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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

IL's top legislators want Quinn's appeal rejected

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 02:04 Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' top Democratic legislative leaders are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reject Gov. Pat Quinn's appeal of a lawsuit over legislative pay.

   Quinn halted lawmakers' pay in July until pension reform was achieved. A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled last month that the move was unconstitutional and ordered lawmakers to be sent back pay, with interest. An appeal is being reviewed by the state Supreme Court.

   House Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton dispute Quinn's argument that the Illinois constitution only bans mid-term increases in pay.Illinois' unfunded pension liability is close to $100 billion, due largely to lawmakers shorting or skipping payments. A committee of lawmakers has been working on one possible reform package that could save $138 billion over 30 years.

 

Rare amoeba found in 1 water system in Louisiana

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:37 Published in National News

   BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The federal  say a rare amoeba that caused the August death of a child in south Louisiana has been found in five locations in a north Louisiana water system.

   The state Department of Health and Hospitals said Tuesday the CDC confirmed the presence of the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in five places in DeSoto Parish Waterworks District No. 1, which is one of 14 water systems in the parish.

   State health officials say there are no known current cases of illness related to the discovery in DeSoto or elsewhere in Louisiana.

   The water system said it will begin a free chlorine burn in the system Wednesday to last for 60 days.

   DHH began testing the DeSoto system as a precaution after St. Bernard Parish's water system tested positive. DeSoto was the site of one of two 2011 amoeba-related deaths in Louisiana.

Missouri Honor Flight home after seeing Monuments in DC

Wednesday, 09 October 2013 00:20 Published in Local News

   Another group of Missouri veterans are back home after a successful day trip to visit Washington, DC.  Tuesday's "Honor Flight" carried 25 veterans of World War II and the Korean War.  

   Those organizing the flights had again been concerned that the government shutdown might keep the vets from visiting the federal memorials, but again they were granted access.  Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill  and Roy Blunt welcomed the veterans in DC, along with Congresswoman Ann Wagner.   

   All federal monuments in Washington, DC are closed to the general public because of the federal shutdown, but the National Parks Service has stipulated that the vets will be allowed to visit the memorials despite the shutdown.

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