970 WMAY News
Illinois Republicans will spend lots of time this year on the attack against President Obama, but House Speaker and state Democratic chair Mike Madigan may be a close second on their list of favorite targets.
At the state party convention over the weekend, Illinois GOP chair Pat Brady went on the attack, calling Madigan, quote, “a controlling, vindictive, ethically challenged, self-serving leprechaun.” Brady compared the state under Madigan’s leadership to a Third-world republic like Venezuela.
The party hopes to weaken Madigan’s iron grip on the House in the fall elections.
It’s an issue that generated lots of buzz last year, and now Springfield aldermen will take up the issue of hobby beekeeping.
An ordinance that goes before the City Council this week would clarify the city’s rules and make it clear that people are allowed to keep a limited number of beehives on their property.
Sangamon County Board member Tim Moore, who is himself a beekeeping enthusiast, helped to draft the language of the city ordinance.
Landlords whose properties are the scenes of frequent police calls could face tougher scrutiny under an ordinance being proposed by Springfield alderman Tim Griffin.
The current city ordinance allows for a nuisance declaration if there have been two police calls in a 60-day period. Griffin’s proposal would alter that to allow the declaration if there have been three calls within any 12-month period.
The ordinance also cleans up some of the offenses to be considered a nuisance.
If the chief of police receives report of a nuisance property under the proposed ordinance, the city’s corporation council could then have the courts put an injunction on the property owner from renting out the property.
Still plenty of unanswered questions surrounding two separate incidents last week that left four people dead in Springfield.
Police have charged a Springfield woman with murder in the shooting deaths of her estranged husband and another family member.
Melody Lyons is accused of shooting Lloyd Lyons and Henry Dale Gilbert in the family home on Winterberry Lane.
But police have not offered any hints about what may have led to the violence inside that home. And authorities have disclosed few details about the deaths of a man and woman inside an apartment on Durkin Drive.
The bodies of 48-year-old Vecheeka Wesley-Sullers and 43-year-old Shawn Kee were discovered Thursday, but authorities still have not disclosed a cause of death.
Illinois State Police say only minor injuries resulted from a multi-vehicle pileup that closed I-55 near Springfield Sunday morning.
The chain reaction began with a single-vehicle rollover accident that left one person with non-life-threatening injuries. Shortly after that, according to state police, as many as seven vehicles were involved in one or more additional accidents near the scene of the first crash.
Southbound traffic had to be diverted off the interstate at the South Grand Avenue exit for several hours.
Illinois Republicans are not holding back in their criticism of House Speaker and state Democratic chair Mike Madigan.
At this weekend’s Illinois GOP convention, Republican party chair Pat Brady called Madigan, quote, “a controlling, vindictive, ethically challenged, self-serving leprechaun."
The Sangamon County Coroner has identified the victims of Friday’s double homicide on Winterberry Lane.
50-year-old Lloyd Lyons and a relative, 69-year-old Henry Dale Gilbert, were found fatally wounded when police responded to a 911 call. Lloyd Lyons’ estranged wife, 50-year-old Melody Lyons, is charged with murder in the case. Lloyd Lyons reportedly filed for divorce several weeks ago.
Springfield police are still investigating the deaths of two people found Thursday inside an apartment on Durkin Drive, but are offering few details about the circumstances of those deaths. Autopsies were conducted Friday which could provide more clues about how the two died.
Investigators say 48-year-old Vecheeka Wesley-Sullers and 43-year-old Shawn Kee both of Springfield did not die of natural causes, but have not indicated whether they believe the deaths were the result of homicide, suicide or accident.
Police do say they are not looking for suspects in the deaths.
Springfield Police have arrested 51-year-old Melody L. Lyons of the 6400 block of Winterberry Lane on two counts of First Degree Murder following a series of interviews conducted by Springfield Detectives.
Lyons was arrested in connection with the shooting deaths of two individuals at a residence on Winterberry lane, just off Toronto Road.
Preliminary investigation reveals that the incidents were apparently the result of a domestic disturbance involving both victims.
City, Water, Light and Power are reminding their customers that they can participate in the City’s “Round Up Program” through an insert in with their monthly bill.
The Round Up program provides Springfield residents with an easy way to help the homeless by having their monthly CWLP bill rounded up to the next dollar. Funds raised through the program are placed in a special account where a seven-member committee advises the Director of the Office of Community Relations on who the funds should be distributed.
The insert in June’s CWLP bills provide a sign up form which can be mailed back with the bill payment or separately. Or residents may donate on-line by going to the utility’s website CWLP (dot) com.
And the finale for the Illinois State Fair Grandstand acts – The Steve Miller Band. The classic rock group will take the Grandstand stage on Sunday, August 19th, filling the lone open date in the 2012 Illinois State Fair concert line-up.
The band has sold more than 30 million records during their nearly 40 year career. “the Joker” shot to Number One on the charts in 1973, followed by “Fly Like an Eagle” “Take the Money and Run” and “Jungle Love.”
Tickets go on sale Saturday and can be purchased at the Grandstand ticket office or through Ticketmaster.
Two people are dead following an apparent double shooting at a residence on Winterberry Drive, just off Toronto Road.
Springfield police were called to the home in the 64-hundred block of Winterberry and found a man there with a serious gunshot wound. He was taken to the hospital and later died. As police searched the scene, they found a second male victim already deceased in the basement. Police are interviewing several individuals who were in the home when they arrived.
Stay with 970 WMAY for updates on this developing story.
Springfield police are still investigating the deaths of two people found Thursday inside an apartment on Durkin Drive, but are offering few details about the circumstances of those deaths.
Investigators say the people did not die of natural causes, but have not indicated whether they believe the deaths were the result of homicide, suicide or accident. They also have not yet released the names, ages, or even the genders of the victims.
Police do say they are not looking for suspects in the deaths.
Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport will be getting funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Senator Dick Durbin says the $945,000 award will be used to rehabilitate existing apron pavement at the airport. Durbin says the grant will allow new improvements so the airport can continue to serve Central Illinois travelers safely and efficiently.
For the second time in two days, road crews working on the big redesign of Clear Lake and Dirksen have ruptured an underground gas main, temporarily disrupting traffic around the already-congested road project.
An IDOT spokesman says the gas line had been marked, and crews had been digging around it. But the line was apparently not buried evenly… and was closer to the surface at one point than originally thought. That’s where the crew struck and ruptured the line.
Just as with a similar incident Wednesday, crews had to close off part of Clear Lake Thursday until the broken line could be repaired. [All lanes of traffic are now re-opened.]
An upcoming proposal on garbage pickup around Springfield will likely recommend dividing the city into “zones,” which could restrict what day of the week residents get trash pickup… and may restrict which waste hauler they are allowed to use.
Mayor Mike Houston makes it clear that the proposal is still being negotiated and is not finalized. But in a live interview on 970 WMAY’s “Jim Leach Show,” Houston said the proposal would include the creation of zones, with each one having a designated day for trash pickup, with a goal of reducing wear and tear on city roads.
Houston says the proposal wouldn’t necessarily require that people in a particular zone must use a specific waste hauler… but he also says he can’t rule out that possibility.
The mayor also says he personally believes waste haulers deserve a rate increase, something they haven't had in nearly a decade. But he stressed again that such an increase, like other provisions in the garbage pickup proposal, must still be negotiated.
Springfield is still waiting on the trains… and on a study that could determine which rail corridor will be used to accommodate them.
That environmental impact study was originally expected to be delivered by the end of May. Mayor Mike Houston says the target date has been changed several times… and he’s now told the report will be delivered by June 28th.
The study is expected to make recommendations on which rail corridor is best suited to handle an expected major increase in rail traffic. Houston says he’s optimistic that the report will select the 10th Street tracks… which is the favored route of both the city and Sangamon County. But even if it does, the next challenge is how to find the money to pay for that rail consolidation project.
Mayor Further Modifies Outdoor Music Curfew, Says He's Leaning Toward 11pm Limit For Amplified Events
Under criticism over his earlier decision to cut off live music at outdoor festivals at 9:30pm, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston is making new modifications to the policy -- now saying such events may be allowed to go as late as 11pm.
In a live interview on 970 WMAY's "Jim Leach Show," Houston said that in ongoing conversations with people about the policy, he is now "leaning toward" an 11pm cutoff, which he says will balance the desire for an active nightlife with the need to maintain order and prevent nuisances for those who live near such events.
Houston says there were complaints about the recent SOHO festival downtown, which was granted an exemption from his new policy and allowed to run until midnight; the mayor did not say how many complaints he received. And Houston also linked the event to an assault on a woman after the first night of SOHO. While saying SOHO was not to blame for the attack, he says the risk of such assaults goes up when large festivals run later into the evening.
Houston originally proposed a curfew for amplified music for 9:30pm. Supporters of the recent SOHO Music Festival urged the mayor to reverse his decision and Houston revised the curfew for 10:30, allowing this year’s SOHO to go until its scheduled end at midnight.
After record attendance at the two-day downtown music festival, Houston now says that the curfew will be 11pm.
Governor Pat Quinn and legislative leaders will keep talking, but they remain divided on the best way to tackle pension reform.
Senate President John Cullerton wants to deal with changes to state employee and lawmaker pensions first, and leave the more complicated issue of teacher pensions for later.
The Republican leaders in the House and Senate reportedly agree with the Cullerton plan. But Quinn and House Speaker Mike Madigan say the legislature must tackle teacher pensions and address the question of shifting their cost back to local school districts.
Another meeting will take place in about two weeks.
A legislative panel says there's enough evidence for the Illinois House to punish state Representative Derrick Smith, who is accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe.
The committee’s recommendation is just the first step in a lengthy process that could lead to Smith eventually being expelled from the House.
Another committee will now be convened to review the evidence and recommend the actual punishment, but the final decision is up to the full House.
Smith's attorney criticized the panel for acting before viewing all the evidence compiled by federal prosecutors.