Don’t let the springlike weather fool you. Winter isn’t done with us yet.
The National Weather Service says a new storm system moving into Central Illinois Tuesday night into Wednesday could drop as much as four new inches of snow on the Springfield area… along with winds gusting to 40 miles per hour.
Stay with 970 WMAY and wmay.com for updates on the developing weather situation.
Springfield police are getting an early start on St. Patrick’s Day. Noting that the celebration is often associated with heavy drinking, SPD is already launching extra patrols aimed at catching drunk drivers.
Special patrols will also target people violating seat belt laws. Police recommend using a designated driver if you plan to indulge at your St. Paddy’s party.
Bruce Rauner says he’s not part of the “one-percent”… he’s part of the “point-oh-one percent.”
But the GOP candidate for governor says he’s far different than another wealthy Republican candidate of recent years, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Rauner tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s a pretty regular guy who drinks beer, smokes cigars and rides a Harley.
Opponent Kirk Dillard says Rauner’s billion-dollar fortune was the result of “pay-to-play,” and shows that Rauner can’t relate to the concerns of average Illinoisans.
State taxpayers are picking up the tab for expenses related to the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Three lawyers have been appointed as special assistant attorneys general… and will be paid up to $200 an hour in taxpayer funds through the Treasurer’s office to help with Rutherford’s defense. A former employee claims he was harassed and coerced into doing political work on state time.
Rutherford has also spent $27,000 for investigations into those claims… but has refused to release the results because of the pending litigation.
It was a late night for Amtrak passengers bound for Springfield Sunday night… after the train was delayed for several hours when it struck and killed a pedestrian near Pontiac.
Amtrak says someone was trespassing on the tracks when they were struck and killed. The train had left Chicago and was headed to Springfield and then on to St. Louis. None of the 233 passengers on that train was hurt.
More than half of all Illinoisans feel “less safe” with a concealed carry law now on the books in the state… according to a new statewide survey.
The poll found 52-percent of those surveyed felt less safe now that it is legal for people with permits to carry concealed weapons in public. Only 32-percent said they feel more safe. At the same time, the poll found less support for gun control and restrictions than in a similar survey a year ago.
The new poll of 1,001 registered voters, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU Carbondale, has a margin of error of plus-or-minus three-and-a-half percent.
An employee of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office has been slapped with a 15-day suspension without pay and lost the use of his state car after an investigation found he was conducting personal and political business on state time.
The report from the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission found John Karnes was routinely at home or doing personal errands… when his time cards and other documents indicated he was supposed to be on the job.
The report also concluded that Karnes had used his state car, on state time, for activities related to Secretary of State Jesse White’s re-election campaign.
Governor Pat Quinn says he is standing behind his director of Natural Resources… despite recent controversies involving top staffers in the office.
One DNR official resigned when an investigation revealed he was taking part in fishing tournaments while supposedly on paid medical leave.
Two others involved in the regulation of the mining industry have been disciplined for improperly accepting or funneling political money from mining companies.
A Quinn spokesman says the governor still has confidence in DNR director Marc Miller.
New polls suggest the Republican race for governor is tightening… and that Governor Pat Quinn will have his work cut out for him, no matter which Republican opponent he faces.
The latest Chicago Tribune survey still puts Bruce Rauner in the lead… but suggests state senator Kirk Dillard is closing the gap.
But the poll still gives Rauner more than a 10-point edge over Dillard, with just days to go till the primary. Meanwhile, Quinn’s general election support remains soft, even among his own party.
A separate survey finds that fewer than half of Democrats say they will vote for Quinn in the general election, no matter who’s running against him.
A longtime local prosecutor and judge has died.
Services are still pending for Don Cadagin… who died of an apparent stroke while vacationing in South Carolina.
Cadagin was appointed as Sangamon County State’s Attorney in 1986. He became a circuit judge in 1994 and retired in 2005.
Don Cadagin was 73.
The man convicted of murdering seven people in a Chicago-area Brown’s Chicken restaurant in 1993 has been awarded nearly half-a-million dollars for a beating he sustained while in custody.
A jury ruled that James Degorski was entitled to the $451,000 payout after being battered by a Cook County Jail guard on the first night that Degorski was in custody for the murders.
But Degorski may never see any of the money. The state Department of Corrections will claim most of it as reimbursement for the costs of Degorski’s incarceration.
And family members of his victims say they may pursue wrongful death lawsuits to claim a share of what’s left.
A potential political problem for Governor Pat Quinn has potentially gotten a whole lot bigger.
The results of a scathing audit of an anti-violence program launched by Quinn in 2010 have been forwarded on to law enforcement officials, including the U.S. Attorney for the Central District, James Lewis. The audit found widespread misuse of funding and a lack of accountability.
Republican lawmakers had asked Auditor General Bill Holland to forward his findings to other agencies.
The daughter of President Obama’s controversial former pastor has been convicted in Springfield of fraud charges.
A federal jury here returned the verdict against Jeri Wright for her role in a scheme to bilk the state out of more than a million dollars in grant money.
Wright is the daughter of Jeremiah Wright, who became a lightning rod during Obama’s 2008 run for the White House.
Officials are trying to track down who last had possession of a pit bull that chased a Springfield man into the street Thursday night.
Both the man and the dog were struck by a car. The man suffered minor injuries… the dog was picked up by animal control.
A chip implanted in the pit bull led authorities to its owner… who said the dog had been taken from her by animal control a year ago. But county animal control officials say the dog was returned to that woman, who now lives in Chatham. Neighbors say the pit bull had been roaming free and acting aggressively for weeks before Thursday’s incident along South Grand Avenue East.
Riverton’s fire chief says investigators have not found any sign of a smoke detector in an apartment where a woman died in a fire early Thursday.
Chief Louie Rogers says damage to the apartment was extensive, but that investigators will usually find some remnants of a detector, and so far have found none.
An autopsy indicates that 24-year-old Brittany Sullivan died of smoke and soot inhalation, although some test results are still pending.
It’s the weekend to change your clocks… and change your batteries.
State fire officials say that when you “spring forward” one hour into Daylight Saving Time this weekend, you should also replace the batteries in your smoke detectors.
Officials say 60-percent of fatal fires are in homes without working smoke detectors.
It’s the classic good news-bad news scenario.
Springfield’s Ronald McDonald House is announcing a significant renovation that will allow it to serve more families every night, and will update the interior and exterior of the 28-year-old home. But the $1.2 million project will force the closure of the home for four months or more.
The House provides shelter and other assistance to families who have children in one of the city’s major hospitals… but is often filled to capacity. The project will add two more family rooms. The home is slated to be closed from June to October… a fundraising campaign to support the renovation effort is also now underway.
It’s a project that has gone on for decades… and cost tens of millions of dollars. And Mayor Mike Houston says that’s one reason the city shouldn’t give up on the Hunter Lake project.
Houston says after all that time and money, he is determined to keep pushing for an answer from regulators, once and for all, about whether the second lake can be built. And Houston says he will keep pursuing Hunter Lake because any of the other available options for a backup water supply are likely to be even more expensive than building the lake.
Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello still hasn’t decided if he will follow the lead of several of his counterparts around the state and offer marriage licenses to gay couples… even before the state’s new same-sex marriage law takes effect.
State’s Attorney John Milhiser says the decision is up to Aiello… but warns that issuing the licenses now could lead to legal challenges over the validity of the documents.
Aiello says he is considering going ahead with the licenses… but including a disclaimer that he hopes would protect the county from being sued at some point down the road.
The war of words over Springfield’s pension funds is escalating. Mayor Mike Houston says a recent study of the funds that ranks Springfield as worst in the state is based on inaccurate and incomplete data.
But Alderman Joe McMenamin… who brought that study before the City Council… says even after correcting some errors, the study still shows Springfield tied for the bottom.
Houston accuses McMenamin of offering no ideas to reduce the city’s unfunded liability, but McMenamin says he is offering concrete proposals… such as his latest call for a city wage freeze.
McMenamin is also asking voters next year to elect aldermen who will help him tackle the pension crisis.
The Houston administration wants to enter into a three-year deal with NAPA Auto Parts to provide all of the parts that will be needed by the city’s new consolidated vehicle maintenance garage.
Appearing live on 970 WMAY’s “Jim Leach Show,” Houston said the $3.75 million deal would save the city money because NAPA would maintain the inventory and the company’s employees… not city workers… would be in charge of overseeing it.
Houston defends the proposal to go with a major national supplier… saying a local company would not be able to provide the volume and variety of parts the city will need.
Authorities have identified the woman who died in an apartment fire near Riverton early Thursday. 24-year-old Brittany Sullivan was pronounced dead at the scene of the fire on Old Route 36.
An autopsy is planned for today. A boy who lived in the home was injured and was first taken to the burn unit at Memorial Medical Center before being transferred to the pediatric ICU at Saint John’s.
Authorities say Sullivan’s husband escaped the flames but was unable to rescue his wife. The cause of that fire is still under investigation.
More acts are being announced for this year's Illinois State Fair.
Fair officials say the classic rock band Boston will perform in the Grandstand on August 12th. A couple of other '70s bands... Sweet and April Wine... will also appear on the same bill.
Country singer Jake Owen has also been booked for August 16th. The fair previously announced that country band Florida-Georgia Line will perform on August 10th.
Tickets for Grandstand shows go on sale through Ticketmaster on April 12th... and will also be available at the Grandstand ticket office in June.
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