Illinois Public Media News



WILL - Illinois Public Media News - August 09, 2012

Carjacking at U of I Parking Deck

University of Illinois Campus police report a carjacking Thursday morning, at a parking deck on the north end of campus.

Lieutenant Roy Acree says it happened around 7:10 AM, to a woman in the parking deck at Goodwin and University in Urbana.


WILL - Illinois Public Media News - August 09, 2012

Court OKs Suit Against Normal School’s Inaction on Sex Abuse

(With additional reporting from The Associated Press)

The Illinois Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit accusing McLean County school officials of not doing enough to keep an abusive teacher from being hired in Urbana.

31-year old Jon White was teaching at Colene Hoose Elementary School in Normal when parents complained about him abusing their daughters. He wasn't charged with a crime at the time, but the school did suspend him. White went on to abuse at least eight girls at a new job at Thomas Paine Elementary School in Urbana.

Categories: Criminal Justice
Tags: courts, crime


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 08, 2012

Congressmen Caution Undocumented Youths to Avoid Scams

Two U.S. congressmen from Illinois are warning undocumented youths not to pay steep fees to get help applying for legal status under a new immigration policy.

Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, both Democrats, say most eligible youths can take advantage of the policy, known as "deferred action," without a lawyer or any payment beyond a $465 fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency accepting the applications.

Categories: Community, Government, Politics


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 08, 2012

George Ryan Gets Early Prison Release Date

A lawyer for George Ryan says the ex-Illinois governor is eligible to be released from federal prison on a work release program.

Ryan could be released to a halfway house as soon as Jan. 30. He will be required to get a job - or be appointed to one - and he will be free to work during the day, but he'll have to return to the facility at night.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Thompson is Ryan's attorney.

"This is a program that's widely available for federal prisoners," Thompson said. "It's nothing special for Gov. Ryan."

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said it is time for Ryan to get out of prison.

"I never felt he was a threat to society if he was walking on the streets," Cullerton said. "I think he, obviously, served a lot of time for his offense."

News of Ryan's release comes just days after a federal court struck down another one his legal appeals, but Thompson said his client is grateful.

"Any person would be grateful for any chance at even partial freedom and the chance to integrate back into society," Thompson said.

George Ryan has already served five years of a six-and-a-half year prison sentence for corruption. Thompson said they will continue appealing those convictions.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)


AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 08, 2012

St. Louis Law School Dean Resigns, Lacks Confidence in Leadership

Annette Clark, dean of the Saint Louis University School of Law, resigned this morning.

In two letters, Clark details her reasons for leaving. Clark said she "no longer [has] confidence" in the abilities of President Lawrence Biondi or Vice President of Academic Affairs Manoj Patankar to lead the University.

Clark said her decision was not made suddenly.

Saint Louis University spokesman Clayton Berry provided a letter from Biondi sent to faculty and staff, in which Biondi said he was set to fire Clark on Wednesday. Berry said the University will have no further comment beyond the letter.

Categories: Education
Tags: education

AP - Illinois Public Media News - August 08, 2012

Gov. Quinn Keeps Public in Dark on Prison Conditions

Over the past several months, repeated attempts to visit the Vandalia and Vienna Correctional Centers in Illinois have been denied by the state. Illinois' prison system is in crisis. It was built to house 34,000 people, but it is now crowded with 48,000 inmates.

The overcrowded prison crisis has been brewing for a long time, invisible behind cement walls and wire fences. Gov. Pat Quinn seems determined to keep it from public view.

Chicago Public Radio has requested visits to the two minimum security facilities in Vandalia and Vienna to see what taxpayers are getting for the billion dollars they spend each year on prisons. Gov. Quinn said no.

When Jerome Suggs was sentenced for driving on a revoked license he was sent to Vienna, located near the southernmost point in Illinois, about 350 miles from Chicago. Suggs was assigned to live on the third floor of a building but there was absolutely no view.

"When I moved up there (in Building 19), there was boards up on the windows and I was just looking like, 'Wow! What is this?" Suggs said.

Suggs said there was not a single window letting in light and that he was put in a large room with several hundred other men. All of the men were crowded onto bunks with nothing to do. There are 600 inmates in the building and only seven showers and seven toilets, and the toilets often broke and overflowed, resulting in a strong sewage smell.

"The smell that came from the showers and it came into the living quarters and yeah, I used to go to sleep with my pillow over my face, the smell was horrible, man," Suggs said.


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