Gov. Pat Quinn wants municipalities to have more access to low-interest loans to upgrade sewer lines, water mains and water treatment plants across Illinois. The Chicago Tribune's Antonio Olivo reports on a new plan to boost a loan program from $300 million available annually, to $1 billion. It's the same program that Streator used to get $13.8 million to solve problems with an existing combined sewer system and 80-year old brick construction. The additional projects are expected to create 28,500 jobs. "We have to make sure that our drinking water is safe, and so we have to invest in that," Quinn said Thursday. "Our water mains and everything connected to drinking water, we have to make sure that it meets 21st century standards." The revolving loan fund is paid for largely with federal dollars, as well as principal and interest from loan repayments. The $700 billion expansion will not require new state tax dollars.
The father of a 14-year-old boy who brought guns to Normal Community High School last month has been charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a firearm. Rodney Kinder allegedly gave his son a 22-caliber Ruger pistol for Christmas last year, and another 23-caliber rifle previously. The boy was under age 18 and didn't have a Firearm Owners Identification Card. I presume Kinder is mortified by what his son is accused of doing at NCHS that day, so this anti-gun writer need not pass judgment further. But I do think it's interesting that one of the first high-profile actions of McLean County's new state's attorney, Jason Chambers, is filing gun charges against a father for allegedly giving his teenager son some firearms. That contrast between Chambers and his predecessor, Ron Dozier, who essentially wanted to legalize concealed carry, is stark. More than a dozen felony charges against the 14-year-old are still pending in McLean County.
McLean County and city of Bloomington election officials want people to know that absentee ballots can only be sent to voters by them. They've gotten some calls in recent days with some apparent confusion about the process for requesting absentee ballots. Turns out, anyone can provide a voter an absentee ballot request form, but the ballot itself has to come from election officials, obviously. "One caller said it was from the Democrat Party, and another caller said it was from the Republican Party," said County Clerk Kathy Michael. "We have no verification of who it is for sure, or if it's random enthusiam from a volunteer who has their verbiage wrong." The last day for election officials to mail absentee ballots, by the way, is Nov. 1.
An armed man caused a scary situation Thursday at a Peoria radio station. A man with a knife allegedly walked into Christian station WCIC, apparently disorientated and smelling like alcohol, reports WMBD 31's Sophie Nielsen-Kolding. Three station employees ran to a nearby dry cleaner. "We had three ladies come in, running in our back door, screaming 'call 911', that there was a guy in the radio station with a gun," said a Starcrest Cleaners employee. The gun turned out to be a knife. Nielsen-Kolding reports that the incident is far from the suspect's first run-in with police. The man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon.
I love the Al Smith dinner. The fundraiser for Catholic charities in New York always comes right in the thick of the presidential election, when tensions are highest. Only in America can two guys who've just spent months and months hammering each other stand at a podium in a white bow tie and gently (or not-so-gently) poke fun at one another. The videos of President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney's speeches are below, but here are my favorite zingers. Obama teased Monday's third and final debate, which will focus on foreign policy. "Spoiler alert — we got bin Laden," Obama said. Romney, in his remarks, spoke of Obama's final months as president and attending a white-tie dinner with so many rich people in the audience. “You have to wonder what he’s thinking —so little time, so much to redistribute.”
Ryan Denham can be reached at email@example.com.