Coal gasification plant hits hurdle in General Assembly

SPRINGFIELD — Plans for a $3.5 billion clean coal gasification plant in Taylorville stalled Tuesday when supporters came up two votes short of passage in the Illinois House.

Medical marijuana bill falls short in Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would have legalized marijuana for medical use in Illinois fell seven votes short of the 60 needed for passage Tuesday afternoon.

The legislation got 53 "yes" votes, among them from Reps. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, and Bill Black, R-Danville.

Man sent to prison for incident at Spalding Pool

URBANA – A Champaign man convicted of aggravated battery for touching the buttocks of young boys at a public swimming pool was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd said there was no question that Alan Hughey's actions on Aug. 12 were "intentional, knowing and deliberate."

Legislation would end death penalty in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ death penalty would be abolished under a bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday on a 4-3 party-line vote.

The bill still needs approval from the full House and the Senate before it would go to Gov. Pat Quinn for his OK.

Champaign schools to test alert system

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will soon begin testing a new emergency-notification message system.

Parents and staff will receive alerts from the district by telephone and e-mail when weather causes a school closing or schedule change.

Deal in works for Ford County waste-recycling plant

GIBSON CITY – An agreement is in the works between the Ford County Board and Eco Manufacturing LLC, a Massachusetts-based company that has proposed building the nation's first plasma-gasification waste-recycling plant in Gibson City.

Only one area bank gets an 'A' in Weiss Ratings

Only one bank in East Central Illinois got an "A" rating from Weiss Ratings, a Florida-based firm that rates banks and insurance companies.

That bank was First Trust & Savings Bank of Watseka.

Discovery recount finds same result in sheriff's race

TUSCOLA – Douglas County Clerk Jim Ingram said incumbent Sheriff Charlie McGrew's margin of victory remained the same following a discovery recount held at Ingram's office on Wednesday.

Fred Galey, 54, an independent from Tuscola, filed a petition asking for a discovery recount of four precincts from the Nov. 2 election.

Bank forecloses on property owned by Danville candidate

DANVILLE – A Danville alderman who is also a candidate for Danville mayor in next year's election is facing foreclosure by MainSource Bank on a property he owns in Danville.

Park board views Virginia marquee redesigns

CHAMPAIGN – As they work toward a final blueprint, members of the park district board on Monday saw a designer's version of the new marquee to ornament the Virginia Theatre next year.