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Illini-Bluffs Students Head To School
(Peoria, IL) -- The school doors are finally open for students in the Illini-Bluffs school district. A teacher strike kept them from starting on time this year, but a tentative deal has changed that. The terms of the agreement have not been released, but a dispute over random drug testing was the center of the debate. A vote on the agreement is expected later this week. The union represents 61 teachers in the Illini-Bluffs school district where there are about one-thousand students.
Catholic Charities To Appeal Judge's Ruling
(Springfield, IL) -- Officials with Catholic Charities say a recent ruling allowing the state to terminate its foster and adoptive care services doesn't address the issue. Springfield diocese executive director Steven Roach says the ruling didn't determine if they're in violation of the new Civil Unions law. Roach says they've been wrongfully accused and they aren't going down without a fight. He says they'll file an appeal by the end of this week.
Controversial Utility Rate Increase Bill Sent To Governor Quinn
(Springfield, IL) -- Governor Quinn says he won't support a plan to increase electric rates for Ameren and ComEd customers. In fact, he says the plan is, quote, "dead on arrival" when it reaches his desk. Quinn's promise to veto the measure prompted legislators to hold off on sending it to him. The delay gave lobbyists time to try and convince more lawmakers to support the proposal so they could override the governor's veto. The electric companies want customers to foot the two-point-six-billion dollar bill for a new smart grid and infrastructure upgrades. The bill was finally sent to Quinn's desk Friday.
Watchdog Group Says Culture Of Corruption Must End
(Springfield, IL) -- One watchdog group says it's time to reverse Illinois' trend of political corruption. David Morrison with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says corruption causes people to lose faith in government. He commends a recent charge by the legislative inspector general who penned a letter to lawmakers requesting more financial disclosure and tougher penalties for those who abuse their power. The inspector general says he can't do his job effectively when there are no penalties in place that prevent abuse.
Application Process For Home Heating Assistance Starts Thursday
(Springfield, IL) -- Low-income seniors and people with disabilities can start applying home heating assistance starting this Thursday. Those eligible to receive benefits under the LIHEAP program will have a portion of their utility bills paid by the state. Families with small children can start applying October 1st and open enrollment starts on November 1st. To get information about how the program works, check out LIHEAPillinois.com.
Farm Progress Show Hits Central Illinois
(Decatur, IL) -- One of the biggest farm shows in the nation is taking over Central Illinois today. Gates will open at the Farm Progress Show at 8 a.m. in Decatur. The event combines displays of the latest agriculture products and tractors as well as educational sessions on a wide range of topics. And for the country music lover, Rodney Adkins will take center stage tomorrow night. Admission is 12 dollars for adults and eight for students ages 13 to 17. Admission is free for children under 12.
MacMurray College Gets National Recognition
(Springfield, IL) -- Jacksonville's MacMurray College is being recognized for its efforts to give back to the country. "Washington Monthly" magazine ranks the school number 14 in the nation for its efforts in social mobility, research and service. That means the school is top-notch when it comes to accepting low-income students and helping them get their degrees. MacMurray is the only college in Illinois in the top 50 among baccalaureate colleges with relatively high rankings in the "service" category.
Special Olympics Gets New President
(Normal, IL) -- There's a new leader for the Special Olympics in Illinois. Dave Breen is taking over as the organization's president. He's replacing Doug Snyder, who died earlier this month following a brief illness. Breen has served as vice president for Area Management of Special Olympics Illinois for the past 13 years, coordinating the programming efforts in every Illinois county. He is a graduate of Illinois State University and he lives in Normal.
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