Morning headlines: Sunday, July 29, 2012
New Illinois laws aim to protect elderly
New laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this weekend are aimed at protecting the elderly in Illinois by increasing oversight of caregivers and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect.
One of the new pieces of legislation allows prosecutors to ask a court to freeze a suspect's assets if he is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. That's meant to keep a defendant from spending stolen money before restitution is collected.
Another new measure allows police and fire departments access to reports of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation against the elderly. Previously, they could only access that information if a specific instance of abuse was reported to them.
Virginia congressman still against buying Thomson
A Republican congressman from Virginia is refusing to end his opposition to the purchase by the U.S. government of the Thomson Correctional Center in western Illinois.
Rep. Frank Wolf chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the federal Bureau of Prisons.
His office said Friday he has "unequivocally" rejected the Obama administration's reprogramming request to purchase the prison. He opposes it on fears terrorism suspects would be housed there.
In a letter Friday, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin had asked that Wolf approve a Justice Department request to move $165 million from other programs to purchase Thompson. Gov. Pat Quinn did the same, noting bipartisan support for the purchase.
The Justice Department has said the acquisition of Thomson, completed in 2001 and unused since, would alleviate federal prison overcrowding.
Mo. county denied compensation for flood damage
A southeast Missouri county has been told it won't be getting any money for damage caused by the activation of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway last year.
The Southeast Missourian reports Mississippi County's clerk gave county commissioners a letter with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision on Thursday.
A corps spokesman says the letter "constitutes the final administrative action" on the county's $75 million claim for flood damage
The county had argued that the corps' activation of the floodway was negligent. Commissioners say they weren't surprised by the decision, but still hope to receive money from the corps to pay for damage to county roads by trucks hauling materials for the levee's restoration.
The levee was intentionally breached to prevent flooding in an Illinois community upriver.
Military flight forced to land in St. Louis
Engine troubles forced a charter flight carrying more than 100 military personnel headed to Indianapolis from Fort Hood, Texas, to make an unplanned landing in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the Delta charter made the precautionary landing at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 4:10 a.m. Saturday.
Airport spokesman Jeff Lea says the airport deployed emergency equipment, but the plane landed without incident.
He says the passengers were transferred to another plane and departed at 8:45 a.m.