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Sex Offenders Babysit In Illinois
(Springfield, IL) -- Convicted sex offenders are being paid to babysit on the state's dime. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that convicted rapists, molesters and other violent felons have been given access to children under the state's Child Care Assistance Program. The newspaper found no cases where children were harmed but privacy laws shield the data needed to do an in-depth study. State Senator Matt Murphy has pushed for reforms to the child care program, encouraging lawmakers to find a better way to weed out sex offenders. He says it's just not acceptable for the state to create a quote, "economic incentive for someone with a criminal record to be in the same room with a kid."
Quinn Sends Help to East Coast
(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois isn't feeling the impact of Hurricane Irene but that's not stopping the state from stepping up to help. More than 160 of Illinois' National Guard Troops are on the eastern seaboard offering their support. They took six UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, pilots, crew, and ground support vehicles with them. National Guard Major General William Enyart says he's proud to lead the men and women who've stepped up time and time again to protect Americans during disaster. Three staffers from Illinois' Emergency Management Assistance Compact were also sent to help. The state of New York has agreed to reimburse Illinois for expenses related to this deployment.
Still No Pay For Regional Superintendents
(Springfield, IL) -- Regional superintendents and their assistants will work for free for at least two more months. On Friday, a judge backed Governor Pat Quinn's decision to eliminate the superintendents' pay. Quinn says they'll have to wait until lawmakers return to Springfield in October before anything can be done. That's when they'll vote on a measure to pay the school officials out of local funds instead of state funds. None of the superintendents have walked off the job, even though they haven't been paid in two months. They say they're committed to serving the needs of students in their districts.
State Farm Says Claims Rolling In From East Coast Disaster
(Bloomington, IL) -- Officials at State Farm say insurance claims are starting to roll in after the weekend's deadly east coast hurricane. As of yesterday afternoon, the insurance company had received 16-hundred house claims and about 500 auto claims. Spokesperson Jeff McCollum says that number will increase as people return to their homes over the next few days. At least 21 people were killed by the hurricane. That number is also expected to rise.
Two More Arrested For Crimes Against Children
(Belleville, IL) -- Two Belleville men are the latest arrested in the Attorney General's crackdown on child pornography. Garold Semelka and Mike Telkamp have each been charged with ten counts of possession of aggravated child pornography. They're the 25th and 26th sexual predators arrested in the past year and officials say they won't be the last. Investigators have witnessed more than 37-hundred IP addresses trading images and videos of child pornography - and that's just in the past two months. About 375 people have been arrested in the past five years since the Attorney General launched the "Crimes Against Children Task Force."
Illinois' Air Force Base Storing East Coast Planes
(Edwardsville, IL) -- Scott Air Force Base is becoming a storage facility for military aircraft based in the path of Hurricane Irene. So far, the base has received eight F-15C fighter aircraft and 26 personnel from the Jacksonville Air National Guard in Florida. Four F-18A's have arrived from Virginia Beach, Virginia and two C-40s, along with a pair of C-38s and C-21s have arrived from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Illinois Company Gets Money For Energy Research
(Washington, D.C.) -- An Illinois-based power facility is gearing up to find ways to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of advanced carbon capture systems at coal-fired power plants. Des Plaines-based "Fuel Cell Energy, Inc." is getting nearly three-million dollars to come up with a solution. It's one of 16 plants across the nation chosen by the Department of Energy to focus on developing carbon capture technologies. Other states include North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Illinois Gas Still Higher Than National Average
(Springfield, IL) -- The price of crude oil has dropped, giving Illinois drivers a bit of relief at the pump. Drivers in the state are paying about six cents less for a gallon of gas this month than they did in July. Triple-A-dot-com reports yesterday's price came in at three-eighty-four a gallon - that's still about a quarter more than the national average.
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