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illinoisstate.edu

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against three retired central Illinois police officers by a man wrongfully convicted of a 1993 murder.

Douglas County Judge Richard Broch Jr. on Friday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Alan Beaman seeking $50,000 from retired Normal officers Tim Freesmeyer, Dave Warner and Frank Zayas and the city of Normal.

Beaman served 13 years in prison in the death of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller before DNA evidence pointed to other suspects.

The Illinois Supreme Court vacated his conviction in 2009.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says its survey crews have confirmed at least nine tornados struck north central and northeast Illinois Wednesday night during storms that traversed the state. 

The NWS says damage surveys indicate two qualified to be rated EF-2: at Pontiac, with top wind speeds estimated at 115-125 mph, and Marseilles-Seneca, with top wind speeds estimated at 116 mph. 

www.cyberdriveillinois.com

The Illinois Secretary of State's decision not to send license plate renewal reminders has earned the state more than twice the amount of late fees so far this year compared to last year.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that so far this year the state has collected $9.5 million in late license plate fees, compared with $4.3 million during the same period last year.

Illinois Secretary of State's spokesman Dave Druker says there have been about 476,550 late fees collected so far this year compared with about 214,500 during the same time last year.

State of Illinois

Illinois legislators who have been working privately for the past month to craft a temporary budget have one drafted, but that doesn't make it a done deal.

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield Wednesday. That’s only two days before the new fiscal year begins and the end of a full year of the state having no budget.

The strain of going nearly a year without a budget coupled with doubt that a full deal can be reached  in the near future have made a stopgap budget the priority.

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Radio

One of the biggest show business names to come out of Illinois is back home for a couple days with hopes of nurturing more talent, and making sure he always has a place to call home. 

In his first return home in 12 years, Van Dyke rolled up in a replica of the car he drove in the 1968 movie musical, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” The 90-year-old entertainer was welcomed by the Danville High School show choir, which will be performing with him Friday night.

Northern Illinois University

Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s controversial remarks could affect the Illinois U.S. Senate race, according to one expert.

Northern Illinois University political scientist Matt Streb says he can’t remember a time when candidates distanced themselves from their party’s nominee. He says this is affecting the race between incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.

www.congress.gov

Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville says the nation doesn't need new gun laws, including a ban for anyone on the terror watch-list.

He says the FBI already has 72 hours to block someone who's on the list from buying a gun.

"I would like to see law enforcement enforce the existing laws and I just don't think they're doing a good job of that, and that's exactly the case right now with what they say in Orlando,” Davis said.

Davis also opposes greater restrictions on so-called assault weapons. He says terrorists don't care if they break the law.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

A new survey of Illinois human service providers shows nearly two-thirds have cut programs because of the state budget standoff, leaving almost 1 million people without services.

The United Way of Illinois released results Wednesday of a survey of 429 agencies that have contracts with the state. Illinois owes those waiting to be paid an average of $525,000.

The percentage of agencies that have made cuts was up from 48 percent in January.

Wikipedia

A judge in Chicago has agreed to release former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds from jail as he awaits trial on misdemeanor tax charges.

Thursday's ruling requires the Illinois Democrat to wear an electronic-monitoring device so authorities can keep tabs on him.

Reynolds is accused of failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2012. He was jailed in April after violating bond conditions when traveling in Africa.

Dan Libman

Restaurants within a few northern Illinois counties will have to complete a new alcohol training program by July 1.

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