Illinois News Roundup for June 4
Published on June 4 2012 1:38 pm
Last Updated on June 4 2012 1:38 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
>>Trouble Brewing In Alorton City Hall
(Alorton, IL) -- More tension is brewing in the Alorton City Hall. New mayor, Tremylla Johnson is under fire for allegedly obtaining the post illegally. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brandon Kelly has filed a request to have Johnson removed from office, claiming she was voted in during a private meeting, but only a few of the town's trustees were aware of what was going on. The meeting was held after the former mayor resigned amid charges of corruption, including theft and an attempt to sell crack cocaine. Johnson has been charged with five counts of violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
>>Horses As Seeing Eye Animals On Quinn's Desk
(Springfield, IL) -- It's not very often you see a horse in the grocery store or restaurant but it could soon be a reality in Illinois. Lawmakers have approved a bill allowing people who are vision impaired to use miniature horses as service animals. They'll provide an alternative to those who have severe allergies to dogs, which are more commonly used to help those who have trouble seeing. The measure passed both the House and the Senate and is sitting on the governor's desk for final approval.
>>Parental Visitation Bill Awaits Governor's Signature
(Springfield, IL) -- It's the kids that are often left in the middle when parents split but now, Illinois lawmakers are stepping in to make sure custodial parents honor court ordered visitation rights. Those who don't could lose their driver's license, spend up to six months in jail, or face a 500-dollar fine. It's part of the Steve Watkins bill, which is headed to Governor Quinn's desk. The bill was spearheaded by a Central Illinois couple whose son was shot and killed when trying to pick his daughter up for a scheduled visit.
>> Lawmaker Praises Halt on Pension Vote
(Galesburg, IL) -- At least one lawmaker says legislative leadership in Springfield did the right thing by putting a halt on pension reforms. State Representative Don Moffitt says 11th hour changes and last minute wrangling just wasn't right. The big dispute came over whether downstate and suburban school districts should be required to fully fund teachers pensions. Moffitt says he thinks a combination of matters will end up solving the state's pension crisis, but he's not in favor of shifting the burden solely to taxpayers. He and his colleagues will be back in Springfield sometime over the summer to keep working on the issue.
>>More Trucks On Illinois Tollways
(Rockford, IL) -- A report at May's meeting of the Illinois tollway shows that truck traffic is up more than six-percent during the first-quarter of 2012 compared to last year. The increase exceeded tollway officials' estimates of a two-point-two-percent increase for all of 2012. While tollway officials declined to talk about what the numbers might mean, they hope it is a sign of continuing economic recovery. Truck traffic nationwide was up about six-percent in the first quarter.
>>Legislature Passes Miniature Horse Bill
(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn will decide the fate of a bill passed by the Legislature that will allow miniature horses to be used as service animals. The bill would allow miniature horses in any place that allows service animals, including groceries, restaurants and schools. The bill's sponsor, state Senator Dave Koehler, said his bill brings the state into compliance with federal law dealing with service animals.
>>Girard Loses K-9 Officer When Sergeant Leaves
(Girard, IL) -- The Girard Police Department is losing the services of two good officers, even though only one of them resigned to take another job last week. Sergeant Chris Eades was the department's only trained K-9 handler, so the department is also retiring Hondo, a Dutch Shepherd with a very keen nose. Chief Dave Campbell says Hondo has been involved in several drug investigations, including busting a meth lab. Campbell says the department will have to ask for K-9 assistance from either the state police or another locality.
>>Lincoln Library To Extend Book Sale This Year
(Springfield, IL) -- Change is in the air for the annual Friends of the Lincoln Library book sale beginning this Friday. This year the event will be held on Sunday for the first time, and sales will begin at 10 a.m. instead of the usual 8 a,m, start, Officials are hoping the sale will raise 20-thousand dollars for the library.
>>Veterans Fish For Free In Quincy Tournament
(Quincy, IL) -- Nearly 100 veterans from around the country will be telling some new fish stories after being part of the Fishing for Freedom tournament on the Mississippi River yesterday. The second-annual tournament pairs veterans with volunteer boaters to see who can catch the most fish in several categories. The vets also get a boost from the crowd of Quincy residents who come out to support and cheer both the former soldiers and the fishing.
>>Quinn To Meet With Legislative Leaders
(Springfield, IL) -- Session may be over but legislative leaders are being summoned to meet with Governor Quinn this week. They're trying to negotiate a deal on pension reform. Both Quinn and lawmakers said they wanted to reform the system before May 31st but it hit a snag in the final days of session, and lawmakers left without getting the job done. Quinn is expected to call a special session later this summer to get the measure passed, otherwise the state risks a credit downgrade.
>>Gun Owner Guilty Of Reckless Conduct
(Bloomington, IL) -- A St. Joseph man has been found guilty of reckless conduct, after a weapon was accidentally discharged at a Bloomington gun show last year. Robert Rigdon is a pawn shop dealer in Urbana. He reportedly failed to make sure guns he took to the show were unloaded. The gun went off while a man was holding it and struck three others. Rigdon could receive up to a year behind bars, probation or fines of over two thousand dollars.
>>Illinois Jewelry At MTV Movie Awards
(Quincy, IL) -- Celebrities at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards were gifted with a piece of jewelry crafted in Illinois. Quincy jewelry-maker Kharisma Sommers made 100 unique jewelry designs that were included in "swag bags" and handed out at the awards. The Indonesian native, who's only been in America for two years, taught herself how to make jewelry. She says getting her jewelry into celebrities' hands is a dream come true.
>>Practices For Fair Queen Pageant Underway
(Jacksonville, IL) -- Practices for the 2012 Western Illinois Fair Queen Pageant are underway, but it's not too late for young girls to get in the competition. The contest is open to girls age 16 to 21 that live in Morgan, Scott, Pike, Calhoun, Adams and Brown Counties. This year's queen will walk away with several prizes, including at least one thousand dollars in scholarship money. The next practice is tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Western Illinois Fairgrounds.