Illinois News Roundup for Tuesday, May 22


Published on May 22 2012 1:46 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

>>Illinois Leads Nation In Exonerations For False Convictions

(Undated)  --  Exonerations for false convictions in the U.S. are more common than previously believed, and Illinois is leading the nation in terms of numbers.  The newly unveiled National Registry of Exonerations shows more than two-thousand people have been exonerated for crimes they were falsely convicted of over the past 23 years.  More than one-thousand of those exonerations were the result of investigations into police corruption cases.  Besides Illinois, New York, Texas, California and Michigan also topped the list.


>>Group Says Road Funds Still Being Raided

(Springfield, IL)  --  Gasoline taxes and license-plate fees are how Illinois raises some three-billion dollars a year for road construction and repair.  But some transit advocates say too little of it is paying for highway improvements.  The Transportation for Illinois Coalition says the state is raiding the fund to pay for items such as employee health insurance and workers compensation coverage in the budget year that begins July 1st.


>>Bridge Connecting Illinois To Indiana To Close

(New Harmony, IN)  --  An toll bridge over the Wabash River between Indiana and Illinois will be shut down next week.  The commission that oversees the 82-year-old New Harmony Bridge has voted to close it on May 29th.  Commission members say an inspection of the bridge last month found more deterioration than expected.  It also found that repairs needed on the bridge would be prohibitively expensive.


>>County Sues Banks Over Recording Fees

(Belleville, IL)  --  St. Clair County officials file a civil suit against dozens of banks -- from the Bank of America to local operations -- alleging they created a scheme to evade county fees and shield property transfer records from the public.  The suit, in St. Clair County Circuit Court, says the banks created a database company, called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, which enabled them to avoid the payment of fees to the county's recorder of deeds by having MERS assume the mortgage titles.


>>Rockford Woman forced To Withdraw Cash For Robber

(Rockford, IL)  --  A Rockford woman was forced to drive to an ATM machine and withdraw money for a man who confronted her outside her home.  Police says the woman had just gotten home and was walking from her detached garage toward her house when the man approached her.  He threatened her with a gun and asked for money but when she said she didn't have any, he told her to get back in the car and go withdraw it from her bank account.  The man then drove her back to her neighborhood, jumped out the car and took off on foot.  Anyone with information about the incident should call the Rockford police at 815-987-5824.


>>Graduating Seniors Robbed During Ceremony

(Benton, IL)  --  Four graduating seniors and one teacher get robbed during the Benton graduation ceremony over the weekend.  Officials say the culprit broke into the east gym while the ceremony was underway and snagged cell phones and cash from the victims' purses.  Surveillance cameras captured the crime.  Two people have been arrested in connection and three of the cell phones have been recovered.


>>Wounded Warrior Event This Weekend

(O'Fallon, IL)  --  A wounded veteran from O'Fallon is being honored in a ceremony in this weekend.  Marine Lance Corporal Kevin Hanrahan lost his left leg and suffered broken ribs and a broken eye socket while on duty in Afghanistan last summer.  The 2007 O'Fallon High School graduate is still being treated for the injuries.  The VFW is hosting a Wounded Warrior Memorial Day event in his honor on Saturday at 5 p.m. Call 618-567-5315 to purchase tickets or get more information.  


>>Elderly Woman Must Repay Realty Company

(Edwardsville, IL)  --  A 76-year-old Bethalto woman accused of stealing more than 100-thousand dollars from a realty company is ordered to pay it back.  Donna Sasek allegedly stole more than 500-thousand dollars from Landmark Realty over a period of ten years.  Officials say she wrote checks to herself from the Landmark bank account, deposited them into her own account, and go on lavish shopping sprees.  Sasek has to serve four years probation and pay back 180-grand of the cash that she stole.