TRAFFIC CAMERAS: Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that will allow Chicago to install cameras to ticket speeders in "safety zones" within 660 feet of schools, but it's unlikely that practice will be instituted anytime soon in Quincy. Quincy has encountered problems with speeding motorists in school zones in recent years, and police have attempted to combat it by deploying extra traffic enforcement details, paid primarily from funds provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Electronic speed signs letting motorists know if they are driving above the limit also have been stationed around schools. However, Police Chief Robert Copley said "it will be a long time before we see" school zone cameras in Quincy.
MEALS PLUS: A local program that delivers and provides meals to seniors is being forced to cutback services as it deals with increases in food prices, increases in gas prices and delayed payments from the state of Illinois. Starting March 1, Meal Plus for Seniors is going to discontinue its evening and weekend meals at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center, 639 York. Seniors who will be affected by the cuts will have the option of home delivered or frozen meals.
KROC YOUTH: Jim Conway of the Search Institute calls it a "cultural shift from youth programs to youth development." Conway gave a presentation at the Kroc Center in Quincy Thursday night touting the "40 Developmental Assets" and ways to reach young people. Quincy is one of 12 Kroc Centers in this country to engage in the program.
ADAM COLUMN: There aren't many better ways to spend a night out with your friends than drinking a couple of beers and bowling a few games at the local alley. That doesn't mean that Gary Bushmeyer wasn't having a good time Wednesday night when his friends stopped talking to him and he stopped drinking. Instead, he was in the middle of a perfect game.
PAYROLL TAX: Congress is getting ready to vote on extending a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and jobless benefits for people out of work the longest, a showdown that many legislators hope will finally end a standoff that has dominated Washington since last autumn.
VATICAN-CARDINALS: Pope Benedict XVI convenes cardinals new and old on the eve of a ceremony to create 21 new princes of the church as the Vatican struggles to contain its latest scandal: leaks of embarrassing documents pointing to alleged internal power struggles, financial mismanagement and a plot to kill the pope.
SANTORUM-OUT OF STEP: Most Americans don't share Rick Santorum's absolutist take on abortion. The Republican presidential candidate is out of step on women in combat, questions the values of the two-thirds of mothers who work and is troubled by something as commonplace as birth control -- for married couples.
FEDERAL BUILDING SHOOTING: A federal immigration agent who shot and injured a colleague in their office is killed when a third agent draws his weapon and fires, the FBI says.
THAILAND-TERROR PLOT: The three Iranian men detained for allegedly plotting bomb attacks in Bangkok on Israeli diplomats had more than terror on their minds since arriving in Thailand. Police say they cavorted with several prostitutes at a beach resort.
HONDURAS-PRISON FIRE: As workers cleaned up the rubble of the century's deadliest prison fire, a collective rage was building among relatives who gathered at a morgue in Honduras to identify loved ones, saying the official explanation of a mattress fire killing 355 people was just too implausible.
BRIEFLY: Recent human deaths in Asia and Egypt are a reminder that the deadly H5N1 virus -- bird flu -- is still alive and dangerous; Lawsuit tests theory of ‘implicit bias' against blacks in Iowa state government; Pot found aboard plane intercepted after flying in Obama's Marine One airspace; Declassified files show British spies were stumped by the mystery of Charlie Chaplin's birth; USPS says it faces annual loss of $18B without cuts to Saturday delivery, stamp price increase; New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid had been shot in the West Bank in 2002 and kidnapped for six days in Libya last year, but it was an apparent asthma attack that killed the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in Syria Thursday while he was reporting on the uprising against its president.
UNITED WAY: The United Way's annual meeting Thursday night was actually more of a celebration -- and rightly so. "It was a remarkable year," said Jim Broemmer, president of the United Way Board of Directors. Despite a still-sluggish economy, the United Way surpassed its campaign goal -- raising $1.13 million -- which will set the table for the coming year when the organization recognizes its 75th anniversary.
SISTER CITY COMMISSION: The Quincy Sister City Commission is looking to get more active and will be supporting a group of German visitors this spring as well as a group of Quincy Notre Dame students and the Quincy University men's soccer team who will head to Europe this summer.
FILM FESTIVAL: The seventh annual Big Dam Film Festival is getting right to the point this year. The event, backed by Young Professionals of Quincy, features a series of "short films," meaning short in length as opposed to feature-length films.
HILLS: One of five people arrested after a methamphetamine and cannabis investigation in the 700 and 800 blocks of Washington last July was sentenced Thursday to two years probation for a cannabis charge.
VOTER REGISTRATION BRIEF: The Adams County Clerk's Office will be open from 8:30 a.m. and noon Saturday for residents who want to register to vote or change their voting address prior to the March 20 primary election. The last day to register to vote prior to the election is Feb. 21.
PALMYRA CITY COUNCIL: The Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council will move ahead with developing an Enhanced Enterprise Zone for the city of Palmyra following a unanimous vote of support from the Palmyra City Council Thursday night.
PIKE STATE'S ATTORNEY: Pat Waters focused on the victim witness program. Michelle Gates wondered about truancy. Kent Carnes targeted the constitutional carry initiative on the March 20 ballot. The three Democrat candidates for Pike County State's Attorney responded to those and other issues at a Thursday night forum billed as part get-to-know-you and part job interview. Carrie Boyd, John Clark and Brett Irving all seek the chance to run for the job now held by Frank McCartney, a candidate for circuit court judge, in November and spent some 90 minutes in front of a packed auditorium at the Pike County Farm Bureau in Pittsfield.
PCHA: The war of words between the Pike County Housing Authority and Local 965 is stretching to include residents and the Illinois Labor Relations Board. PCHA sent out a news release citing what it calls "very tacky and almost insulting" actions by the union toward residents and reporting it's facing an unfair labor practice charge.
NO CALL-CELLPHONES: The Missouri Senate has passed a measure that would let people put cellphone numbers on the state's no-call list for telemarketers. The Senate voted 34-0 Thursday to expand the state's list, which is currently limited to landlines. The measure would also forbid telemarketers from sending unwanted images or text messages to a cellphone if the number is on the no-call list.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION: In a move that Republicans contend will make Missouri more attractive to businesses, the state Senate approved legislation Thursday to expand the workers' compensation program. The measure, approved with a largely party-line 28-6 vote, would cover occupational diseases under the workers' compensation program -- freeing businesses from potentially costly litigation. It would also allow employees to sue their co-workers for injuries sustained on the job only if the injury was "purposefully and dangerously" caused.
THINK TANK LEAKS: Leaked documents from a prominent conservative think tank show how it sought to teach schoolchildren skepticism about global warming and planned other behind-the-scenes tactics using millions of dollars in donations from big corporate names. More than $14 million of the money used by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute would come from one anonymous man, according to the leaked documents prepared for a meeting of the group's board. Heartland is one of the loudest voices denying man-made global warming, hosting the largest international scientific conference of skeptics on climate change. Several of its documents were leaked this week to the news media.
SCHOOLS-BLOCKING LGBT CONTENT: A federal judge has ordered a central Missouri school district to stop using Internet filtering software to restrict access to educational websites about gay, lesbian and transgender issues. U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued the preliminary injunction Wednesday against the Camdenton R-III School District at the request of the American Civil Liberties Union. The district has 30 days to comply.
BRIEFLY: The Missouri Supreme Court is taking a second look at the state's new congressional districts; . An Illinois lawmaker wants strip clubs to help pay for preventing rapes and assisting the victims of sexual assault by paying a $5 tax admission tax on every customer; Officials are investigating how war scenes were placed on Missouri's state government website; The Missouri Senate has voted to push back the state's candidacy filing period because of uncertainties over the boundaries for legislative districts; The run up to last week's Powerball jackpot raised $14.5 million for Illinois schools, roads and bridges; Illinois State University is considering changing a longstanding policy and offering in-state tuition rates to some out-of-state students; State officials will hold public meetings next month for anyone who wants to participate in the Illinois Products Farmers' Market.; A University of Illinois icon will disappear this summer, but campus officials say won't be gone for good; Northwest Missouri State University plans to cut 20 jobs and eliminate or reorganize eight academic departments in a campus-wide move to reduce costs.
SEARS-ILLINOIS LAYOFFS: Sears laid off 100 workers at its headquarters outside of Chicago on Thursday, two months after the company got a hefty tax credit for dropping a threat to move its headquarters out of state. Sears Holding Corp. spokesman Chris Brathwaite said the layoffs of "about 100 associates" at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates took effect immediately. Brathwaite said the job cuts do not violate the terms of a $150 million tax credit for Sears approved by the Illinois legislature in December after the company threatened to move its headquarters out of Illinois.
BANKERS SURVEY: A monthly survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states shows the rural economy slowing down, but reflects strong gains in hiring and farmland prices.
JORDAN-SUPERMARKET LAWSUIT: A federal judge has ruled that a store chain's reference to Michael Jordan in an ad-like magazine layout was an expression of constitutionally protected free speech -- a ruling that thwarts the former Chicago Bull's bid for control of his billion-dollar image.
BRIEFLY: Hyatt Hotels Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit jumped more than eightfold on a tax benefit and demand for short-stay trips for business travelers; The government reports how much consumer prices rose in January; A Missouri company has filed a lawsuit alleging its former office manager stole nearly $2.7 million from the family-run business and that two banks should have caught the scheme.
LAWSUIT-IMPLANTED MEMORY: A second woman has filed suit against a suburban St. Louis treatment center alleging that her therapist implanted false memories through hypnosis, convincing her that an eating disorder stemmed from cult activity.
BODY IN TRUCK: Two people have been arrested after a man's body was found in Jefferson County wrapped in a carpet pad and tarp in the bed of a pickup truck.
ABANDONED NEWBORN: Police in the St. Louis County town of Ellisville are asking for the public's help after a newborn boy was found outside in a yard.
DOMESTIC DISPUTE-FIRE: A man, woman and child are hospitalized after the man allegedly sprayed lighter fluid on himself and his wife, then lit a fire.
PATIENT KILLED: Illinois nursing home regulators have located a missing report on a deadly assault filed by a suburban Chicago nursing home. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the report came in by fax Monday, but "got stuck with another fax" and wasn't found until Thursday. She says it was filed in a timely manner as required by law.
CHICAGO-MISSING WOMAN: Police are continuing their search in a forest preserve for a Chicago-area woman who disappeared the same day she was to have traveled for a Valentine's Day trip with her husband. Maria Carlsen, from the northwest suburb of North Barrington, was supposed to fly to Florida Tuesday to join her husband there but never made it to the airport. Her family last heard from her the day before.
STUDENT KILLED-SUSPECT: A man already in federal prison on drug charges faces up to 75 more years behind bars now that he's been convicted in the drive-by killing of a 12-year-old southwestern Illinois boy. Jurors in Madison County convicted 31-year-old Marcus Powell late Wednesday of first-degree murder in the October 2008 death of Delarrian Davis.
CLUTTERED HOME-BODY FOUND: A 72-year-old Chicago-area woman has been found dead inside her trash-filled home. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office says heart disease killed Margareta Scheibe of Worth. It's unclear how long she had been dead. AP Photos pursuing.
PORNOGRAPHY SENTENCE: A judge has sentenced a suburban Chicago man to 35 years in prison for producing and transporting child pornography.
CANCER DRUG SCHEME-CHARGES: A St. Louis-area cancer doctor with offices in southwestern Illinois has pleaded guilty in Missouri to a federal misdemeanor linked to his alleged giving of misbranded, unapproved chemotherapy drugs from overseas to his patients.
TODDLER HIT-AND-RUN: The death of a mid-Missouri toddler in what had been reported as a highway hit-and-run is now being investigated as a fatal beating.
QND GIRLS ROLL: The QND girls basketball team captured a Class 2A sectional championship by whalloping Williamsville.
QU MEN STUNNED: A shot with .3 seconds remaining gives UMSL a victory over the QU men's basketball team.
QHS BOWS OUT: Edwardsville starts the game on a 20-2 run and ends the QHS girls basketball team's season in the Class 4A regional championship.