11:21pm CDT, 04/23/14

Local News

Fulk found guilty of disorderly conduct, other charges dropped

04/23/14 06:28 AM
~A Farina man charged with solicitation of murder for hire saw his charge dropped and was instead found guilty of another felony charge in Fayette County Court yesterday. 36-year old Mark Fulk of Farina was present for a pretrial hearing yesterday. With a recent development concerning a state’s attorneys witness in the case, the charge of solicitation of murder for hire was dropped with

Missouri woman killed in single vehicle crash on I-70

04/23/14 06:26 AM
A Highlandville, MO woman was killed in a single vehicle crash on I-70 early Tuesday morning. The woman identified as Royce Horton was the driver of a tractor trailer traveling west bound at the 73.5 mile marker, where she lost control rolling over multiple times into the median. Horton was ejected from the vehicle killing her instantly. Horton was pronounced dead at the scene by Fayette

Mayor Gottman updates Vandalia City Council on theater construction

04/23/14 06:25 AM
~At Monday night’s Vandalia City Council meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman gave an update on the construction of the movie theater being built by Rick Cripe and Precise Construction just south of Wal-Mart at the west interchange. Gottman first addressing the board with a concern he has about a Southwestern Electric power pole that is located at the front of the building that he will be speaking

State Fair considered wise investment

04/23/14 06:24 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- The start of this year's Illinois State Fair is just over one-hundred days away, and officials are talking about the impact of last year's fair. State Ag Director Bob Flider says last year's fair had a big economic impact for the state and the Springfield area.

He says the fair supported over 12-hundred jobs and it generated two-point-seven million-dollars

Two GOP legislators against Obama Library plan

04/23/14 06:23 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- A pair of Illinois Republican lawmakers are not in favor of a proposal to provide 100-million dollars to build a Chicago library and museum for President Obama. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno say taxpayers should not pay for the presidential library. They believe that President Obama has proven to be a more than effective

Fulk Found Guilty of Disorderly Conduct, Solicitation Charge Dropped

04/22/14 09:59 PM
A Farina man charged with solicitation of murder for hire saw his charge dropped and was instead found guilty of another felony charge in Fayette County Court yesterday. 36-year old Mark Fulk of Farina was present for a pretrial hearing yesterday. With a recent development concerning a state’s attorneys witness in the case, the charge of solicitation of murder for hire was dropped with Fulk

Mayor Gottman gives City Council Enbridge update

04/22/14 06:06 AM
~The Vandalia City Council heard an update from Mayor Rick Gottman at its Monday night meeting concerning Enbridge and a project that will be coming through the area later this year. Gottman informed the board that he had with Enbridge representatives along with local emergency personnel concerning the project to bring a pipeline extension from Flanagan, Illinois to Patoka.

And, Gottman says a

Vandalia City Council rejects bids for fire truck

04/22/14 06:05 AM
~Prior to last night’s Vandalia City Council meeting, the Public Safety committee met with discussion centering on bids received for the city’s aerial ladder truck that the city is looking to sell. During news business of the Council meeting, committee member Jerry Swarm relayed the recommendation of the committee.

With the recommendation to reject all bids, the six council members

Mayors pressing lawmakers for pension reform

04/22/14 06:04 AM
~~(Undated) -- Mayors across Illinois are calling on lawmakers to revamp the pension systems for police and firefighters. Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner says the costs of the funds are rapidly increasing but they can't do anything about it because the funds are regulated by the state legislature. He says Republicans and Democrats have sweetened up the retirement deals over the years, but it's

Medicaid issues for state

04/22/14 06:04 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- Illinois taxpayers have been paying the medical costs for dead people. A state audit reveals the Medicaid system dished out more than 12-million-dollars to pay the expenses and now Governor Quinn says he's taking action.

Quinn says he doesn't have any tolerance for the payment mistakes and he's putting tighter controls in place to make sure it doesn't

Peach crop may be shallow this season

04/22/14 06:03 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- We may be getting a bit of rain and warm weather now, but it may be a little too late to save the peach crop in Illinois. The Farm Bureau's John Hawkins say the harsh winter weather may have destroyed some of the crop.

Most of the peaches that are grown in-state are sold at local farmers' markets so people shouldn't necessarily see a reduction in the

Mushroom season is here

04/22/14 06:02 AM
~~(Ottawa, IL) -- The cold winter weather may have killed some of Illinois' fruit crop, but it seems to have done wonders for morel mushrooms. Tom Nauman, with Morel Mania, says they're expecting a great harvest season.

Nauman says the deep freeze stressed tree roots and the ground-dwelling fungus, causing lots of mushrooms to sprout. And, they'll thrive even more if the state

Fayette County Coroner investigating two weekend deaths

04/21/14 06:10 AM
~~The Fayette County Coroner's office is investigating two weekend deaths.  Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowen says that 44 year old Cassandra Pollard of Effingham was found dead by a friend in a rural Vandalia home on Saturday morning at around 9 am.  Bowen says that Pollard reportedly had been visiting the home since Friday.  Pollard was pronounced dead at the scene by

Showers and Tstorms in forecast for this afternoon and tonight

04/21/14 06:10 AM
~~After a dry weekend, rain is back in the forecast for today and tonight.  Showers and Thunderstorms are likely for this afternoon and tonight, and we'll see a high today in the mid 70s.  After tonight, we are looking at a couple of dry days on Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs in the upper 60s.  Showers and Thunderstorms are again likely on Thursday and we'll see a high

GOP: Dems Breaking Rules To Get Their Way

04/21/14 06:09 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- Democrats are apparently breaking their own rules in order to get what they want. They took a vote at a subject matter hearing in Chicago yesterday, clearing a plan to pay 100-million-dollars to bring the President Obama Library and Museum to Illinois. The measure cleared committee with a nine-to-zero vote, but according to state rep Dwight Kay, some of the people who voted

Medical Marijuana rules almost ready

04/21/14 06:08 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- The medical marijuana rules in Illinois should be all set to go in the next 90-days or so. Project Coordinator Bob Morgan says they've made quite a few changes since the rules were first proposed, including lowering the fees to participate in the program.

The public has another 45-days to make comments and suggestions about the proposed rules. That can be done at

State owes Illinoisans money

04/21/14 06:07 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- The Illinois Treasurer's office says it wants people that have old paychecks or may have left money in a closed checking account to claim their cash. Treasurer Dan Rutherford says his office has returned close to 30-million-dollars in unclaimed property this year through the ICASH program. He added that there is still one-point-eight million dollars still unclaimed. If

Two injured in Thursday night police chase near St. Elmo

04/18/14 03:49 PM
~~Two individuals were injured in an accident in rural Fayette County Thursday, following a police chase.  Illinois State Police Reports the accident occurred around 11:30 pm on Thursday night about four miles north of St. Elmo—on County Road 2450 North, at 1875 East.  State Police say a vehicle driven by 20 year old Zachariah Garrison of Brownstown was initially traveling west

Good weather for Easter weekend, mostly dry into next week

04/18/14 06:05 AM
~~The weather looks like it is finally fully spring as we head into Easter weekend.  We will see sunshine throughout this weekend, with a high for today of 68, and then highs in the low 70s throughout the weekend.  The next chance of rain doesn't come into the forecast until Monday, when there is a chance of showers on Monday and Monday night.  Also, we should be seeing an

Unemployment down in March

04/18/14 06:04 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois' unemployment rate is at a five year low at eight-point-four-percent. Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says it's encouraging to see the jobs market steadily improve.

Rowell is urging people who are still looking for work to post their resumes on IllinoisJobNet.com, where there are nearly 200-thousand jobs posted.

Rauner firm has state grant awarded by Quinn

04/18/14 06:04 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- GOP nominee for governor Bruce Rauner will benefit from a state contract awarded last year by his opponent, Governor Pat Quinn. Rauner formerly ran GTCR LLC, a Chicago private equity firm, which he is currently an investor. Since December of 2012, GTCR has owned Correctional Healthcare, which recently received a five-year renewal of its contract from the Illinois Department

Medical society backing Rauner

04/18/14 06:03 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- Endorsements are starting to roll in for the governor's race. GOP contender Bruce Rauner picked up the backing of the Illinois State Medical Society PAC. They dropped 150-thousand-dollars into his campaign account. Rauner is going up against Governor Quinn in the November election.

Nicole Wilson/jpb IL) STL) MO) SCC)



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SIU President stepping down early

04/18/14 06:02 AM
~~(Carbondale, IL) -- The President of Southern Illinois University has just a few more weeks on the job. Glenn Poshard is stepping down on May first. That's two months earlier than he'd originally planned. He'll stick around through June 30th, though as a consultant to the new president, Randy Dunn.

Nicole Wilson/jpb IL) STL) MO) SCC)



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Celebration of Life Service today at Vandalia Rehab

04/17/14 08:34 AM
Vandalia Rehabilitation and Health Care Center at 1500 West St. Louis Avenue in Vandalia will be holding a Celebration of Life Service today at 2 pm.  The ceremony will include a dedication of their new tree, Memorial balloon launching for all those we have loved and lost to cancer.  Everyone is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served after the launch.  For more

Sub freezing temps this week could damage several crops

04/17/14 06:07 AM
The sub-freezing temperatures we saw earlier this week are hard on a lot of crops.  Fayette County Farm Bureau Manager Stephanie Kraus says the mid-April freeze can wreck more than just some of the area's crops.

Area farmers still have not been able to get much done in the way of corn planting because of the wet conditions and cold temperatures this week.  There is a chance of

Democrats: State Tax Rollback Will Cost Schools Millions

04/17/14 06:06 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Democrats in the Illinois Senate say that if the state income tax is rolled back it could devastate schools statewide. Senate President John Cullerton's office released figures on Wednesday showing that school districts would lose over 450-million dollars in funding next fiscal year. Governor Quinn supports a permanent extension of the temporary 67 percent tax increase.

Beef prices on the rise

04/17/14 06:05 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- It's going to be a bit more pricey to put a burger on the grill this summer. Reid Blossom with the Illinois Beef Association says beef prices are going up because of high demand. The problem is there was a drought a-couple of years ago, so the supply is low.

The price per pound has already gone up about 15-cents-per-pound. That means people in Illinois are dishing

Illinois calls for reinstating unemployment benefits

04/17/14 06:05 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- The people of Illinois are urging Congress to reinstate federal unemployment benefits. Jay Rowell with the Illinois Department of Economic Security says unemployed people have had a harder time finding work since the benefits expired last year.

Unemployment benefits were cut back in December, leaving about 74-thousand people in Illinois without benefits and struggling to

Push to get Fairmont Park back on gambling bill

04/17/14 06:04 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- People aren't happy about the fact that Fairmount Race Track has been taken out of the latest gambling bill. It would allow slot machines at other races tracks across the state, which would likely boost their revenues. Fairmount President Brian Zander that alone could mean the end of the track.

Fairmount Park was apparently taken off the bill to ensure public safety in

American Idol finalists will perform at Illinois State Fair

04/17/14 06:03 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- American Idol's top ten performers will take the main stage at the Illinois State Fair this summer. "American Idol Live" will be the first performance of this year's fair, which begins August 8th. Tickets, which range from 29 to 49 dollars, go on sale May 10th at Ticketmaster.

Perry Williams/acb


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Jenny Harrison will sign new book on Saturday

04/16/14 06:11 AM
~~We heare again today from Fayette County native Jenny Harrison, whose first book “Allie and Sallie-Nice and Cozy” has now been published—and a whole series is on the way.  Harrison says getting the book illustrated and published has been a two year process.

And, Harrison says she has goals for this series and even beyond that.

Harrison will hold a book signing on

Corn planting delayed

04/16/14 06:10 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois farmers are a bit behind on getting their corn crop in the ground. John Hawkins with the Illinois Farm Bureau says usually about 10-percent of corn is planted by now but so far, only about one-percent is in.

Hawkins says any later than May 15th and you risk the corn pollinating during the heat of the summer and that's the prime determinate in yield. Corn

Illinois pork producers facing pig virus

04/16/14 06:10 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Pork farmers in Illinois are having to fight off a new virus that's killing off piglets all across the nation. Jim Fraley with the Illinois Farm Bureau says more than 200 pigs have tested positive here.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, known as PED appeared last April on hog farms across the state and in at least 27 others. PED causes severe diarrhea, nausea, and

Quinn Anti-Violence Initiative Faces New Scrutiny

04/16/14 06:09 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn could face some election-year embarrassment from a new audit of his anti-violence initiative that's already been accused of mismanagement. Republican members of the Illinois House have asked Auditor General William Holland to do a more thorough investigation of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. An earlier audit by Holland found sloppy bookkeeping and

Rauner campaign funds are mostly from his pocket

04/16/14 06:08 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- The wealthy Republican nominee for governor is easily the leader over incumbent Governor Pat Quinn when it comes to raising campaign funds. Bruce Rauner's camp says he raised more than nine-million-dollars in the first quarter of the year before sealing the GOP nomination in March. Five-point-three million of the funds came out of Rauner's own pocket. Meanwhile,

Fair Income Tax amendment proposed

04/16/14 06:07 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- This fall, Illinois voters will get the chance to ratify two amendments to the state's Constitution. A pair of state lawmakers are hoping a third amendment called the fair tax plan will be added to the ballot. State Senator Don Harmon and Representative Bill Mitchell are proposing a yes or no vote on allowing state income tax rates to track ability to pay. Lower tax

New Freeze Warning in effect from 1 am to 9 am Wednesday morning

04/15/14 04:14 PM







Fayette County native has written a book, a whole series to follow

04/15/14 05:48 AM
~~A Fayette County native has her first book published, and a whole series is on the way.  Jenny Harrison now has her first book published, which is titled “Allie and Sallie-Nice and Cozy.”  Harrison talks about the book, and the fact that the twins in the book somewhat mirror her life growing up as an identical twin.

And, Harrison says she believed for a long time that

Sen McCarter announces upcoming heroin task force

04/15/14 05:47 AM
~~A bi-partisan panel of State legislators from the Senate and House bring their Young Adults Heroin Use task force to the Metro East area on April 28th in O'Fallon.  State Senator Kyle McCarter is a member of the panel, which has held four previous hearings across the state.

Senator McCarter says the panel will hear from local law enforcement and drug abuse counselors.  McCarter

Poll: Gov Quinn trails Rauner by three points

04/15/14 05:46 AM
~~(Undated) -- Early poll results show the incumbent governor in a slight uphill battle in his re-election bid, The Rasmussen Reports poll has Republican challenger Bruce Rauner ahead of Pat Quinn 43 percent of the vote to 40 percent. Six percent of the 750 people polled say they would prefer a different candidate than Rauner or Quinn, while ten percent were undecided. The general election is

Group opposes new gas tax

04/15/14 05:45 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Gas prices in Illinois are among the highest in the country and a new gas tax could force drivers to pay even more at the pump. Bill Fleischli with the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, says that'll put an undue burden on drivers and businesses.

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition is asking lawmakers to boost the tax by four-cents-per-gallon because

Gov Quinn launches first time homebuyers program

04/15/14 05:45 AM
~~(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Quinn is boosting efforts to help people buy their first home. He's launching the new Welcome Home Illinois program.

The new loan program provides first-time homebuyers with 75-hundred-dollars in down-payment assistance and an interest rate as low as three-point-75 percent for a secure, 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The homebuyer will need to put up one-percent

Lawmakers Come Up With Measure Opposing Gambling Parlors

04/15/14 05:44 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- A pair of Springfield aldermen are proposing legislation that could put an end to the expansion of storefront gambling parlors. Cory Jobe and Frank Edwards are pushing an ordinance that would require businesses that get city liquor licenses on or after May 15th to earn at least 60 percent of their revenue from the sale of food and beverages. That also goes for businesses

Lunar eclipse brings out "blood moon" early Tuesday morning

04/14/14 07:22 AM
(Undated)  --  Most of North America will have a chance to see a unique lunar eclipse early Tuesday morning.  The eclipse will begin just before 1 a.m. Central time as the moon begins to slide into the earth's shadow.  However, the moon will begin to turn a reddish color about an hour later, becoming a "blood moon" that will last for approximately an

Rural Mulberry Grove man dies in tractor accident on Saturday

04/14/14 06:04 AM
~~A 65 year old rural Mulberry Grove man died in a tractor accident on Saturday afternoon in Fayette County.  Coroner Bruce Bowen says the man was identified as Kenneth Zarecki.  Bowen says that Zarecki was attempting to pull a tree over he had been sawing on when flipped his tractor, pinning him beneath it.  The Mulberry Grove Fire Department responded to the scene.  Zarecki

Rain and falling temperatures for today

04/14/14 06:03 AM
~~After a very warm weekend, the weather will be changing today.  Rain is likely for today.  And, along with the precipitation, we will also see temperatures fall into the low 40s by later this afternoon.  Rain is likely for tonight, possibly missing with snow late tonight as we will see a low tonight of 29.  Sunny skies are in the forecast for Tuesday, but with a high of just

Freeze Warning for tonight and tomorrow morning

04/14/14 06:02 AM
~~Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for tonight and running until tomorrow morning.  With temperatures for tonight expected to drop below freezing, the National Weather Service has issued the warning, saying tha sensitive plants may be damaged or killed by the sub freezing temperatures.  And, they also warn that anyone with potted plants that are

Gov Quinn asked to grade his own job performance

04/14/14 06:01 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn is having to give himself a grade on job performance. IEA president Cinda Klickna asked the governor to rate his performance at an event in Chicago today, and here's how he answered.

Klickna told the governor to take into consideration that since he took office unemployment has gone up, and the state has cut education funding, even though it's

Conversion Therapy bill fails in House

04/14/14 06:00 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- An effort to prevent mental health providers from using "conversion therapy" to turn gay, bisexual, and transgender kids straight is dead in Springfield. State representatives shot the measure down yesterday. Representative Kelly Cassidy says conversion therapy is an abusive practice that leaves lasting effects on youth.

The bill would have prohibited all

Lawmakers Seek Regulation Of E-Cigarette Liquids

04/14/14 06:00 AM
~~(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois lawmakers are pushing for legislation that childproofs electronic cigarettes. State Representative Robyn Gabel proposed the bill. Her measure would allow the Illinois Department of Public Health to set standards for the packaging of e-cigarette liquid, or e-liquid, refills, which contain concentrations of nicotine in liquid form. It can cause acute nicotine