embattled Syrian Kurdish town from falling into the hands of the Islamic State group. Seven rights groups, including the Kurdish Organization for Human Rights and the Human Rights Organization in Syria, say Islamic State group's onslaught on the town and the surrounding area, which began in mid-September, represents a "clear form of persecution and ethnic cleansing." The groups say the fighting has displaced nearly 280,000 people who fled fearing "killings, executions, throat slitting, beheadings, mayhem and kidnapping of women and children."

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UN: EU should overhaul policy on Syrian refugees

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency is urging the European Union to overhaul its policy toward Syrian refugees, warning the number of fatal accidents at sea could rise further as winter approaches. The UNHCR also urged the 28-nation bloc to provide emergency financial assistance to Greece, Italy and Malta to deal with the soaring number of illegal sea crossings. U.N. officials, presenting their proposals in Athens on Wednesday, said more than 3,000 asylum seekers had died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. They urged the EU to provide ports for reception and to process asylum applications across member states. Greek authorities say they expect a three-fold increase in the number of would-be immigrants and asylum seekers apprehended this year, compared with 2013, with most now coming from Syria.

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Sierra Leone: strike leaves Ebola dead in streets

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's deputy health minister says a strike by burial teams in the Ebola-stricken country has been "resolved," but organizers of the strike could not immediately be reached to confirm it was over. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation reports that bodies of Ebola victims have been left in homes and on the streets of the capital by the strike. Members of the burial teams have complained they've not been paid. The dead bodies of Ebola victims are highly contagious. The World Health Organization says Ebola is believed to have killed more than 600 people in Sierra Leone, and 3,400 overall. In neighboring Liberia, health workers are threatening to strike if their demands for more money and safety equipment are not met by the end of the week.

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Spaniards protest death order for Ebola dog

MADRID (AP) — Spanish animal rights activists have scuffled with police as they tried to stop health workers from entering an apartment complex where they plan to remove the dog of a nursing assistant infected with Ebola so the pet can be killed. Officers carried away some of the dozens of activists after they blocked an ambulance from entering the gated complex. Firefighters and workers in hazardous materials suits were seen Wednesday inside the complex, and photographers captured images of the mixed breed dog named Excalibur on the balcony of the nursing assistant's apartment. Madrid's regional government got a court order to euthanize the dog, saying "available scientific" information can't rule out "risk of contagion." Authorities didn't say when the dog would be taken away. Workers will also disinfect the apartment.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 3, LA Dodgers 2

NBA Preseason

Detroit 111, Chicago 109 OT

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Blackhawks place F Mashinter on injured reserve

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have placed forward Brandon Mashinter on injured reserve. The move for Mashinter is retroactive to last Wednesday. It looks as if Chicago will have a roster of 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders for Thursday's regular-season opener at Dallas. The Blackhawks did not identify Mashinter's injury in Tuesday's release. The 26-year-old Mashinter appeared in three preseason games with Chicago and recorded one fighting major. Mashinter was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on Dec. 6, 2013. He has appeared in 23 NHL games.

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Bears waive backup defensive end, cornerback

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have waived defensive end David Bass and cornerback Isaiah Frey and elevated cornerback Al Louis-Jean from the practice squad. The moves were announced on Tuesday. Bass appeared in 13 games with one start over two seasons with the Bears. He had 20½ tackles and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. Frey made seven starts and appeared in 19 games over three seasons with Chicago, with 73 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Louis-Jean is an undrafted rookie free agent out of Boston College.

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AP Source: Mueller resigns as Cubs hitting coach

CHICAGO (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Bill Mueller has resigned as the Chicago Cubs' hitting coach. The person, who confirmed reports by several outlets, spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced. It comes after president of baseball operations Theo Epstein announced last week that Mike Brumley would not return as assistant hitting coach. All other coaches on manager Rick Renteria's staff were invited back. Mueller, a former infielder who won a batting championship with the Boston Red Sox, spent one year with the Cubs. Chicago finished 26th in the majors in runs, 27th in batting average and 28th in on-base percentage.

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News for Oct. 7, 2014

LOCAL
SIU warns of toxic algae in Carbondale campus lake

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University is cautioning people and pets to avoid skin contact with water from the Carbondale campus' lake because of naturally occurring toxic algae. The university says human contact with the water can cause skin rashes and animals swimming in or drinking the water can become ill. The algae deplete the water's oxygen level and are the same algae that prompted the city of Carbondale to close Evergreen Reservoir and Piles Fork Creek in June. The university has posted warning signs around the lake and says the algae will dissipate as temperatures cool and the water is naturally replaced. Kevin Bame is the university's vice chancellor for administration and finance. He says it's unclear how long the lake will remain closed.

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Old Story Dogs Bost Campaign

(Murphysboro, IL) -- The hard-fought congressional contest between incumbent Democrat Bill Enyart and Republican Mike Bost has already featured controversy over Bost's exasperated outburst on the floor of the Illinois House, but now his killing of a beagle 28-years ago is part of the discussion. Media accounts have resurrected Bost's 1986 shooting of a dog the day after it had attacked and seriously injured his four-year-old daughter. Bost was acquitted of charges connected to the shooting of the dog, but the incident is now campaign fodder as he tries to unseat Enyart.

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Recycling Plant Fire Started By Self-Ignited Materials

(Granite City, IL)  --  Officials say a weekend fire at a Granite City recycling plant was caused by spontaneous combustion.  Seventy boxes filled with computer parts were destroyed after Saturday's blaze at the Total Metal Recycling facility.  The site was closed at the time of the fire.  No one was injured.

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Voters To Decide Future Of Metro East School

(Brooklyn, IL)  --  A Metro East school district wants to shut down its high school to save the district that's been around for more than 100 years.  People who live in Brooklyn, Illinois will vote next month on the proposal to close Lovejoy High School.  District leaders met Monday night with the community about the plan.  If voters pass this deactivation, the high school students attending Lovejoy will go to East St. Louis Senior High.  District officials say they're 217-thousand dollars in debt and that will continue to rise unless there are some budget cuts.

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Bond hearing set for suspect in SIU threat case

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago man accused of mailing threats of beheadings, bombings and other violence to Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus soon will learn if he can be released on bond. A federal judge in Chicago ruled last week that Derrick Burns qualifies for bond, but she stayed her decision while prosecutors appealed. That appeal will be heard Tuesday in Benton. Prosecutors also are asking a judge to order that Burns' mental fitness be tested. Burns is charged with eight felonies linked to what investigators say were threatening mailings sent over a yearlong span in 2012 and last year. Prosecutors have said Burns threatened rapes, bombings and beheadings. The FBI says most of the threatening letters suggested SIU would be targeted. Burns' attorney has declined to publicly discuss the case.

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New Memorial For Women Killed At Cairo Bank

(Cairo, IL)  --  A memorial has been erected in Cairo honoring two women who were killed when leaving work last May.  The city of Cairo and the Cairo Public Library led the effort to bring the pink granite benches to Halliday Park.  Anita Grace and Nita Jo Smith were closing the First National Bank of Cairo when 30-year-old James Watts allegedly stopped them and forced the pair back inside.  He allegedly killed them and injured a third woman.  A tree has also been planted in honor of the woman who survived the attack.

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Woman gets 28 years for Illinois restaurant holdup

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A woman who admitted robbing a southwestern Illinois fast-food restaurant at gunpoint has been ordered to spend 28 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan sentenced 29-year-old Yulonda Stewart, calling her "the most violent woman" he has sentenced. Stewart pleaded guilty to interference with commerce by robbery, use of a gun during a violent crime and being a felon with a firearm. Authorities say Stewart robbed a Jack in the Box restaurant in Belleville in 2012, forcing a manager at gunpoint to open a safe while three other employees were held at bay. Police arrested Stewart at the scene. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Stewart's background includes a six-year prison term for a 2007 conviction of aggravated robbery in St. Clair County.

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West Frankfort Murder Suspect Will Not Stand Trial

A West Frankfort woman accused of murdering her daughter at their home in July 2011 will not stand trial this week as originally scheduled. Judge Tom Tedeschi recently asked that the Oct. 7 trial date for 31-year-old Mary Jophlin be vacated. Jophlin’s defense attorney, Terry Green, asked the judge to continue the trial pending pertinent reports from two doctors saying the information in the reports could be very instrumental in the proceeding and that she deserves a fair trial. The judge also didn’t set a new trial date telling both parties in the case that it is important to give their reports time to be filed, examined and shared before the trial begins.
The state’s attorney’s office didn’t have much to say about Green’s motion to continue, only that it could be done within a reasonable amount of time. Jophlin is charged with murder, concealing a homicidal death and obstruction of justice in the death of her daughter, Alexis Smothers. Jophlin is set to be back in court for a pre-trial hearing Oct. 14. She remains lodged in the Franklin County Jail.

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Mount Vernon Area Military Families Can Get Free Groceries with Campaign for Heathier Eating

Military families in the Mount Vernon, Ill. area can receive a basket of free groceries and learn about healthy eating October 25 thanks to a new campaign from the national nonprofit Operation Homefront.  The organization, which provides emergency financial and other assistance to military families, Monday announced its Growing Healthy Military Families campaign, a series of events this Fall in cities across America that will help military families learn about healthy eating and give them the tools to make a healthy diet part of their lifestyle.  Military families are urged to register online at OperationHomefront.net for events in their area.  Growing Healthy Military Families events will take place in nice states across the country throughout October and November. Details on eligibility, event date and time, and information on how military families can register for events are available at OperationHomefront.net.

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Grand Reopening Celebration Planned for Times Square Mall

St. Louis, Missouri-based Sansone Group and Pine Tree Commercial Realty, LLC are pleased to announce the Grand Reopening of Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The celebration will take place Friday, October 17 from noon until five o’clock. The event is open and free to the public and will include music, bar-b-que, kettle korn, inflatables, a giant corn box, and pony rides for the kids. There will also be drawings for prizes throughout the afternoon for those present. Times Square Mall was purchased on April 24, 2012 by Mount Vernon Associates, LLC which is made up of four members, one of which is a Sansone entity. Sansone Group, along with Pine Tree Commercial Realty, LLC of Northbrook, Illinois, co-manage and lease the property. Upon purchasing the 270,000 square foot center, plans for redevelopment commenced. The former Sears space, along with some of the small shop space was converted into three big box junior anchor spaces. These are now occupied by Hobby Lobby, BigLots! and Ross Dress for Less. A new 9,551 square foot outlot building was also constructed in which Moe’s Southwest Grill will be taking 2,300 square feet of space. Moe’s plans to be open by the end of the year. Times Square Mall is located at 42nd and Broadway, in Mount Vernon. Times Square Mall has been the dominant retail property in the Mount Vernon community since 1974.  

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STATE
First Lady Stumping For Quinn Today

(Chicago, IL)  --  Michelle Obama will be in Chicago today.  She's holding a rally at UIC this afternoon, hoping to stir up the Democratic base and get them to the polls for Governor Quinn next month.  Quinn is in a neck-and-neck battle with GOP contender Bruce Rauner for the state's top job.  Hillary Clinton will be in the Windy City stumping for Quinn tomorrow.

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Police Endorse Quinn

(Springfield, IL) -- The state's Fraternal Order of Police wants Governor Quinn to have another four years in office. They announced their endorsement today. FOP President Chris Southwood says Quinn has shown strong leadership over the past four years, especially when it comes to protecting public safety. The organization represents more than 35-thousand active duty and retired police officers in Illinois.

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Quinn Aides To Testify At NRI Hearing

(Chicago, IL)  --  A few of Governor Quinn's former top aides will be on the hot seat about the troubled anti-violence program tomorrow.  Lawmakers are holding a hearing in Chicago, hoping to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the 55-million-dollar program.  The cash was dished out to agencies in Chicago to help reduce crime but it was mismanaged and some is unaccounted for.  The state auditor has questioned the timing of the program, claiming Quinn rushed to put it together ahead of the 2010 election. 

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Senator forms group to battle suburban heroin use

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has launched a task force he says will tackle surging incidents of heroin abuse in suburban Chicago. Joining the Illinois Republican in launching the Suburban Anti-Heroin Task Force on Monday were Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim and DuPage County Coroner Dr. Rich Jorgensen. According to Kirk, people often think suburban children are immune from drug addiction. He noted that since 2012, more than 390 people in Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Will and Kane counties have died from a heroin overdose. Kirk also pointed out the importance of the intranasal spray Narcan in the fight to save lives during an overdose. He pointed out that between January and October in DuPage County the spray was 100% successful, saving each of the 22 people it was used on.

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No Suspected Cases Of Ebola In Illinois

(Springfield, IL) -- Health officials are reassuring people that there have been no suspected cases of Ebola in Illinois. Public Health Director LaMar Hasbrouck says they've been working closely with the CDC, local health departments, and hospitals to monitor for any potential cases. He says they will alert the public immediately if there are any suspected cases within Illinois' borders.

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Illinois considering raw milk regulations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois public health officials say they've received hundreds of comments from residents as they consider regulating the processing and sale of unpasteurized milk products. There's still two weeks before the public comment period ends Oct. 20. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that state regulators want to create a two-tier system that would apply to raw milk from cows, goats, sheep, water buffalo and other hoofed animals. Federal data show between 300,000 and 400,000 Illinoisans drink raw milk. At issue is risk of illness versus claims of health and whether the state wants too much or too little regulation. Supporters, like Tim Kelly of Springfield, say they feel stronger when they drink raw milk. The Illinois Department of Public Health says regulations are necessary to make raw milk safer.

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NATIONAL
Same-sex marriages begin in the South

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gay and lesbian couples are getting legally married in the conservative South for the first time. A U.S. Supreme Court decision to turn away five states that wanted to enforce their bans on gay marriage means similar restrictions in other states also are likely to soon fall. The high court yesterday rejected appeals from Wisconsin, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia. Victoria Cobb of the Family Foundation of Virginia says the justices have disenfranchised voters who banned gay marriage.

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Obama:  Additional Airline Passenger Screening For Ebola Coming

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama says plans are underway for additional airline passenger screening in West Africa and the U.S to deal with growing concerns about Ebola.  After a White House meeting with top health officials, Obama also repeated assurances that the odds of an outbreak in the U.S. are extremely low.  He warned that the margin for error is low and said U.S. officials are redoubling efforts to ensure that health-and-safety protocols are followed across the country. 

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Illinois Teen Penned Letter To Parents About ISIS

(Chicago, IL)  --  More information is coming to light about the Chicago-area teenager who was arrested after allegedly trying to join ISIS.  Nineteen-year-old Mohammed Khan reportedly left a three-page letter for his parents, detailing why he was leaving home to help the terrorist group.  Authorities say Khan wrote that western civilization is in a moral decline.  Federal officials arrested Khan at O'Hare International Airport on Saturday.  

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Holiday sales seen rising 4.1 percent

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are expected to spend at the highest rate in three years during what's traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year. But holiday shoppers will still want fat discounts, and experts cite a sharp divide between the haves and have nots in an uneven economic recovery. The National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade group, says it expects sales during the November and December period to be up 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion. That's a percentage point higher than last year. It marks the highest increase since 2011 when it was 4.8 percent.

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Talking to your car can be dangerous, studies say

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two new studies find that voice-activated smartphones and dashboard infotainment systems may be making the distracted-driving problem worse instead of better. Studies released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Utah say many of the systems are so error-prone or complex that they require more concentration from drivers rather than less.

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Battle expected Tuesday over Revel auction sale

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey bankruptcy judge hears arguments today over whether Atlantic City's former Revel Casino Hotel should be sold for 5 cents on the dollar to a Toronto asset management firm. The casino cost $2.4 billion to build and never turned a profit. It closed Sept. 2 after just over two years of operation. Last week, Brookfield Asset Management won an auction with a $110 million bid for the failed casino. But the Florida developer who came up short in the auction wants Judge Gloria Burns, in Camden, to invalidate the result and hold a new sale. Glenn Straub filed court papers Monday asking for a new auction, alleging the process was improper and unfair to him. Brookfield says it plans to re-open Revel as a casino.

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NBC Crew Isolating themselves Over Ebola Risk

(Undated)  --  An NBC News team lead by medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman is isolating itself in the United States due to Ebola concerns.  The team worked closely with freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo,  who contracted Ebola in Liberia.  He's being treated in a Nebraska hospital.  Snyderman arrived in the U.S. on a charter flight last night.  She and at least three other NBC employees agreed to stay home and have their temperatures monitored for around 21 days.

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Law Enforcement Recovers Letter Allegedly Written By Frein

(Undated)  --  Suspected cop killer Eric Frein is reportedly confessing to his crimes in a letter obtained by law enforcement.  Unnamed sources tell CNN the manhunt turned up a letter, in which Frein details the September 12th ambush that left one Pennsylvania state trooper dead and wounded a second.  He didn't offer a motive.  The attack happened at a trooper barracks outside Scranton.

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Standout High School Football Star Commits Suicide

(Hazel Green, AL)  --  An Alabama community is stunned by the death of a standout high school football star.  The Madison County coroner's office confirmed yesterday that Julian Jones took his own life Monday morning.  An autopsy will be conducted today.  Jones appeared to have everything going for him.  The Hazel Green High School tight end had scholarship offers from Mississippi State and South Carolina, with Auburn also expressing interest.   

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Four Year Old Brings Heroin To Daycare

(Selbyville, DE)  --  A Delaware mom is facing felony charges after her four-year-old daughter showed up at daycare with a backpack full of heroin baggies.  Police tell WXTF-TV the girl's regular backpack was ruined by a family pet so she grabbed a different one.  Upon arriving at the daycare center, the girl started handing out heroin to her friends, thinking the 249 baggies contained candy.  The mom faces drug dealing and child endangerment charges. 

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INTERNATIONAL
Turkey: Syrian border town about to fall to IS

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president says the Syrian border town of Kobani is about to fall to militants from the Islamic State group. Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the comments Tuesday during an address to Syrian refugees at a camp in Gaziantep province, near the border with Syria. Erdogan said aerial bombardments alone may not be enough to stop the Islamic State group and called for support of opposition forces. "There has to be cooperation with those who are fighting on the ground." Just days ago, Turkey said it wouldn't let Kobani fall.

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Kurds protest across Europe, seek help against IS

PARIS (AP) — Kurdish protesters have clashed with police in Turkey and forced their way into the European Parliament, part of Europe-wide demonstrations against the Islamic State group's advance on a town on the Syrian-Turkish border. The activists are demanding more help for the besieged Kurdish forces struggling to hold onto the Syrian town of Kobani. Some European countries are arming the Kurds or firing airstrikes against the Islamic extremists, but protesters say it isn't enough. Turkish police used water cannons and tear gas Tuesday against demonstrators protesting along the Turkey-Syria border. In Brussels, about 50 Kurdish protesters smashed a door and pushed past police to get into the European Parliament on Tuesday, while 600 other Kurds demonstrated in Berlin. Kurdish protesters overnight occupied the Dutch Parliament and protested at the French Parliament.

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Spain quarantines 3 more after nurse gets Ebola

MADRID (AP) — Three more people are under quarantine for Ebola at a Madrid hospital where a Spanish nurse became infected. The nurse had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola. More than 50 other possible contacts at the hospital are being monitored. Public Health officials say those under quarantine include the nurse's husband. The nurse, who had cared for a Spanish priest who died of Ebola, was the first case of Ebola being transmitted outside of West Africa, where a months-long outbreak has killed at least 3,500 people and infected at least twice as many.

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Separatist fighters in east Ukraine continue shelling campaign to capture key airport

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Defense officials in Ukraine say there has been no letup in efforts by pro-Russia separatist fighters in the east to capture the airport in the main rebel-held city of Donetsk. Security spokesman Andriy Lysenko said Tuesday that rebels fired on the terminal from tanks, artillery systems and multiple rocket launchers. A cease-fire that nominally came into effect one month ago has been routinely flouted, with substantial shelling concentrated in the area around Donetsk airport. Fighting has also been reported in numerous other parts of the Donetsk region. Residential buildings are frequently hit as a result of the shelling duels. Donetsk city authorities say four civilians were killed Monday. Rebels and government officials regularly trade accusations over who is responsible for the civilian deaths.

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Lebanon border explosive wounds 2 Israeli soldiers

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says two soldiers have been wounded by an explosive on the Lebanon border. The military said the soldiers were on patrol along the border Tuesday when an explosive device went off. The incident comes two days after Israeli soldiers opened fire after what they said was a border breach in the Shebaa farms area. Lebanon's military countered that an army outpost came under Israeli fire, and one soldier was lightly wounded. Israel and Lebanon have been in a state of war for six decades, but the border area has remained largely quiet since a monthlong war in the summer of 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. There have been sporadic outbursts of violence, including one last year when a Lebanese sniper killed an Israeli soldier.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 3, Los Angeles 1

NBA Preseason

Washington 85, Chicago 81

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Los Angeles at St. Louis, 4:07 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 3:11 p.m.)

NBA Preseason

Chicago at Detroit 6:30 p.m.

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Illinois looks to O'Toole after Lunt's injury

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Tim Beckman isn't ready to name a starter to fill the hole left by quarterback Wes Lunt's injury. But it sounds like Reilly O'Toole is option No. 1. Beckman said Monday he wants O'Toole and Aaron Bailey to compete for the spot for the Saturday game at Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1 Big Ten). But offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said O'Toole will get the bulk of first-team practice time this week for Illinois (3-3, 0-2). Lunt is out four to six weeks with a broken leg. O'Toole started against Nebraska. He had effective moments but also threw four interceptions. Cubit thinks O'Toole tried to do too much by believing the game might be his one chance to start. Now Cubit hopes O'Toole can relax a bit.

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Cubs claim LHP Ortiz off waivers

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have claimed left-hander Joseph Ortiz off waivers from the Texas Rangers. The 24-year-old Ortiz missed much of last season due to a broken left foot. He was limited to 15 minor league appearances after he went 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA in 32 games for Texas in 2013. The Cubs announced the move on Monday, which fills out their 40-man roster.

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News for Oct. 6, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets Tonight

The Mt. Vernon City Council is scheduled to meet this evening at 7 p.m.  Among items on a busy agenda, the Council will hear bid results for the Richview Road sidewalk project.  The city manager will give presentations of the fiscal year 2013-2014 audit report and capital projects report, as well as request permission for partial closure of 34th Street for a 5K Color Walk/Run for the Illinois Alzheimer's Association.  The city attorney will give a second reading on an ordinance authorizing annexation of property at the southwest corner of 34th Street and Veteran's Memorial Drive, seek a resolution for a temporary closure of certain streets for a December 6th Christmas parade, and give a first reading on an ordinance revising code regarding open burning.  The meeting will be at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building.

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Metro East Attracting Pot License Applications

(East St. Louis, IL) -- There's apparently a lot of interest in opening medical marijuana businesses in the Metro East area. According to figures released by the state, nine groups have applied to open pot cultivation centers and eleven groups have applied to open dispensaries. In the area designated District 11, including St. Clair, Madison, Clinton, Bond and Monroe counties, the state law allows just one cultivation center and two dispensaries. The state hopes to award the first licenses by the end of the year and have those businesses in operation sometime next year.

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Man sentenced in fire that killed 4 children

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to setting a house fire last year in southwestern Illinois that killed four children has been sentenced to 53 years in prison.
The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that 34-year-old Derrick Twardoski was sentenced Friday — two months after he and Randolph County prosecutors reached an agreement that called for him to plead guilty to one of the four counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say Twardoski set the fire in the village of Percy in May 2013. Four children — 5-year-old twins and a 9- and 12-year-old — who were sleeping upstairs were killed. The victims' parents and a brother and cousin who were sleeping downstairs or in the basement escaped. Fire and heavy smoke prevented them from reaching the other children.

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Missing Carbondale Teen Found Safe

A missing Carbondale teen has been found. Carbondale Police say 17-year-old Brooke Zwicky was found Friday in Anna unharmed and in good health by the Anna Police Department. Zwicky was last seen on Sept. 22 after she was reported missing from the 1000 block of East Park Street. She was reportedly in Anna after she disappeared from Carbondale.

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Mt. Vernon Woman Faces Prison Time For Healthcare Fraud

Mount Vernon woman is facing up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release after pleading guilty in federal court to healthcare fraud. 32 year old Margaret R. Teriet admitted during her plea hearing that she submitted fraudulent bills in relation to her performance of personal assistant services in the home services program, a Medicaid-administered program designed to allow individuals to stay in their homes instead of enter a nursing home.  Teriet submitted false bills to the program between April of 2012 and December of 2012, when she claimed to be working as a personal assistant to an individual, when she in fact was not and took money for services she never provided. If you know of or suspect that an individual is abusing healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report the activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector Generate, or you may call 1-800-447-8477.

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Motorcycle Crash in White County Injures Driver

A man was injured in a motorcycle crash in White County Saturday. Illinois State Police say shortly before 1 p.m., 27-year-old Alan Dale Stratton was going north on Route 14 when he lost control of his motorcycle on a curve in the roadway. The motorcycle went off on the left side of the roadway and struck a ditch. Stratton was transported from the scene by White County Ambulance Service. He was later airlifted by Air-Evac to an Evansville hospital. Stratton was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Illinois woman sentenced in VA pension fraud case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Federal officials say a 54-year-old Cahokia woman has been sentenced to three months in prison and paying back more than $70,000 she's accused of stealing in pension benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Mary Lee Owens must also serve three years of supervised release after prison. Prosecutors say she received $70,260 from November through April of last year. She pleaded guilty in June to theft of government funds. She was sentenced in federal court in East St. Louis on Friday. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Owens' attorney, Robert Elovitz, brought up several factors when asking for a lighter prison sentence. That included her clean record and the depression and anxiety she suffered after the death of her husband.

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Eldorado Couple Sentenced For Bankruptcy Fraud

Yesterday, a couple from Eldorado, Illinois, was sentenced on their convictions for bankruptcy fraud, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. Lucy J. McGill, 62, and Gary G. McGill, 69, were each sentenced to 2 years of probation, with 4 months of home confinement on electronic monitoring, 20 hours of public service, and ordered to pay fines of $1,000 each. The sentencing hearings were conducted by U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert. The sentencings follow the McGills’ guilty pleas in federal court in Benton, Illinois on June 5, 2014. Lucy McGill pled guilty to two counts of making false statements under penalty of perjury in a bankruptcy case, three counts of making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy case, and one count of falsifying records in a bankruptcy case. Gary McGill pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements under penalty of perjury in a bankruptcy case and two counts of making false statements under oath in a bankruptcy case. The McGills filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case on February 25, 2009, in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Benton, Illinois.  In their guilty pleas, Lucy and Gary McGill both admitted that they lied on a Statement of Financial Affairs that they filed with the Bankruptcy Court. The McGills falsely stated that $22,000 in two accounts in Lucy McGill’s name at SIU Credit Union belonged to Lucy McGill’s sister. In fact, that $22,000 had recently been paid to Gary McGill in settlement of two lawsuits. The McGills further admitted that they again lied on their Statement of Financial Affairs when they concealed the fact that they had recently given their son cash gifts totaling $6,800. The McGills continued to lie about these topics when they gave sworn testimony at a bankruptcy proceeding on April 3, 2009. Finally, Lucy McGill also admitted that she created fake receipts, purportedly showing that the cash in the SIU Credit Union accounts belonged to her sister, and then provided those receipts to the attorney administering her bankruptcy case. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Scott A. Verseman.

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Southern Illinois church rebuilt after 2013 fire

ROYALTON, Ill. (AP) — Members of a southern Illinois congregation have a new place of worship more than a year after their 89-year-old church was destroyed in a fire. WSIL-TV reports First Christian Church members in Royalton had been meeting at the village hall while a new church was constructed. The old three-story building had been a fixture in the 1,100-resident Franklin County town near Carbondale until the fire in October 2013. Minister Darrell McCombs says attendance at the new church on Sunday was many times higher than it was last year. Church member Tom Fisher says the shared experience has brought everyone together and moved the congregation forward. A grand opening of the new church will be held for the public but hasn't yet been scheduled.

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Man Cycling From Illinois To Louisiana To Raise Cash

(Eldorado, IL)  --  An Eldorado man is headed out on a 600-mile journey to help raise cash for a friend.  Jacob Buckman is riding his bike all the way to Louisiana, which could take nearly two weeks.  He's doing it to bring in enough money to take his friend to a Cubs game.  His friend was a star baseball player for most of his life but has been paralyzed for the last four years, because of a neurological disorder.  Buckman has set up a "Cycling for Suits Go Fund Me account for people who want to pitch in. 

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STATE
Illinois voter registration ends Tuesday

CHICAGO (AP) — Election officials say there are two days left for regular voter registration ahead of Nov. 4. Illinois residents who have a driver's license or state ID can register online through the State Board of Elections website through Tuesday. Starting Wednesday, voters have a chance to participate in "grace period" registration until Nov. 3. The process will be a little different for those registering late. Residents must present two forms of identification to election officials in person. One of these forms must include a current address. People using the grace period must cast their ballot during the same visit. Regular early voting starts Oct. 20. The November election will let voters cast ballots for governor, other statewide officers and a U.S. senator.

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Quinn, Rauner To Debate This Week

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner will square off in their first official debate this week.  They'll be in Peoria on Thursday to lay out their plans and positions on the issues.  The debate starts at 8 p.m.  It's being sponsored by PBS and the League of Women Voters. 

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First Lady Stumping For Quinn

(Chicago, IL)  --  A couple of heavy hitters are headed to the Windy City to try to get Governor Quinn reelected.  First Lady Michelle Obama will be headlining a rally for Quinn tomorrow.  Hillary Clinton is scheduled to be in Chicago on Wednesday.

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Wide gap on the issues in Illinois' US Senate race

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's more than three decades in Washington have helped him become one of the most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill. It's a position he says has helped him reap billions of dollars of federal funds and other benefits for Illinois. But his Republican challenger, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, a dairy owner, says Durbin's lengthy tenure also makes him a "career politician" who's out-of-touch with voters and clueless about how to create jobs. As the two face off in November, Oberweis acknowledges it'll take a significant Republican tide for him to unseat the Senate's second-ranking Democrat. Oberweis tells The Associated Press that things need to move in a different direction, while Durbin says he wants to continue working to "lift up" the middle class.

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State Republicans Launching 'Voter Integrity' Push

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois Republicans are spending campaign cash on efforts to scrub the voter rolls before the November election. The GOP calls the campaign unprecedented and says it will involve comparing things like obituaries and utility cutoff notices to the voter rolls so they can be purged and the possibility of "ghost voting" can be reduced. Democrats call the effort "voter suppression," but Republicans say it will counter Democratic efforts like same-day registration and packing the ballot with referendum questions to boost turnout.

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Madigan's office warns of phone scam

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Attorney General's office is asking residents to be on the lookout for a phone scam in which callers posing as government officials attempt to get people to send money by claiming they are under criminal investigation or owe unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office issued a news release on the scam in late August but now the office says it has seen an uptick in the number of calls in the last few weeks. The callers sometimes tell the people who answer the phone they should act quickly to avoid being arrested or have their bank accounts frozen. Often the scam artists "spoof" caller ID devices into showing they're calling from government agencies or from the Washington, D.C. area code of 202.

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Entomologist winner of National Medal of Science

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The White House has named a University of Illinois entomology professor as a winner of the nation's highest honor for achievement in science and technology. May Berenbaum and other recipients will receive the National Medal of Science in Washington later this year. The chancellor of the Urbana campus, Phyllis Wise, says Berenbaum's work has "fundamentally changed" what's known about the role of insects in human life. In addition to her research, Berenbaum also created the annual Insect Fear Film Festival. It features films, an insect petting zoo and an insect art contest. Berenbaum has been a University of Illinois faculty member since 1980. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Yale University in 1975. She earned a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University in 1980.

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NATIONAL
Obama to be updated on Ebola

DALLAS (AP) — The director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says he's scheduled today to brief President Barack Obama on the Ebola situation in the U.S. The condition of a Liberian man who started showing Ebola symptoms in the U.S. is worsening. He's now in critical condition in a hospital in Dallas. Meanwhile, an American photojournalist who got sick with Ebola while working for NBC in Liberia is due to arrive today at medical center in Nebraska.

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High court begins term with case on police actions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court begins a new term today, and its first case tests whether a traffic stop can be justified when the officer mistakenly doesn't follow the law. A man's car was searched and cocaine was discovered after a police officer stopped him for a brake light that wasn't working. The man was later convicted of drug trafficking. But North Carolina law states that only one brake light has to work.

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Indiana aid worker says in letter is afraid to die

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The parents of an Indiana aid worker threatened with beheading by the Islamic State group say he told them in a June letter he's afraid to die. Ed and Paula Kassig also say a former hostage told them 26-year-old Abdul-Rahman Kassig converted to Islam voluntarily when he was sharing a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim. Their son was previously known as Peter Kassig. In a statement released to media Sunday, the Kassigs say their son told them in the letter that he's scared to die, but that if he does they should take comfort knowing he "went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need." The Islamic State group took the 26-year-old Kassig captive on Oct. 1, 2013.

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Opening set in trial of marathon suspect's friend

BOSTON (AP) — The prosecution and the defense will likely paint starkly different pictures in the criminal trial of a friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is accused of lying to authorities about being in Tsarnaev's dorm room when two other friends removed Tsarnaev's backpack, laptop and other potential evidence three days after the deadly attack in 2013. Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in U.S. District Court. Twin bombs placed near the marathon's finish line killed three people and injured more than 260. Tsarnaev is awaiting trial on 30 federal charges and could face the death penalty if convicted. Lawyers for Phillipos say he was a frightened 19-year-old when he was questioned, and did not intend to mislead investigators.

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Charity report ranks states, cities on generosity

NEW YORK (AP) — A new report on charity finds that amid a widening income gap, the rich are giving less while poor and middle income Americans dig deeper to help favorite causes. An extensive analysis of IRS data conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy finds that Americans who earned $200,000 or more reduced the share of income given to charity by 4.6 percent from 2006 to 2012. Those earning less than $100,000 donated 4.5 percent more of their income. The Chronicle is a leading source of news coverage of the nonprofit world. According to the report, changes in giving patterns were most pronounced in major cities, where the percentage of income that residents donated dropped markedly from 2006 and 2012. Residents of Utah are the nation's most generous. New Hampshire comes in last.

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Investigation Continues After Fan Beaten In Angels Parking Lot

(Anaheim, CA)  --  The investigation continues after a Los Angeles Angels fan was beaten and left for dead in the stadium parking lot.  Investigators say the unnamed victim was leaving Angel Stadium after Friday night's playoff game against the Kansas City Royals, when he was suddenly attacked from behind without warning.  Witnesses say three men surprised him with two quick punches that knocked him out, and then they beat his face on the pavement.  The man is in critical condition.

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

High court denies gay marriage appeals

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit same-sex marriages, paving the way for an immediate expansion of gay and lesbian unions. The justices on Monday did not comment in rejecting appeals from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The court's order immediately ends delays on marriage in those states. Couples in six other states should be able to get married in short order. That would make same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia. But the justices have left unresolved for now the question of same-sex marriage nationwide.

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

American video journalist sickened with Ebola arrives at Nebraska hospital for treatment

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia has arrived at a Nebraska hospital where he will be treated. The ambulance carrying 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo pulled up to a receiving bay at the Nebraska Medical Center's on Monday. The area isn't visible from the street, but the driver was wearing head-to-toe protective gear as the ambulance drove past. Mukpo will be treated in the hospital's specialized isolation unit. He is the fifth American to return to the United States for treatment since the start of the latest Ebola outbreak, which the World Health Organization estimates has killed more than 3,400 people. Meanwhile, a Liberian man with Ebola who started showing symptoms while visiting the U.S. is in critical condition at a Dallas hospital.

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More Ebola screening possible for United States

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ahead of a White House meeting on the Ebola outbreak, federal health officials say the U.S. is weighing whether to institute extra screening at U.S. airports where travelers from Ebola-stricken African nations may be arriving. In an interview with CNN today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says "discussion is underway right now" and "all options are being looked at." He says the question is whether "the extra level of screening is going to be worth the resources you need to put into it." Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says officials are looking at options "to see what we can do to increase safety of all Americans." President Barack Obama is scheduled to get an update on Ebola outbreak this afternoon.

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

Court lets stand terrorism conviction

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has left in place the terrorism conviction of a Massachusetts man who argued that his online activities were free speech, not tangible support for al-Qaida. The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal from Tarek Mehanna that challenged his conviction and 17 1/2-year prison sentence. Mehanna, of Sudbury, was convicted of four terror-related charges and three charges of lying to authorities. Prosecutors said he traveled to Yemen seeking terrorist training and intended to fight U.S. soldiers in Iraq. When that failed, they said, he returned home and promoted violent jihad online. Mehanna's lawyers said he didn't give any tangible support to al-Qaida, and his online activities were protected free speech. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston previously denied his appeal.

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Court rejects appeal in SC redistricting case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has left intact South Carolina's redrawn state house and congressional maps. The justices on Monday rejected without comment an appeal from black South Carolina voters who wanted the justices to take another look at the state's new lines for state house and congressional districts. The high court previously upheld the new lines in a 2012 decision. But opponents asked a lower court to set aside that ruling in light of another recent Supreme Court decision that struck down a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. The lower court found no need to re-examine its previous findings that the state's districts are fair and don't discriminate against racial minorities.

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INTERNATIONAL
Kurdish fighters battle Islamic State group for Syrian town near Turkish border

BEIRUT (AP) — Kurdish forces continue to battle Islamic State group fighters for control of a Syrian town near the Turkish border. Yesterday, the Kurdish force known as the People's Protection Units, or YPK, repelled a wide-ranging jihadist assault. However, a black banner with Arabic writing can be seen today flying over a building at the eastern entrance to Kobani, indicating that the jihadists may have regrouped and broken through the Kurdish lines. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a statement from the YPK says yesterday's battles near the town killed more than 45 fighters on both sides, including a female Kurdish fighter who blew herself up, killing several jihadists. Kobani and surrounding areas have been under attack since mid-September, with Islamic State militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages. The assault has forced some 160,000 Syrians to flee. On the Turkish side of the border, at least 14 Turkish army tanks have taken up defensive positions on a hilltop near Kobani.

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Hezbollah loses 8 fighters in Syria border battle

BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate has attacked positions manned by Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah along the Syrian border, killing eight of its fighters. An official close to Hezbollah declined Monday to say how many fighters were killed in Sunday's battles with the Nusra Front, but in mosques across Lebanon's eastern Bekaa valley funerals were announced for eight Hezbollah fighters. The fighting on Sunday lasted for several hours. The official said Hezbollah's response to the attack was "huge, strong and fast." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to reporters. Hezbollah began sending fighters to reinforce Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops last year, saying it needed to protect Lebanon from the threat of Sunni extremism.

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Ukraine gets drones to help monitor shaky truce

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister says two drones have been delivered to the country so international observers can monitor the shaky cease-fire between government forces and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Monday the drones will be given to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe after they are cleared by customs. The Sept. 5 cease-fire has been routinely violated. The government-controlled airport in the biggest rebel-held city, Donetsk, is a key flashpoint and residential neighborhoods nearby are frequently hit by artillery crossfire. Yatsenyuk says Russia is doing nothing to mitigate the hostilities. He accuses Moscow of stationing troops in Ukraine — a claim Russia has denied. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged all to uphold the truce and warned against blaming all violations on rebels.

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

SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

LA Dodgers 3, St. Louis 2

College Football

Purdue 38, Illinois 27
Northwestern 20, (17) Wisconsin 14
Illinois State 45, South Dakota State 10
North Dakota State 17, Western Illinois 10
Northern Illinois 17, Kent State 14
Southern Illinois 41, South Dakota 10

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

NFL

Philadelphia 34, St. Louis 28
Carolina 31, Chicago 24
Indianapolis 20, Baltimore 13


MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

LA Dodgers at St. Louis 8:07 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 7:11 p.m.)

NBA Preseason

Washington at Chicago 7 p.m.

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

Illinois quarterback Lunt out with broken leg

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Tim Beckman says quarterback Wes Lunt has a broken left leg and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Beckman said in a news release late Sunday that the redshirt sophomore quarterback broke his fibula Saturday in the Illini's 38-27 loss to Purdue. Lunt limped off the field in the fourth quarter and didn't return. He said after the game that he had a calf injury he believed he initially suffered in September in the loss to Washington. Beckman said in the release he is disappointed for Lunt, who is having a strong season. Lunt is in the top 20 in the nation in passing yards with 1,569 and touchdowns with 13. Beckman said Illinois will now turn to Lunt's backup, Reilly O'Toole, and third-stringer Aaron Bailey.

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News for Oct. 3, 2014

LOCAL
Prosecutors appeal bond ruling in SIU threat case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Federal prosecutors are appealing a Chicago judge's ruling to release pending trial a man accused of mailing threats of rapes, bombings and beheadings to Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus. Magistrate Judge Susan Cox on Wednesday allowed 21-year-old Derrick Burns' release but stayed it while prosecutors appealed. The government's documents pressing for Burns to remain jailed as a potential threat are sealed. The judge says if her decision stands Burns would be released into his aunt's care and has to wear an electronic monitor. Burns is charged with eight felonies linked to what investigators say were threatening mailings sent over a year-long span in 2012 and last year. The FBI says most of the threatening letters suggested SIU would be targeted.

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Three Men Charged With Sex Abuse Of Teen

(East St. Louis, IL) -- Police are looking for two men charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl in East St. Louis. Gregory Cook was arrested last week and charged with criminal sexual abuse in connection with the incident from early last month. Illinois State Police investigated the case, and yesterday, additional charges were brought against Lorenzo Elem and Shontez Cook. Warrants were issued for their arrests but they haven't been brought in yet.

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Man Caught Allegedly Taking Pics In Dressing Room

(Carbondale, IL)  --  A Harrisburg man is in trouble with the law for allegedly taking pictures of women in a Kohl's dressing room in Carbondale.  Officials say Jonathon Quertermous was busted peeking into the dressing rooms and snapping shots of customers back on September 24th.  He's charged with illegal videotaping and disorderly conduct.  He's being held at the Jackson County Jail.

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Two Arrested For Meth During Traffic Stop

(Energy, IL)  --  Two people are locked up after police say they discovered meth-making products during a routine traffic stop.  Officials say Dustin Mezo and Betty May were at a Casey's General Store in Energy, Illinois when they were stopped for a traffic violation around 1:30 Thursday morning.  The officer got suspicious when he says he noticed bottles, tubing, and other items that are typically used to make meth.  Both were taken into custody and are being held at the Williamson County Jail on drug charges.   

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Saline County Accident Results In Two Deaths

Two people were killed and another person was injured in a one-vehicle crash in Saline County Thursday afternoon. Illinois State Police say around 3:10 p.m., 73-year-old Donald R. Childers of Marion was driving his SUV north on Route 34 just north of Womble Road when he swerved to miss a slower-moving vehicle in the roadway and lost control of his vehicle on the wet pavement. It left the roadway and struck a tree. Childers was pronounced dead at the scene by the Saline County Coroner’s office. Two passengers, 68-year-old Betty J. Childers and 27-year-old David Grace, both also of Marion, were taken by ambulance to an area hospital for injuries they received from the crash. Betty Childers was later pronounced dead at the hospital. No charges were filed.

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Carlyle man Arrested On Multiple Charges After Kidnapping, Robbery

A 36-year-old Carlyle man is in the Clinton County Jail this morning, with bail set at $100,000 after he was charged in court with multiple crimes, including felony kidnapping. According to Centralia Detective Captain Richard Densmore, officers arrested Charles E. Anderson after an employee of the Walmart on West McCord Street picked him out of a photo lineup as the man who forced him at gunpoint into his truck. Anderson reportedly approached the employee around 9:30 Tuesday night in the Walmart parking lot, pointed a gun at the employee and demanded he drive him to a location near Hickory and Kell streets in Centralia. While riding in the employee’s truck, Anderson allegedly took the man’s wallet. When the suspect got out of the truck, the alleged victim sped away, ultimately driving to the Casey’s General Store on the west side and calling police. He was taken to the Centralia Police Station where he picked Anderson out of a photo lineup. Officers eventually tracked Anderson down at his estranged wife’s home in Wamac and he was taken into custody. Additional charges may be pending against Anderson in connection with an alleged incident at that location. Densmore reports that when Anderson was arrested, receipts from the Walmart employee’s wallet, with the employee’s name, were found in Anderson’s pocket. He has been charged with Class X Felony aggravated kidnapping with a firearm and Class X Felony armed robbery with a firearm.  In a separate case, he has been charged with Class A Misdemeanor aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possibly related to a knife alleged to have been wielded when gaining entry into the wife’s Wamac home.

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Collision In Saline County Injures Two

A traffic collision in Saline County at 8:10 a.m. on Thursday caused injuries to both drivers. According to the preliminary traffic crash investigation, 28 year old William Seth Dunn-Seets of Eldorado , was southbound on U.S. 45 at Gandertown Road, when for unknown reasons, his vehicle crossed over into the northbound lane of traffic and struck a vehicle driven by 28 year old Andrea M. Clark, also of Eldorado.  Both subjects were transported by ambulance to Ferrell Hospital where they were treated and released. I.S.P. was assisted at the scene by the Saline County Sheriff’s Department, Med Force Ambulance, and Jones Towing.    Dunn-Seets was cited for Improper Lane Usage

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Jefferson County advises flu season precaution

(Mt. Vernon) The Jefferson County Health Department would like to remind everyone that with cold and flu season approaching to take precautions. The Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is another respiratory illness that has been causing sickness in children. While other symptoms can occur, EV-68 has been associated almost exclusively with respiratory disease. You can take these precautions to help avoid EV- 68:

There is no medication to treat EV-68 currently available, and no cases of EV-68 in Jefferson County. For more information, please call the health department at 618-244-7134 or visit www.jeffcohealth.blogspot.com

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STATE
State Releases Marijuana Application Numbers

Illinois officials have detailed how medical marijuana business applications are distributed around the state. The numbers released Thursday show intense competition in some regions for a limited number of cultivation and dispensary permits. The state plans to award one cultivation center license in each district. For District 11, that includes Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair Counties, the state received 9 cultivation center applications. District 13, which includes Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Perry, Randolph, Washington and Williamson Counties, submitted 8 cultivation center applications.  District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion and Richland Counties submitted 4 applications.
The state plans to award up to 60 dispensary licenses. Some districts will get more than one license.  The medical cannabis pilot program plans to hold a second application period for districts where no qualified applications were submitted.  The second phase will occur after the first selection of applications, state officials said Thursday. From District 11, the state received 11 dispensary applications; from District 13, two applications and from District 12, only one application was submitted to open a medical marijuana dispensary. There's less competition in some parts of the state for dispensary licenses.  In 10 districts, the state either received no applications or just one application to run a marijuana retail shop. State officials say the program will hold a second application period for districts where no qualified applications were submitted.  That will happen after the first selection of applications.

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Talks Resume At Honeywell

(Metropolis, IL) -- In Metropolis, contract talks resume today to end a lockout of union workers at a plant that helps to make nuclear fuel. About one-hundred-30 workers were locked out of the Honeywell plant in early August after the contract between the company and the United Steel Workers expired and no new deal was in place. These are the first negotiations since then, but the plant has continued to operate.

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

Don't Drive Through Standing Water

(Springfield, IL)  --  Emergency officials are reminding people not to try to walk or drive through standing water.  They say just a few inches of water can sweep a car or person away.  Plus, you never know if a downed electrical line is underneath the water.  They say it's best to play it safe and turn around if there's water in the roadways or on the sidewalk.

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

Republicans Say Quinn Repeating NRI Habits

(Springfield, IL)  --  Republicans say Governor Quinn is lying when he claims he got rid of an anti-violence program aimed at reducing crime in Chicago.  Senator Jason Barickman says Quinn simply repackaged the program and recently dished out more than one-million dollars to the Chicago Area Project, which is mentioned several times in the state's scathing audit of the program.  Barickman says it's a sneaky move that smells very similar to what Quinn did four years ago when he pumped 55-million dollars into high-crime areas just before the election.  Republicans say Quinn used the cash to buy votes and pad his numbers in the voting booth.  

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

Mengarelli named new Madison County judge

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Army veteran and longtime lawyer who has offered free legal services to veterans with disability claims has been awarded a Madison County judicial position. The (Alton) Telegraph reports that Third Circuit Chief Judge David Hylla appointed Martin Mengarelli as the replacement to Keith Jensen, who resigned. Mengarelli has been attorney for more than two decades, most recently serving as an associate with the Simmons Hanly Conroy firm in Alton. Mengarelli served in the Army from 1985 to 1987 and earned his law degree from Northern Illinois University in 1993. Hylla says Megnarelli's "record of community and military service speaks for itself." Mengarelli's wife, Laura Andrews, also is an attorney in Madison County.

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

NATIONAL
US employers likely stepped up hiring in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists predict today's government employment data could contain a potentially reassuring sign after a hiring slowdown in August. A FactSet survey of economists finds they expect employers added 215,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate is expected to remain 6.1 percent. In August, employers added just 142,000 jobs after topping 200,000 for six straight months. Even if the government reports that hiring was subpar for a second straight month, some economists say it wouldn't be cause for alarm because other economic indicators remain positive. September job figures have often been skewed by seasonal quirks, such as students leaving summer jobs and teachers returning to work. The figures will be studied by Federal Reserve policymakers to help determine whether the economy is returning to full health, possibly clearing the way for an increase in the benchmark short-term interest rate.

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

JPMorgan says data breach affected online users

NEW YORK (AP) — New revelations by JPMorgan Chase add to increasing doubts over the security of consumer information kept by lenders and other businesses. The bank now says this summer's cyberattack affected roughly 83 million households and small businesses that use its online services and mobile apps. JPMorgan Chase says stolen were names, addresses, phone numbers and emails addresses. It says there's no indication that sensitive information such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers and dates of birth were stolen.

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

Poll: 2 of 3 Americans back strikes in Iraq, Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 2 out of 3 Americans back U.S. airstrikes to combat Islamic extremists and half also think there's a high risk of a future terrorist attack on American soil. Americans surveyed for an Associated Press-GfK poll are split on whether they approve of the way President Barack Obama is generally handling the threat from the Islamic State group and other terrorists. Yet despite more than a decade of costly war, about a third favor going even beyond airstrikes and putting U.S. military boots on the ground in Iraq or Syria — something Obama says he has no plans to do. According to the poll, 53 percent think there is a high risk of a future attack, although just 20 percent call it an "extremely high risk."

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

Dallas household weary of Ebola quarantine

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas woman who hosted a Liberian man diagnosed with the Ebola virus says she's still waiting for health officials to collect bed sheets and towels used by the infected man. Louise Troh also says her apartment has not been decontaminated by professionals. Officials have ordered Troh and her family confined to their apartment, and visitors are banned.

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

FAA chief to visit sabotaged Chicago-area facility

CHICAGO (AP) — The head of the Federal Aviation Administration says crews are working around the clock to replace equipment damaged by fire at a regional control center in Illinois. Administrator Michael Huerta hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct. 13. A contract employee started a fire in the basement telecommunications room before trying to commit suicide by slashing his throat. The blaze caused widespread damage and shut down Chicago's two international airports and snarled air traffic nationwide. Huerta is scheduled to visit the control center today.

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

Why, it's hotter than Death Valley

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's October and it's roasting in some parts of California. While people in some other parts of the U.S. are watching the leaves turn red and orange, parts of California are experiencing triple-digit heat. Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service says, "We're looking at temperatures in the mountains and the valleys between 100 to 106." High temperatures in Southern California ranged from the low 100s to the 90s Thursday. And forecasters say that's just a warm-up to what's expected today and Saturday. They're blaming the Santa Ana Winds, which start out icy cold in the Great Basin region of Utah and Nevada, but heat up by the time they race across deserts and down mountain canyons into Southern California. And it may be hotter than Death Valley today. Friday's forecast for Death Valley, California, is 102 degrees. For the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, it's 106 degrees.

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

Tropical Storm Simon expected to become hurricane

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Simon is expected to become a hurricane as it swirls in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico. The storm's maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph. Additional strengthening is forecast and the U.S. National Hurricane Center says Simon could become a hurricane by Saturday morning. Simon is centered about 325 miles south-southeast of the southern tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula and is moving west near 7 mph. Simon is expected to produce rainfall amounts of up to 5 inches through tonight in western Mexico and is also generating swells on the coast that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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

Dog owner faces 15 to life in pit bull mauling

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A pit bull owner whose dogs fatally mauled a woman walking near his house faces a sentence of up to life in prison. Alex Donald Jackson goes before a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge today after his second-degree murder conviction. Prosecutors are asking for 24 years to life in prison for last year's killing of Pamela Devitt in the high desert town of Littlerock and other drug-related convictions. Devitt was taking a morning stroll when four of Jackson's dogs leaped over a fence and attacked her. Prosecutors say the dogs guarded Jackson's marijuana-growing operation and he knew the animals were dangerous. A murder conviction in a dog mauling death is rare. Prosecutors say Jackson should have done more to restrain the animals.

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

NBC cameraman tests positive for Ebola in Liberia

NEW YORK (AP) — An American cameraman helping to cover the Ebola outbreak in Liberia for NBC News has tested positive for the virus and will be flown back to the United States for treatment. The network identified the freelance cameraman on its website as 33-year-old Ashoka Mukpo. NBC News President Deborah Turness said Thursday the rest of the NBC News crew including medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman will be flown back to the U.S. and placed in quarantine for 21 days "in an abundance of caution." Mukpo has been working in Liberia for three years and covering the Ebola epidemic. He began shooting for the network Tuesday. He began feeling tired and achy Wednesday and discovered he had a slight fever. He went to a treatment center Thursday to be tested.

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Storms knock out power, take down trees in South

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A line of thunderstorms brought down trees and power lines, closed schools and caused scattered power outages across several Southern states, but few injuries have been reported. Areas of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama were affected by the storms overnight, and about 200,000 homes and businesses remained without power Friday. In Texas, at least two people were slightly hurt by broken glass when a dormitory roof was torn off at Arlington Baptist College. At the height of the storm, winds were at nearly 90 mph. Trees fell on cars and homes in Louisiana, and winds tore roofs off two homes in Alabama. In Mississippi, a school was damaged. The storms are part of a cold front moving through the region, bringing some of the coolest weather of the season.

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GM issues 2 more recalls for SUVs, mini cars

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors announced two more recalls, pushing its total for the year to more than 70, affecting almost 30 million vehicles in North America. The biggest of Friday's recalls covers just over 290,000 Cadillac SRX and Saab 9-4X SUVs in the U.S. The company says some rear suspension nuts may not have been tightened properly. That could cause the toe link adjuster to separate from the suspension, possibly causing a crash. The recall affects SRXs from the 2011 through 2015 model years and Saabs from the 2011 and 2012 model years. GM says the problem has caused three crashes and two injuries. The other recall covers over 89,000 Chevrolet Spark mini-cars from 2013 through 2015. Rust can cause a hood latch to stick, and the hood can open unexpectedly.

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

Group pressures Kroger on guns policy

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A gun-control advocacy group is stepping up its pressure on the Kroger grocery chain to prohibit open-carry of guns in its stores. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America delivered petitions with nearly 300,000 signatures to the Kroger Co. on Thursday. But company officials gave no indication they were considering the change. Kroger spokeswoman Rachael Betzler says the company policy is dictated by state and local laws. The Dayton Daily News reports that the Moms Demand Action group intended to deliver petitions to Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fry's and other Kroger-owned stores in various states. Kroger has headquarters in Cincinnati and a large presence in Ohio. The founder of the group, Shannon Watts, says it's up to businesses to put policies in place to protect shoppers.

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INTERNATIONAL
Clashes break out between HK protesters, residents

HONG KONG (AP) — Protesters in Hong Kong say that if authorities do not act to protect them from angry residents and Beijing supporters, they'll retract an agreement to hold talks with Hong Kong's city government as proposed by the leader of the territory. Today, residents started pushing and yelling at pro-democracy activists, trying to force them to leave the streets they've occupied for a week now. In one location, the democracy activists linked hands, trying to stand their ground against the huge crowd.

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Heavy fighting near Kurdish Syrian town

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists and Kurdish fighters say fierce clashes are underway near a Syrian Kurdish town along the border with Turkey as the Islamic State group presses its assault to capture Kobani. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported intense fighting on Friday to the east and southeast of Kobani, saying the town's Kurdish fighters destroyed two vehicles belonging to the militants. Nasser Haj Mansour, a defense official in Syria's Kurdish region, says the Kurdish militiamen repelled the latest attack by the Islamic State group east of Kobani and destroyed one tank. The Kurdish town and the surrounding area have been under attack since mid-September, with militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages. The assault has forced some 160,000 Syrians to flee across the frontier in recent days.

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

Iraqi cleric calls for balanced security force

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called upon the prime minister to create a national security force that doesn't promote sectarianism at a time of heightened tensions between ethnic and religious groups. The national guard, proposed by Iraq's new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, should be a force of "patriotism and purity" to help pull the country out of the crisis, the reclusive al-Sistani said in his Friday sermon delivered by his spokesman Abdul Mehdi Karbalaie in the city of Karbala. Militants with Islamic State group too parts of western and northern Iraq this year, causing the Iraqi military to fracture while tensions intensified between Muslim sects. Al-Sistani called upon al-Abadi to select a defense and interior minister following the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday next week.

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

Fighting rages around airport in eastern Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Russian rebels are pressing to seize a key airport in eastern Ukraine despite fierce resistance by government forces. An AP reporter on Friday saw three rebel tanks firing at the main terminal of Donetsk airport, where government forces have holed up. Sniper shots rang around the area. Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said two Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and another nine wounded since Thursday. Fighting for the airport has intensified this week, threatening to derail the truce declared Sept. 5. A follow-up deal requested both parties to pull back their artillery to create a buffer zone hasn't been implemented. Residential areas in Donetsk have been caught in the crossfire. A Red Cross staffer died Thursday when a shell landed near the group's office in Donetsk.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS

NHL Preseason

St. Louis 4, Minnesota 1

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at LA Dodgers 5:37 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 4:42 p.m.)

NHL Preseason

Chicago at NY Rangers 6 p.m.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE


MLB

St. Louis at LA Dodgers 8:37 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 7:42 p.m.)

NHL Preseason

St. Louis at Minnesota 7 p.m.

NCAA Football

Purdue at Illinois 11 a.m.
South Dakota State at Illinois State 2 p.m.
(17) Wisconsin at Northwestern 2:30 p.m.
North Dakota State at Western Illinois 3 p.m.
Kent State at Northern Illinois 4 p.m.
South Dakota at Southern Illinois 6 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

NFL

Chicago at Carolina 12 p.m.
St. Louis at Philadelphia 12 p.m. (AM 940 WMIX)
Baltimore at Indianapolis 12 p.m.

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

Cardinals announce roster for NL Division Series

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veterans Jason Motte, Mark Ellis and A.J. Pierzynski have been left off the St. Louis Cardinals' 25-player roster for the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team announced its roster Thursday, when the Cardinals worked out in 95-degree heat at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers have yet to release their roster. The deadline is Friday before the teams meet in Game 1. The Cardinals chose 12 pitchers for their roster: left-handers Randy Choate, Sam Freeman and Marco Gonzalez; and right-handers John Lackey, Lance Lynn, Seth Maness, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Pat Neshek, Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright, who will start Game 1. Catcher Yadier Molina will be backed up by Tony Cruz. The infielders are Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Jhonny Peralta and Kolten Wong. The five outfielders are Peter Bourjos, Randal Grichuk, Matt Holliday, Jon Jay and Oscar Taveras.

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

Chicago To Host 2015 NFL Draft

(Chicago, IL)  --  The 2015 NFL Draft is coming to Chicago.  For the first time since 1965, the draft will be moving from New York City.  The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University will host the four-day event that is going to take place April 30th to May 2nd.  The NFL chose Chicago over Los Angeles.  The city has hosted the draft in the past with the last time being 1964.

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

 

News for Oct. 2, 2014

LOCAL
Judge: Suspect in SIU threats should be released

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a Chicago man accused of mailing threats of rapes, bombings and beheadings to Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus should be released pending trial. But at a Wednesday detention hearing in Chicago, Magistrate Judge Susan Cox stayed Derrick Burns' release while prosecutors appeal her decision. Prosecutor Kartik Raman cited chilling threats allegedly made by the 21-year-old as proof Burns is a potential threat. But Cox said prosecutors failed to show Burns is dangerous, adding, "I feel comfortable with my decision." Standing in orange jail clothes, Burns appeared calm in court and turned to smile at relatives. If her decision stands, Cox said Burns would be released into his aunt's care. She said he'd have to wear an electronic monitor and get a mental health assessment.

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

SIU-C Public Safety Investigating Attack

According to the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Public Safety, it is investigating a report of an attack on the east side of the agriculture building on campus. Police say someone was reportedly attacked by six men on Tuesday, September 30 around 9:30 p.m. They say the suspects left the scene. The victim had non-life threatening injuries and was provided medical care. The suspects were described as black men between the ages of 19 and 22, approximately 5 feet, 10 inches to 6 feet tall. One suspect was wearing dark shorts, a dark hoodie and white shoes. The second suspect was wearing dark pants, a dark t-shirt, dark shoes and had shoulder-length hair. The third suspect was wearing light-colored pants, a dark hoodie with writing on the front and dark shoes. Suspect four was wearing jeans, a dark-colored shirt with a white logo and a baseball hat. The fifth suspect was wearing camouflage pants, a dark shirt, dark shoes and had shoulder-length hair. The sixth suspect was wearing dark shorts, a dark shirt and white shoes. If anyone has any information, you can call the SIUC Department of Public Safety at 618-453-3771.

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Interim Carbondale Mayor Will Not Run For Election

Carbondale’s acting mayor says he will not be a candidate for the office next year. The city council learned about Don Monty’s decision not to run at Tuesday night’s meeting.  Monty has been serving as mayor since February when Joel Fritzler took another job in Arizona.  Monty has been in city government since 1970 and worked for the city of Carbondale for over 40 years before retiring as assistant city manager in 2006.  He was elected to the city council in spring 2011 and served as a councilman for nearly three years before becoming mayor.

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IDOT Announces Interstate Lane Closure Near Dix

The Illinois Department of Transportation would like to alert motorists traveling on Interstate 57 that a lane closure will take place at Milepost 103, scheduled to begin on Tuesday October 7th that will extend through Wednesday October 8th.  At this time, in addition to the lane closure, the ramp from South Street in Dix to northbound Interstate 57 will also be closed.  Drivers are asked to seek alternate routes.  Maintenance crews will be repairing the structure carrying northbound Interstate 57 over South Street at the Dix interchange.  Emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction site as quickly as possible.

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More labor talks set at Illinois Honeywell plant

METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — Contract talks meant to end a lockout of union-backed workers at a southern Illinois plant that helps make nuclear fuel are scheduled to resume. WSIL-TV reports that bargaining involving the Honeywell plant in the city of Metropolis in Massac County was scheduled to continue Thursday, weeks after talks were suspended. Some 130 union workers were locked out of the plant at the beginning of August after the company and the United Steel Workers union failed to reach a deal before the latest contract expired. Union workers at the plant also were locked out of the site in 2010 for more than a year during a contract dispute. The plant still is operating despite the lockout.

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Inner City Bow Hunting Season Starts For Mt. Vernon

It isn’t uncommon to see deer just outside downtown Mt. Vernon, which is why city leaders would like to see more people participating in the inner-city bow hunting season, which kicked off on Wednesday.  Mt. Vernon’s inner-city bow hunt has been going on since 2011. Due to the abundance of deer related car accidents and property damage, the city saw it was necessary to allow trained hunters to help decrease the overpopulation of deer. While this is not the place where people are allowed to hunt, this is where city leaders say problem lies. City Manager Ron Neibert said since 2011, the number of deer drops by 20 to 25 deer. It might not seem like a lot but Neibert said the population is cut by 50 to 75. Some bow hunters say the problem with overpopulation continues to grow each year because it’s more common for deer to have twins as opposed to single births. Those needing a permit must have a copy of their state bow hunting license, a valid Illinois deer tag and signed permission from the landowner where they plan to hunt. In addition, hunting deer with antlers is prohibited unless the hunter kills three doe. The permit is free.

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McClellan BOE To Hold Community Referendum Meeting

The McClellan CCSD #12 Board of Education will hold a Community Referendum Meeting this evening at 7:00 PM at the McClellan Gym.  The proposed Tax Rate Referendum which has been placed on the ballot of the November 4 General Election will be discussed.  All parents, guardians, McClellan CCSD #12 staff, residents, and community members are invited to attend the Community Referendum Meeting.  Your attendance is welcome and your opinion is valued. 

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Party like it's 1839 at Vandalia Grande Levee

VANDALIA, Ill. — The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site is planning a party fit for the dignitaries and VIPs that a frontier state capital attracted during the 1830s. The music, food and crafts of the 45th Annual Grande Levée will be available Oct. 3-4 in conjunction with the city’s Harvest Festival. The free levée, or reception, recalls the kind of gala that would have been thrown for important visitors when Vandalia was the seat of government in Illinois. All activities take place on the statehouse grounds. Friday’s events run 5-8 p.m. The fun goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The annual Harvest Festival in downtown Vandalia will also be held Saturday, Oct. 4.  Friday’s activities include bluegrass music and a ham and bean dinner sponsored by the Vandalia Ministerial Alliance. Homemade ice cream will also be offered on the Statehouse lawn. Come back Saturday to enjoy period artisans, more music, food vendors, stagecoach rides and a visit from Abraham Lincoln. The Grande Levée is co-sponsored by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Vandalia Tourism Commission, the Old Capitol Foundation, Friends of the Old State Capitol and the Vandalia Leader Union newspaper.  The Vandalia Statehouse State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It is the oldest existing state capitol building in Illinois, and is open for free public tours. To coincide with the Grande Levée, the Vandalia Tourism Commission is hosting the annual Harvest Festival in downtown Vandalia on Saturday. It features vendors, sales by downtown merchants and children’s activities like an inflatable bounce house and a corn pit. For more about events in Vandalia, contact Vandalia Tourism Center at (618) 283-2728 or tourism@vandaliaillinois.com.

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STATE
Illinois gets $19 million for justice programs

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the Department of Justice has set aside $19 million for various justice-system programs in Illinois, including one providing assistance to crime victims and to reduce recidivism rates. The Illinois Democrat announced the grants on Tuesday. Among those who will get a cut of the federal grant money is the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. It'll get nearly $5 million to help victims of sexual assault throughout the state. The city of Chicago and the University of Chicago Crime Lab will get just over $2 million to launch a new school safety program that's designed to address gang-related violence at and around schools. Elsewhere in Illinois, the city of West Peoria will receive $125,000 to create or preserve law enforcement jobs.

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Health official reassures public on Ebola in US

CHICAGO (AP) — The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. has the head of the Chicago Department of Public Health assuring people the virus doesn't pose a significant risk to the general public. Dr. Bechara Choucair says his department has been working for more than a month with health care workers to "ensure they are aware of diagnostic, testing, reporting and infection control recommendations." Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus. The disease isn't contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread. A patient who recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas is critically ill and has been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital since Sunday.

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Governor Candidate's Forum At U Of I Not Likely

(Champaign, IL)  --  It doesn't look like a proposed candidate's forum for governor will take place on the University of Illinois campus.  Student leaders have been having talks with the camps of Governor Quinn and his Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.  They say it seems that both candidates aren't making an effort to commit to the forum.

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Litchfield Plastics Plant Closes, 31 Jobs Lost

(Litchfield, IL)  --  Thirty-one employees of a plastics manufacturing plant in Litchfield are looking for new jobs.  North American Pipe closed its doors on Monday.  Workers were offered a severance package, along with counseling and job-search help.  A small number of the laid-off workers were offered transfers to other plants.             

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Woman Charged In Murder For Hire Plot

(Tuscola, IL)  --  A Tuscola woman is facing charges that she tried to hire a man to kill the wife of a man she was having a relationship with.  Police started investigating Michelle Smith when a man came forward and said she tried to hire him to kill another woman. Smith had been in a relationship with the man for three years and had a child with him. Smith wanted the death to look like a suicide. She's being held on 500-thousand-dollars bond and is due in court on October 15th.

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State Cracking Down On Fake ID Possession

(Springfield, IL)  --  Teenagers often use fake IDs to purchase alcohol or get into bars, but Secretary of State Jesse White says they may want to think twice about using the fakes.  He says anyone busted with a fake ID will suffer serious consequences.  White says the Internet has made it exceptionally easy for teens to get their hands on fake IDs.  He says companies in other countries have been providing the IDs for a small fee.  White says the students put themselves at risk for identity theft when they do that and he strongly urges them not to get fake IDs.  He is working closely with colleges and universities across the state to educate students about the consequences of having a fake ID.  He says they're also teaching bar owners how to spot a fake ID when it's presented at the door.

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Lincoln Library at center of legislative hearing

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois House panel has set a hearing to look into Speaker Michael Madigan's proposal to separate the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The House State Government Administration committee is scheduled to take up the issue on Wednesday morning in Chicago. Madigan introduced the plan in May and says it's necessary because the Lincoln library is held back because it needs permission for its operations from the Historic Preservation Agency. The Chicago Democrat says there's no cost to the change, and the library's advisory board could take over governance. The chairwoman of the Historic Preservation Agency board has said the split would cost about $2 million a year and hinder joint programming.

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Professor who lost U of I offer plans speeches

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — An academic who lost a University of Illinois job offer because of profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages plans a series of talks at Chicago-area universities. Students for Justice in Palestine and Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network are sponsoring talks by former Virginia Tech University professor Steve Salaita Oct. 6-10. Forums include Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, DePaul University and the University of Illinois-Chicago. Salaita did not return calls but has mentioned the talks on his Twitter feed. Salaita in 2013 accepted an offer to teach at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus. But the offer was rescinded after critics objected to his Twitter messages. He is unemployed and plans to sue the university. Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation group says Salaita will be paid to speak at some schools.

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Shop Illinois Next Saturday

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Main Street and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are encouraging people to "Shop Illinois" on Saturday, October 4th.  That means they'd commit to buying products that are made right in their own back yards.  They can get a list of local business that sell Illinois-made products online at BuyIllinoisChallenge.com.  State officials say people could pump nearly two-and-a-half-billion-dollars back into the local economy if they spent just ten-bucks-a-week on Illinois grocery products. 

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October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

(Springfield, IL)  --   It's Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 84 people died in the state as a result of domestic violence.  Experts say their main goal in October is to urge those that have been abused to come get help, and for by-standers to speak up.

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NATIONAL
Health officials watching for any more Ebola cases

DALLAS (AP) — Hospital officials in Dallas say the man diagnosed with Ebola was sent home the first time he went to the hospital because information that he had just come from Africa was not widely shared. Now health officials are trying to track down anyone who came in contact with the man, including the ambulance crew that took him to the hospital and a handful of school children. The man is being treated at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

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Secret Service chief resigns amid security lapses

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned, a day after testifying before Congress about the multiple security breaches involving President Barack Obama. Lawmakers pounced on Pierson when questioning her about last month's fence jumper, who, with a knife, walked through the White House front door. Following Pierson's testimony, it was revealed that days before the security breach, Obama shared an elevator in Atlanta with an armed security guard who also is an ex-convict.

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Tropical Storm Simon forms in the Pacific

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Simon has formed in the Pacific off Mexico's southwestern coast. The storm's maximum sustained winds early today are near 40 mph (65 kph) with some strengthening expected over the next two days. The storm is centered about 135 miles west-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, and is moving west-northwest near 10 mph on a track that will gradually take the storm away from Mexico's coast. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Simon is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches through Friday in western Mexico and is also generating swells on the coast that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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'Real Housewives' couple face sentencing for fraud

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A husband and wife on TV's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" are due in federal court in Newark Thursday after pleading guilty to conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud. Teresa and Joe Giudice (JOO'-dys) admitted hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

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Missing-student suspect due in Virginia court

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The man charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia student is due in court on reckless driving charges. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.'s bond hearing on the misdemeanor charges is set for this morning in Albemarle County General District Court. Matthew also is charged with abduction with intent to defile 18-year-old Hannah Graham. His bond hearing on that felony count had been set for today in Charlottesville General District Court, but it was postponed until Dec. 4. The 32-year-old Matthew is being held in the local jail without bond. Authorities say he was charged with reckless driving after speeding away from a police station on Sept. 20. He was apprehended last week in Texas.

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Obama to speak about economy at Northwestern University

CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama is trying to frame the closing economic arguments of the midterm campaign with a speech at Northwestern University. Today's speech is designed to let voters know that he hasn't forgotten about their financial struggles despite weeks of being consumed by global crises. A CNN poll out this week found two-thirds of Americans say the economy would be their top issue when deciding their votes for Congress. BObama's challenge is to walk a delicate line between taking credit for an economic recovery without seeming to disregard continuing hard times. His aides say this speech isn't designed to list new policy ideas, but to explain what he's done to help the nation recover from the Great Recession and describe his vision to help more Americans.

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Ebola fears keep some kids home

DALLAS (AP) — Some parents in Dallas are keeping their children home from school today after learning that several other students may have come in contact with the man who was diagnosed with the Ebola virus after flying from Liberia to Texas. School administrators are urging calm, and they say none of the children are showing symptoms. The infected man had traveled to the U.S. to visit family, and he didn't show symptoms until several days after his arrival. But a hospital in Dallas sent him home the first time he reported feeling sick. Now health officials are trying to keep tabs on people who came in contact with the man, including the ambulance crew that took him to the hospital and a handful of school children.

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No action from high court on gay marriage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has taken no action on appeals asking it to take up the issue of same-sex marriage. The gay marriage cases are not among cases the court agreed to hear in its term that begins next week. The justices are expected Monday to turn away appeals in hundreds of cases, although it is not likely the same-sex marriage cases will be among those. The justices meet again in private on October 10 to consider new cases, and decisions about what to hear could be announced then or on October 14.

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Court takes up hear religious bias case over hijab

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider whether retailer Abercrombie & Fitch's refusal to hire a woman wearing a Muslim headscarf was religious discrimination. A lower court said the New Albany, Ohio-based company didn't discriminate against the job applicant because she didn't' say she needed a religious accommodation. But the Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear the Obama administration's appeal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had sued on behalf of Samantha Elauf. The agency contended that Elauf wasn't hired at a Tulsa, Oklahoma, store because her hijab violated Abercrombie's dress code. The company later changed its dress rules. A federal judge initially sided with the government. But an appeals court reversed that decision, saying Elauf never specifically requested a religious accommodation even though she was wearing the headscarf during her interview.

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California teens arrested in 920 chicken deaths

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Deputies in central California have arrested four people — one adult and three juveniles — who are suspected of breaking into a Foster Farms chicken ranch and killing more than 900 birds with a golf club. Fresno County sheriff's officials acting on several tips Wednesday tracked down 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero of Riverdale. Also taken into custody were two juvenile males, ages 15 and 17, from Caruthers, and a third juvenile male, age 17, from Lemoore. All have been booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals. It wasn't immediately known if the suspects have attorneys. Investigators say the suspects pulled back a fence Sept. 20 to gain access to a shed south of Fresno and massacred 920 chickens with a golf club and possibly another blunt instrument.

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INTERNATIONAL
Hong Kong police warn not to charge buildings

HONG KONG (AP) — Tensions are mounting in Hong Kong. Leaders of the tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters are threatening to try to move into government buildings unless the city's Beijing-backed chief executive steps down. Hong Kong police are warning of serious consequences if the protesters move from the streets. The demonstrations have gone on for a week in the biggest challenge to Beijing's authority since China took control of the former British colony in 1997.

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Iraqi forces clash with IS group over small town

BAGHDAD (AP) — A military spokesman says fierce clashes are underway between Iraqi forces and extremists from the Islamic State group in and around a small western town. Qassim al-Moussawi says the fighting started at dawn Thursday when the militants, using at least three suicide bombers, attacked checkpoints at the entrances of Hit, a town about 140 kilometers (85 miles) west of Baghdad. He says there are causalities among the security forces but that no precise figure is available. The fighting over Hit in western Anbar province comes as Iraqi Kurdish security forces, known as peshmerga, have dislodged militants from northwestern towns of Rabia, Zumar and Mahmoudiyah, with the assistance of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition. The Islamic State group captured large swaths of Iraq and Syria in a blitz this summer.

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New type of clinic eyed to help stop Ebola

LONDON (AP) — Britain and Sierra Leone are appealing for more help to slow the biggest ever Ebola outbreak — and are proposing a new type of clinic to do that. At a London conference today, officials are expected to announce plans to build up to 1,000 makeshift Ebola clinics in Sierra Leone. The new clinics will offer little, if any, treatment but they will get sick people out of their homes, away from their families and hopefully slow the infection rate. Only a fraction of Ebola patients are now in treatment centers. World Health Organization spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said "If we don't do anything, we'll just be watching people die." Sierra Leone is one of the hardest-hit countries in West Africa's Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 3,300 people.

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Japan police: Volcanic rocks killed most victims

TOKYO (AP) — Police say it's been determined that almost all of the people killed on a Japanese volcano died of injuries from being hit by volcanic rocks that flew out during its eruption. Rescuers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption. Nagano prefectural police said Thursday that doctors concluded that all but one of the bodies showed signs of having been hit by volcanic boulders and rocks. They said the other victim died of burns from inhaling hot air. Most of the bodies were found near the summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch. The search for more bodies continued Thursday, but ended early due to bad weather. Authorities continued to look into the possibility that about 20 people were still missing.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

NHL Preseason

Montreal 3, Chicago 1

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL Preseason

Minnesota at St. Louis 7 p.m.

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Bulls Continue Camp

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Bulls continue to prepare for the preseason.  Head coach Tom Thibodeau says he's impressed with European import Nikola Mirotic.  He's a rookie in the NBA but has been playing overseas.  He signed a three-year deal with the Bulls this summer.  Chicago starts the preseason Monday against Washington.

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Marshall, Allen Back At Practice

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  Receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Jared Allen were back at practice on Wednesday for the Bears.  Marshall has been dealing with an ankle injury while Allen had pneumonia.  Marshall was a full participant while Allen was limited after losing 15 pounds due to the illness.  Chicago plays Carolina on Sunday.

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Bears sign cornerback, waive linebacker

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed cornerback Teddy Williams from Arizona's practice squad and waived linebacker Terrell Manning. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Williams has appeared in 10 games over two seasons with Indianapolis and Arizona and seen time on offense, defense and special teams. Manning played in two games for the Bears this season and saw time on special teams. He has appeared in eight games over three seasons with Green Bay, San Diego and Chicago.

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Rams Name Davis Starter For Rest Of Season

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams are settling their quarterback situation.  Head coach Jeff Fisher has named Austin Davis the starter for the rest of the season.  He took over for injured veteran Shaun Hill in Week One.  Fisher says Hill didn't lose the job due to injury, but rather Davis earned it with his performance.

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Wacha in bullpen to start NL division series

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Michael Wacha, who starred in the postseason as a rookie last fall, will be in the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen for the start of the NL division series. Manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday he'll go with Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Shelby Miller the first four games against the Dodgers. The best-of-five series starts Friday in Los Angeles. The 23-year-old Wacha was the NL championship series MVP last year, outpitching Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw twice. He's had trouble regaining form after a long layoff caused by a shoulder injury. Acquired from Boston at the trade deadline, Lackey beat the Cardinals twice in the World Series and finished this year strongly. Miller barely pitched last fall due to workload concerns combined with season-long difficulties against division series opponent Pittsburgh.

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News for Oct. 1, 2014

LOCAL
Rauner Makes Appearances In Southern IL

(Mt Vernon) - Candidate for Governor, Bruce Rauner, stopped by Mt. Vernon's Green Tree Assisted living with Congressman, John Shimkus. Shimkus asked for a "Fair look between the candidates" on Rauner's behalf. If elected, Rauner stated he would reconstruct Springfield by restoring the economy, reduce wasteful spending, and Invest in the educational system and vocational schools. Rauner was also scheduled to stop in West Frankfort and Carbondale on Tuesday.

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Enyart Travels to Mt. Vernon, Sesser To Present Grants

MT. VERNON – U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart (IL-12) on Monday, presented a grant on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor to the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon.  The grant, totaling $1.1 million, will be used for the YouthBuild program.  The program 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. “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 training, guidance and support to prepare our youth for successful employment.” Enyart also presented a $25,000 grant from the USDA to the City of Sesser to purchase a new patrol vehicle for their police department. “Without grants like these, small communities have a difficult time obtaining up to date police cars and equipment,” said Sesser Mayor Jason Ashmore.  “I want to thank Congressman Enyart for his continued support of small communities across Southern Illinois and for making this grant possible.”

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Centralia Chamber Candidate Forum Oct. 15; Cavaletto Encourages All to Attend

(Salem) - State Representative John Cavaletto has been invited to participate in a local candidate forum at the October 15th Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce monthly membership luncheon. The luncheon begins at 12:00 noon at the Elk’s Lodge in Centralia at 235 N. Locust Street. “I look forward to talking with small business owners and chamber members about the issues facing our area that we can address at the state level,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “It is important for the public to learn about the differences between candidates and be able to make an informed decision and I encourage everyone to attend,” Cavaletto added.

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Mayor Mary Jane Chesley Elected To IML Board Of Directors

Springfield, IL— A little over a week ago in Chicago, the Illinois Municipal League held its 101st Annual Conference, where over 1,500 mayors, councilmembers, and local officials attended for education on new laws and responsibilities for municipalities and municipal officials, in-depth working sessions, and election of new officers to lead the IML’s 1,120 member municipalities.
On Saturday, September 20, 2014, the IML membership elected 36 Vice Presidents to take a leadership role within the statewide organization. Mt. Vernon Mayor Mary Jane Chesley was elected to serve as one of the Vice Presidents. This is a vital, active Board that carries out the mission of the IML. Mayor Chesley will continue to serve as a Director on the IML Board and a member on the IML Executive Board. The Illinois Municipal League is Illinois’ statewide lobby and education organization whose special interest is the people, so municipalities can have a powerful resource and voice in Springfield. IML’s mission is to keep decision making local.  I consider it a true honor to represent the southern Illinois region in this statewide organization. I will work hard to work with the IML in serving the interests of municipalities throughout the State of Illinois.” said Chesley.

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Salem Woman Charged In Stabbing

Bail has been set at $50,000 for a 49-year-old Salem woman accused with stabbing her daughter’s boyfriend in the back Sunday night. Laura L. Holstlaw was charged Tuesday in Marion County Court with two Class 2 Felonies for aggravated domestic battery and one Class 3 Felony for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. According to interim Salem Police Chief Susan Miller, Holstlaw was initially chasing 35-year-old Sean Dean of Evansville with a baseball bat, before ultimately stabbing him in the back with a knife around 8:40 p.m. Sunday at a home in the 400 block of South College Street in Salem. Dean was first taken to Salem Township Hospital for treatment, before being airlifted to a St. Louis area hospital. Miller says dDean has since been released and is cooperating with police. Holstlaw reportedly called police Sunday night to report she had stabbed her daughter’s boyfriend. Dean was still inside the home when police arrived, and officers recovered a knife from the kitchen of the home that they believe was used in the stabbing. Miller says the investigation is ongoing. Holstlaw is scheduled for a first appearance Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Marion County Court.

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East St. Louis appoints new assistant police chief

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A longtime officer with the East St. Louis Police Department is replacing the assistant chief who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. Roy Mickens was sworn in as the department's new assistant chief Monday after 19 years with the force. Mayor Alvin Parks said last week that Ronald Ike had resigned as assistant chief following an independent investigation requested by the city. He is accused of sexually harassing a female City Hall employee during the beginning of a summer youth program. Parks didn't specify the results of the investigation but said they were shared with the city and Ike. Ike had been with the police department for about 19 years.

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Belleville Teen Reports Attempted Abduction

(Belleville, IL) -- Belleville Police want to clear up what might be a misunderstanding or an attempted kidnapping. A 16-year-old girl told officers a man filling up his car started talking to her when she went to a convenience store on West Main around 9:30 last night. The girl said the man appeared to have been drinking and put his hand on her arm, but she pulled away. The man then reportedly apologized and drove away when he heard a police siren from officers responding to an unrelated call.

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Community Prosecutor In East Saint Louis

East Saint Louis, IL- September 29, 2014-  State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced that beginning Monday a prosecutor was assigned to the circuit court satellite court room in East Saint Louis to handle first appearances in traffic and misdemeanor charges issued in municipalities within the special Metro East Police District such as East Saint Louis and Washington Park. This “community prosecutor” will work to eliminate unnecessary court appearances at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville which can be more difficult to attend for low income citizens without transportation. The community prosecutor will also work preventively to identify and prosecute seemingly low level offenses that often lead to more serious crimes in these communities. These offenses will be reviewed in light of their potential impact upon known areas of high crime and treated accordingly.  The prosecutor will identify less concerning offenses with the goal of resolving these offenses efficiently and justly at the local level. “Improving public safety and public trust in these areas is the top challenge for our community,” said Kelly. “Something as simple as bringing the justice system literally closer to the people can make a difference in that effort.”

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Bond hearing set for man accused of SIU threats

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man charged with mailing threats of rapes, killings, bombings and beheadings to Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus will get a chance to make his case for being eligible for bond. Twenty-one-year-old Derrick Dawon Burns has been jailed since his arrest Monday on eight federal felonies related to the mailings investigators said were sent over a yearlong span in 2012 and last year. He's scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday. The FBI says most of the threatening letters suggested SIU would be targeted, with some of them bearing the signoff "Terrorist of America" or "Terrorist for Al-Qaida." A spokeswoman for the school says Burns studied criminology and criminal justice at SIU-Carbondale, but is no longer a student. Online court records don't show whether Burns has an attorney.

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Police Search For Paducah Murder Suspect                                                                                                        
(Paducah, KY)  --  Paducah Police are operating a manhunt for an alleged suspect charged in the murder of a local man last week.  Cops have charged 32-year-old Mauricus Haynes.  He is accused of gunning down Nathaniel Cody last Wednesday.  If anyone has any information about where Cody may be, call the Paducah Police at 270-444-8550. 

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STATE
Illinois governor leans on top Democratic support


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn plans to lean on some heavy-hitting Democrats with strong ties to the state as his re-election campaign against Republican Bruce Rauner enters its crucial last month. Quinn on Tuesday touted the planned Illinois visits of President Barack Obama on Thursday for an event for the governor. First lady Michelle Obama will do the same next week. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also is scheduled to be in Chicago next week and her visit could include a stop to support Quinn. The timing for Quinn may be tricky. A bipartisan panel of lawmakers announced Tuesday that it would convene for two days next week to continue its probe into a troubled anti-violence program overseen by the Quinn campaign ahead of the last election in 2010.

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Senator Defends Ed Reform Bill

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Senator Andy Manar says he's frustrated that Republicans are trying to kill an education reform plan. The Senate approved the bill in the spring. It would shift state funding to the schools that need it the most. Republicans are concerned that the plan will make big cuts to some districts, and they've filed a resolution to kill the plan. Manar says his plan is all about trying to balance current inequities. He's hoping the House will take up his bill this fall.

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Hillary Clinton Plans Stump-Time With Quinn

(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Quinn is getting some high profile help on the campaign trail in the next couple weeks. President Obama's visit this Thursday and first lady Michelle Obama's October 7th campaign stop have already been announced, but today we're learning that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a campaign appearance for Quinn on her schedule October 8th, unless the birth last Friday of her granddaughter prompts a change in plans. Quinn today stood with the executives of the Uber ride-sharing company as they announced plans to expand in Chicago and create more than four-hundred jobs.

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Appellate court agrees AFSCME workers owed money

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appellate court has ruled that back wages owed thousands of state government workers from 2011 to 2013 must be paid. A panel of judges from the First District Appellate Court found that members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees should get the back pay, and the Legislature's failure to appropriate enough money to cover the raises is not a reason to renege on them. The ruling supports an independent arbitrator's decision that the government's failure to pay up violated the union contract. A circuit court agreed the money should go out. The ruling rejects an appeal by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. A spokeswoman says Madigan is reviewing the opinion. The ruling instructs a circuit court to follow the arbitrator's decision.

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Illinois measure would give victims more rights


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Voters will be able to decide in November whether victims should have greater rights protected by the state Constitution during criminal trials. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights would ensure victims have more information about and access to criminal proceedings against an alleged perpetrator. Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins has been a crusader for victims' rights since her sister, her sister's husband and their unborn child were murdered in suburban Chicago in 1990. She says victims should be allowed to make statements at sentencing, seek restitution, be notified of hearings and be kept safe. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the ballot question. One opponent, Northbrook Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, says giving such rights constitutional protection could produce unintended consequences.

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Panel plans to resume anti-violence program probe

CHICAGO (AP) — A bipartisan panel of lawmakers plans to resume its probe next week of a troubled anti-violence program overseen by Gov. Pat Quinn's administration. Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman says he and panel co-chair, Democratic state Rep. Frank Mautino, have informed subpoenaed witnesses of their duty to appear at hearings on Oct. 8 and 9 in Chicago. Barickman says the notice follows word from the U.S. Attorney James Lewis that the Legislative Audit Commission can proceed with hearings as scheduled without interrupting a federal probe of the $54.5 million program. Federal authorities this summer had requested that the commission to suspend interviews of those connected to the program for 90 days. Seven witnesses, including Quinn's former chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, have been subpoenaed to testify.

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Quinn Calls First Year Of ACA Successful

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn says it's been a successful first year for the Affordable Care Act in Illinois. He says more than 685-thousand people in Illinois have signed up for health care in the last year. There were 468-thousand that signed up for an expanded Medicaid program and the rest enrolled in private plans. The next enrollment period begins November 15th, and he's hoping even more people will take advantage of the plan. Get Covered Illinois is in the process of training people that will help others go through the process of signing up for insurance.

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USDA: Illinois corn harvest continues lagging


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Illinois' corn harvest continues creeping along, though recently favorable weather enabled growers to spend more time bringing in the crop. The USDA said Monday in its weekly crop progress update that just 14 percent of the state's corn crop has been harvested, 2 percentage points higher than a year ago but down from 20 percentage points over the previous half decade. However, the recent lack of meaningful precipitation statewide combined with above-normal temperatures, made all of last week suitable for field work. Corn that has reached maturity came in at 80 percent, up 5 percentage points from the norm. About 83 percent of the crop has been rated good to excellent, while 78 percent of the soybean crop was considered in those two categories.

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Illinois-owned planes to be sold in online auction

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Central Management Services plans to relist six state-owned airplanes for sale on an online auction site after a previous attempt to lure buyers brought bids for only two planes. Agency spokeswoman Alka Nayyar tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that the auction for the unsold planes will have a new closing date of Dec. 15. Gov. Pat Quinn ordered the sale of half of the state's airplanes as an effort to save money when he approved the 2015 state budget in June. The planes up for sale have an appraised value of $4 million. Bidders who want to buy the planes must meet a base price. For example the minimum bid for a 1999 Beechcraft King Air 250 was about $2.5 million.

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State WIC switching to skim, 1 percent milk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois nutrition program is tweaking the diet of the low income residents it helps feed. In a news release, the Illinois Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children says that beginning Wednesday, many of those who receive food vouchers will be offered skim milk or one percent milk instead of whole milk in an effort to improve their health. The release from the program called WIC says skim or one percent milk will be offered to pregnant women, new mothers, women who are breast feeding and children over the age of two. To insure proper growth and development, children between one year and 23 months will continue to receive whole milk.

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Simon Collecting Phones For Domestic Violence

(Springfield, IL)  --  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is encouraging people to donate their old cell phones. Simon is kicking off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with her fourth annual cell phone drive. She's working with Verizon to collect old phones as a part of the Hopeline program. Verizon donates ten dollars per phone to benefit domestic violence prevention efforts and domestic violence shelters.  You can donate phones at any Verizon store or at the Lieutenant Governor's offices in Springfield, Chicago and Carbondale.

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NATIONAL
Dallas Ebola EMS Crew, Ambulance In Isolation

(Dallas, TX)  --  The emergency crew and the ambulance that transported an Ebola patient in Dallas are now in isolation.  Mayor Mike Rawlings says both emergency medical services crew members have been quarantined while doctors determine whether they could spread the Ebola virus.  The Dallas Fire and Rescue ambulance crew brought the man to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.  He is the first confirmed Ebola patient in the U.S.  The man began showing symptoms of the virus after traveling from Liberia.

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Alleged intruder due in court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man accused of entering the White House with a knife is set to make his first court appearance for the first time since being indicted yesterday. Omar Gonzales faces federal and local charges following the Sept. 19 incident in which he's accused of jumping the White House fence and getting into the executive mansion through the unlocked front door. The breach prompted a congressional hearing Tuesday in which the head of the Secret Service was grilled by lawmakers.

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Report: Obama rode elevator with armed man with criminal record

WASHINGTON (AP) — As members of Congress question the competency of the Secret Service following a Sept. 19 White House breach, more embarrassing disclosures are coming to light. Just three days before a man armed with a knife got into the White House, two newspapers are reporting that an armed security contractor with a criminal record rode an elevator with President Barack Obama and his security detail. The Washington Examiner and The Washington Post say it happened at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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Judge to sentence man in tree-lighting terror case

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Prosecutors are recommending 40-years in prison at today's sentencing for a 23-year-old man convicted of trying to bomb Portland, Oregon's downtown square, where thousands of people gathered for a Christmas tree lighting in 2010. Mohamed Mohamud was arrested after pressing a keypad button on a cellphone that he believed would trigger a bomb. The bomb actually was a fake supplied by undercover FBI. Agents had posed as al-Qaida recruiters.

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Authorities release wife after mayor's shooting death

BELL GARDENS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in Los Angeles County have released the wife of the mayor of Bell Gardens, California, after questioning her in her husband's death. Authorities say Mayor Daniel Crespo was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon during an argument with his wife. They say Levette Crespo told them she shot her husband several times in the torso after her 19-year-old son tried to intervene and got into a struggle with his father. Prosecutors will decide whether to file charges.

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Oklahoma Announces New Execution Rules

(Undated)  --  Oklahoma's Corrections Department now has new rules for lethal injections.  The policy announced Tuesday updates the capital punishment procedures the state used in April when the execution of Clayton Lockett lasted almost 45 minutes and led to an investigation that resulted in the new rules.  The revised procedures include using five times as much of the lethal drug used in the Lockett execution, and closer monitoring of the injection site, to make sure the drug is injected directly into the condemned inmate's vein.

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Lawmaker wants new leadership at Secret Service

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Democratic lawmaker wants Secret Service Director Julia Pierson to leave her post after a series of embarrassing presidential security breaches. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland says he does "not feel comfortable with her in that position." Cummings is the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. He notably did not call for Pierson's firing or resignation during a congressional hearing Tuesday. Cummings is believed to be the first member of Congress to call for Pierson's ouster. He made his comments during an MSNBC interview Wednesday morning. Pierson testified Tuesday before Cummings' committee about a Sept. 19 White House security breach and Cummings and other law makers said they were unimpressed with her explanations.

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GM says parts are ready to fix recalled small cars

MILFORD, Mich. (AP) — General Motors CEO Mary Barra says the company has enough parts available to fix all the faulty ignition switches that are blamed for at least 23 deaths nationwide. Barra told reporters at an investor conference Wednesday that GM's parts supplier finished making the parts a few days before a goal of early October. GM recalled 2.6 million cars in February and says it has repaired about 1.1 million. That's just under half the vehicles when scrapped cars are excluded. Barra says GM is trying to get the rest of the owners to bring their cars in for repairs. She also says GM sees nothing to indicate that it will spend more than the $400 million to $600 million it has estimated to compensate ignition switch crash victims.

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Texas appeals court upholds DeLay reversal

HOUSTON (AP) — The highest criminal court in Texas has refused to reinstate two money-laundering convictions of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling last year from the 3rd Court of Appeals that tossed DeLay's 2010 convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Prosecutors argued in June before the Austin-based Court of Criminal Appeals that the convictions be reinstated. But the appeals court said in its 8-1 ruling it agrees with the lower court findings, which said as a matter of law, what prosecutors proved in DeLay's case did not constitute either offense. The charges were related to corporate donations to DeLay's political action committee that prosecutors say were illegally funneled to some Texas House candidates in 2002.

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No trial for man in 2012 cruiser-crushing case

NEWPORT, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man accused of crushing seven sheriffs' vehicles with a tractor two years ago won't be prosecuted. The Caledonian Record reports State's Attorney Alan Franklin and defense attorney Chandler Matson agree that 36-year-old Roger Pion, of Newport, was insane at the time of the rampage. Pion had pleaded not guilty. At one point, he was deemed incompetent to stand trial, and he was hospitalized in January. A later evaluation deemed him competent, and he is now treated outside a hospital. Franklin said a hearing on his treatment would be conducted in about two months. Police said Pion was angry about a marijuana possession arrest when he drove his father's tractor over six police cruisers and a van owned by the Orleans County Sheriffs' Department in August 2012, causing $300,000 in damage.

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Ohio St. student who ran on turf loses scholarship

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A student who ran onto the field during an Ohio State football game and was body-slammed by a coach is losing his scholarship amid his court case. Defense attorney Mark Collins says officials on Tuesday started removing 21-year-old Anthony Wunder from the Evans Scholars program, which covers tuition and housing for former golf caddies. The fourth-year engineering student is charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. His attorney entered a not-guilty plea in Franklin County Municipal Court. Wunder was stopped and slammed down by an assistant strength and conditioning coach Saturday during Ohio State's home victory over Cincinnati. The coach, Anthony Schlegel, is a former Buckeyes linebacker. The hit has been a sensation on social media. Coach Urban Meyer said he had a somewhat serious conversation with Schlegel about the hit.

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INTERNATIONAL
Official: School blasts kill 22, including 10 kids

DAMASCUS (AP) — Children in Syria have often been among the victims of attacks in the country's civil war -- but today, they appear to have been the targets. Two car bombs went off near an elementary school in Syria, killing 22 people -- including at least 10 children. The second bomb went off as parents frantically searched for their sons and daughters. Meanwhile, airstrikes against the Islamic State militants in Syria haven't prevented deadly clashes overnight near Syria's border with Turkey. Activists say dozens of militants and Kurdish fighters were killed. And they say Islamic State fighters have beheaded nine Kurdish fighters, including three women, who were captured during the fighting.

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Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Palestinians are asking the U.N. Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 including East Jerusalem. A draft resolution circulated to council members and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press also calls for "a just resolution" of the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states, and the Palestinian refugee problem. It follows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' announcement to the U.N. General Assembly Friday that he would ask the council to set a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal. The draft also demands an end to all Israeli military operations and settlement activities, the opening of all border crossings in the Gaza Strip, and deployment of "an international presence" throughout the Palestinian territories to protect Palestinian civilians.

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Protesters to HK boss: Quit or we occupy buildings

HONG KONG (AP) — The next move by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong could be an occupation of government buildings. They're warning that they will take that action if the territory's leader doesn't resign by the end of the day tomorrow. The protesters are opposing a decision by China's government that candidates for Hong Kong's elections in 2017 must be approved by a mostly pro-China committee.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

NHL Preseason

St. Louis 3, Carolina 1

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL Preseason

Montreal at Chicago 7:30 p.m.

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Bears waive WR Ross, elevate WR Williams

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have waived receiver Rashad Ross and elevated receiver Chris Williams from the practice squad to the active roster. Ross appeared in the last two games for the Bears, returning five kickoffs for 106 yards. Williams worked with the practice squad the past two weeks after making his NFL debut in Week 2 at San Francisco. The Bears announced the moves on Tuesday.

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EIU joins Garoppolo hype with jersey offer

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — It didn't take long for New England Patriot quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's alma mater to take advantage of the buzz around the quarterback's first NFL appearance. Eastern Illinois University on Tuesday said it will give replica Garoppolo No. 10 jerseys to fans who join the school's Panther Club for $250 or increase their current donation levels by at least $150. The rookie quarterback replaced the struggling Tom Brady Monday night in the Patriots' 41-14 loss to Kansas City. Garoppolo threw for a late touchdown. At EIU, Garoppolo won the Walter Payton Award last season as the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision and led the Panthers to a 12-2 record and the playoffs.

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News for Sept. 30, 2014

LOCAL
Man accused of threatening university students

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago man has been charged with making bomb and violence threats against students, faculty and staff of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Federal prosecutors announced Monday 21-year-old Derrick Dawon Burns is accused of making the threats on October 10, 2012, October 15, 2012, December 6, 2012, and October 1, 2013. The charges were filed in the southern district of Illinois. However, Burns appeared Monday in a Chicago federal court, where he was ordered held without bond pending a Wednesday detention hearing. U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton didn't reveal a motive for the threats, nor what led to Burns' arrest. Prosecutors say if convicted, Burns faces ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each of eight counts filed against him. It wasn't immediately known if Burns has an attorney.

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Illinois State Police to Conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols

Carmi, IL - Illinois State Police (ISP) District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced District 19 Troopers will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols (OREP) in Wabash and Gallatin Counties during the month of October. OREP allows the ISP to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on traffic violations and related compliance with safety belt and child safety seat laws.  Safety belt enforcement zones will also be set up to ensure the driver and passengers are buckled up.  Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers (front and back) to be buckled up!  Safety belts are one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save over 12,000 lives each year.  Over half of vehicle occupants killed in a traffic crash were not properly buckled up.  The objective of this program is to increase compliance of occupant restraint laws through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement.  Greater awareness, acceptance, and use of occupant protection equipment will save many lives. This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety. 

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Illinois State Police to Conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols

Carmi, IL – Captain Kelly Hodge, District 19 Commander, announced today that the Illinois State Police (ISP) will conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols in Wayne, White, and Gallatin Counties during the month of October.  These ACE patrols allow the ISP to target an area with a saturation patrol that focuses on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Across the country, an average of one alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 51 minutes.   Alcohol and drug impairment remain significant factors in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  Each year in Illinois, hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol-related crashes.  Don’t risk losing your license, your car, and your freedom.  If you drive impaired, law enforcement will arrest you. This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.

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Centralia Police Question Robbery Suspect

Reports indicate Centralia Police have taken an armed robbery suspect into custody for questioning Monday afternoon.  According to earlier reports, an armed robbery just before 9 p.m. Saturday night of the Casey’s General Store on the east side of Centralia had police looking for a suspect described as a shorter black male, approximately 150-pounds with dark skin. Police say the suspect indicated he had a weapon in a plastic bag when he confronted the store clerk. He subsequently fled north from the store on foot. The Marion County Canine Unit was called to assist, and reportedly tracked the suspect to the side door of a home in the 900 block of East McCord. The owner of the home allowed police to search the home, but nothing was found. Officers continued to investigate the incident, taking a suspect in for questioning around 2 p.m. Monday. We will bring you additional details as Centralia Police make them available.

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Buckner Man Set For Trial In Manslaughter Case

A Buckner man accused of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 62-year-old Roy D. Barnhart is now set to go to trial Nov. 5. The attorney for William McKinney - Bryan Drew - said during a recent hearing that he didn’t feel he would be ready for the trial that was originally set for Oct. 7. He went on to say that he was having a difficult time contacting a forensic pathologist who he called a central witness in the case. He also discussed the Buckner Police Department’s use of force policy that was in place at the time of the offense.  The Franklin County State’s Attorney’s office said during the hearing that it’s ready for the trial and that the forensic pathologist had previously been made available to Drew. McKinney was charged with official misconduct and involuntary manslaughter after a warrant was issued for his arrest on July 17, 2013. McKinney is accused of causing great bodily harm to Barnhart while Barnhart was resisting arrest on July 7, 2013.  Reports say McKinney pushed Barnhart to the ground and hit him in the head while Barnhart was handcuffed behind his back. Barnhart was taken to a St. Louis hospital where he died from his injuries.

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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 October 2014, according to Interim 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 Traffic Safety.

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St. Mary’s Good Samaritan/SSM Health Care, SIUE Offer Online BS In Nursing in 2015

Mt. Vernon, Ill. (Sept. 29, 2014) – St. Mary’s Hospital and Good Samaritan Regional Health Center nurses can soon advance their education in the comfort of their own homes, thanks to a new partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is offering an online BS in nursing degree to all SSM Health Care nurses. Classes begin in January 2015. Mike Warren, President of Good Samaritan Regional Health Center states, “We are very excited about this partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville which will provide an opportunity for our talented nursing staff to grow and further develop professionally.” The accelerated online program—comprised entirely of SSM nurses from Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Oklahoma—is the first of its kind for the health system. To help reduce the cost to employees, St. Mary’s and Good Samaritan also offers tuition reimbursement. “We are excited to work with SSM Health Care to offer an online BS in nursing degree,” said Dr. Roberta Harrison, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate and Alternative Programs and Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “This is a great opportunity to combine a world-class health care system with our progressive and innovative nursing program to impact health care in a positive way.” For additional information about the partnership between SSM Health Care and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville visit: siue.edu/corporate/ssm.

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McClellan BOE To Hold Community Referendum Meeting

The McClellan CCSD #12 Board of Education will hold a Community Referendum Meeting on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 PM at the McClellan Gym.  The proposed Tax Rate Referendum which has been placed on the ballot of the November 4 General Election will be discussed.  All parents, guardians, McClellan CCSD #12 staff, residents, and community members are invited to attend the Community Referendum Meeting.  Your attendance is welcome and your opinion is valued. 

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STATE
Rauner Maintains Lead In Governor's race

(Springfield, IL)  --  A recent poll shows the Republican challenger for the governor's office Bruce Rauner is maintaining a lead over the  incumbent.  The latest We Ask America survey has Rauner ahead of Governor Quinn by three percentage points. Meanwhile Libertarian hopeful Chad Grimm received six percent and nine percent of those surveyed remain undecided.  Quinn does have a slight lead with women in the polls 44 to 42, but Rauner has a large lead with men 47 to 36 percent.                       

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NFIB Backs Oberweis In U.S. Senate Race

(Springfield, IL)  --  U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's Republican challenger has gained a huge endorsement.  The National Federation of Independent Business has cast its support behind Jim Oberweis.  NFIB official Lisa Goeas says she chose the career candidate because of his strong pro-business position.  State Senator Oberweis has a 100 percent NFIB voting record.  Incumbent Durbin has a 25 percent lifetime voting record with the business group.

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Illinois sending approvals to marijuana patients

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say the first approval letters have been sent to Illinois patients who've applied to use medical marijuana legally. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold confirmed Monday that approval letters have gone out, but said she doesn't know how many. She says the state is focusing on processing applications from patients, which have come in by the thousands. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Jim Champion of Somonauk received an approval letter last week. He's a 48-year-old veteran with multiple sclerosis, a qualifying condition under the new law. Illinois is taking applications from patients whose last names begin with A through L. Patients whose last names begin with M through Z are asked to wait until Nov. 1 to apply.

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Oberweis, Durbin Spar Over Income Taxes


(Chicago, IL) -- Challenger Jim Oberweis says U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is wrong to suggest that Oberweis may not be paying state income taxes in Illinois. During a face-to-face appearance before the "Chicago Tribune" editorial board, Durbin pointed out that Oberweis' wife is a legal resident of Florida and that the couple has a penthouse condominium in Florida. Oberweis promised to provide documents to show that Durbin is, "just totally wrong." The two also disagreed over gun control laws, with Republican Oberweis saying he doubts that universal background checks on gun purchase would help keep guns from the hands of criminals.

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Durbin, Oberweis debate background checks for guns

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis have staked out opposing positions on whether to require universal background checks for firearms purchases. Oberweis is trying to unseat Durbin in November. They met Monday before the Chicago Tribune editorial board. Durbin says mandatory background checks would help keep convicted felons and mentally unstable people from getting guns. He says a federal law would reduce violence in places like Chicago, where police say felons get weapons from other states with weaker laws. Oberweis says he's not convinced the checks would reduce crime. He says some gun owners are afraid of the government keeping a database of people with guns. Oberweis also says the checks wouldn't stop "straw" purchasers, who buy and transfer guns to people who shouldn't have them.

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Hearings On Anti-Violence Program Can Continue

(Springfield, IL)  --  A panel of lawmakers holding hearings on Governor Pat Quinn's anti-violence program have been given the go ahead to resume their hearings.  Back in July, United States Attorney James Lewis asked the panel to hold off on their hearings on the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, have been critical of the program, saying it was about driving up votes in 2010.  Quinn maintains the program was to help fight crime in Chicago.  Senator Jason Barickman, who co-chairs the committee, says they can resume hearings and they plan to do so October 8th.

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Rauner Warns Of Lame Duck Tax Hike

(Chicago, IL) -- At a campaign stop in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood, Republican challenger for governor Bruce Rauner called on Governor Quinn not to approve a state income tax hike after the November election. Without action by lawmakers, the temporary income tax hike would expire, blasting a hole in the state budget. Rauner says he'd let the tax roll back to three-percent over a four-year period, then, he now concedes, there's a possibility he could approve an income tax increase.

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Jewel Parent Company Announces Possible Data Breach

(Boise, ID)  --  The parent company of the Chicago grocery chain Jewel-Osco is reporting a second data breach in less than two months.  AB Acquisition LLC announced that new malware software was discovered and it may have stolen information from debit and credit card transactions.  The theft apparently happened in late August or early September.  Stores throughout several states have been affected including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.

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Illinois police urge drivers to be wary of deer

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Police is warning drivers to be aware of deer this fall, especially in rural parts of the state. The department says more than 20,000 deer are involved in Illinois traffic accidents each year and autumn is one of the most dangerous times of year for drivers. Trooper Tracy Lillard, a safety education officer, tells the (Peoria) Journal Star that cultivated fields, wooded areas and plains are common settings for accidents involving vehicles and deer. State police also say many of the accidents occur during dawn or dusk. Lillard says drivers should steer and brake within their designated lane instead of swerving to avoid deer.

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NATIONAL
Secret Service chief in house committee spotlight

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are expected to turn up the heat on Secret Service Director Julia Pierson when she appears before them today. She'll be pressed to explain the high-profile security breach at the White House where a man jumped a fence and actually got into the building. One lawmaker says the man got much farther than has been acknowledged.

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Obama goal of Gitmo closure stalled at Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The transfer of prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay has ground to a halt amid a slow Pentagon approval process. That's caused frustration within the administration and raised doubts that President Barack Obama can fulfill his campaign promise to close the U.S. prison in Cuba for terrorism suspects. A detainee sent back to Algeria in March is the only prisoner to have moved out this year, beyond the exchange of five Taliban members in return for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The slow pace is the result of a law giving Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel final authority to transfer detainees. Pentagon officials say they must consider the risks before signing off. The White House says recidivism risks must be weighed against the danger of keeping the prison open.

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Dallas hospital monitoring patient for Ebola

DALLAS (AP) — Hospital officials in Dallas say a patient who's showing signs of the Ebola virus is being kept in strict isolation. Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital expect preliminary tests results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come back today. Hospital officials say the patient's symptoms and recent travel indicate a case of Ebola.

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Charges expected in Oklahoma workplace beheading

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — Prosecutors in Oklahoma expect today to charge a 30-year-old man with first-degree murder in last Thursday's beheading of a food plant worker near Oklahoma City. Authorities say Alton Nolen had just gotten fired when he attacked two women at the Vaughn Foods plant in Moore. The other woman was wounded. Nolen was stopped when the company's chief operating officer, who's also a reserve sheriff's deputy, shot him.

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Virginia police: Forensic evidence links 2 cases

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. One was found dead nearly five years ago. The other is still missing. And now police believe they've found a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham — forensic evidence pointing to a 32-year-old man who fled the state when he learned police wanted to question him about the Graham case. Jesse Matthew Jr. was arrested on a beach near Galveston, Texas, last week and was brought back to Virginia to face a charge of abduction with intent to defile the 18-year-old Graham. State police say the arrest has produced a forensic link to the Harrington case, but they're not providing details.

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Colorado high court considers pot firing case

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a marijuana-related firing case that could have big implications for the state's pot smokers. The case involves 35-year-old Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient who was fired from his job at the Dish Network after failing a drug test in 2010. Coats says he needs the drug to help with violent spasms he has suffered since he was paralyzed in a car accident. Dish says that because pot is still illegal federally, medical marijuana is not a lawful activity covered by a state law intended to protect cigarette smokers from being fired for legal behavior off the clock. The case is being watched closely around the country. Twenty-three states allow medical marijuana, but courts have ruled against patients who have been fired for using it.

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Brown says he's likely to sign plastic bag ban

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated that he is likely to sign a bill imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags as a way to address litter. SB270 is one of the last major bills pending today, the deadline for the governor to sign or veto hundreds of bills. The legislation will prohibit large grocery stores from carrying single-use bags starting in July 2015, expanding to smaller stores the year after. It also allows businesses to charge 10-cent fees for customers using paper bags. More than 100 cities and counties, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have their own plastic bag bans. Brown said during a gubernatorial debate earlier this month that he would "probably" sign SB270 because of the patchwork of local regulations regarding plastic bags.

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Obama welcomes signing of Afghan security pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the signing of a security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan marks a "historic day" in the partnership between the two countries. The pact allows about 10,000 American troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of this year. It was signed Tuesday after a lengthy political struggle in Afghanistan that delayed its implementation. Obama says the agreement reflects the U.S. commitment to supporting the Afghan government and will allow the U.S. military to continue targeting terrorists and training Afghan security forces. The president says he looks forward to working with Afghanistan to cement that country's "sovereignty, stability, unity, and prosperity." Obama also thanked American military personnel who have served in Afghanistan for their "extraordinary service."

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Shooter takes stand in loud music killing case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man who shot and killed a 17-year-old teenager after an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store is taking the stand in his own defense. Michael Dunn was the first witness called Tuesday by his defense team. The 47-year-old Dunn is on trial for first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Jordan Davis of Marietta, Georgia, in November 2012. He was convicted of three counts of attempted second-degree murder in February and already faces at least 60 years in prison. The jury in the first trial deadlocked on the first-degree murder count. Prosecutors say Dunn fired 10 shots into the SUV carrying Davis and three other teenagers. He has argued that he feared for his life during the argument with Davis.

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Police: Body of Arkansas real estate agent found

SCOTT, Ark. (AP) — Authorities say the body of an Arkansas real estate agent who disappeared Thursday has been found in a shallow grave at a concrete company. Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Lt. Carl Minden says Beverly Carter's body was found early Tuesday in a rural area about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock. Arron Michael Lewis is being held in the Pulaski County jail on $1 million bail on suspicion of capital murder, robbery and kidnapping in connection with Carter's death. Formal charges are pending. Police say Lewis admitted to kidnapping Carter. Lewis told reporters Tuesday as he was being taken from the jail to the sheriff's office that he didn't kill Carter, and described her as "a woman that worked alone — a rich broker."

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US and Afghanistan sign security pact

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan and the United States have signed a long-awaited security pact that will allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year. At a ceremony today in the capital, Kabul, Afghanistan's newly appointed national security adviser Mohmmad Hanif Atmar signed the document along with U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham. President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who was sworn into office a day earlier, told the assembled crowd that the agreement signaled a fundamental shift in the country's relations with the world. He says, "This agreement is only for Afghan security and stability."

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US-led airstrikes hit Islamic State near Turkey

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say the U.S.-led coalition has struck targets of the Islamic State group near a besieged Kurdish town along Syria's border with Turkey. It's not immediately clear if today's airstrikes succeeded in halting the militants' advance on Koubani. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the strikes hit Islamic State fighters east and west of Kobani. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, also confirmed the airstrikes on the town's outskirts. Koubani has been under attack by the Islamic State group since mid-September. Despite U.S.-led airstrikes, the militants were able to advance toward the town over the past few days. The Observatory says fighting around Koubani on Monday killed 57 fighters on both sides — the town's Kurdish defenders and the Islamic militants.

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Officials: Wave of attacks kills 19 across Iraq

BAGHDAD (AP) — Officials say a wave of bombings targeted commercial areas across Iraq has killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens. Police say the deadliest attack Tuesday took place in the revered Shiite city of Karbala, where a car bomb killed four civilians and two policemen. That explosion wounded 16 other people. Karbala is about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Baghdad. Another explosives-laden car went off in the town of Iskandariyah, 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Baghdad, killing five civilians and wounding 13 others. Eight other civilians were killed in separate attacks in Baghdad and outside the southern city of Najaf. Medical officials confirmed the causality figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

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Putin visits Kazakhstan after remarks cause alarm

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Kazakhstan to stress the need for close ties, a month after he caused alarm in the former Soviet republic by seeming to question its future as an independent state. During a meeting Tuesday with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Putin said the two countries were "connected historically and today by a thousand threads, which unite us and help us develop, supporting each other." Speaking to young Russians in late August, Putin said Kazakhstan had only become a state under Nazarbayev and was better off in the "big Russian world. "Russia justified its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine by saying it has a responsibility to protect ethnic Russians outside Russia. Like Ukraine, Kazakhstan has a large ethnic Russian population.

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Hong Kong leader says Beijing won't back down

HONG KONG (AP) — China's president is vowing to "steadfastly safeguard" Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. The pledge comes as pro-democracy protests continue in Hong Kong, where protesters are threatening wider actions if the territory's top leader won't meet with them. Thousands of people, mostly students, have been protesting for a fifth day today, blocking city streets and forcing some schools and offices to close. A student organizer says protesters are considering pushing for a labor strike and possibly occupying a government building.

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SPORTS
TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

NHL Preseason

Carolina at St. Louis 7 p.m.

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IHSA Will Not Attend Hearing On Organization

(Bloomington, IL)  --  IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman told member schools Monday that the organization will not attend Friday's hearing on the organization. The Elementary and Secondary Education Committee is holding a hearing about the IHSA Friday in Chicago. Hickman says the IHSA will not be able to testify or call witnesses during the hearing.  He criticized State Representative Chapa LaVia, saying the process "is like teaching students you can silence your critics by setting up rules that don't let them have a voice."

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Illinois expects Lunt to return against Purdue

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois coach Tim Beckman expects quarterback Wes Lunt to play Saturday against Purdue. The quarterback missed Saturday's 45-14 loss at Nebraska with a knee injury. Illinois didn't announce Lunt wouldn't play until just before kickoff. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit said Monday that Lunt's injury is "a little bit like a sprain" in his right knee. It happened when a teammate fell on him in Illinois' win over Texas State. Both Beckman and Cubit said Lunt sat out of the Nebraska game because they didn't think he could scramble well enough to protect himself. Reilly O'Toole started for Illinois (3-2). Cubit said that against Purdue, Lunt will need to get rid of the ball fast. The Boilermakers (2-3) are third in the Big Ten in sacks with 13.

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Bulls' Rose sees 1 way to quiet doubters — play

CHICAGO (AP) — Bulls star Derrick Rose understands the concerns surrounding his knees. He sees only one way to ease them. The 2011 NBA MVP is ready to go after being sidelined the past two seasons by knee injuries. Rose says the only way to quiet his doubters is to "actually be on the court and actually playing." Besides getting their point guard back, the Bulls brought in Pau Gasol to help ease some of the scoring load and defend the rim. They also added Nikola Mirotic and drafted Doug McDermott, giving them more shooting options. But Rose still remains a question mark with practices starting Tuesday and the opener Oct. 29 at the New York Knicks.

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News for Sept. 29, 2014

LOCAL
Centralia Police Still Searching For Armed Robbery Suspect

A reported armed robbery over the weekend has Centralia Police still searching for a suspect. According to reports, an armed robbery just before 9 p.m. Saturday night of the Casey's General Store on the east side of Centralia has police looking for a shorter black male, approximately 150-pounds with dark skin. Police say the man said he had a weapon in a plastic bag when he confronted the store clerk, and subsequently fled north from the store on foot. The Marion County Canine Unit was called to assist, and reportedly tracked the suspect to the side door of a home in the 900 block of east McCord. The owner of the home allowed police to search the home, but nothing was found. There were no injuries.

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District 107 State House Race Turns Up The Heat, Controversy

Things may be heating up in what has until now been an almost unheard of campaign, the race for State House District 107. According to a Sunday press release issued by Democratic Challenger Josh Berger of Centralia, Republican incumbent John Cavaletto has cancelled a previously scheduled filmed debate. The debate, to be hosted by WSIU was to be available online for voters in the 107th to view.  However, according to Berger and confirmed with WSIU, Cavaletto not only cancelled the debate, but has refused to schedule anything with them in the future. Berger says he finds Cavaletto's refusal to debate to be unacceptable, adding that it is important to have an open forum where the voters have the opportunity to choose who best represents their views.  Cavaletto has previously participated in WSIU debates, including in 2010 against Joshua Qualls, the last opponent he faced. Calls to Cavaletto for comment and response were not returned.

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Franklin County Man Injured In Accident


A Franklin County man was injured in a crash involving a car and a semi on I-57 near Benton Sunday. Illinois State Police say around 8:20  a.m., an unidentified 25-year-old man from West Frankfort was going  south on I-57 near mile post 69 when he said he lost control of his  car when a tire blew. The car traveled down into the median and entered the northbound lane of I-57 striking the semi driven by an unidentified 61-year-old man from Dundee, MI. The car was totaled and removed from the scene by Abbots Towing. The semi was removed by its driver. The West Frankfort man received treatment at Heartland Regional Medical Center and later released.  No charges were filed in the crash.

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Motorcycle Crash Injures Two in Hamilton County

Two people were injured in a motorcycle crash early Saturday morning in Hamilton County. Illinois State Police say shortly before 1 a.m.,  44-year-old Curtis L. Goolsby, of Eldorado, was operating his  motorcycle south on Route 142 near County Road 200N when he failed to  negotiate a curve in the roadway. The motorcycle left the roadway to the south and entered a group of trees before overturning. Goolsby was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of major injuries he sustained in the crash. A passenger on the motorcycle, 37-year-old Misty D. Yarber, of Harrisburg, also sustained major injuries and was flown from the scene to an Evansville hospital for treatment of her injuries. Goolsby was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while license revoked and improper lane usage.  The investigation continues.

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I-57 Lane Closure Starts Tuesday

A lane closure will be in effect starting Tuesday and continuing throughout the week on southbound I-57 in Jefferson County. IDOT says the closure at mile post 90 will allow maintenance crews to repair the structure carrying the interstate over Dodds Creek. Emergency vehicles will be allowed through the construction site as quickly as possible.  Drivers are encouraged to find another way to your destination while the work is underway.

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Driver Charged After Allegedly Falling Asleep

(Murphysboro, IL)  --  A Murphysboro man is facing legal troubles after allegedly falling asleep behind the wheel.  Officials say Travis Clark was passed out in a car at the intersection of South 8th and Mulberry Streets around 10 a.m. last Friday.  He had a two-year-old kid in the back seat.  Clark was allegedly high on drugs when police approached him.  He's been charged with driving under the influence of drugs and endangering the life and health of a child.

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Route Four Reopens After Tanker Spills Fuel

(Marissa, IL)  --  A road in Marissa has been reopened after a tanker truck was involved in a roll over accident.  The incident happened Sunday morning in the 12-hundred block of Route Four.  Officials say about five-thousand gallons of fuel spilled on the roadway and moved into a farm field.  Crews were able to lift the tanker with the help of a tow truck. 

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Illinois State Police Release Results of Nighttime Enforcement Patrols

Effingham, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the results of Nighttime Enforcement Patrols (NITE) held during the late evening hours of Friday, September 19th and early morning hours of Saturday, September 20th.  The patrols were conducted in Marion County by ISP District 12 officers. Alcohol is involved in nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.  NITE patrols are designed to keep our roads safe by removing 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; safety belt violations; or no valid insurance, enforcement action may be taken.  The following citations were issued during the patrols: 34 total written warnings, 19 total citations or arrests including 4 registration offenses, 3 driver's license offenses, 3 occupant restraint offenses, 1 DUI, and 1 other alcohol/drug related arrest. This project was funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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Airport gets development boost from recent grants

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — Officials are pursuing an improvement plan for the Southern Illinois Airport that will include new facilities and businesses as well as reconstruction and realignment and better access to state highways. Airport Manager Gary Shafer told the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan for a story published Sunday that last week's announcement of a $4.5 million state investment to develop an emergency and critical response center at the airport was a great step forward. Another $1.1 million in federal economic development money will help improve roads on the airfield's southern end. The development plan by Gruen Gruen Associates of Chicago was presented to the airport board last October. The emergency response center will be housed in a new 50,000-square-foot hangar between the airport's public works building and the Illinois National Guard facility. Part of it will be used as a communications and command center for the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency, the Jackson County Ambulance Service and Memorial Hospital of Carbondale. A third project expected for the airports is a medical marijuana cultivation center. Three unidentified applicants have applied for a license.

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SIU-Edwardsville sees record enrollment this year

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has enrolled a record number of students this year. The Belleville News-Democrat reports 13,972 students have enrolled at the university. The jump follows two years of declining enrollment. Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe says the increase didn't happen by accident. She says the university has developed more programs in subjects in which interest is higher. It's also expanded the admission office and started new transfer student programs with community colleges. This is also the first year that students from Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Wisconsin may pay in-state tuition rates. Furst-Bowe says that's already led to a "significantly higher" number of students from Missouri. She says the average ACT score of 23.5 for freshmen also is an all-time high.

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STATE
Michelle Obama to campaign for Gov. Quinn


CHICAGO (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is expected to campaign for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in Chicago next month. The White House confirmed Saturday the first lady will attend a Quinn event on Oct. 7. Her visit will follow a campaign stop by President Barack Obama scheduled for Thursday. He's expected to be in Chicago for an official event and a fundraiser. The Obamas' visit to their hometown comes as Quinn works to fend off a challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. Quinn is seeking his second full term. Rauner is making his first bid for public office. They'll face off Nov. 4 in what's expected to be one of the closest governor's races in the U.S. Quinn Spokeswoman Izabela Miltko says the campaign is "thrilled" to welcome the first lady.

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Quinn, Rauner address Illinois millennials

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner have made their case to become Illinois' next governor before a crowd of about 1,500 younger voters. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the candidates separately addressed what's billed as the first statewide convention for millennials. Attendees ranged in age from late teens to about 34. Organizers say the Saturday event was intended to increase millennials' political involvement. Turnout among the age group has historically been low. Rauner told the crowd their generation will suffer most from failed policies in Springfield, such as budget deficits. His speech was briefly interrupted when six attendees held up signs that read "Rauner's policies are bad for IL." Quinn reminded the audience he wants to raise the minimum wage and signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

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10 football players disciplined in hazing

BRADLEY, Ill. (AP) — Officials say 10 high school football players were disciplined last week after allegedly beating three teammates in separate locker-room hazing incidents. The (Kankakee) Daily Journal reported Sunday that a video of at least one of the incidents at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School was posted online. The sophomores allegedly beat one teammate with hands and belts. An investigation showed at least one other incident earlier this month. The newspaper says seven of the players were accused of administering "birthday licks." School Superintendent Scott Wakeley says the disciplinary penalty was "significant" but would not elaborate. Bradley police are investigating. No criminal charges have been filed. Four varsity wrestlers from the district pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and were given probation after sexually assaulting a teammate with a sex toy in 2008.

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School Districts Throughout Illinois Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

(Springfield, IL)  --  Several schools in Illinois are installing carbon monoxide detectors.  They're making the move before the passage of proposed legislation that would make it a requirement for state schools to be equipped with the devices.  The proposed bill came about after a carbon monoxide leak at North Mac Junior High School, which sent 150 students and staff to the hospital. 

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'Grain Tour' brings foreign buyers to Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Buyers from nine countries will travel to Illinois to shop for grain and grain-related products as part of what the Department of Agriculture is calling a "reverse trade mission." In a news release Friday, the department says the annual Grain Tour will begin Monday. The five-day event will include stops at two farms, the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Archer Daniels Midland plant in Decatur. Agriculture officials say nearly half of Illinois' grain is exported every year. The state is the largest producer of soybeans in the U.S., at 462 million bushels, and the nation's second-largest producer of corn.

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Durbin pushes for rewards for US-based companies

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Using a southwestern Illinois steel plant as a backdrop, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin lobbied Friday for legislation designed to reward companies that keep their headquarters in the United States. The Illinois Democrat made his pitch for passage of the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act after touring the Alton Steel factory northeast of St. Louis. The measure would give companies a tax credit of roughly $1,200 per worker if they remain U.S.-based, provide Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance to their employees, and pay most of their workers an hourly rate equal to 150 percent of poverty-level wages. Durbin said that "in a time of tight budgets, we should reserve tax credits for the companies, like Alton Steel, that do the most to help workers and our economy here at home, not corporations that ship jobs overseas."

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ADM permitted to store carbon dioxide underground

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a permit for Archer Daniels Midland Company to store carbon dioxide deep underground in Decatur, the agency said Friday. The permit will allow ADM to store 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to an EPA news release. The agribusiness company plans to capture the CO2 from its Decatur ethanol plant. CO2 is a greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Storing it underground is intended to keep it out of the atmosphere. ADM can start drilling its well in November but must demonstrate the well's integrity before it can begin CO2 storage. The permit is the second ever granted by the EPA. Earlier this month, the agency approved the FutureGen clean-coal project's plan to begin underground CO2 storage in western Illinois.

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

Comics to raise funds for Richard Pryor statue


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Comedian and talk-show host George Lopez is slated to help raise money for a statue honoring Peoria native and fellow comic Richard Pryor. The (Peoria) Journal-Star reports Lopez will perform in Peoria on Nov. 2. He's expected to be joined by fellow comics Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Eddie Griffin and Mike Epps. Local organizers have been raising funds for years to erect a 7-and-1/2-foot tall statue of Pryor. The comedian and actor was born and raised in Peoria. He died in 2005. The event, called "A Night for Richard," also is intended to honor Pryor's life and work. The statue is expected to be unveiled in December. It will be located downtown Peoria.

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

NATIONAL

Obama acknowledges air strikes help Assad

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is acknowledging that the U.S.-led military campaign against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria is helping Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Obama tells CBS' "60 Minutes," ''I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance." But Obama says Islamic State and the Khorasan Group are an immediate threat to the United States.

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US doctor exposed to Ebola virus admitted to NIH

WASHINGTON (AP) — An American doctor exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone has been admitted to a hospital at the National Institutes of Health near Washington. The patient has not been identified, but the NIH says the physician is in a special isolation unit out of "an abundance of caution." Officials say the doctor has not necessarily contracted the virus.

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Pediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls

CHICAGO (AP) — The nation's most influential pediatricians' group is recommending IUDs or hormonal implants for teen girls who have sex. The American Academy of Pediatrics says the birth control methods are effective, safe and easy to use. And the group says condoms should also be used every time teens have sex to provide protection against sexually transmitted disease. The recommendations are published in today's Pediatrics.

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Violent assault ruled out in death of Utah family

SPRINGVILLE, Utah (AP) — How five members of a Utah family died is still a mystery. The bodies of Benjamin and Kristi Strack and three of their children were found Saturday night by the Stracks' older son, who hadn't heard from them. Investigators in Springville say there's no evidence of stabbing or gunshot wounds or any visible injuries. And authorities say firefighters did not find any carbon monoxide. But they say the front door and back doors were open before firefighters arrived. Blood samples are being analyzed.

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Charges expected in Oklahoma workplace beheading

MOORE, Okla. (AP) — Charges could be filed today in the beheading of a woman at a food distribution center in an Oklahoma City suburb. Police in Moore, Oklahoma say murder and other charges against 30-year-old Alton Nolen will be presented to the district attorney for filing today. Nolen is suspected of attacking two women and beheading one of them, shortly after being fired Thursday at Vaughan Foods in Moore. Police say the company's chief operating officer, who's also a reserve sheriff's deputy, ended the attack by shooting Nolen. Nolen and the second victim in the attack are both hospitalized and are expected to recover.

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Jury selection begins in Arias penalty retrial

PHOENIX (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin today in the penalty retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias. Prosecutors in Arizona will again seek the death penalty after a previous jury deadlocked on punishment for Arias in the case that became a tabloid TV sensation. About 300 prospective jurors will report to the courthouse, with more to come if an impartial panel cannot be found among the first group. Arias acknowledges killing Travis Alexander in 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home but claims it was self-defense. Alexander was stabbed nearly 30 times, had his throat slit and was shot in the head. Prosecutors have argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage when Alexander wanted to end their affair. The retrial is expected to last into December. This time around, a judge has ruled that no video footage can be broadcast until after the verdict.

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Judge won't stop Detroit water shutoffs

DETROIT (AP) — A judge overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy won't stop the city from shutting off water if people can't pay their bill. Judge Steven Rhodes announced his decision Monday after hearing two days of testimony last week. He says bankruptcy law doesn't give him the authority to interfere with specific services offered by Detroit. The water department has said it would suffer financially if ordered to supply water without payment. Officials say 30,000 customers now are enrolled in two-year payment plans, but critics say the strategy still doesn't help the poorest residents. City attorney Thomas O'Brien last week said "there are limits" to what the department can do.

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FAA: 2 weeks to reopen Chicago-area control center

CHICAGO (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week. The FAA said Sunday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct. 13. Authorities say a contract employee started a fire Friday at regional control center in suburban Aurora and then attempted to commit suicide. More than 2,000 flights were canceled that day at O'Hare and Midway international airports, disrupting travel nationwide. About 600 flights were canceled at the airports Sunday, and delays were about a half-hour. The FAA said crews are working to install replacement equipment. Air traffic controllers from Aurora are now at other FAA offices in the Midwest.

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Safety agency studying Toyota acceleration problem

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are looking into a consumer's petition alleging that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes. The inquiry covers about 1.69 million of the compact cars from the 2006 to 2010 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether to open a formal investigation. An unidentified consumer said in a letter to the agency that a Corolla surged at low speeds several times, and the brakes failed to stop the car. The consumer said the problem caused one collision with a parked vehicle on June 8. Investigators said they found 141 consumer complaints about the problem. No other crashes or injuries were reported. The consumer filed the petition on Sept. 11. Messages were left seeking comment from Toyota.

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US awards $450M to link job training to industry

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is awarding nearly a half-billion dollars to community colleges that are partnering with employers on job training. Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts and Wisconsin's Chippewa Valley Technical College are the largest recipients and will each get about $20 million. A Maryland program will receive $15 million to partner with companies like Raytheon and IBM to train workers with little education for jobs in cybersecurity or information technology. Community and technical colleges in Kentucky will get $10 million to expand online learning for degrees in computer and medical fields. Vice President Joe Biden and the secretaries of Education and Labor will announce the grant winners Monday at the White House. Linking job training to industry demand is key to the administration's strategy to improve wages and reduce unemployment.

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Anti-Islamic ads depicting Foley pulled in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — A group running a series of anti-Islamic ads in New York City's transit system is pulling an ad that shows James Foley with the masked militant who killed him. The ads are bankrolled by a group led by blogger Pamela Geller. They are being yanked after criticism from the American journalist's family. Geller's attorney, David Yerushalmi, says the Foley family was notified that the ads were being pulled. Yerushalmi says he wrote their lawyer that "Geller understands and feels intimately the pain" they are suffering. The ad depicts Foley moments before he is beheaded. The attorney tells the New York Post that other anti-Islamic ads will go forward.

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INTERNATIONAL
US-led airstrikes hit 4 Syrian provinces

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-led coalition strikes in Syria continue to target areas controlled by the militant group Islamic State. Activists say overnight, a grain silo was hit, but only civilians were killed. They say the air assault was on Islamic State facilities in four provinces, including Aleppo and Raqqa. One strike hit the entrance to a Conoco gas plant, but activists say the facility itself was not damaged.

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US adviser: Afghanistan to sign troop deal Tuesday

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A senior adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama says Afghanistan will sign a deal Tuesday to allow American soldiers to remain in the country past the end of the year. John Podesta made the comments Monday at a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Podesta said he didn't know if newly inaugurated President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai would be the official signing the deal for Afghanistan, but said he would sign it on behalf of the U.S. The deal will allow about 10,000 American troops to stay in the country after the international combat mission ends on Dec. 31.

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German government shocked by refugee abuse claims

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's government has condemned the alleged abuse of refugees by security guards at an asylum center. Police in the western city of Hagen said Sunday they are investigating allegations that guards from a private security company physically and mentally abused refugees. Evidence included a picture found on a guard's cellphone showing another guard pushing his foot against the neck of a handcuffed refugee lying on the floor. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Monday that "any citizen would be shocked by such pictures and want to know whether what the pictures suggest actually happened." He called for the allegations to be investigated and those responsible to be punished. Germany has seen a surge in asylum applications this year, partly because of the war in Syria.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 5, Kansas City 4
Milwaukee 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Arizona 5, St. Louis 2

College Football

Ohio 34, Eastern Illinois 19
Southern Illinois 34, Western Illinois 17
Illinois State 55, Austin Peay 6
(21) Nebraska 45, Illinois 14
Northwestern 29, Penn State 6

NHL Preseason

Dallas 4, St. Louis 2

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 5, Milwaukee 2
Kansas City 6, Chicago White Sox 4
St. Louis 1, Arizona 0

NFL

Indianapolis 41, Tennessee 17
Green Bay 38, Chicago 17

NHL Preseason

Chicago 5, Edmonton 0

NASCAR

AAA 400  (at Dover, DE)

1.Jeff Gordon
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Jimmie Johnson

PGA

Ryder Cup  (at Gleneagles, Scotland)
Team Europe 16.5, Team USA 11.5

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE


MLB

No Games Scheduled

NHL Preseason

No Games Locally

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Bears' Dixon leaves game with hamstring injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bears safety Ahmad Dixon left Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers because of a hamstring injury. He was hurt covering a kickoff in the second quarter. He walked off the field with some assistance and was examined on the sideline. The Bears announced in the third quarter that he would not return.

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Konerko Plays Last Game With The Sox

(Plano, IL)  --  Paul Konerko of the White Sox is calling it a career.  The veteran first basemen received a standing ovation yesterday at U.S. Cellular Field during the last game of his Sox career.  The six-time All-Star finished his career with over 400 home runs, an American League Championship Series MVP award, and a World Series championship in 2005.  A statue of Konerko was unveiled on Saturday while Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf has already said his number will be retired.

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News for Sept., 26, 2014

LOCAL
Unemployment Falls Across The State From Last Month

Unemployment declined in all 18 counties in South Central Illinois when compared to one year ago, as there was light fluctuation from July. The data is not seasonally adjusted. The start of the new school year increased employment activity throughout the region. Payroll gains occurred in retail trade, wholesale trade, and transportation. In addition, employment remained at elevated levels in construction and leisure-hospitality. Employment advances were reported in health care services and financial activities this summer. Some area manufacturers have added production workers in 2014. Employment opportunities in the summer of 2014 were available in food services, transportation, sales and healthcare. Job openings also were reported in office and administrative support, and production occupations. Advertisements for employment included jobs in business and finance, construction, computer services, and hospitality. Jefferson County posted a 7.5% for August, up slightly from 7.3% in July 2014, but down from 9.1% in August 2013.  Marion County jumped to 9.5% for the month after posting a 9.2% showing in July, but still down 2.5% from August 2013, and Washington County dropped from 5.5% to 5.4% over the past month. Hamilton County went from a 6.6% to 6.4% over the last month and Wayne County rose slightly from a 7.4% to a 7.5%, but Clinton County dropped from 5.5% in July to 5.4% in August.

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Jefferson County Residents Complain of IRS Scam

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has received complaints from county residents of subjects calling them and portraying themselves as the Internal Revenue Service.  The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has verified through the IRS that the IRS will never call over the telephone asking for credit, debit, or prepaid card information.  The IRS will always send taxpayers a written notification of any taxes due through the U.S. Mail.  As with other telephone scams, if someone calls you asking for personal information or immediate payment, never give any such information out and end the telephone call immediately.

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McClellan BOE To Hold Community Referendum Meeting

The McClellan CCSD #12 Board of Education will hold a Community Referendum Meeting on Thursday, October 2 at 7:00 PM at the McClellan Gym.  The proposed Tax Rate Referendum which has been placed on the ballot of the November 4 General Election will be discussed.  All parents, guardians, McClellan CCSD #12 staff, residents, and community members are invited to attend the Community Referendum Meeting.  Your attendance is welcome and your opinion is valued. 

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Pot Plants Found, Destroyed in Saline County

Over $150,000 worth of marijuana plants recently discovered in eastern Saline County have been seized and destroyed. Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown says his office and the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force removed 70 marijuana plants from a location south of Route 13 near Ben Road. Brown says the plants were discovered from a recent fly-over and removed by officers from both agencies and destroyed.  Brown reminds you that marijuana production is still illegal in the state.

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Alton Protestors Demand Answers About Girl's Death

(Alton, IL) -- The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri is spilling over into Illinois. People in Alton are demanding answers about the death of an African American woman who was shot and killed inside a police squad car two years ago. She was riding with an officer near Dunn Road and Highway 367 when it happened. Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons says the case was thoroughly investigated by several law enforcement agencies in St. Louis County, and each of them found there was no criminal wrongdoing. Community leaders say they'd like the Justice Department to intervene because of recent developments in Ferguson.

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Regional Superintendent Reminds Potential School Board Nominees Of Filing Changes

Regional Superintendent of Schools for Hamilton-Jefferson Counties, Ron Daniels, wants to inform the public of the change in state election laws affecting the school board elections.  School board seats will be filled at the April 7, 2015 Consolidated Election, but unlike previous years, changes in the election laws have moved the responsibility of school board elections for the local school board secretary to the county clerk. This means candidates for school board will not be filing paperwork at the local school district, but at the County Clerk’s office.  Petition forms will be available at the County Clerk’s office or blank petitions may be downloaded from the State Board of Elections website at www.elections.il.gov. Candidates for the office of school board can begin to circulate nominating petitions for signatures beginning September 23, 2014.  The period for filing nominating papers runs from December 15 through December 22, 2014. Candidates may also want to consult the “2015 Candidate’s Guide,” which can be downloaded from the State Board of Elections website, or contact the county clerk or board of election commissioners regarding the requirements of filing.  Regional Superintendent, Ron Daniels, also suggested that candidates and voters can get information about the district from its website, and learn about being a school board member from the Illinois Association of School Boards, at www.iasb.com/elections.

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Boil Order In Effect For All City Of Du Quoin Water System Customers Until Further Notice

City of Du Quoin waterworks and sewerage system superintendent Chris Lacy has issued a boil order for a portion of the City of Du Quoin water system effective immediately until such order is lifted. The users of the City of Du Quoin water system affected are the entire City of Du Quoin & Old Du Quoin  Repair work is being done on the lines in these areas. Therefore this boil order is required. As soon as the environmental protection agency approves tests made on the water, residents will be notified through media outlets that the boil order has been lifted. The City of Du Quoin thanks you for your cooperation in this emergency.

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Carbondale Residents Submit Ameren Energy Scam Complaints

Police in Carbondale say they’ve been getting some complaints from local business owners regarding an Ameren Energy scam. Officials say scammers are allegedly calling local businesses saying their electric bill is overdue and if they don’t pay their bill that day, their power will be cut off. The scammers are asking business owners to go to a store and buy a prepaid credit/debit card like a Green Dot Money Pak or Vanilla Reload card in the amount of their bill. Then they are asking the business owners to give them the credit card numbers over the phone to pay their overdue bill. Police ask if you get a call from someone posing as an Ameren employee and you are suspicious of the caller, please write down the date and time the caller called you, the phone number that called you, any distinguishing characteristics about the caller and any questions they may ask you. If you feel you have been a victim of this scam, call Carbondale Police at 457-3200.

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Gov. Quinn Announces Southern Illinois Road Projects

Governor Quinn has announced a couple of road projects for two southern Illinois counties that will be funded through his Illinois Jobs Now! construction program. Quinn says reconstruction of two lane pavement into four lanes with a bi-directional center turn lane will be done on U.S. 45 from just north of Illinois Route 142 to north of Texas City Road near Eldorado. The $26.9 million project will be done by E. T. Simonds Construction Company of Carbondale. U.S. 45 in Williamson County will receive about four miles of pavement patching, milling and resurfacing from Stonefort to Illinois Route 166 for just over $1 million. Southern Illinois Asphalt Co., Inc. of Marion will do that project. The projects will be managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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FMC Water Company Boil Order Lifted

The FMC Water Company has lifted a service-wide boil order it had issued over the weekend. The water provider had been searching for a major leak for two week that had resulted in a loss of 200,000 gallons of water each day. The leak was found Saturday, and resulted in the entire service area being placed under boil order on Sunday. But as of Thursday afternoon, FMC Water Company gave the all-clear and lifted the boil order. FMC serves portions of Clinton, Fayette and Marion Counties, extending from Odin in the south, Interstate 57 in the east, the eastern portion of Clinton County to the east and the entire community of Shobonier to the north.

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STATE
Twelve Companies Under Rauner Firm Filed Bankruptcy

(Springfield, IL)  --  A scathing report has been issued about how Bruce Rauner's investment firm did business while he was still heading it up.  Lee Enterprises reports that at least 12-companies owned by Rauner's investment firm have filed bankruptcy.  More than half of them went under while he was in charge.  Rauner served on the board of seven of the companies.  A federal judge in Florida is hearing the details in trial this week about one of the nursing homes that allegedly filed bankruptcy in order to skip out on paying wrongful death judgments. A Rauner spokesman says most of the GOP candidate for governor's business ventures were successful but some didn't work out.  But Quinn's team says the bankruptcies raise red flags about Rauner's track record.

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Madigan Probes Jimmy John's Data Breach

(Chicago, IL) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the credit card data breach reported by the Jimmy John's sandwich chain. Madigan urges customers to check their accounts for unauthorized charges if they used their credit or debit card at a Jimmy John's between June 16th and September 5th. The Champaign-based company says that while stores in 37 states, including Illinois, were affected, the data breach has now been contained.

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Syverson Not Happy With New Smoking Ban Proposal

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Senator Dave Syverson isn't happy about the state's plan to ban smoking on outdoor patios and beer gardens. He says business owners spent big money building the decks to accommodate their smoking customers and changing the law sends the message that their bottom dollar doesn't matter.  The current law prohibits indoor smoking at restaurants but allows customers to smoke outside as long as they're 15-feet away from a door or window.  A new proposal would change that and ban smoking on all decks and patios where a server is passing out food and drinks.  Syverson says that will ultimately hurt jobs. 

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Police Detonate Bomb In Palestine

(Palestine, IL) -- Police in Palestine are trying to figure out how an explosive device ended up in someone's yard. A lawn mowing crew discovered the device yesterday afternoon and called 9-1-1. Police went to the scene, closed off roads, and evacuated homes in the area. The item turned out to be an over-sized firecracker with gun powder and a fuse. It was about four inches long and about an inch-and-a-half in diameter. The bomb squad used a water cannon to detonate the device.

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Jumper injured at eastern Illinois courthouse


CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — A man jailed on a drug charge jumped from a second floor of a courthouse in eastern Illinois Thursday morning, injuring himself when he landed on the building's main floor, authorities in Coles County said. Chief Deputy Kerry Whitley of the Coles County Sheriff's Office said the inmate was taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center and was expected to recover, according to a report in the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier. Jail records show the man, Anthony B. McFarland, 53, had been arrested and jailed last week for a methamphetamine precursor charge. He was among a group deputies had escorted to the courthouse for court appearances.

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Decatur drug maker expanding

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — A pharmaceutical plant in Decatur is expanding and could eventually add jobs, city officials said. Akorn Inc. on Thursday broke ground on a project that will add 40,000 square feet to its plant. The company recently bought a neighboring property to accommodate the expansion. Akorn is also remodeling and modernizing equipment as part of an $18 million project to increase production. The Decatur-based maker of generic pharmaceuticals employs 435 people and says the expansion could create more jobs. Decatur has struggled with high unemployment in recent years due in part to layoffs by other manufacturers. The state Department of Employment Security says the unemployment rate in the area was 9.4 percent last month. That's down from 12.5 percent a year earlier.

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Coast Guard : Be careful, water getting colder

CHICAGO (AP) — It may be a beautiful and even warm time of year to go boating on Lake Michigan, but the Coast Guard said that water temperatures are dropping and may pose safety risks. In a news release, the Coast Guard said that while the temperatures out on the lake might be warm, the water temperatures have already dropped substantially since the summer — with temperatures of Lake Michigan having fallen from almost 80 degrees during the height of summer to about 60 degrees now. "Warm air temperatures can create a false sense of security for boaters," said Mike Baron, recreational boating safety specialist for the Coast Guard 9th District. "Cool water drains body heat up to 25 times faster than cool air. That is why we encourage boaters to always dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature." The Coast Guard said people should not go on the water alone, and that boaters should wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets. The Coast Guard also recommends boaters carry registered personal locator beacons in addition to the VHF-FM marine radio, to alert the Coast Guard and local agencies of problems. The release also recommends that boaters, if they fall in the water, assume a position that lessens heat escape. That means bringing their knees close to their chest and keeping them in place by wrapping their arms around their shins.

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NATIONAL
About 12 Americans fighting in Syria, not 100

WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI director says the U.S. believes there are about a dozen Americans fighting alongside extremist groups in Syria, not more than 100, an estimate that has been cited by government officials and lawmakers for months. The 100 figure, however, has taken on an urban legend status over the past few months as the Obama administration makes its case for military action in Iraq and Syria. FBI Director James Comey says the "more than 100" figure refers to Americans who have gone to Syria and come back or have attempted to go and been arrested. Comey also says the U.S. believes it has identified the masked man in the videos depicting the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker. He declined to reveal the man's name.

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Stewart says crash was '100 percent' accident

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Tony Stewart says the crash that killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. on a dirt track in upstate New York was "100 percent" an accident. Stewart spoke to The Associated Press yesterday from his home in Huntersville, North Carolina. It was his first interview since a grand jury decided against charging the NASCAR star in Ward's death. Stewart could still face a civil lawsuit. Stewart says during his three-week hiatus from racing after the crash, he stayed in seclusion at his other home in Indiana and didn't want to get out of bed or even leave his room. He asked for professional help to deal with his grief. Stewart said: "I know 100 percent in my heart and in my mind that I did not do anything wrong. This was 100 percent an accident."

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Detroit's elected officials regain control of city

DETROIT (AP) — The day-to-day operations of Detroit's city government are back in the hands of its elected mayor and City Council. State-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr says "the city is more than ready" before signing Order 42. The measure puts the nine-member council and Mayor Mike Duggan back in charge of Detroit's finances, police department and other facets of city government. Orr was appointed by the state in March 2013 to manage Detroit's troubled finances, and he took the city into the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. His exit becomes effective if and when federal Judge Steven Rhodes approves the city's restructuring plan in bankruptcy court. The plan would wipe out $7 billion of Detroit's $12 billion in long-term, unsecured debt while restructuring city services.

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US: Most new immigrant families fail to report

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly three months this summer, the Obama administration carefully avoided answering questions about what happened to thousands of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border. Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and others would say only that they faced deportation. It turns out that tens of thousands of those immigrants have not followed the government's instructions to report back to immigration authorities and instead vanished into the interior of the country. The Homeland Security Department privately acknowledged to immigration advocates that about 70 percent of families hadn't reported as ordered. The disclosure came during a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters for a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of the meeting and separately interviewed participants.

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Teacher to be re-sentenced in Montana rape case

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana teacher who spent just a month in prison for raping a 14-year-old student who later killed herself, goes back to court Friday to be re-sentenced. Stacey Rambold is hoping for a sentence of two years in prison and another two years suspended for the 2007 rape of the freshman at Billings Senior High School. Prosecutors want a 10-year prison sentence with another 10 years suspended. The case got international attention after the original sentencing judge placed some of the blame on the young victim.

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Trial begins for man charged in Auburn slayings

OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama jury is scheduled to hear opening statements in the capital murder trial of a man accused of fatally shooting two former Auburn University football players. A judge told a panel of 12 jurors and four alternates to return to court this afternoon for the trial of 24-year-old Desmonte Leonard. Leonard is charged with killing former Auburn players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips at a pool party in Auburn in June 2012. Another man also was slain and three people were wounded. Testimony in past hearings indicated Leonard was hit with a bottle before the shooting began, and the defense claims he fired in self-defense. Prosecutors want the death penalty in the shootings. Leonard was captured after an intense three-day manhunt that followed the killings.

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Foul ending to the search for a stolen truck

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Authorities have finally found a truck containing 37,000 pounds of chicken that a driver was supposed to deliver from Arkansas to Washington state on Aug. 27. The foul odor of rotting poultry and the dripping of rancid juices has led authorities to a truck stop in western Montana. Police say 42-year-old Christopher Hall had refused to deliver the $80,000 cargo until he was paid more money. The trailer's refrigerator apparently continued running until the fuel ran out, finally drawing attention from people, and flies. Now police are looking for Hall.

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Police: Driver dies after Michigan bridge collapse

DETROIT (AP) — Police say the driver of a truck that hit a pedestrian bridge over a Detroit freeway, causing it to collapse, has died. Michigan State Police Lt. Michael A. Shaw told reporters at the scene that the driver died Friday morning following the bridge collapsing onto the Southfield Freeway. He didn't share details about what caused the driver's death. Shaw says the driver, whose identity has not been released, worked for a waste-hauling business. He says "momentum is enough to take down the bridge" when hit by a truck. Shaw says no one was on the bridge when it fell. The freeway was closed from Interstate 96 to Joy Road during rush hour. The Michigan Department of Transportation and state police say they weren't sure how long the roadway would be closed.

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Fire at control site stops O'Hare, Midway flights

CHICAGO (AP) — A fire at a suburban Chicago air traffic control facility Friday halted all flights in and out of the city's two airports. It was the second time since May that a fire at one of the Chicago area's major control facilities prompted a ground stop at O'Hare and Midway international airports. Friday's fire led to the evacuation of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said. One injury was reported, Cory said.

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5 Boston airline workers accused of smuggling cash

BOSTON (AP) — Five airline employees have been charged with using their security clearances to smuggle more than $417,000 in cash past checkpoints at Boston's Logan International Airport. Federal prosecutors allege the workers used their clearances to sneak cash past Transportation Security Administration checkpoints from public bathrooms near the baggage claim, passenger pick-up and drop-off areas, and elsewhere at the airport. Authorities say the money was the proceeds of illegal drug sales. Those arrested are four JetBlue Airways employees and one Delta Air Lines customer service ramp agent. Each is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Authorities say the employees got cash payments from a cooperating witness in return for delivering the money to secure areas of the airport and aboard commercial flights.

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NY mail carrier accused of hoarding 40,000 letters

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City postal carrier is accused of failing to deliver more than 40,000 pieces of mail, some dating to 2005. According to a federal court complaint, Joseph Brucato hoarded the mail at his home, car and post office locker. He was arrested Wednesday after a supervisor noticed undelivered mail piled up in Brucato's personal vehicle. The 67-year-old Brucato was arraigned Wednesday and released on his own recognizance. Magistrate Vera Scanlon ordered him to "abstain from excessive alcohol consumption." Brucato's attorney says his client suffered from depression. Authorities say about 2,500 pounds of U.S. mail postmarked as far back as 2005 was recovered. Brucato's route included businesses and residences in Brooklyn's Flatbush section.

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INTERNATIONAL
UK lawmakers debate airstrikes on militants

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers are debating whether to join the United States and a coalition of Western and Arab nations in airstrikes meant to thwart Islamic State group militants in Iraq. Lawmakers are expected to approve the motion, which is supported by all three main parties and comes only days after Iraq's prime minister requested help. The motion does not address any action in Syria. Critics say that would be illegal because Syrian President Bashar Assad has not invited outsiders to help. Meanwhile, the Danish government says it is joining the coalition to strike at the Islamic State extremist group, sending seven F-16 fighter jets to take part in airstrikes against the group in Iraq. Denmark's prime minister says her left-leaning government has a parliamentary majority backing the deployment of four operational planes and three reserve jets along with 250 pilots and support staff.

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US-led strikes hit IS group oil sites for 2nd day

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-led coalition warplanes for a second day are bombing oil installations and other facilities in eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State group. Activists also say there were airstrikes on the town of Mayadeen, and raids targeted the headquarters of the Islamic State in the town. Activists say they don't have concrete figures but there are reports of casualties. The U.S.-led coalition began its aerial campaign in Syria early Tuesday.

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French Muslims to protest against extremism

PARIS (AP) — Muslims in France are gathering for a demonstration in Paris against extremist violence after the videotaped beheading of a French mountaineer. Friday's protest comes a day after the main mosque in Paris called for the demonstration against the killings happening in the name of their religion. It also comes in the wake of the launch earlier this week by British Muslims of a social media campaign "#notinmyname" in response to the Islamic State group. Many Western Muslims are torn between their fury at the atrocities committed in the name of Islam and frustration that they have to defend themselves at all. The head of the Bordeaux mosque said any demonstration should include all religions.

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WHO: 1000s of Ebola vaccine doses in coming months

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says there should be thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines available in the coming months and they could eventually be given to health care workers and other people who have had contact with the sick. But Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general at WHO, cautioned reporters in Geneva on Friday that no vaccine has yet been proven safe or effective in humans. Testing has now begun to make sure they are not harmful to people. A vaccine may then be put to use in this outbreak, but Kieny warned that until its effectiveness is proven, anyone receiving it would still have to operate as if they are not protected against Ebola. The Ebola outbreak sweeping West Africa is believed to have killed more than 2,900 people.

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SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Kansas City 6, Chicago White Sox 3

NHL Preseason

Detroit 3, Chicago 2
Columbus 5, St. Louis 4

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee 7:10 p.m.
St. Louis at Arizona 8:40 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 7:44 p.m.)

NHL Preseason

NY Rangers at Chicago 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox 6:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee 6:10 p.m.
St. Louis at Arizona 7:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:14 p.m.)

College Football

Northwestern at Penn State 11 a.m.
Eastern Illinois at Ohio 1 p.m.
Western Illinois at Southern Illinois 6 p.m.
Austin Peay at Illinois State 6:30 p.m.
Illinois at (21) Nebraska 8 p.m.

NHL Preseason

Dallas at St. Louis 7 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee 1:10 p.m.
St. Louis at Arizona 3:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:14 p.m.)

NFL

Green Bay at Chicago 12 p.m.
Tennessee at Indianapolis 12 p.m.

NHL Preseason

Chicago at Edmonton 5 p.m.

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Bears sign LB Sharpton to 1-year deal

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears have signed linebacker Darryl Sharpton to a one-year contract and reached an injury settlement with fullback Tony Fiammetta. The moves were announced on Thursday. Sharpton appeared in 42 games with 19 starts for Houston from 2010 to 2013. He signed with Washington in the offseason but got placed on injured reserve after he suffered a high-ankle sprain late in camp. The Redskins released Sharpton this week. Fiammetta has been dealing with a hamstring injury.

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Illinois' Allison expected to play at Nebraska

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois receiver Geronimo Allison will play when the Illini take on No. 21 Nebraska on Saturday. According to the pregame injury report released Thursday night, however, defensive tackle Teko Powell won't take to the field. Allison missed the Texas State game last weekend with an ankle injury. This week's injury report did not include Allison, who is among the team's leading receivers with 16 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Powell has played in three games so far and has eight tackles. Illinois faces the Cornhuskers at 9 p.m. Saturday.

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Konerko figures emotions will hit as career ends

CHICAGO (AP) — Paul Konerko wasn't quite sure what to expect this weekend as he prepared to wrap up one of the most successful careers by a Chicago White Sox player. He figured the emotions will hit him. He's just not quite sure how he will handle them. He is sure of one thing as he wraps up a 16-year run in Chicago and a career that began with the Dodgers in 1997. He has "no doubt" it's time to put away the bat and glove. He was out of the lineup Thursday as the White Sox opened a four-game series against Kansas City. But, he expected to start the final three games. On Thursday, he thanked the Chicago fans in his own special way, with a video released by the team.

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News for Sept. 25, 2014

LOCAL
Carbondale Girl Missing

Carbondale Police need your help finding a missing juvenile. Officials say 17-year-old Brooke Zwicky was last seen around 5:30 Monday afternoon. She was reported missing from the 1000 block of East Park Street. Zwicky is described as a white female who is 5’2” tall with an average build. She has blue eyes and shoulder length blonde hair in a pony tail. Zwicky was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a black t-shirt with orange/brown lettering, a blue zip-up sweatshirt with no hood and dark blue shoes with lime green shoe laces. Police learned that Zwicky was in Anna Tuesday afternoon and are investigating. Anyone with information on Zwicky’s whereabouts should call Carbondale Police at 457-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 549-COPS.

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Harrisburg Shooting Suspect In Custody

A man wanted by Harrisburg Police for shooting another man early Wednesday morning is now in custody. Police say 20-year-old Ian Hamilton was arrested late Wednesday in the Metro East area near St. Louis. Police were sent to 436 W. Poplar St. early Wednesday after getting a report about shots being fired. When officers arrived, they found 26-year-old Starlon Davis had been shot a few times in his lower extremities. Davies was taken to Harrisburg Medical Center and then airlifted out of the area for treatment. His condition is not known at this time.

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Federal judges may visit southern Illinois prison

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Two federal judges may visit a southern Illinois prison as they work on a class-action lawsuit that inmates brought about overcrowding, according to court documents. U.S. Magistrate Judge Philip M. Frazier in a Tuesday order called for a meeting with lawyers for both the state and the inmates at the Vienna Correctional Center on Oct. 30, Lee Enterprises' Springfield bureau reported. Frazier wrote in the order that U.S. District Judge Phil Gilbert also may attend the meeting. The case has been in settlement talks since late 2013. Gilbert would handle a trial if a settlement isn't reached. Three inmates filed suit in 2012 on behalf of the hundreds of inmates in the Vienna facility, arguing that prisoners lived in quarters filled with mold, mice and cockroaches and had insufficient bathrooms. IDOC has since worked to upgrade the facility. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office confirmed efforts to set up the meeting. Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer said the agency requested the meeting. Vienna Correctional Center, completed in 1965, was designed for 865 inmates. Six new housing units completed in 1973 increased prison capacity to 1,672 inmates. The current population is more than 1,600 prisoners, Shaer said Wednesday.

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Jimmy Johns Announces Possible Data Breach

(Champaign, IL)  --  An Illinois based sandwich chain is warning its customers about a possible data breach. Jimmy John's posted a letter on the company's website saying they detected problems at 216 stores in 17 states between June 16th and September 5th of this year. The Champaign based company says the problem has been contained and customers can use their credit and debit cards securely at Jimmy John's stores. No stores locally were affected, but locations in Collinsville and Charleston, Illinois were as well as one location in Evansville, Indiana.

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Swansea police investigate officer crash

SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — O'Fallon authorities are investigating a crash that left a 15-year-old pedestrian in serious condition after a police officer hit her with a city vehicle. Investigators will check the phone records of the O'Fallon police captain to see if he was on his cellphone at the time of the collision Friday, Swansea Police Chief Mike Arnold told the Belleville News-Democrat. The officer told investigators he wasn't using his phone, Arnold said, but a witness said she saw the driver on his cellphone during the crash. No charges or disciplinary action have been reported. Police haven't released the name of the teen, who remains in serious condition, Arnold said. She was running across Illinois 159 when the officer hit her, he said. An Illinois State Police accident reconstruction report could take at least four to six weeks to be completed, he said.

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Man shot during Illinois break-in pleads guilty

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A man shot by a southwestern Illinois woman after he broke in to her home has pleaded guilty to home invasion. Joshua Jewell of Troy entered the plea in Madison County court before going on trial this week for the 2013 break-in. He faced six to 30 years in prison before the plea deal, but the county state's attorney's office agreed not to ask for more than 19 years, a spokeswoman said. Debi Keeney said she shot Jewell with a small-caliber revolver at her sister's Highland apartment, believing he would kill her 47-year-old sister. He had her sister in a choke hold while demanding money, she said. The women said they didn't know him. Jewell had been hospitalized in St. Louis after being shot and entered and left the courtroom in a wheelchair, The (Alton) Telegraph reported. A sentencing date has not been set.

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Rotary District Governor To Visit Mt. Vernon West Rotary Club

Rotary International District 6510 Governor Lane Harvey will be the featured speaker when the Rotary Club of Mt. Vernon West meets Monday, Sept. 29. Harvey will be making his first official visit to the Mt. Vernon West club since taking over Rotary affairs in Illinois’ 28 southern-most counties July 1. “I will be sharing my goals for the district and its clubs, as well as reporting on developments at the international and district levels,” Harvey said.  “I’ll also be soliciting input from the Mt. Vernon West club as to how we can better serve it.” Monday’s meeting will be held at 7 a.m. at the Fairfield Inn, 217 Potomac in Mt. Vernon.  The press is invited. Rotary is a global organization of some 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs united to serve humanity.  Its District 6510 is comprised of 48 clubs and 1,600 members in Southern Illinois.

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SIU student leaders form assault task force

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Student leaders at Southern Illinois University formed a new task force aiming to prevent incidents of sexual assault and street violence. The student task force was announced Tuesday in response to a seven-day period in which eight SIU students were arrested in three separate incidents, including two sexual assault cases and one fight. It follows the national "It's On Us" initiative that encourages college students to recognize their rights and responsibilities not only on campus, but also in the community, The Southern Illinoisan reported. The SIU campaign will focus mainly on the campus' culture in regard to women and violence. "In the end, there has to be a change in our culture in how we treat and view women," said Adrian Miller, a student representative on the university's Board of Trustees. "The only way to do this is to see a cultural change in the community, the citizens of Carbondale and the student body." The task force will use a grassroots approach to spread its mission, according to Cameron Shulak, the president of SIU's Undergraduate Student Government. "This task force approach will allow us to cover all sources of input and opinion on campus," Shulak said. "A 360-degree approach, starting with students and continuing up through administration and the different departments on campus." The SIU student leaders ultimately hope to inspire everyone on campus to actively prevent violence and sexual assault. The task force plans to hold public meetings so students can ask questions and share ideas, as well as open a new resource center.

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West City Man Arrested On Aggravated Battery Charges

A West City man was arrested Tuesday night on an outstanding warrant charging him with two counts of aggravated battery. Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones says both counts against 24-year-old Justin E. Harvey are Class X felonies. Jones says the victims in the case are infants. Harvey is lodged in the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond. The sheriff says more charges and arrests are possible in this case.

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State Supreme Court Denies DHS Petition To Stop Murray Closure

The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a petition from The Illinois Department of Human Services seeking to have the high court strike down an April ruling by the Appellate Court in favor of a group of parents trying to stop Gov. Pat Quinn from closing the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. Plaintiffs in Murray Center case pose outside the Clinton County Courthouse the day they first filed. Attorney Wylie Blair, representing the Friends for Murray Center commented after the ruling that the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the state leave to appeal, places the Clinton County appeal to rest. Blair says this is an important victory for the developmentally disabled and specifically for the office of state guardian wards, in that the Fifth District opinion sets precedent that the state can be held accountable for the mistreatment of its wards. The ruling stems from a decision last year in which Clinton County Attorney Stewart Freeman was named as the legal guardian of 28 Murray residents after questions were raised about the representation they were receiving from a state guardian. In his position, Freeman has the power to block the state from taking certain steps to move the residents out of Murray, potentially stymieing the Governor’s push to shut down the facility. In its decision, the appeals court wrote that the lower court had been precise in describing Freeman’s role in the process. The court also noted that the current setup ensures that the best interests of the residents “be considered over political and budgetary considerations surrounding the closure of Murray.”

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Buyers encouraged to 'Shop Illinois Saturday'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials urged support of local businesses and products Wednesday by promoting "Shop Illinois Saturday" Oct. 4. The initiative is part of the state Department of Agriculture's Illinois Products Program. It forges a partnership with six communities — Springfield, Carbondale, Alton, Genoa, Pontiac and Canton — which are part of the Illinois Main Street program, a co-sponsor. Gov. Pat Quinn said in a prepared statement that shopping locally is "what good neighbors do." "Buying goods and services locally makes good sense and helps support the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy," the Democrat said. The effort by state officials is part of the "Buy Illinois Challenge" to boost the state economy and generate awareness of Illinois-made products. The program encourages every Illinois household to pledge to dedicate $10 of its existing weekly budget to purchasing Illinois products. If every household took the $10 pledge, it would mean a $2.4 billion "re-investment" annually in the Illinois economy, the Agriculture Department said.

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STATE
Quinn Delays IDOT Worker Firings

(Springfield, IL) -- The Quinn administration has agreed to delay the firing of 58 IDOT employees who may have been hired in violation of anti-patronage rules. The one-month delay allows time for the employees, hired as "staff assistants," to have a court hearing on their efforts to keep their jobs. Quinn fired them and eliminated that job title after an inspector general's report found that the "staff assistant" position was created during the Blagojevich administration as a way to skirt prohibitions on politically-based hiring.

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Rauner Ad Uses Washington Slam Of Quinn

(Chicago, IL) -- Republican challenger Bruce Rauner dusted off some video of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington from more than 25-years ago to use in his latest campaign ad targeting African American voters. The radio and TV ads feature 1987 comments from Chicago's first black mayor explaining that Quinn was fired as city revenue director because he was undisciplined. The same clip was used in 2010 by Quinn's unsuccessful opponent in the Democratic primary, Dan Hynes. A statement from Quinn's camp says Washington spent his career fighting the policies that Rauner represents.

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Student Leaders Invite Governor Quinn, Rauner To UI

(Champaign, IL)  --  Student representatives at the University of Illinois are inviting Governor Quinn and his challenger Bruce Rauner to debate on campus. The proposed forum would take place October 7th in Foellinger Auditorium.  Some of the people attending will include student leaders from across the state.  That same day, a student leadership conference will already be underway on campus.

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Former Illinois health official pleads guilty

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A former human resources director at the Illinois Department of Health pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a $13 million grant fraud case. Roxanne Jackson, 49, of Olympia Fields entered her plea Tuesday afternoon following charges of bribery, theft and tax evasion filed against her Monday by federal prosecutors. As part of an agreement, she will likely face a maximum of 51 months in prison and pay nearly $173,000 in restitution for filing false income tax returns. She will also pay restitution for bribery. Jackson worked for the public health department in 2003 and 2004. She was accused of participating in a kickback scheme with the department's former chief of staff, Quinshaunta Golden of Homewood, who pleaded guilty in April to bribery, taking kickbacks and obstruction of justice. Golden is awaiting sentencing. When Jackson left the health department, she went to work for a security company, which received more than $2 million in contract funds to conduct background checks on nursing home residents. The security company got $300 for each background check and Jackson was required to pay Golden between $35 and $40 in kickbacks for each check. From roughly July 2007 to October 2008, Jackson said she gave approximately $433,000 to Golden per their agreement. The scheme funneled millions of dollars of state grants and contracts to Chicago businessman Leon Dingle Jr., prosecutors said. He's awaiting trial next month on federal charges of fraud, money-laundering and tax evasion. Sentencing for Jackson is scheduled at the end of January.

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Social Media Trail Leads To Pink Slips In Treasurer's Office

(Springfield, IL) -- A report released today details some of the reasons that three high-level employees were fired by State Treasurer Dan Rutherford this summer. The report by the treasurer's inspector general showed that an investigation of the three began when Patrick Carlson sent out a Snapchat photo of himself at a Cubs game during office hours, along with the message, "Ssshh. I'm playing hooky." A tipster alerted the inspector general to the photo, touching off an investigation of falsified time-keeping records by Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad as well as an alleged effort by Lad to intimidate the whistleblowers.

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More Than 350 Businesses Want Medical Marijuana Licenses

(Springfield, IL)  --  More than 350 businesses are hoping to grow or dispense medical marijuana in Illinois.  They turned their applications in to state officials earlier this week.  A panel will now sift through the applications and determine which businesses will be approved.  The state will hand out licenses for 22 cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries before the end of the year.  

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Study: Legalized Pot In Illinois Can Mean Dollars

(Undated)  --  Illinois stands to gain over 100-thousand dollars a year if pot is made legal statewide.  A new study by NerdWallet shows that the Land of Lincoln would generate more than 126-thousand dollars in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.  This November, people in Alaska, Florida, Oregon, and Washington, D.C will vote on whether to legalize the sale of weed.

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New Veterans Home In Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  A shelter in Springfield is getting more than a-million-bucks to add beds for homeless veterans.  Governor Quinn stopped through the capital city yesterday to announce the investment at the Salvation Army of Sangamon County.  They're in the process of renovating an old office building at Ninth and Jefferson Streets.  The cash will help double the shelter's capacity from 36-beds to 72.  The new facility will also provide medical services and job training in a new computer lab.

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NATIONAL
Strangler faces life term in old Los Angeles cases

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 74-year-old career criminal faces a life sentence today in the murders of three women in the late 1980s in South Los Angeles. Samuel Little was convicted last month after cold case detectives matched his DNA to evidence from the crime scenes. Little, who had a rap sheet in 24 states, managed until now to do little time behind bars. Prosecutors say he's a remorseless killer who deserves the maximum term.

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CHP Reaches Settlement With Woman Seen Being Beaten On Video

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  A California Highway Patrol officer is permanently off duty for beating a woman on the side of a Los Angeles freeway.  Authorities say they've reached a one-and-a-half million dollar settlement with Marlene Pinnock after a video showed her being repeatedly punched in the face by the officer.  Pinnock's attorney says she wanted to make sure her client would be financially stable for the rest of her life. 

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Tsarnaev Trial To Be Held In Boston

(Boston, MA)  --  A judge is saying no to a change of venue request from attorneys for Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Tsarnaev's lawyers were arguing that their client would not get a fair trial in Boston.  They also wanted the start of the trial to move to September of next year, so they would have more time to go over evidence.  The judge ruled yesterday that the trial will begin on January 5th.

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PA Police Find Evidence Of Accused Cop Killer In Area

(Blooming Grove, PA)  --  The manhunt for accused cop killer Eric Frein continues in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains.  Some officers say they have seen Frein in the area, but only from a distance.  Arresting him has been difficult, because the wooded and mountainous terrain has made it easy for him to disappear.  Frein is accused of ambushing two Pennsylvania troopers in Blooming Grove almost two weeks ago.

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Proposal would require permit for media filming

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is proposing new rules that would require media organizations to obtain a permit to film and shoot in more than 100 million acres of the nation's wilderness. The Forest Service would consider the nature of a proposed project before approving a special use permit, then charge fees of up to $1,500 for commercial filming and photography in federally designated wilderness areas. Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, say such rules would be a clear violation of the First Amendment and raise concerns about press freedom.

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Immigrant who hid in Oregon church gains support

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — As an immigrant activist's stay at an Oregon church to avoid deportation nears a week, he's gaining supporters, including Portland's mayor. But court documents reveal more details about the troubled past of 35-year-old Francisco Aguirre, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador nearly two decades ago and is facing removal to his native country because of an old drug conviction and a previous deportation. The newly obtained documents from 15 years ago describe Aguirre selling drugs to undercover police officers. He pleaded no contest in 1999 to two counts of dealing drugs. Aguirre says he was innocent but received bad advice from a lawyer. Portland leaders say they will nevertheless stand by Aguirre because of his contributions as an immigrant rights' organizer and a family man.

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Suspect in student's disappearance held in Texas

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A man charged with abducting a missing University of Virginia student is in custody in Texas and has appeared briefly via video link before a county judge. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. was arrested Wednesday on a beach in the community of Gilchrist in Galveston County, Texas. On Thursday morning, he appeared via video link before Galveston County Judge Mark Henry. Matthew is charged with abduction with intent to defile Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore who went missing Sept. 13 in Charlottesville. In Texas, he's charged with being a fugitive from justice and with giving false information to an officer. Henry set bond at $1,500 on the latter charge, but Matthew is being held without bond on the fugitive charge. Police believe the 32-year-old Matthew was the last person seen with Graham. It's not clear whether the two knew each other. Police are still searching for Graham.

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Woman accused of killing mom to steal her newborn

RINGGOLD, Ga. (AP) — A Tennessee woman is charged with murder after authorities say she gunned down a northwest Georgia woman because she wanted the mother's newborn baby. Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk says Catherine Goins lured the mom, Natalia Roberts, to a Ringgold home by saying she wanted to give the new mother some baby clothes. Sisk said in a statement Wednesday that Goins then used a .380-caliber handgun to shoot Roberts in the back of her head as she went down a flight of stairs on Sept. 19. The sheriff says Goins had been "living a ruse" that she was pregnant, and killed Roberts to get her baby. Sisk said Goins was apprehended Tuesday in Marion County, Tennessee, by local deputies and U.S. Marshals. It wasn't known whether she has an attorney.

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3 charged with beating gay couple are free on bail

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The three young adults charged with beating a gay couple during a night out on the town in Philadelphia have been released on bail. KYW-TV reports that 24-year-old Philip Williams of Warminster, 24-year-old Kathryn Knott of Southampton and 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan of Warrington left the police department's Central Detectives division at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Court documents indicate that Williams and Harrigan posted $75,000 bail and Knott posted $50,000 bail. The three are charged with criminal conspiracy and two counts each of aggravated and simple assault, and reckless endangerment. The couple told police a group hurled gay slurs and beat them when the two parties passed on a street Sept. 11. One man suffered serious facial injuries, including an orbital fracture, and had his jaw wired.

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9/11 illness kills 3 retired firefighters in 1 day

NEW YORK (AP) — The Fire Department of New York says three retired firefighters who worked at ground zero have died on the same day from 9/11-related illnesses. Lt. Howard Bischoff and firefighters Robert Leaver and Daniel Heglund died Monday. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro says their deaths are "a painful reminder that 13 years later we continue to pay a terrible price for the department's heroic efforts." The three worked at ground zero after the World Trade Center attacks. One had leukemia, one had esophageal cancer and a third had colon cancer. The Uniformed Fire Officers Association planned a news conference Thursday. It says first responders showed health problems soon after the attacks, with 99 percent of exposed firefighters reporting at least one new respiratory illness. The FDNY lost 343 firefighters on 9/11.

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$225 million Powerball winner in California

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A lucky person in Northern California has won a $225 million Powerball jackpot. The California Lottery says in a tweet that the winner in San Mateo, south of San Francisco, matched all six numbers in Wednesday night's drawing: 7, 14, 21, 24, 41 and 26. Lottery officials say it is the sole winning ticket sold in the 44 states that carry Powerball. The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/1oiPZYK) the winning ticket was sold at Key Markets on South Norfolk Street. The store's owners will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket. Another person in Stockton won an $11 million Super Lotto jackpot. The identities of the winners were not immediately revealed. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 176 million, according to the lottery.

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INTERNATIONAL
US diplomat calls Islamic State 'monstrous group'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says America doesn't have to be perpetually at war, but it must take on the surging Islamic State group. Samantha Power says the U.S. needs the support of other nations as it advances "a campaign to degrade and destroy" the terrorist network. Appearing Thursday on NBC's "Today" show, she calls Islamic State a "monstrous group." Power says the Obama administration is heartened by pledges of cooperation in this effort, but says a much greater commitment is needed. She says nations must not only defeat terrorists when encountering them head-on, but also needs to keep people from becoming recruited and choke off funding sources. Power says the horrors presented by the Islamic State militants should unite other countries, particularly in the Mideast and Europe.

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New airstrikes on Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. and allied countries are trying to cut off the Islamic State group's funding with airstrikes in Syria overnight that targeted oil installations held by the militant group. Islamic State is believed to control 11 oil fields in Iraq and Syria, and earn more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, theft and extortion. Activists say the latest airstrikes have killed nearly 20 people, including at least 14 militants. They say other airstrikes targeted the Syria al-Qaida affiliate called Nusra Front.

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Ukraine's Poroshenko sure that peace is on the way

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he believes the conflict with Russia-backed separatists in the east is on the wane and that peace efforts will work. In a news conference Thursday outlining his plans for Ukraine over the next half-decade, Poroshenko said: "I have no doubt whatsoever that my peace plan will work and that the main and most dangerous part of the war is behind." Poroshenko's proposals were a foundation for agreements this month aimed at ending the conflict that has killed at least 3,500 people since mid-April. The first step was a cease-fire called three weeks ago that in the beginning was repeatedly violated. But in recent days, reports of violations have decreased notably.

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SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

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

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

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

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Bears LB McClellin to miss Packers game

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears linebacker Shea McClellin will miss his second straight game because of a hand injury. Coach Marc Trestman called McClellin "week to week" and said he will not play Sunday against Green Bay. McClellin sat out Monday's win against the Jets in New York after getting injured in practice. Trestman also said Wednesday he's "not optimistic" about center Roberto Garza and left guard Matt Slauson returning from their ankle injuries. Both players have missed the past two games.

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DA will not press charges in Ward death; civil case ahead

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — A grand jury in New York State has decided not to bring criminal charges against Tony Stewart in the August death of a driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said the victim, Kevin Ward Jr., was under the influence of marijuana the night of the accident and it was enough to impair judgment. A few hours after the grand jury's decision was announced, the Ward family indicated in a statement read over the telephone by sister Kayla Herring that they will seek civil damages in the young driver's death. Mobil 1, Stewart's primary sponsor, says its funding for the three-time NASCAR champion remains unchanged. Bass Pro Shops and Rush Truck Centers, two of Stewart's other top sponsors, both strongly supported the driver when he made his return to racing after three weeks in seclusion.

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Area representatives in the IHSA Football Poll

Class 1A: None
Class 2A: None
Class 3A: 9. Nashville (42), NR Mt. Carmel (21), NR Carlinville (15)
Class 4A: 4. Greenville (104), 6. Althoff (90), 9. Columbia (36), 10T. Herrin (30), NR Carterville (8), NR Mater Dei (6)
Class 5A: 4. Highland (109), 10. Centralia (28), NR Triad (5)
Class 6A: 7. E. St. Louis (55)
Class 7A: NR Belleville West (3)
Class 8A: 4. Edwardsville (96), NR Belleville East (1)

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News for Sept. 24, 2014

LOCAL
Illinois State Police Locate Illinois Department Of Corrections Escapee

EFFINGHAM, IL – The man who escaped the Vandalia Correctional Facility on Tuesday has been apprehended.  The escapee, Marcus Battice, was last seen Tuesday entering a corn field east of the prison, wearing a blue shirt, white under shirt and blue pants.  At 7:28 AM Wednesday, a District 12 ISP unit observed an individual matching the description of the escapee, walking on a frontage road along I-70 westbound near milepost 164.  The ISP unit took Battice into custody and returned him to the IDOC. The Illinois State Police (ISP) assisted the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) in the search for Battice.  ISP Air Operations, K9 units, ATV units and patrol units actively searched the area.  ISP District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, stated “the goal for a swift and safe resolution to this incident, for all involved, has been reached." He's been transported to the maximum security Pontiac Prison and is being kept in solitary confinement.

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Accident On I-64 Exit Ramp at Route 37

A Semi-tractor/trailer was attempting to exit off of Interstate 64 Westbound at Illinois Route 37 at approximately 4:49 a.m. Tuesday when the unit left the roadway and overturned. Approximately 10 head of cattle were released from the trailer and created a hazardous traffic hazard. They were eventually dispatched at the scene. The Semi truck/trailer, deceased cattle and remaining cattle were loaded off and removed from the scene by Petroff towing. The unidentified 56 year old Somerset, KY driver was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for minor injuries. Jefferson Co. Fire and the Jefferson Co. Sheriff’s dept. assisted at the scene. The driver was cited for improper lane usage.

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Town Meetings To Be Held Regarding Consolidation Referendum

There will be three informative town meetings regarding the prospective consolidation of Webber, Bluford, and Farrington schools on the November 4th election ballot.  They will be held on Monday, September 29th 6:30 p.m. at Farrington Grade School, Tuesday, September 30th 6:30 p.m. at Bluford Grade School, and on Tuesday, October 14th 6:30 p.m. at Webber High School.

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Mt. Vernon Public Works Announce Street Paving Project

The City of Mt. Vernon Public Works Department has announced that they will be applying asphalt on Jamison from Cherry Drive to South 34th Street on Thursday, weather permitting.  This section of Jamison will be closed to all traffic from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Residents are required to park their vehicles on adjacent streets by 8 a.m. as they will not have access to their driveways during this time period. The project is expected to be completed within the time allotted that day.  Through traffic and parking will be allowed at the completion.

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Former Drug Property In Fairview Heights Forfeited

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that the forfeiture proceedings against the former drug house and real property located at 20 Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights, Illinois, have been completed. The property will be given to the City of Fairview Heights for public use. It is believed that the City will proceed with demolition of the building on property and eventually turn the property into a “pocket” park area.  “I am hopeful that the eventual use of this land by the citizens of Fairview Heights as a place of peace and relaxation will help erase the awful memories of the drug deals and the deaths which were connected to this site.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.  Deborah A. Perkins, 66, the owner of the property, forfeited her rights to her home and signed a Stipulation and Consent to Forfeiture. Perkins admitted that she sold heroin from the residence. Two young women, Jessica Williams and Jennifer Herling, died as a result of the drugs they received from persons at this residence. In addition to losing her home, Perkins was sentenced to 324 months imprisonment.  Lennil Johnson, of the St. Clair County Jail, attempted to take advantage of the forfeiture proceedings. Johnson filed fictitious claims against 20 Kassing Drive, claiming an ownership interest in the property. In adjudicating this forfeiture, the District Court denied Johnson’s claims, and, on April 1, 2014, sanctioned Johnson $1,000 for his actions. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s handling of this action.

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High Speed Rail Project Moving Right Along

(Granite City, IL) -- Efforts to speed up train service between Chicago and St Louis are moving right along. State officials gathered in Granite City this week as railroad workers replaced the final segment of track and ties along the route. The St. Louis to Chicago higher speed rail project will reduce the five and a half hour trip by 30 minutes at the end of 2015 and another 30 minutes by the end of 2017. The trains will be able to run at 110 miles per hour once the entire project is complete.

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MVPD Announce RSC Results

The Mt. Vernon Police Department has announced results of a roadside safety check held this past weekend in the city of Mt. Vernon.  Authorities checked 155 cars as they passed through the checkpoint, arresting six for no insurance, two for illegal transportation of alcohol, one for driving under the influence, and one for resisting arrest. The funding for this safety check is made possible by the Mission Possible Coalition.

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Grafton residents ask plant to eliminate fish odor

GRAFTON, Ill. (AP) — Residents who live near a plant that processes Asian carp in southern Illinois say it's producing rotten smells, despite the facility's odor-free assurance. A Grafton resident who lives near the American Heartland Fish Products plant asked local investors last month to find a solution, but the smells have continued. Company investor Gray Magee tells the (Alton) Telegraph they "are listening and paying close attention" to what neighbors are saying. He said the plant's partners are meeting and experimenting with companies that deal with industrial odor issues. American Heartland Fish Products opened in April as a carp-rendering plant, which turns the invasive species into dehydrated meal and fish oil. "There is a local issue with odor that has been unanticipated and unintentional with this new, unprecedented solution to the larger environmental issue of taking Asian carp out of these rivers," Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson said Monday. The Grafton City Council will continue to look for a solution to end the smell's invasion into residential areas, according to Thompson. A public forum is set to be held at City Hall on Tuesday evening. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is expected to visit the plant later this week.

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Illinois Farm Bureau To Name Congressman Bill Enyart 'Friend Of Agriculture'

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) will announce Wednesday, Sept. 24, their endorsement of Congressman Bill Enyart for the 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Enyart also will be named a “Friend of Agriculture.” Congressman Enyart will be endorsed by Illinois Agricultural Association ACTIVATOR, IFB’s political involvement fund which seeks to help elect pro-farm candidates no matter party affiliation or office. "Rep. Enyart helped Farm Bureau accomplish two of its highest priority issues in this session of Congress — the farm bill and the first water resources reauthorization in seven years," said IFB national legislative director Adam Nielsen. "In addition, he has taken a leadership role in fighting the EPA's propsed overreach of regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act." The announcement will be made at 10 a.m. at the farm of Ken Hartman, 201 Holstein Place, Waterloo, and at 2:30 p.m. at the farm of Duane Wittenborn, president, Williamson County Farm Bureau, 17499 Freeman Spur Road, Herrin.   Members of the media are invited to attend either event. Congressman Enyart and IFB representatives will be available for comment following the presentation.

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Prescription Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

(Alton, IL) -- People who have unused prescription drugs sitting around their homes can get rid of them safely this weekend. Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Police departments across the state will accept unused prescription drugs. The idea is to cut back on prescription drug abuse. Stats reveal about seven-million Americans abuse prescription drugs and more than four-thousand kids and young adults have their first experiment with prescription drugs every day. Most of them get the drugs from friends and family members.

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STATE
Treasurer hopefuls look to boost office's image

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The two candidates who want to be Illinois' next treasurer have different ideas for improving the image of the office, which has been tarnished by a sexual harassment suit and questions of whether taxpayer dollars were used in mixing state and political business. Former House Republican Leader Tom Cross said he wants to create a government integrity unit charged with reviewing state financial documents. Democratic state Sen. Mike Frerichs, meanwhile, says he would publish his schedule online and blunt "cronyism and corruption" with a self-imposed audit of the office. Both candidates say the office needs to reduce travel costs spent on the treasurer's I-Cash unclaimed property program. Current Treasurer Dan Rutherford has weathered criticism for using state funds to travel to program events throughout the state which were held in close proximity to political fundraisers. Rutherford had defended his mixing of activities as the byproduct of him working long hours for Illinois. The race for treasurer, the state's chief investment officer, has been marked with unusual intensity as it is the lone open statewide post on the November ballot. Rutherford is vacating the seat after his GOP primary bid for governor fizzled last spring after a harassment suit was filed by a former employee. The 56-year-old Cross enjoys better name recognition after his two decades as a legislator in Springfield. The 41-year-old Frerichs claims he has more financial expertise after serving previously as Champaign County's auditor.

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Auto insurer to market Blue Cross health coverage

CHICAGO (AP) — Consumers shopping for health insurance in five states will be able to buy one well-known brand from a leading provider of car insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans and State Farm announced Tuesday they're joining forces for the second year of expanded coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law. State Farm agents will sell health policies both on and off the new insurance marketplaces, allowing consumers who qualify to take advantage of financial assistance under the law. More than 3,300 State Farm employees will market Blue Cross policies in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, said Chicago-based Health Care Service Corp. and Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm in a news release. Open enrollment begins Nov. 15 for coverage starting Jan. 1.

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Wise hears from U of I faculty about professor

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise told faculty members that she is proud the school can have the kind of "difficult, uncomfortable" debate about the decision not to hire a professor over his profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages. Wise addressed the campus' Faculty Senate on Monday during its crowded regular meeting. She heard from both her critics and supports during the meeting, according to The News-Gazette in Champaign. Wise told Native American Studies professor Steven Salaita on Aug. 1 that he wouldn't be hired. Months earlier he accepted an offer from the university to start work in August. Professor Jodi Byrd told Wise the decision had harmed the department. But student-body President Mitch Dickey told the crowd he and others support Wise.

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Illinois among top in US for campaign ad spending

CHICAGO (AP) — If it seems as though the number of political ads on television has ramped up markedly this election, now there's concrete proof. Illinois has seen a roughly 30 percent increase in the number of TV ads and the money spent to air them this election cycle compared to four years ago, according to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity. That jump has been fueled by a neck-and-neck contest for governor pitting wealthy Republican Bruce Rauner against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The review found candidates for Illinois offices spent more than $26.4 million to air an estimated 34,589 ads between Jan. 1, 2013 and Sept. 8 of this year. That's up from about $20.5 million for an estimated 26,554 ads during roughly the same time period in 2010. The analysis includes only the cost of TV airtime, not expenses associated with producing the ads. It doesn't include spending for local cable TV advertising, or for radio or the internet, so the total spending on political ads can be significantly higher. Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for total TV ad spending this election, behind Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. The increase comes even as spending nationwide decreased by about 45 percent compared with 2010. That year, more than half of the spending on TV ads occurred between mid-September and Election Day — a sign that in Illinois, the air wars could just be getting started.

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USDA: Illinois corn harvest continues lagging

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' corn harvest continues to lag at a pace roughly one-quarter of the average over the previous five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest weekly update. The USDA said just 6 percent of the state's corn crop has been brought in from the fields, 2 percentage points higher than a year ago but down from 23 percent over the previous half decade. Corn that has reached maturity came in at 56 percent, down 7 percentage points from the norm, the USDA said. Some 83 percent of the crop has been rated good to excellent, while 76 percent of the soybean crop was considered in those two categories.

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Home Prices Up Across Illinois

(Springfield, IL)  --  The prices of homes across the state are on the rise.  Officials with the Illinois Association of Realtors say that shows a sign  of economic growth.  The largest increases were found in central Illinois.  Up 25 percent in Macon County and 16 percent in Sangamon County.  While home sales are down statewide, sale are actually up in Springfield.  The Capital Area Association of Realtors says that because fewer homes are being foreclosed, more are up for sale.

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Experts predict vibrant fall colors in Illinois

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Fall tree colors are expected to be vibrant in Illinois this year due to spring and summer weather, including plenty of rainfall, according to experts. The autumnal equinox took place Monday night, marking the official beginning of fall. Some sugar and red maples have already started to turn colors, said Patrick Murphy, a horticulturalist and curator at the Fell Arboretum. "Because we've had lots of rain, there should be good vibrant color and it should last long enough for trees to go through several color changes," he said. A drastic weather change last November caused the leaves of many trees to change before the final color stage, according to Murphy. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reported some trees are stressed from last year's drought, which can trigger early color changes. "So far this year we've had ideal weather — a good mix in the spring; a favorable summer; warm, sunny fall days with crisp nights," said David Kopsell, who teaches horticulture at Illinois State University. The fall tree colors could stick around for a while, according to Kopsell, if the first frost holds off a while longer and leaves aren't knocked off the trees due to strong storms. Kelly Allsup, a University of Illinois Extension Office educator in horticulture, says Cooler temperatures produce better colors. "That's what triggers the color; the chlorophyll stops producing, allowing the other colors to show," she said. "If it stays cooler, there will be a longer display."

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NATIONAL
Obama to address UN General Assembly

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly today, and administration officials say he'll cast the U.S. as vital in efforts to defeat the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. After weeks of launching strikes against militant targets in Iraq, Obama extended the military action into Syria on Monday, with the help of five Arab nations. Officials say Obama also will address ways the U.S. has worked to help resolve the crisis in Ukraine and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

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Anti-addiction groups call for new FDA chief

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a dozen anti-addiction groups are calling for the removal of FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg. They say the Food and Drug Administration's policies have contributed to a national epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. In October, the FDA approved a powerful new painkiller called Zohydro against the recommendation of its own medical advisers.

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Suspect charged in case of missing UVa student

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, are on the hunt for the man they believe was the last person seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared. Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. has been charged with abducting 18-year-old Hannah Graham, has been missing since Sept. 13. Matthew was last seen Saturday when he stopped by a police station with his mother and uncle to ask for a lawyer. Police say he sped away, losing officers who had him under surveillance.

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Strong winds could threaten NCal wildfire

PLACERVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Strong winds could come today to Northern California, fanning flames that already have destroyed a dozen homes east of Sacramento. Those winds failed to materialize yesterday, but the 140-square-mile wildfire is just 35 percent contained, and the more than 7,000 firefighters battling it have a lot of work ahead of them. The wildfire was deliberately set on Sept. 13, and fire officials say it's become the highest priority fire in the nation.

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NYC Politicians And Religious Leaders Denounce Ads As Anti-Muslim

(New York, NY)  --  Politicians and religious leaders in New York City are denouncing new ads on buses and subway stations that show American journalist James Foley just before he was beheaded.  City Councilman Mark Levine and Comptroller Scott Stringer were among the group that gathered at City Hall yesterday saying the ads promote Islamophobia.  Blogger Pamela Geller is bankrolling the 100-thousand-dollar ad blitz.  She says she's just trying to educate New Yorkers about the dangers posed by ISIS and Hamas.  

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Tensions High As Crowd Gathers In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Tensions are rising again in Ferguson, Missouri after an unruly crowd gathered in the St. Louis suburb Tuesday night.  KMOV-TV reports a beauty supply store was looted and gunshots were fired after a memorial to Michael Brown caught fire early Tuesday morning.  The makeshift memorial was just a few feet away from where the unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.

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Reports of iPhone 6 Plus Bending Out Of Shape

(Undated)  --  The new iPhone 6 Plus is larger, but thinner, and that has some customers getting bent out of shape.  Reports are starting to emerge of iPhone 6 Plus owners who have moved or just simply sat with the iPhone 6 Plus in their pockets for hours at a time, resulting in a bend or curve at the top of the phone.  Regardless of whether it's a hoax or an unfortunate defect with only some phones, Apple is reportedly not replacing bent phones.  

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US strikes militant staging area in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon spokesman says the United States executed two airstrikes Wednesday on an Islamic State group staging area in eastern Syria. Rear Adm. John Kirby says the target of the strikes was an area used by the militants to move equipment across the border into Iraq. Earlier Wednesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported airstrikes in and around the eastern Syrian city of Boukamal. Kirby told CNN that the U.S. also struck Islamic State targets in Iraq, near the Kurdish city of Irbil and the capital, Baghdad.

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2 wounded in mall shooting; 2 dead in car crash

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Police say two people were wounded in a shooting at Florida mall, and two men in a car matching the suspects' vehicle description were killed in a crash as they fled. Police say the victims' injuries aren't life-threatening. They were shot Tuesday evening near Osceola Square Mall's Ross Dress for Less store in Kissimmee, outside Orlando, after an argument in the store spilled outside. Police say the gunmen got into a car and drove toward officers after the shooting. Officers heading to the scene saw a car speeding away and turned to follow it. The vehicle crashed into another car about three miles from the mall. Police say the men inside died from what appeared to be crash-related injuries. Police say they're not sure whether the men in the car were the gunmen.

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Massachusetts house of horrors ordered torn down

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) —The squalid Massachusetts home where the remains of three infants were found has been ordered torn down. The Blackstone Board of Health on Tuesday ordered the home's owner to demolish the structure within seven days, or face fines of $500 per day. Board Chairman William Walsh says the home, though cleaned out, still has a strong odor and will never be suitable for habitation. The human remains were found in the rodent and insect infested house earlier this month. Four other children had been removed from the home last month. Resident Erika Murray is being held without bail on charges including fetal death concealment and permitting substantial injury to a child. The owner is a Woonsocket, Rhode Island, woman who was asked to attend Tuesday's meeting but did not show up.

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2 of 3 surrender in Philadelphia gay beating case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two of the three suburban Philadelphia defendants being charged in the beating of a gay couple during a late-night encounter on a Philadelphia street have turned themselves in to police. Defense attorneys say 24-year-old Philip Williams and 24-year-old Katherine Knott turned themselves in Wednesday morning. Prosecutors say they face criminal conspiracy, aggravated and simple assault, and reckless endangerment charges, as does 26-year-old Kevin Harrigan. Williams' attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. told reporters Wednesday that the case was not related to anyone's sexual orientation. He said it was instead what he called a "mutual confrontation" in which his client "was not the aggressor." Knott's attorney said his client played no role in the confrontation. The case gained attention when police posted a video of the well-dressed suspects and online sleuths used social media sites to help identify them.

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Wal-Mart launching mobile checking account

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Wal-Mart is launching a mobile checking account for its customers that will eliminate some of the fees charged by banks. The company said Wednesday that the GoBank checking account through Green Dot Corp. has no minimum balance requirements or overdraft fees. A monthly membership charge of $8.95 can also be waived if a direct deposit of $500 is made each month. The company says that credit bureau ratings and other scores traditionally used to determine eligibility are not part of the process. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., based in Bentonville, Arkansas, already had a relationship with Green Dot, offering prepaid cards from the Pasadena, California-based company. A MasterCard debit card can be linked to the GoBank account, which can be set up with a starter kit that costs $2.95.

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INTERNATIONAL
Iran general, 70 aides helped Iraq battle IS group

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Revolutionary Guard commander says a top Iranian general and 70 Iranian advisers were on the ground in Iraq this summer, helping Kurdish fighters defend the regional capital of Irbil against Islamic State militants. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who runs the Guard's aerospace division, says Gen. Ghasem Soleimani "stood up to" the Islamic State group and was instrumental in preventing the fall of Irbil.  Hajizadeh's remarks late Tuesday to Iranian state TV were Tehran's first confirmation of Iranian military presence and hands-on involvement in the struggle against the Islamic militant group. Iran earlier only confirmed providing military advice to the Iraqis but denied sending forces or weapons. The Islamic State militants came dangerously close to Irbil in August but Kurdish peshmerga fighters and U.S. airstrikes stopped their advance.

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UN chief urges hope in world seeming to fall apart

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says it may seem that the world is falling apart as crises pile up, disease spreads, Cold War ghosts return, and so much of the Arab spring has gone violently wrong. But the U.N. chief told world leaders at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly's ministerial meeting on Wednesday that leadership is about finding "the seeds of hope" in the turmoil and despair and nurturing them. "That is our duty," Ban said. "That is my call to you today." The secretary-general painted a grim picture of a world witnessing "unspeakable acts and the deaths of innocents," diplomacy undermined by those who believe in violence, and diversity under fire by extremists who insist their way is the only way.

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Ebola vaccine could be ready by year-end

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says a vaccine might be available in large enough quantities by the end of the year to help control West Africa's Ebola outbreak. There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, although scientists are testing two vaccines. Ebola is believed to have sickened more than 5,800 people in five West African countries. This outbreak is the first to hit urban areas and it has been difficult to control by the traditional methods of isolating sick people and monitoring everyone they came in contact with. Previously experts had said a drug or vaccine was unlikely to be ready in time to help in this outbreak. On Wednesday, WHO said projected year-end quantities of vaccines could be large enough to have some impact.

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Detroit 4, Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 4, St. Louis 3, 10 innings

NHL Preseason

Chicago Blackhawks 2, Detroit Red Wings 1 (OT)

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 12:08 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:09 p.m.)

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

Indiana Guard Commits To Illini Basketball Program

(Springfield, IL)  --  A top ranked high school basketball star from Indiana has committed to the University of Illinois.  Jalen Coleman, who is rated 35th nationally in the nation, announced on Tuesday on Twitter that he will join the Fighting Illini.  The six-foot-three guard helped lead his high school team last year to a second place finish in the Indiana Class 4A state tournament.  Coleman is regarded as a really good shooter from three-point range.

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Wrigley Field Renovations Starting Soon

(Chicago, IL)  --  The long awaited Wrigley Field renovations could begin very soon. Cubs spokesman Julian Green says work will begin this weekend on the 575-million-dollar renovation which includes a revamped home clubhouse and new bullpens. Green says the left-field video board, the LED sign in right field, and new bleachers should be ready for the 2015 season. The whole project is expected to be finished over the next four years.

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Big Ten's 12-1 mark last week was best in 6 years

UNDATED (AP) — The Big Ten is coming off its best week of non-conference play in six years with wins in 12 out of 13 games. It followed the league's worst showing in non-conference play in 22 years, one in which Big Ten teams lost six of nine games and had national college football analysts howling about the conference's lack of strength. The stunning turnaround didn't result in any chest thumping among the coaches on Tuesday's teleconference with reporters. Nebraska's Bo Pelini said it's "ludicrous" to judge a conference on one weekend, good or bad. The last time the Big Ten had a winning percentage of .923 or better during a week in which it played more than two non-conference games was Sept. 26, 2008, according to STATS. The league went 11-0.

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News for Sept. 23, 2014

LOCAL
Marijuana Plants Seized in Wayne City

More than 80 fully grown marijuana plants were seized Monday morning and a 42-year-old man was taken into custody, in a joint raid of a Wayne City residence by state and local police.  Jesse A. McDonald was arrested in connection with the large grow operation in which the more than 80 full-grown plants were seized along with more than three pounds of finished product. McDonald faces preliminary charges of unlawful production of marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Agents with the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force say a tip from Wayne City Police led authorities to the site. The grow operation was confirmed by aerial surveillance. Police pulled up over 80 fully grown plants that had been cultivated behind McDonald’s mobile home, near a wooded area. No one else was home with the raid was conducted and no firearms were found inside the residence.

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One Arrested In Fairfield School Threat

Police have made an arrest in a Monday morning school threat in Wayne County, after a social media website cooperated with authorities. According to Fairfield Police Chief Keith Colclasure, 20-year-old Lucas W. Gifford was taken into custody late Monday afternoon. Gifford was arrested at his place of employment and booked into the Wayne County Jail on a felony charge of disorderly conduct. Gifford allegedly used the social media telephone app “Yik Yak” to post the threat, which was allegedly reported to high school authorities almost simultaneously by two different students saying a post on the phone app indicated a student was in the school bathroom with a gun. The site is supposed to be anonymous; however, officials with “Yik Yak” cooperated with Fairfield City Police because of the nature of the alleged threat made at the high school. Within minutes of receiving the reports, Fairfield City Police, Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputies and Illinois State Police surrounded the school. Sheriff Mike Everett said a sweep of the school netted no evidence of anyone with a gun, or any weapons at all. After the sweep of the school was completed, students were evacuated. It took nearly 90 minutes to conduct the search and call an all-clear on the situation.

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Body of Missing Williamson County Man Found

Authorities in Williamson County Monday night found the body of that missing man they have been looking for since Sunday afternoon. Williamson County Coroner Michael “Junior” Burke pronounced 19-year-old Robert Michael Boaz dead shortly before 8 p.m. Boaz’s body was found by search crews 400 yards south of Little Wolf Road in a wooded area near Herrin City Lake #2. Burke says foul play is not suspected, but the death remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office and coroner’s office. No other details are being released at this time. Boaz went missing Sunday afternoon. Family members found his vehicle at the lake and began to search for him, but were unsuccessful and called the sheriff’s office for help.

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Marion Man Dies In Accident

A 31-year-old Marion man died late Sunday in a single-vehicle accident. The accident on Charleston Road in Ferges was reported to authorities at about 9:21 p.m, according to Williamson County Coroner Michael “Junior” Burke the vehicle was traveling south when it left the road and struck a tree. Shawn Phelps was pronounced dead at 10:10 p.m. A second person in the vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a St. Louis hospital in serious condition. The accident is under investigation by Burke and the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.

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Watson Mom Speaks At Daughter's Memorial Event

(Watson, IL) -- It's been more than a year since authorities found the body of seven-year-old Willow Long stuffed in a bag near the Little Wabash River. The young Watson girl was stabbed to death by her uncle last September. The community held a walk in her honor over the weekend. Long's mom, Ciara DeRyke, spoke at the event and told the crowd that Long was the "most beautiful, happy little girl ever." DeRyke is on probation right now for lying to police about when she last saw her daughter alive. She told cops that Long was up and watching cartoons just hours before she went missing. That turned out to be a lie. DeRyke's brother Justin DeRyke had killed the girl the night before while he was babysitting. He's serving life in prison.

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Governor Quinn Announces Investment to Build Emergency Response Center in Southern Illinois

CARBONDALE – Governor Pat Quinn Monday announced a $4.5 million investment to develop an Emergency and Critical Response Center at the Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale. The center will consolidate the region’s emergency medical and disaster response resources in one location, and its development at the airport will accommodate all types of civilian and military emergency response efforts. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure the safety of all people in every community across Illinois. "A quick and coordinated response to disasters saves lives and protects property,” Governor Quinn said. “Protecting the safety and well-being of all residents is our top priority and we can never be too prepared. This regional response center will help first-responders offer vital emergency and disaster services to the thousands of residents in the area.” The investment from Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program will consolidate much of the emergency and critical response services for the region and will include a permanent Emergency Management Center, a field hospital, teaching center and a regional response center for large-scale natural disasters.

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Marion VA holds town-hall meeting

MARION, Ill. (AP) — Patients and their families served by a southern Illinois Veterans Affairs hospital are being given opportunities to publicly offer input about those services, administrators have announced. The Marion Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Monday held what its overseers say was the first of its regularly scheduled public forums. The town hall meetings come some three months after U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, seeking re-election in the region, attributed any delayed care at the Marion VA at least partly to staffing shortages. He said the medical center was working to recruit 200 additional full-time employees. The Marion VA serves tens of thousands of veterans in portions of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

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One Dead After Motorcycle Crashes Into Farm Truck

(Highland, IL) -- A motorcycle rider is dead after crashing into the back of a farm grain truck. Officials say the rider tried to pass the truck just as it was about to make a left turn onto Frey Road in Madison County on Saturday. When the rider realized he wouldn't make it in time, he moved behind the truck but lost control. The bike fell over and skidded into the back of the truck. The rider was rushed to a Highland area hospital, where he died. The truck driver did not need medical attention.

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Two Hurt In Maryville House Blast

(Maryville, IL)  --  Two people are hospitalized after a house explosion in Maryville.  Fire crews were sent Monday night to the blast at a home in the 800 block of Troy Road.  Relatives told "KMOV-TV" that a man was trying to light a water heater when the house caught fire.  Four children in the home escaped without injury, but both adults suffered burns and were taken to a St. Louis hospital.

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East St. Louis assistant chief resigns after probe

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An East St. Louis assistant police chief accused of sexually harassing a female youth program worker has resigned following an independent investigation requested by the city. Mayor Alvin Parks said Monday that Ronald Ike resigned. Parks didn't specify the results of the investigation but said they were shared with the city and Ike. The unidentified young woman made a four-page written complaint involving Ike during the beginning of her summer program, City Manager Deletra Hudson said when she announced the investigation earlier this month. Ike was suspended for five days without pay during the investigation and was then on paid suspension pending its results. He had been with the police department for about 19 years.

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Energy company reaches out to Illinois residents

LITCHFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Texas energy company that wants to build a 1,100-mile pipeline that would cross west-central Illinois plans to answer residents' questions this week. Energy Transfers Partners representatives will meet with residents about the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline on Wednesday at Lincoln Land Community College campus in Litchfield and Thursday at the American Legion post in Jacksonville, the State Journal-Register reported. They will address concerns about the pipeline stretching from Bakken formation in North Dakota, to Patoka, Illinois, spokeswoman Vicki Granado said. A map from the company shows the pipeline would be underground through Montgomery, Macoupin and Morgan counties, and along the eastern border of Scott County. It is expected to transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil a day. The company wants to have the pipeline built and working by the end of 2016.

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

STATE
Rauner Company Faces Trial For Nursing Home Negligence

(Chicago, IL)  --  A group of black pastors say they're switching it up this year and voting Republican.  They say unemployment, crime, and schools have gotten worse since Governor Quinn took office so they're backing Bruce Rauner this November.  And if their endorsement is enough to impact their parishioners, Quinn could have problems.  He got 81-percent of the vote out of Chicago in 2010 and 58-percent out of suburban Cook County.  Many of those votes came from minority voters and if Quinn loses their support, he could lose his job.  

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

Rauner: Court Will Sort Out Facts In Nursing Home Trial

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner isn't saying too much about a nursing home bankruptcy trial that has ties to his investment firm.  The trial is underway in Tampa, Florida.  Rauner's firm owned the nursing home company that's being sued for abuse and wrongful death. According to the "Chicago Tribune," a judge will decide if the nursing home closed down and claimed bankruptcy in order to avoid paying lawsuit damages.  Rauner says no one in his firm was involved in any inappropriate behavior and he's confident that the courts will sort out all the facts. 

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Man charged with possessing Springfield pipe bomb

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A 34-year-old man accused of robbing a bank in August has been charged in connection with a pipe bomb found in downtown Springfield in July, authorities said. Bradford Moss was charged Monday with possession of an explosive or incendiary device and attempted theft. He is accused of trying to blow up an ATM outside a Chase Bank near where the bomb was found, according to the charges. A Secretary of State Police bomb squad disabled the 7-inch PVC pipe bomb with a water cannon before it could detonate. Moss was already charged with robbing a Marine Bank on Aug. 4. He slipped a teller a note demanding money and implying he was armed before leaving with $2,000, police said. Authorities received confidential information that led them to conclude Moss was responsible for both crimes, Deputy Police Chief Dan Mounce told the State Journal Register. He declined to elaborate. The U.S. Marshals Service helped locate Moss in Las Vegas. He is being held in Springfield on $250,000 bond. Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

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Health Department Wants To Ban Smoking On Public Patios 

(Springfield, IL)  --  Smoking could soon be outlawed on all public patios, decks, rooftops, and at beer gardens in Illinois.  The idea is to keep second hand smoke away from workers who have to serve people in those areas.  A legislative committee is slated to take a vote on the proposal next month.  The public can weigh in on the issue until September 29th.  Comments can be emailed to DPH.Rules@illinois.gov.

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Charleston Police Search For Hit-And-Run Suspect

(Charleston, IL)  --  Charleston Police are on an all out search for a suspect in a hit-and-run accident near Eastern Illinois University's campus over the weekend.  The incident happened Sunday afternoon at the corner of Fourth Street and Grant Avenue.  The victim was student Alex Ward, who was struck and suffered a severe concussion.  She was taken by chopper to Carle Foundation Hospital and is now recovering at home.

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Former State Official Charged In Alleged Kickback Scheme

(Springfield, IL)  --  A one-time top state public health official is facing federal charges.  Roxanne Jackson was the Illinois Department of Public Health chief of human resources.  The feds charged her on Monday with bribery, theft and tax evasion.  Jackson's accused of taking part in a kickback scheme with former chief of staff Quinshaunta Golden and businessman Leon Dingle Junior.  Federal officials expect Jackson to plead guilty today as part of a plea agreement.  The terms of the deal are not yet known.

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Illinois officials clean up Springfield oil leak

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois environmental officials are finishing cleanup at a Springfield park where motor oil leaked into a lagoon. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and a cleanup contractor have removed plants in Washington Park and will take soil samples for analysis, state hazardous material specialist George Krebs said. The lagoon was contaminated with used motor oil that leaked out of melted containers during a Sept. 8 fire at a car repair shop. More than 500 gallons of oil spilled into storm drains and a creek that runs into the lagoon. There are no signs of the spill affecting aquatic animals or plants in the area, Krebs said.

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

U of I Foundation receives increase in donations

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Foundation said Monday that it received $259.5 million in donations during the fiscal year that ended June 30, a 10.5 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. The money came from cash gifts, pledge payments, annuities, life-income gifts and estate distributions, said foundation treasurer Walter Knorr, who also is the University of Illinois' chief financial officer. The foundation raised $234.9 million in fiscal year 2013. The foundation noted that the 2014 total is the seventh straight year of more than $210 million in donations. About 29 percent of funding came from other foundations, the largest donor source, the University of Illinois Foundation said. Corporations came in second at about 21 percent. The foundation processed 151,250 gifts during fiscal year 2014, a 4 percent increase from a year ago, officials said. The combined University of Illinois Foundation endowment totaled $3.2 billion at the end of the fiscal year, officials said.

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Meter installation refusal comes at a cost

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois utility said customers who refuse to have an electricity meter installed will see an additional $20 monthly fee on their bills. Ameren Illinois said the so-called smart meters, which transmit details about power usage, enable the utility to pinpoint outage problems and fix them faster, the Herald & Review in Decatur reported Monday cost of sending out a person to read the older analog meter. The company is set to install 780,000 of the new electricity meters in central Illinois and 468,000 upgraded gas meters, which offer similar capabilities. The Illinois Commerce Commission, the state's utility regulators, approved the extra charge and said the company should be compensated for meters that require a person to visit them. "The commission determined the charges were reasonable and reflected the additional costs necessary to read or service nonadvanced meters," the organization said. It also approved a $70 onetime "exchange fee" for customers who accept a smart meter but then change their minds. Some opposition groups in Decatur and other cities claim the meters pose a health risk through their communication signals, but Ameren rejects the health risk argument. Other critics have said the meters' transmission of power usage is a breach of privacy. Ameren said the meters' information is too general to be seen as an invasion of privacy.

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

NATIONAL
US and 5 Arab nations attack IS in Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and five Arab countries have launched airstrikes on militants in the Islamic State group in eastern Syria. The airstrikes were carried out Monday night Eastern Time, and activists say not only did they target the Islamic State group, resulting in casualties, but also the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front. One target was the Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State's self-declared capital in Syria. Syria's foreign ministry says Washington informed the Syrian envoy to the United Nations before launching the airstrikes along with Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

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US goes it alone to strike additional targets

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on its own has carried out an air attack in Syria on what it calls an al-Qaida affiliate west of the city of Aleppo. U.S. Central Command says American warplanes launched eight airstrikes "to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests" by a network of "seasoned al-Qaida veterans" — sometimes known as the Khorasan Group — who've established a haven in Syria. They targeted training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities.

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Obama offers climate change help to other nations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pledging new U.S. help for other nations struggling to address global warming. The president will use his speech at a U.N. summit today to announce plans to sign an executive order requiring the U.S. government to take climate change into account when spending money overseas to help poorer countries.

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Officials say alleged WH fence jumper had other incidents

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say two months before a former soldier allegedly hopped a White House fence and got through the White House door, he was arrested in rural Virginia. Officials say Omar Gonzalez was heavily armed in July and was carrying a map of Washington, with a circle drawn around the White House. In a court appearance Monday, the prosecutor says Gonzalez also was stopped while walking by the White House in August, and was carrying a hatchet. And authorities say on Friday, Gonzalez was carrying a knife while 800 rounds of ammunition, a machete and two hatchets were in his car.

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Government hackers try to crack HealthCare.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government's own watchdogs say they tried to hack into HealthCare.gov earlier this year and found what they termed a critical vulnerability. But they also came away with respect for some of the security features on the Obama administration's health insurance website. The report is being released Tuesday by the inspector general's office of the Health and Human Services Department. It amounts to a mixed review for the federal site that serves as the portal to taxpayer-subsidized health plans for millions of Americans. So-called white-hat hackers from the inspector general's office say they found a critical vulnerability during their security scans. But the office said that when its experts attempted to mimic what a malicious hacker might try to do next, they were blocked by the system's defenses.

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

DC Council set to vote on concealed handguns

WASHINGTON (AP) — The D.C. Council is expected to decide today whether to allow residents to carry concealed handguns in the district, with some restrictions. The vote comes two months after a federal judge struck down the District's ban on carrying handguns outside the home. The judge put his ruling on hold to give the city time to rewrite its gun laws. The concealed carry restrictions the council is set to vote on require residents who want concealed-carry licenses to provide a specific reason for needing one. They'd have to complete an extensive safety course. Open carrying of firearms would remain illegal. Should the council pass the bill, it would be in effect for 90 days and would buy time for the council to draft more permanent legislation.

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Bill Clinton, Blair say West has tough challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair say the West must proceed methodically but firmly against the Islamic State group trying to deepen its footprint in the Mideast. Amid new airstrikes by the United States and some Arab allies against the headquarters of ISIS in eastern Syria, Clinton says he believes Islamic militants want to lure American troops into a ground confrontation. But Clinton also says in a CBS interview the United States cannot let the Islamist militants make the fight "about us." International Mideast envoy Blair tells MSNBC the situation "is nothing like the Cold War" and it requires strategic adjustments from the West. Blair also says he thinks the Islamic State group wants to create a society that isn't compatible with the modern world.

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

Bin Laden spokesman faces possible life term

NEW YORK (AP) — Osama bin Laden's son-in-law is in a New York courtroom, waiting to hear whether he will face life in prison or something less after his conviction in his terrorism case. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith was convicted in March on charges he conspired to kill Americans in his role as a spokesman for al-Qaida. Lawyers were making arguments Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan. Prosecutors want life. His lawyer says 15 years is adequate. After arguments, Judge Lewis Kaplan was to announce the sentence. The Kuwaiti imam became the voice of al-Qaida recruitment videotapes after the Sept. 11 attacks. He warned in one that "the storm of planes" wouldn't stop. Abu Ghaith testified at trial that his role was strictly religious.

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Clothes taken in search for missing UVa student

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Officials have taken articles of clothing from the apartment of the man they believe was the last person seen with a missing University of Virginia student. Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants says the items were recovered during a search of Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.'s apartment Monday. Authorities first searched the 32-year-old's car and apartment Friday, and Pleasants says information that came up during the investigation led to a second search. Police are awaiting lab results from items they recovered, and authorities are still trying to locate the campus employee to arrest him on a reckless driving charge. Matthew hasn't been charged in the disappearance, but authorities say they want to talk to him about 18-year-old Hannah Graham. The sophomore from northern Virginia has been missing since Sept. 13.

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Dragon arrives at space station with 3-D printer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The International Space Station has accepted another SpaceX shipment. This one contains the first 3-D printer ever launched into orbit. Two days after blasting off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the SpaceX cargo ship, Dragon, arrived at the space station Tuesday morning. German astronaut Alexander Gerst used the robot arm to grab the capsule. The Dragon is delivering more than 5,000 pounds of supplies. The 3-D printer — an experimental model — is the headliner payload. Also on board: mice and flies for biological research, fresh spacesuit batteries so NASA can resume routine spacewalks, and a $30 million instrument to measure ocean wind. NASA is paying SpaceX to stock the space station. Last week, the California-based company won the right to transport astronauts, too. That's still a few years off.

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INTERNATIONAL
France won't stop fight in Iraq despite kidnapping

PARIS (AP) — France's prime minister says his country won't negotiate with the captors of a French man in Algeria. The kidnappers are demanding that France halt airstrikes against Iraq within 24 hours or the hostage will be killed. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says France will continue fighting Islamic State militants.

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Iran leader: Strikes in Syria illegal, no gov't OK

NEW YORK (AP) — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the U.S.-led coalition's airstrikes in Syria are illegal because they were not approved or coordinated with Syria's government. Meeting Tuesday with several news editors on the first day of the United Nations General Assembly gathering of world leaders, Rouhani stressed that Iran condemns the Islamic State group for trampling on human rights and torturing and killing civilians. He says Iran stands ready to help fight terrorism. Rouhani said the U.S. policy is confused because it simultaneously opposes the militants while also trying to undermine the government of Syria's President Bashar Assad. "This is clearly nebulous and ambiguous at best," he said. "This is a very confusing behavior and policy." Nighttime raids began Monday on Islamic State militants in Syria.

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

Islamic militants parade captured Iraqi soldiers

BAGHDAD (AP) — Residents in a city west of Baghdad say the Islamic State group has paraded Iraqi troops captured in battle earlier this week in a show of strength in the militant stronghold. Fallujah residents say about 30 men in Iraqi military uniform were driven in the back of seized military vehicles through the city on Tuesday. Fallujah is about 65 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad. Residents say militants driving the convoy blasted songs glorifying the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as they paraded their captives. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety. On Sunday, Islamic State fighters disguised in Iraqi army uniforms and driving stolen Humvees attacked an Iraqi army camp in the western Anbar province, killing 40 troops and capturing 68.

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Sierra Leone considers repeating Ebola shutdown

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's president says authorities are considering another nationwide shutdown after a largely successful one in which teams visited more than 1 million households to hand out information on Ebola and check for sick people. President Ernest Bai Koroma said on local radio Tuesday that he was "mainly satisfied" with the lockdown. He said they identified many people sickened with Ebola and found bodies of those who had died. He gave no numbers. Authorities are expected to give tallies later in the day. An Ebola outbreak in West Africa has spiraled into the largest ever. The World Health Organization has linked more than 2,800 deaths and more than 5,800 cases to the disease. But it has warned that even those tolls are likely vast underestimates.

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SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 8, Chicago Cubs 0
Chicago White Sox 2, Detroit 0

NFL

Chicago 27, NY Jets 19

NHL Preseason

Dallas 4, St. Louis 3

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 6:08 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:09 p.m.)

NHL Preseason

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks 7:30 p.m.

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MLB Appoints Committee To Speed Up Games

(New York, NY)  --  Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is forming a new committee to examine ways to speed up the game.  MLB issued a release saying the goal is to decrease the time of games and improve the overall pace of play in time for 2015.  The committee will be comprised of incoming MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB executive vice president Joe Torre among others.

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News for Sept. 22, 2014

LOCAL
Rail Crossing Work Coming To Mt. Vernon

The Union Pacific Railroad will be making repairs to a crossing in Mt. Vernon. The rail crossing on Rackaway Street is scheduled to be closed from 8 a.m. on Sunday September 28th to 5 p.m. on Tuesday September 30th for the repairs.  Those who regularly use this route are encouraged to determine an alternate route for this time period.

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Bank Robbery Suspect In Custody After Double Shooting

(Cairo, IL)  --  Police are investigating a weekend double shooting in Cairo.  The alleged gunman, Haywood Jones, is in custody.  He's also a Kentucky bank robbery suspect.  Police say the two victims that were shot on Saturday were treated for gunshot wounds and released.

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3 former county workers accused of stealing funds

MARION, Ill. (AP) — Three former employees of southern Illinois' Williamson County have been charged in connection with the disappearance of thousands of dollars from the circuit clerk's office, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office said. Cheryl Cundiff, 58, Marsha Dickinson, 49, and Kelly Trammel, 43, are charged with felony theft and official misconduct, WSIU Radio reported. Authorities allege the women plotted over a five-year period to steal more than $80,000 from the county by taking cash that was being paid as bond at the county jail, then keeping the money while concealing the theft. Williamson County investigators said Dickinson, Cundiff and Kelly surrendered on Thursday and were released on bond. Online court records don't show whether the women have attorneys.

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Alton's ConAgra plant gets new name, new sign

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Alton's ConAgra Foods plant has a new name. A new sign outside the plant says Ardent Mills, The (Alton) Telegraph reported. Ardent Mills, a joint venture by ConAgra Mills, Cargill and CHS, began operating as the nation's largest flour milling company in May after receiving approval from the U.S. Justice Department. Ardent Mills is based in the Denver area. It combines the resources and facilities of ConAgra Mills and Horizon Milling, a previous joint venture of Cargill and CHS. It has 40 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. The name and new sign are just another step in the process, Ardent Mills spokeswoman Mary Ann Strombitski said. "The plant is still there, and nothing further will change," Strombitski said.

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Fire Crews Extinguish Blaze In Vacant Cahokia Home

(Cahokia, IL)  --  Cahokia fire officials are looking into what caused a blaze that happened in an abandoned building.  The fire started Sunday morning in the 500 block of Garrison.  The blaze was put out in less than an hour.

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Former Illinois prisoners get help reintegrating

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Hundreds of former Illinois prisoners have attended an event to help them reintegrate to society. More than 700 parolees and probationers attended the Illinois Department of Corrections' Summit of Hope event last week in East St. Louis, The Belleville News-Democrat reported. The department hosts 22 similar events statewide each year, having drawn 30,000 since 2010, officials said. James Clinton of O'Fallon spent a year in custody and said the event offered him "monumental hope." "A lot of ex-offenders don't know where to go to get help, or who will be on their side. They don't know who to talk to who will give them some hope or direction," Clinton said. "I got everything I need here today. I feel like I am back in society." More than 80 vendors were at the event to help ex-offenders do things like get a driver's license, get insurance, have health screenings, secure housing and child care, find jobs and register to vote. Barbers were available to give free haircuts. Marcus King, senior community outreach specialist for the Illinois Department of Corrections, said finding a job is always ex-offenders' top concern. "These men and women have to be able to provide for themselves and their families," King said. "We want to keep them from returning to prison. And, having a job is a good way to prevent it from happening."

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Doctors asked to help with anti-heroin program

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois prosecutor wants doctors to participate in a prescription monitoring program that aims to stop heroin abuse. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly and St. Clair County Medical Society President Dr. Steven Morton sent a letter Sept. 8 to doctors, the Belleville News-Democrat reports. The letter encourages doctors to use an online monitoring program to prevent prescription opioid painkiller abuse. The Prescription Monitoring Program lets doctors review a patient's prescription history to see if they have visited multiple doctors to try to get controlled substances. Data entered is reported weekly to pharmacies in Illinois. Pharmacists and other controlled substance dispensers can log-in to check records for current or potential patients.

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Belleville marks birthday with 200-foot bratwurst

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southwestern Illinois residents celebrated the city of Belleville's 200th birthday with a 200-foot bratwurst, complete with a 200-foot bun. Larry Schubert and his team from Schubert's Packing Co. in Millstadt used about 120 pounds of meat to make the brat, which volunteers grilled on Sunday during the final day of the city's bicentennial celebration, the Belleville News-Democrat reported. Lindenwood University and Southwestern Illinois College athletes helped march the bun down main street, making a wide turn in a parking lot to finish the delivery. The athletes also helped roll the bratwurst on a 200-foot metal grilling trough. Event organizers decided not to pay a fee to have the bratwurst record attempt recognized by the World Record Academy. The event raised $1,600 for local food pantries.

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Water Leak Puts Some Area Residents Under Boil Order

A major leak causing the FMC Water Company to lose approximately 200,000 gallons of water each day for the last two weeks, was found over the weekend, and resulted in a limited area being placed under boil order. The leak was located Saturday on wisher road a mile west of U.S. 51 between the Patoka and Fairman area. FMC serves an area that covers portions of Clinton, Fayette, and Marion Counties. The water company located the leak by shutting off parts of the system until the water loss stopped. They then traced the lines until the problem was found.  The leak was reportedly in an area that was not visible and the water was flowing into a creek. All FMC customers are on a precautionary boil order until further notice. During a boil order it is recommended that water intended for culinary use be boiled for five (5) minutes. The water company continues to ask customers on the precautionary boil order to notify their neighbors of the boil order. You can e-mail the FMC Water Company office to check for boil order updates.

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Mt. Vernon Residents Displaced By Mobile Home Fire

A Sunday morning fire destroyed a mobile home in Mt. Vernon, leaving its residents without a home. According to Jefferson County Fire Protection, the couple was able to get out of the George Street home safely. The fire was confined to one room and the hallway, but smoke and heat damage were spread throughout the remainder of the home. Firefighters received the call of the fire just before noon Sunday and remained on the scene until 1:30. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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Roof Collapse Under Investigation In West Frankfort

Officials in West Frankfort are trying to figure out why a building collapsed there Sunday. They say around 9:30 a.m., the roof collapsed onto Kelly's Bar located near the corner of Oak and Anna Street. Reports say the bar just got a new roof a few weeks ago.  The bar was closed when the roof collapsed. No injuries were reported.  It is not known at this time what will happen to the rest of the building. 

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STATE
New Poll Shows Quinn, Rauner In Tight Race

(Springfield, IL)  --  A new poll shows that the race for governor is a dead heat.  Incumbent Pat Quinn once trailed Republican challenger Bruce Rauner in We Ask America's survey by double digits.  The recent poll has Rauner leading Quinn by a 44 to 41 percent spread.  Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm has six percent of the support.

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New Branding For The State Capital

(Springfield, IL)  --  Springfield's Convention and Visitors Bureau is expected to unveil a new branding campaign for the city this week.  Those close to the project are hoping to draw more tourists and additional convention business.  The bureau has worked with partners across Springfield to spotlight all of the finer things about the state capital.

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New Rauner Ad Links Quinn, Blagojevich

(Chicago, IL) -- In a new campaign ad that appears only on the Internet, the Bruce Rauner campaign links Governor Pat Quinn to his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, saying they are "cut from the same cloth." The ad points out that questionable patronage hiring at IDOT began under Blagojevich before he was convicted of corruption and continued under Quinn. While there is a federal investigation of IDOT hiring underway, Quinn says it was his administration that uncovered the irregularities and took steps to eliminate them.

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Gov. Quinn Downstate Today

Governor Pat Quinn will be making his way downstate today in what will be a busy travel day.  After morning appearances in Chicago and DeKalb, Gov. Quinn will be making an appearance at 2 p.m. in Granite City to mark an important milestone for high speed rail in Illinois.   The Governor will then be off to Murphysboro to announce funding to expand emergency medical services in the region.  That appearance will be at 3:30 p.m. at the SIU Transportation Education Center.  The Governor will round out his busy day with an appearance in Decatur.

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Illinois medical marijuana applications due Monday

CHICAGO (AP) — Two Illinois state agencies will accept applications for medical marijuana businesses until 3 p.m. Monday. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Department of Agriculture will take applications for dispensaries and cultivation centers. The state's new medical marijuana law went into effect Jan. 1, but the first crop can't be planted until permits for growers are issued later this year. The law prohibits patients from growing their own cannabis. Commercial growers will pay a 7 percent privilege tax on their marijuana sales. Illinois expects to grant up to 21 permits for cultivation centers and up to 60 permits for dispensaries. There is a non-refundable application fee of $25,000 and a first-year registration fee of $200,000.

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Lawmaker wants pumpkin to be official Illinois pie

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Pumpkins are big business in Illinois. A state lawmaker has a sweet idea for making sure people know it: he wants to make pumpkin pie the official state pie. Republican state Rep. Keith Sommer introduced legislation to make the designation last month, in time to honor the yearly pumpkin festival which just took place in his hometown of Morton, in the heart of Illinois pumpkin country. "I recognize we have much more serious business to do as a state. But in celebration of the festival, I thought it was appropriate," Sommer told the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers. Pumpkins are a $33 million industry for the state, the top producer in the country. Morton, southeast of Peoria, is home to the Nestle USA Libby's plant, which processes much of the canned pumpkin distributed in the U.S. About 90 percent of the country's canned pumpkin comes from surrounding Tazewell County and nine other Illinois counties. "I like pie in general," Sommer said. He's not alone. Gov. Pat Quinn issued a proclamation this month designating Sept. 13 as Pumpkin Pie Day in Illinois. It was presented to officials at the festival in Morton last weekend. Few foods are "more purely American than pumpkin pie," Quinn said. "With its connections to rural life, family and hard work, pumpkin pie symbolizes the values that are close to the heart of all Illinoisans," the proclamation says. No other state has dibs on pumpkin pie as its official pie. Sommer expects his bill to come up for debate next spring.

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NATIONAL
1st court appearance for WH intruder

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Army veteran accused of scaling a security fence and getting into the White House with a knife is scheduled to have his initial appearance in federal court later today. Omar Gonzalez of Copperas Cove, Texas, faces charges of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon. Meanwhile, Friday's incident has the Secret Service discussing setting up security screening checkpoints near public areas around the White House.

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3 Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base

CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. (AP) — Military officials and local police are looking for three Afghan soldiers who went missing while taking part in a training exercise at a military base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Officials say the three arrived at Camp Edwards Sept. 11, and were last seen at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis. They were reported missing Saturday night. Officials say the three Afghan soldiers are not a threat to the public. The Regional Cooperation training exercises have been held each year since 2004 and involve six different nations including the U.S.

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Man seen with missing UVa student being sought

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia are searching for a man believed to be the last person seen with a University of Virginia student before she disappeared Sept. 13 in Charlottesville. Jesse Matthew is wanted for misdemeanor reckless driving. He has not been charged with the disappearance of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. Police say Matthew recklessly sped off from the Charlottesville police station Saturday after stopping by and asking for an attorney.

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Police say closing in on PA survivalist

CANADENSIS, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in Pennsylvania believe they are closing in on the self-taught survivalist accused of shooting to death a state trooper and wounding another at a police barracks 10 days ago. Police say they've found Eric Frein's AK-47-style assault rifle and ammunition in the woods in the northeastern part of the state. Police say Frein could be hiding out in bunkers that he built.

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Courtroom cameras sought in theater shooting trial

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado judge will today hear a request from news organizations to allow one video camera and one still photographer at the trial of the man accused of the July 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater. Defense attorneys argue that cameras would violate James Holmes' right to a fair trial because witnesses would worry about public reaction if they gave testimony favorable to the suspect. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding 70.

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Dozens of structures destroyed in California wildfire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Light rain and cooler temperatures are helping firefighters battle a huge wildfire in Northern California that's destroyed nearly three-dozen structures. Fire officials say in their initial count, 10 homes and 22 outbuildings were lost in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines. The fast-moving blaze about 60 miles east of Sacramento started Sept. 13 and grew to more than 128 square miles despite periods of rain overnight. The fire's size held on Sunday, but more than 21,000 structures are still being threatened.

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2 dead in Delaware bus crash

BEAR, Del. (AP) — Authorities in Delaware say a second person has died following a tour bus crash that left 48 others injured. Delaware State Police say the 30-year-old woman from Istanbul, Turkey sustained multiple traumatic injuries and died at a hospital. A 54-year-old woman died at the scene when she became pinned under the bus that overturned late Sunday afternoon while negotiating a curve in an off-ramp. Authorities say the sightseeing group had been traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York.

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Schumer Urges CDC To Provide Better Enterovirus Tracking

(New York, NY)  --  New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give communities and schools better tracking and information on Enterovirus D-68.  At least 160 cases have been confirmed in 22 states.  The upper respiratory virus strikes children and can cause severe breathing problems requiring hospitalization, even life support.  Symptoms include fever, runny nose, sneezing, coughing aches and wheezing. 

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Protests plan Wall Street sit-in on climate crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — One day after a huge climate march in New York City, a related sit-in and protest is planned on Wall Street. Organizers say protesters will flood the financial district. They want to highlight what they say is the role large corporate and economic institutions play in the climate crisis. The protesters plan a rally in Battery Park before marching to Wall Street. On Sunday, tens of thousands of activists marched through Manhattan warning that climate change is destroying the Earth. Organizers said more than 100,000 participated, including actors Mark Ruffalo and Evangeline Lilly. It was one of many demonstrations around the world urging policymakers to take quick action.

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Apple: 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple says it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, a record for a new model, in the three days after the phones went on sale. A year ago, Apple Inc. said it had sold 9 million of the then-new iPhone 5C and 5S models. The iPhone is available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the U.K. It will go on sale in 20 more countries on Sept. 26 and others by the end of the year. CEO Tim Cook says demand for the phones has exceeded the company's expectations. Besides larger screens, the new phones offer faster performance and a wireless chip for making credit card payments. The phones start at $199 with a two-year service contact.

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2nd trial begins for man accused of killing teen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jury selection is set to begin for the second trial of a Florida man accused of killing a Georgia teenager during an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store. Attorneys for 47-year-old Michael Dunn want to move the trial away from Jacksonville, citing widespread publicity about the case. Circuit Judge Russell Healey has said he'll decide whether to move the trial during jury selection. Earlier, jurors found Dunn guilty of attempted second-degree murder and firing into an occupied vehicle. They deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge. Prosecutors say Dunn killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis of Marietta, Georgia, when he fired 10 times into a sports utility vehicle occupied by four teens. Dunn hasn't been sentenced on the earlier conviction, but faces 60 to 150 years in prison.

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Normal traffic to resume on highway hit by slide

OSO, Wash. (AP) — Six months after a hillside gave way in the Washington town of Oso, burying 43 people and blocking a state highway, the community is taking another step toward recovery with the return of normal traffic on the route. The Transportation Department says it expects two-way traffic on Highway 530 will be moving at 50 mph Tuesday. The department had expected the full reopening Monday, but rain delayed paving and striping work. The highway was realigned and raised as much as 20 feet in places. Crews also installed six new culverts as part of a $28 million project funded by federal emergency money. Landscaping work will continue until mid-October. On Sunday evening, first responders and families of slide victims gathered for a ceremony to mark the six-month anniversary of the March 22 slide.

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'The Lion King' makes history

NEW YORK (AP) — Here's something the folks at Disney can take real pride in: "The Lion King" is the top ticket of all time. With a worldwide gross of over $6.2 billion, "The Lion King" stage musical has now achieved the most successful box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history, The Associated Press has learned. The show quietly took over top spot from "The Phantom of the Opera" late this summer, according to representatives from both shows. The total makes "The Lion King" more valuable than any single Harry Potter film, the blockbuster "Titanic," or any of the "Star Wars" movies. By way of comparison, the highest-grossing film in history is "Avatar," with nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.

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INTERNATIONAL
Islamic State group calls for civilian deaths

BEIRUT (AP) — The spokesman of the Islamic State militant group says his fighters are ready to face a U.S.-led military coalition and is calling on Muslims worldwide to kill civilians of nations that join the fight. Islamic State group spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani says President Barack Obama's coalition will not be able to defeat the jihadis. Obama is currently working to form a global coalition to confront the Islamic State group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq. Al-Adnani called on people in an audio released late Sunday to prevent their sons from joining rebels that the U.S. plans to train to fight the Islamic State group. He says jihadis will make them "dig their graves with their own hands and have their heads cut off."

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IAEA urges Iran to meet investigation request

VIENNA (AP) — The head of the U.N. atomic agency is urging Iran to provide answers over suspicions that Tehran worked on nuclear arms. Speaking at Monday's general conference of his International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano said Iran had implemented some measures in an agreement meant to give the agency a deeper knowledge of Iran's nuclear program. But they have been mostly in areas that have nothing to do with the alleged weapons work. Amano says two of the measures remain to be implemented. Iran says it does not want nuclear arms and never worked toward them. But the agency says it has collected about 1,000 pages of information that point to attempts to develop such weapons.

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Striking pilots reject Air France low-cost delay

PARIS (AP) — Air France pilots are rejecting the company's offer to delay the expansion of its low-cost carrier, Transavia, after a seven-day strike that the airline says is costing it up to 20 million euros ($25 million) a day. Pilots unions went on strike last week after Air France-KLM announced plans to save 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) over several years in part by transferring European operations to Transavia. The company, which is cutting costs to try to stay competitive with budget airlines, says talks are deadlocked. About half the airlines' flights have been cancelled since the strike began. The main pilots' union, SNPL, says Monday's offer to delay the expansion until December is a smokescreen, accusing the airline of trying to outsource jobs to countries with lower taxes and cheaper labor.

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SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 8, LA Dodgers 7
Tampa Bay 3, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 8, Cincinnati 4

College Football

Northwestern 24, Western Illinois 7
Purdue 35, Southern Illinois 13
Eastern Illinois 63, Austin Peay 7
Illinois 42, Texas State 35
Arkansas 52, Northern Illinois 14

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 10, Tampa Bay 5
LA Dodgers 8, Chicago Cubs 5
Cincinnati 7, St. Louis 2

NFL

Indianapolis 44, Jacksonville 17
Dallas 34, St. Louis 31

NHL Exhibition

Columbus 4, St. Louis 3 (OT)

NASCAR

Sylvania 300  (at Loudon, NH)

1. Joey Logano
2. Kyle Larson
3. Kevin Harvick

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit 6:08 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 7:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:09 p.m.)

NFL

Chicago at NY Jets 7:30 p.m.

NHL Exhibition

St. Louis at Dallas 7:30 p.m.

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Gridiron Club Meets Tonight

There will be a meeting of the Rams Gridiron Club on Monday night, September 22.  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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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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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.  

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

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.

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

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."

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

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.

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

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.

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

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."

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

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.   

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

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.  

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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. 

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

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)

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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