News Local/State

News Around Illinois - February 12, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Actor Jussie Smollett Faces 6 New Charges In Chicago

CHICAGO - Actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted for a second time on charges of lying to police about a racist and anti-gay attack he allegedly staged on himself last year in downtown Chicago. The indictment came from a special prosecutor who was appointed after Cook County prosecutors dropped the same charges last March. Special prosecutor Dan Webb said Tuesday in a statement that Smollett faces six counts of disorderly conduct. The charges stem from four separate false reports that he gave to police in which he contended he was a victim of a hate crime. - Associated Press

Census Still Looking For Workers In Rural Illinois

SPRINGFIELD - The US Census Bureau is still looking for people to go door-to-door in the coming months to help residents participate in the once-a-decade population count. Theresa Miles is the assistant regional census manager covering central and southern Illinois. She says the Census Bureau is in the final stages of a recruitment push. “Certainly, we still need many people, in particular in the rural counties that may not be as populated," said Miles. "It’s hard to reach people sometimes in places like that, so we need candidates everywhere.” The part-time jobs pay between $19 and $23 an hour. Click on this sentence for more information. - Mary Hansen, NPR Illinois

Proposed Bill Would Allow "Mental Health Days" For School Children

SPRINGFIELD - New legislation would allow children to take five days off from school to address problems related to their mental health. Kevin Rubenstein is president of the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education. He supports the idea, but says the legislature should also provide more money to help kids while they’re at school. The five days off would be in addition to other absences already allowed, like for religious observances. Opponents of the legislation say it would do more harm than good and that staying home won’t solve the kids’ problems. - Olivia Mitchell, NPR Illinois

Education Group Says Illinoisans Gives Schools Low Grade

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Education Association has released a state of education report that shows Illinoisans do not have a high regard for public schools. The association says in its poll, 1,000 Illinois residents gave a grade of``C-“ to public schools, although they gave their local public schools an ``A” or ``B” grade. The report indicates more than half of those polled believe teacher are paid too little. Many also said they wouldn’t advise family members to become teachers. There are about 2,560 teacher positions open in Illinois. IEA president Kathi Griffin says the report indicates more investment is needed in Illinois’ public schools. - Associated Press

Man Buried In Corn, Dies Inside Farm's Grain Bin

MORRISONVILLE — A central Illinois man has died after becoming buried in corn while working inside a farm's grain bin. Sixty-one-year-old David L. Lowis was pronounced dead at the scene Monday morning at a farm in rural Morrisonville. Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans says first responders had to cut a hole in the grain bin to get to Lowis, but he died after being submerged in corn. WCIA-TV reports that an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday on the Taylorville man. - Associated Press