Mt. Vernon mother and baby killed in house fire, father badly burned

MOUNT VERNON — A Sunday morning house fire in Mt. Vernon claimed the lives of a young mother and her 14-month-old baby. According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, 18-year-old Ashley Cheatham and her baby son Brendon Pauling were killed in the Sunday morning fire at 1213 South 24th in Mt. Vernon. The baby’s father,…Read more…

Ex-Chicago alderman seeks prison release over COVID concerns

CHICAGO (AP) — A former Chicago alderman convicted of tax evasion is seeking an early release from prison due to his age, health and the omicron-fueled COVID-19 surge. Attorneys for Edward  Vrdolyak filed an emergency petition Friday. He began serving his sentence in November after several delays related to the pandemic. Attorneys say the 84-year-old…Read more…

Illinois eases process of deleting racist terms from deeds

CHICAGO (AP) — A new state law lets homeowners in Illinois request the removal of racist language from property deeds, decades after the language was deemed unenforceable and outlawed. WBEZ reports that restrictive covenants barring Black people from owning a property or labeling properties “white only” can be edited more easily due to the change.…Read more…

Centralia declares snow emergency

CENTRALIA — Due to the expected winter weather, the City of Centralia is declaring a snow emergency effective as of 12 a.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, through 12 a.m. Sunday, January 16, 2022. A snow emergency simply means that residents should not park their vehicles on the following streets but rather park in the alley…Read more…

Navient settlement: Indebted student borrowers to benefit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Tens of thousands of people who took out student loans over the past 20 years could see their loans canceled or receive a small check as part of a nationwide settlement with Navient, a major student loan collecting company. Officials say borrowers who will receive restitution or debt cancellation span all…Read more…

Appeals court: Illinois counties must end ICE contracts

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that two Illinois counties holding immigrant detainees at local jails must terminate their contracts with federal immigration authorities starting Thursday. Kankakee and McHenry counties had filed a lawsuit challenging an Illinois aimed at ending immigration detention by Jan. 1 and lost. But they were allowed to…Read more…

Illinois Secretary of State offices closing for another week

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — All Illinois Secretary of State departments will not conduct in-person transactions including driver services for another week, until Jan. 24. The agency on Thursday cited the continued high number of COVID-19 cases statewide for extending the closure. The Secretary of State offices and facilities first closed on Jan. 3, due to…Read more…

Illinois getting $1.4B from feds to fix, upgrade bridges

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois will receive $1.4 billion to help upgrade its deteriorating bridges under the federal infrastructure law approved in November. The state’s Democratic congressional delegation said Friday that the funding over five years will include $274.8 million in Fiscal Year 2022. The delegation says in a news release that Illinois is home to…Read more…

CHS releases May Fete Court names

CENTRALIA — Centralia High School has announced the 2022 May Fete Court. Freshman attendants are Bailey Maas and Mya McGee. Freshman escorts are Xavier Koch and Deacon Snow. Sophomore attendants are Jordyn Peterson and Jenna Wagner with escorts Cruz Harlan and Daryle Jones. The 2022 Junior attendants are Kaylee Ashlock and Olivia Helsing and their…Read more…

Off-duty Chicago cop allegedly shoots 3 at bowling alley

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say an off-duty Chicago police officer was arrested after he allegedly shot and wounded three people during an argument at a suburban Chicago bowling alley. Civilian Office of Police Accountability spokesman Ephraim Eaddy says the probationary police officer fired his gun late Tuesday shortly before midnight at Burr Oak Bowl in…Read more…

$5M bond set for woman whose dead 6-year-old dumped in Gary

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — Bond has been set at $5 million for an Illinois woman whose 6-year-old son died after being placed in a cold shower as punishment for misbehavior. Thirty-eight-year-old Jannie Perry of North Chicago, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder in the death of Damari Perry. She appeared in bond court Wednesday after…Read more…

Illinois judge’s reversal of rape conviction draws anger

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — A judge in western Illinois who found an 18-year-old man guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl has come under fire after he threw out the conviction this month and said the months he spent in jail was punishment enough. Adams County Judge Robert Adrian announced at a hearing earlier this…Read more…

Illinois court sends pipeline plans back to regulators

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — An Illinois appellate court has set aside a decision by state regulators that would allow the Dakota Access oil pipeline to double capacity to 1.1 million barrels daily. The appellate court ordered the Illinois Commerce Commission to review the public need for the project that moves North Dakota oil to a…Read more…

Missing woman last seen in Mt. Vernon

MOUNT VERNON — The Mt Vernon Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing 20-year-old woman. Keriaye Winfrey is from Indianapolis, Indiana, but was last seen at 11:35 a.m. Sunday, January 9th, 2022, at the CVS Pharmacy in Mt Vernon, Illinois. She is possibly trying to get to California. Winfrey is a…Read more…