Illinois leaders are mourning the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela. Gov. Pat Quinn says few figures of the 20th century changed the world as much as Mandela. Quinn called him a "hero of democracy." Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called Mandela "one of the greatest moral leaders of our time," and Cardinal Francis George of Chicago says Mandela is a model for responding to injustice.
Pension Crisis Update
Lawmakers say the mood was somber when Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law the overhaul of the pension system at a private event in Chicago. Fewer than a dozen people attended the signing ceremony. Quinn says the overhaul will help Illinois deal with its dire financial situation, but public employee unions say they are already preparing to challenge the overhaul in court.
Wedron EPA Update
US and Illinois EPA officials held their final meeting of the year for Wedron residents and updates about the groundwater in the village. On-Scene Coordinator Steve Faryan said that eight private drinking water wells were installed to replace existing wells. Residents voiced complaints during the meeting about their property values from the contamination. Residents within the village who have not been affected by the contaminated wells say their values should not fall.
Firearm Deer Season Number 2
This weekend marks the second installment of the Firearm Deer Season in the area. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it runs through Sunday. The IDNR recently reported that deer harvesting was down throughout the state during the first part of this year’s Firearm Deer Season including in LaSalle, Bureau, Grundy, and Putnam Counties. Hunters are asked to report all deer harvested at Buffalo Rock State Park to test for chronic wasting disease.
Marseilles Property Taxes Up
Residents in Marseilles can expect their property taxes to rise next year. According to Finance Commissioner Bob Davis, the city council approved next year's tax levy of $1.1 million Tuesday evening, meaning those with homes valued at $100,000 will see taxes go up $15. Davis says the new levy is mainly caused by falling property values and the damage that was caused during the April 18th floods. He says the continuous flood repairs are also costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, keeping the budget tight.
Rummage Sale for Tornado Victims
Sheridan Junior High School is holding a rummage sale later this afternoon and tomorrow morning to help benefit victims of the November 17th tornadoes. Faculty, students and parents alike are selling off various items with the money collected to go to Washington. The rummage sale will be going on from 2 until 6 this afternoon and then again tomorrow morning from 8 AM until noon at Sheridan Junior High School.
Grundy County E-Waste Event
The Seneca Police Department will be the site of a Electronic Recycling Event this weekend. The Grundy County Chamber of Commerce says the event will take place tomorrow from 9am to 1pm. Area residents can recycle all kinds of electronics including computers, cell phones, TV’s, and DVD players.
The ice storm that has been blowing through southern Illinois caused such treacherous conditions that scores of schools and other facilities in the region say they will be closed today. Police urged motorists to stay off the roads on Thursday, saying they had handled dozens of weather-related traffic accidents.
Walt Disney Home Bought
A California couple has purchased the house on Chicago's northwest side where Walt Disney was born and plans to turn it into a museum and historical site. A spokesman for new owners Dina Benadon and Brent young says restoration of the home is scheduled to begin next month and should take about a year. Disney lived there until age 4, when his family moved.