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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Stolen booze could mean hard time for Alton man

Thursday, 17 October 2013 03:10 Published in Local News

   A metro-east man is facing felony charges for allegedly shoplifting a single bottle of liquor.  

   Madison County prosecutors have charged 23 year old Jason Whitney of Alton with felony theft.  Police say a worker at a Godfrey supermarket caught Whitney red-handed early Saturday morning.  

   Sheriff's Captain Mike Dixon told the Belleville News-Democrat that the alleged theft qualifies as a felony because of Whitney's burglary conviction earlier this year.

Quinn pleased court will hear appeal on pay case

Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:13 Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he's pleased the Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear his appeal of a ruling that found his veto of lawmakers' pay unconstitutional.

   The court issued its one-page order Wednesday. A hearing date has not been set.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' salaries in July.  He said they shouldn't get paid until they addressed Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

   House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton then sued, arguing Quinn didn't have the authority to halt lawmaker paychecks.

   A Cook County judge in September ordered that legislators be paid immediately.

   Quinn appealed directly to the state's high court, saying his move was allowed through the state constitution.

   Quinn's spokeswoman says the governor will continue to not accept his own paycheck until pension reform is achieved.

 

   St. Louis city officials want to do more to preserve some vacant buildings for future development, and tear down those that are beyond repair.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a bill will be filed Friday with the Board of Aldermen that would set up a preservation fund of about $500,000 a year to fix roofs and walls on long-term vacant buildings.  An equal amount would go to the city's demolition fund.  

   The paper reports that the cash would come from a new fee on electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits, but building owners would face a lien for the costs as well.  

   If the aldermen agree, the measure  would go before voters, possibly as early as next spring.

   A separate bill also to be filed Friday would toughen penalties for owners who let decay their so-called "high merit" historic buildings, like the now-demolished Cupples 7 building.

 

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