Illinois News Roundup for Friday, May 4


Published on May 4 2012 10:52 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

>>Illinois State Fair Changes

(Springfield, IL)  --  There are a few changes coming to the Illinois State Fair this year, thanks to the state's cash strapped budget.  First, admission is going up, it'll be seven dollars for adults and three dollars for children and seniors.  They're also cutting back on the number of premium payouts for the competitions.  Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick says the changes won't impact the success of the fair because there's still a stellar grandstand lineup, carnival rides, and lots of great fair food.


>>Officers Pay Tribute To Fallen Comrades

(Springfield, IL)  -- Law enforcement officers encourage families of their fallen comrades to reach out for help when they need it.  They say it can be very difficult to lose a loved one, especially in the line of duty.  Hundreds of officers gathered on the west lawn of the capitol yesterday to pay tribute to the fallen officers.  Officer Mike Pawlowski, with the Hodgkins Police Department, says it was his first time attending an Illinois memorial ceremony and says he was very touched by the event.


>>Illinois Voters To Decide On Pension Proposal

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois voters this fall will be asked whether to make it tougher for state and local governments to sweeten public employee pensions under a measure lawmakers approved Thursday.  The proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution now goes on the November ballot following the Senate's 51-to-2 vote.  The House previously approved the measure.


>>Senator Kirk Heading Home After Stroke

(Chicago, IL)  --  Senator Mark Kirk has returned home to Fort Sheridan in Highland Park after making steady progress in recovering from a stroke.  His family says "Mark has progressed to the point where he can move home, and will continue to work on his recovery as an outpatient at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago."  Doctors removed a small section of the senator's brain following the stroke to ease the swelling.  Doctors say he has made steady progress in his recovery.


>>Two Dead In Small Plane Crash Near Crystal Lake

(Crystal Lake, IL)  --  Two people are dead after a small plane crash in McHenry County.  The FAA says the Beach 35 went down near Lake in the Hills Airport near Crystal Lake yesterday afternoon.  The McHenry County coroner's office has identified the victims as 65-year-old Hugh Scott Clark of Lake Forest and 82-year-old Paul Sanfilippo of Grayslake.  The FAA says it's unclear if the plane was taking off or landing.


>>Drew Peterson Hearing Set For Today

(Joliet, IL)   --  Drew Peterson will be in an Illinois courtroom today for a hearing for his upcoming murder trial.  The former police sergeant is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.  He remains under investigation in the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.  In April, an Illinois appellate court ruled that prosecutors can use potentially incriminating statements made by Savio and Peterson's still-missing wife against him.


>>State Ends Daycare Assistance

(Undated)  --  Illinois' budget crisis is hitting close to home for many parents.  The state says it can no longer pay for a childcare assistance program, which helps 100-thousand families across the state pay for daycare.  Daycare providers who receive money from the state will come up short for at least the next several months, or until lawmakers decide whether the state can afford to restore funding.  Parents say this could force them to quit their jobs and stay at home with the kids.


>>Open Forum For Johnson Replacement

(Bloomington, IL)  --  McLean County voters will get to hear directly from the finalists to replace U.S. Congressman Tim Johnson on November's ballot.  The field of eight candidates who have applied for the job will appear at an open forum on May 17th at Bloomington's Eastland Suites.  Party leaders are interviewing all of the candidates this Saturday and have asked for detailed questionnaires from each.  They hope to pick a new nominee by May 19th.


>>Central Illinois home To Largest Popcorn Company

(Forest City, IL)  --  Central Illinois is home to the largest popcorn company  in the world.  The "Country Gazette" reports Weaver Popcorn Company, in Forest City, Illinois pumps out about 30-percent of the world's popcorn.  Manager Dan Sleaford says you may not have heard of the company directly but you've more than likely seen their "Pop Weaver" microwaveable popcorn on shelves in Walmart, "Mighty Pop" at Sams, and they're also behind the "Trails End" brand for the Boy Scouts.  Much of the corn is produced in Mason County and it's packaged and stored in the Forest City plant.


>>Central Illinois Senior Celebration Planned

(Springfield, IL)  --  A big party is in the works for veterans, caregivers, and seniors over the age 50.  AARP is sponsoring a Central Illinois Senior Celebration with lots of entertainment, goodies, and useful information.  More than one hundred exhibitors will be on hand to provide access to health screenings such as blood glucose levels, bone density, and balance checks, plus there will be live entertainment and even massages.  It's all happening on the state fairgrounds on May 16th from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Admission is free with a donation of at least one can of food.