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  • Three People Arrested In January Homicide

    Two men and a woman have been arrested in connection with a murder in Springfield back in January. 

     

    Sangamon County Sheriff Neil Williamson says the death of Justin Sharp outside his home on Highland Avenue came during a botched, drug-related robbery. 

     

    24-year-old Floyd Williams was booked on $2 million bond, while 22-year-old Korodney Jones and 20-year-old Demetriana Ross are held on $1 million bond each.  All three are charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and home invasion.

  • Riverside Park Deaths Appear to be Suicides

    Autopsy results performed on the bodies of two men found shot to death Thursday night at Riverside Park show that both died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, apparently in a suicide pact. The victims have been identified as 76-year-old Ronald H. Hall of Springfield and his brother, 82-year-old Robert S. Hall of Taylorville. The Springfield Police Department continues to investigate the deaths and further details will be released upon completion of the investigation.

  • Inspector General Rips Hiring Abuses At IDOT; Former Agency Head Blames Governor's Staff

    The state executive inspector general says hiring abuses which began at the state Department of Transportation under former Governor Rod Blagojevich continued under Governor Pat Quinn. 

     

    The report says as many as 250 people were improperly hired for political reasons, rather than merit, over the past decade.  Quinn’s office announced Thursday that it would lay off 58 IDOT workers whose hiring had been called into question.

     

    Meanwhile, Quinn’s former transportation secretary says most of the people who were improperly hired by her agency were sent from the governor’s office… and says she and her staff had little opportunity to reject them. 

     

    Ann Schneider tells the Chicago Sun-Times that resumes of political hires came to her staff from Quinn’s staff.  Schneider resigned this summer as the controversy over IDOT hiring intensified.

     

  • Libertarian Party Approved For November Ballot

    Governor Pat Quinn and Republican opponent Bruce Rauner will have a little company on the November ballot. 

     

    The State Board of Elections has certified a slate of Libertarian candidates, including the party’s nominee for governor, Chad Grimm.  But the board rejected the petitions for Green Party candidates, meaning they will not appear on the ballot in November.

  • Two Elderly Men Found Shot Dead at Riverside Park

    Two people have been found shot to death in Springfield’s Riverside Park.

     

    The bodies of the two elderly men were discovered Thursday evening. Police did not provide any additional information about the investigation, and there’s no word yet on the identities of the two men.

     

    Stay with 970 WMAY for updates on this developing story.

  • City Continues Hearings of Bel-Aire Violations, Owner Motions for Dismissal

    The owner of the Bel-Aire Motel is fighting back against hundreds of building code citations issued against his property by the City of Springfield.

     

    Attorneys for Gopal Motwani accuse the city of unfairly targeting their client, and question how the number of alleged violations could grow exponentially in just a couple of years.

     

    A city building inspector responds that she also doesn’t know how the violations could grow so quickly… she just knows that they have. Motwani, who lives in Florida, could be facing nearly a million dollars in fines if the city’s allegations stick.

     

    The city hopes to eventually have the property condemned and torn down.

  • Work Begins on Carpenter Street Underpass for Rail Consolidation

    Eventually it will allow for easier access to Springfield’s main hospitals. But in the short term, it could make that access more difficult.

     

    Ground was broken Thursday on the new Carpenter Street underpass at the 10th Street tracks.

     

    The $20 million project is the first major phase of a more-than-$300-million long-range plan to consolidate rail traffic on the 10th Street corridor.

     

    Carpenter Street will be closed during much of the two-year project, which is expected to be completed in September of 2016.

  • McMenamin: Ferguson Unrest Proves Need for Police Residency

    A Springfield alderman is reviving discussion on a couple of his pet issues… and tying them to events in the news.

     

    Ward 7’s Joe McMenamin says one way to deal with a looming financial crisis at City Water Light and Power is for the city to finally follow his suggestion of a wage freeze for non-union employees.

     

    Appearing live on 970 WMAY’s “Bishop On Air,” McMenamin said the city has to get spending under control, and says freezing non-union wages will give the city more leverage in union contract talks.

     

    He also says the unrest in Ferguson shows why a residency rule should be reinstated for future city hires.

     

    McMenamin contends the police department works best when officers have direct ties to the community.

  • Police Arrest Homeless Man Who Implied He Had Gun

    Springfield police have apprehended a homeless man who had the city’s west side on edge for the last several days.

     

    24-year-old Kyle Maxey created a disturbance on a city bus near Parkway Pointe Tuesday, and implied he had a gun.

     

    He then ran into a nearby hotel, prompting a police search… but Maxey eluded authorities that day.

     

    He was then spotted again Thursday morning, triggering a manhunt that included canine and aerial units.

     

    After several hours, Maxey came out of a cornfield where he had been hiding. No gun was found.

  • Poe to Travel For Blood Disorder Treatment

    A Springfield lawmaker will travel out-of-state in the weeks ahead for a stem cell transplant that could cure a blood disorder.

     

    Representative Raymond Poe tells the State Journal-Register that the transplant will take place in Texas over a three-week period, to replace bone marrow that will be destroyed during chemotherapy that he will receive as part of his treatment for a condition called MDS.

     

    That syndrome is described as a “low-level” cancer of the stem cells that generate blood cells. Poe’s doctor says the Republican lawmaker’s prognosis is good.

  • Schock Says ISIS Must Be Destroyed, Not Contained

    A local congressman says the U.S. should adopt of policy of destroying the terror group ISIS.

     

    And while Congressman Aaron Schock won’t commit to supporting the reintroduction of American ground forces in Iraq to battle those terrorists, he invites President Obama to make a case for doing exactly that.

     

    The Peoria Republican says ISIS is more dangerous than al Qaeda, and says the U.S. needs a more aggressive policy to neutralize the threat it poses.

     

    But Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin opposes using ground troops in Iraq, and Obama has already said that isn’t an option.

  • Statewide Unemployment Numbers Fall in July

    July unemployment numbers are in and it's good news across Illinois.

     

    For the fourth consecutive month, unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state and most figures are at six-year lows, according to data released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). In the Springfield area, the unemployment rate for July was 6.5%, down from 8.1% in July 2013. Decatur, while still with a high unemployment rate of 9.5%, improved from a 13% rate one year ago.

     

    All 102 Illinois counties saw their unemployment rates fall, for the second consecutive month. The statewide unemployment rate for July 2014 was 7%, down from a peak of 12.2% in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate for July 2014 was 6.5%, down from 10.6% in January 2010.

  • Bel-Aire Attorneys Want Building Code Citations Dismissed

    Attorneys for the owner of the Bel-Aire Motel have filed a motion to dismiss building code complaints against their client. 

     

    During a hearing on those alleged code violations, the attorneys alleged that city officials are biased against Gopal Motwani and are piling on violations unfairly.  City officials insist they are just enforcing the law and trying to eliminate health hazards in the rundown building. 

     

    Motwani could face nearly a million dollars in fines if the city’s complaint is upheld.

  • Ground Broken On 10th Street Underpass At Carpenter

    It’s just the first phase of a long… and expensive… project. 

     

    But work is now getting underway to build a new underpass on Carpenter Street at the 10th Street tracks.  Officials say the project will improve safety for drivers, pedestrians, and railroad crews… while allowing direct access to Springfield’s main hospitals without the risk of being stopped by a train.  But during construction, Carpenter will be closed to traffic.

     

    The $20 million project is expected to be completed by September of 2016.

  • Rauner Wants Fast Supreme Court Review Of Term Limits Ruling

    Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner has filed an emergency petition asking the Illinois Supreme Court to intervene immediately and allow his term limits proposal to go forward. 

     

    Rauner has been trying to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot… but two courts have now ruled the measure violates the constitution. 

     

    Rauner says the high court should honor the will of the people and allow them to vote on a measure that gets widespread support in most polls.


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