A $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase in Illinois isn't having the financial impact that state officials had hoped for. The year-old increase was expected to rake in $350 million in tax revenue, but instead the total is closer to $212 million. Illinois raised the cigarette tax from 98 cents to $1.98 in June of last year, hoping to bring in much-needed revenue and discourage people from smoking. Authorities say fewer people are buying cigarettes, which explains the decline in tax revenue.
Leaders in East St. Louis are considering allowing all-hours nightclubs in the crime-plagued southwestern Illinois city.
The community cut the clubs' hours last year, requiring them to close at 2 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends. The change came after pressure from police, prosecutors and even U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who wanted to limit liquor sales.
Clubs had been open until 6 a.m.
But the Belleville News Democrat reports some members of the city council now want to create an entertainment district for 24-hour and late-night clubs. They argue concentrating them in a single area would make it easier to control public safety.
The city also wants to double the cost of liquor licenses.
A public hearing on the proposal will be held later this month.
There's an extra buzz in the air this week. Missouri is officially in the midst of Pollinator Week, which recognizes the bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles that help flowers and food crops flourish. The Missouri Department of Agriculture says there are more than 400 species of bees in Missouri and about three-quarters of all flowering plants rely on bees or other pollinators to reproduce.
Residents and business owners in the largest Bosnian community in America are frustrated by the crime in their Bevo Mill neighborhood.
Two convenience store murders in less than a month prompted residents to pack the Bosnian Chamber of Commerce office Wednesday night, looking for answers from City Police Chief Sam Dotson.
A nineteen year old clerk at the Quick Stop store on Chippewa was gunned down May 31st. His brother was also shot and wounded. Then last week a 30 year old father with a pregnant wife was shot to death while working at a 7-11 at Gravois and Bates.
Chief Dotson told the group that crime is actually down seven-percent in the area, but that he understands their concerns and urged them to put pressure on judges to sentence repeat offenders to prison instead of probation.
Despite opposition from reinstated Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, tax breaks for a proposed Walmart development are moving forward, albeit slowly. The City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday night to authorize TIFs for project developer Sansone Group.
The vote came after Jim Sansone and Mayor Paul exchanged heated words during the packed meeting. Sansone promised court action if the council reversed their 2012 approval of the development. Paul acknowledged his continued opposition, but also recognized that the council majority would rule.
A second vote is needed to finalized the bill. That's expected to happen at a special council meeting later this month.
St. Louis-based Express Scripts is looking to add 1,500 jobs over the next five years.
The company says the hiring will coincide with work on a $56 million expansion to the North County campus. An Express Scripts told the Post-Dispatch that the company now handles prescription services for 100 million Americans and the growth is necessary to handle the increased business.
The hiring is not a done deal, it is contingent upon state and local tax incentives.
St. Charles County officials say the last day for storm debris pickup is a week from today. Residents can place fallen tree limbs at the curb in impacted area east of Highway 94, north of Highway 40/61, south of Friedens Road. Residents can also drop off tree limbs at two Highway Department locations.
Here are the areas of pick-up and places to drop off debris:
Place tree and limb debris at the curb for pickup in impacted areas east of Highway 94, north of Highway 40/61, south of Friedens Rd., along Arena Parkway including Pralle Lane, and along County snow routes adjacent to the defined area.
Drop off tree and limb debris at the following St. Charles County Highway Department facilities: 3890 Greens Bottom Road and 7101 Highway 94 (south of Highway 40/61).
Drop off non-electrical construction debris at the following public dumpster sites: St. Charles County’s Highway Department facility, 3890 Greens Bottom Road; Barnwell Middle School, 1035 Jungs Station Road; and Castlio Elementary, 1020 Dingledine.
A man, already on the sex offender registry, is facing charges for allegedly molesting a 10-year old boy.
Douglas Hahn was convicted of sodomizing two girls in St. Louis County in 1992. The new charges stem from allegations that were brought to the attention of the Warren County Sheriff's Department earlier this month. Prosecutors say that Hahn abused the boy in 2002 while the boy's father was living at Hahn's house. .
Hahn is held on a half-million-dollar bond.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have convened a special session in Springfield, where they're expected to move ahead with plans to form a committee to deal with pensions.
Moving to committee requires a vote by both the House and Senate.
Gov. Pat Quinn met separately with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders Wednesday morning.
Republican House Leader Tom Cross says the governor wants to move ahead quickly so pension reform can be voted on by early July in another special session.
House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton each would get three appointees to the 10-member committee. Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (rah-DOH'-nyoh) each would get two.
Illinois' $97 billion unfunded pension liability is the worst in the nation.
19-year-old Nicholas Lunceford is in custody connected to the murder a murder in the Village of Marlborough.
Police believe that Lunceford shot and killed 18-year-old Brandon Richards. Richards was found dead in his home on Monday afternoon. Charges could be filed later this afternoon.