Get ready for a series of television spots urging people across Illinois to "enroll now" for insurance coverage. The state is launching a $1 million ad blitz in eight major markets just 10 days before the December 23rd signup deadline for people who want to be covered on January 1st under the federal health care law. The ads were delayed because of problems with the federal website.
La Salle County Snow Crashes
La Salle County deputies were out and about early Wednesday morning handling several slide-offs and accidents due to the snow. Deputies say that most incidents have been happening off of the main roads in the county. The National Weather Service is forecasting moderate snowfall Friday evening into Saturday morning, where areas in northern La Salle County could see around three inches while southern portions could see up to six inches. Authorities remind drivers to take it slow in the winter weather and that county roads take longer to clear than the main highways.
Former Streator Doctor Sentenced for Rape
A Former Streator doctor has been sentenced to nearly two decades in prison for sexually assaulting a pregnant patient. The Cook County Circuit Clerk’s Office reports that the former gynecologist, 60 year old Bruce Smith, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for raping a pregnant patient at his Chicago office in 2002. Smith was not charged until 2010 after DNA evidence was uncovered. He last operated the Cameo Women’s Healthcare in Streator in 2008.
Concealed Carry Website
A new state police website explains the process for Illinois residents who want to apply for a permit to carry a concealed gun. The site unveiled Thursday has information about eligibility requirements, application fees, training requirements and official forms. And there are details for firearms instructors. The state will start taking applications in early January.
Taxes Dropping in Utica
Property taxes will be dropping in Utica next year. According to Finance Liaison Matthew Jereb, the tax rate will be falling about five cents per one-hundred dollars of the property value assessed. Officials also stated that the addition to the Unimin Corporation will add around $8 million in taxes to the village.
Lostant K-9 to Retire
Lostant’s Police K-9 Ory will be retiring next month after nine years of service . According to Police Chief Darin Crask, Ory will be replaced by a two-year-old male German Shepard by the name of Ika. Ika is from the Czech Republic and will be partnered with Office Jake Graham. Crask also says that he will maintain possession of Ory, and ensure that he has a wonderful retirement.
New Law for Flicking Cigarette Butts
Starting January first, anyone caught flicking a cigarette butt, and not disposing of it properly, will be charged a hefty fine. According to area District 17 Trooper Craig Graham, a first time conviction will be considered a Class B Misdemeanor, with fines up to $1,500 and the second time is a Class A Misdemeanor with the same fines. Anything past three offenses is a felony with a $25,000 fine and up to a year of jail time. Graham says that public places without enough receptacles will be charged a $100 fine.
Wreaths Across America
A special ceremony honoring United States Military veterans will be taking place tomorrow morning. The ceremony will take place simultaneously with all of the other wreath laying ceremonies taking place across the county. It starts at 11am at the Illinois Veteran's Home in La Salle and will proceed to Forest Lawn Memory Gardens where wreaths will be places on veteran's graves. 431 wreaths will be hung in honor of all local veterans.
Federal Aid Tops A Million
Governor Pat Quinn has announced that over one millions dollars worth of federal aid has been approved for those affected by last month’s tornadoes, including LaSalle and Grundy Counties. Federal grants totaling $1.06 million dollars will help with disaster-related expenses such as temporary home rental and home repairs. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses during the November 17th storms can apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA.
Gun Owner Charged
Prosecutors have filed charges against a man they say owned the loaded gun that a 7-year-old boy brought to a suburban Chicago school. Rashaad Byrd of Romeoville is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and child endangerment. Authorities say the 27-year-old was staying with the boy's family. They say the second grader found the gun and brought it to his Elgin school yesterday.
Alternative Nativity Scene
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has put up its own display just a few feet from a life-size nativity scene at Chicago's annual Christmas market. The group's 8½-foot-tall red "A," stands for atheist or agnostic. Members say it's meant to send a message that they believe religious displays on public property violate the separation of church and state.
Cheap Trick Legal Spat
A Delaware judge says the legal spat between members of the rock band Cheap Trick belongs in an Illinois federal court. Three band members want a court to validate the purported ouster of the former drummer as a board member of the band's business entities. Drummer Brad Carlson, known as Bun. E. Carlos, claims he's owed hundreds of thousands of dollars.