SPRINGFIELD – A part of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pension reform plan involving end-of-career raises for teachers and school administrators would essentially cancel out his proposed increase in state funding for public schools, according to some estimates.
Currently, end-of-career pay increases for public school teachers are limited by law to 20 percent a year. The pensions the state is required to provide are calculated based on the person's final average salary.
Jim Hershbarger wrote Vic McIntosh's name on a ballot on Tuesday.
Bob Spencer wrote Matt Varble's name.
URBANA – A former substitute teaching assistant was arrested today for having sexual contact with two girls at Urbana Middle School.
Urbana police Lt. Michael Metzler said Brian Anthony Dyson, 29, who listed an address in the 2700 block of East Illinois Street, Urbana, was arrested this morning for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and criminal sexual assault.
DANVILLE – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday launched an investigation into whether medical waste from a local hospital was improperly buried at a Catholic cemetery in Danville.
The investigation stems from a lawsuit filed last week, which claims that human body parts from surgeries and amputations performed at Provena United Samaritans Medical Center were disposed of, in February 2003, in an open grave at Resurrection Cemetery.
URBANA – Political veteran Laurel Prussing is promising to bring changes to city government after winning the Democratic primary contest for mayor Tuesday night.
Prussing, 64, defeated three-term incumbent Tod Satterthwaite and challenger Shirley Hursey in a three-way contest, receiving 50.9 percent of the vote to 45.4 percent for Satterthwaite and 2.5 percent for Hursey.
MONTICELLO – William Mitze coached athletic teams for seven years and officiated high school games for 27 years, but he said his mayoral victory on Tuesday was his most rewarding of all.
Mitze, 70, said planning a two-minute drill or a winning basketball shot was easy compared with the challenge he faced the last three months from rival Owen Mofield.
PARIS, Ill. – Spc. Abby Hollis got off a bus at Paris High School and marched to the courthouse square, all the while keeping an eye out for the family she hadn't seen while on duty in Iraq for a year.
The parade through town and the short march ticked by in slow motion for the Paris native, who was living in Champaign and attending Parkland College before her unit, the 1544th Transportation Company, was called up late in 2003.
CHAMPAIGN – Matt Varble knows he has his work cut out for him in District 3 after losing a write-in contest with incumbent Vic McIntosh 277-81.
"I'm just happy 80-some people voted for me. Now I need to work harder getting my message out," Varble said.
URBANA – With a new mayor will come an almost completely new city council.
Newcomers Brandon Bowersox, Dennis Roberts and Lynne Barnes won their Democratic primaries Tuesday night.
SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Rick Winkel, R-Urbana, will introduce legislation this week to require the state to reimburse universities for the tuition they must waive under the General Assembly Scholarship program.
Winkel, who has participated in the program every year since 1995, also said Tuesday that he would stop giving out the scholarships until that becomes law.