>>Food Stamp Benefits Being Reduced Today
(Undated) -- More than two-million low income residents in Illinois will have some of their food stamp benefits reduced today. It’s not technically a cut in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but an expiration of a 2009 federal stimulus. Either way, it means a family of four will have 36 dollars less to spend each month. Critics of the reduction say that every penny counts in a struggling household.
>>Flights For Politicians Between Springfield And Chicago Will Change
(Springfield, IL) -- The so-called “Executive Shuttle Service” that flies state officials between Springfield and Chicago free of charge will be changing. After criticisms following a Fox-32 investigation, flights that have only a few passengers will be canceled. The “Springfield Journal-Register” says each flight costs taxpayers three-thousand dollars, and 47-percent of the flights are less that half-full. I-DOT runs the flight service and Speaker Madigan’s spokesman said they’re free to change the policies if they want.
>>County Judge Will Reportedly Plead Guilty To Heroin Charges
(East St. Louis, IL) -- Former St. Clair County Judge Mike Cook will reportedly plead guilty to heroin possession and weapons charges next week. The “Belleville News-Democrat” says an entry was made on his case yesterday, changing his plea from not-guilty to guilty. His lawyer could not be reached for comment. He was arrested in May and the news has called into question many of the drug-related trials he presided over.
>>Danville Man Guilty In Champaign Woman’s Death
(Urbana, IL) -- A Danville man is guilty of murdering a woman who got hit by a bullet intended for someone else. Treshaun Jake faces up to 75 years in prison for the July 2012 shooting death of Desirae Austin. Jake was in a fight with two men and shot in their direction, but the bullet hit Austin. His co-defendant was also found guilty and is serving a 50-year sentence.
>>Rockford Officials Want To Tear Down Abandoned Homes Faster
(Rockford, IL) -- Rockford aldermen are making a push to tear down more dilapidated homes next year than they have in years past. According to the “Rockford Register Star” the city usually sets aside 200-thousand dollars to tear down about 20 homes. Some aldermen want to double or triple that number. Demolition money comes from a federal grant to improve communities.
>>Pontiac K-9 Officer Killed In Accident
(Pontiac, IL) -- Police are still investigation an accident on Interstate 55 that killed a 29-year-old Pontiac police officer and his canine partner. Casey Kohlmeier was parked in the turn-around just north of Illinois 23 in Livingston County Wednesday night. The “Bloomington Pantagraph” says a northbound vehicle struck the squad car killing Kohlmeier and his police dog Draco. Kohlmeier was a U.S. Air Force veteran who joined the department in 2007.
>>Man Sentenced For Death Of Girlfriend’s Son
(Springfield, IL) -- A 30-year-old Springfield man is heading to prison for 20 years for beating his girlfriend’s two-year-old son to death. Mason Weems pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a child yesterday as prosecutors agreed to drop murder charges. The “State Journal-Register” says Anikan Credit’s 2008 death was originally attributed to a rare cancer but after the case was reopened, pathologists determined he died from abuse. Prosecutors feared the differing opinions among the experts would lead to an acquittal.
>>State Farm Likely Relocating Claims Jobs Out of Bloomington
(Bloomington, IL) -- State Farm says it will likely be relocating some claims jobs based in Bloomington. The company released very few specifics, but the “Bloomington Pantagraph” says that some of the jobs will be gradually phased out starting next year. The company didn’t say how many jobs would be affected or where they would be relocated.
>>Cary Man Sentenced In Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme
(Rockford, IL) -- A 45-year-old Cary man is heading to prison for over five years for conducting a multi-million dollar international fraud scheme. Clare Thomas Anderson must also pay six-point-two-million dollars in restitution. The plea agreement says Anderson owned several business that would sell raw materials to manufacturers and suppliers overseas. He would get payment in advance and often send less than was ordered or very low quality materials.
>>Metro-East Fire Chief Gets Two Year Sentence For Probation Violation
(East St. Louis, IL) -- Alorton’s former Fire Chief is heading to federal prison for two years. Carlos Darough has a history of arrests, the latest coming on October 18th. Police pulled him over in his village-owned vehicle for running a stop sign and found a felony-amount of marijuana. The “Belleville News-Democrat” says he was on probation for a cocaine possession charge in 2007.
>>Jail Inmate Charged With Stabbing Deputy With Pencil
(Edwardsville, IL) -- A Madison County jail inmate is facing aggravated battery charges for allegedly stabbing a deputy in the head with a pencil. Police say 28-year-old Justin Creasey was asked to take down some paper that was covering his cell window. When he refused, the deputy called for backup. Creasey allegedly threw liquid at one officer and stabbed one deputy in the back of the head with a pencil causing a half-inch laceration.