The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Illinois

November 21, 2013

Count of homes damaged in Ill. expected to grow

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — At least 900 homes in Illinois were either destroyed or badly damaged by Sunday’s tornadoes, a figure that state officials say is likely to grow.

Residents of the damaged areas, meanwhile, continue to dig out and piece their lives back together.

Federal Emergency Management Agency workers are expected to begin the initial damage assessments today that are required to determine eligibility for federal help. FEMA assessors should start work today in, among other places, Gifford, said Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Patti Thompson.

IEMA doesn’t have anything close to a full count of the homes affected in Washington, the central Illinois town hardest hit by the storms, and is missing information from other areas, she said.

“I’d say there’s the possibility that we’ll get several hundred more the next few days,” she said.

Farmer Curt Zehr’s home just northeast of Washington was leveled by a powerful EF4 tornado, and the winds that topped out at 190 mph spread debris over hundreds of yards — and farther.

“We had one guy call us from 40, 50 miles away with a couple of my checkbooks and said he’d send them to us,” the 54-year-old Zehr said Wednesday.

Zehr, his wife and their adult son have rented a home in nearby Eureka and taken care of one of his biggest concerns — salvaging the roughly $250,000 worth of soybeans that were in a grain bin near his home. Their next step is to, with the help of friends, family and others, clear his fields of the near-endless trail of debris so they can be farmed in the spring.

“A guy just showed up in my field yesterday from Rockford, and I don’t know him from Adam,” Zehr said of the man who lives more than 100 miles away. “He’s been here for two days. Pretty humbling.”

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Illinois
  • Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo.

    The memo dated Friday, which The Associated Press obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.

    April 19, 2014

  • Ill. GOP officials who wanted Brady out replaced

    A crop of Republican officials who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady for his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.

    Illinois Republicans across the state held elections for all 18 state central committee member posts this week, replacing six of the seven officials who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman. The seventh person to sign the letter, Mark Shaw of the 10th Congressional District, was re-elected to a four-year term.

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    April 19, 2014

  • Cubs drop fifth straight CHICAGO -- Jeff Samardzija has had a hard time finding run support this season. The same could be said for all Chicago Cubs' pitchers. First, the good news: Chicago managed to break a 24-inning scoreless streak. And then, the usual dose of bad news:

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  • Blagojevich campaign account donates final dollars

    A federal campaign account for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is now empty, two years into the Chicago Democrat's prison term.

    The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Friends of Rod Blagojevich donated $709.85 to a Serbian Orthodox Church monastery earlier this month.

    April 18, 2014

  • GOP lawmaker objects to 9-0 vote for Obama library

    A Republican lawmaker is protesting after an Illinois House committee recorded a 9-0 vote to commit $100 million for President Barack Obama's library and museum, even though the committee's four GOP members weren't there.

    Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein says he didn't expect a vote during Thursday's hearing. He told WBEZ radio and the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald he would've voted no.

    Sullivan says "the legacy of the Obama presidential library shouldn't be kicked off in a cloud of controversy."

    April 18, 2014

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    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylorville couple wins $20M lotto jackpot

    A Taylorville couple has celebrated winning a more than $20 million Illinois Lottery drawing.

    Steve and Wilma Durbin were presented with their winning check Thursday afternoon at a grocery store in the central Illinois city where they purchased the ticket. The couple took a lump sum payment of $8.1 million after taxes.

    The Taylorville Breeze-Courier reports the Durbins hit the jackpot in the April 10 Illinois Lotto drawing. That was just two weeks after they were married.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

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    State officials say unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That's its lowest level since 2009.

    April 17, 2014

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