Mushrooms linked to salmonella outbreaks in 10 states

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal officials are warning of salmonella cases in at least 10 states linked to dried mushrooms from a Southern California company. More than 40 people have gotten sick and four have been hospitalized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The product suspected in the outbreak is wood…Read more…

Illinois joins pact to protect monarch butterflies’ habitat

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Four state agencies have signed a pact to protect monarch butterflies and other important pollinators whose numbers are dwindling. Representatives of the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency signed onto the Illinois Monarch Action Plan on Friday.Monarchs feed on nectar and pollinate numerous wildflowers.…Read more…

Illinois community forms panel to stop nuclear plant closure

BYRON, Ill. (AP) — A local panel was recently formed in an Illinois community in hopes of preventing a nuclear energy company from closing its plant. Sauk Valley Media reports that Exelon announced that it would close the Byron Station in September 2021. Byron School District Superintendent Buster Barton says the Byron Station Response Committee…Read more…

Illinois Supreme Court hires diversity and inclusion officer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has named a university associate chancellor as a chief diversity and inclusion officer. Deanie Brown starts the new job for the state’s judicial branch of government in November. She’ll be responsible for developing and implementing ways to create a diverse and inclusive workforce. In a statement, Brown…Read more…

With anger at police high, officers face greater danger

CHICAGO (AP) — Recent shootings of police officers and protests that have left scores of officers injured are stark reminders of the dangers facing law enforcement as the country grapples with police killings of African Americans. Statistics compiled by the FBI show so far this year 37 law enforcement officers have been “feloniously killed” in…Read more…

Hastert breach-of-contract jury trial set for February 2021

YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A jury trial is expected to start early next year for a $1.8 million breach-of-conduct case filed against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. The lawsuit was filed in 2016 by a man who alleges he was sexually abused as a young teen by Hastert and later promised $3.5 million to…Read more…

Abuse investigator pleads not guilty in slain boy case

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois child welfare who investigated allegations of abuse involving a 5-year-old boy who was later beaten to death has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment and reckless conduct. The Northwest Herald reports that 54-year-old Carlos Acosta of Woodstock entered the plea Thursday in a McHenry County courtroom. Acosta worked…Read more…

Former West Frankfort pastor arrested in federal child sex crime sting

BENTON, Ill. — A 57-year-old former pastor of a West Frankfort church has been indicted in federal court for attempted enticement of a minor child following an FBI sting targeting child exploitation. Mark Allen Fitzpatrick was pastor of Greater Life Sanctuary Church in Benton. He was arrested in August and is currently free on a…Read more…

Records: Mail delivery lags behind targets as election nears

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows Postal Service districts across the nation are missing the agency’s own standards for on-time delivery as millions of Americans prepare to vote by mail. The lag times are especially pronounced in key regions of some battleground states, where delivery times are below the national average. That raises the…Read more…

Illinois best in COVID-19 testing, Pritzker says

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois governor on Wednesday continued to champion Illinois as a leader in testing for the coronavirus during a period when he faces some of the sharpest criticism for his social restrictions to stop the virus. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is averaging 52,000 tests daily to become “the best…Read more…

Illinois officials urge peaceful protests for Breonna Taylor

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials are disparaging a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to bring no charges against Louisville police for the killing of Breonna Taylor during a drug raid gone wrong. State and Chicago officials on Wednesday urged anyone participating in local protests in response to be peaceful. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also asked the…Read more…

Secy. White extends expiration dates for DL licenses, ID cards to 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards have been extended an additional three months – from Nov. 1, 2020, until Feb. 1, 2021. This new Feb. 1 extension also includes those who have October, November, December and January expiration dates. As a result,…Read more…

New company to hire up to 50 in Vandalia

VANDALIA — A new business has opened in Vandalia and is expected to employ up to 50 people by the end of 2021. Kanata Blanket is based in Vancouver, British Columbia and is currently the leading promotional blanket product distributor in North America. Kanata Blanket has purchased the former Land O’ Lakes/Purina Property at 1500…Read more…

Deputies arrest Bluford woman after she allegedly fled traffic stop

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 35-year-old Bluford woman was arrested early Wednesday morning after she was reportedly fled from Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies following an attempted traffic stop. According to the sheriff’s department, around midnight Wednesday, Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies attempted a traffic stop of a white Mazda on Markham Lane near IL Hwy 15. The…Read more…