Social Security COLA largest in decades as inflation jumps

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of retirees on Social Security will get a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022. The biggest cost-of-living adjustment in 39 years follows a burst in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic. The COLA increase amounts to $92 a month for the average retired…Read more…

Federal immigration agents to end practice of worksite raids

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal immigration agents will stop making mass worksite arrest of immigrants employees suspected of living in the U.S. without legal permission. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued guidance Tuesday saying the agency would cease such targeted enforcement which has “not focused on the most pernicious aspect of our country’s unauthorized employment challenge:…Read more…

Spire asks Supreme Court to keep pipeline operational

The St. Louis-based natural gas company Spire Inc. is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow it to keep operating a pipeline through Illinois and Missouri, warning that a winter shutdown could be devastating to St. Louis-area customers. In a filing last week, Spire requested a stay that would allow operation of its Spire STL…Read more…

Americans quit their jobs at a record pace in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — One reason America’s employers are having trouble filling jobs was starkly illustrated in a report Tuesday: Americans are quitting in droves. The Labor Department said that quits jumped to 4.3 million in August, the highest on records dating back to December 2000, and up from 4 million in July. Hiring also slowed…Read more…

Capone’s belongings go for at least $3 million at auction

CHICAGO (AP) — Al Capone may have died nearly 75 years ago but, after some of his prized possessions were auctioned off for at least $3 million, it’s clear interest in the infamous Chicago gangster is very much alive. Several of “Scarface” Capone’s belongings, including what was said to be his favorite handgun, were sold…Read more…

Weather service: Reported tornado damages truck on freeway

ALEXANDER, Ill. (AP) — A reported tornado has damaged a semi-trailer on Interstate 72 in central Illinois as a line of storms rumbled across parts of the state. National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Erwin says a storm spotter reported seeing a twister cross the freeway Monday afternoon near Alexander. Alexander is west of Springfield. Another…Read more…

Tornadoes cause damage in Oklahoma; storms rock central US

COWETA, Okla. (AP) — Severe storms brought suspected tornadoes and baseball-sized hail to parts of Oklahoma, but there were no reports of deaths or injuries. The severe weather system that hit Oklahoma late Sunday also brought heavy rain, lightning and wind to parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas, and more stormy weather is predicted…Read more…

Most Deere workers reject contract offer from tractor maker

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — The vast majority of United Auto Workers union members rejected a contract offer from Deere & Co. Sunday that would have delivered at least 5% raises to the workers who make John Deere tractors and other equipment. Negotiators will return to the bargaining table Monday to try and work out a…Read more…

DuQuoin fair posts attendance gain

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Attendance at the DuQuoin State Fair jumped 22% over what it was two years ago, officials said. More than 150,000 visitors entered the gates for the event’s return in late August and early September, the Department of Agriculture reported last week. The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 edition.…Read more…

Cyberattacks concerning to most in US: Pearson/AP-NORC poll

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Most Americans across party lines have serious concerns about cyberattacks on U.S. computer systems and view China and Russia as major threats. That’s according to a new poll by The Pearson Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finding that about 9 in 10 Americans are at least…Read more…

A northern Illinois deputy shot during traffic stop

MAZON, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois sheriff’s deputy has been shot during a traffic stop. Grundy County officials said the officer was shot while he was conducting the traffic stop around 5 p.m. Thursday in Mazon, 56 miles (91 kilometers) southwest of Chicago. The officer was transported to a hospital and was listed in…Read more…

Don’t blame Mrs. O’Leary’s cow for the Great Chicago Fire

CHICAGO (AP) — The 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 will mean more talk about Mrs. O’Leary and her cow. But historians as well as Catherine O’Leary’s descendants want you to know that the woman who has long been blamed for starting the blaze actually had nothing to do with it. They…Read more…

2nd spill in weeks at US Steel plant prompts precautions

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A second spill in less than two weeks at a U.S. Steel plant in northwest Indiana sent an oily sheen onto a Lake Michigan tributary, prompting officials to close some nearby lake access as a precaution. The sheen was detected Thursday morning on Burns Waterway outside the U.S. Steel Midwest plant…Read more…

Springfield man gets 130 years for home invasion killing

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A Springfield man who pleaded guilty to the fatal stabbing of a woman during a home invasion and setting her home on fire to conceal evidence has been sentenced to 130 years in prison. On Wednesday, Ronald D. Porter was sentenced, three months after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and…Read more…

Central Illinois woman convicted in brother’s neglect death

MONTICELLO, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois woman has been convicted in the neglect death of her brother, whose body was found surrounded by garbage and other filth prosecutors said contributed to his death. A Piatt County jury convicted 64-year-old Christie Brown on Thursday of criminal neglect in Ronald Blankenship’s August 2018 death. The 64-year-old…Read more…