Posted August 20, 2014

News for Aug. 20, 2014

LOCAL
Allegiant adds flights from MidAmerica to Tampa

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois residents have a new way to get to Florida. Allegiant announced Tuesday that it's adding nonstop jet service between MidAmerica St. Louis airport in Mascoutah and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. The twice-a-week flights will begin Nov. 19. Allegiant officials say a 166-seat aircraft will fly round-trip to the Tampa Bay area on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Officials say the new flights will be provided year-round. Airport Director Tim Cantwell tells the Belleville News Democrat that the airline and airport were able to make the deal by reducing the airline's gate fees from $75 to $25. The airport is operated by St. Clair County. Allegiant spokesman Micah Lilliard says the airline thrives in smaller airports like MidAmerica. It has been providing service to Sanford, Florida, outside Orlando, since 2012.

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

Illinois State Police Honor Women Who Found Willow Long

EFFINGHAM, IL – The Illinois State Police honored four Salem women, who found the body of seven-year-old murder victim, Willow Long.  District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge presented the certificates of appreciation to Hattie Williams; her daughter, Jamie Thompson; and Thompson's two daughters, Frankie Smith and Jonny Smith. "Despite being turned away due to sheer number of volunteers, they continued to search the area on their own. The girl's body was found as they located a barely visible object in a nearby pond.  Their persistence and decisive actions were crucial to the criminal case and subsequent arrest of the killer," said Hodge.

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

Benton Seeks Grant For Sewage Treatment Plant

The Benton City Council Tuesday decided that it will seek a grant from The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to help with the construction of the city's new sewage treatment plant on Petroff Road.  Brian Buchheit with HMG Engineers says council members are hoping to get money from the IEPA's water pollution control state revolving loan fund program, which has a two percent interest rate over 20 years.  Buchheit says the city will contribute two million dollars of cash on hand in the sewer fund and with the projected cost of the project, the city is looking at borrowing just under 12 million dollars unless other grant funds are received. Buchheit says design work on the new facility continues and bids are set to go out in the spring or summer of next year. The city hopes to have its new 13.9 million dollar sewage treatment plant up and running sometime in 2017.

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

Carbondale To Hold Public Forum For Central Business District Development Plan

The city of Carbondale is currently developing a new master plan for its central business district and would like for you to attend a meeting tonight so they can hear what you have to say about it. The meeting will start at 6:30 at the Carbondale Civic Center. Members of the Downtown Advisory Committee will be there to hear your opinions and seek ideas from you on how to bring more people downtown.  Officials say the current downtown master plan was done 14 years ago and covered the decade through the year 2000. They say a consultant will be hired when community meetings are done in December with hopes of having a draft of the master plan in May or June of next year. You can find out more at downtown-carbondale.org.

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

Indiana county accepts closed Wabash River bridge

NEW HARMONY, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a southwestern Indiana county are taking over a Wabash River bridge between Indiana and Illinois that's been closed for more than two years. The Posey County Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept ownership of the New Harmony Bridge at the prompting of a community group made up residents from that county and White County, Illinois, who hope to reopen the span. Posey County commissioner Jim Alsop tells the Evansville Courier & Press he still believes the bridge's future should be a state matter, but saw no other options. The bridge was built in 1930 and was operated for decades as a private toll bridge. It was closed in 2012 after inspections found extensive deterioration. Bridge supporters say the county is better able to seek funding for repairs.

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

STATE
Governor Signs New DNA Law

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn has signed a law that will give defendants a chance to use DNA evidence to clear their name.  Senator Kwame Raoul sponsored the legislation.  He says it will probably be used mostly in murder and rape cases, but defendants could use the evidence in other cases too.  Illinois was one of only a few states that blocked testing after a guilty plea.  A defendant will need to prove to a judge that new evidence has been found that could lead to the original sentence being overturned.  Raoul says a history of wrongful convictions in Illinois made him push for the law.

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

Cayman Islands Accounts Become Campaign Fodder

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas slammed Republican Bruce Rauner today after a news story detailing how Rauner's former private-equity firm set up a dozen investment vehicles in the Cayman Islands, well-known as a tax haven. Vallas says the disclosure by the Chicago "Sun-Times" showed that Rauner worked to avoid taxes for himself and his investors, and he renewed the call for Rauner to reveal more details about his taxes. Rauner's campaign called Vallas' attack "pathetic" and said there was nothing improper about the Cayman Islands accounts and that they didn't reduce Rauner's state or federal taxes.

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

Illinois Crops Fairing Well

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois crops continue to do well. The latest crop report from the USDA shows the state had cool weather last week and some places got showers. Rainfall averaged just over an inch last week, which is slightly above normal. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is progressing nicely. Meanwhile, 96-percent of soybeans are blooming and 89-percent are setting pods. Schleusener says 78-percent of beans are in good to excellent condition. He adds 93-percent of oats have been harvested and 56-percent of the third cutting of alfalfa is finished.

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

Rauner urges quick decision on term limits measure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Advocates for term limits in Illinois say the state Supreme Court likely will decide whether the issue can appear on the November ballot, no matter how an appeals court rules. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is urging the high court to take up the issue "immediately" once the lower court issues a ruling. The decision must be made within days because the ballot must be certified by Friday. Rauner predicts the measure will pass overwhelmingly if it's on the ballot. A term limits committee gathered about 600,000 signatures to limit legislators to eight years in office and increase the number of votes needed to override a veto. But attorneys with ties to top Democrats sued to keep the measure off the ballot. A circuit court called the effort unconstitutional.

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

Illinois schools see modest gains on ACT scores

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education says Illinois' high school graduating class of 2014 earned a composite score of 20.7 on the ACT. The score on the four-subject test is slightly higher than the class of 2013's score of 20.6. The national average is 21. Board officials say Illinois had the second-highest composite score among the 12 states that tested 100 percent of graduates, next to Utah. This school year was the last year the ACT served as a mandatory test given to high school juniors in Illinois. The state will administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in 2014-15, which are tied to the Common Core Standards. Slightly more than 158,000 students were tested in the Class of 2014, compared to 160,066 in 2013.

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

Growing numbers in eastern Illinois need food aid

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An eastern Illinois food bank says about one in every five residents of the region relies on food pantries and other forms of food aid. Food bank officials say the number of people using those services has increased since 2010. According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, the news comes from a report released this week by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank in Urbana and the organization Feeding America. The report indicates the number of people relying on food aid to eat has increased over the past four years from about 105,000 people to 116,800. Foodbank CEO Jim Hires said the number of households his group helps that rely on a single income has increased from just under half to 54 percent over that period.

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

Jesse White Urges Student Readers to Enter “Letters About Literature” Competition

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in grades 4 through 12 to enter the 2015 “Letters About Literature” contest — a national reading and writing competition sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book. Letters About Literature invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their life or view of the world. Students can enter on their own or through their schools, libraries or other youth organizations. “Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” said White.  “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for seven years in a row.  Anyone who has read these letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our young people.  I encourage all our students to take part in Letters About Literature, and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading." There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8 and Level III for grades 9-12.  One Illinois winner will be selected for each level and receive a $200 cash award.  Teachers of the winning students will receive a $100 cash award to purchase materials for their school library.  Winners and teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Springfield.  The state winners’ letters will be forwarded for national judging. The deadline to enter the competition is Monday, December 15, 2014, for Level III, and Thursday, January 15, 2015, for Levels I and II. State winners will be announced in April 2015.  For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065. Information also is available at illinoiscenterforthebook.org.

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

NATIONAL
Holder gets ready to visit Ferguson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder is promising a thorough investigation into the fatal police shooting of a black 18-year-old. Holder travels to Ferguson, Missouri today to meet with authorities taking part in a federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown. Meanwhile, Holder is calling for "an end to the acts of violence in the streets." He says Ferguson's citizens should "join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions."

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

American journalist beheaded

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected to make a statement today about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group. Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012. The militants say his killing is in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Islamic State is also threatening to kill American journalist Steven Sotloff, who was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013.

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

Changes planned on how travelers can protest no-fly list

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it plans to change the way travelers can ask to be removed from its no-fly list of suspected terrorists. The move comes after a federal judge in Portland, Oregon ruled that there was no meaningful way to challenge the air travel ban, which the judge says is unconstitutional. The Justice Department says the U.S. will make changes during the next six months, but it's offered few details. As of late last summer there were about 48,000 people on the list.

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

Wildfire evacuees return home

OAKHURST, Calif. (AP) — Some of the more than 1,000 people who evacuated because of a fast-moving wildfire have returned to their homes near Yosemite National Park in California. Madera County Sheriff John Anderson says, "We're not seeing the fire expand like we thought." He says the one-square-mile blaze is now 35 percent contained. Fire officials had previously thought the fire had been twice that size.

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

Floods force dramatic rescues in Phoenix area

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says Tuesday's floods in her state "looked absolutely devastating." The Phoenix area was battered by torrential rain storms Tuesday that caused severe flooding across the desert region. Rescuers across the state rushed to save people trapped in cars and homes. One helicopter crew rescued two women and three dogs from a home surrounded by swift-moving waters in a town about 30 miles north of Phoenix.

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

TransUnion: Late-payment rate on US home loans falls to 6-year low in 2Q

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fewer U.S. homeowners are falling behind on their mortgage payments, a trend that's brought down the late-payment rate on home loans to the lowest level in six years. Credit reporting agency TransUnion says the percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments fell to 3.46 percent in the second quarter. That's down from 4.32 percent in the April-June period last year. All told, the nation's late-payment rate on home loans is down nearly 20 percent from a year ago. The last time the rate was lower was in the first quarter of 2008, when it stood at 3.39 percent. The mortgage delinquency rate has been steadily easing over the past two years as U.S. home sales and prices have rebounded and foreclosures have declined.

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

Virginia prepares for possibility of gay marriage

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials are preparing for the possibility that gay marriages could soon be legal in Virginia. The State Registrar of Vital Records is drafting a revised marriage license form that will be used if the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' order ending Virginia's same-sex marriage ban goes into effect Thursday morning. Attorneys representing a county clerk in Virginia have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the appeals court's decision while it is appealed. Virginia is also supporting a delay to minimize disruptions while the issue is resolved. The Supreme Court has twice granted delays in related cases. Meanwhile, clergy supportive of gay marriage are making plans to be at courthouses throughout the state Thursday morning to perform marriages for same-sex couples.

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

Sullivan wins GOP US Senate primary in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Alaska. Sullivan had been the presumptive front-runner in a race featuring three prominent candidates. He had scored the backing of Washington, D.C., establishment Republicans and raised about four times as much as his nearest GOP rival, Mead Treadwell. The race also featured tea party favorite Joe Miller, the 2010 GOP Senate nominee in a race won by Sen. Lisa Murkowski with a write-in campaign. For months, Sullivan had been the focus of attacks by a super PAC supporting Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, creating an opening for his rivals. But his campaign, run by a professional staff of 14, grew increasingly confident of his chances as the primary neared.

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

Hostage Situation Over

(Harvey, IL)  --  A couple of children and two women are finally free, as a 20-hour hostage situation has come to an end in Harvey, Illinois.  The six and 12-year-old girls and the women were escorted from the home about 15 minutes after police stormed the house.  A pair of suspected burglars barricaded themselves in the home yesterday.  About 200 officers from nearly two-dozen agencies are on the scene.  Surrounding homes have been evacuated with officials telling people to remain inside.   

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

Patient Tested For Ebola Virus In Sacramento

(Sacramento, CA)  --  Doctors at Kaiser Permanente South in Sacramento are confirming that a patient is being tested for the Ebola virus.  Because the patient may have been exposed to the virus, blood tests are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The California hospital is taking actions to make sure no one else comes in contact with the patient, including a negative pressure isolation room and the use of personal protective equipment. 

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

INTERNATIONAL
Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Twitter is trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers the publicity they crave is also gaining momentum. In a Tweet published late Tuesday California time, CEO Dick Costolo said his company "is actively suspending accounts as we discover them related to this graphic imagery," and he gave a link to a New York Times story about Foley's killing. Twitter spokesman Nu Wexler confirmed Costolo's Tweet and referred further questions to a company policy page. Twitter allows immediate family members of someone who dies to request image removals, although the company weighs public interest against privacy concerns. Twitter users who oppose spreading the images are using the trending hashtag #ISISMediaBlackout.

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

UK: man in beheading video appears to be British

LONDON (AP) — UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the person appearing in the video posted by Islamic militants beheading American journalist James Foley appears to be British. Hammond's comments come after U.S. officials confirmed the grisly video showing Islamic State militants beheading Foley and threatening to kill another hostage. Hammond says the person in the video with Foley "appears to have been a British person." Hammond told the BBC on Wednesday that Britain was aware that UK nationals were involved in the commission of atrocities, making jihad with Islamic State extremists and other organizations. Hammond says the possible involvement of a Briton underscored the risks that those now fighting with Islamic militants could return to Britain and carry out attacks at home.

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

Germany prepared to send arms to Kurds in Iraq

BERLIN (AP) — Germany says it is prepared to arm Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany would closely coordinate its efforts with France, Britain and other European countries who are already delivering weapons to the Kurds. Wednesday's announcement follows intense domestic and international pressure for the German government to provide more than humanitarian assistance to those fighting the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq in recent weeks. Sending weapons would be a significant step for Germany, which traditionally has shied away from such moves. Steinmeier said the decision was taken in light of the fact that a collapse of Kurdish defenses could precipitate a wider catastrophe in Iraq that would directly affect Europe.

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

Fighting in eastern Ukraine kills 43 residents and govt troops in 24 hours, authorities say

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian troops are fighting to gain control of the rebel-held city of Donetsk and a major railroad and a highway that leads to Russia. The Kiev-backed administration in Donetsk says 34 "local residents" have been killed in the fighting, while the Ukrainian National Security Council says nine troops were killed in overnight fighting in a town (Ilovaysk) near Donetsk. Ukrainian forces are trying to encircle Donetsk, the largest city still in rebel hands, and also drive the rebels out of the city of Luhansk. Several neighborhoods in Donetsk have been hit with artillery fire in the last few days and fighting on the outskirts has become more intense. Local authorities in Luhansk say government troops and rebels have been fighting running battles in city streets. The besieged city has been without electricity, running water or phone connections for 18 days and residents are reported to be standing in lines to buy bread baked on portable generators as food grows scarce.

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

Protesters plant Ukraine flag on Moscow skyscraper

MOSCOW (AP) — Protesters have scaled one of Moscow's famed Stalin-era skyscrapers and painted the Soviet star on its spire in the national colors of Ukraine. They also attached a yellow and blue Ukrainian flag to the top of the 176-meter (580-foot) building early Wednesday. Russian authorities were not amused by the prank in support of Ukraine, where government troops are battling pro-Russian separatists. Police said they have detained four suspects and charged them with vandalism, a crime punishable with up to three years in prison. The LifeNews media site posted a video it says shows one of the protesters parachuting off of the building and landing in an inner courtyard. Russian news agencies, citing police, said the four suspects had climbing equipment with them when they were detained.

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, San Francisco 0, 5 innings
Baltimore 5, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 5, Cincinnati 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 3, Frontier 2
Gateway at Lake Erie (PPD. to 8/20)

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Cincinnati at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
San Francisco at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Lake Erie (2)
Evansville at Traverse City (2)
Frontier at Southern Illinois

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

Law aims to prevent student athlete concussions

CHICAGO (AP) — High school coaches and athletic directors will have to take concussion training courses under a new Illinois law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. The law requires the Illinois High School Association to develop an online concussion certification program. Quinn says the idea is to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday at a school on Chicago's South Side. The law takes effect immediately. Studies indicate concussions in children and teens have increased in recent years, along with awareness about the dangers of these head injuries. The training will center on preventing and recognizing concussions, including what the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma are. Student athletes will also get awareness training.

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

Wacha Looks Sharp In Bullpen Session

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha looked strong in his second throwing session since being placed on the disabled list on June 18th.  Manager Mike Matheny said while he was only throwing at about 75-percent speed, it looked he was throwing it with little effort or discomfort.  There is no set timetable for Wacha's return, but Matheny stated the club wants him to face live competition first.

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

Cardinals put 2B Mark Ellis on DL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have put second baseman Mark Ellis on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, retroactive to Aug. 15. Infielder Greg Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Memphis before Tuesday night's game against Cincinnati. The 37-year-old Ellis has not played since last Thursday against the Padres. He made four starts after rookie Kolten Wong returned from the disabled list on July 6. The 25-year-old Garcia was batting .275 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 103 games at Memphis. The left-handed hitter is batting .367 in August. Garcia appeared in seven games earlier in the season and was 2 for 10 with an RBI. He was hit by a pitch in the 12th inning for the game-winning RBI against the Cubs on May 13.

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

Cutler thinks Santonio Holmes can be good fit

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler thinks wide receiver Santonio Holmes can be a possible solution for the team's problems at the third wide receiver spot. Cutler has worked closely with Holmes since his signing Saturday as a possible third receiver to replace the injured Marquess Wilson. Although Holmes had a reputation for not getting along with teammates while with the Jets, Cutler thinks Holmes can be a fit in Chicago because of the team's leadership. Coach Marc Trestman said veteran Josh Morgan will get the first chance at playing the position Friday when the Bears are at Seattle in the third preseason game.

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

Greg Robinson has double duty on offensive line

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Greg Robinson has been getting double duty at guard and tackle in training camp for the St. Louis Rams. The No. 2 pick has been equal to the task. Robinson projects as a main tackle eventually, but being versatile is always a plus. He admits it's been difficult mentally at times. The Rams had a need early in camp with left tackle Jake Long and guard Rodger Saffold rehabbing from injuries. Even though both likely will play in the third preseason game at Cleveland, Robinson will be alternating spots again. Robinson left Auburn after two seasons and at age 21 is the second-youngest player in camp. The Rams are factoring in the youth element, anticipating he'll grow into his role, but he's already good enough to start at two spots.

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

Carl Edwards To Drive For Joe Gibbs Racing

(Undated)  --  NASCAR's worst-kept secret has been confirmed.  Carl Edwards is switching to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015.  The 11-year Sprint Cup veteran will drive the number-19 Toyota and join a JGR team of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and former series champion and Roush teammate Matt Kenseth.

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

News for Aug. 19, 2014

LOCAL
Deichman Named MVPD Chief

Mt. Vernon has a new Chief of Police. Chris Deichman was sworn into the post Monday morning at City Hall during a ceremony. Deichman had been pulling double duty as acting Chief as well as his duties as Assistant Chief since the retirement of former Chief Chris Mendenall in February to accept a position as the City/County 911 Coordinator. Deichman has been with the Mt. Vernon Police Department for 25 years, the last 10 in the capacity of Assistant Chief.

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

City Council Met Monday Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council met at 7 p.m. Monday evening. Among the items discussed, The Council approved permission to seek bids for a fire station alerting system, second readings were given following up on some items from last meeting regarding downtown sidewalk dining and potential liquor license classifications regarding those establishments, as well as revised ordinance codes regarding speed limits on Veteran's Memorial Drive between 26th and 42nd Streets, which was also approved. Also a first reading was given on an ordinance approving tax increment redevelopment agreements with Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation, Mt. Vernon City Schools District 80, and Granada Center for the Performing Arts which was approved 

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

Community Health Systems Experiences Data Breach

Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals across the United States, including Crossroads Hospital in Mt. Vernon, announced today that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients. Hackers have gained access to patients’ names, social security numbers, physical addresses, birthdays and telephone numbers.  Anyone who received treatment from a physician's office tied to a network-owned hospital in the last five years -- or was merely referred there by an outside doctor -- is affected.  Other affiliated hospitals in the region include Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, Union County Hospital in Anna, Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City and Red Bud Regional Hospital in Red Bud. The large data breach puts these people at heightened risk of identity fraud. That allows criminals open bank accounts and credit cards on their behalf, take out loans and ruin personal credit history.  Community Health Systems hired cybersecurity experts at Mandiant to consult on the hack. They have determined the hackers were in China and used high-end, sophisticated malware to launch the attacks sometime in April and June this year.  The FBI said it's working closely with the hospital network and "committing significant resources and efforts to target, disrupt, dismantle and arrest the perpetrators." It's been a rough month for the health network. Community Health Systems  agreed  earlier this month to pay an $89 million settlement in connection with a medicare and medicaid fraud suit filed by a former EMS director at heartland regional medical center in Marion.

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

Rauner Makes Campaign Stop In Marion

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner made a campaign stop in Marion Monday where he told supporters at Ray Fosse Park that he wants to see Illinois families thrive especially in southern Illinois.  He says a big part of that will be for the state to have high quality, outdoor natural resources. Rauner says natural resources can become a big economic growth engine and job creator. Rauner noted that the state is suffering as it has lost 4,200 jobs just this year alone unfortunately under Gov. Quinn, who he says is a failure on economic growth and job creation. Rauner added that he wants to bring to state government people who are experts in their fields, especially when it comes to natural resources, so they can help enhance what the state has to offer those who enjoy the great outdoors.

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

Carbondale Dismisses Police Chief

City leaders in Carbondale will be looking for a new police chief after City Manager Kevin Beity dismissed Chief Jody O'Guinn Monday.  Beity released a statement Monday morning stating he had dismissed O'Guinn, but that his decision had nothing to do with the unsolved cases or recent litigation filed against the city and chief. He added any assumptions and/or allegations to this effect are completely unfounded. He says the dismissal was strictly a confidential matter.
Beity says no timetable has been established for finding his successor. O'Guinn has served the city since June 2009. Beity named Deputy Chief Jeff Grubbs to serve as Interim Police Chief for the foreseeable future.

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

Williamson County Man Pleads Guilty To Crack Cocaine Offenses

On August 15, 2014, Eric Scott Russell, 48, of Carbondale, Illinois, pled guilty to a two-count superseding indictment, charging conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and distribution of crack cocaine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. The offenses occurred between 2012 and April 2013, in Williamson and Jackson Counties. Evidence at the plea hearing established that Russell was involved with co-defendant Albert Wesley, a/k/a “Boogie,” and others in the distribution of crack cocaine. On April 7, 2013, Russell sold crack cocaine to a confidential source working for law enforcement. Russell faces a prison term of up to 20 years on each count, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a $1,000,000 fine. Russell is currently being held without bond pending a December 3, 2014, sentencing hearing. Wesley has previously pled guilty and is awaiting sentencing.  The investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, Carbondale Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Williamson County and the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Offices also assisted in the investigation. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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

STATE
Rauner Sign Company Facing Possible City Fines

(Chicago, IL) -- A sign company GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner helped to start is in hot water with the city for putting up a digital billboard in West Rogers Park without the necessary permits. Rauner is a passive investor in Digital Greensigns and while the company did have a city permit to put up the sign, it didn't have a special-use permit needed because the sign hung over the sidewalk. The company complied with a judge's order and took the sign down, but could still face fines as much as 15-thousand-dollars a day, dating back to February 25. The sign company, run by Hawthorn Woods Mayor Joseph Marino, has given Rauner free advertising over the past five months.

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

New Law Designed To Make 9-1-1 Universal

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn has signed a bill designed to make sure that people can call 9-1-1 from any phone. The bill's sponsor, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant of Shorewood, says it was prompted by a tragedy last year in Texas when a little girl couldn't summon help for her mother because their hotel room phone required callers to dial "9" first. The bill takes effect next July and will mean newly installed or upgraded phone systems will have to allow 9-1-1 to be called directly, with a pre-dial code number.

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

First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Found

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been reported.  A woman in the Chicago area in her 70s that became ill in July. Last year there were 117 human cases of West Nile Virus, but IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the weather has been on our side this year. She says the mosquitoes that carry don't breed as much in cooler, wetter weather.  She says you should still take precautions at dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites since they spread the disease.  Arnold says insect repellents with DEET or picaridin work the best.  So far this year, West Nile Virus has been found in birds or mosquitoes in 32 Illinois counties and Arnold says they expect to see more human cases this year.

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

Governor Quinn Signs Law To Help Seniors

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn has signed a bill that will help defend vulnerable adults and seniors across Illinois.  House Bill 5703 allows complaints about a nursing home or long-term care facility to be sent in electronically to the Department of Public Health.  It also requires that complainant's questions are available on the IDPH website.  The agency will annually review the anonymous complaints while getting rid of the non-relevant ones.  The bill goes into effect right away.

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

Ill. AG wants treasurer's office lawsuit dismissed

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants portions of a lawsuit filed against Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office dropped, and a court to sanction the former staff lawyer who filed it. Madigan's office asked a federal court on Monday to dismiss claims by Edmund Michalowski against two treasurer's office employees and the Republican state treasurer's office. Michalowski says the employees were involved in racketeering and retaliated against him for refusing to do political work. He also says Rutherford sexually harassed him. Madigan calls the racketeering changes "baseless," and says the harassment allegations of harassment involving the office weren't "sufficiently severe or pervasive." Madigan wants Michalowski's lawyers to pay her costs to defend racketeering portions of the suit. Rutherford is represented by his own attorneys. Michalowski's attorney wasn't immediately reached for comment.

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

Governor Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is taking part in one of this summer's viral sensations.  The Ice Bucket Challenge raises money and awareness for ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.  Quinn says ALS effects 56-hundred Americans each year.  So far, there is no cure for the disease.  In addition to taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, Quinn also made a donation to the ALS Association.  The governor challenged three members of the Chicago White Sox to take the Ice Bucket Challenge.  He wants to see first baseman Paul Konerko, pitcher Chris Sale and infielder Gordon Beckham take the challenge.

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

Blagojevich, state corruption feature in ruling

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court has taken on the issue of pay-to-play corruption in Illinois under disgraced ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a lawsuit by riverboat casinos in a late Friday ruling. The suit alleges that racetrack owners bribed Blagojevich to push through legislation that transferred 3 percent of casino revenue to the racetracks. The Chicago-based court says the case required it to "once again to decide whether some shenanigans" in the Legislature "and governor's office crossed the line from the merely unseemly to the unlawful." The same court is still considering Blagojevich's appeal of his corruption convictions. Jurors convicted him on 18 counts. Three related to his bid to extort a racetrack executive for a donation. Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year prison term.

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

State hearing to focus on cutting greenhouse gases

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission is holding hearings on how to reduce the state's global warming pollution. Monday's meeting is the first of three to determine how to meet tougher federal limits on greenhouse gases. It's part of a sweeping initiative to curb carbon dioxide emitted by the nation's power plants 30 percent by 2030. Each state has a customized goal — Illinois' is 33 percent. State officials and environmentalists say Illinois should be able to meet the limits with a mixture of power sources and energy-efficiency initiatives. Almost 49 percent of Illinois' power came from nuclear and 41 percent from coal-fired plants in 2012. Renewable energy and natural gas supplied the rest. The coal industry says the new rules could force power plants to close and hurt the electricity supply.

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

NATIONAL
2 shot, dozens arrested in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say at least two people were shot and 31 were arrested in clashes last night in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer ten days ago. Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and police say bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.

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

California brush fire spurs evacuations

GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) — An out-of-control wildfire is growing near Yosemite National Park in Central California. The blaze in Madera County has grown from 500 acres to 1,200 acres as authorities try to get residents in the area to evacuate. The county sheriff says he's issued mandatory evacuation orders to some 13,000 homes and businesses. And another 2,500 calls have gone out, telling people that they eventually may need to leave. Also four hotels in the community of Oakhurst, about 16 miles away from the entrance to Yosemite, were evacuated. Authorities have closed down State Route 41 toward Yosemite and they say travelers will need to use different routes into the park. There's also a fear of explosions. Fire officials say the blaze is burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on the site. Firefighters are still trying to save the facility. Meanwhile, another blaze that began Monday some 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield has surged to 3,000 acres, or nearly five square miles.

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

Los Angeles schools make discipline less harsh

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The second largest school district in the United States is making major reforms in how it deals with students who commit low-level offenses. The Los Angeles Unified School District will announce today that students caught fighting or possessing marijuana or alcohol will receive interventions by a guidance counselor or school administrator instead of being handed over to local authorities.

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

Two CA Teens Arrested After Plotting School Shooting

(Los Angeles, CA)   --  Police in Southern California say they've arrested two teenagers who plotted a mass shooting at a high school.  The two were taken into custody after a tip from administrators from South Pasadena High School led to both the students' homes being searched.  Police say the two were plotting to kill three staff members and as many students as possible.  More details are expected to be released at a news conference today.

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

Governor Rick Perry's Legal Team Denies Ulterior Motive In Veto

(Austin, TX)  --  Texas Governor Rick Perry's legal team says there was no ulterior motive when Perry vetoed millions of dollars for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit.  Lead attorney Tony Busby says there is no proof suggesting Perry was trying to keep the unit from investigating the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, where a former executive is under indictment.  Perry was indicted last week on felony abuse of office and coercion of a public servant charges.

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

American Teen Suspect In Mother's Bali Death Tested For Pregnancy

(Undated)  --  Authorities in Bali are waiting for results of a pregnancy test on an American teenager suspected in her mother's death.  Indonesian police say they tested 19-year-old Heather Mack after she told them she's pregnant.  Mack and her 21-year-old boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, are being held in the death of Sheila von Wiese-Mack.  The 62-year-old Chicago woman's body was found stuffed in a suitcase outside a luxury hotel last week.  Police think Mack might have told them she's pregnant as a ploy to be allowed to return to the U.S.  

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

Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

NEW YORK (AP) — Announcer Don Pardo, whose booming baritone was known to fans of "Saturday Night Live," ''The Price is Right" and other programs, has died. He was 96. Pardo's daughter, Dona Pardo, says her father died Monday afternoon at his home in Tucson, Arizona. She says he moved to Tucson after retiring from "SNL" in 2006. For decades, Pardo's majestic voice graced game shows and television programs. During shows such as the original version of "Jeopardy!," his answers to the question, "Tell 'em what they've won, Don Pardo," became a memorable part of the program. And though rarely seen, he was an integral part of "Saturday Night Live" for more than three decades in his role of introducing the cast to kick off each show.

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

Woman shoots grandson; thought he was an intruder

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A 7-year-old boy is in critical condition in Tampa, Florida after his grandmother mistook him for an intruder and shot him. Sixty-three-year-old Linda Maddox told sheriff's deputies that she had placed a chair against her bedroom door handle for extra protection early this morning. When she heard the chair sliding against the floor, she assumed it was someone breaking in and she grabbed a loaded .22-caliber revolver. Instead, she shot one of her twin grandsons.

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

2 shot, dozens arrested in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say at least two people were shot and 31 were arrested in clashes last night in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by a white police officer ten days ago. Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and police say bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades. Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol says "a dangerous dynamic" is developing at night in Ferguson. He's urging protesters with peaceful intent to demonstrate during the daytime hours. The National Guard is in the area but keeping its distance for now. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to travel to Ferguson tomorrow to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

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

Landowners cited for pile that damaged Del. bridge

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The owners of land in Delaware where a huge mound of dirt damaged a highway bridge have been served with violation notices by state environmental regulators. The notices are the first effort by the state to recoup repair costs estimated at $45 million. The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the DuPont Co. and Wilmington-based Alma Properties LLC received letters claiming numerous violations of state law or administrative code. The letters from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control don't assign blame for the damage but list violations that could lead to fines of up to $2,000 a day. The bridge carries Interstate 495 over a river. It was closed in June because support columns were tilting. The southbound lanes reopened July 31 and the northbound lanes are expected to reopen by Labor Day.

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

Dozens seek release of video in Wal-Mart shooting

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A crowd of about 100 people gathered at the Ohio attorney general's office to call for the release of store security video in the fatal police shooting of a man at a Dayton-area Wal-Mart. Organizers tell the Dayton Daily News they want to see what happened on Aug. 5 when 21-year-old John Crawford III was fatally shot by police. Officers say he refused to drop an air rifle inside a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek. The group that gathered Monday night in Columbus called for transparency in the investigation, which is being headed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a branch of Attorney General Mike DeWine's office. DeWine's spokeswoman Jill Del Greco says she's not aware of any plans to release video before the case is closed.

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

Veteran rock climber killed in fall in Yosemite

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a veteran rock climber died in a fall while climbing alone in Yosemite National Park — just hours after proposing to his girlfriend during an earlier climb. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat says Brad Parker's girlfriend, Jainee Dial, had accepted his marriage proposal after the pair completed a climb of Cathedral Peak Saturday. Parker's father Bill says his son told him it was the happiest day of his life. Later in the day, Brad Parker headed off by himself to climb nearby Matthes Crest. Park Ranger Kari Cobb says the Sebastopol resident was climbing without ropes on an established route when he fell. The fall was witnessed by other climbers. Parker appeared on the cover of California Climber magazine in 2012. He worked as a yoga instructor.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Israel launches airstrikes after Gaza rocket fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has carried out a series of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip in response to renewed rocket fire. There was no immediate word on casualties from the strikes. In a statement Tuesday, the military accused Palestinian militants of violating a cease-fire and said it maintains "both defense and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression." The airstrikes came minutes after Palestinian militants fired three rockets into Israel, breaking a temporary cease-fire and endangering negotiations in Egypt over ending a monthling war between Israel and Hamas. Authorities said the rockets landed in open areas and caused no injuries.

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

Activists: Jihadi killed near Syria-Lebanon border

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian opposition group says Lebanese Hezbollah fighters have killed a senior member of the Islamic State group. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that the man known as Abu Abdullah al-Iraqi was killed by a bomb planted in his car in the rugged Qalamoun region along the border with Lebanon. Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV reported al-Iraqi's death but said he was killed in a "qualitative" operation carried out by the Syrian army. It said he was in charge of rigging cars with explosives and preparing suicide bombers which he sent to Lebanon. The Shiite group, a longtime staunch ally of the Syrian government, is heavily involved in fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's forces in Syria. The group typically does not claim responsibility for operations inside Syrian territory.

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

Watchdog: Syria's chemical weapons destroyed

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The organization charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons program says the most crucial part of its operation has been completed. The Organization for the Prohibition for Chemical Weapons said Tuesday that an operation carried out aboard U.S. vessel Cape Ray has destroyed 581 metric tons of a precursor for sarin nerve gas, and 19.8 metric tons of mustard gas. The toxicity of the chemicals was reduced by 99.9 percent by a hydrolysis technique aboard the ship, and the resulting liquid will now be transported to Finland and Germany for final disposal. OPCW experts ensured that none of the chemicals escaped into the sea, the agency's director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement.

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

WHO says Ebola has killed more than 1,200

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. health agency says the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has now killed more than 1,200 people. The World Health Organization says the death toll has risen to 1,229 from among the 2,240 reported cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The latest figures include 84 additional deaths from 113 new cases reported between August 14 and 16. Agency officials warn that measures to restrict travel in heavily infected areas, including quarantines of whole villages and counties, are limiting access to food and other basic necessities in many cases.

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

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Baltimore 8, Chicago White Sox 2
Chicago Cubs 4, N.Y. Mets 1
St. Louis 6, Cincinnati 5, 10 innings

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

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

Frontier League

Frontier at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Lake Erie

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

Blackhawks sign Leighton to 1-year deal

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have signed goaltender Michael Leighton to a one-year contract. The 33-year-old Leighton provides some organizational depth behind starter Corey Crawford and backup Antti Raanta. Barring injury, he could spend much of the year with Chicago's AHL affiliate in Rockford. Leighton was drafted by Chicago in the sixth round of the 1999 draft and made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in January 2003. He has a 35-41-14 record with a 2.97 goals-against average in parts of eight seasons with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina. Leighton was in goal for Philadelphia when Patrick Kane scored in overtime in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, giving the Blackhawks the title. The Blackhawks announced the contract on Monday.

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

Report: Ohio State's Miller Re-Injures Shoulder

(Columbus, OH)  --  Ohio State's football season might have taken a huge blow.  "The Columbus Post-Dispatch" reports starting quarterback Braxton Miller re-injured his right shoulder in Monday's practice and could miss the entire season.  The Buckeyes have not confirmed any such news.

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

Rams Provide Free Tickets For High School Teams Near Ferguson

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Rams are reaching out to some high school football players affected by the ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.  MMQB.com reports a Rams staffer provided 75 free tickets to Saturday's preseason game.  The gesture was an effort to provide a distraction from protests.

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

Manziel Delivers Middle Finger During Preseason Game

(Landover, MD)  --  Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel is getting some bad publicity after Monday's preseason game.  "Johnny Football" was caught on camera issuing the middle finger to the Redskins sideline.  Manziel said after the game he made a mistake.

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

News for Aug. 18, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon Township High School BOE Meets Today

Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education meets today.  Among items on their agenda are discussions of tentative budgets for the Area Vocational Center and for the District for fiscal year 2015, an establishment of a public hearing for the purpose of budgets, the coach and sponsor list for 2014-2015 school year and the MHCA Contract for 2014-2017.  The board will also hear reports from the finance, building, and policy committees.  The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council is set to meet this evening at 7 p.m.  Among items on their agenda, the City Manager will request permission to seek bids for a fire station alerting system, the City Attorney will give second readings following up on some items from last meeting regarding downtown sidewalk dining and potential liquor license classifications regarding those establishments, as well as revised ordinance codes regarding speed limits on Veteran's Memorial Drive. Also several first readings, among them, a reading on an ordinance approving tax increment redevelopment agreements with Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation, Mt. Vernon City Schools District 80, and Granada Center for the Performing Arts.  The meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Building at Veteran's Park.

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

US service members complain private cars missing

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AP) — According to a published report, hundreds of U.S. service members are reporting that their privately owned vehicles have gone missing or been damaged while being shipped to and from overseas bases. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that after months of complaints, the military is sending teams to find the vehicles. The survey teams are from U.S. Transportation Command, which is run out of Scott Air Force Base in southeastern Illinois and is responsible for air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense. Shipping of the vehicles is handled by International Auto Logistics, a Brunswick, Georgia-based contractor. Company spokeswoman Amanda Nunez blamed the high volume of vehicles it's been asked to move in too short a time period. The survey teams will visit vehicle staging areas starting next week.

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

Lightning sparks southern Illinois oil tank fire

ELDORADO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois business has contained an oil tank fire started by a lightning strike. WSIL-TV reports lightning ignited oil tanks at Campbell Enterprise early Sunday. The Eldorado Fire Department responded and said the only option was to let the fire burn. Company workers used limestone to contain the flames after fire crews left the scene. The company says no one was injured. The company had trucks and workers onsite all day to handle cleanup. It didn't give an estimation of damages.

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

Illinois State Police Partner With School Communities On Back To School Safety Messages

Effingham, IL – Students are headed back to school and the Illinois State Police are reminding the citizens of Illinois to take necessary safety precautions while driving through school communities. The Illinois State Police is urging motorists, cyclists, school bus drivers, students and parents about the increased vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian traffic in and around school zones.  ISP wants to remind the public that school zone speed limits will be enforced and drivers should pay attention to the pedestrian traffic and school buses with flashing lights and safety signals. Officers will also increase their presence to focus on school zone speed; electronic device and seatbelt violations and other forms of distracted driving.  These violations are serious and can result in hefty fines and possible license suspensions.  To be safe in school zones, motorists should follow these safety tips: Motorists must stop for red flashing lights when stop arms are extended, whether driving behind a bus or coming toward a bus on an undivided road. Also, If the roadway is divided (two lanes in each direction) motorist traveling in the same direction as the bus must stop. Illinois State Police Safety Education Officers are available to provide educational presentations at area schools and throughout the community promoting safe driving habits. 

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

McLeansboro Man Rescued From High Water Area

A McLeansboro man had to be rescued from high flood waters Sunday morning following a one car crash he was involved in on Route 14 near County Road 100E in Hamilton County.  Illinois State Police say  shortly after 8:30 a.m. 54 year old Allen L. Klein was driving his car  east on Route 14, near Hamilton County Road 100E, when for  unknown  reasons, he left the north side of the roadway and became stranded in  high water.  A few minutes later a state trooper came upon Klein's vehicle stranded in the high water, with Klein still inside the vehicle. The trooper, along with two other people who stopped to assist, entered the water to try to rescue Klein from his vehicle.   The back glass of the vehicle had to be broken out, allowing for Klein to escape the submerged car.   Initially, Klein appeared to be able to get himself out of the high water; however, he succumbed to his efforts and had to be pulled from the water by the Trooper.  Once out of the water, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer and yet another volunteer provided first aid to Klein until an  ambulance arrived on scene.   Klein was taken by ambulance to a local hospital before being transferred to an Evansville hospital.

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

Rauner In Southern Illinois Today

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner be in our area today, visiting Williamson and Johnson counties as part of his Shake Up Express Bus Tour. Rauner will be at the middle shelter at Ray Fosse Park in Marion at 1:15 p.m.  He will then make an appearance in Vienna at 2:30 at the Vienna Library.

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

Balloon Fest Washed Out Early

Heavy rains caused localized flooding this weekend, forcing the cancellation of all Sunday Balloon Fest activities. Centralia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Bob Kelsheimer announced that flooding conditions Sunday in Foundation Park prevented Balloon Fest activities to continue. Despite weather conditions over the weekend, Kelsheimer reports excellent crowds attended Friday night's events. They were able to have a Friday night flight, and a few balloons, including a number of special shapes, performed a balloon glow.  Entertainment went on as planned Saturday, as did the fireworks show and another balloon glow. The more than 3-inches of rain that fell overnight Saturday caused additional headaches in the area, with Brick Hill Road from Green Street to Gragg Street in Centralia being closed after it flooded, and new curbing on Calumet Street in Centralia was washed out due to the heavy rainfall. According to the Centralia water plant, 3.5 inches of rain fell overnight Saturday until 7 Sunday morning.  

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

STATE
Quinn signs law improving Latino data collection


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law making it easier to track statistics about Illinois' Latino population. The Democrat attended the Fifth Annual Cuban Festival Sunday to sign the legislation requiring state agencies to update data-collection practices. It adds "Hispanic or Latino" as a separate racial or ethnic category in state agency reports and the collection of information. Chicago Democratic Sen. Iris Martinez and Rep. Lisa Hernandez, a Democrat from Cicero, sponsored the plan. They say it makes state data collection more consistent with racial and ethnic classifications used by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hernandez says it will help lawmakers advocate for Latino communities in Illinois. Martinez says it will "break down barriers to improvement" in the lives of Latinos.

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

Illinois increases penalties for drug crimes

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has increased the penalties for some drug offenses. Gov. Pat Quinn signed three drug-related pieces of legislation Saturday. They take effect Jan. 1. Manufacturing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of any school property will now be a Class X felony, punishable by a minimum of six years in prison. It was previously considered a Class 1 felony. Another new law adds synthetic drugs known as 25-I, 25-C and 25-B to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent to distribute. Quinn's office says the hallucinogenic drugs have been available online and linked to serious and fatal reactions. Quinn also signed a bill that makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to buy or possess products containing the herbal stimulant Kratom.

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

Illinois law limiting medical marijuana locations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State restrictions are largely limiting potential sites for growing and selling medical marijuana in Illinois' capital city. And it's likely the rules could have a similar impact in other communities. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Springfield officials are considering zoning for medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries. Illinois' medical cannabis pilot program prohibits dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center or child care facility. Cultivation centers must be 2,500 feet away. Dispensaries and cultivation centers also are banned from residential areas. In Springfield, maps prepared by planning officials show small pockets of centrally located areas could accommodate a dispensary. But much of the city will be off-limits. Still, a local lobbyist says at least one group of investors is eyeing a site for a Springfield dispensary.

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

Attorney General warns about IT telephone scam

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois residents are being warned to watch out for telephone scammers who pose as representatives from Microsoft or other technology companies. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the callers claim they've detected virus or malware on the person's computer. They then try to trick them into providing remote computer access or to pay for unneeded software fixes. Madigan says her office has received several complaints from central Illinois residents. She says residents should hang up on anyone who calls claiming they can fix a problem or asking for personal information. She says never give out your password or provide credit card or financial information.

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

State Fair strives to be most eco-friendly in US

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Fair officials say they're ramping up recycling at this year's event as part of an effort to have the most eco-friendly fair in the country. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports that the fair last year recycled more than 25,000 pounds of aluminum, cardboard and plastic. This year it added paper to the recycling effort. Fair manager Amy Bliefnick says the efforts began about four years ago with the goal of become the nation's most sustainable fair. The fair partners with Illinois Correctional Industries and inmates work in the program. This year, the program placed 200 trash and recycling containers around the fairground, more than doubling last year's number. The corrections program sells the materials. Officials say manure from the fairgrounds also is used to fertilize gardens.

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

Event to raise money for Old State Capitol grounds

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The bicentennial of Illinois' statehood is still four years away, but it's apparently not too soon to start preparing. The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it's planning an overhaul of landscaping at Springfield's Old State Capitol to mark statehood in 1818. Among other things, plans call for planting more trees and adding hand-crafted urns. The agency on Friday announced a Sept. 6 fundraiser to raise money for the beautification project. It'll be a lawn party featuring fine food and jazz at the historic site. The Old State Capitol was built about 20 years after statehood. The building is closely associated with Abraham Lincoln. It's also where Barack Obama announced his presidential run in 2007. Fundraiser tickets range from $100 for a single ticket and $150 for two.

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

Illinois Colleges Will Become Smoke-Free In 2015

(Chicago, IL)  --  Starting next summer smoking will not be allowed on state-run college and university campuses.  The ban begins July 1, 2015 and covers indoor and outdoor spaces on campuses.  Governor Quinn signed the bill on Sunday.  The exception to the law is that smokers can light up in their parked cars.

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

State Fair Attendance Expected To Top 800-Thousand

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Fair attendance figures are expected to reach more than 800-thousand.  Event manager Amy Bliefnick is excited about the number of people who showed up despite eight of the eleven days included rain.  She says fair attendance was down only by nine percent in comparison to last year.  Heavy rain caused the cancellation of the Twilight Parade on August 7 and three days of harness racing had to be rescheduled due to the condition of the track.

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

NATIONAL
Obama back in Washington on rare vacation break

WASHINGTON (AP) ---- President Barack Obama returned to Washington just after midnight for a two-day break from a summer vacation during which airstrikes in Iraq and violent clashes in a St. Louis suburb intruded on his golf and beach plans. The exact reason for Obama's return remains unclear, though it appears aimed in part at countering criticism that Obama was spending two weeks on the Massachusetts resort island of Martha's Vineyard in the midst of multiple crises. His return to Washington was planned even before the U.S. military began striking targets in Iraq and before the standoff between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama has meetings on both matters scheduled for today. The president is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard Tuesday night.

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

Food Assistance Network Finds Military, Veterans' Families Needing Help

(Undated)  --  Military members and veterans are turning to food banks and food assistance programs to feed their families.  The latest Hunger in America survey reports 20-percent of the households served by the Feeding America network have at least one member who has served in the military.  The survey also shows 620-thousand households getting food help have at least one member who is currently serving on active military duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard.  

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

Survey: Interest In Buying Apps Decreasing

(Undated)  --  Smartphone apps are losing popularity.  A new survey conducted by Deloitte finds that in a typical month, 31 percent of smartphone users say they don't download any apps for their devices, compared to 20 percent of respondents in the same poll last year.  Apps that cost money are even less popular.  

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

Perry moves ahead with '16 courtship despite case

WASHINGTON (AP) --- Texas Gov. Rick Perry is moving ahead with plans to visit 2016 primary states and calling his indictment politically motivated as he faces two felony counts in his home state. The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate could be forced to sit for a booking photo and fingerprinting this week in response to a political dispute that has roiled Texas politics. Perry has tried to rally conservatives to his cause, saying the indictment is symbolic of government overreach. The governor will be in New Hampshire this coming weekend, with events planned with Republican activists on Friday and Saturday. The allegations could pose a distraction for Perry, who stumbled in his 2012 presidential campaign and has tried to gain a second look from GOP voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

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

Defense begins case in former Va. governor trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) --- The defense is going to start presenting its case in the public corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The jury will hear the first defense witnesses today as the trial enters its fourth week in U.S. District Court in Richmond. Forty-five witnesses testified for the prosecution. Among them was former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams. Prosecutors claim the McDonnells accepted more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams in exchange for promoting his company's dietary supplements. Williams received immunity for his cooperation with the government. Defense attorneys have said Bob McDonnell will testify at some point. They indicated in court papers that Maureen McDonnell probably will not testify. The McDonnells could face decades in prison if convicted.

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

Dollar General enters bidding for Family Dollar

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- There's now a bidding war for Family Dollar store. Dollar General is offering about $9.7 billion for the discounter in an effort to trump Dollar Tree's bid, which is about 3 percent less. Last month, Dollar Tree made an $8.5 billion bid for Family Dollar, and Dollar General's board unanimously approved the deal.

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

Missouri governor sends National Guard to Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri's governor says the National Guard will help "in restoring peace and order" to the town of Ferguson, where there've been protests, some violent, since an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer. Gov. Jay Nixon's order to send in the Guard came after Sunday night's violence in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew. Police say they were responding to vandalism, looting, gunfire and some people tossing Molotov cocktails. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on Michael Brown. The 18-year-old was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer earlier this month. The New York Times reports a preliminary private autopsy found Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Results of a state-performed autopsy have not been released.

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

NEW: House Republicans' campaign arm has $48M banked

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans trying to hold onto their majority are sitting on almost $48 million heading into what is already a costly fall campaign. The National Republican Congressional Committee said Monday it raised $8 million in July, bringing fundraising totals for the 2014 elections to $109 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not yet reported its totals from last month. Like other political committees, it faces a Wednesday deadline. Heading into July, the Democrats' House campaign panel had outraised the GOP in 16 of the previous 18 months. Both parties now are ready to spend that cash. House Republicans have reserved more than $30 million in ad time. Democrats have booked $44 million.

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

Maine woman sues GM after suffering burn

YARMOUTH, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman who says she suffered a third-degree burn from a heated seat in Chevrolet Suburban has sued General Motors. Emma Verrill says in her suit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, Maine, that GM failed to adequately test the rear seat heaters to prevent them from reaching "dangerously high temperatures that would burn human flesh." Verrill is paralyzed from the waist down and can't feel hot and cold in her lower body. She tells the Portland Press Herald her burn was so serious it required surgery and months in bed. She's seeking unspecified damages. Verrill grew up in Yarmouth and now lives in Texas. GM denied the seat heater was defective or dangerous, denied causing Verrill's injury, and denied knowledge of a defect or failure to fix a defect.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Activists say extremist Islamic State group kills hundreds of tribesmen in eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists say the extremist Islamic State group has crushed an uprising against them in eastern Syria. An activist originally from the region says he's been told as many as 200 tribesmen were shot and beheaded over the past two weeks. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the death toll at closer to 700. Tribesmen expelled the jihadi fighters from three villages earlier this month before the Islamic State launched a counteroffensive. Meanwhile, activists say Syrian warplanes have bombarded jihadi positions in the northern province of Raqqa as Muslim extremists close in on the last army base in the region. The Tabqa air base is the last position held by Syrian government troops in Raqqa province — which is mostly under the control of the extremist Islamic State group.

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

Fatah: Activists in Gaza under Hamas house arrest

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Fatah officials say the rival Hamas movement has placed scores of Fatah activists in Gaza under house arrest during the Gaza war and has shot several in the legs for not staying indoors. One of those attacked, Sami Abu Lasheen, told The Associated Press on Monday that Hamas gunmen shot him in both legs in late July. Abu Lasheen is undergoing treatment at a Jordanian hospital, but says he will need several months to recover. The shootings came despite a power-sharing deal between the Islamic militant Hamas and Fatah's leader, Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, earlier this year. Hamas and Fatah representatives are also part of a joint Palestinian delegation negotiating a cease-fire in Egyptian-mediated talks in Cairo. A Hamas official denied that house arrests were imposed as a policy.

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

Ukraine claims rebels fire on a column of refugees, killing 'many'

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's national security council is accusing rebels in the east of the country of firing rockets and mortars at civilians trying to flee from the region's intense fighting. The barrage took place between two towns on the main road leading from the besieged city of Luhansk to Russia. A security council spokesman says "many people were killed," including children, when their convoy was hit. But he does not say how many people or vehicles were in the convoy. The road is the one that a Russian aid convoy likely would take if Ukraine allows it into the country. The International Committee of the Red Cross is to take responsibility for the aid convoy when it enters Ukraine. It's demanding security guarantees from all sides, including the rebels, for the mission. So far, there's no indication that the guarantees have been given.

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

Kenya anti-terror police accused of abuses

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An international human rights group says there is strong evidence that the Kenya Anti-Terror Police Unit has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch said Monday that research conducted between November and June documented at least 10 cases of unlawful killings and 10 cases of enforced disappearances carried out by the anti-terror police. The rights group says it also documented 11 cases of mistreatment and harassment of terrorism suspects. Suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks and denied contact with their families and access to lawyers, the group says. The counterterrorism police unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom.

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

Some who fled Liberia Ebola clinic re-hospitalized

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — An official says some of the people who fled an Ebola quarantine center when it was looted in Liberia's capital are again under observation. Late Saturday, residents of Monrovia's West Point slum attacked a quarantine center, where people were being monitored for possible infection with Ebola. Up to 30 of these suspected Ebola patients fled during the raid, when items including bloody sheets and mattresses were stolen. Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said that at least some of the suspected patients were again being monitored at a hospital on Monday. It was not clear how they had been identified. Liberian authorities have struggled to contain the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa and there are concerns that the raid will fuel the infection's spread.

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

SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

NY Mets 7, Chicago Cubs 3
San Diego 9, St. Louis 5
Toronto 6, Chicago White Sox 3

Frontier League

Evansville 4, Washington 3
Gateway 2, Schaumburg 1
Southern Illinois at River City (PPD. Until 8/17)

NFL

NY Giants 27, Indianapolis 26
Green Bay 21, St. Louis 7

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, NY Mets 1
St. Louis 7, San Diego 6
Chicago White Sox 7, Toronto 5

Frontier League

River City 11, Southern Illinois 9
River City 5, Southern Illinois 3
Schaumburg 18, Gateway 7
Washington at Evansville (PPD. Until 9/2)

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 11:10 p.m.
Baltimore at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
Cincinnati at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

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

Sox great Minoso hospitalized after fall from boat

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Chicago White Sox legend Minnie Minoso has been hospitalized in Chicago after falling from his boat. Team spokesman Scott Reifert tells WMAQ-TV the 88-year-old was pulled from the water Friday and taken to St. Joseph Hospital for tests. Team representatives spoke with Minoso Saturday, and the baseball great reportedly said he is "feeling fine." Reifert says Minoso will likely remain at the hospital for more tests and is expected to be released Sunday. The nine-time All-Star outfielder and Gold Glove winner made his debut at Comiskey Park in 1951. He spent 13 full seasons and part of four others in Major League Baseball until 1980.

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

Cardinals recall Martinez, demote Siegrist

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals recalled right-hander Carlos Martinez from Triple-A Memphis and demoted struggling lefty Kevin Siegrist to the minors. Manager Mike Matheny said the 22-year-old Martinez will be used in relief. Before Sunday's game against the Padres, Matheny said Martinez was en route from El Paso, Texas. Martinez, one of the team's top pitching prospects, was 2-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 38 games earlier this season, seven of the last eight appearances as the starter. The 25-year-old Siegrist is 1-3 with a 6.11 ERA. He was 3-1 with an ERA of 0.45 as a rookie last year but has been off-kilter all of 2014 and missed 52 games from May 24 through July 22 with a left forearm strain.

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

Florida State starts on top

UNDATED (AP) — Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and defending national champion Florida State are No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason college football poll. The Seminoles start the season No. 1 for the sixth time after receiving 57 of 60 first-place votes from the media panel. Second-ranked Alabama, third-ranked Oregon and No. 4 Oklahoma all received one first-place vote. Ohio State is fifth, followed by Auburn, UCLA, Michigan St., South Carolina and Baylor. The Bowl Championship Series is being replaced this season by the College Football Playoff. A selection committee will pick the top four teams in the country for two national semifinals.

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

Gordon wins

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Pole sitter Jeff Gordon finished first in the Michigan 400 Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Gordon finished in front of Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano for his third win of the year, and his first at Michigan since 2001. Tony Stewart skipped the event, in the wake of the accident last week that took the life of dirt track racer Kevin Ward Jr.

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

Power starts from the front and wins

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) — IndyCar points leader and pole sitter Will Power took the checkered flag at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. He finished in front of Juan Pablo Montoya for his third victory of the season. The win just increases Power's lead in the overall drivier standings. Before the race it was announced that Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay had signed a three-year contract extension with Andretti Autosport.

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

News for Aug.15, 2014

LOCAL
Personalized Flag Honoring Military Service to be Presented by Frontier Communications 

MT. VERNON, Ind., August 14, 2014 – Frontier Communications will present a personalized “Honor and Remember” flag to the mother of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian L. Mintzlaff during a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 17, at 2 p.m., at her home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.  Army Staff Sgt. Brian Mintzlaff was killed December 18, 2006 when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over in Taji, Iraq. He joined the Army in 2001 and was on his third tour of duty in Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. The Honor and Remember Flag Ceremony will feature a gold star, eternal flame, and folded flag over a red background. The Honor and Remember Flag is part of a national campaign of remembrance symbolizing gratitude and respect for those who make the ultimate sacrifice in military service. The flag is personalized with the name of SSG Brian L. Mintzlaff and date of death. Mintzlaff's mother, Maria Brown, Frontier leadership and employees, community veterans and honored guests will be present. Frontier supports the Honor and Remember Flag program as part of its national commitment to recognize the contributions of U.S. military veterans. Frontier has been recognized as a 2014 “Top 100” Military Friendly Employer and is an active member of Joining Forces, the 100,000 Jobs Mission, the Military Spouse Employment Program and other coalitions and initiatives that help employ veterans and reservists.

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

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Releases Monthly Numbers

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office have released their monthly numbers for July.  The JCSO booked 175 detainees for the month, the lowest number since January and 21 less than in June.  This included 3 out of county detainees. For the county, there was an average of 75 daily detainees, good for 2,406 days in custody, and a total of 175 bookings.  For the county, there were 535 citations, 416 arrests, and 295 traffic crashes attended to by the Sheriff's Office.

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

Alton woman sentenced for neglect of mother

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Alton woman has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal neglect of her elderly mother. A Madison County judge sentenced 48-year-old Marjorie E. Phillips Thursday. She failed to provide sanitary living conditions and medical care to her 71-year-old mother. The felony is punishable by up to 14 years in prison. Police say the mother was found dead in January among food, dirty dishes and household goods piled throughout their house. An autopsy showed evidence of neglect. Prosecutors dropped two other criminal neglect charges in the plea deal. Phillips' attorney says she isn't dangerous. The lawyer says Phillips' mother was a hoarder so living in "filth" is "all (Phillips) ever knew." Phillips says she's sorry and she should have arranged for professional care.

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

Illinois school guard charged with sexual assault

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — St. Clair County officials have charged an East St. Louis high school security guard with having sex with a minor. The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department said Thursday that 42-year-old Isaac Turner was charged Aug. 8 with one count of criminal sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl in 2012. He was arrested on Wednesday and booked in county jail. A St. Clair County judge set his bond at $100,000. Turner had been a security guard at East St. Louis Senior High School. It wasn't immediately clear how long he had been working there. The Belleville News-Democrat couldn't reach a District 189 spokesman for comment Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if Turner has an attorney.

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

Man Wanted In Two Shootings

(Alton, IL)  --  Police in Alton Illinois are seeking help in finding a suspect wanted in two shooting cases.  The first shooting occurred Monday night in the 13-hundred-block of Taylor Street when a man fired a gun at a occupied vehicle.  The second happened Tuesday in the 19-hundred-block of Central Avenue when a 17-year-old was shot in the leg.  Authorities say the primary suspect is 19-year-old Brandon McGee. Anyone who knows his whereabouts is asked to contact the Alton Police Department.

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

Hamilton County Crash Results In Injury, Citation

A traffic crash early this morning resulted an injury and a citation to the driver and a fleeing from the scene by the passenger.  According to a preliminary traffic crash investigation, the driver of the Ford F-150, Derek Smith, was Eastbound on IL Route 14 at Hamilton County Road 675 East when, for unknown reasons, the pickup left the roadway to the right and struck multiple culverts on the south side of the roadway.  After striking the last culvert, the pickup rolled onto the passenger side and came to rest.  Upon arrival by law enforcement officials, the passenger of the pickup, Andy Vaughan, fled from the scene on foot.  A search of the area for Vaughan was unsuccessful.  Smith was transported from the crash scene by Air Evac to an area hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the crash. The Ford F-150 pickup removed from the scene by J & R Towing of McLeansboro, Illinois. Smith was cited for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol.  Additional charges against Smith and charges against Vaughan are pending. 

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

Arrest Made In West Frankfort Fires

Police in West Frankfort have made an arrest in connection with the multiple fires that happened last month at the Anna Gray high rise on East Main. Police Chief Shawn Talutto says 24-year-old Christopher A. Evrard, who lives at the building, was taken into custody without incident at a family member's home Thursday after a $100,000 arrest warrant was issued Wednesday charging him with one count each for attempt of aggravated arson and arson. He is currently lodged in the Franklin County Jail. Talutto says through the course of the evening on July 26, the fire alarm went off five times with a total of five fires at the building. Police started their investigation and identified Evrard as being a suspect in this case. Detectives conducted an interview with Evrard and through the course of this interview. Evrard admitted that he had started the fires. The investigation was concluded after sufficient evidence was obtained to substantiate Evrard's involvement.  The chief says an arson conviction is a Class 2 Felony which carries a possible sentence of up to 7 years in a state penitentiary and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

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

STATE
Jobless Rate

(Springfield, IL) -- The state's jobless rate has dropped for the fifth month in a row and it's roughly where it was prior to the Great Recession. The state Department of Employment Security says the July jobless rate was six-point-eight-percent, down from nine-point-two percent a year ago, and the lowest since August 2008 when it was six-point-seven-percent. Some eleven-thousand-two-hundred jobs were created in July, meaning the employment rate is being affected less by people leaving the work force.

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

Quinn: Illinois' unemployment drop is 'momentous'

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois' drop in unemployment is a sign his policies addressing the state's business climate are working. He addressed reporters Thursday at a Chicago pipe and conduit manufacturer calling it a "momentous" day. Officials say unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. That's a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower in August 2008 when it was 6.7. Quinn says his administration's investments in manufacturing and overhauls to workers' compensation and unemployment insurance helped create jobs. Jobs have been a major issue in the governor's race with Republican Bruce Rauner criticizing Quinn for tax policy. A Rauner spokesman said Thursday that Illinois still has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates.

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

Rauner Will Release Tax Returns, Not Schedules

(Springfield, IL) -- Bruce Rauner has been criticized for trying to hide some of his wealth in the Cayman Islands. He says that's not the case but Democrats are firing back, saying the only way he can prove it is by releasing his tax returns with the full schedules. Rauner says he'll release his returns, not the schedules, in October.

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

Edgar Says State Is A Disaster Under Governor Quinn

(Springfield, IL)  --  Former Governor Jim Edgar is jumping into the governor's race with full support for Bruce Rauner.  Edgar says it's time to mix things up in Springfield because the state hasn't fared so well under Democratic leadership.  In fact, he says things have been in a state of disaster under Governor Quinn and former Governor Rod Blagojevich's watch.  Edgar supported Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary back in March but he says that's all behind him now and party unity is what's important. 

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

Rauner Says He'll Live In Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner says he's planning to do what no other Illinois governor has done in years, and that's to live in the governor's mansion.  He says the seat of Illinois government should be in the capital city and he'll make sure that's the case if he wins the election in November.  But, he isn't missing the chance to point out at the home is deteriorating under Governor Quinn's care.  Rauner says he'll have to put a few contractors to work on fixing the mansion's leaky roof and pumping out the basement.

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

Madigan Busting Consumer Myths

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is spreading the word about “Consumer Mythbusters,” the theme of her office’s tent at this year’s Illinois State Fair. Student loan forgiveness, or credit card consolidation/forgiveness, are often the subject of scams, says Madigan.  She harkens to the bromide “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” “When you call the number, and you contact these scam artists,” Madigan says, “you very quickly find out what they really want is your credit card number (or) your debit card number, they want a payment, we’ve seen, as large as $1,200 up front, for doing either nothing, or something you can do completely for free, on the Internet, yourself.” The tent also has information about fighting identity theft, of which Madigan says she has been a victim; somebody tried to use her credit card number.  What’s more complicated, she says, is when crooks try to take out credit or open new accounts in your name.

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

NATIONAL
Change in protest atmosphere

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Protests in Ferguson, Missouri have a much lighter atmosphere since Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday placed the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge. Late Wednesday, some protesters angered over the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer threw molotov cocktails and other items at local officers, and demonstrators were met with flash grenades and tear gas. On Thursday, several protesters stopped to shake hands with state police officers who walked among the crowd.

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

Congressman wants to curb military surplus program

WASHINGTON (AP) — Images of police in paramilitary gear clashing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri have prompted a Georgia congressman's efforts to rein in a military surplus program. The Pentagon program provides free machine guns and other surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. But Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson says next month he plans to introduce legislation to curb that program. Johnson says, "Our Main Streets should be a place for business, families and relaxation, not tanks and M16s."

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

Abducted Amish sisters found safe

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Two missing Amish sisters have turned up safe, about 24 hours after they were apparently abducted from their family's roadside farm stand in northern New York. Authorities say 12-year-old Fannie and 7-year-old Delila Miller were dropped off Thursday evening in Richville, about 13 miles from where they disappeared in the rural town of Oswegatchie on the Canadian border. They knocked on someone's door, asking for help. Investigators believe more than one person is responsible for the girls' disappearance.

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

Times Square Protests Police Shooting Death Of Black Missouri Teen

(New York, NY)  --  More than one-thousand people rallied in Times Square last night, protesting last weekend's police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb.  They brought traffic to a halt as they marched up Broadway and Seventh Avenue from Union Square chanting "Hands up, don't shoot."  In Detroit, a few hundred people gathered at Hart Plaza last night for a protest and to take part in a moment of silence in memory of Michael Brown and others who have died. 

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

809-pound tiger shark fed to Texas poor, homeless

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — An 809-pound tiger shark caught in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month has been cooked and served to more than 90 poor and homeless Texans. Timon's Ministries in Corpus Christi set up the donation of about 75 pounds of shark meat. Executive director Kae Berry tells the San Antonio Express-News that the 12-foot, 7-inch shark was the biggest fish ever donated to the center. A volunteer chef breaded and baked the meat. Fisherman Ryan Spring of San Antonio had said he caught the shark after reeling it in for more than seven hours. Berry says the volunteer chef did a great job preparing the food and "most people really enjoyed it." And the center says there are enough leftovers to serve up some shark stew next week.

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

Whitey Bulger Appeals Conviction

(Boston, MA)  --  Former Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger [[ BUL-jur ]] is appealing his conviction on racketeering charges.  The 84-year-old Bulger was convicted last year of charges he committed or ordered eleven murders while running Boston's "Winter Hill" crime gang.  Bulger's lawyers claim the federal judge who heard his trial committed a "constitutional error" when she refused Bulger's request to argue that he had been granted immunity.  Bulger is serving two life terms in prison. 

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

Ford Recalls More Than 83,000 Vehicles

(Undated)  --  Ford is recalling more than 83-thousand vehicles.  Ford is notifying owners of its Edge, Flex and Taurus models, as well as Lincoln MKS and MKX owners.  The recall affects vehicles from the 2012 through 2014 model years.  The problem could cause the vehicles to slip out of gear while moving, raising the risk of a crash. 

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

Ice Bucket Challenge Raises Millions

(Undated)  --  The ice bucket challenge is a fundraising goldmine.  So far the social media fad has helped raise more than two-million dollars for the national ALS Association since July 29th.  Compare that to 25-thousand dollars in donations for the same period last year.  The challenge is being done to raise awareness of ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

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

Police reveal officer's name in teen's death

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Police in Ferguson have revealed the name of the six-year veteran accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in the St. Louis suburb. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Friday the officer's name is Darren Wilson. Jackson said earlier this week he wasn't naming the officer due to death threats. Police have said 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot Saturday after an officer encountered him and another man on the street. They say one of the men pushed the officer into his car, then physically assaulted him and struggled with the officer over the officer's weapon. At least one shot was fired inside the car. The struggle then spilled onto the street, where Brown was shot multiple times. Witnesses say the officer fired on Brown as he ran away.

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

NASCAR adds new rule on exiting cars after crashes

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — NASCAR has added a new rule telling drivers to not approach the track or moving vehicles after accidents. The rule comes less than a week after a driver was struck and killed during a dirt-track race at a small New York track. NASCAR star Tony Stewart is skipping this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Last Saturday, Stewart's car hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr. at a sprint car event in Canandaigua, New York. After Stewart clipped Ward's car, sending it spinning, Ward left the car during the caution period, walked down the track and was hit by Stewart. NASCAR Vice President Robin Pemberton says the new rule merely formalizes reminders that take place during drivers' meetings. NASCAR will address violations of the rule on a case-by-case basis.

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

'62 Ferrari sold at auction for $34 million

CARMEL, Calif. (AP) — A rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO once owned by a famed racing driver and Olympic gold medalist has sold for $34.65 million. Thursday's sale at an auction in California during Monterey Car Week is believed to be a record public auction price for a classic car, topping the nearly $30 million paid for a Mercedes W196 last year in England. The Los Angeles Times reports the $38 million total price — including 10 percent buyer fees — is half of what experts said it could fetch. One example reportedly sold for $52 million in a private transaction. The car is one of just 39 Ferrari GTOs produced and was once owned by racer and retired Olympic gold medal skier Henri Oreiller, who died after crashing it into a building.

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

Robin Williams To Become Character In "World Of Warcraft"

(Undated)  --  The people who created the hugely popular online game "World of Warcraft" are honoring the late actor Robin Williams.  Williams will become a character in the fantasy game which takes place in the kingdom of Azeroth.  The award-winning actor and comedian was an avid gamer and a fan of "World of Warcraft."  He even named his daughter Zelda after the Nintendo video game "Legend of Zelda."  The 63-year-old Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide on Monday.  

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

INTERNATIONAL
Hamas negotiators in Qatar to discuss Israel truce

CAIRO (AP) — Hamas negotiators are consulting with the militant group's leadership in Qatar on a proposal for a long-term truce with Israel. Israel and Hamas are observing a five-day temporary cease-fire in an attempt to allow indirect talks in Cairo to continue. The negotiations are meant to secure a substantive end to the month-long Gaza war and draw up a roadmap for the coastal territory, which has been hard-hit in the fighting. Hamas is demanding the lifting of the blockade Israel and Egypt imposed after the militant group seized power in the coastal strip in 2007. Israeli officials have largely kept quiet about the negotiations, saying only that the country's security needs must be met. Representatives of Palestinian factions in Cairo said Friday that progress was being made.

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

Iran: Nuclear deal by November deadline unlikely

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says it is unlikely to reach a final nuclear accord with world powers by a November deadline. Parliament's news website on Friday quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that even if a general agreement is reached by the deadline, the two sides will require more time to discuss details. "Hence, it is unlikely to reach a final conclusion before a four-month span," he was quoted as saying. Iran and the P5+1 group -- the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany -- in July extended their nuclear talks until November. Western powers have long suspected Iran is secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside its civilian program, charges denied by Tehran.

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

Ebola centers fill faster than they can be opened

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The World Health Organization says beds in Ebola treatment centers in West Africa are filling up faster than they can be provided. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said in Geneva Friday that the flood of patients to newly opened treatment centers shows that the outbreak's size is far larger than official counts show. WHO said Thursday that recorded death and case tolls may "vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak." Hartl said that an 80-bed treatment center opened in Liberia's capital in recent days filled up immediately. The next day, dozens more people showed up to be treated. According to WHO figures, the outbreak, which began in Guinea and has spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, has killed more than 1,060 people and sickened nearly 2,000.

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

2 deaths overshadow end of Chess Olympiad

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A major international chess tournament in northern Norway has ended on a grim note, with one player dying in the middle of a game and another found dead in a hotel room. Organizers say a 67-year-old member of the Seychelles team collapsed and died during the final round Thursday of the Chess Olympiad in Tromsoe. Tournament spokesman Jarle Heitmann says another player, from Uzbekistan, was found dead in a hotel room later Thursday. Heitmann said Friday that both died of natural causes. Tromsoe police said on Twitter there was "no crime" suspected in either case. China won the men's title and Russia won the women's title in the biennial chess tournament.

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

SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Milwaukee 6, Chicago Cubs 2
St. Louis 4, San Diego 3

Frontier League

Evansville 6, Schaumburg 1
Southern Illinois 6, Rockford 3
Normal 13, Gateway 4

NFL

Chicago 20, Jacksonville 19

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 6:10 p.m.
Toronto at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Toronto at Chicago White Sox 6:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 6:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

NFL

Green Bay at St. Louis 3 p.m.
NY Giants at Indianapolis 6 p.m.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at NY Mets 12:10 p.m.
Toronto at Chicago White Sox 1:10 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville
Southern Illinois at Windy City
Schaumburg at Gateway

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

Manfred to replace Selig

BALTIMORE (AP) — Major League Baseball's chief operating officer Rob Manfred has received a promotion. Manfred has been elected baseball's 10th commissioner by team owners and will succeed Bud Selig in January. Manfred is a labor lawyer who has worked for Major League Baseball since 1998. He beat out Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. One baseball executive who attended the 4 ½-hour meeting told The Associated Press that Manfred was elected on approximately the sixth ballot. The initial vote was 20-10 for Manfred, three short of the required three-quarters majority. The 80-year-old Selig has ruled baseball since September 1992, when he was among the owners who forced Commissioner Fay Vincent's resignation.

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

Bears cornerback Fuller leaves with ankle injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller left the Bears' preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night because of an ankle injury. A first-round pick from Virginia Tech, he was injured on the opening position. Drafted 14th overall, Fuller has been playing with the first team in nickel situations. He started 42 of 50 games at Virginia Tech and had 129 solo tackles along with six interceptions, 21 pass break ups and four forced fumbles in his career. He had 24 tackles, broke up 10 passes and picked off two in nine games last season.

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

Fisher: Bradford to play quarter or more

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, coming off knee surgery that sidelined him the final nine games last season, will play at least a quarter in the second preseason game. Coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday Bradford could run the offense into the second quarter Saturday night against the Green Bay Packers. Fisher said there were no concerns about Bradford's left knee. Left tackle Jake Long, also coming off knee surgery, will be held out until the third preseason game. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins returned to practice from a hamstring injury, but Fisher wasn't sure whether he'd play. Fisher said rookie Michael Sam's playing time could hinge on how well the defense plays. Sam got 32 snaps at left defensive end in a 26-24 loss to New Orleans, many of them on two long drives early in the game, plus six snaps on special teams.

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

Florida charges dropped against Rams LB Dunbar

MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors in Miami have dropped battery and disorderly conduct charges against St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar stemming from a fight outside a South Beach nightclub. Dunbar attorney Howard Srebnick said Thursday that prosecutors told a judge that the case will not be pursued. Dunbar and NBA free agent Donte Green were both charged following a July 20 altercation outside the Dream nightclub. The charges are still pending against Green. Dunbar had claimed he was only defending himself. Dunbar, 29, was signed in 2008 as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College by the New Orleans Saints and has played for the Rams since 2012. The NFL suspended Dunbar four games in 2013 for violating its substance abuse policy.

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

News for Aug.14, 2014

LOCAL
Illinois EPA Announces Fall Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett Wednesday announced household hazardous waste collections have been scheduled for the area for the fall of 2014.  The location of the collection will be at 32 Salem Business Center South in Salem and will take place on Saturday September 6th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Through household hazardous waste collections, citizens are given the opportunity to safely dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes, basements and garages.  Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations. “Community household hazardous waste collections are providing a vital service for local residents,” said Director Bonnett. “Every day, Illinois citizens are doing their part to protect their health and the environment and Illinois EPA is happy to partner with community leaders to provide these collection events.”  Through the collections, residents are encouraged to bring oil-based paints, thinners, chemical cleaners, unwanted pharmaceuticals, mercury and mercury-containing items, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides, pesticides, adhesives, hobby chemicals, household batteries and similar products. Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collections. The public is encouraged to find alternative uses for latex paint since it is not considered hazardous. Items not accepted include explosives, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, medical waste, sharps, controlled substances, agricultural chemicals and all business wastes. Propane tanks and lead acid auto batteries cannot be accepted at most of the events, but should be taken to local recyclers.

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

ISP District 12 Announces July Enforcement Activity

Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, today announced activity and enforcement figures for the month of July.  Troopers in District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, and Richland Counties, answered 305 calls for service and initiated 1,460 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 870 citations and 721 written warnings, including 467 speeding citations, 11 DUIs, 93 seatbelt citations, 9 child restraint citations, 257 written warnings for speeding, and 22 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 222 motorists, conducted 168 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 65 traffic crashes.  Traffic safety efforts yielded zero fatal traffic crashes investigated by District 12 during July.  “During the busy summer travel season, we are pleased to report zero fatal traffic crashes were investigated by District 12 in July”, said Captain Hodge.  “The goal of preventing all traffic fatalities is a driving force behind our efforts, and we will continue to work toward maintaining a safe experience for those traveling on Illinois roadways”, he added.   During the month, 577 citations and 358 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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

4th Judicial Circuit Law Enforcement Joins Illinois Effort To Combat Crimes Of Violence Against Women

Alexandria, VA/Vandalia, IL – Chief Daniel Bland of Pana Police Department, Sergeant Mark Berndsen of Breese Police Department, Chief Deputy Dan Cheadle of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and Ken Ingersoll, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator at Kaskaskia College, were chosen from law enforcement executives from across the state to participate in the Illinois Law Enforcement Leadership Institute on Violence Against Women hosted by The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). Through the Institute experience, IACP intends to raise the response to violence against women crimes higher on law enforcement’s agenda and support the adoption of best practices by the officers in the 4th Judicial Circuit. During the four-day Institute that recently took place in Fairview Heights, IL, these criminal justice professionals, along with the other selected participants, explored innovative approaches for investigating crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking. Additional attention centered on assessing agency performance and sharing challenges and solutions with law enforcement colleagues. In an effort to help law enforcement agencies enhance their response to crimes of violence against women, the Illinois Institute focused on planning and methods for effective resource allocation to help crime victims and hold perpetrators accountable. The participating law enforcement executives will be engaged in the development of action plans throughout the Institute in order to adopt new strategies for pro-active coordinated community collaboration upon returning to their local departments.  Attendance at the Institute is supported by the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Grant to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Orders of Protection awarded to the Illinois Family Violence Coordinating Council and the IACP.

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

Appeals court reinstates Coleman family lawsuit

WATERLOO, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appeals court has reinstated the wrongful-death lawsuit claiming Joyce Meyer Ministries should have done more to prevent Christopher Coleman from killing his family. The Fifth District Appellate Court on Tuesday remanded the lawsuit back to the circuit court. It was filed on behalf of the family of Sheri Coleman, Christopher Coleman's wife. Coleman strangled his wife and two sons inside the family's Columbia home in 2009. He was security chief for the suburban St. Louis-based televangelist. Prosecutors said Coleman was having an affair and didn't want to divorce because it would cost him his job. The lawsuit alleges the ministry should have known Coleman was behind anonymous threats made before the killings. Attorneys for Joyce Meyer Ministries argued that the employer isn't responsible for ensuring an employee's conduct.

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

Ex-Trooper Involved In Fatal Crash Tries Again For License

(Mount Vernon, IL) -- Once again, former Illinois state trooper Matt Mitchell appealed today to get his driver's license back, nearly seven years after two Collinsville sisters died in crash with Mitchell's squad car. Mitchell was traveling at 126 miles-per-hour, talking on cell phone and manipulating an onboard computer at the time. At today's hearing, Secretary of State's representatives questioned Mitchell about that crash and seven others he was in while working as a trooper. This is the fifth time Mitchell has attempted to have his license restored.

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

Illinois officials hold medical cannabis town hall

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The first of three town hall meetings to answer questions about the Illinois medical marijuana application process is about to get underway in southern Illinois. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday in Collinsville. Patients, caregivers and aspiring business owners are invited to attend to learn about how the application process will work. Two other meetings are set for later this month. One will be Aug. 18 at the Peoria Public Library and the other is set for Aug. 20 in Chicago at the student union building on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University. More details about the meetings and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at the program's website.

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

$3.3M grant to benefit 3 Illinois groups, youth

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Sen. Dick Durbin has announced that Illinois organizations supporting at-risk youth will benefit from a $3.3 million U.S. Department of Labor grant. The department's YouthBuild program will provide money to several groups that help the state's at-risk youth strengthen academic and occupational skills through training programs. Durbin says the funding will be split equally between the Emerson Park Development Corporation in East St. Louis, the United Methodist Children's Home in Mount Vernon and YouthBuild McLean County in Normal. The federal YouthBuild program helps young people receive their diplomas or GEDs and prepares them for post-secondary education and employment. The program awards community-based grants to ensure resources are provided to youth that need them the most, including kids who dropped out of high school or are aging out of foster care.

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

Marion Count y On The Search For Animal Control Officer

Marion County will once again be without an animal control officer, when the current officer's resignation goes into effect at the end of the month. Bobby Patton has handed in his resignation, as he is taking a full-time job in Centralia. The Marion County Board Community Relations Committee will address the issue at its Tuesday, September 2nd, meeting, at which time a temporary animal control officer should be named until a permanent solution can be found to replace Patton.

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

Construction Mishap Causes Injury On Interstate

A driver of a 2006 Freightliner Truck was stopped on the inside shoulder ramp of I 57 N/B at I 64 W/B on Wednesday when that vehicle's trailer was loaded with hot asphalt and was attempting to dump. The truck and trailer turned over while dumping the asphalt product due to being on uneven pavement. The vehicle came to rest on the driver’s side and sustained moderate damage to both truck and trailer. The driver, whose name was not released, received minor injuries and was transported to Crossroads Hospital by Jefferson Co Fire Dept.

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

West Frankfort Tables Mobile Home Ordinance

The West Frankfort City Council tabled its action regarding the city's amended mobile home ordinance at Tuesday night's meeting. City Clerk Angie Baker tells us no decision was made so more discussion about the ordinance can take place at the next planning commission meeting on August 25. The ordinance eliminates anything to do with trailer parks because the state health department now has jurisdiction over them.  Mobile homes must now be 20 feet by 40 feet instead of 12 feet by 50 feet. The lot size for a mobile home has been reduced to 50 feet by 100 feet.  The ordinance now makes it illegal to turn portable buildings or pole barns into residences. It also allows temporary 60-day permits to stay in a camper, which can be renewed if there is a valid reason, but outlaws campers as permanent residences.

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

STATE
Quinn Slams Rauner From State Fair Stage

(Springfield, IL) -- It's Democrats Day at the Illinois State Fair, and Governor Pat Quinn used his time on the stage to blast Republican opponent Bruce Rauner as an out-of-touch millionaire who wants to reduce the minimum wage and cut education funding. Quinn said, "I'm running against someone with more money than King Midas and who lives to stash some of it in the Cayman Islands." Leading chants of "Raise that wage," Quinn says he wants to be the champion of everyday people who live from paycheck to paycheck.

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

White Worried Rauner Attempting To Buy Black Vote

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is concerned the Republican candidate for governor is trying to buy the black vote.  He told the media at Wednesday's State Fair in Springfield that according to news reports Bruce Rauner offered one-million dollars to a credit union in a mostly African American Chicago neighborhood.  The GOP hopeful's camp says Rauner is committed to providing resources to improve minority communities.

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

GOP gathers to make push for governor's mansion

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republicans are gathering in Springfield to make a push to reclaim political power in Illinois, including the governor's mansion. Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Thursday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Republican State Central Committee and the County Chairmen's Association. The event is followed by Republicans' annual rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner is making a bid against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in a nationally watched race. Rauner says it's time to "shake up Springfield." Party officials are also hoping to pick up a number of seats in the state legislature. Democrats held their own breakfast and party at the fair Wednesday. They portrayed Republicans as "out of touch" with average Illinoisans.

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

Law Gives Vets Easier Access To Handicapped Parking

(Springfield, IL)  --  A new law makes it easier for disabled veterans to get a handicapped parking placard.  Those who've lost a limb or have some other permanent injury no longer need the doctor to sign off on their renewal application each year.  State Senator Tom Cullerton says it's just one less hassle that vets have to worry about. The new law takes effect January 1st.

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

10,300 Illinoisans' health coverage in jeopardy

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 10,000 Illinois residents who bought insurance through President Barack Obama's health care law could have their coverage canceled if they don't send citizenship and immigration documents to confirm their eligibility by Sept. 5. Federal officials say they're sending letters to approximately 10,300 Illinois consumers asking for their paperwork. The letters caution that coverage will end by Sept. 30 without the documentation. The letters were sent in English and in Spanish. Illinois is on the top-10 list of states with unresolved cases. People living in the country illegally are not allowed to get coverage. Officials say the letters tell consumers with unresolved citizenship and immigration issues that they can upload their documents to the HealthCare.gov website, or mail them in. Officials say most haven't responded to repeated outreach efforts.

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

Term limits group to give oral arguments in appeal

CHICAGO (AP) — A group led by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner will present oral arguments in its ongoing court battle to get a term limits measure on the November ballot. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits ran a signature-driven effort to limit lawmakers to eight years in office and change the size of the Illinois House and Senate, among other things. However, a Cook County judge ruled the effort unconstitutional after a lawsuit was filed. The group is set to appeal that decision Thursday before the Chicago-based First District Appellate Court. If the appellate court doesn't reverse the Cook County judge's ruling, the committee wants the court to urge the Illinois Supreme Court to change an earlier decision. The high court declined to immediately hear the lower court's ruling.

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

Quinn wants Springfield building named for Dixon

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is calling for the Illinois State Museum Building in Springfield to be named after the late former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. Quinn's office says the governor will announce it on Wednesday. He's working with the Illinois General Assembly to make the designation official. Dixon died July 6 at age 86. The Democrat's political career spanned more than 40 years. He was in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993 and chaired a subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. Quinn says naming the building for Dixon will serve as a reminder of his legacy of public service and his dedication to Illinois residents. The facility will be named the Alan J. Dixon Building of the Illinois State Museum after lawmakers pass a joint resolution.

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

Report: Bias seen in Illinois police search data

CHICAGO (AP) — A new report finds signs of racial bias in data collected about police searches during traffic stops in Illinois. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois released the report Wednesday. It suggests police are nearly twice as likely to ask blacks and Latino drivers to consent to vehicle searches during traffic stops than they are to ask whites. But white drivers are 49 percent more likely than blacks to have contraband found during such a search and 56 percent more likely when compared to Latinos. The analysis is based on figures reported by law enforcement agencies during 2013 under the Illinois Traffic Stop Statistical Study Act. Adam Schwartz of ACLU says the figures are "troubling" and the situation "must be addressed."

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

Illinois Schools Make Forbes Top College List

(Undated)  --  Forbes has named some Illinois schools on it list of top colleges.  Northwestern is number 19 nationally and is the leading Illinois school.  Other notable educational institutions include Knox College at 149th nationally and fifth in the state, Illinois Wesleyan ranked 253rd nationally and ninth in Illinois.  Bradley ranked tenth in the state and Illinois State was number 15.

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

NATIONAL
Protests Continue In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Protesters continue to keep law enforcement busy in Ferguson. St. Louis County Police say tear gas was used last night after a bottle was thrown in their direction by a group of people in front of the burnt down QuickTrip.  Demonstrators also blocked traffic on West Florissant Avenue. Reports say around ten people were arrested last night including St. Louis City Alderman Antonio French. 

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

Second Teen Shot By Police Charged

(Ferguson, MO)  --  A second teen shot by police early Wednesday near Ferguson has been charged.  Authorities say Esrail Eli Britton faces charges of second-degree assault and armed criminal action after he allegedly pointed a gun at an officer right before he was shot.  The 19-year-old was taken to the hospital where at last check he was in critical condition.

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

Reporters Arrested In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Two reporters covering the events surrounding the Michael Brown shooting say they were arrested last night.  Wesley Lowery of "The Washington Post" and Ryan Reilly of "The Huffington Post" report they were working inside a Ferguson McDonald's when SWAT officers came in demanding everyone exit the restaurant.  Both say they were taken in custody only to be released shortly thereafter without any charges.  

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

2-star general killed in Afghanistan to be buried

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The highest-ranking U.S. military officer to be killed in America's post-9/11 wars will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. A burial service will be held this afternoon for 55-year-old Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene. The two-star general was an engineer who worked his way up through the ranks in a 34-year Army career. Most of it was spent developing, building and supplying soldiers with equipment and technology. Greene's deployment to Afghanistan in January was his first to a war zone. He was killed on Aug. 5 when a gunman believed to be an Afghan soldier opened fire at a military academy near Kabul.

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

California Lawmakers Send $7.6-Billion Water Supply Plan To Voters

(Undated)  --  The decision to approve a multi-billion dollar tax plan to improve California's water supply now rests with voters.  Governor Jerry Brown got Democrats and Republicans in the legislature to agree on a seven-point-six-billion dollar bond measure Wednesday.  If voters approve the plan in November, the state will build new water storage facilities and invest in groundwater cleanup in Los Angeles' San Gabriel Valley.  The drought-stricken state would also build drinking and wastewater treatment projects and make statewide investments to address drought and climate change.

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

US jury set hear terror finance case against bank

NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. jury is being asked to decide whether a large Middle Eastern bank should be held liable in terror attacks that killed Americans. Opening statements are set for today in federal court in Brooklyn in the case against Arab Bank. The trial stems from a lawsuit filed by victims of terror attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank during a Palestinian uprising from 2001 to 2004. They have accused the bank of setting up accounts that it knew were being used to funnel death benefits to families of suicide bombers. Lawyers for the bank have denied that it was aware it was doing business with terrorists when it processed electronic transfers.

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

Man to get life for killing woman after rejection

DOVER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man convicted of raping and killing a University of New Hampshire student who twice rejected his sexual advances will be sentenced to life in prison when he appears in a court in Dover later this morning. Seth Mazzaglia was convicted in June of first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Elizabeth Marriott. Prosecutors say Mazzaglia's girlfriend lured Marriott to the apartment she and Mazzaglia shared as a sexual gift to her domineering boyfriend. The girlfriend is serving up to 3 years in prison for hindering prosecution.

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

Funeral set for driver hit by Tony Stewart's car

TURIN, N.Y. (AP) — A funeral will be held this morning near Syracuse, New York for racecar driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was struck and killed Saturday by a racecar driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The accident at a dirt track in Canandaigua sparked controversy after a bump from Stewart sent Ward's winged car spinning into the wall. The 20-year-old Ward climbed out and stalked onto the track, gesturing angrily. Stewart's car seemed to fishtail, and Ward was thrown through the air as fans watched in horror.

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

Obama briefed on violence in St. Louis suburb

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama is being briefed on the situation in a St. Louis suburb where police used tear gas and smoke bombs to repel protesters. The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been sparked by the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer. The officer is white and 18-year-old Michael Brown was black. The White House says Obama was briefed late Wednesday night by Attorney General Eric Holder and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Obama is vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, as are Holder and Jarrett. The White House says Obama has another briefing scheduled for this morning. Earlier in the week, the president issued a statement saying that Brown's death is stirring "strong passions," and he appealed for reflection.

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

Ohio to help cities with water tests

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials are responding to last week's water emergency in Toledo with a plan to help cities test their drinking water and fix up their treatment plants. The state is making $150 million in low- and no-interest loans available so that cities can upgrade water treatment and wastewater plants. The plan being announced Thursday and outlined to The Associated Press also calls for the state's Environmental Protection Agency to put $1 million toward new drinking water testing equipment and training for city water operators. All of those programs will target communities in the Lake Erie watershed and those relying on lakes and rivers for drinking water. It was nearly two weeks ago that 400,000 people around Toledo were warned not to drink their tap water after it became contaminated.

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

Deputies: Man calls 911 after assaulting woman

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Palm Beach County Sheriff's officials in Florida say a man called 911 on himself after sexually assaulting a woman who had responded to a Craigslist ad for a cleaning job. The Palm Beach Post reports 47-year-old Joel Jones flagged down deputies responding to the call Tuesday evening. Before they could ask his name, he began shouting, "Take me to jail." According to an arrest report, Jones told deputies he "tricked" the woman into meeting him and had "brutally raped her." The victim said Jones attacked her as he was showing her an office building she would be cleaning. She says he let her go after sexually assaulting her and she heard him calling 911 as she left.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Russian aid convoy nears Ukraine border

VORONEZH, Russia (AP) — It's not clear whether a convoy of Russian trucks will be crossing into Ukraine today, or spending the night on the Russian side of the border. The convoy today moved closer to Ukraine -- but it was headed toward a crossing controlled by pro-Russian rebels. Ukrainian officials have demanded that the convoy pass through a government post, so that the cargo can be inspected. Russia says the trucks are carrying relief supplies for eastern Ukraine -- ranging from baby food and canned meat to portable generators and sleeping bags. Ukraine says it's sending its own aid convoy to the region.

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

Nigeria confirms 1 more Ebola case

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's health minister, Onyebuchi Chukwu, has announced there is another Ebola case in Africa's most populous country, bringing the total confirmed cases there to 11. Chukwu told reporters in Abuja, the capital, Thursday that the latest patient is a doctor who helped treat the first Ebola case in the country, Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer who arrived from Liberia last month with the virus and died on July 25. All those who are ill with Ebola in Nigeria had direct contact with Sawyer. Nigeria has recorded three deaths: Sawyer, a Nigerian nurse who helped treat him as well as an employee of the Economic Community Of West African States who helped transport Sawyer to a hospital after he landed in Lagos, the commercial capital, and collapsed at the airport.

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

NewLink Genetics: Ready to test Ebola vaccine

UNDATED (AP) — An Iowa drug developer says it has enough doses of a possible vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus to launch an initial round of human testing. NewLink Genetics Chief Financial Officer Gordon Link says the timing of the trials is uncertain, but the company is receiving help from a number of sources to speed up the process. NewLink Genetics Corporation says the vaccine has been 100 percent effective in preventing deadly Ebola infections in non-human primates, and it acts quickly enough to show effectiveness in animals that received a typically lethal dose of the virus. There is no proven treatment or vaccine for Ebola. A current outbreak of the virus in West Africa is the biggest in history. It has killed more than 1,000 people.

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

Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

LONDON (AP) — A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just before touchdown the limb became detached. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said Thursday he then moved his right hand to the yoke to regain control. Winds caused the plane to land heavily with a bounce. No one was hurt in the incident.

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

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

San Francisco 7, Chicago White Sox 1
St. Louis 5, Miami 2
Chicago Cubs 4, Milwaukee 2

Frontier League

Schaumburg 6, Evansville 1
Rockford 6, Southern Illinois 2
Normal 11, Gateway 0

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.
San Diego at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Evansville at Schaumburg
Gateway at Normal
Southern Illinois at Rockford

NFL Preseason

Jacksonville at Chicago, 7 p.m.

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

Illini hope to turn the corner with new QB

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Wins have been scarce the past few seasons at Illinois. Tight end Jon Davis believes this team could change that. Davis says this Illini team should aim for six or seven wins and get there. That would be a big improvement on last season's 4-8 record. Illinois will be leaning heavily on transfer quarterback Wes Lunt when it kicks off Aug. 30 against Youngstown State. Lunt started at Oklahoma State his freshman year before losing the job to injury. Coach Tim Beckman says he's also counting on improvement on defense through experience. Last season's defense was young and lacked depth and gave up 35 points a game. Beckman begins the season under pressure after winning just six games his first two seasons.

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

RB Mark transferring from Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Northwestern running back Venric Mark, who was recently suspended for the first two games of the season, will transfer and wide receiver Christian Jones will miss the season with a knee injury. Northwestern says Mark wants to play closer to his family. Mark, who is from Tomball, Texas, missed most of last season with a broken ankle and was granted another year of eligibility. As a junior in 2012, he ran for 1,366 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. He ranks fourth all-time at Northwestern with 4,271 all-purpose yards. Mark was suspended last week for the first two games of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules. Jones was the Wildcats' leading receiver last season with 54 catches for 668 yards and four touchdowns. He was injured in practice.

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

Tiger Woods Says He Can't Play In Ryder Cup

(Undated)  --  Tiger Woods is pulling out of the Ryder Cup.  Woods told U.S. captain Tom Watson not to consider him for the tournament.  He posted on his website that he's been told by doctors the muscles in his back "need to be rehabilitated and healed" and that he should not play or practice golf.  Woods added that he plans on returning to competition in December.  The 2014 Ryder Cup will be played September 25-28 in Scotland.

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

News for Aug. 13, 2014

LOCAL
Bids For New High School Pushed Back

Construction bids for the new Mt. Vernon Township High School have been pushed back.  The school board was expected to receive bids this Thursday, but they will now be delayed an extra week. The change was made to allow potential bidders more time to gather information. School leaders hope the added time will result in more bids being submitted.  Currently there are more than 100 contractors that have expressed interest in submitting bids. The groundbreaking is expected later this fall.  

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

Morthland Groundbreaking Today With Developer Change

Morthland College officials say groundbreaking on the Adams House student housing complex will take place as planned today, but there has been a last minute change regarding the developer. Emily Hayes, the college's executive vice president, announced Tuesday that Brad McMillan will be in charge of the project replacing Capstone Development Group of St. Louis. The West Frankfort Daily American reports McMillan is from O'Fallon but is originally from West  Frankfort. He entered into an agreement with the college Tuesday to purchase the former UMWA hospital site where the complex will be built. Capstone pulled out at the last minute Tuesday because they wanted to buy the property instead of leasing it and change other items of the deal. Plus, Capstone wanted a TIF agreement for the project something the city said was unfavorable. McMillan says construction will start in October with hopes of having it done by next fall.

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

Marion Cracks Down On Loitering

The city of Marion is cracking down on loitering. Mayor Robert Butler told the Southern Illinoisan that loitering continues to be a problem in the mall area and in some areas not associated with the mall. City council members Monday voted unanimously to fine tune the city's loitering ordinance. It now allows police to write a citation after one warning even if the offender leaves the property and comes back to the same property even if it's a few days later. It also prohibits littering while loitering and adds details to better spell out the offense like blocking someone or vehicles from entering a place of business.

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

Kilquist Gains Endorsement

The Illinois Federation of Teachers Tuesday endorsed Democrat Bill Kilquist for state representative in the 115th District. The IFT represents 103,000 working women and men in the education field and other professions.  Kilquist says he's honored to received the IFT's  endorsement and will work hand-in-hand with them and everyone who aims  to improve the quality of education in our region. The Illinois Federation of Teachers endorses candidates who they see as willing to work closely with their membership to provide the best public services available and supports candidates who share similar goals of improving education and services in Illinois. Kilquist is looking to replace current Republican State Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro, who is stepping down to run for the 12th Congressional seat now held by Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville.

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

Prosecutor: Evidence from 100 Alton cases missing

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois are trying to determine how and why evidence in more than 100 Alton cases has been destroyed or discarded. The (Alton) Telegraph reports that nearly half of the cases involve felonies, and that the missing evidence now clouds prosecutions in several Alton cases. The Madison County State's Attorney, Tom Gibbons, says his office learned on July 23 that an evidence officer for the Alton Police Department improperly disposed of the evidence in pending criminal cases. Gibbons says he does not believe criminality factored into how the evidence went missing. Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons says his department is cooperating in the investigation. Mayor Brant Walker calls the situation an "egregious breach of protocol."

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

Perry County Man Pleads Guilty To Methamphetamine Conspiracy

On August 8, 2014, a Perry County, Illinois, man pled guilty to an indictment, charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Tuesday.  Thomas D. Tindall, 21, of Willisville, pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The offense occurred between 2012 and February 2014, in Jackson, Randolph, and Perry Counties. The factual basis for the guilty plea established that Tindall was involved with others, including juveniles, in the manufacture of methamphetamine. During a February 20, 2014, search of defendant’s vehicle and residence, agents located methamphetamine, methamphetamine-making materials, and drug paraphernalia. Tindall is currently being held without bond pending a November 21, 2014, sentencing hearing.  The methamphetamine offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000.  The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Coulterville Police Department, Randolph County Drug Task Force, Steeleville Police Department, Percy Police Department, Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Randolph County States Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.  The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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

Chicago Area Man Sentenced In Teen Prostitution Ring

(Collinsville, IL) -- A Chicago area man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for forcing two teenage girls into prostitution. Thirty-year-old Reginald Williams was arrested two years ago after Collinsville police were alerted to an online sex ad featuring pictures of a missing 16-year-old girl. They alerted St. Louis County police and the FBI, and Williams was arrested at a St. Louis area hotel, where the two girls were also found.

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

Saluki pride posters available in Carbondale

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce is attempting to pump up Saluki pride this fall with posters promoting Southern Illinois University. Chamber Executive Director Les O'Dell tells the Southern Illinoisan that the "Welcome to Saluki Country" poster will be available this week. He says the chamber ordered 12,000. The project is part of the work of the chamber's Saluki Pride Committee. It aims to bring businesses and the university together. O'Dell says volunteers will walk around town this week to hand a poster to anyone requesting one. He says it is a way to support SIU and let students know they are welcome. A saluki is one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dogs and come from the Middle East. Southern Illinois is also known as "Little Egypt."

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

Simon Band Playing At Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon will be playing the banjo at the state fair today.  Her  band "Loose Gravel" will perform at the Shed from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m. The Carbondale-based blues band debuted at the state fair three years ago and is the only group fronted by a constitutional officer to perform.

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

Johnson County Resident Wins Auctioneer Bid Calling Contest

Alex Belcher of Buncombe won the 31st Annual Illinois Championship Auctioneer Contest held by the Illinois State Auctioneers Association.  Belcher has been competing for seventeen years. He started in 1998 after college and primarily auctions cattle and cars.   "By far, this win has made me a better person and a better auctioneer," Belcher said. For winning the contest, Belcher was named the auctioneer of the Governor's Sale of Champions. The 2014 Reserve Auctioneer was Abbey Schmid of Clinton.

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

STATE
Rauners buy Grand Champion Steer at State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Republican candidate for Illinois governor placed a winning bid on a champion steer at the Illinois State Fair. Bruce Rauner is a Winnetka businessman. His campaign says he and wife Diana, as well as the Friends of Pike County 4-H bought the Land of Lincoln Grand Champion Steer at the Governor's Sale of Champions at the fairgrounds Tuesday. His spokesman says Rauner is vacationing in Montana, so the bid on the steer was made by others on his behalf. The auction was hosted by Rauner's Nov. 4 election rival, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. The purebred Hereford steer was raised by 11-year-old exhibitor Braden Musgrave. It sold for $56,300. Rauner's campaign says the steer will be donated to the University of Illinois' College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

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

GOP: Quinn Passing Out Cash Without Accountability

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois Republicans aren't letting the headlines fade about Governor Quinn's troubled anti-violence program.  They say he may be trying to pull the same stunt again.  He apparently hid 20-million-dollars in the Department of Labor budget this year, then split it up and handed out more than half-of it in the first three weeks of July.  Republicans say the money is being diverted to other agencies then doled out under the premise of helping at-risk communities.   That's almost identical to the 55-million-dollar program Quinn initiated just before the 2010 election, which is now under state and federal investigation.

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

Illinois Democrats make play for unity, victory

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats are gathering to promote party unity as they kick off the final months of the 2014 campaign. Party officials and candidates from the top to the bottom of the ticket plan to attend a Wednesday breakfast hosted by the Illinois Democratic County Chairman's Association at Springfield's Crowne Plaza Hotel. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates is the breakfast's keynote speaker. The event is held several hours prior to the party's annual day at the Illinois State Fair. For the second year in a row, Gov. Pat Quinn canceled the afternoon rally at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Quinn was booed by union members at the fair in 2012 after he canceled their raises. Quinn says the afternoon lineup of musical acts replacing political speeches will be more fun.

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

Quinn signs bill to better emergency response

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) --- Gov. Pat Quinn has signed two pieces of legislation aimed at improving emergency response in rural areas around Illinois. One bill is sponsored by Republican state Rep. Don Moffitt and Democratic state Sen. John Sullivan. It allows ambulance providers in rural areas to be upgraded to the highest emergency medical technician license of any person staffing that ambulance. Current law restricts an ambulance to a set level of emergency care regardless of the qualifications of those staffing it. The sponsors say the change allows more kinds of life-saving procedures to be performed in an ambulance. Another bill is sponsored by Moffitt and Republican state Sen. Chapin Rose. It allows firefighters trained as paramedics to use those skills in their roles as firefighters.

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

Illinois treasurer race heats up over accusations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The normally lackluster race for Illinois state treasurer is becoming increasingly contentious. Republican candidate Tom Cross is scheduled to appear at a series of stops around central Illinois Tuesday. He'll talk about what he says were financial mismanagement and patronage by his opponent, state Sen. Michael Frerichs, in the Democrat's previous role as Champaign County auditor. Cross says an early retirement program proposed by Frerichs cost taxpayers millions. He also says Frerichs improperly pushed the county to hire two local Democrats. Frerichs says his decisions didn't lead the program to lose money. And he says he never employed the Democrats in his post. Recently, the Cross campaign also circulated allegations that Frerichs didn't pay $1,800 in back taxes and interest. Frerichs disputed the county's determination that he owed the money.

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

Governor's Day Won't Be So Political

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor's Day at the state fair won't have much of a political flair.  That's because Governor Quinn has canceled all political speeches, for the second year in a row.  He says the Black Ensemble Theatre will be taking the stage instead.  Quinn says the whole idea is to make the event more fun and family friendly.  He denies the notion that he's staying off the stage to make sure unions don't have a chance to boo him, like they did a couple years ago.  

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

IDOT Launches Operation Teen Safe Driving

(Springfield, IL)  --  Schools can win cash to help teens come up with a safe driving program.  It's part of IDOT's Operation Teen Safe Driving initiative.  The students' campaign must include a slogan, educational materials, and a public service announcement.  The state will kick in up to two-thousand-dollars to winning schools.  Applications are available online now and due by September 15th.

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

Illinois state education reports from 2013 overdue

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Board of Education officials say problems collecting information have forced a delay in the release of last year's state education reports. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that the 2013 reports were required to be completed last October. But the state board says they've had trouble collecting school district teacher and administrator salary details. State education officials say the data weren't released piecemeal because that would have created skewed statewide information. The annual report cards track each district's student performance history, class sizes, spending on students and attendance. State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia is an Aurora Democrat who serves as chairwoman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee. She says citizens "should know exactly where every dime and penny is being spent."

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

NATIONAL
Governor Nixon Speaks Out About Shooting

(Florissant, MO)  --  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has spoken out for the first time since the shooting death of Michael Brown.  The Governor made a speech last night at a community forum at Christ is King Church in Florissant.  Nixon said the situation "feels like an old wound that has been torn open..." He said there must be a focus "to keep the peace, while remaining uncompromising in our expectation that justice must not simply be pursued, but achieved."

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

President Makes Statement On Shooting

(Washington, DC)  --  The White House has released a statement from President Obama on the police shooting of Mike Brown. The President said "the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed." He also stressed non-violence by saying, "We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds."

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

Nine Charged For Looting In Ferguson

(Ferguson, MO)  --  Authorities say nine people have been charged for the looting that occurred in Ferguson Sunday night. Riots and looting broke out in the aftermath of the shooting death of Mike Brown Saturday afternoon. All nine individuals face a felony charge of second-degree burglary.  The St. Louis County Prosecutor says there could more charges to follow.

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

Lauren Bacall, sultry-voiced actress, dead at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — Tony Award-winning actress and Academy Award-nominee Lauren Bacall is dead at the age of 89. Bacall died Tuesday at a New York City hospital. She once said, "Stardom isn't a career, it's an accident." Bacall had a long movie career, starring in films such as "How to Marry a Millionaire" and "Murder on the Orient Express," and with husband Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep." Bacall would outlive Bogart by more than 50 years.

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

Robin Williams remembered throughout country

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — Makeshift memorials of flowers and notes are popping up around the country for actor and comedian Robin Williams, who was found dead in his San Francisco Bay Area home Monday. Authorities say the 63-year-old, who had suffered from severe depression, had hanged himself with a belt. Williams' 25-year-old daughter Zelda released a statement Tuesday, saying, "I'll never, ever understand how he could be loved so deeply and not find it in his heart to stay."

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

More help for Oregon wildfire

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Help is on the way for crews facing a new wildfire that is threatening more than 130 homes in southern Oregon and has grown to 300 acres. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has authorized the state fire marshal to send in structural firefighters and equipment.

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

Report: White House didn't OK immigrant releases

WASHINGTON (AP) — An oversight report says government officials decided to release more than 2,000 immigrants facing deportation in 2013, strictly for budget reasons. And they didn't tell Homeland Security about the plan. Homeland Security's inspector general says the lack of communication led the Obama administration to wrongly deny for weeks that 2,228 immigrants facing deportation had been released.

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

Deadline to clear up health law eligibility near

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of people are about to get letters warning them to resolve issues affecting their coverage under the new health care law. The Obama administration says the letters are going out to about 310,000 people whose citizenship or immigration details don't match what the government has on file. These consumers need to send in their documentation by Sept. 5 to keep coverage.

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

Memorial service set for boy stabbed at playground

CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A memorial service will be held today for a 9-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed at a western Michigan playground, allegedly by a 12-year-old playmate. Authorities say Michael Conner Verkerke was stabbed repeatedly August 4 near Grand Rapids. He then ran home, collapsing on his porch. He died at a hospital. The 12-year-old suspect has been designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, meaning if he's convicted he'll be sentenced as a juvenile and then as an adult once he turns 21. The boy has been ordered to undergo a mental competency exam.

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

Lawyers: Teen suffered 'numerous' acts of violence

CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — Lawyers representing the New Hampshire teenager who returned home nine months after she vanished on the way home from school say she "suffered numerous acts of unspeakable violence." They put out a statement Tuesday on behalf of Abigail Hernandez and her mother. It was featured on the "Bring Abby Home" website created after the 14-year-old disappeared Oct. 9 on her way home from school. Now 15, she's alive and home with her family "through her faith, fortitude and resilience," the statement says. The statement asks that people be sensitive to Abigail's well-being and "give her the time and space she needs" to heal. She came home July 20, but the circumstances of her return are just as murky as the details of her disappearance. Police charged 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby with kidnapping her.

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

New York town gets entire summer's worth of rain

DEER PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A storm has slammed a New York town with over 12 inches of rain — an entire summer's worth — leaving cars trapped in flooded roads. Stranded drivers had to be rescued in Islip, New York. Joe Pollina of the National Weather Service says the Long Island town's normal total for June, July and August is 11.75 inches. The Southern State Parkway was closed around Baldwin and about 20 miles east in Deer Park, where cars were stuck in a couple of feet of water. WPIX says fire crews in boats rescued drivers in Nesconset. Central and eastern Long Island roads that were still open had bumper-to-bumper traffic Wednesday. The rain started around 6 p.m. Tuesday. It tapered off Wednesday morning.

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

UNM reinstates players after rape charges dropped

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is reinstating two football players who were suspended from the team after being arrested in April on rape and kidnapping charges. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Athletic Director Paul Krebs confirmed Tuesday that running back Crusoe Gongbay from Rockville, Maryland, and cornerback SaQwan Edwards from Houston had been reinstated and are rejoining the Lobos. The Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office chose to drop the criminal case against the two players and Ryan Ruff, a former New Mexico student who wasn't on the team. The District Attorney's Office had dismissed the charges in June, but at that time held open the possibility that they could be refiled.

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

No charges filed against dad in NY toddler's car death

DOLGEVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Prosecutors say they won't file criminal charges against a central New York man whose 15-month-old daughter died in June after being left inside a vehicle for nearly seven hours. Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter tells the Observer-Dispatch of Utica that "simply forgetting" isn't enough for prosecutors to file criminally negligent homicide charges. Police say 33-year-old Alan Lyon of Dolgeville was supposed to drop off daughter Sophia Lea Marie at a baby sitter's on June 4. He forgot her in the car after getting ready for work and leaving in a different vehicle around 8 a.m. The girl was discovered by another family member around 2:30 p.m. as temperatures reached the 70s. An autopsy determined the girl died from hyperthermia and dehydration.

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

'Street view' goes undersea to map reefs, wonders

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — U.S. government scientists hope people will soon be able to go online and get a 360-degree view of reefs and other underwater wonders, much like Google map's "street view" lets people look at homes. This week, scientists are learning to use underwater cameras in the Florida Keys in the hopes of applying 360-degree mapping to research and managing marine sanctuaries nationwide. Some of the rotating and panoramic images will be available online as early as this week, opening a window into ecosystems still difficult and costly to explore for long stretches of time. About 400,000 images have been produced so far of reefs off Australia and in the Caribbean, but this is the first time the technology is being used in U.S. waters.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Sierra Leone : another lead doctor dies from Ebola

LONDON (AP) — An official in Sierra Leone says another of the country's leading physicians has died from Ebola. Ebola has killed more than 1,000 people in a West African outbreak that has also hit Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. Many of the dead are health workers, who are often working with inadequate supplies and protection. Sidie Yayah Tunis, director of communications for the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, announced that Modupeh Cole died Wednesday. The U.S.-trained Cole was one of the lead doctors working in the Ebola isolation ward in Connaught Hospital in Freetown, the capital.Cole's death comes on the heels of that of another physician who was leading Sierra Leone's fight against Ebola, Sheik Humarr Khan.

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

France to send weapons to Iraq

PARIS (AP) — France says it's sending arms to Kurdish forces in Iraq because the Kurds are in "urgent need" of support against radicals of the Islamic State group. The French presidency says the arms shipment will be delivered "in the coming hours" and that authorities in Baghdad are in agreement. Meanwhile, Australia's prime minister says he's holding open the possibility of sending a combat force to Iraq in addition to military transport aircraft that would deliver humanitarian aid to refugees trapped by insurgents in Iraq's northern mountains. The U.S. already has sent another 130 troops to Iraq to act as "advisers." The Pentagon says they're not combat troops, but they'll be assessing the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing Iraqi minorities threatened by the militant group Islamic State.

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

Iraq PM warns of more turmoil if replaced

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the president's tasking of another politician with forming a new government amounts to a "constitutional violation" and would have worse consequences than the militant takeover of much of the country's north. He also says he will not relinquish power until a federal court rules on the move, which was aimed at paving the way for new leadership that could reverse the militants' gains. "This constitutional violation... will be yield more damage than of the state collapse that took place in Ninevah," al-Maliki said during his weekly address Wednesday, referring to the northern province which includes Iraq's second largest city Mosul. Al-Maliki has vowed legal action against President Fouad Massoum for carrying out "a coup against the constitution and the political process."

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Miami 3, St. Louis 0
Chicago Cubs 3, Milwaukee 0
Chicago White Sox 3, San Francisco 2, 10 innings

Frontier League

Gateway 9, Normal 7
Normal 8, Gateway 4
Schaumburg 12, Evansville 5
Southern Illinois 12, Rockford 7

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at San Francisco, 2:45 p.m.
St. Louis at Miami, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

Evansville at Schaumburg
Gateway at Normal
Southern Illinois at Rockford

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

Clippers Sale To Ballmer Complete

(New York, NY)  --  Steve Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.  The sale of the team from the Sterling Family Trust to the former Microsoft CEO was finalized yesterday.  The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.  Ballmer is believed to have paid two-billion-dollars for the NBA franchise.

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

IHSA Fall Sports To Begin Practice

This is the day that IHSA allows for the first practices of the year for Boys and Girls Golf, Boys and Girls Cross Country, Girls Tennis, Girls Volleyball, and Boys Soccer.

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

News for Aug. 12, 2014

LOCAL
Jefferson County Man Sentenced To 188 Months On Methamphetamine Charges

A Jefferson County man was sentenced on August 8, 2014, to federal prison on methamphetamine charges, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced Monday. Jose A. Roman, 37, of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, was sentenced to 188 months’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release following his imprisonment, and was fined $200. The Court sentenced Roman as a Career Offender due to Roman’s previous criminal history. Roman had previously pleaded guilty to a two count federal indictment. Counts 1 and 2 charged that on two separate occasions on May 7, 2013, in Jefferson County, Illinois, Roman knowingly and intentionally distributed methamphetamine. The investigation in this case was conducted by the Joint Narcotics Unit of the Mt. Vernon Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney George Norwood.

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

Illinois concealed carry process getting easier

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — There are signs that the initial rush of applications for permits to carry concealed weapons in Illinois is slowing down and the process is getting a bit easier to navigate. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that observers say technology issues and other problems that applicants experienced when the process started in January have been largely remedied. Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association says some people are getting their permits within 35 days of when they submitted their applications to police. State Rep. Brandon Phelps supported the bill that made Illinois the last state in the nation to allow concealed weapons. He says that between February and July nearly 69,000 permits have been issued.

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

Shimkus Office Hours In McLeansboro August 18

Maryville, Illinois... Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) will be available to meet with local constituents in Hamilton County on Monday, August 18. The Congressman will be available for one-on-on meetings from 9:15 till 10:45 a.m. at the McLeansboro City Hall, 102 West Main Street. “This is a great opportunity to meet with me personally to discuss a problem you are having with a federal government agency or to express your thoughts on legislation or other issues,” Shimkus said. “Please call to schedule your time to visit with me.” To schedule an appointment with Shimkus on August 18 in McLeansboro, call Shimkus’ office at (618)288-7190. Those who cannot attend in person may contact Shimkus via mail at 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062. More information on services offered by the Congressman's office is also available on his website: shimkus.house.gov. You may sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter or send a message to the Congressman on the website. Shimkus also maintains Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (@RepShimkus) accounts, where regular updates are posted. Constituents requiring special accommodations should call at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled office hours.

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

West Frankfort Mobile Home Ordinance On Agenda

It looks like the West Frankfort City Council may approve the city's amended mobile home ordinance at tonight's meeting.  The item is on their agenda, and if approved, will update the city's current ordinance that has been in place since 1969. The changes will include eliminating in the ordinance anything to do with trailer parks because the city no longer has jurisdiction over trailer parks. That now belongs to the state health department.  It also calls for limiting the size of a mobile home to a minimum width of 20 feet and a minimum length of 40 feet.  City leaders say none of the changes will affect current mobile homes because they have been grandfathered in.

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

Morthland Breaks Ground On Housing Complex

Morthland College will hold its groundbreaking ceremony for the new Adams House student housing complex tomorrow. It will be held at 507 West St. Louis Street in West Frankfort starting at 11. Adams House will be the new and first student housing complex at the college. It's being built to reflect the college's rise in enrollment. The $3 million, three-floor building will offer two, three and four bedroom units with a total of 64 beds. Adams House will also include common areas such a study rooms, a game room and a fitness room. The complex is expected to be finished in time for students next fall.

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

Illinois man dies in fall while trimming trees

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Southwestern Illinois officials say a 75-year-old man has died from a fall while trimming trees. The Madison County coroner said Monday that Dan Dauderman was found dead on Saturday in Alhambra. His preliminary cause of death is a broken neck and severing of the spinal cord. Dauderman's family members found him Saturday on his 300-acre farm after they couldn't reach him by phone. The coroner says he was trimming trees from the bucket of his tractor when a limb fell and hit the tractor's manual bucket release. He fell about 10 feet to the ground and was pronounced dead at the scene. The family told the coroner he might have been out in the wooded area since last Tuesday, based on uncollected mail.

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

STATE
Quinn calls on Rauner to confirm debates


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has called on Republican challenger Bruce Rauner to "come out of the gopher hole" and commit to debates ahead of the general election. Quinn's campaign says the Chicago Democrat has confirmed his appearance at eight debates and forums ahead of the Nov. 4 election along with a ninth potential venue. Rauner's campaign says the businessman plans to appear at a number of debates and will announce those dates "soon." Quinn told reporters Monday that debates are voters' best chance to see candidates side by side on the issues. Rauner participated in fewer debates than his GOP opponents ahead of the four-way March primary, something that prompted criticism from those challenging him.

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

Nicholas Sheley sentenced to 4 more life terms

MORRISON, Ill. (AP) — A man serving two life sentences for a pair of Illinois killings has been sentenced to four more. Nicholas Sheley was convicted in May of murder for fatally beating three people and a 2-year-old with a hammer in a northwest Illinois apartment. The Telegraph in Dixon reports he was sentenced Monday to four life terms in those deaths. The killings were part of a series of eight murders authorities say Sheley committed in summer 2008, stretching from his hometown of Sterling, Illinois, south to St. Louis. Sheley already is serving life sentences for the deaths of two Illinois men that June. The new sentences will run consecutively to those. Sheley will be tried next in Missouri for an Arkansas couple's deaths. He could face the death penalty there.

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

University of Illinois proposes off-campus cameras

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — City council members in Champaign are considering a proposal from the University of Illinois to expand its network of surveillance cameras off campus and onto city streets. University Police Chief Jeff Christensen tells The News-Gazette in Champaign that adding more cameras where students congregate would help his department and city law enforcement.
If approved, it would be the first time the university has put security cameras on property it doesn't own. Christensen says footage from the university's camera network helped solve 15 investigations during the 2012-2013 school year and provided evidence in another six cases. The university wants to phase in off-campus cameras starting with a control box at Sixth and John streets that could later connect cameras along Green Street, a high-traffic corridor.

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

Arrest in theft of Illinois hospital laughing gas


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A 33-year-old central Illinois man has been charged in connection with the theft of laughing gas from the hospital where he worked. The (Peoria) Journal-Star reports that Eric Rebholz of Chillicothe was charged with theft and delivery of nitrous oxide Sunday. Online records show he's in custody Monday at the Peoria County Jail. A police report says a security officer from OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria interviewed Rebholz while investigating reports of missing nitrous oxide tanks. Rebholz allegedly admitted to stealing nitrous oxide tanks weekly for seven or eight months. He allegedly sold them for $10 per pound. His job was terminated in late July. It's not immediately clear if Rebholz has an attorney and no home telephone listing could be found.

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

Public defender in Illinois' McLean County resigns

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The public defender in McLean County in central Illinois has resigned.
The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports that Kim Campbell's resignation was announced to her staff Friday by Judge Elizabeth Robb. The judge also announced a temporary replacement. Peoria lawyer Jeff Flanagan will step into the top post in the public defender's office. He's the former Peoria County public defender. Campbell released a brief statement to the newspaper saying it was time for her "to move on to new challenges." She said she would take time to focus on her family and "pursue new opportunities." She said it had been an honor to serve. She had been public defender in McLean County since replacing Amy Davis when she retired in 2010.

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

Ag Day At The State Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  It's Ag Day at the state fair.  That means Ag products that are raised and grown right here in Illinois will be on display.  And, Governor Quinn will be on hand to host the Sale of Champions on the fairgrounds later tonight.  The best of Illinois' processed foods are auctioned at the Commodity Auction.

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

State Fair Harness Racing Continues Today After Cancellations

(Springfield, IL)  --  Harness racing at the Illinois State Fair will resume today.  The event was canceled for the last three days due to poor track conditions.  The races scheduled for Monday will run Wednesday starting at noon.

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

Springfield plans rainwater recycling project

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Springfield officials are moving forward with a project to recycle rainwater runoff. The Springfield Journal-Register reports bidding is set to begin Thursday for the water reuse and bioswale project. A bioswale is a shallow ditch that uses special soil to filter pollutants out of water. Springfield's public works director says officials hope to finish the project by the end of the year. They say it will help keep toxins out of the city's sewer system and will limit sewer backups from rainwater entering the system. The city will used recycled runoff to water plants downtown and to clean sewer lines. A $600,000 Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant is expected to cover most of the project costs. The state Environmental Protection Agency will review acceptable bids.

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

NATIONAL
Nation Mourns Robin Williams, Chicago Native

(Tiburon, CA)  --  The nation is mourning the death of actor and comedian, Robin Williams.  He was found dead in his California home yesterday and at this point, all evidence points to suicide.  Williams is a Chicago native who suffered with severe depression.  His death is serving as a reminder that depression can strike anyone and is an illness that shouldn't be ignored.  If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression, and is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help at 800-273-8255.

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

More unrest in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — It was a second night of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, following the weekend shooting death of an unarmed black teen. Monday night, police in riot gear fired tear gas into a crowd of protesters. Police say there were several arrests. The night before, dozens of people were arrested as some people began looting and vandalizing businesses following a candlelight vigil for 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police say he was shot several times. Witnesses say his hands were raised when the officer fired repeatedly.

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

Name Of Officer To Be Released

(Ferguson, MO)  --  The name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is expected to be released today.  Ferguson Police say the name will be revealed during a news conference set for noon.  Protesters demanded the information while gathering outside the police department yesterday morning.

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

Attorney General Speaks Out On Shooting

(Washington, DC)  --  The U.S. Attorney General has released a statement on the shooting of Mike Brown.  Eric Holder says this case deserves a "fulsome" review.  He says federal authorities will be working with local law enforcement to make sure their investigation is thorough and fair.  

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

US sends food, water, other aid to Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is delivering more food, water and aid teams to try to help tens of thousands of people who've been forced from their homes in Iraq in the fresh wave of violence in the country's north. The U.S. Agency for International Development says the humanitarian aid mostly will go to members of an Iraqi religious minority group known as Yazidis, who've been trapped on a mountaintop in northwest Iraq by Sunni militants.

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

Fire burns over 3 California firefighters; all OK

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wildfire in Northern California could have become deadly as winds quickly shifted Monday. Authorities say three trapped firefighters had to deploy their fire shelters, but all three survived with no serious injuries. A fire spokesman says the firefighters had created a predetermined safety zone earlier in the day, but the flames burned over their location. The fire is burning near Klamath River.

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

Preliminary Reports Show Officer's Bullets Killed Bank Customer

(Stockton, CA)  --  Stockton, California police are reporting the hostage killed in a violent bank robbery last month died of gunshot wounds inflicted by an officer's weapon.  Misty Holt-Singh was a customer when three armed men robbed the bank and took hostages before leading police on a high speed chase.  Preliminary reports indicated that Holt-Singh was struck about ten times and died at the scene. 

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

Study: Keystone Pipeline Could Produce More Carbon Emissions

(Steele City, NE)  --  Building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline could mean more carbon emissions than the State Department is estimating.  A new study says the pipeline could produce four times more greenhouse gas emissions than previously thought.  The Obama administration has been hesitant to approve the Keystone project because of concerns about carbon pollution. 

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

Author Describes Bills Fans As "The Drunkest"

(Buffalo, NY)  --  The Buffalo Bills have the drunkest fans in football.  Sean MacDonald wrote the book "Ultimate Football Road Trip" which includes accounts of his trips to games at every stadium in the country.  In the book he says Ralph Wilson Stadium was a free-for-all, where too many fans got out of control. 

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

Obama, Clinton to attend Martha's Vineyard party

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — President Barack Obama will be spending some of his summer vacation with Hillary Rodham Clinton. The White House says Obama and his wife, Michelle, plan to see Clinton at a birthday party on Martha's Vineyard Wednesday for Ann Jordan. She's the wife of Democratic adviser Vernon Jordan. Clinton is on the Massachusetts island for a memoir-signing session at a bookstore. The Obamas are in the midst of a two-week vacation. The Obama-Clinton get-together comes after the former secretary of state gave an interview presenting a contrasting vision for America's role in the world ahead of a possible 2016 White House bid.

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

Son of woman with Ebola says she is getting better

UNDATED (AP) — The son of a North Carolina-based missionary says his mother is doing well as she's being treated for the Ebola virus in an Atlanta hospital. Jeremy Writebol told NBC's "Today" show in an interview broadcast Tuesday that Nancy Writebol's eyes are getting brighter and she's even joking a little. Jeremy Writebol said he had been concerned his mother might not make it when she was taken out of an ambulance at Emory University's hospital last week after being flown from Liberia. A second American, Dr. Kent Brantly, had been able to walk from the ambulance into the hospital. Writebol said doctors have said they expect her to recover, though they haven't elaborated. He also said he wouldn't be surprised if his parents want to return to Liberia after she recovers.

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

Mayor: Woman dies after being stranded in floods

WARREN, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit mayor says a woman has died in a vehicle that was stranded in about 3 feet of water after heavy rains caused widespread flooding in southeastern Michigan. Warren Mayor James Fouts told WWJ-AM Tuesday that the woman apparently died of cardiac arrest. It was not clear when she died. Numerous roads have been closed by flooding in the Detroit suburb where 5.2 inches of rain fell Monday. Fouts says roughly 1,000 vehicles are abandoned in the city. The Associated Press left a message for Fouts, who has described the flooding as "overwhelming" and "catastrophic." A storm dumped more than 6 inches of rain in southeastern Michigan overnight, making several roads and highways impassable. The state warned commuters against taking to the roads Tuesday morning in affected areas.

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

NYC official calls for police body cameras

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City official wants to put body cameras on police officers as a check on misconduct. Public Advocate Letitia James on Monday called for a pilot program to put body-worn cameras on patrol officers in 15 percent of the city's precincts. She says she would like all patrol officers to eventually be outfitted with the cameras. James cited last month's death of Eric Garner after he was put in a police chokehold on Staten Island. Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordered some patrol officers to wear the cameras in her 2013 stop-and-frisk ruling. But Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch says his union wants to see evidence of the cameras' effectiveness.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Iraq: Maliki tells army to keep out of politics

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has ordered the security forces not to intervene in the current political crisis over who will be the next prime minister. In a statement issued on his official website, Nouri al-Maliki urged army, police and security forces to stay out of the political crisis and focus on defending the country. A day earlier, Haider al-Abadi, the deputy speaker of parliament from al-Maliki's Shiite Dawa party, was selected by President Fouad Massoum to be the new prime minister and was given 30 days to present a new government. Al-Maliki rejected the move and described it as a constitutional violation. Just before the announcement he ordered elite army units into the streets of Baghdad.

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

Europe pledges help to northern Iraq

LONDON (AP) — Europe is stepping up support for thousands fleeing advancing Islamic militant forces in northern Iraq, pledging more air drops, aid money and non-lethal equipment to ease suffering and bolster fighters battling the Sunni insurgency. Britain and France dropped water, food and solar lamps to afflicted Yazidis sheltering on Mount Sinjar amid fears of a massive humanitarian catastrophe. Britain fast-tracked some 3 million pounds ($5 million) more to help aid groups in northern Iraq deal with the disaster. France plans a second delivery of humanitarian aid in the next two days and was pressing to arm outgunned Kurdish fighters. Germany said Tuesday it planned to send non-lethal equipment such as vehicles, night vision gear and bomb detectors, and said it might review its decision not to send arms.

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

Iran voices support for new Iraqi PM designate

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior Iranian official has offered his congratulations to the Iraqi politician nominated to replace incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, suggesting key Iranian support for a new leader in Baghdad. The Tuesday report on the official IRNA news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, congratulating the Iraqi people and their leaders for choosing Haider al-Abadi to be the new premier. Shamkhani is a close ally of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and a representative of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the council. He said Iran "supports the legal process for choosing the new Iraqi prime minister." Iran is a key powerbroker in neighboring Iraq and influential with many of the Shiite political parties. It previously supported incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, who is struggling to stay in power.

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

UN: It's ethical to try untested Ebola medicines

UNDATED (AP) — The World Health Organization said it's ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the outbreak in West Africa provided the right conditions are met. The U.N. agency issued the statement Tuesday after holding a teleconference with experts Monday to discuss the issue. In the biggest-ever outbreak of Ebola, two Americans have gotten an experimental Ebola treatment never tested in humans and two more treatments were reportedly on their way to treat two Liberia doctors. The developments have raised ethical questions about whether it's right to use untested treatments in people sickened by a disease that has no licensed treatment. WHO said Tuesday that people can ethically receive such treatments but sidestepped the questions of who should get the limited drugs and how that should be decided. Spain's Health Ministry has said the drug was also used on a Spanish missionary priest who was evacuated from Liberia last week. A hospital spokesman in Madrid says the priest died today.

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

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Miami 6, St. Louis 5
Milwaukee 3, Chicago Cubs 1

Frontier League

Evansville 11, River City 0
Windy City 3, Gateway 0
Southern Illinois 7, Joliet 4

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Miami, 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:14 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Southern Illinois at Rockford

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

Navy SEAL trying out for Northwestern football

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A 32-year-old father of three who is an active Navy SEAL is trying to earn a spot on Northwestern University's football team. Tom Hruby is a junior and wants to walk on as a defensive end. Hruby tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he's not doing anything "outstanding or amazing." Instead he sees it as "just more of a challenging route." Northwestern lists him as 6-3, 230 pounds. He has a dorm room at the school and visits his family on the weekends. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald calls Hruby "absolutely relentless, like you would suspect from a SEAL." Hruby works as a SEAL instructor at Great Lakes Naval Station. He saved up his leave so he could participate in the Wildcats' three-week training camp this month.

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

News for Aug. 11, 2014

LOCAL
ISP District 19 Announces July Activity and Enforcement

Carmi, IL – Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today activity and enforcement figures for the month of July.  Troopers in District 19, which includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties, answered 283 calls for service and initiated 990 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 412 citations and 806 written warnings, including 139 speeding citations, 5 DUIs, 97 seatbelt citations, 3 child restraint citations, 250 written warnings for speeding, and 25 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 58 motorists, conducted 166 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 33 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal traffic crash, resulting in one fatality, investigated by District 19 during July. During the month, 269 citations and 369 written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations.  These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

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

Ill. postal worker gets probation in theft case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A St. Louis woman has been sentenced to six months of home detention as part of five years of probation for opening and stealing packages while working as a supervisor at a southwestern Illinois post office. Forty-two-year-old Jane Johanna Emily, who's also known as Jane Moeller, pleaded guilty in April in East St. Louis to charges of obstruction of mail, theft of U.S. mail by a postal employee, and opening of mail. She was sentenced Friday. A federal indictment alleged Emily opened and stole mail packages she believed to contain drugs in March and April of last year while she was a customer-service supervisor at the East St. Louis post office. Emily had been free on bond.

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

Man finds drunken trucker stopped on Illinois road

TROY, Ill. (AP) — State police are crediting a vigilant motorist with helping get a drunken driver off the road after the man pulled over to find out why a tractor trailer was stopped with its turn signal still blinking on a highway in southeastern Illinois. The (Belleville) News Democrat reports the motorist stopped Saturday when he spotted the vehicle on state Route 162 near Troy. Initially, he thought the driver might have had a medical emergency. But Illinois State Police spokesman Calvin Dye Jr. says the man noticed the driver's speech was slurred and called police. The trucker was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He was taken to Madison County Jail. Authorities were not releasing his name, pending arraignment. Dye praised the passerby, saying "he possibly saved somebody's life."

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

Illinois to hold 3 town halls on medical marijuana

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials are planning three town hall meetings to answer questions about the application process for the state's new medical marijuana program. Officials announced this week that the first town hall meeting will be Thursday in the southern Illinois city of Collinsville. It starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Kenneth Hall State Regional Office Building. Meetings are set for Aug. 18 in Peoria and Aug. 20 in Chicago. Patients, their caregivers, growers and retailers all will be required to submit applications for state approval. The state posted application forms online Friday for patients and caregivers, while telling aspiring marijuana business owners that the application process for them would likely start Sept. 8. More details and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at the program's website.

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

Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Check to be conducted

(DuQuoin), IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 13, will conduct a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) in Williamson County during (August, 2014), according to Acting Captain Brad Lacey. The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois.  Officers working this detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, or Driving Under the Influence (DUI).   Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in nearly 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Safety.

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

West Frankfort Murder Suspect May Face Additional Charges

A man accused of killing his wife is now charged with plotting murders from his jail cell.  John Adams was arrested this past spring. He's accused of shooting and killing his wife 52-year-old Kendra Turner Adams at their West Frankfort home. Police Chief Shawn Talluto says they're investigating new allegations he's been trying to coordinate murders for hire and that Adams has already moved money over to the individual allegedly hired to do the killings. West Frankfort investigators say evidence suggests Adams was trying to hire someone to kill not one, not two, but five people, including unnamed family members and someone on the prosecution level of the case. Police are now working with the Franklin County State's Attorney to file charges, five counts of solicitation of murder for hire. Each carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.  Meanwhile, Adams is being held in isolation at the Franklin County Jail. His phone privileges and visitation have been cut dramatically.

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

ROE 13 Gets Top Honors For Preschool Program

The Regional Superintendent, Keri Garrett, of the Regional Office of Education Number 13, announced that their “Preschool for All Programs” received top honors in a recent compliance visit from the Illinois State Board of Education.  They were evaluated on the learning environment, teaching quality, administrative standards, as well as staff training and education.  Programs achieve one of 4 Circle of Quality ratings and all of the preschool programs in District 13, which includes Washington, Clinton and Marion Counties, received the highest rating of gold.  This means their programs meet or go beyond the highest quality goals.

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

STATE
Rauner Seen As Reform Candidate

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn has painted himself as a political reformer, but a new poll reveals Bruce Rauner may be taking that title.  A recent "Chicago Sun Times" poll conducted by We Ask America shows 47-percent of likely voters consider Rauner to be the reformer on the November ticket, compared to Quinn's 21-percent.  The poll also gives Rauner a 51-to-37 point lead over Quinn.  That's far different from other polls that have come up with Rauner up by less than five-percent.   

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

Illinois governor to enact 'Sign and Drive'

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation ending the practice of posting a driver's license as security after certain types of traffic citations. Quinn's office made the announcement late Saturday evening. The Chicago Democrat says the measure will help Illinois motorists hold onto a vital piece of identification and also allow law enforcement officials to do their jobs. The legislation was sponsored by Democrats Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin and Rep. John D'Amico of Chicago. It eliminates posting a driver's license as bail for certain traffic offenses. Instead, it allows drivers to sign a citation as their guarantee that they will appear in court or pay a fine. The "Sign and Drive" legislation will take effect immediately with the governor's signature.

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

Medical Marijuana Applications Now Available

(Springfield, IL)  --  People with chronic illnesses can start applying for the medical marijuana program.  State officials will start accepting applications from people whose last names begin with A through L on September 2nd.  Patients whose last names begin with M through Z can start submitting applications on November 1st.  The nine page applications are posted online at MCPP.Illinois.gov.  There is a 100-dollar annual application fee, but veterans or people on Social Security Disability Income will pay half of that.

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

Law expands Gold Star plates to sons, daughters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the sons and daughters of fallen members of the U.S. armed forces to apply for special Gold Star license plates. The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Saturday in Rockford. He called the license plates "a small but constant reminder" of the service members' sacrifice. The legislation was sponsored by two Republicans: Rep. John M. Cabello of Machesney Park and Sen. Dave Syverson of Rockford. Spouses, siblings and parents of fallen troops already may apply for Gold Star plates. The law expanding the plates to children takes effect Jan. 1. The Department of Defense issues Gold Star lapel pins as a symbol of honor to families of service members who die while engaged in action.

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

Illinois attorney general: ban e-cigarette flavors

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging the federal government to strengthen its proposed regulations for electronic cigarettes to include a ban on the sale of flavored products. Madigan and 28 other state attorneys general submitted comments Friday to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its proposed e-cigarette rules. The FDA proposal is the first step toward regulating the battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale vapor from a heated liquid nicotine solution. Madigan and the other attorneys general say flavored e-cigarettes attract children and teenagers to the products. They're urging the FDA to prohibit flavors other than tobacco and menthol. They also want the FDA to make e-cigarettes subject to the same advertising and marketing restrictions as tobacco products.

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

Fair races to go on after horse quarantine lifted

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Fair harness races will go on Monday after nearly three dozen horses were quarantined briefly over the weekend because of concerns they may have been exposed to a virus. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that officials lifted the quarantine Saturday, after the animals were cleared of having the equine herpes virus. The concern followed reports that a horse began exhibiting symptoms consistent with the virus at Balmoral Park in Crete and had shared quarters with six other horses brought to Springfield. But a spokesman for the fair, Jeff Squibb, says tests conducted on the sick horse came back negative, making the "heightened biosecurity measures" no longer necessary. Squibb says there's no threat of the virus to humans.

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

Dept. of Aging hosts senior activities at fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' Department of Aging is hosting a number of activities for seniors and their families at the State Fair in Springfield. The fair has declared Aug. 11 "Senior Day" with admission free for guests ages 60 and older. "Senior Day" activities include a "not so newlywed" game where couples test their knowledge of one another, senior spelling bee state finals and a grandparent-grandchild contest on Aug. 14. St. John's Hospital and the Lion's Club are also offering free health screenings for seniors. Seminars will also be held on emergency preparedness and understanding Medicare. The fair, a 10-day celebration of agriculture, runs through Aug. 17.

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

NATIONAL
Vandalism, looting after vigil for Missouri man

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man has turned to mayhem in suburban St. Louis as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police. That followed a candlelight gathering Sunday for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times after a scuffle involving the officer, Brown and another person in Ferguson. Authorities set up blockades, trying to keep people from the most looted areas. Mayor James Knowles told KTVI-TV police were having a hard time catching looters because crimes were happening at several locations. It wasn't immediately clear how many arrests were made or if there were injuries. A spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Executive said there was at least one instance of tear gas being used.

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

New Orleans shooting

NEW ORLEANS (AP) —Police in New Orleans say a drive-by shooting Sunday killed two people and wounded five others in the city's Lower 9th Ward. Police say killed were a man and an 18-year-old woman, and two of the wounded are ages 2 and 4. They're in critical condition. The Lower 9th ward was overwhelmed by Hurricane Katrina's floods in 2005 and has struggled with crime.

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

Teen suspect in 6-year-old's death due in court

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A 17-year-old boy accused of sexually assaulting and killing a 6-year-old Washington state girl is due in court today. Authorities have not released the name of the teen, who's accused of killing Jenise Wright. Her body was found last Thursday, days after she disappeared from her home in a mobile home park in Kitsap County.

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

Probe: No sign of criminal intent in Stewart crash

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities have twice questioned NASCAR champion Tony Stewart about the Saturday crash that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr. After getting into a collision at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York, Ward climbed out of his car and walked onto the track, gesturing at Stewart, who triggered the wreck with a bump. Stewart's car hit him. Authorities describe Stewart as "visibly shaken" and they say there's no evidence to support criminal intent.

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

Lightning sparks new fires in California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Lightning has sparked nine wildfires in the northeastern corner of California, and a stubborn blaze to the west in Mendocino County continues to challenge crews. Fire officials say the new fires in Lassen, Modoc and Shasta counties are not threatening any structures, but crews are trying to contain them so they can focus on the large wildfires. A wildfire sparked by lightning July 30 has burned 13 ½ square miles of dry brush and timber in Mendocino County.

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

24 People Rescued Off Stuck Roller Coaster

(Upper Marlboro, MD)  --  It appears no one was injured when two dozen people had to be rescued from a stuck roller coaster at a theme park in suburban Maryland.  Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor says the riders were given water, umbrellas and sunscreen to help with the sun beating down on them Sunday.  The riders were stuck on the Joker's Jinx roller coaster at Six Flags America for about five hours.  

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

NCAA President Plans To Appeal Student Pay

(Undated)  --  The NCAA plans to appeal sections of a federal judge's ruling to allow student athletes to be paid.  The sweeping college sports ruling is raising debates about anti-trust violations.  Speaking on ABC's "This Week," NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert says there is a lot in the decision he disagrees with, but the NCAA's legal team doesn't believe the current rules violate any anti-trust laws. 

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

Americans Concerned About Privacy In Technological Age

(New York, NY)  --  Almost nine in ten Americans are worried about their personal information falling into the wrong hands.  Nearly 90-percent of people surveyed in a Harris Poll say they believe cyber-criminals are a significant threat to their privacy.  Three-quarters also see a danger from social networking sites, while 68-percent aren't convinced government agencies can adequately protect information that should remain confidential.  

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

Judges extends temporary halt to Ohio executions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judge has extended a months-long moratorium on executions in Ohio as debate over the state's new two-drug combination continues. The moratorium was to end this week. The new order extends it through Jan. 15. That will delay executions scheduled for September, October and November and highlights the ongoing problem faced by states in obtaining drugs to put inmates to death. The one-page order by Columbus federal judge Gregory Frost issued Friday affects the state's latest death penalty policy change, which was announced in late April and increases the amount of the sedative and painkiller Ohio uses. On Jan. 16, an Ohio inmate repeatedly gasped during the record 26 minutes it took him to die, and an Arizona inmate who took nearly two hours to die July 23.

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

Rescue launched for boat caught in Hurricane Julio

HONOLULU (AP) — A container ship has reached a sailboat stranded in waters roiled by Hurricane Julio off the Hawaii coast. Operations Specialist Andrew Lincoln said Monday that crews are waiting until dawn to evacuate the three people on board the stricken sailboat. He says doing so in the dark, in the midst of rough weather, would be too dangerous. Lincoln says Julio has passed, but it has left behind strong winds and 15-foot swells. The Coast Guard says the sailors aboard the 42-foot sailboat Walkabout sent a message around 7 a.m. Saturday requesting help after the boat became disabled and took on water. The container ship Manukai reached them around 10 p.m. that night.

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

Barneys to pay $525K in NY shopper-profiling probe

NEW YORK (AP) — The upscale retailer Barneys has agreed to pay $525,000 to settle allegations of racial profiling at its flagship New York City department store. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the agreement Monday. It comes after several customers complained last year that they were singled out as suspected shoplifters because they were minorities. Schneiderman says Barney's also will hire an "anti-profiling consultant" for two years, update its detention policy and improve training of security and sales personnel. CEO Mark Lee tells the Daily News that Barneys is pleased with the settlement. The newspaper first reported the agreement. Lee says Barneys prides itself on providing unparalleled service for all customers and doesn't tolerate discrimination. In December, Barney's and several other major retailers agreed to create and publicize a customer bill of rights.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Israeli-Palestinian talks resuming

CAIRO (AP) — A new 72-hour cease-fire is allowing for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce between Israelis and Hamas in Gaza, and Israel says the break in fighting has been holding today. The lull in the violence is allowing Palestinians to leave their homes and shelters, and there have been long lines at ATMs. The war has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.

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

US arming Kurds in northern Iraq

SYDNEY (AP) — The U.S. is providing arms to Iraqi Kurds, who are starting to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq. A senior State Department official will only say that the Kurds are "getting arms from various sources. They are being rearmed."

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

Iraq political bloc picks PM aside from al-Maliki

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's new president has charged the deputy speaker of parliament Haider al-Ibadi with forming a new government in the next 30 days. Fouad Massoum said on television Monday that he hoped al-Ibadi would succeed in forming a government that would "protect the Iraqi people." The president's choice is a very public snubbing of incumbent Prime Minister Nouri el-Maliki who in an angry midnight speech all but demanded he be re-nominated for a third term. Maliki has deployed his elite security forces in the streets of Baghdad, partially closed two main streets — popular spots for pro and anti-government rallies — as hundreds of his supporters took to the streets.

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

Islamic militants crush tribal uprising in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Islamic militants have crushed a tribal uprising against their rule in eastern Syria following days of clashes. The armed revolt by the Shueitat tribe in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour was the first sign of local resistance to the Islamic State group since its fighters swept into the province. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Turkey-based activist Thaer ak-Deiri said Monday that Islamic State group fighters regained control of three villages of the Shueitat tribe. Fighting between the two sides erupted July 30 and for a time the tribesmen managed to evict the Islamic State group fighters from their villages. The extremist group has taken over much of northern and eastern Syria as well as western and northern Iraq.

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

Dutch push plane inquiry despite lack of access

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Safety Board says it will push ahead with an investigation into the cause of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster, despite not being able to access the site where the plane went down in eastern Ukraine. Flight 17 was shot down July 17 above an area held by pro-Russia separatist rebels, killing all 298 aboard. The board said Monday it is also investigating whether flight routes over the area should have been left open to civilian air traffic. However, it won't "assign blame or responsibility" in its conclusions. The board says it expects to release a preliminary report in several weeks containing information from the plane's cockpit voice recorder, radar analysis and satellite photos. The multinational investigation has now shifted its headquarters from Ukraine to The Hague, Netherlands.

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

SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Baltimore 10, St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 4, Chicago Cubs 0
Chicago White Sox 2, Seattle 1

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 13, Joliet 7
Evansville 10, River City 4
Gateway 4, Windy City 1

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 8, Baltimore 3
Chicago Cubs 3, Tampa Bay 2
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 2

Frontier League

Joliet 8, Southern Illinois 3
River City 11, Evansville 4
Windy City 17, Gateway 4

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Miami 6:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway
Southern Illinois at Joliet

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

Coach wants Illinois to reach bowl game in 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' veteran players and coach are beginning the season outlining hopes for reaching a bowl game this season. Michael Heitz is a senior offensive lineman. He reminisced during Illinois' media day Sunday about the team's 20-14 win against UCLA in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. But the (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Heitz is one on the few left on the roster to have such a memory. Of 13 Big Ten schools eligible for bowl games in 2012 and 2013, Illinois is one of two teams that haven't played in postseason games. Coach Tim Beckman says the experience will "reward the players for the heart they've given us."

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

High School Football Practice Begins Today

IHSA Football Season officially begins today as it is the first day of the practice season. The games start Friday August 29th with Centralia hosting the Salem Wildcats and Mt. Vernon entertaining the Taylorville Tornadoes.

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

Cubs Acquire Turner

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs acquired right-hander Jacob Turner from the Miami Marlins on Friday in exchange for minor league right-handers Jose Arias and Tyler Bremer. The 23-year-old Turner was designated for assignment by the Marlins last week. Turner is 4-7 with a 5.97 ERA in 20 games this season, and manager Rick Renteria said the right-hander's role would be determined after consulting with pitching coach Chris Bosio. Turner was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the first round (No. 9 overall) of the 2009 draft and traded to the Marlins in 2012 as part of the deal that sent Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers.

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

Bears waive OL Graham Pocic,Reinstate Tight End Bennett

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — The Chicago Bears waived offensive lineman Graham Pocic and signed center-guard Rob Turner on Sunday. The 6-foot-4, 308-pound Turner started 24 games and played in 63 over seven seasons with the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. He started in six games for Tennessee last season. Pocic, a Lemont, Illinois native, was signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent last season out of Illinois. The Bears had signed him at the end of July. Meanwhile, Tight end Martellus Bennett is back with the Bears.  His suspension was lifted by the team after five days.  He was fined and out of action due to an altercation with cornerback Kyle Fuller.  Bennett missed two practice sessions and Friday's preseason opener.  Meanwhile, the Bears battle the Jaguars Thursday.

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

Allmendinger Wins At The Glen

(Watkins Glen, NY)  --  AJ Allmendinger outlasted the field despite a near hour-and-a-half red flag delay in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 from Watkins Glen.  It's his first-ever Sprint Cup Series victory.  The 32-year-old led 30 of the 90 laps.  Marcos Ambrose finished second while Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five.  There was a one-hour and 21-minute delay due to a wreck on Lap 57 involving Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell.  Tony Stewart's replacement, Regan Smith, ended 37th.  Stewart pulled out of the race after a fatal accident on Saturday that killed fellow driver Kevin Ward Junior.

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

McIlroy Wins PGA Championship


(Louisville, KY)  --  Rory McIlroy overcame a rough start of two bogeys on the front nine and darkness on 18 to close out the 96th PGA Championship from Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.  He ended 16-under-par for the tournament with a minus-three in the fourth round.  It's his second straight major win and the fourth of his career.  Phil Mickelson shot a five-under on Sunday to finish one stroke back at minus-15.  Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler tied for third at 14-under.

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

News for Aug. 8, 2014

LOCAL
Accident This Morning On I-64

There was an accident westbound on I-64 between Nashville and Okawville that had traffic shut down.  Motorists were being diverted to New Minden to then go west to Okawville, where they could get back on the interstate.  ISP tended to the scene.

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

Harrisburg mayor dies of cancer

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — The mayor of the city of Harrisburg in southern Illinois has died of brain cancer. Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg says Ron Crank died Thursday at his home after a year-long bout with brain cancer. Crank was 65. A funeral will be early next week. Crank had been a Harrisburg police officer and Saline County sheriff's deputy. He served on Harrisburg's city council for three years before he was named mayor last year. Visitation for Crank will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Harrisburg.

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

Dad Of Missing Girl Arrested

(Fairfield, IL)  --  The father of a missing Fairfield teen is behind bars for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender.  Officials say they've been looking for Megan Nichols since July 3rd.  During their investigations they discovered that her dad, John David Nichols, was convicted of sexual abuse in Wayne County back in 1998.  But, he allegedly hasn't registered since 1999.  They found him in Tulsa, Oklahoma and arrested him on an outstanding warrant.  Police interviewed John Nichols and determined that he doesn't know where his daughter is. 

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

Family Of Dead SIU Student Files Lawsuit

(Carbondale, IL) -- More details are being released about the death of a 19-year-old SIU Carbondale student. An attorney for Pravin Varughese's family says they have proof that he was beaten before he died. They say an independent autopsy determined he suffered from blunt force trauma and he had defensive wounds on his arms. That contradicts the official coroner's report, which ruled Varughese had frozen to death on a cold February night. He was found in a wooded area five days after he vanished from an off-campus party. Witnesses said he'd gotten into a vehicle with someone he didn't know very well. The family has filed a lawsuit against the man who was driving that vehicle. And, they're claiming the city of Carbondale and the chief of police were negligent in the way they handled the case.

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

Missing Rural Altamont Child Located

Effingham, IL - Illinois State Police (ISP) District 12 today confirmed a missing three year old child was located in a cornfield in rural Altamont.  The child was safely reunited with her family after being missing for approximately 3 hours. Illinois State Police Air Operations was called to the scene to assist ground search crews in locating the child.  Search efforts were complicated by dense vegetation and rainfall.  “We are grateful to all the people who volunteered their time and efforts to help search for the missing child,” stated ISP District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge.  “The outpouring of public support and tireless efforts of emergency workers brought this search to a successful conclusion,” he added.  In addition to neighbors and other members of the community, the Altamont Police Department, Altamont Fire Department, Effingham County Sheriff’s Department, Effingham City Police Department Effingham County Fire Department, Tri County Fire Department, Watson Fire Department, Effingham Fire Department, St. Elmo Fire Department, Edgewood Fire Department, Effingham County Search and Rescue, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Illinois Department of Conservation,  Illinois State Police District 12, and Illinois State Police Air Operations worked together to return the three year old safely to her home.   

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

Troy Woman Busted For Faking Cancer

(Troy, IL)  --  It's the second time in two months that police in the Metro East are dealing with people who faked having cancer to get money.  Police in Troy say 25-year-old Melissa Barton told people that she and her son both had cancer.  She allegedly used websites like YouCaring.com and WePay.com to plead her case and collect cash.  Police aren't sure how much Barton raised but they say it's more than 500-bucks, which enough to charge her with felony theft.  Barton is being held in the Madison County Jail on a 50-thousand-dollar bond.  A Belleville woman was busted back in June after apparently engaging in a similar scheme.

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

Herrin Horse Sculpture Owner Offering Reward For Return

The owner of a horse sculpture that was recently stolen in Herrin is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who may have been responsible for taking it from her yard. Jan McVicker told the Southern Illinoisan she believed the theft was intentional and destructive and questioned why someone would take it. The sculpture was last seen on July 28 and police are following up on a couple of leads in the case. Anyone with information about the theft should call Herrin Police.

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

United Methodist Children’s Home Awarded $1.1 Million YouthBuild Grant

MT. VERNON – U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart (IL-12) announced Thursday the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon has been awarded a $1.1 million YouthBuild Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. “United Methodist Children’s Home offers a vital array of services for families and young people in Southern Illinois,” noted Enyart.  “This award will allow them to focus on at risk youth by providing them the training, guidance and support to prepare them for successful employment.”  YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to youth ages 16 to 24 who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones.

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

CDC: St. Clair County Most Obese In Illinois

(St. Clair County, IL) -- The Metro East is home to some of Illinois' fattest people. A report from the CDC found St. Clair County to be the most obese in the state. An analysis of statewide body-fat index revealed 40-percent of adults in St. Clair County were classified as obese. The "Belleville New-Democrat" notes the report comes at the same time the county is getting cuts to federal grants for promoting healthy eating and living.

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

STATE
Russian Ag Import Ban Won't Hurt Illinois Farmers


(Springfield, IL) -- Russia is banning all American agricultural products from coming in to their country, so how will that impact Illinois? Ag Spokesman Jeff Squibb says Illinois sold 33-million-dollars-worth of products to Russia last year, but that's less than one-percent of the state's total exports. According to the Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois sends out some corn and soybeans to Russia but the exports are typically low because they don't accept certain GMO varieties of U.S. corn.

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

New U of I union will have to wait on raises

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Some members of a new union for faculty members who aren't on tenure tracks at the University of Illinois will have to wait to get raises that had already been offered. The university this week told the new Campus Faculty Association that salary increases planned for the upcoming academic year can't be given to some "specialized faculty" because the union doesn't have a labor deal. The new union was certified by the state on July 8. It isn't clear how many of the union's 473 members will be affected. According to The News-Gazette, the provost's office also says it is appealing the state's decision to certify the union. Faculty members who formed the union said they were seeking better pay and multi-year contracts.

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

Consumer spending bounced back fast in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Just a year after they had seen the worst of the Great Recession, Illinois consumers were spending more than they were before the economic downturn. New federal data show that the average Illinois resident's consumer spending has also grown faster than the average American consumer since that 2009 low. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released Thursday show spending by the average Illinois consumer increased 11.3 percent between 2009 and 2012. That's ahead of the country's 10.7 percent growth. People in Illinois spent, on average, $36,292 each on consumer goods in 2012. The average for all Americans was $35,498. The largest expenses were for health care and housing and utilities. Each of those two cost more than $6,000 per person in Illinois.

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

Illinois collected $1.4 billion in child support

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois agency says it has collected more than $1.4 billion in child support for the first time in state history. In a news release, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services also announced the fiscal year that ended in June was the tenth straight year that more than $1 billion was collected. The IDHFS says most of the child support is collected through income withholding. But it employs other methods, such as "freezing and seizing" bank accounts. It also notifies professional and occupational licensing agencies to suspend or revoke licenses of a parent until child support is paid. It evens asks the Department of Natural Resources to deny hunting and fishing licenses to non-compliant parents. The agency says parents can sign up for full enforcement services at: http://childsupportillinois.com/customers/apply.html.

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

New vaccine requirements for Illinois students

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Health officials are reminding Illinois parents about required vaccinations and eye exams for school children. Illinois requires students enrolling in school to be up-to-date on immunizations. Students enrolling in kindergarten for the first time in an Illinois school must have an eye exam by a licensed optometrist or a medical doctor. Illinois has made a few changes in vaccination requirements. Students must show proof of having received two doses each — instead of one — of rubella and mumps vaccines. Children entering kindergarten, sixth grade or ninth grade for the first time must show that they've had two doses of the varicella — or chicken pox — vaccine. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says the new requirements follow two separate outbreaks of mumps in the state.

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

I-Cash Has Successful Month

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford released I-Cash numbers that show the program returned 43 percent more money to rightful owners in July of 2014 versus July of 2013.  I-Cash is the unclaimed property program of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office and has more than $2.1 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years.  The cash comes from inactive bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance policies, paychecks and more. “By returning more than $16 million in July alone, and nearly $87.5 million already this calendar year, I-Cash is putting more money in people’s wallets,” said Treasurer Rutherford.  Thus far the office has approved 39,248 claims in 2014.  Checking the I-Cash website often is the key to finding unclaimed cash or assets.  The database is updated every Sunday morning with hundreds of thousands of newly-reported properties added each year.  The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division’s costs, including staff, computers and travel, are paid for through the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, and not by tax dollars.  Visit the Illinois State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and click on the I-Cash link to search for unclaimed property. 

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

American Idol Auditions At State Fair

(Springfield, IL)  --  American Idol auditions are being held at the Illinois State Fair this weekend.  Anyone between the ages of 15 and 28 can take a shot at making it big.  The celebrity judges won't be there though.  Officials say the show producers will screen talent and determine if they're eligible to move on to the next round of auditions, which will be held in another city.  Auditions are tomorrow and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. outside the carnival entrance.

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

NATIONAL
3-day truce ends

WASHINGTON (AP) — Right after a three-day truce expired today between Israel and Hamas militants, cross-border attacks resumed. Militants from Gaza fired first, launching 21 rockets toward Israel. In Gaza, police say Israel launched 10 airstrikes, wounding seven people. It's not clear if the resumption of strikes will derail peace negotiations in Cairo.

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

Hurricane Iselle Weakens To Tropical Storm Status

(Honolulu, HI)  --  Hawaii is now dealing with tropical storm conditions after Hurricane Iselle weakened as it made landfall.  Meteorologist Gary Best says Iselle is hitting the islands with heavy rain and strong winds.  Hurricane Julio will follow Iselle but isn't forecast to affect the Hawaiian Islands until early next week. 

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

Obama interrupting summer vacation with trip to DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is doing something unusual with his summer vacation on Martha's Vineyard. He'll return to Washington midway through the two-week getaway to attend "in-person meetings" with White House staff before heading back to the island. Obama's spokesman says the meetings aren't related to any "emerging situation," but he declines to say who the president will be meeting with or what the meetings are about. Aides long have argued that Obama is president at all times and can do the job from wherever he is. Obama is scheduled to arrive on the Massachusetts island on Saturday and return to Washington a week later, on Sunday, Aug. 17. After the meetings, Obama is scheduled to return to Martha's Vineyard on Aug. 19 for the remaining five days of the vacation.

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

Formal ID to be done on body believed to be 6 year old

SEATTLE (AP) — A formal identification is expected today on a body found Thursday in woods in Kitsap County, Washington state. But authorities believe it's the body of 6-year-old Jenise Wright, who was last seen in her home Saturday night before she went to bed. The girl's parents waited a day before notifying police because they say their daughter had wandered around their mobile home park before.

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

Evacuated after Oregon fire, some residents return

UNDATED (AP) — Oregon resident Connie Thomasian says "It is a huge relief" to find her home in Rowena still standing after a wildfire got as close as 30 feet to some houses. Hundreds of people forced to flee the wind-driven blaze in Oregon's Columbia Gorge have been allowed to return home. The Rowena fire started Tuesday evening in brush, and by Thursday, it had grown to 4.1 square miles.

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

Jury rejects self-defense in porch shooting death

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man has been ordered to jail while awaiting his sentencing in the porch-shooting death of an unarmed young woman. The jury yesterday rejected Theodore Wafer's claim that he acted in self-defense when he shot 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was banging on his front door last November after crashing her car. The 55-year-old Dearborn Heights man faces up to life in prison when he returns to court August 25.

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

Rep. DesJarlais holds on in Tenn. despite scandals

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Scandal-plagued Tennessee Rep. Scott DesJarlais (day-zhar-LAY') defied expectations of a blowout defeat in his bid for a another term, instead emerging from the Republican primary with a razor-thin margin that left the race too close to call. With all precincts reporting, DesJarlais and challenger Jim Tracy were separated by a 33-vote margin, illustrating the willingness of the incumbent's tea party base to overlook his personal problems that included once urging a mistress to seek an abortion. The final result of Thursday's election may drag out until the end the month. In the other high-profile Tennessee primary contest, Republican Lamar Alexander became the latest U.S. senator to fend off a tea party challenge, defeating a state representative who had used a familiar tactic in trying to cast him as an out of touch insider.

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

Medical Debt Could Raise FICO Credit Score

(Undated)  --  People with heavy medical debts could see their credit scores go up.  The nation's top credit score provider, FICO, is coming out with a new scoring model that doesn't penalize people for medical debts.  FICO says people who have only unpaid medical debts on their credit reports will see their score go up by about 25 points.

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

More charges coming, after mother of 3 kids killed in Pa. carjacking dies

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Prosecutors say two men will face more charges following the death of the mother of three children killed when a sport utility vehicle that police said was carjacked crashed into a group on a north Philadelphia corner last month. The Philadelphia district attorney's office said an additional murder charge will be filed against 23-year-old Cornelius Crawford and 19-year-old Johnathan Rosa following the death of 34-year-old Keisha Williams on Thursday night at Temple University Hospital. Both were charged earlier with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault in the July 25 crash that killed 15-year-old Keiearra Williams, 10-year-old Thomas Joseph Reed and 7-year-old Terrance Moore as they were selling fruit for a church fundraiser. Authorities allege that the defendants carjacked a real estate agent after a house showing, then plowed into the group at an intersection about a mile away.

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

Victoria Jackson loses bid for Tenn. county seat

THOMPSON STATION, Tenn. (AP) — Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Victoria Jackson has lost her bid as an independent candidate for a seat on a county commission in Tennessee. Jackson, who calls herself a tea party conservative, moved to Thompson Station last year and said she filed as an independent to run for the Williamson County Commission because she's "very disappointed with the Republican Party." The Tennessean reports Jackson received 632 votes. Two others received more votes: Judy Lynch Herbert with 1,422 and Betsy Hester with 1,380. The County Commission has two commissioners in each of its 12 districts. Jackson had made appearances at multiple political events in Middle Tennessee since making her home there.

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

Army Ends Questioning Of Former Prisoner Bergdahl

(San Antonio, TX)  --  The Army is done questioning Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl about his capture by Taliban militants in Afghanistan.  It's now up to Major General Kenneth Dahl to decide if the soldier from Idaho will face charges over the events that led to his capture in 2009.  Some of Bergdahl's fellow soldiers have accused him of deserting his post.  

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

INTERNATIONAL
US launches first airstrikes in Iraq

UNDATED (AP) — The Pentagon says two U.S. fighter jets dropped bombs on Islamic militants in Iraq towing artillery outside Irbil near U.S. personnel. Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. President Barack Obama authorized such airstrikes Thursday when the Islamic state militant group advanced on Irbil, in northeastern Iraq, where U.S. military trainers are stationed.

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

Hagel: US has intel to target, hit Iraq militants

NEW DELHI (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the U.S. military has enough intelligence to clearly single out Islamic militants and launch effective airstrikes if they threaten U.S. interests or the thousands of refugees who fled to a mountaintop. Hagel also says that more than 60 of 72 bundles of food and water airdropped onto the mountain reached the Iraqi religious minorities stranded there. A day after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes and humanitarian aid in northern Iraq, the military says it has the assets and resources in place to launch strikes by manned and unmanned aircraft based in the region. Hagel says no airstrikes have been launched, and the Iraqis have not requested additional humanitarian aid. He says top U.S. leaders will meet later to assess the situation.

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

Afghan candidates agree to end election dispute

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's feuding presidential candidates have agreed to resolve their election dispute and say they will set the inauguration before the end of August. The breakthrough comes as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry opened a second day of talks in Afghanistan on Friday aimed at preventing the fragile country from collapsing into political chaos after disputed elections. Kerry paid a courtesy call on Afghan President Hamid Karzai and met later with the two men, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. They've been locked in a bitter dispute over who will succeed Karzai. Abdullah calls the agreement a -- quote -- "step forward in the interests of strengthening national unity ... and bringing hope to the people for the future of Afghanistan."

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

Dutch experts identify 23 Ukraine plane victims

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch-led forensic team working on the remains of those aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 says it has identified 23 victims so far. Justice Ministry spokesman Jean Fransman said those include 18 Dutch, two Malaysians, a Canadian, a German and a Briton. All their families have been notified, the ministry said Friday. Flight 17 was shot down last month over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 aboard. Pro-Russian rebels have publicly denied downing the plane but one top rebel has told The Associated Press that the insurgents were involved. In all, 228 coffins have been brought to the Netherlands but it's not known how many victims that represents. The forensic experts at a military base in Hilversum are using DNA samples and dental records in a process expected to take months.

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

McCain: Time to ease arms sales ban on Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — U.S. Sen. John McCain says it's time for the United States to ease restrictions on arms sales to Vietnam, citing progress the communist country has made on human rights. McCain told reporters in Hanoi on Friday that he hopes the easing could begin as early as next month. The sales would be limited to arms with defensive capabilities. The Republican and Vietnam War veteran said the easing of arms sales restrictions has nothing to do with recent Chinese placement of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China Sea. Closer military ties between Vietnam and the United States could anger China, which has been more assertive on its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

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

SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 2
St. Louis 5, Boston 2
Seattle 13, Chicago White Sox 3

Frontier League

Joliet 3, Evansville 1
Evansville 7, Joliet 5
Southern Illinois 4, Windy City 2
Normal at Gateway (ppd. to 8/8, 8/12)

NFL

NY Jets 13, Indianapolis 10

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 3:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Baltimore, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Joliet at Evansville
Windy City at Southern Illinois

NFL

Philadelphia at Chicago, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at St. Louis, 7 p.m.

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 3:05 p.m.
St. Louis at Baltimore, 3:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 8:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Joliet
River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Baltimore, 12:35 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 11:39 a.m.)
Tampa Bay at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 3:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Joliet
River City at Evansville
Windy City at Gateway

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

Illini May Allow More Benefits For Student-Athletes

(Champaign, IL) -- The Fighting Illini may soon be able to provide more benefits for its student athletes. The NCAA is allowing the Big-10 and the other four power conferences to make some of their own rules for what the organization is calling "the full cost of attending school." The proposal can be nullified if at least 75 schools outside the five power conferences are against it.

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

Illinois appeals court rules against Bears on tax

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois appeals court says the Chicago Bears owe $4.1 million to Cook County in amusement taxes plus interest. A three-judge panel at the 1st District Appellate Court posted its ruling Thursday on the dispute between the football team and the county. Cook County has been seeking the tax payment from the Bears since 2007. Bears lawyers had argued the 3 percent amusement tax should only apply to admission-related fees and not to premium-seat extras, such as the cost of food, drinks and parking. In its 2-1 decision, the judicial panel disagreed. And it ruled the Bears should have paid taxes on the full, face-value of the tickets.

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

NCAA structure moves closer to big changes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA Board of Directors has overwhelmingly approved a package of historic reforms that will give the nation's five biggest conferences the ability to unilaterally change some of the basic rules governing college sports. If the 16-2 decision stands, there will be striking differences between the 65 largest schools and the more than 280 others in Division I beginning as early as Oct. 1, though few expect change to come that quickly. Representatives the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC will hold nearly twice as much voting power as any other group on a newly created council, where most legislation will be approved or rejected. The legislation still could be overridden in the next 60 days.

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

News for Aug. 7, 2014

LOCAL
Body Found In Car Could Be Man Missing Since 2008

(Alton, IL) -- Police aren't jumping to any conclusions about who the dead man found in a car parked in Alton might be. A little girl discovered the body wrapped in a rug when she looked through the window of a car neighbors said had been sitting in a carport of an abandoned home for years. There is speculation it may be Michael Womack, an Alton man who vanished in March of 2008. The body has been turned over to coroners who haven't said how long it might take to identify him.

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

Man Guilty Of Setting Fire That Killed Four Children

(Percy, IL)  --  A Southwest Illinois man has been found guilty of setting the fire that killed four young children in Percy Illinois last year.  Derrick Twardoski was convicted of first-degree murder yesterday.  The 34-year-old admitted to setting a house fire in May of 2013, that took the lives of 12-year old Ethan Owen, nine-year-old Kailey Owen, and five-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen.  A sentencing hearing is set for early October. Twardoski faces up 60-years in prison.

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

Woman Accused Of Stealing Money From Dead Husband's Charity

(Belleville, IL)  --  A Belleville woman has been indicted on charges she allegedly stole money from a charity in the name of her dead husband.  The U.S. Attorney's offices says 53-year-old Pam Robtoy is accused of embezzling money from the third annual John Perry Gold Benefit in October of 2013.  Perry, who was a U.S. Deputy Marshal, was killed while serving a warrant in early 2011.  Robtoy faces multiple charges and if found guilty could serve 45-years in prison.

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

Saline County Accident Fatal

According to the preliminary traffic crash investigation, the driver of the 2014 Freightliner truck tractor/semi-trailer, 41 year old James N. Certain, of Equality, was southbound on Illinois Route 34, approximately a 1/4 mile south of Womble Road in Saline County, when he observed animals on both sides of the roadway. Certain, attempting to avoid one of the animals, drove his vehicle into the northbound lane of Illinois Route 34.  The 2007 Chrysler Pacifica, driven by 61 year old Cheryl R. Shaffer, of Rosiclaire, was northbound on Illinois Route 34 and seeing the truck tractor driving in the northbound lane, moved into the southbound lane to avoid crash.  However, as Shaffer drove into the southbound lane, Certain also returned to the southbound lane, where both vehicles collided. Shaffer was pronounced deceased at the traffic crash scene by the Saline County Coroner’s Office. Certain did not receive any injuries as a result of the crash.  Vernell’s Towing of Marion, Illinois, removed the Freightliner truck tractor/semi-trailer, while Bishop’s Towing of Harrisburg, Illinois, removed the Chrysler Pacifica from the crash scene. An ISP Crash Reconstruction Officer (C.R.O.) and an ISP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer (C.V.E.O.) have been assigned to the crash investigation.  In addition, ISP District 19 was assisted at the crash scene by the Saline County Sheriff’s Department, Saline County EMS, Saline County Coroner’s Office, Carrier Mills Fire Department, and Illinois Department of Transportation (I.D.O.T.). Certain was cited for Improper Lane Usage.

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

Durbin, Quinn ask Amtrak to consider adding trains

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' top two Democrats are asking Amtrak to study the feasibility of adding trains along the Chicago-to-Carbondale route. Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin sent a letter Wednesday to Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. It says Amtrak ridership in Illinois grew almost 85 percent between 2006 and 2013. Quinn and Durbin say ridership on the Chicago-to-Carbondale route grew 117 percent during the same period. That route includes stops in Champaign and several other cities. They say: "To facilitate continued growth in passenger rail, we need to increase the number of opportunities available to riders." A formal Amtrak study is the first step in a request to add trains.

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

Mt. Vernon Man Charged For Meth Related Felonies

A 33-year-old Mt. Vernon man has been charged in Jefferson County Court with multiple methamphetamine related felonies. Marshall E. Fields was charged Wednesday morning with Class 1 manufacture of less than 15 grams of meth and Class 3 Felony possession of less than 5 grams of meth, as well as Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass to a residence. Fields, a registered sexual predator, has an extensive criminal background, with criminal felonies dating back to 2001, when he was sentenced in Jefferson County Court to 5 years each in prison for four separate cases that included two meth related convictions, a theft conviction and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The sentences were served concurrently. Shortly after his release from prison, Fields was convicted and sentenced in 2008 to 3-years in the department of corrections on a felony violation of the sex offender registry, and in 2009 was sentenced to another 3-years in prison for failure to report a change of address or employer to the registry. Most recently he was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections in December, after completing a 2-year sentence on a 2012 felony conviction for aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm. Fields remains in custody of the Jefferson County Jail.

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

Germantown Spassfest Is Coming

You don't want to miss the 47th annual Germantown Spassfest coming Friday, August 15th and running through Sunday, August 17 in Germantown. Grounds open at 4 p.m. the 15th with food, concessions, beverages and amusement rides. The bags tournament kicks off at 7 p.m., and touts 100 percent payout and just for kids, the Kinder Korner is open from 4 until 10 p.m. The third annual beer “brew off” takes place from 3 until 8 p.m. Saturday, and polka mass will be held at 4 p.m. in St. Boniface Church. The fest parade starts at 6 p.m., with the theme “German Over Time,” with cash prizes awarded to the top three theme floats. A washer tournament Saturday also touts 100 percent payout. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon Sunday, with drawings held at noon. This year's grand prize is a 2006 Jeep Wrangler, or $12,000 cash. Parking and admission for the weekend are free. Food and beverages include traditional bratwurst, knockwurst, sauerkraut, and funnel cakes.

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

West City Interested In Enterprise Zoning

The village of West City is interesting in being a part of the proposed new enterprise zone. During Monday's West City village board meeting, Mayor Charles Cockrum presented the idea of being a part of this new enterprise zone to board members. He says with the exception of a few areas, all of West City will be included in the zone. The village board agreed to tentatively approve the measure and move forward. Cockrum says they are waiting to hear more from the Enterprise Zone board and added that they want what?s best for  Franklin County.

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

STATE
Quinn signs payroll card legislation backed by AG


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has taken action on two legislative proposals, both aimed at helping consumers avoid additional fees. The Chicago Democrat signed a bill Wednesday giving workers paid with so-called payroll cards other payment options. Workers with payroll cards can withdraw salaries from ATMs. However, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office received complaints about extra fees that were cutting into workers' salaries. The law says employers have to give workers other payment choices. It takes effect January 2015. Quinn has also used amendatory veto power on a bill designed to cut fees on bills for medical lab work. Opponents say it's not fair. Bill sponsors say they're reviewing changes.

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

Sponsors review Quinn changes to medical proposal

CHICAGO (AP) — Lawmakers backing a plan aimed at curbing additional fees on medical bills are reviewing Gov. Pat Quinn's changes and questioning his use of amendatory veto power. It's the first time Quinn has used that power this year. Lawmakers need a three-fifths vote to override. The legislation addresses some types of lab work, requiring ordering physicians to disclose details about services and fees. But opponents say the legislation doesn't fairly address pathologist fees. The Illinois Dermatological Society claims lawmakers were misled and opposes the bill even after Quinn's changes. Among other things, Quinn proposes giving regulators authority to revoke a physician's license for bill markup. Sponsor Democratic Sen. William Haine says lawmakers could've addressed changes in other ways. Quinn said Wednesday that he's improved the bill.

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

FBI director says corruption, crime Illinois focus

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — FBI Director James Comey said in a visit to Springfield that stopping violent crime and public corruption are priorities in the region. Comey visited Springfield on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement officers from across Illinois. The State Journal-Register reports it was one of a series of visits Comey is making nationwide. In Springfield Comey met with about 80 police chiefs, sheriffs, state police leaders, federal officers and others. Last month Comey named Sean Cox as the new special agent in charge of the Springfield division. Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow visited with the director and said it was a positive meeting.

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

U of I suspends Sierra Leone programs over Ebola

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has suspended study-abroad programs in Sierra Leone and plans extra screening for students arriving from West Africa in response to the outbreak of Ebola. Martin McFarlane is associate director of International Student and Scholar Services at the Urbana-Champaign campus. He told The News-Gazette that only a handful of the 3,500 new international students expected on campus this fall are from the area affected by the Ebola outbreak. Dr. Robert Palinkas of the campus' McKinley Health Center said health care workers screen all new international students. But West African students will go through an additional interview and educational process. The university has programs for students in Sierra Leone that will be suspended this fall. No students were studying in West Africa this summer.

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

Illinois Medical Care Facilities Cost Millions

(Springfield, IL) -- The cost of treating and housing mentally ill prisoners in Illinois is going up. State documents show taxpayers in the state will be paying almost 18-million-dollars to convert existing prison space into mental care facilities. "The Quad City Times" reports the amount likely will rise with the hiring of additional workers to treat the inmates. The increasing costs are also as a result of lawsuits filed against the department claiming inmates are not being properly treated for mental health issues.

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

Sex trafficking sting in Illinois, around nation

CHICAGO (AP) — Law enforcement agencies in Illinois and around the country participated in a sex trafficking sting operation over several days that led to more than 500 arrests. In a news release, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's office says 28 law enforcement agencies in 14 states participated in the "National Day of Johns Arrests" effort that the sheriff launched in 2011. Most of the arrests over the 18-day operation that ended Aug. 3 were alleged perpetrators charged with solicitation. But several men were charged with pimping and sex trafficking. Some were arrested on drug and gun charges. The release says 111 prostitution victims were recovered, including 15 juveniles. Among them was a 15-year-old girl in Seattle whose mother attempting to sell her for sex.

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

Twilight parade to kick off Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — High school marching bands and floats are set to compete while entertaining the crowds during the annual Illinois State Fair twilight parade. The parade steps off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ninth Street and North Grand Avenue in Springfield and ends at the fairground's grandstand. The twilight parade kicks off the state fair every year. This year's theme is "Making Memories at the Illinois State Fair." Grand marshal of this year's parade is Kevin McKee, a member of the U.S.'s gold medal-winning Paralympic sled hockey team. Carnival rides will be open Thursday evening and will have discounted ticket prices during the fair's Preview Night. The state fair runs through Aug. 17.

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

Illinois gets $1.3 million in drug settlement

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will receive $1.3 million as part of a $35 million settlement with a pharmaceutical company over the marketing of an organ-transplant drug. Illinois and 41 other states are involved in the settlement with Pfizer Inc., the parent company of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. The deal resolves allegations Wyeth misrepresented the uses of the drug Rapamune. Rapamune was approved to help prevent the rejection of kidney transplants. But the states alleged the company promoted it to doctors for uses following other organ transplants. A Wednesday statement from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says "promoting drugs for unapproved uses is a potentially deadly practice." New York-based Pfizer said in a statement the alleged activity occurred before it acquired Wyeth. Pfizer didn't admit wrongdoing or liability as part of the settlement.

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

Tips To Stay Healthy At Fairs

(Springfield, IL) -- State officials are offering a few health tips for people who are headed out to state or county fairs. They say it's a good idea for people to put on sunscreen before going outdoors so their skin isn't damaged by sun exposure. Fair visitors also are urged to drink lots of water and wear clothes that'll keep them cool. Bugs will be out, so people may want to spray on a bit of insect repellent with DEET to keep them at bay. People are also advised to keep their hands clean. They should wash with warm, soapy water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before indulging in favorite fair foods.

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

Illinois State Fair Icon To Be Unveiled

SPRINGFIELD, Ill - The ever-popular butter cow will be unveiled Thursday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Dairy Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Illinois Agriculture Director Bob Flider, State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick, Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Summer Robbins and Dairy Building superintendent Marla Behrends are scheduled to attend the ceremony. Dairy refreshments will be served. The butter cow exhibit is a project of the Midwest Dairy Association and paid for by its local farmer members. The 2014 Illinois State Fair will be held Aug. 7 - 17.

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

NATIONAL
Obama to sign veterans' health care overhaul

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expected today to sign a veterans health care bill into law. The $16.3 billion measure allows the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors and other health care workers and make it easier to fire senior VA executives judged to be negligent. It's in response to reports of veterans dying while waiting for doctor appointments and employees covering up those delays.

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

275 households told to flee Oregon wildfire

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Fire officials in Oregon say a wildfire is burning dangerously close to two communities about 75 miles east of Portland. Residents in about 275 homes in the Columbia River Gorge community of Rowena are being told to evacuate. Residents in about 90 homes in an outlying subdivision of The Dalles (dalz) are being told to be ready to leave if necessary. A section of U.S. Highway 30 is closed in the area.

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

Iselle heads for Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is about to get its first direct hurricane in 22 years. State officials are telling the islands to get ready but don't panic. Hurricane Iselle is expected to arrive on the Big Island today evening, bringing heavy rains, winds gusting up to 85 mph and flooding in some areas.

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

Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk

UNDATED (AP) — Scientists are linking a newly identified gene to breast cancer. Genetics expert Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel of the City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, California says the PALB2 gene is less common than the much-talked-about BRCA genes, but it's almost as dangerous. NA study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine says women with the PALB2 mutation have a 14 percent chance of breast cancer by age 50.

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

Former Marine paddles away 2 tours in Afghanistan

VENICE, La. (AP) — A Marine suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says he's found direction paddling a canoe down the Mississippi River. Joshua Ploetz has completed a 71-day trek from Minnesota to Louisiana, paddling 2,300 miles. Ploetz says he spent 49 of those days paddling, and just resting on the other days. Ploetz did two tours in Afghanistan, was injured by a roadside bomb, had a minor stroke and lost friends to combat and suicide.

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

Bank of America To Pay $17-Billion To Settle Mortgage Claims

(Undated)  --  Bank of America reportedly will pay 17-billion dollars to settle claims over its sale of mortgage-backed securities before the economic meltdown.  The settlement still needs to be finalized, but would be the biggest the Justice Department has ever imposed over claims growing out of the financial crisis.  BofA will pay about nine-billion in cash and the rest will go toward reducing homeowners' mortgages. 

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

Weird Al Fans Petition For Super Bowl Halftime Show

(Undated)  --  Weird Al Yankovic's fans are mobilizing in a drive to see the comedian headline the Super Bowl halftime show.  About 20-thousand people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the NFL to consider Weird Al for next year's game.  Petition creator Ed Ball writes that Al's theatrics would be a "hilarious and welcome change." 

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

Hurricane Julio strengthens into Category 2 storm

HONOLULU (AP) — Hurricane Julio strengthened into a Category 2 storm as it spun toward Hawaii, with winds gusting at a sustained speed of 100 mph. The National Hurricane Center said it expected the storm to strengthen even more Thursday before gradually weakening by Thursday night. That weakening is expected to continue into the weekend. Julio is close behind Hurricane Iselle, which was set to make landfall on Hawaii's Big Island Thursday night. The Big Island is under a hurricane warning, while much of the rest of the chain was under a tropical storm warning. The storm could push damaging swells ashore and lead to coastal flooding. The National Weather Service in Honolulu warned Thursday that gusts up to 55 mph could lash the islands, damaging homes.

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

Body of US general arrives in Delaware

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The body of a two-star general killed in an Afghan "insider attack" has arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. A C-17 cargo plane carrying the body of Harold Greene landed Thursday morning at Dover, home to the nation's largest military mortuary. White-gloved soldiers solemnly carried a flag-draped metal case with Greene's remains to a waiting mortuary vehicle as Army officials and other dignitaries saluted. Greene is the highest-ranked U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 during the Vietnam War. Greene, a 34-year U.S. Army veteran, also is the highest-ranked American officer killed in combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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

Police: 2 missing boys safe; apparent suspect dead

NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say two children reportedly taken from a Philadelphia-area home after a woman was slain have been found safe in New York City. A man in a vehicle that was sought by police has been found dead. New York City police Lt. Thomas Antonetti said a man in the missing vehicle was found dead on Staten Island of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on Thursday morning. Superintendent Michael Chitwood of Upper Darby police in Pennsylvania said he was told it was the suspect, 32-year-old Keith Belajonas Police there identified him as a suspect in the slaying at a residence in Abbey Terrace in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. Antonetti said the children were left at CVS on Staten Island around 6 a.m. Thursday. They appeared to be unharmed.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Kerry in Afghanistan to meet feuding candidates

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit to try to calm tensions between the country's two feuding presidential candidates. Kerry's arrival in Kabul late Thursday also follows the killing Tuesday of a U.S. general by an Afghan soldier at the national defense university. That incident underscored tensions that persist as the U.S. combat role winds down in Afghanistan amid the political uncertainty that Kerry is trying to address. The presidential candidates remain locked in a bitter dispute over election results now being audited in a process that Kerry brokered last month. He planned to see the candidates Thursday night and then meet with current Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday before heading to Myanmar for an Asian security conference.

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

Russia allows Snowden to stay another 3 years

MOSCOW (AP) — Edward Snowden's lawyer says the NSA whistleblower has been granted permission to stay in Russia for three more years. Snowden last year was granted temporary asylum of one year in Russia, but that had run out on Aug. 1. His lawyer, Analtoly Kucherena, was quoted by Russian news agencies on Thursday as saying Snowden now has been granted residency for three more years.

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

Hamas leader at Gaza rally: War not over yet

GAZA CITY, Gaza City (AP) — A senior Hamas official has told supporters at a Gaza City rally that the war with Israel won't be over until the group's political demands are met. The official, Mushir al-Masri, said Thursday that "our fingers are on the trigger and our rockets are trained at Tel Aviv." Al-Masri spoke as Israel and Hamas were holding indirect negotiations in Cairo about new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza and extending a ceasefire. Hamas demands that the blockade be lifted, while Israel insists the Islamic militant group disarm first. Al-Masri says Hamas would never consider such a demand. He says that "we are not going to relinquish them until all our lands are liberated." Thursday's rally drew several thousand supporters, the first gathering by Hamas activists since Gaza fighting began July 8.

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

Liberia, S. Leone race to enforce Ebola quarantine

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Authorities in Liberia are using troops as they step up efforts to enforce quarantines of communities infected by Ebola after the president declared a national state of emergency. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that some civil liberties may be suspended as authorities try to stamp out the disease blamed for more than 900 deaths in four West African countries this year. By Thursday morning, soldiers had deployed to the town of Klay about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Liberia's capital, Monrovia, in an effort to stop people from three Ebola-infected counties from coming closer to the capital. National Health Workers Association president Joseph Tamba said the state of emergency is necessary but that people should have received advance notice to buy food ahead of the movement restrictions.

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

Egypt sentences 2 to life for sexual assaults

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian judicial officials say a Cairo court has sentenced two men to life and another to 20 years in prison for sexual assaults on women during public rallies in the city's iconic Tahrir square. The prosecution had charged defendants with kidnapping, larceny, attempted rape, torture and attempted murder. The incident took place on June 3, during public celebrations of former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's victory in presidential elections. The officials said Thursday's verdict is the latest in a series of prosecutions for sexual violence cases. In July, seven people were sentenced to life in prison over four different incidents of sexual assault. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

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

Air Algerie cockpit voice recorder unreadable

LE BOURGET, France (AP) — French investigators trying to pinpoint the cause of the Air Algerie crash in northern Mali say the black box that recorded conversations between the pilots is unreadable. Remi Jouty, president of France's national aviation safety agency, says some of the plane's recording devices allowed investigators to trace its fast descent through stormy weather on July 24, but the probe had not yet excluded other possible causes, including error or deliberate actions in the crash. All 116 people on board were killed, nearly half of them French. Jouty said Thursday it wasn't clear why — or when during the flight — the recorder malfunctioned on the MD-83.

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

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Texas 3, Chicago White Sox 1
Boston 2, St. Louis 1
Colorado 13, Chicago Cubs 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 9, Windy City 4
Normal at Gateway (PPD.,to 8/7)

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 2:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame 5:19 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Normal at Gateway (2)
Joliet at Evansville (2)
Windy City at Southern Illinois

NFL Preseason

Indianapolis at NY Jets 6 p.m.

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

Soldier Field executive suites vandalized

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are trying to determine who broke into Soldier Field and vandalized several of the stadium's executive suites. Authorities say three suites were vandalized between late Friday and early Saturday. The destruction was discovered by the stadium's cleaning service early Sunday. According to police, cabinets and glass was broken and the carpeting in one suite was set afire. Graffiti was carved into the walls of another suite. Police say surveillance video show an intruder entered the closed stadium by scaling the east colonnade stairs. The Chicago Bears are scheduled to play a preseason game on Friday. Soldier Field officials didn't say Wednesday if repairs to the suites will be completed by then.

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

Cubs activate RHP Fujikawa, designate Schierholtz

DENVER (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have activated right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa from the 60-day disabled list. To make room for Fujikawa on the roster, the Cubs designated outfielder Nate Schierholtz for assignment. The 34-year-old Fujikawa has missed 14 months following Tommy John surgery. He made his Cubs debut last year after 12 seasons with the Hanshin Tigers in Japan's Central League. Fujikawa was 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 appearances in 2013 before being injured. Schierholtz hit a career-high 21 home runs for the Cubs last season, but struggled this year. He was hitting .192 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 99 games this season.

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

News for Aug. 6, 2014

LOCAL
Ruling: SIU-Carbondale owes $1.9M in back pay

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — An administrative law judge says Southern Illinois University officials in Carbondale bargained in bad faith with unions and owes 1,500 current and former employees $1.9 million in back pay. WSIU Radio reports the university says it respectfully disagrees with Colleen Harvey's ruling and is weighing its legal options. As an administrative judge with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board, Harvey concluded that SIU illegally pushed three campus unions to the point of impasse. The back pay Harvey ordered involves four furlough days that employees were forced to take in 2011. The SIU administrators involved in 2010 and 2011 contract talks with the unions no longer are with the university. The university now has a new president and Carbondale chancellor and provost. The unions call Harvey's ruling vindication.

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

Salem Land New Hotel Deal

The city of Salem has announced a new multi-million dollar hotel will be built in the city, along Kinney Boulevard, and will hopefully open the area to additional development. The project, with mph hotels of St. Petersburg, Florida, will hopefully break ground by December, and when completed in 10-12 months the four-story structure will hold 86 rooms – 15 to 18 of which will be suites --  a 24-hour health club, and will create 25-30 jobs. The project is expected to cost between $7 and $8 million when completed, with $250,000 going to the city for the purchase of the 2 ½ acres of property on Kinney Boulevard. It’s anticipated the new development will attract additional economic growth, bringing in restaurants and other business drawn to the interstate and the hotel business.

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

Southern Illinois teachers file strike notice

HIGHLAND, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in a southern Illinois school district have filed a notice of intent to strike as contract negotiations are ongoing. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Tuesday that a teachers union in Highland filed the notice with the Illinois Labor Education Relations Board last week. Roughly 10 area school districts are negotiating contracts. Highland District 5 and the Highland Education Association say they're not close to agreeing on salary and benefit changes. The district's 174 teachers start work Aug. 12. The contract expires Aug. 31, which is the earliest date a strike would occur. The union president says there are a number of issues to resolve. She says she's hopeful the groups will find a solution before a work stoppage. The schools superintendent says the teachers' demands have been "very high."

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

 

Amtrak expands project that allows pets on trains

CHICAGO (AP) — Amtrak is making it easier for people to take their dogs and cats around Illinois. Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation have announced they are adding the Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route of the Illini and Saluki trains to a pilot project that allows people to bring pets with them. Small pets have been allowed on the Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg trains between Chicago and Quincy since April. The project was set to run through November but instead it is being expanded and will continue until late April of next year. Those wishing to take pets must make advanced reservations and pay a $25 surcharge. Only animals weighing 20 pounds or less will be allowed to board and they must be in carriers.

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

State Rep Still Fighting For Murray Residents

(Centralia, IL) -- State Representative Charlie Meier says he won't stop fighting to protect the people who live in the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. A judge has given the state the green light to go ahead and close the facility. Meier says the court order ensures parents and caregivers will have a say in where their loved ones end up. That means the state can't just load them up on buses and relocate them against the families' will. Meier is also drafting a bill that would halt a multi-million dollar contract that Governor Quinn awarded to an out of state company to work on residents' new placements.

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

Shimkus Office Hours In McLeansboro August 18


Maryville, Illinois... Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) will be available to meet with local constituents in Hamilton County on Monday, August 18. The Congressman will be available for one-on-on meetings from 9:15 till 10:45 a.m. at the McLeansboro City Hall, 102 West Main Street. “This is a great opportunity to meet with me personally to discuss a problem you are having with a federal government agency or to express your thoughts on legislation or other issues,” Shimkus said. “Please call to schedule your time to visit with me.” To schedule an appointment with Shimkus on August 18 in McLeansboro, call Shimkus’ office at (618)288-7190. Those who cannot attend in person may contact Shimkus via mail at 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062. More information on services offered by the Congressman's office is also available on his website: shimkus.house.gov. You may sign up for a weekly e-mail newsletter or send a message to the Congressman on the website. Shimkus also maintains Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube (@RepShimkus) accounts, where regular updates are posted. Constituents requiring special accommodations should call at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled office hours.

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

Illinois researchers help declining turtle species

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it is taking steps to protect the state's alligator snapping turtles. The department teamed up with Oklahoma and Louisiana to release 97 turtles into southern Illinois creeks last week in an effort to revive the declining species. Staff from the Illinois Natural History Survey and the Peoria Zoo helped prepare the turtles for their release. Students from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Pontiac Township High School and Whitney M. Young High School also helped. The multi-state recovery project is funded by a State Wildlife Grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It will cover the costs of monitoring and tracking the radio transmitter-equipped turtles.

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

Herrin School District Installs Lightning Detection System

The Herrin School District recently installed a lightning detection system that will help officials there keep students safe during athletic and other events, plus it's going to help students learn more about the weather.  The system will be on from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Monday through Saturday and a horn will sound when lightning is detected within at 10 mile radius. Text alerts will also be sent out to school officials so students who may be outside can be taken back inside or to a place of safety. This system also has its own weather station with live data that will be programmed by Weather Bug, the system provider.

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

STATE
Heat Turning Up In Final Months Before Election

(Springfield, IL) -- The election is just three months away and that means political candidates will start turning up the heat. This year's governor's race is expected to be the most expensive in Illinois history and according to Political Scientist Kent Redfield, voters won't be able to run from either of the campaigns. He says they'll eventually start canvassing neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and sending out robo-calls. Negative ads are also expected to hit the airwaves soon, especially once outside groups jump into the race.

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

GOP's Rauner in Montana for vacation, fundraiser

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Bruce Rauner has traveled to his family's ranch in Montana to vacation and raise money for his Illinois governor campaign. The fundraiser is scheduled for Tuesday at Rauner's 6,000-square-foot home near Yellowstone National Park. Tickets range from $500 to $5,000 per person. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign criticized Rauner for taking the trip. They say the multimillionaire venture capitalist is trying to avoid questions about investments he put in the Cayman Islands, a territory considered a tax haven. Rauner discussed the issue Sunday. He told reporters the business practice didn't impact his personal tax rate and that he disclosed the necessary information to the U.S. government. Campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the Rauner family typically vacations in Montana in August. Rauner left Illinois Monday and returns Thursday.

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

Quinn, Rauner Spar Over Money, Taxes

(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner are having a war of words over money, taxes, and who is and isn't patriotic enough.  Quinn is blasting Rauner for making investments in the Cayman Islands, which he says is a haven for people who want to avoid paying taxes.  He says it's unpatriotic for Rauner to have his money in the off-shore accounts but Rauner's camp fired back, claiming Quinn needs to take a look at how many veterans are unemployed under his failed policies.  They're also shooting down Quinn's claims that Rauner's trying to get out of paying taxes. 

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

Ill. man pleads not guilty to rest stop killing

DIXON, Ill. (AP) — A Rockford man charged in the deaths of two people has pleaded not guilty to murdering one of them at a northern Illinois highway rest stop. According to Sauk Valley Media, Terence P. Doddy pleaded not guilty Monday in Dixon to 12 counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the July 1 strangling of Tonya Bargman on Monticello. She was killed as she left a bathroom at the Willow Creek rest stop on Interstate 39 near Paw Paw. Doddy previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the June 30 killing of co-worker and former friend Todd Hansmeier of Rockford. Doddy, who is 36, was arrested July 4 after a police chase near Beloit, Wisconsin. He is being held in Winnebago County Jail without bond.

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

New App Let's People Finger Through State Finances

(Springfield, IL) -- Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is launching a new app that let's state vendors get a heads up on when their next check will be cut. The "Illinois Pays" app for iPhones and Android devices provides easier access to state payments and fund information. You don't have to be a state vendor to access the app, though. Anyone who wants to keep an eye on what's happening with the state's finances can download it at IllinoisComptroller.com.

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

Nybo to replace Dillard in Illinois Senate

ELMHURST, Ill. (AP) — An Elmhurst attorney has been named by local Republicans to replace state Sen. Kirk Dillard. DuPage County GOP officials say Chris Nybo will serve the remainder of Dillard's term. Nybo is a former state representative who made an unsuccessful primary bid for Illinois Senate in 2012. Dillard officially announced his resignation from the Illinois Legislature on Monday to become chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority. The Hinsdale Republican was named to the RTA position in June after more than 20 years in the Illinois Legislature and two unsuccessful Republican primary bids for governor. Nybo is running for a full term in November against Democrat Suzanne Glowiak of Western Springs. Nybo is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday in Lombard.

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

Duckworth To Keynote Governor's Day Brunch

(Springfield, IL) -- Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is making her way to Springfield. She's the keynote speaker at the Governor's Day Brunch at the Crown Plaza Hotel next Wednesday. Duckworth is an Army vet who lost both of her legs and partial use of her right arm when her helicopter went down in Iraq back in 2004. She entered political life after she recovered and served in several roles before being elected to Congress in 2012. Duckworth will address members of the state's Democratic Party before they head over to the state fair. That's where Governor Quinn and a full line-up of Democratic leaders and candidates will be speaking. Republicans will highlight their candidates on Thursday, the 14th.

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

Lincoln's handwriting found on book about race


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Historical experts say they've found Abraham Lincoln's handwriting inside a tattered book justifying racism that he may have read to better understand his opponents' thinking on slavery. "Types of Mankind" was published in 1854 and circulated for decades by the Vespasian Warner Public Library in Clinton. Director Joan Rhoades brought the 700-page book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in May to determine whether an inscription inside was made by the former president who worked to free the country's slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation. Library and Museum Curator James Cornelius says Lincoln likely read the book to help prepare him to rebut pro-slavery arguments. He says he could immediately tell the book's inscription was authentic by the way certain letters were formed.

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

ADM 2Q profit more than doubles, tops estimate

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — ADM's profit more than doubled during the second quarter as grain exports rebounded and demand for ethanol was strong. The Decatur company posted net income of $533 million, or 81 cents per share, from $223 million, or 34 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Zacks Investment Research says earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 77 cents per share, which was 2 cents better than Wall Street was expecting. Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz says the company is preparing for large harvests because crops in North America and Europe "are developing nicely." The agribusiness giant said revenue declined 4.6 percent to $21.49 billion from $22.54 billion in the same quarter a year ago, and that was short of the $23.16 billion that analysts were looking for.

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

USDA: Illinois corn, soybean crops excelling

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Illinois' corn and soybean crops are faring well. The USDA says in its weekly crop-status update that 81 percent of the state's corn is rated as either good or excellent. Ninety-four percent of the crop is silking, mirroring the average over the previous five years. Roughly 77 percent of Illinois' soybean crop is considered good or excellent. Seventy-nine percent of the soybeans in the field are now blooming, 5 percent points below the five-year average. The USDA says that's all despite the fact that rainfall statewide last week was a half inch below normal. The department says 65 percent of Illinois pastures were considered good or excellent.

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

NATIONAL
Appeals court hears gay marriage cases in 4 states

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments today in gay marriage cases from four states. The three judges in Cincinnati will consider cases in Michigan and Kentucky that stem from rulings striking down each state's gay marriage bans. An Ohio case deals only with the state's recognition of out-of-state gay marriages. And cases in Tennessee are narrowly focused on the rights of three same-sex couples.

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

Missouri inmate executed for killing neighbor

BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri has executed an inmate who raped and killed a college student in 1995. Forty-three-year-old Michael Worthington was the first U.S. prisoner put to death since an Arizona lethal injection went awry last month. Worthington was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. In an interview with The Associated Press just hours before the lethal injection, Worthington said, "I figure I'll wake up in a better place tomorrow."

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

Defense says Cole attack mimicked a US ruse

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of orchestrating the deadly bombing of the USS Cole are asking a judge to toss out six of the 11 counts against their client because of what they call U.S. hypocrisy. A judge is hearing arguments today at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. Defense lawyers argue that the ruse of disguising an enemy watercraft as a friendly vessel is an acceptable form of naval warfare that even the United States has used. The attack killed 17 U.S. sailors.

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

Obama, African leaders to talk security, economics

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and dozens of African leaders are holding talks today on regional security issues and business investments on the continent. The meetings will close out Obama's unprecedented three-day U.S.-Africa summit in Washington. He hosted the leaders for a dinner at the White House Tuesday night. Much of the summit has focused on Africa's economic potential and new financial commitments from U.S. businesses. But Wednesday's talks will delve into some of the problems still plaguing the continent, including terrorism and extremism. Obama will close the summit with a late-afternoon news conference. First lady Michelle Obama is also hosting a spouses' event with former first lady Laura Bush.

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

American with Ebola weak but improving

ATLANTA (AP) — The husband of the second American aid worker recently diagnosed with Ebola says his wife is weak but showing signs of improvement. The president of the aid group SIM USA says he's spoken with Nancy Writebol's husband, who says his 59-year-old wife stood when she got on the plane in Liberia that flew her to the United States. Now Writebol and colleague, Dr. Kent Brantly are being treated for Ebola at an Atlanta hospital.

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

NYPD: Bus driver arrested in Times Square crash

NEW YORK (AP) — The driver of a double-decker tour bus has been arrested in connection with a crash with another tour bus that injured 14 people in Times Square. The NYPD has charged William Dalambert, of Irvington, N.J., with driving while ability impaired. Police say his Gray Line tour bus struck a parked double-decker bus on Tuesday at 47th Street and Seventh Avenue. Officials say none of the injuries is believed to be life-threatening.

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

12-year-old charged in fatal playground stabbing

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A 12-year-old Michigan boy accused of stabbing a 9-year-old to death on a playground has been ordered held until an Aug. 13 preliminary hearing. Witnesses and police in Kentwood say the older boy pulled a knife and stabbed Michael Conner Verkerke in the back Sunday, and then went to a home nearby to call police. The boy is in the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center.

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

Special Election For Cantor's Seat Set

(Richmond, VA)  --  The date is set for a special election to fill the vacancy left by resigning Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor.  Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday the election in Virginia's 7th Congressional District will happen November 4th.  The "Richmond Times Dispatch" says that since it coincides with the general election, voters will have to cast ballots in two elections that same day.

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

Walgreen turns down inversion to cut tax bill

UNDATED (AP) — Walgreen plans to keep its roots firmly planted in the United States, saying it will no longer pursue an overseas reorganization of the company that would have trimmed the amount of U.S. taxes it pays. The nation's largest drugstore chain said early Wednesday that as previously planned, it will buy the remaining stake in Alliance Boots that it does not already own, but it will not pull off an inversion with the Swiss health and beauty retailer. The Deerfield, Illinois, company says it is not in the best long-term interest of its shareholders to re-domicile outside the United States. Shares have been down almost 5 percent in premarket trading.

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

Dogs that killed Michigan man are euthanized

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say two dogs that fatally mauled a Michigan jogger last month have been euthanized. Lapeer County assistant prosecutor Michael Hodges tells The Flint Journal the two cane corsos involved in the July 23 attack on 46-year-old Craig Sytsma of Livonia in Metamora Township were euthanized on Monday. Hodges says another adult cane corso that wasn't involved in the attack about 45 miles northwest of Detroit was euthanized on Friday. Valbona Lucaj and husband Sebastiano Quagliata were charged last week with second-degree murder in the attack. On Friday, the same day they were in court, they agreed to give up ownership of the animals and have them euthanized. Eight puppies will be offered to an animal rescue group. Court hearings in the case are planned this week.

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

Syracuse chief: No. 1 party school label not OK

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The chancellor of Syracuse University says his college's ranking as the nation's top party school is a "wake-up call" for change. Kent Syverud's message was posted on the university's website Tuesday and emailed to students, staff and alumni. He says being designated The Princeton Review's No. 1 party school isn't a good thing for a school to be labeled. He says Syracuse alumni, students and faculty like to have a good time, but they didn't pour their lives into building the university "primarily to create a party." The chancellor says Monday's release of The Princeton Review's rankings serves as a wake-up call for working on two things: Enhancing awareness of Syracuse's academic excellence and paying more attention to activities — parties included — that "get in the way of students succeeding."

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

INTERNATIONAL
Ebola death toll reaches 932

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 932. The new figures come Wednesday as authorities in Nigeria confirmed the death of a nurse of Ebola. The outbreak emerged in March in Guinea and shows no sign of slowing down. Most of the new deaths are coming from Liberia and Sierra Leone. There now have been 363 deaths in Guinea, 282 in Liberia, 286 in Sierra Leone and one confirmed death in Nigeria, according to WHO's statistics as of Aug. 4.

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

Saudi man being tested for Ebola dies in hospital

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry says a man who was being tested for the Ebola virus and was in critical condition in an isolation ward has died. The Health Ministry says the Saudi man died Wednesday morning in a hospital in Jiddah. He was hospitalized after showing symptoms of a viral hemorrhagic fever following a recent trip to Sierra Leone, where there has been an outbreak of Ebola. The ministry says it has submitted samples to an international reference lab to test for Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organization. It says the 40-year-old Saudi man had tested negative for dengue fever. Different types of viral hemorrhagic fevers have been found in the kingdom, but the ministry says no case of Ebola has ever been detected there.

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

Afghan official: General's killer hid in bathroom

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan military official says the Afghan soldier who killed a U.S. two-star general and wounded other top officers hid in a bathroom before his assault and used a NATO machine gun in his attack. The official identified the soldier as a man in his early 20s who went by the single name Rafiqullah. The official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no motive has been established for the shooting in which Rafiqullah also was killed. However, the official says Rafiqullah came from a district in Paktia province known to harbor fighters from the Haqqani network, which has strong links to the Taliban. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the shooting Tuesday that killed U.S. Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene.

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

Cease-fire in Gaza holds for second day

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Indirect talks have begun in Cairo in an effort to achieve a longer-lasting peace between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Israeli and Palestinian representatives are not talking face-to-face, but Egyptian mediators are shuttling between the groups. Today is the second day of a three-day cease-fire in the war that's gone on for a month. Some details are emerging about Hamas' negotiating points, including an internationally funded reconstruction of Gaza, which would be overseen by a Palestinian unity government.

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

Ugandan lawmakers in campaign to revive gay law

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — A Ugandan lawmaker says he has started a campaign to reintroduce a recently invalided anti-gay measure and have it passed within weeks. Latif Ssebaggala said Wednesday that he had collected the signatures of 150 lawmakers who promised to vote for the bill when parliament emerges from a recess later this month. Uganda's Constitutional Court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay measure enacted in February, saying it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum. Because the court didn't rule on the substance of the law, lawmakers can reintroduce the same legislation, which allows for jail terms of up to life for homosexual offenses. Despite having wide support in Uganda, the law has been condemned by watchdog groups, gay activists and some Western governments that withheld or redirected funding.

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Texas 16, Chicago White Sox 0
St. Louis 3, Boston 2
Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 5, 12 innings

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Texas at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

Frontier League

Windy City at Southern Illinois
Normal at Gateway

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

Bears suspend, fine TE Bennett

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Tight end Martellus Bennett has been suspended indefinitely by the Bears after an altercation in practice the day before. General manager Phil Emery says the team "made a decision to fine and suspend Martellus Bennett for an undetermined length of time," though he wouldn't specify the amount of the fine. On Monday, Bennett was taken to the ground Monday with a grab to the shoulder by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller. The play occurred during a full-pad scrimmage when players are not supposed to be taken to the ground. Bennett responded by getting up, grabbing the first-round draft pick and slamming him to the ground. Emery wouldn't go into specifics about why the decision was made, saying only that Bennett "was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team."

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

White Sox's De Aza out of lineup against Rangers

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza was scratched from the lineup against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night because of a bruised left knee. De Aza had been expected to play before he complained of soreness in the pregame warmup. His status was listed day to day. De Aza sustained the injury when he fouled a ball off the knee in the sixth inning of a 5-3 victory over the Rangers on Monday. He was removed from the game after the inning. Moises Sierra took his place in the lineup and played right field, while Dayan Viciedo moved from right field to left field.

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

Fisher: Unlikely Bradford will play this week

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rams coach Jeff Fisher says it is "unlikely" quarterback Sam Bradford, coming off knee surgery, will play in the preseason opener. Bradford has said he feels fine with no worries. He missed the final nine games last season and is wearing a brace on the left knee. Fisher said Tuesday night that for now he's seeing enough from Bradford on the practice field. He plans to use Bradford later in the preseason. Fisher said offensive tackle Jake Long, also coming off knee surgery, would be held out Friday. Center Scott Wells also is unlikely to play against New Orleans.

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

Spurs Hire First Woman Assistant Coach In NBA

(San Antonio, TX)  --  The San Antonio Spurs are hiring a coach and making history.  The team is adding retiring WNBA star Becky Hammon to Gregg Popovich's coaching staff.  Hammon will be the first full-time woman assistant in NBA history.  Hammon, who is currently in her 16th season, announced on July 23rd that she would retire at the end of the 2014 campaign.  She is a six-time WNBA All-Star and has spent the last eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars.

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

Report:  Manfred, Brosnan, Werner MLB Commissioner Finalists

(Undated)  --  Major League Baseball will soon have a replacement for Bud Selig as commissioner.  "USA Today" reports MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan and Red Sox chairman Tom Werner are finalists.  A vote is expected next week.

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

News for Aug. 5, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets Monday

Mt. Vernon City Council met Monday. Among the items discussed at the meeting, The council spent a significant amount of time discussing traffic safety on some of the city's main thoroughfares in regards to traffic safety devices and speed limits including Veterans' Memorial Drive, particularly near Routes 142 and 148 after a first reading by the city manager.  The Council also heard a first reading regarding an ordinance regarding status of territory within corporate limits relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor, regarding an amendment revising code of downtown sidewalk dining, and the addition of sidewalk dining liquor licenses classification. Both items will be visited at a future meeting after further information is gathered.  The City Attorney sought a resolution, that was approved, for a design services agreement with Planning Design Studio LLC regarding Phase I of the Lincoln Park East Addition-South of the Aquatic Zoo.  Finally, The Mayor presented for a proclamation for National Night Out, which will be held this evening.

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

Jefferson County Road Crews To Repair Bridge

In a follow up to a story from Monday, Jefferson County Highway Department has announced an upcoming road closure on Log Cabin Road.  The closure, now scheduled for Thursday August 7th, will be located 2 1/2 miles south of Route 142 on Log Cabin Road by East Saddle Brook Road.  They will be repairing a bridge for approximately a few weeks at this location, weather permitting.

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

Million-Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Metro East

(Granite City, IL)  --  Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at a Metro East convenience store is one-million dollars richer.  Illinois lottery officials say the Quick Pick ticket was sold at a Super One Stop in Granite City, and matched the first five numbers in Saturday's drawing.  The store will receive a ten-thousand dollar bonus for selling the winning ticket.

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

Operation Homefront Event Gives Free Backpacks Full of School Supplies to Military Kids

Mt Vernon, Ill. – Operation Homefront of Central Midwest gave more than 75 military kids free backpacks full of school supplies at a Back-to-School Brigade event August 2, 2014, at the National Guard Armory in Mt Vernon. Operation Homefront volunteers passed out new donated backpacks and school supplies with an estimated value of nearly $2,500. “We’re here to lend a hand to military families who deal not only with deployments and the other stresses of military life, but also the economic difficulties shared by all Americans,” said Darcy Clardy, Executive Director of Operation Homefront’s Central Midwest Field Office. “Getting children ready to go back to school can be a costly venture, but these donated school supplies help ease the burden military families carry.” The school supplies were donated by people from around Mt Vernon and collected at local Dollar Tree stores as part of Operation Homefront’s nationwide Back-to-School Brigade program
 
------------------------------

Man denied bond in Illinois meat-tampering case


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A 68-year-old southwestern Illinois man accused of inserting sewing needles into packaged meat has been ordered jailed without bond pending his trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams on Monday sided with federal prosecutors in denying Ronald Avers' request to be eligible for release on bond. Avers of Belleville was charged last week with seven felony product-tampering counts. Investigators allege Avers slipped sewing needles into various packaged meat items at a Shop 'n Save in Belleville from May of last year through last month. One customer eventually bit into one of the needles, and a needle that was slipped into a steak stuck another customer. No serious injuries were reported. The FBI says Avers told investigators he allegedly did it "just for the hell of it."

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

Man's body found after Washington Park fire

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say the body of a 26-year-old man has been found in the charred remains of a house in the southwestern Illinois village of Washington Park. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County deputy coroner Dean Darnall says Arnold Lark was pronounced dead about 5 a.m. Monday. Illinois state fire marshals are investigating the fire's cause. Lark's funeral arrangements are pending.

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

Illinois doctor's license suspended after charges

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has suspended the license of an Illinois doctor charged with illegally distributing controlled substances. The Effingham Daily News reports that the license for Dr. Naeem Kohli of Effingham was suspended last week. Kohli was charged in March in federal court with health care fraud and illegally dispensing controlled substances such as methadone, oxycodone and hydromorphone. He was licensed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe those drugs but is accused of illegally dispensing them to patients. Kohli has pleaded not guilty and is free on $100,000 bond. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 12 in federal court in Benton. Kohli's attorney, Richard Sindel, says he plans to fight the charges in court.

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

Possible Serial Arsonist In O'Fallon

(O'Fallon, IL)  --  Police in O'Fallon are searching for a possible serial arsonist.  Authorities say over the past few weeks, fires occurred at three homes within a mile of each other.  The most recent blaze was reported this weekend in the 12-hundred-block of Affirm Drive.  The other two happened at houses on North Yale and Rebecca.  The police department is offering a thousand-dollar reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

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

Illinois man shot by police charged with assault

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man shot by police has been charged in a domestic assault. The Belleville News-Democrat reports 52-year-old Thomas Noser was charged Monday with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery and aggravated assault. The Madison County state's attorney's office says police found Noser holding a knife when they responded to a reported family disturbance Saturday. It says Noser ignored orders to drop the knife and charged the officers. Police shot him twice. The attorney's office says he was in custody at a hospital Monday and will be released to the county jail upon recovery. Police say two of Noser's family members had been beaten with a baseball bat to the head. They were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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

Vietnam veterans sought as honor guards

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Vietnam War combat veterans are being sought to stand guard over a traveling memorial that will visit Carbondale next month. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (bit.ly/1sn3qdR) that the 80-percent scale model of the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., will be on display Sept. 11th to 14th on the practice football field south of the Southern Illinois University stadium. Mark Cosgrove is a Senior Vice Commandant and Vietnam Wall Committee chairman. He says he'd like three soldiers to stand guard in each hour-long shift. Cosgrove says the guards would provide security, but also stand as a symbol of support for Vietnam veterans — particularly those still recovering from wounds received in the war. The $50,000 fundraising goal for the program has passed the halfway point.

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

Centralia Native, Former White House Press Secretary James Brady Dead at 73

Centralia City Manager Dan Ramey, at the request of Mayor Tom Ashby and the Centralia City Council, has lowered the flags to half-staff in recognition of the passing of Centralia native James Brady.  Brady was the former White House press secretary to President Ronald Reagan and was severely wounded during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, leading to the gun control campaign that bears his name. Brady has died at age 73, his family said in a statement Monday. The family statement cited “a series of health issues” for the long-time political spokesman who was badly injured by the gunfire of 33 years ago. “Over the years, Jim inspired so many people as he turned adversity into accomplishment,” said the family statement. Current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Brady “really revolutionized this job,” and set a standard that successors have tried to emulate. The White House press room is named in Brady’s honor. So does the federal law that requires background checks on handgun buyers. As for Brady’s long-time campaign for gun control, Earnest said he “showed his patriotism and his commitment to the country.”

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

STATE
Longtime Democratic adviser Gene Callahan dies


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gene Callahan has died. He was a former newspaper reporter and longtime aide to top Democratic elected officials, including the late U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. His daughter, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, said in a Monday statement that he died overnight at his Springfield home. Further details on his death weren't released. Callahan was 80. He worked for a Springfield newspaper before serving as press secretary for several elected officials, including former U.S. Sen Paul Simon while he was lieutenant governor. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Callahan a "trusted friend" in a Monday statement. He says he never made an important decision in politics without calling Callahan. Callahan also worked as a lobbyist for Major League Baseball. Bustos says an event to celebrate Callahan's life is planned in Springfield on Friday.

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

Dillard officially resigns from Illinois Senate

WESTMONT, Ill. (AP) — State Sen. Kirk Dillard has officially resigned from the Illinois Legislature to become chairman of the Regional Transportation Authority. Illinois Senate Republicans said in a Monday news release that Dillard stepped down from his 24th District seat. The Hinsdale Republican was named to the RTA position in June after more than 20 years in the Illinois Legislature. Dillard made two unsuccessful Republican primary bids for governor. The RTA provides financial oversight for the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Dillard submitted his resignation in a July 31 letter to the secretary of the Illinois Senate. The resignation was effective 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

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

Illinois historic sites forced to reduce hours

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to cut hours at 13 of its historic sites starting after Labor Day. The agency said Monday that a 19 percent cut in its budget for the sites forced it to cut back at sites such as the Old State Capitol in Springfield, the Lincoln Log Cabin in Lerna and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville. Most will reduce the days they are open from five to four. The agency's budget was cut for the current fiscal year to $4.6 million. Director Amy Martin said that even with the cuts the agency's budget isn't balanced. She hopes the reductions will hold spending in check until lawmakers can consider restoring some agency funding this fall. Martin said some lawmakers have indicated that's possible.

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

Illinois historic sites affected by cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says it will have to reduce its operating hours at 13 historic sites after Labor Day because its budget was cut was 19 percent. The affected sites include:
-- Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville), open Wednesday through Sunday instead of six days a week.
-- Fort de Chartres (Prairie du Rocher), open Thursday-Sunday instead of five days a week.
-- Lincoln Log Cabin (Lerna), open Thursday through Sunday instead of five days a week (starting Oct. 1).
-- Vandalia Statehouse (Vandalia), open Wednesday through Saturday instead of five days a week (starts Nov. 1).

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

Illinois' animal welfare law toughened

CHICAGO (AP) — Legislation proposed by three suburban Chicago third graders to better protect pets is now Illinois law. Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Saturday increasing fines for mistreating or abusing animals. Supporters say it targets unethical operators of puppy mills. It was sponsored by Arlington Heights Republican Rep. David Harris and Sen. Pamela Although, a McHenry Republican. It doubles or more than doubles the fines for one or more instances of animal mistreatment. But the idea came to Harris from Claire Hackmann, Brooke Martin and Maddie O'Dell. They are third grade students at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights. The children read a book about students who rescued a dog from a puppy mill. They researched the issue further and contacted Harris.

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

Fee schedule changed for Illinois ATVs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new state law eliminates the registration fee for owners of all-terrain vehicles who only use them on private property. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure Friday. It also cuts the fees for some ATVs used in local and state parks. Peoria Democratic Sen. Dave Koehler says his measure refines a 2012 registration law. The $15 registration fee is cut to $10 for smaller ATVs — typically used by children. It also exempts golf carts, vehicles for disabled people, and ATVs used by government officials or farmers. ATVs used only on private land or in competitions are also exempt. Koehler says ATV owners want to support state parks but thought the 2012 fee schedule was unfair. The law takes effect immediately.

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

Applications open for Illinois 'Hometown Awards'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials say the deadline to submit applications for the "Governor's Hometown Awards" competition is approaching. The contest is in its 32nd year. It recognizes volunteers who improve communities. The application deadline is Aug. 18. Community groups, local governments, youth groups or agencies can apply. The award is given based on population and will be given out based on six categories. Those include are services and mentorship and beautification and sustainability. Award winners will be recognized at the Governor's Mansion in Springfield.

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

NATIONAL
S&P: Wealth gap is slowing US economic growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Standard & Poor's rating agency says the rising wealth gap in the United States is complicating the rebound from the recession, making the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles. The rising concentration of income among the top 1 percent of earners has contributed to S&P's cutting its growth estimates for the economy to a 2.5 percent annual pace over the next decade, down from a forecast five years ago of a 2.8 percent rate. Part of the problem is that educational achievement has stalled in recent decades. S&P estimates that the U.S. economy would grow annually by an additional half a percentage point —or $105 billion — over the next five years, if the average the American worker had completed just one more year of school. The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap, saying higher taxes on the wealthy could remove incentives for people to work and cause businesses to hire fewer employees. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities.

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

Hearing for Cole bombing suspect continues

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The Guantanamo detainee accused of orchestrating the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen is asking a military judge to order an MRI of his brain. The judge for the U.S. Office of Military Commissions scheduled arguments on the motion today at a pretrial hearing in Cuba for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri. His lawyers say the scan will help doctors determine if al-Nashiri's memory loss could be the result of post-traumatic stress or physical damage caused by harsh treatment in secret CIA prisons. Prosecutors oppose the motion. They say the choice of diagnostic tools for al-Nashiri's medical care is beyond the commission's scope. The Associated Press is covering the hearing from a video feed at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

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

Bertha weakens to a tropical storm

MIAMI (AP) — Bertha has weakened to a tropical storm just a day after becoming a hurricane as it moves northward in the Atlantic, posing no direct threat to the U.S. East Coast. The storm's maximum sustained winds decreased to near 65 mph (100 kph) early today with gradual weakening expected over the next two days. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Bertha is forecast to pass midway between the East Coast and Bermuda later in the morning. The storm is centered about 475 miles west of Bermuda and is moving north-northeast near 22 mph (35 kph). On Sunday, the storm buffeted parts of the Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos with rain and gusty winds, after passing over the Dominican Republic. Earlier, it dumped rain on Puerto Rico.

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

Tainted Ohio water coming under increased scrutiny

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's governor and several prominent lawmakers promise there will be a lot more attention to Lake Erie after the state's fourth-largest city was forced to tell 400,000 people to stop drinking its water. The drinking ban in Toledo was lifted after more than two days on Monday, but the scrutiny of what happened is just beginning. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) says there will be an extensive review of how the water supply became tainted with a toxin suspected to be from algae in Lake Erie. A high-ranking state lawmaker is planning hearings on the algae fouling the lake and says he wants to hear from scientists who can say what's behind the algae. Ohio Sen. Rob Portman says more research is needed to understand how to control the blooms.

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

Poll: Americans divided on paying for roads

WASHINGTON (AP) — A majority of Americans agree that the cost of good transportation is worthwhile, but they're divided over how to pay for it. A new Associated Press-GfK poll found 6 in 10 of those surveyed say the economic benefits of good highways, railroads and airports outweigh the cost. Yet there is scant support for some of the most frequently discussed options for paying for construction of new roads or the upkeep of existing ones. Of those surveyed, 58 percent oppose raising federal gasoline taxes to fund transportation projects. Only 14 percent support an increase. By better than 2-to-1, Americans oppose having private companies pay for construction of new roads and bridges in exchange for the right to charge tolls.

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

Missing girl's parents agree to lie detector test

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A sheriff's spokesman says the parents of a 6-year-old girl who disappeared from her Washington home and wasn't reported missing for a day have agreed to take lie detector tests and allow a search of the home. Kitsap County Deputy Scott Wilson said both the home search and lie detector tests were in progress late Monday night. Wilson says state child welfare workers removed two other children from the home earlier Monday. About 80 searchers including dog teams looked Monday for little Jenise Wright, who was last seen Saturday night when she went to bed. Her family noticed her missing Sunday morning but didn't become worried and call for help until that night because she had left the home on previous occasions and wandered around the neighborhood.

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

'Gluten-free' labeling standards kick in

WASHINGTON (AP) — Food manufacturers have until today to make sure packages labeled as gluten-free meet certain standards. Gluten-free can contain only 20 parts per million of gluten, ensuring those products are technically free of wheat, rye and barley. People who have celiac disease don't absorb nutrients well, and they can get sick from the gluten found in cereal grains.

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

5-year-old mayor loses re-election in Minnesota

DORSET, Minn. (AP) — Robert "Bobby" Tufts run as mayor of Dorset, Minnesota is over. The 5-year-old has been bumped by 16-year-old Eric Mueller, whose name was drawn from the ballot box during the annual Taste of Dorset festival. Bobby was only 3 when he was first elected mayor of Dorset in 2012. Dorset has a population of no more than 28 people and it has no formal city government. People pay $1 to cast one vote for mayor and they can vote as many times as they want.

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

US official: Americans killed in Afghan attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. official says "about a dozen" of the victims of an Afghan insider attack on Tuesday were Americans, and at least one American was killed. The official says many details of the attack early Tuesday were still unclear and the numbers could change. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss details of the attack by name on the record. A man dressed in an Afghan army uniform opened fire on foreign troops at Camp Qargha, a base west of the capital, Kabul. Among the wounded was a German brigadier general. Gen. Mohammmad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry, said a "terrorist in an army uniform" opened fire on both local and international troops. Azimi said the shooter had been killed.

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

2nd American with Ebola to arrive in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — The second American aid worker who was recently diagnosed with Ebola in West Africa has arrived back in the United States. An official at Bangor International Airport in Maine says the plane carrying Nancy Writebol landed there this morning to refuel and undergo a federal customs inspection before heading on to Atlanta. Writebol will be treated at a special isolation unit at Emory University Hospital, which is already treating the other American aid worker, Dr. Kent Brantly.

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

Obama hosts White House dinner for African leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hosting dinner at the White House Tuesday for dozens of African leaders in town for a summit focused on boosting U.S. business and security ties with the continent. The White House says singer Lionel Richie will entertain the leaders during the dinner on the South Lawn. First lady Michelle Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill Biden, will also attend. Guests will dine on chilled spiced tomato soup, chopped farm-stand vegetable salad, grilled dry-aged beef and cappuccino fudge cake. The meal will be accompanied by three American wines. Ahead of the dinner, Obama will speak at a U.S.-Africa business forum. He's also scheduled to attend summit meetings Wednesday.

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

Clinic owner charged with distributing steroids

MIAMI (AP) — Federal authorities are charging the owner of a defunct Florida clinic accused of providing steroids and other banned substances to Major League Baseball players, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez. According to Miami federal court records Tuesday, Anthony Bosch faced one count of conspiracy to distribute testosterone. Court documents say that from October 2008 through December 2012, Bosch willfully conspired to distribute the anabolic steroid testosterone. Fourteen players associated with the Coral Gables clinic were disciplined last year by MLB, including a season-long 2014 suspension imposed on Rodriguez.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Cease-fire in effect

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The shelling has stopped in Gaza, at the start of a three-day cease fire that sets the stage for peace talks. Israel today withdrew its ground forces from Gaza's border areas, and both sides halted cross-border attacks as the truce took effect. In Gaza City, where streets had been deserted during the war, traffic picked up and shops began opening their doors. Nearly a month of fighting has killed 1,900 Palestinians, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel. Egyptian mediators are planning to begin shuttle negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Cairo to try to work out new arrangements for Gaza.

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

Palestinian minister: decision to join ICC soon

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister says that his government intends to apply for membership at the International Criminal Court this year in hopes of holding Israel responsible for alleged violations of war crimes law in Israeli-occupied territories. But after meeting with ICC officials, Riyad al-Maliki said his country hasn't yet made a final decision. An earlier attempt by the Palestinians to join the ICC in 2009 failed because the court wasn't certain the territories qualified as a state. Al-Maliki argued Tuesday that is no longer an issue since the state of Palestine was recognized by the U.N. General Assembly as a nonmember observer state in November 2012. Israel rejects the court's authority, while membership for the Palestinians could also open the door for an investigation of Hamas.

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

Iraqi lawmakers postpone PM discussion

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's main political coalition still can't decide who to present as the next prime minister, delaying a scheduled discussion in parliament. With much of the north and west of the country under the control of Sunni militants, there is an urgent need to form a new government in light of April's parliamentary elections. The discussion over the new prime minister is now set for Thursday, said Kurdish lawmaker Perwan Muslih. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law party won the most seats in elections and he has vowed to stay despite pressure to step aside. The State of Law is part of the National Alliance coalition of other Shiite parties, however, many of which oppose al-Maliki. Critics of al-Maliki accuse him of monopolizing power and alienating Sunni and Kurdish minorities.

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

UK: Passenger jet lands safely after warning

LONDON (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat after a Qatar Airways flight landed with a military fighter escort at Britain's Manchester Airport. There were 269 people on board Qatar Airways Flight 23 from Doha, Qatar, which made a safe landing on Tuesday after the pilot received a warning of a possible device on board.

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

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 5, Texas 3, 7 innings

Frontier League

Evansville 7, Lake Erie 3
Gateway 10, Windy City 9
River City 5, Southern Illinois 4

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Texas at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Boston at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Colorado, 7:40 p.m.

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

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

Blackhawks Preseason Tickets On Sale

(Chicago, IL)  --  Tickets for the Blackhawks preseason games are on sale today.  They have home games scheduled for September 23rd, 26th, and October 1st.  Tickets are available online at ChicagoBlackhawks.com or at Ticketmaster. 

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

Cubs prospect Baez set to join team in Colorado

DENVER (AP) — Touted prospect Javier Baez will join the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Colorado and could make his major league debut in the three-game series against the Rockies. The 21-year-old Baez got off to a slow start this year in the minors, but has been playing well of late. The middle infielder, who is known for his tremendous bat speed, hit .300 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in his last 32 games for Triple-A Iowa. Baez will have his contract purchased from the minors before the series opener against Colorado. There was no word Monday on a corresponding roster move. Baez is part of a loaded minor league system for Chicago that Cubs fans are hoping will lead the team back to respectability after a string of down years. The Cubs are 47-63 this season and in last in the NL Central.

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

Bears' Wilson breaks collarbone, out indefinitely

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears second-year wide receiver Marquess Wilson is out indefinitely after breaking his collarbone in practice on Monday. Wilson was injured while diving for a pass in a scrimmage. Coach Marc Trestman said it's too soon to know how long the seventh-round draft pick from Washington State will be out. Wilson is vying for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and appeared to be leading, according to Trestman. Eric Weems, Josh Morgan, Armanti Edwards, Michael Spurlock, Chris Williams, Dale Moss and Josh Bellamy are the other wide receivers trying to secure a roster spot.

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

News for Aug.4, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council to Meet Tonight

Mt. Vernon City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m.  Among items on the agenda, The Council will hear bid results for surplus properties, the City Manager will present the Capital Projects Report, the City Attorney will give first readings on ordinances regarding status of territory within corporate limits relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor, regarding an amendment revising code of ordinances by adding Article 32 Downtown sidewalk dining, Amending Article 6 of the revised code of ordinances adding sidewalk dining liquor licenses classification, and amending Article 18, Section 18.6 of the revised code of ordinances regarding the speed limit on Veteran's Memorial Drive, The City Attorney will also seek a resolution approving a design services agreement with Planning Design Studio LLC regarding Phase I of the Lincoln Park East Addition-South of the Aquatic Zoo.  Finally, The Mayor will present for a proclamation for National Night Out. The meeting will be held at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veteran's Park.

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

FBI: Suspect in fatal bank heist may have had help
 
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An unsealed court document shows that a man accused of killing two Illinois bank workers and critically wounding a third during a botched robbery attempt — stabbing one of them more than 50 times — may have had some help. The FBI alleges in a search warrant application made public that James Watts was heard by the bungled holdup's survivor and seen on the Cairo bank's surveillance video talking to someone on a two-way radio later during the heist. The radio later was found in Watts' alleged getaway vehicle. The FBI wrote in the warrant application that other possible suspects may be at large. Watts is charged with attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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

Southern Illinois Honeywell plant launches lockout


METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — Union-backed workers at a southern Illinois plant that helps make nuclear fuel are locked out of the work site because of a labor dispute. KFVS-TV reported Saturday the lockout involving the Honeywell plant in Metropolis follows the failure by the company and the United Steel Workers union to reach a deal affecting some 130 union workers before the latest contract expired Friday. Honeywell spokesman Peter Dalpe says the plant will continue operating with federally trained salaried workers until a deal is reached. Union workers at the plant also were locked out of the site in 2010 for more than a year during a contract dispute.

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

Susan Ford named interim SIU-Carbondale provost

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has a new interim provost. WSIU Radio reports that the campus' interim chancellor, Paul Sarvela, has asked graduate school interim dean Susan Ford to take on the new role. Sarvela says he made that move after consulting with what he calls key constituency groups on campus. Jim Garvey, the campus' interim vice chancellor for research, will fill Ford's void in the graduate school. The appointments require approval by the university system's governing board next month.

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

Air Force staffer's sentencing reset in bomb case


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Federal sentencing of an Air Force staffer who pleaded guilty to possessing pipe bombs has been postponed until October. Investigators say 24-year-old Justin Vangilder told an informant that he fantasized about using the bombs to kill child molesters and sought to "inflict as many casualties as possible." Vangilder was to have been sentenced Friday in East St. Louis. That's where he pleaded guilty in April to possessing an unregistered destructive device. The FBI has alleged in court filings that Vangilder had three pipe bombs in his home. But authorities say there's no indication that he targeted anyone on southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base, where he was stationed. Authorities say Vangilder told an informant he was suicidal and disappointed his parents didn't support him during his divorce.

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

Sesser Man Sentenced For Weapons Charge

A Sesser man who authorities say was found with a cache of firearms and explosives was recently sentenced in Franklin County to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a reduced weapons charge.   55-year-old Norman Risley was arrested in December 2012 when investigators allegedly found explosive materials and devices in his home, including blasting caps. They also seized illegal knives and several semi-automatic weapons and ammunition. Risley also was charged with indecent solicitation of a child and sexual exploitation of a child, but prosecutors dropped those counts as part of a plea deal. A judge ordered that Risley can't be with children younger than age 18 unless the child's parent is present.

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

Jefferson County Road Crews To Repair Bridge

Jefferson County Highway Department has announced an upcoming road closure on Log Cabin Road.  The closure, slated for August 14th, will be located 2 miles south of Route 142 on Log Cabin Road by East Saddle Brook Road.  They will be repairing a bridge for approximately a few weeks at this location.

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

Three Car Crash Kills One, Leaves Two Injured

(St. Clair County, IL)  --  An investigation continues after a three vehicle crash in Southwest Illinois left one person dead and two others injured.  The accident happened on Highway 158 between the cities of Millstadt and Columbia.  Investigators say the accident was a head-on collision near Triple Lakes Road Sunday evening.  The conditions of the other two victims are not known.

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

Madison County office focus of investigation

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say they have searched a Madison County office and a special prosecutor is being requested as part of an investigation of possible criminal misconduct. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Edwardsville police have seized various items from the county office in southwestern Illinois. But Police Chief Jay Keeven and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons aren't publicly disclosing any details. Keeven only says that he can confirm an investigation is underway. Gibbons on Wednesday filed a court motion seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor.

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

Slain woman's family says money went to shelter


COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) — The brother of a woman who was strangled with her two sons in 2009 says he gave most of the money raised in remembrance of them to a women's shelter in Chicago. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mario DeCicco says he left about $28,000 of the more than $30,000 that was raised to a shelter that he would not identify. He says he handed over the cash anonymously. In 2009, Sheri Coleman and her two young sons were strangled in their Colombia home. Her husband, Christopher, was convicted of murder in their deaths and is serving a life sentence in prison. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Attorney General's office is investigating whether the money that was raised in the community after the slayings was distributed properly.

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

New law to double southwestern Ill. port's size

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois port district near the Mississippi River will more than double under legislation signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the measure signed Friday expands the what will be named America's Central Port district and gives the port more borrowing authority. The district now covers the townships of Granite City, Venice, Nameoki and Chouteau. But under the law that takes effect Jan. 1, the district will include the townships of Wood River, Alton and Godfrey in Madison County and Elsah and Quarry in Jersey County. The legislation also gives the district authority to build and run manufacturing, residential and cultural sites.

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

Man Shot By Police Following Altercation

(Granite City, IL)  --  Authorities in Granite City are investigating after a man was shot by police following an altercation.  A fight started between three men Saturday afternoon at a home on the 24-hundred-block of Delmar Avenue. Witnesses say there was evidence of a stabbing.  Police say they shot the man because he allegedly charged at officers while holding the knife.  All three men involved were taken to the hospital with one left in serious condition.

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

STATE
Report: Rauner funneled money into Caribbean


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says money channeled through the Cayman Islands and connected to his business dealings had no impact on his personal tax rate. Rauner spoke to reporters Sunday, the day a published report detailed how three of his five holdings in the Caribbean were tied to GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm he helped found. The Chicago Sun-Times cited a comparison of investments Rauner listed on a state economic disclosure form with the online corporate registry maintained by the Cayman Islands government. Rauner hasn't been accused of wrongdoing, but political experts have said it's a matter of optics. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign has accused Rauner of "stashing" money abroad to avoid paying taxes. Rauner calls it "political spin" and says voters like his message.

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

Rauner Promises To Give Bank A-Million-Bucks

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner is raising eyebrows with a promise to give a south side bank more than one-million-dollars out of his own pocket.  He told members of the National Black Wall Street that he'd transfer the cash within 30-days.  The idea is to help build up small businesses in predominantly Black communities.  But Rauner is in a heated race for governor which instantly sparks questions about whether the move is aimed more at buying votes than it is on building business.  Governor Quinn's campaign team was shocked after learning about the promise, but Quinn is under similar type of scrutiny after pumping more than 50-million-dollars into Black communities just before the 2010 election.   

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

Rauner jabs at Quinn's agriculture director

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is criticizing Gov. Pat Quinn's agriculture director. Lee Enterprises Newspapers' Springfield bureau reports that Rauner did not mention Bob Flider by name in outlining his agriculture plans. But he said the agency's director must "have first-hand farming experience." Flider was named director of agriculture after he lost a 2010 re-election race for the Illinois House. He then voted for Quinn's 67 percent income-tax increase after earlier opposing it. Flider argued in his November 2012 Senate confirmation hearings that he isn't a farmer but represented a farm-rich district and the Decatur headquarters of processing giant Archer Daniels Midland Co. Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the ag post might be the only one in Rauner's cabinet with a vocational requirement.

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

Quinn signs law expanding ban an cyberbullying

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has extended the state's ban on student cyberbullying to include actions outside of school. Quinn signed the legislation on Friday. It prohibits bullying of students via electronic technology even when they're not in school, and applies to devices that aren't owned or used by a school. The new law expands on a previous legislation banning cyberbullying in schools. It also requires schools to investigate any act of bullying that disrupts school operations or education processes. It was sponsored by state Rep. Laura Fine and state Sen. Ira Silverstein, and takes effect Jan. 1. Fine says students should "not be able to get away with intimidating fellow classmates outside of school."

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

Ill. drone law extended to private operators

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday extending state drone regulations to private craft. Supporters say the measure ensures citizens' expectations of privacy. Drones are unmanned aircraft that can be used for surveillance. Lawmakers adopted a plan last year to regulate drones owned by law enforcement agencies to protect privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the law needed to cover all drones because more and more private operators are conducting surveillance. The law ensures that police agencies cannot hire private operators to do surveillance.

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

Quinn signs bills bolstering Ill. child protection

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that supporters say will strengthen state child-protective services. One bolsters child-safety plans composed by the Department of Children and Family Services. Deerfield Democratic Sen. Julie Morrison says her initiative gives DCFS the ability to move a child to the home of a relative when there is an allegation of abuse or neglect that doesn't yet warrant state custody or foster care. Another is meant to stop what Morrison calls a "disturbing trend" — parents who give up custody of their children because they can't get proper mental health treatment. The measure allows parents to get state assistance for treatment when their private insurance won't pay any more and they earn too much to receive Medicaid.

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

Illinois comptroller rivals differ on merger idea

CHICAGO (AP) — The two candidates running for the job of state comptroller differ on a big issue hovering over the office. That's whether to eliminate the post by merging it with the treasurer's office. Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka says combining offices saves money. But Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says there are other ways to cut costs. Both detailed their views in Associated Press candidate questionnaires ahead of the November election. The matchup between the GOP veteran and the daughter of late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon promises to be one of Illinois' most watched races. The comptroller pays the state's bills, while the treasurer invests state money. Topinka estimates a merger will save $12 million a year, but Simon says the offices should communicate better and reduce redundancies.

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

Illinois patients continue nursing home care waits


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois audit has found that more than half of those seeking state-paid nursing home care have been waiting more than 90 days for a decision on their cases. Lee Enterprises Newspapers' Springfield bureau reports that the review by Auditor General William Holland shows a backlog. That's despite a new law and state money to hire more employees to run the program. The audit said that 4,200 people waiting for a long-term care determination as of July 1. More than 2,100 of those cases are more than 90 days old. The state took steps last year to erase the backlog. Officials opened processing centers in Chicago and central Illinois. Holland says it's unclear from his research whether there are enough employees or money to address the problems.

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

Law allowing timely insulin injection approved

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a measure into law that allows diabetics to inject insulin where and when they need to. Sponsoring Sen. Mattie Hunter — a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois Diabetes Caucus — says people with diabetes could risk being charged with indecent exposure because they needed to quickly inject insulin into certain parts of their bodies. Hunter says, "When someone needs an insulin shot, they do not have time to find the nearest restroom sometimes." She says the law will end embarrassment, make it easier for people dealing with a difficult disease and save lives. Hunter says she has worked to protect funding for diabetes research. Last year, her idea for a "diabetes awareness" license plate became law.

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

Illinois economic index shows growth

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois index shows the state's economy continues to grow as it bounces back from the harsh winter. The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Friday that its U of I Flash Index rose slightly in July to 106.2. Any reading above 100 indicates growth. The index has been at or close to 106 for four months. Economist Fred Giertz compiles the index using corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income data. He said the question now is whether the momentum will continue through the year. Illinois' economy has shown signs of strength over the past few months. Unemployment fell to 7.1 percent in July. That's still a full percentage point above the national average but the lowest point for Illinois' unemployment rate since 2008.

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

July ties the record for coolest ever in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The state climatologist says last month's relative chilly temperatures tied the record for the coolest July in recorded Illinois history. And as data are revised he says it's likely this July will break the record. State Climatologist Jim Angel said Friday that the statewide average temperature in July was 70.3 degrees. Angel said the cool weather was standard last month across much of the Midwest, with temperatures running 4 to 8 degrees below average. The warmest July on record for Illinois was the 82.8 degrees recorded in 1936. The 81.8-degree average from July 2012 is the second warmest. Rainfall for July averaged 3.4 inches across Illinois. That's just over half an inch below the average.

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

NATIONAL
US sent Latin youth undercover in anti-Cuba ploy

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press investigation finds that the U.S. Agency for International Development secretly sent nearly a dozen young people from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to Cuba in an effort to recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism. They operated under the cover of health and civic programs, including an HIV prevention workshop. It's unclear whether any of the political objectives were ever realized.

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

2nd American with Ebola to be flown to US

ATLANTA (AP) — Friends and family of two American missionaries stricken with Ebola say their conditions seem to be improving slightly. Nancy Writebol is expected to leave West Africa Tuesday for Emory University Hospital's infectious disease unit in Atlanta. That's where her colleague, Dr. Kent Brantly, has been treated since Saturday.

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

Obama hosts Africa summit with an eye on legacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is gathering nearly 50 African heads of state in Washington for an unprecedented summit aimed in part at building his legacy on a continent where his commitment has been questioned. The gathering, beginning today, is to discuss Africa's regional security, democracy building and business investment. But recent world events are competing for Obama's attention, such as clashes in Gaza, Russia's provocations in Ukraine, mounting extremism in Iraq and an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

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

Water ban remains in Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The mayor of Toledo, Ohio says tests show some toxins remain in the drinking water, and the tap water ban will continue for some 400,000 residents. Tests from one treatment plant show higher readings for microcystin, most likely because of algae. Drinking the water could cause vomiting, cramps and rashes. And health officials say people with weakened immune systems shouldn't bathe in it.

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

Northeast California wildfire destroys 8 homes

BURNEY, Calif. (AP) — Two wildfires burning about 8 miles apart in northeast California have become the focus of state and federal firefighters. Authorities say one of the blazes has destroyed eight homes and has prompted the evacuation of a small long-term care hospital. The fires started within a day of each other in Lassen National Forest and had expanded into private property and scorched nearly 95 square miles as of Sunday evening, up from 39 square miles a day earlier. The more destructive fire of the two is threatening the town of Burney, where officials at Mayer Memorial Hospital decided to evacuate their 49-bed annex for patients with dementia and other conditions requiring skilled nursing. Evacuations also remain in effect for a community on the edge of the second fire, which was sparked by lightning Wednesday. Officials say about 40 homes are at risk. There are 12 other wildfires in central and Northern California.

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

Deadly CA flash floods

MOUNT BALDY, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in Southern California say one person has been killed in flash floods brought on by thunderstorms. Rescue officials in San Bernardino County say a body was found in a car that was swept into a rain-swollen creek and overturned. Meanwhile, crews are clearing roads of mud, rock and debris in the San Bernardino Mountains so that more than 2,000 people in two towns can get out.

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

Report: Suspect in custody in toddler's slaying

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) — Authorities in Oregon say they have in custody a woman whose 2-year-old daughter was found dead at a coastal resort. Authorities had been looking for 40-year-old Jessica Smith after the woman's toddler was found dead and her 13-year-old daughter was found seriously injured Friday by a housekeeper at the resort.

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

Remains found of man sought in family's slayings

PETROLIA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say remains found on a Northern California riverbank are those of an ex-convict suspected of killing his wife and two young daughters last year. Dental records have determined that the remains found in Shasta County belong to Shane Miller, who had been wanted for questioning in the shooting deaths of his wife and daughters, ages 8 and 5.

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

Toledo mayor lifts water ban in northwest Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — TOLEDO, Ohio — The mayor of Toledo, Ohio, has lifted a water ban that left 400,000 Ohio and Michigan residents scrambling for water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Mayor D. Michael Collins says Monday that the Lake Erie drinking water is safe and that the warning has been lifted. The announcement comes after people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan were told to avoid drinking tap water because of toxins contaminating the lake, possibly from algae. Toledo officials issued the water warning in Ohio's fourth-largest city early Saturday. The Ohio National Guard and other state agencies have been delivering pallets of bottled water to the city and operating water purification systems to make more drinkable water.

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

Sunset Boulevard reopens after flooding near UCLA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sunset Boulevard has reopened after crews completed repairs following a water main break that created a sinkhole and inundated parts of the University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's office said in a statement that traffic on the major east-west thoroughfare began moving again around 1:30 a.m. Monday. The statement noted that vehicles will be required to travel at reduced speeds on the affected part of the boulevard. On Saturday crews finished major repairs on a nearly century-old pipe that ruptured and spewed some 20 million gallons of water. The flood damaged several campus facilities and swamped or stranded hundreds of cars in parking garages. The university retrieved many of the vehicles, and students were allowed to reclaim some of them through the weekend.

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

Police: Family of 5 shot to death at Virginia home

CULPEPER, Va. (AP) — Police say a family of five, including 3 children, has been found shot to death at a home in Virginia. Detective Angela Deavers with the Culpeper County Sheriff's Office says the victims were two adults, both 35 years old, and three children. Deavers says a family member discovered the bodies at the home in Culpeper, a town of about 15,000 people 70 miles southwest of Washington. Deavers says two of the children killed were elementary-school-aged, and the third was middle school-aged. She says she does not have other details. Deavers says deputies arrived at the scene around 10 p.m. Sunday, after the relative found the bodies. She says the shootings are being treated as homicide. Virginia State Police are assisting in the investigation.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Nigeria confirms doctor as 2nd Ebola case

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian authorities say they have confirmed a second case of Ebola in Africa's most populous country, an alarming development after a man who flew by plane to the country died of Ebola. Nigeria's health minister says the second person with Ebola is a doctor who had helped treat Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who died of Ebola in late July. Sawyer, who was traveling to Nigeria on business, became ill while aboard a flight and Nigerian authorities immediately took him into isolation. They did not quarantine his fellow passengers, and have insisted that the risk of additional cases was minimal. Nigeria is the fourth country to report Ebola cases and at least 728 other people have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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

Liberia government orders Ebola victims cremated

MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — The Liberian government is ordering that all corpses of Ebola victims must be cremated as fears rise that the disease could be spread by bodies being buried in residential areas. Information Minister Lewis Brown announced Monday on state radio that authorities now will cremate the remains of Ebola victims. The order comes after a tense standoff erupted over the weekend when health workers tried to bury more than 20 Ebola victims on the outskirts of Monrovia. Authorities said military police officers were called in to help restore order so that the burials could take place. West Africa is experiencing the largest recorded Ebola outbreak in history, with at least 729 deaths blamed on the disease. Many contracted the disease by touching the bodies of victims as is tradition at funerals.

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

Reports: hundreds of Ukraine soldiers flee to Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — There's word of Ukrainian soldiers crossing into Russia today, but it's unclear why. Russia's Interfax news agency quotes a Russian border security official as saying more than 400 soldiers deserted the Kiev government. The head of the Federal Security Service's border patrol in the Rostov region says Russia opened a corridor to 438 Ukrainian soldiers into the country. Ukraine's military says it's likely that part of a brigade crossed into Russian territory, although it disputes Russia's version of events and won't say how many soldiers went over. A military official says the soldiers were forced into Russian territory by rebel fire after running out of ammunition. Earlier today, Interfax reported that Russia's air force has begun military drills in central and western regions of the country, a move that could spark further fears that Moscow is ready to flex its military muscle in Ukraine.

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

Police: Excavator driver attacks Jerusalem bus

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say an attacker has rammed an excavator into an Israeli bus in Jerusalem and overturned the vehicle. Police called Monday's incident a "terrorist attack," indicating that they suspected Palestinian involvement. Israeli media reported that two people were injured, one seriously. In the past, Palestinian attackers have gone on deadly rampages with bulldozers in Jerusalem traffic. Tensions have been high between Arabs and Jews in the region amid a monthlong war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

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

France: Gaza war may require 'imposed' solution

PARIS (AP) — France's foreign minister is calling on the international community to impose a solution on Israel and Hamas, saying the warring sides have shown themselves unable to negotiate. In an unusually strong statement Monday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Israel's right to security "does not justify the killing of children and the massacre of civilians." France is closely allied with Israel, and Fabius' statement was a rare direct criticism. The Gaza war, in its fourth week, has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis. He said a cease-fire, followed by a two-state solution, is needed and "should be imposed by the international community because, despite numerous attempts, the two sides have shown themselves to be incapable of concluding negotiations."

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

SPORTS
SATURDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

Minnesota 8, Chicago White Sox 6
L.A. Dodgers 5, Chicago Cubs 2
St. Louis 9, Milwaukee 7

Frontier League

Windy City 5, Gateway 1
River City 5, Southern Illinois 4
Lake Erie 7, Evansville 5

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 3, Milwaukee 2
Minnesota 16, Chicago White Sox 3
Chicago Cubs 7, L.A. Dodgers 3

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 6, River City 1
Gateway 8, Windy City 5
Lake Erie 7, Evansville 6
 
MONDAY’S SCHEDULE
 
MLB

Texas at Chicago White Sox 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Evansville at Lake Erie
River City at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Windy City

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

Former Ram Aeneas Williams Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Former St. Louis Ram defensive back Aeneas Williams is now a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Williams was inducted Saturday night in Canton, Ohio.  The eight-time pro-bowler played four seasons with St. Louis after spending the majority of his career with the Arizona Cardinals. 

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

Mt. Vernon Golf Tryouts Announced

Boys and Girls golf tryout will be held August 13-15 at Green Hills Golf Club. Tryouts will begin at 4:00 p.m. each day. You must have a physical on file at the high school in order to be able to tryout. If you have questions please call Quinn McClure at 204-9578 for boys information, or Amber Tieffel at 315-2055 for girls information.

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

Sport Shorts

-Rory McIlroy wins at Bridgestone Invitational in Akron with a -15 under
-Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the NASCAR race at Pocono
-Scott Dixon wins at Mid-Ohio in INDYCar racing

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

News for Aug. 1, 2014

LOCAL
Semi Fire In Jefferson County

Illinois State Police report a Semi fire took place at milepost 63 on Interstate 64 at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.  In the incident, a 2001 Volvo Truck Tractor and Trailer driven by 41 year old Lonnie C. Burton of Florida was travelling eastbound on I-64. Burton stated he heard a popping noise coming from his truck tractor.  Burton pulled to the shoulder and exited the vehicle and observed flames coming from the area of the rear driver's side tires of the truck-tractor.  Burton and other motorists attempted unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire.  The truck-tractor and semi-trailer became fully engulfed by flames.  Irvington and Ashley Fire Departments were dispatched and extinguished the truck-tractor semi-trailer combination.  Both eastbound lanes of I-64 were temporarily closed; however, vehicles were allowed to pass by on the shoulder of the roadway.  Burton was uninjured. 

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

Governor Quinn Heads Downstate

Governor Pat Quinn will be downstate in what is turning out to be a busy Friday for the state's leader.  After stops in Loves Park, Normal, and Decatur early in the day, Quinn will be  at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Marina in Carbondale  at 2 p.m., to sign legislation to help more older adults enjoy recreational opportunities in Illinois.  Then, it's off to the Metro East for the Governor as he will head to America's Central Port in Granite City to sign legislation to drive economic development throughout the Metro East area.

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

Man gets 12 years prison for credit union holdup

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man has been ordered to spend a dozen years in prison for his role in robbing a Carbondale credit union. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that 33-year-old David E. White was sentenced in Jackson County after pleading guilty to a felony count of robbing a financial institution. Authorities say White robbed the SIU Credit Union on Feb. 3, then fled with 29-year-old Jonathon Whitehead of Carbondale driving the getaway car. Whitehead was sentenced in April to six and a half years in prison for his role in the holdup. A judge credited White for 163 days he spent in jail.

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

No Prison For Mom Who Gave Beer To Teen Son Killed

(Belleville, IL) -- A Belleville mother who gave beer to her teenage son before he died in one-vehicle crash last year has been spared prison time. Forty-year-old Ginger Zehner-Denton was sentenced today to 24-months probation after pleading guilty to unlawful delivery of alcohol. Eighteen-year-old Stephen Zehner died from injuries he suffered in a one-car crash January 26th, 2013 near Belleville.

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

Accused Burglar Hides In Tree

(Madison, IL) -- A man suspected of robbing homes in Jersey County and Granite City is in custody, but not before police needed to rescue him from a tree to put him in cuffs. Officers showed up at the man's home in Madison, Illinois around 10:00 last night but they say when he spotted them, he made a run for the attic. He allegedly climbed out a window and hid away in a tree. Officers spent almost six hours trying to talk him down but when he wouldn't budge, they went up on a fire truck ladder to get him.

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

Ticket sales robust for Du Quoin State Fair

DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — Organizers of the approaching state fair in southern Illinois' Du Quoin say grandstand ticket sales for this year's festival are well ahead of expectations. Fair manager Shannon Woodworth tells the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that the number of tickets snapped up for the fair that begins Aug. 22 are 4,300 more than at this time last year. The fair's scheduled entertainers include Kenny Rogers, Foreigner, Rodney Atkins, Travis Tritt, .38 Special and KC and the Sunshine band. Woodworth says that ticket sales traditionally start slow, with purchasers waiting until the last minute to buy.

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

West Nile Found In Franklin County

The West Nile Virus has been found in Franklin County. State health officials say a pool of mosquitoes in West Frankfort and Zeigler recently tested positive for the virus. The positive results are part of routine surveillance being conducted by the state health department and then reported to the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department. If you would like to know more on how to protect yourself from West Nile, go to bicountyhealth.org or call the health department at 439-0951 or 993-8111.

 

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

STATE
New Union Poll Shows Tight Governor's Race

(Springfield, IL)  --   A new poll shows that the Illinois governor's race is too close to call.  The survey done by Harstad Strategic Research gives Winnetka challenger Bruce Rauner a slight edge over Governor Quinn, 46 percent to 42 percent.  The poll was paid for by the Illinois Education Association. The IEA endorsed Quinn early last month.

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

Rauner To Release Tax Info In October

(Chicago, IL)  --  Democrats have been calling on Bruce Rauner to release his tax information from last year, but they'll have to wait at least a few more months.  The GOP candidate for governor got an extension on filing his taxes and they won't be ready until October 15th, just three weeks before the election.  Rauner says he'll make the numbers public at that time.  He made 53-million-dollars in 2012.

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

Rauner says he'll be 'champion' for Ill. farmers

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says a coalition of supporters from Illinois' agricultural community is backing his bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner stopped Thursday at a farm in the central Illinois community of Lincoln. The Winnetka businessman says he will be "a champion" for Illinois agriculture. He says he'll reduce regulatory burdens on farmers and travel the world on his own dime to promote Illinois products. Len Corzine is a farmer and a co-chairman of Rauner's agriculture coalition. He says: "Family farms like ours need new leadership in Springfield." But Quinn spokeswoman Izabela Miltko says farmers "know a pig in a poke when they see one." She says under Quinn, Illinois has been a national leader in soybean and corn production and agriculture exports.

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

State Fair Grandstand Ready, Roof Not So Much

(Springfield, IL) -- The grandstand at the Illinois State Fairgrounds will be open and safe next week when the fair opens, but repairs to the roof won't be complete. Fair officials say concerts and car races will go on as scheduled and they say the grandstand will be watertight and usable. Roof repairs are taking longer than expected, but they say that work should be finished before the Labor Day motorcycle races.

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

Durbin, Kirk push for federal action on Asian carp

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' two U.S. senators are pressing federal officials to take action against the threat of Asian carp and other invasive species. Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk sent a letter Thursday to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Other Great Lakes senators also signed the letter. They say urgent action is needed to protect the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. The senators say an Army Corps of Engineers report earlier this year proposed long-term, multibillion-dollar solutions to prevent the spread of invasive species. Those recommendations continue to be debated. But the senators say officials should take action on other, short- and medium-term actions that could more easily get regional consensus. They say that should happen as soon as possible.

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

State Fair Just One Week Away

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois State Fair is next week, and officials say they have a full line-up of events and activities for the entire family.  Chris McCloud, with the Department of Natural Resources, says if you're looking for a way to get your kid away from the video games, bring them out to Conservation World. Kids can take a trip through the petting zoo in Happy Hollow or check out the tractor and truck pulls at the Arena.  The famous butter cow will be unveiled next Thursday.  Of course, it wouldn't be the fair without lots of great foods.  Officials say they'll have some of the traditional favorites like corn dogs, lemon shakeups, fried cheese curds, and smoked turkey legs.  The fair starts next Thursday and runs through August 17th. 

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

Fair Manager Didn't Know She Violated Ethics Code

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick was recently hit with a code of ethics violation after accepting free beer tickets from a fair vendor.  She says she didn't realize she was breaking the law. Bliefnick handed the tickets out to senior officers at the Department of Ag, members of her staff, and people who were volunteering at the fair.  She was ordered to pay a one-thousand-dollar-fine and she served a two-day suspension, without pay.   

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

NATIONAL
House GOP divisions on border bill delay getaway

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders plan to meet today in hopes that revised versions of two border bills can sway conservatives. Before a five-week summer break, the GOP leaders failed yesterday to round up enough votes for a $659 million bill to address the surge in accompanied children from Central America crossing into the U.S. illegally. House Republicans are also trying to secure passage of a bill to make it easier to deport those children.

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

Senate Passes Highway Funding Extension

(Washington, DC)  --  With time and money running out, the Senate has agreed to a Republican plan to extend funding for highway and transit construction through May 2015.  Democrats wanted a shorter extension to force Congress to come up with a long-term funding plan.  Without additional funding for the Highway Trust Fund, money for construction projects across the country would have run out in August putting thousands of jobs at risk.

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

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Residents in California's Foresta community near Yosemite National Park will be allowed to return home this afternoon, now that firefighters are making progress battling a more than 6-square-mile wildfire. The blaze is now 58 percent contained, up from 34 percent contained early Thursday. There are still worries that the wildfire could move west toward giant Sequoias about 2 miles away.

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

Tropical Storm Bertha approaches Caribbean

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Bertha is approaching the Caribbean with winds near 45 mph. Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and other nearby islands. The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Bertha is likely to pass near or north of Barbados this afternoon. It's not expected to significantly change in strength over the next two days.

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

US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials are telling Americans to put off non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone because of an Ebola outbreak. A total of more than 700 people have died in all three countries. Meanwhile, a military spokesman for the African Union mission in Somalia says the AU has canceled a planned troop rotation by Sierra Leonean forces because of the outbreak. Leone is one of five nations that send large numbers of troops to Somalia to protect the government and fight al-Shabab militants.

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

Poll: Foreign policy no longer Obama strong point

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign policy used to be a bright spot in Americans' opinion of President Barack Obama. Not anymore. An Associated Press-GfK poll finds that dissatisfaction with Obama's handling of events in Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere now matches his low overall approval rating. Forty-three percent of those polled approve of Obama's handling of relationships with foreign countries, while 40 percent approve of the job he's doing overall. The low marks are consistent with his handling of events in Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine. That may benefit Republicans aiming to win control of Congress in November. But the global problems that have consumed much of Washington's attention aren't rated as especially pressing by most Americans. Only about 4 in 10 consider the conflicts in each of those four places highly important to them.

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

Supreme Court Could Take Up Obamacare Subsidy Dispute

(Undated)  --  The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to review an Obamacare case that split two federal appeals courts.  The case involves subsidies to help low-income Americans pay for health insurance.  The DC Circuit Court ruled last month that subsidies are available only to people who buy insurance through exchanges run by states.  At the same time, the U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond, Virginia said subsidies can be paid in the 36 states where the federal government runs the exchanges. 

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

U.S. Senate Passes Autism CARES Act

(Washington, DC)  --  New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez is hailing the passage of the Autism CARES Act.  It requires the appointment of a federal official to oversee autism research.  The latest CDC figures show that autism rates skyrocketed nearly 30 percent between 2008 and 2010, with one in 68 children in the U.S. now being diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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

US: Abduction of Israeli would be 'outrageous'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier would be an "absolutely outrageous" action by Hamas. Tony Blinken is deputy national security adviser. Blinken says the U.S. strongly condemns the alleged abduction. He says that if the soldier has been kidnapped, he must be released. The Israeli military said Friday that one of its soldiers was "feared" abducted, without providing further details. The report came as a cease-fire with Hamas collapsed just hours after it took effect. Thirty-five Palestinians were also killed Friday by Israeli shelling. Blinken said Secretary of State John Kerry was speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the unraveling cease-fire Friday morning. His comments came in interview on MSNBC.

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

Cantor to resign from House seat in August

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — After a surprise primary election loss, U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor will resign his seat in the House of Representatives months earlier than expected. Cantor spokesman Doug Heye said Friday that the congressman will step down Aug. 18 and ask Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to enable his successor to take office immediately. McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy says the governor's office is reviewing the request for a special election. Hours after stepping down as House majority leader Thursday, Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch he would step down instead of serving his full term, which would have ended in January. Cantor told the newspaper a special election would give the winner seniority rather than waiting until January to take office with the new Congress. Cantor lost to Dave Brat, an underfunded, tea party-backed opponent, in the June Republican primary.

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

Harley recalls bikes for ignition switch problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ignition switch problems that have plagued General Motors and Chrysler have now turned up in the motorcycle business. Harley-Davidson is recalling more than 3,300 FXDL Dyna Low Rider bikes because engine vibration can turn the switches from "run" to "accessory." The recall covers motorcycles from the 2014 ½ model year. If the motorcycles have been modified to rev higher than 5,600 RPMs, an engine mount bracket can vibrate excessively, causing the problem. If the switch goes to "accessory," the engine can shut off while being driven and potentially cause a crash. The company says there have been no crashes or injuries reported from the problem. Dealers will replace the bracket assembly and ignition switch knob for free. Harley began notifying owners in late July.

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

Expert: 'Mini tornado' caused skydiver death

CALVERTON, N.Y. (AP) — A safety expert for a national skydiving association says a "mini tornado" caused the accident that killed a correction officer and injured his instructor during a tandem jump. Gary Messina died in the accident Wednesday afternoon at Skydive Long Island in Calverton. His instructor, Christopher Scott, was critically injured. Rich Winstock tells Newsday wind and dust churned into a funnel and made it impossible to control the parachute. Winstock is director of the United States Parachute Association and chairs its safety and training committee. The FAA is investigating. It had no information Thursday about the accident's cause. The National Weather Service said winds were in the 5- to 15-mph range at the time of the jump. Messina would have turned 26 on Thursday.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Israeli soldier feared captured in Gaza

JEURSALEM (AP) — The Israeli army says one of its soldiers is "feared" captured by Gaza militants, hours after a Hamas-Israel cease-fire in the coastal strip unraveled. The soldier went missing shortly after a Gaza official said at least 35 Palestinians were killed in Israeli shelling in and around the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Friday, The fighting broke out just hours after the cease-fire came into force. Some 200 others were wounded in the Rafah shelling, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra. Hamas and Israel are accusing each other of violating the truce.

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

Investigators set up base near wreckage of Malaysia Airlines plane

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of international investigators are setting up a base of operations at a chicken farm in eastern Ukraine. From there, they will carry out a search of the surrounding area for debris from the Malaysia Airlines crash, and the remains of as many as 80 of the people on board. The region is still seeing some fighting between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russia rebels. As the investigators arrived, the sound of artillery fire could be heard in the distance. Hours earlier, at least 10 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in an ambush by the separatists in a town near the wreckage site. The investigators are from the Netherlands and Australia, and are joined by officials with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. They traveled from the rebel-held city of Donetsk in 15 cars and a bus, to the crash site outside the village of Hrabove (HRAH'-boh-veh). The investigative team's top priority is to recover human remains that have been rotting in midsummer heat of 90 degrees since the plane went down on July 17. They will also try to retrieve the belongings of the 298 people killed aboard the Boeing 777.

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

2 Americans detained in North Korea seek US help

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Two Americans charged with "anti-state" crimes in North Korea say in a video that they expect to be tried soon and possibly receive long prison terms, and appeal for help from the U.S. government. The two men, Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle, also apologized to North Korea and the United States, saying they had committed crimes. It wasn't clear whether they were speaking on their own initiative, or whether the statements were coerced. They made the comments in a video shot Friday by a local AP Television News crew. The crew was taken to a location to meet the detained Americans after repeated requests to North Korean authorities to see them. North Korea has accused the Americans of committing hostile acts that violated their status as tourists.

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

SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 7, Detroit 4
Chicago Cubs 3, Colorado 1
St. Louis 6, San Diego 2

Frontier League

Florence 3, Gateway 2
River City 11, Evansville 3
Normal 2, Southern Illinois 0

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Minnesota at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at L.A. Dodgers, 9:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Florence
Southern Illinois at Normal
Evansville at River City

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Minnesota at Chicago White Sox, 6:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at L.A. Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.

Frontier League

River City at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Windy City
Evansville at Lake Erie

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Minnesota at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Milwaukee at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at L.A. Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.

Frontier League

River City at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Windy City
Evansville at Lake Erie

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

Cardinals Deal For John Lackey

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are further bolstering their starting rotation for the stretch run. The Cards have acquired right-hander John Lackey, minor league pitcher Corey Littrell and cash from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for pitcher Joe Kelly and first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig. St. Louis acquired right-handed starter Justin Masterson from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.

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

Braves get INF-OF Bonifacio, LHP Russell from Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — The contending Atlanta Braves have acquired infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed reliever James Russell from the Chicago Cubs for catching prospect Victor Caratini. The Braves also got cash from the Cubs in Thursday's trade. Neither Bonifacio nor Russell played in the Cubs' 3-1 win over Colorado earlier in the day. The 29-year-old Bonifacio hit .279 with 18 RBIs and 14 steals in 69 games for the Cubs this season. The 28-year-old Russell went 0-2 with one save and a 3.51 ERA in 44 games. Atlanta is in the chase for the NL East and the Cubs are last in the NL Central. The 20-year-old Caratini was hitting .279 with five home runs and 42 RBIs at Class A Rome.

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

Rose acknowledges tension with Bulls

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose acknowledged tension between members of his inner circle and team management. Rose tells the Chicago Sun-Times in an article posted Thursday that he knows "it's been there." He says things seemed fine when he "was around," but he would then hear they weren't. There has been speculation in recent years of tension between the organization and Rose's camp. The newspaper cites organization sources as saying the strain was over members of his inner circle taking shots at the organization and Rose not playing a bigger role in recruiting Carmelo Anthony. In a statement, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf denied any discord, saying he can't remember when the organization has been more "cohesive." Rose praised the roster and said it's time to "move in a positive direction."

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

News for July 31, 2014

LOCAL
Three School Questions On November Ballot

Three school consolidation questions have been filed by Regional Superintendent, Ron Daniels, with the County Clerk’s Office.  All three questions have been approved by the State Superintendent, Chris Koch, and will now be decided by voters in the November 4, 2014 election. The first question is for the consolidation of Dodds Community Consolidated School District No. 7 and Ina Community Consolidated School District No. 8.  The second question is for an optional elementary unit school district consolidation of Woodlawn Community Consolidated School District No. 4 and Woodlawn Community High School District No. 205. Not all students that attend Woodlawn Grade School attend Woodlawn High School; and there are students that attend other grade school districts that attend Woodlawn High School.  Voters who reside in both districts will be presented with two questions on their ballot; one regarding the high school, and one regarding the grade school.   Voters that reside in only one of the districts involved in this consolidation will have only one question on their ballot. The same uniqueness also applies to the third question for an optional elementary unit school district consolidation of Farrington Community Consolidated School District No. 99, Bluford Community Consolidated School District No. 114, and Webber Township High School District No. 204.  Again, some students that attend Bluford Grade School and Farrington Grade School do not attend Webber High School; and there are students that attend another grade school district that attend Webber High School.  Voters who reside in Webber High School district and either Farrington Grade School district or Bluford Grade School will have two questions on their ballot; one regarding the high school, and one regarding the grade school.  Voters that reside in only one of the districts will only have one question on their ballot.  If the question is not passed in one of the grade school districts, then that district continues to operate independently and their students would attend high school in the newly formed optional elementary unit school district made up of the high school and the other grade school district.  If passed in all three districts, then they all become one unit district. This is a complicated process and the Regional Superintendent’s office wants to help voters understand why some ballots will contain two questions and others only one.  Ron Daniels, Regional Superintendent, has worked closely with County Clerk, Connie Simmons, to make sure votes can be independently tabulated for each district. If you have any questions, please contact the Regional Office of Education at 618-244-8040.

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

Petition Aims To Keep Trooper From Getting License

(Collinsville, IL)  --  A petition making the rounds aims to keep a former Illinois trooper from getting his drivers' license back.  Matt Mitchell was on the job in 2007 when he struck a car, killing two Collinsville sisters. It was later determined he was going 126-miles-an-hour and talking on his phone at the time.  According to KSDK-TV, 20-thousand people have signed the petition so far.  Mitchell is expected to make a fifth request for his license to be returned next month.

--------------------
Ina Man Sentenced For Meth Charge

According to information received from Jefferson County State's Attorney Douglas R. Hoffman's Office, 42-year-old Jonathan Cooper of Ina pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of Unlawful Participation in Methamphetamine Production, a Class One Felony, and was sentenced to serve fifteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by two years of mandatory supervised release.  On August 16, 2013, Cooper was arrested by officers of the Ina Police Department following an investigation into the suspected manufacturing of methamphetamine at Cooper's residence in Ina. The investigation led to a search warrant being executed on his residence, where officers found a quantity of methamphetamine being produced.  One officer was injured during the arrest of Cooper as a result of exposure to meth-related chemicals.  Cooper previously served three years in prison on a possession of controlled substance charge.  In response to this plea, Hoffman stated, "We are pleased that we have removed another meth cook from our streets. I want to applaud the hard work of the Ina Police Department in their investigation of this defendant and their assistance in bringing him to justice."

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

Police search for trucker after fatal I-70 wreck

MARINE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police are searching for a tractor-trailer driver who they say drove off after being involved in an accident that left another motorist dead. Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn says 20-year-old Jacob Dey of Brighton died at the scene of the accident shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday on westbound Interstate 70 near Marine. Police say Dey apparently lost control of his Chevrolet Impala and hit a tractor-trailer that ultimately left the scene without stopping. Dey's car ended up stopping sideways on the interstate when it was hit by another westbound tractor-trailer. The second semi rig and Dey's car came to rest in a ditch. Dey's funeral arrangements are pending with Targhetta & Wooldridge Funeral Home In Brighton.

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

Work on collapsed southern Ill. span to begin soon

WOODLAWN, Ill. (AP) — Repairs to a southern Illinois bridge that collapsed nearly a year ago soon may begin. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports work on the 36-year-old Panzier Lane span in rural Jefferson County is expected to start in mid-September. That's a year since the bridge failed. Jefferson County Highway Engineer Brandon Simmons says the project will be let out for bid on Friday, with construction anticipated to begin within about 45 days from when the bid is awarded. Simmons says the bridge was built without steel pilings encased in concrete, meaning they rusted and sheered. Federal taxpayers will pick up 80 percent of the estimated $650,000 to $700,000 tab, with the remaining funds coming from the county. Some 250 to 300 cars used the bridge each day.

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

St. Clair County Board Shining More Light On Settlements

(Belleville, IL) -- The St. Clair County Board is going to let the public know more about the settlements of lawsuits filed against the county. Settlements discussed behind closed doors will now have to be detailed in a public session before a vote of the board is taken. The new procedures mean the county board is less likely to run afoul of the state's Open Meetings Act.

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

Facebook Credited With Belleville Robbery Arrest

(Belleville, IL) -- Police are giving credit for an arrest in a gas station robbery to people on social media. Followers of the Belleville Police Department Facebook page pointed officers toward Patrick McGuire as a suspect in Monday's hold up of a Circle K on South Belt East. KSDK reports he was arrested and is being held in federal custody

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

Odum Named New Marion Fire Chief

It didn't take too long for city leaders in Marion to name a new fire chief. Jerry Odum will be taking over for Jack Reed, who recently announced his retirement to become Marion Parks Director. The city council unanimously approved Odum for the job Monday. He has been with the fire department for 26 years.

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

Marion Man Sentenced For Drunk Driving Death

A Williamson County man will be sentenced September 19 in connection with the death of a McLeansboro man he hit while driving drunk last May. Thirty-seven year old Quentin Arnold of Marion pled guilty Monday for not reporting an accident involving a death. Police say the accident happened on Route 37 just north of Crites Road.  Arnold was arrested a short time later.

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

STATE
Quinn Gets IFT Endorsement

(Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois Federation of Teachers is backing Governor Quinn in his bid for re-election. Board members say Quinn is committed to making sure students have the resources they need to succeed in school. The group says Bruce Rauner's ideas are out of touch with what's best for education in Illinois. They add that Rauner's budget plan would force layoffs, larger class sizes, and deeper cuts to public education.

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

Governor candidates differ on overseas tax breaks

CHICAGO (AP) — The practice of U.S. corporations reorganizing overseas with foreign entities to cut taxes back home has emerged as an issue in Illinois' gubernatorial race. Gov. Pat Quinn condemned the practice Wednesday as "unpatriotic." The Democrat says anyone running for public office supporting it is "taking advantage" of taxpayers. The comment was directed at Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. Rauner told WMAQ-TV this week that the U.S. and Illinois need to compete, not block companies. His campaign later declined to say if Rauner supports the practice. Much attention has been focused on Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. The company is considering its option to complete a takeover of Swiss retailer Alliance Boots. Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin urged the company not to move. His GOP counterparts blocked a bill Wednesday limiting tax breaks.

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

Quinn: Workers' compensation rate to fall in 2015

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the state's workers' compensation insurance rates will drop 5.5 percent next year. Quinn announced Wednesday the cut in rates is being recommended by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, which annually reviews payments and fees and proposes new premium figures. Illinois Department of Insurance officials are estimating the latest proposed reduction in workers' compensation advisory and loss cost rates could result in overall reduction in premiums of up to $143 million in 2015. They say the total savings since the reforms were enacted in 2011 is expected to reach $458 million. Illinois Manufacturers' Association President Greg Baise is applauding the news, but says the rates must drop more to increase the state's competitiveness. The workers' comp system pays health expenses for injured workers.

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

Students, Trained Staff Can Administer Epi-Pen Shots

(Chicago, IL) -- A new law is aimed at protecting kids when they have life-threatening allergic reactions at school. It allows students to carry an epi-pen and give themselves a shot when they're having an allergic reaction. It also allows specially-trained school personnel to administer the injections when they believe a student, employee, or school visitor is having a reaction. In the past, only school nurses were authorized to give the shots. The law is effective this Friday.

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

Illinois Medicaid restricts use of hepatitis drug

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is placing tight restrictions on a new hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 per pill. Medicaid patients must meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government health care program will pay for Sovaldi. The drug can stop the liver-damaging virus, but it comes with a budget-straining price tag. Illinois approved the restrictions this month after spending $16 million on Sovaldi this year. Medicaid medical director Dr. Arvind Goyal says the cautious approach was appropriate because there isn't yet enough research on Sovaldi in minority patients and other groups. But doctors who've seen Sovaldi wipe out the virus say the rules are too limiting. Dr. Steven Flamm of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine says the rules could eliminate most patients he'd like to treat with Sovaldi.

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

Jesse White Awards More Than $1.5 Million in Talking Book Center Grants

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded $1,526,542 in Talking Book Center (TBC) grants.  The three library systems — Illinois Heartland, Reaching Across Illinois and Chicago Public Library — together with the Illinois State Library, provide talking book and braille services for Illinois residents. TBC grants support the services of the library systems.  “Talking books offer a wonderful opportunity for anyone who cannot use regular print materials due to blindness, visual impairment or physical disability,” said White.  “Literacy tools should be available to all, regardless of impairment or disability.” The Talking Book and Braille Service (TBBS) supports the activities of the Illinois Network of Libraries Serving the Blind and Physically Handicapped in providing public library service to any Illinois resident who is unable to read standard print material due to a permanent or temporary visual or physical disability. The four customer service sites are the Regional Library in Springfield, the Chicago Public Library Talking Book Center at the Harold Washington Library Center, the Illinois Talking Book Advisory and Outreach Center in Burr Ridge and the Illinois Machine Sub-Lending Agency in DuQuoin. All sites strive to enrich the quality of life for eligible Illinois residents. The Regional Library acts as the liaison with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and circulates books to all residents enrolled in TBBS. In conjunction with the local service centers, the regional center provides a full range of library services specializing in braille and audio books. For more information about TBBS, contact Sharon Ruda at 217-782-9435 or sruda@ilsos.net. Information also is available at cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/TBBS/home.html.

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

NATIONAL
Senate to vote on VA bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is racing to wrap up legislation to revamp the Veterans Affairs Department ahead of lawmakers' five-week summer break. A Senate vote today would help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them and make it easier to fire senior executives at the VA.

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

Congress races to finish highway bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A vote is expected today in the House on a $659 million bill to send resources to the border. The measure would also speed the return back home of unaccompanied Central American minors who have recently surged across the southwest border. And a second vote is planned in an effort to block President Barack Obama from expanding an existing program that's granted work permits to more than 500,000 immigrants brought to this country illegally as kids.

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

Small Plane Crash Kills One

(Kearny Mesa, CA)  --  One woman is dead and another injured after a small plane went down int the parking lot of a retail store in San Diego.  Authorities say the pilot was attempting to land at a local airport when the plane bounced, clipped the corner of Target store and crashed in a parking lot, near a Costco.  Witnesses say they heard a plane coming, but it sounded funny, and then they heard it crash-land in a Kearny Mesa parking lot. 

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

Pipe that spewed 20M gallons near UCLA shut off

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Work crews have stopped the last of the water gushing from a 30-inch pipe near the University of California, Los Angeles some 30 hours after it burst. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power spokesman Albert Rodriguez said the pipe was shut off completely at 9 p.m. Wednesday, and repairs are expected to be finished late Friday or early Saturday. At its peak, water was gushing at 75,000 gallons per minute out of the riveted-steel pipe, and by Wednesday afternoon it was still spewing 1,000 gallons an hour, putting out an estimated 20 million gallons overall. Rodriguez says workers had a giant inflatable plug at the ready to stop the flow, but it wasn't needed. The break in the 93-year-old pipe left a swath of the UCLA campus including its basketball arena swamped with water.

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

Obama cracks down on labor breaches by contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pushing government contractors to stop violating labor laws if they want to keep taking federal money. The White House says Obama will sign an executive order Thursday requiring contractors to divulge any labor violations in the past three years when they seek large contracts. The order also requires that workers be given information to help them determine whether their paychecks are accurate. Obama is also prohibiting companies that want future contracts from requiring workers to agree to let an arbitrator, rather than a judge, hear sexual assault or civil rights grievances.

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

HHS Let Contractors Botch Obamacare Website Rollout, GAO Report Says

(Undated)  --  The Government Accountability Office says private contractors botched the rollout of the Affordable Care Act website because government teams failed to plan properly or oversee the contractors' work.  In a report being released this morning, the nonpartisan GAO says the Department of Health and Human Services had only three and-a-half years to design, build and launch the online marketplace.

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

Firefighters keep Yosemite blaze far from sequoias

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters in California say they've been able to stop a new run while battling a wildfire in Yosemite National Park. They say containment lines have kept, and they've been able to keep the blaze away from some of the largest and oldest trees on earth. About 50 homes are still under evacuation orders. Meanwhile, a wildfire in Sierra National Forest has grown substantially and has spread across nearly 9 square miles. Officials say about 20 homes are threatened, but there's no mandatory evacuation.

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

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers, sparked massive protests and led to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recall election. The court upheld the law 5-2 Thursday under a challenge filed by the Madison teachers union and a union representing Milwaukee public workers. They had argued that the law violated workers' constitutional rights to free assembly and equal protection. A federal appeals court twice upheld the law as constitutional. The law prohibits public worker unions from collectively bargaining for anything beyond base wage increases based on inflation. Walker introduced it shortly after taking office, and rose to national prominence as he defended it and won the 2012 recall election.

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

Jury to hear from defense in porch shooting trial

DETROIT (AP) — The defense is to present its side in the trial of a suburban Detroit man charged in the fatal shooting of a young woman on his porch last fall. Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday after five days of evidence and testimony against 55-year-old Theodore Wafer of Dearborn Heights. He's charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. Testimony resumes Thursday. Wafer is claiming self-defense. Defense lawyers have tried to cast the police investigation in a poor light, but Detective Sgt. Steve Gurka has defended his work. It's not publicly known whether Wafer will testify. But experts believe it's necessary if he wants to show jurors that he reasonably acted out of fear last Nov. 2 when McBride was pounding at his door.

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

Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change a culture of hazing and inappropriate rituals among members when he was dismissed. Jonathan Waters detailed the changes he was trying to make in a seven-page document prepared when the university began investigating allegations of problems with the band. His attorney released the document Wednesday night. The university fired Waters last week after a two-month investigation concluded he knew about but failed to stop rituals that included students being pressured to march in their underwear, sing lewd songs, and perform sexually themed stunts that yielded often-explicit nicknames. Waters says he was taking steps to change the culture of hazing, inappropriate behavior and vulgarity. Also Wednesday, the band's alumni association issued a statement supporting Waters.

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

Tweet derails Cassidy DWI plea deal hearing

SCHODACK, N.Y. (AP) — A horse racing tweet prompted prosecutors to halt a court hearing at which a lawyer for seventies heartthrob David Cassidy was supposed to accept a plea deal on the singer's behalf. Cassidy was charged last summer with driving while intoxicated in the town of Schodack, near Albany. Because he lives in Florida, prosecutors agreed to let his lawyer appear in court for him Wednesday. But a tweet by the New York Racing Association said Cassidy was at Saratoga Race Course, 40 miles north of Schodack. A prosecutor told The Daily Gazette of Schenectady that officials were "disturbed" to learn Cassidy was nearby but apparently unable to appear. Cassidy's lawyer said his client may not have known the timing of his court date. A new court date is being scheduled.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Investigators say they reach Ukraine crash site

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine has for the first time reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17. Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area. An AP journalist at the scene says it appears to be under the control of separatist rebel fighters. Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia are expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collect victims' belongings. It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after being exposed for so long to the elements. Meanwhile, members of Russia's state aviation body say they're headed to Kiev to also take part in the investigation. They say they'll also try to access to crash site.

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

Pillay: Israel, Hamas committing war crimes

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s top human rights official is accusing Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the latest Gaza war. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says that by placing and firing rockets within heavily populated areas both sides are committing "a violation of international humanitarian law, therefore a war crime." Pillay also told reporters Thursday in Geneva that she sees "a recurrence of the very acts" from the 2009 Gaza war in which the U.N. concluded Israel deliberately targeted civilians and might have committed war crimes, along with Hamas. Around 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 59 Israelis, mainly soldiers, have been killed in the latest violence.

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

Afghan electoral officials to restart vote audit

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan officials say they'll resume an audit of the presidential election this weekend after resolving disputes between the candidates over how to disqualify ballots amid allegations of massive fraud. The recount is likely to take weeks, stalling an already much-delayed announcement of a new president to replace Hamid Karzai, the only leader the country has known since the Taliban were ousted in 2001. Preliminary results from the June 14 runoff vote showed ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai well ahead of his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, but both sides alleged fraud. The campaign teams agreed to a U.S.-brokered recount but argued over details. The head of the Afghan Independent Election Commission Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani said Thursday that agreement has been reached and authorities will restart the audit on Saturday.

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

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Detroit 7, Chicago White Sox 2
Colorado 6, Chicago Cubs 4, 10 innings
San Diego 12, St. Louis 1

Frontier League

Gateway 7, Florence 6
Southern Illinois 20, Normal 11
Evansville 13, River City 1

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 12:08 p.m.
Colorado at Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m.
St. Louis at San Diego, 2:40 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 1:44 p.m.)

Frontier League

Gateway at Florence
Southern Illinois at Normal
Evansville at River City

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

Cardinals To Acquire Justin Masterson From Tribe

(Cleveland, OH) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are adding starting pitching depth before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. The Cleveland Indians have agreed to deal right-hander Justin Masterson to the Cardinals in exchange for outfield prospect James Ramsey. Masterson is currently on the disabled list with a knee injury but is expected come off Friday and start against Milwaukee Saturday.

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

Red Sox trade LHP Doubront to Cubs

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox have traded left-hander Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named. The Red Sox announced the deal before Wednesday night's game against Toronto. The 26-year-old Doubront was 2-4 with a 6.07 ERA in 17 games. He began the season in the rotation and was moved to the bullpen in late June.

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

Dodgers complete trade with Cubs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers have completed their trade with the Cubs, sending minor-league pitcher Jonathan Martinez to Chicago and optioning infielder Darwin Barney to Triple-A Albuquerque. Barney was acquired by the Dodgers in Monday's trade and he was sent down Wednesday. The Gold Glove winner in 2012 played second base, third base and shortstop in five seasons with the Cubs, but they cut him loose after he hit .230 with 16 RBIs in 72 games this season. Martinez, a 20-year-old right-hander, was 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA in 19 starts for Class A Great Lakes this season. He was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent in May 2011 out of Venezuela.

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

White Sox RP Jones has elbow surgery

DETROIT (AP) — Chicago White Sox reliever Nate Jones underwent surgery on his right elbow and is expected to need 12 to 15 months to recover. Jones had Tommy John surgery Tuesday. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Jones also had back surgery May 5. The right-hander has been limited to just two appearances this season, failing to retire a batter in a pair of April games. He went 4-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 70 games last season. Chicago reliever Matt Lindstrom and outfielder Avisail Garcia are expected to begin rehab assignments Friday with Triple-A Charlotte. Lindstrom had surgery on his left ankle May 23, and Garcia also needed surgery after hurting his left shoulder attempting a diving catch April 9.

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

News for July 30, 2014

LOCAL
Sesser Man Killed In Auto Accident

A Sesser man died in a single-vehicle crash early Tuesday morning.  Patrick T. Styve, 51, died from injuries he suffered in the 3:39 a.m. crash on Illinois 148, about a half-mile south of Illinois 154, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. Styve was driving northbound on Illinois 148 when his vehicle left the roadway to the west and traveled more than 500 feet before striking a tree. Styve was pronounced dead at the crash site by Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler. The crash is under investigation.

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

Judge releases detail of fatal Cairo bank robbery

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has released details of the case against a southern Illinois man accused of killing two women during a Cairo bank robbery. The judge on Tuesday unsealed a warrant which describes in detail the alleged crimes of James Watts. The 30-year-old Watts of Cairo is charged with attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death. Killed were Anita Joe Grace of Olive Branch and Nita Jo Smith of Wickliffe, Kentucky. KMOV in St. Louis reports the warrant indicates that during a standoff with police, Watts allegedly asked them if the victims were dead. When police said they were still alive, Watts allegedly answered they were dead because he "made sure of it." Watts also called his mother during the standoff and allegedly said "I killed that woman."

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

Serial bank robber gets 20 years in federal prison

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An unemployed Washington state restaurant worker has been sentenced to two decades in federal prison for robbing banks in Illinois and two other states. Forty-nine-year-old Carl Frederick Kieffer of Spokane, Washington, pleaded guilty in May in East St. Louis to charges linked to holdups weeks apart last year in O'Fallon, Illinois, Michigan's Charlotte and in Lusk, Wyoming. He was arrested shortly after making off with $3,300 from an O'Fallon bank. Kieffer also was suspected of bank holdups last year in the Detroit suburb of Novi, Ohio's Tipp City and Bolivar, and Illinois' Farmersville. Investigators say he confessed to many of those, though he was never charged. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan noted that Kieffer has spent 30 of his 49 years behind bars.

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

Giant ketchup bottle draws tourists in Illinois

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — For tourist Bruce Pasarow of Buena Park, California, leaving Illinois before seeing what's billed as the "World's Largest Bottle of Catsup" was not an option. The Collinsville water tower is a depiction of Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup, which was once produced in the buildings beneath the tower. Now, the sign is for sale. Owner Larry Eckert is asking $500,000 for the 65-year-old, 170-foot-tall landmark and adjacent warehouse. The 100,000-gallon tower never held ketchup. It hasn't been used since Brooks moved out in the 1960s. Judy Demoisy helped save the bottle when it was in danger of being torn down in 1993. She says preservationists believe using it in a ketchup museum would be great. "It's a global condiment," she says.

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

STATE
Quinn Launches New Comeback Ad

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn is hitting the television airwaves with a new, positive campaign ad called "Comeback." The ad touts Quinn's efforts to lead the state out of tough economic times, even when he had to do it alone. He prides himself on cutting lawmakers' pay when they couldn't reach a deal on pension reform last year. But Democrats and Republicans say that was a bully move and took Quinn to court. A judge ruled Quinn overstepped his authority and ordered the state to pay up.

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

Group files appeal in term limits decision


CHICAGO (AP) — A group pushing for lawmaker term limits has filed a court appeal to get their question on November's ballot. The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits filed a motion Tuesday with Illinois' First District Appellate Court asking it to reverse a June Cook County Circuit Court ruling. The circuit court said the measure didn't meet constitutional requirements and ruled it invalid. Committee spokesman Mark Campbell believes the appellate court can rule in the group's favor. If the appellate court doesn't reverse the ruling, the committee wants the court to urge the Illinois Supreme Court to change an earlier decision. The high court declined to immediately hear the lower court's ruling. The term limits group is led by Republican Bruce Rauner, who's trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

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

Illinois to ask voters about taxing millionaires


BERWYN, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing voters to weigh in on whether Illinois millionaires should pay more income tax. The Democrat signed the proposal Tuesday. It puts a nonbinding resolution on the November ballot to gauge support for tacking a 3 percent surcharge on incomes over $1 million. House Speaker Michael Madigan — a Chicago Democrat — says it could raise $1 billion for education, or about $550 per student. Madigan had wanted the idea proposed as a constitutional amendment. But he couldn't garner the 71-vote supermajority it needed in the House to put the amendment before voters. Critics say it aims to drive Democrats to the polls in a hotly-contested gubernatorial race between Quinn and wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.

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

State police: Armed suspect shot, killed by police

PANA, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police say a man in central Illinois shot and wounded a police officer before being killed by troopers during a later exchange of gunfire. State police report that 25 year old Josh A. Edwards of Pana was killed Tuesday morning at a home just west of Pana in Christian County. State police say that law enforcers from various agencies responded to the home where someone reported the presence of an armed man. Police say Edwards shot a Pana officer before fleeing to the home's roof, which he allegedly set ablaze before firing at members of the state police's tactical unit. Those officers returned fire, killing Edwards. The wounded Pana officer was listed as being in stable condition with injuries not considered life-threatening.

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

Illinois warns insurers of discrimination ban


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state of Illinois has cautioned insurers about discriminating against transgender people. The Illinois Department of Insurance bulletin issued to insurers this week details nondiscrimination provisions in the federal Affordable Care Act along with Illinois laws. Backers say the move was prompted by concerns for transgender people's rights, a focus for some gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights advocates after Illinois legalized same-sex marriage this year. Several other states including Oregon, California, Massachusetts and Vermont have recently issued similar statements to insurers. The guidance reminds insurers that both excluding and denying coverage based on a person's gender identity are illegal. However, some question the move. The Illinois Family Institute's Executive Director David Smith says it puts some religious business owners in a position that forces them to compromise their faiths.

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

Illinois coal exports down slightly in 2013

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois coal exports have risen sharply in recent years, even as its high sulfur content limits its demand in the U.S. The state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says that about 12 million tons of Illinois coal was exported in 2012. That's down slightly from the 13 million tons exported in 2012, but far more than the 5.5 million tons exported in 2011 and 2.5 million tons in 2010. Other coal-producing states are seeing similarly strong exports as the U.S. reduces its reliance on coal-burning power plants. But critics say exports are shifting pollution to other countries, some with more lax environmental standards. They say that makes the U.S. appear to be making more progress than it is on global warming. Illinois coal production accounts for about 4,000 jobs.

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

Nominees sought for Illinois distinguished seniors

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department on Aging is seeking nominees for the 2014 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame awards. The annual award recognizes Illinoisans 65 and older who are outstanding in the categories of community service, education, performance or graphic arts and in the workforce. Nominations must be postmarked or faxed by Aug. 22 to be included in the consideration for the awards. Nomination forms can be obtained at local Area Agencies on Aging or at the Illinois Department on Aging website. Candidates can be current state resident or former residents who lived in Illinois most of their lives. Posthumous nominees are also considered. The Illinois Council on Aging will help determine the award winners. Those chosen will be inducted into the hall of fame in October.

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

U. of Illinois opening office in India

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois plans to open an office in India by the end of next summer to help handle the university's partnerships with Indian institutions and companies. Pradeep Khanna is the university's associate chancellor for corporate and international relations. He tells The News-Gazette in Champaign that the university has strong ties to India and wants to strengthen them. The university has just over 1,000 Indian students at its campus in Urbana-Champaign. Only China and South Korea send more students. The University of Illinois also has existing partnerships with the College of Engineering in Pune and companies such as Infosys Technologies that do business in the country. Khanna said the office will start with one employee. It is expected to open by the start of the 2015-16 school year.

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

NATIONAL
House set to take up $17B VA overhaul bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — With a new Veterans Affairs secretary in place and an August recess looming, Congress is moving quickly to approve a compromise bill to refurbish the VA and improve veterans' health care. The House could vote on the $17 billion bill as early as today, with a Senate vote expected soon after as lawmakers rush to complete their work before leaving town this weekend for a five-week recess. The measure is intended help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department. The House vote could come just one day after the Senate confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald to lead the sprawling agency.

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

Senate likely to come up short on border bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration surge at the border appears headed for procedural defeat in the Senate. It comes as lawmakers trade blame over their inaction, just a few days before Congress' five-week summer recess. Senate Democrats' $3.5 billion emergency spending bill is designed to help deal with tens of thousands of young migrants crossing the border illegally. But it appears to lack the necessary support to move forward even after the inclusion of hundreds of millions of dollars to fight Western wildfires and provide aid for Israel's defense. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the stalemate is Republicans' fault. The minority leader, Mitch McConnell, blames the Democrats. House GOP leaders hope to move their own smaller measure Thursday, but it's unclear whether they will succeed.

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

Broken water main floods UCLA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters in Los Angeles have been searching cars in underground parking garages after a broken water main near the UCLA campus sent a geyser of water some 30 feet in the air. People were trapped in underground parking and there's at least an inch of water covering the floor of the famed Pauley Pavilion. The basketball arena had just undergone a $132 million renovation.

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

As Fed meets, key issues likely to stay unanswered

WASHINGTON (AP) — Today the government will give its first estimate of how much the gross domestic product — the economy's total output of goods and services — grew in the April-June quarter. Economists surveyed by FactSet believe the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.9 percent. That would mark a dramatic rebound from the January-March period, when the economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9 percent.

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

Obama Expected To Blast GOP Over Lawsuit

(Kansas City, MO)  --  President Obama is in Kansas City, where he plans to blast House Republicans who are getting ready to sue him.  Obama says the lawsuit House Speaker John Boehner plans to file is a political stunt.  Obama's speech at a historic theater will portray the lawsuit as a distraction from action he wants Congress to take.  Boehner insists there are no plans to impeach the President.  Boehner said rumors about House Republicans aiming to impeach the President are being fueled by Obama's staff and congressional Democrats.  

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

Weather kills 2,000 a year; cold is top culprit

NEW YORK (AP) — A report from the CDC finds that weather kills at least 2,000 Americans each year. Nearly two-thirds of the deaths are from the cold. That may surprise some people, the researchers acknowledge. One of the report's authors says hurricanes, tornadoes and heat waves "get more publicity, for some reason, than cold-related deaths."

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

Fla. baby survives after being left in hot minivan

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A 2-month-old girl in Orlando, Florida is recovering after being left inside a hot minivan. The mother told investigators she was inside a doctor's office with her 9-year-old Tuesday, when she realized that she left the baby in the van. Deputies say the mother rushed the baby into the clinic and doctors were able to stabilize her. The child was then taken to a hospital. There's no word on whether the mother will face charges.

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

Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make sure Elmo, Cookie Monster and Spider-Man behave themselves in Times Square. People dressed up as the characters often demand money for posing in photos with tourists. And recently, someone dressed as Spider-Man allegedly punched a police officer. Mayor Bill de Blasio says, "This has gone too far," and he wants them regulated. But at issue is whether they're just street performers with free speech rights or are engaged in commercial activity subject to regulation.

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

Diplomat: Criticism of Kerry not from Netanyahu

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israel's ambassador to the United States is asserting that criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry's peace-making efforts is traceable to Israel's "very rambunctious democracy," and not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ambassador Ron Dermer says Netanyahu appreciates Kerry's efforts to bring about a cease-fire in the Gaza war. He adds, quote, "This is not coming from the prime minister." Kerry himself brushed off the criticism Monday, saying Netanyahu had asked him if he could arrange a cease-fire. The secretary said he wouldn't have pushed so aggressively for a cease-fire if Netanyahu hadn't asked him to. Appearing Wednesday on MSNBC, Dermer said the vast majority of Israeli people "are against a cease-fire." The ambassador added, in his words, "This is the Israeli press that is speaking. We are a free country."

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

Police: Boy, 8, shot and killed in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit police say an 8-year-old boy has died after being shot while in bed at a home on the city's east side. Police say a bullet fired from outside went through a wall about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday and struck the child, who was taken to a hospital and died. The boy's name wasn't released by police, but The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press identify him as Jakari Pearson. WWJ-AM says neighbors reported hearing about five shots. Several bullet holes were visible in the bricks and a window of an upstairs bedroom at the home. Sgt. Michael Woody says investigators have a "good idea" of who they're looking for and are working to track that person down. Details about a suspect weren't immediately released. Police say others are being questioned.

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

Hyundai recalls 883K Sonatas to fix gear shifters

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai is recalling its popular Sonata midsize sedan to fix problems with the gear shift levers. The recall covers 883,000 cars from the 2011 through 2014 model years. The Korean automaker says the automatic transmission shift cable can separate from the shift lever. If that happens, the lever may not show the correct gear, increasing the risk of a crash. The company says in documents posted Wednesday by U.S. safety regulators that it has received 1,171 warranty claims about the problem, plus seven other reports with related symptoms. The documents don't say if there have been any crashes or injuries. Hyundai will notify owners by letter between now and the end of September. Dealers will inspect the shift cables and repair the connection if needed.

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

Ventura: Mixed emotions about defamation suit win

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he has mixed emotions about winning his defamation lawsuit in U.S. District Court. Ventura said in an interview with the Star Tribune that he is glad his reputation is restored, but wonders who will be next to throw him "under the bus." The former Navy SEAL and pro wrestler won $1.8 million Tuesday in a two-year fight to prove he was defamed by military sniper and best-selling author Chris Kyle, who claimed to have punched out Ventura at a bar for bad-mouthing SEALs. A federal jury sided with Ventura in his lawsuit against Kyle, who was killed last year in Texas. Ventura says that since Kyle's book "American Sniper" was published in 2012, he no longer feels welcome at Navy SEALs reunions.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man has won two $1 million lottery prizes in the past three months. Hoosier Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won $1 million from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at an Indianapolis convenience store. His other big winner came in April in western Indiana's Jasonville while traveling to a conference. Hamilton says he used his first prize to pay off debts, buy a home and invest in his business. He now plans to buy a motorcycle. The lottery says Hamilton's tickets are among eight top prizes for its $120 Million Cash Spectacular Scratch-off game. Lottery officials say the odds of winning a top prize from the game are one in 2.1 million.

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

Shelling of UN school kills 15 as Gaza war rages

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Israeli military is offering an explanation for the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza that was packed with Palestinians fleeing the war with Hamas. Palestinian health officials say tank shells tore through the walls of two classrooms, killing 15 people and wounding another 90. The Israeli military says soldiers fired after mortar shells were launched from near the school. Health officials elsewhere say Israeli airstrikes and shelling killed 40 other Palestinians today, including multiple members of two families struck in their homes. The dead include four children. War planes struck dozens of locations in Gaza, including five mosques the military claims were being used by militants. The total number of Palestinians killed since the start of fighting July 8 is now approaching 1,300. Israel has lost 53 soldiers and three civilians.

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

Hamas dismisses cease-fire

JERUSALEM (AP) — A Hamas spokesman says the four-hour cease-fire declared by Israel doesn't have any "value," because it excludes border areas from which Hamas wants to evacuate the wounded. The Israeli military says the cease-fire is for humanitarian reasons. It says it will be limited to only certain areas in the densely populated coastal strip but did not elaborate. Israel's military says its forces are still working to demolish tunnels in some areas of the Strip. It says at least two rockets were fired at Israel after its declaration to partially hold fire.

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

Observers turned back from Ukraine crash site

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian security official says pro-Russian separatists have mined approaches to the Malaysia Airlines crash site. International observers say they turned back today after speaking with rebels. Nearby, fighting is continuing between separatist and Ukrainian forces. Local officials say 19 people have been killed in the region in the past 24 hours.

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

Britain to test driverless cars next year

LONDON (AP) — British officials say driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program to begin in January. Officials say the tests will last up to three years. Sensors and cameras will guide the cars. The plan will include two types of driverless technology. One places a driver in the car who can take the controls if needed; another calls for a fully autonomous vehicle with no driver present. Transport Minister Claire Perry says driverless cars could transform Britain's road network and improve safety and traffic flow while reducing carbon emissions. The cities to test the system will be chosen in a competition. Other countries including Japan and the United States are already developing driverless technology.

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 4, Colorado Rockies 3 (16 inn)
San Diego Padres 3, St. Louis Cardinals 1
Chicago White Sox 11, Detroit Tigers 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 6, Florence 5
Frontier 14, Gateway 1

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit 6:08 p.m.
Colorado at Chicago Cubs 7:05 p.m.
St. Louis at San Diego 9:10 p.m.(94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 8:14 p.m.)

Frontier League

Gateway at Florence
Southern Illinois at Normal
Evansville at River City

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

New look at NBA players union

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union. Roberts received 32 of 36 votes in a process that was completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The Washington trial lawyer defeated tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote. The vote capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February of 2013.

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

AP: Settlement reached in concussion lawsuit

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit. The Associated Press has learned that the organization will create a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football and other contact sports. A filing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago says college sports' governing body also has agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows. The NCAA has been accused of giving too much discretion to individual schools about when athletes can go back into games. This deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages, and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that.

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

News for July 29, 2014

LOCAL
Illinois taking time with Murray center closure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials say the closure of a southern Illinois center for people with developmental disabilities will be a "long process." Illinois Department of Human Services spokeswoman Januari Smith tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that there is no timetable to close the Warren Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. Smith calls it a "long process" and says the department is talking with parents "about all the living options that are available." Last week a federal judge ruled that the state has the authority to close the center. Parents of children that the center serves wanted to stop the closure. But the judge ruled the parents didn't prove the closure would cause them irreparable harm. The state wants to close the facility to save money and have community-based care.

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

Franklin County Faces Fiscal Woes

Franklin County Treasurer John Gulley says the county board is going to have to deal with county's lack of revenue before the fiscal year is over. The county is short by about a half-million dollars and Gully wants board members to consider amending the budget to reflect the shortage with hopes that it will prevent a deficit for this year.   Revenue from sales tax and circuit and county clerk fees are down from last year. The county has received $2.8 million in revenue this year compared to $3.3 million last year. The general fund also stands around a negative $525,000 this year compared to a negative $200,000 last year.  The common fund at the end of last month was just over $1 million, but the balance will be $437,000 after the county claims are paid. On the bright side, departmental spending is staying on track with expenditures standing at $3.8 million of the budgeted $7.7 million at the end of June.

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

Mother Of Deceased College Student Hopes For Answers

The family of Pravin Varughese plans to file a lawsuit this week against the last person to see him alive hoping that they will get the answers they've been seeking regarding his death. Multiple reports say the 19-year-old Varughese went to a party back in February and left with an acquaintance.  They both rode down Route 13 in Carbondale and got into an argument. Varughese got out and ran into the woods. He was found dead several days later behind Kohl's. The Jackson County coroner said Varughese died of hypothermia. Varughese's mother, Lovely, says she has gotten very few answers regarding her son's death and that's why she's seeking the truth. Carbondale police say foul play was not involved and haven't released his autopsy or toxicology reports at this time.

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

Motor Vehicle Tampering Suspects Appear In Court

The couple involved in last week's kidnapping incident in Eldorado appeared in a southeast Missouri courtroom. Court officials in New Madrid County say 19 year old Courtney Godwin pled guilty to misdemeanor tampering with a motor vehicle and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. A judge sentenced Godwin to 10 days in jail on each charge, with both sentences running concurrently. She also got credit for time served. 23 year old Sonny Pilgrim was arraigned on felony charges of tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. He's scheduled to appear in court August 7. Pilgrim also faces charges in Saline County of kidnapping, armed robbery, and unlawful possession of a converted vehicle. Eldorado police say on July 23, Pilgrim took Godwin allegedly at knifepoint from her step-grandparent's home on Beulah Street and fled in a stolen SUV toward Marion. The couple was found and arrested the next day at a truck stop in Southeast Missouri.

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

Former Fairfield Coach Charged With Sex Crimes

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced Monday that Timothy C. Going, 43, formerly of Fairfield, IL, where he worked as the coach for the cross country team, the assistant coach for the track team, and a math teacher at Fairfield Community High School, was arraigned on a four-count Indictment charging him. A detention hearing has been scheduled for August 5, 2014, to determine whether or not Going should be held without bond pending trial. Counts 1 through 3 of the Indictment allege that between August 24, 2012, and August 25, 2012, and between October 26, 2012, and October 27, 2012, and between November 1, 2013, and November 2, 2013, Going attempted to sexually exploit minors by using these minors in an attempt to produce child pornography. Count 4 alleges that, on May 9, 2014, Going knowingly possessed a desktop computer and a laptop computer, both of which contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Trial is scheduled for September 30, 2014. The penalties for each count of Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor or Minors are a term in prison of not less than fifteen years, but not more than thirty years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life. The penalties for the offense of Possession of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct are a term in prison of not more than ten years, a fine up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years to life.

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

St. Clair County OKs $7M medical marijuana plan

MARISSA, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois county has signed off on a planned $7-million medical marijuana venture near the town of Marissa. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the St. Clair County board voted 21 to 4 on Monday in favor of the farm proposal, which still requires approval by state officials. Officials say the center would be called Nature's Care and would grow up to 15 strains of marijuana in a greenhouse attached to a 20,000-square-foot building. The marijuana would be sold in dried or edible form. And in northwestern Illinois, the Rock Island Argus reports that Rock Island's governing aldermanic board has approved of the $135,000 sale of 10 acres for a planned medical-marijuana cultivation center.

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

Bank Of Belleville To Build New Headquarters

(Belleville, IL) -- The Bank of Belleville is going to build a new headquarters branch. The bank has closed on its purchase of a site in downtown Belleville to construct the new headquarters. The bank's president told the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" demolition will probably start in the next few weeks on two buildings on South Illinois Street. The company is planning to move its current location at 720 West Main Street, and build the new headquarters branch just blocks away, on South Illinois Street.

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

Retired Judge's Daughter Accused Of Hitting Former SLU Player

(St. Clair County, IL)  --  The daughter of a former St. Clair County judge is set to appear in court after being accused of hitting a former St. Louis University basketball player with her car.  The sheriff's office say Katherine O'Malley hit Kevin Lisch earlier this month while driving on Country Club Lane near Belleville.  O'Malley, the daughter of retired Judge Michael O'Malley, was ticketed for failure to reduce speed.  Her court appearance is set for August 13th.  Lisch played for SLU from 2005 to 2009. 

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

Illinois police identify wheelchair fall victim

SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — St. Clair County authorities have identified a quadriplegic man who drowned in a pond following a wheelchair accident. The county's deputy coroner says Gerard Frierdich of Belleville died Sunday in Centennial Park after his motorized wheelchair fell down an embankment and into the water. The 51-year-old photographer was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2007 bicycle accident. Park visitors discovered Frierdich Sunday when they saw part of his body and wheelchair sticking out of the pond. The deputy coroner says the wheelchair had off-road tires and Frierdich liked to ride it everywhere. Authorities say the shore of the pond is uneven and the area is covered with roots.

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

STATE
Illinois fair managers fined for free beer tickets

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Managers of two Illinois state fairs have been fined for soliciting and accepting free beer tickets for the events. Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza's office released a report Monday detailing violations against Amy Bliefnick and John Rednour. Bliefnick is manager of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and Rednour was manager of the DuQuoin State Fair before resigning to work for his family's bank. Meza says Rednour asked a beer vendor in 2012 to give him 1,000-2,000 tickets. And Meza says Bliefnick accepted at least 120 tickets last year. Tickets are worth about $4. Bliefnick was fined $1,000 and suspended for two days without pay. Rednour was fined $5,000. Rednour says he used the tickets for promotions. Bliefnick didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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

More Illinois state workers making over $100,000

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A published report has found that more than 10 percent of Illinois government employees made more than $100,000 in 2013 — up 1,600 from a year earlier. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported Monday that overtime and back-wage payouts were responsible for many of the larger salaries. The paper reported that 7,800 employees — just over 10 percent of the workforce — topped $100,000 in salary last year. They received a total of $966 million, or about 21 percent of the state payroll. bAnders Lindall of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union says compensation figures are skewed. He says staff shortages are causing overtime and back wages wouldn't pump up salaries had they been paid on time.

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

Explosive Device Was Found In Downtown Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  Springfield cops are investigating how a pipe bomb found its way to the downtown area.  First responders were called to East Washington Street on Monday night where the device was found.  The explosive was blown up by a bomb squad.  No one was injured.

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

Cool summer keeping West Nile in check in Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Experts say what has so far been a cool, wet summer is probably limiting West Nile virus in Illinois. Melaney Arnold is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. She tells The News-Gazette in Champaign that a year ago 4 percent of the mosquitoes trapped in counties around the state carried West Nile. At this point in 2012 that figure was 14 percent. But this year it's just 1 percent. University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Phil Nixon says there are plenty of mosquitoes around. But most aren't the Culex mosquitoes that transmit the virus. But a run of hot, dry weather that favors Culex could increase their numbers. Jeff Blackford of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said the drought of 2012 led to high populations.

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

Illinois Seeing Fewer Tornadoes This Year

(Springfield, IL) -- It looks like Mother Nature is sparing Illinois from tornadoes this year. State Climatologist Jim Angel says we've only had 23-twisters this year, compared to the normal 40 that we usually see by now. Angel says there's a neat new online tool that allows weather enthusiasts to track tornadoes dating as far back as the 1950's. It's available on the Midwestern Regional Climate Center's website at MRCC.ISWS.Illinois.edu.

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

Nothing Shaking In Search For Road Salt


(Chicago, IL) -- Nearly two-hundred towns and cities across the state are looking ahead to winter and are scrambling to restock their supplies of road salt depleted by last winter's frigid temperatures. The state's department of Central Management Services says no vendors have responded to the request for bids from many communities. The state will seek new bids for nearly two hundred towns, but they warn that prices are expected to be as much as double what they were last year.

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

NIU Alumni Creates Campus Safety Device

(DeKalb, IL) -- A couple of former NIU students are making a buzz for creating a new safety device. It's a small, wireless handheld remote that sends an alert to police when someone is in trouble. That alert includes the person's exact location and records all video and audio of what's going on. That information can possibly be used as evidence in court proceedings if necessary. The team of NIU alum created the device in response to the growing number of violent attacks on campuses across the nation, including the deadly shooting rampage on NIU's campus back in 2008. Students can get the device for under ten-bucks a-month. Check out Edu-Protect.com for more details.

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

New Campaign Promotes Products By Veteran Farmers


(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who've served in the military are getting a boost to help promote their Ag products. The state is unveiling a new logo tomorrow that lets consumers know that the products they see in stores were grown right here in Illinois, by a farmer who served his or her country. The state also wants to recruit more veterans to become farmers. The Homegrown by Heroes program will offer them the training and informational resources they'll need to get started.

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

NATIONAL
With Israel at war, US lawmakers give full support

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of Congress are falling over one another to show their support for Israel. While much of the rest of the world watches the Gaza war in horror and scrambles for a cease-fire, U.S. lawmakers are pressing the Obama administration to take no action that puts pressure on Israel to halt its military operations. Many even have criticized the administration's effort to halt violence that has killed more than 1,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 40 Israeli soldiers and three civilians this month. House Speaker John Boehner said Monday the administration should "stand with Israel, not just as a broker or observer but as a strong partner." In recent days, Democrats and Republicans alike have sought increased U.S. military aid to Israel.

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

Donald Sterling wants to appeal judge's OK to sell Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling say they plan to appeal a judge's ruling that allows the sale of the Clippers to go ahead. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge sided with Sterling's estranged wife Shelly, who negotiated the $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after Sterling made offensive remarks about blacks and was banned for life form the NBA.

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

Returning home amid wildfire

SHINGLE SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Most residents forced to flee a wildfire in Northern California's Sierra Nevada foothills are being allowed to return home. Firefighters have been able to keep the blaze at 6 square miles and it's now 75 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 13 homes and 38 other structures.

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

Senate to vote on highway money as deadline looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is scheduled to take up legislation today to keep federal highway money flowing to states, with just three days left before the government plans to start slowing down payments. The House passed a $10.8 billion bill last week that would pay for highway and transit aid through the end of May 2015 if transportation spending is maintained at current levels. But senators who say the House bill uses budgetary gimmicks or who want to force Congress to act on a long-term plan to pay for roads and bridges are expected to offer amendments. If any of the amendments pass, it would set up an 11th hour showdown between the House and Senate. The Transportation Department says it will begin cutting back payments to states on Aug. 1.

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

Appeals court allows Sept. 11 steel cross display

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist group that wanted to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center's wreckage. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday sided with a federal judge's ruling last year that the decision to include the beam in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum did not advance religion impermissibly. American Atheists had sued the museum's operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds.

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

McDonnell Upbeat As Corruption Trial Starts

(Richmond, VA)  --  Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is eager for testimony in his corruption trial to begin.  McDonnell says he's happy to get a chance to defend himself against charges that he and his wife, Maureen, rewarded a wealthy businessman with political influence for giving them large loans and expensive gifts.  Monday saw the seating of 12 jurors and four alternates.  The judge expects the trial to last more than a month.

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

OKCupid Runs Social Experiment On Users

(Undated)  --  The dating website OKCupid is letting users know it tweaked information they saw as part of a social experiment.  The site made the announcement when it revealed the results of three experiments.  OKCupid obscured profile photos in one experiment, hid profile texts to see how that affected personality ratings in another, and told users they were more or less compatible with someone in a third experiment.  OKCupid's president defended the experiments and said they were conducted to learn how people can get the most out of the site. 

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

Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

(Undated)  --  Tonight is prime time for the Delta Aquarids meteor shower.  Astronomers say the light show will peak around 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.  Fifteen to 20 meteors per hour should be visible during the hours before midnight Eastern.  The Delta Aquarids meteor shower will be visible all over the world, with the best views in the tropical regions.

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

Man charged in teen's disappearance heads to court

CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — A 34-year-old man charged with kidnapping a New Hampshire teen more than nine months ago is heading to court. Nathanial Kibby, of Gorham, was charged Monday with a felony kidnapping on Oct. 9 — the day then-14-year-old Abigail Hernandez vanished after leaving her Conway high school. She returned home the night of July 20, but officials have yet to reveal where she was in the time between. Kibby's arraignment is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday in Conway. Assistant Attorney General Jane Young says details will come out in court and there will be a press briefing afterward. Kibby was arrested without incident at his mobile home Monday afternoon. Neighbors say they were shocked. Attorney General Joseph Foster says Hernandez provided authorities with the details that led to Kibby's arrest.

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

2 arraigned, denied bail in deadly Pa. carjacking

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two men accused of carjacking a woman in north Philadelphia and plowing into a family killing three children, have been ordered held without bail. Twenty-three-year-old Cornelius Crawford and 19-year-old Johnathan Rosa were arraigned early today on charges including murder and kidnapping. Police believe the two forced a real estate agent into her SUV and sped off, crashing about 15 minutes later. The children and their mother had been selling fruit for a church fundraiser. The mother was injured.

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

Hiker, 13, found in California national park

KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — A 13-year-old boy who got separated from his group while hiking at Kings Canyon National Park in Central California has been found. The Fresno Bee reports Austin Shedd was located around 9:30 p.m. Monday. He had been reported missing at 2 a.m. Parks officials say the boy was spending Monday night in the wilderness with the trail crew before being airlifted out Tuesday morning. Shedd's group was hiking from Arrow Peak to Bench Lake when he disappeared. The hikers had planned to end their trip Monday and exit through the park's Taboose Pass.

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

NCAA settles head injury lawsuit

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit. A federal court filing obtained by The Associated Press says the NCAA will create a $70 million fund to test current and former college athletes for brain injuries. Players can use the results later as grounds for suing for damages. The NCAA also agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who receive blows to the head. The settlement applies to multiple sports, including football, hockey, soccer, basketball, wrestling, field hockey and lacrosse. It covers both men and women. The filing Tuesday in Chicago notifies a judge that the parties have struck a deal after nearly a year of talks. Ten similar suits filed nationwide were consolidated into this lawsuit.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Gaza official: At least 100 killed Tuesday in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian health official says at least 100 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting in Gaza today. The high death toll comes as Israel has escalated its military offensive in the coastal strip. Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says the toll counts those killed from midnight on Monday. The Palestinian death toll in more than three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting has surpassed 1,100. Since the start of Israeli ground operations in the Gaza Strip, there have been several instances when the daily Palestinian death toll surpassed 100. A senior PLO official today proposed a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza war, and said he spoke in the name of Hamas. But a short time later, a Hamas spokesman disputed that claim.

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

More civilians reported killed in east Ukraine

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — The center of the main rebel city in eastern Ukraine has been hit by shells, killing one person. The shells struck an apartment block in Donetsk today. Authorities in two other cities in eastern Ukraine say shelling today has killed at least 22 civilians. They say five people in a home for the elderly were killed in the rebel-controlled city of Luhansk and 17 died in Horlivka, a city besieged by government troops.

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

China investigating Microsoft in monopoly case

BEIJING (AP) — China's anti-monopoly agency has announced an investigation of Microsoft Corp., stepping up pressure on foreign technology companies. The agency said Tuesday it opened a case in June after complaints that Microsoft violated an anti-monopoly law by failing to publish all documentation related to its Windows operating system and Office software. The agency said a preliminary examination failed to resolve the issue so regulators launched a formal investigation. Foreign technology suppliers face growing pressure from Chinese regulators, who have launched anti-monopoly investigations and announced plans to examine their products for security flaws. In a separate case, state media said last week that regulators have concluded Qualcomm Inc., a U.S.-based maker of chip sets for cellphones, has a monopoly but gave no indication what remedies they might demand.

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

West African airline suspends flights amid Ebola

LOME, Togo (AP) — The West African airline that transported a passenger sick with Ebola last week says it's now suspending flights to the two cities hardest hit by the disease. A statement from Asky Airlines said Tuesday that it was temporarily halting flights to the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone. A man who boarded a flight in Monrovia, Liberia last week took two Asky flights before arriving in Lagos, Nigeria, where he later died. Liberia has now stepped up security measures at its airport but at the time there was no passenger screening. The World Health Organization says the risk of someone contracting Ebola from a fellow passenger is very low, and it has not recommended any travel restrictions. Ebola has no specific treatment and about 70 percent of victims have died.

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

Quake shakes Mexico's Gulf coast

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A strong earthquake has shaken eastern Mexico, but there are no immediate reports of damage or injury. The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-6.3 quake was centered in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, about 260 miles east-southeast of Mexico City. The epicenter was relatively deep, 59 miles below the surface. Local news media in Veracruz reported the 5:46 a.m CDT quake was felt strongly there, and it rocked buildings at least as far away as Mexico City.

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

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 4, Colorado 1

Frontier League

Washington 2, Evansville 0
Evansville 4, Washington 3
Southern Illinois 4, Florence 3

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Detroit, 6:08 p.m.
Colorado at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
St. Louis at San Diego, 9:10 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 8:14 p.m.)

Frontier League

Frontier at Gateway
Florence at Southern Illinois

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

U of I club hockey team looks for temporary home

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The Ice Arena at the University of Illinois won't be able to open until at least mid-September because of mechanical problems. That will leave the school's popular club hockey team looking for a new temporary home. Coach Nick Fabbrini tells The News-Gazette that he is looking at rinks in Bloomington, Danville, Kankakee and Chicago for sites for practices and possibly games. The team is scheduled to open its season Sept. 19. The club would have to ask alumni to cover the extra costs. The university's Campus Recreation Department says work to repair the system that cools pipes under the ice should take about six weeks. The 73-year-old arena is the only rink in Champaign. It also hosts youth hockey, speed skating, a synchronized skating team and other on-ice activities.

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

Dodgers acquire 2B Barney in trade with Cubs

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired second baseman Darwin Barney in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Barney won a Gold Glove in 2012 after tying the major league single-season record with 141 consecutive errorless games. But he was designated for assignment last Tuesday after hitting .230 with 16 RBIs in 72 games this season. The last-place Cubs sent Barney and cash to NL West-leading Los Angeles for a player to be named. The trade was announced on Monday. Barney, who turns 29 in November, is a .244 career hitter with 18 homers and 146 RBIs in 542 games.

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

News for July 28, 2014

LOCAL
Illinois prison guard suffers concussion in attack

VIENNA, Ill. (AP) — State and union officials say a prisoner has assaulted a guard at a southern Illinois prison. Jeremy Noelle is the Local Union Council 31 representative for the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. He says the prisoner headbutted the guard, causing the correctional officer to suffer a concussion. Authorities say it happened Friday morning at the Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna. Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Tom Shaer says three other officers were present when the incident happened. Shaer says the department is investigating and the inmate has been transferred to a maximum security facility. Noelle says the officer was taken for treatment and should return to work in four to five days.

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

Police Arrest Alleged Grease Thieves

(O'Fallon, IL) -- Police in downstate O'Fallon think they've cracked a multistate ring involved in a new kind of crime -- stealing used grease from St. Louis area restaurants. Police last week arrested three men at a barn in O'Fallon where they also found about ten-thousand-gallons of grease and cooking oil, stolen from fast food restaurants and intended for sale to rendering and biodiesel plants. Police says the suspects had records in other states for stealing grease and they estimate the haul they uncovered could have been sold for 30-thousand-dollars.

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

Mt. Vernon Residents Injured In Accident

There was an accident on Thursday afternoon on Interstate 64 that sent 2 Mount Vernon residents to the hospital.  According to the Illinois State Police District 13 report, it occurred just past 3:30 PM in the left eastbound lane of I-64 near mile marker 56.5, when a car driven by 84-year old Guy C. Leonard went off the road and he overcorrected, went across both eastbound lanes and then off into a ditch, where it overturned.  Leonard and an 87-year old female passenger both sustained non-incapacitating injuries.  There was no mention of any citations, but there was also damage to a fence along the highway.

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

Mt Vernon Area Military Families to Receive School Supplies

Mount Vernon, Ill. – Operation Homefront Central Midwest will hold a Back to School Brigade event Saturday, August 02, 2014 where free back packs and school supplies will be given to local military children. The event will take place from 1pm to 3pm. at the National Guard Armory in Mt Vernon.

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

Death of Jefferson County Man Remains Under Investigation

According to Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Jo Marks, he does not suspect foul play in the death of a rural Centralia man found dead outside his home Friday afternoon.  Marks pronounced Robert Dodson of Dix-Irvington Road dead on the scene.  He says the cause of death remains under investigation by the state crime scene investigators, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.  Reports indicate Dodson's body was found by a family member around 3:30 Friday afternoon.   

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

West Frankfort Authorities Continue To Investigate Fires

Police in West Frankfort continue to investigate the multiple fires that happened at various time Saturday at the Anna Gray highrise. Officials say one man, who was mentally handicapped, was treated as a "person of interest" in the case and was interviewed following the two fires that happened late Saturday. He was removed and placed in his mother's custody. Since then, no more fires have been reported.  Another person also treated as a "person of interest" in the case was questioned and released. The Franklin County Housing Authority put "keep out" signs on the trash chute doors and told residents to bring their trash down to the first floor after the fires that happened earlier in the day. They were later secured keeping residents from using them. The two fires late Saturday night were found in the laundry room on the fourth floor and in a stairwell on the second floor. Firefighters from West Frankfort, Benton and Zeigler responded to each fire and were able to put each one out. No one was injured during the ordeal.

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

Old Illinois theater getting new projectors

DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — The old Grand Theatre in Du Quoin is about to get a technological face lift. Richie Baker owns the theater in the southwest Illinois town. He tells The Southern Illinoisan that two new digital projectors are on the way at a cost of $70,000. They should be up and running in mid-August. Baker said the demand for expensive digital projection has forced many independent theater operators out of business. He's getting a hand from the city of Du Quoin with a $20,000 loan. The theater has also gotten some fresh paint on the outside and some new marquee lights. The Grand was built in the 1880s and burned down twice before being rebuilt in its present form in the 1920s. It is the only movie theater in Perry County.

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

Police: Illinois man drowns in pond accident

SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — St. Clair County police say a man has drowned in a pond following what appears to be a wheelchair or scooter accident. The Belleville News-Democrat reports Swansea police say a 51-year-old Belleville man drowned Sunday at Centennial Park. They say park visitors discovered the man when they saw part of his body sticking out of the pond. Police say the shore is uneven and it appears the man went into the water accidentally. They say he was strapped into the apparatus with a safety belt. Police didn't immediately release the man's name because not all of his relatives had been notified.

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

Cahokia Mounds excavators make interesting find

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Experts say student archaeologists excavating the Cahokia Mounds in southern Illinois have made an interesting find. The Southern Illinoisan reports that the students found a bundle of whelk shells and bird bones tied together. Cahokia Mounds Museum Society Executive Director Lori Belknap says the team usually unearths Native American pottery shards or arrow points. She says the items in the bundle were laid "in a very specific order" and found in a ceremonial pit. She calls it a "significant find." Belknap shared the discovery Saturday at the Mississippian Conference at the historic site in Collinsville. She says an analysis on the bundle "will tell us so much about the culture."

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

STATE
Kirk again calls for removal of hospital head


BERWYN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk continues to call for the removal of upper management at Hines VA Hospital outside Chicago. Kirk met Friday with Hines director Joan Ricard, whose removal he has repeatedly recommended. He says he suggested to her that she "get a criminal lawyer" for the FBI investigation he is going to recommend. Ricard didn't public ally comment. Kirk calls Ricard a "civil servant with an attitude," adding that in the Navy she "would have been immediately relieved of command." The Republican senator also met with hospital whistleblowers, including Cermaine Clarno, president of the union representing hospital workers. Clarno says the hospital is plagued by mold caused by water leakage. Hospital spokeswoman Carity Hudson says efforts to end the leaks have been made and "mold is no longer present."

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

Quinn Takes Low-Wage Challenge

(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Quinn is taking a challenge that'll force him to live on the minimum wage for a while.  He made the pledge yesterday after being called out by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  She just wrapped up a week of living on just eleven-bucks a day.  It's part of a movement designed to get more people out to the polls this fall where they can weigh in on whether the state's minimum wage should be raised to ten-bucks-an-hour.  Lawmakers won't be required to change the wage no matter what voters decide. 

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

More Than 212-Thousand Job Postings In June

(Springfield, IL)  --  There are a couple-hundred-thousand job openings in Illinois.  Employers posted more than 212-thousand help-wanted ads on the internet in June.  Eighty-five-percent of the postings were for full-time workers.  Anyone looking for work can check out IllinoisJobLink.com for more details.

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

Madigan Contender Down By Less Than 10-Points

(Undated)  --  A new poll suggests Attorney General Lisa Madigan may be in for a close race this fall.  Her opponent, Paul Shimpf conducted the poll earlier this month, asking 800-likely voters who they'd vote for if the election were today.  Forty-six-percent of the respondents say they'd keep Madigan on the job, 37-percent said they'd go with Shimpf, and 17-percent were undecided.   The same poll put Republican Bruce Rauner over Governor Quinn by six-percentage points.

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

Illinois farmers market prices being surveyed

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Extension Service is now regularly surveying prices at farmers markets around the state. According to The News-Gazette in Champaign, the surveys of 11 farmers markets around Illinois are being conducted as part of a three-state effort that includes Kentucky and Tennessee. The weekly price surveys are being published on the University of Kentucky Center for Crop Diversification's website. The idea is to give produce farmers an idea of what prices look like across the region. Extension educator Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant said the price data should help farmers set prices at competitive levels.

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

State Considers Changes To Motorcycle Licensing Program

(Springfield, IL)  --  There could be a few changes coming to the motorcycle licensing program in Illinois.  State officials are looking to add a third licensing category that would call for more specified training on bigger bikes.  The riders also would be required to prove they can handle the bike when they go through their motorcycle safety class.  The idea is to cut back on motorcycle deaths, which have skyrocketed in recent years.  

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

Illinois State University sets fundraising record

CHICAGO (AP) — It's been a banner year for fundraising at Illinois State University. The Normal-based school has announced it set a fundraising record by raising $19.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That compares with $14.8 million over the previous year. The record-setting tally includes two donations of $1 million or more. In all, more than 10,400 alumni offered some form of gift to the university during the fiscal year. The money raised will go toward various projects and programs. That includes student scholarships and endowed faculty positions. In a statement, Illinois State President Larry Dietz heralded the fundraising success. He says it'll help the school "accomplish its mission."

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

NATIONAL
After 6 weeks, a deal on VA health care

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees will today unveil a plan expected to authorize billions in emergency spending to lease 27 new clinics, hire more doctors and nurses and make it easier for veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care. An agreement reached Sunday by Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont comes nearly seven weeks after the House and Senate approved separate bills on veterans health care. The deal still must be approved by the full House and Senate.

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

Tennessee storms destroy homes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Law enforcement officials have set up a command post and a school is open for anyone left homeless by Sunday's severe storms in Claiborne County, Tennessee. Authorities aren't sure if it was a tornado that ripped through, destroying at least 10 homes. The community of Speedwell is especially hard hit. There are no reports of deaths or injuries.

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

Wildfire destroys more buildings in CA's Sierra foothills

PLYMOUTH, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials in Northern California say more than 500 homes are still being threatened by a wildfire that's burned roughly 6 square miles in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Firefighters have made progress battling the blaze, and it's now 50 percent contained. The fire has destroyed 13 homes and 38 outbuildings.

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

Dollar Tree buying Family Dollar for $8.5 billion

NEW YORK (AP) — Dollar Tree is buying rival discount store Family Dollar in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $8.5 billion. Stockholders of Family Dollar Stores will receive $59.60 in cash and the equivalent of $14.90 in shares of Dollar Tree for each share they own. The companies put the value of the transaction at $74.50 per share. The boards of both companies have unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close by early next year. Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc., based in Charlotte, North Carolina, spiked 20 percent before the opening bell Monday. Shares of Dollar Tree Inc., based in Chesapeake, Virginia, are up almost 4 percent.

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

Small plane crash on Fla. beach; 2 on ground hit

VENICE, Fla. (AP) — A Georgia man is dead and his 9-year-old daughter is in the hospital with critical injuries after they were hit by a small plane that made an emergency landing on a Florida Gulf Coast beach. The Piper Cherokee crash-landed Sunday afternoon, losing a wheel and smashing a propeller. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office identifies the victims as 36-year-old Ommy Irizarry and his daughter Oceana. Officials tell the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the victims were either hit by the plane or its debris.

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

Trial opening over video of Oklahoma City bombing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Salt Lake City attorney is suing because he says the FBI won't release security camera video showing a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he bombed the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people. A trial today in Oklahoma City is at the heart of a quest by Jesse Trentadue to explain the mysterious death of his brother Kenneth, who he says, based on witness descriptions, resembled a second person seen walking away from an explosives-filled truck. Several months after the bombing, Kenneth Trentadue died in a federal holding cell in what was labeled a suicide.

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

It's all over but the arguing in Sterling trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Only final arguments and a ruling remain in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Lawyers for Sterling plan to argue today that Shelly Sterling had no right to make the deal with Ballmer, even though Donald Sterling had given her written authority to pursue a sale. The attorneys also say she tricked Donald Sterling into taking mental exams that found he had signs of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. That finding was sufficient for him to be removed as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust and allow Shelly Sterling to move forward with the sale of the team. Later in the process, however, Donald Sterling tried to stop the sale by dissolving the trust.

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

Trial in salmonella outbreak set to begin in Ga.

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — The trial for three people charged in a deadly salmonella outbreak traced to a southwest Georgia peanut plant five years ago is set to begin. Jury selection starts today in federal court in Albany in the trial of former Peanut Company of America owner Stewart Parnell; his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell; and the peanut plant's quality control manager, Mary Wilkerson. The Parnell brothers and Wilkerson were indicted last year on 76 criminal counts that accused them of shipping tainted peanuts to industrial food customers and covering up lab tests that showed some batches of nuts tested positive for salmonella. Stewart Parnell and Wilkerson were also charged with obstruction of justice. Georgia plant manager Samuel Lightsey was also charged and pleaded guilty in May to seven criminal counts.

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

2 questioned in search for Philly carjackers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Investigators are talking to two people in the search for two carjackers who rammed a stolen sport utility vehicle into a family in north Philadelphia, killing three children. A police spokeswoman cautioned Monday that the two males are not being called suspects. Investigators have said they are working hard to apprehend the carjackers, who they say fled on foot after crashing the vehicle Friday at an intersection where 34-year-old Keisha Williams and her three children were selling fruit for a church fundraiser. Williams remains hospitalized along with a 65-year-old woman who was helping the family at the fruit stand and the 45-year-old woman who was carjacked. A $110,000 reward is being offered in the homicide investigation for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible.

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

Porch shooter back in court as trial resumes

DETROIT (AP) — The trial of a Detroit-area man who killed a young unarmed woman on his porch has resumed. Theodore Wafer has returned to Wayne County court. He's charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was shot outside Wafer's Dearborn Heights home last fall. The 55-year-old says he shot McBride in self-defense. But prosecutors played a recording last week of Wafer's first encounter with police during which he said he didn't know his shotgun was loaded. It's not known why McBride ended up at Wafer's home at 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 2. They didn't know each other. She was drunk and had crashed her car a half-mile away 3 ½ hours earlier.

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

Mom on teen's 9-month absence: She isn't pregnant

NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) — The mother of a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl reunited with her family nine months after she vanished says rumors that she was pregnant aren't true. Investigators have been trying to find out how and why Abigail Hernandez of North Conway disappeared and who may have helped conceal her. She returned home July 20. Zenya Hernandez tells NBC's "Today" that many people think her daughter was pregnant, but she was not. She also says she believes Abby did not run away and didn't know the man believed to have driven off with her. Police released a sketch of him based on Abby's description. Abby issued a statement thanking people who searched for her and that she believes their hopes and prayers "played a major role in my release."

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

Ronstadt, Katzenberg among those honored by Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Singer Linda Ronstadt, DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and public radio host Diane Rehm are among those being honored at the White House for their contributions to arts and humanities. President Barack Obama is awarding the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 22 recipients in an East Room ceremony Monday. First lady Michelle Obama also plans to attend. The National Medal of Arts was established by Congress in 1984 as the nation's highest award given to artists and their patrons. The National Humanities Medal was created in in 1997 to honor those who have deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities in fields including history, literature, languages and philosophy.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Ukraine spokesman: Plane punctured by shrapnel

SHAKHTARSK, Ukraine (AP) — For a second day, heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine is keeping an international police team from reaching the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash. The team is supposed to secure the site. Government troops in the area have stepped up their push to win back territory from pro-Russia separatists. The UN says the fighting has killed more than 1,100 people in four months. Meanwhile, the flight recorders from the Malaysia Airlines jet are revealing more about what happened. According to a Ukrainian security spokesman, the recorders show that the plane suffered a massive, explosive loss of pressure after being punctured multiple times by shrapnel. The spokesman says the fragments that hit the plane came from a missile.

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

Israel delivers a message to Gaza

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is delivering a warning directly to Palestinians in Gaza. The military says it dropped leaflets over Gaza City today, warning Palestinians that Israel "will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and the consequences will be severe." Earlier, Israel said troops on the ground were pressing on with efforts to destroy the cross-border tunnels constructed by Hamas for attacks inside Israel. And Israeli jets hit three sites in Gaza after a rocket was launched at Israel, ending a 12-hour lull in fighting.

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

Hamas leader Meshaal demands end to occupation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leader of Hamas is demanding anew that Israel end its occupation of Palestinian land. Khaled Meshaal tells CBS News that he believes the world hasn't taken an even-handed view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He says, "Unfortunately the world doesn't blame the Israelis." Meshaal also says Palestinians have to frequently hear pleas for the security of the Jewish state, asking "why don't you give it to Palestinians?" Asked if Hamas believes there's only a military solution, Meshaal says only that as a Palestinian, he wants to "live without occupation."

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

Teens: We were told to stay on sinking Korean ship

ANSAN, South Korea (AP) — South Korean students who survived April's deadly ferry disaster say they were repeatedly ordered by loudspeaker to stay in the sinking ship but eventually helped each other flee after their cabins were flooded too much. The six girls testified Monday at a court session for the 15 ferry crew members who face charges of negligence and failing to perform their duties to rescue passengers. The court asked the media to not identify the teenagers to protect their privacy. The students say they wore life jackets and were helped by friends to float out and leave flooded cabins. One of them says she saw some friends swept away by waters. More than 300 people died or are missing, and most of victims were students from a high school near Seoul.

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

SPORTS
SATURDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 6, Chicago Cubs 3
Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 0

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 9, Washington 6
Evansville 7, Gateway 2

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Minnesota 4, Chicago White Sox 3
St. Louis 1, Chicago Cubs 0

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 9, Florence 3
Evansville 9, Washington 3
Frontier 9, Gateway 4

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Colorado at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

Washington at Evansville (2)
Florence at Southern Illinois

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

Cardinals Officially Ink Pierzynski

(Chicago, IL) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have made their signing of catcher A.J. Pierzynski official. The 37-year-old backstop was released by the Boston Red Sox earlier this month after hitting .254 with four homers and 31 RBI. The Cards will be without Yadier Molina for another six-to-ten weeks after thumb surgery. Catcher George Kottaras was designated for assignment.

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

Quinn proclaims Frank Thomas Day in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a proclamation that made Sunday Frank Thomas Day as the former Chicago White Sox slugger was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thomas played 19 seasons in the major leagues and 16 of them with the White Sox. He hit 521 home runs and drove 1,704 runs before retiring in 2008. In his proclamation Quinn also noted that Thomas won MVP awards in 1993 and '94. The White Sox have honored Thomas by retiring his number, 35, and placing a statue of him in U.S. Cellular Field. Thomas was inducted to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, Sunday along with former pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Thomas now works as a commentator for Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Fox Sports.

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

Eastern Illinois makes athletic deal with Adidas

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Eastern Illinois University has made a five-year deal with athletic wear company Adidas. The Charleston school says the Portland, Oregon-based company will be the Panthers' official source for footwear, apparel and accessories. The contract lasts through the 2019 season. Adidas will supply EIU athletic programs with game and practice uniforms and travel and practice gear starting this fall. EIU says Adidas supplies athletic gear to more than 70 collegiate programs.

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

Bears' Tucker has chance to make mark on defense

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Given the overhaul, this sure seems like coordinator Mel Tucker's big chance to make his mark on the Chicago Bears' defense. Tucker shrugged off the idea even though he has a rebuilt roster that now includes Jared Allen and is no longer running former coach Lovie Smith's defense. He insists it's "a 'we' thing" and "not my stamp or any particular coach's stamp or any particular player." The Bears are looking for more from a defense that ranked among the worst in franchise history a year ago and are hoping to get back to the playoffs for just the second time since the 2006 team's Super Bowl run.

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

Gordon makes history at Indy

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Gordon won the first Brickyard 400 in 1994. He's not a record-breaking five-time winner in the Sprint Cup race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gordon grabbed the lead from Kasey Kahne during a re-start with 17 laps to go and pulled way for the victory. Kyle Busch finished a distance second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano. The win moves Gordon into a tie with Michael Schumacher, whose five Formula One victories at Indy had been the gold standard. The victory also adds to Gordon's lead in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings.

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

Roush, Edwards end relationship

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Carl Edwards' 11-year run with Roush-Fenway Racing will end after this NASCAR season. Roush officials confirm that Edwards will not be back in the No. 99 Ford, which had long been rumored but not substantiated because Edwards refuses to publicly discuss contract negotiations. He's believed to be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in a new fourth car, but his contract with Roush doesn't permit him to announce his plans until September.

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

News for July 25, 2014

LOCAL
Local Unemployment Jumps From Last Month, Still Down From Last Year

Unemployment declined in all 18 counties in South Central Illinois when compared to one year ago.  The data is not seasonally adjusted. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the state is at 7.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent in May.  The nation’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is again at 6.3.  Seasonal employment gains occurred in Construction and Recreation. Employment advances also were reported in Sales, Healthcare, and Transportation this spring. Many job openings were also reported in Office and Administrative Support, Food Services, and Production occupations. Advertisements for employment included jobs in Business and Finance, Construction, Buildings and Grounds Maintenance and Farming. Jefferson County posted a 7.0% for June 2014, up from 6.8% for May 2014, but down from 9.1% in June 2013.  Marion County held steady at 9% for the second month in a row, and Washington County from 5.3% to 5.2%, over the past month. Hamilton County posted at 6.1% unemployment for June, Wayne County was at 7.1% and Clinton County posted at 5.8%.

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

Rend Lake Conservancy Appoints Collins To Board

After some minor confusion regarding residency requirements, Jefferson County Board Chairman Robert White has selected Ernie Collins of Mt Vernon and lives in McClellan Township to serve on the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board effective 7/1/14.  He replaces David Stewart who has served one 5 year term which expires on 6/30/2014.  It is in accordance with Illinois Compiled Statutes that requires the consent of the Franklin County Board Chairman since the district is NOT wholly contained in ONE county.  Jefferson and Franklin County Board Chairmen have two appointments to this particular board.  One appointee has to live outside of the municipalities within the district with a population of 5,000 or more which qualifies that municipality for one appointment and one can be “at large” that could include a resident within the municipality.   Currently there are three municipalities in the district: Benton, West Frankfort and Mount Vernon.  There are a total of six townships in Jefferson County that are included in the Rend Lake Conservancy District:  Shiloh, McClellan, Dodds, Elk Prairie, Spring Garden and Mount Vernon.  Collins is well known in the community for various reasons.  He is a retired Master Sergeant from the Illinois State Police after 28 years of distinguished service. 

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

Police Looking For BB Gun Vandals In Edwardsville

(Edwardsville, IL) -- Police are asking people in Edwardsville to keep an eye out for BB gun vandals. Several businesses and cars have had their windows shot out in the past couple of weeks. The shooters seem to strike at night. Police don't have any suspects at this point but they're asking anyone with information to come forward.

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

Carbondale Opens New Fire Department

(Carbondale, IL)  --  Carbondale firefighters are moving into their new digs this week, even though it faces several state building code violations.  The Attorney General's Office says the building is not up to code for handicapped accessibility.  The city of Carbondale will send a letter to the state next week to talk about what can be done about the remaining violations.  The old station, on Oakland Street, still has some leftover equipment and should be completely phased out in a few weeks.

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

Gang Wars Cause Uptick In Metro-East Violence

(Madison, IL) -- Ongoing gang wars are apparently causing a spike in crime in the Metro-East. Police say they're seeing an uptick in violence in Madison, Washington Park, Alorton, East St. Louis, and Brooklyn. Five people were shot and one was killed outside a couple clubs over the weekend. Police are calling the crimes senseless, noting that people are being killed or injured just because they're wearing the wrong colors. Officials are hoping to have a meeting with gang leaders to come up with a plan to end the violence.

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

Two Southern Illinois Banks Merging

(Marion, IL) -- Two banks in southern Illinois are planning to merge in a few months. Area banking centers in Cave in Rock, Elizabethtown, Golconda, and Roisclare will become a part of the Banterra Bank system on October 4th. Current Area Bank customers will be allowed to use Banterra products and services once the merger goes through.

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

Man Accused Of Tying Up Wife And Attempted Arson

(Belleville, IL)  --  A Belleville, Illinois man is accused of tying up his wife and trying to set their home on fire.  Police say 33-year-old Robert Jones tied up his wife with extension cords and clothes and held a knife to her throat.  He is also said to have doused their home in lighter fluid.  The wife was able to escape and get help.  Jones was taken into custody after turning himself in.  He has been charged with attempted aggravated arson, aggravated restraint, and domestic battery.

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

Police Arrest Men Accused Of Running Grease Operation

(O'Fallon, IL)  --  Police in O'Fallon, Illinois have arrested three men believed to have been involved in a grease operation. "The St. Louis Post Dispatch" reports authorities arrested 32-year-old Bo Lin of Fairview Heights, 25-year-old Tuo Li of Chicago and 30-year-old Kentvy Wong of Flushing, New York.  The three men were found in a barn that contained ten-thousand-gallons of grease believed to have been stolen from St. Louis area restaurants.  Police say the men could have been selling the grease to rendering and bio-diesel plants for money.

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

Williamson County Man Sentenced On Federal Firearm Offense

On July 24, 2014, Sherman L. Allen, Jr., a/k/a “Larue,” 29, of Marion, Illinois, was sentenced on a federal firearm offense, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Thursday.  Allen, who had previously pled guilty to an indictment charging Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years on supervised release, and fined $200. Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings established that, on July 29, 2013, agents executed a search warrant at a Marion residence where Allen had been residing. Agents located a Lorcin .25 caliber pistol, which Allen admitted was his. Agents also located evidence of drug distribution, including digital scales and drug packaging materials. Because Allen had previously been convicted of a felony, he is prohibited from possessing firearms. The investigation was conducted by the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The Illinois State Police Special Weapons and Tactics Team and Williamson County State’s Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation. The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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

STATE
Quinn: Rauner ad shows 'pattern of dishonesty'

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has blasted a new commercial by his Republican opponent in which headlines from news stories appear doctored. Speaking to reporters at a Thursday campaign event in Chicago, the Democrat called the alterations "clearly wrong." Bruce Rauner's 30-second commercial called "Headlines" overlays what appear to be newspaper headlines over images of Quinn. The headlines criticize Quinn's record on jobs, schools and a troubled anti-violence program. But a review of the ad reveals several cases where the purported headlines don't match the headlines media outlets actually used. Citing the ad, Quinn told reporters Thursday his challenger has displayed "a pattern of dishonesty" during the closely contested race. Rauner's campaign says the phrases in the commercial were simply condensed because of time and space constraints.

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

NJ Gov. Christie to campaign for Rauner in Chicago

CHICAGO (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Chicago to support Bruce Rauner's campaign for Illinois governor. Christie and Rauner are scheduled to visit a Chicago-area business Friday afternoon. Christie will headline an evening fundraiser for Rauner at a Chicago hotel. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association. The group sees Rauner's race against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn as one of its top two opportunities to pick up a governorship in November. It has donated $1.5 million to Rauner's campaign. Christie has recently heightened his public profile in the wake of allegations of a political payback scandal. He's seen as a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate. His visit won't be without its detractors. Groups supporting gay marriage and other causes say they plan to protest outside the fundraiser.

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

Feds release data on states getting immigrant kids

CHICAGO (AP) — New federal data show Illinois received 305 unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border this year. The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families released a state-by-state list on Thursday showing the total released to sponsors from January 1 to July 7. Texas received the most children with 4,280. The other leading states are New York, Florida and California. The U.S. has been grappling with a surge in the number of unaccompanied children arriving on the border from Central America fleeing violence. Many believe they'll be allowed to stay in the U.S. Children are placed in government shelters and then released to sponsors while they go through deportation proceedings. In many cases, the sponsors are the children's parents, other relatives, or a family friend.

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

Ex-Illinois gov: Namesake building 'a scrap heap'

CHICAGO (AP) — The condition of the James R. Thompson Center, a state office building in Chicago, is getting some grief from former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson. The former governor tells Crain's Chicago Business the building that bears his name "looks like a scrap heap." He's wondering what message it sends about state government when visitors see the lack of maintenance. He notes the carpeting, which is patched with duct tape, looks like it's the original 1985 floor covering. The building, designed by architect Helmut Jahn, has been controversial from the start. Crain's reports that lately there have been complaints about leaky ceilings, discolored walls and rusted metal panels. Illinois Department of Central Management Services operates the building. A spokeswoman says some work is scheduled for the fall.

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

Group Calls On State To Jumpstart Fracking

(Springfield, IL) -- Business and labor leaders in Illinois are calling on state officials to jumpstart the fracking process. Mark Denzler, with the Illinois Manufacturer's Association, says oil companies are starting to pull out because the state has stalled for more than a year on getting the rules in place. He says that could cost the state thousands of jobs. The state's Department of Natural Resources is still putting the final touches on the rules that will govern the fracking industry. There's talk that the rules won't be approved until after the November election.

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

New Rules Proposed For Crude Oil Trains

(Springfield, IL) -- Rail shipments of crude oil across Illinois would be affected by new rules proposed today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. He wants new speed restrictions on trains with more than 20 oil tank cars and an assessment of the risk those trains pose as they travel through cities and towns. As many as 40 trains carrying oil from the Bakken fracking operations pass through the Chicago metro area each week.

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

Illinois farmers benefit from manure share program

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Illinois gardeners and livestock owners have formed mutually beneficial relationships through a free online manure exchange program. The (Decatur) Herald and Review reports The Illinois Manure Share introduce farmers who have an abundance of livestock manure to those who need it. Manure is an organic material that allows famers to fertilize their crops in a more environmental way. The general population also benefits from the exchange because less chemicals end up in the water supply. The Illinois Manure Share website is offered through the University of Illinois Extension. It was developed in Chicago to relieve horse owners of the large amount of feces their animals produce.

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

NATIONAL
Central American leaders convening at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is inviting Central American leaders to the White House today to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S. He's hoping to show presidential action even as Congress remains deeply split over proposals to stem the crisis on the border. Obama will host presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Central American leaders met a day earlier with lawmakers who are considering Obama's requests for emergency funds and additional authority to send unaccompanied children back home more quickly. Those lawmakers appear unlikely to resolve their differences before leaving Washington late next week for an annual recess. More than 57,000 minors have arrived since October, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

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

Man says he shot burglar who said she was pregnant

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Police in Long Beach, California are deciding whether to arrest an 80-year-old man who shot a fleeing suspected burglar in the back, killing her. Homeowner Tom Greer told KNBC-TV that he shot 28-year-old Andrea Miller twice in the back after she told him, "Don't shoot me, I'm pregnant." A second burglary suspect has been arrested for suspicion of residential burglary and murder, for allegedly being involved in a felony that led to a death.

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

Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor

DARBY, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in Darby, Pennsylvania are investigating why a patient fatally shot a caseworker who had accompanied him to a psychiatric crisis center. Authorities say Richard Plotts shot the caseworker, and then his psychiatrist pulled out his own gun and shot Plotts, wounding him. Investigators say Plotts may have had issues with the doctor over his treatment plan.

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

Exoneration hearing set for convicted rapist

DALLAS (AP) — Prosecutors in North Dallas will ask a judge today to exonerate a Texas man who served 12 years in prison for the rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1990. DNE testing has identified another man as the attacker. Michael Phillips says he pleaded guilty because his attorney feared that a jury would not side with a black man accused in the rape of a white girl. Phillips, now 57, has sickle cell anemia, is in a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home.

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

Calif. dolls were meant to spread cheer, not chill

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in Orange County, California say the person who left porcelain dolls on the doorsteps of several families wanted to spread cheer, not to creep them out. The sheriff's department says the dolls were dressed in nightgowns and lace dresses and were left at about eight homes in a San Clemente neighborhood this week. The families were worried because they felt each doll resembled a young girl living in the house. Authorities say they investigated and determined the intent had been goodwill.

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

Boehner Clashes With White House Over Border Crisis

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama will discuss the southwest border crisis with Central American leaders today.  Obama will host a White House meeting with the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.  Tens of thousands of migrants from those three countries have poured over the U.S. border in recent months and many are unaccompanied children.  Meanwhile, Republican House Speaker John Boehner [[ BAY-nur ]] is accusing the White House of seeking billions of dollars without having a good plan to solve the southwest border crisis.  Boehner says the White House does not appear to be committed to reversing a 2008 law which slows down deportations of Central American migrant children. 

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

Search Continues For Babar Suleman

(Plainfield, IN)  --  The search continues for an Indiana man who was flying with his teenage son as the boy tried to set a new world record with his flight around the world.  Family members say "time is of the essence" in the search for Babar Suleman and are asking that all resources be mobilized.  The body of 17-year-old Haris Suleman was found shortly after his plane went down Tuesday night off the coast of America Samoa, but there was no sign of his father. 

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

US agency probes Hyundai Sonata air bag problem

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether an electrical problem can knock out the air bags on some older Hyundai Sonatas. The probe announced Friday covers about 394,000 midsize cars from the 2006 through 2008 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received 83 complaints about the problem. The agency says a sensor inside the seat belt buckle might fail. This can cause the air bags to malfunction or not inflate if there's a crash. The problem also can affect the mechanism that tightens the seat belts before a crash. The problem can happen in either the driver or passenger buckles. In most cases the air bag warning light came on. Investigations can lead to recalls but none has been issued so far in this case.

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

Judge asked to reconsider mob beating sentences

DETROIT (AP) — Prosecutors are returning to court to ask a judge to reconsider the sentences for two men who participated in a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist in April. Latrez Cummings got six months in jail, and James Davis was sentenced to a year in jail. Prosecutors say the punishments are too light and don't reflect the severity of the beating of Steve Utash. Judge James Callahan will hear arguments Friday in Wayne County court. Utash, a suburban tree trimmer, was in a coma for days after being beaten in Detroit in April. He got out of his pickup truck to help a 10-year-old boy who had darted in front of his vehicle. Utash still is recovering. Five people pleaded guilty to assault. Attempted murder charges were dropped.

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

Michigan dog owner may be charged in fatal attack

METAMORA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The owner of two dogs that fatally mauled a jogger along a rural Michigan road could be charged. Authorities in Lapeer County say 46-year-old Craig Sytsma of Livonia was attacked Wednesday by the cane corsos in Metamora Township, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit. Authorities say he died of his injuries at a hospital. In Michigan, a person may face involuntary manslaughter or other charges in such an attack. The county prosecutor's office is expected to review the case. The dogs, previously identified as bull mastiffs, are quarantined at the county animal shelter. Detective Jason Parks says the dogs were brought in by the 45-year-old owner. Authorities will seek to have the dogs destroyed. Oxford resident April Smith tells the Detroit Free Press one of the dogs attacked her in 2012.

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

PETA Offers To Pay Overdue Water Bills For Vegan Converts

(Detroit, MI)  --  A PETA member says the group will pay overdue water bills for nearly a dozen Detroit families who are willing to go vegan for a month.  The offer comes in the wake of thousands of Detroiters facing water shutoffs due to non-payment.  Anyone interested in participating in PETA's program needs to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their pledge to go vegan for one month to the organization's main office by August 1st.

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

Conservative Watchdogs Say "Fifty Shades" Trailer "Glamorizes" Sexual Violence

(Undated)  --  It turns out not everyone is intrigued by the new "Fifty Shades of Grey" trailer.  The highly-anticipated film's first preview was unveiled on Thursday, and the non-profit organization Morality in Media responded by accusing the clip of deceiving the public by glamorizing and legitimatizing violence against women.  "Fifty Shades of Grey," which is based on the 2011 erotic novel by E.L. James, is set to hit theaters next Valentine's Day.

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

Israeli aircraft strike Gaza homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Security Cabinet meets today to consider international cease-fire proposals. A senior official with the Palestine Liberation Organization says one plan calls for a five-day humanitarian truce during which Israel and Hamas would negotiate new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli military says it's struck 45 locations in Gaza today, 30 of those locations were homes. A leader of the militant Islamic Jihad was killed. Palestinian officials say Israeli ground troops and Hamas gunmen fought intense battles in the north and center of the territory.

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

Officials: 3 Palestinians killed in West Bank

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian hospital officials say three Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank, which has become increasingly restive because of a war between Israel and Hamas militants next door in the Gaza Strip. Mazen al-Hammouz, director of Rafidiyeh Hospital in the city of Nablus, says two men, ages 21 and 22, were shot and killed in the northern village of Hawara on Friday. The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear. The emergency room at Hebron hospital in the southern West Bank says a 47-year-old was shot and killed in the nearby village of Beit Omar. Witnesses say Israeli troops had clashed with Palestinian protesters in the village. The Israeli military and police said they are looking into the report.

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

Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire

CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri to try to nail down a deal to bring a week-long pause in the fighting and begin as soon as this weekend. It's part of a plan to phase in a lasting cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas militant group in the three-week war. Two diplomats close to the negotiations said a deal had not yet been reached but spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be named. Kerry, Ban and Shukri were expected to brief the media later Friday.

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

Black box from Air Algerie flight is found

PARIS (AP) — One of the black boxes from the Air Algerie flight that crashed in northern Mali is in the hands of French troops today and officials aren't ruling out any possible cause. They say bad weather is the more likely culprit. The crash killed at least 116 people. Nearly half of the passengers aboard the flight were French.

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

SPORTS
THURSDAY’S RESULTS


MLB

San Diego 13, Chicago Cubs 3
Chicago White Sox 5, Minnesota 2

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 4, Washington 2
Evansville 11, Gateway 3

FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 3:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Washington at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Gateway

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 3:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:09 p.m.)
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota 6:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Washington at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Gateway

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Minnesota 1:10 p.m.
St. Louis at Chicago Cubs 1:20 p.m.(94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:24 p.m.)

Frontier League

Florence at Southern Illinois
Washington at Evansville
Frontier at Gateway

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

IHSA Responds To BGA FOIA Lawsuit

(Springfield, IL)  --  The IHSA is defending its right to keep its records on sponsorship deals, vendors, and pension spending under wraps.  The Better Government Association has filed suit against the agency.  They want a judge to force the IHSA to turn the records over, especially since lawmakers are trying to get more details about how the agency is conducting business.  But the IHSA has released a letter from the Attorney General's office, dated in October 2010, which clearly indicates that they are a private entity and are not subject to FOIA laws. 

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

U of I boosts arena budget, gives Groce a raise

CHICAGO (AP) — University of Illinois trustees have boosted the size of the budget for the State Farm Center renovation and given basketball coach John Groce (GROHS) a raise and contract extension. Trustees meeting in Chicago on Thursday agreed to increase the budget for the arena work from $165 million to $169.5 million. The extra money is intended to cover additional costs related to a new scoreboard, video boards and other items. Work on the arena has started and is expected to be finished in late 2016. Groce's annual pay was increased by $100,000 a year to $1.7 million. The coach's contract was extended by a year through 2018-19.Groce has coached two seasons at Illinois and his teams have made the NCAA Tournament and the National Invitation Tournament.

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

Rams Training Camp Gets Underway

(Earth City, MO)  --  Training camp officially begins today for the St. Louis Rams.  The team will hold its first full squad practice this afternoon at the Rams Park Training Center in Earth City, Missouri.  Jeff Fisher is entering his third season as Head Coach.  The Rams are looking for their first winning season since 2003. 

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

White Sox place Putnam on DL

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Chicago White Sox have placed right-hander Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. The White Sox made the move Thursday before starting a series against the Minnesota Twins. The 27-year-old Putnam is one of several pitchers to take a crack at the closer role for the White Sox this season after Addison Reed was traded before the year started. Putnam is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA and three saves in 42 appearances this season. The White Sox recalled right-hander Andre Rienzo to take Putnam's place on the roster. Rienzo went 4-5 with a 5.87 ERA in 14 appearances, 11 of them starts, before being sent down to Triple-A Charlotte. He went 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA with Charlotte.

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

News for July 24, 2014

LOCAL
West Nile Virus Reported In Southern Illinois

(Carbondale, IL)  --   The West Nile virus has been found in Southern Illinois.  Officials say two batches of mosquitoes and a crow tested positive for the virus last week in Carbondale.  People are being urged to wear insect repellent with DEET when they go out and eliminate areas of standing water, to help reduce their risks of getting infected.   Nearly 120 people in Illinois were infected with West Nile last year; eleven of them died.

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

Police Search Continues For Kidnapping Suspect

(Eldorado, IL)  --  Eldorado police are on the lookout for a man suspected of abducting a local woman.  Cops say the offender is 23-year-old Sonny Pilgrim.  He's accused of kidnapping a 19-year-old woman at knifepoint on Wednesday night.  Pilgrim was last seen driving a stolen gray Chevy Equinox headed for Marion.

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

Feds Help Anna Fire Department Buy New Vehicle

(Anna, IL)  --  The feds are helping the fire department in Anna get a new set of wheels.  FEMA pitched in nearly 800-thousand-dollars toward the new fire truck.  The idea is to increase the level of preparedness and strengthen the department's ability to respond in emergency situations. 

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

Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Check to be Conducted

Duquoin, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 13, will conduct a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) in Williamson County during August 2014, according to 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.

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

Jefferson County Final Multiplier Announced

SPRINGFIELD, IL, - Jefferson County has been issued a final property assessment equalization factor of 1.0287, according to Brian Hamer, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. The property assessment equalization factor, often called the "multiplier", is the method used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties, as required by law.  This equalization is particularly important because some of the state's 6,600 local taxing districts overlap into two or more counties (e.g. school districts, junior college districts, fire protection districts).  If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result. Under a law passed in 1975, property in Illinois should be assessed at one-third (1/3) of its market value.  Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland assessed at one-third of its agriculture economic value.  Farmland is not subject to the state equalization factor. Assessments in Jefferson County are at 32.40 percent of market value, based on sales of properties in 2010, 2011, and 2012. The equalization factor currently being assigned is for 2013 taxes, payable in 2014.  Last year's equalization factor for the county was 1.0000. The final assessment equalization factor was issued after a public hearing on the tentative factor.  The tentative factor issued in April 2014 was 1.0287.

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

Carterville Beach May Reopen As Day Use Area

(Carterville, IL)  --  A one-time recreational area in Williamson County could become a spot for daytime activities like volleyball and a kids park.  There has been talk of reopening the old Carterville Beach as a day use area.  The beach has been shut down for more than 15 years.  The Carterville City Council has agreed to help and local officials plan to draw up a letter of commitment to get the proposal moving.

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

Illinois American Water expanding corporate office

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A water utility is expanding its corporate office in southwestern Illinois. Illinois American Water says the $1.4 million project at its Belleville location includes a 5,200-square-foot building that will provide more office and storage space. The Belleville News-Democrat reports construction is expected to be completed this fall. The investor-owned utility provides water and wastewater treatment services for 1.2 million people in 127 communities. It also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.

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

Johnston City Man Pleads Guilty On Battery Charge

A Johnston City man pled guilty Tuesday involving a battery case that happened between September and October of last year in Williamson County.  Jimmy Dean, with the Williamson County State's Attorney's office says 40-year-old Bryan Jones was slated to go to trial and four  jurors had been selected, but after the lunch break, Jones decided to  plead guilty to aggravated domestic battery. He will be sentenced by Williamson County Judge John Speroni Sept. 4 at 1:15 p.m.

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

Marion County Fair Begins Sunday

The Marion County Fair will take place next week. Events start Sunday, July 27th and run through Sunday, August 13rd. The exhibit building will open at noon on the 27th, with the motocross competition kicking off at 6 p.m. The Little Egypt Shows Carnival will be open the first day and run through August 2nd. Ground entertainment for the week will include musical performances by Patoka natives Drew Baldridge on Thursday night and Jamie Nattier on Friday. Monday is kids' day at the fair. The ITPA tractor pull highlights Monday night, and Tuesday night's highlight is the Marion County fair queen and little miss pageant. On Wednesday, visitors can enjoy the C-BAR rodeo, and on Friday night come out to enjoy the Marion County demolition derby.  The NTPA Grand National tractor pull closes out Saturday night, with pro-stock, super-stock diesel and superstock open categories.

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

STATE
Quinn Signs Bill To Fight Flooding

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn has signed a bill aimed at reducing flooding around the state and protecting drinking water. The bill makes local storm water management and green infrastructure projects eligible for state financial assistance. The bill was proposed in the wake of the record rainfall and severe flooding last year that affected communities around the state. It takes effect immediately.

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

Insurers owe more than $8M in refunds in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — The federal government says more than 108,000 Illinois health insurance customers will benefit from more than $8 million in refunds because of a provision of the nation's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday. The law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they collect on medical care and quality improvement or return the difference to consumers and employers. The money won't necessarily be a check in the mail. Employers can apply rebates in a way that benefits workers or take a discount on future premiums. Individual policyholders owed a rebate will either get a check, a reimbursement to their credit card account or see a reduction in future premiums.

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

Rauner Wants Quinn To Veto Uber Restrictions

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner wants Governor Quinn to veto a bill that puts tighter regulations on ride-sharing companies, like Uber.  He says the companies offer an innovative approach to job growth.  Lawmakers went after the companies earlier this year, claiming the drivers should be required to get background checks and show proof of insurance.  Rauner doesn't disagree with those concepts, but he doesn't like the bill that's on Quinn's desk.   Critics argue Rauner is against the bill because he has stock in one of Uber's investors. 

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

Lawmaker: Ill. concealed carry law 'complicated'

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A lawmaker who helped push through a bill that allows Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons is suggesting the law is too hard on gun owners from other states. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that state Rep. Brandon Phelps says the law is "too complicated" when it comes to out-of-state gun owners. The law requires people who have permits from other states to get an Illinois permit as well. The Harrisburg Democrat says Illinois should recognize permits of other states the way states like Wisconsin and Michigan recognize the Illinois permits. He says Illinois should follow the lead of many other states that have reciprocity agreements that allow gun owners with permits from other states to carry the weapons in the states they are visiting.

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

Illinois patients to docs: 'What about marijuana?'

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois doctors, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice organizations are ramping up for their role as gatekeepers in the state's new medical marijuana program. Doctors are gauging whether marijuana's benefits outweigh its potential for abuse. Nursing homes are deciding whether residents will be able to keep it in their rooms. One hospital briefly considered applying for a marijuana dispensary permit. And hospice organizations are searching for guidance on marijuana for dying patients. Medical professionals find themselves at the center of a quickly changing legal landscape with minimal scientific research to back the claims of marijuana fans. Dr. Martha Twaddle of the Barrington-based hospice organization JourneyCare says families are already asking: "What about marijuana?" She says she tells them there isn't yet enough evidence that benefits offset the risks.

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

Standard & Poor's gives Illinois negative outlook

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has changed its outlook on Illinois' credit rating for the worse. The agency Wednesday revised its outlook from "developing" to "negative" on Illinois' A-minus rating. S&P says the state's $35.7 billion budget isn't structurally balanced. It also cites an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that found the state can't force retirees to pay for part of their health care. The case is seen as a possible indicator of how the court will rule on a challenge to the statewide pension overhaul approved last year. S&P says if the pension overhaul is found unconstitutional it could have a "profound and negative effect on Illinois' budgetary performance and liquidity." Gov. Pat Quinn's budget office says the move is a "predictable result" from the Legislature passing an "incomplete budget."

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

Last Chance To Purchase Discounted Mega Passes For The 2014 Illinois State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - This is the last week to purchase a carnival Mega Pass at the discounted price of $65, the Illinois State Fair announced today.  Beginning Monday, July 28, the price of the pass, which is good for unlimited number of Carnival Midway and Adventure Village rides during all eleven days of the Illinois State Fair, will increase to $75."The Mega Pass is a fantastic deal for fairgoers," State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said.  "It allows visitors of all ages to experience the thrill of our rides at the Illinois State Fair as many times as they would like."The Mega Pass Office, which is located in the Emmerson Building on Main Street, will be open Wednesday, July 23, through Friday, July 25, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for last-minute sales at the discounted price.  The office accepts cash and credit cards, but not personal checks.  The Mega Pass does not include admission to the Illinois State Fair or rides on the Tram, Giant Slide or Sky Glide. Admission Booklets, however, are available for purchase in the Mega Pass Office. Each booklet contains ten admission passes to the fair and is a great addition to any Mega Pass purchase. An adult booklet costs $45. The children and senior citizen booklet costs $20. For more information, visit the Illinois State Fair website at illinoisstatefair.info or call the Mega Pass Office at (217) 782-0775. The 2014 Illinois State Fair runs Aug. 7 through Aug. 17.

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

Online system to offer pheasant hunting permits

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State officials say permits for controlled pheasant hunting in Illinois will soon be available. In a Wednesday news release, state officials say 16 of 20 pheasant hunting sites are operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The others are operated in a private-public partnership. The state's reservation system for online permits opens Aug. 4. That's for 15 of the state-operated sites. The agency's director is Marc Miller. He says it's time for pheasant hunters to start planning. The daily permit fee for the controlled pheasant program is $30 for resident hunters and $35 for nonresident hunters.

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

NATIONAL
Arizona governor wants review of execution process

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she's ordering a full review of the state's execution process, after it took nearly two hours for condemned inmate Joseph Wood to die by lethal injection yesterday. Wood's attorneys say their client was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour" once the lethal injection was underway. Critics are calling it the third botched lethal injection this year. An execution in Oklahoma and another one in Ohio also encountered problems. But family members of Wood's victims say they have no problems with the way the execution was carried out. The brother-in-law of one victim says, "Why didn't we give him Drano?"

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

NYC police investigate another apparent chokehold

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department is conducting an internal investigation after a video surfaced of another officer using an apparent chokehold on a suspect during an arrest. Police say the July 14 incident happened at a subway station in East Harlem. They say 22-year-old Ronald Johns was arrested on a fare-evading charge after walking through an emergency gate without paying. It happened three days before another man, Eric Garner, died in police custody after an officer apparently placed him in a chokehold. That officer has been placed on modified assignment. Garner's funeral was held Wednesday. Police say Johns also was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass. The cellphone video shows a police officer with an arm around the suspect's neck as he struggles to arrest him. Chokeholds are banned under NYPD policy.

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

Outrage At Funeral For NYC Man Who Died In Police Custody

(New York, NY)  --  Preachers and public officials are expressing outrage over the death of a New York City man who died in police custody after being put in a chokehold.  At Wednesday night's funeral for Eric Garner, the Reverend Al Sharpton called for the prosecution of the police officer caught on video gripping Garner by the neck while the 43-year-old man pleaded that he could not breathe.  Mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton have promised changes in the way officers are trained.

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

Ford profit up 6 percent in second quarter

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — Ford Motor Co.'s second quarter net income rose 6 percent to $1.3 billion as the company saw record profits in North America and made money in Europe for the first time in three years. The profit, of 32 cents per share, was up from 30 cents per share in the April-June period a year ago. Excluding separation costs and other one-time payments, Ford earned 40 cents per share. That beat analysts' forecast of 36 cents, according to FactSet. Ford's revenue fell 1 percent to $37.4 billion, ahead of analysts' expectation of $36.2 billion. Ford reported its highest-ever pretax profit of $2.4 billion in North America. In Europe, the company made $14 million, while in Asia Ford's profit jumped 22 percent to $159 million. Ford lost $295 million in South America.

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

FAA Lifts Ban On Flights In And Out Of Tel Aviv

(Washington, DC)  --  The FAA is now allowing U.S. airlines to fly into and out of Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport.  The FAA ordered the restrictions two days ago after rocket fire from Hamas militants hit close to the Tel Aviv airport.  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the original order, calling the restrictions a mistake.  Texas Senator Ted Cruz questions why the FAA singled out Israel with the ban on flights, while other regions are also unsafe.  

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

Washington State Wildfire Now 52% Contained

(Undated)  -- Washington state's biggest wildfire ever is now more than 50-percent contained.  Fire bosses say rainy weather slowed the Carlton complex fire on Wednesday.  The fire has destroyed more than 150 homes and scorched more than a quarter of a million acres in a scenic area about 200 miles northeast of Seattle. 

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

Tweet Gets Family Booted Off Plane

(Undated)  --  A Minneapolis man says a harmless tweet about a rude gate agent got him and his kids kicked off a plane.  Duff Watson says he and his two children were pulled off a Southwest flight Sunday in Denver after he tweeted about a gate agent who refused to give him and his children priority boarding.  Watson says the agent told him he was a safety threat and forced him to delete a tweet that contained her name before he and his kids were allowed back on the plane.  

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

Tornado Hits Virginia Campground, Multiple Injuries Reported

(Cape Charles, VA)  --  Several people are injured after a tornado touched down today in a Virginia campground.  A member of the Eastville Volunteer Fire Department says children are among the injured.  The twister overturned campers at the campground near Cape Charles, which sits on the Chesapeake Bay.  The National Weather Service says the area where the twister hit was under a tornado warning at the time.

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

Ryan proposes streamlining anti-poverty programs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressman Paul Ryan is out with a new plan to merge anti-poverty programs into a single grant program for states that he says would give more flexibility to distribute federal help for the poor. Eleven programs would be merged, including food stamps, cash welfare, housing subsidies and heating aid for the poor, among others. Ryan was the 2012 vice presidential nominee and is a respected voice within his party. The Wisconsin Republican says the new "Opportunity Grant" plan would impose work requirements on aid recipients and require states that participate to set up at least two service providers. He says that would encourage partnerships with locally-based nonprofits and community groups that may better know the needs of their communities.

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

Mother, daughter die after Philly food truck blast

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Authorities say a mother and daughter have died of injuries they suffered when a food truck exploded in Philadelphia earlier this month. The city medical examiner's office confirmed Thursday that 17-year-old Jaylin Steffany Landaverry Galdanez died Tuesday and 42-year-old Olga Galdanez died Sunday. The mother owned the truck. Spokesman Jeff Moran says both deaths were due to the aftereffects of burns from the July 1 explosion of the La Parrillada Chapina truck in the Feltonville neighborhood of north Philadelphia. Eleven other people were taken to hospitals, three in critical condition, after the explosion, which investigators said they believed was caused by a propane tank leak ignited by cooking grills. Friends of Jaylin Galdanez and her classmates at Little Flower High School gathered Wednesday night for a prayer service and candlelight vigil at the scene.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Missing Plane Crashed

(Undated)  --  Authorities say the Air Algerie flight that lost contact over Africa has crashed with more than 100 people on board.  The plane left from the city of Ouagadougou en route to Algiers, but reportedly changed course to avoid bad weather and dropped from radar soon afterward.  The passenger list is said to include about 50 French citizens.  France sent out two fighter jets to search the intended flight path shortly after the plane dropped off radar and they've reported located the wreckage on the ground in Mali.

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

Weather blamed for deadly crash in Taiwan

XIXI, Taiwan (AP) — An airline in Taiwan says stormy weather that trailed behind a typhoon was the likely cause of yesterday's plane crash that killed 48 people. Disaster crews today have been digging through the rubble of the plane's cabin and parts of the eight stone houses that were destroyed in the crash. Ten people on the plane and five on the ground survived with injuries. The crash took place as the plane tried to land on one of the islands in the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China. The crash came hours after Typhoon Matmo passed over Taiwan. About 200 flights at Taiwanese airports had been canceled earlier in the day because of rain and high winds. A spokesman for Taiwan's air regulator noted the bad weather but said an investigation is still underway.

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

More victims leave for Ukraine; identification work begins

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Twenty-five forensic experts and dozens of support staff are now working to identify the remains of victims from the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over eastern Ukraine last week. The work began in the Netherlands late yesterday, after the remains of 40 victims arrived from Ukraine. Two more military aircraft with additional remains left Ukraine today. All 298 people aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were killed, and most were Dutch citizens. Meanwhile, Australia has sent 50 police to London in anticipation of deploying them to eastern Ukraine to secure the crash site that's in pro-Russian territory.

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

Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire bid

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza health officials say the death toll from an Israeli strike on a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip has risen to at least 15. Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra says the 15 were among hundreds of people seeking shelter in the school in Beit Hanoun from heavy fighting in the area. At least 150 people were injured. Thursday's strike is the fourth time a U.N. facility has been hit in fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. But it's the first time casualties have been reported. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that more than 2,000 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since July 8, and the Israeli military has uncovered more than 30 tunnels.

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

Iraq: Kurdish politician Massoum named president

BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum has been named the new president of Iraq following a parliamentary vote. Massoum, 76, is one of the founders of current President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party. He is considered a soft-spoken moderate, known for keeping good relations with Sunni and Shiite Arab politicians. The vote for president -- a largely ceremonial post -- was delayed for a day when the Kurdish bloc requested more time to select a candidate. They named Massoum as their pick late Wednesday. Under an unofficial agreement dating back to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq's presidency is held by a Kurd while the prime minister is Shiite and the parliamentary speaker is Sunni.

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

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Kansas City 2, Chicago White Sox 1
Tampa Bay 3, St. Louis 0
San Diego 8, Chicago Cubs 3

Frontier League

Windy City 6, Evansville 1
Gateway 8, Southern Illinois 4

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

San Diego at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Evansville at Gateway
Washington at Southern Illinois

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

U of I trustees consider increasing arena budget

CHICAGO (AP) — When University of Illinois trustees meet in Chicago they will consider adding $4.5 million to the budget for the renovation of the State Farm Center in Champaign. Trustees also will consider a raise for head basketball coach John Groce at the Thursday meeting. The agenda for the trustees' meeting includes the potential increase in the basketball arena's renovation budget from $165 million to $169.5 million. The agenda indicates the extra money is needed for a new scoreboard, video boards, a marquee and other items. Work on the arena has started and is expected to be finished in late 2016. The raise for Groce would increase his pay to by $100,000 a year to $1.7 million. His contract would also be extended by a year through 2018-19.

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

Viciedo out of lineup with left hamstring injury

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo was removed from the starting lineup just before Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals because of tightness in his lower left hamstring. Viciedo had started 89 of the White Sox's past 92 games. He is 3 for 20 since the All-Star break. Moises Sierra will take Viciedo's spot in the lineup and bat ninth. Since being added to the White Sox lineup on May 4, Sierra has made 25 starts in right field. He was 1 for 4 in the White Sox's 7-1 loss on Tuesday night.

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

Cardinals activate Siegrist from DL

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have activated lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist from the 15-day disabled list and optioned rookie lefty Nick Greenwood to Triple-A Memphis. Siegrist had been on the DL for two months with a left forearm strain. In five rehab appearances with Double-A Springfield, he allowed no runs in 4 2-3 innings. In his most recent outing Monday, he worked 1 1-3 scoreless innings. As a rookie last year, Siegrist set a franchise record for a reliever with a 0.45 ERA. This season, he was 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 23 games with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings. Greenwood was 1-1 with a 4.74 ERA in nine games and worked two perfect innings Tuesday.

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

Road show prepared Rams' Robinson for camp

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Greg Robinson didn't stay put the month after the St. Louis Rams had minicamps in mid-June. Wherever he was, the second overall pick of the draft was getting prepared for training camp. The 6-foot-5, 332-pound Robinson was a key component in Auburn's national runner-up season at left tackle and figures to be immediate help at guard for the Rams (7-9). After OTAs ended in mid-June, Robinson worked out a bit at home in Thibodaux, La. He spent time at Bo Jackson's Nike camp at the University of Oregon, worked out with a trainer in Miami and learned from former Redskins Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams in Houston. All of the stops were beneficial he said on Wednesday. Rams rookies worked out indoors for a second consecutive day, saving the team's outdoor fields for the first full-squad workout on Friday afternoon.

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

Bears bring high expectations to camp

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery understands expectations are soaring. He's not backing away from them, either. The Bears are aiming high, hoping to return to the playoffs after missing out for the sixth time in seven years, going into their third training camp under Emery. Practices start Friday. Emery said Wednesday the goal remains a championship." He said the Bears are "very accountable as an organization to make the necessary adjustments to stay on path toward our goal." That will hinge largely on how a rebuilt defense that now includes five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen comes together. The Bears couldn't stop anyone last season, and it added up to an 8-8 record and a spot in front of the TV when the postseason started.

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

News for July 23, 2014

LOCAL
Murray Center Parents Gear Up For Appeal

(Centralia, IL) -- Governor Quinn has the green light to shut down the Murray Developmental Center, but the parents of those who live there aren't ready to give up. Rita Winkeler says many of the other residents won't survive in any other setting. Winkeler is with the Murray Parent's Association, which has been fighting to keep the residents in their homes. Many of the parents and other opponents of the closure plan say if the residents don't die when they're moved, they'll end up in jail or in psychiatric wards where they won't get the care they need. Winkeler says they're planning to appeal the ruling.

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

Scott AFB Ranked Best Place To Be Stationed


(Scott AFB, IL) -- Scott Air Force Base is one of the best places for airmen to be stationed. A ranking by "Air Force Times" looked at 68 bases and weighed factors like housing costs, health care, sales taxes, and local schools. Scott tied with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for the top spot on the list. Scott was also singled out for hosting St. Louis Rams scrimmages the past two years.

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

Illinois college breaks ground on mining facility

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — A Saline County community college has broken ground on a simulated mine facility that will be used for education and competitions. Southeastern Illinois College received $220,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development to build the 12,000-square-foot facility. More than 1,000 miners go through the college's training programs each year. Rescue teams will use the center to practice responding to emergency situations. An Illinois Eastern Community Colleges dean tells The Southern Illinoisan the facility will make the college eligible to host a national mining competition that attracts dozens of mining teams. The community college district and Southeastern Illinois College each contributed $15,000 to the project. The newspaper reports the college's facility will be one of two in the state.

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

Group seeks to put replica village at Fort Massac

METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — A replica 18th-century fort in southern Illinois will be getting a neighbor. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports the nonprofit Friends of Fort Massac has raised money to build an 1802 pioneer village replicating an original one at the fort location near Metropolis. The group has bought more than eight acres near the Fort Massac replica that once was the site of a village. Development plans include razing an abandoned coat hanger plant on the land. The property purchase and demolition is being funded through a $550,000 Illinois Department of Transportation grant and $116,000 from the Illinois Office of Tourism. Friends of Fort Massac's president, Mike Korte, says the group will raise additional money to build the village that will include a blacksmith shop, general store, school house and church.

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

West Frankfort Council Tables Mobile Home Debate Until Public Hearing Is Held

The West Frankfort City Council on Tuesday night took no action on changing the city's ordinance regarding mobile homes. The city gave the planning commission the task of updating the current mobile home ordinance which dates back to 1969. The body's first task was to eliminate in the ordinance anything to do with trailer parks. The city no longer has jurisdiction over trailer parks. That now belongs to the state health department. The second task was to modify the size of a mobile home to a minimum width of 20 feet and a minimum length of 40 feet. Mobile homes have not been banned in the city. Officials say none of these changes will affect current mobile homes. They have been grandfathered in. The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes on Tuesday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Once the public has a say in this matter, then the council will vote on the proposed changes at a future meeting.

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

Christopher Police Look Into Burglary

Police in Christopher are investigating a weekend burglary at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Chief Bill Southerd says sometime Sunday night into Monday morning, someone broke in and allegedly did damage to several pieces of equipment including poker machines, an ATM and jukebox. The chief says several thousands of dollars worth of damage was done. The break-in was discovered by a hall employee around 9:30 Monday morning. Police are looking into a few leads in the case. If you have any information that can help, call the Christopher Police Department's dispatch center at 724-2432.

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

IDOT To Close Rail Crossing In Sesser For Repairs

IDOT says Route 154/East Franklin Street in Sesser will be closed on August 4 at 7 a.m.so the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad can make repairs to the crossing at that location. It will remain closed until August 6. That's when repairs are set to be finished. Traffic will not be allowed through this work zone, so you will need to follow  the marked detour to get to your destination.

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

Salem Authorities Investigate Burglary

According to the Salem Police, they are investigating a weekend burglary at Bradley's Cycles on South Broadway. Reports indicate a four wheel ATV and a cash register were stolen from inside the business. A window to the business was broken to gain entry.  The break-in reportedly occurred sometime after the business closed on Saturday and when an employee went to the business on Monday and discovered the burglary.

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

STATE
Fire-damaged Illinois state building set to reopen

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Springfield state office building damaged by a small fire appears ready to be back in business after a one-day closure. Secretary of State's Office spokesman Dave Druker says the Howlett Building was closed to business Tuesday after a fire occurred about 1:15 a.m. that day in a mechanical room. The building is part of the Illinois State Capitol complex. Druker says firefighters quickly put out the blaze, but the air conditioning in the building wasn't working and crews needed to work on mechanical issues. The building houses between 750 and 1,000 employees of the secretary of state's office and is frequently visited by members of the public. Among the services, motorists can purchase license plates and vehicle stickers there. Druker says the building was expected to reopen Wednesday.

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

Rockford man charged in second killing

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A man already accused of killing a high school friend now is charged in a second northern Illinois killing. Prosecutors in Illinois' Lee County on Tuesday filed 12 murder counts against 36-year-old Terence Doddy of Rockford in the July 1 death of 44-year-old Tonya Bargman. Other charges include robbery, concealment of a homicidal death, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle and credit card. Doddy is accused of asphyxiating Bargman at a rest stop at Paw Paw along Interstate 39 before stealing the Monticello woman's car. Doddy already was charged in Winnebago County in the June 30 killing of 37-year-old Todd Hansmeier. Doddy was arrested July 4 after a chase near Beloit, Wisconsin. Doddy has pleaded not guilty in Winnebago County and is to be arraigned Wednesday in Lee County.

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

Lawyers: Factor court decision into pensions case


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lawyers representing state retiree groups say they aim to use a recent Supreme Court decision on health care benefits as a way to expedite their case challenging Illinois' pension legislation. Attorneys told Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz on Tuesday they'd be filing a motion asking him to factor the July 3 ruling into the state's argument defending the pension legislation. The court's ruling reversed a lower court decision that effectively allowed the state to require retirees to pay for part of their health care. The groups challenging the pension law say the same issue is central to their case. They say the law violates the state constitution which says public employee benefits cannot be "diminished or impaired." The state says it has expanded authority during times of crisis.

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

AT&T Springfield center closing, ending 188 jobs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — AT&T Inc. plans to close a call center in Springfield and cut 188 jobs starting next month. According to The State Journal-Register, the job cuts will begin Aug. 3. Details about the layoffs come from a notice the company filed with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Illinois law requires that a company laying off 50 or more people notify the state. Dallas, Texas-based AT&T had already said earlier this summer that the call center's work would be consolidated at other locations in Illinois. The call center opened in 2001.

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

Illinois insurance subsidies in place for now

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say Illinois health insurance customers shouldn't feel any immediate effect of a federal appeals court panel's ruling as a confusing legal battle continues over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Contradictory rulings were issued Tuesday by two federal appeals court panels. One said the federal government couldn't offer financial assistance to people in states like Illinois that use the federally run insurance market. The other court ruled the opposite. About 168,000 Illinois residents qualified for financial subsidies to help pay for their health insurance. The White House says policyholders will keep getting that help as the administration sorts out the legal implications. Get Covered Illinois executive director Jennifer Koehler says the subsidies remain in effect. She says the state is monitoring the court decisions.

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

Rule changes coming in 2014-15 deer hunting season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is announcing a number of changes for the upcoming deer hunting season. Department Director Marc Miller says 20 counties will be removed from the late-winter season and the number of firearm permits available in some counties will also be reduced. The changes followed recommendations from department biologists. The biologists reviewed deer hunting harvest numbers, deer-vehicle accident data, looked at disease reports and surveyed Illinois deer hunters. Miller says the changes reflect the department's commitment to managing the state's deer population "to provide recreational opportunity while being mindful of public safety and the rights of property owners."

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

NATIONAL
Opening statements set in porch shooting trial

DETROIT (AP) — After two days of jury selection, opening statements are set for today in the trial of a Detroit-area man who opened his front door and shot an unarmed woman, killing her. Theodore Wafer, an airport employee with no criminal record, is charged with second-degree murder. Wafer says he heard pounding at the door and fired his shotgun in self-defense in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride last November. McBride was drunk and had crashed her car a half-mile away, 3 ½ hours before the shooting. Prospective jurors were asked their views on race. The victim was black, while Wafer is white.

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

AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

NEW YORK (AP) — A law enforcement official and online marketplace StubHub say cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events. The official tells The Associated Press that arrests are expected in a case that sprawls across international borders. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is expected to hold a news conference Wednesday with English and Canadian officials. San Francisco-based StubHub says the thieves got account-holders' login and password information from data breaches at other websites or from malware on the customers' computers. The company says it detected the unauthorized transactions last year and gave refunds.

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

Women business owners face gender gap, report says

NEW YORK (AP) — Women who own small business are still far behind their male counterparts when it comes to getting loans and government contracts. That's the finding of a congressional report by Democratic staffers of the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee. The report says that while businesses owned by women account for 30 percent of small companies, they receive only 4.4 percent of the total dollars in conventional small-business loans. And while Congress in 1994 set a government-wide goal of awarding 5 percent of federal contract dollars to small businesses owned by women, it hasn't met that goal. The closest it has come is 4 percent, in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2012. The small business committee plans a hearing today on ways to address the challenges facing women owners.

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

Federal judge to rule on Colorado gay marriage ban

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge in Denver is expected to rule today on whether Colorado's same-sex marriage ban should be overturned immediately, or if the issue should be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore has been considering a lawsuit by six gay couples who want an injunction declaring Colorado's ban unconstitutional.

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

Donald Trump to break ground for new DC hotel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump hopes to bring his signature brand of glitz to the nation's capital with a new luxury hotel in the city's third-tallest building. Trump plans to break ground today on a $200 million hotel that will transform the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and the Capitol. The 115-year-old building includes a 315-foot observation tower that offers panoramic views of downtown Washington. It was under-utilized in recent years, housing small vendors that catered mostly to tourists. The new Trump International Hotel is expected to open in 2016. It will feature 270 guest rooms and two presidential suites of more than 3,000 square feet. Trump's daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric were scheduled to join him for the groundbreaking.

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

Two Federal Courts Make Opposite Rulings On Healthcare Subsidies

(Washington, DC)  --  The ongoing fight over the healthcare reform law remains unclear.  Two federal appeals courts issued opposite rulings Tuesday on health insurance subsidies.  One ruling in Washington, DC rejected insurance subsidies for coverage on federally-run health insurance exchanges.  Later, a court in Richmond, Virginia upheld all the subsidies.  The issue is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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

Montana Supreme Court Suspends Judge Over Rape Comments, Light Sentence

(Helena, MT)  --  A Montana judge who sparked nationwide outrage is now suspended for handing down a light sentence and his comments in a rape case.  The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended district court judge Todd Baugh of Billings for 31 days.  The high court also censured Baugh for his comments and an illegal sentence in a teacher's rape case. 

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

House GOP: Send National Guard, speed removals

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans want to send National Guard personnel to the nation's southern border to speed removal of unaccompanied young migrants. The recommendations Wednesday from a working group established by House Speaker John Boehner put the House on a collision course with the Democrat-controlled Senate. A Senate bill would spend $2.7 billion to address the border crisis but doesn't include any of the policy changes embraced by the House GOP. Congresswoman Kay Granger, who led Boehner's working group, says that amending current law to allow speedier return of the Central American youths can be done while ensuring proper protections of the unaccompanied minors. Democrats say it would put the kids at risk by sending them back to brutal gangs.

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

DHS Reviewing Perry Order Over National Guard

(Washington, DC)  --  The Department of Homeland Security is going over Texas Governor Rick Perry's decision to send a thousand troops to the Mexican border.  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told reporters yesterday the review is being done to look at all "appropriate and lawful options."  He also says the Border Patrol will fully cooperate with the National Guard.  Perry announced Monday he was sending the troops to support state troopers fighting human and drug trafficking.

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

White Flags Removed From Brooklyn Bridge As Probe Continues

(New York, NY)  --  Two white flags have been removed from the Brooklyn Bridge as authorities investigate how they got there.  Sometime before dawn Tuesday someone substituted the white flags for the two American flags that normally fly over the famous span linking Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Security footage from the 24-hour surveillance cameras that monitor the bridge is being reviewed but there were no reports of suspicious activity overnight.  

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

3 NYC students get recording contract approval

NEW YORK (AP) — Three middle school students in a heavy metal band have gotten permission from a Manhattan judge to sign a multi-year recording contract with Sony. The Daily News says the court's approval Tuesday allows Unlocking the Truth to record its first single Wednesday for The Cherry Group, a division of Sony. The Brooklyn boys had to get court approval because they're minors. The judge approved the deal after questioning their parents. He wanted to make sure they understand the contract and have set up trust accounts for the boys. Justice Carol Edmead then posed for pictures with 13-year-old guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13-year-old bassist Alec Atkins and 12-year-old drummer Jarad Dawkins. The band has performed across the country, including at the Coachella festival in California and opening for Guns N' Roses.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Lufthansa cancels another day of Tel Aviv flights

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's largest airline, Lufthansa, says it is cancelling all flights to Tel Aviv for at least another 24 hours because of ongoing safety concerns. Lufthansa said Wednesday that the decision applies also to its subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines. In all, 20 flights from Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels are being cancelled. The airline on Tuesday suspended flights for 36 hours through the end of Wednesday. It said it extended the cancelations into Thursday because "at the current time there is no sufficiently reliable new information that would justify a resumption of air operations." The European Aviation Safety Agency on Tuesday strongly recommended that airlines not fly to Tel Aviv after a Hamas rocket exploded near the Ben Gurion airport.

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

Malaysia jet victims' bodies arrive in Netherlands

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — Two military transport planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have landed in the southern city of Eindhoven. Six days after the Boeing 777 was shot down over the battlefields of eastern Ukraine, the first bodies finally arrived Wednesday in the Netherlands, the country that bore the heaviest toll in the crash that killed all 298 passengers and crew. A Dutch Hercules C-130 that Dutch government spokesman Lodewijk Hekking says is carrying 16 coffins was closely followed by an Australian C-17 Globemaster plane carrying 24 coffins.

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

British examine flight recorders from downed plane

KHARKIV, Ukraine (AP) — British investigators have begun examining the flight recorders from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane. Dutch officials, meanwhile, say they've taken charge of the investigation, and they're pleading for complete access to the wreckage in eastern Ukraine, in an area controlled by pro-Russia rebels. Independent military analysts say the shrapnel impacts that are visible in photos of the wreckage indicate that a missile from a system like the S-A-11 brought down the plane.

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

2 Ukrainian military fighter jets shot down

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Two Ukrainian military fighter jets have been shot down in the east. Ukraine's Defense Ministry says the Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down today over an area called Savur Mogila. A spokesman says the planes may have been carrying up to two crew members each.

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

Diplomatic efforts continue

JERUSALEM (AP) — United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon says, "There's still work to be done" in negotiations to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas militants, but Secretary of State John Kerry says progress is being made. The two have been meeting in Jerusalem today, in hopes that an agreement will lead to an end to more than two weeks of bloodshed. More than 630 Palestinians have been killed and about 30 Israelis.

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

Report: Plane crashes in Taiwan, killing 51 people

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's Central News Agency says a plane has crashed in a failed emergency landing, killing 51 people. The news agency cited the head of the fire department in the Taiwanese county of Penghu as saying that seven people were also injured in the crash. The report cites the Civil Aviation Administration as saying the flight crashed Wednesday with 54 passengers and four flight crew and was operated by a Taiwanese airline, TransAsia Airways. The report says the plane likely crashed when an attempt to make an emergency landing in the city of Magong.

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

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 6, San Diego 0
Kansas City 7, Chicago White Sox 1
Tampa Bay 7, St. Louis 2

Frontier League

Evansville 15, Windy City 5
Southern Illinois 6, Gateway 0

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Tampa Bay at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)
San Diego at Chicago Cubs, 7:05 p.m.

Frontier League

Evansville at Windy City
Gateway at Southern Illinois

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

Cubs designate Barney, activate Bonifacio

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs took another step toward the future, designating second baseman Darwin Barney for assignment. Second baseman Emilio Bonifacio was activated from the disabled list Tuesday to take Barney's place on the roster. Bonifacio had been out since June 13 because of strained right oblique. The 28-year-old Barney won a Gold Glove in the 2012, when his 141 consecutive games without an error tied a major league record. But he regressed noticeably at the plate and, with the recent promotion of Arismendy Alcantara and other infield prospects on the way, he no longer fit the master plan. In other moves, pitcher Kyle Hendricks was recalled from Iowa and pitcher Zac Rosscup was optioned to the Triple-A club. Hendricks was the scheduled starter for the game against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.

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

Bulls sign forward McDermott, guard Brooks

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls say they have signed Doug McDermott, their first-round draft pick and last season's college player of the year. Terms of the deal involving the 6-foot-8 forward from Creighton weren't released. The Bulls acquired 22-year-old McDermott after Denver drafted him with the 11th overall pick, then quickly traded him to Chicago. As a Creighton senior last season, McDermott averaged a nation-leading 26.7 points, becoming one of eight players in NCAA history to score more than 3,000 career points. The Bulls also announced Tuesday's signing of free-agent guard Aaron Brooks. The 6-foot, six-year NBA veteran last season averaged 9 points while splitting time with Denver and Houston. Terms were not disclosed.

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

News for July 22, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Met Monday

Mt. Vernon City Council met Monday evening.  Among items on the agenda, the Council approved a low bid from Jack's Asphalt of $27,057 for the EMC parking lot resurfacing and additions, a low bid of $97,800 from Kenneth Place Excavating for demolition of 13 residential structures, and accepted bids from Jack's Asphalt and Beelman Trucking for street maintenance materials.  Also, the City Attorney gave a first reading on an ordinance regarding discontinuance of existing prohibition relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor within the area of 4700 West Broadway and approved resolutions approving a letter of understanding between the City of Mt. Vernon and Roger Brooks International regarding community assessment and contract approval for professional services with Peckham, Guyton, Albers, & Viets for services relating to an application to re-establish the Mt. Vernon-Jefferson County Enterprise Zone. 

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

Judge: Illinois can close developmental center

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the state of Illinois has the authority to close a southern Illinois center for people with developmental disabilities. The Belleville News-Democrat reports U.S. District Court Judge Marvin Aspen's 55-page ruling is a setback for parents of children served by the Warren Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. The parents sought a preliminary injunction to block the closure of the center serving 250 residents. But Aspen concluded the plaintiffs didn't prove they would suffer irreparable harm by the closure. Rita Winkeler heads the Murray Parent Association and says she'll consult with the group's attorney about a possible appeal. A spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services says the ruling will help the state move from an "outdated system" of caring for the developmentally disabled.

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

Man gets 65 years prison in dismemberment killing


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — One of two men accused of killing a southwestern Illinois woman and dismembering her body has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 65 years in prison. A Madison County judge sentenced 29-year-old Patrick Chase of Alton to 45 years on a first-degree murder charge and 20 years on a charge of dismembering a human body. Chase pleaded guilty to both counts moments earlier. Authorities charged Chase and 32-year-old Brandon Chittum of Collinsville in the death of 30-year-old Courtney Coats of Alton. She had been missing for nearly a month before her body was found last December near an Illinois River bridge in Greene County. Prosecutors say Chase and Coats were lovers and apartment mates when the killing happened during an argument. Chittum has pleaded not guilty and awaits trail.

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

Former Fairfield Teacher Remanded To U.S. Marshals

Former Fairfield Community High School math teacher and coach Timothy Going has been remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals service following an appearance Monday morning in U.S. district court in East St. Louis. Going faces federal charges of being in possession of child pornography and unlawful videotaping of underage girls. In court Monday morning, Going – through his attorney Valery Strawn, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Two alleged victims in the case submitted statements to the court as part of Monday’s hearing.  One submitted a written statement – the other made a verbal statement to the judge on the issue of Going being detained. In the federal case, Going is accused of placing a motion-activated camera in a motel room at the Super-8 in Fairview Heights for the purpose of videotaping a Fairfield High School female athlete. Going is no longer a FCHS teacher.  He submitted his resignation at a special meeting of the board last week and is no longer an employee of the district. His bond on the two pending state cases amounts to $500,000. He is being held without bond on the federal charges.

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

West Frankfort Explosion Victim Dies

The man who lived in that house that exploded a couple of weeks ago in  West Frankfort has died.  Twenty year old Casey Hester died Saturday  at a St. Louis hospital. He had been in a medically induced coma.  Hester suffered severe burns to most of his body from the explosion  that happened July 6 and was airlifted to St. Louis for treatment.  Officials ruled out that natutal gas caused the explosion. Hester told  police he was using some sort of accelerant inside the house when it  blew up. City leaders tore the house down following the incident for  safety reasons. Funeral arrangements are not known at this time.  Family members say they are planning a memorial service at a later date.

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

Marion Looks For New Fire Chief

City leaders in Marion will be looking for a new fire chief. That?s  because current Chief Jack Reed recently announced his retirement from  the fire department. His last day will be August 22. But Reed won?t be  retired for very long. He is slated to become the Marion Park  District?s director on September 1. Reed, who has been with the fire  department for 34 years, told the Southern Illinoisan he is looking  forward to working for the park district and believes his  administrative skills from the fire department and his previous  experience in construction and lawn care will be a benefit. Some of  Reed?s immediate goals to achieve once he takes over as parks director  include improving park conditions and programs.

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

Carlyle Announces Library Grand Opening

(Carlyle IL) – The Board of Trustees and Library Director of the Case-Halstead Public Library Monday announced the date and schedule for the Grand Opening Ceremony and Open House to mark the opening of the new library building. Welcoming remarks will be presented at 10 AM on Saturday, August 16, 2014 and will be followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Following the official opening ceremonies, which will include the placement of a time capsule to be opened in 2039, an Open House tour of the new facilities will last until 2 PM. A special family program will begin at 1 PM in the Maddux Community Room. Library Director Christi Gerrish has issued an open invitation to the public to be a part of this special day. The new building is located in the same block as the original library, on property donated to the City of Carlyle for that purpose in 1938 by Eckstein Case. The building project was made possible by an Illinois State Library grant and by the Flora Ethel Maddux Trust.

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

Police: No Serial Rapist In Marion

(Marion, IL)  --  City leaders want to set the record straight that there is no serial rapist in Marion.  Cops say there have been rumors that there is a suspect who is preying on woman and sexually assaulting them.  Chief Dawn Tondini confirms that there has only been one sexual assault this month and the first of its kind this year.  She adds that people should still be cautious.

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

World's Largest Catsup Bottle Up For Sale?

(Collinsville, IL)  --  The World's Largest Catsup Bottle could be on the market. KTVI reports a For Sale sign went up in Collinsville Illinois for the water tower shaped like a Brook's Catsup bottle. The sale includes the factory located underneath the tower.  The owners want to sell both structures for a price of five-hundred-thousand-dollars.  

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

STATE
Illinois postpones river bridge closure until 2015

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Commuters between St. Louis and southwestern Illinois are getting a break. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Illinois Department of Transportation has delayed until next summer its planned closure of the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge linking St. Louis to Illinois' East St. Louis. Fix-ups to the Mississippi River span were to begin next month, forcing its closure for two to three months. But the transportation department says a bid for the work came in "considerably higher" than anticipated, and the project will be revised and rebid later this year. Illinois officials estimate that some 12,700 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

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

Rauner continues push for Illinois term limits

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says he's continuing his efforts to impose term limits on Illinois legislators. Rauner spoke Monday in Chicago and has made term limits a major piece of his campaign against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He says "voters deserve a voice." Rauner is leading a committee that gathered signatures to put a measure on the November ballot. It would limit legislators to eight years in office. But a lawyer for top Democratic lawmakers sued, and a Cook County judge ruled last month the initiative didn't meet constitutional requirements to be on the ballot. Last week the Illinois Supreme Court said it wouldn't hear a direct appeal. Rauner says they're asking the state's appellate court to hear the case on an expedited basis.

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

State Board seeks volunteers for bilingual council

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Education is looking for seven new members to serve on its advisory council for bilingual education. The council was established more than 40 years ago by state law. It recently contributed to recommendations for teacher standards, qualifications and evaluations. Officials say that developing recommendations and advice for the state board concerning English learners is a key point of the council's focus. The new members would serve three-year terms and be expected to attend four meetings per year, and participate in additional gatherings and special projects. Bilingual program directors, superintendents, parents, university faculty and members of community organizations have served as council members. Candidates must apply to the state board by July 28. The new terms begin in September.

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

USDA: Illinois corn, soybean crops faring well

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Illinois' corn crop is maturing faster than normal and faring well. The USDA says in its weekly crop-status update that 81 percent of the state's corn is rated as either good or excellent. Eighty-two percent of the crop is silking, 12 percentage points better than the average of the previous five years. Roughly three-quarters of Illinois' soybean crop is considered good or excellent. Sixty-nine percent of the soybeans in the field are now blooming, ahead of the five-year average of 55 percent. Some 95 percent of the state's wheat harvest is now complete, in line with the average pace of the previous five years.

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

Report: More Illinois children living in poverty

CHICAGO (AP) — A new report says the number of Illinois children living in areas of high poverty has increased by about a third since 2000. The annual survey released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation estimates 347,000 Illinois children live in areas of concentrated poverty. That means more than 1 in 10 children live in neighborhoods where the poverty rate is 30 percent or higher. This year's Kids Count survey also found some encouraging news about Illinois. There's been a long-term decline in births to teenage mothers. Other health and education indicators are hopeful. And Illinois improved on 11 out of 16 measures. The report says Illinois ranks 20th among states for overall child well-being. The state's child poverty rate in 2012 was 21 percent, compared to 16 percent in 2005.

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

State warns against crossing closed bridge

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky transportation officials are warning people not to try to cross the U.S. 45 bridge between Paducah and Brookport, Illinois and saying anyone who does may be cited for trespassing. The bridge has been closed since July 8 to allow for construction of an underpass to connect two sections of the Greenway Trail in Paducah. Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd told The Paducah Sun anyone walking, hiking, biking, or involved in other unauthorized activity on the bridge while it is closed can be issued a citation by law enforcement. Local police will monitor activity at the bridge and issue citations if necessary. The Brookport bridge is scheduled to reopen around July 28, following the completion of the Greenway Trail project.

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

NATIONAL
VA nominee McDonald goes before Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's choice to lead the beleaguered Veterans Affairs Department goes before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee today as Congress considers a bill to help the next VA leader do his job. VA nominee Robert McDonald appears headed to easy confirmation. The path for the veterans' bill is decidedly rockier. The Senate approved a bill last month authorizing $35 billion through 2016 to build new clinics, hire doctors and make it easier for veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to get outside care. The House passed a similar bill. Since then, however, lawmakers have balked at the price tag. The Senate committee's chairman, Bernie Sanders, called negotiations with the House "very tough," but said he hopes Congress can agree before adjourning in August.

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

Better weather to aid in Washington wildfire fight

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A huge wildfire covering 379 square miles in Washington state is only 2 percent contained, but fire officials say things are improving. Cooler temperatures and reduced winds are helping firefighters battle the blaze in Okanogan County, which fire officials estimate has burned about 150 homes.

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

Montana judge to be censured over rape comments

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court today will publicly reprimand a judge who gave a lenient sentence to a former teacher for raping a 14-year-old student. District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings gave Stacey Rambold just 30 days in prison after he suggested the victim also shared responsibility for the 2007 rape. The girl committed suicide before the case went to trial. Baugh is scheduled to appear before the court in Helena, where one of the justices will read a censure statement prepared in advance.

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

CFO: Sterling can't pay debt without Clippers sale

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers is set to testify today at the Los Angeles trial to determine whether the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can go through. CEO Richard Parsons will be called as a witness to support Shelly Sterling's bid to sell the team. Her estranged husband, Donald Sterling, is resisting the sale. Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life after making racist recorded statements.

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

Obama heads off to raise money on the West Coast

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is embarking on a mission that has regularly proved a winner for him — raising money for his fellow Democrats. On Tuesday, Obama is starting a three-day West Coast trip, during which he is scheduled to attend fundraising events in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles less than four months ahead of midterm elections that could change Washington's balance of power. The trip comes as Obama is dealing with a series of high-profile tests of his presidency, from Eastern Europe to the Middle East to the Southern border. But on the fundraising trail Obama remains a potent draw among the Democratic Party's wealthy donors, who pay up to $32,400 to be in intimate settings with the president.

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

White House:  Number Of Children Crossing Border Is Down

(Washington, DC)  --  White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the number of unaccompanied children coming across the southwest border is dropping.  In his daily briefing, Earnest cited a daily average this month of about 150.  The average in June was more than 350.  Meanwhile, Texas Governor Rick Perry is confirming that National Guard troops are going to the border.  Perry said yesterday that a thousand troops will help state troopers as they try to make sure drug and human traffickers are caught.  

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

De Blasio Supports Police Commissioner Bratton In Chokehold Death

(New York, NY)  --  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he has "absolute faith" in Police Commissioner Bill Bratton's judgement, despite calls for his resignation following accusations of police brutality.  A group called "New Yorkers Against Bratton" claims Eric Garner's death last week is not an isolated incident, but an example of a culture of violence within the NYPD.  Many people say Garner was the victim of an illegal police chokehold.  

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

US job-training review emphasizes data, employers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A six-month review of federal job-training programs concludes that the government needs to better engage U.S. employers, improve the use of data, and boost apprenticeship programs so workers can earn while they train. The White House is releasing the results of a report developed under the leadership of Vice President Joe Biden. The report says the government is working to tailor training and grants to better match jobs that are in demand. The government is also adding employment outcome measures to all federal programs. The report also stresses the need for regional partnerships and for programs that provide stepping stones for a seamless transition from one level of education to the next. Obama on Tuesday will also sign bipartisan legislation aimed at improving business engagement and accountability in federally-funded programs.

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

Md. parents allegedly locked up autistic twin sons

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police in Maryland say a couple kept their autistic, 22-year-old twin sons locked in a basement room at night for years with no furniture and only a tiny window for light. Court records show John and Janice Land are free on bond after they were charged Friday with two counts each of vulnerable adult abuse and false imprisonment. Charging documents say Montgomery County police went to the home to serve an unrelated search warrant Thursday and noticed a strong smell of urine. John Land allegedly told police his sons were non-verbal and sometimes ran away. Authorities say he told investigators they began locking them in from 10 p.m. to 4:45 a.m. about six years ago. No phone number is listed for the couple's home and no defense attorney is listed in online court records.

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

Library honors Billy Joel with US pop music prize

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress is honoring Billy Joel with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Librarian James Billington said Tuesday the singer-songwriter, whose hits include "Piano Man" and "Uptown Girl," will receive the prize in Washington in November. The Gershwin Prize honors a living artist's lifetime achievement in music. Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King. Joel is among the world's most popular recording artists. He has said his piano-driven compositions spring from personal experiences, and that he strives to write songs that capture and transcend those moments. With a career spanning 50 years in the entertainment industry, Joel is the sixth top-selling artist of all time.

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

INTERNATIONAL
Dutch PM: 1st victims should be home Wednesday

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch prime minister says his government aims to have the first bodies of victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 back in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Mark Rutte said Tuesday that a plane is ready to bring the first remains back from the Ukrainian government-controlled town of Kharkiv, where they arrived early Tuesday in a refrigerated train. He said that, "it is our aim — and at the moment our expectation — that sometime tomorrow the first plane carrying victims will leave for Eindhoven." Rutte said that the identification of some bodies will be quick. But he has warned grieving families of victims of Thursday's crash that killed 298 people that the identification of some others could take "weeks or even months."

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

Putin: Russia will facilitate plane investigation

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin says Russia will do "everything in its power" to facilitate an investigation into the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet crash, but accused Kiev and the West of escalating the conflict in the region. During a meeting with Russia's Security Council on Tuesday, Putin said Russia was willing to put pressure on the rebels, but that "that was not enough" to resolve the situation. He condemned Kiev for continuing to shell parts of the region, asserting that international observers on the scene could "barely stick their heads out" because of safety concerns. Putin also lashed out at the West, accusing NATO of bolstering its forces across eastern Europe. The Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in rebel-held eastern Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

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

Kerry: Cease-fire isn't enough

CAIRO (AP) — The immediate goal is a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas -- but Secretary of State John Kerry says, "Just reaching a cease-fire is clearly not enough." After meeting with Egypt's president today in Cairo, Kerry said there has to be a "serious" discussion of the "underlying issues." Egypt has proposed a cease-fire plan that is backed by the U.S. and Israel, but it's been rejected by Hamas. Meanwhile, an Israeli defense official says an Israeli soldier is missing after a deadly battle in the Gaza Strip. The official says it's not known whether the soldier is dead or alive. In the past, Israel has paid a heavy price in lopsided prisoner swaps to retrieve captured soldiers or remains held by its enemies.

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

Parents of abducted girls, escapees meet president

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — President Goodluck Jonathan is meeting with many parents of the 219 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls and some classmates who managed to escape from Islamic extremists. Today's meeting comes after some had refused to meet Nigeria's leader last week. For months the parents have been asking to see the president and he finally agreed to a request from Pakistani girls-education activist Malala Yousafzai. Jonathan blamed activists of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign for politicizing the abductions and influencing the parents. The parents said they needed time to decide who would attend. A spokesman said there were 177 people in the delegation meeting Jonathan and an AP reporter counted 51 of the 57 girls who escaped in the early days after the April 15 abduction. The failure to rescue the girls is an international embarrassment.

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

China's typhoon toll rises to 46 dead, 25 missing

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese government says the death toll from the strongest typhoon to slam into the country's south has risen to 46, with 25 other people still missing. The Civil Affairs Ministry said Tuesday that Typhoon Rammasun triggered floods, hail showers and mudslides since Friday. The storm destroyed tens of thousands of homes, damaged roads and ports and cut electricity and water supplies in southern Chinese cities. The typhoon earlier last week caused power outages and 94 deaths in the Philippines. It also was blamed for at least 11 deaths in Vietnam over the weekend. A second storm, Typhoon Matmo, was approaching Taiwan and forecast to make landfall Wednesday morning.

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

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago White Sox 3, Kansas City 1

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 4, Gateway 1
Evansville 2, Windy City 0

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

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

Frontier League

Gateway at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Windy City

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

White Sox pitching coach out with vertigo

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper missed Monday night's game against the Kansas City Royals. Manager Robin Ventura says it is possible Cooper, who also missed Sunday's game before he knew he had vertigo, might miss a few more days. Ventura says Cooper is "not feeling too good." Bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen filled in for Cooper on Sunday and was expected to do the same Monday. Cooper, 58, has been the White Sox's pitching coach since July 2002. He also missed 13 games over two separate stints last year with diverticulitis.

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

Bulls re-sign Kirk Hinrich to 2-year deal

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have re-signed guard Kirk Hinrich to a two-year deal. The Bulls announced the move Monday, along with the signing of second-round pick Cameron Bairstow. A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that Hinrich will make $2.7 million next season. The contract includes a player option for the second year. The person requested anonymity because the team does not publicly comment on contract details. Hinrich has spent nine of his 11 seasons with the Bulls. The steady veteran averaged 9.1 points and 3.9 assists in 73 games last season. His presence will help give the Bulls a little bit of insurance should Derrick Rose's knee issues return. Rose is set to play this season after missing most of the last two years.

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

News for July 21, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council is due to meet this evening at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veteran's Memorial Park.  Among items on the agenda, the Council will hear bid results for the EMC parking lot resurfacing and additions, for demolition of 13 residential structures, and for street maintenance materials.  Also, the City Attorney will give a first reading on an ordinance regarding discontinuance of existing prohibition relative to the sale of alcoholic liquor within the area of 4700 West Broadway and discuss resolutions approving a letter of understanding between the City of Mt. Vernon and Roger Brooks International regarding community assessment and contract approval for professional services with Peckham, Guyton, Albers, & Viets for services relating to an application to re-establish the Mt. Vernon-Jefferson County Enterprise Zone.  The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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

City mulls banning new single-wide mobile homes

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois town is mulling whether to bar certain new mobile homes from moving in. West Frankfort Mayor Tom Jordan tells WSIL-TV that the 8,200-resident Franklin County city is considering whether to ban single-wide trailer homes and to not allow trailer parks. Jordan says some single-wide home owners may be moving to town simply to avoid stricter codes elsewhere, and that such trailer homes can decrease property values of neighboring structures. Charles Hutson doesn't think such a ban is right. As someone on a fixed income, he says his single-wide mobile home in West Frankfort is an inexpensive way to live. West Frankfort now requires people to get permission from neighbors before bringing in a trailer home. The City Council will discuss the proposed ordinance change Tuesday.

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

SIU outlines steps to prevent sexual assault

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Students, faculty and staff at Southern Illinois University will undergo more rigorous programs on sexual assault awareness and prevention. That's part of the university's response to federal mandates requiring colleges to address sexual assaults. Benjamin Newman is SIU police chief. He says the department has investigated one sex assault this year. There were four cases last year and six in 2012. Newman says the real number is likely to be higher because some victims don't come forward. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that under the changes, incoming freshman will participate in an online awareness program. Once on campus, student training will focus on how to help a friend who is an assault victim. Faculty will get training on how to respond when a student reports they've been assaulted.

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

Perry County employee quits after theft charge

PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An employee of southern Illinois' Perry County has resigned after being charged with felony theft for allegedly stealing gasoline. WSIL-TV reports 64-year-old Paul "Butch" Stern of Sunfield stepped down from his job Thursday with the county assessor's office. WSIL says the local newspaper's publisher, Jeff Egbert, caught Stern on camera pumping gas into his county vehicle July 14 at a Du Quoin convenience store, then filling up containers in his trunk. Egbert then reportedly saw Stern drive back to his property. The criminal complaint accuses Stern of knowingly exerting unauthorized control over government property by intending to deprive the county of gasoline worth up to $500. Stern is free on bond. Stern does not have a listed home telephone number and could not be reached for comment Sunday.

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

Coroner: 2 recent deaths drug-related accidents

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The coroner in southwestern Illinois' Madison County says two recent deaths were accidental drug overdoses. Stephen Nonn says 40-year-old Cleophus Richardson died in May after being found unresponsive in his Wood River home. Nonn says toxicology tests showed Richardson overdosed on heroin. Nonn says Richardson had a history of heroin abuse but reportedly had been off the drug for several years. Nonn also says 42-year-old Stacy Hoffner of Bethalto had a history of heroin abuse and had been in recovery when she died in May. Nonn says Hoffner accessed a relative's pain medication, and testing after her death found fentanyl and morphine in her system. 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.

-------------------------

Luechtefeld and Bost to Host Free Utility Bill Savings Clinic in Mt. Vernon

Okawville, Ill. – State Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) and State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) are hosting a Free Utility Bill Savings Clinic at the Sunshine Center Senior Nutrition Program on Wednesday, August 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. All interested senior citizens in the Mt. Vernon area are invited to attend for information on how to save money on their utility bills. Experts from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) will meet with individuals to discuss tips for lowering phone bill costs, becoming more energy efficient and saving money.  All attendees should bring their phone, gas, and electric bills for CUB staffers to analyze.  There will be free refreshments, door prizes, and informational brochures. For further information about the event or to RSVP contact Sen. Luechtefeld’s Okawville office at 618-243-9014 or his Carbondale office at 618-529-3866. Interested participants can also call Rep. Bost’s office at 618-457-5787.

-------------------------------------
Two Fires On Same Street Being Investigated

(Cahokia, IL)  --  Authorities in a Southwest Illinois town are investigating two fires that happened on the same street.  KMOX reports the two fires occurred early Sunday on West Adams Drive in Cahokia.  Fire Crews were just finishing up the first fire when the second one was reported.  No one was harmed in either incident. Investigators say the second fire was suspicious in nature.

----------------

One Dead In Strip Club Shooting

(Washington Park, IL)  --  A teenager is dead after a shooting outside a Metro-East strip club.  Eighteen-year-old DeLarren Patterson was gunned down early yesterday morning as he left the Main Street club, in Washington Park.  Two others were injured in the shooting.  Police have no suspects. 

-----------------------

Benton Fishing Team Wins Second Place At Nationals

(Benton, IL)  --   A couple high school students from Benton, Illinois are getting national recognition for their ability to reel 'em in.  Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney finished second place in the Bassmaster high school national competition last Friday.  The anglers pulled in six-pounds-five-ounces of fish but missed the top prize by just seven-ounces.  Richardson and McKinney won a combined five-grand for their stellar performance, but they say they're hoping to win it all before they graduate.  They have two more years to shoot for their goal; they'll both be juniors this fall.

------------------

Woman Arrested After Posting Selfie on Social Media

(West Frankfort, IL)  --  It's become quite a fad to snap a picture of yourself and post it onto social media sites, but one selfie landed a West Frankfort woman in the slammer.  Danielle Saxton was apparently wearing a stolen dress in the snapshot that she posted on Facebook earlier this month.  Someone saw the picture and turned Saxton in just hours after the owner of Mortie's Boutique posted a shot of the dress and said someone had taken it.  Police tracked Saxton down and took her in for retail theft, and on an outstanding drug warrant. 

--------------------------

Southern Illinois Says Goodbye To Former Congressman Gray

Hundreds of Southern Illinoisans were in attendance Saturday for the visitation and funeral of former Illinois Congressman Ken Gray.  Family members wanted the funeral to be a tribute to Gray's life, and there was no shortage of people who wanted to be involved.  Guest speaker and grandson Jamie Hall said the late lawmaker was simply the most uniquely gifted man he ever knew, and was the kind of person that could make a friend of anyone, laughed harder and louder than everyone and was always willing to give his time and talents to help others. Several of Gray's relatives paid their respects during the ceremony, while more than 300 attendees listened to the countless narratives about the former congressman. Ten guest speakers shared their own experiences. Congressman Bill Enyart said Gray put Southern Illinois on the map when national attention was everywhere but here. Combined more than 800 people showed up for the visitation and the funeral. Gray was buried Sunday, in his hometown of West Frankfort.

--------------------------------------

Reports Of Another Guard Attack At Shawnee

Another inmate attack on a prison guard has happened at Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna. According to IDOC spokesman Tom Shaer, the incident happened Thursday and involved an altercation over a makeshift clothesline the inmate had reportedly strung up in his cell. The inmate objected when the clothesline had been discarded, but he was reportedly told his objection would only be heard through the written grievance process, which often takes month to accomplish. The inmate then allegedly attempted to retrieve the clothesline from the trash and the altercation ensued. Both the inmate and officer landed on the floor after the inmate allegedly shoved the guard. Neither the inmate nor the guard, have been identified at this time. The guard was ultimately transported to an area hospital for a minor concussion and an abrasion to his scalp. Johnson County authorities are investigating the incident and will forward their information to the State's Attorney for possible prosecution. This was the second such altercation in three weeks at Shawnee during which a guard was injured by an inmate. Willie Carter, the inmate accused in the earlier altercation, has a history of staff assaults in various IDOC facilities. He has not been charged at this time, but was transferred after the attack to Menard Correctional Center in Chester, where a few days later five staff members were directly attacked by multiple inmates.

-----------------------------------------------------

STATE
Quinn OKs cannabis use for kids with epilepsy


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that will allow minors with epilepsy to use medical marijuana. The governor signed the measure Sunday in Chicago. It was sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Iris Martinez of Chicago and Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie. The law adds seizures to the list of treatable conditions in Illinois' medical cannabis program. It allows children with seizures from epilepsy to consume oil from the marijuana plant with a parent's consent. Currently, only Illinois residents 18 years and older may use medical marijuana in the state's four-year pilot program. Parents of children with epilepsy say consuming the oil reduces seizures and doesn't make children feel high. Opponents disagree with further legalizing the drug. The legislation takes effect in January.

-------------------------

Quinn anti-violence spending didn't pull big votes


CHICAGO (AP) — An analysis shows Gov. Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program, which critics have called a "political slush fund," didn't do him much good in his 2010 campaign. The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/1n1euwd) that its study found that in Chicago neighborhoods where the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative's $54 million was spent, voter turnout for Quinn and his running mate Sheila Simon in 2010 was 2 percent higher than it was for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Quinn four years earlier. Turnout improved by 1.9 percent in neighborhoods that didn't get NRI funding. The difference was a bit more in the suburbs. The paper found that voter turnout improved in areas that got NRI money by 3.8 percent compared to a 1.8 percent increase in suburban areas that didn't get any NRI money.

---------------------------

Rauner Pumps More Personal Cash Into Campaign

(Chicago, IL) -- Republican challenger Bruce Rauner continues to put his money where his mouth his. The multi-millionaire has donated another one-and-a-half-million-dollars to his effort to unseat Governor Pat Quinn. The latest donation means Rauner has now put eight-point-one-million-dollars of his own funds into his campaign. Rauner isn't sitting on his campaign cash; he raised more than eight-million-dollars during the second quarter and spent nearly six-million.

----------------------

Federal Prosecutors Counter Blagojevich Appeal

(Chicago, IL) -- Federal prosecutors have responded to former Governor Rod Blagojevich's latest attempt to have his corruption conviction overturned. In a court filing today, prosecutors said the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling cited by Blagojevich is irrelevant to his conviction and was misinterpreted by his lawyers. Blagojevich attorneys had argued that the court said that for a campaign solicitation to be criminal, an explicit quid pro quo has to offered, which they say, Blagojevich never did.

--------------------------------

Ex-Cons Get Second Shot At Finding Work

(Springfield, IL)  --  State officials are going to bat for people with criminal records.  Governor Quinn signed a law yesterday that bans companies from running background checks on applicants until they've been deemed qualified for the job and have been selected for an interview.  Those who support the deal say too many people were being turned away from work, even though they'd paid their debts to society.  Quinn says the law will help people get a fair shot at reaching their potential, plus it'll help keep people from turning to the streets to earn a living. 

----------------------

Walk Raises 150-Thousand Dollars For Easter Seals

(Normal, IL)  --  A weekend walk in support of Easter Seals has raised 150-thousand dollars.  About eleven-hundred people took part in the event on Saturday in Normal.  The group supports people with disabilities and special needs.  Easter Seals also helps those suffering with autism and cerebral palsy, which includes medical rehab, camping and other recreation.

-------------------

NATIONAL
Train derails in Wis.; injuries unclear

SLINGER, Wis. (AP) — A fire official says two people are injured and several thousand gallons of diesel fuel have spilled after a train derailment in a small Wisconsin village. Slinger Fire Department Chief Rick Hanke says three engines and 10 railcars derailed Sunday, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 nearby homes. He says two people are being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening. Hanke says about 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from an engine. He says hazmat crews have dikes and booms in place. A spokesman for Canadian National Railway Co. says preliminary reports indicate one of the company's trains was headed south and struck cars on another train. Slinger is about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

--------------------------------

Ireland: Mich. man held a suspect in UN slayings

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — U.S. federal agents have arrested a man the Irish government calls a suspect in the abduction, torture and killing of two Irish soldiers serving as United Nations peacekeepers in Lebanon 34 years ago. Mahmoud Bazzi's arrest in Dearborn, Michigan last week is for immigration violations, and is not directly connected to the killings in Lebanon. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the Department of Homeland Security "is committed to rooting out alleged human rights violators who seek a safe haven in the United States."

-------------------------------------

Trial to start in death of unarmed woman on porch

DETROIT (AP) — Jury selection starts today in Detroit in the trial of a 55-year-old man who shot to death a young woman who had been knocking on his door in the wee hours of the morning in November. Prosecutors say Theodore Wafer grabbed his shotgun, opened the front door of his Dearborn Heights home and blasted 19-year-old Renisha McBride in the face. McBride was drunk but unarmed when she had gone to get help after crashing her car. Wafer claims McBride was aggressive and violent and that he acted in self-defense.

---------------------------------------

3 teens held in Albuquerque homeless killings

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Three teenage boys are being held in detention facilities in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, for allegedly beating to death two homeless men. Police say the men were beaten so badly that their bodies were nearly unrecognizable. Eighteen-year-old Alex Rios has been charged with two counts of murder and related offenses. The other suspects are 16- and 15 years old. A third victim says he got away.

-----------------------

Poor teens' health may benefit from top schools

CHICAGO (AP) — A study suggests that disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools — their health may also benefit. Risky behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these kids, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. The teens were otherwise similar, all from low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods who applied to top public charter schools that admit students by lottery. The researchers compared behavior in almost 1,000 kids in 10th through 12th grade who were picked for the high-performing schools and in those who went elsewhere. Overall, 36 percent of the selected kids engaged in at least one of 11 risky behaviors, compared with 42 percent of the other teens. Results are in today's Pediatrics online.

-----------------------

Florida town stunned by news of police KKK ties

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. (AP) — Residents of a small, central Florida town say they're shocked and disgusted by the recent disclosure that two members of its police force are accused of being members of the Ku Klux Klan. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement this week released a report saying Fruitland Park Deputy Chief David Borst and Officer George Hunnewell were Klan members. Borst denies being a member. Borst resigned and Hunnewell was fired last week. A third Fruitland Park officer resigned in 2010 after his Klan ties became public. A researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center says it's extremely rare nowadays to find police officers who are Klan members. Cases the officers worked on also are under scrutiny. On Friday, prosecutors dismissed three cases — two traffic offenses and a misdemeanor battery.

--------------------------

Charges mount against California robbery suspect

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors say they're charging a Stockton, California man with triple-murder in the deaths of a woman taken hostage during a bank robbery and police shootout that killed two other robbery suspects. The San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office says the charges being filed today make 19-year-old Jaime Ramos eligible for a death sentence. Prosecutors say charges may include 22 counts of attempted murder of police officers stemming from last week's running gun battle. Police say last Wednesday three armed men entered the bank branch and took three women hostage. Two women survived with injuries, but a 41-year-old mother of two, Misty Holt-Singh, was used as a human shield and died. Ramos is the sole surviving suspect.

--------------------------------

Obama gives protection to gay, transgender workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal workers and contractors who are gay and transgender are getting new protections from President Barack Obama. Obama is signing executive orders that will prohibit employment discrimination against those workers by the federal government and its contracting agencies. Some religious groups and conservatives urged him to provide a broad exemption for religious groups. But Obama declined. Last month, the Supreme Court allowed some religiously oriented businesses to opt out of Obama's requirement that employers provide free birth control. The president planned to take the action in the White House East Room Monday. President Bill Clinton already protected federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. But Obama is adding gender identity. Neither group previously had protection under the law in federal contracting. Federal contractors employ one-fifth of the U.S. workforce.

-------------------------------

Obama to bestow Medal of Honor on New Hampshire veteran

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will bestow the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor, to Ryan Pitts, a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war despite his own critical injuries. Pitts, from Nashua, N.H., will be awarded the medal during a White House ceremony Monday. Pitts, 28, will become the ninth living recipient of the medal for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The citation says Pitts fought off enemy fighters on July 13, 2008, in Wanat, Afghanistan. Despite losing blood from wounds in both legs and an arm, he continued to fire at about 200 Taliban fighters and guided air strikes that helped repel the attack.

-----------------------------

Bill Clinton won't 'jump the gun' on wife's plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Bill Clinton says he doesn't know if his wife, Hillary, is going to run for president and said "she hasn't asked me yet." In a CNN interview broadcast Monday from Jakarta, Indonesia, Clinton says, "Whatever she does is fine." He called Hillary Rodham Clinton "the ablest public servant I've ever worked with." But he said determining whether to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination is, quote, "a decision only she can make." Bill Clinton adds, in his words, "I'm not going to try to jump the gun." He says that when his time was through at the White House in early 2001, he told his wife that she had made sacrifices to support his career for 26 years, and that he owed her 26 years in return.

--------------------------------

More studies needed in apparent chokehold death

NEW YORK (AP) — The medical examiner's office says it's still trying to determine what caused the death of a New York City man who appeared to be held in a chokehold as police attempted to arrest him. The office says in a statement that the "cause and manner" of Eric Garner's death are pending further studies. Meanwhile, the fire department has barred four emergency workers from responding to 911 calls. They are employees of the Staten Island hospital where Garner was pronounced dead on Thursday. The medics' restricted duties will remain in effect pending an investigation into their actions. The fire department took the action after a second video surfaced showing some half-dozen officers and emergency workers circling a man who appears to be Garner lying on the sidewalk, handcuffed and unresponsive.

-----------------------------------

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests. Verizon is the first wireless carrier to roll out a comprehensive rewards program, and it's expecting big benefits. The program has already been offered for a few months in some states, helping explain Verizon's strong subscriber figures in the second quarter. The company says Smart Rewards is designed as a loyalty program, but the company is also using it to encourage enrollment in Verizon Selects, a separate program that uses subscriber surfing and location data to better target Web ads they see.

----------------------------------

Black-and-white stripes are the new orange

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan sheriff says he's trading his inmates' orange jumpsuits for black-and-white stripes, in part due to pop culture. Saginaw County Sheriff William Federspiel tells The Saginaw News that all-orange jumpsuits are increasingly viewed as fashionable, especially because they're seen on popular TV shows such as the Netflix smash hit "Orange Is the New Black." Federspiel says "some people think it's cool to look like an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail ... wearing all orange jumpsuits out at the mall or in public." He says inmates sometimes work in public, and he doesn't want there to be any confusion. The jailhouse fashions come relatively cheap. The sheriff says the jumpsuits, which last for about two to three years, cost $11.73 apiece.

-----------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Gaza official says Israeli shells hit hospital

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian health official says Israeli tank shells have struck a hospital in the central Gaza Strip, killing four people and wounding 60.The official, Ashraf al-Kidra, says 12 shells hit the Al Aqsa hospital in the town of Deir el-Balah on Monday. He says shells landed in the administration building, the intensive care unit and the surgery department. He says 30 of the 60 wounded are medical staff. Live footage on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV station showed wounded being moved on gurneys into the emergency department. The Israeli military says it's checking the report.

----------------------------------

Kerry heads to Middle East, Gaza death toll past 500

CAIRO (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Cairo today for the highest-level attempt yet to end two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting. More than 500 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed, and the fighting has driven tens of thousands of Gaza residents from their homes. The U.N. Security Council emerged from an emergency session late last night with a proposed resolution much weaker than a proposal from Jordan that called for Israel to pull out of Gaza.

---------------------------

Dutch tell rebels: Train full of bodies must leave

HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — Dutch forensic investigators told the armed separatists guarding train cars full of bodies from the downed Malaysia Airlines jet that the train must be allowed to leave within hours. The experts from the Dutch National Forensic Investigations Team — which specializes in victim recovery and identification — also pressed for the train cars parked near the rebel-held town of Torez to be sealed. AP journalists at the site said the smell of decay was overwhelming. Then the experts headed for the crash site itself, 9 miles away, accompanied by monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Dutch prime minister says the "No. 1 priority" is to repatriate the bodies of the 192 Dutch citizens killed. International outrage is growing over how pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine are handling the bodies.

---------------------------

SPORTS
SATURDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 4, LA Dodgers 2
Chicago White Sox 4, Houston 3
Arizona 9, Chicago Cubs 3

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 5, Evansville 4
Gateway 18, Traverse City 4

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Houston 11, Chicago White Sox 7
Arizona 3, Chicago Cubs 2
L.A. Dodgers 4, St. Louis 3

Frontier League

Evansville 13, Southern Illinois 1
Gateway 7, Traverse City 0

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Kansas City at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Gateway at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Windy City

-------------------------------------

McIlroy Wins British Open

Rory  McIlroy captured the British Open championship on Sunday, closing with a 1-under 71 to finish at 17-under par for a two-shot victory. McIlroy began the final round at Royal Liverpool with a six-shot advantage and birdied the first hole  to  make it seven shots,  but he never  pulled away and actually saw his lead trimmed to just two strokes a couple of times by Sergio Garcia, who fired a  6-under  66 on  Sunday to  finish tied  for second  at 15-under with Rickie Fowler, who managed a 5-under 67 in the final round. McIlroy claimed his third major championship, having previously won the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship.

--------------------------------

Wozniacki Wins Istanbul Cup

Caroline  Wozniacki won  a  title  for the  seventh  consecutive  year with  a straight-set  rout of Roberta Vinci in Sunday's final at the Istanbul Cup. The top-seeded Wozniacki needed just 67 minutes in a 6-1, 6-1 victory to claim her 22nd career title and first of 2014. She has won at least one tournament every year since 2008, but Sunday's triumph was just her second in the past two years.  Vinci suffered her second straight loss in a final after a difficult start 2014.  She had six consecutive first-round exits to open the season, as well as another run of four straight opening-round losses before last week's runner-up finish in Bucharest.

----------------------------------------

News for July 18, 2014

LOCAL
Effingham welcomes new food products company

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) — Effingham is welcoming a new company to town. Continental Mills officially opened in the central Illinois city on Tuesday. The food product company finalized a deal with Harlan Bakeries late last year and took ownership of the Effingham plant. The Effingham Daily News reports that the Seattle-based company has invested more than $2 million into the facility. Fifteen employees work for Continental Mills in Effingham, including 13 employees who formerly worked for Harlan Bakeries. Mayor Merv Gillenwater says Continental Mills took an underutilized plant and turned it into a modern productive facility.

--------------------------

Lane Reductions Start Monday on I-57, I-64 in Jefferson County

Mt. Vernon -- The Illinois Department of Transportation would like to alert motorists traveling Interstates 57 and 64 in the Mt. Vernon area of the North I-57/I-64 Interchange Construction Project beginning on July 21.  The contractor will be engaged in patching operations followed by placement of asphalt pavement.  Lane reductions will be utilized to perform this work. Delays are expected.  To avoid these delays, motorists are encouraged to utilize the marked detour routes. Motorists should reduce speed, be alert to equipment and workers, and use extreme caution when traveling through this area.

----------------------------

Mt. Vernon Authorities Investigating Fires

Authorities in Mt. Vernon are investigating two suspicious fires, with the Red Cross responding to help the victim of one incident. The first happened late Monday night in the 1700 block of South 15th Street.  Kevin Sargent, Assistant Chief of the Mt. Vernon Fire Department, says a mobile home had significant smoke and heat damage. The second fire occurred just after 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 400 block of Forest Avenue. Sargent says a woman at the residence was able to get out safely, but the home, a shed, and nearby vehicles were damaged in the fire. The Red Cross has responded to help the woman with food and clothing needs following the fire. The Mt. Vernon Fire Department is working with the Mt. Vernon Police Department on the investigation. Anyone with information about the fires is asked to call the Police Department at (618) 242-2727 or Jefferson County Crime Stoppers at (618) 242-TIPS.

---------------------------------

State Police, Friends Of Cops, Bike Across Illinois

(Alton, IL)  --  Illinois State Police are biking across the state today.  More than 50-cyclists took off from Alton yesterday morning, headed to Chicago on a 325-mile trek.  They'll make stops in Bloomington and Romeoville before they get to their final destination on Sunday.  The group is raising money to help support the families of those who've died in the line of duty.

-------------------

Reminder: Don't Leave Kids In Hot Cars

(Alton, IL) -- We're hearing more and more about kids being left in hot cars but health experts are reminding parents that it can be extremely dangerous, even on an overcast day. They say the glass in your vehicle acts as a greenhouse, warming temperatures in just a matter of minutes. That could lead to serious health problems like heat stroke, seizures, loss of consciousness, and even death. Experts say if you notice a child locked in a hot car, call 9-1-1 and stay there until help arrives.

---------------------

Durbin wants air base site named in Dixon's honor

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — A building at southwestern Illinois Air Force base will bear the name of late former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, if a federal lawmaker from Illinois gets his way. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the latest defense appropriations bill being considered in Congress includes his directive that the Air Force chief designates a Scott Air Force Base building in Alan Dixon's honor. Dixon died July 6 at age 86. The Democrat's political career spanned more than 40 years. He was in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993 and chaired a subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. Durbin heads the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which on Thursday passed the spending bill calling for the building to be named in Dixon's honor. The bill heads to the full committee.

---------------------------------

Cairo to memorialize 2 slain in botched bank heist

CAIRO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois city where two bank workers were killed during a botched robbery is planning to memorialize the victims. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that two pink granite benches will be placed in Cairo's Halliday Park in memory of slain Anita Joe Grace of Olive Branch and Nita Jo Smith of Wickliffe, Kentucky. The two women were found fatally stabbed in May at Cairo's First National Bank. A third stabbed worker survived. Authorities later arrested 29-year-old James Watts, and he's charged in federal court with attempted armed bank robbery resulting in death. He has pleaded not guilty. The attack's survivor will be honored with a tree and marker in the park.

---------------------------

STATE
Illinois governor hopefuls spar over jobs, economy


SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are laying out competing visions for how to create jobs and improve Illinois' economy. Rauner spoke Thursday in Schaumburg. He says Quinn's track record on the economy is "atrocious." The Winnetka businessman wants to lower Illinois' income tax rate, freeze property taxes and impose a sales tax on some services, such as trash collection. He says Quinn's support for increasing income taxes hurts businesses and working people. But Quinn calls Rauner's plan "a dumb idea" that would hurt everyday people. Quinn appeared in Chicago to announce he's expanding a job-training program. He noted Illinois' unemployment rate dropped again in June. Quinn says he helped pull Illinois out of the recession and "it's quite important we keep the momentum."

---------------------------

Rauner Details Income Tax Rollback, Sales Tax Expansion


(Chicago, IL) -- Republican challenger Bruce Rauner is unveiling a few details of how he'd change the state's tax structure if he's elected governor. Rauner says he would phase out the income tax increase, cutting the rate from five-percent to three-percent over four years. Rauner says he would freeze local property taxes, but would expand the state's sales tax to include some services like attorneys, storage, and janitorial services. Rauner also repeated his latest minimum wage position, a phased-in increase tied to workers compensation and tort reform.

---------------------

Construction Jobs Pace June Unemployment Decline

(Springfield, IL) -- Unemployment in Illinois continues to drop, but is still higher than the national average. The June jobless rate fell one-tenth-of-a-point to seven-point-one-percent, continuing a four-month downward trend, but still trailing the national rate of six-point-one-percent. Construction employment increased in June in Illinois, but manufacturing jobs continue to decline. In all, the state added six-thousand jobs in the month of June.

------------------

Unemployment Rate Falls In June

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois' unemployment rate is down once again. It fell from seven-point-five-percent in May to seven-point-one-percent last month. That's the lowest it's been since October of 2008. The state's unemployment rate has gone down for four months straight now, but it still lags behind the national rate, which is just over six-percent.

-------------------

Quinn announces construction job training program

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has announced a new training program to prepare people for construction jobs. Quinn made the announcement at Dawson Technical Institute in Chicago Thursday. The Employ Illinois program is being offered through the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Tollway. Quinn says the program links job seekers with training. It pays $15 an hour to contractors for each program graduate put to work. Projects using the program include the Circle Interchange in Chicago and on Roosevelt Road in Broadview. The announcement came as the state's Department of Employment Security released preliminary numbers showing Illinois' unemployment rate has dropped to 7.1 percent in June — down from 7.5 percent in May.

-----------------------

New Law Seeks A Bulletproof Vest For Every Cop


(Springfield, IL) -- A law signed this week requires police departments across the state to provide bulletproof vests for their officers. The law also requires the local law enforcement agencies to apply for federal aid to help pay for the equipment upgrade, with the state picking up half of the cost. The law requires a vest for every new recruit unless federal or state funds aren't available, or if departments provide allowances for officers to buy their own vests.

---------------------

Decatur a finalist for national ag research center


DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Decatur is among the finalists for a national agriculture research center. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports Thursday that the National Corn Growers Association wants to create a facility to support and develop farming research. Richard Vierling is head of the Corn Growers research and development team. He said Thursday that Fargo, North Dakota, is the other city in the running for the National Agriculture Genotyping Center. The facility would translate scientific discoveries into production improvement. Richland Community College would host the center if Decatur is chosen. That's according to Doug Brauer, the school's vice president of economic development and innovative solutions. Vierling says officials will conduct site visits in August. The facility could open as soon as the first part of next year.

---------------------------

NATIONAL
Town evacuated ahead of wildfire

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The small town of Pateros, Washington state is being emptied out ahead of a wind-whipped wildfire that has burned at least 35 homes in Okanogan County. Also getting the evacuation notice is a hospital in nearby Brewster. Sheriff Frank Rogers says "there's nobody in Pateros" except a few "stragglers," and he says the fire is burning in the town.

---------------------

Sheriff's office: Oklahoma infant found safe

CASHION, Okla. (AP) — Authorities say an infant has been found unharmed after she was abducted in Oklahoma. The Kingfisher County Sheriff's Department says the 5-month-old girl was found "safe and sound" early this morning in Seminole, Texas by local authorities. And it says the Sheriff's Department in Gaines County, Texas will be making a statement later this morning. Authorities in central Oklahoma had said the girl was abducted near Cashion, and that they were searching for two women, who were possibly headed to Salt Lake City. Gaines County officials say no arrests have been made.

---------------------------

Secrets leaker Manning to begin gender treatments

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. soldier convicted of leaking secrets will begin treatments to change gender. The former Bradley Manning, who now calls herself Chelsea Manning, will get her initial treatment from the military. The Bureau of Prisons had rejected the Army's request to accept Manning's transfer from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to a civilian facility. Defense officials say the Army does not have the medical expertise needed to give Manning the best treatment.

-------------------------------------

Police: Human head found on Long Island

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Police are investigating what appears to be a human head found in a Long Island town where two severed arms were discovered about a week ago. Hempstead police say the head was found at about 5 p.m. Thursday on Boylston Street, close to where the two arms were found dumped on residential lawns. Authorities are trying to determine if the body parts are linked to a partially dismembered body found July 8 in a municipal parking lot in Bay Shore, about 25 miles east of Hempstead. Those remains were found by two people who were walking to the Fire Island ferry terminal about a half-mile away. Homicide detectives in Nassau and Suffolk counties are investigating as they await DNA results on the other body parts.

-------------------------------

FedEx Indicted For Distributing Controlled Substances

(San Francisco, CA)  --  A federal indictment says FedEx has been shipping powerful prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies.  The grand jury indictment says the cargo company knowingly delivered drugs to dealers and addicts.

------------------------

This Weekend Marks Two Years Since Aurora Theater Shooting

(Aurora, CO)  --  The two-year anniversary of the mass shooting inside a Colorado movie theater is quickly approaching.  Sunday marks the date two years ago when James Holmes allegedly walked into a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado and began spraying bullets.  The mass shooting left 12 people dead and dozens injured. 

------------------

Three States Suing Makers Of 5-Hour Energy

(Salem, OR)  --  Washington and Vermont are joining Oregon in suing the makers of 5-Hour Energy drink.  The states accuse the company of making "deceptive and misleading claims."  All three states are asking the courts to stop 5-Hour Energy from making claims that can't be backed up.  Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's lawsuit says advertisements for the product claim it has a unique blend of ingredients when the only effective ingredient is a concentrated dose of caffeine.

------------------

Slain police officer mourned

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hundreds of police officers are gathering in New Jersey's second-largest city to bury a police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty. Gov. Chris Christie is among the mourners scheduled to attend Friday's funeral in Jersey City for Officer Melvin Santiago. The 23-year-old rookie was killed Sunday in what authorities have called an ambush. His assailant was killed during a subsequent shootout. The city on Thursday promoted Santiago to the rank of detective and posthumously awarded him the department's medal of honor. Meanwhile, the town of Waldwick also is mourning a police officer. Patrolman Christopher Goodell was killed early Thursday when his unmarked car was struck by a tractor-trailer. The truck driver has been charged with vehicular homicide.

--------------------------

Officials identify mummified remains in Michigan

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have confirmed that the mummified remains of a woman found in a suburban Detroit garage in March are those of the woman who lived alone at the home. The Detroit Free Press reports that authorities this week notified Pia Farrenkopf's relatives that she has been positively identified using DNA testing. Oakland County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Bernardino Pacris says the cause and manner of death cannot be determined. Investigators said in March that they believed the remains were those of Farrenkopf. The self-employed financial trouble-shooter would have turned 50 this year. The remains were found in the rear seat of Farrenkopf's Jeep in her garage in Pontiac. She may have been dead for more than five years. There is no evidence of foul play.

-------------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Obama: Downed Airliner "Outrage Of Unspeakable Proportions"

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama called the downing of a Malaysian airliner an "outrage of unspeakable proportions."  Nearly 300 people were killed when the jetliner crashed in eastern Ukraine.  In a statement at the White House, Obama cited evidence that the plane was brought down by a ground-to-air missile.  He said at least one American was aboard the plane.  The President called for a "credible international investigation" of the crash.  He said the eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine.  Obama again called on Russia to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions in eastern Ukraine.  He said Russia continues to back violent separatists.  This week, the U.S. imposed another round of economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea.

------------------------------------------

Confusion over whether Malaysia black boxes found

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A pro-Russia rebel leader says no black boxes have been found in the scattered wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over eastern Ukraine, conflicting with a statement made by an aide to a rebel military leader. Separatist leader Aleksandr Borodai says "no black boxes have been found ... We hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened." Earlier today, an aide to rebel military leader Igor Girkin said authorities had recovered eight out of 12 recording devices. Meanwhile, a Ukranian official says 181 bodies have been located so far at the crash site. He the bodies will be taken for identification to Kharkiv, a government-controlled city 170 miles north of the crash site.

------------------------

Nationalities of most crash victims known

UNDATED (AP) — There's no word on whether there were any Americans on the Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine yesterday, killing all 298 people on board. The plane that was headed to the capital of Malaysia had originated in Amsterdam, and most of the passengers were from the Netherlands. There were 189 Dutch on board. Twenty-nine passengers and 15 crew members were Malaysian, and 27 of the passengers were Australian. There were seven other known nationalities, and the nationalities of four people are unconfirmed.

-----------------------------

Putin calls for peace in Ukraine after plane crash

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says all parties in the conflict in eastern Ukraine should lay down the arms and engage in talks as soon as possible after a commercial airliner was shot down. Putin said on Friday in comments carried by Russian news agencies that "peace in Ukraine must prevail as soon as possible" and called for direct talks between Kiev and pro-Russian insurgents. Separatist rebels and Ukrainian government forces have been fighting each other for three months now, killing more than 400 people and displacing tens of thousands.

-----------------------------

France enters peace effort

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — France is getting involved in the search for a way to end the fighting between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip, where the Israelis have now begun a ground operation. France's foreign minister headed today to Egypt, Jordan and Israel as part of a diplomatic push for peace. Meanwhile, Israeli troops are pushing deeper into Gaza to destroy rocket launching sites and tunnels, firing tank shells and clashing with Palestinian fighters in a ground offensive meant to weaken Hamas rulers. Israel launched the ground operation late Thursday, following a 10-day campaign of more than 2,000 air strikes against Gaza that failed to halt relentless Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

---------------------------

Diplomats: UN emergency meeting on Gaza on Friday

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Diplomats say the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the conflict in Gaza on Friday afternoon. Jordan asked for the meeting after Israel launched a ground invasion of Gaza on Thursday. The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) on Friday, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement. Thousands of Israeli soldiers crossed into Gaza on the tenth day campaign of heavy air bombardments to try to destroy Hamas' rocket-firing abilities and the tunnels militants use to infiltrate Israel.

-------------------------

SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

No Games Scheduled

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Houston at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)
Chicago Cubs at Arizona, 8:40 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Evansville
Gateway at Traverse City

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis, 3:05 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 2:09 p.m.)
Houston at Chicago White Sox, 6:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Arizona, 7:10 p.m.

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Evansville
Gateway at Traverse City

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Houston at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Arizona, 3:10 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at St. Louis, 7:00 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:09 p.m.)

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Evansville
Gateway at Traverse City

---------------------------------

AP source: Lakers make winning bid for Boozer

UNDATED (AP) — A person with knowledge of the details says the Los Angeles Lakers have claimed Carlos Boozer after he was waived by the Chicago Bulls via the amnesty clause. According to NBA rules, teams with room under the salary cap had to bid at least $1.4 million, the amount of the minimum salary for veterans next season. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because there was no official announcement, did not say how much the Lakers bid. The amnesty clause allows teams to waive a player without his salary counting for cap and tax purposes. Boozer is due $16.8 million next season in the final season of his contract. He will join a Lakers team that has already signed fellow power forwards Jordan Hill and Ed Davis.

----------------------------

Arrieta becomes bright spot for sputtering Cubs

CHICAGO (AP) — Each start was remarkably similar. That smooth, efficient motion. The devastating array of pitches. The easy cool that quickly spreads to his teammates, who are so confident when he takes the mound. A year after a disappointing departure from Baltimore, Jake Arrieta is thriving in Chicago. The 6-foot-4 right-hander is unbeaten in his last eight starts after beginning the season on the disabled list due to shoulder tightness, providing a glimmer of hope as the lowly Cubs stumbled to last place in the NL Central at the All-Star break.

------------------------------------

Illini add former Maryland assistant Brattan

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has hired former Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan to fill the same role for the Illini. Brattan replaces A.J. Ricker who left earlier this month to coach the offensive line at Missouri. Illinois head coach Tim Beckman said in a news release Thursday that he was happy to find Brattan in light of the late date of Ricker's departure. Beckman called Brattan a respected coach and recruiter with ties to the Chicago area. Brattan has coached in college for 31 years and worked at Maryland the past 13 seasons. He has also coached at Sanford and Northwestern. He played college football at Delaware and was part of the 1971 Division II national championship team. Brattan is the fourth offensive line coach in Beckman's two-plus years at Illinois.

---------------------------------

Goodell: 2015 NFL draft to be in LA or Chicago

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The NFL draft is leaving New York after 49 years. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the league has narrowed down the location of the 2015 draft to Los Angeles or Chicago. The event has been held in New York every year since 1965 and has been at Radio City Music Hall since 2006. Goodell said after a panel at the summer TV critics' meeting that 12 cities were interested in hosting the draft, according to the Los Angeles Times. But the league narrowed the finalists to Los Angeles and Chicago after Radio City officials told the NFL that the venue wouldn't be available in April or May. Goodell said a final decision on the location could be made by late summer. He said the league is discussing different concepts for next year's draft because there is high interest and the NFL wants to be responsive to its fans.

----------------------------

News for July 17, 2014

LOCAL
Man accused in Illinois shooting death arraigned

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A man who escaped custody in Colorado as a defendant in an Illinois killing says he plans to represent himself in court despite a judge saying that's "extremely unwise." The (Alton) Telegraph reports that 37-year-old Turhan Robinson made his first court appearance Tuesday in Madison County. That's where the St. Louis man is charged along with a 30-year-old man from Jennings, Missouri, with first-degree murder, attempted murder and armed robbery. Investigators allege the men shot 43-year-old Kenneth Deal of Venice on May 19 while trying to steal marijuana from him. The attempted murder count relates to a shot fired from the suspects' car at a Madison police officer during an ensuing chase. Robinson later was captured in Las Vegas and briefly escaped in Colorado while being returned to Illinois.

-------------------------------

Former officer gets probation in jail drugs case

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) — A former police officer in southwestern Illinois' Washington Park has been sentenced to probation after admitting he brought drugs into the county jail for an inmate. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 61-year-old Douglass Young pleaded guilty to a charge of official misconduct. A judge also ordered Young to undergo drug treatment and to turn in his gun and badge. Young was accused of taking narcotics and prescription pills into the St. Clair County lockup for a female prisoner. Young had no previous criminal record.

-----------------------------------

Metro East Man Taken Into Custody Charged With Murder

On Sunday, July 13th, at approximately 1:48 p.m., the Washington Park Police Department requested Illinois State Police, Zone 6, assistance with the murder investigation of a 20 year-old black male near 1633 N. 50th Street, Washington Park, IL. A preliminary investigation revealed at approximately 1:52amthe victim, Marcus O. Harris, was shot multiple times and died as a result of those injuries. Later that day, Eric M. Hill, 29, of East St. Louis, was identified as a suspect and was taken into custody.  On July 15, 2014, Hill was formally charged with 1st Degree Murder. He is incarcerated at the St. Clair County Jail with a $1,000,000 bond.

--------------------------------------

Three In Custody Following Bi-State Chase

(Granite City, IL)  --  Three people are in custody following a bi-state police chase.  St. Louis County Police say the chase began in Bel-Ridge, when the suspects fled a routine traffic stop.  Authorities pursued the car through Berkeley, then onto I-270 and into Illinois.  It ended only when the suspect car crashed in Glen Carbon.  Further details haven't been released.

------------------

Pot Farm Gets Approval In Metro-East

(Marissa, IL)  --  A small town in the Metro-East could soon be home to a medical marijuana farm.  The St. Clair County Zoning Board has given Nature's Care the green light to build on 14-acres near Marissa on Route 13.  The company plans to grow marijuana to make candy, cookies, drinks, pills, and other products for the state's dispensaries.  The plan still needs approval from the county and the state, but company officials hope to be up and running by this time next year.

-----------------------

West Frankfort man found fit for murder trial


BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A West Frankfort man has been found fit to stand trial in the alleged murder of his wife. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports Wednesday that Franklin County Judge Jerry Crisel ordered John P. Adams to appear for a pre-trial conference Sept. 3 after reviewing a fitness evaluation. The 66-year-old Adams is charged with two counts of murder in the April 1 shooting of his wife, Kendra, who died the next day. Adams initially told police he found his 52-year-old wife — who had a gunshot wound in the back of her head — unresponsive in their residence. But authorities claim Adams later confessed to the shooting. A gun officials say is consistent with the type of injury Kendra Adams suffered was recovered from the house.

--------------------------

Woman Riding Train Illegally Before Fall


(Round Knob, IL)  --  Police say a woman who fell off a freight train in Massac county was never supposed to be there.  She and two of her male friends had apparently jumped the train Tuesday night.  Police believe they'd been drinking.  The woman is in serious condition and is being treated at a St. Louis area hospital.

------------------------

Carbondale OKs deer hunting near city-owned lake

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Bow-hunters will soon be able to hunt deer on a city-owned lake southwest of Carbondale. According to The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale, the City Council voted Tuesday to begin allowing bow-hunting around Cedar Lake. It will start with the archery season that begins Oct. 1. John Wallace is the lake's supervisor. He said four areas will eventually be open for hunting. The first includes about 460 acres. Areas such as the public beach will be off limits. Councilwoman Jane Adams noted that areas where hunting will be allowed will need to be clearly marked with signs. Rich Whitton of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources told council members at a meeting in June that the area around the lake has a heavy deer population.

---------------------------------

Local funeral homes offer pet cremation, burials

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — Funeral homes in the St. Louis suburbs have announced they will begin offering services for pets. The (Alton) Telegraph is reporting that funeral homes in Alton and Bethalto both say they're starting to offer families several options as to how to commemorate their beloved animals. Gent Funeral Home in Alton allows families to have a final viewing in one of the home's viewing rooms before having pets cremated. Bethalto's Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home is setting aside separate burial sections at nearby cemeteries. Ralph Gent Bowles is the president of Gent Funeral Home. He says he's been approached frequently by area families about pet burial services. Because state law prohibits pets from being cremated in the same machines as humans, both homes have secured separate pet cremation machines.

------------------------------

STATE

Lawyers File Another Argument For Blago Appeal

(Chicago, IL) -- Attorneys for former Governor Rod Blagojevich are giving the judge yet another reason why he should be free. They filed paperwork with the court earlier today, claiming Blagojevich never made any clear promises to give up a job or any other offer when he solicited campaign cash from his donors. Therefore, they claim he never engaged in any type of corruption. Blagojevich was sentenced on corruption charges back in 2010 and is serving a 14-year-prison sentence. His attorneys are asking the judge to overturn the conviction.

----------------------------


Quinn in Washington for climate task force


CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn is in Washington, D.C., for another meeting of a federal task force on climate preparedness. The Chicago Democrat's Wednesday schedule includes meetings with the heads of several federal agencies. According to a copy of Quinn's itinerary, those scheduled to attend included leaders of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. President Barack Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience was formed to advise the administration on how to respond to communities dealing with the impacts of climate change. Quinn has attended similar meetings in Los Angeles.  A Quinn spokeswoman didn't immediately have details on the cost of the trip. Quinn's one-day trip comes the same day a legislative commission is probing his troubled 2010 anti-violence program.


------------------------------


Witnesses won't testify on anti-violence program


CHICAGO (AP) — Several witnesses subpoenaed by Illinois legislators to testify about Gov. Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program are opting not to appear. The Legislative Audit Commission subpoenaed seven former members of Quinn's administration to testify Wednesday about the now-defunct Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. A state audit concluded the program was poorly managed and misused money. Federal prosecutors are investigating the $55 million program and want lawmakers to hold off on the subpoenas. Republicans want to proceed. Legislators haven't yet voted on whether to call the witnesses. But lawyers for six of the witnesses told legislators Wednesday their clients won't appear. They say it's in deference to federal prosecutors' request. The seventh witness, former Quinn adviser Billy Ocasio, has appeared but tells the commission he's "not ready" to testify.


-------------------------------

 

Quinn signs new rules for grants as panel probes

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will have the "strongest grant oversight" nationwide after widespread problems were identified with his 2010 anti-violence program. The Chicago Democrat signed legislation Wednesday that applies federal guidelines to how the state awards grants and strengthens grantee rules. However, some opponents of the legislation have said it doesn't go far enough in stopping possible misuse. Quinn's signing of the bill comes as a legislative panel is digging through the details of his Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. They meet Wednesday in Chicago. A state audit found pervasive problems with spending and management earlier this year. Meanwhile, federal and county officials are also investigating the program. Quinn has said that he addressed problems. In a Wednesday statement, he says what happened was "unacceptable."

----------------------------

Jesse White Awards More Than $5.7 Million in Adult Literacy Grants

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White awarded more than $5.7 million in FY15 Adult Literacy Grants to help students develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and language skills. “I am pleased to provide over 100 local literacy providers with funding that will allow adult students to achieve their utmost potential,” White said.  “I will continue to do all I can to ensure that every citizen of this state has access to quality literacy programs.”  Nearly 22,000 students are served by adult literacy programs across the state.  More than 8,500 volunteer tutors provide training for students to obtain skills that put them on the path to lifelong learning.  Adult literacy projects help Illinois adults, who read below the ninth grade level or speak English at a beginner level, to improve their reading, writing, math and English language skills.  The Adult Literacy Program is administered by the Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office and awards grants in three categories: Adult Volunteer Literacy Grants, Penny Severns Family Literacy Grants, and the Workplace Skills Enhancement Project.  People interested in becoming volunteer tutors are encouraged to contact the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 1-800-321-9511. Area recipients of grants include Rend Lake College in Ina, Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, John A. Logan College in Carterville, Harrisburg Public Library District, Frontier Community College in Fairfield, and CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation in Effingham.

----------------------------------

Study: Many Fail To Act After Data Theft

(Chicago, IL)  --  Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinoisans need to do a better job to protect their personal information.  A recent study done by the National Consumer League shows that one in three victims of data fraud takes no action to correct it.  Madigan says people really need to read their bank account statements and their credit card statements.  She added that if you bank online make sure you recognize all of the transactions and the amounts are the amounts that you authorize.

---------------------------

EPA: Illinois has 21 years of landfill capacity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the state's municipal landfills have a combined life expectancy of 21 years. The agency released its annual report on landfill capacity on Wednesday, based on 2013 statistics. It says 42 landfills reported receiving more than 45 million cubic yards of waste and had more than 947 million cubic yards of capacity remaining. The EPA says capacity can fluctuate from year to year, because some landfill cells are filled and others are opened. The report says two facilities have become inactive, one reported zero remaining capacity and one new facility opened. Statistics do not include transfer stations and compost facilities because they don't permanently store waste.

-------------------------

NATIONAL
WA residents urged to evacuate

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Authorities in Central Washington are urging residents in nearly 900 homes to evacuate as a wildfire tears through timber. There's zero containment of the fire in Chiwaukum Creek, which yesterday was fed by temperatures in the triple digits and strong winds. The wildfire covers nearly 2 square miles and more heat and wind gusts are expected today.

-----------------------------------

Senate panel examining role of GM legal department

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel plans to delve deeper into General Motors' delayed recall of millions of its small vehicles. They plan today to ask GM CEO Mary Barra about how she's changing a corporate culture that allowed a defect with ignition switches to remain hidden from the car-buying public for 11 years. And the Senate Commerce subcommittee on consumer protection also plans to ask GM General Counsel Michael Millikin what role the company's legal department played in the mishandled recall.

-----------------------------

Pushing for more infrastructure money

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hitting the road today on a weeklong push for spending on roads, bridges and other public works. Obama will stand in front of the now-closed I-495 bridge at the Port of Wilmington in Delaware to announce a new initiative to boost private-sector investment in the country's aging infrastructure. The I-495 bridge was shut down in June after four of its huge support columns were found to be tilting.

---------------------------------

Justice Dept: Missing emails now part of IRS probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service is expanding to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official. Deputy Attorney General James Cole is updating Congress today about the department's investigation into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. He also is expected to tell a House committee that investigators are now also looking into emails that went missing from the computer of the former head of the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations, Lois Lerner. Lerner's disclosure last year that IRS agents had improperly scrutinized conservative groups set off a political firestorm that continues to flare this election year. Republican members of Congress have accused the Obama administration of not cooperating with their investigation.

-----------------------------

White House faces broad resistance on border bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is meeting growing resistance from both the left and the right as it pushes a multibillion-dollar emergency spending bill for the border. That raises questions about chances for any action in Congress to address the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children crossing into Texas. Top Obama administration officials held a closed-door briefing for senators late Wednesday, but it appeared to change few minds. Republicans criticized the price tag of the $3.7 billion spending bill, while some Democrats said it wasn't big enough. In the meeting, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson indicated support for changing immigration law to allow kids to be returned more quickly to Central America. But while many Democrats support such a change, Johnson's statement didn't go far enough to satisfy Republicans.

--------------------------------------------

3 dead after California bank robbery, gunbattle

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — Two robbers and a hostage are dead following a bank robbery in Stockton, California. Police say three men robbed a Bank of the West branch Wednesday afternoon, taking off with three women hostages. During a 45-minute chase, two of the hostages — bank employees with gunshot wounds, were tossed out of the vehicle. When the SUV broke down, a gunfight ensued. Dead are the third hostage, who was a bank customer, and two of the robbers.

-------------------------

Seattle: 2 boats collide on lake; 1 woman dead

SEATTLE (AP) — One person is dead after two boats collided on Lake Washington in Seattle. Police are investigating whether the operators of both the sailboat and the power boat were operating them while under the influence last night. Emergency officials say three of the seven people on the 21-foot sailboat were thrown into the water. One of them — a woman in her 20s — was killed. Two other people were injured.

--------------------------

CHP seizes medical records of woman seen punched

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The attorney for a woman seen on video being repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer says she's outraged that CHP investigators have seized her client's medical records. Marlene Pinnock's lawyer says hospital officials told her about the seizure of the records, which include Pinnock's statements to her doctor and references to her attorney. Attorney Caree Harper says she plans to file a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations.

------------------------------------

Microsoft to cut up to 18,000 jobs over next year

REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft says it will eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year as it works on integrating the Nokia devices business it bought in April. With the Nokia deal, Microsoft's employee headcount rose from about 99,000 last year to 127,000 as of last month. Microsoft Corp. said Thursday that of the up to 18,000 jobs, about 12,500 professional and factory jobs will be cut. It anticipates charges of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next four quarters, which includes $750 million to $800 million for severance and related benefit costs. Microsoft's stock rose slightly in Thursday premarket trading.

------------------------

Judge sets new Dec. 8 trial date for James Holmes

DENVER (AP) — The judge in the Colorado theater shootings has tentatively set a new trial date of Dec. 8. Defendant James Holmes had been scheduled go on trial in October, but the judge ordered a delay because a doctor requested more time to complete Holmes' second sanity evaluation. The new date was announced Wednesday. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes underwent a sanity evaluation last year. The key findings haven't been released, but the judge ordered a second after concluding the first was flawed. This is Holmes' third trial date. It was previously postponed after prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty and after prosecutors asked for another sanity evaluation.

------------------------

Trooper pleads guilty in theft from dying motorist

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut state trooper has pleaded guilty to charges he stole cash and jewelry from a dying accident victim. The Connecticut Post reports 45-year-old Aaron Huntsman entered a guilty plea Wednesday to charges of larceny and tampering with evidence under the Alford Doctrine. That means he does not agree with the state's case, but concedes there is enough evidence to secure his conviction. Prosecutors say Huntsman, a 19-year veteran of the state police, was caught on video from his cruiser's dashboard camera stealing a gold chain and $3,700 from 49-year-old John Scalesse as the motorcyclist lay dying on Sept. 22, 2012. Scalesse was fatally injured when his motorcycle crashed on the Merritt Parkway in Fairfield. Huntsman faces 18 months in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 3.

-------------------------

Last defendant sentenced to 6 months in mob attack

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has sentenced a 19-year-old man to six months in jail in a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist who stopped to help a boy whom he struck with his pickup truck. Latrez Cummings returned to court Thursday, a week after Judge James Callahan postponed the sentence so he could learn more about Cummings' school attendance. Cummings is the final defendant to learn his punishment. He and four others pleaded guilty to assaulting Steve Utash, who was in a coma for days after the April 2 attack. The longest sentence has been about 6 ½ years in prison. One man got a year in jail. A teenager whose case was handled in Juvenile Court will be in custody until at least September.

----------------------------------

McEnroe's son charged with drug possession

NEW YORK (AP) — The son of former tennis great John McEnroe and actress Tatum O'Neal has been charged with drug possession. Authorities say Kevin McEnroe and another man were arrested Tuesday night during "a narcotics transaction" in New York's East Village. McEnroe didn't enter a plea at his arraignment Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance. Police say the 27-year-old McEnroe was in possession of cocaine and prescription medication. He was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. McEnroe's lawyer tells the Wall Street Journal that there was "nothing remarkable" about the amount of drugs found on her client. She declined further comment. Police also arrested Niro Meneses on criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. Information on his lawyer wasn't immediately known.

------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Official: Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A Ukrainian official says a Malaysian passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down today over a town in the east of the country. Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Minister, said on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. A similar launcher was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne earlier Thursday. Malaysia Airlines said on its Twitter feed that it "has lost contact of MH17 from Amsterdam. The last known position was over Ukrainian airspace. More details to follow."

---------------------------

Gaza rocket hits Israel as humanitarian lull ends

JERUSALEM (AP) — A five-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has ended. And the Israeli military says a rocket fired from Gaza landed in Israel just as the cease-fire came to an end. The halt in fighting was to allow Gaza residents to stock up on supplies and other necessities. Residents crowded banks, vegetable markets and shops, taking advantage of the break from 10 days of air strikes. The truce was briefly thrown into doubt when Gaza militants fired three mortar shells toward Israel, but it appeared to be an isolated incident.

-------------------------

Ugandan police abuse homeless kids, says report

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Human Rights Watch says homeless children in Uganda's urban centers face violence including sexual abuse at the hands of police and local officials. The rights group said in a report released Thursday that Ugandan authorities have failed to protect street children from police and other officials who beat and extort money from them. It said homeless children have been arbitrarily detained with adults in police cells after "targeted roundups." Homeless children are ubiquitous on the streets of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, where they are known to beg from motorists. Many are young girls, some with babies on their backs. A police spokesman, Patrick Onyango, said the allegations are "totally not true." He said only "violent and wild" children below 18 are arrested and taken to remand homes.

-----------------------------

Japan approves joint missile study, export to US

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has approved the export of a locally-made component for a missile defense system to the U.S. and is launching a joint research with Britain on air-to-air missile technology for fighter jets. The Defense Ministry's decision Thursday marks the first defense technology transfers since Japan eased military export rules in April. The decision reverses Japan's 1967 self-imposed ban on arms exports under its war-renouncing constitution. It comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government wants to give Japan a more assertive defense posture.

---------------------------------

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

No Games Scheduled

Frontier League

West Division 2, East Division 0 (All Star Game at Sauget, IL)

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

No Games Scheduled

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled

----------------------------------------

Royals deal with Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Two former area college pitchers were exchanged for each other in a recent MLB trade.  The Kansas City Royals have gotten some relief help, acquiring veteran reliever and SIU-C Alum Jason Frasor from the Texas Rangers for Triple-A right-hander and former South Central grad and SIU-E Alum Spencer Patton. Frasor was 1-1 with a 3.34 earned run appearance in 38 games with Texas. The deal took place just hours before Patton was scheduled to participate in the Triple-A All-Star game.

----------------------------

Illinois will open season with morning games

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will open the football season with a pair of morning games. The Big Ten on Wednesday set 11 a.m. kickoff times for the Illini's Aug. 30 opener at home against Youngstown State and the Sept. 6 game against Western Kentucky. That game is in Champaign, too. Both of those games will be televised by the Big Ten Network. So far times have been set for six of Illinois' 12 games. Those include night games Sept. 27 at Nebraska and Nov. 1 at Ohio State. The Illini finished last season 4-8 and 1-7 in the Big Ten.

----------------------------

Blackhawks celebrate extensions for Toews, Kane

CHICAGO (AP) — Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are looking forward to a bright future with the Chicago Blackhawks. The high-scoring forwards thanked the organization, their teammates, family and friends at a press conference on Wednesday to celebrate their lucrative contract extensions that run through the 2022-23 season. Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz says it's a historic moment for the franchise, and Toews and Kane say they are excited to continue with the only NHL team they have ever known. The eight-year contracts, which were announced last week, are worth $84 million apiece for an average annual value of $10.5 million. Each player has one year left on their five-year extensions from December 2009. Agent Pat Brisson, who represents both players, says they could have commanded as much as $13.8 million per season, but it was important to them to stay together and keep winning.

------------------------------

News for July 16, 2014

LOCAL
Police seek tips in solving 2006 Carbondale death

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP)--- Police in Carbondale are asking for the public's help in trying to solve the 8-year-old killing of a man. KFVS-TV reports a $6,000 reward is being offered for details leading to an arrest and conviction in the stabbing death of Ryan Livingston. Authorities say that on July 13, 2006, Livingston was walking on a Carbondale sidewalk when two men approached him, perhaps intent on robbing him. Livingston was stabbed twice in the chest and died a short time later at a hospital. Police have said Livingston managed to give investigators a brief description of the assailants, but not enough to produce an arrest.

---------------------------------

Sen. Durbin pays tribute to late congressman

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' senior senator calls the late Congressman Ken Gray an unforgettable "legend" who was beloved by his constituents. Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin paid tribute to Gray on Tuesday on the Senate floor. He recalled his fellow Democrat's rainbow of sport coats, personal helicopter and pink Cadillac. Durbin noted Gray's work "made a real difference in the daily lives of southern Illinoisans." Gray died late Saturday at a hospital in Herrin at age 89 after a long illness. He represented Illinois in Congress for 12 terms and was known for his flamboyant style. His ability to bring $7 billion in federal funding to his district earned him the nickname the "Prince of Pork." Services for Gray are scheduled for next weekend.

--------------------------

ISP District 12 Announces June Enforcement Activity

Effingham, IL – Illinois State Police District 12 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, today announced activity and enforcement figures for the month of June.  Troopers in District 12, which includes Clark, Clay, Crawford, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Marion, and Richland Counties, answered 327 calls for service and initiated 1,787 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 921 citations and 826 written warnings, including 382 speeding citations, 9 DUIs, 257 seatbelt citations, 15 child restraint citations, 255 written warnings for speeding, and 21 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 231 motorists, conducted 429 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 68 traffic crashes.  District 12 investigated 2 fatal traffic crashes during June. During the month, 674 citations and 343 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.

----------------------------

Woman killed when truck goes into lake identified

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Illinois say a motorist who died when her pickup truck veered into a lake and overturned was a 45-year-old Granite City woman. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports 45-year-old Tammy Wall died about 1 p.m. Monday of injuries sustained in the accident at Horseshoe Lake. Wall was pulled from her partially submerged vehicle and flown to a St. Louis hospital where she died. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

-------------------------

Campo To Retire As Salem Police Chief

The city of Salem will be searching for a new police chief, as its current chief has submitted his notice of retirement. First hired in 2004, Chief Ron Campo submitted his notice of retirement Monday. Campo’s last day on the job will be July 28. During his time as Salem Police Chief, Campo has served with seven city managers, nine city council members and two mayors. He has served the public as a law enforcement officer for 36 years, including a number of years in the Northern Illinois community of Darien. But Campo says the Salem Police Department rises above them all in their dedication and commitment to the city they serve. He says he has been very blessed to have had the opportunity to lead the organization and will miss them greatly. In the closing statements of his retirement letter, Campo gives his strongest recommendation to Sergeant Susan Miller to succeed him as police chief.  Campo says Miller is well known and respected throughout the community and to the police department staff. He says she is up to speed on all departmental issues and would be able to transition into the position without disruption to police operations.

-------------------------------

STATE
Cool Weather In The Region Can Break Records

(Springfield, IL)  --  The National Weather Service experts say records could fall this week as the Midwest is faced with unseasonably cool temperatures.  Highs across the region are expected to be in the low-to-mid 70s through Thursday.  The low temp Tuesday morning in Springfield was 52 degrees, which tied the record low set in 1930.

--------------------

Quinn releases roughly 2,000 emails in probe

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has released thousands of emails to a panel of lawmakers investigating his troubled anti-violence program. Senate Republican spokeswoman Patty Schuh says members of the Legislative Audit Commission received an estimated 2,000 emails linked to the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative on Friday and are currently reviewing their contents. Schuh says the emails came at the request of the bipartisan commission. They're expected to be discussed during hearings about the $54.5 million program scheduled Wednesday and Thursday in Chicago. The commission is also expected to discuss a federal request to suspend interviews of those connected to the program for 90 days. That request came after federal subpoenas were issued for emails of top officials involved in the program. Some of those same officials were also subpoenaed by the commission.

---------------------

Quinn Has 12-Million Dollars On Hand

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn is sitting on a stockpile of cash to defend his job. He has 12-million dollars on hand to square off with billionaire GOP candidate Bruce Rauner for the state's top job. Rauner dumped millions of his own money into winning the primary back in March, and there's no reason why he wouldn't do the same to pull out the win in November. Experts say this could be among the most costly governor's races in Illinois history. They estimate the two top candidates will spend close to 100-million dollars by the time it's all over.

------------------------

Medical marijuana sponsor gives nod to Gov. Quinn

CHICAGO (AP) — The Skokie Democrat who sponsored Illinois' medical marijuana legislation is praising state officials and Gov. Pat Quinn for moving deliberately on regulations for the program. Rules approved Tuesday mean would-be growers and retailers can soon apply for permits. The first legal marijuana could be sold sometime next year. The sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Lou Lang, says some patients have been anxious about the pace. But Lang thinks it's been reasonable. He credits "an involved governor's office" for getting rules approved in slightly more than six months after the law took effect. Medical cannabis program coordinator Bob Morgan says interested patients should start talking with their doctors about the program. The Illinois State Medical Society is helping its members learn about the law and the medical uses of marijuana.

-------------

Kirk, Durbin encouraged by Obama's VA pick

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' two U.S. senators both say they're encouraged by President Barack Obama's pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk each met separately with Bob McDonald on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. McDonald was raised in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights and is a former CEO of Procter and Gamble. Kirk is a former naval reservist. He told The Associated Press in a phone interview he asked McDonald to tour VA hospitals in Illinois. Durbin says he and McDonald discussed keeping promises to veterans of Illinois. McDonald's nomination by Obama follows allegations that 40 patients died awaiting care at a Phoenix hospital where employees kept a secret waiting list to cover up delays. The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

------------------------

Illinois prisons overtime costs top $60M again


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Corrections has paid over $60 million in overtime costs for the second year in a row. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports Monday that officials predicted last spring that overtime costs would drop in the budget year that ended June 30. Authorities are blaming unanticipated retirements by correctional guards and a rise in payroll costs tied to a contract agreement signed 18 months ago. Corrections Spokesman Tom Shaer says hours worked last year dropped 12 percent. Anders Lindall is spokesman for the guards' union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He says Corrections has "too many inmates and not enough staff." The agency has struggled with overtime as its employment rolls has shrunk and inmate population grown.

------------------------

Microsoft Buying Illinois Wind Power

(Kankakee, IL) -- Microsoft Corporation will be buying wind-generated electricity from a new Illinois wind farm for the next 20 years. As part of its plan to offset its carbon output, Microsoft is buying power from a 175-megawatt wind farm under construction at the border of Kankakee and Iroquois counties. The farm will feed the grid that powers Microsoft's Chicago area data center and is expected to begin operating next year.

--------------------------

UI could request 4 percent state-funding increaese

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is seeking about a 4 percent increase in state funding for the 2016 fiscal year. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports Tuesday that the school requested a $68 million increase in operating funds. It would be the first time since 2009 that the state's flagship school received a boost in state funding. The school currently is operating on $1.4 million less than last year. Christophe Pierre is vice president for academic affairs. He told school trustees Monday night that state funding and a state overhaul of its pension system are uncertain. So is federal support for research. But health-care costs are rising and the school is nearing the upper limits on tuition rates. The proposed budget includes $40 million for "competitive compensation" for faculty.

-----------------------------

NATIONAL
White House To Congress: Pass Border Funds

(Washington, DC)  --  The White House is urging Congress to quickly approve a nearly four-billion dollar emergency budget request for border operations.  Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest called it a comprehensive, detailed response to the southwest border crisis.  The White House has warned that money for border operations is being stretched thin while dealing with the surge of Central American migrants.  Some Republicans complain that the emergency budget request is too much.  

------------------------

U.S. Officials Assessing Situation In Iraq

(Arlington, VA)  --  American military officials in Iraq are assessing just how effective Iraqi security forces are.  President Obama sent U.S. military advisers to Iraq to analyze the security situation.  Obama has repeatedly said he is not interested in sending U.S. combat forces back into Iraq, but he has not ruled out airstrikes.  Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are abandoning their attempt to retake Tikrit after insurgents turned them back.  A soldier who was in the battle says government troops and Shiite volunteer fighters were forced to retreat under heavy mortar shelling and sniper fire late Tuesday.  

--------------------

House Passes Bill Replenishing Depleted Highway Trust Fund

(Washington, DC)  --  A bill to restock the federal Highway Trust Fund is on its way to the Senate.  The House on Tuesday passed the more than ten-billion dollar measure that extends funding for highways and bridge repairs to next spring.  The White House has warned that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost if the fund runs dry this summer.  Some critics argued that lawmakers should be seeking a longterm solution to the problem of regularly paying for infrastructure renovations. 

-------------------

Judge Stays Missouri Execution A Second Time

(St. Louis, MO)  --  A federal appeals court is set to decide today whether to stay a convicted murderer's execution.  Late Tuesday night, a federal judge stayed the Missouri execution of John Middleton for a second time. The stay was issued about an hour before Middleton was scheduled to die.  The state of Missouri appealed the stay to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Middleton was sentenced to death for the 1995 shooting deaths of three people.

----------------

State Water Resources Control Board Votes For Fining Water Wasters

(Sacramento, CA)   -  California officials are laying on hefty fines to make sure people are not wasting water.  Under the plan passed by the board Tuesday night, the fines are expected to go into effect August 1st.  California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger says the state needs to make changes to adjust for California's increased population and resulting strain on the water supplies. 

-----------------------

McDaniel expected to discuss campaign challenge

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State Sen. Chris McDaniel says he'll announce today whether he will file a formal challenge of his loss to six-term U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican primary runoff. State law specifies that McDaniel's first challenge would be filed with the state Republican Party executive committee. His campaign attorney, Mitch Tyner, has said McDaniel could file a lawsuit in state court about 10 days after filing a challenge with the party. Certified results of the June 24 runoff show Cochran won by 7,667 votes. McDaniel says he believes there might have been thousands of improper votes cast, but he hasn't released documents to support that claim. The Cochran camp says there might have been hundreds of improper votes, but not enough to overturn the election.

------------------------------

North Texas city rejects partial fracking ban

DENTON, Texas (AP) — The council governing a North Texas city that sits atop a large natural gas reserve has rejected a bid to ban further permitting of hydraulic fracturing. Denton City Council members voted down a petition to outlaw new permits for the drilling practice. That's after more than 100 people spoke late Tuesday into this morning for and against the measure during a public hearing. Fracking involves blasting a mix of water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to release trapped oil and gas. Industry groups and state regulators warned such a ban could be followed by litigation and a severe hit to Denton's economy. Petition supporters, some who came to tears while addressing the council, said the risks to human health and the environment outweighed the economic benefits.

--------------------------

Higher gasoline costs raise US producer prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising gasoline costs pushed up the prices U.S. companies receive for their goods and services in June, but overall inflation remains tame. The Labor Department says the producer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services before they reach the consumer, rose 0.4 percent last month. The increase follows a 0.2 percent decrease in May. Gas costs rose 6.4 percent in June. Steel prices shot up 3 percent. But prices fell for grains, cheese and rental cars. In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen 1.9 percent, roughly in line with the Federal Reserve's inflation target of 2 percent. Retailer and wholesaler profit margins increased 0.2 percent. Excluding the volatile food, energy and profit margin categories, core producer prices were up 0.2 percent in June.

----------------------------------

BMW recalls 1.6M 3-Series cars for air bag problem

DETROIT (AP) — BMW is expanding a recall of its most popular models to fix a growing air bag problem that is hitting much of the auto industry. The German automaker says it will recall 1.6 million 3-Series cars from model years 2000 to 2006 across the world, including 574,000 in the U.S. The company says it's a precaution because other automakers using similar systems have reported problems. Air bag inflators in systems made by Takata Corp. can rupture. If that happens, the bags might not work properly, and shards could fly out and cause injury. BMW says it has no reports of problems in its vehicles. Dealers will replace the passenger-side front air bags. The new recall excludes 42,000 BMWs recalled in May 2013 for the same problem.

------------------------------------

Obama to meet with local leaders on climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants local government officials to prepare their communities now for the effects of climate change. Obama is meeting with state and tribal leaders on Wednesday at the White House. The White House says they'll discuss how the federal government can help them be more resilient to climate change. It's the fourth and final meeting of the 26-person task force. Obama is also announcing new federal resources to help communities prepare. Some of the funds will help rural communities dealing with drought and help Native American tribes train their officials to deal with climate change. The funding will also promote development of three-dimensional mapping of the U.S. for use in flood and erosion mitigation.

------------------------------

Texas woman to be sentenced in ricin letters case

TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A Texas woman faces sentencing for sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The sentencing hearing for 36-year-old Shannon Guess Richardson is set for Wednesday in federal court in Texarkana, Texas. Richardson pleaded guilty in December to possessing and producing a biological toxin. Her attorney says that under the plea deal her prison time would be capped at 18 years. Richardson was arrested in June 2013 after authorities said she tried to implicate her estranged husband after he filed for divorce. Prosecutors say Richardson, who had minor acting roles in film and television, mailed three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then went to police and claimed that her husband did it.

-------------------

Another delay in Justin Bieber's Fla. DUI case

MIAMI (AP) — There's been another delay for pop star Justin Bieber on Florida charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest. Prosecutors and Bieber's attorney told a judge at a hearing Wednesday they need three more weeks to determine whether the case goes to trial or is resolved with a plea deal. Another hearing was set Aug. 5 for the 20-year-old singer. Bieber was arrested Jan. 23 in Miami Beach after what police described as an illegal street race between Bieber and a friend. Alcohol breath tests found Bieber's level below the 0.02 limit for underage drivers but urine tests showed the presence of marijuana and an anti-anxiety drug. Bieber was also charged with driving on an expired license. Bieber did not attend the hearing.

------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Israel targets homes of senior Hamas leaders

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel is intensifying its air attacks on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, a day after Hamas rejected a cease-fire plan. Today, the Israeli military targeted the homes of four senior Hamas leaders, and it told tens of thousands of residents to leave Gaza's border areas ahead of more strikes. In nine days of fighting, the Palestinian death toll is above 200.

----------------------

Syrian President Assad sworn in for 3rd term

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad has been sworn in for a third term, as the country's civil war continues. Assad took the oath of office from the presidential palace in Damascus, broadcast live today on State TV. Assad was re-elected last month in a landslide victory in a vote dismissed by the opposition and its Western allies as a sham. Voting did not take place in areas engulfed in fighting.

-----------------------------

2 subway employees detained over Moscow derailment

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Moscow subway workers are being questioned following yesterday's rush-hour train derailment that killed 22 people and injured 136 others. Investigators say a new rail switch at the point where the train left the tracks was not properly installed during repairs in May and was attached to the rail only by a single 3-millimeter wire. Authorities say they plan to file charges against the men.

-----------------------------------

Egypt sentences 7 to life for sexual assaults

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court has sentenced seven men to life in prison for sexual assaults on women during a number of public rallies in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square. They are the first such heavy sentences against perpetrators of sexual violence following the government's decision to toughen penalties. Sexual violence has been on the rise in Egypt, particularly during public gatherings in the past three years. The charges stemmed from four different incidents of sexual assault, including one during celebrations of the inauguration of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in June. In a nationally televised session Wednesday, the judge sentenced the seven men to life in prison. Three of them received multiple life sentences for taking part in different assaults. Another two men each received two 20-year sentences.

---------------------

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

AL All-Stars 5, NL All-Stars 3

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

No Games Scheduled

Frontier League

East vs. West (All Star Game at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Il)

----------------------------

Bulls use amnesty clause to cut F Boozer

UNDATED (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have used the amnesty clause to cut forward Carlos Boozer after four seasons with the team. The Bulls also waived forward Lou Amundson and guards Ronnie Brewer and Mike James on Tuesday. They are clearing salary-cap space to make room for the signing of free-agent center Pau Gasol and the first NBA contract for 2011 draft pick Nikola Mirotic. Boozer came to the Bulls in a sign-and-trade deal with Utah in July 2010. He had one season left on a five-year deal worth roughly $75 million. The amnesty clause allows a team to waive one player during the current labor deal and have 100 percent of his salary taken off the cap and the tax. Boozer is still owed the money.

-----------------------------------

Jeter, Trout lead AL over NL 5-3 in All-Star game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Helping send Derek Jeter out a winner in his last All-Star game appearance, Mike Trout drove in two runs with a triple and a double to lead the American League past the National League 5-3 on Tuesday night. Jeter started his 14th and final midsummer gathering of the game's best with a vintage opposite-field double, following an ovation from the Target Field crowd of more than one minute. The Yankees captain went 2 for 2 and was removed to another roar from the fans in the top of the fourth inning. Max Scherzer picked up the victory with a scoreless inning, and Twins closer Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth for the save in front of his home crowd to again give the AL home-field advantage for the World Series. Another hometown favorite, Pat Neshek, took the loss for the NL. Miguel Cabrera homered for the AL.

-------------------------------

House interested in NCAA finances

WASHINGTON (AP) — The NCAA's financial picture has drawn interest on Capitol Hill. Two House members have introduced a bill to require the NCAA, schools, conferences as well as the College Football Playoff to reveal how much money is flowing through college sports. North Carolina Democrat David Price and Wisconsin Republican Tom Petri introduced the bill, saying in a statement it would allow "for the first apples-to-apples comparison" of revenues and spending throughout college sports. The Standardization of Collegiate Oversight of Revenues and Expenditures Act would require the NCAA to make public a standardized financial report for itself and release similar information for schools that already report the data to the NCAA. It also would affect conferences and any entity hosting a postseason competition.

--------------------------------

News for July 15, 2014

LOCAL
Services set for former Illinois congressman Gray

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — Services are scheduled for next weekend for late former U.S. Rep. Ken Gray of southern Illinois. Gray was 89-years-old when he died Saturday at a Herrin hospital after a long illness. The Democrat represented Illinois in Congress for a dozen terms and was known for his colorful style. His ability to bring $7 billion in federal funding to his economically depressed district earned him the nickname the "Prince of Pork." Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort says Gray's services will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Benton Civic Center. That's where visitation will be from 10 a.m. Saturday until service time.

---------------------

FedEx Ground Expands In West Frankfort

In a move expected to boost economic growth in the area, The FedEx Ground distribution facility in West Frankfort will be expanding later this year. The facility, located on Ken Gray Boulevard, will expand to 64,000 square feet allowing it to enhance the speed and service capabilities by one day or more. Officials say the distribution center currently employs about 30 people and expect to hire more with the expansion.

---------------------------

Illinois Town Wants To Build Medical Marijuana Farm

(Marissa, IL)  --  A small rural town in Southwest Illinois could be the future site of a medical marijuana farm.  A proposal has been sent to the St. Clair County Board that would build a medical cannabis cultivation center in Marissa Illinois.  The facility would supply dispensaries set up as part of a pilot program approved by Governor Pat Quinn last August.  The program was established after Quinn signed a law that lets doctors prescribe marijuana for patients who have chronic diseases like glaucoma.  

--------------

Teen Charged With Murdering Another Teen

(Edwardsville, IL)  --  A 17-year-old boy has been charged in the murder of another teen in Edwardsville Illinois.  Craig D. Miller of Lovejoy is accused of shooting 16-year-old Malik A. Garrett of Venice last Friday.  Authorities say Garrett was found with three gunshot wounds to his chest in the parking lot of Smiley's Market.  He later died at Gateway Regional Medical Center.

----------------

Man accused of shooting 5 in Centreville

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man is accused of shooting a 7-year-old girl and four other people after an altercation. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County prosecutors have charged 20-year-old Zeric McKinney with five counts of aggravated battery with a firearm. Police say all of the wounded, ages 7 to 28, survived. Authorities say the girl was shot in the buttocks, with the bullet breaking her pelvis. The other victims were wounded in the legs, back, foot and ankle. Police say the victims were gathered July 5 outside an apartment complex when the gunfire took place. An investigator says the shooting happened after an altercation between McKinney and another person that day. Online court records don't show whether McKinney has an attorney. He doesn't have a listed telephone number.

----------------------------

Woman admits role in Belleville liquor store heist

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois woman faces October sentencing now that she has admitted in federal court her role in a Belleville liquor store robbery a year ago. Twenty-two-year-old Charmonequette Reynolds pleaded guilty to felony counts of conspiracy, interference with commerce by robbery, and use of a firearm during a violent crime. Authorities say Reynolds drove the getaway car for two men involved in the gunpoint robbery of $15,000 from Arena Liquor in Belleville on July 12 of last year. No one was injured. The legal status of the two other suspects was not immediately clear Monday. Reynolds' sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17.

------------------------

Alton Man Dies After Accidentally Shooting Himself

(Alton, IL)  --  An 18-year-old Alton man has died after accidentally shooting himself in the head early Saturday.  Police say Austin Wilcox was playing with a gun that he recently purchased when it went off.  Wilcox was found dead in a chair at his apartment with a single gunshot wound to his head.    

---------------

Madigan Seeks Review For Murray Center Appellate Ruling

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is seeking a review of a recent appellate court ruling on the Clinton County case regarding state wards residing at the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia.  In April, the Fifth Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon handed down a loss to the AG when the court reaffirmed in its entirety an earlier ruling in Clinton County Court appointing attorney Stewart Freeman as guardian for all state wards of Murray, supporting the Clinton County Court's jurisdiction over 24 probate cases filed in 13 different counties across the state and confirming the individuals who filed the Clinton County case are interested persons justified in filing the cause. In the motion for review, which was filed last week, the AG’s office is challenging all three points ruled on in the original appeal and is seeking to appeal that April ruling. In that ruling, Appellate Judge Judy Cates dismissed the state’s claim that Clinton County has no jurisdiction. She said that to expect each of the OSG wards to go back to their original county and file a petition would simply be wrong. Cates also noted in the appellate court ruling that because of their disabilities, the Murray residents would be unable to bring their case before the courts on their own and so it was indeed proper for people off the street to bring the case before the court. Cates said the functions of a guardian ad litem, such as Freeman, is to act as the eyes and ears of the court and to make recommendations as to what is in the best interests of and what will protect the immediate welfare of the wards. Freeman has recommended transferred wards be returned to Murray. The circuit court had also ordered the state to not transfer any other state wards from the Murray Center without Freeman’s consent. A similar order was issued from the federal court regarding Murray residents who have private guardians. Madigan’s office claims in its latest filing that the traditional role of the guardian ad litem is not to advocate for what the ward wants, but instead to make recommendation to the court as to what is in the ward’s best interests. It says Clinton County’s order runs afoul of the basic understanding of the role of a guardian ad litem in guardianship proceedings, and the appellate court needs to correct that error.

------------------------------------------------

Mt. Vernon Man Indicted On Meth Charges

A federal grand jury seated in Benton has indicted a 30-year-old Mt. Vernon man on multiple methamphetamine related charges. Robert A. Tate has been indicted on two counts, the first alleges that from February 2013, until on or about June 2014, in Jefferson County, Tate knowingly conspired to manufacture meth. Count 2 alleges that on March 31, 2014, in Jefferson County, Tate knowingly and intentionally distributed meth. If convicted, each count could result in Tate being sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison, fined $1 million and serving at least 3 years parole. The investigation into the case was conducted by the joint narcotics unit of the Mt. Vernon police department and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. The case is being handled by assistant U.S. Attorney George Norwood.

-----------------------------------------------------

Air Force says 300 jobs to be cut at Scott

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — Nearly 300 jobs are to be cut at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Air Force made the announcement Monday as part of a review that aims to cut about 3,500 jobs nationally and save $1.6 billion over five years. The announcement comes just weeks after the Air Force said about 320 new jobs would be located at Scott this summer to staff two cybersecurity squadrons. Scott-based Air Mobility Command spokesman Mark Voorhis says it's still not clear how the cuts will affect the command. He says it's "still being worked out." The cuts will be a combination of civilian and military jobs. 375th Air Mobility Wing spokeswoman Karen Pettit declined comment until receiving more information about the cuts.

---------------------------------

STATE
Senator Durbin Says Migrant Kids Not A Danger

(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says migrant kids are not a danger to people who live in Illinois.  The Chicago lawmaker went on a tour Monday to a shelter that houses the children from a recent group of minors that crossed the U.S. border.  Durbin's statement came shortly after Senator Mark Kirk and some other Republican lawmakers accused some of the kids could be in a gang or at risk of being recruited by gangs.  The shelters are operated by Heartland Alliance, which is a nonprofit group with a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services.

-----------------

Medical marijuana rules before Illinois committee

CHICAGO (AP) — Not a single marijuana seed has been planted in Illinois' pilot medical cannabis program. But medical marijuana is inching closer to reality and a meeting set for Tuesday will shape the program's future. A legislative rules committee is meeting in Chicago to review — and possibly approve — the proposed regulations for the program. Approval would mean the state could launch the application process for marijuana growers, retailers and patients. The new state law allows 21 marijuana cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries geographically scattered around Illinois. Aspiring marijuana entrepreneurs hope to be growing the plant by later this fall for sale in early 2015 to patients who qualify for a medical marijuana card. The Marijuana Policy Project estimates more than 10,000 qualifying patients could eventually sign up.

------------------------------

Quinn Says State's Overdue Bills Shrinking

(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn is bragging about winnowing down the state's pile of unpaid bills to three-point-nine-billion dollars, the lowest point since 2010 when it was just under ten-billion dollars. State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the picture isn't that rosy, though. She says Quinn's not counting Medicaid bills that are waiting to be paid, but not yet past due. Including those bills pushes the backlog to four-point-four-billion dollars.

--------------------------------

Corruption In Illinois Cost 13-Hundred Dollars Per Taxpayer

(Chicago, IL)  --  Political misconduct in Illinois is costing taxpayers quite a bit.  A study in the Public Administration Review publication shows that statewide corruption by elected officials is averaging a price tag of 13-hundred-eight-dollars per person.  The report also found that most official misconduct is connected to huge public works projects, police and corrections, wages and borrowing.

----------------------------

Ill. governor hopefuls rip each other's records

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois governor candidates are hammering each other's records on business and caring for the developmentally disabled. Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Paul Vallas blasted Republican Bruce Rauner Monday after a published report said a long-term care company once tied to Rauner faced lawsuits and disciplinary action over resident mistreatment, fatalities and "deplorable" living conditions. Vallas suggests Rauner profited from substandard care and should be questioned about his involvement. GOP officials shot back with allegations of neglect at state facilities under Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's tenure. Rauner spoke Tuesday at a business forum hosted by a black pastor. Rauner claims Quinn hasn't delivered for blacks and cites the lack of jobs and educational opportunities. Quinn's campaign disputes that, saying there's been an increase of contracts to minority-owned businesses under Quinn.

------------------------------

Rauner: Not involved with facilities facing suits


CHICAGO (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is responding to claims that a long-term care company tied to his former private equity firm faced claims of resident mistreatment. The venture capitalist's firm launched American Habilitation Services as a for-profit company in 1996. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports allegations against American Habilitation Services include fatalities and "deplorable" living conditions. Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate Paul Vallas suggested Monday that Rauner profited from substandard care. Rauner tells The Associated Press that it's fair to criticize the company and management team. However, he says he wasn't personally involved. Earlier Monday, the Republican spoke at an economic forum at Chicago State University and blasted Quinn's record. Quinn's office says his appearance had been tentative and the Chicago Democrat wasn't feeling well Monday.

------------------------------

USDA: Illinois corn, soybean crops faring well

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Illinois' latest crop of corn and soybeans is shaping up. The USDA says in its weekly crop-status update that 81 percent of the state's corn is rated as either good or excellent. That's just slightly better than the condition of Illinois soybeans. The USDA considers three-quarters of that crop to be in good or excellent shape. Some 90 percent of the state's wheat harvest is now complete, in line with the average pace of the previous five years.

-----------------------------------------------

Illinois lawmakers look to ease prison crowding

CHICAGO (AP) — A group of legislators is looking for new ways to address crime in Illinois communities and overcrowding in the state's prisons and jails. The newly formed Joint Criminal Justice Reform Committee is set to meet Tuesday in Chicago. The bipartisan committee also will look at how to reduce racial disparities in sentencing and the number of people released from prison who commit new crimes.Rep. Mike Zalewski is a Riverside Democrat. He pushed to create the committee during the recent legislative session. Zalewski tells WUIS radio that for many years, lawmakers' method of dealing with crime was to increase the penalty for it. He says legislators are realizing that may not be the best solution. The committee is expected to issue recommendations by the end of the year.

----------------------------------

NATIONAL
2 Missing in western Pennsylvania house explosion

DARLINGTON, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say two people are unaccounted for after an early morning house explosion in a rural area of western Pennsylvania. Emergency dispatchers in Beaver County say the blast at the South Beaver Township residence was reported at about 4 a.m. Tuesday. South Beaver Township is about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Officials say fire crews were told to keep their distance because ammunition inside the residence was going off. Police said some debris flew a quarter of a mile away from the home. There was no immediate information about the cause of the blast or the identities of the two people reported missing.

-----------------------------------

Proposal would fine California water-wasters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California regulators are considering fines up to $500 a day for people who waste water on landscaping, fountains, washing vehicles and other outdoor uses. The State Water Resources Control Board is meeting today in Sacramento and is expected to vote on the proposed rules late in the day. The rules would prohibit the watering of landscaping to the point that runoff spills onto sidewalks or streets. Hosing down sidewalks, driveways and other hard surfaces would be banned along with washing vehicles without a shut-off nozzle. Violations would be infractions punishable by the fines, although most cities are likely to have a sliding scale that starts with a warning and increases for repeat violations. The board estimates that its proposed restrictions could save enough water to supply more than 3.5 million people a year.

------------------------------------------

House to take up highway bill as deadline looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is set to act on a bill that would temporarily patch over a multibillion-dollar pothole in federal highway and transit programs while ducking the issue of how to put the programs on sound financial footing. The bill by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp cobbles together $10.8 billion in pension tax changes, customs fees and money from a fund to repair leaking underground fuel storage tanks to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent through May 2015. A similar bill is pending in the Senate. The Transportation Department says that by the first week in August the fund will no longer have enough money to cover promised aid to states, and the government will begin to stretch out payments.

------------------------------

Bowe Bergdahl To Get A Desk Job

(San Antonio, TX)  --  After years of being kept in captivity by the Taliban, Bowe Bergdahl is getting a desk job.  The Army sergeant was cleared to return to duty after weeks of counseling.  He's expected to start work at Fort Sam Houston in Texas in the next day or two.  An investigation continues into whether he intended to desert his post in 2009.   There's still controversy about Bergdahl's release by the Taliban in return for prisoners who had been held at Guantanamo Bay. 

--------------------

Deportations Of Migrants Begin

(Undated)  --  The government is starting to deport some of the Central American migrants who have flooded over the border in recent months.  Homeland Security agents tell NBC News a flight carrying dozens of the migrants, many of them children, left New Mexico yesterday and arrived in Honduras.  The deportations are expected to continue throughout the week, with more migrants being returned to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. 

------------------------

Obama pushing research on cars that talk to cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is envisioning a time when cars will be able to talk with other cars or with America's roads. He says such technology could prevent crashes, cut down on traffic and save gasoline. Today Obama will visit a federal highway research center in northern Virginia. The White House says he will highlight partnerships between the Transportation Department, auto-makers and the University of Michigan. The groups are developing and testing vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications technology. The trip is part of Obama's push for Congress to shore up funding for highways and transportation. He says that's key to keeping the U.S. competitive. Obama wants a long-term commitment to keep money flowing to states. His administration has warned that the Highway Trust Fund will need help by early August.

------------------------------

Study: US Alzheimer's rate seems to be dropping

UNDATED (AP) — New studies show that the rate of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias is falling in the United States and some other rich countries. But the total number of cases continues to rise because more people are living to an old age. One study finds that an American over age 60 today has a 44 percent lower chance of developing dementia than a similar-aged person did roughly 30 years ago. Scientists think the trend is due to better education and control health factors such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

---------------------------------

Peace Corps to allow applicants to choose location

WASHINGTON (AP) — People applying to the Peace Corps can now pick where they want to serve. Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet says allowing applicants to pick specific countries to serve in "will help Peace Corps recruit Americans who are not just interested in imagining a better world, but rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it." The time it takes to fill out an application online also has been reduced, from eight hours to about one hour.

------------------------------

Lawmakers Offer Bipartisan Bill On Border Crisis

(Undated)  --  A Republican and a Democrat from Texas are offering a bipartisan bill to stem the crisis of unaccompanied children at the border.  Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and Republican Senator John Cornyn are sponsoring the measure that would empower the federal government to speed up immigration hearings for children now held at processing stations in several states.  About 57-thousand unaccompanied migrants younger than 18 have been taken into custody at the southwest border since October.  Most are from Central America.

-------------------------------------

US retail sales tick up just 0.2 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales increased slightly in June, a sign that consumers remain cautious despite steady job gains this year. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose just 0.2 percent last month, held back by a sharp drop at building materials and garden supply stores. Sales also fell at restaurants and at auto dealers. The figures suggest that Americans are reluctant to spend freely, which could slow growth in the April-June quarter. Retail sales are closely watched because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy. There were some good signs: A measure of retail sales that excludes volatile categories such as gasoline rose at a solid 0.7 percent clip. Clothing stores, sporting goods stores and department stores all recorded sales gains.

------------------------------

Reynolds Nails Down Big Cig Merger

(Undated)  --  Tobacco giant Reynolds American is taking over rival Lorillard in a 27-billion dollar cash-and-stock deal.  Reynolds is the maker of Camel cigarettes and will add Lorillard's flagship brand Newport to its lineup.  In a separate deal, Reynolds agreed to sell off the Kool, Winston, Salem and Blue Cigs brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for seven-point-one-billion dollars. 

-----------------

Mayo Clinic Is Top Hospital In U.S.

(Washington, DC)  --  The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is the nation's top hospital.  The latest rankings from "U.S. News and World Report" put Mayo in the number one spot, followed by Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital, and John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.  Cleveland Clinic was named the best hospital to visit for issues related to cardiology or heart surgery. 

--------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Deadly subway train derailment in Moscow

MOSCOW (AP) — At least 20 people are dead and at least 150 have been taken to the hospital following a subway train derailment in Moscow. City Hall officials say about 50 of the injured are in grave condition. Russian emergency officials initially said several cars derailed in the tunnel after a power surge triggered an alarm that caused the train to stop abruptly. But now, investigators say a power surge was not the issue and that they are considering a fault in the train cars or the sinking of the roadbed among the possible causes.

--------------------------------

Israeli military says it's resumed Gaza airstrikes

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has resumed airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas militants violated a de-escalation brokered by Egypt. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner says that after holding its fire for six hours Israel has "resumed operational activities." The military says that during the six hours Gaza militants fired about 50 rockets all over Israel. No injuries were reported. The de-escalation period was meant to lead to detailed cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas and end a week of fighting that has killed more than 190 Palestinians and exposed millions of Israelis to rocket fire from Gaza. Israel accepted the Egyptian truce plan, but vowed to hit Gaza hard if Hamas rejected the deal.

-------------------------------

Kerry cites big gaps in nuclear talks with Iran

VIENNA (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says "very real gaps" persist between world powers and Iran over the contours of a nuclear agreement as a Sunday deadline for a deal approaches. Kerry is citing some progress after two days of nuclear talks with Iran and America's European partners in the Austrian capital of Vienna. But he says much work remains. Kerry says he is returning to Washington on Tuesday to consult with President Barack Obama and Congress about the state of negotiations. He says he will also discuss the possibility of extending the talks past the deadline so negotiations can continue.

-----------------

Iraqi parliament breaks deadlock to elect speaker

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers have broken their deadlock and elected a new speaker of parliament — the first step toward forming a new government. The legislature chose Sunni lawmaker Salim al-Jubouri as the new speaker with 194 votes Tuesday in the 328-seat parliament. It was unclear whether al-Jubouri's election indicated that a larger agreement had been struck among political blocs for the posts of president and prime minister. Under an informal agreement that took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the speaker's chair goes to a Sunni, the presidency to a Kurd and the prime minister's post to a Shiite. Parliament is under pressure to move quickly to fill all three posts and form a new government that can confront the Sunni militants who have overrun much of northern and western Iraq.

-------------------------------

Libya considers calling for international troops

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's interim government says it is considering requesting the international community to send troops to the country after three days of fighting destroyed large parts of the capital's airport. In a statement posted on its official website early Tuesday, the government also urged all rival parties to cease hostilities, saying commanders who violate its orders would face charges of "crimes against humanity." It added that a national committee would supervise the withdrawal of militias from the airport area to outside the city. The government also said that 90 percent of the aircraft at the airport were hit in the shelling, while several buildings, including the customs house, were completely destroyed. The fighting was some of the most intense seen in Tripoli since longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011.

-----------------------------

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Cespedes repeats in Home Run Derby

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes is the first back-to-back champion of the Home Run Derby since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-99. The Oakland slugger defeated Cincinnati's Todd Frazier 9-1 in the final round of the crowd-pleasing exhibition at Target Field. Cespedes launched one ball in the final that went an estimated 452 feet.

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

All-Star Game at Minneapolis, MN, 7 p.m.

Frontier League

No Games Scheduled-All Star Break

-------------------------------------

Bulls make 2 trades to clear salary-cap space

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Bulls have made two trades to clear salary-cap space, setting the stage for the addition of free-agent center Pau Gasol. The Bulls sent forward Anthony Randolph, two second-round draft picks and cash considerations to Orlando for the rights to Milovan Rakovic. Randolph was acquired in a draft-night trade with Denver that gave the Bulls the rights to high-scoring Creighton forward Doug McDermott. Chicago also traded forward Greg Smith to Dallas on Monday for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic. The Bulls signed Smith in April after he was waived by Houston, but he never appeared in a game with Chicago. The pair of moves helps make room for Gasol, who announced over the weekend that he planned to join the Bulls.

------------------------------

US chooses 19 players for men's basketball roster

UNDATED (AP) — Derrick Rose and four returnees from the 2012 Olympic men's basketball champions are among the 19 players selected for this summer's U.S. national team roster. Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, James Harden and Anthony Davis were the four holdovers announced Monday, along with new additions DeMar DeRozan of Toronto and Chandler Parsons, who is leaving Houston for Dallas. Players will report to training camp in Las Vegas this month, with the roster cut to 12 for the World Cup of Basketball in Spain. Rose is trying to make the team after his NBA season was cut short by another knee operation. The rest of the roster: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Kyrie Irving, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Gordon Hayward, DeMarcus Cousins, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried and Kyle Korver.

----------------------------

Kevin Dineen hired as Blackhawks assistant

CHICAGO (AP) — Kevin Dineen, who coached Canada's women's hockey team to a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics, has returned to the NHL as an assistant with the Chicago Blackhawks. Dineen was head coach of the Florida Panthers for two-plus seasons before being fired last fall. In addition to winning gold in Sochi, the 50-year-old led Canada's under-18 men's team to a bronze medal at the world championship in Finland in April. Dineen was teammates with Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville from 1984 to 1990 when they played for the Hartford Whalers. Dineen replaces Jamie Kompon, who became general manager and coach of the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, filling the void left by Mike Johnston when he took the head job in Pittsburgh.

----------------------------

Hernandez vs Wainwright in All-Star game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Seattle's Felix Hernandez will start Tuesday night's All-Star game for the American League and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals will open for the National League. Hernandez, the first Venezuelan pitcher to start for the All-Stars, is 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA. He is just the second Seattle pitcher to start an All-Star game following Randy Johnson in 1995 and 1997. NL manager Mike Matheny of the Cardinals chose the ace of his own staff. Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and three complete games in 19 starts. It will be the 11th All-Star start by a Cardinals pitcher.

---------------------------------------

Eastern Illinois hires new athletic director

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Eastern Illinois University has hired University of Illinois administrator Tom Michael as the Panthers' new athletic director. EIU announced Monday that Michael will take over on Aug. 11 He replaces Barbara Burke who left in April for Tulane University. Michael is the senior associate athletic director at Illinois. He has been a key figure in that school's ongoing renovation of the State Farm Center basketball arena. Michael was also a basketball player at Illinois in the early 1990s. Michael said in a news release that the 18 years he has worked at Illinois have prepared him to take over at EIU. Dan Nadler is EIU's vice president of student affairs. He called Michael a "well-rounded administrator" who will be committed to athletic and academic development at the Charleston school.

----------------------------------

News for July 14, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Will Hold Workshop Monday

The Mt. Vernon City Council will hold a workshop meeting on Monday. On the agenda is the second reading of an ordinance amending Article 8, Section 8.1, Fire & Police Commission, allowing for immediate solicitation of internal and external candidates for the position of Police Chief, Fire Chief, Assistant Police Chief, and Assistant Fire Chief and a discussion related to policies regarding 1st and 2nd Reading of Ordinances. The meeting will be held at 3:00 p.m.

------------------------------

Former US Rep. Ken Gray dies in southern Illinois

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Ken Gray, who represented southern Illinois in Congress and earned the nickname the "Prince of Pork," has died at age 89. Officials with Parker-Reedy Funeral Home in West Frankfort said Sunday that Gray died late Saturday at a hospital in Herrin after a long illness. Gray was elected to Congress in 1954 and served ten terms. He returned to Congress in 1984 to serve two terms. Gray was a colorful figure during his time in Washington and the Democrat was known for bringing about $7 billion in federal projects to his district. Those projects included a prison, an interstate highway, post offices and hospitals. In 2008 a portion of Interstate 57 in southern Illinois was named after Gray, who helped write the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.

-------------------------

Man Loses License After Hit-And-Run Death

(Breese, IL)  --  A man accused of killing a woman in a hit-and-run won't be on the road anytime soon.  State officials have suspended 25-year-old Johnathan Nast's driver's license, claiming he's a danger to road safety.  Nast allegedly ran over Lana Albert last month in Breese, Illinois.  Police say instead of turning himself in, Nast tried to sell his truck to a scrap yard, hoping to get rid of the evidence.  Nast is free on bond as he waits for his trial to start. 

----------------

S. 34th Street To Close For Reconstruction

The City of Mt. Vernon will be closing South 34th Street between the Aquatic Zoo entrance and Harlan Road on Tuesday, July 15th, 2014.  The closure is due to reconstruction of the roadway.  The closure will be effective until all construction activities south of the Aquatic Zoo are complete. Motorists wishing to access the Cusumano Sports Complex fields or Harlan Road will be detoured to South 28th Street.  Access to the Aquatic Zoo will only be available from the north. Details on the reopening of South 34th Street and when the roadway will be closed north of the Aquatic Zoo will come at a later date.

--------------------------------

Mt. Vernon HS BOE To Hold Special Meeting

Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education will hold a special board meeting this evening.  There will be a presentation and discussion on the new high school, McCarthy Construction, and FGM Architects as well as for advertisements of bids for the new high school building project.  The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

---------------------------

Michigan Man Sentenced To Prison For Highland Bank

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Ramsey Z. Fakhouri, 22, of Troy, Michigan, was sentenced Friday in federal district court in East St. Louis for Bank Robbery. Chief Judge David R. Herndon sentenced Fakhouri to 78 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. The charges relate to the robbery of the Bradford National Bank in Highland, Illinois, on Valentine’s Day this year. The case was investigated by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Highland Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.

-----------------------------------

Illinois school's trash is sustainability treasure

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University is preparing to spiff up its campus using tons of trash. The Southern Illinoisan reports a new composting facility will start operation this week. The facility is unique in the Midwest because it uses air circulation to cut normal composting time in half. Air forced into waste bins accelerates the decomposing process. The center is expected to process around 15 tons of waste every two months. Compost will be used in flower beds and gardens around campus. The university's sustainability coordinator says composting will help reduce the school's carbon footprint.

-------------------------------------

Man Gets Life Sentence In Friend's Death

(Belleville, IL)  --  An East St. Louis man is being held responsible for his friend's death, even though he didn't actually kill him.  Gregory Muse and Corey Ranson broke into a pawn shop back in 2011.  The shop owner opened fire and shot Ranson to death.  Muse was charged as an accomplice in the killing and was convicted of first-degree-murder.  He was sentenced to life last Friday. 

---------------

Cyber Security Headquarters Coming To Illinois

(Mascoutah, IL)  --  Military crews in Illinois will head up one of the nation's biggest cybersecurity operations.  Officials at Scott Air Force base are doling out 16-million-dollars to rehab a few buildings and turn them into cyber security headquarters.  The idea is to shut down and prevent thousands of cyber-attacks that are forged against the U.S. military and corporations each day.  Airmen at Scott will be in charge of defending both military and civilian networks, and they'll launch attacks on enemy sites when it's necessary. 

---------------------

Southern Illinois woman charged in death of father

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois woman is accused of bludgeoning her 82-year-old father to death in his Granite City home. Prosecutors in Madison County charged 54-year-old Diane Kelly with two counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say that Granite City police responding to a report of a body at a home early Thursday found Woodrow Dilday dead with visible head injuries. Coroner Steve Nonn says preliminary autopsy findings suggest Dilday died of blunt-force trauma to the head. Prosecutors say Dilday's wife — Kelly's mother — also was home at the time of the alleged beating death but was not injured. Online court records don't show whether Kelly has an attorney. She does not have a listed home telephone number.

---------------------

Police: No injuries when car hits apartment site

SHILOH, Ill. (AP) — Police in the southwestern Illinois community of Shiloh says no one was injured when a car slammed into an apartment building, damaging two of the units. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the car's 27-year-old driver was trying to park on Friday when the vehicle suddenly surged forward and hit the building. Police say the car sustained slight damage. But the apartment building's wall buckled. Police say the driver was not ticketed and that they do not believe alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash. The driver said he would have the car towed to a repair shop to determine why it reportedly sped out of control.

-----------------------

Illinois man accused of DUI crash that killed wife

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man is free on bond after being accused of causing his wife's death in a drunken driving crash in January. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that St. Clair County prosecutors have charged 51-year-old Todd Barnett with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol. Both are felonies. Authorities allege the Lebanon man was driving a vehicle Jan. 24 when it crashed on Interstate 64 in East St. Louis, killing 54-year-old Julie Barnett. Barnett surrendered himself to O'Fallon police on Thursday night and was freed on $40,000 bond. Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney. He does not have a listed home telephone number.

-----------------------

Man gets 8 years for convenience store robbery

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man has been ordered to spend eight years in federal prison for robbing a convenience store last year. Twenty-five-year-old Jahrastafar Jamal Farmer of Fairview Heights also was sentenced this week to three years of post-prison supervised release and must pay more than $200 in restitution. Farmer pleaded guilty to robbery charges. Authorities say that during his robbery last November of the Moto Mart store in Fairview Heights, Farmer ordered an employee and customer to the floor at gunpoint before fleeing with the cash he's now ordered to repay. Prosecutors say text messages found on Farmer's cellphone indicated he was having financial difficulties.

-------------------------------

Man Dies After Motorcycle Hits Building

(Alton, IL)  --  An Alton, Illinois man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a building.  Authorities say 44-year-old Bruce Norfleet was going west when he ran off the road and hit a building in the 100-block of East St. Louis Avenue.  Norfleet was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

----------------

STATE
Funeral Monday for ex-US Sen. Dixon

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Funeral services are scheduled for former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon of Illinois. Among those expected to attend Monday's funeral at Lindenwood University in Bellville are U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and former Gov. Jim Thompson. Dixon's former chief of staff, Gene Callahan, is also expected to attend. Dixon died on July 6 at his home in Fairview Heights. He was 86. The Democrat's career in politics spanned more than 40 years. He was in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993, serving as the third-ranking Democrat. He also chaired a subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. A private burial for family and close friends will follow.

-----------------------

Ill. Treasurer's interns had political connections

CHICAGO (AP) — A published report says Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office has offered paid internships to several young people with political connections. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Rutherford's office kept a list of applicants and the name of the person who referred them. Among those who referred interns were House Speaker Michael Madigan and U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush. Rutherford himself recommended a 16-year-old member of the wealthy Pritzker family. That person was hired one year after a relative donated $50,000 to Rutherford's campaign fund. Rutherford's office says clout played no role in who got internships. The office had 58 interns in 2013 — the same year Rutherford launched his bid for the Republican nomination for governor. The treasurer's office had eight paid interns in the final year under Rutherford's predecessor.

----------------------

Gov. Quinn repeats call for assault-weapons ban


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is once again calling for legislation that would ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The Democrat addressed the issue at a news conference on Sunday. He spoke in the Morgan Park neighborhood — a South Side Chicago community that's been affected by gun violence. Quinn is specifically pushing for the passage of the Illinois Public Safety Act. Under that proposed act, holders of Firearms Owners Identification Cards who now own assault weapons would be able to keep them. But they wouldn't be allowed to transfer or sell them — except to a family member. Quinn says war is "being waged on our streets." And he says it's a war fueled in part by the availability of military-style assault weapons.

---------------------

Illinois attorney general to address alleged scams

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general plans to announce legal action against what her office says are new student loan debt scams. A statement from Lisa Madigan's office says she'll provide details on Monday about planned lawsuits. The statement provided few details. But it did say one target was a company based in Chicago. Madigan's office has addressed similar issues before. She's alleged misleading practices by some for-profit colleges, including deceptive lending practices.

-------------------

New Law Aims To Help Dyslexic Students

(Chicago, IL)  --  A new law aims to help dyslexic students succeed in the classroom.  It recognizes dyslexia as a learning disability and sets up an advisory board aimed at helping teachers and school administrators understand dyslexia.  It also ensures the students have access to special education services.  Governor Quinn says the whole point of the new law is to make sure the students don't fall behind. 

----------------------

Former Marine named Illinois veterans director

CHICAGO (AP) — A U.S. Marine veteran who served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan has been named acting director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. Rodrigo Garcia has served as assistant director since 2011. He's also been an advocate for student veterans and is national chairman of the Board of Directors for Student Veterans of America. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the appointment Thursday. Garcia replaces Erica Borggren, who is leaving to head the Illinois Department of Transportation. The agency serves Illinois' 744,000 veterans. In a news release, Quinn calls Garcia "battle-tested" as both a Marine and as assistant director of the agency. He's from Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. Garcia studied finance at Northeastern Illinois University. He has post-graduate degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.

--------------------

U of Illinois speeding up search for new president


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois is speeding up its search for a new president. The News-Gazette in Champaign reports the presidential search committee wants to name a successor to President Robert Easter before Thanksgiving. Easter is set to retire next June. University officials originally said they wanted to select his replacement by the end of this year. But search committee members said Friday they want a new president in place in time to choose a new chancellor for the university's Chicago campus. University of Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Paula Meares is stepping down in January. The committee also heard from Easter about what they should look for in the next president. He says his successor should have an academic background, experience at a top university, familiarity with Illinois and "substantial global experience."

-----------------------------

NATIONAL
Police: Suspect arrested in death of La. woman

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Louisiana authorities say the three children of a man wanted in the death of a woman found bludgeoned in her bathtub have been found and are safe. Sheriff's deputies in Jefferson Parish say 43-year-old Pedro Alberto Monterroso-Navas, of Metairie, was arrested in a trailer park in Katy, Texas, late last night. He faces a second-degree murder charge. His children were with him. Authorities haven't released the identity of the 25-year-old victim.

--------------------------

Oregon fire still growing

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Officials say dozens of people have evacuated ahead of a fast-growing wildfire in southern Oregon that has already destroyed an undetermined number of homes. Officials say they'll have a better idea of the damage from the 4 ½-square mile wildfire when the sun comes up. No injuries have been reported.

---------------------------------

Obama to press for action on transportation funds

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will press Congress this week to keep highway and transit aid flowing to states. The White House says Obama will discuss the issue during remarks Tuesday at a facility in Virginia that tests new technologies for highway transportation. He'll also tout the need to invest in the nation's infrastructure Thursday during a trip to Delaware, where he'll announce an initiative to increase private sector investment. House and Senate committees took steps last week toward shoring up the federal Highway Trust Fund. The administration has warned that by early August the fund will no longer have enough money to cover promised aid to states, and the government will begin to stretch out payments. States have been told to expect a 28 percent reduction in aid on average.

----------------------------

Archie to be shot saving gay friend in comic book

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veronica, Betty and Jughead - say so long to Archie. The cartoon character that's entertained people for almost 75 years will die a hero. In Wednesday's installment of "Life with Archie," the freckle-faced icon will take a bullet for his gay best friend Kevin Keller. Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator who's pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting.

-------------------------

Sump pump culprit in mysterious odor

SKIPPACK TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in suburban Philadelphia are blaming basement sump pumps for an odor that prompted the voluntary evacuation of about 100 homes in Skippack Township. The Montgomery County Department of Public Safety says the county hazardous response team, state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency are working to identify the compound involved. Reports of the noxious smell began shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday in a neighborhood and an emergency shelter was set up at the local elementary school. Some residents went to a hospital as a precaution and were released. Residents are being asked to contact the township to have their homes tested for the presence of the compound before returning home.

------------------------------------

Fla. man accused of leaving boy, 7, in hot car

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Sheriff's officials in Florida say a man faces child neglect charges after leaving his 7-year-old son inside a car while he worked at a Jacksonville furniture store. A woman called authorities Sunday morning when she saw the child before she went into the store where Hamid Ahmad Nike Mohammad Ahmadzada was cleaning. A police report says the car windows were partially open. The boy spoke limited English but told police his father, an Afghan immigrant, was inside the store. It was 88 degrees outside when he was found. The Florida Times-Union reports a translator indicated to authorities that Ahmadzada asked for an attorney The store manager says the child could have waited in an air-conditioned break area.

---------------------------

VW to build new SUV in Tennessee, add 2,000 jobs

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen says it will build a new seven-passenger SUV at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory, adding about 2,000 jobs. The German automaker says it will invest $600 million in the factory and a new research center that will employ about 200 engineers. Production of the new SUV is scheduled to start at the end of 2016. The plant now employs about 1,500 workers and makes only one model, the Passat midsize car. The company says the SUV is part of a plan to increase U.S. sales to 800,000 vehicles by 2018. VW sold just over 407,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year including its Audi, Lamborghini and Bentley brands. The new model is seen as key to reviving Volkswagen's flagging sales in the U.S.

----------------------------

Fire destroys restaurant owned by terror suspect

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A fire has destroyed a New York restaurant owned by a man charged last month with plotting vengeance attacks against members of the U.S. military and the Muslim community. Local media report that firefighters responded late Sunday night to a report of a fire at the former Mojoes Restaurant in Rochester. Firefighters had to break down the boarded-up door of the building to get inside. Officials say the restaurant's interior was destroyed. In June, the restaurant's 30-year-old owner, Mufid Elfgeeh, was arrested after federal prosecutors said he bought two unregistered guns from an FBI informant. Investigators say he plotted to kill returning U.S. troops for American actions overseas and Shiite Muslims over the civil war in Syria. Elfgeeh, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen, is being held in Monroe County Jail.

------------------------------

Citigroup settles subprime mortgage case for $7B

WASHINGTON (AP) — Citigroup will pay roughly $7 billion to settle an investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped fuel the financial crisis. The agreement announced today comes weeks after talks between the two sides broke down, prompting the Justice Department to warn that it would sue one of the nation's biggest banks. The settlement stems from the sale of securities made up of subprime mortgages which fueled the boom and bust that triggered the Great Recession in 2007. Citigroup, among other banks, downplayed the risks of subprime mortgages when packaging them selling them to mutual funds, investment trusts, pensions, as well as other banks and investors. J.P. Morgan is the only other major U.S. bank to settle so far, though Bank of America is reportedly in talks to do so.

--------------------------------

Store accepts a 25-year-old gift certificate

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts pop culture store has honored a 25-year-old gift certificate. Sierra Wales, assistant manager at That's Entertainment in Worcester, says a longtime customer recently brought in the $10 gift certificate bought in 1989. She tells The Republican newspaper that the gift certificate had been sitting in a drawer for years. The customer had been meaning to bring it in for some time and finally remembered over the Fourth of July weekend. She noted that the gift certificate was older than most employees and had actually been bought at the store's old location. The customer used it to buy a graphic novel. The 34-year-old business sells comic books, graphic novels, toys, sports memorabilia, music and other pop culture items. Wales says, "When we say it never expires, we really mean it."

----------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Israel charges Palestinian teen's alleged killers

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has charged three Jews with the kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager whose death set off days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says the three appeared before a court on Monday. He says the suspects admitted to abducting 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir and setting him on fire. Rosenfeld says they also re-enacted the murder. Abu Khdeir was taken on July 2 near his home in east Jerusalem and his charred body was later found in a forest. Israel's Shin Bet security service says the suspects, whose names were not released, were motivated by revenge after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers. Police are investigating three others for involvement in the killing. They remain under house arrest.

----------------------------

Fierce fighting near rebel-held city in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Fighting has intensified around the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk as government forces step up efforts to disrupt rebel lines and claim more territory from the faltering insurgency. The Defense Ministry said Monday that government troops had retaken several villages around the rebel-controlled city and reopened a corridor to the airport. A spokeswoman for the Luhansk People's Republic told The Associated Press that separatist fighters destroyed a Ukrainian armed convoy in the village of Heorhiivka, 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of the airport. She says at least three Ukrainian soldiers were killed in that clash. In the last two weeks, the government has halved the territory held by the pro-Russia fighters, who have been forced back into strongholds around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk.

--------------------------

Activist Malala in Nigeria: 'Bring Back Our Girls'

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai is celebrating her 17th birthday in Nigeria and meeting with the parents of some 219 girls still held by Islamic extremists, and with the dozens that escaped. She says, "My birthday wish this year is Bring Back Our Girls now and alive." The teenager who escaped a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 is to meet President Goodluck Jonathan later Monday. On Sunday she met in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, with parents of the kidnapped girls and some of the dozens who escaped the abduction before dawn April 15 in northeast Chibok town. The parents and Chibok community have been begging Jonathan to negotiate with Boko Haram extremists demanding that he release scores of detained insurgents in exchange for the girls. Jonathan so far has refused.

---------------------------------

SPORTS
SATURDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 10, Milwaukee 2
Atlanta 11, Chicago Cubs 6
Chicago White Sox 6, Cleveland 2

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 6, Gateway 2
Evansville 6, Lake Erie 1

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Cleveland 3, Chicago White Sox 2
Milwaukee 11, St. Louis 2
Atlanta 10, Chicago Cubs 7

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 10, Gateway 5
Lake Erie 3, Evansville 2

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Home Run Derby in Minneapolis, MN

Frontier League

All-Star Break

-----------------------------

Gasol Leaving Lakers, Joining Bulls

(Undated) -- NBA forward Pau Gasol is heading to the Windy City. The 13-year veteran has agreed to join the Chicago Bulls after spending the last six-plus seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Gasol posted a message on Twitter revealing his intentions. The 34-year-old Spaniard played 60 games for the Lakers last season, averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.

--------------------

Ramirez out with stiff back

CLEVELAND (AP) — White Sox All-Star shortstop Alexei Ramirez was out of Sunday's lineup due to a stiff back. Ramirez was removed from Saturday's game in the fourth inning. He said following the game that he expected to play in Tuesday's All-Star game in Minneapolis. Ramirez is batting .282 with eight homers, 41 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 95 games. Shortstop Carlos Sanchez, called up from Triple-A Charlotte, made his major league debut and is batted second. He was added to the roster when right-hander Andre Rienzo was optioned to Charlotte.

--------------------------------

Cards' Wainwright could pitch in All-Star game

MILWAUKEE (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright could pitch in Tuesday's All-Star game despite going seven innings in Saturday's win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Mike Matheny, who will lead the National League, said the right-hander told him before Sunday's game against Milwaukee that he felt good and could go at the All-Star game at Target Field. Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA. Tuesday would be his scheduled day to throw in between starts. Matheny said Wainwright hasn't done much lobbying to pitch. Matheny is making his first appearance as an All-Star manager. He said he expects his players to compete like their "postseason is on the line." The Cardinals were trying to finish a three-game sweep Sunday in Milwaukee.

------------------------

News for July 10, 2014

LOCAL
Effingham Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced For Murder

(Effingham, IL)  --  An Effingham woman will serve 25 years behind bars after she pled guilty to second degree murder.  Prosecutors say 58-year-old Christine Barr confessed to the 2011 stabbing death of Joseph Delaney.  The southern Illinois woman also pleaded guilty Monday to concealment of a homicidal death for trying to do away with the victim's body.  A hiker discovered Delaney's body along the Embarras River less than a year later.

---------------------------

Hazmat Spill After Semi Overturns

(West Frankfort, IL)  --  West Frankfort officials are investigating what might have caused a tanker truck to overturn.  The incident happened yesterday afternoon at the intersection of Routes 37 and 149.  The tanker was leaking a highly flammable resin.  The driver was not hurt. The area reopened mid-morning. The chemical never posed a threat to the community, so evacuations were not needed.

------------------

Ill. inmate loses sentence appeal in murder case

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A man serving 20 years in prison for his role in a man's 2007 southwestern Illinois kidnapping and beating death has lost his bid to have his sentence reduced. The (Alton) Telegraph reports a Madison County judge on Tuesday rejected 27-year-old Terry Ballinger's request to lower the prison sentence he received in 2009. Ballinger insisted he was a "young, immature child" when he participated in the death of 41-year-old Ernest Walker of Alton, and that he has tried to reform himself in prison. Ballinger was among four men charged in the beating and slashing death of Walker. Walker's body was found in Wellston, Missouri. Authorities said Walker's throat had been slit and he had been so badly beaten he had to be identified through fingerprints.

-------------------------------------

Police shoot, kill Missouri man in Granite City

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — Police in southwestern Illinois' Granite City say officers have shot and killed a Missouri man who reportedly threatened them with a handgun. Investigators did not immediately identify the 45-year-old man from the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles. Police say the shooting happened when officers were dispatched shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday to a reported disturbance at a convenience store. Authorities say police confronted the man in his car. The officers weren't injured. Illinois State Police are assisting in the investigation.

--------------------------------

Alton Police Confiscate Over 300 Pounds Of Fireworks

(Alton, IL)  --  After a number of injuries were reported, police in Alton, Illinois have confiscated a large amount fireworks.  Several people were injured over the 4th of July holiday including a teenager who lost a thumb.  In response, police confiscated over 300-pounds of fireworks.

-------------------------

Coal company accuses Ill. rival of double-cross

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One of the biggest U.S. coal-mining companies is accusing an Illinois rival of a double-cross. Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. clams in a lawsuit that Williamson Energy LLC since 2009 has bought up parcels of southern Illinois land Murray wanted to expand its coal operations. Murray argues Williamson did that using Murray's confidential information shared with Williamson during an ill-fated deal between the two companies. The lawsuit has been filed in southern Illinois' Saline County, where Murray has some of its operations. The lawsuit claims Williamson breached terms of a confidentiality agreement. The suit asks that Williamson be blocked from making similar land purchases and forced to offer Murray mineral rights to the land already bought. Messages left with St. Louis-based Foresight Energy, Williamson Energy's corporate parent, haven't been returned.

-------------------------

Driver That Killed Family Members in DUI Crash Pleads Guilty In Hamilton County

The driver that was involved in a crash last fall that killed five of his family members in Hamilton County could get up to 20 years in prison. 49-year-old Darrell Delong appeared in a Hamilton County Court Tuesday and pled guilty to one count of aggravated DUI. Delong's sentencing will take place August 19. Officials say he'll be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. Delong was the only person to survive the crash on November 23 that happened on Anderson School Road. Police reports say he lost control of the SUV he was driving causing the vehicle to leave the road and overturning several times killing his in-laws, a niece and his wife. His stepdaughter survived the crash and was taken to an Evansville hospital, where she died the following day.

---------------------

Man gets 10 months in prison for benefits theft

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — An East St. Louis man has been ordered to spend 10 months in federal prison for stealing more than $25,000 in unemployment compensation. Kenneth Loving was sentenced Tuesday in East St. Louis after pleading guilty to a felony count of embezzlement of public funds. He also was ordered to spend three years on post-prison supervised release and to repay $200 a month in restitution. Authorities say Loving stole the funds administered by the Illinois Department of Employment Security while working for Midwest Service Group Inc.

---------------------------------

Former Mt. Vernon Educator Named New City Grade School Superintendent in Centralia

A new Centralia City Grade School Superintendent was named last night at a special meeting. Craig Clark, the current superintendent of Dodds Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, will be the permanent replacement for David Rademacher, who resigned effective June 30th to become superintendent at the Meridian School District in Mounds, Illinois. Retired superintendent Tom Hawkins has been serving as interim superintendent while the board searched for Rademacher’s replacement. School Board President Ron Johnson says that Clark will officially take over the reins from Hawkins sometimes in August, although the exact date has yet to be determined. Clark, a Wayne City native, has been an educator for 19 years, working at several area schools including as a teacher at Summersville School in Mt. Vernon and as principal at Raccoon School. He says he took the job at Centralia after seeing the determination of the school board. Along with his education career, he has produced a DirecTv show and DVD series called “The
Harvesters Guild”.

------------------------------------------------------

Two Centralia Men Held On Sex Charges

Two Centralia men are being held this morning in the Marion County Jail, on charges of criminal sexual assault and unlawful restraint, in connection with an alleged incident last week. Police say 31-year-old Jason E. Starks and 23-year-old Donald D. Nunn sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female on July 3 and held her against her will. It’s anticipated the two men will be arraigned this morning in Marion County Court.

-------------------------------------------

STATE
Topinka: Income tax rollback means '$2B collapse'

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is warning of "a $2 billion collapse" next year when the state's temporary income tax increase begins to roll back. The Republican seeking re-election made stops in Quincy and Jacksonville on Tuesday. Lawmakers approved a temporary income tax hike in 2011. But it's set to decrease from 5 percent to 3.75 percent in January leaving a big budget hole. Gov. Pat Quinn has pushed for extending the increase, but the idea has been unpopular in an election year. Topinka likens the decrease to a "heart attack" to state finances. She says she'd rather see it phased out over two years to give lawmakers time to cut spending. Topinka is facing a November challenge from Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a Democrat.

-------------------------------------

State sends schools checks on time, for once

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has broken its streak of late grant payments to schools for the first time since 2007. State Superintendent Christopher Koch praised the news in a letter to school officials dated July 1. But Koch warned them not to bank on the same thing happening next year. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office says timely payments for specialized grants and programs in 2014 are due to an influx of $1.3 billion in revenues the state hadn't originally budgeted for. Next year's $35.7 billion state budget signed by Gov. Pat Quinn banks on revenue that may not materialize. All-purpose state aid has been doled out to schools on time by the state in recent years. But grant money for programs including transportation has been lumped into the state's backlog of unpaid bills.

----------------

Report: Rauner firm gave contribution after deal

CHICAGO (AP) — Crain's Chicago Business reports that a company once partially owned by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner started making campaign contributions to Illinois Democrats just after it won a multimillion-dollar Cook County contract. In 2000 the Cook County Board approved a deal with HealthRev Inc. to collect Medicaid bills. County records show HealthRev was paid $8.8 million. HealthRev was owned until 2004 by GTCR LLC, a firm partially owned by Rauner. State records obtained by Crain's show that just after the deal was approved the company made the first of $8,000 in contributions to then-Cook County President John Stroger's campaign and a related account. The company gave $5,000 more to House Speaker Michael Madigan. A Rauner spokesman says Rauner had no knowledge of the contributions.

------------------------

State lags in hiring to oversee 'fracking' accord

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has hired just four of 53 new employees it says it needs to oversee a much praised compromise on regulating hydraulic fracturing. The agency has come under increasing criticism from "fracking" supporters who had hoped that high-volume oil and gas drilling could begin this summer.They say the agency should have finished writing rules to implement the state's year-old fracking law. But the agency doesn't yet have enough experts to issue permits, inspect wells and perform other tasks associated with the anticipated influx of drilling activity.DNR Director Marc Miller says the agency is making good progress, and will meet a Nov. 15 deadline. He says 23 jobs are posted, and the agency should have 15 people on board by the end of July.

---------------

Five Thousand Gay Couples Now Married In Illinois

(Chicago, IL)  --  More than five-thousand same-sex couples in Illinois have taken the trip down the aisle and said "I-do."  That's according to a new survey of all 102 counties, conducted by Equality Illinois.  The stats reveal that more than 32-hundred marriage licenses have been issues since a judge ruled the couples could go ahead and tie the knot.  Nearly 17-hundred civil unions have been converted to marriages. 

-------------------

Adopted Adults To Get Access To Birth Records

(Chicago, IL)  --  Adopted people in Illinois won't have to be in the dark about their biological families much longer.  Governor Pat Quinn signed a law yesterday, allowing adoptees to get their hands on their original birth records. He says the information will be vital when it comes to determining inherited traits and medical histories. 

-------------------

Winter hard on some of Illinois' wheat crop

TOLONO, Ill. (AP) — As Illinois farmers work their way through the winter wheat harvest, many are finding the harsh winter was tough on their crops. Some farmers in parts of central Illinois are saying their production is down. John Little of Tolono south of Champaign tells The News-Gazette he expects his 40 acres of winter wheat to yield a crop that might be near average. He's guessing about 75 bushels an acre. In past years that figure was as high as 90. Little blamed cold and the wet spring that followed. Fred Kolb is a crop sciences professor at the University of Illinois. He says wheat crops were slow coming out of winter. Wheat is a relatively minor crop in much of Illinois.

--------------------------

American Coins Offered In Unclaimed Property Auction

SPRINGFIELD - June 23, 2014 - Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford has announced the next Illinois Treasurer's Online Unclaimed Property Auction featuring a vast array of coins including Liberty coins, a John F. Kennedy commemorative dollar coin covered in 24K gold, Franklin half dollars, Roosevelt dimes, Jefferson wartime nickels, a series of 1982 Lincoln pennies, and bicentennial pennies. Other items include $2 bills, a $1 Virginia Treasury bill, USA stamps, jewelry, silver bars, presidential campaign buttons and silverware. The auction will begin closing at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 11.  All items for sale in this auction have been appraised by an outside vendor, and the sale price of each lot must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value. Buyers are responsible for purchasing their auction winnings with either a Visa or MasterCard. Other arrangements will be available for purchases over $10,000. Additionally, a 2 percent administrative fee will be assessed, and buyers are required to pay for shipping through the preferred list of shippers. Rutherford also encouraged folks to check to see if they personally may have a claim for any of the items that may be part of the auction. If you would like to participate in the upcoming Illinois Treasurer's Online Unclaimed Property Auction, please visit www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the link to the auction. One must register to become an active bidder. For questions about registration, please contact 217-785-6998.

-------------------------------------

NATIONAL
Deadly Texas rampage

SPRING, Texas (AP) — Investigators in Spring, Texas plan today to charge a man in the shooting deaths of four of his children and two adults in a suburban Houston home. Deputies went to the scene last night after getting a 911 call from the man's 15-year-old daughter, who was also shot and critical wounded. Authorities say she was able to warn deputies that her father was headed to her grandparents' home to kill them. The father, who was upset about his broken marriage, was taken into custody following a three-hour stand-off in his car.

----------------------------------

Obama Speaks On Southwest Border Crisis

(Dallas, TX)  --  President Obama says most of the unaccompanied migrant children crossing the southwest border will not stay in the U.S.  Obama's comments came after a roundtable discussion with Texas Governor Rick Perry and other state and local leaders about the influx of unaccompanied minors across the border.  Senator Ted Cruz says President Obama is causing a humanitarian crisis at the border.  Cruz says Obama's policies have encouraged the flood of undocumented migrants. 

-----------------------

AP Exclusive: Disabled often banned from voting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An advocacy group says thousands of people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities have been banned from the voting booth by Los Angeles County courts, in violation of federal law. A complaint to be filed today with the U.S. Justice Department by the Disability and Abuse Project says adults with those disabilities, which can include cerebral palsy and Down syndrome, routinely lose the right to vote when challenged in court. The complaint says Los Angeles Superior Court is violating federal voting and disability laws in those cases. It seeks to restore eligibility for adults who have lost the right to vote.

--------------------------------------

Holmes Trial Delayed Again

(Centennial, CO)  --  The trial for the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting suspect is being pushed back again.  The judge has granted a request to delay the results of the second mental evaluation for accused shooter James Holmes.  That report will now be delivered on October 15th, which is the day after jury selection was supposed to start.  Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on charges of killing 12 people and wounding dozens of others nearly two years ago.  The trial has been delayed a number of times.

---------------

Cleanup of ND pipeline spill could last weeks

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Company officials say cleanup efforts are expected to take weeks after a pipeline on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Indian Reservation leaked around 1 million gallons of saltwater. Some of the fluid found its way to a tributary of a lake that provides drinking water to the reservation. Tribal and company officials say the leak near Mandaree has been isolated and drinking water is unaffected. Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall tells The Associated Press that the underground pipeline owned by Aero Pipeline LCC leaked about 24,000 barrels, or about 1 million gallons. The company says the leak started over the weekend and was discovered Tuesday. Aero Pipeline is a subsidiary of Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners. Saltwater is a byproduct of oil production that's 10 to 30 times saltier than seawater.

------------------------------------------

Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Times is reporting that Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances. The Times reports that senior U.S. officials say the hackers gained access to some of the agency's databases in March before the threat was detected and blocked. Just how far the hackers penetrated the agency's systems is not yet clear. A Homeland Security Department official confirms to the Times that an attack occurred but says that no loss of personally identifiable information has been identified. The Office of Personnel Management houses personal information for all federal employees.

-----------------------------------------

No one hurt as commuter train, truck collide

SAN DIMAS, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say no one was hurt when a commuter train with about 50 people aboard and a truck collided in San Dimas. The accident happened around 10 p.m. last night at a rail crossing. Metrolink says one of its trains from San Bernardino was involved in the crash. Both Los Angeles County fire and sheriff's officials say there were no injuries to the truck driver or anyone on the train. The Los Angeles Times reports that the train hit the rear end of an empty big rig.

---------------------------

Authorities: Prostitute gave exec fatal heroin hit

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — An upscale prostitute is accused of shooting up a Silicon Valley executive with heroin and leaving him to die on his yacht. Twenty-six-year-old Alix Tichelman is being held on $1.5 million bail in the death of 51-year-old Forrest Hayes, who was found dead on his 50-foot yacht in November. At the time, an obituary described Hayes as a beloved husband and father of five who enjoyed time with his family and on his boat. Police say surveillance footage from the yacht shows everything.

--------------------------------------

US unemployment aid applications fall to 304,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, driving down the level of applications to nearly the lowest in seven years. The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000. That's not far from a reading of 298,000 two months ago, which was the lowest since 2007, before the Great Recession began. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped 3,500 to 311,500, the second-lowest level since August 2007. Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the low readings indicate that employers are letting go of fewer workers. The figures are the latest sign that the job market is steadily improving. Employers are adding jobs at a healthy clip and the unemployment rate is at a 5 1/2-year low.

------------------------------

Crews work to restore power after Eastern storms

SMITHFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Utility crews are working to restore power in some Eastern states hit by severe storms earlier in the week, and one rural New York town is picking through the debris from homes battered by a deadly tornado. A total of five people died in Tuesday's strong storms that blew down buildings, trees and utility lines and left hundreds of thousands without power into early Thursday. About 14,000 utility customers across New York were still without power Thursday. In Pennsylvania, where more than 350,000 customers lost power at the peak of the storms, 16,400 were still without electricity almost two days after the storms. In New York, four people were killed in the rural town of Smithfield, between Utica and Syracuse. In Manchester, Maryland, a tree fell at the River Valley Ranch summer camp, killing one child and injuring six others headed to a shelter.

------------------------------

Several unaccounted for after Mass. apartment fire

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Authorities say several people are unaccounted for after an early morning fire in a Massachusetts apartment building. A spokeswoman for the state Fire Marshal says three to five people are unaccounted for after the fire in the three-story building in Lowell. The three-alarm blaze was reported at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Deputy Fire Chief Patrick McCabe says firefighters are going through the building looking for victims, a task made more difficult by heavy damage. He says 48 people lived in the building, which had businesses on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. Several people had to be rescued from upper floors and taken to the hospital. He didn't have an exact count. Fire Marshal Stephen Coan says the cause remains under investigation.

-----------------------------------

'Game of Thrones' earns a leading 19 Emmy nods

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fantasy saga "Game of Thrones," defying the Emmy Awards' grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series. The meth kingpin drama "Breaking Bad" was next in line with 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston. Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, "Fargo," with 18 bids, and "American Horror Story: Coven," with 17. The AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" received 16 nominations, including best TV movie.

---------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Kerry: Crisis in Israel, Gaza, needs de-escalation

BEIJING (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is trying to stem the surging violence in Israel and Gaza in a way that allows the Jewish state to continue defending itself from Hamas rocket fire. Kerry, in Beijing for a summit with Chinese leaders, says it's a "dangerous moment" for the Mideast. Hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza since the killings of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenagers sparked tensions. Dozens of Palestinians have died in Israeli attacks. Kerry says no country can accept such rocket attacks. But he says de-escalating the crisis is ultimately in everyone's interests. Kerry says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The goal, he says, is to see if there is some way to restore peace.

--------------------------------

Officials: US drone strike in Pakistan kills 6

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Two Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected American drone strike has killed six militants in a northwestern tribal region where the military has launched an operation against local and foreign militants. The intelligence officials say the strike happened Thursday morning in the town of in Datta Khel in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The U.S. drone strikes are a serious source of tension between Washington and Islamabad. The Pakistani government regularly denounces the strikes as a violation of the country's sovereignty. The latest strike took place in the same region where the Pakistan army last month launched a much-awaited operation against militants, who use North Waziristan as a base to carry out attacks.

---------------------------

Jihadi fighters on the offensive in northern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say jihadi fighters using weapons they recently captured in neighboring Iraq are battling to take predominantly Kurdish areas in northern Syria. Kurdish official Nawaf Khalil says members of the Islamic State group are trying to capture an area near the Turkish border to link with their positions east of the country. He and other activists say Thursday's fighting is concentrating in the region of Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab. Mustafa Osso, a Turkey-based Kurdish activist who has wide contacts in northern Syria. says the aim of the offensive is to take the entire Kobani area. Osso says those standing against the Islamic State group are mostly members of the People's Protection Units, the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.

--------------------------------

Russia to Ukraine: We can monitor border together

MOSCOW (AP) — A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry says Moscow is willing to invite its Ukrainian counterparts to monitor the border together. Pro-Russia rebels have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine for more than three months, leaving at least 400 dead. Kiev has accused Moscow of supplying the rebels with weapons and smuggling them across the border. Moscow denies this claim. Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday that Russia could invite Ukrainian border guards to patrol the border together at two border posts. Lukashevich added, however, this would only be possible in case of a cease-fire. The rebels have several Ukrainian border posts under their control and Ukraine has unsuccessfully demanded them back.

---------------------------

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Boston 5, Chicago White Sox 4
Cincinnati 4, Chicago Cubs 1
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 2

Frontier League

Gateway 7, Rockford 6
Evansville 10, Traverse City 0
Traverse City 4, Evansville 3
Windy City 11, Southern Illinois 3

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 11:35 a.m.
Chicago White Sox at Boston, 3:05 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Traverse City at Evansville
Gateway at Rockford
Windy City at Southern Illinois

-----------------------------

Cubs to pitch another Wrigley expansion plan

CHICAGO (AP) — The squabble between the Chicago Cubs and the owners of the rooftop venues that peek over the walls of Wrigley Field is heading back to City Hall. The Cubs will ask the city's landmarks commission Thursday to approve a massive $500 million renovation project that is even more extensive than the project that the same commission and then the City Council approved last year. The Cubs are pushing for five more signs to go with the Jumbotron and another video board in the outfield. Rooftop owners are expected to oppose the proposal. The signs would affect views of the field that the businesses depend on, and potentially violate the revenue-sharing contract the rooftop owners have with the team.

---------------------------

Cubs call up 2B Alcantara while Barney's gone

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Chicago Cubs are giving one of their prospects a chance to spend a couple of days in the majors, promoting second baseman Arismendy Alcantara while infielder Darwin Barney is on paternity leave. Alcantara, 22, was in the starting lineup batting second against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. He batted .307 with 25 doubles, 11 triples, 10 homers and 41 RBIs for Triple-A Iowa. When Barney returns, Alcantara will go back to the minors. Barney is batting .224 with 10 doubles, one triple, two homers and 16 RBIs in 70 games. As planned, the Cubs called up right-hander Dallas Beeler to make his second major league start in Cincinnati. They optioned left-hander Chris Rusin to Iowa. Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada also was returned to Iowa, a day after his debut.

-------------------------------------

Kelly set to return to Cardinals rotation

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly is set to return to the rotation Friday from a hamstring injury that's sidelined him nearly three months. Kelly was injured running to first on April 17. He's 1-1 with an 0.59 ERA in three starts heading into the start in Milwaukee and was 10-5 last year with a 2.69 ERA. The right-hander is one of three starters on the 15-day disabled list. Michael Wacha is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his pitching shoulder sustained in mid-June and lefty Jaime Garcia will undergo season-ending thoracic outlet surgery on Friday in St. Louis to relieve nerve issues that caused numbness and tingling in his shoulder, arm and hand resulting in a loss of feel for his pitches. Lefty Kevin Siegrist was set to begin a minor rehab stint from a forearm strain that landed him on the DL on May 24.

--------------------------------

Cardinals C Molina leaves game with sprained thumb

ST. LOUIS (AP) — All-Star catcher Yadier Molina has been removed from the St. Louis Cardinals' game against Pittsburgh in the third inning with a sprained right thumb. The team said the injury will be re-evaluated Thursday. A trainer attended to Molina on the field Wednesday night after he slid feet first into third base in the second inning. Molina remained in the game and caught the top of the third before he was lifted for pinch-hitter Tony Cruz in the bottom half. Cruz then replaced Molina behind the plate. Molina was voted to his sixth straight NL All-Star team Sunday and is a starter for the fourth time. He doubled in the second inning and was hitting .287 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.

-------------------------------------

Blackhawks, Toews, Kane agree to 8-year extensions

CHICAGO (AP) — The Blackhawks have agreed to eight-year contract extensions with captain Jonathan Toews (tayvz) and star forward Patrick Kane. General manager Stan Bowman said all along that the extensions were his biggest offseason priority, and the team announced the megadeals Wednesday. The Blackhawks did not release the value of the deals that keep the two stars in Chicago through the 2022-23 season. Chicago selected Toews with the No. 3 pick in the 2006 draft, and grabbed Kane with the No. 1 overall selection the following year. They combined to lead the Blackhawks to Stanley Cup titles in 2010 and 2013. Kane had 29 goals and 40 assists and Toews finished with 28 goals and 40 assists this season. The Blackhawks lost to Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals.

-----------------------------

News for July 9, 2014

LOCAL
SIU names acting Carbondale chancellor

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University has named Paul Sarvela as acting chancellor of its Carbondale campus. The SIU Board of Trustees met on Tuesday selected Sarvela. He is the Carbondale campus' president for academic affairs. SIU System President Randy J. Dunn said in a news release that he believes Sarvela has the leadership skills to unite the campus. He replaces outgoing chancellor Rita Cheng. Cheng has been named president of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. SIU President Randy Dunn says Cheng completed her work on the Carbondale campus last week and is taking vacation leave pending the start of her new job later this month. Cheng had been the Carbondale school's chancellor since 2010. A process for searching for Cheng's permanent successor will be sorted out after an SIU board meeting later this month.

---------------------

Coroner: Bicyclist killed in southern Illinois

WEST CITY, Ill. (AP) — A coroner says a bicyclist has been hit and killed by a pickup truck in southern Illinois' West City. Franklin County Coroner Marty Leffler says 59-year-old John Bruegge Jr. of Benton sustained skull fractures in the crash Tuesday morning and was declared dead at a hospital. No charges have been filed against the truck's driver but Leffler and other local authorities continue to investigate.

-----------------------

Lawmaker Says NRI Emails Missing

(Glen Carbon, IL) -- A Metro-East lawmaker says the investigators looking into Governor Quinn's scandalized anti-violence program may not be getting all of the emails among the principals in the grant operation. Republican Dwight Kay says a forensic computer expert he hired has said there appear to be emails missing from those given to the Auditor General's office about the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Kay says the expert also says administration of the emails is done by Central Management Services, an agency run at the time in question by a Quinn appointee.

---------------------------------

Power Line Falls Onto Metro East Man

(Granite City, IL)  --  A Metro East man is recovering after a power line fell on top of him.  KMOV-TV reports the victim was working at Granite City Steel early Tuesday morning when the accident happened.  Rescuers who arrived at the scene had to remove the downed line before they could take him to the hospital.  The worker is expected to survive.

-----------------------

Beef Conference Comes To RLC

Cattle farmers from across the area will gather at Rend Lake College in Ina July 18 for the fifth annual Southern Illinois Beef Conference.   It will run from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. The conference is designed to be useful for cow/calf and stocker/backgrounding producers of all knowledge levels. Several topics involving cattle will be discussed at the conference. The keynote speaker will be Dr. James Pettigrew, animal scientist from the University of Illinois. He will address concerns about the FDA decision on antibiotic use and its potential effects on the cattle industry. The registration fee is $15 per person for registrations received by this Friday or pay $20 at the door. You can register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/dsac/.  For more information, call 618-659-4917 or email tsteckle@illinois.edu.

-------------------------------------

ISP District 19 Announces June Activity and Enforcement

Carmi, IL – Illinois State Police District 19 Commander, Captain Kelly Hodge, announced today activity and enforcement figures for the month of June.  Troopers in District 19, which includes Wabash, Edwards, Wayne, White, Hamilton, Saline, and Gallatin Counties, answered 340 calls for service and initiated 1,212 incidents in the field during the month.  In addition, enforcement figures totaled 551 citations and 982 written warnings, including 170 speeding citations, 8 DUIs, 115 seatbelt citations, 13 child restraint citations, 256 written warnings for speeding, and 22 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 58 motorists, conducted 217 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 39 traffic crashes.  There was one fatal traffic crash, resulting in one fatality, investigated by District 19 during June. During the month, 345 citations and 395 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.

---------------------------------------

Scott air base finalist for agency relocation

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois is among six finalist sites for a relocation-minded secret government agency that helped coordinate the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The Defense Department says the air base near Mascoutah east of St. Louis joins five other St. Louis sites, all in Missouri, in the competition for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. That employer of some 3,000 people is now located along the Mississippi River in St. Louis. The Defense Department unit also has a site in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold, Missouri. The agency is a combined defense and intelligence agency responsible for collecting, classifying and analyzing human activity and showing that activity in the form of maps, charts and imagery intelligence. The move is not expected for another seven or eight years.

--------------------------------------------

Fugitive On The Run Turns Himself In

A 22-year-old Marion County fugitive turned himself in Tuesday night, after nearly four months on the run from the law. John Morton, of Kell, had been on the run since March when he allegedly jumped from the vehicle and fled while on his way to turn himself in to the Marion County Jail and begin serving a 25 year prison sentence. Morton reportedly contacted the U.S. Marshal's Service Tuesday night, and arranged to turn himself in, and was later taken into custody behind his father's Kell home without incident. Morton had pleaded guilty in March to a class x felony charge of aggravated battery of a child under the age of 13 resulting in permanent disability, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to felony distributing a controlled substance, for which he was sentenced to 5 years in prison to be served consecutively to the 20 year sentence. Marion County Resident Judge Mark Stedelin allowed Morton to take two weeks furlough to get his affairs in order before turning himself in to begin serving the 25 year sentence. On the day Morton was to turn himself in, he instead fled. He now also faces a felony escape charge and additional consecutive sentence. The $25,000 bond his late mother had posted to gain his release following the child battery arrest was forfeited last month to the county.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Franklin County Coroner Investigating Baby Death

The Franklin County Coroner's Office is currently investigating the death of a 15-month-old baby that was found unresponsive Tuesday morning underneath the father in the parent's bed in Orient. Reports say the mother had fed the baby in the early morning hours and fell asleep with the baby in the bed. When she woke up later, the baby was found underneath the father. The baby was taken by ambulance to Franklin Hospital. The coroner's office does not suspect any foul play and is treating this case as an accidental death. An autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon.

-----------------------------------------

STATE
Same-Sex Marriage Supporter Named To GOP Leadership

(Springfield, IL) -- A Republican lawmaker who voted for same-sex marriage has been named to the GOP caucus leadership team in the Illinois House. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein was one of three Republican lawmakers who voted for the controversial bill that passed the General Assembly last December. Sullivan survived a primary challenge by an opponent who criticized his vote for same-sex marriage.

-------------------------

Illinois retired workers wait after high court win

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Retired state workers aren't seeing any immediate advantage from an Illinois Supreme Court ruling last week in their favor. The court found that health insurance coverage is a constitutionally protected retirement benefit. Attorney Donald Craven tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises the case is "clearly not over yet." The Springfield attorney represents a group of state workers. The high court is sending the case back to Sangamon County Circuit Court where a judge will decide how to rule in light of the opinion. Retirees are challenging a 2012 law allowing the state to collect money from retirees for their state-subsidized health care. Retirees are continuing to see health insurance fees deducted from their pensions. The money is being held in a special account until the case is resolved.

---------------------------------------

Crops In Good Condition

(Springfield, IL) -- The latest crop report from the USDA shows that Illinois crops are in good shape. Crop statistician Mark Scheulesener says corn is doing especially well. As for soybeans, 75-percent are in good to excellent condition. Farmers continue to make progress on the winter wheat harvest. Scheulesener says 82-percent of the crop has been harvested. That's ahead of the five-year average of 79-percent, and well ahead of where the harvest was a year ago when it was 65-percent complete.  The wettest June on record has left corn fields across the Midwest, including Illinois, in line for a record crop. Nationally, the corn crop is expected to jump two-point-eight percent to 14-point-three-billion bushels, the most ever, even though fewer acres were planted this year than last. The expected yield has had a negative impact on price, with corn futures dropping 20 percent since the end of April.

------------------------

Quinn to sign bill expanding adoptees rights

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he will sign legislation to designed to help adoptees and their birth family members learn more about their history. Quinn says people have the right to know the first chapter of their lives. He says the information can be vital when determining inherited traits and medical history. The law will help adoptees gain access to that information. House Bill 5949 was sponsored by Chicago Democrats, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz and Sen. Iris Martinez. The bill will help people gain information about their biological family history including obtaining original birth records when one of their grandparents was adopted as a child. Department of Children and Family Services Acting Director Bobbie Gregg notes nearly 17,000 children have been adopted in Illinois over the past 10 years.

----------------------------------

Hunter wants to sell big-game slingshot, sues DNR

TUSCOLA, Ill. (AP) — John "Chief A.J." Huffer enjoys stalking big game. And he likes to do it with a modified slingshot he says can fire arrows fast enough to take down deer. But while the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says Huffer's "sling bow" is OK for smaller animals it isn't approved for deer. Huffer sells the device for $85 and wants to make it available for big game. According to The Herald & Review in Decatur, the 76-year-old Tuscola man has filed a federal lawsuit against the DNR. He claims he's being required to meet performance standards that manufacturers of bows do not. He says the DNR claims his slingshot doesn't generate the velocity needed to be a humane hunting weapon. The DNR did not respond to a request for comment.

--------------------------

Japanese Beetles Return To Central Illinois

(Springfield, IL)  --  Sangamon County farmers say they are concerned about the return of a certain pest that is eating their soybeans.  The Japanese beetles came mostly in the Morgan County area in mid June.  The ravenous insects aren't affecting Sangamon County as much because the cold winter froze the ground, which resulted in the killing of the beetle's larva.  Experts say the best way to do away with the Japanese beetles is to remove them from the plants and put them in soapy water or rubbing alcohol.

-------------------

NATIONAL
Deadly Weather Claims Lives

(Undated)  --  Deadly weather is leaving a trail of destruction from the Midwest to the Northeast.  At least four people were killed when a tornado leveled several houses near Syracuse, New York.  Fire officials in Maryland say one child was killed and at least eight others injured after a storm knocked down trees at a summer camp.  Heavy thunderstorms around Philadelphia left more than 230-thousand homes and businesses in the dark.   

-------------------

Obama to meet on immigration

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama flies to Texas today for a trip designed mostly for political fundraising. But now his visit will include a meeting on the immigration crisis at the nation's southern border. Also attending in Dallas will be Gov. Rick Perry and religious and local leaders. On Tuesday, Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to address the thousands of unoccupied young migrants who enter the U.S. illegally.

-----------------------------

Government made $100B in improper payments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government says it made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them. And congressional investigators say the figure could be higher. The government says tax credits went to families that didn't qualify, unemployment benefits went to people who had jobs and medical payments were made for treatments that might not have been necessary. A House Oversight subcommittee is holding a hearing on the issue this afternoon.

--------------------------------

Official testifies about VA retaliation

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top official at the Veterans Health Administration says he's sorry that VA employees have suffered retaliation after reporting alleged wrongdoing. James Tuchschmidt was one VA official testifying Tuesday night at a hearing before the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner says her office has blocked several disciplinary actions against VA employees who reported wrongdoing.

---------------------------

Deadly storms move through East

SMITHFIELD, N.Y. (AP) — Deadly storms have moved through the eastern part of the U.S. Officials in Smithfield in central New York say four people were killed when a storm rolled through Tuesday night, destroying four homes. The Post-Standard reports one home was ripped from its foundation and tossed into another house. In Carroll County, Maryland, a child was killed when a tree fell at a summer camp. Six other kids were injured.

-------------------------------

Convicted ex-New Orleans mayor to be sentenced

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is scheduled to be sentenced today on bribery, money laundering and other charges. Prosecutors are pressing for a stiff sentence. Nagin was convicted in February of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from businessmen who wanted work from the city or Nagin's support for projects — both before and after Hurricane Katrina.

------------------------

Sterling testifies in Los Angeles Clippers trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donald Sterling is expected to resume his testimony today in a Los Angeles trial to determine whether a deal to sell his NBA Clippers can go through, despite his wishes. NBA owners are scheduled to vote on the deal Sterling's estranged wife Shelly reached to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, but there's no deal without the judge's OK.

---------------------------------

Colorado's gay marriage fight echoes drama in 1975

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A judge will hold a hearing today in Colorado on whether the Boulder County Clerk can continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. County Clerk Hillary Hall has issued some 100 licenses since a federal appeal court in Denver overturned Utah's gay marriage ban last month. But the ruling was put on hold. Attorney General John Suthers says Colorado's 2006 gay marriage ban remains on the books.

-------------------------------------

Udall cancels appearance at fundraiser with Obama

WASHINGTON (AP) — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, who was to appear with President Barack Obama in Denver at a Democratic fundraiser today, says he's too busy with legislative business in Washington to attend. In a statement, Udall said that "due to last-minute votes and legislative activity" he will be unable to make the trip back to Colorado for the event. He said the Senate was scheduled to vote on the confirmation of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as Housing and Urban Development secretary and he also needed to work on his legislation to expand access to public shooting ranges and "secure women's access to contraception." Udall is seeking re-election but is considered one of the Senate's vulnerable Democrats. Obama's unpopularity makes him a political liability, though Udall had been scheduled to appear at the fundraiser, with news cameras prohibited so there would be no photos of the two men together.

--------------------------------

DOJ To Fast-Track Child Deportations

(Washington, DC)  --  The White House is working to fast-track child deportation hearings in hopes of removing tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrants from the United States.  The government is expected to announce today that children will have priority over adults for deportation hearings.  Several states are dealing with a growing humanitarian crisis as children from Central America continue to cross illegally into the U.S. 

-------------------

VA Whistleblowers Appear Before House Committee

(Washington, DC)  --  Whistleblowers in the Veterans Affairs scandal are telling lawmakers in Washington how they were retaliated against for exposing problems in the department.  Dr. Katherine Mitchell blew the whistle on shoddy healthcare at the VA hospital in Phoenix and says some nurses retaliated against her by refusing to answer questions or give verbal reports on patients.  Mitchell told the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs that administrators did nothing to stop this behavior and they ignored her requests for additional resources and training.

------------------

High Pay For High Tech Interns

(Undated)  --  Not all interns are working for nothing.  Interns at Twitter are paid almost 68-hundred dollars a month, which works out to 81-thousand a year.  And they aren't even the highest paid.  That distinction goes to interns at the somewhat hush-hush artificial intelligence and data analytics outfit Palantir.  They're paid more than seven-thousand dollars a month, or 84-thousand a year.

---------------

Report: Courtney Love Lands Role On "Sons Of Anarchy"

(Undated)  --  "Sons of Anarchy" is bringing on another rocker.  The cast for the final season of the hit FX biker drama already includes Marilyn Manson, and now TV Line says Courtney Love has also been recruited for a multi-episode arc.  She'll reportedly be playing the "straight-shooting" preschool teacher of star Charlie Hunnam's eldest son. 

---------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Israel again hits Hamas targets

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister is warning that the offensive in the Gaza Strip will be long-term -- and he says it will "expand in the coming days." Israel again struck Hamas sites in Gaza today, the second day of a military operation it says it aimed at stopping rocket fire against Israel. The Palestinians say at least 14 people were killed. Israel's military says it struck about 200 Hamas targets today. But militants continued to fire rockets deep into Israeli territory. Israel has mobilized thousands of troops along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground operation. After a meeting of his Security Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's army is "ready for all possibilities." As the fighting stepped up, Egypt said it was in contact with both sides to end the violence. Egypt often serves as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. The fighting is the heaviest between Israel and Hamas since an eight-day battle in November of 2012.

-------------------------------------

Iraqi leader accuses Kurds of hosting militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has accused the largely autonomous northern Kurdish region of being a haven for the Islamic extremists and other Sunni militants that have overrun much of the country over the past month. Nouri al-Maliki's comments are likely to cause tensions to spike in the central government's already testy relationship with the Kurdish self-rule region. He did not elaborate on his allegations or provide any evidence to back them up. The Kurdish security force known as the peshmerga has clashed repeatedly with the Sunni militants led by the Islamic State extremist group in recent weeks. Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have fled to the Kurdish-controlled areas to escape the militant onslaught.

--------------------------------

France to ban would-be jihadists from going abroad

PARIS (AP) — France plans to ban citizens suspected of links to radical Islamic groups from leaving the country in a new bill aimed at strengthening anti-terrorist legislation. The draft bill unveiled Wednesday would allow authorities to stop French nationals from traveling if they are suspected of having links to a jihadist network. It would also allow investigators to question and charge people with individual terrorist plans, often described as "lone wolves." The government is concerned to prevent attacks by individuals returning from Syria. Around 600 French nationals are in Syria to fight with radical Islamic groups or are planning to go there, according to the Interior Ministry. The plan is to be presented to Parliament in the coming weeks with an aim for a vote by the end of the year.

------------------------------------

Lawyer: Snowden asks to extend stay in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian lawyer for former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says his client has applied to extend his stay in Russia. Anatoly Kucherena said in comments quoted Wednesday by Russian news agencies that Snowden has applied to Russia's migration authorities since his one-year permit is expiring at the end of July. Snowden got stranded in a Moscow airport last year on his way from Hong Kong to Cuba, shortly after he revealed the NSA's sprawling program tapping phones across the country. He received asylum in Russia, attracting the ire of the United States.

---------------------------

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Cincinnati 4, Chicago Cubs 2, 1st game
Cincinnati 6, Chicago Cubs 5, 2nd game
Chicago White Sox 8, Boston 3
St. Louis 5, Pittsburgh 4

Frontier League

Southern Illinois 2, Windy City 0
Rockford 5, Gateway 4

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago White Sox at Boston, 6:10 p.m.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Gateway at Rockford
Traverse City at Evansville (2)
Windy City at Evansville

------------------------------------

IHSA Hearing Canceled

(Chicago, IL)  --  A hearing on the Illinois High School Association scheduled for Tuesday was canceled. The General Assembly's Elementary and Secondary Education Committee held a hearing on the organization that oversees high school sports in May. It canceled yesterday's hearing set for Chicago. Some lawmakers have been critical of the IHSA for a lack of transparency. They want to shift the association's responsibilities to the state. The IHSA says it does post financial audits online and they use profits to pay for sports that don't generate much revenue.

--------------------------

Cardinals' Garcia to undergo thoracic surgery

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia will undergo thoracic outlet surgery Friday to relieve nerve issues in his pitching arm, shoulder and hand. General manager John Mozeliak said Tuesday that Garcia considered the operation his last viable option. The announcement was made on Garcia's 28th birthday. The Cardinals had already ruled Garcia out for the year and were initially surprised by the pitcher's decision to have the procedure instead of exhausting other treatment options. Garcia is having the surgery done by Dr. Robert Thompson of St. Louis. Garcia also consulted with Gregory Pearl, who did the same surgery on former teammate Chris Carpenter. The surgery wasn't a long-term success from a baseball standpoint for Carpenter, who retired at age 38 after pitching just six more games.

------------------------------------

Illinois trustees eye change in Groce's contract

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — University of Illinois trustees are about to consider changes in basketball coach John Groce's contract. The trustees' Governance, Personnel and Ethics Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday and its agenda includes an item to "amend" Groce's contract. The agenda doesn't provide details. And according to The News-Gazette in Champaign, trustees and university officials declined to discuss the potential changes. But Trustee Karen Hasara noted that Groce is "very popular." Groce makes $1.6 million a year and his contract runs through 2018. The university has already given Groce one raise and a contract extension in the just-over two years he's been on the job. His teams have made the NCAA Tournament and National Invitation Tournament in his two seasons.

---------------------------------

News for July 8, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Cancelled Monday Meeting

The storms that came through Mt. Vernon on Monday robbed the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building of power, and thus prevented the Mt. Vernon City Council from holding their scheduled meeting Monday night.  It would've been a light agenda for the Council with a presentation of journals from recent workshops and meetings and the appointment of George W. Beck to the Fire & Police Commission the primary items on the docket.  Those items will have to be tabled until the Council meets next.

---------------------------------

Members say farewell to 1921 Mount Vernon church

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (AP) — Members of one of the oldest churches in southern Illinois' Jefferson County are saying farewell to the nearly century-old building. St. Mary's Catholic Church in Mount Vernon is scheduled be torn down this week. Maintenance costs on the building were growing and a preservation effort stalled. On Sunday, a special Mass was held to say goodbye to the old church, which dates back to 1921. The congregation meets for services now in a new, bigger church, dedicated last year. Statues and artifacts from the old church have been moved to the new one. The lot will become parking and an expansion of the St. Mary's school playground. Bricks and beams from the old church will be see new life in a wedding chapel in the southern Illinois community of Eldorado.

----------------------------

Belleville student earns perfect ACT score

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — One Belleville high school student has earned a perfect score of 36 on the college preparatory ACT test. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 17-year-old A.J. DiGiovanni of Althoff Catholic High School got the perfect score. He says it "was definitely a surprise." The test measures English, math, reading, science and other skills. DiGiovanni says he took practice tests online and says they "were much more difficult" than the real ACT test. DiGiovanni will be a senior this coming school year. He's on the math team, in the science club and is a National Honor Society member. He also is varsity captain of the school's scholar bowl team. DiGiovanni says he wants to pursue a career in science, technology or math.

------------------------------

Ameren Opening Emergency Center To Help With Outages

(Collinsville, IL)  --  The Ameren Illinois Emergency Operations Center is open to help those who lost power during the storms.  The center based in Collinsville will be opened 24 hours a day to help customers restore service.  For a list of outages, visit the company's website. 

-------------------------

Woman Dies After Daughter Allegedly Falls Asleep Behind Wheel

(Madison County, IL) -- A Benton, Illinois woman is dead after an accident in Madison County, after her daughter allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel. Officials say 44-year-old Diana M. Reginato died in the crash about 2 a.m. today on Illinois Route 4, slightly south of Blue Spruce Lane, in St. Jacob Township. Authorities say her daughter, 25-year-old Nicole M. Reginato of Eldorado, Illinois, fell asleep and the car hit a tree. Nicole was flown to a hospital.

----------------------------

Man hurt in West Frankfort explosion identified

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A man injured in the explosion of a home in southern Illinois has been identified. Relatives of the man injured in the Sunday afternoon explosion in West Frankfort tell the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale that he is 20-year-old Casey Hester. He is in a St. Louis hospital. Information about his condition was not immediately available. West Frankfort Fire Department Capt. Craig Lemmon says it doesn't appear that a gas leak caused the explosion. Authorities say the home was structurally unsound. Firefighters tore down the home because of heavy damage. No other properties were damaged. Neighbors say they felt the explosion a block away. Tim Murphy was at his home when he "felt the ground shake" and says he "thought it was a sonic boom.'

------------------------

State Money Released For November Tornado Damage

(Washington, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn is allotting more money to help communities recover from tornadoes that struck the state in November. The state is releasing more than eleven-and-a-half-million dollars to help local governments with their recovery efforts. The city of Brookport and Massac County are among a few communities across the state that will be getting a chunk of $11.6 million in state relief to help local governments recover from last November's deadly tornadoes. Brookport will see just over $1.8 million while Massac County will get $31,399. The money is part of a 45-million-dollar relief package put together by the state after Illinois was denied federal disaster aid for local governments. The governor also signed three new laws Monday in Washington and Gifford. One let's current and retired state workers give part of their paycheck to the Red Cross. A second sets a ten-percent limit on compensation for an insurance adjuster representing a consumer in a disaster claim. The third law prevents an immediate tax hike on repaired or rebuilt business property.


-----------------------------

STATE
Suspect in 2 Illinois killings appears in court


ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A man suspected in two Illinois homicides who was arrested after a high-speed chase appeared during a court appearance to be injured. Police say they arrested Terence Doddy July 4 after the car he drove crashed into a tree near Beloit, Wis. According to the Rockford Register-Star, Doddy used a wheelchair and had black eyes when he appeared in a Janesville, Wis., courtroom Monday. Details of his injuries were unavailable. Doddy is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He has not entered a plea. Illinois State Police say the 36-year-old Doddy is a suspect in the late-June killing of 37-year-old co-worker Todd Hansmeier of Rockford and the July 1 death of 44-year-old Tonya Bargman of Monticello at an Interstate 39 rest stop. Illinois authorities plan to extradite Doddy.

-----------------------

Treasurer fires 3 administrators

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Associated Press has learned Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford fired three top administrators after an investigation by the treasurer's inspector general. Letters from Rutherford's office obtained by the AP indicate Patrick Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad were dismissed July 2. Each was dismissed for allegedly violating timekeeping policies and falsifying records. The letter to Carlson says he also violated rules against "workplace harassment." The treasurer's office has been under scrutiny since Rutherford's campaign for governor fizzled last winter after an ex-employee sued him for sexual harassment and allegedly forcing the staff member to do political work on government time. The Republican treasurer declined comment. A spokeswoman says the dismissals involve private personnel matters. Efforts to reach Carlson, Daglas and Lad were not immediately successful.

-------------------------

Oberweis Remains Optimistic About Chances For Senate

(Champaign, IL)  --  GOP nominee for U.S. Senate  Jim Oberweis says he's aware he has a lot of ground to cover in order to beat incumbent Senator Dick Durbin.  The state senator from Sugar Grove spoke Monday in front of the Champaign County Active Seniors Republicans.  Oberweis told the group that a recent poll had him eight points ahead of Durbin.  In spite of that, he says that there is plenty of room for improvements in raising campaign funds.

----------------------

Kirk: Proposal would hurt community colleges

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is criticizing proposed regulations that proponents argue will protect students who attend some colleges from amassing huge debts they can't pay off. The proposed Obama administration rules would penalize career-oriented programs that produce graduates without the training they need to find a job that will allow them to pay off their debts. The administration has long sought to block federal student aid from programs that don't prepare students for "gainful employment." But Kirk says the regulations would unfairly penalize community colleges and other institutions. And the Illinois Republican says they'd inadvertently harm poorer students who have struggled most economically. In a Monday statement, Kirk argues that institutions that would be most affected often offer good options to "traditionally underserved students."

--------------------------

Ill. housing agency sees record number of buyers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Housing Development Authority reports more than 4,500 home-buyers have reserved over $500 million in mortgage financing. Officials say that's a record in the agency's 30 years of mortgage lending. The agency says it is a success story that comes as experts recognize the importance of first-time home-buyers in pushing economic development. The Housing Development Authority uses unique ways to help. Officials say the agency offers 30-year fixed-rate loans, competitive interest rates and as much as $10,000 in down-payment assistance. A key program is the governor's Welcome Home Illinois. It offers $7,500 in down-payment assistance with an interest rate as low as 3.75 percent for a 30-year mortgage. The agency also offers special programs for veterans or those who choose to buy a vacant property.

---------------------

Surveys to gauge economic impact of Illinois fairs

MENDON, Ill. (AP) — The spending habits of hundreds of fairgoers in 15 Illinois counties are being sought this summer in an effort to gauge the economic impact of agricultural fairs.  The Quincy Herald-Whig reports 4-H Club members plan to survey people who attend the Adams County Fair later this month. Those surveys are part of a project carried out by the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs. Bill Fugate of the fair association says the results will be used to seek continued funding from state lawmakers. The project began in June at the Greene County Fair and continues through early September in DeKalb. Other counties where fair surveys will be conducted are Champaign, Clark, Fayette, Hamilton, Lake, Marshall, Mason, Massac, Mercer, Monroe, Richland and Whiteside.

-------------------

NATIONAL
Mom of baby abandoned in subway in custody

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police have found the mother suspected of abandoning a baby girl at a Manhattan subway station. Police say the 20-year-old woman is being questioned. She was found just after midnight near 72nd Street and Broadway. No charges have yet been filed. Police say the woman pushed the baby's stroller onto the platform when the northbound No. 1 train arrived at the Columbus Circle station. They say she then got back onto the train. Authorities say the baby, who's 6 to 7 months old, was examined at a hospital and shows no signs of trauma. She's now in the care of the Administration for Children's Services.

-----------------------------------

Donald Sterling ordered to testify at Clippers sale trial

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Donald Sterling has been ordered to appear this afternoon at a hearing in his challenge to his estranged wife's $2 billion deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. Sterling skipped yesterday's opening of the case in a Los Angeles courtroom, and instead, the first testimony came from a neurologist who said the 80-year-old has Alzheimer's disease.

--------------------------------

Addressing a humanitarian crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House officials say they still plan to pursue the speed up of the return of migrant children who've been coming to the U.S. illegally and alone. But for now, the White House will ask Congress for more than $2 billion to address the border crisis, including money for immigration judges, detention facilities and legal aid.

------------------------------

Obama to dine with woman helped by pay raise

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling attention to a Colorado woman who got a raise after Obama called for an increase in the minimum wage. Obama will have dinner in Denver today with a woman the White House is identifying only as Alex. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer says Alex's boss voluntarily raised her pay the day after Obama's January State of the Union address. That's when Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour. Pfeiffer says the raise allowed Alex to pay her rent and groceries without concern and says Alex wrote Obama to thank him. Obama has been meeting recently with Americans who personify economic challenges he's trying to address. He begins a three-day trip today to Colorado and Texas.

------------------------------------------------

Survey: Math, science grads earn top dollar

WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey by the Department of Education suggests it may matter less whether your alma mater is public or private than what you study — math and science in particular earning recent graduates the most money. The survey looked at the class of 2008 four years after they received their hard-earned bachelor's degrees during one of the nation's worst economic recessions. Overall, college grads reported lower unemployment rates compared to the national average at 6.7 percent. College grads from private four-year schools earned about the same as those from public four-year schools, about $50,000 a year. But while a paltry 16 percent of students took home degrees in science, technology, engineering or math, those who did averaged $65,000 a year compared to $49,500 of graduates of other degrees.

-----------------------

Washington poised to start legal marijuana sales

SEATTLE (AP) — The first retail marijuana stores will be allowed to open for business in Washington state this morning. Lines already are forming in front of the few stores that got last-minute approval to sell. The store openings are expected to be accompanied by celebration, but also high prices and shortages.

---------------------------------

NYPD: Drone came within 800 feet of chopper

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in New York have arrested two people for operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter. They say the Aviation Unit helicopter spotted the small unmanned aircraft near the bridge early this morning. The drone continued to circle the bridge, forcing the chopper to change course to avoid it. The chopper pilot notified the 34th Precinct in Washington Heights after observing the drone land on a parked vehicle. When police arrived, they recovered two drones with remote controls. Police arrested Wilkins Mendoza and Remy Castro, both of Manhattan, on reckless endangerment charges.

------------------------------

Police: Men grab $2,000 in soap, hygiene items

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. (AP) — Police are trying to figure out why three men walked into a CVS pharmacy in Atlanta's northern suburbs and stole $2,000 in soap and other personal care items. Authorities say the men were filmed by surveillance cameras as they carried out the July 1 heist at a store in Sandy Springs, just north of Atlanta. Sandy Springs police Sgt. Ron Momon tells WSB-TV the men walked into the store and casually grabbed the items, then walked out of the store past cashiers.

-----------------------------------------

Obama to hold border crisis meeting in Texas

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will discuss the crisis at the border with faith leaders and local officials in Texas Wednesday. The meeting comes as Obama faces pressure to visit the border while he's in Texas this week to raise money for Democratic congressional candidates. The White House has resisted the calls largely from Republicans to take a firsthand look at the tens of thousands of children arriving from Central America. Among those calling for Obama to visit the border is Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry. Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett sent Perry a letter inviting him to Wednesday's meeting in Dallas. Obama has called the situation at the border a "humanitarian crisis." The White House has warned that most of the children arriving at the border will not be allowed to stay in the U.S.

---------------------------------

Holder: Threat from Syria endangers Europe, US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on European nations to deal more aggressively with the threat posed by Westerners who have traveled to Syria to join the fighting there. In a speech before Norwegian diplomats, Holder is encouraging European countries to pass laws that make it illegal to plan an act of terrorism. He also suggests that law enforcement there conduct undercover operations against citizens planning to visit Syria. He says the situation in Syria represents a "global crisis" and that the region is a "cradle of violent extremism." The speech comes amid growing concerns about citizens from the United States and Europe who are traveling to Syria to join the fight against the Syrian government. U.S. officials fear those individuals could easily return home radicalized and apply terrorist training.

---------------------------

Man dies at South Dakota hot dog eating contest

CUSTER, S.D. (AP) — A Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in South Dakota turned tragic when a contestant choked to death. Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler tells the Rapid City Journal that 47-year-old Walter Eagle Tail, of Custer, died Thursday at a hospital after attempts to save him failed at the scene. The Custer Chamber of Commerce sponsored the contest. The group canceled a pie-eating contest scheduled for Friday. Chamber Executive Director Dave Ressler says the group is "at a loss for words." Speed-eating competitions are popular over the Fourth of July weekend. Eight-time champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut managed to eat 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes at the annual Coney Island contest on Friday, eight short of the record 69 he swallowed in the 2013 competition.

------------------------------------

Park: Tree Branch Triggered Partial Derailment Of Six Flags Coaster

(Valencia, CA)  --  Officials at California's Six Flags Magic Mountain say their "Ninja" roller coaster will remain closed while they conduct an investigation into a scary accident.  Nearly two-dozen people ended up stranded roughly 30 feet off the ground yesterday when the ride hit a tree branch and partially derailed.  Some of the 22 people who had to be rescued were stuck for nearly three hours.

-----------------

Judge Approves Aaron Hernandez Prison Transfer

(Boston, MA)  --  Former New England Patriots tight end and current murder suspect Aaron Hernandez is being allowed to switch jails.  Hernandez will be moved from a Bristol jail to a state jail near Boston.  That'll give him better access to his lawyers as he prepares for two murder trials.  Hernandez is accused of killing semi-pro player Odin Lloyd in one incident and shooting two other men outside a Boston nightclub in the other. 

----------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Israel army authorized to mobilize 40,000 troops

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli government has given the military permission to mobilize up to 40,000 additional reservists. Tuesday's decision came hours after Israel launched an offensive aimed at stopping weeks of heavy rocket fire out of Gaza. The Israeli military says it has struck nearly 100 sites in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to suppress rocket attacks against Israel. The violence comes following the abduction and murders of three Israeli teens and a Palestinian teen. The military said there were no immediate plans to call up the reservists, but the order was a contingency if the offensive needs to be expanded. Israeli officials say the open-ended operation could go on for some time.

---------------------------------

Afghan candidate says Obama, Kerry called him

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah says he received calls from President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after he refused to accept the preliminary result of the vote citing fraud. Abdullah told thousands of supporters at a gathering in Kabul Tuesday that Kerry will be flying to the Afghan capital this Friday for meetings to defuse the crisis. State Department officials accompanying Kerry in Beijing declined to comment on his travel plans. He told his supporters the results of the election were fraudulent but asked them to give him a few more days to negotiate. Abdullah says he will never "accept a fraudulent government." Preliminary results announced Monday showed that Ghani had about 4.5 million votes, or 56 percent, while Abdullah had 3.5 million votes, or 44 percent, according to the commission. Turnout was more than 50 percent.

------------------------------

Homeland Security Chief In Guatemala Over Migrant Kids

(Undated)  --  Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is visiting Guatemala today to meet with government officials about the flood of children trying to cross into the U.S.  Johnson will spend the next two days talking about what his office calls the ongoing government response to the influx of adults, families and unaccompanied children across the southwest border.

-----------------------

Four NATO Servicemen Killed In Afghanistan

(Kabul)  --  The Taliban is claiming responsibility for an attack that left at least four NATO soldiers dead in Afghanistan today.  The troops were investigating an earlier rocket attack when a suicide bomber on a bicycle blew himself up in a small eastern province village near the Bagram military base.  The service members and several civilians were killed.

----------------

SPORTS
MONDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Cincinnati 9, Chicago Cubs 3
Chicago White Sox 4, Boston 0
St. Louis 2, Pittsburgh 0

TUESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 12:10 p.m., 1st game
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m., 2nd game
Chicago White Sox at Boston, 6:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Windy City at Southern Illinois
Gateway at Rockford

----------------------------------

Cardinals pitcher Wacha not cleared to throw yet

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals say an MRI exam on right-hander Michael Wacha's injured shoulder showed progress, but not enough for him to resume throwing. General manager John Mozeliak said Monday that Wacha, the NL championship series MVP last fall, will be evaluated again in two weeks. He said continued treatment along with weight training to strengthen the area around the stress fracture was in the pitcher's best interests. Wacha has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 18. He's 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA for the defending National League champions. Mozeliak said Joe Kelly, on the DL since April 17 with a left hamstring strain, could return to the rotation Friday at Milwaukee.

-------------------------

Cardinals recall Lyons, option Gonzales

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals recalled left-hander Tyler Lyons from Triple-A Memphis and optioned fellow lefty Marco Gonzales to the minors, a day after he started against the Marlins. The 26-year-old Lyons was 0-3 with a 6.12 ERA in six appearances, including four starts, earlier this season. He went on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain on May 13 and has made three starts since being reinstated on June 19. The 22-year-old Gonzales made three starts for the Cardinals and was 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA, allowing one run in 4 2-3 innings Sunday while walking five. He was a first-round pick last year and is 5-4 with a 1.89 ERA in 13 starts at Class A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield, and is at the Triple-A level for the first time.

-----------------------

Blackhawks hire Jimmy Waite as goaltending coach

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have hired Jimmy Waite to coach their goaltenders. The hiring was announced on Monday. Waite replaces the fired Steve Weeks. nA former goalie, Waite appeared in 106 games with the Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Phoenix Coyotes from 1988 to 1999 and played professionally until 2010. He appeared in 58 games for Chicago over parts of eight seasons from 1988 to 1997. Waite spent the past three seasons as the goaltending coach for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He is the younger brother of former Blackhawks goaltending coach Stephane Waite.

----------------------------------

Illini out of home arena for some games in 2015-16

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois now says its arena renovation project will force its basketball teams to play somewhere other than the campus for a few games during the 2015-16 season. Senior Associate Athletic Director Jason Lener tells The News-Gazette in Champaign that the men's team will play one exhibition game and four nonconference games outside of the State Farm Center. The university looking for venues around the state. Lener declined to name possible locations. Sports information director Kent Brown says some women's games will be moved, too. Details haven't been finalized. The university is in the middle of a $160 million overhaul of the State Farm Center. Work is supposed to wrap up in late 2016 but the university had said the arena could host all home games.

--------------------------------

News for July 7, 2014

LOCAL
Mt. Vernon City Council Meets This Evening

Mt. Vernon City Council will continue with what has been a busy few weeks with a meeting tonight at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veterans Park.  A light agenda for the Council includes a presentation of journals from the June 9th City Council Workshop, June 16th Council meeting, and the June 23rd Joint City Council/Fire & Police Commission Workshop meeting as well as the appointment of George W. Beck to the Fire & Police Commission. The meeting is slated for 7 p.m.

---------------------------------

Explosion Destroys West Frankfort Home

(West Frankfort, IL)  --  West Frankfort police are investigating a house explosion that left a victim in serious condition.  The blast happened Sunday afternoon at the home on 808 East Clark Street.  The 20-year-old man that was injured was flown to Saint Louis with burns.  The house was destroyed and had to be demolished.

-------------------

Prison On Lockdown After Guards, Employees Attacked

(Chester, IL) -- Prisoners at the Illinois State Prison in Chester are on lockdown after five employees were attacked. Two food supervisors and three guards were sent to the hospital yesterday, some with broken bones. All five have since been released. At least three inmates were involved in the attack in the Menard Correctional Center's kitchen area. A spokesperson says this was not a case of a fight between inmates being broken up by guards but a direct attack on personnel.

---------------------------

St. Clair County trapping cats, may raze house

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Officials in St. Clair County want to demolish a house near Belleville that's become a neighborhood nuisance — as soon as they can capture dozens of feral cats living there. Building and Zoning Director Anne Markezich tells the Belleville News-Democrat that the elderly homeowner isn't living in the house anymore. Perhaps as many as 28 cats have been left behind. Markezich says the county's animal control department has been trapping the cats. She says authorities may seek a court order to tear down the house. Neighbors complain about the smell and swarms of flies. They're worried about potential health hazards. Next-door neighbor Jason Kelley tells the newspaper it's difficult to go into his own backyard on a hot day because of the stench coming from the property.

--------------------------

Lawmaker: Study of Illinois institutions biased


BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A lawmaker is dismissing a $400,000 state-funded study of Illinois' treatment of the developmentally disabled because he says a lead researcher is biased. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found overwhelming support for the closure of the Jacksonville Developmental Center by family members of former residents. The state wants to close the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia. Okawville Republican Rep. Charlie Meier opposes that closure. He questioned the UIC study because lead researcher Amie Lulinski also sits on the board of Arc of Illinois — which supports closing Murray. Arc announced in June that Lulinksi is joining the organization's national policy team. Tony Paulauski of Arc of Illinois says the research and its findings are solid.

------------------------

Public's help sought to identify grave markers


BETHALTO, Ill. (AP) — Police in a southwestern Illinois village are asking for the public's help in returning grave markers, monuments and statues to families of the deceased. The (Alton) Telegraph reports that the cemetery items were recovered after investigators in April arrested two brothers suspected of stealing them. Police say they have only been able to identify family ownership of 11 of the items, and 14 statues remain unidentified. Authorities say the suspects routinely traveled in Madison, Macoupin and Montgomery counties. Anyone whose relative's gravesite is missing a statue or marker is being asked to contact Bethalto police.

---------------------------

STATE
Dixon remembered for honesty, hard work


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' elected officials are mourning the death of former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon. Dixon's son says the 86-year-old Democrat died Sunday. Dixon was a popular state officeholder before serving in the U.S. Senate from 1981 to 1993.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Dixon was known for his honesty, hard work and commitment to Illinois. He says Dixon was the first statewide Democrat to voluntarily make a full disclosure of his financial holdings and started bipartisan Illinois congressional lunches. House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, says Dixon was a great leader and representative who "put the public's interests first." Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk calls Dixon a "dedicated public servant." Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says Dixon had a "patriot's determination" in doing what was best for Illinois and beyond.

------------------------

Rockford Murder Suspect Terence Doddy in Police Custody

BELOIT, IL -- Illinois State Police (ISP) confirmed today that the nationwide manhunt to locate Terence Doddy, 36, of Rockford, who is a suspect in the murders of Tonya Bargman, 44 of Monticello, and Todd Hansmeier, 37, of Rockford, has ended. Police apprehended Doddy at approximately 11:23 a.m. on July 4, as he appeared to head in the direction of Wisconsin. The sightings began on Wednesday night (July 3) at approximately 8:00 p.m., when Doddy was spotted by an off duty Winnebago County police officer near Machesney Park.  At approximately 11:00 a.m., on July 4, Doddy was spotted in Rockton after an ISP District 16 trooper observed the Gray Nissan matching the description of Tonya Bargman’s vehicle.  ISP Air Operations also observed the area and provided aerial support on sightings and locations.  Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the law enforcement alert (Rock Island County Sheriff’s, Beloit PD, Winnebago County Sheriff’s, & Rockford PD) in an attempt to apprehend Doddy.  Doddy finally lost control of the Nissan and ISP troopers immediately took him into custody with the assistance of Winnebago Sheriff’s and Beloit PD.  No other injuries were reported. Doddy remains in police custody in Wisconsin and a court date and charges are pending.

------------------------------

Storms hit some Illinois corn fields hard

JOY, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week that most of Illinois' corn crop is in great shape. But some farmers in western and central Illinois suffered extensive damage from storms on Monday. Ryan Mueller farms near Joy in western Illinois. He believes his crop suffered $60,000 to $70,000 worth of damage from winds well in excess of 60 mph. Monday's high winds and heavy rain hit western and central Illinois hard. But agronomist Joe Franks said some corn plants knocked over by the winds could stand back up and be fine. Agronomy consultant Larry Herrman said that by midweek that was starting to happen in some central Illinois fields.

------------------

Quinn signs Illinois boater safety regulations

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has approved several laws aimed at increasing boater safety on a holiday weekend that many Illinois residents are spending on lakes and rivers. The Chicago Democrat signed the three measures Saturday. They require safety courses, set down rules for towing people on water tubes and impose stricter DUI penalties. Beginning in 2016, residents born after Jan. 1, 1998, must hold a state safety license. The rules apply to those operating watercraft with more than 10 horsepower. Additionally, boaters towing a person must display a foot-long orange flag while the rider is in the water. And residents convicted of three boater-related DUI offenses or people operating a watercraft with revoked licenses could have their boats taken away.

-------------------------------

SCID now part of newborn screening in Illinois

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Illinois newborn babies are now being screened for a rare disease called severe combined immunodeficiency. The (Decatur) Herald and Review reported Sunday that Illinois is the 18th state to test for SCID. It is a rare disorder that causes white blood cells to develop improperly. Patients are susceptible to recurring infections and could develop pneumonia, meningitis or other complications. They can be treated with a stem-cell or bone-marrow transplant. Dr. Mohammed A. Khan is a pediatric hospitalist at Decatur Memorial Hospital. He says babies with SCID have ongoing infections which are often fatal by the time SCID is diagnosed. Newborns have blood drawn at least 24 hours after their first feeding and the state Department of Public Health tests the blood for a variety of diseases.

-------------------------

Renewable energy event next week in Normal

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs will host the Illinois Renewable Energy Conference later this week in Normal. The Illinois Biomass Working Group — coordinated by the institute at Western Illinois University — is hosting the conference at the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University. Dozens of speakers will address renewable energy policy, technology and examples of projects around the state. Breakout sessions will include talks on biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy. The event is open to the public. Registration is required. Officials say it will be of interest to energy companies, policymakers, local government officials, schools and universities, landowners, contractors, environmental groups and more.

---------------------------------

U of Ill. student starts veterans outdoor group

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois student and Iraq War veteran is organizing outdoor activities for fellow veterans, especially those with disabilities. The Champaign News-Gazette reported Saturday that Eric Swenson wants to unite fellow student veterans on the campus. His plans include taking those with disabilities on a pheasant hunt and competing in a softball league. He says it's hard for veterans to adjust to campus life because they're often in classes with younger students. The Army veteran is working with a local club to organize a free hunting trip that'll include a wheel-chair accessible cart. He's formed a team to compete in a softball league this fall. Swenson says the only problem so far is picking colors for a team that includes Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps members.

----------------------------

NATIONAL
Clippers sale hangs in balance as trial begins

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A trial begins in a Los Angeles court today to determine whether a $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers will go ahead. Testimony will focus on whether the estranged wife of team owner Donald Sterling had the authority under terms of a family trust to unilaterally negotiate a deal to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Sterling was banned from the NBA for life after he made racist remarks that were recorded. Sterling's wife Shelly had two doctors examine her 80-year-old husband and they declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers. The judge must find that Shelly Sterling acted in accordance with the trust and that the deal still applies, even though the trust has since been revoked by Donald Sterling.

-------------------------------------

First Marathon Bombing Trial Gets Underway

(Boston, MA)  --  The first trial connected to the Boston Marathon bombing opens today.  Azamat Tazhayakov is one of two friends charged with helping the accused bomber get rid of evidence.  Meanwhile, Dzhokar Tsarnaev is still awaiting trial.  He and his brother are accused of setting off a pair of pressure cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, leaving three people dead and more than 200 injured.   

----------------

US seeks better teachers for high-needs schools

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department is announcing a new initiative to attract quality teachers to the schools that need them most. It comes the same day President Barack Obama is scheduled to have lunch with teachers at the White House to discuss the issue. Education Department data show that black and American Indian students are four times as likely as their white peers to go to a school where more than 20 percent of teachers are in their first year. Latino students are three times as likely. The department says it will ask states to come up with new and comprehensive educator equity plans. It is also investing $4.2 million to start a new technical assistance network to help states and districts create and implement such plans.

------------------------------

Washington To License Marijuana Stores Today

(Undated)  --  Washington state's first recreational marijuana stores are getting legal today.  The state's Liquor Control Board will email a handful of licenses very early this morning to a group of lucky pot retailers.  The stores that land licenses will open for business first thing Tuesday morning.  Growers and processors will be busy today, packaging weed for delivery on Tuesday.  

-------------------

AP-GfK Poll: Most still align with Dems or GOP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Whether it's the Republicans or the Democrats, American political parties are far from beloved. Yet most people continue to align with one or the other. Those who claim allegiance to the parties say they are driven by a mix of inertia, preference for one side's policies over the other and feeling that one can depart from the party line when necessary. That's according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. Despite heated politics, few say they prefer one party out of dislike for the other. But affiliation doesn't always equal admiration: One-quarter of Republicans and 13 percent of Democrats say they dislike their own party.

--------------------------------------

Northern California wildfire challenges crews

WINTERS, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire that began Friday in Northern California's Yolo County has burned about 10 square miles and is only 30 percent contained. Fire officials say rugged terrain, shifting winds and hot, dry conditions have made it tough to battle the Monticello Fire, and they say there's still "a potential for extreme growth." Some firefighters battling another wildfire northwest of Lake Berryessa have been sent to fight the Monticello Fire, now that the other blaze is 85 percent contained after burning nearly 7 square miles.

----------------------------

2 men die in Idaho river trying to save boy, 8

MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (AP) — Authorities say an 8-year-old boy's dad and his uncle are dead after they jumped into Idaho's Snake River to rescue him after he fell in. The Elmore County Sheriff's office says the three were fishing Sunday afternoon in southwest Idaho when the men went in after the boy and were swept away by the current. A 23-year-old man also jumped into the river and was able to rescue the boy. But witnesses told deputies that the two men both disappeared under the surface before anyone could reach them. The department says divers pulled them from the water, but they were pronounced dead. They were identified as 37-year-old Jose Jorge Barroso-Alfaro and 35-year-old Martin Barroso-Alfaro.

---------------------

U.S. Lawmaker: Obama One Step Behind On Immigration

(Laredo, TX)  --  At least one House Democrat says President Obama's immigration policy is one step behind.  Henry Cuellar of Texas told CNN's "State of the Union" the administration should have been ready for the surge of immigrants.  Cuellar also said that last month, nearly 50-thousand undocumented immigrants tried crossing into Texas.  Nearly ten-thousand of them were unaccompanied children.  Late last week, Obama asked Congress to approve two-billion dollars' worth of border-control funds.

-----------------

2 men sentenced in Detroit attack on motorist

DETROIT (AP) — One man has been sentenced to prison and a second must serve probation for a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist. Wonzey Saffold and Bruce Wimbush pleaded guilty to assault in exchange for having attempted murder charges dropped. Saffold was sentenced Monday in Wayne County Court to serve six years and four months to 10 years in prison. Wimbush was sentenced to three years' probation. They were among five people who pleaded guilty in the attack. Steve Utash, a tree trimmer from Macomb County, was severely beaten after he got out of his pickup to check on a 10-year-old boy who had darted in front of him in Detroit. Utash spent several days in a coma after the April 2 attack. Two more defendants will be sentenced Thursday.

----------------------------

Man arrested with knife in shoe at Detroit airport

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say an airline passenger has been arrested in Michigan after being found with a knife concealed inside the bottom lining of one of his shoes. The Transportation Security Administration says the knife was found Sunday morning during security screening at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus. The TSA says airport police responded, took possession of the knife and arrested the passenger. His name wasn't immediately released. The TSA says the knife should have been placed in checked luggage.

---------------------------------

Fireworks shoot into playpen, burn Ohio infant

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — A 4-month-old in a playpen on her Ohio porch was critically injured when a neighbor's fireworks landed on her. A witness told police a 10-year-old neighbor of the Youngstown baby kicked over a lit tubular firework, which shot into the playpen, burning Aubree McCormick. The baby was flown to the burn unit at Akron Children's Hospital following the late Friday night accident. The child's grandmother, Carol McCormick, injured her fingers rescuing the baby. She tells WFMJ-TV in Youngstown the child's entire face is burned. A spokeswoman at Akron Children's Hospital confirmed the hospital was treating the baby Monday, but said her condition wasn't immediately available. Police are investigating.

------------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Pope to sex abuse victims: I beg your forgiveness

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has begged forgiveness from the victims of clergy sex abuse in his first meeting with several abuse survivors. The Vatican quoted Francis as expressing "sorrow" in his homily at a private Mass with six victims Monday for the "sins and grave crimes" of clerical sex abuse against them. Added the pope: "I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately" to sex abuse reports.

-----------------------------------

Suspects confess to killing Palestinian teen

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli official says three suspects in the vigilante-style killing of a Palestinian teenager have confessed to the crime. The official says the suspects on Monday were re-enacting the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir for authorities. The 16-year-old Palestinian was abducted near his home last week, and his charred remains were found in a Jerusalem forest. Israel on Sunday announced the arrests of six Jewish males in Abu Khdeir's death. Their identities have not been released, and the official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing. Abu Khdeir's death triggered several days of violent protests in Arab areas of Jerusalem and northern Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Monday he called Abu Khdeir's father to express his condolences.

---------------------------

Afghan officials: Ahmadzai leads in early results

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's election commission says that former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has the lead in preliminary results from a disputed presidential runoff vote. Ahmadzai's rival Abdullah Abdullah has alleged the vote was marred by massive fraud and says he won't accept any results until an investigation into the allegations is completed. In a news conference, commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani said that Ahmadzai took 56.44 percent of the vote, while rival Abdullah Abdullah was behind with 43.56 percent.

------------------------------

63 abducted women and girls escape extremists in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Dozens of Nigerian girls who were abducted by an Islamic extremist group in Nigeria two weeks ago have managed to escape. But more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by the same group in April are still missing. Officials say the girls who have escaped from Boko Haram were abducted from three villages in the northeastern state of Borno on June 22. Nigerian security forces and federal government officials had been denying that the abductions even took place. Local government officials in the northeast say 63 women and girls escaped Thursday and Friday while their captors were engaged in battle with Nigerian soldiers.

----------------------------

Jet disaster averted in Barcelona near-miss

MADRID (AP) — A passenger jetliner preparing to leave Barcelona's El Prat airport taxied across a runway where another was about to land, forcing the arriving plane to abort its landing and climb sharply to avoid a possible disaster. Amateur video footage filmed Saturday showed the Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus 340 crossing the runway just as the aircraft from Russian airline Utair was making its final approach. Spanish airport authority AENA said Monday the Russian plane, which officials described only as a Boeing, circled back and landed safely. None of the passengers on either plane was hurt. AENA said it has opened an investigation into what happened. It had no details on how close the planes were at the time of the incident.

--------------------------------

UK to investigate claims to child abuse cover-up

LONDON (AP) — British officials are promising to investigate whether the government and other institutions in the 1980s and 90s covered up child abuse by politicians and others in positions of power. Home Secretary Theresa May is due to announce details of the inquiry Monday. It follows allegations that abuse claims that were handed to authorities were lost or destroyed to protect wrongdoers. Prime Minister David Cameron said investigators would leave "no stone unturned to find out the truth about what happened." Britain has been wrestling with its collective conscience in the wake of revelations that several well-known figures used their positions to get away with abuse for years. Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris was sentenced to almost six years in prison last week after being convicted of 12 counts of abusing girls.

-----------------------------------

SPORTS
SATURDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Miami 6, St. Louis 5
Washington 13, Chicago Cubs 0
Seattle 3, Chicago White Sox 2 (14 innings)

Frontier League

Joliet 5, Evansville 4
Southern Illinois 4, Rockford 3
River City 3, Gateway 1

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Washington 2, Chicago Cubs 1
Chicago White Sox 1, Seattle 0
Miami 8, St. Louis 4

Frontier League

Evansville 7, Joliet 1
Rockford 1, Southern Illinois 0

MONDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, 6:10 p.m.
Chicago White Sox at Boston, 6:10 p.m.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 6:19 p.m.)

-------------------------------

IHSA Gears Up For Second Hearing

(Bloomington, IL)  --  IHSA officials are gearing up for another round of questioning from lawmakers about how they run their agency.  But, Executive Director Marty Hickman says they won't get a chance to have any of their witnesses testify. Hickman sat on the hot seat for hours fielding questions at the last hearing back in May, and by the time it wrapped, it still wasn't clear exactly what lawmakers were fishing for.  State reps were originally talking about taking over the agency, and putting all of the high school sporting events under the state's watch.  But they've seemed to back off of that plan.  The next hearing is being held in Chicago tomorrow.  Hickman says they've been told that none of their witnesses will be allowed to speak.

------------------------------------

Cardinals recall Wong, option Robinson to minors

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have activated rookie second baseman Kolten Wong from the 15-day disabled list and he was batting seventh against the Miami Marlins. Wong was 5 for 11 with a home run and three RBIs in three rehab games at Triple-A Memphis. Entering Sunday's game, he was batting .228 with a homer and 16 RBIs this season. Outfielder Shane Robinson was optioned to Memphis. He appeared in eight games since being recalled on June 22 with one start and was batting .140 overall with three RBIs in 31 games.

---------------------------

Trade costs Samardzija chance for All-Star outing

NEW YORK (AP) — The trade that put Jeff Samardzija on a postseason contender cost him a chance to pitch in his first All-Star game. A day after Samardzija was dealt from the Chicago Cubs to Oakland, he was picked Sunday for the game at Target Field in Minnesota on July 15. Samardzija was selected as an NL All-Star, but Major League Baseball said he is ineligible to play because of the league switch. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, playing his 20th and final season, was selected for his 14th All-Star team and will start for the ninth time. Samardzija made his American League debut Sunday and won, pitching the A's past Toronto 4-2.

------------------------------------

One more All-Star game for Jeter

UNDATED (AP) — Derek Jeter will make one final trip to the All-Star game. The New York Yankees shortstop has been voted to the starting lineup for the July 15 game at Minnesota. Jeter is hitting .273 with 23 RBIs in his 20th and final major league season. Joining Jeter in the American League's starting lineup are Orioles outfielder Adam Jones and Baltimore designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista was the leading vote-getter for the second time in four years and will play alongside Jones and Mike Trout of the Angels. Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera fill out the AL infield. Baltimore's Matt Wieters was voted the starting catcher but can't play due to injury. The National League starting lineup includes two Brewers, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and outfielder Carlos Gomez. The rest of the NL starters are Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

-----------------------------

News for July 4, 2014

LOCAL
Charges mount against teacher in videotaping case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois math teacher already accused of videotaping girls in a high school locker room and motel bathroom now faces federal charges. Federal prosecutors have charged 43-year-old Timothy Going of Fairfield with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. St. Clair prosecutors charged Going last month 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 already was charged 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. Going is suspended with pay. Messages left Thursday with his attorney weren't returned.

-----------------------------

Man convicted of New Baden man's murder sentenced

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man convicted of the 2008 shooting death of a New Baden man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. Lortez D. Thomas of Washington Park was found guilty in May in the death of 47-year-old Eric Mollet. However, the St. Clair County jury acquitted Thomas of raping two female witnesses. The 35-year-old Thomas maintained his innocence during Thursday's sentencing hearing. He offered condolences to members of Mollet's family, adding he "didn't do this." However, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Jan Fiss dismissed Thomas' comments, calling the murder of Mollet "cold-blooded" and "despicable." Prosecutors say Mollet was shot to death in Thomas' home after becoming involved in a fight with Thomas and two other men. Mollet's body was hidden in a vacant house that was set afire.

-------------------------

Illinois man admits causing deadly crash into home

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man faces up to 14 years in prison now that he's admitted in court that he was driving drunk when his sport utility vehicle hit a house, killing a widower inside. The (Alton) Telegraph reports 26-year-old Jacob Fickle of Godfrey pleaded guilty Wednesday in Madison County to a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing death. Prosecutors dropped four other counts, along with 10 unrelated felony theft charges. Investigators say Fickle caused a disturbance in January 2013 at a Godfrey home and fled in a relative's GMC Yukon after authorities were called. The SUV then crashed into Marlin Bushnell's home, fatally pinning 73-year-old Bushnell under the wreckage. Fickle then ran from the scene before being arrested a short time later outside a tavern.

-----------------------------

Bus Passenger Charged After Assaulting The Driver

(Carterville, IL)  --  A Marion man is being held on 50-thousand-dollars bond after he attacked a bus driver with a pen.  Police charged 56-year-old Arthur Wilkins on Wednesday with aggravated battery.  Detectives say the suspect assaulted a Rides Mass Transit driver while the bus was traveling along Campground Road in Carterville.  The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

----------------

Southwestern Ill. nurse faces drug, neglect counts

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois nurse is being accused of more drug offenses and faces new charges that she neglected disabled patients at a long-term care site. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 40-year-old Nicole Banuelos of Mascoutah now faces 13 counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and two counts of neglect of a person with a disability. The neglect counts allege that Banuelos failed to feed a patient and didn't give medication to another patient on March 21. Authorities have not said where Banuelos was working at the time. The drug counts allege that Banuelos illegally acquired various prescription medications in March and November. Calls to the office of Banuelos' attorney, Stephanie Santelli Guzy, went unanswered Thursday morning.

------------------------

Guilty Plea In SUV Crash That Killed Man Inside Home

(Godfrey, IL) -- A man who drove an SUV into a Godfrey home and killed a man inside could spend up to 14 years in prison. Jacob Fickle admitted to driving under the influence when entering a guilty plea yesterday in Madison County. In January of last year, Fickle missed a turn while driving away from a relative's house down the block. The vehicle hit the home of Marlin Bushnell, pinning him beneath wreckage and killing him.

-----------------------

Route 51 Near Ashley See Road Construction Next Week

There will be a road closure beginning Monday.  The Illinois Department of Transportation reminds motorists that U.S. Highway 51, near Ashley, will be closed for 3 days, beginning at 8 AM on Monday and should open sometime late Wednesday.  Just like in Nashville earlier this week, Evansville Western Railroad will be rebuilding the railroad crossing.  A marked detour will guide motorists through the area, but try to avoid the area and seek an alternative route.  If you are in the area, watch for workers and other motorists.

-----------------------

Five Staff Members Attacked At Menard

Five staff members at Menard Correctional Center were attacked by several inmates on Thursday, according to The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.  Ty Peterson, staff representative for AFSCME, said the attack happened at 2:40 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 in the dietary department. According to Petersen, two food supervisors, two correctional officers and one sergeant were all hurt and taken to outside hospitals. Peterson said the injuries are not serious, but some of those injured may have fractured or broken bones. He noted the incident was not the result of an inmate on inmate attack that they were breaking up, but was a direct attack on the employees. The attack comes just days after an inmate at Shawnee Correctional Center in Vienna attacked a guard, leaving him with a broken jaw and more than a dozen stitches. That inmate, who had a history of staff assaults, was transferred after the attack to Menard.

----------------------------------------

STATE
Patronage critic dismisses Quinn's IDOT moves

CHICAGO (AP) — A campaigner against political clout in government hiring says he has little confidence in new efforts by Gov. Pat Quinn to clean up how jobs are awarded at Illinois' transportation agency. Michael Shakman responded Thursday to Quinn ordering a moratorium on political hiring at the agency and an outside audit of past hires. Quinn also is requiring staff in every state agency to undergo training about proper hiring practices. The Chicago Democrat's actions come days after the resignation of his transportation secretary amid questions about whether state jobs were improperly filled. Shakman has asked a federal court to appoint an outside monitor for IDOT hiring. He says the history of government agencies fixing their own patronage problems is dismal, and that Quinn promising to fix IDOT's problems isn't reassuring.

----------------------------

Quinn signs Ill. military support expansion plan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has approved an expansion of a program that assists military families in Illinois during conflicts or wars. The Chicago Democrat on Thursday signed the measure to include future military conflicts — not just those arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The 2003 program was designed because military families were taking a salary cut after National Guard members and reservists were deployed. It provides funds to pay for groceries, rent or utility bills. It has doled out about $15.4 million to support almost 29,000 families. An income tax check-off allows residents to donate to the fund. Quinn says Illinois' military members shouldn't have to worry their families are struggling financially back home during service.

--------------------------------

Illinois health officials share picnic safety tips

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois health officials have some food safety tips ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend for those planning to picnic. Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck issued some reminders Wednesday. Among the ideas:
—Temperature is the key to avoiding foodborne illness, so keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
—Wash your hands and keep surfaces clean.
—Make sure all meat and poultry are properly cooked.
—Use a clean plate and utensils when taking food off the grill.
—Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and if there's any doubt, throw it out.
—Symptoms of food poisoning can begin from 30 minutes to three or more days after eating tainted food. If symptoms are severe or last longer than two days, contact a doctor or health care provider.

--------------------------------

Leave Fireworks To The Pros

(Undated)  --  The state fire marshal is urging people to let the pros light off the fireworks this holiday.  Larry Matkaitis says it's illegal for people to set off most fireworks in Illinois, and even those that are allowed can be very dangerous.  He says things like sparklers can cause serious injuries but the ones that are most dangerous are firecrackers and bottle rockets. And it's not just kids who are being injured, teenagers and adults are among those who suffer most during the holiday. 

---------------------

'Drive Sober' campaign returns for July 4th

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois and federal officials are teaming up to enforce safe driving this holiday weekend. The Illinois State Police, Secretary of State Police and more than 320 local law enforcement agencies are joining with the state Department of Transportation to crack down on drunk drivers. The campaign features the theme "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and "Click It or Ticket" to encourage mandatory safety belt use. Also participating are officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The effort is intended to reduce crashes on Illinois roads during a key summer travel time. Provisional IDOT data show 392 people have died in crashes through July 1 compared to 477 during the same time in 2013.

---------------------------

White Urges Motorists to Celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday Weekend Safely

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminded motorists who are celebrating our country’s independence to be sure to drive safely by not drinking and driving this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  “Drunk driving results in death and injury on our roadways every year,” White said.  “Let’s keep the roads safe by making sure our drivers are sober.” In 2013, 33 percent of the fatalities, six out of 18 deaths, were alcohol-related during the 4th of July holiday in Illinois.  In 2012, 50 percent of the fatalities, two out of four deaths, were alcohol-related.  Eighty-six percent of all drivers arrested for DUI that year were first offenders. According to the National Highway Transportation Administration an average of one alcohol-related fatality occurs every 53 minutes. A DUI conviction can cost the driver more than $16,000 in legal fees, court costs and insurance. Secretary of State Police will be conducting DUI patrols during the holiday weekend, said White. White suggests those participating in celebrations involving alcohol take public transportation, a cab, or designate a sober driver.  White also reminds drivers to use safety belts.

--------------------------------------

Secretary of State Offices Closed Friday for Independence Day

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all Driver Services facilities and offices will be closed Friday, July 4, 2014, in observance of Independence Day. Driver Services facilities that are normally open Tuesday through Saturday will reopen for regular business on Saturday, July 5, 2014. All Monday through Friday Driver Services facilities will reopen for regular business on Monday, July 7, 2014. Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, www.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 by mail.

------------------------------------

NATIONAL
Arthur leaves some without electricity

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (AP) — Hurricane Arthur is moving offshore and away from North Carolina's Outer Banks after slashing into the state's barrier islands overnight. Arthur strengthened to a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 mph last night before passing over the southern end of the Outer Banks. The storm is moving northeast after turning slightly west late yesterday, which increases the threat to mainland communities of flooding, tornadoes and intense winds. Duke Energy says as many as 22,000 customers across the Carolinas may be without power. Arthur is expected to weaken as it travels northward, dumping rain along the East Coast. That's changed the July 4th plans of many communities. Fireworks shows in New Jersey and Maine are postponed until later in the weekend.

-------------------------------

Dust storm hits Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix is brushing itself off after the first dust storm of the summer blasted strong and blinding winds that forced the cancellation of holiday plans, knocked out power to thousands and grounded numerous flights. The storm was the first of the yearly monsoon season and brought localized heavy rains.

------------------------------

Obama on Fourth: Rights, equality fuel US success

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the U.S. has only succeeded because generations of Americans have fought to expand rights and opportunity to more people. Obama is reflecting on the meaning of the Fourth of July in his weekly radio and Internet address. He says there's no nation on earth that wouldn't trade places with the United States. Obama says the Founding Fathers were united by a belief that all are created equal and have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He says America's success has been made possible because Americans never took those truths for granted. In the Republican address, Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack says Washington has been denying Americans the chance to seize their economic destiny. He says Republicans are working to restore opportunity.

-----------------------------------

California wildfires burn homes, threaten more

JULIAN, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire in San Diego County is 15 percent contained and evacuations have been canceled. But the blaze destroyed two homes and is still a threat to others. The Fourth of July parade and celebration in the historic gold-mining town of Julian had to be called off. A fire in Napa also continues to burn, but away from the famed vineyards.

------------------------------

Obama to preside over citizenship ceremony

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama makes a pitch for immigration overhaul today when he presides over an Independence Day citizenship ceremony for members of the military who signed up to serve even though they weren't U.S. citizens. Twenty-five active-duty service members will take the oath of allegiance at a White House ceremony. Obama has been blaming House Republicans for delaying action on immigration overhaul.

-------------------------------

Another planned protest in Murrieta

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Protesters in Murrieta, California plan another demonstration today, when a convoy of buses with immigrants in the U.S. illegally is expected to arrive. Flag-waving protesters forced busloads of migrants to leave Murrieta earlier this week, and they had to be processed elsewhere. Thousands of children and families have arrived on the Texas border in recent months fleeing violence and extortion from criminal gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

----------------------------------------------------

McDaniel: Heading to court in contested election

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican who lost a primary runoff election to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran says he plans to challenge the results in court "any day now." Chris McDaniel says he believes there were thousands of irregularities. In an interview with CNN Friday, McDaniel said what matters is that fraud be uncovered where it exists and many Mississippi residents are "very angry" because they think their votes in the June 24 primary were nullified by fraud. McDaniel says his campaign found at least 5,000 irregularities in voting. He says most involved people who apparently voted in the June 3 Democratic primary and the Republican runoff. Mississippi does not register voters by party, but state law bans a person from voting in one party's primary and another party's runoff in the same cycle.

--------------------------------

Billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife dies at 82

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The billionaire Mellon banking heir who published the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and funded libertarian and conservative political causes — including a one-time effort to discredit President Bill Clinton — has died. Richard Mellon Scaife was 82. The Tribune-Review newspaper reported that he died at his home early Friday, one day after his birthday. Scaife's death comes less than two months after writing a story in his newspaper announcing he had inoperable cancer. In 2013, Forbes estimated Scaife's wealth at $1.4 billion. Although Scaife vilified Clinton during much of his presidency, Scaife later told Vanity Fair magazine that he had lunch with the former president and "never met such a charismatic man" in his life. Scaife eventually donated $100,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative.

--------------------------------------

Donald Sterling Wants L.A. Clippers Trial Moved To Federal Court

(Undated)  --  Donald Sterling's attorneys are trying to delay a trial over the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.  The trial in probate court is scheduled to begin on Monday, but Sterling's legal team filed papers yesterday asking to move it to federal court.  Monday's trial is to decide whether Donald Sterling's estranged wife Shelly had legal authority to sell the NBA team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  Shelly and Donald Sterling are equal partners in the trust that owns the team.  Shelly Sterling sold the team to Ballmer for two-billion dollars after the NBA banned Donald Sterling for making racist comments, and doctors declared him mentally incapacitated.  

------------------

Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" Speech 75th Anniversary

(Undated)  --  Today is the 75th anniversary of the day Lou Gehrig [[ GEHR-ig ]] broke America's heart.  The New York Yankees first basemen made his final public appearance on July 4th, 1939 with a speech at Yankee Stadium.  Gehrig ended his remarks by telling the thousands in the stadium and millions listening on the radio, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."  The Hall of Famer died less than two years later.  He was 37 years old.

------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Ukraine: Forces control most of 2 separatist areas

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A top Ukrainian security official says government troops have cleared more than a dozen towns of armed pro-Russia separatists and now control two-thirds of the eastern regions at the center of the insurgency. National security council secretary Andriy Parubiy said Friday that Ukrainian forces are still attacking rebel positions with artillery and planes. He said 17 villages had been secured by government forces since a unilateral cease fire expired Monday. He said Ukrainian forces now control 23 of 36 local regions within Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, two regions along the Russian border that have declared independence from the government in Kiev. The rebels are still fighting back. Rebels shelled the Donetsk airport overnight and an AP reporter said a radar or communications tower there was still burning in the morning.

-----------------------------

Putin tells Obama he wants better relations

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has told Barack Obama in an Independence Day message that he hopes the countries can improve relations. In a statement on the Kremlin website, Putin says, "regardless of difficulties and disagreements" he hopes that Russia and the U.S. could "successfully develop relations on pragmatic and equal grounds." Relations between Russia and the U.S. have deteriorated as the two countries have struggled to find common ground in Ukraine, where Russia annexed the Black Sea region of Crimea in March and a conflict in the east of the country has claimed over 400 lives. The United States reacted by imposing sanctions on some of Putin's associates, and has threatened to take further action.

-------------------------------------

India nurses stranded in Iraq to fly home Saturday

NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian official says dozens of Indian nurses who have been stranded in northern Iraq are safe and will be flown back to India on Saturday. The chief minister of Kerala state, Oommen Chandy, said Friday that the nurses will return home on a special aircraft arranged by the Indian government. They are expected to arrive in the southern city of Kochi. The 46 nurses had been stranded for more than a week in Tikrit, where militants from the leading Islamic militant group fighting in Iraq have taken over. Chandy gave few other details.

------------------------------------

Police: Mom kills kindergarten teacher in class

PARIS (AP) — Police say the mother of a pupil at a French pre-school has stabbed a teacher to death in front of her class of 5 and 6-year-olds on the last day of the school year. French President Francois Hollande is expressing outrage at what he calls "this abominable drama" and has sent the education minister to the school in Albi in southern France. A police official in Albi says the mother attacked the teacher this morning at the pre-school. Police have not commented on possible motives for the attack.

----------------------------------------

Report: German intel worker suspected of US spying

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman says she has been informed of the arrest of a German man who, according to media reports, is an intelligence service employee accused of spying for the U.S. German federal prosecutors said a 31-year-old German man was arrested Wednesday, suspected of spying for foreign intelligence services. They did not identify the suspect or the intelligence services. Der Spiegel magazine and the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday, without naming sources, that the man worked for the Federal Intelligence Service and is accused of spying for the U.S. Alleged National Security Agency surveillance, including of Merkel's cellphone, has troubled relations. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the chancellor was informed of the case Thursday but wouldn't comment on the country involved. Merkel spoke with President Barack Obama late Thursday.

------------------------------

SPORTS
THURSDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

St. Louis 7, San Francisco 2

Frontier League

Florence 6, Gateway 1
Evansville 5, Frontier 4
Washington 7, Southern Illinois 1

FRIDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Washington, 10:05 a.m.
Seattle at Chicago White Sox, 6:10 p.m.
Miami at St. Louis, 6:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 5:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Rockford at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Joliet
River City at Gateway

SATURDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Washington, 3:05 p.m.
Seattle at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Miami at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Rockford at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Joliet
River City at Gateway

SUNDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Washington, 12:35 p.m.
Seattle at Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
Miami at St. Louis, 1:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 12:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Rockford at Southern Illinois
Evansville at Joliet

-----------------------------

Wrigley Rooftop Owners Extend Olive Branch

(Chicago, IL) -- There are no do-overs in baseball, but the owners of rooftop clubs surrounding Wrigley Field want the Chicago Cubs to rewind their renovation plans. The rooftop owners say they will not sue the team for violating the agreement allowing them access to their views of the field if the team scales back to just the two new advertising signs originally proposed. The Cubs are now seeking approval for seven outfield signs, many of which would block the sight-lines from the rooftops.

---------------------

Kelly To Return After Break

(San Francisco, CA)  --  Joe Kelly will toe the rubber two more times in the minors before returning to the Cardinals rotation.  The righty is expected to return after the All-Star break.  Kelly is expected to throw about 70 pitches in his next minor league start and around 85 in his final outing.  The 26-year-old posted a 0.59 earned run average in three starts before hitting the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

-----------------------------

News for July 3, 2014

LOCAL
SIU postpones naming acting Carbondale chancellor

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University is delaying the naming of a new interim chancellor for its Carbondale campus until next week. The SIU Board of Trustees' executive committee was to decide that matter during a special meeting Wednesday in Carbondale. But that has been rescheduled for next Tuesday, and the only agenda item is to appoint a temporary replacement for Rita Cheng. A process for searching for Cheng's permanent successor will be sorted out after an SIU board meeting later this month.

-----------------------------

Ultra-light plane crashes in southwestern Ill.

PIERRON, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a pilot escaped serious injury when he crashed his ultra-light plane in a southwestern Illinois community's park near where Little League games were being played. Highland police say the single-seat plane went down shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in Pierron, east of St. Louis. Authorities say the pilot sustained minor injuries and walked away from the wreck. He was treated at a hospital. His name has not yet been released.

-------------------------

St. Clair County Women Plead Guilty To Theft Of Government Social Security Benefits

Stephen R, Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on July 1, 2014, Tara Star Johndrow, 30, of Belleville, Illinois, and Amber Dawn Adams, 34, of Fayetteville, Illinois, each pled guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds. Sentencing for Johndrow is scheduled for October 9, 2014, and sentencing for Adams is scheduled for October 17, 2014. Both sentencings will take place in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.  Adams and Johndrow were indicted separately on April 23, 2014, on charges of Theft of Government Funds, which carry potential penalties of up to 10 years in prison, fines of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release to follow any period of incarceration. The indictment against Adams alleges that between March of 2008 and August of 2012, she falsely claimed and received more than $9,000 in Title II – Survivor Benefits that were intended for the benefit of her child, when the child did not live her and she did not support the child during the time frame alleged in the indictment. The indictment against Johndrow alleges that between August of 2010 and August of 2012, she received $14,500 in Supplemental Social Security Payments from the Social Security Administration, when she falsely claimed to the government agency that she did not work during the time frame alleged. The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, and the cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.

---------------------------

Area Communities Set For Fireworks Displays

Many communities around the area will be celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks and celebrations this weekend. Benton will have a July 4th celebration at the Rend Lake Dam and Visitor's Center starting at 4 p.m. with lots of different events going on for you to enjoy. Fireworks will get underway at 9:30 p.m. West Frankfort will do fireworks at dusk Friday at the Frankfort Community Park. If it rains, fireworks will be moved to Saturday. Christopher will shoot off its fireworks at dusk Friday in Dennison Park. Marion will also do fireworks at dusk Friday at the Knights of Columbus Hall. If it rains, it will be held Saturday. Mt. Vernon is set do fireworks Friday at dusk at the airport.

--------------------------

Belleville Teens Arrested For Allegedly Shooting Deputy's Car Window

(Belleville, IL)  --  Two teenagers in Belleville are in trouble for allegedly shooting at cars with a BB gun, including a deputy's cruiser.  A driver, whose window was blown out by a BB around 3:00 yesterday morning, had pulled over when a St. Clair County Sheriff's deputy stopped to help.  His window was then destroyed and officers combed the area for the suspects.  Neighbors helped officers find the two boys.

--------------------------

Reward Offered In Bike Trail Assault Investigation

(Edwardsville, IL) -- Investigators are now offering a five-thousand-dollar reward for help in the search for a man who attacked a woman riding her bike in Edwardsville. A week ago, the woman told officers the man called for help while she was riding on a trail near Chancellor Drive, then pulled her to the ground when she got off her bike. She got away with only a few scrapes.

-------------------------

ESL Coach Facing Drug Charges

(East St. Louis, IL)  --  A Metro East baseball coach is facing serious drug charges.  KSDK-TV reports East St. Louis High School Coach Maurice Scott Jr. was charged Wednesday with possession of a controlled substance.  Authorities say he was caught having less than 15 grams of cocaine.  The investigation into the 52-year-old Scott reportedly began back in March.

----------------

Centralia Man Charged With Aggravated Battery In Domestic Dispute

A 35-year-old Centralia man has been charged in Marion County with battery to a 5-year-old boy and the child's pregnant mother. According to police, Charles Crawford first threw the mother to the ground. She then locked herself in the bathroom to get away from Crawford, but he reportedly was able to break into the bathroom and continue the attack. At that time, she told her 5-year-old son to run to the neighbor's house and call police, but Crawford allegedly threw the boy to the ground, started to choke the child and pinned him to the stairs. Crawford was charged Wednesday with Class 3 Felony aggravated battery to a child under the age of 13, as well as aggravated battery of a pregnant or handicapped person. Bail was set at $25,000, with Crawford ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims if he is released. He remains in the Marion County Jail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 22.

------------------------

Vandalia Man Charged In Heroin Induced Death of Effingham Man

A 32-year-old Vandalia man has been charged in Effingham County Court with Class X Felony homicide in connection with the January overdose death of a 31-year-old Altamont man. Richard D. Marshke was charged with drug induced homicide for allegedly providing Jordan Kull with the heroin on which Kull later overdosed. State's Attorney Bryan Kibler says charges were filed against Marshke after toxicology tests determined Kull died of a heroin overdose. Kibler says additional charges against Marshke are possible. Bail for Marshke has been set at $1 million, with a first appearance in court scheduled for today.

-------------------------

STATE
Man sought in killing at Illinois rest stop

PAW PAW, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State Police say they are looking for a man who they believe killed an eastern Illinois woman at a highway rest stop on Interstate 39. Police said in a news release that 44-year-old Tonya D. Bargman of Monticello was found at the Willow Creek rest stop on I-39 in northern Illinois about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Surveillance video showed a man attacking her as she left a restroom at the rest stop. The rest stop is just outside the small town of Paw Paw and about 40 miles south of Rockford. Monticello is 20 miles west of Champaign. Police believe the attacker may be driving Bargman's gray 2013 Nissan Altima.

---------------------------

Ill. transportation director, top Quinn aide out

CHICAGO (AP) — A deputy director of the Illinois Department of Transportation has resigned days after the agency's transportation secretary amid questions about hiring. IDOT spokeswoman Paris Ervin confirmed that agency deputy director of finance and administration Mike Woods resigned effective Wednesday. The 32-year-old Woods is a former agency personnel chief. Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn spokesman's Grant Klinzman confirmed that a contract expired this week and is not being renewed for Gary Hannig, the governor's legislative liaison. Hannig, 61, was a longtime member of the Illinois House and IDOT secretary from 2009 to 2011. The resignations come on the heels of Quinn's replacement of IDOT secretary Ann Schneider Monday. IDOT's hiring practices have come under recent scrutiny. Chicago anti-patronage campaigner Michael Shakman wants a federal judge to order an investigation into those activities.

----------------------------

Lower kindergarten age among new Illinois laws

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois children are required to attend school at a younger age and young adults seeking driver's licenses must complete training under several new laws effective this week. Children must enter kindergarten by the time they are 6 years old under one new law. The previous requirement was 7 years old. State officials say that might mean higher costs for some schools. Another new law requires students to learn CPR and how to operate machines used for emergency heart problems. Additionally, those aged 18 to 21 will now have to pass a six-hour driver's education course before receiving a license. The previous law allowed adults to receive licenses without training.

----------------------

Peoria VA clinic says it doesn't need waiting list

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The lack of a waiting list for patients at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Peoria put it on a list of VA locations in need of further review.
But local officials tell The Journal Star in Peoria that the clinic doesn't have patients waiting long enough to need the electronic waiting list the VA uses. It is designed to track patients whose waits exceed 90 days. Dr. Dexter Hazlewood is the clinic's chief medical officer. He said the clinic is able to see almost all of its primary care patients within seven days. Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos said during a visit Tuesday that none of the patients she spoke with had complaints about their care.

-----------------------------------------------------

George Ryan finishes supervision after prison term

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Former Gov. George Ryan has finished a year of supervision following his release from home confinement last summer after a prison sentence for corruption convictions. Ryan was released from prison in January 2013 and was confined to his home until last July. At the time his lawyer and friend former Gov. Jim Thompson said that Ryan was subject to another year of supervision and some travel restrictions. That ends this week. Ryan spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times in a story published Wednesday, offering some details of his time in prison and since being released. He says some prison guards "made things a little rough" because they were not happy with his decision as governor to put a moratorium on the death penalty. Ryan, a Republican, was convicted in 2006.

----------------------------

Kids free meal program continues at Illinois sites

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are reminding families that a free meal program for children is continuing until August. The program is designed to provide kids with healthy lunches and breakfasts while school is not in session. State Board of Education officials say they expect to serve 4 million meals at local schools, parks and community centers across Illinois this summer. The annual federally funded program has about 2,200 sites. Officials say more than half the sites don't require children to apply or show proof of family income to receive a free meal. State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch says it's important to remember that poverty and hunger don't end when schools close for summer vacation.

--------------------------------

IEA Backs Quinn Over Rauner

(Chicago, IL) -- One of the state's two largest teachers unions, the Illinois Education Association, has voted to endorse Governor Pat Quinn in his reelection bid against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. The move was expected, given Rauner's frequent criticism of public employees unions, especially teachers unions. The IEA represents teachers outside Chicago and their endorsement will provide Quinn money and campaign ground troops for the campaign.

------------------------------

IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work for Independence Day

SPRINGFIELD – With thousands of motorists traveling on state roadways over the Independence Day holiday weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended where possible to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. IDOT is also providing advance notice of lane closures that will be in place for the holiday week to aid motorists’ travel plans and boost safety. Starting at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 3, IDOT will suspend all non-emergency roadwork throughout the holiday period and open up all lanes where possible through midnight Sunday, July 6. Some construction zones will have lane closures in effect, depending on the projects. IDOT is urging motorists to slow down, obey posted speed limits and drive with caution through work zones. Holiday travelers are reminded that work zone speed limits are still in effect wherever they are posted, even where no construction workers are present. In District 7, Interstate 57 southbound at Edgewood has bridge rehabilitation and stage construction with one lane open and concrete barrier in place. Also, Illinois Route 15 east of Fairfield has bridge rehabilitation; stage construction with one lane open with traffic signals and concrete barrier in place. In District 9, Illinois Route 13, on the east edge of Murphysboro has bridge construction. Traffic will be reduced to one lane eastbound and westbound utilizing crossovers. Also, Old US 51, just north of Cedar Creek Road. Road closed for drainage structure replacement.

---------------------------

NATIONAL
Boston Pops' annual July Fourth show a day early

BOSTON (AP) — The annual Boston Pops Fourth of July concert and fireworks have been moved up to today because of potential heavy rain from Hurricane Arthur. The concert takes place in the Hatch Shell along the Charles River. And the fireworks are set off from barges on the river. Thousands of people usually attend.

---------------------------------

Experts expect robust hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — The forecast is upbeat for employment data to be released by the Labor Department today. Economists surveyed by FactSet predict employers added 215,000 jobs in June and that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.3 percent. If accurate, June would be the fifth consecutive month of job gains at least that high and indicate more traction for the economic recovery.

----------------------------

Call for tighter security

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is calling for tighter security measures at foreign airports that have direct flights to the U.S. U.S. intelligence officials are concerned that al-Qaida is trying to develop a new and improved bomb that could go undetected through airport security. But there's no indication that such a bomb has been created or that there's a specific threat to the U.S.

-------------------------------------

Northern California wildfire burns at 3,800 acres

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A raging wildfire in rural Northern California has grown to 3,800 acres. Fire officials say the blaze in Pope Valley has damaged two homes and seven other structures and threatens others. More than 1,000 firefighters are battling the wildfire, which they say is moving in the opposite direction of Napa Valley wineries.

--------------------------------

Hearing for dad in Georgia hot SUV child death

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A suburban Atlanta man charged with murder in his 22-month-old son's death in a hot SUV is due in court to discuss his bond today. Justin Ross Harris faces murder and child cruelty charges in the June 18 death of his son, Cooper. Harris has told police he was supposed to drive his son to day care that morning but drove to work without realizing that his son was strapped into a car seat in the back. Search warrants released over the weekend showed Harris told investigators he had done an online search on what temperature could cause a child's death in a vehicle. The warrant doesn't specify when Harris did the searches.

------------------------------------

New Americans celebrating July 4th

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernardo Mas of Venezuela says he'll celebrate this July Fourth "with more passion" now that he's an American citizen. Mas and 149 other people from 46 countries were sworn in as U.S. citizens at a ceremony yesterday at the New York Public Library. The ceremony took place in a room where a copy of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's own hand is on display.

------------------------------

Target: Attention Shoppers, No Guns Allowed

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Target wants shoppers to know that no guns are allowed in its stores.  The nation's second biggest retail chain posted a note on its website yesterday "respectfully" requesting guests not to bring firearms into Target stores.  Interim CEO John Mulligan called it a complex issue, noting the decision applies to communities that permit "open carry."  Target says it wants to make sure stores offer family-friendly shopping and a safe environment.

--------------------

US employers added robust 288k jobs in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring over the past five months has been the strongest since the late 1990s tech boom as the economy added 288,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent. The Labor Department says those gains follow additions of 217,000 jobs in May and 304,000 in April, figures that were both revised upward. The economy has added more than 200,000 jobs in each of the past five months, a streak it last matched during the 1999-2000 tech boom. It's a sign that the sluggish half-decade recovery from the Great Recession is finally building momentum. Monthly job gains so far this year have averaged 230,833, up from 194,250 in 2013. The unemployment rate dipped last month to its lowest level since September 2008.

-----------------------------------

Vacationers leave as Arthur approaches

RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) — Thousands of vacationers and residents are leaving parts of North Carolina's Outer Banks as Hurricane Arthur draws nearer. The hurricane is expected to give that part of the coast a glancing blow tomorrow on Independence Day. It's not expected to make landfall, but it's expected to swipe the coast early tomorrow with winds of up to 85 miles an hour. Forecasters believe it will be off the coast of New England later in the day, eventually making landfall in Canada's maritime provinces as a tropical storm. A National Hurricane Center forecaster says Outer Banks residents and visitors who fail to leave ahead of the hurricane's expected arrival should prepare for possibly getting stuck for several days without food, water or power. Hatteras Island is under a mandatory evacuation order for visitors and residents. Officials are asking an estimated 35,000 people to leave through the only road on and off the island. One couple had loaded up their car and left Hatteras Island at 3:30 a.m. today to beat the expected traffic jam. Nichole Specht and Ryan Witman found the road wide open for their return home to Pennsylvania.

----------------------------------

Subaru recalls 660K vehicles for brake line rust

DETROIT (AP) — Subaru is recalling more than 660,000 cars and SUVs because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid. For about half the vehicles, it's the second recall for the same problem. Affected are 2005 through 2009 Legacy and Outback, the 2008 through 2014 Impreza and the 2009 through 2013 Forester. It affects cars only in 20 states and Washington, D.C., where salt is used to clear roads in the winter. The company says in documents filed with the U.S. government that salty water can splash onto the brake lines through a gap in the fuel tank protector, causing rust. If they leak fluid, it could take longer to stop the car and increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the lines if needed and apply anti-corrosion wax.

-----------------------------------

Suspect pleads not guilty in children's stabbing

NEW YORK (AP) — A man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy and injuring a 7-year-old girl in a New York City public housing building elevator has pleaded not guilty. Daniel St. Hubert pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons possession in connection with the June 1 attack. Prince Joshua Avitto was stabbed to death; his best friend, Mikayla Capers, left the hospital a few weeks ago. The district attorney's office provided a statement Wednesday that St. Hubert made to police officers shortly after he was taken into custody. The New York Times says he said "Satan has powers and controls things," and then added, "I think I need a lawyer." Defense lawyer Edward Friedman says he's considering a psychiatric defense. St. Hubert is due back in court on Aug. 8.

-------------------------------------------

War hero, Olympian Zamperini dies at 97

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Olympic distance runner and World War II veteran who survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed, then endured two years in Japanese prison camps, has died. Louis Zamperini was 97. Universal Pictures studio spokesman Michael Moses says Zamperini died Wednesday. Zamperini enlisted in the Army before Pearl Harbor and was a bombardier in World War II. He and his crew were searching for a downed B-24 when their plane crashed into the Pacific, killing eight of the 11 men. Before joining the military, Zamperini was a runner at the University of Southern California. He ran in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, placing eighth in the mile. His story was told in "Unbroken," Laura Hillenbrand's 2010 best-seller, and is the subject of an Angelina Jolie-directed film by the same name being released in December.

--------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Officials: Israel moving troops toward Gaza border

JERUSALEM (AP) — Defense officials say Israel has begun sending troop reinforcements to its border with the Gaza Strip amid intensifying rocket barrages. Israel has been debating how to respond to the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank, which it blames on Hamas. It has arrested hundreds of Hamas members in the West Bank and threatened tough action against the militant group, which controls Gaza. The increase in troops could be in preparation for a wider operation or meant as a defensive action. More than a dozen rockets struck southern Israel early Thursday, hitting two houses and causing damage but not wounding anyone. Israel responded with airstrikes. The defense officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

---------------------------------

Extremist group takes Syria's key oil field

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have taken control of Syria's largest oil field, near the border with Iraq. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the extremist group captured al-Omar oil field in eastern Deir el-Zour province on Thursday after fighters belonging to a rival group, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, left without firing a bullet. The al-Omar field has changed hands several times in the course of Syria's three-year conflict. The Nusra Front and several other Islamic factions captured it from forces loyal to President Bashar Assad in November. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has seized a large expanse of territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq, and has declared the establishment of an Islamic state astride the border.

--------------------------------

India's building collapse death toll reaches 60

NEW DELHI (AP) — The death toll in a building collapse in southern India has risen to 60 as hundreds of workers are close to clearing the massive ruins of the 11-story structure. Police Inspector-General Sandeep Rai Rathore says 27 people have been rescued since the weekend from under the enormous heap of broken concrete slabs, twisted iron girders and concrete dust in one of the worst building collapses in India in decades. Rathore says the excavation is likely to be completed on Friday. Police have arrested six construction company officials for alleged criminal negligence and violation of building codes. Authorities are investigating the cause of Saturday's collapse in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.

-------------------------------------

SPORTS
WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 16, Boston 9
Chicago White Sox 3, L.A. Angels 2
St. Louis 2, San Francisco 0

Frontier League

Evansville 5, Frontier 4
Washington 2, Southern Illinois 1
Gateway 9, Florence 2

THURSDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

St. Louis at San Francisco, 2:45 p.m. (pregame at 1:49 p.m.)

Frontier League

Southern Illinois at Washington
Florence at Gateway
Frontier at Evansville

----------------------------

Cardinals Offering Four-Dollar Tickets To Pirates, Rays Games

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals are celebrating the Fourth of July with four-dollar tickets.  The team will be offering ten-thousand of the discounted tickets to each of five different games this month.  The low-priced tickets are for upcoming series with the Pirates and Rays and will go on sale starting tomorrow morning at 10:00.

---------------------

One-Hundred-Year-Old Die-Hard Cubs Fan Dies

(Chicago, IL) -- A 100-year-old Cubs fan who helped the team celebrate its own centennial anniversary has died -- less than three weeks after his appearance on the grass at Wrigley Field. Louis Reinhart of Loda in central Illinois was supposed to be part of opening day ceremonies but got to the ball park too late because of traffic. The team invited the retired farmer back to deliver the game ball and pose on the field with members of the team before the June 8th game with Miami. His funeral is today in Loda.

--------------------------------

Cumiskey agrees to 1-year deal with Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) — Defenseman Kyle Cumiskey has agreed to a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks and is returning to the NHL. The 27-year-old Cumiskey spent the past two years with MODO of the Swedish Hockey League and had four goals and 24 assists last season. He played in 132 games with the Colorado Avalanche from 2006 to 2011, registering nine goals and 26 assists. The Blackhawks announced the move on Wednesday.

-------------------

News for July 2, 2014

LOCAL
SIU panel to name new acting Carbondale chancellor

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University appears ready to name a new interim chancellor for its Carbondale campus. The SIU Board of Trustees' executive committee is expected to meet Wednesday in Carbondale, and the only agenda item is to appoint a temporary replacement for Rita Cheng. Cheng has been named president of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. SIU President Randy Dunn says Cheng completed her work on the Carbondale campus Monday and is taking vacation leave pending the start of her new job in two weeks. Cheng has been the Carbondale school's chancellor since 2010. A process for searching for Cheng's permanent successor will be sorted out after an SIU board meeting later this month.

------------------------

Jury: $1.2M to Illinois boy killed in bike crash

GOLCONDA, Ill. (AP) — A jury in southern Illinois' Pope County has awarded $1.2 million to the family of a teenager killed in 2007 when the bicycle he was riding hit an ambulance. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports a judge approved the verdict last week in the trial involving 13-year-old Brett McDaniel's death. Authorities have said McDaniel was bicycling near Golconda when he failed to stop at an intersection and hit the side of the Mercy Regional Emergency Medical Service ambulance. The family's attorneys argued that the ambulance was traveling over the speed limit and didn't exercise care to avoid colliding with McDaniel. The ambulance was not carrying a patient and was not on an emergency run. The ambulance service's executive director, Jamey Locke, declined comment Tuesday.

-------------------------------

Rare WWII bomber lands in southern Illinois

MARION, Ill. (AP) — A rare World War II bomber will be housed in Marion for the next month. The Southern Illinoisan reports the Consolidated B-24 Liberator "Diamond Lil" landed Monday afternoon at Williamson County Airport. Mark Bybee is president of the EAA Experimental Aircraft Association chapter in Carbondale. He says the plane is part of the Commemorative Air Force museum. He says it arrived from Ohio and needs maintenance before it flies on to Wisconsin at the end of the month. Bybee says Southern Illinois University aviation students will be able to watch crews perform maintenance on the plane. Korean War veteran Stephen Alley toured the plane. The 82-year-old from Murphysboro says it reminded him of his time with the U.S. Air Force. Tours also will be available July 19.

------------------------------------

Illinois man admits defrauding credit union

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A former southwestern man faces up to 30 years in federal prison now that he has admitted bilking the credit union where he once served as president. Fifty-four-year-old Paul C. Smith of East Alton pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to bank fraud. Authorities say Smith was employed by Laclede Community Credit Union from November 1977 until his resignation in mid-2012. He had been the credit union's president and was treasurer for a credit union trade group. Prosecutors say Smith used his association debit card to get cash advances and make purchases totaling more than $58,000 from 2007 to 2012, then manipulated the bank's computers to conceal those transactions. Smith is expected to be sentenced Sept. 29.

-----------------------

Husband And Wife Allegedly Rob O'Fallon Bank

(O'Fallon, IL) -- A couple down in O'Fallon is accused of working together to rob a bank. Officials say Steve and Denise Dodson stole about 100-thousand-dollars during a heist at Scott Credit Union on Highway 50 last year. Steve allegedly wore a black mask when he held-up two bank employees. Police say he took the cash and hopped into a getaway car that Denise was allegedly driving. They were indicted yesterday and are being held without bond in federal custody. They're expected to go to trial next month. If convicted, they could spend up to 25-years in prison.

------------------------

Former Fairfield Teacher Charged With Sex Crimes

A former Fairfield track coach and teacher charged in both Wayne and St. Clair Counties with video taping young girls has now been indicted in federal court. 43-year-old Timothy C. Going is charged in federal court with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, for allegedly using and attempting to use a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a video. The indictment alleges that the act took place on or about November 1 or 2, 2013, in St. Clair County. A second count charges going with possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Investigators say the federal charges are based upon images recovered from computer equipment seized from Going's Fairfield home during the execution of a search warrant. Going has been unable to post bond and remains in the Wayne County Jail.

---------------------------------------

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to visit the New Red Cross office in Swansea, IL

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Red Cross CEO Cindy Erickson, Disaster Program Executive Mary Anderson and Red Cross Volunteers will attend a volunteer reception at 3 p.m. Wednesday, at the new American Red Cross,  Southern Illinois Office  2805 N. Illinois Street in Swansea. They will be celebrating the opening of the new Southern Illinois Red Cross office in Swansea and review the response operation and equipment employed in Brookport following the tornadoes that hit Southern Illinois last November.

------------------------------------

STATE
Oberweis wants 7 debates with Durbin for US Senate

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. (AP) — Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis wants U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin to agree to seven debates prior to the November election. Oberweis is a dairy magnate and entrepreneur. He's trying to unseat Durbin, a third-term senator and the Senate's second-ranking Democrat. In a statement Tuesday, Oberweis says voters should get to compare the candidates' records on job creation and other topics. Ron Holmes is a spokesman for Durbin. He says Durbin has debated every challenger he's faced and "looks forward to working out the terms" of this fall's schedule. Oberweis says the seven debates should be held statewide, with major media sponsors. He says at least three should be outside the Chicago area. Oberweis also wants one debate to be co-hosted by a liberal organization and another by a conservative organization.

---------------------------

Weather Service finds 5 tornadoes struck Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — The National Weather Service is now reporting five tornadoes touched down in Illinois during a storm that dumped heavy rain as it swept across the state. A weather service damage survey confirmed Tuesday modest tornadoes landed late Monday near Earlville, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago, Plainfield in Will County, in rural Kendal County, near Grant Park in Kankakee County and near Morris in Grundy County. The weather service survey found buildings were damaged, and trees and power lines knocked down by the high winds that accompanied the storm. Officials say none of tornadoes were on the ground long. However, there were straight-line winds the weather service estimates reached speeds of 80 to 100 mph. In western and southern Illinois there is a flood warning along the Mississippi River.

-------------------------

Former US attorney named inspector general

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A former U.S. attorney and legal counsel to former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar has been named acting legislative inspector general. The Legislative Ethics Commission announced in a statement received Tuesday that J. William Roberts of Springfield took over in an acting capacity on Tuesday. In addition to his tenure as counsel to Edgar and U.S. attorney for the central district of Illinois, he also was Sangamon County State's Attorney. Roberts takes over for Tom Homer, a former Democratic lawmaker and appellate court justice who served 10 years following the creation of the post with the 2003 Ethics Act. The legislative inspector general is responsible for investigating complaints and other indications of violations of laws or rules, abuse of authority or other forms of misconduct by lawmakers and their staff members.

-----------------------------

Mom At Center Of SCOTUS Case Says Common Sense Won

(Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois mom at the center of a Supreme Court decision that halts the expansion of government sector unions says she can finally go back to being a mom. Pam Harris says she's glad the high court said SEIU can't force her to pay union dues against her will. Harris says the court looked at Illinois law and realized something was not right. Harris takes care of her developmentally disabled son at home and gets a small government stipend for his care. She says the ruling ensures that money will stay with him, and not go to the union. SEIU officials have said they'll focus on providing care for health care workers in the state who do want to be a part of the union.

---------------------

Jesse White Encourages Reflection on 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act of 1964

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White urged people to take a moment to reflect on and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Fifty years ago on July 2, this historic measure outlawed discrimination based on race, creed, gender or national origin.  The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited racial segregation in schools, at work and at public facilities, and ended unfair voting registration practices.  “As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our great nation 238 years ago, let us also remember those heroes who organized, protested and marched so we could live in a society where people, as my former minister the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, ‘will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,’” said White.  White attended Dr. King’s church while a student at Alabama State College. White noted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ushered in widespread legal changes for which activists had fought for years.  It was a monumental step in the direction of racial equality and fairness, White said. “Having been a student at Alabama State College — now Alabama State University — in Montgomery, Ala. in the early 1950s, I experienced some of the inequalities that prompted the civil rights movement,” said White.  “Coming from Chicago to Montgomery brought challenges and frustrations due to the racial climate in the south.  We were prohibited from drinking at certain water fountains and using certain washrooms, weren’t allowed to choose which seat on a bus to sit on and were banned from eating at many restaurants.” White encouraged those who would like to learn more about this important milestone in America’s history to read the feature article on the Civil Rights Movement in the 2013-14 Illinois Blue Book, published by the Secretary of State.  The Illinois Blue Book is available online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com or can be found at local libraries. “As someone who has experienced racism, I know how deeply it can cut and I never want anyone else to experience such pain,” said White.

------------------------

GOP attacks Quinn on Transportation chief's ouster

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republicans are criticizing Gov. Pat Quinn over hiring troubles at his Transportation Department, where the Democrat replaced the agency's leader. Quinn's GOP election challenger, Bruce Rauner, says that the governor "commands a culture of patronage, corruption and cronyism." Quinn's office announced Monday that Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider will step down next week to be replaced by Veterans Affairs Director Erica Borggren. There was no word on why Schneider is leaving. But news reports and a federal lawsuit have questioned agency hiring which put politically connected people into jobs that should be been protected from political considerations. Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove is the ranking Republican on a House transportation committee. He says the hiring scandal tarnishes Quinn's image as a reformer and Schneider's ouster was inevitable.

----------------------------------

State Trooper Under Fire For Allegedly Driving Recklessly

(Undated) -- An Illinois State Trooper is under fire for allegedly driving recklessly. The trooper pulled a trucker over recently and got an earful when the trucker set him straight on his driving tactics. The trooper initially told the trucker he was going to write a ticket for using his horn illegally, but that was before he realized the driver had been recording the whole incident. The trooper took the driver's information but then let him off, claiming he didn't want to hurt his driving record. He also acknowledged that the trucker was just trying to keep the roads safe. A spokesperson for the State Police is defending the trooper. She says he did nothing wrong and shoots down claims that the trucker changed his tone when he realized he was on camera. A truck driver says he sounded his horn at the state trooper recently because he was driving way too fast. The trooper didn't like being honked at and pulled the truck over, but he got an earful about road safety.  

-----------------------

State Buys Will County Airfield

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois Department of Transportation has paid 34-million-dollars to buy a private airfield in Will County with plans to build a large commercial airport.  The land purchased is Bult Field near south suburban Monee.  It includes a five-thousand-foot-long runway, airplane hangars, a terminal and farmland.  IDOT officials say they will operate Bult as a general aviation airport until the land is ready for the commercial airport served by airlines.

--------------------------------

June rainfall well above average across Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois' state climatologist says June was much wetter than usual across the state and just a little warmer than average. Climatologist Jim Angel said Tuesday the average rainfall for June across Illinois was close to seven inches. That's nearly three inches more than usual and the eighth wettest June on record. Angel works at the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois. The wettest June in recorded Illinois history was in 1902 when nearly eight-and-a-third inches of rain was recorded. Four of the past five Junes have been wetter than average. Angel said the statewide average temperature for last month was close to 73 degrees. That's about one degree above average.

----------------------------

NATIONAL
NASA finally launches carbon satellite

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — NASA has launched a rocket carrying a NASA satellite that'll study how the environment absorbs carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas caused by the burning of fossil fuels. The launch was canceled yesterday morning because of an equipment failure. And in 2009, a similar satellite plunged into the ocean off Antarctica during launch.

-------------------------------------------

Benghazi suspect in US federal court

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first person to be prosecuted in the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya is scheduled to appear in a federal court in Washington, D.C., today for a detention hearing. The September 11, 2012 assault killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.

---------------------------------------------------

Privacy board: NSA's Internet monitoring is legal

WASHINGTON (AP) — An independent privacy and civil liberties board says National Security Agency programs that collect huge volumes of Internet data within the United States pass constitutional muster. A report by the bipartisan Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board also says the programs have "reasonable" safeguards to protect the rights of Americans. But the panel also urges new internal intelligence agency safeguards to further guard against misuse.

-------------------------------

Running out of highway money

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is warning that if Congress doesn't agree quickly on how to pay for federal highway projects, states will begin feeling the pain of cutbacks in just a few weeks. The balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund is dropping and will soon go below $4 billion. That's the cushion officials say is needed for incoming fuel tax revenue to cover outgoing payments to states. By late August, the balance is forecast to reach zero.

--------------------------

T-Mobile accused of billing bogus calls

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are urging T-Mobile customers to go through their phone bills line by line. They're accusing T-Mobile US of charging customers for premium services, like horoscope texts and quirky ringtones that customers never authorized. The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against the phone company in a federal court in Seattle.

----------------------------------

Storm eyes Florida coast

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Right now, Tropical Storm Arthur is churning off the Florida coast with 60 mph winds. But forecasters predict it'll be a hurricane by Thursday. The president of Savannah, Georgia's tourism bureau says everyone's keeping one eye on the weather and one eye on this weekend's July 4th events. The storm is about 95 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

--------------------------------------------

Protesters Block Buses Carrying Immigrants

(Murrieta, CA)  --  Illegal immigrants who were on buses protesters turned back at a U.S. Border Patrol station near San Diego are now being held at another facility.  About 150 protesters filled a street leading to the facility and blocked the buses' path.  After about 25 minutes, the buses backed up and left and were rerouted to another border patrol station south of San Diego.  Meanwhile, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio says the migrant children crisis is a plan by President Obama to force Congress' hand.  The self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff in America" says Obama is trying to push an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants.

----------------------

California Wildfire At 2,700 Acres, Still Growing

(Napa County, CA)  --  About 180 families in Northern California can't go home because of a wildfire that keeps getting bigger.  The fire started Tuesday afternoon in Napa County and quickly blew up to more than 27-hundred acres, forcing mandatory evacuations.  The fire has damaged at least five buildings and closed a number of roads in the world-famous wine country north of San Francisco.  More than 300 firefighters have the blaze about 30-percent contained.  

----------------

Schumer Fights To Save America's Export-Import Bank

(New York, NY)  --  Senator Charles Schumer is fighting to save America's Export-Import Bank.  The New York Democrat says doing away with a bank that helps American companies sell their products overseas is a bad idea.  The charter for the 80-year bank is due to expire at the end of September.  Republicans want to close it, calling it a taxpayer-backed slush fund for corporations, but Democrats say it helps U.S. companies compete in Europe and Asia. 

---------------------

North Dakota seeks dismissal of gay marriage suit

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — State officials are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging North Dakota's constitutional prohibition on same-sex marriage. The state attorney general's office filed the motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Fargo. North Dakota Solicitor General Doug Bahr argues in court documents that the U.S. Constitution gives states the rights to define and regulate marriage. Bahr also says the U.S. Constitution doesn't require North Dakota to recognize legal same-sex marriages in other states. Seven couples filed the federal lawsuit last month, making North Dakota the last state with a ban to be sued by gay couples seeking the right to marry in their home state. A second lawsuit challenging North Dakota's ban has since been filed in federal court by a Fargo couple.

-------------------------------------

Scientists retract studies about making stem cells

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists who reported in January that they'd found a startlingly simple way to make stem cells have withdrawn that claim, following accusations of falsified data. In two papers published earlier this year in the journal Nature, the researchers reported that they'd been able to transform ordinary mouse cells into versatile stem cells by exposing them to a mildly acidic environment. Scientists hope to harness stem cells to grow replacement tissue for treating a variety of diseases. But not long after, a government-funded institution in Japan accused one of their scientists — a main author of the research — of falsifying data. On Wednesday, Nature released a statement from the scientists. They acknowledged "extensive" errors and said they couldn't say "without a doubt" that their method works.

---------------------------------

Letter written in Maine 83 years ago delivered

SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) — A letter written by a Maine school teacher in 1931 to her mother 150 miles away has finally been delivered — 83 years later. Twenty-three-year-old Miriam McMichael sent the nine-page letter from Houlton to Dollena McMichael in Pittsfield. Both women have since died. The letter was lost and only recently found at the Pittsfield post office. Postal worker Michelle Rowell found it and tells the Morning Sentinel she knew it was old because of the 2-cent stamp. The postmaster and town officials tracked down the family, and the letter is now in the hands of 69-year-old Ann MacMichael, of Cornville, Miriam's niece and Dollena's granddaughter. The spelling of the family name has changed. MacMichael says the irony is that the writer apologizes for not writing sooner.

--------------------------------------------

INTERNATIONAL
Palestinians say Israeli extremists killed teen

JERUSALEM (AP) — The family of a missing Palestinian teenager in east Jerusalem says the boy's body has been identified, and the Palestinian president is accusing Israeli extremists of killing him. Relatives say Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 17, was approached by a car early Wednesday and forced inside before it sped off. A body was later found in a Jerusalem forest, raising fears the boy had been killed as revenge for the recent killings of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. The boy's cousin says relatives have now identified the body as that of the missing teen. However, Israeli police say the body still has not been identified. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused extremist Jewish settlers of "killing and burning a little boy" and demanded Israel "hold the killers accountable." Israeli police clashed with several hundred Palestinians following the reports that the teen had been kidnapped and that a body had been found.

-----------------------------

Iraqi leader: Islamic state is threat to region

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's prime minister has warned that an extremist group's declaration of an Islamic state in territory it has seized in Iraq and Syria is a threat to the entire region. Nouri al-Maliki says the announcement this week by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that it has unilaterally established an Islamic state "is a message to all the states in the region that you are inside the red circle now." In his weekly address today, al-Maliki says "no one in Iraq or any neighboring country will be safe from these plans." The Sunni extremist group has overrun huge swaths of northern and western Iraq in recent weeks, linking up with territory already under its control in neighboring Syria.

------------------------------------

Ukraine says guard killed in attack on border post

MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine's border guards service says a serviceman was killed and eight were wounded when a post on the border with Russia came under heavy mortar attack. In a statement, the service says the attack took place before dawn Wednesday at the Novoazovsk post in the southeastern part of the Donetsk region. Donetsk is one of two eastern regions where Ukrainian forces are fighting pro-Russia separatists. A 10-day unilateral cease-fire by the Ukrainian side expired late Monday after separatists rejected calls to lay down their weapons. Border posts have become key strategic objects, as Ukraine claims the rebels are receiving support and reinforcements from Russia. Ukraine says it retook control of one border post from rebels this week. The guards service said Wednesday the insurgents had mined the post with explosives.

--------------------------------

Benghazi suspect in US federal court

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. prosecutors are expected to argue before a federal judge in Washington today that the first person prosecuted for the deadly attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, should remain in detention. Prosecutors accuse Ahmed Abu Khattala of taking part in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

----------------------------------

UK investigating Facebook over psych experiment

LONDON (AP) — British data protection authorities are investigating revelations that Facebook conducted a psychological experiment on its users. The Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement Wednesday that it wants to learn more about the circumstances of the experiment carried out by two U.S. universities and the social network. The researchers manipulated the news feeds of about 700,000 randomly selected users to study the impact of "emotional contagion," or how emotional states are transferred to others. The commissioner's office is working with authorities in Ireland, headquarters of Facebook's European operations. French authorities are also reviewing the matter. The concern comes amid interest in Europe about beefing up data protection rules. The European Court of Justice last month ruled that Google must respond to user requests seeking to remove links to personal information.

-------------------------------

SPORTS
TUESDAY'S RESULTS

MLB

Chicago Cubs 2, Boston 1
L.A. Angels 8, Chicago White Sox 4, 1st game
L.A. Angels 7, Chicago White Sox 5, 2nd game
San Francisco 5, St. Louis 0

Frontier League

Gateway 3, Florence 2

WEDNESDAY'S SCHEDULE

MLB

Chicago Cubs at Boston, 6:10 p.m.
L.A. Angels at Chicago White Sox, 7:10 p.m.
St. Louis at San Francisco, 9:15 p.m. (94.1 FM WMIX, pregame at 8:19 p.m.)

Frontier League

Frontier at Evansville (2)
Southern Illinois at Washington (2)
Florence at Gateway

-------------------------------

Team USA goes down in OT

SALVADOR, Brazil (AP) — Jozy Altidore now has plenty of time to rest his ailing left hamstring. The United States has been eliminated by Belgium 2-1 in overtime in the second round of the World Cup, puncturing the soccer bubble that Americans had enjoyed for a couple of weeks. Following a scoreless 90 minutes of regulation, Belgium scored two quick goals at the start of the 30-minute overtime. Julian Green got one back for the U.S. in the 107th minute of the match. Despite putting on late pressure, the U.S. failed to score the equalizer. U.S. goalie Tim Howard was the reason the Americans even reached overtime, making several tough stops during the scoreless regulation. Howard finished with 16 saves. The U.S. was trying to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2002. Belgium next plays Argentina, which beat Switzerland 1-0 in extra time. The lone goal was scored in the 118th minute.

----------------------------

FCS Preseason Teams Has Local Flavor

Among the seven players returning to The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America first team, Southern Illinois senior tight end MyCole Pruitt and Eastern Illinois senior offensive lineman Collin Seibert return. Other first-team selections on offense included Southern Illinois senior place-kicker Thomas Kinney. The first team on defense also featured Illinois State long snapper Chris Highland.  Eastern Illinois had four selections in all, with WR Adam Drake and TE Jeff LePak making 2nd team offense and RB Shepard Little earning 3rd team offensive honors. 

--------------------

Blackhawks sign C Richards to 1-year deal

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have signed Brad Richards to a one-year deal, bolstering their group of centers with another proven scorer. Richards had 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games for the New York Rangers last season, and then had 12 points in the playoffs to help his team make it to the Stanley Cup finals. The 34-year-old Richards has 276 goals and 591 assists in 982 career games for Tampa Bay, Dallas and New York. The Blackhawks have been looking for a second-line center behind Jonathan Toews for a couple years, and Richards' resume makes him a favorite to fill that role. The move also allows Chicago to bring prospect Teuvo Teravainen along more slowly. Chicago also announced a one-year deal with center Peter Regin on Tuesday.

----------------------------

Blues sign Paul Stastny to 4-year deal