Shelbyville Daily Union

August 23, 2013

Illinois news in brief


Shelbyville Daily Union

---- — Attendance at ‘13 state fair highest in a decade

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials say this year’s state fair had the highest attendance levels in more than a decade.

The governor’s office says Thursday that more than 961,000 people attended the fair during its 11-day run this month.

That’s up almost 5 percent from last year and the highest since 2002, when 1.2 million people went through the fair’s gates.

Ticket sales for concerts at the fair’s Grandstand topped $2 million, up more than 29 percent from last year to a new record. More than 53,000 fans attended concerts at this year’s fair. The most popular performance was by country musician Toby Keith.

The fair ended Aug. 18.

New Illinois law protects renters in foreclosures

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has a new law protecting renters if their landlord’s property goes into foreclosure.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Wednesday saying those who buy multifamily properties out of foreclosure should either honor existing tenant leases or give the renters 90 days to move.

It takes effect in three months.

The original bill was sponsored by state Sen. Jacqueline Collins and state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Chicago Democrats. They say that about 40 percent of families affected by foreclosure are renters who might not know their landlord failed to make mortgage payments.

Kraft plans $40M upgrade of Granite City plant

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) — The Kraft Foods Group plans to invest $40 million in its southwestern Illinois plant, creating 30 jobs over the next two years.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports the upgrade of the Granite City plant involves adding new equipment, as well as construction.

The plant has 410 workers and makes ready-to-drink beverages. The company’s plans include adding four new pouch-filler lines by next year.

Kraft acquired the Granite City location just northeast of St. Louis in 1991 and has since expanded it. The company built a warehouse near the plant in 2001.

LaHood joins Bradley University institute

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Bradley University has revealed former U.S. Secretary of Transportation and congressman Ray LaHood’s new role at the school’s Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service.

Bradley announced Wednesday that LaHood has been named an honorary senior distinguished fellow at the institute. In that role he’s expected to be a guest lecturer for Bradley students and be part of public policy events on campus.

LaHood said he hopes the institute can help inspire a new generation of bipartisan leaders from his alma mater. LaHood graduated from the private Peoria university in 1971.

Institute Executive Director Brad McMillan noted LaHood is the only Bradley graduate to serve as a cabinet secretary.

LaHood was a Republican congressman from 1994-2008 and was part of President Obama’s cabinet from 2009-2013.