SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A lawsuit challenging Illinois' caps on political donations is unlikely to be resolved before the 2014 elections.
That means limits put in place after Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment will probably remain in place for the rest of this election season.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that a federal judge this week dismissed most of the challenges brought by the Liberty Justice Center.
The judge kept one element of it alive for debate, but an attorney for the Chicago-based group says it will take months to play out.
As a result, attorney Jacob Huebert says it's unlikely it will be settled by November.
The group argues the donation limits in the 2009 law are unconstitutional because contributions from legislative leaders are not capped in general elections.
A suspect is now in custody in connection with threats made Thursday caused officials to place two Granite City schools on lock down.
Police say around 3:24 p.m. they received information that a suspect had made a specific threat to the Coolidge Middle School. Officers met with school officials and placed the school on a lockdown. Granite City High School was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Once investigators determined that the call wasn't in the vicinity of the schools, the lockdowns were lifted and students were allowed to go home.
Assistant Granite City Police Chief Major Jeff Connor says a 55 year old man was tracked to a local bar where he was arrested without incident.
The case will be presented to the Madison County States Attorney Friday for possible charges.
CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) - A group is closing out its public comment period on a push to get an ancient metro-east historical site designated as a national park.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the Heartlands Conservancy will hold its last public hearing on March 19 at the Cahokia Mounds Interpretive Center.
Those behind the push believe that by seeking national recognition, Cahokia Mounds could bring additional regional tourism, jobs and money. The conservancy has been working for more than a year with Native American tribes, government agencies and nonprofits on a feasibility study.
Cahokia is believed to have been inhabited from 700 to 1400 A.D., and it was among the most complex societies of prehistoric North America. The 2,200-acre property is designated by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site.
The man who shot and paralyzed a Florissant police officer in 2012 could spend decades behind bars.
Twenty-two year old Brian Cannon was found guilty Thursday of shooting former police officer Mike Vernon. The attack left Vernon paralyzed from the waist down and ended his police career.
Cannon admitted on the stand he had been running from police and hid in a dumpster. Vernon and other officers had been searching for him. When Vernon walked by the trash bin, Cannon shot him.
Vernon spoke with Fox 2 News about the guilty verdict. "I want him to sit in a cell and always wonder," Vernon said. "I was never going to open that trash can. I was going to go back in my car and drive away and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation."
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, the son of a police officer killed in the line of duty, personally handled the case.
Sentencing is set for April 11.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' public universities are warning of serious perils if the state's temporary income tax increase is allowed to expire as scheduled in January.
Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard says institutions of higher education are anticipating a 30 percent decrease in funding next year because of an expected $1.5 billion reduction in state revenues.
Poshard told a Senate appropriations committee Thursday that budget cuts would mean larger class sizes, having more classes taught by adjunct professors instead of tenured faculty and an increase in tuition.
Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas says the state's backlog of bills has already created budget headaches for his institution.
Both presidents say increasing the state's minimum wage as Gov. Pat Quinn wants could heighten budget problems, requiring millions more to pay their student workforces.
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - More information about the body of an infant that was found in Warrensburg by a pair of biology students.
Investigators say the baby was found in a cave, was near full-term, and had been delivered by C-section. Police are looking for the person who may have dumped the baby. Investigators are asking for help--they want to hear from anyone who knows a pregnant woman with suspicious circumstances around the birth of her baby in the past few weeks.
The students found the baby about a mile south of campus on Tuesday.
St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Several businesses are being honored for helping veterans get back to work.
Ten companies were given the Flag of Freedom award at St. Louis City Hall today for taking part in the “Show Me Heroes Initiative”. The program has the goal of encouraging companies to pledge to train and hire veterans returning to the workforce. More than three-thousand companies have made the pledge and more than six-thousand Missouri veterans have gotten work because of it, including more than 500 in the St. Louis area.
Mayor Francis Slay says the city will be putting a charter amendment on this year’s November ballot that will allow preferential treatment when it comes to hiring veterans within the city government.
"We have veterans that have sacrificed personally and their families have sacrificed so that they can protect our freedom, we can continue our way of life", says Slay. "So this is an opportunity for us to give back but our arcane city charter does not allow for us to give preferences to veterans. This charter amendment will allow that."
The Amendment will take a vote of 60-percent or more to order to pass.