LITCHFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Two Interstate 55 rest stops in central Illinois now bear the name of a state trooper killed on the freeway last year.
Kyle Deatherage's family joined Illinois State Police in dedicating signs Thursday that designate the rest stops near Litchfield in Deatherage's honor. The action was approved earlier this year by Illinois' General Assembly.
Deatherage was a 32 year old motorcycle trooper when he was hit and killed by a passing tractor-trailer last November during a traffic stop along the highway, about 45 miles south of Springfield.
The trucker, 52 year old Johnny Felton Jr. of Hinesville, GA, is charged with reckless homicide and operating a commercial motor vehicle without a proper license. He has pleaded not guilty.
Deatherage was a married father of two children and had been a trooper since May 2009.
Illinois State Police are preparing to launch Operation Fatal 4 over Labor Day weekend -- one the busiest driving periods on Illinois roadways.
Troopers will saturate the interstates and local roadways looking for drivers committing the four most common traffic violations: Speeding, DUI, seat belt violation, and distracted driving. ISP officials say drivers who choose to violate the law face fines and possible jail time.
This is the seventh year of the Fatal 4 Mission. Last year, troopers made more than 90 DUI arrests and cited more than 3,300 drivers for speeding, distracted driving and seat belt violations over the Labor Day weekend.
Texas Governor Rick Perry says that unless Missouri lawmakers override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of an income tax cut, he won't be the only governor trying to lure business from the Show-me State. Perry made the comments Thursday evening while speaking at a pro-tax cut rally in Chesterfield.
Perry had spent the day in the St. Louis area pushing for the override of Nixon's veto of House Bill 253.
Nixon crisscrossed the state Thursday, telling crowds that the tax cut would imperil critical services like education and risk the state's Triple-A tax rating.
Both men spent Thursday morning discussing their positions with McGraw Milhaven on his KTRS morning show. Nixon continued to criticize the Texas Governor for trying to "poach" business, while Perry said it's merely competition in a very competitive arena.
Perry also told McGraw that $40 million in business leaves Missouri for Texas every year, although he could not name any specific business. Nixon contests that figure.
The Missouri Governor said the bottom line is that states should be competing against the world for a piece of the economic pie, not slicing into each other's portion.