SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved a plan to allow qualified gun owners to carry their weapons in public.
Illinois is the only state in the country without a concealed-carry law. A federal appeals court says that's unconstitutional and has ordered the state to enact such a law by June 9.
The proposal adopted today was brokered by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it's opposed by several of his fellow Democrats, including the governor.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office has called the plan a "massive overreach" because it would wipe out all local gun regulations, including Chicago's ban on assault-style weapons. That's a deal-breaker for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who backs tough restrictions to curb the city's gun violence. Quinn says he'll work with the state Senate to "stop it in its tracks."
Senate President John Cullerton, another Chicago Democrat, also opposes the measure.
Reports of a disturbing case of sexual assault coming from Belleville.
A 45-year-old man is in custody after allegedly raping a 2-year-old girl. Officers say there was a witness present for the assault. The suspect in the case is a relative of the child. The toddler has been taken to a hospital for evaluation.
The case is now in the hands of the State's Attorney.
The hunt for a fugitive in the St. Louis area is over.
The ATF reports that agents have captured Excedrin Collins. The alert for Collins was sent out by the Kansas City ATF office--investigators had reason to believe that he was in the metro area. Collins was wanted for several felonies including assault on a federal agent.
The ATF offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to Collins arrest, but it is not clear if a tip was responsible for authorities finding him.
Six people are hurt after an accident involving a school bus on I-55. It happened in the southbound lanes of I-55 just past 7th Street shortly before 9 am. The school bus was turned on its side and another vehicle was flipped upside-down. Three children and two adults on the bus sustained non life-threatening injuries. One adult in the other vehicle was also hurt. Traffic was backed up for more than a mile on I-55.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri plans to renovate three buildings around its central quadrangle, including the main administration building.
The $23 million plan must still be approved by the Board of Curators.
The university said in a news release that Pickard, Swallow and Jesse Hall would be renovated. Jesse Hall is the administration building, Pickard houses the Museum of Art and Archaeology and Swallow holds the Museum of Anthropology.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/123EC1l ) that when the work is done, the Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of Art and Archaeology will be relocated to the former Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. The former cancer center will be renamed Mizzou North.
A Maryland-based foundation has awarded Joplin a $200,000 grant to build a butterfly garden to help tornado survivors. The goal of the project is to create natural settings to help people cope with the aftermath of disasters. The 2011 Joplin twister destroyed the park where the garden will be built.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois transportation officials say they're gearing up for busy roadways this Memorial Day weekend and have a plan to reduce congestion.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended to improve traffic flow at the unofficial start of summer.
Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says the move helps ensure safety with the increase of motorists expected on the roads.
The suspension starts 3 p.m. on Friday through midnight Monday.
Transportation officials are urging motorists to obey posted speed limits and that posted limits are still in effect for construction zones even if there's no construction in the works.
The Illinois State Board of Education has released the state's first set of math courses under the new common core standards.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and the board announced the curriculum for 6th through 12th grade classes on Thursday. The package of coursework is aimed at reducing remedial math needs for college-bound students and better preparing students for the workforce.
State officials say the new courses will be available this fall and teachers can adapt the units as needed.
Missouri education officials have also signed on to the common core standards, Republican state lawmakers want to rescind that decision.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east judge's docket of hundreds of cases has been reassigned after the county's top prosecutor revealed that the judge is under federal investigation.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelley didn't detail the reason for the investigation. But he said he filed a complaint Thursday against Circuit Judge Michael Cook with state judicial discipline regulators.
Kelly and the county's chief judge, John Baricevic, says they've been cooperating with federal authorities.
Kelly says he has "actively assisted in and advanced a federal investigation" of the judge. He says that aid resulted in law-enforcement searches of Cook's Belleville home and his hunting cabin in western Illinois' Pike County.
The investigation has raised new questions about the death of 49 year old Circuit Judge Joe Christ, who died in March while at Cook's Pike County hunting cabin.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House is expected to vote Friday on legislation allowing public possession of concealed guns. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. It was a compromise backed by Speaker Michael Madigan.
The measure was endorsed Thursday 13-3 and goes to the full House Friday. It comes two weeks before a June 9 deadline set by a federal appeals court for Illinois to abandon its prohibition on the public possession of weapons.
The legislation would require the Illinois State Police to issue concealed carry permits to qualified gun owners. It's patterned on a bill introduced by gun-rights advocate Rep. Brandon Phelps, a southern Illinois Democrat.
But Madigan's version significantly adds places that would be off limits to guns. Those include mass transit - a must for violence-weary Chicago Democrats.