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   Business owners in Grafton, Illinois expect the tourist trade to pick up after this Friday.  That's when the Grafton Ferry will start running again after being closed for the past three years.  The ferry spans the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers between Missouri and Illinois.

   The city of Grafton bought the landings and spent $200,000 dredging the river to remove silt buildup.  The city is working on a federal grant to help cover the cost of maintaining the channel.  

   The 12 minute ferry ride from St. Charles to Grafton will cost $8 one way, $15 round trip.  The ferry will operate from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

   The city will celebrate the reopening with a public ribbon cutting ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Friday morning at the Grafton launch. 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 04:34
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   WASHINGTON (AP) - The father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin will be on Capitol Hill for a hearing addressing the challenges faced by African-American boys and men.

   Tracy Martin will give opening remarks Wednesday at the inaugural hearing of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys. D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Illinois Congressman Danny Davis are the co-chairs of the newly formed caucus. Both are Democrats.

   The hearing will also feature remarks by David Johns, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans; Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson; and Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and NAACP president.

   Earlier this month, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was acquitted of second degree murder in the slaying of the 17 year old Martin, who was unarmed.

   

 
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   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.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013 02:16
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   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.  

 
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 01:28
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