The theft of a police chief's gun used in a 2009 Illinois murder will be investigated by a special state prosecutor. The Southern Illinoisan reports that a Jackson County judge has signed off on having a prosecutor with the Illinois attorney general's office review the case. Authorities say the gun taken from Carbondale Police Chief Jody O'Guinn's car in 2009 was used months later in the death of Deaunta Spencer of Carbondale. Witnesses said Matthew Jones shot Spencer during an altercation. Police say they found what they believe to be the murder weapon blocks from the scene. Jones pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced last year to 35 years in prison.
Missouri and Illinois have a mutual interest in the most recent crew of the International Space Station. The Russian Soyuz arrived yesterday at the Space Station with two Russian astronauts and American Mike Hopkins. The Missouri native is also a former captain of the Fighting Illini football team. Hopkins was born in Lebanon, Mo. and grew up in Richland. While attending the University of Illinois to earn a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering he captained the U. of I. football team in 1991. Hopkins, a Colonel in the Air Force, will remain at the space station until mid-March. Officials at the school say he is the sixth alumnus to become an astronaut. A schedule of the sightings of the ISS can be found at: spotthestation.nasa.gov .
A traffic stop on I-64 in Illinois has led to the arrest of three men and the recovery of marijuana, an assault-style weapon, a handgun and $25,000. Illinois State Police say the men aroused suspicion when they were stopped on Tuesday because they appeared nervous while being questioned. That prompted a search of their vehicle. Authorities say the men, ranging in age from 19 to 27, were headed from Georgia to Colorado to buy marijuana when they were pulled over on Interstate 64 in Nashville, Illinois. The driver is charged with possessing marijuana and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. The passengers are facing a marijuana-possession charge.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will receive nearly $540,000 in federal funds to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce.
Agriculture Director Bob Flider said Wednesday the money will come from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. It will be split among 12 projects focused on local produce.
Flider says Illinois' "fertile soil and favorable climate" are good for growing a variety of crops. He says the grants will help encourage production and make nutritious food available to more people.
Illinois is known for growing corn and soybeans. But it's the nation's largest pumpkin and horseradish producer in the nation and is among the top states for such crops as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans.
The state has more than 117,000 acres of specialty crops which produce $137 million in sales.