Illinois News Roundup for Friday, June 15


Published on June 15 2012 11:44 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

>>Final Day To Apply For Congressional Seat

(Belleville, IL)  --  Today is the last day for Congressional hopefuls to apply for the 12th District seat.  Several people have expressed interest in replacing Democrat Brad Harriman on the November ballot, who won the primary election in March but dropped out because of medical issues.   Former head of the Illinois National Guard William Enyart and state representative John Bradley are among those who are eyeing the seat.  Democratic leaders in the district will select the new candidate by the end of the month.


>>Cigarette Taxes Up In Nine Days

(Springfield, IL)  --  Cigarette taxes are going up by one dollar in nine days.  It's part of Governor Quinn's plan to restructure the state's Medicaid system.  He signed the cigarette tax into law yesterday, claiming it was a tough decision but will keep thousands of Illinoisans healthy.  According to the American Cancer Society, the higher tax on cigarettes will keep more than 80-thousand kids from becoming smokers, plus it will help prevent 60-thousand deaths from smoking related conditions.


>>Zoo Exhibit Creates Shared Habitat For Humans, Animals

(Peoria, IL)  --  A new exhibit coming to the Peoria Zoo lets you become part of the animal habitat.   The Australian Walk-About features a shared pathway for people and animals.  Emus, wallabies, and black swans are just a few of the animals that may cross or walk the path alongside humans.  Zoo officials say the people must stay on the pathway but the animals can roam freely throughout the exhibit.  It's scheduled to open the week of August 13th.


>>Sangamon County Fair Underway

(New Berlin, IL)  --  Take your dad to a live demolition derby for Father's Day this Sunday.  It's going on at the Sangamon County Fair, which runs through Sunday in New Berlin.  There are other exciting events on the rundown including a magic show, pedal tractor pull, talent show, concerts, and a Super Carnival.  Admission is five dollars for seniors and children ages five through ten. Twenty dollars for adults.


>>Reaction to Signing of Medicaid Restructuring Legislation

(Springfield, IL)  --  Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the recently signed two-point-seven billion-dollar package of cuts and taxes is necessary to keep the state's Medicaid system from collapsing.  One of the five bills raises taxes on cigarettes by a dollar-and-one-cent that will go to fund the Medicaid program.  Consumer group Citizen Action/Illinois tells WAND-17 news cuts particularly affecting senior citizens and the disabled could cause quote, "real harm."


>>Park Service Awards Lincoln Home Program

(Springfield, IL)  --  Springfield's "A Historic Christmas" is the winner of a Midwest Region "Excellence in Partnership Merit" award from the National Park Service.  The program is recognized for the collaboration between the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and its partners.  "The State Journal-Register" reports more than a thousand visitors attended the December 17th programs at the holiday decorated sites.  Lincoln Home officials say the five historic homes and a local a cappella women's chorus told a more complete and rich story of how Christmas was celebrated back when Abraham Lincoln walked the streets of Springfield. 


>>Illinois Senator Arrested

(Springfield, IL)  --  State Senator Suzi Schmidt faces misdemeanor charges of damage to property and criminal trespassing after an arrest earlier this week.  The Lake County Sheriff's Office says the charges are related to damage the Lake Villa Republican did to a neighbor's animal feed bag.  She was also served with an emergency stalking, no contact order.