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>>Pension Debt Continues To Grow

(Chicago, IL)  --  Today is the first day of the state's new fiscal year and Governor Pat Quinn says the state's pension debt continues to grow. State projections show the debt grows by five-million dollars each day. The governor says the number will keep growing as long as the General Assembly fails to pass comprehensive pension reform.  Quinn blames the pension burden for two-billion dollars in education cuts and three-billion dollars in social services.  He says it's also caused downgrades in the state's credit rating.  The governor says that means taxpayers are on the hook for an extra 130-million dollars to keep up work on construction projects.  Quinn is calling on the General Assembly to act on pension reform by July 9th.

>>Illinois Man Drowns In Missouri

(Van Buren, MO)  --  A Hutsonville man drowned while swimming in a river in Missouri over the weekend. The Missouri Highway Patrol says 21-year-old Lucas Mehler [[ Miller ]] was floating on the Current River near Van Buren, Missouri Saturday afternoon.  They say Mehler got tangled in a branch and was not able to get free.  Mehler drowned after he got tangled up.

>>Urbana Man Drowns In Champaign Lake

(Champaign, IL)  --  The Champaign County Coroner says an Urbana man pulled from a lake near Champaign drowned Saturday.  Rescue workers were called to Maynard Lake Saturday afternoon after 26-year-old Muzhi Liu went under water for several minutes.  Coroner Duane Northrup says Liu was swimming in the lake and got too far out and went under.  He says it doesn't appear that alcohol was a factor in the drowning, but he is planning to conduct an autopsy.

>>Most Fireworks Are Illegal In Illinois

(Robinson, IL)  --  With the Fourth of July coming up, police are reminding people that most fireworks are illegal in Illinois.  Police say there are only a handful of fireworks you can legally have in the state.  That list includes things like sparklers, snakes and smoke bombs. Police say a general rule of thumb is that if it explodes, you can't have it. Even the legal fireworks can be dangerous.  Sparklers can burn hot enough to cause third degree burns.  There were 259 fireworks-related incidents reports in Illinois last year.  Police say that if you want to enjoy fireworks, it's best to leave it up to the professionals and attend a fireworks show.

>>Gettysburg Address On Display At Lincoln Museum

(Springfield, IL)  --  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is marking the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by displaying a handwritten copy of the speech.  There were more than 50-thousand men killed and wounded from July 1st to July 3rd of 1863 during the battle at Gettysburg.  It is the largest battle in North American history.  President Lincoln delivered the famous 272-word speech on November 19th, 1863 to remember the fallen soldiers.  The museum will have the speech on display through late November.

 

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