ST. LOUIS (AP) — Illinois' congressional delegation is grappling with whether to approve U.S. use of military might against Syria. And freshman Representative Bill Enyart appears emblematic of the complexity of the decision.
The southern Illinois Democrat who once headed Illinois' National Guard says he hasn't made up his mind about President Barack Obama's call for limited military force against Syria.
Enyart says feedback from his constituents has been overwhelmingly against U.S. involvement. And Enyart wonders whether flexing U.S. military might against Syria might fan anti-America sentiment in the Middle East.
Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin this week voted in a Senate committee in favor of a resolution authorizing military force but restricting it to 90 days and barring American ground troops from combat. That resolution is to reach the Senate floor next week.
An Illinois AMBER Alert has been canceled.
A 13-year-old Champaign, Illinois girl abducted Thursday has been found safe in a Cape Girardeau Wal-Mart, according to the Champaign Police Department. Cleo Younce called her mother yesterday to say she had been abducted by 21-year-old Nicholas Hurley. Younce and Hurley had met about a month earlier through a mutual acquaintance.
It is not known why Hurley abducted the teen.
Illinois authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a 13-year-old girl from Champaign, Illinois.
Police say that Cleo Younce was taken Thursday afternoon at 3:24. Younce was taken 21-year-old Nicholas Hurley. The pair were last seen in a Bronze 2000 Chevy Suburban with Indiana license plate 2-6-1-C-T-D.
Younce is described as a white female, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is 5'8" tall and was last seen wearing black half jacket, black tank top, dark jeans, black and teal K-Swiss shoes.
Hurley is a white male with brown hair and eyes. He is 6'8" tall and weights around 300 pounds.
Anyone with information or who sees the pair should call 911.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Precipitation has been below average this summer in Illinois.
Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign says statewide average precipitation for June, July and August was just less than 10 inches. He says that's nearly 2 inches below average.
Data show June's rainfall was above average, but rainfall during both July and August were below average. However, Angel says this year is an improvement over last summer. That's when precipitation was just less than 7 inches or nearly 5 inches below average.
The summer's statewide average temperature has been 72.5 degrees. That's about 1 degree below average.
CHICAGO (AP) - The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is retiring next year.
Chamber chairman Ray Drake says Douglas Whitley announced his retirement plans at the chamber board's quarterly meeting on Thursday. Whitley has had the position for 12 years and says he will leave the chamber in June. Whitley is 63.
Drake says the chamber's board will embark on a nationwide search to replace Whitley. Drake says Whitley has given the board enough time to find a new president and prepare before next year's election for Illinois governor.
ST. CHARLES, Ill. (AP) - Three courthouses in Kane County are open again after being evacuated due to bomb threats.
The Kane County Sheriff's Office says on its Twitter account that the courthouses were reopened Wednesday afternoon and "no suspicious items were found." Lt. Pat Gengler is with the Kane County Sheriff's Office. He says officers were investigating "a series of bomb threats" made against the three separate courthouses.
The facilities evacuated Wednesday morning include the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles and the Elgin Branch Court in Elgin. Also the Kane Branch Court and Kane County Clerk's office, which are in the same building in St. Charles.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials are urging residents to make plans for disasters as Gov. Pat Quinn has declared September "Emergency Preparedness Month."
Authorities will work with other states and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to encourage individual plans for homes and businesses.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monkenb says a plan should include where to go and how to communicate during disasters as well as an emergency supply kit.
IEMA relies on its Ready Illinois website during disasters. Updates are also posted on Facebook and Twitter. Information is provided about the incident, shelter locations, road closures, safety information and more.
The agency will host its annual emergency management conference Wednesday through Friday in Springfield for more than 1,000 representatives from fire, law enforcement, emergency management and public health.
CHICAGO (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Kirk Dillard has chosen state Rep. Jil Tracy as his running mate.
Dillard announced his lieutenant governor pick late Monday on Instagram with a video message.
Tracy is a Quincy Republican who first took office in 2006 and is a member of the bipartisan pension panel tasked with trying to find a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem.
Dillard is set to make the announcement official Tuesday with a statewide tour, including stops in Quincy, Springfield and Rockford. Tuesday is the first day candidate petitions can be circulated
It's the first year lieutenant governor candidates will run with governor candidates on the same ticket.
Also Monday, Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced his running mate is Chicago attorney Steve Kim.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois will regulate the use of drones by law enforcement under a bill signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn.
The Chicago Democrat signed the measure Tuesday. Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says the governor signed the law to protect people's right to privacy.
Drones are sophisticated, unmanned aircraft that authorities are considering for aerial surveillance. The law requires authorities to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information.
Bill sponsor Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss has said the law helps maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy. The American Civil Liberties Union praises the new law as appropriate and reasonable.
The legislation outlines a few exceptions, including when the Department of Homeland Security decides surveillance is needed to prevent a terrorist attack.
QUAD CITIES, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is advocating for the U.S. to launch a missile strike at the Syrian regime which is believed to have used chemical weapons on civilians.
The Quad City Times reports that Kirk made the comments Monday while visiting the Rock Island Arsenal.
Kirk opposes extending "boots on the ground" U.S. military involvement in Syria. He likened an air strike to the 1998 attack on Iraq aimed at curbing weapons of mass destruction. Kirk is a Highland Park Republican and a recently retired Naval intelligence officer.
Secretary of State John Kerry has decried what he called Syria's "indiscriminate slaughter of civilians," but hasn't indicated whether the U.S. will take action. Syrian President Bashar Assad has denied launching a chemical attack.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal appeals court will hear arguments Oct. 3 over a push by gun rights advocates to let Illinois residents immediately tote firearms in public under the state's fledgling concealed-carry law.
Mary Shepard and the Illinois State Rifle Association want the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene after failing to sway a federal judge in East St. Louis to allow immediate concealed carry.
The Illinois Legislature passed the last-in-the-nation concealed-carry law July 9 against Gov. Pat Quinn's objections, giving Illinois State Police 180 days to set up the permit process and an additional 90 days to process applications.
Shepard and the rifle group consider that "foot-dragging."
The state counters the legal challenge is moot, and that the permitting process should be allowed to run its course.