Sunday Local News for May 13th

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Published on May 13 2012 9:45 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Best of success to the Class of 2012 at Dieterich High School.  Dieterich will hold its graduation ceremony this afternoon.

Teutopolis and Beecher City seniors graduated last night.

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A 16-year-old Mt. Vernon boy has admitted to his part in the murder of a cab driver.  Christopher Wells has pleaded guilty to murder charges and will likely be sentenced to between 20 and 60 years in prison.  Wells is one of four people accused of gunning down 75-year-old cabbie Charles Ellis in Mt. Vernon in May of 2011.  The other three are still awaiting trial.

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Child care funding in Illinois is being restored just one week after Governor Quinn announced the state could no longer afford to pay it.  Quinn plans to pay for the program by taking $73 million from a fund set aside to pay Medicare expenses.  The state will skip paying the Medicare premiums this year and will kick them into a future year.  Without paying for child care assistance, the state was facing a massive drop in its workforce as parents would have to stay home to care for their children.

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Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier has administered the "attorney's oath" to 96 new lawyers who were admitted to practice law in the state.  The group sworn in at a ceremony in Olney is among 608 men and women statewide who were certified as candidates and sworn in at ceremonies in the state's five Supreme Court judicial districts.  The new attorneys bring the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to about 90,700.

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A Chicago alderman is hoping to keep teens from getting in a tanning bed.  Debra Silverstein says anyone under 18 shouldn't be tanning, claiming it's too harmful.  She's proposed an ordinance making tanning illegal for minors.  Silverstein believes tanning beds are similar to cigarettes and should have similar enforcement.  Illinois law already prohibits people under 14 years old from using a tanning bed.

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Illinois ranks eighth for 2011 individual Internet complaint crimes.  The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has released numbers nationwide showing a nearly 4% increase since 2010.  The top five states for Internet crime were California, Florida, Texas, New York and Ohio.

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Governor Quinn said he supports gay marriage.  The announcement came after President Obama put his stamp of approval on same sex marriage.  Several openly gay lawmakers in Illinois introduced a bill to legalize same sex marriage this year, but with other issues more pressing, decided not to move forward with the initiative.  Representatives Greg Harris, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy, who are sponsoring the bill, have all said they won't give up on the issue and they hope to see their home state join others in the effort.

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Tuition is going up at Southern Illinois University.  Beginning this fall, new students will pay $272 per credit hour, an increase of $375 per year.  Fees for student housing, medical insurance, faciliities maintenance, athletics, activities and recreation will also go up next year, giving the university an additional $3 million in revenue.

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Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield is finally repaired.  The artillery officer on top of the tomb was vandalized last October when a 16-year-old boy broke into the Oak Ridge Cemetery and stole the sword from the statue.  Chicago sculptor Marshall Svendsen fixed the statue at no charge.