07:22pm CST, 11/26/14

Local News

Holiday gets off to a bit of a sloppy weather start

11/26/14 06:00 AM
The eve of the Thanksgiving holiday will not get off to a great weather start for anyone traveling this evening. Rain and snow are likely, mainly after 4 pm today, as we'll see a high today of 38. Total snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible, but still could make for some sloppy travel for this evening and tonight. The chance of rain or snow will stick with us for tonight with a

State reminds to be ready for winter

11/26/14 05:59 AM
Now that we've had a little taste of winter, State Emergency Management officials hope you take the time to prepare for even harsher conditions. Winter weather isn't just unpleasant sometimes, it can be deadly. 28 people died of exposure in Illinois during last year's bitterly cold weather. IEMA spokesperson Patti Thompson says that's why it's so important to be ready for

Police Looking For Drunk Drivers This Holiday Weekend

11/26/14 05:58 AM
(Springfield, IL) --  State and local police are beefing up patrols for the holiday weekend.  Illinois State Police Trooper Emanuel Edwards says motorists are urged to buckle up and drive sober as they celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.  He says they can expect to see more cops on the roads, roadside safety checks and other special details.

Seven people died on

Christian County Police Investigate Infant Death

11/26/14 05:57 AM
(Kincaid, IL)  --  Christian County police say they're investigating the death of a one-month-old infant.  Cops received a call Monday morning that a baby was not breathing and unresponsive in the 100 block of Richardson Street in Kincaid.  The infant was later pronounced dead.  The coroner says the baby died of asphyxia.  A toxicology test will be ready in two

Fire Destroys Bluford's Only Grocery Store

11/26/14 05:56 AM
(Bluford, IL)  --  Owners of the only Jefferson County grocery store in town are considering whether to reopen after a huge fire.  The Village Market was destroyed  early Tuesday morning in the blaze.  Fire Chief Marion Sneed told "WSIL-TV" that the fire is under investigation, but it's not suspicious.




No More Ebola Hotline

11/26/14 05:54 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  The state is getting rid of its Ebola hotline.  Officials say there really isn't much need for the line anymore since fewer people are calling in.  The line was opened in October to give people a way to get answers about the disease.  Quite a few people across the state have been quarantined but so far no one has tested positive for

8th annual Community Thanksgiving Meal open to everyone

11/25/14 05:55 AM
For the 8th year in a row, there will be a Thanksgiving meal for those that might otherwise be alone for the holiday. The 8th annual community Thanksgiving meal will be held from 11 am to 1 pm on Thanksgiving day at the Vandalia American Legion. There is no charge and the Fayette County Habitat for Humanity invites you to come and feast together at the annual dinner celebration. It is a community

Final Statewide crop report of the season

11/25/14 05:54 AM
The harvest season is wrapping up, as we hear in the last weekly crop report of the year. State Crop Statistician Mark Schluesener says freezing conditions have pretty much put an end to fieldwork for the season.


Meanwhile, 76 percent of winter wheat has now emerged. 87 percent of the wheat crop is rated in fair to good condition.

Madigan To Appeal Pension Decision

11/25/14 05:53 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is planning to appeal a judge's decision regarding a pension overhaul passed last year by the Legislature.  Madigan says the State Supreme Court could take up the case by the end of January.  A Springfield judge ruled the overhaul aimed at fixing the state's 100-billion-dollar pension crisis was

State College Board Chief Warns Of Cuts

11/25/14 05:52 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The executive director of the state's college board is warning Illinois schools to prepare for significant cuts in state funding when Bruce Rauner becomes governor.  James Applegate wrote an email to college presidents following a meeting with Rauner's budget transition team, telling the schools that funding cuts of up to 30-percent could be coming in

Quinn Launches New Veteran's Cash Ticket

11/25/14 05:51 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  The newest "Veteran's Cash" instant lottery ticket is now up for grabs.  Governor Quinn unveiled the five-dollar ticket this morning.  All of the proceeds from the sales are used to benefit Illinois veterans.  The game has been in play for eight years now and has provided nearly 12-million-dollars in grants to veterans' organizations

Big weather change today

11/24/14 05:54 AM
After a warm and wet weekend, we are going to see another dramatic change in the weather to start the week. We still may see some more rain today, possibly mixing with snow as temperatures will drop today into the mid 30s—leading to a low tonight of 25. We'll see mostly sunny skies on Tuesday with a high of 36. There will be a chance of some rain or snow during the morning on Wednesday

Vandalia man sentenced to DOC time in Fayette County Court

11/24/14 05:53 AM
A 30 year old Vandalia man will serve time in the Department of Corrections. Last week in Fayette County Court, 30 year old Jason Forson of Vandalia pled guilty to Aggravated Battery and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon, which are both Class 3 Felonies, and also Domestic Battery, which is a Class 4 Felony. Forson was sentenced by Judge Marc Kelly to 5 years in prison on the Aggravated

Judge Denies Bid To Halt Fracking

11/24/14 05:52 AM
(Madison County)  --  A judge in Madison County is giving the state the green light to go ahead and get the fracking process underway.  She shot down a lawsuit filed by southern Illinois landowners which aimed to put the new fracking rules on hold.  The landowners argue the rules are flawed.  Many of them have been fighting to keep fracking out of Illinois, claiming it

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing In Cornfield

11/24/14 05:51 AM
(O'Fallon, IL)  --  Four people are safe after a small plane went down in a cornfield.  O'Fallon officials say the plane experienced mechanical troubles about 15-minutes after taking off from the St. Louis Downtown Airport in Cahokia yesterday afternoon.  The pilot made an emergency landing just feet away from a family's driveway.  No one was

Champaign Theater Closes Doors To Cosby

11/24/14 05:50 AM
(Champaign, IL)  --  The Virginia Theatre in Champaign has joined venues across the country and is canceling a planned appearance by comedian Bill Cosby, who's now the subject of sexual assault allegations.  Cosby's April 11th show in Champaign is being scrapped after a number of women have come forward with accusations that Cosby forced himself on them in incidents dating

Springfield Judge Shoots Down Pension Reform Law

11/24/14 05:49 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  A Springfield judge has dealt the state pension reform law a potentially deadly blow, ruling that the law violates the state constitution by reducing benefits for existing state retirees.  Friday's ruling by Sangamon County Judge John Belz sets the stage for an appeal by the Quinn administration to Illinois Supreme Court.  The law attempts to reduce

Warm and wet weekend

11/22/14 05:35 AM
The good news is we will see warmer temperatures for this weekend.  The bad news is it might be raining a good amount of the time.  We will see a high on Saturday of 55 and a high on Sunday of 56, with a low on Saturday night of just 47.  But, we have a 50% chance of showers throughout the day on Saturday, Saturday night and then a 100% chance of rain and possibly a

Springfield Judge Shoots Down Pension Reform Law

11/22/14 05:32 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  A Springfield judge has dealt the state pension reform law a potentially deadly blow, ruling that the law violates the state constitution by reducing benefits for existing state retirees.  Today's ruling by Sangamon County Judge John Belz sets the stage for an appeal by the Quinn administration to Illinois Supreme Court.  The law attempts to reduce

Turkeys Stolen In Waterloo

11/22/14 05:31 AM
(Waterloo, IL)  --  More than 140-turkeys are missing from a refrigerated trailer in the metro east. Officials say someone nabbed the 12-pound Jenny-O turkeys between Monday and Wednesday of this week.  The trailer was sitting outside of Schneider's Quality Meats and Catering in Waterloo.  Police are looking into the matter and are hoping that surveillance video will lead

Judge Strikes Down Pension Law

11/21/14 02:50 PM
(Springfield, IL)  --  A judge is striking down the Illinois pension law in its entirety.  He says lawmakers do not have the authority to reduce or diminish state worker or retiree benefits.  Lawmakers had passed the bill hoping to shore-up the pension systems, which have a 100-billion-dollar shortfall.  The state is expected to appeal.

Nicole Wilson/alb

One offender found in ISP Alcohol compliance check in Fayette County

11/21/14 05:53 AM
The Illinois State Police says one business was involved in the sale of an alcoholic beverage to a minor, after a compliance check was conducted this week. The Illinois State Police says, that along with the Illinois Liquor Commission, they conducted an Alcohol Compliance Check at various establishments during the evening hours on Wednesday of this week in Fayette County. The purpose of the check

This is the first weekend of firearm deer hunting season

11/21/14 05:51 AM
Firearm deer hunting season is underway today in Illinois. This is the first weekend of the season, beginning one half hour before sunrise this morning says State Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Chris Young.


That includes wearing blaze orange, making sure tree stands are secure and never assuming a firearm is unloaded. Successful hunters must register the deer they take

Pension Ruling Coming Today

11/21/14 05:51 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers will know if they need to go back to the drawing board on pension reform later this afternoon.  A judge is set to rule on whether the new pension law is constitutional.  Unions say it is not because it will reduce cost of living raises for retirees and it makes current workers stay on the job longer.  They say that clearly cuts into their

No Vote On Minimum Wage

11/21/14 05:50 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers won't be voting to increase the minimum wage for at least another two weeks.  They wrapped up their first week of veto session without passing the bill, but Democrats aren't giving up on it.  They're hoping to raise the wage to 10-dollars-an-hour before the end of the year for workers who are over the age of 18.  That rate

Rauner Calls For Hiring Freeze

11/21/14 05:49 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Appearing in Springfield for the first time since the election, incoming governor Bruce Rauner today called the financial condition of the state "stunningly bad."  Speaking to reporters down the hall from what is still Governor Quinn's office, Rauner asked Quinn to freeze hiring for the rest of his term and to refrain from moving staffers into

Rauner Meeting With Illinois' Top Leaders

11/21/14 05:48 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is meeting with the state's top leaders in Springfield.  He's hoping to get a better understanding on what he'll be walking into when he takes office.

Rauner had plans to meet with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, Treasurer-Elect Mike Frerichs, and Auditor General Bill Holland.  He

Sponsor Wants Same-Day Voter Registration Permanent

11/21/14 05:47 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The state lawmaker behind election-day voter registration says he wants to make the one-time experiment permanent.  Oak Park Senator Don Harmon says he's working with his colleagues on a bill the could be ready next month.  The same-day registration law in effect just for the November 4th election was criticized by Republicans as an effort to boost

State's Jobless Rate Holds Steady

11/21/14 05:46 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The state's unemployment rate is holding steady at six-point-six percent. Employment Security Spokesman Greg Rivara says the rate didn't change in the month of October, even though the state lost about two-thousand jobs.

Rivara says there was some growth in the private sector, particularly in the education, health care, and manufacturing

Vandalia man arrested on Child Pornography charges-investigation by AG, Vandalia

11/20/14 06:01 AM
A 34 year old Vandalia man and a 26 year old Centralia man are both in custody following an investigation involving the Illinois Attorney General's office and the Vandalia Police Department. Early on Wednesday, investigators from Attorney General Lisa

Warmer weather, rain on the way

11/20/14 06:00 AM
We have finally come out of the early deep freeze. And, this weekend is going to see much warmer temperatures come our way. After a high today of 32 and a low tonight of 18, we will see a bit warmer temps on Friday with a high in the upper 30s. Rain is th

Frerichs Wins Treasurer's Race

11/20/14 05:59 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Democratic State Senator Mike Frerichs will be the next Treasurer for the state of Illinois.  He pulled ahead of Republican Tom Cross on Tuesday as election officials wrapped up their vote counts.  Frerichs says

Lawmakers Pushing For Minimum Wage Hike

11/20/14 05:57 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  More than two-million-people in Illinois voted to raise the minimum wage to 10-bucks-an-hour on Election Day.  Republicans have not been on board with that idea during this veto session, but State Democrat Senator Kim

House Overrides Quinn Veto Of FOIA Bill

11/20/14 05:56 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The Illinois House has voted to override Governor Quinn's veto of a bill that would make it more difficult for news organizations and members of the public to gain access to public information and documents.  The bill makes changes to the Freedom of Information statues, allowing local governments to charge higher fees for having to fulfill requests for

Sen McCarter says he's hoping there is no vote on tax increase

11/19/14 06:00 AM
We continue to talk today with State Senator Kyle McCarter about some of the issues that may come up during the fall veto session. One big issue may be whether or not to extend the income tax increase for Illinois residents. The tax was a temporary budget fix a few years ago, and Senator McCarter says he's hoping it will roll off the books.


There are concerns the loss of the tax

School Funding Reform Before House Committee

11/19/14 05:59 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to revamp the school funding formula in Illinois.  The idea is make sure state money is split up more equally among school districts but some say the bill still needs work and they were hoping it'd get pushed off until next year.  But State Senator Any Manar says the kids can't wait.

State Senator Any

Vote Tally Coming In For Treasurer's Race

11/19/14 05:58 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The final vote tallies are coming in for the state Treasurer's race, which still hasn't been called.  Republican Tom Cross led the way by less than one-percent of the vote on election night.  Democrat Mike Frerichs refused to concede with such a small margin so he's been holding out for all of the absentee and provisional votes to be

Rauner In Springfield Thursday

11/19/14 05:57 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor-elect Bruce Rauner is planning to be in Springfield for veto-session tomorrow.  He won't be lobbying in support of any bills, though.  His staff says he'll be meeting with lawmakers instead and laying out a framework on how they can work together in the future.  Rauner has already spoken with more than 50-lawmakers since Election

Apply For A Job With Bruce Rauner Administration

11/19/14 05:56 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Anyone who'd like to work in Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner's administration can apply for a job online, at MakeIllinoisGreat.com.  They can also submit their ideas on how Rauner should run the state and revive the state's economy.  Rauner says he wants to make Illinois the most "compassionate and competitive" state in the nation and he

Senator Lays Out Pros, Cons Of Divided Government

11/19/14 05:55 AM
(Oak Park, IL)  --  Democratic State Senator Don Harmon says having a divided government in Illinois will be helpful in dealing with the nuts and bolts of government.  In an op-ed to "Wednesday Journal," Harmon says Republicans will have to be more active and engaged when it comes to creating a state budget, they can't just vote "no" anymore.  In

Vandalia City Council meeting

11/18/14 05:50 AM
The Vandalia Police Department has a squad car receive significant damage in an accident on Saturday night. At last night's Vandalia City Council meeting, Police Chief Jeff Ray says the officer was on Interstate 70 assisting with another accident when a vehicle slid on the icy conditions and crashed into the squad car. Ray says the officer was not injured as he was not in the car at the time

Fayette County Board Hears Presentation on Dakota Access Pipeline

11/18/14 05:49 AM

The Fayette County Board heard a presentation at their November monthly meeting concerning the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline that is set to make its way through a portion of Fayette County. Adam Broad, the Illinois Project Manager, gave the board a brief overview of the pipeline that will run from North Dakota to Patoka.

And, Broad explaining that construction would happen in phases

Double D Plumbing Gives Back to Fayette County

11/18/14 05:48 AM

In other business at the Fayette County Board meeting, board members heard a quick report from Fayette County Jail Administrator J.D. Vieregge about Vandalia business Double D Plumbing giving back to the county for a recent project completed at the jail.

Double D Plumbing gave $1200 back to the county as a token of appreciation for the county’s business with them.

Lawmakers Back In Session

11/18/14 05:47 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are back in session today.  There are a few things on the docket during this veto session, including a plan to revamp the state's method for funding schools.  A legislative committee will hear details about the plan during a hearing this afternoon.  Governor Quinn wants lawmakers to pass a bill boosting the minimum wage to

Rauner Getting Up To Speed

11/18/14 05:46 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor-elect Bruce Rauner comes to Springfield Thursday as the Legislature gets back to work, even though he doesn't take office until January.  His staff says Rauner has spoken with more than 50 lawmakers since defeating Governor Quinn earlier this month and is traveling to the annual Republican governors' conference tomorrow.  Once in

November deep freeze continues for a few more days

11/17/14 05:58 AM
The next few days will feel more like the middle of winter than the middle of the fall season. We will see a high today just in the lower 20s and a low tonight of 13. Much the same for tomorrow, with a high of just 24 expected and a low on Tuesday night of 17. We begin to warm up on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and then we are looking at temperatures getting into the mid 40s, to near 50, for

This year has been one of the coldest on record

11/17/14 05:58 AM
This year is shaping up to be one of the coldest on record in Illinois. State Climatologist Jim Angel says this past January thru October has been the 6th coolest on record, with an average temperature of 52.5 degrees.


Statewide precipitation averaged nearly 37.5 incheas for the past 10 months of 2014, making it the 19th wettest for that time period.

More from Fayette County Board meeting

11/17/14 05:57 AM

After being taxed just a few weeks ago with trying to figure out how to fix a deficit budget for the remainder of this year, the Fayette County Board received news at last week’s budget hearing that they instead would be in the good by about $67,000. However, that announcement from Board Chairman Steve Knebel also came with the announcing that the fiscal year budget for the coming

Sen McCarter not in favor of min wage increase during veto session

11/17/14 05:56 AM
The Illinois General Assembly will be back in Springfield this Wednesday for the Fall Veto Session. Overall there are not a lot of things expected to be on the agenda, but a couple of big things are expected to come up. One of those is minimum wage. Outgoing Governor Pat Quinn would like to see a minimum wage increase improved. But, State Senator Kyle McCarter isn't so sure that's going

Treasurer's Race Still Too Tight

11/17/14 05:54 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  There's still no winner in the state treasurer's race.  The latest count has Republican Tom Cross over Democrat Mike Frerichs by less than 400 votes.  The State Board of Elections hasn't declared a winner yet because votes are still being counted. A winner could be named by the end of this week.