Juror Pay
8:53 am
Sat July 21, 2012

New law lets Illinois jurors turn down pay

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

People who serve on juries in Illinois are now required to accept small payments for their time, but that's about to change.
 
Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that gives jurors the option of refusing the money if they don't need it. The law takes effect in January.
 
Current law requires counties to pay jurors from $4 a day to $17.20. They can also get money for mileage and child care.
 

Benefits fraud
4:56 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

19 Illinois residents indicted on unemployment benefits fraud

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Nineteen residents of the Metro East and southern Illinois have been charged with stealing money from the state and federal unemployment insurance programs.

The 12 men and 7 women are accused of stealing a total of $368,000 in benefits. Two of those charged were incarcerated while receiving benefits, and 17 others were employed.

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Ill. Department of Children and Family Services
3:15 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Illinois child-welfare agency starts cutting of 375 jobs

The interior of the dome at the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began sending out layoff notices Friday as it tries to cut 375 jobs without weakening its ability to protect children.

The department has to absorb an $86 million budget cut.

Director Richard Calica said in a letter to staff that the agency must focus its remaining resources on core responsibilities required by law.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the agency will have to reduce programs aimed at preventing abuse and neglect.

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Cell Phone Laws
1:33 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

On a phone? Driving a car? In Illinois? Make sure you're not breaking any of these new laws

(via Flickr/MrJasonWeaver)

Illinois drivers are coming under more pressure to stay off their cellphones.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed four laws Friday aimed at making roadways safer.

Three of them confront the problem of drivers becoming distracted by talking and texting on their cellphones, something that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called a "national epidemic."

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Ag disaster
12:56 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Nixon calls for 'flash grazing' for Mo. livestock owners

Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has called on the Missouri Soil and Water Districts Commission to allow livestock farmers to let their herds flash graze temporarily in so-called “exclusion areas.”

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Saint Louis Zoo
11:20 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Zoo: Seals in transport died due to 'multiple factors,' stress of trip

via Flickr/Derringdos

St. Louis Zoo officials say the deaths of three harbor seals in transit from Canada to St. Louis last month were due to exertional myopathy, or a disease of the muscles. The disease was likely brought on by the stress of travel.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Real-Life Horror: Many Killed, Dozens Wounded At Colorado Movie Theater

Two women mourn near the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., where a gunman opened fire during the opening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 21, 2012 12:17 am

  • Witness talks to 'The Today Show'
  • Steve Inskeep speaks with witness Chayyiel Jackson

A midnight screening of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises turned into a horribly real scene of death and destruction in Aurora, Colo., early Friday when a gunman opened fire on the audience killing 12.

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Morning round-up
9:22 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, July 20, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

McCaskill to launch TV ads ahead of Aug. 7 primary

For months, Missouri's Republican U.S. Senate candidates have been campaigning by criticizing Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill has returned the fire during campaign events. Now McCaskill says she is launching TV ads individually targeting her potential Republican competitors - Congressman Todd Akin, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.

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Heatwave
3:12 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Local church leaders tackle hot spell from the pulpit

Rev. C. Jessel Strong, president of the Clergy Coalition of Greater St. Louis, (right) called for area congregations to assist elderly and disabled residents during this year's heat wave.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Some St. Louis church leaders are taking to the pulpit in an effort save lives as the death toll from this year’s heat wave continues to grow. Persistent high temperatures that began late last month have been blamed for 23 deaths in the St. Louis area so far.

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GovEnergy convention
1:21 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

St. Louis hotels scrambling to fill over 11,000 rooms with cancellation of major GSA conference

The federal General Services Administration has canceled a three-day conference that was supposed to start in downtown St. Louis on August 19, citing an inability to meet new federal standards.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

A scandal that erupted in April over lavish spending by the General Services Administration, the government's logistics provider, is leaving hotels in St. Louis scrambling to fill rooms.

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