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Lawsuit against Hastert alleging sexual assault dismissed

CHICAGO -- An Illinois lawsuit filed against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert that alleged a sexual assault has been dismissed.Kendall County Circuit Judge Robert Pilmer ruled Monday that the statute of limitations required dismissal of lawsuit.Attorneys for the accuser alleged the man was "intimidated into silence" by Hastert's power. Hastert's attorney, John Ellis, argued the legal window to sue expired two years after the accuser turned 18. The man is now in his 50s. [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 11:14 pm

CBS suspends Rose, PBS halts his show following allegations

PBS says it is immediately halting distribution of Charlie Rose's interview program and CBS News suspended him following The Washington Post's report of eight women who accused the veteran newsman of multiple unwanted sexual advances and inappropriate behavior.

Published on 20 November 2017 | 10:41 pm

Luciano: Should I burn my letters from Charles Manson?

What do you do with letters from a dead mass murderer? [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 10:35 pm

Illinois to stay in much-criticized voter database for now

CHICAGO -- Illinois election officials voted Monday to remain in a much-criticized multistate voter registration database, but opponents who raised questions about inaccuracies and security vowed to take the fight to the state legislature.For weeks, advocates and top Illinois Democrats - including both U.S. senators - have urged election officials to withdraw from the Kansas-run Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program. The goal of the voluntary program is to clean voter rolls [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 9:14 pm

BOS Center could get walk-through metal detectors

The Bank of Springfield Center could soon have its own metal detectors to enhance security for some events.“It’s becoming pretty standard at most larger arenas, and even with some of the larger national promoters it’s becoming a requirement that you have those in the building,” General Manager Brian Oaks told the board overseeing the downtown venue formerly known as the Prairie Capital Convention Center.Greg Sronce, a member of the board, raised the [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 8:48 pm

Sangamon CEO program for high school seniors doubles class size

High school seniors in the Sangamon CEO program are required to arrive at 7:20 a.m. for the start of class at 7:30."Ten minutes early is on time," explains Rich Johnson, executive director of the Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities partnership between local businesses and Sangamon County school districts. The number of students has increased from 29 to 49 for the fifth year of the program, which is intended to provide real-world, hands-on experience in planning, starting, [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 8:43 pm

4 in 5 Illinois debris sites high in toxins

Four in five Illinois quarries that backfill with concrete and other demolition waste show higher-than-acceptable levels of toxins, according to state sampling results obtained by The Associated Press.Illinois Environmental Protection Agency testing last spring produced levels exceeding allowable limits of arsenic, lead, mercury, atrazine and other heavy metals and pesticides as well as volatile organic compounds that can cause health hazards, according to violation notices [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 7:03 pm

Lockdown lifted at Rochester schools; no weapon found

ROCHESTER — A lockdown at Rochester Junior and Senior High Schools has been lifted, about 90 minutes after it began.The campuses, off Illinois 29, were placed on lockdown at about 10:15 a.m. after a student found a round of ammunition and turned it in to an administrator, said Superintendent Tom Bertrand. There was no threat, he said."However, we take nothing for granted when it comes to the safety of our students and staff," Bertrand said in a statement. [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 6:07 pm

Trump says US will declare NKorea a state sponsor of terror

President Donald Trump announced Monday that the U.S. will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror amid heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Published on 20 November 2017 | 4:29 pm

2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct

A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct, saying he put his hand on her bottom as they posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 — after he had begun his career in the Senate.

Published on 20 November 2017 | 3:47 pm

A La Carte: Mick & Mary's reopens in Thayer after fire

MICK & MARY’S famous fried chicken is available again in Thayer with the historic joint open again after an electrical fire closed the business in September.It was the third time the business -- which dates back to 1926 -- has gone through the flames only to rise from the ashes. Still, owner Josh Snodgrass is hoping the third time’s the charm.“Hopefully, we’re all done with that,” he [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 2:44 pm

Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies

Charles Manson, the hippie cult leader who became the hypnotic-eyed face of evil across America after orchestrating the gruesome murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six others in Los Angeles during the summer of 1969, died Sunday after nearly a half-century in prison. He was 83.

Published on 20 November 2017 | 5:26 am

Children of Abraham program brings together children of different faiths

About 70 children from different religious backgrounds gathered last week at the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield, where they shrieked with joy as they tried to win a glow stick.They also walked in a circle with a ping-pong ball balanced on a plastic spoon held between their teeth. And cheers went up as they threw themselves onto the mosque’s carpeted floor to keep three beach balls off the ground.The vision of children with varying backgrounds laughing and playing [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 5:05 am

House task force to review sexual harassment

Three Springfield area lawmakers are part of the House task force assigned to examine further ways to combat instances of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.That includes Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, who was named the ranking Republican on the 40-member task force.“I had asked to be appointed to the task force as soon as I knew that was going to be part of our going forward process,” Jimenez said, adding that she did not seek out [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 5:00 am

Investigation: Radioactive leaks continue at Illinois nuclear plants

Radioactive waste continues to pour from Exelon's Illinois nuclear power plants more than a decade after the discovery of chronic leaks led to national outrage, a $1.2 million government settlement and a company vow to guard against future accidents, an investigation by a government watchdog group found.Since 2007, there have been at least 35 reported leaks, spills or other accidental releases in Illinois of water contaminated with radioactive tritium, a byproduct of nuclear power [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 4:44 am

Someone to know: Edra 'Emmi' Fisher is up-and-comer in farming

Editor's note: "Someone To Know" is a new weekly profile feature that highlights central Illinoisans who are doing interesting things. Why you should know her: Edra "Emmi" Fisher, a central Illinois native and student at Lincoln Land Community College, is an up-and-comer in the agricultural world. She’s pursuing her dream of owning an organic farm and recently received her third scholarship from the National Black Farmers Association.How she got interested in [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 4:39 am

Jesse Jackson's decades in public eye shaped by many roles

CHICAGO — For more than 50 years, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has been in the public eye as an activist, a two-time presidential candidate and a guiding force in the modern civil rights movement.Jackson, 76, disclosed on Friday that he's been treated for Parkinson's disease for the past two years, leaving unclear what role he will play in the national conversation going forward.The onetime protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has taken on numerous roles that [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 12:42 am

Japanese students mark 154th anniversary of Gettysburg Address

The reciting of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in English by five students from Springfield's sister city of Ashikaga, Japan, went off without a hitch Sunday.Each of the students — three girls and two boys — stepped to the podium in the Hall of Representatives of the Old State Capitol and confidently delivered the remarks given by Lincoln on Nov. 19, 1863, at the dedication of the [...]

Published on 20 November 2017 | 12:25 am

Local business notes: The wait for 110-mph Amtrak rolls into 2018

The Illinois Department of Transportation is now looking at 2018 for the start of AMTRAK service up to 110 mph on the Chicago-St. Louis corridor.Early on in the seven-year, $2 billion high-speed rail project, the goal was faster service on much of the corridor by the end of 2017. But as is often the case with major projects, construction has taken longer than anticipated. A big piece of remaining work is along the Third Street/Union Pacific rail corridor in Springfield. Five crossings [...]

Published on 19 November 2017 | 2:53 am

What comes first: Nice roads or new development? Aldermen to debate

Gene Beenenga, 76, has watched the evolution of the boundaries on the west side of Springfield for more than 45 years. He remembers when Iles Avenue, the road that leads to his house, was gravel. He and his wife bought their house, which has a New Berlin address, where they thought they could get the peaceful quiet of country living.As the years have gone by, more subdivisions and more people have moved into the area, and Hope Church and the Kerasotes YMCA continue to bring in drivers [...]

Published on 19 November 2017 | 2:21 am

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