Morning round-up
9:19 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ill. Gov to take action on gambling bill today

UPDATE: As of 9:25 a.m., Quinn has vetoed this bill.
Gov. Pat Quinn isn't giving any hints about what he'll do with a gambling bill that Illinois lawmakers sent to his desk. Today is the deadline for Quinn to take action on legislation that would establish five new casinos in the state. It would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.

At an unrelated event in Chicago yesterday, Quinn said he spent the weekend reading the bill and he'll announce his decision today. He declined to say if he'd arrived at a decision. Quinn gets 60 days from when lawmakers approve legislation to decide to sign, veto or propose changes. Previously, Quinn has said he won't likely sign the bill as it is and says his biggest concern about it is ethics.

St. Charles County to vote on smoking ban and police department

St. Charles County voters will have a lot on their plate Nov. 6 as they decide whether to approve a countywide smoking ban and whether the county needs a police department. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Charles County Council decided Monday to put the measures to a vote.

The anti-smoking measure calls for two separate ballot questions. One would ban smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces. The other would allow exemptions on places such as gambling floors and many bars.

The county already has a sheriff's department but supporters believe a police force would provide for more professional law enforcement.

Sentencing for man convicted in death of Washington Park mayor

A 35-year prison sentence has been handed to a Washington Park man convicted in the shooting death of the mayor of the southwestern Illinois village.

A St. Clair County jury in April found 36-year-old Aaron Jackson guilty of first-degree murder in the death of John Thornton. Prosecutors contended Jackson shot Thornton several times in the chest as the 52-year-old sat in his car on April 1, 2010. They theorized Thornton was headed home from his sanitary district job when Jackson flagged him down to ask for money.

Jackson was convicted in a second trial. A judge last October declared a mistrial after a witness changed her testimony about whether she talked to an investigator at the scene of the killing. That witness also claimed the investigator offered her a bribe.

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