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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Illinois primary Tuesday

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 02:10 Published in Around Town

   Illinois voters are going to the polls Tuesday to choose a Republican challenger to Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.  Billionaire businessman Bruce Rauner is leading in the polls and fundraising heading into today's primary election against state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard.  

   The race has drawn intense interest from labor unions after Rauner said he would model his governorship after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who championed anti-union legislation.  Dillard is seen by many as the more union-friendly alternative.

   Quinn isn't unchallenged for the Democratic nomination.  He's expected to win his party's primary over the lesser-known political activist Tio Hardiman.

   Besides nominees for Governor, voters will also choose party candidates for U.S. Senator, Lieutenant Governor, State Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, U.S. House members - All 18 Districts, State Senators in 19 districts, State Representatives in all 118 districts along with several judgeships, county and regional officials.   

   Polls are open from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.   

 

   MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea, one of a flurry of steps to formally take over the Black Sea peninsula.
   Crimea on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and seek to join Russia. The West and Ukraine described the referendum which was announced two weeks ago as illegitimate.
   The United States and the European Union on Monday announced asset freezes and other sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials involved in the Crimean crisis. President Barack Obama warned that more would come if Russia didn't stop interfering in Ukraine.
   Russian troops have been occupying the region for more than two weeks.
   The decree signed by Putin and posted on the official government website Tuesday morning is one of the steps which would formalize the annexation of Crimea. Russia, however, still has a room to back off. The treaty to annex Crimea has to be signed by leaders of Russia and Crimea leader and then ratified by the parliament.
   Putin is set to address both houses of the parliament at 3 p.m. Moscow time (1100 GMT) in a nationally televised speech where he is widely expected to stake Russia's claim on Crimea.
   Crimea had been part of Russia since the 18th century until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in 1954. Both Russians and Crimea's majority ethnic Russian population see annexation as correcting a historic insult.
   Ukraine's turmoil, which began in November with a wave of protests against President Viktor Yanukovych and accelerated after he fled to Russia in late February, has become Europe's most severe security crisis in years.

EB I-64 reopens after fatal crash near Mascoutah

Tuesday, 18 March 2014 00:00 Published in Local News

   Traffic is reportedly moving again along eastbound Interstate 64 near Mascoutah.  Illinois State Police shut down the highway about 6:30 p.m. after a three-vehicle crash near Illinois Route 4.  

   St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Curtis Schildknecht tells the Belleville News-Democrat that one person was killed in the rollover accident.   The name of the victim hasn't been released pending notification of family members.  

   Eastbound 64 drivers spent as much as three hours stuck on the highway before cars were turned around and guided off the interstate at Illinois Route 158.  

   Accident reconstruction crews completed their on-site investigation and one lane of the interstate was reopened to traffic by 11 p.m.  

   It's not clear what caused the accident.

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