LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES

Updated 4/18/14 8:02 PM

One-Year Flood Anniversary
Today marks the one-year anniversary since devastating flooding hit the area. Last year, over five inches of rain fell over the course of 18 hours, leading to a rapid water rise in the Illinois and Fox Rivers. In Marseilles, seven barges struck the dam, causing significant damage and leading to flooding in homes along the river. Representative Adam Kinzinger recently announced $35 million for dam repairs which are expected to take three years to complete. According to the National Weather Service in Chicago, the Illinois River in La Salle crested at a record breaking 34.4 feet and the Illinois River in Ottawa crested at a record breaking 473.7 feet. The Vermilion River in Leonore crested at a record breaking 30.3 feet.

Hog Farm Hearing
Residents from Wenona, Lostant and surrounding communities filled the bleachers at Fieldcrest East Middle School Thursday night for a public meeting on a proposed hog farm. Officials from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the company of the hog farm, Sandy Creek Lane, LLC, gave a presentation of the farm and answered questions from those in attendance. The main concern of residents was potential rufuse leakage into the aquifer and the odors that may emit from the farm. The Marshall County Board now has 30 business days from last night's meeting to submit a non-binding recommendation to the Department of Agriculture for the construction of the hog farm.

Illinois Marijuana Fees
Illinois regulators crafting the first rules for the state's new medical marijuana industry have lowered patient fees and deleted a section that angered gun owners. Patients would pay $100 a year to apply for a medical marijuana card in Illinois under the revised preliminary rules. Disabled people and veterans would pay $50 annually.

1993 Murder
An Illinois man who was imprisoned before DNA evidence cleared him of murder has filed a new lawsuit accusing authorities of conspiring to frame him for the death of his girlfriend. Alan Beaman was convicted in the 1993 strangulation death of Jennifer Lockmiller and spent 13 years in prison. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008.

Rutherfood Sexual Harassment Suit
A man suing Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd) for sexual harassment wants more time to respond to Rutherford's motion to have the lawsuit tossed out. A federal judge has delayed a decision on whether to dismiss Edmund Michalowski's (mik-oh-LOW'-skeez lawsuit. Rutherford says the claims of his ex-staffer are motivated by politics. The lawsuit surfaced as Rutherford was running for governor.

Child in Hot Car
A southern Illinois man has pleaded guilty in the death of his 23-month-old son, who died in a hot car while his father passed out after drinking.  33-year-old Wayne M. Hubert of O'Fallon entered the plea Thursday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the life of his 6-year-old daughter.  A complaint says Hubert strapped 23-month-old Nathan into a car seat last June in a vehicle parked in his driveway. Officials say he went into his home, drank alcohol and passed out. The mother later came home and the child was found.

Tight-rope Chicago Skyscrapers
Daredevil Nik Wallenda is in Chicago scouting possible locations for a tightrope walk between two Windy City skyscrapers in the fall. The high-wire walker says he first would check out Willis Tower. Wallenda has walked across the Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon in the past two years.

World's Largest Covered Wagon
Workers in central Illinois have finished most of the repairs to the world's largest covered wagon. The 40-foot-long, five-ton wagon fashioned from Illinois oak and steel sits along Old Route 66 in Lincoln. It was damaged by 50 mile-per-hour winds during a January storm.

Potential School District Funding Cuts
Illinois Senate Democrats say most school districts in the state will see major funding cuts if the temporary tax increase is rolled back in January. They say general state aid will be reduced by $450 million and Chicago's public school funding would drop by $173 million.


State Unemployment at a Low
Illinois unemployment has hit a five-year low. State officials say the March rate was 8.4 percent -- the lowest mark since January 2009. But Illinois still has one of the highest jobless rates in the country. The national rate last month was 6.7 percent.

Valentine Wife Murder
 A trial for a Peoria man accused of killing his wife on Valentine's Day 2013 has been delayed again. 38-year-old Nathan Leuthold's murder trial was rescheduled for mid-July. Leuthold's trial was to begin March 10 until it was rescheduled for May 5.  Leuthold has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2013 death of Denise Leuthold.  Authorities accuse him of staging a break-in at their home and shooting the woman to death.
 

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