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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

2 IL families awarded $8 million for grain bin deaths

Friday, 07 February 2014 03:20 Published in Local News
   MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois jury has awarded $16 million to the families of two teenagers killed in a July 2010 grain bin accident.
   The Carroll County jury reached its judgment after a 13 day trial, awarding $8 million each to the families of 19 year old Alejandro Pacas and 14 year old Wyatt Whitebread.
   The workers were in a Haasbach LLC grain bin to help the corn flow while machinery was running. They were trapped in corn more than 30 feet deep.
   Haasbach, which is now out of business, paid $200,000 in federal fines for more than two dozen violations. It also paid more than $68,000 for violating child labor laws under an agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
   The jury found Haasbach owner Consolidated Grain and Barge ultimately responsible for the deaths.
   Carroll County is about 280 miles north of St. Louis, in northwestern Illinois near the Iowa border.
 

Obama Explains Putin's Tough Guy "Shtick"

Friday, 07 February 2014 03:13 Published in National News
   President Obama thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin's "shtick" is to try to look like a "tough guy."
   Putin, after all, has carefully crafted a no-nonsense public image as a rugged outdoorsman. He’s been photographed hunting, fishing and riding horses, all while bare-chested.
   Despite appearing standoffish in meetings with Obama, the U.S. president said his Russian counterpart has always treated him with "respect" and that "there's a surprising amount of humor" in their interactions.
   "He does have a public style where he likes to sit back and look a little bored during the course of joint interviews," Obama told NBC News as the network kicked of its Olympic coverage. "I think that's where some of these perceptions come up."
   "My sense is that's part of his shtick back home politically as wanting to look like the tough guy," he said. "U.S. politicians have a different style. We tend to smile once in a while."
 

IL appeals FEMA denial for Nov. tornado aid

Friday, 07 February 2014 02:51 Published in Local News

   The state of Illinois is steadfast in its insistence that local governments devastated by deadly tornadoes in November should be eligible for federal assistance.  They're appealing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's denial of aid.  

   State officials argue that FEMA's population-based formula penalizes small towns in large states.  

   The Illinois Emergency Management Agency filed the appeal on Thursday.

   At least seven people were killed statewide and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed in the storms.

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