SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois state senator says he wants to end a long-standing ban on Sunday automobile sales.
Sugar Grove Republican Jim Oberweis tells the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers that he wants to introduce legislation next year allowing Sunday vehicle sales.
The law requiring dealerships to close on Sundays went into effect in 1983. It was supported by car sellers, who said it would cut overhead, level the playing field and give employees a day off.
Violators can face a $1,500 fine. Oberweis says the policy is "anti-consumer," and adds "it doesn't make a lot of sense." But the president of Illinois Automobile Dealers Association says "the majority" of the industry wants the law to remain on the books.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is about to join the ranks of states allowing same-sex marriage.
Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign a bill Wednesday making Illinois the 16th state to legalize gay marriage. The event will be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011. But it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama's home state.
The Illinois Senate approved the measure in February, but the House sponsor said he didn't have the votes. It wasn't called until this month and passed by a close margin.
Those who opposed the measure included some of Illinois most well-recognized religious leaders.
Same-sex couples will be allowed to wed starting in June.
Confessed white supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been executed after two federal stays were vacated just after midnight Wednesday.
U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughery ruled late Tuesday afternoon that a lawsuit filed by Franklin and 21 other death-row inmates challenging Missouri's execution protocol must first be resolved.
Later in the day, a second federal judge stayed the execution, saying a defense appeal over Franklin's mental competency needs more review.
After an appeal by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, the 8th circuit U.S. District Court vacated both stays.
Only the U.S. Supreme Court can intervene to stop Franklin's execution now.
It was one of as many as 20 killings committed by Franklin, who targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980.
EB I-70 is shut down at St. Louis Avenue near downtown as police investigate a shooting. Officials didn't say when they expect the highway to reopen, but advise drivers to use an alternate route. Police say a 26 year old man was shot by someone in a passing car near Cass and North 13th. The victim is in stable condition. Police are searching for suspects.
The U.S. Department of Justice has announced it is launching an investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court.
The Justice Department is looking into whether the court is depriving juveniles of their constitutional rights.
The department says the focus will be on whether the court provides the required due process for all children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and whether the court provides juveniles equal protection regardless of race.
In a statement released Monday, Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels said, “Protecting the constitutional rights of all children appearing in court is critical to achieving our goals of improving juvenile courts, increasing the public’s confidence in the juvenile justice system and maintaining public safety.”
Illinois' top law enforcement official is warning residents impacted by the recent storms: Be on the lookout for scammers. Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants residents to be alert for home repair con artists who exploit homes and businesses following natural disasters. Madigan says the con men will often swoop in following disasters and pressure homeowners and businesses to pay for expensive services. Some quick tips to avoid being ripped off:
Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
Even if there is a need to act quickly, shop around for the best deal. Get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
Never pay in cash.
Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag.
Now that it is complete, developers hope the project will soon be up in the air.
Saint Louis University’s first spacecraft that has been designed, built, tested and operated by students at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, is tentatively scheduled for launch today (Tuesday) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.
The Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Missouri Space Grant funded the project development and the launch of COPPER is sponsored by NASA.
COPPER's mission is to test the effectiveness of a commercial infrared camera for in-space navigation and object detection, as well as observing the Earth in the infrared spectrum.
Parks College students will operate COPPER for 12 months from a radio control station in McDonnell-Douglas Hall on the SLU campus.
The spacecraft will naturally fall from orbit in about four years. More than 50 undergraduate and graduate students worked to create COPPER over the past three years.
There's good news for Missouri's unemployment numbers. According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the unemployment rate fell sharply in both September and October. The unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in September and 6.5 percent in October, which is the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. This is the 50th consecutive month that Missouri's unemployment rate was lower than the national average. In September, the trade, transportation and utilities sectors showed the most growth, while October saw growth in professional, scientific, and technical services.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn added six counties to the state's list of disaster areas following violent storms and tornadoes on Sunday.
The declaration increases the number of counties needing state and federal funds to 13. The National Weather Service has issued a preliminary finding that 11 tornadoes ripped through the state, with at least two designated as EF-4's.
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms.
Volunteer efforts are also well underway to assist the victims. Those who wish to volunteer should NOT go to the disaster scene, but rather, visit Ready.illinois.gov for information on specific sites that can utilize volunteers.
White supremacist Joseph Franklin is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon refused Monday to grant him clemency.
While serving time for three other murders, Franklin confessed to killing 42 year old Gerald Gordon in a sniper attack outside a Richmond Heights synagogue in 1977. It's the only murder for which he received the death penalty.
The condemned man spoke with Fox 2 News Monday. Franklin says he hasn't reached out to Gordon's wife, because he doesn't want to upset her. "But I would apologize to her right now," he said. "Tell her I'm sorry for the horrible crime that I committed and ask for her forgiveness."
Franklin admitted that he does deserve to die for his crime. He said he's in a completely different place now, mentally. He described himself as "indoctrinated" at the time of the murder. "My mind was just all messed up after having read a whole lot of Nazi literature."
In 1994 Major Rick Zweifel of the Richmond Heights Police Department took Franklin's confession. Zweifel says that Franklin expressed regret that he hadn't kill more people. "He's upset it's against the law," Zweifel said. "And when I questioned him about what do you mean it's against the law? He says killing Jews."
Franklin has exhausted his appeals, but has filed a lawsuit to stop his execution based on the method Missouri officials plan to employ.
If the lawsuit fails, Franklin's execution will be the first performed under Missouri's new drug protocol and the first in the state in three years.