Illinois News Roundup for Tuesday
Published on May 1 2012 9:40 am
Last Updated on May 1 2012 4:14 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
>>George Ryan Appeal Good News For Blagojevich
(Chicago, IL) -- Former Governor Rod Blagojevich is likely seeing a bit of light at the end of his tunnel. He's vowed to appeal his conviction and news that his predecessor, George Ryan, is getting another shot at an appeal, has probably put fire under Blagojevich's plan. That's according to John Marshall Law School Professor Ann Lousin, who says Blagojevich will likely jump at the opportunity to prove the Honest Services Law didn't apply to him. It comes after the U.S. Supreme Court sent Ryan's case back to the court of appeals based on Ryan's claim that there were errors in jury instructions.
>>Lawmakers To Vote On Facility Closures
(Springfield, IL) -- A group of lawmakers will vote on Governor Quinn's plan to close several state facilities. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has heard testimony both for and against the closures. Today, they'll recommend whether Quinn should keep open or close the Tamms Correctional Center, Dwight Correctional Center, Illinois Youth Center at Joliet, Murray Developmental Center, and two Adult Transition Centers. Their vote is non-binding and Quinn is not obligated to do as the Commission recommends.
>>Lawmaker Vows To Fight Charges, Clear Name
(Chicago, IL) -- Representative Derrick Smith says he's not stepping down. The Chicago lawmaker accused of bribery pleaded "Not Guilty" in court yesterday, claiming he did nothing wrong. Smith also says he's troubled by the quote, "shenanigans" being played by the FBI to get others to say bad things about him. He was arrested last month and charged with accepting a seven thousand dollar bribe in exchange for securing a state grant for a daycare.
>>Woman Escapes From Trunk During Heaist
(Rockford, IL) -- A Rockford woman managed to escape from the trunk of her car after robbers stuffed her inside. Police say two men approached the woman just after midnight on Monday while she was in her driveway, hit her on the head with a shotgun, forced her inside the trunk, and drove away. The woman activated the interior trunk release, jumped from the vehicle, and ran away. Police are looking for two young, white males around 18 years old, both wore dark hoodies during the heist.
>>National Day Of Prayer This Thursday
(Undated) -- This Thursday marks the 60th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer, which invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The idea is to pray for America's families and leaders, defend the religious freedoms granted by the Constitution, and foster unity within the Christian Church. Many groups often gather outside government buildings to pray but this year, there will be some resistance. The American Humanist Association has planned to protest the prayers outside the buildings, calling their movement the National Day of Reason.
>>State To Spend Less On Streets And Highways
(Springfield, IL) -- State spending on highways and arterial streets will decline about 20-percent overall in the next six years. That's under an austerity transportation plan released Monday. The Quinn administration's new highway-improvement program will offer far less money to repair roads and address increasing traffic congestion. Plans to expand the roadway system will also be further delayed.
>>Illinois Gas Prices Headed Downward
(Undated) -- The average retail gasoline price in Illinois has fallen four-cents per gallon in the past week. It now averages four-dollars and one-cent. That compares with the national average that has fallen three-cents per gallon in the last week to three-81. According to IllinoisGasPrices.com, prices Sunday were 23-cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago, and are 25-cents per gallon lower than a month ago.
>>Fort Campbell Soldier's Rescheduled Court Martial Trial Starts
(Louisville, KY) -- The court martial for an Illinois soldier accused of killing his wife and her former mother-in-law starts today. A conviction in the trial where Brent Burke of Ursa, Illinois is charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice could get him the death penalty. Charges were dropped against Burke in four mistrials in civilian court after a prosecutor cited evidence problems in the case, though the military filed charges against him less than two weeks later.