RECORD HEAT: Yes, it's hotter than you know what out there, but it's not the first time. Quincy has been in the midst of searing temperatures and a serious lack of rain this summer. As of Thursday, the National Weather Service reports Quincy had temperatures of 90 degrees or higher for 24 straight days. According to the NWS, it's tied for the fourth-longest streak of 90 or above in Quincy since records started being kept in 1901. It's not close to the 40 straight days in the summer of 1934, but that record may be in jeopardy if the weather forecasts hold true.
GARDNER MUSEUM: A committee charged with recommending a use for the future of the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design has left all options on the table, but leasing portions of the building while maintaining a portion of the public places seems like a probable solution. Located at Fourth and Maine, the museum closed in March because of a lack of financial support and was taken over by the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County.
TWIN PIKE Y: The Twin Pike YMCA makes an announcement today on its planned aquatic center.
ADAM COLUMN: Mary Lee Noonan has all of the memories from her reign as Miss Illinois in large plastic bags in the basement of her home in Orland Park. She says it might be time to dig them out and dust them off.
EMMY NOMINATIONS: Cable wins big as "Mad Men" and "American Horror Story" lead with 17 Emmy Award nominations.
COLORADO SHOOTING: A gunman opened fire early Friday at a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killing 14 people and leaving at least 50 other injured, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. The shooting occurred during a showing of the latest Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," police said.
PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: President Barack Obama is warning that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would undercut the health care overhaul law and alter Medicare -- a play for older voters in one of the nation's top swing states. Romney is keeping his focus on the economy, charging that Obama remains more concerned about holding onto his own job than creating more jobs for Americans.
PRIVATE STUDENT LOANS: A government study being released Friday says risky lending caused student loan debt to balloon in the past decade, leaving many Americans struggling to pay off loans that they can't afford. Private lenders gave out money without considering whether borrowers would repay, then bundled and resold the loans -- practices identified with the subprime mortgage industry before it helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.
FORECLOSURES-OLDER HOMEOWNERS: More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says. Older African Americans and Hispanics are the hardest hit.
MISSING COUSINS-IOWA: A dive team using sonar is set to search an Iowa lake for two missing cousins who vanished more than a week ago. As hope dims they will be found alive, tensions are increasing between their families and authorities investigating the case.
BRIEFLY: Syria's national security chief dies of wounds from rebel blast, 4th regime official killed
Bulgarian prosecutor: Bomber who attacked bus full of Israeli tourist had tried to rent car; Hundreds of millions of Muslims prepare for Ramadan in scorching summer heat; Feds: Traveling hospital tech could have spread hepatitis C beyond NH; 6 states investigating; Ex-chair of Penn State trustees board resigns, first member to do so following sex abuse scandal.
GARDNER DENVER: A quarterly financial report by Gardner Denver was released on Thursday as the company's stock price rose. In addition, the severance package for Barry Pennypacker has been posted on the SEC site.
VAN SWEARINGEN OPEN HOUSE: Historic preservationist Bob Yapp leads a mission to restore a dilapidated old home on North Street in downtown Hannibal. The bulk of the work done on the rotten, termite-ridden property was done by the Historic Preservation Trades program students at Hannibal High School.
SHOP FOR SCHOOLS: The Shop for Schools program earned about $10,000 for the Quincy School District in the past year.
NIFFEN: Quincy man gets nearly 40 years in prison for meth counts.
PENSION INFORMATION MEETING: Illinois pension reform will be the discussion topic at John Wood Community College next week. The Illinois Policy Institute will sponsor an informational session starting at 7 p.m. Monday in the Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium on the JWCC campus at 1001 South 48th.
JUNIOR HIGH REGISTRATION: A counselor will be available at Quincy Junior High School on several upcoming dates to register new seventh, eighth and ninth grade students who have moved to Quincy and plan to attend QJHS this fall.
METH SENTENCES: Two Quincy residences sentenced for meth counts.
ILLINI WEST: The Illini West School Board has selected a site for a proposed new $27 million high school and authorized a referendum for the November ballot to help pay for it. Board members Wednesday agreed to buy 40 acres, owned by Terry Junk and located just east of the football field and current high school parking lot, for the first building for the converged district serving students from Carthage, Dallas City and LaHarpe.
WESTERN: Some student fees are on the increase in the Western school district for the 2012-13 year. Board members Wednesday voted to boost breakfast and lunch prices by 25 cents and add a new participation fee for all extracurricular activities. Superintendent Carol Frericks said the fees are a way to offset some of the district's rising costs.
DERRICK SMITH: An Illinois House committee recommended that indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith be expelled from the state Legislature over federal bribery allegations. The Select Committee on Discipline voted unanimously to find the Chicago Democrat at fault and 11-1 in favor of expulsion after hearing evidence against Smith and deliberating behind closed doors for nearly three hours. The recommendation still requires a vote from the full Illinois House.
CLOSING PRISONS: With Illinois prisons already overcrowded and understaffed, guards from across the state worry that Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close several prisons will lead to more violence -- like the case of a guard who was attacked and radioed for assistance, then had to fight off his attacker for five minutes before anyone could come to his aid. "Five minutes is a lifetime," says one Corrections employee. He spoke at a meeting in Springfield Thursday organized by the guards' union.
BLAGOJEVICH-LEVINE SENTENCING: A political insider who became one of the government's key witnesses in the corruption investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration was sentenced Thursday to 5 1/2 years in prison. Stuart Levine pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud charges and could have received a life sentence. But U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve sentenced the admitted swindler and longtime drug addict to the term prosecutors recommended as part of his plea deal.
ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate across Illinois increased slightly in June to 8.7 percent. It ended nine straight months of decreases. Major job losses were seen among retailers and local governments, while manufacturers continued to add jobs in Illinois. State officials blamed consumer confidence for retail job losses.
BANNED BOOKS: Recent efforts to ban or restrict controversial books have met with mixed results, new research by the University of Missouri School of Journalism shows.
APARTMENT FIRE-MATERIALS: A fire that destroyed a 197-unit apartment in St. Louis is stirring debate about the use of lightweight, synthetic building materials over brick and real wood.
HANCOCK DEMO DERBY: Drivers will compete for cash and trophies in a demolition derby slated for Saturday night at the Hancock County Fair.
BRIEFLY: The Missouri Attorney General's office has shut down a southern Missouri dog breeder, citing several violations of the state's Animal Care Facilities Act; Attorneys for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan are going before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to contest his conviction on several corruption charges; Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to improve the public's access to information about government meetings; A fraternity at Washington University has been suspended after a university police investigation found "significant violations."
WALGREEN-EXPRESS SCRIPTS: The Walgreen pharmacy chain will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network again starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends a costly impasse between the companies. The agreement announced Thursday follows a series of disputes between Walgreen and Express Scripts that ended with the discontinuation of the contract between the drugstore operator and the pharmacy benefit manager last year.
SMOKY BLUES BBQ: Owners of Maid Rite have opened a new barbecue building near the restaurant on North 12th Street.
OIL PRICES: The price of oil has risen $15 in three weeks as tensions rise in the Middle East, and that's meant higher pump prices for U.S. drivers. Gas has risen 11 cents so far this month to an average of $3.44 per gallon, and experts say it should top $3.50 this summer. Oil topped $92 per barrel on Thursday on new concerns about a cut-off of supplies from the Persian Gulf.
BANKERS SURVEY: A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Western states because of drought conditions.
BRIEFCASE: Honda is recalling 172,200 small SUVs and cars in the U.S. because the doors may not close; Burger King Corp. says at least one worker was fired after a photo posted online appeared to show an employee stepping on lettuce in bins at a northwest Ohio restaurant; Ford recalls 2013 Escape because fuel lines can crack and cause engine fires.
FIVE POINTS ACCIDENT: Liberty driver was injured in a one-car accident at 7:19 p.m. Thursday near Five Points.
MONROE ACCIDENT: A Monroe City, Mo. driver is injured in one-car accident at 1:05 a.m. Friday south of Monroe City.
CAR-TRUCK ACCIDENT: Car-truck accident in Pike County, Mo., injured Eolia driver late Thursday night.
PONTIAC PRISON-INMATE DEATHS: The Illinois Department of Corrections says it is investigating the deaths of two inmates at a prison in central Illinois earlier this month.
COLLEGE-BOMB THREAT: Classes have been called off at a southwestern Illinois college after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of the campus.
MACON COUNTY-TEACHER CHARGED: A judge in central Illinois has sentenced a former high school science teacher to 24 months on probation as part of a plea agreement in a sexual abuse case involving a female student.
KENNETT-ARSON FIRES : Police in the southeast Missouri town of Kennett believe they've solved a string of arson fires with the arrest of a 37-year-old suspect.
REMAINS IN SHOE: Police are investigating after skeletal remains of a human left foot were found inside a shoe along the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Charles County.
COUPLE-ROBBERY CHARGES: A Chicago couple is accused of going on a three-month armed robbery spree that targeted women who walked alone.
CUT FROM WOMB: A witness at a federal court hearing in the murder of a woman whose unborn child was cut from her womb is backing off his claim he sold drugs to a DuPage County prosecutor investigating the grisly 1995 crime.
CHICAGO-OFFICER CHARGED: A Chicago police sergeant caught on videotape slapping a handcuffed suspect has been found guilty of aggravated battery and official misconduct.
BUDDHIST MONK-SEXUAL ASSAULT: A Buddhist monk has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl more than a decade ago at a suburban Chicago temple.
ISU KILLING-BEAMAN: McLean County prosecutors are accusing attorneys of a man who spent years in prison for murder of failing to report forensic test results.
SHAKEN BABY-MURDER: A southwestern Illinois man faces up to 60 years in prison now that he's been convicted of murder in the shaken-baby case involving his daughter.
GUTHRIE OFF TO SIZZLING START: Quincy native Luke Guthrie fired a 7-under 64 Thursday in the opening round of the True South Classic at Annandale Golf Course before play was suspended because of storms rolling through the region. Half of the 156-play field was still on the course when play was halted, with Jason Bohn leading the field at 8-under.
SCHUCKMAN COLUMN: Quincy Notre Dame graduate Zach Reichert is hoping to be right in the mix for a starting spot on Army's football team this fall. After spring practice as the backup at right guard, Reichert should be right in the thick of things. As an added bonus, he's on this year's NCAA Football 2013 video game -- much to the delight of his younger brother, Nick.
OPEN CONTINUES: Royal Lytham & St. Annes laid down for the world's best golfers Thursday in the British Open. Play at the PGA Tour's third major continues this morning.
MAHOLM BOOSTS CUBS: Paul Maholm welcomed Mark Buehrle back to Chicago with a spot-on impersonation of his fellow veteran left-hander. Maholm pitched eight innings, Alfonso Soriano homered and the Cubs beat Buehrle and the Miami Marlins 4-2 Thursday to complete a solid 5-1 homestand.