Thursday, 20 February 2014 16:21 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A proposal to ban smoking on public college campuses is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.
The Springfield State Journal-Register reports the measure passed out of a House committee Wednesday by a 9-3 vote.
The state Senate approved the measure last year. It would ban smoking on all properties belonging to state-supported colleges and universities starting July 1.
State Rep. Ann William is sponsoring the proposal. The Chicago Democrat says the ban was crafted to reduce students' exposure to secondhand smoke.
Some Illinois universities already have enacted their own smoking rules. Illinois State University and the University of Illinois both have bans in place.
The measure now heads to the full House for further debate.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 15:39 Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's four-year public universities would be rewarded for good performance under legislation passed by the state Senate.
Under the bill, the 13 universities would get funding increases tied to certain performance standards.
The colleges would work with the Department of Higher Education to develop five goals. Three of those goals must be tied to graduation and retention rates as well as job placement in a field appropriate for a graduating student's degree level.
The legislation would apply only in years the state can afford to increase higher education funding and would expire in 2016.
A 2012 state law requires the development of a funding formula for Missouri's public universities.
Senators voted 33-0 to send the measure to the House on Thursday.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 15:32 Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwestern Illinois county that has grappled with heroin deaths is trying a new approach after there were three deadly suspected overdoses in a five-hour span last week.
Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz says he'll be joining the county's top prosecutor, Tom Gibbons, to convene a panel to talk out possible answers to the problem. It could be as early as next week. Hertz says that group may include substance-abuse treatment providers, educators and perhaps addicts.
The county's coroner, Steve Nonn, says his office already has handled six suspected heroin deaths this year. Last year, there were 23 in the county, more than three times the number in 2009.
Nonn calls heroin providers "dealers in death."