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SPRINGFIELD – The heads of the state retirement systems testified Wednesday that they are already being forced to sell off investment assets to cover the pension checks they owe this year, and that the situation would worsen dramatically under Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed budget.
The governor seeks to reduce the state's contribution to the systems by $860 million over the next four years.
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Police could install radar-equipped cameras to catch speeding motorists in Illinois highway construction zones, under legislation a House committee approved unanimously Tuesday.
Bob Crane, highway worker from Roselle, said he was constantly having to jump out of the way of cars while at work until he was hit last year by a car going 50 mph.
CHAMPAIGN – Verdell Jones III's coach, Todd Anderson, watched his protege try to repeat his now-famous 80-foot shot on national television today.
Verdell missed several shots on ABC's "Good Morning America," but that didn't diminish Anderson's pride.
College dropouts don't often get rousing applause when they enter a room. But not many college dropouts are called an "iconic figure" by University of Illinois President James Stukel.
That was the case at 7 p.m. Tuesday when Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates walked across the Foellinger Auditorium stage, as he prepared to speak about the evolution of computers and the next wave of breakthroughs.
SPRINGFIELD – Women would be able to obtain the morning-after pill in Illinois without a prescription, under legislation advanced by a House committee Tuesday.
The pill, which is essentially a double dose of birth control pills, reduces the chance of pregnancy by up to 89 percent if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse, so quick access is crucial, said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago.
CHAMPAIGN – Champaign City Council members said Tuesday night they've been listening to their constituents, and that those constituents want no part of a proposed $178 million fixed guideway or tram system.
So council members voted 7-2 to ignore the recommendation of city staff and to reject a proposal to endorse a fixed guideway system as the locally preferred alternative for improving the local mass transit system.
CHAMPAIGN – Horizon Hobby Inc. has acquired a leading maker of model train products, California-based Athearn Trains.
Steve Goodreau, a spokesman for Champaign-based Horizon Hobby, said the move won't affect employment or existing facilities for either Horizon or Athearn.
CHAMPAIGN – It's tough times for CIB Marine Bancshares, the parent company of Central Illinois Bank.
The Pewaukee, Wis.-based company sent a letter to shareholders Friday announcing its president's retirement, a loss for the year 2003 and the likelihood that banking regulators will restrict more of its operations.
CHAMPAIGN – Passengers can fly from Champaign-Urbana to Cincinnati and back for $156, under introductory rates announced Monday by Delta Air Lines.
The airline plans to offer three Delta Connection flights a day between Champaign-Urbana and Cincinnati beginning May 14.
URBANA – Champaign police arrested five people Sunday for possession of methamphetamine components after security staff at two discount stores called officers about suspected drug activity.
All were charged Monday in Champaign County Circuit Court with unlawful possession of methamphetamine manufacturing chemicals, a Class 2 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to three to seven years in prison.