Local News for Sunday, February 3

Print

Published on February 3 2013 6:04 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Illinois State Police are beefing up enforcement for this Super Bowl Sunday.

State Police say they're strictly enforcing moving violations with an emphasis on the Fatal 4 violations: DUI, speeding, distracted driving and seat belts.  Troopers issued more than 1,000 Fatal 4 citations during the 2012 Super Bowl weekend.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White urged Illinoisans to celebrate safely by designating a sober driver, taking a cab, or staying where you are.

   --

A state ethics commission has found that prison officials under Governor Pat Quinn violated policy by hiring an administrator who was politically-connected, but didn't meet the qualifications for the job.  The commission's report says that the hiring by Corrections Director Tony Godinez and his top assistant Jerry Buscher was a violation of Department of Corrections policy, not because the unnamed person had political connections, but because the person didn't have the required background in penal administration and criminology.

Retired State Senator John O. Jones had pushed for an investigation into the hiring practices in the months before he left office.

   --

One outcome of the fact that only 19 of the 59 Illinois state senators are Republicans is that every one of them will make extra money for holding leadership and committee posts.

Minority Leader Christine Radogno gets a stipend of more than $27,000.  Six deputy and assistant minority leaders each get more than $20,000.  The minority, in this case Republican, spokesmen on each of the Senate's 21 committees get an additional $10,000.

   --

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois began selling cookies on Friday.  Customers will notice a change this year; the new direct sale format means customers will no longer have to wait for delivery.  Girls will now carry cookies with them so customers can enjoy them sooner

Customers can select their favorite cookies.  Cookies will be sold for $4 per box.

   --

Local Congressman John Shimkus has joined 76 other members of Congress in sending a letter to President Obama opposing his recently-announced gun control proposals.

Among the points made in the letter: "The desire for prompt action should never cause us to overlook our founding document, our most sacred beliefs, the Constitution"...Your proposals do not adequately recognize that simply having access to a firearm does not cause murderous intent or criminal nature"...and "A gun does not turn an otherwise law-abiding citizen into a murderer, but that gun may protect a law-abiding citizen from one."

   --

A one-cent increase in the cost of a first-class postage stamp brings the total price to 46 cents.  The price change went into effect a week ago.  It's the second price increase since 2009.

The price of additional postage is unchanged.  The cost of sending a postcard went up one cent to 33 cents.  Letters to international destinations cost $1.10. 

Prices for shipping services increased 2.2%.

   --

Pork producers have begun the chant "four more months" are they can now see the light of profits as they are set to emerge from a tunnel of losses.  That tunnel of darkness stretched from the spring of 2012 through the winter of 2013, with average estimated losses of $18 per head, primarily due to high feed practices, according to Purdue University Extension Economist Chris Hurt.

The December Hogs and Pigs Report from USDA provides evidence that 2013 pork supplies will not be down as much as the 2% that had been anticipated.  Hurt said pork supplies for the year may be closer to unchanged with a 1% to 2% reduction in the first half offset by a 1% to 2% increase in the second half of the year.

Hurt said hog prices are expected to be somewhat stronger in 2013 due to small beef supplies, continued strong pork exports, and modestly improving consumer increases.

   --

Radon tests from more than 118,000 homes across Illinois found 41% had radon levels above the recommended level for taking action.  Information on home radon tests conducted by professional radon measurement contractors from 2003 to 2011 is now readily available on the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's radon website...www.radon.illinois.gov. 

   --

Governor Pat Quinn is calling on every Illinois resident, school and business to participate in what's being called the "largest earthquake drill in the history of the Midwest" this Thursday at 10:15am.  The third annual Great Central US ShakeOut is a nine-state emergency preparedness drill designed to encourage residents to think about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Participants can register for the drill online at www.shakeout.org/centralus and will receive tips and information about earthquake preparedness.  More than 410,000 Illinois residents are already registered for the drill, which will highlight Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois.

   --

Teutopolis Knights of Columbus Council #2874 is hosting the annual Newman breakfast until noon at the Teutopolis Knights of Columbus Hall.  All you can eat whole hog sausage, scrambled and fried eggs, pancakes and hash browns will be served, and crafts and baked goods will be available.  Over 40 Newman Centers throughout Illinois offer college and campus students a chance to gather and practice their Catholic faith.  All proceeds go to to the Newman fund.

   --

Tonight's scheduled Sing Night at the Watson United Methodist Church has been cancelled.

   --

St. John's Lutheran Church on West Jefferson in Effingham is hosting a breakfast from now until 9:30 this morning.  On the menu: biscuits and sausage gravy, pancakes and syrup, sausage patties, scrambled eggs with bacon, pastries, coffee and juice.

Proceeds will help the church's senior high students attend the National Youth Gathering this summer in San Antonio, Texas.

   --

The Luminaries for Life display will conclude today on the steps of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Effingham.

Students from St. Anthony Parish created hundreds of luminaries to promote the pro-life movement on the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

   --

Due to illness, last month's Effingham Area Tax Party tax meeting was postponed.  Tonight's meeting will include a former county board president speaking on real estate taxes. 

Tea Party meets the first Sunday night of each month at 6:30pm at Culver's Frozen Custard and Butterburgers.  New members are welcome to attend.