Police: 2 dead after train hits truck in southern Illinois

ULLIN, Ill. (AP) — Police say two people were killed when a pickup truck pulled directly into the path of a train in far southern Illinois. Illinois State Police say the truck’s driver had turned Tuesday morning onto a private lane in Pulaski County just the vehicle drove onto a rail crossing and into the…Read more…

Hearing to decide fate of Dakota Access pipeline permit

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal court hearing will determine whether the Dakota Access oil pipeline should be allowed to continue operating without a key permit while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts an environmental review on the project. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wants the Corps to explain how it “expects to proceed”…Read more…

Mt. Vernon man charged in weekend battery incident

MOUNT VERNON — A 21-year-old Mt. Vernon man was charged Wednesday in Jefferson County Court with multiple felonies stemming from a weekend incident at a Mt. Vernon bar that resulted in another man being hospitalized in serious condition. Hunter Clover was charged with two Class 3 felonies for aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm…Read more…

Suburban Chicago cop, driver injured during shootout

FOREST PARK, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a suburban Chicago police officer and a man who jumped out of his car during a traffic stop and opened fire both suffered gunshot wounds. A spokesman for the Oak Park Police Department says one of that city’s officers was assisting an officer in neighboring Forest Park with…Read more…

Biofuels producers, farmers not sold on switch to electric

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The president and the auto industry maintain the nation is on the cusp of a gigantic shift to electric vehicles and away from liquid-fueled cars, but biofuels producers and some of their supporters in Congress aren’t buying it. They argue the U.S. should increase sales of ethanol and biodiesel, not…Read more…

Ex-state senator enters innocent plea on federal tax charges

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Illinois state senator has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of lying on personal income tax reports and failing to file tax returns for her lobbying and consulting firm. Annazette Collins entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The 58-year-old Collins allegedly filed false or failed to…Read more…

Kuder, Farley win mayor seats in Centralia and Salem

CENTRALIA — In the contested race for Centralia mayor, Bryan Kuder came out on top, bringing in more than 66 percent of the vote over his opponent Herb Williams. The seat was contested beyond the ballot box, with a Marion County lawsuit by Kuder seeking a court decision naming him the rightful Mayor of Centralia…Read more…

Illinois Election Board chief on leave after extortion bid

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Board of Elections has voted unanimously to place its executive director on paid administrative leave after he reported being the target of an online extortion attempt. The board said in az news release Monday its eight members took the action involving Steve Sandvoss “out of an abundance of…Read more…

LaHood resigns Lincoln Museum job after loan fine disclosure

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Former Illinois congressman and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has resigned as chairman of the board of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. The move comes days after federal prosecutors in California revealed LaHood paid a fine in 2019 for failing to disclose a $50,000 loan from a…Read more…

Illinois bar event caused 46 COVID-19 cases, school closure

CHICAGO (AP) — An indoor event at a rural Illinois bar led to 46 cases of COVID-19, one resident of a long-term care facility being hospitalized and a school closure. That’s according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Monday. The Illinois Department of Public health was notified on Feb. 17 of…Read more…

Books by Steinbeck, Alexie among most objected to in 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite the closing of physical libraries because of the pandemic, there were still calls from patrons and others to have certain books banned or restricted. The American Library Association reported Monday more than 270 challenges to books in 2020, from Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a…Read more…

The Latest: CDC director: Young people fueling virus uptick

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top U.S. public health official says young people are driving the latest uptick in COVID-19 cases, as the increasing rate of vaccination in older Americans is preventing the most serious cases among seniors. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a briefing Monday…Read more…

Suburban Chicago man charged in relative’s stabbing death

BELLWOOD, Ill. (AP) — A prosecutor says a suburban Chicago man charged in a relative’s fatal stabbing used a “samurai knife” to stab the 76-year-old victim dozens of times inside her home. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a Cook County judge denied bail Sunday for 20-year-old Isaiah Jones, who is charged with first-degree murder in…Read more…

Four companies enter consent decree to end discrimination

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois attorney general’s office has reached consent decrees with four companies, including a temporary staffing agency, to resolve allegations of workplace segregation and sex discrimination in hiring. DSI Holdings Corp., the parent of Service Master; Alternative Staffing Inc. and Resource Management Group Inc., which operate jointly, and two other companies agreed…Read more…

Pritzker commutes sentence of man convicted of double murder

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has commuted the sentence of a man who claimed he was framed by Chicago police detectives for a 1990 double murder. Gerald Reed was granted a new trial in 2018 on claims he was tortured into a false murder confession by detectives working for notorious police commander Jon…Read more…