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BRADLEY, Ill. (AP) - An eastern Illinois village is considering decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Daily Journal in Kankakee reports that village leaders in Bradley will vote on a proposed law later this month. The village board considered a draft of a new ordinance on Monday. It would allow police to fine people caught with less than 10 grams of marijuana. The fines would range between $200 and $750. Community service also is a possible sentence.

Village attorney Jim Rowe says the ordinance gives police another tool "to ensure that those who violate the law have to face consequences for their actions."

Bradley is in Kankakee County and has nearly 16,000 residents.



Pork Farmers Fighting Virus

(Springfield, IL)  --  Pork farmers in Illinois are having to fight off a new virus that's killing off piglets all across the nation.   Jim Fraley with the Illinois Farm Bureau says more than 200 pigs have tested positive here. 

"We had 245 positive tests in Illinois, compared to the countries largest pork state, Iowa, with over 1,400. There's quite a disparity there" said Fraley.

Fraley says they're finding ways to keep it at bay. 

"The best treatment we have is exposing the [mother pigs] to the disease and letting them develop the immunity and antivirus, that way that immunity is passed down to the young pigs" Fraley said.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea, known as PED appeared last April on hog farms across the state and in at least 27 others.  PED causes severe diarrhea, nausea, and dehydration and its already wiped out at least a-million pigs across the U.S.  The virus is not transferred on to people who eat pork, so pork is safe to eat.  


Future budget uncertainty led the Salem High School Board to dismiss one of their teachers at a Tuesday Night Meeting. First-Year Math Teacher Kathleen Rusk was honorably and regretfully dismissed by the district in order to save money in next years budget. Superintendent Brad Detering.

"We're in some tight budget times and we're looking at reductions...this will allow us to save some money in the long run and absorb the position" said Detering.

The State of Illinois has yet to give any concrete indication of how much general state aid money will be given out to schools in the coming year, leading many schools to make tough budgetary decisions.

The board did, however, re-employ several non-tenured staff members, including Thomas Fischer, Kevin Greene, Kelsie Burrough, Stacey Lux, Michelle Blomberg, and Kenny Detmer. Karen Roth was selected as the volleyball coach for the 2014-2015 school year, and Chris Sexton was hired as a volunteer girls' soccer coach.


Salem High School is revising their handbook policies, as most schools do every year, but one provision is causing a stir among board members.

A proposed change in the so-called "Wildcat Code", the code that governs the behavior of student athletes, says that students charged with misdemenor or felony crimes would be forced to miss large amounts of game time during litigation. Board member and criminal attorney Bill Milner calls that a violation of due process.

"I will never vote for this, and I will explain to anybody who asks my exact feelings on this. There have been kids who have been charged with things, and they get off, and we've kicked them out without caring whether they are innocent or guilty. Is that what an institution that teach about the constitution are supposed to do?" asked Milner.

Milner would like to see a provision to ensure that students are innocent until proven guilty, a sentiment not necessarily shared by all members of the board, who would prefer that students charged with crimes not wear the Salem High School Uniform at all. Superintendent Brad Detering says that the provision was written in response to an incident last year where several students were charged with felony theft, but were still allowed to participate in sports.

"[They asked] 'how can student X still be wearing a Wildcat uniform if they are charged with a felony?' This is in response to that. If the board does not want to do anything, that's fine. But you're the ones who get the phone calls. You came to us" said Detering.

The board went over first-reading approval of the new handbook changes. A policy committee will meet before the next board meeting in order to try to flesh out a compromise regarding the new rules.


A 25-year-old Central City man is now fit to stand trial on charges related to injuries to his then two-month old son in January.  

The Department of Human Services made the finding in the case of Jeffrey Stoops.   He has been undergoing treatment since February 18th when he was found unfit to stand trial.  Stoops is charged with a Class 'X' felony count of aggravated battery as well as reckless conduct.   After both the prosecution and defense agreed to the the stipulations in the DHS report, Judge Mark Stedelin set a preliminary hearing for May 6th.  Stoops was ordered held in the Marion County Jail in lieu of a previously set half-million dollars bond.  

Stoops is accused of causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, and significant brain injury to his young son by recklessly squeezing and throwing him into the air multiple times.  The infant was treated at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis for a brain bleed and what appeared to be healing rib and clavicle fractures from earlier injuries.    





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