Search for missing man includes body found in Illinois River

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Bloomington police are continuing to search for a 25-year-old Illinois State University student who was reported missing nearly two weeks ago. Bloomington Officer John Fermon told the (Bloomington) Pantagraph that several detectives are seeking the whereabouts of Jelani Day. Their efforts include assisting the LaSalle County Sheriff’s office after authorities found…Read more…

Kankakee school loses state recognition over mask policy

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — A Christian school in northeastern Illinois that declined to enforce a mask mandate has lost state recognition but will seek accreditation in other ways. Kankakee Trinity Academy is a pre-K-to-12 school in Kankakee. It won’t be able to participate in events affiliated with the Illinois Elementary School Association or Illinois High…Read more…

Gov. Pritzker vows to protect abortion rights in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ governor says he’s “very concerned” about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to block a new Texas law banning most abortions in the state. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois would continue to be a “beacon of hope” for women seeking reproductive health care. In recent years, Illinois has expanded…Read more…

Illinois man gets 96 years in 2017 killing, dismemberment

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois man has been sentenced to 96 years in prison for the 2017 slaying of his longtime girlfriend, whose body was burned and dismembered. A Vermilion County judge sentenced 30-year-old Ocheil Keys of Danville on Thursday to 60 years in prison on a murder charge for Barbara Rose’s killing,…Read more…

Misspelling of Moderna leads to tourist’s arrest in Hawaii

HONOLULU (AP) — Court documents say a 24-year-old Illinois woman submitted a fake COVID-19 vaccination card to visit Hawaii that misspelled Moderna. The documents says she uploaded the card to the state’s Safe Travels program and arrived in Honolulu on Aug. 23. Screeners noticed the vaccine was misspelled as “Maderna.” Officials say the card listed…Read more…

State: 26 Illinois schools report COVID-19 outbreaks

CHICAGO (AP) — More than 25 Illinois schools are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, mostly in districts that are complying with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s school mask executive order. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday identified 26 schools with COVID-19 outbreaks. The outbreaks include those that have been identified by the school’s local health department to…Read more…

Deal with OxyContin maker leaves families angry, conflicted

A landmark settlement in the nation’s opioid epidemic is forcing the owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to give up the company and pay out $4.5 billion. But many families of those who died from overdoses say it’s not enough. They’re upset that the Sackler family behind Purdue Pharma will be able to keep much…Read more…

Illinois Senate passes energy deal governor says falls short

CHICAGO (AP) — The Senate has approved a massive energy policy overhaul aimed at making Illinois a fully renewable-energy state by 2050. But Gov. J.B. Pritzker and some environmental groups say the plan doesn’t go far enough. Negotiations have been underway for years on the plan that includes a generous bailout for nuclear plants, closing…Read more…

State initiates program to help farmers with mental health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A pilot program to help farmers deal with stress-related mental health issues is expanding statewide. It is called the Farm Family Resource Initiative and aims to improve the mental and physical health of Illinois farm owners and their families. Karen Stallmann, an agriculture resource specialist at Southern Illinois University, says farmers have…Read more…

Marion County Health reports five new COVID-related deaths

MARION COUNTY — The Marion County Health Department on Tuesday announced the deaths of five people due to COVID-19 complications. According to health officials, over a four-day period extending from Saturday through Tuesday, 33 other county residents tested positive for the virus. The five deaths were of a woman in her 90s who was not…Read more…

Police: Man killed half-brother after COVID vaccine dispute

VIENNA, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a southern Illinois man allegedly shot his half-brother to death following an argument over the COVID-19 vaccine. Sixty-eight-year-old Larry D. Cavitt of Goreville, was charged Monday in Johnson County Court with murder and aggravated battery with use of a firearm. The charges stem from Saturday’s death of Cavitt’s 51-year-old…Read more…

State says no to using COVID-19 cash for new football field

ANNA, Ill. (AP) — The state has rejected a southern Illinois school’s request to use nearly $900,000 in federal COVID-19 cash for artificial turf at the football field and a new track surface. The request was made by the Anna-Jonesboro High School Board, which said kids in gym classes would also benefit from the new…Read more…

School settles lawsuit by pro-gun rights student for $35K

ROCKTON, Ill. (AP) — A school district in northern Illinois has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former student who supports gun rights. Madison Oster claimed her rights were violated in 2018 during a walkout by students who favor gun control. Oster says she and allies were told to stand on…Read more…

Ex-Illinois tech CEO pleads guilty in Capitol riot case

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) — A man who lost his job at an Illinois tech company after participating in the U.S. Capitol riot has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Investigators say Bradley Rukstales of Inverness threw a chair while inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. The Donald Trump supporter pleaded guilty to willfully demonstrating and picketing…Read more…

Illinois Democrats OK new legislative maps over criticism

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Democrats were poised to set new legislative boundaries over objections from Republicans and some community groups that the process was rushed and maps were drawn behind closed doors to keep Democrats in power in the state Legislature. Lawmakers on Tuesday approved a do-over of maps that majority Democrats approved and Gov.…Read more…