All Politics and Government Content

All Politics and Government Content

Attorney to look at legality of ordinance

Urbana attorney Steve Beckett said Thursday he has been hired by a local bar owner to look into the legality of the ordinance banning smoking in most public places in Champaign.

"I've done some work for a particular bar owner," he said. "I'm obviously looking at passage of the anti-smoking ordinance and its validity and enforceability."

Owners of vicious dogs put on short leash

SPRINGFIELD – Owners of dangerous or vicious dogs now face tougher penalties if their pets attack, under a bill Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed into law on Wednesday.

"Dogs can make great companions, but if they're not trained well or restrained, some dogs can also pose serious threats – especially to children," Blagojevich stated in a written release. "We've seen too many people seriously injured by dogs whose owners allow them to act more like wild predators than pets."

Despite questions, 2nd TIF district heading for vote

MONTICELLO – The second proposed tax increment financing district in Monticello appears to be heading toward a city council vote later this month.

But a number of questions remain about the size and shape of the district and even the process used for its creation.

State revising legislation to fix limits on sale of children's medicines

SPRINGFIELD – Joy Porter of Paxton has four children, ranging in age from 6 months to almost 14 years old. As often happens in families, one came down with a cold and now all the kids have it.

But when Porter tried to buy the medicines she needed to treat her children, she ran smack into a new state law designed to halt illegal methamphetamine production.

New law bans pure form of cough suppressant

SPRINGFIELD – A new law makes it illegal to sell or purchase pure dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant that led to the deaths of a 22-year-old Illinois State University student and a 17-year-old from rural Hindsboro.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed HB 4300 into law on Wednesday, and it will take effect on Jan. 1, 2007.

Stores spotty on new Illinois drug law

SPRINGFIELD – While most pharmacies are obeying a new state law designed to keep methamphetamine ingredients away from illegal drug manufacturers, many convenience stores are not, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reported on Wednesday.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are active ingredients in dozens of nonprescription cold medicines, but are also critical for manufacturing meth, a dangerous and illegal stimulant.

Governor's lottery plan comes with questions

SPRINGFIELD – Education funding advocates reacted warily on Tuesday to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's dramatic plan to pump more money into schools by leasing or selling the Illinois Lottery.

"We have to be willing to do things differently," Blagojevich stated in a press release after appearing at a Chicago school. "We have a lot of schools that do well, but we have too many schools that don't. This is a plan that carefully looks at what our kids need to succeed, and boldly proposes the changes needed to help them get there. It will take time, money, hard work and a tolerance for change. But if we're willing to do that, we can make a real difference in the lives of millions of children."

Three downtown Champaign festivals set for summer

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council signed off Tuesday night on allowing three downtown street festivals this summer.

The festivals, to be held June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19, will be sponsored by the Champaign Park District with the support of the Champaign Downtown Association. The city and park district are each contributing about $15,000 to pay for the free live-music events, with the city money coming from the downtown tax increment financing district fund.

Mahomet park named after ex-athlete

MAHOMET – For four years, Bruce Johnson proudly sat in the stands as he cheered his son, Brent, to victory afer victory for the Mahomet-Seymour wrestling team.

Johnson said he'll never forget the thrill of watching Brent compete in the state quarterfinals under the bright lights of the Assembly Hall as his son participated in the state championships during his senior year.

Republicans pick Rantoul man for spot

URBANA – County Republicans have slated a Rantoul man to fill the county board seat given up by Patty Busboom last month.

Kevin Hunt of Rantoul was chosen Monday by the Republicans to fill the vacancy in Champaign County Board District 2.