LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: December 22th - 5:42 AM

Gas Prices Continue to Fall into Holidays
Gas prices continue to fall as Christmas Day approaches. Triple-A in Chicago says gas prices are expected to fall through the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Crude oil prices also continue to sell at a six-year low of $56 a barrel. Prices of gas in La Salle-Peru and Spring Valley are around $2.25. Gas remains high in Mendota at $2.39 with the lower prices in Wenona and Streator at $1.99 and $2.05, respectively. Throughout the state, gas is averaging at $2.39.

Four Dead in Rockford
Police in Rockford say four people, including two children, have been found dead of apparent gunshot wounds. Police say a mother, her boyfriend and her two boys were found dead in a red-brick duplex late Saturday. Assistant Deputy Chief Patrick Hoey says neighbors reported hearing pounding on a door and someone forcing the door open before hearing gunshots. Hoey says police have no known motive.

Illinois Farming Interest in Cuba
Illinois farm groups are looking to Cuba as a growing market for corn, soybeans, pork and other state products. Tamara Nelson of the Illinois Farm Bureau says the thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba could mean up to $7 million more a year in sales for Illinois farmers in the short term. She says long-term potential could be $25 million annually.

Shooting at House Party
A man has died after a shooting at a house party in a south Chicago suburb. Calumet City police say about 100 to 150 young people were in the basement when a fight broke out and shots were fired. Dewayne Purnell died of gunshot wounds. Gilmore said up to 10 people may have been injured and taken to area hospitals.

Pay Boost for Jurors
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation giving jurors in the state a pay boost. The Chicago Democrat approved the measure yesterday that requires counties to pay jurors $25 for the first day of service and $50 for each additional day. Counties now are allowed to pay jurors as little as $4 a day. The law takes effect in June.

State Pay Raises
A published report says outgoing Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd) gave pay raises to dozens of employees over the past year. Raises for the 25 nonunion employees ranged from 8 percent to 36 percent. Rutherford's office also awarded nearly $90,000 in one-time payments to 35 nonunion employees at the end of October.

Cow Theft
A west-central Illinois man has been sentenced to 180 days in the Fulton County Jail for helping steal $74,000 worth of cattle. The Canton Daily Ledger reports that 18-year-old Garret Lynch will be allowed to serve the jail time during weekends so he can continue with his studies and his work. Prosecutors say Lynch took part in the theft of somewhere between 60 and 77 cows.



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