Mass Transit Reform
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a mass transit reform law intended to make the operations of transit agencies serving metropolitan Chicago more transparent and accountable. The legislation requires advance transit board and House and Senate committee review for any proposed mass transit employee contract exceeding $100,000. It also requires advance board review of any proposed employee bonus exceeding 10 percent, or any large employee separation or settlement.
The Illinois Supreme Court is refusing to take up an appeal of a lower court's ruling that prohibits a vote on term limits from appearing on the November ballot. The Supreme Court issued the order Friday afternoon shortly after the Illinois State Board of Elections certified the November 4th ballot.
Woman Dies after wreck
An elderly woman has died after her car wound up in a creek near Spring Valley. Illinois State Police say 91-year old Muriel Miller was eastbound on Spring Creek Drive in Spring Valley, when for unknown reasons she drove off the road, into a creek and struck an embankment. Miller was taken to Saint Margaret's Hospital in Spring Valley, and then taken to OSF hospital in Peoria, where she died in the emergency room Wednesday.
A couple of local men were arrested on charges of selling cocaine. According to the Tri County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team, or TRIDENT, 38 year old Mathew R. Pelka of Peru, was arrested Wednesday in Peru after allegedly selling cocaine to TRIDENT agents. Also on Wednesday, 26 year old Raymond E. Joyce, the third, of Ottawa was arrested in Ottawa after he allegedly sold cocaine to TRIDENT agents. Both men are charged with Unlawful Delivery of a Controlled Substance and are being held on a million dollar bond.
The Village of Ransom will be under a water restriction starting on Monday. Village President Vince Warwick says well number four will be out of service for one week for repairs. Officials are requested to use water for cooking and bathing only. Water should not be used for lawns, gardens or washing vehicles for the week. The village has made arrangements with Streator to bring in water to supplement the remaining well.
He had to travel 300 miles to come here, but the trip to Starved Rock was well worth it last night for a Southern Illinois man. Eli Toller, of Carterville, wound up winning the State Final’s of the Country Showdown at Starved Rock Lodge. Toller defeated four other contestants who won their local showdowns, including Tim Gleason, of Yorkville, who was the local winner earlier this summer at Starved Rock. Toller wins $1000 and goes on to the Midwest Regional in Minnesota. WALLS 102’s Dog Hannon was the emcee of the state finals last night.
Unemployment rates in all 12 Illinois metro areas have fallen for four straight months. The Illinois Department of Employment Security also says jobless rates dropped in all 102 of the state's counties for a second straight month. The agency's director says the report reflects a state economy that is growing.
A Chicago-area man has been sentenced to five years in prison for throwing a courtroom chair at a suburban police officer just as jurors in a civil trial announced a verdict in the officer's favor. A federal judge sentenced Lavelle Watts for assault with a dangerous weapon. Yesterday's sentencing occurred in the same Chicago building as last year's furniture-throwing incident.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is eliminating 58 positions at the center of a lawsuit alleging questionable hiring practices. Acting Secretary Erica Borggren says the move is designed to boost "accountability and restore public trust." IDOT is also creating a board to evaluate hiring and continuing a freeze on hiring for positions that can be filled based on political connections.
A man accused of breaking into homes in Rockford and Rockton last year and attacking the elderly residents has pleaded guilty to attempted murder and home invasion. Prosecutors say they will seek a 60-year prison term for Coreyon Brown when he is sentenced in October. A second suspect's case is pending.