05:54am CST, 11/23/14

Local News

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.



First Anniversary Of Deadly Tornadoes

11/17/14 05:53 AM
(Washington, IL)  --  It's been a full year, but people across Illinois are still trying to piece their lives back together after a deadly tornado outbreak ripped through 25 towns across the state.  Eight people were killed and nearly 200 others injured on this day just one year ago.  Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed with property damage topping more than

Bill Aims To Save Horse Racing Industry

11/17/14 05:52 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Lawmakers are still trying to find ways to revive the horse racing industry.  The latest proposal on the table would allow people to bet on old races.  State Rep Dwight Kay is calling it "historical racing." Officials would pull out the old race terminals and hide all identifying information like horse names, dates, and where the race was

Winter Weather Advisory for today--1 to 2 inches of snow during the day today

11/16/14 06:53 AM




Snow in forecast for Saturday day and night

11/15/14 06:21 AM
We will likely see our first accumulating snow of the season Saturday, during the day and night--but not a lot of accumulation.  The National Weather Service says snow showers are likely for late this afternoon and early this evening with a total daytime snow accumulation of than a half inch.  Snow showers are likely for tonight with additional snow accumulation of less than a half inch

Healthcare Signup Begins Today

11/15/14 06:18 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  The second round of enrollment under the Affordable Care Act begins today in Illinois and elsewhere around the country.  During the first signup, more than 217-thousand people got coverage, and more than three-quarters of them qualified for financial assistance.  Again this year, Illinois residents will be able to select a plan through the federal

Students Who Graduate Community College Earn More

11/15/14 06:17 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  People who graduate from an Illinois community college aren't necessarily being short-changed when they get into the workforce.  A new study finds they'll bring in over 570-thousand-dollars more over the course of their lifetime than if they hadn't gone to school. 

That's Illinois Community College Board Spokesman Matt Berry.  He

White Dispels Myths About Organ Donation

11/15/14 06:16 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Secretary of State Jesse White is speaking out to dispel some of the myths about organ donation.  He says some people think if they share an organ, they'll look bad at their funeral, but that's not true.

White says people also have concerns that a doctor won't work hard to save them if they're an organ donor.  Again, he says

Attorneys Push Change In DUI Law

11/15/14 06:15 AM
(Island Lake, IL)  --  The Illinois state bar association is planning a challenge to the state's DUI law.  They want to change the provision that allows anyone who has marijuana in his system to be charged with a DUI, even if their use of pot was not concurrent with the time of the crash.  The bar association says the law should only apply to illegal drug users if they

Olde Tyme Christmas

11/14/14 05:57 AM
It has grown into maybe the biggest single event on the calendar each year in Vandalia—It is Olde Tyme Christmas both this evening and tomorrow in downtown Vandalia. The events kick off this evening at 5 pm, with the official lighting of the City Christmas Tree and the Annual Rotary Club Parade. Then there will be events throughout downtown Vandalia—including a live nativity scene,

County Board Discusses Shift in Budget at Hearing

11/14/14 05:56 AM

Just several weeks ago, the Fayette County Board was looking at ways to fix a budget that would have the county ending the fiscal year with a large deficit. Holding a budget hearing prior to Thursday night’s regular county board meeting, the board heard from Chairman Steve Knebel that due to interest that had to be kept in the Capital Improvement fund instead of the General Fund, and

Sen McCarter on Rauner win

11/14/14 05:56 AM
The State of Illinois will have a Republican Governor for the first time in 12 years and State Senator Kyle McCarter is happy about that. And, he is also pleased that it's Bruce Rauner. McCarter was one of the first state legislators to come out in support of Rauner, back when he was a little known candidate in the Republican Gubernatorial primary.


Now lawmakers will get ready

Quinn Still Pushing For Minimum Wage Hike

11/14/14 05:55 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor Quinn says lawmakers get paid to work and that's what he expects them to do when they return to Springfield for the veto session.  That's next week but there isn't a whole lot on the docket.  Quinn wants them to pass a bill to increase the minimum wage to ten-bucks-an-hour.  He wants that to be his last hurrah as he wraps up his

Rauner Meets With Top Democrats

11/14/14 05:54 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is trying to get acquainted with the state's top Democrats.  He had a meeting with Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan in Chicago yesterday.  They discussed the state budget, which will be the biggest issue that Rauner faces as he steps into the governor's role in January.  That's

Open Enrollment For ACA Starts Saturday

11/14/14 05:53 AM
(Chicago, IL)  --  Open Enrollment for healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act gets underway this Saturday.  More than 700-thousand people in Illinois got coverage through the program last year, when it was first launched.  Anyone who wants to change their plan must do so by December 15th, otherwise they'll automatically be re-enrolled into their current

State Police Shooting Ranges Open To Hunters

11/14/14 05:52 AM
(Springfield, IL)  --  Hunters who are planning to use the state police shooting ranges to test out their shotguns should call and make a reservation.  Ranges in Joliet, Effingham, Macomb, Pawnee, and Pittsfield will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow so hunters can make sure their shotguns are properly sighted.  Targets will be provided but hunters should bring their

It should feel like the holidays for Olde Tyme Christmas

11/13/14 05:51 AM
Olde Tyme Christmas is set for tomorrow night and during the day on Saturday in downtown Vandalia, which is kind of the kick off of the holiday shopping season. And, it will feel and might even look a little Christmas during the event. We will continue to see cold temperatures for the next several days, with highs during the day just in the lower 30s and lows at night down to 20. But, we will add

Kaskaskia College honors student who died in train-car accident

11/13/14 05:50 AM
Kaskaskia College has taken the time to honor a student, who lost her life in the tragic train-car accident on October 30th in Vandalia. During the Advisory meeting last week in Vandalia, Kaskaskia College President Dr. James Underwood told the group that 18 year old Alyssa Sewell was a full time student at the K-C Greenville Education Center.


Alyssa Sewell, along with two siblings