News Local/State

News Around Illinois - January 13, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Today's headlines come from WVIK and the Associated Press. Get news updates from across the state 24/7 at

2 Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan From Illinois, Virginia

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Pentagon says the two soldiers killed Saturday in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb were from Illinois and Virginia. On Sunday, military officials identified the casualties as 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois; and 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia. Both soldiers were assigned to 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Pentagon says their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province. Two other soldiers were injured. - Associated Press

Sanders, Delaney, and Walsh Stop In Quad Cities

Two Democrats and one Republican turned out for a political forum in Davenport, Iowa on Sunday. Sponsored by a social justice organization, Gamaliel of Illinois and Iowa, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, and Joe Walsh were given time to make brief statements. But most of their time was spent answering questions. And their answers were very similar - to protect the environment, restore rights to former prisoners, and how to handle immigration. Walsh also won applause from the audience for his answers, very similar to those from Sanders and Delaney. - Herb Trix, WVIK

East St. Louis Official Faces $175K In Fines To State Board

EAST ST. LOUIS — An East St. Louis elected official owes more than $175,000 in accrued fines to the Illinois State Board of Elections if he wants to appear on the March primary ballot. The (Belleville) News-Democrat reports it's the highest amount a candidate has accrued with the board. East St. Louis Township Supervisor and former mayor Alvin Parks has until Tuesday. He hasn't said if he'll be able to pay. He recently attempted to settle the outstanding amount by offering about 50 percent of what he owes. Board members rejected it, saying Parks disregarded campaign finance laws. - Associated Press

County's Printing Glitch Led To Duplicate Voter Cards

PEKIN — Officials in central Illinois say a printing glitch is responsible for some residents receiving up to eight voter registration cards recently. Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman tells The (Peoria) Journal Star that a printer froze and got multiple orders to reprint. That led to duplicate cards printed, some of which were mailed. Ackerman apologizes for the inconvenience and “waste of resources.” A new printing process was expected to save around $6,000 this year, however after the glitch the savings was around $4,800.  - Associated Press

Illinois' Black Hawk Statue Is Finally Finished

OREGON — An Illinois landmark known as the Eternal Indian statue is finally complete after years of planning and fundraising. The Rockford Register Star reports the scaffolding surrounding the sculpture, also known as Black Hawk, is being removed and should be taken down within weeks. Restoration efforts paused in 2016 after the conservator and project engineer disagreed over how much of the statue’s exterior concrete skin should be removed. The statue sat under a black tarp for about two years. Workers began erecting the scaffolding in September after repair work was to begin in 2018. An unveiling ceremony is planned for spring. - Associated Press

Kerry Campaigns For Biden In Quad Cities

Unity and the salvation of the United States are the stakes in this year's presidential election. That's what former Secretary of State John Kerry told Iowa voters in Davenport, Iowa on Saturday, as he campaigned for Joe Biden. Kerry says President Trump was reckless to walk away from the nuclear deal Kerry and the Obama administration negotiated with Iran. He says it was Biden who pushed President Clinton to respond to the bloodshed in the Balkans and eventually bring peace to the region. Three Democratic US Representatives also campaigned for Biden at "We Know Joe" rallies over the weekend in the eastern part of Iowa. - Michelle O'Neill - WVIK

Illinois Updating Birth Certificates For Transgender Dads

CHICAGO - Illinois is updating its birth certificate system to affirm the gender identities of transgender parents. The move comes after a transmasculine person asked to be officially recognized as a father who gave birth to their daughter. A state Department of Public Health spokeswoman says the agency is in the process of updating its system so it no longer automatically names the parent who gives birth as the mother or co-parent on a birth certificate. Myles and Precious Brady-Davis approached the agency after their daughter was born in December. Myles, who carried the child to full term, is transmasculine, meaning they were born female but whose gender is masculine. - Associated Press

Illinois Agency, Volunteers Join To Fight Human Trafficking

CHICAGO - Illinois' child welfare agency is joining with other groups to fight human trafficking in Chicago and across the state. The Department of Children and Family Services says advocates and volunteers will distribute toiletries along with information about human trafficking referral services, shelter care programs and substance abuse services on Saturday night. The groups will visit various stops along the Chicago Transit Authority's red line. DCFS investigated 255 allegations of human trafficking during the last fiscal year, with 119 of the cases in Cook County. - Associated Press