Daily dose -- Oh, for a gas war; Long-lasting snow; Bears fan goes overboard; SEC probes Illinois goverment; New Jersey's clown act

Daily dose -- Oh, for a gas war; Long-lasting snow; Bears fan goes overboard; SEC probes Illinois goverment; New Jersey's clown act

Local history

In 1911,  the Illinois Traction System is to have the distinction of being the first interurban in the United States to carry the President of the United States on a mission of state. On Feb. 11 President William Howard Taft will board private car 233 at Decatur and will travel to Springfield where he will be guest of honor at the Lincoln banquet. Congressman William McKinley of Champaign, owner of the Illinois Traction System, will accompany the president.

In 1961, the see-sawing of gasoline prices in Champaign-Urbana has taken another dip. Signs at almost every major service station proclaimed regular gas at 28.9 cents a gallon. One independent dealer cited his prices as 26.9 cents for regular and 29.9 cents for high-powered. No one was willing to say how long the gas war would last.

Tired of snow? Here's why

According to the Illinois State Water Survey, those living in Champaign-Urbana have had snow on the ground for 48 of the last 56 days.

Since Dec. 1 we've had at least a trace of snow -- and sometimes as much as 8 inches -- for all but two days in December and six days this month (Jan. 1-6).

Total snowfall since Dec. 1: 28.4 inches.

Bears fan goes a bit too far

From the Chicago Tribune ...

John Stone said that when he went to work Monday morning at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, he decided to wear a Green Bay Packers tie he's had for years to honor his late grandmother, a huge Packers fan.

Little did he know that the seemingly innocent gesture would cost him his job, Stone said.

Stone said that when he showed up at work, general manager Jerry Roberts called him over to his office and then ordered him to take off the Packers tie or else he would be fired. Stone said he thought Roberts was joking and went back to work.

An hour later, Stone said, Roberts came to the showroom floor and again demanded he take off the tie. When he didn't, he was fired, Stone said.

"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," said Stone, 34, of Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. "I'm supposed to dress up. I'm a car salesman."


SEC investigating state on pension statements

(Reuters) - The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an inquiry into public statements by Illinois officials about the state's underfunded pension fund, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The state's governor's office confirmed the SEC inquiry late on Monday, the newspaper reported.

It quoted the governor's spokeswoman, Kelly Kraft, as saying the inquiry is focused on public statements concerning a measure passed last year intended to shore up the retirement system.

"We are fully cooperating" with the inquiry, it quoted her as saying. "We feel our disclosure was always accurate and complete."

The newspaper, citing Robert Kurtter, a managing director in the public finance division at Moody's Investors Service, said as issue being examined is whether Illinois was taking future savings and treating them as current reductions in the cost of the pension fund.

A measure Illinois took to save costs was to raise the retirement age for newly hired Illinois workers.

New Jersey clown act continues

From the Associated Press ...

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration thinks there's business to be had — from Illinois.
The governor is launching an ad campaign encouraging businesses in Illinois to relocate to the Garden State. An official announcement from the Christie administration is planned for Tuesday, when ads will start appearing in newspapers and on radio stations in major Illinois cities like Chicago and Springfield.
Print and radio ads reiterate Christie's commitment not to raise taxes. The ads follow substantial tax increases recently enacted in Illinois — and a promise from Christie earlier this month that he would reach out to Illinois businesses personally and invite them to relocate here.
"The job creators of our country are mobile, and they are looking for a climate that provides the certainty and stability that comes with a fiscally responsible government that manages its budgets accordingly," Christie said. "In New Jersey, we mean business."






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