Local News for Sunday, March 3

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Published on March 3 2013 11:33 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Illinois African-American groups are expressing their dissatisfaction with Governor Pat Quinn's removal of three SIU board of trustee members.  A letter sent to Quinn expressed "disdain" over the removal of John Simmons, Mark Hinrichs and Ed Hightower from the university's governing board.  Quinn nominated Sandra Cook of Collinsville, Lee Milner of Springfield and Melvin Terrell of Chicago to replace them.  However, the appointments were rejected by the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

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A former SIU  Board member is calling on the university president to resign, but Glen Poshard says he isn't going anywhere.  Former Board Chair, Roger Herrin, says President Glen Poshard is playing politics with several big decisions on the future of the school.  Herrin says he made several attempts to change the status quo but he was voted out of his gig last month.  Poshard says Herrin bullied SIU staff members when he didn't get his way and even wanted to rig an election for SIU General Council, a charge Herring adamantly denies. 

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Federal budget cuts and falling unemployment claims have prompted the Illinois Department of Employment Security to close seven offices across the state.  The move leaves 192 people without jobs, but they'll have chances to fill jobs in other state offices.  The latest closures include offices in Centralia, DeKalb, East St. Louis, Galesburg, Jacksonville, Mattoon and Murphysboro.  Including these closings, the state has shuttered fifteen unemployment offices over the past eighteen months. 

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First-time home buyers can get help with down payments and closing costs through a new state program.  The initiative offers first-timers a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and up to six-thousand-dollars for down payment and closing costs.  Home buyers can also receive a federal income tax credit of up to 18-thousand-dollars over the life of the loan under the SmartMove Trio program.  

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State lawmakers want the review process on a major power line project to slow down.  The measure would allow only lines less than five miles in length to apply for expedited review with the Illinois Commerce Commission.  It would also prohibit the construction of transmission lines with one-and-a-half miles of various public and private lands.  Ameren Transmission has told regulators it wants to put up a 380-mile electric transmission line from Palmyra, Missouri to Sugar Creek, Indiana.  The line would go through 19 Illinois counties, including Macon, Coles and Edgar.

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SWAN...Stopping Woman Abuse Now...is working to raise awareness regarding elder abuse.  The organization said many seniors are the victims of neglect or financial exploitation as well as abuse.  SWAN officials say elders are often victims in their own homes, but are frequently unable to report it on their own, unable to defend themselves, and unable to stop the abuse on their own.  If you suspect abuse, or if you're the victim of abuse, phone SWAN toll-free at 1-888-715-6260 and make a report.

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The February Prayer Vigil for Life in this area featured a report on the March for Life in Washington DC in January.  Jennifer Vogt of the Newman Center at Eastern Illinois University said there were more than 500,000 marchers, including 14 from EIU who drove from Charleston in vans.  Those gathered sent letters to Congressman John Shimkus and Senator Mark Kirk, asking they continue voting to protect the rights of conscience of pro-life citizens.

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Illinois EPA Director John Kim announced the agency will accept applications for the 2013 Governor's Environmental Corps summer internship program through March 11.  The program is a partnership between state government and Illinois corporations, whose sponsorship contributions pay the salaries and expenses of the college students who participate in the nine-week program.  The 2013 session will run from June 3 through August 2, with up to 24 participants expected.  For more information, phone 217-782-9540.

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A brunch will be held this morning at St. Mary's Parish Center in Ste. Marie.  The brunch will feature sausage links and ham, scrambled eggs, biscuits and sausage gravy, breads and fruit, juice, milk and coffee.  The cost is $6 for adults, $3 for those ages 4 to 10, and free for those three and younger.  There will also be a bake sale sponsored by the youth group.  There will also be a possibility to win two Cardinal baseball tickets.

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Trinity Lutheran School in Stewardson will host its annual Open House today from 2-5pm.  An all-school musical will begin at 2pm in the church sanctuary, there will be pre-registration from pre-school through 8th grade for the 2013-2014 school year, and all classrooms will be open with family activities.  Booths will also be set up featuring items for purchase.

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There will be a benefit for Ron Zacha today at the Effingham Knights of Columbus Building from 11am to 7pm.  There will be a live auction, silent auction and meal.  Live bands will be Big Spike Hammer, Naked Sissys, Absolute Zero and Main Street Country.  There will be a bags tournament and door prizes.  Zacha has Stage 4 colon cancer that has metastasized to his liver and has invaded his lymph nodes.  He and his wife Julie have two children, Kaleb and Bailey.  Any monetary gifts to the Ron Zacha Cancer Benefit may be deposited at First State Bank of Beecher City.

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Immanuel Lutheran Church at 203 East Division in Altamont is hosting their annual grilled pork dinner today from 11am to 1:30pm.  Doug McCain will be cooking his famous pork loin and making his famous baked beans for the occasion.  Also on the menu is baked potato or chips, cole slaw, applesauce, dinner rolls, drinks, and pie or dessert.  The cost is $8 for the pork loin dinner and $6 if you'd like a porkburger dinner.  Children five and younger will eat for free.

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A Prom and Wedding Expo is scheduled today from noon to 4pm in the Multi-Purpose Room at St. Anthony High School.  Prom dresses and wedding attire will be shown and they'll accept dresses on consignment.  Many vendors will be present with jewelry, hair styling and nails among others.  A style show is planned at 2pm.  Admission is free.