Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blagojevich Not Coming Back for Resentencing

According to his attorney, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich has chosen not to appear in person at his resentencing next month in Chicago and will instead make his first appearance in a public forum in four years via video from a Colorado prison.

The 59-year-old Democrat had originally planned to return to his hometown, but reluctantly agreed with officials that the logistics of the 1,000 mile journey would cause complications.

Blagojevich has granted no interviews in prison, so the resentencing will be the first chance to see how his appearance has changed behind bars.


Information provided by the State Journal-Register

Ted Nugent Concert Change of Venue


Due to overwhelming requests, the Ted Nugent concert on Saturday, August 6, 2016 is being moved from Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois to Limelight Eventplex located at 8102 N. University St. Peoria, Illinois. All current tickets will be honored. There are a limited amount of tickets remaining that may be purchased online at www.BudLightConcerts.com or by calling the Limelight box office at 309-693-1234.

Rauner Speaks on Legionnaire's Disease

Gov. Bruce Rauner said the state is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of Legionnaires' disease at a veterans home where the outbreak last year sickened 52 people and killed 12.

Rauner visited the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy on Wednesday, a day after officials announced that two more residents of the home were sickened and less than a month after a nearly $5 million water treatment plant and delivery system was unveiled at the facility.

The home has stopped admitting new residents.

In a news release, Rauner's office said further water restrictions may be put in place until the source of a news cases can be identified. It cautioned, though, that the source may never be identified. It cautioned, though, that the source of may never be identified due to the nature of the bacteria that cause the disease, which can be inhaled in water vapor.

Federal officials have said the bacteria that caused the outbreak last year were likely spread by an aging water system at the 129-year-old facility.


Information provided by the State Journal-Register

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rauner Plans to Push Term-Limits

Gov. Bruce Rauner is renewing his call for term limits and says the General Assembly should vote on the idea this fall, according to the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Rauner delivered a campaign-style speech Monday in Chicago. Relying on a teleprompter, he spoke for less than 10 minutes and wouldn't take reporters' questions.

The first-term Republican says Illinois politics needs new ideas and faces. He says he'll be pushing term limits during a two-day state tour.

Rauner backed term limits in his 2014 gubernatorial campaign, but a judge found a signature-driven ballot question was unconstitutional. The same judge also threw out a measure proposing changes to how the state draws its political boundaries.

A revamped redistricting measure is pending review by the Illinois Supreme Court after a Cook County judge found it unconstitutional for November's ballot.


Information provided by the State Journal-Register

More Layoffs Expected at Caterpillar

According to the Springfield State Journal-Register, Caterpillar's second quarter report indicated additional layoffs are expected in the second half of 2016.

Second-quarter sales were down 16 percent from the previous term in 2015, going from $12.3 billion to $10.3 billion.

The company pointed to "soft global markets and political turmoil" as reasons for a dim outlook for the rest of the year, specifically citing the Brexit vote and the unrest in Turkey as factors of global uncertainty that added to the current subdued world economic growth.

The largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment also revised its restructuring costs and predicted more layoffs in the second half of 2016. Last fall the company announced a major restructuring that called for up to 10,000 white-collar positions to be cut.

The second-quarter report predict restructuring costs to be about $700 million, or 80 cents per share, up from the previous prediction of $550 million.


Information provided by the State Journal-Register


Durbin for Governor?

Illinois Democratic leaders are discussing possible candidates to challenge Governor Rauner in 2018.  The state's delegates threw out names yesterday during a rally in Philadelphia at the start of the Democratic National Convention.  One person mentioned was U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.  When asked about a possible run, Durbin said he is focused on the presidential election. 

Cities 92.9 Dependable Weather

Monday, July 25, 2016

Illinois Supreme Court to Review Political Map-Making Amendment Case

The Illinois Supreme Court is going to review a constitutional amendment regarding changes to the political map-making process that was struck down in a lower court.  The amendment, which approved in the November election would create an independent commission to draw legislative boundaries in the state, was deemed unconstitutional by a Cook County judge last week.  Attorneys connected to House Speaker Michael Madigan are suing to keep the ballot measure off.  The Supreme Court is set to review the case tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sox Star Pitcher Suspended for 5 Games for Shredding Team Uniforms

The White Sox have suspended ace Chris Sale five days as punishment  for the All-Star's destruction of uniforms the team was scheduled  to wear the previous night. Sale was scratched from Saturday's scheduled start against Detroit after he reportedly cut up several  1976 throwback jerseys during batting practice in protest of the collared uniforms, which he deemed uncomfortable. The left-hander  will forfeit $250,000 of his $9.15 million salary and was also fined in the amount of the destroyed jerseys. 

IL Democrats at DNCC

Illinois Democrats are in Philadelphia ahead the opening of the Democratic National Convention on Monday. Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan predicted that by Thursday his 196-member delegation would be solid in its support for Hillary Clinton. However, delegation members who supported Bernie Sanders said they are not entirely on board yet. They want Clinton to accept more of Sanders' progressive agenda on foreign trade, the minimum wage and changes in the way the party selects
convention delegates.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

VIDEO: Fire at Bentley Motors



Firefighters continue to battle a blaze at Bentlely Motors at 1508 S. Main Street in Bloomington. The cause of the blaze has yet to be determined and it is not known if anyone was injured. Traffic is being rerouted in the area. Please take alternative routes. We have received unofficial word that nearly 100 vehicles have been damaged or destroyed due to this fire.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Father And Son Charged In Sexual Assault At ISU

A father and son are facing charges after a woman claimed she was drugged and raped at Illinois State University.  Prosecutors say the incident happened Tuesday while students were attending orientation on campus.  Shawn Childs Senior is accused of putting ecstasy in the victim's soda at Hewitt Hall.  Afterward, the woman claims 18-year-old Shawn Childs Junior followed her into a room and raped her twice.  

Excessive Heat Warning Extended Through Sunday

Hot and humid weather is expected to stick around in Illinois.  For a large portion of the state, an "excessive heat warning" remains in effect until Sunday evening.  Forecasters say temps could jump into the mid-90s today.  With the heat index, it could feel like 110-degrees. 

Illinois Voter Registration Database Hacked


Illinois election officials say hackers attacked the state’s voter registration system last week and it was shut off as a precaution. The cyberattack happened July 13 and the voter system was shut off as a precaution that same day. The board’s general counsel, Ken Menzel, said hackers found “a chink in the armor in one small data field in the online registration system.”Menzel says the board is analyzing tracks left by the attack and isn’t ready to say what information may have been accessed   

Gov. Rauner Apologizes to Chicago Teachers

Governor Rauner is apologizing for comments he made about Chicago educators before he took office.  Emails released yesterday by Mayor Emanuel's administration show that Rauner once called half of CPS teachers "virtually illiterate" and half of the principals "incompetent."  The governor sent the email in 2011 when he was a private money manager and a school reform activist.  The documents were released by City Hall under a court order following a request made by the "Chicago Tribune." 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Judge Blocks State Redistricting Plan from Fall Ballot

Supporters of a plan to change the way political maps are drawn in Illinois said Wednesday they will ask the state Supreme Court to step in to get the issue on the Nov. 8 ballot. Cook County Circuit Judge Diane Larsen ruled Wednesday that Independent Maps did not meet the narrow criteria of the Illinois Constitution to put the remap proposal before voters. The proposed constitutional amendment would have created an independent commission to draw new state legislative boundaries every 10 years rather than leave it in the hands of political leaders.

Excessive Heat Warning Issued


Today
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 3pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Heat index values as high as 107. South southwest wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 17 mph.
Tonight
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. South southwest wind 6 to 10 mph.
Friday
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Heat index values as high as 109. West southwest wind around 8 mph.
Friday Night
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 75. South southwest wind 3 to 6 mph.
Saturday
A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 92.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

U of I Gets New Chancellor

There is new leader at the University of Illinois.  University President Timothy Killeen named Robert Jones yesterday to be the next chancellor.  Jones is currently the president of the University at Albany, State University of New York.  If approved by the board of trustees, he will take office at Illinois in October. 

Excessive Heat Watch Posted

FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...

EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING...

* TEMPERATURES...HIGHS IN THE LOWER TO MID 90S ARE EXPECTED EACH
  DAY FROM THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY...WITH FRIDAY LIKELY TO SEE
  THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURES. LITTLE RELIEF IS EXPECTED AT
  NIGHT...WITH LOWS ONLY IN THE MID 70S.

* HEAT INDEX...HEAT INDEX VALUES WILL REACH TRIPLE DIGITS BY LATE
  MORNING EACH DAY. PEAK HEAT INDEX VALUES AROUND 110 ARE LIKELY
  ON FRIDAY...AND WILL RANGE FROM 105 TO 110 ON THURSDAY AND
  SATURDAY. SOME AREAS MAY SEE THESE HIGH VALUES LINGER INTO
  SUNDAY AS WELL...PRIMARILY EAST OF I-55.

* IMPACTS...THERE IS A HIGH RISK OF HEAT RELATED ILLNESSES FOR
  PEOPLE WITH PROLONGED OUTDOOR EXPOSURE...OR WITHOUT ACCESS TO
  AIR CONDITIONING. THE ELDERLY...SMALL CHILDREN...AND PETS ARE
  ESPECIALLY SUSCEPTIBLE TO THE HEAT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF HOT
TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HOT TEMPERATURES AND
HIGH HUMIDITY WILL COMBINE TO CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN
WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS...STAY
IN AN AIR CONDITIONED ROOM...STAY OUT OF THE SUN...AND CHECK UP
ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Armed Man Barricaded in Home Taken In To Police Custody

Police have a suspect in custody after a situation in which the person was barricaded in an apartment in the 400 block of N. Lee and was reportedly armed. It was reported a male subject had a gun and wanted to kill himself. The male was transported by Bloomington Fire Department Rescue to an area hospital. At this time, the subject is not facing any criminal charges.

Police Arrest Couple in Local Bomb Threat

Police arrested two people after an anonymous bomb threat was called in at Illinois State University on Friday. Campus police say after the call came in, they were able to use technology to locate where the call's origin and arrested Bryan Perschall, 36. Perschall admitted there were no bombs on campus, and he had called them in as a diversion, so that he could rob banks in the area. Police did not send out a campus alert. Joanna Perschall, 26, was also arrested. Police say, they got the idea from the plot of the movie Die Hard 3.

Thunder Threesome to Play on U.S. 17-Under Select Team

For the third straight season, the Bloomington Thunder will see their prospects compete on the international stage with Team USA. To sweeten the pot, the Thunder have the most prospects of any USHL team to be competing with Team USA in the tournament. Calen Kiefiuk (University of Michigan), Brady Smith (University of Wisconsin), and Jeremy Davidson were each chosen for the tournament following their performance at the Team USA Boys Select 16 Development Camp. Only four other USHL teams had multiple players selected to compete.
                                                                     
The Five Nations tournament comes to the states this summer for the first time since 2011 and will be played in Dallas, TX. The tournament will open on August 9 and wrap up on the 13th at the Dr. Pepper StarCenter Arena.

Rauners Signs Bath Salts Ban

You  will soon have a harder time finding bath salts in Illinois.  Governor Rauner signed a bill yesterday in Taylorville that bans the sale of the synthetic drug.  Bath salts are chemically similar to cocaine and are often disguised as legitimate products.  The new legislation goes into effect January 1st. 

No Indictment for Schock....Yet

Former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock isn't facing any criminal charges for the time being.  The "Peoria Journal Star" reports a federal grand jury investigation ended June 30th without an indictment.  The probe began after the ex-congressman stepped down last year following questions about his spending habits while in office.  However, a grand jury in Springfield can still take up the case. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

McLean County Representatives, ISU Students, Heading to GOP Convention

Three delegates from Illinois' 18th Congressional District at this week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to The Pantagraph. 

Chris Gramm of Bloomington, Jim Fisher of Hudson and Brian Thielen of Chenoa will serve as the district's delegates and vote on measures including the presumed nomination of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. 

Bloomington-Normal will also be represented by seven students from Illinois State University, along with Political Science Professor Thomas McClure, and 10 students will join Professor Erik Rankin at the Democratic National Convention from July 25 to July 28 in Philadelphia. 

Delegates were chosen in the March 15 primary. Breitbart News Editor Mike Flynn in Quincy and former McLean County Recorder Lee Newcom of Bloomington finished first and second in polling but sadly passed away after the polling; they were replaced by the highest-polling alternatives, Fisher and Thielen. 

As for the students, they were assigned books to read and wrote a 10 to 12 page paper on changes in their parties platform. The students will volunteer and journal while on-site, then write another 10-12 page paper when they return. 

Ten students were accepted for the convention, but three dropped out after it became clear that Trump would be the Republican nominee, according to Rankin. 


Information provided by The Pantagraph


Two IL Nuclear Plants May Stay Open

There's still hope from legislators that two Illinois power plants can stay open. Republican State Representatives Bill Mitchell, Dan Brady and Jim Durkin spoke to over 100 power plant employees in Clinton on Friday about keeping Exelon's nuclear plants from closing there and in the Quad Cities by drafting bipartisan legislation that would provide incentives. Durkin told WAND-TV he hopes House Speaker Michael Madigan will call lawmakers to Springfield ahead of their scheduled return in November if a bill is drafted.

Many IL GOP Skipping RNC

When the Republican Party launches its quadrennial celebration in Cleveland this week to anoint its nominee for president, some prominent party faithful from Illinois won't be there.  Top leaders, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, are joining Republicans from around the country in ditching the convention without saying why. Many face tough re-election races in November and are trying to distance themselves from the contentious name at the top of the ticket.

Hot This Week

Weekend thunderstorms and at least two tornadoes that rolled through the Midwest are expected to give way to a blistering hot and sticky week. Temperatures in Chicago and stretching into Iowa, Missouri and Kansas and up into Wisconsin are expected to reach 90 degrees by Thursday or Friday, with the same story — though perhaps a bit warmer — anticipated in Minnesota. And in all these areas, the humidity is going to make the temperatures feel like they have reached and even passed the 100-degree mark.

Friday, July 15, 2016

VIDEO: No Downtown Bloomington Hotel...At Least Not Yet

There will be no downtown Bloomington hotel, at least not yet. Benjamin Yount reports:

video

VIDEO: Rauner Not Attending RNC and Refuses to Talk Presidential Politics

Many prominent Illinois Republicans are skipping next week's convention, including Governor Rauner. David Stewart reports the governor isn't talking about the presidential race anymore.
video

Comptroller Munger Paints a Grim Picture for the State's Finances

The Illinois Comptroller is painting a grim picture of the state's financial situation.  Leslie Munger said yesterday that things will get worse under the six-month stopgap budget approved by lawmakers and Governor Rauner.  She believes the state will spend over two-billion dollars more than it's expected to take in during the current fiscal year.  Munger said Illinois' backlog of bills could rise to more than ten-billion dollars by the end of 2016.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Stop-Gap Budget to Prevent Layoffs at EIU

Eastern Illinois University's president says he doesn't anticipate any more layoffs after the recent passage of a stop-gap budget, according to the State Journal-Register

The Charleston school will receive about $26 million in state money through the end of the year. It also will receive about 3.5 million in Monetary Award Program student grant money that it advanced to its students. The Mattoon Journal-Gazette reports that EIU President David Glassman says the school will have to spend cautiously though because the stop-gap budget is temporary.

More than than 400 Eastern Illinois employees have lost jobs because the school had received limited state funding. Glassman says the university has been able to call a few individuals back to work.

Glassman says EIU will be able to operate past Dec. 31 thanks to tuition dollars and state funding.


Information provided by The State Journal-Register 

Lawmakers Call For Illinois Auditor General To Resign

A group of state lawmakers are calling for Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to resign.  Mautino is under investigation over campaign spending.  The probe relates to more than 200-thousand dollars spent at a single gas station while he was a state representative.  State Rep Dwight Kay said yesterday that Illinois deserves an auditor general free from any financial investigations

Rauner Signs Executive Order Designed To Help Minority Companies

Governor Rauner is making an effort to level the playing field for minority-owned companies in Illinois.  The governor signed an executive order yesterday that will initiate reforms designed to give certain businesses a better opportunity to receive state contracts.  The order came from a study done last year that found disparities in the number of companies owed by minorities, women or disabled people that received contracts from the state.

Storms Hit Parts Of Illinois

Cleanup is underway after severe weather hit parts of Illinois.  Storms that passed through the central and southern portions of the state yesterday knocked down trees and power lines.  Ameren reported tens of thousands of customers lost power statewide. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Missing Juvenile




MISSING PERSON




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  DATE
Bloomington, IL - The Bloomington Police Department is seeking help from the public in locating a missing (Juvenile/Runaway/Child).

Missing is (Jaymes R. Cramer) of (Bloomington). (Jaymes) was reported missing on (07/13/16) (after leaving his home on foot).

(Jaymes fequents the pools and skate park located at O'Neal park and Holiday Park. He was last seen walking towards South Gate Estates Mobile Park)

(Jaymes) is a black/male, 16 yoa, 5'7", 160 lbs., black hair, brown eye color. (Jaymes) was last seen wearing (a black and blue Hawaiian print shirt, black or blue jeans, and blue tennis shoes).
Anyone with information about the location of (Jaymes) is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at (309) 820-8888.
No photo was available for this release.
(Bloomington Police Department media releases can also be found on the City of Bloomington website at www.cityblm.org/police )
 
 
CONTACTS:
 
Bloomington (IL) Police Department
police@cityblm.org
(309) 820-8888
 

  

Prosecutors Want Blagojevich to Serve Full Sentence

Federal prosecutors are asking for a judge to order former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to serve his entire 14-year prison term when he returns to court for resentencing next month, but his attorneys want about nine years lopped off his sentence.

The motions are part of a legal battle between federal prosecutors and the former governor's attorneys over the sentence imposed in 2011 by U.S. District Judge James Zagel after a jury convicted Blagojevich of 18 corruption counts, including attempting to sell the vacant U.S. Senate seat once occupied by President Obama. In March, several months after a federal appeals court panel tossed five of 18 counts against Blagojevich, prosecutors said they would not retry him on those counts and requested that he return to Zagel's courtroom for resentencing.

The resentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 9. If the judge lets the 14-year sentence stand, Blagojevich would have to serve 85 percent of it, meaning the earliest he could be eligible for release is early 2014.

Suspects Nabbed in July 2nd Chuckie Cheese Fight

Three men have been arrested and charged in in that fight at the Chuck E. Cheese’s in Bloomington on July 2nd and police are looking for another suspect. That fight initially broke out between two subjects and then expanded to include about 40 people. A 3-year-old suffered a minor injury during the altercation.  Charged are: Nevin D. Funches, 23, of Bloomington for mob action; Antoine C. Smith, 24, of Normal for aggravated battery in public and mob action; and Demetrius D. Moore, 24, of Normal for mob action.

Rauner Announces IL School Funding Overhaul Commission

Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced a commission to help overhaul Illinois' outdated school funding formula. He told reporters on Tuesday the bipartisan group of 25 people will study the issue and offer a final report to his office and the General Assembly by Feb. 1, 2017. Rauner says commission members will be chosen by him and the four legislative leaders. Appointees include Republicans Sen. Jason Barickman and Rep. Dwight Kay and Democrats Sen. Andy Manar and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie. 

Potential for Severe Weather

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE....THUNDERSTORM CHANCES WILL CONTINUE WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT BEFORE DIMINISHING EARLY THURSDAY. SOME OF THE STORMS
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND ESPECIALLY WEDNESDAY NIGHT HAVE THE
POTENTIAL TO BE SEVERE. AFTER A COUPLE DAYS OF QUIET WEATHER,
THUNDERSTORM CHANCES RETURN FOR SUNDAY AND MONDAY.


HEAT INDEX VALUES ON WEDNESDAY WILL BE AROUND 100 DEGREES

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Black Lives Matter Group Marches to Peoria Police Department

On Sunday a Black Lives Matter group along with supporters marched from the riverfront to the Peoria Police Department.

There were approximately 100 non-violent protestors holding signs and saying they were using their voice to stop the deadly violence, especially with and against police officers.

Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell said the protestors simply talked about the need for more dialogue with police officers, according to News 25. Mitchell said they didn't know the cops and that the police didn't know them.

He added that the city's residential cop program that allows police to live in certain neighborhoods helps to build relationships.

In an interview with News 25, Mitchell said, "Those are important, those make a difference in the neighborhoods that they're in. So, we need to make sure that they continue to grow that type of program. That neighborhood around that officer gets to know who they are, they interact with him every day. We don't just come to your house when bad things happen."

Mitchell and the protestors both seemed satisfied with the outcome, with a cautious relief for the majority that have had enough violence and are willing to communicate as much as possible to broker peace.

Information provided by News 25

A New Bloomington City Hall?

A new City Hall, a $50 million operations facility and a $30 million recreation center are the most expensive items in the city's capital improvement plan over the next five years. The Pantagraph reports the plan notes that funding has not been set aside for those projects, which are scheduled for 2021, 2020 and 2020, respectively. The plan starts with fiscal year 2017, which began in May, and runs through fiscal year 2021.  “We have about $500 million worth of deferred maintenance over the next 20 years,” Assistant City Manager Steve Rasmussen told the Pantagraph. “We need to start eating away at that."

SAT to Replace PARCC

The SAT will replace the PARCC assessment as the high school accountability exam in Illinois, the State Board of Education announced Monday. Students in third through eighth grades will continue to take the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessment. The SAT (formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Achievement Test) will be provided to schools at no extra cost and will be offered to students during the school day, the state agency said. The state board said it made the change in response to listening to students, parents, educators, administrators and advocacy groups. Across Illinois, many high school students refused to take the test.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Armed Decatur Man Shot by Officer, in Critical Condition

A Decatur man, who police allege was armed with a gun and a knife, has been hospitalized after being shot by a police officer.

Decatur Police said Monday that its officers were notified around 1:00 a.m. of a man with a gun. Police say the officers encountered a man matching the description and an officer fired, striking the man in the chest.

The man is listed in serious condition.

According to WAND-TV, the man is a 40-year-old black Decatur resident and the officer who shot him is a white, five-year department veteran.

The investigation has been turned over to Illinois State Police.

The shooting comes amid recent high profile police-shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Those shooting were followed Thursday by the sniper killings of five officers and the wounding of seven more in Dallas during a protest over police violence.


Information provided by WAND-TV and the Associated Press

Friday, July 8, 2016

Pension Reform Unlikely to Happen Until After November

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday that he'll travel the state this summer and fall, meeting with individual legislators and legislative to press his case for major pension reform, according to the Champaign News Gazette.

However, he admitted there won't be a vote on his plan until after the Nov. 8 election. Under a side agreement that was part of the "bridge" budget deal reached last week between the governor and the Democratic Legislature, the cash-strapped Chicago Public School system won't get a $215.2 million contribution from the state to its teacher pension system without approval of a broad-based pension reform.

Pension reform is one of three major issues - along with the workers' compensation changes and "local control" - that Rauner said have to be addressed before he considers any tax increases for Illinois government.

Rauner claims a pension change could save the state $1 billion annually. But if it were applied "across the board," he said it could save all governments in Illinois $2.5 billion a year.


Information provided by the Champaign News-Gazette

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Illinois Lottery: Drawing for Seventh Largest Prize in U.S. History Today


No one claimed the jackpot in Tuesday's Mega-Millions drawing, which means the prize could reach $508 million in the Friday, July 8 drawing.

The winning numbers will be drawn at 10:00 p.m. Central time.

A March 2012 Mega Millions jackpot of $656 million held the record for the largest lotto jackpot in U.S. history until three winners split the almost 1.6 billion Powerball prize in the Jan. 13, 2016 drawing. Mega Millions has awarded 10 jackpots of more than $300 million.

According to officials, the prize ranks as the seventh-largest jackpot in the United States of all lottery games, including Powerball, and is the third-largest prize for the Mega Millions game in its history.


Information provided by Illinois Patch

2015 State Fair Vendors Will Be Paid...Eventually

Vendors from the 2015 Illinois State Fair should finally get paid as a result of a short-term budget approved by state lawmakers. How soon? That remains uncertain.
A 6-month spending plan approved last week authorizes nearly $1.6 million for overdue vendor payments, as well as $6.4 million for operating the 2016 fair, according to Illinois Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Rebecca Clark
.

Fight At Chuckie Cheese

Things got rowdy at Chuck-E-Cheese's in Bloomington Saturday night. Police say as many as 40 people started fighting and yelling. Witnesses say the fight started small, but then expanded.
The only injury was a 3-year-old boy who got a minor injury after a game fell over and struck him.