Illinois

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.

Illinois Unemployment Data
1:34 pm
Thu April 21, 2011

March jobless rate drops in Illinois metro areas

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

State officials say the March unemployment rate dropped in every Illinois metropolitan area for a record seventh consecutive month.

A report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that the Rockford metropolitan area with the state's highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent. That's almost 4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.

The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area March rate was second-highest, at 12.7 percent.

Other metro areas with jobless rates over 10 percent were:

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Illinois State Budget
1:38 pm
Fri April 15, 2011

Ill. lawmakers OK big piece of state budget

The Illinois Capitol building in Springfield, Ill.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers have set aside billions of dollars to pay state obligations as part of what Democrats call a more responsible approach to the budget.

The state Senate sent the governor legislation that devotes nearly $8 billion to paying off debt and making pension payments.

Senate President John Cullerton said Friday the goal is to make sure the state doesn't duck these obligations or pay them with borrowed money.

Blago trial
3:21 pm
Thu April 14, 2011

Trial of ex-governor Blagojevich to start as scheduled

Rod Blagojevich signs autographs at Illinois State University in 2006. A judge today ruled that his second corruption trial will start next Wednesday as schedulded.
(via Flickr/soundfromwayout)

The federal judge for Rod Blagojevich's second corruption trial almost immediately refused a request from the former governor's lawyers this morning to delay by several weeks the opening of the proceedings

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Illinois Workers' Compensation
11:09 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Business groups open to Quinn's workers' comp fix call

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

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky added to this report at 5:29 p.m. April 12, 2011.

Gov. Pat Quinn is taking his push for workers' compensation reform to Illinois business leaders.

Participants in Business Lobby Day in Springfield applauded the Democrat when he called for fixing a system critics say costs employers too much and is driving them from the state.

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Illinois Unemployment / Taxes
12:31 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Illinois businesses to see tax increase in 2012

via Flickr/J_D_R

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of unemployment benefits.

That's because of a compromise bill passed this month in the Illinois Legislature.

The Rockford Register Star reports the deal is part of a longer-term plan to help contribute to Illinois' depleted unemployment trust fund, which is $3 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.

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