Updated 4/15/14 3:22 PM
Authorities are investigating a Saturday evening accident on I-39 that killed one woman and injured 6 others. According to Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce, 83-year old Nancy Hylla (HI-lah) of LaSalle was southbound on Interstate 39, north of Minonk just after 8:30 PM Saturday, when for unknown reasons, Hylla’s vehicle drove through the median and struck two vehicles in the northbound lanes and another vehicle rolled over while trying to avoid the accident. Hylla was pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants of the other vehicles, including a Streator couple, were taken to nearby hospitals
Firefighters were busy Saturday afternoon extinguishing a large fire in Magnolia. According to Magnolia Fire Chief Dan Baum, firefighters were called out to the home around 1 PM for a house on fire in the 400-block of North Peoria Street. Baum said the home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Four other departments were called in to assist in extinguishing the blaze. Baum says the fire took several hours to extinguish and the house was a total loss, but no injuries were reported.
Starved Rock Rescue
A Coal City teen had to be rescued at Starved Rock State Park after she had fallen down on a trail. According to Illinois Conservation Police Sergeant Hank Frazier, the 13-year old was hiking along the trails in French Canyon Saturday afternoonwhen she had fallen and slid down the trail. Frazier said the teenager was transferred to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The Utica Fire Department assisted in helping the teen.
Not Much Corn Planted
State agriculture officials say wet, cold weather has kept Illinois farmers out of their fields this spring. Only 1 percent of the corn crop has been planted. The Illinois Department of Agriculture says typically about 10 percent of the statewide corn crop would be in the fields by mid-April. Illinois is usually one of the top two corn-producing states in the country.
State unemployment officials say that 87 percent of Illinois residents who lost their long-term federal unemployment benefits in December were still out of work a month later. The Department of Employment Security said Monday that 74,000 people lost their benefits and about 64,000 remained unemployed in January. Director Jay Rowell believes the numbers undermine arguments that unemployment benefits discourage people from getting jobs.
Raise in Fuel Tax Opposition
Retail gas station owners have aired their opposition to a recent proposal that would raise Illinois' fuel tax. At a news conference Monday, Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association vice president Bill Fleischli says the state should stop diverting money intended for roads to other areas of the budget. The state gas tax hasn't increased since 1990.
Machine Gun Wielding Non Tax Payer
Police say a Chicago man pulled out a submachine gun in a convenience store because he didn't want to pay a 22-cent tax on a two-liter bottle of soda this weekend. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a Cook County judge has ordered 36-year-old Nahshon Shelton held without bail. He is charged with aggravated assault, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and having an invalid Firearm Owner's Identification card.
A 30-year-old woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing her young son in the neck. According to a news release from the DuPage County state's attorney, Samreen stabbed her son in the neck on March 31, 2012 with a kitchen knife at her apartment in suburban Addison. The boy was 3 at the time. He recovered from his injuries. She also cut her own throat and told police that two masked men broke into her apartment and attacked her and her son.
Possible Expansion of Chicago-only Gambling
A state hearing on Wednesday will examine the option of expanding Illinois gambling only in Chicago. State Representative Bob Rita believes he can make the case that the Chicago-only option will benefit the entire state through a sharing of proceeds. But officials from central and southern Illinois oppose the idea.