The Edwardsville School District will be building an aquatic center with an Olympic-sized swimming pool at its sports complex thanks to a four-million dollar donation from the Charles and Sharon Fruit Foundation. The center will be named the Chuck Fruit Aquatic Center in honor of the late Chuck Fruit, a 1965 Edwardsville High School graduate.
The EGHM Foundation, a local business group that raises money for district projects, will fund the remaining $1.3 million needed for the project.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are set to consider a potentially historic plan to solve the state's worst-in-the-nation $100 billion pension crisis.
Tuesday will begin with a morning hearing where a bipartisan committee of lawmakers will discuss the proposal. Opponents and supporters also will get a chance to weigh in.
A clear majority of committee members signed off on the plan Monday, sending it to the floor of the House and Senate.
Illinois has the nation's worst-funded state pension systems. The bill before the Legislature on Tuesday is estimated to save $160 billion over 30 years by trimming retirement benefits.
Illinois' legislative leaders and the governor have spent recent days drumming up support for the proposal.
Labor unions say it's unfair to retirees and believe that some elements are unconstitutional.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will be in Jefferson City Tuesday to testify in favor of tax breaks aimed at luring Boeing's 777X plant to St. Louis.
Yesterday, a bill was introduced that would expand state tax credit programs by $150 million for aerospace companies that create at least 2,000 jobs in Missouri.
Slay will make the case to a Senate subcommittee that landing the Boeing plant would be good for the St. Louis region and the whole state.
Governor Jay Nixon says Missouri is facing a December 10th deadline to submit an offer to Boeing.
Missouri State Representative Steve Webb is resigning his position.
Webb came under fire last month for allegedly using the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus' name to steal money. Prosecutors say that Webb solicited a $3,000 donation to sponsor a black caucus reception in Washington. Instead, court documents say Webb transferred the money to a personal account.
In a statement released Monday, Webb said he believes allegations against him will "work themselves out", but that resigning is the right thing to do for his family and colleagues.
Webb, a Democrat, faces one felony stealing charge and seven misdemeanor charges for misuse of campaign money.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A bipartisan committee of lawmakers has approved a plan to deal with Illinois' $100 billion pension problem. The measure now moves to the House and Senate for consideration.
The Associated Press confirmed with six members of the 10-member panel that they had signed the measure Monday after arriving in Springfield for a special session.
Leaders announced the plan last week. It comes nearly five months after a special committee was formed to tackle the problem.
The proposal pushes back workers' retirement age on a sliding scale, has a funding guarantee, adds a 401k-style option and reduces the employee contribution.
It also would replace the current 3 percent annual cost-of-living increases. Retirees would continue to receive that rate up to a certain amount of annuity payments, based on years of employment.
St. Louis Police are expanding the hot-spot police efforts to a pair of south city neighborhoods.
The increased patrols started at 10 AM and are focusing on Tower Grove South and Gravois Park. The hot spot program focuses additional police coverage on areas that have seen an up-tick in crime. In October, police focused on the Lewis Place and Fountain Park neighborhoods in north city.
In just a week, officers found three guns and made more than 20 arrests. Residents in the area should expect to see more uniformed and plain clothes officers.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - It is the opening day for a Missouri special legislative session called in hopes of persuading the Boeing Co. to produce the 777X plane in the state.
Gov. Jay Nixon says Missouri faces a Dec. 10 deadline to submit an offer to Boeing.
Nixon has proposed an incentives package worth up to $150 million annually. It would be funded through four existing Missouri programs that help finance job training, infrastructure improvements and reward companies for expanding their payrolls.
Any incentives approved by Missouri likely will face competition from other states.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - A former employee of a southeast Missouri bank faces sentencing Feb. 18 after pleading guilty to embezzling nearly $400,000 from the bank.
The Poplar Bluff Daily American Republic reports that Leslie Ann Eastwood Kirby pleaded guilty to federal charges Thursday at U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau.
Kirby formerly worked as supervisor of tellers at First Midwest Bank in Poplar Bluff. She admitted taking $397,000 from the bank from 2007 through early this year. An internal audit uncovered the discrepancy.
The trial for the man accused of murdering 7-year-old Willow Long has been postponed again.
Justin DeRyke was set to appear in court next week, but the defense says they need more time to prepare. DeRyke is accused of murdering his niece. The new trial date is February 10.
DeRyke remains in the Effingham County Jail under a $5 million bond.
BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) - An investigation is underway after a man's body was found in a burning home in eastern Missouri.
The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Mo., reports that firefighters were putting out a house fire Saturday at the Lake Timberline development in St. Francois County when they found the body of 35-year-old Dustin Towey. Authorities say he died of smoke inhalation.
Authorities have not disclosed a cause for the fire.