News Local/State

News Around Illinois - January 24, 2020


Champaign Co. Board Republicans Block Budgeting For Treasurer Staffing 

URBANA - $25,000 in budget amendments to cover extra staffing last year in the Champaign County Treasurer’s office fell short of needed super-majorities at Thursday night's county board meeting. Republicans opposed the amendments to show their disapproval of the office's performance under Democrat Laurel Prussing. The 78-year-old treasurer had hired additional help, (including former County Board chairman Pius Weibel as acting chief deputy treasurer) as her office fell behind in issuing financial reports and delivering tax revenue to local governments. Democrats said failure to pass the budget amendments would hurt Champaign County’s financial standing. Meanwhile, Republicans accused Democrats of ignoring their concerns over mounting problems in the office. Prussing has announced her resignation, effective January 31st, after just over a year on the job. - Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Bodies Of Three Men Found In Danville Home

DANVILLE - Three men have been found dead in a central Illinois home in what police say may be a triple homicide. Danville police say they responded to a report of subjects down inside the residence. There they found the bodies of three men ranging in age from 60 to 67 years old. Vermillion County Coroner Jane McFadden identified the victims as 65-year-old Nathaniel Gentry; 60-year-old Anthony D. Jones and 67-year-old Cordell Reed Sr., all of Danville. In a statement, McFadden said autopsies of the men are scheduled for Friday. - Associated Press

Illinois Joins Coalition Of States Suing Over Rules Governing 3D Printed Guns

Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet.  New York Attorney General Tish James is helping to lead the coalition. She says posting the blueprints would allow anyone to go online and use the downloadable files to create unregistered and untraceable assault-style weapons that could be difficult to detect. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit. - Associated Press

Pritzker Touts Childhood Investment In Visit

MARION - Governor J.B. Pritzker visited the Heartland Kids Early Learning Center in Marion Thursday to discuss investments in early childhood development and set the bar for success. Pritzker wants to address the staffing crisis facing childcare workers. He pointed to last month's announcement of increased reimbursement rates for the state's childcare assistance program and a doubled investment in the Gateway scholarship to train teachers. The governor renewed his goal of bringing universal preschool to Illinois.  Pritzker also pushed his goal of having universal home visits for at risk children by 2025. - Steph Whiteside, WSIU Radio

Champaign Bids For Basketball Tournament

CHAMPAIGN - Champaign is hoping to win back the IHSA boys’ basketball finals for the first time since Peoria won the bidding back in 1995. Visit Champaign County President and CEO Jayne DeLuce is coordinating the city’s bid. She says one of Champaign’s biggest selling points is high school students getting to experience the renovated State Farm Center. Champaign and Peoria are the two cities bidding for the boys basketball finals, while Peoria is also bidding for the girls basketball finals, which are currently held at Redbird Arena in Normal. - Brian Moline, Illinois Newsroom

Portraits Of Obamas To Begin 5-City US Tour In Chicago

CHICAGO — The official portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama from the National Portrait Gallery will begin a five-city national tour in Chicago in June 2021. The gallery said Thursday the Art Institute of Chicago will host the portraits from June 18, 2021, to August 15, 2021. Kehinde Wiley's portrait of Barack Obama and Amy Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama were unveiled in February 2018. Kim Sajet, director of the Portrait Gallery, says that since the unveiling, the gallery has experienced a record number of visitors. After leaving Chicago, the portraits will travel to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston. - Associated Press