It was a little like forced savings, and now Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is set to get about $74,000 in back pay.
While Illinois lawmakers were battling over the state's $100-billion pension shortfall, the governor used his line-item veto power this summer to halt legislators' salaries, saying they shouldn't get paid until they address the pension crisis.
The Governor also stopped accepting his own paychecks. A judge disagreed with Quinn in September and the state comptroller began issuing checks to lawmakers. But Quinn still didn't accept his own salary.
Lawmakers approved the pension reform plan this week and sent the measure to the Governor on Wednesday. Lee Enterprise newspapers in Springfield reports that Quinn's past pay checks have still not been requested from the comptroller's office.
As the temperatures drop, the risk of fire rises as many people use space heaters to warm their homes and apartments.
A University City house is the site of the latest fatal fire in the area. Fox2 News reports the victim of Tuesday's blaze was 51-year-old Wardie Neely Jr. who lived in the 6700 block of Plymouth Avenue. Just last week, a St. Louis baby died in a fire caused by a space heater.
University City Assistant Fire Chief, David Crismon, is reminding residents to never leave a space heater near anything that could catch fire. Crismon also says it`s not safe to use an extension cord with space heaters.
The assistant chief believes Neely was on the second floor when curtains caught fire. Investigators said the curtains were directly above a natural gas powered space heater.
Crismon said firefighters did not hear any working smoke detectors when they arrived. Many fire departments, including University City, install smoke detectors for free.
Friends and family are preparing to say goodbye to a Belleville man killed in a mortar attack in Afghanistan.
Sixty-four year old Albert Haas was a civilian aircraft mechanic working at Bagram Air Force Base. He and a female coworker were killed last Friday (Nov. 29) when a rocket struck a barracks building.
Haas was a graduate of Althoff Catholic High School, and served 30 years in the military. He leaves behind a wife and three adult children.
Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home in Belleville. There will be a funeral service at the funeral home Friday at 9 a.m. Then Haas will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
St. Louis is bracing for the first winter storm of the season. Snow shovels and rock salt are hot items at local hardware stores. Shoppers are also hitting the milk, egg and bread aisles at local grocery stores.
Ameren has opend it's Missouri's Emergency Operations Center to prepare for severe weather that is expected to affect the bi-state area. Ameren employees who respond to outages have been asked to come to work on Thursday with their bags packed. As the weather develops, Ameren officials say crews will be deployed to the hardest hit areas.
Dean Wolfe, the Owner of Wolfe Properties LLC, says the St. Louis area has seen a boom in development, especially in the retail sector, in the last several months.
Wolfe's company owns the St. Louis Premium Outlets in Chesterfield, and he is celebrating news that IKEA plans to come to St. Louis. Wolfe says when you look at the whole picture--the outlet malls opening, plans for an IKEA and Whole Foods in the city, and the possibility of landing a new Boeing facility--this is a special time.
"I am guardedly optimistic that this is an indication that people are figuring out that the Midwest has numerous advantages, St. Louis, in particular, with our central location" says Wolfe.
Wolfe says things are going great the outlet mall. He believes national figures that show retail shopping lagging this holiday season only tell part of the story.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - With the fight over solving Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension shortfall moving to the courts, the state faces a grim possibility: The plan could be tossed, and Illinois could wind up in an even deeper fiscal hole.
Lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday that they say eliminates the $100 billion unfunded pension liability, largely by cutting benefits.
Labor unions say it's unconstitutional and plan to sue once Gov. Pat Quinn signs it.
Court rulings on similar cases elsewhere have varied.
A bankruptcy judge in Detroit said Tuesday that city pensions can be cut.
But in Arizona a court said asking employees to contribute more to their retirement was illegal and made the state repay workers, with interest.
Experts say that could happen in Illinois, which has some of the country's stronger pension protections.
A pair of men from the Detroit area facing charges for allegedly robbing a jewelry store on Tuesday.
Police say Stefan Douglas and Treymane Kinsey tried to steal a Rolex from a Clarkson Jewelers in Ellisville. When the men tried to run out of the store, a sales clerk caught one of the the suspects. There was an altercation in the parking lot and during the confusion, the store owner pulled out a gun and shot at the suspects.
After a short chase, the suspects crashed near Chesterfield mall. Now the men face charges of robbery in the second degree.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators have passed legislation offering up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades for Boeing to assemble a commercial airplane in St. Louis.
Senators passed the bill 23-8 Wednesday while meeting in a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon. It now goes to the House.
Missouri is one of more than a dozen locations invited by Boeing to bid on assembling the new 777X airplane.
Most other states are crafting their proposals privately. But Nixon called a special session because he wanted to offer more incentives than currently allowed under state law.
Under Missouri's plan, the amount of incentives Boeing gets would depend on the number of jobs created.
Supporters say the Boeing project includes 2,000 to 8,000 company jobs, plus thousands of more at its suppliers.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A 23-year-old southwestern Illinois man is jailed on $2 million bond after being accused of fatally stabbing a man who police say spent the past several years trying to help the troubled defendant.
Prosecutors in St. Clair County on Wednesday charged Joshua Rogers with first-degree murder in the death of Richard Feldt of Mascoutah.
Police asked by Feldt's relatives to check on his well-being found Feldt's body Monday night on his living room floor, with Rogers relaxing on a nearby couch.
Mascoutah Police Chief Bruce Fleshren says Feldt had not been seen since Thanksgiving Day and when found had been dead at least a day.
Online court records don't show whether Rogers has an attorney. He does not have a listed home telephone number.