Local News for Sunday, June 9

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Published on June 9 2013 6:06 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Lawmakers are heading back to Springfield to deal with the pension crisis, but some political leaders say they actually need to deal with it before they get to the capital city.  State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says Governor Quinn should sit down with both GOP and Democrat leaders and put everything on the table before the June 19 session date.  Otherwise, he said the special session could be a repeat of last year when lawmakers went back to Springfield and did absolutely nothing.  Taxpayers foot the bill for tens of thousands of dollars every day for a special session, which Rutherford said would be a total waste if lawmakers don't have a plan.

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State officials are warning people about a couple of scams going around.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Illinois residents should be wary of phone calls advertising free medical alert services that are especially helpful for seniors who have an emergency.  She said her office has received an uptick in complaints about the calls.  Officials also say people should do their homework before investing their hard-earned money.  The State investigated more than 400 cases of investment fraud last year and in several instances people were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

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Weekly unemployment insurance benefits to the long-term unemployed will be reduced 16.8% as a result of federal sequestration's across-the-board budget cuts.  That's the word from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  The reduction will be reflected in payments beginning Monday for those collecting federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation.  Federal authorities are telling state officials the reductions will end September 30, which is the end of the federal fiscal year.  Approximately 80,000 individuals collect federal unemployment compensation.  The average weekly benefit will be reduced by about 51 dollars.  State benefits, which are funded through a payroll tax, will not change.

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Effingham City Commissioners Matt Hirtzel and Don Althoff will be on hand this evening for Commissioner Office Hours at City Hall.  The commissioners will be in the Council Chambers from 5 to 7pm.  It's your opportunity to get your questions answered first-hand about City activities.

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Eastern Illinois University's Doudna Fine Arts Center is readying for its first concert in front of the Mellin Steps.  The featured performer is jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimee and the concert will begin at 4pm today.  In addition to the outdoor show, a barbecue dinner will be served immediately following.  Tickets for the concert and dinner are $15 each.

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The Altamont Immanuel Lutheran Youth Fellowship will be working at Culver's Frozen Custard and Butterburgers today.  The youth will be at Culver's from 11am to 2pm to raise funds for their upcoming trip to the National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, Texas in July.  While in Texas, they will meet with other youth from across the nation in gathering events and community service projects. 

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Effingham Junior Football League registration is open.  Those interested in JFL can sign up today in the Effingham High School Cafetorium from 12:30 to 3pm or on Thursday, the 13th, from 5 to 7pm.  For more information, phone Kathleen Smith at 821-8814 or e-mail: effjflsmith@gmail.com

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Centenary United Methodist Church at 3rd and Grove in Effingham will feature a special production by its Music department this weekend.  The Handbell Choir will be playing special music, the Good News Singers and Drama Group will present "I Love a Parade" and the Adult Choir will be sharing the cantata "I Love This Land".  It's their hope to honor veterans for their sacrifice and celebrate the freedoms in this country.  Presentations are planned at 8:15am and 10:45am today.

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"Kingdom Rock" Vacation Bible School starts tonight and runs through Thursday night from 6 to 8:30pm at Cornerstone Christian Church at 3600 South Banker in Effingham.  All children ages 3 to Pre-K and Kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to attend.  Registration can be done online at www.effinghamcornerstone.net or by phoning the church at 342-6770.  You're invited to Kingdom Rock, where kids stand strong for Jesus.

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A porkburger lunch will be served today at Christ the King Parish Hall in Greenup.  The menu includes a porkburger on bun, cole slaw, applesauce, chips, baked beans, dessert and drink.  The lunch will be available from 11am to 4pm.  Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children under age 10, and will be available at the door.  There will also be games for the kids, a 50/50 drawing, and themed gift baskets.  Proceeds will go toward the renovation project in front of the church.