PIPELINE: A Canadian oil company has announced it is moving forward with an expanded oil pipeline project that would cut through the heart of West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri. Enbridge announced Monday evening that it will proceed with building the Flanagan South pipeline, which would carry crude oil between Flanagan, Ill., and Cushing, Okla., completing a larger pipeline between the Canadian province of Alberta and the Gulf of Mexico. The $2.8 billion construction project, expected to begin in mid-2013 and wrap up in mid-2014 if the permitting process goes smoothly, will bring hundreds of construction jobs to the region.
SUPREME COURT-HEALTH CARE: The heart of the Obama administration's health care overhaul hanging in the balance, the Supreme Court is turning to whether the rest of the law can survive if the crucial individual insurance requirement is struck down. Winding up three days of hearings on the health law, the justices also are considering a challenge by 26 states to the expansion of the Medicaid.
MISSING CHILD: The Missouri State Highway Patrol is searching for a 6-year-old autistic boy who went missing from his home in the northeast portion of Knox County Tuesday afternoon.
EIGHINGER COLUMN: Normally, when it's time for our "Morons of the Month" we try and single out specific acts by specific people. This time around, we're changing things up a little. We're honoring some of the strangest responses from celebrities and politicians, and while this is a slightly different take on our monthly theme I think you'll agree that comedian Ron White's theory still holds true: You Can't Fix Stupid.
HEART BYPASS SAFETY: Older patients with clogged heart arteries may have a little lower death risk over time if they have bypass operations instead of angioplasty and stents to fix the problem. In a bypass operation, doctors move healthy segments of blood vessels from other parts of the body to create detours around clogged arteries supplying blood to the heart. Angioplasty repairs the damage through a tube pushed through a blood vessel. A tiny balloon is inflated to flatten the clog and a mesh scaffold, a stent, is placed to prop the artery open.
SYRIA: Syria accepts a cease-fire drawn up by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan, but the diplomatic breakthrough is swiftly overshadowed by intense clashes between government soldiers and rebels that send bullets flying into Lebanon. Opposition members accuse President Bashar Assad of agreeing to the plan to stall for time as his troops make a renewed push to kill off dissent.
FLIGHT DISRUPTED-CAPTAIN: Passengers aboard an early morning flight bound from New York to Las Vegas first noticed something wrong when the plane's top pilot came out of the cockpit, didn't close the door and tried to force his way into an occupied bathroom. But as he became more jittery, JetBlue captain's co-workers tried to calm him before he sprinted up the cabin's aisle -- ranting about a bomb, screaming "They're going to take us down!" That's when passengers took action and subdued him until the copilot could land the plane in Amarillo, Texas.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH-ZIMMERMAN'S SUPPORT: The case has caught the nation's attention in large part because of the groundswell of outrage at what appeared, on the surface, to be a travesty of justice: an unarmed black teenager is fatally shot by a white and Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer. But slowly, there's been a few people who have come to the defense of George Zimmerman. One, a black TV anchor. Some of the neighbors who said he was a reliable advocate for their community. Do they do so at their own peril?
GINGRICH: Newt Gingrich is dramatically curtailing his campaign schedule, laying off about a third of his staff and dismissing his campaign manager as he focuses on a last-ditch effort to win the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention.
CUBA-POPE: Pope Benedict XVI is wrapping up his visit to Cuba with an open-air Mass in the shrine of Cuba's revolution, hoping to revive the Catholic faith in this communist-run country and spur greater freedom for its people. His other appointment will be a meeting with Fidel Castro, who said he was asking the pope for just a "few minutes of his very busy time."
BRIEFLY: Judge backs death row inmates, blocks FDA from allowing importation of drug used in executions; Jury says GE helicopter engine was responsible for crash that killed 9 firefighters; Trading jokes with talk show host Jay Leno is just one way Mitt Romney's campaign is trying to make him more personally appealing; Investigators were trying to determine whether a controlled burn designed to minimize wildfire risk reignited and became a stubborn mountain wildfire that forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes and may have caused the deaths of two people; A Texas judge is expected to make a decision Wednesday on whether a Houston boy who disappeared eight years ago and was found earlier this month will be reunited with his parents or remain in foster care; While Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces fresh charges in his native France amid a prostitution ring probe, a judge in New York may decide whether to allow a civil case against him filed by the hotel maid who said he sexually assaulted her; Virginia man injured in gun accident gets new face -- doctors say transplant is most extensive ever; Lorax statue swiped from CA home of Dr. Seuss's widow; Federal appeals court flushes ‘Joe the Plumber' lawsuit, rejects claim Ohio violated rights.
WASHINGTON THEATER: Members of the Washington Theater Commission continue to plan opening the doors to the historic building to members of the public in coming months. They talked about potential open houses informally as there were not enough members for a quorum. This includes opening the theater during the Dogwood Festival, which runs May 5-6.
YOUNGLIVES FUNDRAISER: Sueann Spencer believes strongly in the YoungLives program, so much so that she is now chair of the non-profit organization's annual fundraiser.
The "YoungLives Little Ladies Tea and Art Gallery" is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday at the Ambiance and will help create funding for the program that serves and works with teen moms and their babies.
ST. DOMINIC CURRICULUM NIGHT: Students at St. Dominic Elementary School and their families will be immersed in more than a half-century of music during the school's upcoming "Music Night" festivities from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday. The St. Dominic gymnasium will be transformed into a virtual time machine, with different sections of the room dedicated to music from each decade of the latter half of the 20th century. Students have been researching musicians, bands, instruments, music genres and composers from the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.
STEELE: A Quincy man facing up a 16-year prison sentence had a court hearing continued Tuesday because he said he was unsure of the plea agreement.
QU SCIENCE NIGHT: Quincy University will have a "science family fun night" from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday. The event will be held in the Hall of Fame Room at the east end of the university's Health and Fitness Center, 20th and Oak. Is free and open to the public.
LEAGUE CELEBRATES IN QUINCY: Women's History Month will be observed by the Adams County League of Women Voters starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Unitarian Church, 16th and Hampshire in Quincy.
WESTERN: The Western school district plans to treat its Barry facility after finding a brown recluse spider in a trap last week and hearing a report of a second spider. Reliable Pest Solutions will treat the outside perimeter of the school on Friday after classes are dismissed.
LEWIS COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD: Officials in the Lewis County C-1 School District sought Tuesday to reassure Board of Education members and parents that they have no plans to implement a "Meatless Monday" program in district schools' cafeterias. Also Tuesday, Superintendent Jackie Ebeling said the district has begun formally advertising the board seat left vacant by Harry Scifres' resignation last month.
PIKE BRIDGE: A Pike County bridge north of Barry could reopen by mid-summer. A Quincy firm was the apparent low bidder on the project.
BRIBERY ARREST-INVESTIGATION: Illinois lawmakers considering the expulsion of Rep. Derrick Smith say they will move quickly to decide the case regardless of whether they get assistance from federal prosecutors who charged the Chicago Democrat with bribery. The Special House Investigating Committee voted 6-0 to ask U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office for details about its allegation that Smith accepted a $7,000 bribe in exchange for his support of a day care center's state grant application. Smith did not attend the committee's brief hearing, which consisted of the vote, a statement of suggested charges by the lawmaker seeking the House review and opening statements from the panel's chairwoman and Republican spokesman.
OSWALD GRAVESTONE: A quirky museum in Illinois has become the home of Lee Harvey Oswald's tombstone, but how it got there is a bit mysterious and now a Texas music club owner is threatening legal action. Historic Auto Attractions, in rural northern Illinois, features several artifacts related to President John F. Kennedy, including the gravestone of his suspected assassin. Museum owner Wayne Lensing says he legally acquired the 130-pound granite slab in 2010. But, the owner of a music club, Poor David's Pub in Dallas, says it belongs to his family and has said he plans to sue. While the value of the gravestone is unknown, Kennedy related items continue to fetch high prices at auction.
MISSOURI REDISTRICTING-HOUSE: The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the new boundaries drawn for state House districts after the 2010 census, finally providing some certainty to candidates heading into the 2012 elections. The high court issued a one-line ruling affirming the new districts while indicating that a longer opinion explaining the court's rationale would be issued sometime in the future. The ruling came barely three hours before Tuesday's end-of-business deadline for candidates to file for the August primary elections.
LOCAL TAXES-VEHICLES: Missourians who buy vehicles in other states could get a tax break under a recent state Supreme Court ruling. Before the court ruling, Missourians paid sales taxes on vehicle purchases during registration. Now local sales taxes cannot be levied for purchases made in other states, but communities can charge a local use tax if voters approve. Currently, 39 counties and St. Louis city have a use tax.
BRIEFLY: A bill passed by the Illinois House would require visitors to state parks to pay admission fees; Illinoisans who have unpaid traffic tickets or other bills could be in for a surprise when they get their state income tax refunds; More than 1,000 private abortion records from a defunct clinic have been found discarded in a recycling bin outside an elementary school near Kansas City, Kan., prompting a police investigation and outrage from people on both sides of the abortion debate;They're rare in Missouri, but they're dangerous, and state Department of Conservation officials are offering a few tips if you encounter a mountain lion; Thousands of people crammed into the Missouri Capitol and spilled out across its lawn Tuesday as religious groups and unions held nearly simultaneous rallies decrying federal health care policies and state legislation affecting workers; An aide who was arrested the same day as former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is set to be sentenced for helping his old boss try to sell President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat; A federal judge has barred victims of the September 2001 terror attacks from claiming money an alleged al-Qaida member invested with a Chicago futures brokerage firm; The Missouri Senate has given first-round approval to a measure letting employers refuse to provide health insurance coverage for birth control in some instances; Just short of a year after a Good Friday tornado ripped through Lambert Airport in St. Louis, the damaged C Concourse is about to reopen.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE: Americans' outlook about the U.S. economy remains rosy as they focus on the good in a barrage of conflicting economic news. A widely watched barometer of consumer confidence remains near the highest level it's been since a year ago. Americans are upbeat despite mixed economic signs: The stock market is up, but gas prices are, too. Unemployment is falling, but home prices also are down.
FTC-DATA BROKERS: The Federal Trade Commission is calling for legislation that would give citizens access to the information that commercial data brokers store about them. The proposal is an unusually tough one from an agency that prefers to coax companies into adopting voluntary principles.
MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER-IDENTITY THEFT: Even the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft isn't immune to identity theft. Investigators say an AWOL soldier hatched a simple scheme that allowed him to obtain a debit card in the name of Paul Allen, one of the richest men in the world, raising basic questions about how safe anyone's information can really be.
BRIEFCASE: Walgreen Co.'s fiscal second-quarter earnings fell almost 8 percent, knocked down largely by its exit from the Express Scripts pharmacy network; United Airlines passengers were still having difficulty getting a reservations agent on the phone and experiencing other glitches more than three weeks after a computer switchover that was supposed to make traveling better after the airline's merger with Continental; An officer at Whiteman Air Force Base says B-2 stealth bombers soon will be undergoing the biggest and most complex update in the plane's history.
CATHOLIC BISHOP CHARGED: A Jackson County judge said Tuesday he hopes to rule on motions by the end of next week in a misdemeanor case involving the highest-ranking U.S. Roman Catholic official accused of shielding an abusive priest. Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph each are charged with one count of failure to report suspected child abuse to the state. Finn's attorneys have asked to have his case dismissed, contending he was not the diocese's mandatory reporting agent.
DIVERTED FLIGHT-UNRULY PASSENGER: An Illinois man has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for trying to open a jet door mid-flight.
EX-PASTOR ACCUSED: The attorney for a former southern Illinois pastor accused of molesting a child wants his client's mental fitness tested again due to concern that he can't assist in his own defense.
NEWBORN DEATH CHARGES: A Missouri woman is facing a September trial in Minnesota on accusations she caused the death of her newborn daughter 11 years ago.
FEUD-HOMICIDE: A northwest Missouri man was shot to death while sitting in his truck and law officers are looking for a neighbor who had an ongoing feud with the victim.
ST LOUIS-OFFICER SHOT: A 21-year-old St. Louis man could get life in prison after admitting he shot a police officer.
ARRESTED PRIEST: A religious leader dismissed by the Roman Catholic Church as a fraud is free on bond after being charged with theft and financial exploitation of an elderly person.
POPE COUNTY-SOLDIER'S BODY: Illinois State Police are investigating the death of an Army soldier found drowned in his submerged car near a boat ramp at a southeastern Illinois lake.
SCHOOL BUS-BUGGY COLLISION: No children were hurt, but authorities say a horse had very minor injuries after it and the buggy it was pulling rear-ended a school bus in southwestern Missouri.
OFFICER SHOT-SENTENCE: A Cook County judge has sentenced a man to life in prison in the 2008 death of a Chicago police officer who was gunned down while serving a search warrant.
QND ROLLS: Tuesday's performance simply reaffirmed what Mackenzie Little already knew. She has no worries. The Quincy Notre Dame girls soccer team's senior keeper made three saves in the 4-0 victory over Jefferson City Helias, but the Lady Raiders' defense kept her from ever being put on the spot in posting its third straight shutout.
NO DEAL YET FOR ILLINI: Ohio's John Groce appeared to still be the top choice Tuesday to take over the basketball program at Illinois, but two days after interest in the former Thad Matta assistant was reported the university said no deal has been reached.
AREA ROUNDUP: What looked a promising start for the Quincy High School baseballt eam turned into a frustrating finish. The Blue Devils took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but fell 6-2 to Macomb, lowering QHS's record to 1-3.