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  • Parent Category: News

Senate leader backs end to Ill. scholarship perk

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Senate President John Cullerton agreed Wednesday to end a century-old policy of letting Illinois legislators hand out college tuition waivers to their constituents, and a Senate panel quickly approved his proposal.

The House has voted repeatedly to end the legislative scholarship program because of abuses and complaints that it's costly for state universities. But Senate Democrats have backed the scholarships.

Cullerton, D-Chicago, said he now believes the scholarships have become a distraction from bigger problems and should end after September 2012. He said it's unfortunate that some lawmakers abused a program that benefited many people over the years. His proposal also includes a task force to examine all other tuition waivers to public universities.

"We really have to examine why we're spending $364 million on tuition waivers," Cullerton said. "There are a lot of very surprising tuition waivers we've uncovered in our research, and we want the task force to study this and come back with recommendations so we can save money."

Read more: Senate leader backs end to Ill. scholarship perk

  • Parent Category: News

Rep. Barickman Agrees with COGFA vote in Support of Dwight Correctional Center

Springfield, IL…On Tuesday, members of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) voting in support of keeping Dwight Correctional Center open.  State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) applauded the committee’s decision and said their opinion was more proof that the Governor’s proposed closure was not well thought out.

“I think that the decision by COGFA to oppose the Governor’s closure proposal for Dwight reaffirms what many of us have been saying all along; closing the prison would be detrimental to the state and the area,” said Rep. Barickman.  “Numerous legislators, local officials, economic development groups, unions and public safety officials all agree that if the state were to close Dwight it would simply create more problems and potential costs.”  

Read more: Rep. Barickman Agrees with COGFA vote in Support of Dwight Correctional Center

  • Parent Category: News

COGFA Committee backs keeping Dwight Prison Open

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois legislative commission opposes Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close two prisons and a center for people with developmental disabilities.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted 7-3 Tuesday against closing prisons in Tamms and Dwight. It also advised against closing the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia.

Senator Shane Cultra issued a statement saying "I am pleased we received the affirmative vote by CoGFA.  Now we need to move on and  make sure funding is included in the budget to protect Dwight Correctional Center."

Cultra said this is a small step in a positive direction, but we have to keep in mind there is a long road ahead.

The panel's action is only advisory. Quinn can still close the facilities, which he says must be done to cut spending and improve care for people with mental disabilities.

The Tamms prison is a "supermax" facility for the most dangerous inmates, while Dwight houses female prisoners.

The developmental center in Centralia is being targeted as part of Quinn's effort to move people out of institutions and into community care.


94.1 FM, WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston Police Report Sword Attack

The Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing charges brought against a Hoopeston man for an alleged sword attack.

Police in Hoopeston arrested a man who authorities say attacked some citizens with a samurai sword early Sunday.  Hoopeston Police say they found one victim who suffered severe lacerations to his arm.  That victim was lying in the street in the 500 block of West Main Street when they arrived at 4:00 a.m.

22-year-old Curt McKinsey is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.  Police also arrested 22 -year-old Sarah Warren for allegedly attacking people with a baseball bat.

Two victims….both males, ages 22 and 23….were treated at Hoopeston Hospital and released.   The 25-year-old Hoopeston man who suffered severe lacerations was transferred to Carle Hospital in Urbana.


94.1 FM, WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Man Dies in Traffic Accident

A1-year-old Kankakee man was killed in  a weekend accident on Illinois Route 17 near Reddick. Michael Blakeney was identified as the victim.  Livingston County Coroner Michael Burke said the accident occurred around 7:10 pm Sunday. 

Blakeny was a passenger in a car that was westbound.  he was thrown from the vehicle.  The Coroner's office and Illinois State Police are investigating.

94.1 FM, WGFA