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Republican McClure will run against McCann in the 50th Senate district

Republican Steve McClure of Springfield formally announced Tuesday that he will run against incumbent GOP Sen. Sam McCann in the 50th Senate district.McClure, 31, is the second Republican to challenge McCann in a primary in the last two years.McClure is a former Sangamon County assistant state’s attorney. He said he resigned from the position Friday to concentrate on running for office.McClure said his is pro-life and pro-gun rights. He said he believes McCann [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 6:11 pm

Central Illinois veteran who fought library attacker among 18 Carnegie Heroes

PITTSBURGH — An Army veteran who fended off a mentally ill man who tried to attack a chess class the veteran was teaching at a central Illinois public library is one of 18 people being honored with Carnegie medals for heroism.The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, based in Pittsburgh, announced the winners on Tuesday.James O. Vernon , 75, was in a conference room at the Morton Public Library with 17 children and four women when 19-year-old Dustin Brown burst in with two [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 5:29 pm

Small earthquake reported in southern Illinois, felt in 3 states

ALBION — The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a small earthquake in southeastern Illinois was felt across parts of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.The USGS says the preliminary 3.8-magnitude earthquake occurred at 6:47 a.m. Central Time on Tuesday about 7 ½ miles northeast of the city of Albion. The agency says the quake caused light to moderate shaking and very light damage. The quake's preliminary depth was a little more than 7 miles.The Edwards County Sheriff's [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 5:28 pm

Rep. Drury leaves governor's race to run for attorney general

CHICAGO — Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury says he's dropping out of the race for Illinois governor to run for attorney general.The former federal prosecutor from Highwood said Tuesday Illinois needs an attorney general who's "fiercely independent." He says he'd step up the office's focus on fraud and corruption.Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday she won't run for re-election in 2018. The Chicago Democrat's surprise announcement prompted several Democrats to say [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 5:24 pm

Man who burned flag, Urbana police reach settlement

CHICAGO — A central Illinois man has settled a lawsuit filed against the Urbana Police Department for his 2016 arrest following a Facebook posting of a picture showing him burning a U.S. flag.Bryton Mellott was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union in his lawsuit for which he will receive $15,000 with the settlement. He will also receive $20,000 for attorneys' fees.The 22-year-old Mellott's lawsuit was filed against four members of the Urbana Police [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 5:19 pm

Illinois reports first West Nile-related death of 2017

A Kankakee County resident who died earlier this month is Illinois' first human West Nile virus-related death of 2017, the Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday.“Although we will soon start seeing cooler weather, West Nile virus is still a concern,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah. “It’s important for everyone to continue taking precautions like using insect repellent, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, and staying indoors between dusk and [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 5:12 pm

Illinois State University announces $150M fundraising campaign

NORMAL — Illinois State University is launching its most ambitious fundraising campaign to date.The university has set a goal to raise $150 million in private funds. The "Redbirds Rising" campaign was announced on Monday.ISU President Larry Dietz says the money will help "ensure our students and scholars have access to the tools and resources needed to reach new levels of scholarship, leadership and innovation."The funds will be used to expand scholarships for [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 4:44 pm

Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy, but keeps stores open

NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.The company said the proceedings are a way for Toys 'R' Us to work with its creditors on restructuring the debt beleaguering it. And it emphasized that its stores worldwide -- including its Springfield location at 2701 [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 12:40 pm

District 186 OKs budget, but cuts SHS Booster money for athletic field

District 186 board members approved a balanced budget Monday night, but not before cutting a $25,000 payment to Springfield High School’s Booster Club to help it pay debt owed on the New Street Athletic Facility.A motion by board president Adam Lopez to move the money allocated for the boosters into the district's operations and maintenance fund’s surplus account passed 6-0.Lopez said it isn’t the district’s responsibility to help the boosters pay [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 2:23 am

Protests resume after 120 arrests in St. Louis unrest

ST. LOUIS — Protesters chanting "free our people" gathered outside the jail in downtown St. Louis on Monday night to show solidarity with those who remain behind bars.Police said that more than 120 people were arrested during Sunday's protests. Demonstrators outside the jail criticized authorities for keeping some of those arrested in jail nearly 24 hours after they were taken into custody. One organizer said over a megaphone that the protesters were prepared to "occupy" the [...]

Published on 19 September 2017 | 1:49 am

Rauner signs revamp of EDGE business tax-credit

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that re-establishes an economic-development tax incentive with greater transparency.The Republican signed the revamped EDGE tax credit law Monday. He says it's a "bipartisan job-creation program that is innovative and competitive for business."The law expires in 2022.Rauner says key parts of the plan include incentives to encourage companies to move or expand to economically challenged parts of the state and lower [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 11:08 pm

Rauner to lawmakers: Help me balance the budget

Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday continued to insist the recently passed state budget is wildly out of balance and called on state lawmakers to work with him to find cuts that will bring it into balance.Coincidentally or not, the four legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss outstanding issues still facing the state.“There is a leaders meeting scheduled for (Tuesday) to have a general discussion of issues moving into the veto session,” said Eleni [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 10:57 pm

Luciano: Peoria-area wedding-reception guests jump fence, chase bison

HANNA CITY — Wedding receptions brim with heartwarming rituals: toasting the couple, cutting the cake, chasing the bison ...OK, maybe that last one isn’t so much a time-honored tradition as booze-fueled shenanigans. But that’s what happened at a recent wedding reception at Wildlife Prairie Park, located just west of Peoria. Three intoxicated guests, including two groomsmen, allegedly climbed a fence and dashed after bison. In terms of fun and games, that’s [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 10:04 pm

3 Springfield businesses accused of failing underage liquor sales test

Three of 22 businesses in Sangamon County allegedly failed checks by the state liquor board on Friday for compliance with rules against serving alcohol to those under 21 years old.The check by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, with the help of the Secretary of State Police, included eight businesses that were retested for compliance.Businesses that failed the compliance check:* Casey’s General Store, 3001 Ridge Ave.* Crow’s Mill Bar and Grill, [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 9:47 pm

Navy fires 2 commanders in connection with ship collisions

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy has fired two senior commanders in the Pacific region in connection with recent deadly collisions of Navy ships, as part of a sweeping purge of leadership in the Japan-based fleet.The announcement comes a day before the top U.S. Navy officer and the Navy secretary are scheduled to go to Capitol Hill for a hearing on the ship crashes.Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of the Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet, fired Rear Adm. Charles Williams and Capt. [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 9:41 pm

Attorney general: No immediate plans to seek another office

CHICAGO — Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she has no "immediate plans" to run for another office when her term is up in 2019, including mayor of Chicago.The Chicago Democrat made the surprising announcement last week that wouldn't be seeking a fifth term for attorney general after she'd previously said she would seek re-election next year.Madigan tells Chicago's WBBM that she doesn't know what the future holds politically and doesn't plan to immediately seek public [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 9:34 pm

Changes a step at a time on MacArthur Boulevard

 Supporters of MacArthur Boulevard revitalization say they have no illusions about years of engineering studies and millions of state dollars required for major traffic changes on the congested corridor.Better sidewalks, bike paths and landscaping are goals in the short term.The major challenge to traffic changes -- including widening the boulevard -- would be purchasing property required, according to an Illinois Department Transportation study completed in June. Wider [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 9:25 pm

DEA: Meth on the rise in southern Illinois

BELLEVILLE — The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the amount of methamphetamine coming into southern Illinois has been on the rise for the past five or 10 years.DEA agent Doug Dorley tells the Belleville News-Democrat that the region has become a prime destination for Mexican drug cartels bringing cheaper and higher-quality crystal meth into the U.S.According to the DEA's 2016 National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, most of the meth available in the U.S. is now [...]

Published on 18 September 2017 | 5:57 pm

3 die as buses collide at New York City intersection

A city bus and a tour bus collided and spun around in a New York City intersection on Monday, leaving three people dead, including a pedestrian, officials said.

Published on 18 September 2017 | 5:36 pm

Fierce storms haven't slowed growth along US coastlines

Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new Associated Press analysis shows. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull's-eyes on two of the country's fastest growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida.

Published on 18 September 2017 | 4:31 pm

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