Infectious TB patient jailed in central Illinois
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in central Illinois have jailed a 24-year-old tuberculosis patient for disobeying a court order to stay in his home while his condition is infectious.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde says Christian Mbemba Ibanda has been in jail since last Thursday. He's being held on contempt of court charges in the Piatt County jail in Monticello. Champaign County's jail doesn't have a cell with negative air pressure to prevent the spread of disease.
Court documents say Ibanda repeatedly left home and that a quarantine sign was removed from his door twice. The patient's movements were being tracked with an electronic ankle bracelet following the court order.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Ibanda denied the allegations at a hearing held at the Piatt County Jail on Tuesday.
Hundreds of cases of pig virus reported in Ill.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois agriculture officials say there have been hundreds of cases of a deadly pig virus in Illinois.
The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports there were 360 cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea in Illinois through March.
But hog farmers weren't required to start reporting the illness until last week.
PED has killed millions of pigs in 27 states since showing up in the U.S. last May. Illinois is among the hardest-hit.
The disease has been blamed for recent increases in bacon and pork prices and farmers have struggled to control the virus, because little is known about how it spreads. Piglets are most at risk.
The virus doesn't affect humans.
The Illinois Pork Producers Association says the virus has spread throughout the state and is impacting large and small farms.
Peoria mayor defends response to Twitter account
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Peoria's mayor is defending his actions in response to a fake Twitter account set up in his name, saying he felt his identity was stolen and that the comments posted were "absolute filth."
Mayor Jim Ardis addressed the issue Tuesday night at a City Council meeting where he faced criticism from council members and residents who felt he had abused his powers.
Ardis filed a criminal complaint over the Twitter account, which authorities say included posts about drugs and sex.
As part of the investigation, police officers raided a home last week and seized computers and phones. But no one was charged over the Twitter account, which had already been shut down.
Ardis said Tuesday he felt he was "a victim of sexual doggerel and filth."
Patronage allegations give Quinn challenger fodder
CHICAGO (AP) - Allegations of patronage hiring in Gov. Pat Quinn's administration could be a re-election hurdle for the Chicago Democrat.
Quinn faces a challenge from Republican businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur). Rauner paints himself as an outsider who'll clean up Springfield. His campaign said Wednesday that Quinn is continuing with a history of hires that reward "friends and allies" with jobs.
A federal lawsuit accuses improper hiring in the Illinois Department of Transportation. It cites a Better Government Association report claiming jobs may have been based on clout over competence.
Quinn spokesman Grant Klinzman says an audit was conducted after the 2013 BGA report and the department is resolving issues. He says Quinn has "no tolerance" for violations of hiring practices.
However, better government groups are worried about the potential for corruption.
STATE POLICE CARS
Bill would get Illinois police cruisers on road
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are pushing legislation to get dozens of idle Illinois State Police cruisers on the road.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that state Rep. Brian Stewart's proposal would allocate existing funds to install lights, sirens and other electronics on 85 Chevrolet Caprices that are sitting idle.
State police are struggling to get the cars prepared for service because of a small number of technicians.
Stewart's predecessor, former Rep. Jim Sacia, championed a $1 increase in vehicle registration fees that generated money for the purchase of new cruisers. But those cars remain parked without the necessary technical equipment.
Stewart's legislation would allow money from the fee increase to be spent on preparing, improving and maintaining state police vehicles.
FORMER ISU PRESIDENT-PLEA
Ex-ISU president pleads not guilty to misdemeanor
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - Former Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan has pleaded not guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.
The Pantagraph reports Flanagan entered the plea to the misdemeanor Wednesday. The charge stems from an alleged altercation between Flanagan and a grounds crew worker outside of the university-owned presidents' residence on Dec. 5. Flanagan has acknowledged yelling at the employee but denies he spat on or made contact with the man.
Flanagan resigned last month, days before the charge was filed. His attorney, Stephanie Wong, said they would "vigorously" defend the case. He took the top post at the university in August.
The worker, Patrick Murphy, was fired and is seeking to get his job back. University officials have declined comment on Murphy's dismissal, calling it a confidential personnel matter.
Ex-aide to Cook County board head gets 6 ½ years
CHICAGO (AP) - A former top aide to Cook County's former board president has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison for stealing more than $300,000 in taxpayer money and money laundering.
Cook County prosecutors say 44-year-old Carla Oglesby was sentenced on Wednesday. She was convicted in August during a bench trial. She was deputy chief of staff to former Cook County board president Todd Stroger.
Prosecutors accused Oglesby of steering fake government contracts to herself and others.
Oglesby's defense attorney had argued that another man, a friend and onetime media spokesman for Stroger, had actually dealt with the vendors.
JACKSON COUNTY-ROADSIDE BODY
Man pleads not guilty in southern Ill. killing
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) - A man accused of killing a Missouri woman and leaving her body along a southern Illinois road has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder.
KFVS-TV reports 28-year-old Brandon Banks was arraigned Wednesday in Illinois' Jackson County.
Prosecutors there allege Banks killed 40-year-old Marsha Ann Brown of Cape Girardeau, Mo., which also is Banks' hometown. Brown's body was found in January in tall weeds on a small embankment near Makanda (muh-KAN'-duh).
Banks was arrested in St. Louis two days after Brown's body was found, and he was returned to Illinois to face prosecution.
He's jailed on $1 million bond.
GACY EXHUMATIONS-COLD CASE-REMAINS
Family: Remains in '78 cold case will be cremated
MAYWOOD, Ill. (AP) - The sister of Chicago-area man whose remains were identified more than 35 years after he disappeared says his bones will be cremated.
Ruth Rodriguez told a Wednesday news conference that the identification of Edward Beaudion (boh-DWAN') gives the family some closure. Rodriguez says her mother died thinking the 22-year-old might still be alive.
Beaudion's remains were recently identified as part of a Cook County Sherriff's office effort to ID victims of 1970s serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The remains of several victims found in Gacy's house were never identified.
Gacy wasn't involved in Beaudion's 1978 death, but family members came forward to supply DNA in 2011 thinking he might have been.
Beaudion's body was found in a forest preserve in 2008. The man authorities believe killed him died last year.
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