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September 2, 2014, 6:43 am
970 WMAY News

Labor Day Parade Works Politics Into Equation


Labor Day celebrations across Central Illinois had an air of political uncertainty about them.

 

While a large contingent of union members took part in festivities in Springfield Monday, they are facing uncertain prospects at the state level… with Governor Pat Quinn and Republican opponent Bruce Rauner both generating anger, especially among members of public sector unions.

 

The grand marshals at Monday’s parade were members of the SJR Newspaper Guild… the bargaining unit set up at the State Journal-Register to negotiate a contract for writers and reporters with the newspaper’s owners, Gatehouse Media.

Area Accidents Cap Off Holiday Weekend Travel


The Labor Day travel weekend came to a difficult end on area roadways Monday.

 

One accident involved an Illinois State Police trooper. State Police say the trooper had lights and sirens activated when he entered the intersection at South Grand and Dirksen and struck a car driven by a woman from Macon. The trooper’s vehicle overturned.

 

Both drivers were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. The accident closed the intersection for a couple of hours.

 

Meanwhile, a three-car accident on Interstate 55 northbound near Lincoln also slowed down holiday traffic Monday afternoon.

Deadline for Dist. 186 Students Vaccinations Today


If your child doesn’t have all their required shots… or the paperwork to prove it… they may not be allowed in class today.

 

Today is the first day of school since Friday’s deadline in District 186 to show proof of required immunizations.

 

The district has not said officially how many students may be kept out of class this morning until the proper paperwork is submitted.

Medical Marijuana Patient Applications Opens Today


Today is the day patients can begin applying for authorization to purchase and use medical marijuana… at least some of them can.

 

For now, only patients with last names starting with “A” through “L”, or their caregivers, can submit applications.

 

Everyone else will have to wait a couple of months to start the process.

 

And it’s still likely to be next year before anyone can actually obtain the drug for treatment of various specific conditions.

Despite Level 1 Trauma Center at Memorial, St. Johns Could Seek Designation


The SIU School of Medicine says it will only provide physicians to staff a Level 1 trauma center at Memorial Medical Center… not at St. John’s.

 

The two hospitals have alternated that designation for years… but now SIU says it wants to stick with just one, and thinks Memorial provides a better environment for that emergency treatment.

 

The State Journal-Register reports St. John’s could still seek to remain a Level 1 center… putting that designation at both hospitals simultaneously.

 

But it could only do so if it can find enough physicians from other places to staff the trauma center.

Governor's Mansion Residency Issue in Race


So does a governor need to live in the Governor’s Mansion?

 

Expect that debate to heat up again… now that Republican Bruce Rauner has pledged that he will do so if elected next year.

 

It’s similar to a pledge made by Governor Pat Quinn after he took office in 2009. But since then, Quinn has only averaged about 70 nights a year at the Mansion in Springfield.

 

Quinn now says he will continue to split time between Springfield and Chicago if he wins another term.

Charge: Bus Driver Drove With Passengers Still Standing on Bus's Stairway


His job was to drive intoxicated bar patrons home… but police in Bloomington say he may have gotten too involved in his work.

 

Steven McKenna is now charged with aggravated drunk driving.

 

Bystanders flagged down police after McKenna reportedly started driving the limo bus with the door open and passengers still standing on the bus’s stairway.

 

Police say his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Holiday Weekend Ends Badly On Area Roadways


Only minor injuries are reported from a rollover crash at South Grand and Dirksen on Labor Day afternoon.  Initial reports say a state police trooper in an unmarked police vehicle entered the intersection and struck another car.  The trooper’s vehicle rolled over.  The trooper and the driver of the other car were taken to the hospital for observation. A separate accident was also reported near that same location at around the same time, but it’s unclear how the two wrecks are related.

 

Meanwhile, injuries are also reported from a three-vehicle collision on Northbound Interstate 55 near Lincoln Monday.  The wreck slowed holiday traffic to a standstill, adding to delays from road work that is also going on in that area.  There was no immediate information on the number or extent of injuries.

September Is National Preparedness Month


September is National Preparedness Month. 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials are stressing a different them for each week of the month… including how to put together an emergency kit, practicing for what to do in an emergency, and planning for how to reconnect with family members after a disaster. 

 

More details are at ready.illinois.gov.

 

Question Of Whether To Live At Governor's Mansion Or Not Returns As Campaign Issue


Is it important for a governor to live in the governor’s mansion? 

 

That question is back on the political landscape in Illinois… with a new vow from Republican Bruce Rauner to call Springfield home if he’s elected in November. 

 

Governor Pat Quinn… who initially said he planned to live in the Mansion… only averages about 70 nights a year there, and says he’ll continue to split his time between Springfield and Chicago if re-elected.

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