Illinois to Missouri border.

A Springfield facility that houses children and young adults with developmental disabilities says it has drawn up a plan to correct problems identified by state investigators.  

Illinois child welfare officials and Springfield police have been investigating allegations of abuse and neglect at Hope Institute for Children and Families since November. No details have been made public.  

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Three Peoria men are in custody after investigators say they were looting a tornado-damaged home in the central Illinois community of Washington.

The Pekin Daily Times reports ( ) the trio was arrested Tuesday. They're set to appear in court on Thursday.  
All three are from Peoria and being held on felony looting charges.  


A hearing Tuesday afternoon in Springfield will explain improvements to the  3rd Street rail line.
Springfield leaders breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced rail traffic would be consolidated along 10th Street.  They had concerns of more and faster trains traveling through the heart of downtown.  But while the 10th Street corridor is being revamped, the  trains won't wait.  That means safety improvements are needed along 3rd Street.

The Sangamon County Coroner has released more details on the cause of death for the Menard County State's Attorney.   Kenneth Baumgarten, who lived in Petersburg, died Friday night .  He was 55.

Coroner Cinda Edwards says after a review of medical documents,  her office has determined the cause of death for Kenneth Baumgarten to be Pulmonary Embolism.  She also says the death will be certified as accidental due to an injury Baumagarten sustained early in November.


Classes at Southern Illinois University are canceled because of a storm that's left a slick layer of ice under several inches of snow, with more wintry weather on the way.

WSIU Radio reports that some services at the 18,000-student Carbondale university were to remain open Friday, including dining services for students, the Morris Library and the student recreation center.  
University administrators called off Friday's classes because of questionable driving conditions.

Springfield's top city attorney has submitted his resignation after helping the mayor and aldermen through a difficult legal battle.

Mayor Mike Houston appointed Mehlick this summer, following the departure of former Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen.  Cullen and other city officials are named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Springfield resident Calvin Christian.  Christian accuses them of knowingly and intentionally destroying the documents he was seeking through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

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The City of Springfield could be close to settling a lawsuit over destruction of police records.  Springfield Mayor Mike Houston has filed an ordinance that would settle the case for $102,964.10.

Aldermen could vote on it Tuesday night.  The proposal says Calvin Christian, who filed the suit, would receive about $30,000 while his attorneys would get much of the remainder.  Christian took the city to court after documents he had sought under the Freedom of Information Act were destroyed.  The city would admit no wrongdoing under the deal.


A portion of the Mississippi River between eastern Iowa and northern Illinois has reopened to barge traffic, as officials continue to investigate the sinking of a towboat still leaking diesel fuel and oil.
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Colin Fogarty says officials determined Tuesday night that other boats can safely navigate the waterway. A queue has cleared, and boats are traveling through at a slower pace.

It's likely you or someone you know have struck a deer.   While it seems as though they are always wandering into the road, the actual number of deer-vehicle accidents was down last year.  

State Farm Insurance has already predicted another decline based on claims filed.   The company attributes the expected decline in accidents to a smaller deer population and increased driver awareness.  It says Illinois drivers have less chance of hitting a deer than the national average.  

In Sangamon County last year, there were 335 accidents, 75 fewer than the year before.  

Former area congressman Paul Findley has donated his congressional papers and other artifacts from his career to his alma mater, Illinois College in Jacksonville.  

The official transfer took place in the Paul Findley Congressional Office Museum on the campus.  

St. Louis, Peoria, Cedar Rapids, and Springfield in the new state of Sangamon? Look at this map developed in 2012 that has now been printed. What do you think of revamping the U.S. map by population?

Chef Charlie Trotter Died From A Stroke

Nov 25, 2013

Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina says in a statement Monday that tests showed the 54-year-old Trotter died from a stroked related to high blood pressure.  

Cina says neither drugs nor alcohol contributed to Trotter's death on Nov. 5 in Chicago, adding there was ``no scientific evidence'' that Trotter's recently travels contributed to his death.  

Tornado Damage Now At Least 1,500 Homes

Nov 21, 2013

State officials now say at least 1,500 homes were
destroyed or badly damaged in Illinois as federal storm-damage assessors began
work in the state.
Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
She said Thursday that that figure will almost certainly rise after Sunday's
Officials also said Thursday that 22 tornadoes touched down around the state.
Six people were killed.
Thompson says Federal Emergency Management Agency workers started assessing

Number Of Tornado Damaged Homes Expected To Go Higher

Nov 20, 2013

State officials now say that at least 900 homes were either destroyed or badly damaged by Sunday's tornadoes. And that figure is likely to grow.  

Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. She says Wednesday the agency doesn't have anything close to a full count of the homes affected in Washington, which was hardest hit by the storms.  

Lincoln Hollinsaid
Illinois National Guard

A unique group of families met in Springfield Tuesday for their own commemoration of the Gettysburg Address. It's the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's speech consecrating a Civil War cemetery.

Nowadays, the most famous speech in American history is chiefly remembered for the quality of its rhetoric.

But for others, it's the substance of Lincoln's words that counts.

Alex Rusciano WCBU

(AP) _ Federal assessments of tornado-damaged property in Illinois are to begin Thursday.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office says Federal Emergency Management Agency assessments
are necessary so the state can request federal assistance.
Five teams will look at damage to homes and businesses in Champaign, Grundy,
Massac, Pope, Tazewell and Will counties. Sunday's tornadoes destroyed hundreds
of homes and left six people dead in the state.
 The governor's office says federal and state emergency officials will meet with


The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by strong storms.  

Mayor Gary Manier says that figure includes homes that were totally destroyed as well as properties that received minor damage. Officials still haven't said how many people in the community have been affected by Sunday's tornado. Washington has about 16,000 residents and is about 10 miles east of Peoria.  

Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media

November tornadoes seem out of place in Illinois.  But weather statistics show they're not uncommon.   Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel studied the years 1950 to 2010 and found nearly 70 tornadoes occurred in November.  That's more than October or December. 

But what made Sunday different was the outbreak that occurred. 

"All our other outbreaks tend to happen in the springtime," Angel said.  "So the ones in November tend to be single events, but this is by far the biggest number that we've seen in November."

Anthony Khoury/twitter

The mayor of the central Illinois community of Washington says storms and tornadoes destroyed or heavily damaged between 250 and 500 homes in the Tazewell County community.
Gary Manier says hundreds of residents of Washington spent the night in
shelters after a storm cut a swath of damage through the community of about
16,000 people that's about 140 miles southwest of Chicago.
It's not clear when they'll be allowed home.
One person in Washington died and a state official says at least 60 others were

Tornado Damaged Town Under Curfew

Nov 18, 2013
Alex Rusciano WCBU

The central Illinois community of Washington will be under a curfew for at least a week after a deadly tornado turned scores of houses into rubble.
Illinois State Police Trooper Dustin Pierce says Monday that the curfew will
run from 6 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Authorities implemented the curfew in large part for safety reasons. With power
lines knocked down and tons of debris from the hundreds of homes that were
destroyed or badly damaged, authorities do not want people walking around _
particularly when it's dark.

Scientists Now Say Shaking In Suburbs Was An Earthquake

Nov 15, 2013

Scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey say it's likely it was an earthquake that shook Chicago's western suburbs after a blast at a quarry.

USGS scientist Jim Dewey says research indicates quarry blasts don't cause larger follow-up tremors. However, a quarry blast in McCook was followed by a related tremor seven seconds later.

Dewey says USGS scientists now believe the blast triggered a release of tectonic strain at a shallow depth, not miles deep in the earth's crust where earthquakes usually originate.

The week spotlights these groups that help connect philanthropists with various causes.  Locally, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln manages 126 funds with a total of $17 million in assets. 

John Stremsterfer, President and CEO, and Stacy Reed, Vice President of Programs, joined WUIS' Sean Crawford on Illinois Edition to talk more about the organization. 

Lipinski Wants Quarry Blast Investigated

Nov 7, 2013

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski has asked for a federal investigation into a quarry blast this week in suburban Chicago.

Lipinski has asked the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to investigate the blast. It happened Monday at a company in McCook.  

The congressman says he was in his Western Springs kitchen when his house shook for five seconds.  
Lipinski says he wants to know if any laws or regulations were violated.  

Shaking Was Quarry Blast, Not An Earthquake

Nov 4, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey says the shaking with a measured magnitude 3.2 in northern Illinois was a blast and not an earthquake.  

USGS geophysicist Don Blakeman also says it appears Monday afternoon's blast came from within a rock quarry but that the exact location of the blast had not yet been determined. He says that all indications so far leads experts to believe that the blast came from the quarry. That includes that the epicenter is in an area close to the quarry.  

Architecture Tours Planned At Dana-Thomas House

Oct 31, 2013

A new Frank Lloyd Wright architecture tour is being offered at a Springfield historic site designed by the famed Illinois architect.  

Inmate Captured In Macon County

Oct 31, 2013

After a four-hour manhunt, authorities have recaptured an inmate who escaped from jail in Decatur just as he was to begin serving a prison sentence for aggravated battery.  
Schuyler McCoy escaped from the Macon County Jail at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by identifying himself to correctional officers as a different inmate who was in the process of being released on bond.  
Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider says a search began as soon as officers realized the error. U.S. Marshalls took part.  

Inmate Escapes From Macon Co. Jail

Oct 30, 2013

A man about to be sent to prison for aggravated battery has escaped from the Macon County Jail in Decatur.  

The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports ( ) that 25-year-old Schuyler McCoy escaped Wednesday and police have begun a search.  

Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider tells the newspaper that McCoy escaped around 1:30 p.m. after identifying himself to correctional officers as a different inmate who was in the process of being released on bond.  

You may be queuing up some scary movies on Netflix to get into the spirit of Halloween this week. But for some, interests in ghosts lasts all year 'round. Carl Jones started the Prairieland Paranormal Consortium and teaches classes at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield about the paranormal.

Greg Manfroi

The Springfield-area is home to numerous ghost-hunting groups that investigate hauntings year round. As you might imagine, after going on hundreds of paranormal explorations - investigators start to acquire a few scary stories. WUIS recently caught up with two area paranormal investigators who were on site at one of Springfield's most notoriously haunted locations. If the evidence captured from that night doesn't scare you, perhaps their tales of their own run-ins with ghosts will. 

Lincoln movie
DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox

A piece of Hollywood is coming to Illinois. Director Steven Spielberg is sending props and sets from the movie “Lincoln” to be part of a new exhibit at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

The museum will get two big sets: the Lincoln bedroom, and the cabinet room in which the president — played by Daniel Day-Lewis — argued for passage of a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery.