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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

IDNR wrapping up controlled burns across state

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 12:21 Published in Local News
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says crews are trying to finish a series of controlled burns around the state.
 
WNIJ Radio reports the fires that are deliberately set to stimulate certain plant growth got a late start this year. That's because the ground was wet and snow covered after the long, harsh winter. Burning typically begins in mid-March and runs through mid-April.
 
Chris Young is a spokesman for the agency. He says some crews have finished the controlled burns in portions of the state, but are still conducting them in northern Illinois.
 
Young says there's no set number of acres that needs to be burned this year, but the agency typically burns between 10,000 and 20,000.
 
The areas that are burned are typically portions of prairies and woodlands.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois man faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting in court that he was driving impaired when he caused a 2012 wreck that killed a highway construction worker.
 
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 36-year-old Michael Jeter of West Frankfort pleaded guilty Monday in St. Clair County to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence.
 
Authorities have said Jeter was on the sleep aid Ambien and an antihistamine at the time of the May 2012 wreck on Interstate 64.
 
Authorities say the crash killed 38-year-old contract worker Dennis Beard of Pocahontas and injured three others who were waiting in the median to paint stripes on the freeway.
 
Jeter's sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 4.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are debating an expansion of a college scholarship for top students that is designed to keep more of them in the state after graduation.
 
A proposal under consideration would add a forgivable loan component to the Bright Flight program. Each year a student works in Missouri after school would count toward one year of loan forgiveness. Leaving before the loan is repaid would require repaying the loan with interest.
 
Money for the new program was included in the House budget plan, but the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled this week to consider whether the funding should remain. Lawmakers have until May 9 to pass all budget bills.
 
 Legislation to enact the loan program was passed by the House and debated in the Senate last week.

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