News Local/State

News Around Illinois - January 30, 2020


Reginald Hardwick/Illinois Newsroom

Today's stories come from Illinois Newsroom and the Associated Press. Get news from around Illinois 24/7 at

EIU Reports 2% Spring Enrollment Increase

CHARLESTON - Spring enrollment is up at Eastern Illinois University, although by a smaller margin than a year ago.  Tenth-day enrollment figures at the state university in Charleston were up two percent from last spring, at 7,621. That compares to a seven percent increase reported last spring. Undergraduate enrollment was down slightly, but graduate student enrollment rose by more than a hundred students, or nearly ten percent. Graduate School Dean Ryan Hendrickson says in a news release, that Eastern's graduate student population is at its higher level in a decade. EIU is among several state universities in Illinois trying to bounce back from years of enrollment declines. - Jim Meadows, Illinois Newsroom

Plane Crash Killed Former Springfield Mayor, Coroner

SPRINGFIELD - Authorities say former Springfield, Illinois, Mayor Frank Edwards and his wife, Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards, were two of the three people killed when a small plane crashed in a central Illinois field. Jim Allmon, chief deputy coroner for Sangamon County, says the crash Tuesday also killed 69-year-old John Evans of Glenarm,. The 69-year-old Edwards, 69, was appointed mayor by the Springfield City Council in December 2010 after the death of Mayor Tim Davlin. Sixty-three-year-old Cinda Edwards had been coroner since 2011.  The twin-engine Piper Aerostar went down around 3 p.m. Tuesday in an unincorporated area of Sangamon County. - Associated Press

University of Illinois Suspends Programs In China

URBANA – In a mass mail on Wednesday morning, University of Illinois Provost Andreas Cangellaris announced the U of I is suspending academic programs in China for the current spring semester due to concerns about coronavirus. There are currently no active cases in Champaign County.  146 U of I students are from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the illness outbreak. A few students who traveled to the region during the winter break have decided to “self-quarantine” themselves.  The suspension also means U of I students will not be allowed to travel to China for university-related matters until travel advisories are lifted. The US State Department on Monday elevated its travel advisory to Level 3, Reconsider Travel. – Reginald Hardwick, Illinois Newsroom

Hundreds Attend Funeral For 'Unclaimed Veteran' In Illinois

ELGIN - Hundreds of people attended a funeral service in suburban Chicago for a former U.S. Air Force mechanic who became an “unclaimed veteran” when he died last month. Seventy-one-year-old John James Murphy died Dec. 18, and the service was held Wednesday at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home in Elgin. The Rev. Tim Perry proclaimed ”He is ours” at the start of the service held. The owners of the funeral home extended the invitation to the community to attend Murphy’s service. Murphy was a U.S. Air Force mechanic from 1966 to 1969. His awards for his military service included the Vietnam Service Medal. - Associated Press

Ex-East St. Louis Official Sentenced For Official Misconduct

BELLEVILLE — A former East St. Louis, Illinois administrator and City Council member has been sentenced to 30 months of probation and a $500 fine for public corruption. June Olivette Hamilton was convicted last fall of forgery and public contractor misconduct. In addition to probation, the fine and 120 hours of community service, St. Clair County judge John O’Gara prohibited the 56-year-old Hamilton from any job in public administration for 10 years. Before her sentencing, her defense attorney and prosecutors agreed the two charges she was found guilty of are merged and she be sentenced on the misconduct charge alone. - Associated Press