Shelbyville Daily Union

February 21, 2014

Illinois News is Briefs


Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — Grace period for unregistered voters

CHICAGO (AP) — It’s not too late for Illinois residents to register to vote in this year’s upcoming elections.

The deadline for regular registration came and passed on Tuesday. But now voters are getting a second chance. This “grace period” for voter registration is open until Mar. 15.

The process will be a little different for those registering late. Residents must present two forms of identification to election officials in person. One of these forms must include a current address. People using the grace period must cast their primary election ballot during the same visit.

Ill. towns break snow records

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — At least a handful of central Illinois cities can now say this long, cold winter is officially the snowiest ever.

Chris Geelhart is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Lincoln. He tells WJBC radio that Normal, Mattoon, Danville and Lincoln have all set new marks for snowiest winter in recorded history. And he says Peoria and Springfield are close.

Police nab suspected robber

O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) — Southwestern Illinois authorities say they were able to arrest a suspected bank robber after he pedaled away from the heist riding a bicycle.

O’Fallon Police Detective Lieutenant Mick Hunter says the man was arrested Wednesday afternoon, about 10 blocks away from Scott Credit Union.

Hunter says he walked into the bank around 3:15 p.m., gave a note to the teller and flashed what appeared to be a gun. He got away with an undisclosed amount of money before being arrested several minutes later.

Decatur eases voluntary water restrictions

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in a central Illinois community are easing voluntary water restrictions.

Decatur water management officials say the water levels in Lake Decatur have climbed, thanks in part to the snow.

The city asked residents to conserve water in late October. But now, officials say the water level has increased and the lake is 73 percent full. That’s within the normal winter levels.

Water Management Director Keith Alexander tells WAND-TV that the cold weather has helped the lake, because melting snow runs off, rather than being absorbed by the frozen ground. He tells the Decatur Herald & Review the city water customers also cut water use by about 11 percent.

He says “from a water supply standpoint, we appear to be in good shape.”

Bill would exempt Olympians from paying state tax

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois lawmaker says Olympic athletes who win medals shouldn’t have to pay state tax on their awards.

State Sen. Julie Morrison is sponsor of legislation approved by a Senate committee Wednesday that would waive the tax.

Morrison is a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield who says she represents many of Illinois’ Olympic athletes. She says Olympic athletes proudly represent Illinois and the U.S. and “we should honor them for their commitment.”

Morrison says exempting Illinois’ taxes on the prizes is “one small way to show our appreciation.”

Olympians who win a gold medal also receive $25,000. Silver medalists win $15,000, while bronze medalists earn $10,000.

The legislation also applies to Para-Olympians.

It could be considered by the full Senate as early as Thursday.