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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois State Police officials have disqualified a Bolingbrook firearms instructor and informed at least 327 applicants they will not receive a license to carry concealed weapons because of improper training.
 
Investigators conducted interviews and reviewed records to determine the training was not in accordance with state law. They have given their findings to the Will County State’s Attorney for possible action.
Illinois’ concealed carry law took effect Jan. 1. Applicants must complete 16 hours of instruction following curriculum approved by the state police.
 
Denied applicants will be able to repeat training without paying the $150 application fee.
 
State police have so far invalidated 13 instructors and notified 425 applicants of invalid training.
 
The state’s concealed carry website will carry names of disqualified instructors.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:29
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The women's basketball coach at Highland Community College in northeast Kansas pleaded guilty to being part of a car theft ring.
 
William Smith, the former women's basketball coach at Southeast Missouri State University, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy and five counts of mail fraud.
 
Prosecutors say Smith and 20 other people - mostly from the St. Louis area - stole or fraudulently obtained vehicles from individuals and automobile dealerships in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana. They then staged accidents and filed false theft reports to obtain insurance money.
 
The St. Joseph News-Press reports Smith pleaded guilty to obtaining fraudulent transfer titles from the Osage Nation for five vehicles in 2011 and 2012. The transfer titles allowed the vehicles to be resold.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:19
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Astronaut and University of Illinois graduate Michael Hopkins will deliver the commencement address at his alma mater's spring graduation next month.
Hopkins recently returned from a 166-day stay aboard the International Space Station. He says in a statement released by the university that he'll be every bit as nervous delivering his speech as he was for his first walk in space.
 
Hopkins graduated from Illinois in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He was also a member of the school's football team.
The Richland, Mo., native was accepted into NASA's astronaut training program in 2011 after trying without success for almost 12 years.
 
The spring commencement ceremony will be May 17 in Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
   
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 07:11
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   A metro-east man is accusing a former Catholic priest of sexual abusing him when he was a child, and he wants to hold church officials accountable.  

   The Breese man filed a lawsuit against the Belleville Catholic diocese alleging Robert J. Vonnahmen sexually abused him at a church camp in the Ozarks in the early 1970s.  

   In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was one of more than a dozen priests in the Belleville Diocese removed for alleged sexual abuse of children.  Vonnahmen was formally defrocked by Rome in 2007.  

   The lawsuit claims the diocese failed to investigate complaints about Vonnahmen from other children.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 04:10
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   The former bishop of the Belleville Diocese says he may sell the $2.2 million home he had built in Atlanta's toniest neighborhood.  

   Archbishop Wilton Gregory apologized to parishioners late Monday for building the 6,000 square foot, Tudor-style mansion in Buckhead.  Gregory wrote on the website of the archdiocesan newspaper that he hadn't considered the impact his residence would have on parishioners who were giving to the church and struggling to pay their own bills.  

   Gregory was bishop of Belleville from 1994 to 2003, when he was named Archbishop of Atlanta.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 04:07
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   CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' climatologist says winter continue continued to hang on in the state through most of March with colder-than-usual temperatures.
   But climatologist Jim Angel said Tuesday the month was also drier than usual.
   According to Angel, the statewide average temperature in March was 33.8 degrees. That's 7 degrees below average and the eighth coldest March on record for Illinois.
   March proved to be a continuation of Illinois' harsh winter. It was the fifth straight month of below-average temperatures.
   But the month was the 11th driest month on record with just 1.49 inches of precipitation falling on average around the state. That's exactly half of the typical March precipitation.
   But Angel said some spots still had heavy snow. Mendota led the state with 17.9 inches.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:20
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   Residents of a St. Ann apartment building damaged after a small fire last Friday are still waiting to go home.  More than 160 seniors and disabled people were evacuated from the Santa Ana apartments after a cooking fire on the 10th floor caused the sprinklers to activate, flooding the high rise.

   Residents had hoped to return home Tuesday, but it's taking longer for restoration crews to dry out the building than originally expected.  

   City and fire officials must also conduct a "walk through" before giving the all clear.  That could happen on Wednesday.  

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 03:07
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   Authorities in northeast Missouri say nearly two dozen students are recovering from injuries after their school bus crashed Tuesday afternoon.

   The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. north of the town of Ewing in Lewis County. Missouri State Highway Patrol officials say the bus veered off the road and rolled over into a ditch.  

   There's no word on why the driver lost control or the driver's condition.  

   Police say 18 students suffered minor injuries and five were more seriously hurt.  Most were treated at a hospital in Quincy.  

   Ewing is about 140 miles northwest of St. Louis.

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 02:28
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   Authorities in Roxana, Illinois are trying to determine what, if any charges will be filed after an apparent April Fool's Day prank prompted lockdowns at Roxana Junior and Senior High School Tuesday afternoon.  
   Roxana Police Chief Will Cunningham says a middle school student sent a text message to a parent saying shots had been fired at the high school.  That student's mother called police.  
   Ten agencies responded in a matter of minutes and the campus was locked down.  The student who sent the message was located and confirmed that no shots had been fired.  
   Chief Cunningham called it a very serious incident. "This is something that all local responders and school districts train for," he said.  He called the prank "a very serious mistake."
   Cunningham says he'll discuss possible charges with the Madison County State's Attorney.  
   District Superintendent Debra Kreutztrager promised to work with law enforcement to determine what school consequences might be enforced. She praised the police who responded and her staff for following all the district procedures for an intruder on campus.
 
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 02:20
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 SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A preservationist group has released its list of the 10 most endangered historic places in Illinois.
 
Landmarks Illinois announced its list Tuesday morning. It includes Chicago's Uptown Theatre, a U.S. Marine hospital in Galena that was built in 1859 and a more than 125-year-old primary school in Otterville.
The group has released its annual list since 1995 hoping to call attention to the threatened sites.
 
Landmarks Illinois officials say that since it started the list designation, more than a third of the places have been saved.
The list also includes Hotel Belleville, a 1931 art deco building on the public square in the southern Illinois city. It also lists the Old Millstadt Water Tower.
This year there's a special 11th item, the Federal Historic Tax Credit Program.
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 10:52
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