Regional http://wuis.org en Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55 http://wuis.org/post/man-robbed-fake-police-i-55 <p></p><p>Illinois State Police say a driver was robbed on Interstate 55 near Litchfield by men who impersonated police officers. &nbsp;</p><p>According to the Belleville News-Democrat the man told police he was pulled over around 10 p.m. Tuesday by a sports utility vehicle with a flashing red light on its dashboard. &nbsp;</p><p>The man said that when he stopped, three men wearing ski masks held him at gunpoint as they robbed him of more than $5,000 in cash. The robbers then tied him up with duct tape and left him in his car along the highway. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:39:48 +0000 Associated Press 29987 at http://wuis.org Man Robbed By Fake Police On I-55 Court OKs FutureGen Financing Plan http://wuis.org/post/court-oks-futuregen-financing-plan <p>A court says state regulators can force Illinois electricity customers to help pay for the $1.6-billion FutureGen project.</p><p>The 2-1 decision Tuesday by the Illinois Appellate Court OKs a state plan to charge an estimated $1 to $1.40 a month to help pay for the long-delayed project. &nbsp;</p><p>Ken Humphreys is CEO of the FutureGen Alliance. The group of coal companies is working with the U.S. Department of Energy on the project. Humphreys says the court decision will keep the project moving. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:18:58 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29845 at http://wuis.org Court OKs FutureGen Financing Plan 25 Years Since Chicago Bound Flight Crashed In Iowa http://wuis.org/post/25-years-chicago-bound-flight-crashed-iowa <p>It has been 25 years since the passengers on United Flight 232 braced themselves for impact and prepared to die. &nbsp;</p><p>Back in 1989, the jetliner carrying nearly 300 people from Denver to Chicago lost all hydraulic power after the rear engine exploded. It crash-landed in Sioux City, Iowa, cartwheeling down the runway in flames and breaking apart in a cornfield. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 20:39:15 +0000 Associated Press 29557 at http://wuis.org 25 Years Since Chicago Bound Flight Crashed In Iowa Illinois Among The Highest Risk For Earthquakes http://wuis.org/post/illinois-among-highest-risk-earthquakes <p>Illinois and Missouri are on the list of states with the highest risk for earthquakes.</p><p>A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth of the nation. &nbsp;</p><p>The U.S. Geological Survey updated Thursday its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:23:40 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 29527 at http://wuis.org Illinois Among The Highest Risk For Earthquakes Wabash Avenue Work & A Chili Parlor Back In The Family http://wuis.org/post/wabash-avenue-work-chili-parlor-back-family <p></p><p>The WUIS State Journal Register Business Report.&nbsp; This week&nbsp; Wabash Avenue, Jeff Parsons in coourt and a Route 66 landmark to re-open.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:16:56 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29317 at http://wuis.org Wabash Avenue Work & A Chili Parlor Back In The Family Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term http://wuis.org/post/springfields-mayor-wants-another-term <p></p><p>Springfield mayor Mike Houston will seek another term.&nbsp; Houston made the announcement earlier this morning.&nbsp; He says he has righted the ship when it comes to city finances.<br /><br />Houston is expected to face opposition.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />County Auditor Paul Palazzolo and City Treasuer Jim Langfielder have indicated they will run for the office as well.<br /><br />Houston admits he broke a pledge to only serve one term.&nbsp; He made that during the last campaign.&nbsp; But he says some of his projects have taken longer than anticipated to accomplish.<br />&nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:42:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 29239 at http://wuis.org Springfield's Mayor Wants Another Term Record Month For Home Sales In Area http://wuis.org/post/record-month-home-sales-area <p>The number of home sales in the Springfield area set a record last month.&nbsp; The average price per home was also an all time high.<br /><br />The real estate market continues to recover, coming out of the recession.<a href="http://www.seehouses.com/">&nbsp; The Capital Area Association of Realtors</a> says June numbers show a nearly 30 percent jump in homes being sold, compared to the same period a year ago.&nbsp; And it's a good time be a seller.&nbsp; The median home sale price was above $136,000.&nbsp; Both are all time marks. &nbsp;<br /> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 10:45:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 28873 at http://wuis.org Record Month For Home Sales In Area Roof Repairs Underway At Executive Mansion http://wuis.org/post/roof-repairs-underway-executive-mansion <p></p> Tue, 08 Jul 2014 13:23:22 +0000 Associated Press 28818 at http://wuis.org Roof Repairs Underway At Executive Mansion High Water Closes Two Mississippi River Bridges http://wuis.org/post/high-water-closes-two-mississippi-river-bridges <p>Two Mississippi River bridges are closed due to flooding, and with more storms in the forecast, there is growing concern that conditions could worsen in parts of Missouri and Illinois. &nbsp;</p><p>The Champ Clark Bridge at Louisiana, Missouri, closed yesterday. The next nearest bridge is in Hannibal, Missouri, 35 miles to the north. &nbsp;<br />The Quincy Memorial Bridge in Quincy, Illinois, shut down this morning. The impact there isn't as severe because Quincy has two bridges, and the other is not threatened.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 19:58:53 +0000 Associated Press 28771 at http://wuis.org High Water Closes Two Mississippi River Bridges Beason Murder Site Burned Down http://wuis.org/post/beason-murder-site-burned-down <p>Firefighters have burned down the home where five members of a central Illinois family were beaten to death in 2009. &nbsp;</p><p>Ten members of the Beason Fire Department on Thursday set the small, white, one-story house where Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children were killed ablaze. Beason is about 30 miles south of Bloomington. &nbsp;</p><p>Beason fire Chief Jim Hubrich told The Pantagraph in Bloomington that the Gee family asked him for help demolishing the house. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency signed off on the plan. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 04 Jul 2014 10:07:33 +0000 Associated Press 28591 at http://wuis.org East Side Farmer's Market Starts On Monday http://wuis.org/post/east-side-farmers-market-starts-monday <p><font color="black" face="Tahoma" size="2"><span dir="ltr" style="font-size:10pt;">Summertime means Farmer's Markets.&nbsp; Springfield has several, but a relatively new one has popped up on Springfield's east side.&nbsp; Lee Strubinger sat down with Wendy White-Mitter and Mary Rogers from St. John's Hospital, which sponsors the market.&nbsp; One of the challenges of the East Side Farmer's Market, they say, is that goes underutilized...</span></font></p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 22:31:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 28174 at http://wuis.org East Side Farmer's Market Starts On Monday Magazine Spotlights Challenges Facing Young Girls http://wuis.org/post/magazine-spotlights-challenges-facing-young-girls <p>Mighty Strong Girls is a magazine to help navigate girls of all ages through various obstacles they may face in "girl world".<br /><br />Amy Denney, founder and editor, had no idea that her religious faith would lead her to start a magazine for preteen to teenage girls. <a href="http://www.mightystronggirls.com/">Mighty Strong Girls</a> is a quarterly magazine that coordinates with the seasons of the year. The magazine also has a website, where there is a blog to express on almost any topic the girls want to discuss.<br /> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:08:00 +0000 Kaitie Devlin 28077 at http://wuis.org Magazine Spotlights Challenges Facing Young Girls Illinois Town Considers Privatizing Fire Dept. http://wuis.org/post/illinois-town-considers-privatizing-fire-dept <p></p><p>One of a number of Illinois towns struggling with increasing pension costs wants to save money by shifting control of its fire department to a private company. &nbsp;</p><p>North Riverside officials pitched the proposal at a hearing before state regulators in Chicago on Thursday. Mayor Hubert Hermanek says the move could save $700,000 annually. &nbsp;</p><p>Illinois Municipal League officials say other cities could try similar solutions when the state begins to enforce increasing pension payments in 2016. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:04:46 +0000 Associated Press 28149 at http://wuis.org Illinois Town Considers Privatizing Fire Dept. Kidzeum Receives State Grant, Construction Starts Soon http://wuis.org/post/kidzeum-receives-state-grant-construction-starts-soon <p>A long awaited children’s museum in Springfield is a step closer to becoming reality.&nbsp;&nbsp; Construction on a building for the Kidzeum of Health and Science will begin this year.<br />&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:08:07 +0000 Lee Strubinger 28080 at http://wuis.org Kidzeum Receives State Grant, Construction Starts Soon Flashing Yellow Arrows Coming To Wabash Ave. http://wuis.org/post/flashing-yellow-arrows-coming-wabash-ave <p>Traffic signals designed to prevent accidents are being installed on Springfield's west side.<br /><br />Flashing yellow arrows will display at several intersections along Wabash Avenue, including at the White Oaks mall entrances.<br />The state Department of Transportation says the arrows have resulted in significant reductions in crashes where they are in place in other areas.&nbsp; Statistics show intersections account for more than 30 percent of accidents. &nbsp;<br /> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:03:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 28028 at http://wuis.org Flashing Yellow Arrows Coming To Wabash Ave. Ombudsman To Act As Go-Between For 10th Street Rail Corridor http://wuis.org/post/ombudsman-act-go-between-10th-street-rail-corridor <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Negotiations between residents of the 10th Street Corridor and the Illinois Department of Transportation , now that there is a go-between for the high speed rail project. A new ombudsman says he will be independent of either side.</p><p></p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 22:06:02 +0000 Hannah Meisel 27872 at http://wuis.org Ombudsman To Act As Go-Between For 10th Street Rail Corridor Special Prosecutor Appointed In Pike Co. Case http://wuis.org/post/special-prosecutor-appointed-pike-co-case <p>A special prosecutor has been appointed to handle the<br />case of Pike County's sheriff, who is accused of misconduct.<br />&nbsp;<br />The Quincy Herald-Whig reports (http://bit.ly/1l6HtOo ) that Ed Parkinson with<br />the Illinois State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's Office has been assigned to<br />Sheriff Paul Petty's case. Petty is due in court for a hearing on Friday.<br />&nbsp;<br />An Adams County judge ruled earlier this month that having the Pike County<br />State's Attorney's office prosecute the case was a conflict of interest.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 20 Jun 2014 14:25:00 +0000 Associated Press 27650 at http://wuis.org Special Prosecutor Appointed In Pike Co. Case Alderman Wants Competitive Bids To Insure CWLP In The Future http://wuis.org/post/alderman-wants-competitive-bids-insure-cwlp-future <p>A Springfield alderman wants to make sure that other insurance companies get the chance to cover CWLP properties for the city.</p><p><br />At the last city council meeting, aldermen approved a 3 year contract with R.W. Troxell to insure the city owned utility.&nbsp; The cost is around $1.8 million per year.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27625 at http://wuis.org Alderman Wants Competitive Bids To Insure CWLP In The Future Redpath Annouces Run For Ward 1 http://wuis.org/post/redpath-annouces-run-ward-1 <p>A familiar face to the Springfield City Council hopes to return after a hiatus from city government.&nbsp; Chuck Redpath is running for alderman, again.&nbsp; But this time to represent the city's first ward:</p><p></p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 19:19:22 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27589 at http://wuis.org Redpath Annouces Run For Ward 1 Another Coal Mine Discovered Under Springfield http://wuis.org/post/another-coal-mine-discovered-under-springfield <p>There was more coal mining under the city of Springfield than previously thought.</p><p>Some cases of mine subsidence in the south part of Springfield last year led to a discovery that more ground under Springfield had been mined for coal.</p><p>Scott Elrick with the State Geological Survey says they found an area between MacArthur and Fifth and&nbsp; between Ash and Laurel that had been mined in the 1800's.</p><p>Elrick compares the finding to a new discovery when doing family genealogy.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 17:00:17 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 27578 at http://wuis.org Another Coal Mine Discovered Under Springfield Springfield Man Created Child Safety Program http://wuis.org/post/springfield-man-created-child-safety-program <p>Mark Bott had the idea for Operation Kidsafe 11 years ago.&nbsp; Since then, more than 1 million children have participated.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.kidsafeprints.com/">program </a>is free.&nbsp; It allows kids to be photographed and fingerprinted and lets parents obtain other safety information.&nbsp; The parents are handed a document that can be updated.&nbsp;&nbsp; No personal information is given and there is no databasing.</p><p></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 23:11:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 27462 at http://wuis.org Springfield Man Created Child Safety Program Mayor Defends CWLP Insurer Despite Lack Of Contract Bid From Other Companies http://wuis.org/post/mayor-defends-cwlp-insurer-despite-lack-contract-bid-other-companies <p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston is defending the city’s decision to renew a contract for CWLP insurance, despite criticisms over the lack of a bidding process.</p><p><br />The 3 year contract with R.W. Troxell to insure the city owned utility will cost around $1.8 million per year.&nbsp; Mayor Houston, during an interview on WUIS’ Illinois Edition, said the local firm has been doing business with the city for 30 years with a solid track record.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:01:50 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27492 at http://wuis.org Mayor Defends CWLP Insurer Despite Lack Of Contract Bid From Other Companies Mother Jones Monument In Central Illinois To Be Restored http://wuis.org/post/mother-jones-monument-central-illinois-be-restored <p>An Illinois monument to famed labor crusader Mother Jones in the graveyard where she's buried is getting a makeover, thanks to donors from 17 states.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The (Alton) Telegraph&nbsp; reports the restoration of the 22-foot granite obelisk was announced Tuesday in the union-owned Mount Olive cemetery where Mary Harris Jones is buried. &nbsp;</p><p>A symbolic check for $61,000 was presented during the ceremony, representing donations ranging in size from $5 to $5,000 from 107 union organizations. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 14:13:05 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27488 at http://wuis.org Mother Jones Monument In Central Illinois To Be Restored Springfield Approves Halfway House Zoning Despite Precedent From Earlier In The Year http://wuis.org/post/springfield-approves-halfway-house-zoning-despite-precedent-earlier-year <div><div><p>One Springfield Alderman called the two zoning changes approved for halfway homes in Springfield during last night's&nbsp;council meeting as "picking and choosing."</p><p></p><p>Zoning classifications for halfway houses were called into question last fall when a man living in one, known as House of the Rainbow, was arrested for murder. &nbsp;After that, the council refused to go along with zoning for that operation. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Yet last night, changes were allowed for properties on East Jackson and South 11th. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 02:45:48 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27470 at http://wuis.org Springfield Approves Halfway House Zoning Despite Precedent From Earlier In The Year Sangamon County Fair Kicks Off Wednesday http://wuis.org/post/sangamon-county-fair-kicks-wednesday <p>The Sangamon County Fair gets underway Wednesday night.&nbsp; This year, the fair is featuring several well known acts as well as queen pageant and demolition derby.&nbsp; Lee Strubinger sat down with coordinator Elizabeth McDevitt, who says this year the fair spent more on entertainment than any other year.</p><p>For more information about this year's festival, including festival line-up and prices, click <a href="http://www.sangcofair.com/events">here</a>.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27196 at http://wuis.org Sangamon County Fair Kicks Off Wednesday Decatur Zoo Gets Grant To Build Bird Exhibit http://wuis.org/post/decatur-zoo-gets-grant-build-bird-exhibit <p></p><p>The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is getting nearly a half-million dollars in state grants to build a walk-through bird exhibit.&nbsp;&nbsp; The money is part of a state grant program that will give out $20 million dollars in capital funds for facility improvements and added exhibits at museums operated by local governments and cities.</p><p>Scovill is also getting the funding for a crowned-crane exhibit, pavilion, ADA walkway and a generator.</p><p>Major attractions receiving money include the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Adler Planetarium.</p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:54:06 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27330 at http://wuis.org Decatur Zoo Gets Grant To Build Bird Exhibit Dumb Fest 2 Happening In Springfield Southtown This Weekend... Because Why Not? http://wuis.org/post/dumb-fest-2-happening-springfield-southtown-weekend-because-why-not <p>The second ever Dumb Fest gets underway this afternoon at 3 p.m.&nbsp; Forty bands will grace multiple stages on both Friday and Saturday. &nbsp;<br />The festival is a part of the ever changing Southtown scene in Springfield, located at 11th and South Grand Avenue.&nbsp; Lee Strubinger made his way to Dumb Records to sit down and talk with festival curator Brian Galecki.</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27113 at http://wuis.org Dumb Fest 2 Happening In Springfield Southtown This Weekend... Because Why Not? Pike County Gets A New Prosecutor http://wuis.org/post/pike-county-gets-new-prosecutor <p></p><p>Pike County has a new state's attorney to replace the former top prosecutor who accused the county sheriff of misconduct. &nbsp;</p><p>The Quincy Herald-Whig reports&nbsp; that the Pike County Board held a special meeting Thursday night to accept former Pike County State's Attorney Carrie Boyd's resignation. Board members also named Matt Goetten as her replacement to serve through Nov. 30. That's when voters will elect someone to serve the remaining two years of Boyd's term. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 12:44:33 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 27163 at http://wuis.org Pike County Gets A New Prosecutor Mayor Moves Forward With NAPA Contract, High-Speed Rail Construction To Start Soon http://wuis.org/post/mayor-moves-forward-napa-contract-high-speed-rail-construction-start-soon <p>Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says silence from the council about reaffirming the NAPA contract signals permission to choose how to handle the $3,000,000 deal.&nbsp;</p><p>He’s moving forward with it.</p><p>Springfield City Council had the chance to send a message to the mayor, but remained silent during the committee of the whole meeting on the issue.</p><p>After the meeting, Ward One Alderman Frank Edwards said because the city didn’t seek out bids from other companies, the NAPA contract puts the city in a bind.</p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:16:27 +0000 Lee Strubinger 27015 at http://wuis.org Mayor Moves Forward With NAPA Contract, High-Speed Rail Construction To Start Soon Three Locals Among Those Charged With Medicaid Fraud http://wuis.org/post/three-locals-among-those-charged-medicaid-fraud <p></p><p>Three area residents are among more than two dozen Illinois residents who have been charged with health care fraud stemming from federal investigations.</p><p>Federal prosecutors Thursday announced charges against 29 people who allegedly abused a health care program funded by Medicaid.&nbsp;</p><p>The program pays for personal assistants to help Medicaid recipients stay in their homes.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Feds says the defendants allegedly submitted false claims for hours worked when they had other full time jobs, were in jail or the client was hospitalized.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:56:02 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse 26716 at http://wuis.org Three Locals Among Those Charged With Medicaid Fraud