>>Balanced Budget On File
(Dixon, IL) -- Dixon is set to approve next year's budget. The final vote comes the 15th. The finance director says the city will have a cushion of 160-thousand dollars in the capital-projects fund and 90-thousand in the equipment fund.
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>>Teen Sexual Abuse Charges
(Fairview Heights, IL) -- A Georgia man is accused of sexually abusing a Fairview Heights girl. Authorities say 20-year-old Maurice Jackson spent last Thursday at a hotel with the 15-year-old. The crime's classified as a Class-2 felony.
>>Extreme Speeding Law Effective
(Quincy, IL) -- A new law for Quincy's extreme speeders is in effect. As of yesterday, if a driver's going 31-miles or more over the speed limit in a rural area he or she will be fined thousands and face jail time too. The same penalty applies if the driver's going 25-miles or more over the city speed limit. "Julie's Law" is named after a Chicago-area teen. She died in 2011 after getting hit by a driver going 76 in a 40-mile-per-hour zone.
>>Fireworks Shows For Holiday
(Undated) -- Several towns are holding fireworks displays on the Fourth. Quincy will hold its show at dusk at the Illinois Veterans Home. Macomb presents its annual display at Hanson Field Stadium at six and a fireworks show in Carthage starts at dusk at the Illini West High School football field.
>>Petunia Festival Going On
(Dixon, IL) -- Rising Rock River waters aren't stopping Dixon's Petunia Festival. Organizers say attendees should be careful, though. The Rock River has flooded the bottom sidewalks at Heritage Crossing and approached the parking area near Dixon High School. The show opens Thursday in Page Park and ends Sunday. This year, admission is free.
>>Concealed Carry Decision Imminent
(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn says a decision on concealed carry legislation is imminent. The governor didn't provide any details at a press conference on Monday other than to say that he'll deal with it shortly. The state is facing a July 9 deadline to get some sort of concealed carry measure on the books. If the state does not act, citizens could have Constitutional carry. Some communities are already passing rules for how to handle gun rights. Some are allowing gun owners to legally carry weapons while others are working to restrict what will be allowed.
>>Governor Signs School Safety Law
(Chicago, IL) -- Governor Pat Quinn has signed a new law that will require all schools to hold drills with police to be prepared for the possibility of school shootings. School districts are already required to conduct six different drills each year. The new law makes sure police are involved in a school shooting drill. Quinn says schools can never been too prepared for a situation where a gun is involved. He says this will make sure schools work with police to be as prepared as possible.
>>Illinois Ends Fiscal Year $6.1B In Red
(Chicago, IL) -- Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the state ended the fiscal year six-point-one billion dollars in the red. She says that number will grow by another billion dollars in the next few weeks. Topinka says the state did collect one-point-three billion dollars more than expected in tax revenues this year, but she says that won't help the state in the long-term. She says by August, the state will be in the hole seven-point-five billion dollars. The state has more than 73-thousand unpaid bills. Topinka says the state's backlog of unpaid bills could swell to nine-billion dollars by November.
>>Flash Index Sees Highest Level In Six Years
(Urbana, IL) -- The University of Illinois' Flash Index is at its highest level in six years. Economist J. Fred Giertz says that indicates that the state's economy is improving. The index uses individual income along with corporate and sales tax receipts. Giertz says all three were up in June. He says there's optimism that the growth will continue during the last half of this year and into next year.
>>Gun Raffle Nets Baseball League Big Bucks
(Atwood, IL) -- The Atwood-Hammond Youth Baseball League used gun raffle to raise over 30-thousand dollars. They raffled off an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and the winner came from West Virginia. League officials says their raffle attracted attention around the country. Now they're working to figure out how to spend their money. They're already working on a new tee ball diamond. They've also purchased equipment for players and they're working on their concession stand. They'll have a meeting this weekend to talk about other plans for the money.
>>Police Will Continue Investigation Of Hildreth Despite Death
(Ankeny, IA) -- Police are still investigating the massive child pornography collection of Paul Hildreth of Ankeny despite his death over the weekend. The Polk County Sheriff's Department says his suicide ends their criminal case, but they are continuing to work to identify victims in his collection. Officers are doing through images from several computer hard drives found in the 48-year-old's home.
>>NY Mayor Endorses Daley For Governor
(Chicago, IL) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing Bill Daley for governor. The former White House chief of staff released a video endorsement from Bloomberg. Bloomberg says Daley is uniquely qualified to be governor. He also supports Daley's plans for gun restrictions, including background checks for all gun buyers, local regulations and a ban on high-capacity magazines. Bloomberg also calls Daley a strong leader. Daley is challenging Governor Pat Quinn in the March 2014 Primary.
>>Crops Enjoy Rainfall
(Springfield, IL) -- Rain kept farmers out of their fields for most of last week, but corn and soybeans enjoyed the wet weather. The latest crop report shows that corn and soybean growth improved throughout the state. The average height of corn is up to 32 inches. That's still below where it was a year ago when corn was 62 inches at this time. The five-year average is 47 inches. Overall, 69 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. Farmers are still wrapping up soybean planting with 97 percent of beans in the ground. Of those, 93 percent have emerged. Both numbers are a point ahead of the five year average. Seventy-two percent of soybeans are in good to excellent condition.
>>Year Off To Wet Start
(Champaign, IL) -- Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says Illinois is off to its wettest start in history. He says the state has had its wettest January to June since record keeping started in 1895. Angel says the state received 28-point-74 inches of rain in the first half of the year. That's almost nine inches above normal and it's more than double what the state got during the first half of last year during the height of a drought. Angel says parts of northern Illinois and southern Illinois saw heavy rainfall in June with some areas getting more than ten inches. There were some areas in Illinois that saw below normal rainfall last month.
>>Drivers Catching A Break At The Pump
(Carbondale, IL) -- Drivers are catching a bit of a break at the pump. GasBuddy.com's Patrick DeHaan says the worst of high gas prices could be past us. The average price of gas has been falling in Illinois. DeHaan says the average price at the pump in Illinois is three-dollars-76-cents. That's dropped almost 12 cents in the last week and is down 30 cents in the last month. DeHaan says he expects the price of gas to fluctuate between three-40 and three-80. DeHaan says gas prices have been stabilizing in the Midwest, but he warns that things like refinery problems and weather could cause the price to change. He doesn't expect prices to spike for the Independence Day holiday weekend.