SUPREME COURT-GAY MARRIAGE: The Supreme Court is delivering opinions in two cases that could dramatically alter the rights of gay people across the United States. The issues before the court are California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which denies to gay Americans who are legally married a range of tax, health and pension benefits otherwise available to married couples.
JACKSON-LINCOLN POOL: The Jackson-Lincoln complex is in danger of having to shut down operations due to an unexpected funding shortfall of about $20,000. The pool operates on private donations and grants and there is only enough money left to keep it open through the first week in July -- six weeks short of its normal closing time.
SCHOOL BOARD: The Quincy School Board is meeting in special session to approve a revised budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year an is expected to name a new principal.
EIGHINGER COLUMN: The countdown is under way, and I swear I can hear some sort of angelic choir echoing on the fast-food horizon. An announcement from a few days ago assured us that Twinkies, arguably the closest thing to a fast-food narcotic known to man, will be returning to store shelves everywhere around mid-July. This is great news, especially if the Twinkies' cousin, raspberry Zingers, is also reinstated.
SUPREME COURT-INDIAN CHILD WELFARE DISPUTE: The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to leave the ultimate placement of a 3-year-old girl in an American Indian child welfare case in limbo furthers the anguish of both her biological father and the couple who raised her for the first 27 months of her life.
NSA SURVEILLANCE-AL-QAIDA: U.S. intelligence agencies are scrambling to salvage their surveillance of al-Qaida and other terrorists who are working frantically to change how they communicate after a National Security Agency contractor leaked details of two NSA spying programs.
VOTING RIGHTS-THE SOUTH: Across the South, Republicans are working to take advantage of a new landscape after a divided U.S. Supreme Court effectively freed all or parts of 15 states, many of them in the old Confederacy, from having to ask Washington's permission before changing election procedures in jurisdictions with histories of discrimination.
ARMY CUTS: In axing a dozen combat brigades in the face of steep spending cuts and the wind-down of two wars, the Army says it is trying to ease the sting by spreading it around.
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS-TEXAS: Amid the deafening roar of abortion rights supporters, Texas Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to pass new abortion restrictions, but whether the vote was cast before or after midnight is in dispute.
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH: Selana Bahadoor's testimony was the first by a witness who saw some of the struggle between the neighborhood watch volunteer and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
JET STREAM EXTREMES: The jet stream isn't playing by the usual rules. Scientists say the big stream of air high above Earth that dictates the weather has been abnormally erratic for the past few years. They blame it for everything from Alaska's recent heat wave, to snowstorms in May, to the track of Superstorm Sandy.
PAULA DEEN-THE COMEBACK TRAIL: Will Paula Deen go the way of Michael Richards or Charlie Sheen? One used a racial slur and is no longer a loveable, employable clown. The other did and is back on TV earning millions.
BRIEFLY: India's air force chief says 19 people were killed in a helicopter crash during a rescue mission in flood-ravaged northern India; Democratic Congressman Ed Markey won the special election to replace John Kerry, defeating a Republican political newcomer with an all-star resume who failed to inspire Massachusetts voters; More than three decades after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the death penalty to resume in the United States, Texas prepares to execute its 500th inmate; LA votes to ban plastic bags from grocery stores next year; Court seals documents in case of man found slain near Patriot Aaron Hernandez' house; The Senate Tuesday confirmed billionaire business executive Penny Pritzker to be commerce secretary, filling a vacancy that has stood since John Bryson resigned last summer.
MIDSUMMER ARTS FAIRE: Rock Island artist Corrine Smith is classified as a mixed media artist, though some people may be surprised when they walk into her booth. They may think she is an abstract painter. With handmade paper in her work, she isn't just creating a painting.
DEDICATION: The dedication of a recently completed 5,000-square-foot mural will serve as an unofficial opening to this weekend's 10th annual Midsummer Arts Faire in downtown Quincy. "Focus," created by Quincy artist Jennifer Bock-Nelson, adorns the south side of 115. N. Fourth and will be dedicated Friday.
GAS LEAK: Quincy police and fire personnel were at Quincy Commons shopping center for about an hour early Wednesday on a report of a gas leak before declaring all clear.
SIMS PLEA: The second of three men accused of beating a man in a Quincy hotel in August pleaded guilty on Tuesday.
BIG DAM FILM FESTIVAL: Three separate events will highlight this weekend's Big Dam Film Festival, which will be held in conjunction with the 10th annual Midsummer Arts Faire. The Friday-Saturday film event is hosted by YP Quincy.
COOLING CENTER: Quincy's Salvation Amy announces cooling center availability.
FLOWER DAY: Preview. Fun on the Fourth at Flower City has changed its name to Family Fun at Flower City. It mixes several day-time activities with the fireworks display held after dusk, sponsored by the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce on July 6.
ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-BILL BRADY: Bill Brady, a Republican state senator who lost to Gov. Pat Quinn by the narrowest of margins in 2010, is formally launching another bid for governor.
METRA CEO QUITS: A large severance package for Metra's former CEO is drawing scrutiny from state lawmakers who are calling it wasteful and urging the Chicago-area commuter rail agency not to burden taxpayers with its costs.
ST LOUIS-EXPLOSIONS: A fire and explosion that apparently started in an underground electrical transformer sent fireballs and thick black smoke shooting from a street outside one of the largest office buildings in downtown St. Louis late Tuesday afternoon.
COLLAPSED MAN: A 7-year-old St. Louis County boy is being credited with helping to save the life of a man inside a Schnuck's grocery store.
HIGHWAY PATROL-AIRPLANE: Missouri officials appeared to lack justification for buying a new $5.6 million airplane frequently used by Gov. Jay Nixon, the state auditor said Tuesday.
PUBLIC SAFETY: Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed public safety legislation Tuesday that includes limits on removing police chiefs and authority for colleges and universities to establish traffic rules on roads owned or maintained by the school.
BRIEFLY: Retired Illinois Supreme Court Justice John Nickels, who worked to increase the legal access of low-income people, has died after a long illness at age 82; A Republican congressional candidate in Illinois says a former GOP official who wrote a derogatory email about her has apologized -- via text; The northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park has banned assault weapons; A Greyhound bus carrying dozens of passengers has burst into flames on an expressway north of Chicago; The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun removing lead-contaminated soil at an old smelter site in Chicago; Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have required public employees to give annual written consent before union dues could be deducted from their paychecks; A former employee of the Missouri Department of Transportation has filed an age discrimination lawsuit accusing the department of developing a so-called "Buzzard List" that included employees' ages and was used as a tool in staff reductions.
ECONOMY: The U.S. housing recovery is strengthening, factories are fielding more orders and Americans' confidence in the economy has reached its highest point in 5 1/2 years. That brightening picture, captured in four reports Tuesday, suggests that the economy could accelerate in the second half of the year.
MICROSOFT-WINDOWS TUNEUP: Microsoft is giving people a peek into Windows 8.1, a free update that promises to address some of the gripes people have with the latest version of the company's flagship operating system. Although the preview version of Windows 8.1 is meant for Microsoft's partners and other technology developers, anyone will be able to download it for free starting Wednesday.
AUTO LOANS-LATE PAYMENTS: Banks are increasingly extending auto-loan financing to borrowers with less-than-sterling credit, a trend that's contributing to a higher rate of missed loan payments.
EARNS-BARNES & NOBLE: Sales plummet at Barnes & Noble bookstores in the latest quarter and its Nook e-book devices fail to keep up with competitors, pushing the company to a net loss that more than doubled from a year ago. The largest traditional U.S. bookseller says it will stop making its own Nook color touchscreen tablets as a result, a move intended to stem the losses it has suffered from its digital unit.
BRIEFCASE: Walgreen says its fiscal third quarter earnings jumped 16 percent compared to last year, when a business split hurt results for the nation's largest drugstore chain; Florida man accused of exploiting excitement over Facebook admits defrauding investors; Passengers remain hesitant to book cruises, despite deep discounts. But that didn't stop Carnival Corp. from eking out a $41 million second-quarter profit; The Kansas City Board of Trade, which opened more than 150 years ago, will hear the last call in Kansas City for contracts on the wheat used to make bread. Chicago-based CME Group bought the exchange last year for $126 million and is moving it to CME's Chicago.
WCITF ARREST: A Quincy man wanted on an outstanding warrant in a methamphetamine investigation was arrested Monday afternoon on new meth charges by the West Central Illinois Task Force.
LEWIS COUNTY DRUG ARRESTS: The last of 11 people charged with methamphetamine conspiracy was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court.
RALLS COUNTY ARRESTS: Ralls County arrest warrants were issued against three Hannibal residents wanted for illegal dumping.
HANNIBAL DRUG ARREST: Hannibal man arrested on drug charges. With HEDSHOT of Benjamin DeLaPorte.
ANTIFREEZE KILLINGS: Two Springfield women accused of using antifreeze to fatally poison two family members and attempt to kill a third will continue to be held without bond until their preliminary hearing next month, a Greene County judge has ruled.
ALTON ATTORNEY-DRUG CHARGES: An Alton attorney is free on bond after being accused of growing marijuana in the basement of a home he owns.
POLICE OFFICER-EXTORTION CHARGE: A federal complaint says a cash-strapped Chicago police sergeant would stop by a West Side liquor store daily and helped himself to chips and soft drinks without paying.
INMATES-TENT: One eastern Missouri jail is so overcrowded that authorities are using a huge tent to house weekend prisoners.
INTERSTATE-BODY: Authorities say the driver of Best Buy "Geek Squad" Volkswagen Beetle may have suffered a medical emergency that led to his death.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR-SENTENCE: A former director for the St. Louis office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for taking $38,000 in bribes to approve $1.5 million in mortgage refinancing.
DANCE HALL DEATH: A St. Louis man imprisoned for nearly two decades in a teenager's 1993 dance hall murder is seeking a new trial, claiming he was a victim of mistaken identity.
JET-MILLION DOLLARS MISSING: FBI investigating after $1.2 million in cash disappears from a Swiss jet at Kennedy Airport.
WRONG TURN-FATAL SHOOTING: Police in Kansas City say a gunman opened fire on two men who were giving directions to a lost motorist, killing one of the men and wounding two women in the car.
CAR BUYING SCAM-SENTENCE: A southwestern Illinois man has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for defrauding Missouri and Illinois people who were selling their vehicles.
NURSING HOME-THEFT CHARGES: A former administrator at a Champaign nursing home has pleaded not guilty to stealing about $100,000 from 18 patients.
HEALTHFUL QUESADILLAS: It doesn't take a ton of cheese to flavor -- and glue together -- the fillings of a quesadilla. At heart, a quesadilla is pretty much a Mexican grilled cheese. Take a tortilla, stuff it with something savory, add some cheese, fold it in half and toast it. It's also pretty delicious.
AFRAID OF CRAVINGS? Overfocusing on feared foods increases cravings and makes impulse control impossible.
AMISH COOK: Everything is growing real well. We are getting enough rain that we don't need to water the garden. Tomatoes are loaded on the plants, and the corn is past knee-high already. We are already enjoying hot peppers.
KEEPING HIMSELF IN CHECK: Even as Hannibal Cavemen starting pitcher Travis McDonald has compiled a 3-1 record and 0.30 ERA this summer, he's remained grounded. He continues to tell himself that he's only as good as his next start. His college season during the spring at Arkansas-Little Rock taught him that.
GEMS SWEEP DOUBLEHEADER: Caleb Howell's ninth-inning single Tuesday drove home Mike Wilson to lift the Quincy Gems to a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Terre Haute Rex in Game 2 of a Prospect League doubleheader at QU-Stadium. The Gems won Game 1 6-3 and now lead Terre Haute by three games for first place in the West Division.
CARDINALS BEAT ASTROS: St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny tinkered with his lineup on Tuesday night, moving Matt Holliday from the No. 3 spot to fifth in the order for the first time this season.
He isn't sure how long he'll stay with this configuration, but after the night Allen Craig had, Matheny certainly has no plans to move him out of the fourth spot. Craig homered and tied a career-high with four hits and had three RBIs, and Carlos Beltran and David Freese both added a homer as the Cardinals got back on track by rolling to a 13-5 win over the Houston Astros.
QU'S GARBER SUPPORTS ADDITION OF RULE: Quincy University women's basketball coach Jeni Garber is in support of a rule change the NCAA announced Monday that will add a 10-second backcourt violation to women's college basketball. "I think it's a good thing and gives us more parity with the men's game, and you just have a common rule so everybody knows it," Garber said Tuesday. As an added bonus, Garber also won't have to hear from uninformed fans who never realized that there wasn't previously a 10-second violation in the women's college game.