SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois has awarded contracts for computer upgrades intended to screen out people prohibited from carrying concealed weapons under the state's new gun legislation.
The Springfield Journal-Register reports on two contracts totaling more than $350,000. The Illinois State Police is contracting with a division of Levi, Ray & Shoup of Springfield to automate the entry of names into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
The Department of Human Services is contracting with Levi, Ray & Shoup for help dealing with the new law's mental health reporting requirements.
The law gives the Illinois six months to create an application system and another three months to approve applications.
Earlier this month, Illinois became the last state in the nation to make it legal for people to carry concealed weapons in public.
A possible serial bank robber may be targeting banks inside area grocery stores.
Richmond Heights Police say a man held up the US Bank inside the Schnucks Store on Clayton Road about 6:30 Tuesday evening. Police said the suspect showed the teller a threatening note demanding money and walked out of the store with an unknown amount of cash.
The suspect is described as a white man, 5'6" to 6' with a thin build.
Police believe the man may also be responsible for robbing the First Bank inside a Brentwood Dierberg's on Saturday.
Some Crestwood residents say city leaders are dragging their feet on a plan to redevelop the shuttered Crestwood Plaza. Dozens of people marched from the old mall to City Hall Tuesday to express their concern.
Developer Centrum Properties wants to turn the site into an entertainment center with a movie theater, bowling alley, restaurants and retail stores. But their plan calls for $22 million in taxpayer subsidies -- a figure Crestwood Mayor Jeff Schlink says he and many aldermen are not "comfortable" with.
"If we're going to grant and issue those tax breaks for them," Schlink said, "they're going to have to be done on terms that we feel are reasonable for the city."
Centrum officials say if they can't work things out, they may have to sell the land one parcel at a time.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal official has confirmed that a fire has broken out on a blown-out Gulf of Mexico gas well.
Eileen Angelico of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement confirmed to The Associated Press that the evacuated rig caught fire late Tuesday. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The drilling rig involved was evacuated early Tuesday when the blowout occurred.
Angelico says it wasn't immediately clear what caused the gas to ignite. And it wasn't known what efforts to extinguish the blaze were being made early Wednesday.
Personnel with Wild Well Control Inc. were at the site to assess how and when to try to bring the well under control.