02:12pm CDT, 04/16/14

Local News

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
~~...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 9 AM CDT WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ST LOUIS HAS ISSUED A FREEZE
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 9 AM CDT WEDNESDAY.

* TIMING...FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED LATE TONIGHT.

* TEMPERATURES...AROUND 30 DEGREES.

* IMPACTS...SENSITIVE PLANTS MAY BE DAMAGED OR KILLED.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A

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

BNI Business Expo is Saturday


04/11/14 06:04 AM
~~The BNI Network Masters Business Expo is set for Saturday in Vandalia.  Gary Manley is a member of the group, along with several other businesses from Vandalia and around the area.  He says they are looking forward to tomorrow's event.

The event will be from 9 am to 4 pm at the Vandalia Elementary School gymnasium.  There is free admission to the event and there will also

5th annual James Lockart event on Saturday


04/11/14 06:04 AM
~~The 5th annual Jameson Lockart Pool Tournament is set for Saturday in Vandalia.  The event will be held at the Vandalia Eagles, with registration for the pool tournament starting at 10 am and the tournament getting underway at noon.  There will also be several raffles going on, along with a silent auction.  After the pool tournament, the events will continue and DJ Jeff Moulton

Brownstown HS post-prom fundraiser


04/11/14 06:03 AM
~Tickets are still available for the Brownstown High School Chicken Splat Bingo Post Prom fundraiser being held this Saturday. The drawing or actual event will take place Saturday at the Fayette County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $10 each and the winner will receive $500. Winner does not need to be present at the drawing to win. Tickets may be purchased by calling Katriena Kroll at 283-0068.

Voter discrimination bill passes both chambers


04/11/14 06:02 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are taking steps to make sure no one in Illinois is discriminated against when they head to the voting booth.  Senator Kwame Raoul says he's seen firsthand how voters have been treated in Florida and he doesn't want that to happen here.


Lawmakers want to add the a provision to the state's constitution that would ban officials from

Plan requires Illinois to buy American made cars


04/11/14 06:01 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  The state of Illinois could soon be restricted on what kind of cars it can purchase, rent, or lease.  State Representative Mike Smiddy says only cars made in America should be included in the state fleet.


The state would not be required to get rid of any foreign cars that are currently in its fleet if this bill becomes law.  Opponents argue the

Pregnancy bill passes in House, now moves on to Senate


04/11/14 06:00 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  Legislation providing pregnant Illinois women with new workplace rights will now be considered by the state Senate.  The measure passed in the House yesterday by a vote of 65-to-35.  The sponsor of the bill state Representative Mary Flowers says "women who are pregnant deserve to be respected."  Just a few things that her bill covers,

Mayor Gottman wants City Council to give recommendation on proposed route of fou


04/10/14 05:53 AM
~~A project is still literally decades away from getting to Fayette County is drawing some attention.  At Monday night's Vandalia City Council meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman told the City Council he recently attended a meeting on Route 51 four lane expansion.  And, Gottman says he also wants the City of Vandalia to give their recommendation on the route of that expansion.

And,

Area corn planting slowed by wet fields


04/10/14 05:51 AM
~~Warmer weather is starting to stay over the area now.  But, the wet conditions are still slowing up many area farmers from getting into the fields.  Fayette County Farm Bureau Manager Stephanie Kraus says farmers haven't been able to get much, if any, planting completed at this point.

Although the temperatures are getting better, there is still more rain in the forecast over

Governor Unveils His Construction Program , just a few projects benefit Fayette


04/10/14 05:51 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  Governor Quinn says he wants to construct and upgrade infrastructure statewide to the tune of 14-billion dollars.  Yesterday, he announced his new public works construction plan.  Eight-million dollars are designated for roadwork.  One of the projects is the repair of I-55 at Sherman, which includes a new multi-million dollar bridge deck. 

Madigan Dropping Plan To Tax Millionaires


04/10/14 05:49 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  A tax proposal that would affect Illinoisans with incomes over one-million dollars a year is no longer in existence.  House Speaker Michael Madigan withdrew his plan to tax millionaires an extra three percent on their personal income tax.  It would've generated about a billion-dollars a year had it gone into effect, and that money would've

No denim permitted in proposed dress code by Danville School Board


04/10/14 05:48 AM
~~(Danville, IL)  --  The Danville School Board will vote later this month on a controversial dress code that bans jeans.  A majority of the board are in favor of students wearing pants, skirts, Khaki shorts or other solid colors on a regular basis.  But as a compromise, they suggest that students be permitted to wear jeans only on spirit days designated by the school

Animal Controll discussion at Vandalia City Council


04/09/14 06:09 AM
~~The issue of animal control was a top at Monday night's Vandalia City Council meeting.  James Cloud from Montgomery Paws spoke before the City Council on Monday night.  Montgomery Paws is an organization in Montgomery County that supplies foster homes for animals and also works to find them permanent homes.  And, Cloud says they would like the opportunity to work with

Vandalia City Council learns more about ILEAS


04/09/14 06:08 AM
~~The Vandalia City Council learned more about the organization ILEAS at their meeting on Monday night.  Vandalia Police Chief Jeff Ray presented a video on the organization at Monday night's meeting.  The organization is Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System and allows communities to get assistance from other law enforcement departments from their region in times of emergency.

City of St. Elmo hires new Police Chief


04/09/14 06:08 AM
~The City of St. Elmo has a new Chief of Police after the position has been vacant following the departure of former Chief Trent Seiler. At their monthly board meeting Monday night, the City Council approved the hire of Michael Riley to fill the position. Riley is currently serving as the police chief in Edinburg, Illinois and is expected to begin in the chief position in St. Elmo during the

Voting Rights measure clears House


04/09/14 06:07 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are taking steps to protect voting rights for all people in Illinois.  House Speaker Michael Madigan says everyone was guaranteed the right to vote back in 1964 but the Supreme Court has since modified the law.


Madigan says the whole point of the provision is to prevent any type of intentional discrimination and ban laws that

Quinn, Rauner to appear together for first time Friday


04/09/14 06:06 AM
~~(Chicago, IL)  --  Illinois' gubernatorial candidates will make their first joint appearance this week.  Officials with the Illinois Education Association say Governor Quinn and his Republican challenger Bruce Rauner have accepted invites to attend their annual meeting on Friday.  Both politicians will field questions from a numbers of educators.  The event will be

Protestors to greet Rauner in Springfield


04/09/14 06:05 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Bruce Rauner will be getting quite the unfriendly welcome when he gets to Springfield tonight.  Eighty-four-year-old Margaret Niederer says she’ll be out protesting his appearance because he doesn’t have the needs of senior citizens at heart.


Niederer is a former Ombudsmen for people who live in long term care facilities in Illinois and has

AG sues Payday loan business


04/09/14 06:04 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Attorney General Lisa Madigan is targeting payday lenders that are operating illegally.  She's filed five lawsuits against unlicensed, online lenders and a loan lead generator for offering predatory loans that trap Illinois borrowers in excessive debt loads.  Four out of the five lenders operate exclusively online, selling payday loans racked with fees

Vandalia City Council approves TIF agreements


04/08/14 06:11 AM
~~The Vandalia City Council approved several new Tax Increment Finance agreements at their Monday night meeting.  The City Council agreed to 7500 dollars for Something Special Florist in TIF money for front building repairs, $12,500 to Lia's Gifts and Home Decor for roof repair, and $20,000 for the Chuckwagon Restaurant in TIF money for a new roof.  Another TIF agreement

Vandalia City Council approves roof repair to three buildings


04/08/14 06:10 AM
The Vandalia City Council approved some emergency roof repairs at their Monday night meeting.  Alderman Andy Lester presented the proposals to the City Council.  One proposal was for Irwin's Roofing of Alma to apply a special tack coat over the existing roof at the Vandalia Fire Department, which costs $13,600 and comes with a 10 year warranty.  A new roof was in the

Gottman donating Mayor's salary increase to two area groups


04/08/14 06:10 AM
~~When the Vandalia City Council approved a raise for the Mayor a while back, Mayor Gottman said he would donate that money to charity.  And, he informed the City Council of those charities at last night's meeting.

Gottman says the check for Lincoln Park will be made out in the next couple of weeks.  Gottman says he selected the youth group at First Baptist Church in

BNI Business Expo coming up Saturday


04/08/14 06:09 AM
~~We talk more today with Gary Manley, about the upcoming BNI Business Expo.  Manley says they have several booths already signed up for with the event on Saturday.

The Business Expo will be on Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm at the Vandalia Elementary School.  If you would have interest in having a booth for the event, you can contact Manley or Dana Smith at Days Inn in Vandalia.

U of I Professor not surprised by term limits poll


04/08/14 06:08 AM
~~Springfield, IL)  --  A new poll reveals nearly 80-percent of Illinois voters want lawmakers to be limited in how much time they can serve in Springfield.  University of Illinois political science professor Chris Mooney says he’s not surprised by that number.


Mooney says term limits may not live up to what voters think it might be.  For example, he says it

Study shows pay divide regarding Illinois women


04/08/14 06:07 AM
~~(Undated)  --  A new study shows that there is a more than ten-thousand dollar gap in wages between men and women in Illinois.  The report released by the National Partnership for Women and Families basically says Illinois women are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men.  The group recommends eliminating the glass ceiling so that Illinois women can have additional

Quinn running mate has new job


04/08/14 06:06 AM
~~(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn's choice for Lieutenant Governor will take on some new responsibilities.  Paul Vallas started a new six figure job on April 1st with DSI Civic as a financial consultant. The former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools will help the company land a bid dealing with Detroit's bankruptcy proceedings.  DSI President Bill Brandt, who is a

Rauner critical of new job for Vallas


04/08/14 06:05 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  The GOP nominee for governor told the "Chicago Sun Times" the recent hiring of the Democratic Lieutenant Governor candidate was a Blagojevich-style move.  Paul Vallas recently accepted a six figure financial consultant position with DSI Civic.  The owner of that firm, Bill Brandt, has donated 100-thousand dollars to the Quinn campaign. 

Vandalia Fire handles early morning vehicle fire, man arrested allegedly in conn


04/07/14 06:16 AM
The Vandalia Fire Department was called out to an early morning vehicle fire. Vandalia Fire Chief Keith Meadows says they were called out around 1:30 this morning for the vehicle fire on Zent Drive.  Meadows says, upon their arrival, the vehicle was fully involved and the fire had spread to the side of the residence.  But, while the vehicle was destroyed in the fire, Meadows says they

BNI Expo Saturday in Vandalia


04/07/14 05:59 AM
~~There will be a special business expo coming to Vandalia this Saturday.  It is it he BNI Network Masters 2014 Business Expo, and it will be held this Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm at the Vandalia Elementary School gymnasium.  Gary Manley is a member of BNI and was a guest on the Morning Cafe with Dan Michel to explain what the organization is all about.

Again, the Business Expo

Quinn, Rauner spar over education


04/07/14 05:58 AM
~~(Chicago, IL)  --  At least one of the Illinois' gubernatorial candidates is placing the campaign spotlight on education.  Incumbent Pat Quinn has already unveiled his commitment to earmark six billion dollars in education funding during his recent budget address.  He's also promoting a birth through five program. Quinn is pushing a 50-million dollar increase in the

Lawmakers eye takeover of IHSA


04/07/14 05:58 AM
~~(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are eying the possibility of taking over the state’s high school sports program.  High school football and boys’ basketball are worth four-million-dollars a year in Illinois but IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman says not all sports are that lucrative.


Hickman says for every sport that makes money, there are sports like tennis