Local News for Sunday, March 31

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Published on March 31 2013 10:49 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Happy Easter, everyone!

The Easter worship services began earlier this morning with the annual Community Sunrise Service at the Cross at the Crossroads sponsored by the Effingham Ministerial Association.

Most churches in the area will have regularly scheduled worship services this morning.  St. John's Lutheran Church on West Jefferson in Effingham will have worship at 8am and 10:30am today.  Sacred Heart Catholic Church at Fayette and Henrietta will have Mass at 8:30am and 10:30am and a Mass in Spanish at 4:30pm.  No 5:30pm Mass will be held.  Iglesia Bautista Latina will have a baptismal service as part of their worship tonight at 6:30pm in the Calvary Baptist Church building at Fayette and Maple.

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A measure that would allow psychologists to prescribe medication is expected to get a vote in the full State Senate next month.  The measure would mean psychologists would be able to prescribe drugs for treating mental, emotional and psychological illnesses.  The bill was given an okay earlier by a State Senate panel.

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Illinois lawmakers are considering bills that would increase the state's speed limit to 70MPH.  Major divided highways in Illinois currently have a maximum speed limit of 65MPH.  One Senator said the increase is aimed at making speed limits in Illinois more like other states.

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Sullivan officials are tearing down Central Elementary School.  The plan is to turn the site into a park.  The building's been empty since 2000.

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Another step forward for an Illinois proposal to keep protesters away from funerals.  The Illinois House has passed House Bill 2916, which would keep picketers at least 1,000 feet away from the services, and lengthens the time before and after a funeral when protests are prohibited.  The legislation was prompted by the Westboro Baptist Church that often pickets military funerals.

Meanwhile, the Westboro church plans to protest at the funeral of a fallen Illinois Marine.  According to a release on the church's website, protestors will make an appearance outside St. Paul Baptist Church in Highland at 9:15am Wednesday.  The church claims the death of the Marine and five comrades illustrates God's hatred for homosexuality.  Corporal Aaron Ripperda was killed last week in a training exercise.

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A campus labor union has reached a tentative agreement with the University of Illinois.  Details aren't being released, but members of the union will vote on the proposal on Thursday and Friday.  Negotiations have been going on since last June and resulted in a three-day strike earlier this month.

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More beans, less corn.  That's the planting forecast for Illinois farmers this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.  Farmers in Illinois are expected to plant 12.2 million acres of corn, down 600,000 acres from last year.  Soybean farmers are expected to plant 9.4 million acres of beans, an increase of 400,000.  The USDA report says last year's drought damage to the corn crop has farmers planting more acres of other crops.

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Illinois bans texting and driving, but it turns out teens are not the biggest offenders.  A new AT&T survey reveals adults are more likely to be texting when they're trying to get from Points A to B.  49% of adults surveyed say they text and drive, compared to 43% of teenagers.

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Officials with the University of Illlinois are unveiling their $160 million plan to renovate Assembly Hall.  Reconstruction on the 50-year-old building will begin next year.  Among the changes are the addition of air-conditioning and luxury suites.