Illinois

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Illinois Teacher Fired for Stepping on Flag in Class

Board voted 6-0 to dump Jordan Parmenter

(Newser) - A different kind of flag controversy is playing out in Martinsville, Illinois, where a high school English teacher has been fired stepping on an American flag during class. The Mattoon Journal Gazette reports the Martinsville school board dismissed Jordan Parmenter on Thursday in a 6-0 vote; the decision was effective... More »

91-Year-Old Checks Off Bizarre Bucket-List Item

Accident reconstruction officer made dream a reality

(Newser) - Thanks to a dedicated grandson, Illinois man Walter Thomas finally has an answer to a question that he has pondered for many of his 91 years. He "told me a long time ago that he always wanted to back a car through the garage door," granddaughter Becky Goers... More »

Baby Makes 100 for Illinois Grandparents

Grandkids and great-grandkids, that is; Leo and Ruth Zanger 'love them all'

(Newser) - Jaxton Leo Zanger entered the world on April 8, making Leo and Ruth Zanger the happiest grandparents in the world—for the 100th time. "The good Lord has just kept sending them," Leo Zanger says, per the Quincy Herald-Whig . "We could start our own town." Jaxton... More »

College Presidents Live in 'Fantasy World' of Perks

Illinois report says taxpayers are getting ripped off

(Newser) - Country club memberships, car allowances, and huge severance packages may sound like fringe benefits a Wall Street investment banker would enjoy, but in this case it's describing the lifestyles of community college and university presidents in Illinois. A state Senate panel report obtained by the Chicago Tribune says these... More »

$250K Awarded to Family of Senior Mired in Ear Maggots

Doctors discovered 57 of them in Alzheimer patient's ear; she died 4 months later

(Newser) - When Catherine McCann started pulling on her ear at the Lutheran Home in September 2012, it seemed apparent something was wrong with the elderly Alzheimer's patient, who was unable to speak or care for herself. What was ailing the nonagenarian turned out to be more horrifying than her family... More »

Mom's Photo of Son Leads to Cancer Diagnosis

Julie Fitzgerald knew she saw something odd in his eye

(Newser) - A mom's photo of her 2-year-old boy helped her spot a rare cancer symptom and possibly prevent the disease from spreading to his blood and brain, WREX 13 and Fox 8 report. Illinois resident Julie Fitzgerald noticed earlier this year that her son Avery's left eye looked a... More »

Chicago Roadwork Site Could Hide Thousands of Long-Buried Bodies

Oak Park Avenue was a burial site for the 'forgotten' a century ago

(Newser) - Workers are preparing for improvements to a road on the Northwest Side of Chicago, and their work could lead to the unearthing of thousands of bodies, a cemetery researcher tells the Chicago Tribune . That's because the area of Oak Park Avenue in question was once a cemetery and now... More »

150 Years After Lincoln's Death, His Tomb Takes Modern Hits

16th president's final resting place faces criticism, budget cuts

(Newser) - Caretakers of Abraham Lincoln's tomb, faced with budget cuts and a National Geographic critique that slammed the site as having "all the historical character of an office lobby," are a little on the defensive, even as they commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War president's... More »

Cops: Man Killed Toddler Who Peed on Him

18-month-old beaten to death during diaper change

(Newser) - A Cicero, Ill., man allegedly murdered an 18-month-old boy in his care just because he couldn't handle the common hazard of diaper-changing, officials say. Police say Martin Alvarado Jr., 23, flew into a rage and beat Edwin Eli O'Reilly, his girlfriend's son, to death after the toddler... More »

Tornado Wrecks Illinois Town, Kills 1

Almost every building in Fairdale has been heavily damaged

(Newser) - Supercell thunderstorms produced a large tornado that touched down in northern Illinois last night, killing one person and injuring eight others in the tiny community of Fairdale as severe weather pummeled the Midwest. Authorities are still working to account for every resident in Fairdale, DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said... More »

Why a Bison's Birth Is a Remarkable One

First to be born in wild east of the Mississippi in 200 years

(Newser) - For the first time since Abraham Lincoln was a young man, there are wild bison in Illinois, and ecologists were thrilled to welcome a new calf this week. The baby bison was born at the Nachusa Grasslands prairie restoration preserve just 95 miles west of Chicago, reports the Chicago Tribune... More »

Police: Illinois Convict Overpowers Guard, Flees

Kamron T. Taylor allegedly made off in the guard's Chevy Equinox

(Newser) - If you suspect you have a case of headline déj à vu, you're partially right: For the second day in a row , a prisoner has overpowered a guard and fled. In this instance, the man on the loose is murder convict Kamron T. Taylor. CNN reports that Taylor... More »

After Breaking Both Legs in Park, Teen Could Face Charges

Christopher Stewart undergoes surgery after falling 90 feet

(Newser) - Sometimes it pays to stay on the beaten path. Not only did an 18-year-old break both legs after climbing over a wooden railing at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois—he's also facing potential charges for heading into a restricted area, according to authorities. Christopher Stewart, of Aurora, Ill.... More »

DoJ Digs Into 'Downton' Rep: Source

FBI said to be issuing subpoenas as criminal investigation heats up

(Newser) - Rep. Aaron Schock may have thought he could simply disappear into the Illinois sunset after resigning his House seat on Tuesday, but it looks like his troubles are far from over. A source familiar with the case but speaking on condition of anonymity tells the AP that the Justice Department... More »

Illinois Man: 'Hot Sauce Saved My Life'

Randy Schmitz says sauce-induced seizure led to MRI that detected tumor

(Newser) - Variety literally became the spice of life for an Illinois man: While sampling the wares at a hot-sauce shop in Myrtle Beach, SC, Randy Schmitz had a seizure that ended up being a blessing. Schmitz was visiting the Pepper Palace while on vacation last August when he decided to try... More »

Mayor's 'Good Wife' Tweet Targets Hollywood

Evanston, Illinois mayor defends city's liberal record

(Newser) - Evanston, Illinois—politically conservative? Not according to Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, who hit Hollywood with a tweet in defense of the city's progressive voting record, the Chicago Tribune reports. It started when an episode of the CBS drama The Good Wife had robocalls going out to Evanston residents portraying a... More »

How a College Party Led to a $500K Invention

Simple DropCatch grabs bottle caps to ease cleanup

(Newser) - When a pair of college roommates were cleaning up after a party, there were bottle caps everywhere, so they picked them up with a magnet. Fast forward a few years, and the two have turned the magnet trick into a simple $60 invention—and they've sold $500,000 worth... More »

TV Anchor: I Have Just Months to Live

Illinois personality Dave Benton announces brain tumor

(Newser) - An Illinois TV anchor has shared some deeply personal news with viewers: Brain cancer has left him with just four to six months to live. He can't have surgery or radiation because the tumor is too big, he said on WCIA-TV , as the AP reports. But he's not... More »

All 7 Hostages Free, Safe in 20-Hour Chicago Ordeal

2 suspects arrested; officers treated for wounds

(Newser) - All of the hostages who were being held at a home near Chicago in a standoff that started early yesterday afternoon have been rescued, NBC Chicago reports. Four children had been released last night, and the two remaining children and an adult woman were found safe this morning after police... More »

Girl's Steer Sells for $100K

Illinois 12-year-old breaks state record

(Newser) - Not a bad payday for a 12-year-old: Shaelye Varner showed off her grand champion steer at the Illinois State Fair this week, then sold it at auction for a whopping $100,000—shattering last year's fair record of $62,000. AT&T, Monsanto, and DeKalb Asgrow combined to bid... More »

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