Illinois

Christopher Coleman
12:19 pm
Mon May 9, 2011

Judge sentences Coleman to life in prison without parole

Christopher Coleman.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 1:49 p.m. with sentence decision:

Christopher Coleman has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Original Story:

At 1 p.m. today, Circuit Judge Milton Wharton will decide the fate of Christopher Coleman, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

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Illinois Legislature
5:07 pm
Thu May 5, 2011

Ill. House rejects medical marijuana, conceal-carry

The Illinois State House voted today to reject legislation legalizing medical marijuana and allowing residents to carry concealed weapons.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois state House has rejected a measure that would have allowed Illinois residents to carry a concealed weapon.

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Spring Flooding
5:43 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Cairo, Ill. spared with levee blast, but concerns for area farmers remain

A screen grab still frame of a video by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of today's second levee blast near New Madrid, Mo. You can see video, from the ground and the air, of the blast below the story text.
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing to blow holes into agricultural levees to relieve rising floodwater on the town of Cairo, Ill. (See video footage of today's second blast below).

However, sparing Cairo came at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars of Missouri crops.

Ed Marshall farms about 8,000 acres in Mississippi County in southeast Missouri.  At this time of year he normally looks out on miles of corn and wheat, but right now, his view is different.

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Concealed Gun Legislation
4:47 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Ill. committee passes gun bill despite veto threat from Quinn

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn sent a message Tuesday asking lawmakers to reject a plan that would allow concealed carrying of firearms.  But an Illinois House committee ignored Quinn and advanced the measure.   It could be called for a floor vote this week.

Quinn says he doesn't want residents carrying loaded guns.

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Illinois Government
2:01 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

Senate rejects plan to streamline Ill. government

Illinois senators have rejected a plan to streamline government across the state.

The plan would have established a commission to recommend which units of government to eliminate. Then lawmakers would have voted to accept or reject the recommendation.

Only 14 senators supported the idea Tuesday. Thirty voted "no."

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Spring Flooding
12:09 pm
Tue May 3, 2011

25 SE Missouri farmers sue over levee breach

Updated 1:23 p.m. May 3 with information about lawsuit:

Via the Associated Press:

A group of 25 southeast Missouri farmers is suing the federal government over its decision to blow a hole in a levee, causing their farmland and houses to flood.

Cape Girardeau attorney J. Michael Ponder filed the lawsuit Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers detonated explosives on the Birds Point levee to ease pressure from the swelling Mississippi River.

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Illinois
11:46 am
Fri April 29, 2011

Quinn: Approve borrowing or lose local tax revenue

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wants to suspend about $1 billion in state income tax payments to cities and counties unless he gets legislative approval to borrow billions of dollars to pay overdue bills.

Quinn floated the plan in draft legislation he showed lawmakers earlier this week. It was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

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Spring Flooding
12:50 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Flooding closes hundreds of roads in Missouri, Illinois

A Missouri National Guard member stages vehicles at the Cape Girardeau armory in preparation for possible use in state emergency duty. More than 200 Missouri Guard members were activated in anticipation of possible flooding in the southern portion of Mo.
(via Flickr/The National Guard/M. Queiser/Missouri National Guard)

The floods affecting southern and southeastern Missouri and towns along the Mississippi River have resulted in hundreds of closed roads in the state, along with neighboring areas in Illinois.

Updated 1:32 p.m. April 26:

The City of Fenton has announced that The River Road in Fenton, Mo. at the intersection of Yarnell Road and Larkin-Williams Road is now closed.

In Missouri:

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Cycling Accident Statistics
5:22 pm
Mon April 25, 2011

Ill. to begin documenting "dooring" statistics from bicycle accidents

A bicycle tire.
(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

The Illinois Department of Transportation doesn't keep statistics on accidents unless a moving car is involved.  That's why Ed Barsotti with the League of Illinois Bicyclists says "dooring" was invisible in state record books.

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Illinois Government
4:17 pm
Fri April 22, 2011

IL Gov. Quinn grants 85 clemency petitions

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn granted 85 clemency petitions and denied 189 others in the latest round of action to clear a backlog of cases left by his predecessor, ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Quinn granted pardons and expunged convictions in most of the cases Friday that included offenses from burglary and drug charges to armed robbery and reckless discharge of a firearm.

This latest action brings the number of clemency petitions Quinn has granted to 467. He has denied 728 other petitions.

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