Rules Of Road Change With New Year

Dec 31, 2014
state of Illinois

Procrastinators, delight. 

You can go online just before your license plate sticker expires to buy a new one and have no fear of getting in trouble for having an out-of-date sticker while you wait for the new one to arrive in the mail. 

A new state law allows drivers to temporarily use a receipt as proof. If you are pulled over and get a ticket for a traffic offense, another new law means you no longer have to give up your driver's license as a form of bail.

Suspect In Custody After Rockford Quadruple Murder

Dec 31, 2014

Rockford police have a suspect in custody on four counts of first-degree murder in last week’s quadruple homicide.

Police officials left early Tuesday morning to transport Calvin Carter from Madison County to Winnebago County after he turned himself in on an unrelated theft warrant.

Carter is charged with four counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend Martia Flint, her two young sons Tyrone Smith and Tobias Smith, and her boyfriend Demontea Rhodes. Carter’s court appearance is scheduled today at 1:30 p.m. in Winnebago County.

A memo from Bruce Rauner's budget chief continues to spell out how Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner sees Illinois' financial situation. 

The three page document says, "Illinois' massive budget hole is the direct result of previous governors and General Assemblies giving away benefits they couldn't afford, deploying dishonest budget practices and kicking the can down the road." It lists borrowing, putting off pension payments, and the use of gimmicks as culprits. 

Facebook / Rock River Homeless Coalition

Several service providers for homeless people in the Rockford area are teaming up to share intake and assessment system next year.  

The new system was created so members of the community would be aware of all the different agencies within Rockford that assist the homeless and what their roles are exactly. That’s according to Shelton Kay, who is chairman for the Rock River Homeless Coalition.

Kay says there basically is no all-inclusive system in place right now.

Gas Prices May Be Close To Bottoming Out

Dec 30, 2014
Flickr user Luca Volpi / "Gasoline" (CC BY 2.0)

The price of a gallon of Regular-grade gasoline is now below the $2 mark at many gas stations in downstate Illinois. 

Analyst Patrick DeHaan, with, thinks those prices may be within five or ten cents of bottoming out. He says prices should start rising in January or February, when oil refineries cut back production for seasonal maintenance and retooling.

But DeHaan predicts gas prices in 2015 will stay lower overall than the year before.

Office of the Illinois Attorney General

A new Illinois law will make it harder for felons to receive a public pension. 

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law that gives the attorney general more power to stop pensions to convicted felons. Legislators sought the change after former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge was allowed to keep his pension after he lied about torturing suspects.

The Illinois Supreme Court in July upheld a lower court ruling that the attorney general could not challenge a Chicago police pension board decision that allowed Burge to keep his taxpayer-supported pension. 

DeKalb County

Voters across DeKalb County will get to cast their thoughts about the influence of money in politics when they go to the polls in April. 

The county board approved a non-binding question that asks voters if they support measures to increase transparency for campaign funding.

Illinois public schools are funded by two main sources--property taxes and state money. State senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Macoupin County, introduced legislation that would change that formula. 

It didn't make it through the General Assembly last session, but Manar feels confident the issue will be debated again by the new legislature.

“There's only a few people that believe that the state aid formula today, as it exists, works well. And those are the ones that benefit at the expense of the masses from today's system.”

Illinois State Police

Most drivers in Illinois will get to keep their driver’s licenses after being cited for certain traffic offenses. The “Sign and Drive” law goes into effect Jan. 1.

It allows those receiving a citation to sign the document as a guarantee they will either pay the fine or appear in court. But Illinois State Trooper Ross Green says that’s not the case with all moving violations.    

“We would take a driver’s license for the offenses of DUI, drag racing, anything that’s a Class A Misdemeanor, and considered a business offense.”

New Law Protects Working Expectant Mothers

Dec 23, 2014

Pregnant women working in Illinois will have greater job protection under a new law taking effect Jan. 1. The measure requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and safe working conditions so expectant mothers can work without endangering their health or the health of the child. 

Provisions include limits on lifting; help with manual labor; access to places to sit; more frequent restroom breaks; time off to recover from childbirth; and private break space for breast-feeding and expressing breast milk.