SOHO music festival will take place in downtown Springfield this weekend. It's the tenth year for the festival. Lee Strubinger sat down with Eric Welch, the executive director of SOHO music festival. Charity is the main caveat for SOHO. And Welch says the theme this year is "bigger."
When you hear about sex trafficking, often times what comes to mind is international smuggling of women. That may be happening, but there is also a problem of local teenagers getting used in sex trafficking within Illinois.
"Our Children Are Not For Sale" is the name of an awareness campaign to make people aware of what could be happening to homeless and runaway youth. Bill Wheelhouse spoke with Stacy Sloan, Human Trafficking program manager at the Department of Children and Family Services. She sheds some light on the issue.
An effort to create a national park at former town site in western Illinois remains stalled in the US Senate. Congressman Aaron Schock, a Republican, is part of a bi-partisan group of lawmakers seeking the designation for New Philadelphia.
That site in Pike County marks the first town in the country founded by an African American. Frank McWorter was a freed slave who created the community in 18-36. Schock says creating a national park would allow more people to know the story of McWorter. He says it work in tandem with Lincoln attractions in Springfield.
The Pike County State's Attorney abruptly resigned yesterday, prior to a hearing regarding criminal charges against the Pike County Sheriff.
Media reports say that State's Attorney Carrie Boyd left a voice mail for the Pike County Board Chairman resigning. Boyd reportedly cited family and personal issues.
She had filed the charges against Sheriff Paul Petty. Petty is charged with felony misconduct for allegedly ordering a body to be embalmed before a toxicology test could be performed in a 2012 heroin death.
Friday is the first day same-sex couples can get their marriage licenses in Sangamon County. County Clerk Joe Aeillo says he decided to issue licenses ahead of a new law to accommodate ceremonies taking place this weekend.
Tom and Davyd Daly of Springfield were the first and only couple waiting in line to get their marriage license when the doors at the county clerk’s office opened at 8:30 this morning. They’ve been together for more than 20 years, and have been in a civil union since 2011.
Jens Jensen's work continues on more than 60 years after his death. The influential landscape architect is remembered as a conservationist. His vision is on display at Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield, which he designed.
Pike County calls itself the "pork capital of the world." However, in an area so tied to farming, it might be a bit surprising that a local school district has cut its agriculture education program. I graduated from high school there five years ago, and went back to report on how districts are struggling to pay for activities not tied to the core curriculum.
Same sex couples in Sangamon County will be able to get their marriage licenses early.
Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello says his office will begin issuing marriage licenses on Friday in order to accommodate ceremonies taking place this weekend. He says the office will be open during normal business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
However, Aiello says a couple's marriage won't be legally valid until the date the same-sex marriage law goes into effect, this Sunday.
The political boundaries for Springfield aldermen have been set. The city council approved a new ward map last night on a 9-1 vote. It will take into account census data. The map design also was done to ensure an African American represents Ward 2.
Springfield attorney and Ward 5 alderman Sam Cahnman has received a censure from the Illinois Supreme Court.
The move follows a recommendation the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission made last year. The Commission says Cahnman intentionally misled an Associate Circuit Judge about how he gained possession of a page from the judge's private calendar. Cahnman has denied that charge.
James Grogan is with the Commission. He says Illinois' high court issues a censure when there has been a violation of the lawyer's ethics code.
The state says there's no evidence of the intergovernmental agreement that Springfield officials relied on as the legal basis for the NAPA contract approved last month.
Last week, city attorneys asked the state to find proof of a state agreement with a national purchasing agency. Earlier this month, some aldermen questioned the contract used to procure the 3 year, $3 million contract with NAPA Auto Parts.
The city got their answer today, a letter that indicates no trace of the agreement.
The Springfield-Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission wants you to leave the car at home next week. Instead, think about biking, walking, running or using the bus.
Curb Your Car Week begins Monday and several business are offering incentives. There is also a group ride from Washington Park on Wednesday morning, May 21. A night ride that goes through downtown is on Saturday May 24.
Earlier this month, the Springfield Police Department promoted two sergeants to the rank of lieutenant. One has already retired, able to earn a higher pension because of the promotion.
Under state law, retiring police officers are allowed to collect pension benefits based on rank for their last day of employment.
Springfield Alderman Joe McMenamin says a lieutenant retiring at a rank he never served is quote 'offensive.' He says the public doesn't appreciate a "revolving door of promotions right before retirement.”
Macon County's fair will not be held this year. It's the first break in almost 160 years and organizers say finances are the cause.
Fair Board Treasurer Teresa Wilson said Wednesday during an Illinois Department of Agriculture hearing that the fair will not be held this year. Instead the board plans a smaller-scale Macon County Fairgrounds Festival to try to generate revenue. The hearing was held to determine if the fair can be reimbursed by the state for prizes.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he met with Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz to discuss the FutureGen clean-coal project.
Durbin said in a news release that he met with Moniz on Wednesday to discuss the department's commitment to the long-planned public-private project. Durbin said he stressed the importance he sees in keeping it on track.
The department is providing $1 billion to the $1.68 billion project.
The tradition of Earth Day Springfield continues Saturday April 26 with a festival designed to showcase what the city has done to become more "green."
"The biggest initiatives that Public Works is pushing for right now is cleaning up the city," said Abby Walden with the office. "Whether that's making sure people are getting rid of their trash correctly, recycling... as well as being responsible for how we use our material. For instance, instead of just throwing it away maybe finding a consignment shop or an organization that can use it."
State police say they're investigating multiple police officers involved with the shooting death of an armed man at a tavern in Lincoln.
Lincoln officers responded to a 911 call around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the Glass House Tavern. Officials say 62-year-old Donald Letterle was fighting with a woman at the bar. Police say he had a firearm, so they "engaged" Letterle -- apparently shooting and killing him. Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Eric Hall says he can't say how many Lincoln officers were involved.
Despite concerns over gambling parlors cutting into the bottom line of local bars and restaurants, the Springfield City Council last night approved zoning changes to allow more of the establishments to open shop. Aldermen Cory Jobe voted in favor, even though he's pushing an ordinance to require video gambling only at places that earn 60 percent or more of revenue from food and beverage sales.
Jobe says the city is skirting the spirit of the law. But he says there’s no conflict in his vote.
Grammy Award-winning rock band Steely Dan will play this year's Illinois State Fair.
State officials made the announcement on Monday afternoon. They say the band will play its ``Jamalot Ever After'' tour at the fair on Aug. 15. Steely Dan had a string of hits during the 1970's. They won a Grammy in 2000 for Album of the Year.
Tickets will go on sale for the show May 3.
The fair runs from Aug. 7 to 17 in Springfield. Other acts this year include country singers Jake Owen and Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line and Boston.
State lawmakers are backing the creation of an east-west passenger rail corridor across Illinois. The Illinois House unanimously approved a non-binding resolution Monday endorsing a possible Amtrak route from the Quad Cities in the west to Danville in the east.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that the route would include stops in Galesburg, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana. No cost estimate was discussed. Republican state Rep. Don Moffitt of Gilson is sponsoring the proposal.
The Sangamon County Auditor says his experience at the county level makes him most qualified to be the city's top executive.
Spring rain held off at Lincoln Park as Paul Palazzolo officially announced his intent to run for mayor of Springfield next year.
Palazzolo served as Sangamon County Auditor since 2002 and says he has a track record of transparency. Four years ago he said he was running for mayor, but dropped out after failing to get the backing of the county's GOP organization. The mayor's office is officially non-partisan.
A detailed report on a fatal central Illinois plane crash could be ready soon, more than 18 months after a dozen skydivers jumped from the aircraft just before it went down.
The August 2012 crash in Taylorville killed pilot Brandon Sparrow, who stayed at the controls when the twin-engine plane stalled and began to roll. It took a steep dive and crashed just yards from an occupied home.
Tom Latson is an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. He tells The (Decatur) Herald & Review (http://bit.ly/1pZz3Xh ) that he expects his