State not alerted for weeks that woman may not be baby’s mom

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ child welfare agency says more than two weeks passed before it was alerted that a woman taken to a Chicago-area hospital with a gravely ill newborn may not be his mother, even though she arrived bloodied and showed no signs of giving birth. Clarisa Figueroa is charged with killing 19-year-old Marlen…Read more…

Pritzker compiles $41.5B infrastructure plan, tax increases

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois would pour $41.5 billion into state construction projects over six years to rebuild and maintain roads, mass transit, schools and affordable housing, raise recreation areas, expand broadband and more under a plan Gov. J.B. Pritzker sketched out Friday. It would mean a doubling motor fuel tax, to 38 cents per gallon to…Read more…

Prosecutor: Mom plotted to kill pregnant woman, steal baby

CHICAGO (AP) — A mother plotted for months to acquire a newborn before she and her daughter strangled a pregnant Chicago woman and cut her baby from her womb using a butcher’s knife, prosecutors said Friday as they revealed gruesome new details about the case. Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was lured to the home where Clarisa…Read more…

SIU Arena renamed in $4M corporate naming rights deal

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University Arena has a new name, thanks to the largest corporate naming rights agreement in the history of the Carbondale campus. The Southern Illinoisan reports after 55 years, SIU Arena is now the Banterra Center. The basketball arena is now named for Banterra Bank, which has 40 branches across Illinois, Indiana,…Read more…

Pritzker considering bill to halt immigrant detention center

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker is to consider a measure the state Legislature has approved that would ban privatized immigration detention centers in Illinois. The Chicago Tribune reports the state Senate last week approved the measure, which the Illinois House passed in April . The legislation is in response to a vote by community leaders that approved a plan for…Read more…

Chicago public health department confirms measles case

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago health officials say they’ve confirmed a measles case and are working to contact those who may have been exposed to the infection. The Chicago Department of Public Health said Saturday they confirmed the case Friday and exposures may have occurred on Thursday and Friday at O’Hare International Airport and in downtown…Read more…

44th Street Construction Project Eyeing Completion by Mid-Summer

MT. VERNON — Work continues to progress on 44th Street just north of Broadway near I-57 in Mt. Vernon. The roughly $1 million project has been multi-faceted for the city of Mt. Vernon. Mt. Vernon mayor John Lewis says the project included moving multiple utility lines and other non-road related work as well. The project…Read more…

Crash kills ‘perfect’ small-town Illinois police chief

RAYMOND, Ill. (AP) — A crash has killed the police chief in a small Illinois town. State police say a car crossed into the southbound lane of Illinois 127 on Thursday, striking a Ford Mustang driven by Raymond police Chief Valerie Sheldon. The 39-year-old had been chief in the Montgomery County community since 2010. Police…Read more…

Man charged with driving into crowd, killing 1, free on bond

ALTON, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man charged with murder last year after allegedly driving into a group of people in a parking lot, killing a woman and injuring another is free on bond. The Telegraph in Alton reports Caleb Lenhardt has posted $100,000 cash bond. He was being held in the Madison County Jail…Read more…

Pregnant Chicago woman slain, baby cut from her womb

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman who sold baby clothes to a pregnant woman and lured her back to her house with an offer of more clothing has been charged with murder after allegedly strangling the woman with a cord and cutting the infant from her womb, police said Thursday. Clarisa Figueroa, 46, apparently wanted…Read more…

Korean War soldier, MIA since the conflict, to be buried

STERLING, Ill. (AP) — A soldier who was killed during the Korean War has been returned to Illinois and will be buried next to his twin, who was killed during the same battle. The remains of Cpl. John G. Krebs will be buried Friday at Sterling’s Calvary Cemetery, next to his brother George. The 19-year-old…Read more…

Survey: Region’s bankers losing confidence in farm economy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows they’re rapidly losing confidence in the region’s farm economy. The Rural Mainstreet survey for May, released Thursday, shows the survey’s overall index dropping from 50 in April to 48.5 this month. Any score above 50 suggests…Read more…

Activists want pot revenue for communities hit by drug crime

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Activists rallied outside the Illinois Capitol to demand a revenue stream from marijuana sales to communities affected by violence spurred by illegal drug activity. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recreational cannabis legalization proposal allocates 25% of tax revenue generated by marijuana sales for community development. Pritzker rolled out the recreational cannabis proposal earlier…Read more…