Monday, 30 December 2013 10:20 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker says he's ready to push legislation expediting the process to terminate state-funded pensions for public official convicted of corruption.
State Rep. Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon tells the Belleville News-Democrat he was moved to co-sponsor legislation in part because of a former county treasurer who was convicted of rigging tax liens.
The newspaper reported in October that ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon was still collecting a $90,000 pension. It was halted this month.
The law says public officials found guilty of corruption can collect pensions until sentencing. Kay's bill would allow termination at a guilty plea or conviction. Lawmakers return to Springfield in late January.
Friday, 27 December 2013 14:27 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The crowded situation in the inmate intake center near Joliet has become the latest focus in the ongoing dispute over whether Illinois' prisons are too crowded.
The Associated Press has learned hundreds of inmates are sleeping in a gym, a health care unit and "staging areas" next to garages at the Illinois prison system's principal intake facility.
Ralph Portwood is president of the employees' union at Stateville prison, which oversees the reception center. He says the situation poses a security concern because inmates there are being held in groups instead of two per cell.
Illinois Department of Corrections officials say the setup isn't the most desirable but that the facility is secure, with extra guards available. Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez says the prisons are run safely and humanely.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Documentary filmmakers A.J. Schnack and David Wilson knew it would be easy to make fun of Branson, middle America's flag-waving, family-friendly celebration of musical variety shows and early-bird dinner specials.
The Midwest natives felt a stronger obligation to dig beneath the surface and portray local performers and town leaders as more than aw-shucks Ozark hillbillies.
The result is "We Always Lie to Strangers," a new film that tells a more nuanced story of how the southwest Missouri resort is dealing with the aftermath of an economic recession, an aging audience and performance troupes whose gay cast members live a version of "don't ask, don't tell" among their conservative Christian neighbors.
The documentary will be distributed nationally in 2014. It kicked off the annual St. Louis International Film Festival in November.