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  • Springfield School Board Member Giving Up Seat To Run For Alderman

    A Springfield school board member says he thinks can accomplish more… for schools and for the rest of the community… as a city alderman. 

     

    Scott McFarland has announced that he will seek the Ward Four seat being vacated by Frank Lesko, who is running for city clerk. 

     

    McFarland says one of the most important issues is to stabilize finances at City Water Light and Power… and says everything should be on the table, from budget cuts to the possibility of rate increases, but only as a last resort.

  • Economic Outlook Positive Among Local Business Owners

    Most Springfield business owners think the local economy will get better in the next year… or at least that it won’t get any worse. 

     

    The latest Economic Outlook Survey of local companies has been released, and it shows more than a third of those surveyed expect economic growth in the coming year… but more than 40-percent only think the economy will stay the same.  Just 20-percent are predicting economic declines over the next 12 months.

     

  • Manar Pushes Back Against Attempt To Derail School Funding Revamp

    State Senator Andy Manar is fighting back against efforts to water down his school funding reform bill. 

     

    Senate Bill 16 would allocate most state education dollars on the basis of need… which would divert money away from wealthier school districts and toward poorer ones.  It has already passed the Senate, but has run into objections in the House from lawmakers representing those wealthier districts. 

     

    Manar says his bill is a move toward “fundamental fairness”… and says those who oppose his bill should stop pretending that they want a more fair system.

  • Old Charge Resurfaces In Congressional Race

    As Election Day gets closer, more dirt is coming out about some of the candidates in the November races. 

     

    The Huffington Post reports that a check of records about state lawmaker and congressional candidate Mike Bost reveals he was arrested and stood trial for shooting a dog after the animal bit his 4-year-old daughter.  Police reports on the 1986 incident say Bost shot the beagle while it was penned up in a neighbor’s yard… however, Bost was acquitted of the charge by a Southern Illinois jury. 

     

    Bost is challenging Democratic incumbent Bill Enyart in the 12th Congressional District.

     

  • Durbin, Oberweis Duel Over Guns

    The candidates for U.S. Senate have many disagreements… and most were on display when the two met before the Chicago Tribune editorial board Monday. 

     

    Democrat Dick Durbin favors universal background checks for all gun purchases, including those at gun shows and elsewhere.  But Republican Jim Oberweis opposes the idea, citing fears that it could lead to a federal database of gun owners and expressing doubt that the checks would really reduce crime.

     

  • Mother Convicted In Clinton Lake Drownings Fights For Custody Of New Kids

    The woman who spent five years in prison for her role in the drowning deaths of her three children in Clinton Lake is now out of prison… and mother to three more children. 

     

    But the Bloomington Pantagraph reports the state took custody of the children of Amanda Hamm… who is now married and goes by the name Amanda Ware… because of her previous child endangerment charge. 

     

    Ware and her husband are now fighting in court to have the children… ages 4, 2 and six months… returned to them.

  • Durbin Wants Security Review After Arson Fire Disrupts Flights Across U.S.

    Friday’s arson fire at an air traffic control center near Chicago is still having an effect on flights around the Midwest. 

     

    And U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the incident has exposed a vulnerability in the system that is designed to safely coordinate thousands of flights in crowded airspace every day. 

     

    Although Friday’s fire appears to be the work of a disgruntled employee – and not related to terrorism -- Durbin says he and other senators will ask for a security review of FAA practices to prevent future sabotage that could cripple air travel around the country.

     

     

  • Callis Blasts Davis On Minimum Wage, Social Security

    The challenger in the 13th Congressional District is attacking incumbent Rodney Davis for his stance on the minimum wage and Social Security. 

     

    Democrat Ann Callis says Davis has voted against increasing the minimum wage, a position which she says hurts women and working families.  Callis says raising the minimum wage will give the poorest people more buying power, and would bolster the economy. 

     

    Callis also accuses Davis of supporting a GOP plan to privatize Social Security.  But when asked how she would improve the solvency of entitlement programs, Callis said there should be a bipartisan panel to make recommendations for the future of Social Security and Medicare.

     

  • Suspect Arrested In Shooting At Weekend Cookout

    Springfield police have made an arrest in a weekend shooting at a neighborhood cookout. 

     

    The State Journal-Register reports 39-year-old Jermel Oneal has been charged with attempted first-degree murder.  He’s accused of shooting a man in the face when an argument broke out during that cookout outside an apartment building on West Capitol Avenue. 

     

    The victim… whose name has not been released… is reportedly in critical condition.

  • Obama To Campaign For Quinn This Week

    President Obama will travel to Illinois this week to campaign for Governor Pat Quinn. 

     

    Details of the President’s appearances with Quinn haven’t been announced yet, but Obama is expected to be in Chicago Wednesday night and Thursday. 

     

    First Lady Michelle Obama is also scheduled to campaign in Illinois for the governor early next month.

  • Route 66 Festival Closes Out Successful Weekend Run

    Organizers say this year’s International Route 66 Mother Road Festival may turn out to be the biggest yet.

     

    Exceptional weather was one key factor in the big turnout for the show… which drew hundreds of classic cars from across the U.S. and Canada. 

     

    This was the 13th year for the downtown street festival, which wrapped up Sunday afternoon.

  • Springfield Can Still Enforce Ban On Downtown Panhandling

    Springfield can continue to enforce its ordinance prohibiting panhandling on downtown streets. 

     

    A federal appeals court this week rejected a request to block enforcement of the law while a legal challenge is pending.  Two panhandlers say the city ordinance violates their right of free speech. 

     

    That lawsuit is still active, despite the refusal of the appeals court to issue an injunction in the case.

  • Nine-Year Sentence In First Local Drug-Induced Homicide Case

    A Springfield man has been sentenced to nine years in prison on a charge of drug-induced homicide. 

     

    29-year-old Gary Clark supplied the heroin that a New Berlin man later injected, causing a fatal overdose.

     

    The State Journal-Register reports that Clark is the first person to be charged in Sangamon County with homicide for providing drugs that cause another person’s death.

  • Bond Set At $500K For Child Porn Suspect

    Bond is set at $500,000 for a Capital Area Career Center custodian accused of downloading thousands of child pornography images. 

     

    Prosecutors say some of the pictures linked to Jacob Stark depict children under the age of 9... and some show children directly engaged in sex acts.

     

    If Stark is able to post bond, he will be prohibited from having contact with children and won’t be allowed to use computers or cell phones.

  • Flight Schedules Returning To Normal After Chicago Disruptions

    Most weekend flights should be back on schedule at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport… after Friday’s disruptions caused by an arson fire at an air traffic control center near Chicago. 

     

    That blaze grounded flights at O’Hare and Midway Airports, and caused the cancellation of most of Friday’s flights between Springfield and Chicago. 

     

    Officials still recommend that you call ahead or check online before heading out to the airport.



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