George Ryan

(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

Updated 11:33 a.m. to show that Ryan left the halfway house.

Attorney Jim Thompson says Ryan was released from the halfway house a short time after arriving there. Thompson, also a former Illinois governor, traveled with Ryan to his home in Kankakee, where he will remain in home confinement.

Speaking from Ryan's living room, Thompson said Ryan was beaming and surrounded by his smiling grandchildren.

Original story:

Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has been released from federal prison in Indiana - but is not yet totally free.

(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

The attorney for George Ryan says the former Illinois governor has qualified for work release five months before his July 2013 parole.

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Thompson tells The Daily Journal in Kankakee for a Wednesday story Ryan's new home will be a halfway house in Chicago's West Loop. The 78-year-old Ryan is serving a 6 1/2-year sentence at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., for a 2006 conviction on corruption charges.

(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

A federal court in Chicago has denied former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's appeal seeking his release from prison.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a complex 16-page ruling Monday denying the 78-year-old Republican's appeal for release from the Indiana prison where he's serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption.

The appeal was widely seen as Ryan's last chance to get out of prison early. He is due to be freed in mid-2013.

(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.

(Official Department of Justice Photo/via Wikimedia Commons)

Some reporting also via Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio

Updated 1:31 p.m. with statement from current Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.

The man whose prosecutions helped put two Illinois Governors (George Ryan and then Rod Blagojevich) in prison has announced he's stepping down.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald's office made the announcement today, effective June 30.  He's been in the position since 2001.

(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

Attorneys for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan say a U.S. Supreme Court decision could eventually lead to a new trial for their client.

Defense lawyer Albert Alschuler spoke on Monday, hours after the high court asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to reconsider Ryan's appeal.

He says the high court found the appellate judges erred by not considering aspects of the appeal on their merits.

(Screen capture via YouTube/139thAirliftWing)

Nixon seeks federal emergency declaration due to flooding

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is seeking a federal emergency declaration for the state because of flooding along the Missouri River system and flash floods in the northeast.

The governor made the request yesterday in a letter to President Barack Obama. Nixon notes that the Missouri has already caused extensive flooding and is expected to threaten 25 counties in all, from the far northwest to St. Louis. He says flash floods have also affected Clark and Lewis counties in the northeastern part of the state.

flickr/The National Guard

National Guard responding to flooding in St. Joseph

Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri faces several more weeks of potential flooding along the Missouri River as high water pushes its way south and eastward across the state.

Nixon met with officials from the Missouri National Guard outside St. Joseph for a briefing Monday on the guard's response to the flooding. He said the floods were made worse by heavy overnight storms that dumped up to 4 inches of rain in some sections, swelling the river past major flood stage near St. Joseph.

(via flickr/spsarge)

Updated 11:39 a.m. with information that George Ryan was at his wife's side when she died.

The wife of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan has died.

An attorney for the governor, Andrea Lyon, confirmed that Lura Lynn Ryan died Monday at a Kankakee hospital. She was 76, and had been diagnosed last year with incurable lung cancer. She'd been hospitalized since Friday and had been on a respirator.

  • The winter storm system that blanketed the region with snow overnight caused problems on area roads this morning. A few inches of snow were on the ground in St. Louis and suburbs, but that was enough to cause a large number of traffic accidents, mostly fender –benders. Most schools in the regions are closed. The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning motorists to exercise caution on overpasses and ramps. Drifting snow will continue to cause low visibility.

  • Attorney for George Ryan says they'll ask President Barack Obama to grant clemency to the imprisoned former Illinois governor after an appeals court refused to release Ryan on bail to spend more time with his terminally ill wife. Ryan's attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, told The Associated Press Monday that the request would be submitted to the White House within days. It will ask Obama to commute Ryan's sentence to his three years already served.

  • A St. Louis police officer is recovering after being dragged by a suspect's car during a traffic stop. Authorities say the officer pulled over the suspect because he believed he saw drugs in the car. They say the suspect rolled up his window, trapping the officer's arm in his car and dragging him a short distance. The officer's injuries were not serious. The suspect was arrested after crashing following a police chase.

An attempt for former Ill. governor George Ryan to be released from prison on bail has failed, according to the Associated Press.

We've been following the story of Ryan's efforts to leave prison to spend time with his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

After the announcement of his wife's deteriorating condition in early Dec. 2010,  Ryan made an urgent plea to be relased, which he was denied.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that former Ill. Gov. George Ryan, currently in prison, was allowed to leave prison Wednesday to visit his very ill wife, Lura Lynn.

The paper says that the visit was revealed when prosecutors filed response to a motion made by Ryan's lawyers  to let their client out on bail.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an initial autopsy of 27 year-old Adrienne Martin did not reveal any signs of disease. St. Louis County medical examiner Dr. Mary Case, also said that Martin's cremation won't hurt the investigation of her death. Martin was found dead Dec. 19 in the Huntleigh home of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV. Case says tissue samples were taken from Martin's organs to help determine the cause of her death.
  • An Illinois appeals court will decide whether imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan will be able to visit his ailing wife. Lura Lynn Ryan is in intensive care suffering complications from chemotherapy. The ex-governor's attorneys asked the court to release him yesterday in an emergency motion.
  • The Missouri lottery is moving its evening drawings back more than two hours so more people will have time buy tickets. Sales currently end at 6:45 p.m. for the daily drawings for Pick 3, Pick 4, Show Me Cash, and for Missouri lotto on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Starting Monday, sales for the drawings will end at 8:59 p.m., and the Lottery says numbers will be drawn between then and 9:15 p.m.

A federal judge has ruled that former Illinois Gov. George Ryan must remain in prison.

Ryan's attorneys want elements of his conviction tossed based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision curtailing anti-fraud laws - known as "honest services" laws.

Flickr Creative Commons user spsarge

WBEZ is reporting that the wife of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan may have just six months to live.

The details of Lura Lynn Ryan's health were revealed in federal court documents on Wednesday afternoon. George Ryan is appealing his conviction on 18 federal counts and wants to be out on bail to be at home with Lura Lynn.