(LINCOLN) The National Weather Service says at least three tornados touched down in Northern Illinois as severe storms swept through the area this past Tuesday. Officials report that a storm survey conducted yesterday determined that an EF-1 tornado with maximum winds of about 95 miles-per-hour swept through the Will County community of Manhattan on Tuesday evening. Evidence shows the twister was on the ground for about one mile and caused limited damage and no injuries. The survey crew also found no damage in an area of Kane County where two other tornadoes briefly touched down on Tuesday evening.
(SPRINGFIELD) The U.S. Supreme Court says government workers cannot be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, which has landed a series blow to organized labor. The justices are scrapping a 41 year old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join. The 5 to 4 decision will now trash the so-called “fair share fees” that non-members pay to unions in roughly two dozen states, including Illinois. While some are “appalled” by the ruling, others claim victory for public sector workers.
(CHARLESTON) A former South Central and Southeastern Illinois girls youth basketball coach has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges involving two former players. Coles County authorities report that 54 year old Barry S. Wolfe of Martinsville pled guilty this past Tuesday to four counts of criminal sexual assault as prosecutors agreed to dismiss several other criminal sexual abuse charges against Wolfe, mostly to spare the young victims the need to testify. Wolfe allegedly engaged in sex acts with two of his former players from 2013 to 2015, when both players were ages 17 and younger. Sentencing is set for August 10.
(OLNEY/NEWTON) The Illinois State Police at District 12 Headquarters in Effingham are reminding all motorists to drive sober or designate a driver while celebrating during the 4th of July weekend. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs remains the number one cause of fatal crashes during Independence Day celebrations, therefore District 12 Troopers are already out in extra force looking for those who may be driving impaired. Troopers will also be focused on identifying the “Fatal-4” violations, which include DUI, Speeding, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving. All are encouraged to make every effort possible to avoid driving if alcohol has been consumed at a 4th of July celebration.