Airline, cruise stocks pummeled on fear of spreading virus

Investors are fleeing from airline and cruise-line stocks as fear grows that the new virus could spread dramatically beyond China. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and several cruise companies were among the worst performers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index on Monday. In China, where the virus started, airlines are finally scheduling more seats.…Read more…

Illinois collected more than $10 million in taxes from legal marijuana

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Revenue announced that adult-use cannabis sales generated $7,332,058 in cannabis tax revenue during the month of January, with an additional $3,147,928.29 generated in retail sales tax revenue. In total, the state generated nearly $40 million in marijuana sales in the month of January. The state collects cannabis revenue in…Read more…

High-speed pursuit near Bluford results in two arrests

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Two Mt. Vernon residents were arrested early Monday morning following a high-speed pursuit in a vehicle that had been reported stolen. A Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy reportedly attempted a traffic stop on the silver 2009 Dodge Journey around 7:30 a.m. Monday east of Mt. Vernon. However, the 32-year-old drier, Ryan Keen failed…Read more…

Jefferson County authorities investigating fatal fire

JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson Fire Protection District, Illinois State Fire Marshal, Jefferson County Coroner and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a fatal fire Sunday night. According to the Fire District, they received a call at 9:50 p.m. Sunday about a fire in the 14000 block of Tolle Lane in rural Mt. Vernon.…Read more…

Bloomberg presidential campaign office vandalized in Chicago

CHICAGO (Chicago Sun-Times) — Police are investigating vandalism at an office for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign on Chicago’s North Side. Chicago police report the terms “racist,” “sexist,” “GOP” and “oligarch” were spray-painted across four windows on the front of a building. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the vandalism was reported just after 1…Read more…

Door bell camera + smart phone in Iraq = arrest near Chicago

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AP) — Police in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge say they’ve arrested suspected burglars after a man identifying himself as a soldier in Iraq called them to say he’d just seen on the smartphone he’d hooked up to doorbell camera two men leave his garage with his power tools. Police say…Read more…

Metal scrapper finds body of man in Springfield garage

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Police in Springfield say a man searching for scrap metal discovered the decomposed body of another man in a garage. The body was reported around 4:30 a.m. Sunday. An autopsy is planned. Springfield Lt. Christopher Russell says a man found the body after noticing that a door to a garage near…Read more…

Abduction and robbery reported in Mt. Vernon

MOUNT VERNON — Mt. Vernon police received a report of an abduction and robbery early Sunday morning in the 1400 block of Salem Road. Reports indicate that around 3:30 a.m., an employee of the Casey’s General Store requested an officer at a parking garage in the 1100 block of Broadway for an armed robbery that…Read more…

EPA: Toxic chemicals from Scott base may pollute local water

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) —  An Illinois Environmental Protection Agency report shows that cancer-causing chemicals used over the years at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois may have leaked into local water supplies. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the state’s EPA says an expanded site inspection is set to begin this summer for signs of…Read more…

Inmate dubbed the ‘Starved Rock Killer’ freed after 59 years

PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An 80-year-old man has been freed after spending nearly 60 years in prison following his 1961 conviction in the killing of one of three suburban Chicago women who were bludgeoned to death in a state park. Chester Weger emerged Friday from Pinckneyville Correctional Center and maintained that he is innocent of…Read more…

Fire officials say homes need approved smoke alarms by 2023

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State fire officials are reminding Illinois residents to get approved smoke alarms in their homes ahead of a 2023 deadline. A state requires that all smoke alarms and detectors have to have a sealed 10-year battery unless the alarms are hardwired into the residence. The Illinois Office of the State Fire…Read more…

Officials warn of Dentistry Board scam calls

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State regulators are warning consumers about a telephone scam in which the caller claims to be from the Illinois Board of Dentistry. Officials with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation say the scammer “spoofs” the phone number to look like it is from the state agency. But the Board…Read more…

Hospital, college in Springfield team up on nursing shortage

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lincoln Land Community College and Memorial Health System will team up to expand nursing education to address a national shortage. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Lincoln Land will admit 90 additional nursing students beginning in the fall of 2021, for a total of 215 per year. Memorial Health System will contribute…Read more…

MVPD Swears in Three New Officers Friday

MT. VERNON — Three new police officers were sworn into the Mt. Vernon Police Department Friday morning in a packed city council chamber at Mt. Vernon City Hall. Dylan Chamness, Keith Finstad, and Robert Jackowski, Jr. were all sworn in as probationary officers of the Mt. Vernon Police Department. The department’s chief Trent Page says…Read more…