News

Chicago, IL – ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS CALLING A SPECIAL SESSION ON THE STATE'S HUGE BUDGET PROBLEM.

BLAGOJEVICH TODAY CALLED FOR LEGISLATORS TO RETURN TO SPRINGFIELD NEXT WEEK, JULY 9TH AND 10TH, TO WORK OUT A BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR THAT'S ALREADY STARTED.

THE GOVERNOR SAYS IF THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN...THERE COULD BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES.

LEGISLATORS HAVE APPROVED A BUDGET THAT WOULD SPEND FAR MORE THAN STATE GOVERNMENT WILL TAKE IN. BLAGOJEVICH ESTIMATES THE DEFICIT IS TWO BILLION DOLLARS.

Carbondale, IL – THE ILLINOIS CLEAN COAL REVIEW BOARD WILL FUND THREE NEW STUDIES THAT IT HOPES WILL HELP KEEP THE FUTUREGEN PROJECT ALIVE IN MATTOON.

BOARD MEMBERS MET TODAY (Wed) IN CARBONDALE AND APPROVED FUNDING THE STUDIES BY RESTRUCTURING A TWO MILLION DOLLAR GRANT INITIALLY INTENDED FOR FUTUREGEN.

BOARD CHAIR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN REITZ SAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROJECT IS GEARED TO STUDYING HOW FUTUREGEN CAN TURN ILLINOIS COAL INTO A SYNTHETIC GAS CAPABLE OF BEING USED IN PETROLEUM PRODUCTS.

Washington, D.C. – THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION BEGINS ITS ANNUAL CONVENTION TOMORROW IN WASHINGTON... AND ILLINOIS LEADERS ARE EXCITED TO HELP TEACH THEIR FELLOW MEMBERS ABOUT THE PRAIRIE STATE'S JUNIOR SENATOR.

I-E-A PRESIDENT KEN SWANSON SAYS HE FULLY EXPECTS THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION TO ENDORSE BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT... AND SAYS HE'S BEEN PLEASED WITH THE ILLINOIS DEMOCRAT'S WORK BOTH AS A STATE LAWMAKER AND U-S SENATOR.

Springfield, IL – LEGISLATION RESTORING SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING TO SEVERAL SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON MONDAY.

THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE $21-MILLION APPROPRIATION BILL TO MAKE SURE FUNDING IS MADE AVAILABLE TO HELP SCHOOLS WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY LOST FUNDING.

Pinckneyville, IL – THE ILLINOIS HEALTH FACILITIES PLANNING BOARD HAS ACCEPTED PINCKNEYVILLE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL'S APPLICATION TO CLOSE ITS SKILLED CARE UNIT.

HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR TOM HUDGENS SAYS THE STATE BOARD VOTED YESTERDAY IN SPRINGFIELD. HE SAYS THE HOSPITAL'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL TAKE FINAL ACTION MONDAY NIGHT.

HUDGENS SAYS THIS HAS BEEN A LONG, ANGUISHING PROCESS FOR THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH PINCKNEYVILLE HOSPITAL.

Bloomington, IL – IF ILLINOIS' JUNIOR U-S SENATOR WINS THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS FALL, THE SENIOR SENATOR HOPES THE GOVERNOR CAREFULLY WEIGHS HIS CHOICES BEFORE SELECTING A SUCCESSOR.

ONE OPTION FOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS TO PICK HIMSELF TO SUCCEED BARACK OBAMA IN THE SENATE.

EARLIER THIS WEEK BLAGOJEVICH REFUSED TO DISCOUNT THAT OPTION. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DICK DURBIN SAYS THE GOVERNOR SHOULD PICK SOMEONE ELSE.

Jackson County, IL – JACKSON COUNTY'S ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM IS RECEIVING STATEWIDE ACCLAIM.

THE ILLINOIS RECYCLING ASSOCIATION RECENTLY HONORED THE COUNTY WITH ITS OUTSTANDING GOVERNMENT ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM AWARD.

JACKSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SOLID WASTE MANAGER BART HAGSTON SAYS THE COUNTY BECAME THE FIRST GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED PERMANENT ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM IN ILLINOIS IN THE FALL OF 2002.

HE SAYS THEY ACCEPT MOST ELECTRONICS ITEMS POWERED BY BATTERIES OR CORDS.

Chester, IL – ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER SOUTH OF ST. LOUIS ARE FARING BETTER THAN EXPECTED AS THE RIVER CRESTS THERE.

LARRY WILLIS OF THE RANDOLPH COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY REPORTS NO STRUCTURAL OR PROPERTY LOSS SO FAR IN CHESTER. BUT HE SAYS A PRESSURE RELEASE WELL INSIDE A LEVEE WAS SPEWING WATER.

IN ALEXANDER COUNTY, SEVERAL HOMES ON THE RIVERFRONT ARE FLOODED DUE TO SEEP WATER. BUT COUNTY POLICE SERGEANT DAVID SEALS ON TUESDAY SAID FLOODING IS ONLY MODERATE.

Galena, IL – THERE MAY BE SOME GOOD NEWS FOR MOTORISTS LOOKING FOR RELIEF FROM SOARING GAS PRICES.

GALENA-BASED OIL MARKET ANALYST JIM RITTERBUSCH SAYS THE WEAK DOLLAR AND THE SHORT SUPPLY OF OIL - A SUPPLY WHICH IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN SHORT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS - ARE DRIVING PRICES UP. BUT THAT MEANS CONSUMERS ARE USING LESS OIL, AND THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BEAR ON THE PRICE.

HE SAYS GASOLINE PRICES ARE LIKELY TO DECLINE TO AROUND $3.50 PER GALLON IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR.

Carbondale, IL – AS A NEW BUDGET YEAR BEGINS IN ILLINOIS... LAWMAKERS AND THE GOVERNOR CONTINUE TO BUTT HEADS OVER A NEW SPENDING PLAN.

PUBLIC OPINION POLLS HAVE SHOWN DISDAIN FOR BOTH THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS... BUT MANY STILL WONDER WHAT WILL SPUR A CHANGE IN THE POLITICAL CLIMATE.

PAUL SIMON PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE DIRECTOR MIKE LAWRENCE SAYS IT TAKES A SHIFT IN ATTITUDE AMONG VOTERS.

Carbondale, IL – IT MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT THE WAY CAPITAL SPENDING BUDGET WERE CRAFTED IN YEARS PAST WORKS TO GET THINGS DONE... ACCORDING TO ONE LOCAL POLITICAL ANALYST.

JOHN JACKSON WITH THE PAUL SIMON PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE ADMITS THERE IS A STRONG LACK OF TRUST BETWEEN ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS AND GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH.

JACKSON SAYS WITHOUT A GUARANTEE THAT THEY CAN GO BACK TO THEIR DISTRICTS WITH ROAD AND BUILDING PROJECTS, LEGISLATORS ARE RELUCTANT TO PASS A MAJOR CONSTRUCTION BILL.

Carbondale, IL – A FORMER PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT HEAD AT SIU-CARBONDALE PASSED AWAY LAST WEEKEND.

JOHN E. KING, RETIRED PROFESSOR AND CHAIRMAN OF WHAT FORMERLY WAS KNOWN AS THE HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AT SIU-C, PASSED AWAY SUNDAY IN WEST COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA. HE WAS 94.

KING CAME TO THE SIUC CAMPUS IN 1967 AS A VISITING PROFESSOR. HE SERVED AS PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND FOUNDATIONS FROM 1968 TO 1970, BEFORE BECOMING CHAIR OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IN 1970. HE RETIRED IN 1983.

Chicago, IL – ILLINOIS STATE TREASURER ALEXI GIANNOULIAS IS SEARCHING FOR APPROXIMATELY $45,000 DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED MONEY AND PROPERTY FOR JACKSON COUNTY RESIDENTS.

THE 35 CLAIMS WERE FILED JUNE 23RD DURING THE STATE TREASURER'S CASH DASH OUTREACH EVENT AT THE JACKSON COUNTY TREASURER'S OFFICE.

THIS WAS THE FIFTH CASH DASH EVENT HELD BY THE STATE IN CONJUNCTION WITH JACKSON COUNTY TREASURER SHIRLEY BOOKER'S OFFICE. THERE IS CURRENTLY MORE THAN $5 MILLION IN UNCLAIMED MONEY AND PROPERTY OWED TO THE RESIDENTS OF JACKSON COUNTY.

Carbondale, IL – A NEW ERA IN CARBONDALE CITY GOVERNMENT IS UNDERWAY.

ALLEN GILL TOOK OVER TODAY AS THE NEW CITY MANAGER. HE REPLACES JEFF DOHERTY - WHO RETIRED YESTERDAY AFTER SERVING IN THE CITY MANAGER'S POST FOR 16 YEARS.

GILL TAKES OVER AFTER SERVING AS THE CITY MANAGER IN PITTSBURG, KANSAS.

GILL SAYS HE HAS A TRACK RECORD OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SAYS HE'LL PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO HOW THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AFFECTS CARBONDALE.

Springfield, IL – MINIMUM-WAGE WORKERS IN ILLINOIS ARE RECEIVING A $0.25 HOURLY BOOST IN PAY, TO $7.75 PER HOUR.

STATE OFFICIALS SAY THE INCREASE WILL MEAN $520 MORE PER YEAR FOR 650,000 WORKERS.

IT IS THE SECOND IN A FOUR-STEP HIKE IN WAGES ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IN 2006. THE FINAL STEPS INCREASE THE WAGE TO $8.00 NEXT JULY AND $8.25 IN JULY 2010.

ILLINOIS' PAY RATE IS NEARLY TWO DOLLARS HIGHER THAN THE FEDERAL STANDARD.

Jackson County, IL – Three people were injured in a three vehicle crash near the Jackson-Union county line.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says the accident occurred at 7:44 this morning on Route 51 about two-tenths of a mile north of the Union County line.

Deputies say 17-year-old Joshua Poole of Jonesboro was driving north on Route 51, when his vehicle crossed into the southbound lane and collided head-on with 48-year-old Shiowyun Shih of Carbondale.

Springfield, IL – ILLINOIS STATE SENATOR CHRISTINE RADOGNO [ROW-DOUGH-NYO] IS NOW ONE OF SEVERAL REPUBLICANS EYEING THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT IN 20-10.
SHE SAYS DEMOCRATIC CONTROL OF STATE POLITICS HAS LEFT A FISCAL MESS SHE'S COMPELLED TO CLEAN UP.
BUT RADOGNO SAYS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO A BID MAY COME FROM HER OWN PARTY.
RADOGNO HAS REPRESENTED PART OF THE SOUTHWESTERN SUBURBS IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE SINCE 1997.
SHE SAYS SHE WON'T MAKE A FIRM DECISION ABOUT RUNNING UNTIL THE 2008 ELECTION IS OVER.

Springfield, IL – GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCED TODAY (YESTERDAY) A YOUTH JOBS PROGRAM. 10-THOUSAND SUMMER JOBS HAVE BEEN CREATED FOR TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS THROUGH THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.
TOM GREEN IS A SPOKESMAN FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES. HE SAYS THERE ARE A VARIETY OF JOBS AVAILABLE FOR YOUTHS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 13 AND 22:

Terre Haute, IN – THE CITY OF TERRE HAUTE INDIANA IS THE SUBJECT OF AN UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY.

THE LONGSTANDING, LIGHTHEARTED FEUD BETWEEN ACTOR/COMEDIAN STEVE MARTIN AND THE CITY OF TERRE HAUTE INDIANA IS THE SUBJECT OF AN UPCOMING DOCUMENTARY.

Springfield, IL – The grandstand concert lineup for the 2008 Du Quoin State Fair is out.

Country singer and 2006 American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler will headline the show on August 27th. The following night it's veteran country group Sawyer Brown. Rock group P-O-D will take to the stage on August 29th and High School Musical star Corbin Bleu on August 30th.

The Du Quoin State Fair runs from August 22nd through September 1st.

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