Illinois News Roundup for Friday

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Published on April 28 2012 10:06 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm

>>Committee Wants To Hear From Smith 

(Springfield, IL)  --  A special investigative committee wants Representative Derrick Smith to testify under oath about bribery charges brought against him.  They're sending a letter to Smith and his attorneys asking him to do so but Committee Chair Representative Elaine Nekritz says Smith has a Fifth Amendment right to refuse.  The committee had hoped to get details of the charges from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald but according to Fitzgerald, sharing the information could compromise his own case against Smith.  The committee is considering whether to sanction or recommend Smith for expulsion over his alleged behavior. 

>>Teacher Dies After Falling Ill At School 

(Monmouth, IL) - Grief counselors are on hand in the Monmouth-Roseville School District after one of its teachers died suddenly.  Officials say Harding Primary School teacher Ellen Becraft got sick at school on Wednesday and was transported by ambulance to a Monmouth hospital.  She was pronounced dead a short time later.  The district says she had a tremendous impact on the faculty, staff, students, and communities of Monmouth and Roseville. 

>>Get Rid Of Your Unused Prescriptions 

(Undated)  --  Here's a reminder that you can legally get rid of your unused prescription medications tomorrow.  Most local police departments across the state are participating in the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. It's a safe way to dispose of medications and keep them out of the hands of potential abusers.  Needles and illegal drugs, such as marijuana, will not be accepted. 

>>Congressional Candidate Gets National Recognition 

(O'Fallon, IL)  --  One Illinois GOP Congressional candidate is making headlines within the Republican party.  The National Republican Congressional Committee calls Jason Plummer a strong choice in Illinois' 12th Congressional District, which is being vacated by Democrat Jerry Costello.    The NRCC says Plummer is a Contender in their "Young Guns" program.  That means he's met the third set of organizational and fundraising benchmarks and has already begun establish himself as a solid challenger in the November election. 

 >>Study:  Medicaid Cuts Would Hurt Illinois Economy 

(Springfield, IL)  --  Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars could be lost if Governor Pat Quinn's Medicaid program cuts are made.  That's the finding of a new study by the Illinois Hospital Association looking at Quinn's plan to cut two-point-seven-billion from the program.  The association's study shows that Illinois could lose almost 26 thousand jobs and some three-point-two-billion dollars under Quinn's plan.  Quinn claims that without his cuts, the state's entire Medicaid program would collapse.

>>Unemployment Rate Falls Across Illinois 

(Undated)  --  The state Department of Employment Security says unemployment dropped in all 12 Illinois metro areas in March.  It's the first time that's happened since May 2011.  The department says that the biggest decrease was in the Rockford area.  The department also says that earlier this month the statewide unemployment rate fell to eight-point-eight-percent.  It was the seventh straight monthly drop.


>>House Committee OKs Plastic Bag Limits 

(Springfield, IL)  --  An Illinois House committee backs legislation that creates a statewide standard for recycling plastic bags.  Senate Bill 3442 would require plastic bag manufacturers to register with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency by paying a 500-dollar annual fee.  After 2014, retailers could use plastic bags only from those registered manufacturers.  By 2015, the bags would have to be made of 30-percent recycled materials.

>>Southern Illinois Introduces New Chancellor 

(Edwardsville, IL)  -- Julie Furst-Bowe is Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's eighth chancellor.  SIUE President Glenn Poshard formally introduced Furst-Bowe on Thursday.  She will assume the post July 2nd pending Board of Trustee approval May 10th.  Furst-Bowe is currently the provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie.

 >>Johnson Staff May Not Get Congressional Nod 

(Urbana, IL)  --  Congressman Tim Johnson says his former Chief of Staff should not be the person to replace him on the November ballot.  In fact, Johnson says neither Jerry Clarke nor any of his other staffers should get the nod.  The announcement comes after accusations that Johnson's retirement was designed to push Clarke into the Congressional seat.  Johnson announced he was leaving office shortly after winning the March 20th primary, which means county chairmen in the district get to select his replacement. 

>>Man Jumps Two Stories To Save His Life 

(Champaign, IL)  --  A Champaign man jumped two stories to save his own life, after gun yielding robbers broke into his apartment.  Four men entered the home and when they allegedly showed two guns, the man ran and jumped from the balcony.  The four men have been arrested.  Police haven't said whether the victim knows the men who broke into his home. 

>>Electronic Recycling Day 

(Mattoon, IL)  --  Garbage men in Illinois aren't allowed to pick up used electronics because landfills no longer take them.  But if you're in Coles County and you need to get rid of your used electronic items, you can stop by the Free Electronic Recycling Day tomorrow.  They're accepting items like computer monitors, laptops, printers, and video game consoles.  The event is being held at the Life Links Building in Mattoon from 9a.m. until 2p.m. 

>>University Ranked Among Nation's Most Green 

(Charleston, IL)  --  Eastern Illinois University is one of the nation's most environmentally friendly colleges.  It's listed among hundreds of other universities in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition."   That means EIU is making a notable commitment  to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. DePaul University, North Central College, and the Illinois Institute of Technology also made the list.

 >>Collinsville Man Charged In Death Of Roommate 

(Collinsville, IL)  --  A Collinsville man is being charged in connection with his roommate's death.  Timonthy J. Hillyer is accused of covering up the the death of 55-year-old Russell O. Miller.  Officials say they are continuing their investigation and will likely be filing additional charges. 

>>Yankee Legend Moose Skowron Dies 

(Bronx, NY)  --  Former Yankee great Bill "Moose" Skowron is dead.  The slugger passed away at his Chicago home after a bout with lung cancer.  He's known around New York as the "Third M" with the famed "M&M Boys" Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.  All three were part of the Yankee dynasty of the 60's that won four World Series championships and seven league pennants.  Skowron was 81 years old.