Illinois News Roundup for Wednesday
Published on May 2 2012 1:55 pm
Last Updated on May 2 2012 1:58 pm
Written by Greg Sapp
>>Man Arrested In Connection To Teen Death
(Dunlap, IL) -- One man is behind bars in connection to the mysterious death of a Dunlap teenager. Police say Heath McGovern is a person of interest in the case. He's been arrested for possession of a controlled substance and is being held on a 50-thousand dollar bond. Police won't say how he's linked to Joshua Olt's death, the 16 year old who was found unresponsive in his bedroom Sunday evening.
>>Student Sentenced For Writing Threatening Letter
(Jacksonville, IL) -- The North Greene High School student who allegedly targeted two school employees and threatened to "blow up the school, or kill everyone in it!" has admitted to the charges. Kayli Anslyn was placed on probation and ordered to finish school or get her GED. She no longer attends North Greene and is not to have any contact with school administrators. The threat happened one day last September and caused about half of the high school's students to stay home the next day.
>>Elgin Woman Fakes Lottery Win
(Elgin, IL) -- An Elgin woman is charged with trying to claim a share of last month's record Mega-Millions jackpot. Police say Leandria Williams showed up at the Lottery office in DesPlaines with a fake winning ticket. She allegedly purchased the ticket after the actual drawing and then altered the date on the receipt. Williams has been charged with wire fraud, attempted theft and forgery.
>>Whooping Cough Outbreak
(Madison County, IL) -- There's a whooping cough outbreak in Madison County and health officials are urging people to get vaccinated. Fourteen cases have been reported in the last month, eight of those were reported since last Friday. Whooping cough is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, fever, and a mild cough that gets worse over a period of several weeks. Whooping cough can cause serious health complications and even death.
>>Former Dixon Comptroller Stole $53-Million
(Dixon, IL) -- Federal agents who alleged a 30-million-dollar embezzlement scheme in Dixon, Illinois, now say the situation was much worse than that. A federal grand jury has returned a single-count indictment charging Rita Crundwell with one count of wire fraud. The indictment charges she misappropriated more than 53-million dollars from Dixon going back to 1990. The 59-year-old Crundwell served as the town's comptroller since 1983. The indictment charges she used millions to support her horse farms and lavish lifestyle.
>>Muslims Bypass Mormons As Fastest-Growing Religion
(Undated) -- Muslims are now the third-largest religious group in Illinois after Roman Catholics and independent evangelicals. The "Chicago Tribune" also reports that Muslims are also the fastest-growing denomination. That's according to a census of American religious congregations unveiled yesterday. Nationally, the study shows a mostly Christian nation with a lot of variety beneath the surface, including about 150-million Americans, half the population, who aren't engaged with a religious community.
>>Challenger Concedes In Illinois House Race
(Chicago, IL) -- A political challenger comes within 125 votes of unseating an Illinois House veteran but finally concedes the March primary election. Will Guzzardi says a recount did not turn up enough evidence to continue contesting his loss to Chicago Democrat Toni Berrios. Monday was the deadline to challenge the election results. Berrios took 50-point-eight-percent of the March 20th vote.
>>Senate Bill Would Create Police Commission
(Springfield, IL) -- An Illinois Senate committee is considering a plan to form a commission that would oversee four troubled police departments in the metro-east. The legislation would create the Metro East Police District Commission that would have oversight of the police departments in East St. Louis, Washington Park, Alorton and Brooklyn. The commission would create regulations and standards for the departments, and it could apply for and spend money from the state or the federal government.
>>Union Workers Strike Outside Joliet Plant
(Joliet, IL) -- Dozens of workers have hit the picket line outside the Caterpillar plant in Joliet. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers began to gather outside Joliet's Caterpillar plant Monday night after talks broke down and their contract expired. Union workers overwhelmingly rejected a six-year contract Monday. About 800 workers at the facility were covered under the contract. Caterpillar says it plans to run its business as usual.
>>Panel Votes To Keep Prisons Open
(Springfield, IL) -- A group of lawmakers will advise Governor Quinn to keep state facilities open. A ten member panel voted to reject Governor Quinn's plan to shut down the Tamms Supermax Prison, Dwight Correctional Center, the Illinois Youth Center in Joliet, and 2 Adult Transition Centers. Lawmakers say they need to see a more detailed plan before voting to close the facilities and move inmates or residents. The vote is non-binding, meaning Quinn is not obligated to take the advice and can still move forward with his closure plan.
>>Professor Says Obama Could Commute Ryan Sentence
(Chicago, IL) -- John Marshall Law Professor Ann Lousin says it may be a good idea for President Obama to commute former Governor George Ryan's prison sentence. She says Ryan suffers from Type 2 Diabetes, which puts him at risk for a stroke and heart disease. To her knowledge, Luosin says the former governor hasn't suffered a stroke nor is he showing any signs of the sickness. But she says it's very expensive to take care of a sick prisoner and it makes sense to put him in the care of his family to let them foot the healthcare bill. She says if Obama did commute the sentence, it likely wouldn't come until after the November election.
>>Undertaker Pleads Guilty Of Theft
(Harrisburg, IL) -- A former funeral home director in Harrisburg says he's guilty of stealing from clients who paid for their funerals in advance. John Jones entered the guilty plea in a Saline County Court yesterday. He was charged with six counts of theft and five counts of failure to deposit funds into a trust account back in September 2010. He allegedly snagged more than 65-thousand dollars in pre-paid funeral funds.
>>State Provides Free Air Quality Reports
(Undated) -- The state is offering a way for you to get quick updates on the quality of air you're breathing each day. Kim Biggs, with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, says the information can be very helpful for people with asthma, COPD, and even heart disease. The new EnviroFlash system will deliver daily air quality forecasts directly to your cell phone. You can get more details and sign up at Illinois.EnviroFlash.org.
>>Accused Killer To Hire Experts
(Lincoln, IL) -- One of two brothers charged in the Beason slayings will be allowed to hire expert consultants and a private investigator to aid his defense. A judge granted Chris Harris's request for the expert help. His defense team must provide prosecutors with copies of all reports prepared by his experts, as well as any other discovery evidence they have, by September 4th. Chris Harris and his brother, Jason Harris, are accused of using a tire iron to kill Ruth and Rick Gee and three of the couple's children in Beason in 2009.