Tax Filing Season Begins Monday

Tax Filing Season Begins Monday

CHICAGO (AP) – Tax filing season begins today for people filing federal and Illinois returns.

Illinois Department of Revenue Director David Harris is encouraging people to file their taxes electronically as early as possible in the tax season and to choose direct deposit for any refunds, saying it’s the fastest way for returns to be processed and any refunds to be issued.

Harris said filers who submit an error-free return should receive a direct deposit refund, if applicable, within four weeks on their state tax returns.

The 2022 deadline for most people to file their tax return is Monday, April 18. Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently said Illinois residents who were victims of the Dec. 10, 2021 storms and tornadoes have until May 16.

In-person services resuming at Ill. Driver’s License Offices

In-person services resuming at Ill. Driver’s License Offices

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois Secretary of State’s offices – including driver services facilities – will resume in-person services in the coming days.

In a news release, Secretary of State Jesse White said offices that have been closed since Jan. 3 because of the surge in COVID-19 cases across Illinois are opening their doors again.

Those offices that operate on a Monday-Friday schedule will reopen Monday and the offices on a Tuesday-Saturday schedule will resume in-person services on Tuesday.

The office said those who enter the the offices will required to wear masks and practice social distancing.   

More Service Members, Families Receiving State Licenses Faster Thanks to Recent Law

More Service Members, Families Receiving State Licenses Faster Thanks to Recent Law

(IOCI RADIO) – A new report highlights the success of a recent law helping service members obtain their state professional license more quickly.

The idea is to expedite the process, so active-duty military of their husbands/wives can get off to a good start when they move to Illinois.

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary Mario Treto said the report found that those taking advantage of the program work in a variety of fields.

Last year, 862 service members and their spouses were assisted through the licensure process – three times more than were served during the initiative’s first year in 2020.

Mt. Vernon Man Charged For Being Armed & Habitual Criminal

Mt. Vernon Man Charged For Being Armed & Habitual Criminal

MT. VERNON – A 28-year-old Mt. Vernon man was charged Friday in Jefferson County Circuit Court with being an armed habitual criminal.

William Johnson was arrested Thursday by the Mt. Vernon Police being a felon in possession of a weapon & resisting/obstructing an officer.

According to Mt. Vernon Police Chief Trent Page, Johnson was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped just before 2 a.m. Thursday near 10th and Lamar.

During the stop, Johnson reportedly fled on foot from the vehicle but was apprehended after a brief pursuit with officers.

Page said when officers searched Johnson, he was found to be in possession of a firearm.

Johnson was then charged Friday with Class X felony being an armed habitual criminal a charge punishable by between 6 and 30 years in prison if convicted.

An arraignment in the case is scheduled for February 17.

Carrier Mills One of Few Communities to Report Census Growth

Carrier Mills One of Few Communities to Report Census Growth

CARRIER MILLS – The 2020 Census report was made official by the Illinois Secretary of State, with Carrier Mills one of few communities to show an increase in population from the 2010 census to the 2020 census.

The official population of Carrier Mills following the 2020 Census was 1,672. The town had been on a steady decline in population, with the population at 1,653 in 2010.

In 1990, the Census reported that Carrier Mills had a population of 1,993 people, marking a loss of 321 in 30 years. According to the Census information, Carrier Mills reached its peak in 1920 with 3,000 people.

“The local census workers have to be credited for their hard work to make sure everyone in Carrier Mills was counted. There was a lot of knocking on doors and follow-up in our community. This was especially tough work during a pandemic,” said Tracy Felty, Village President.

Here are numbers from neighboring communities in Saline County.

YEAR                    2020    2010    2000

Eldorado              3743    4122    4534
Harrisburg           8219    9017    9860
Galatia                  827      933    1013
Stonefort             224      297    292
Muddy                 61       68      78

Metro Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man at Gas Station

Metro Police Fatally Shoot Armed Man at Gas Station

WOOD RIVER, Ill. (AP) – Authorities said police officers in the Metro East area of Illinois fatally shot a man who pulled a gun on them.

KMOV-TV reported that the shooting happed at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday in the Madison County community of Wood River. Police said a gas station employee reported seeing an armed man and that a nearby resident later reported seeing someone armed with a gun on her porch.

Police added that officers searching the area spotted the man back at the station and shot him after he pulled a gun on them. The man whose name name hasn’t been released was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Ex-Chicago Officer who Killed Laquan McDonald to be Released

Ex-Chicago Officer who Killed Laquan McDonald to be Released

CHICAGO (AP) – The white Chicago police officer convicted in the 2014 shooting death of Black teenager Laquan McDonald is days away from walking out of prison after just over three years behind bars.

An Illinois Prisoner Review Board official said Jason Van Dyke will be released on Feb. 3. Van Dyke was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated battery in the killing of McDonald, whom he shot 16 times.

Van Dyke’s 81-month sentence was effectively cut in half for good behavior in prison. Chicago was forced to release police video of the shooting, leading to protests in the city and causing outrage nationwide.

Ex-Belle Rive USPS Employee Sentenced to Probation for Theft

Ex-Belle Rive USPS Employee Sentenced to Probation for Theft

BENTON – A Belle Rive woman was sentenced in federal court in Benton Tuesday afternoon to two years’ probation and was ordered to pay restitution to her victims for stealing from greeting cards while working for the U.S. Postal Service.

According to court records, 31-year-old Casey L. Neal pled guilty in October of last year to theft of mail by a postal service employee.

In January and February of last year, while working as a substitute sales and distribution clerk at the Belle Rive, Dahlgren, and Macedonia post offices, Neal stole over $300 worth of cash and gift cards from greeting cards that were sent through those post offices. Neal used some of the gift cards to purchase money orders used to pay her personal creditors.

After being alerted to the thefts, investigators located other gift cards from retailers and restaurants, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Chik-fil-A, and Dairy Queen, which Neal had stolen from the mail.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Service, Office of the Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Zoe J. Gross.

Measure Giving School Staff Time Off Due to COVID-19 Absences Expected to Receive Pritzker Veto

Measure Giving School Staff Time Off Due to COVID-19 Absences Expected to Receive Pritzker Veto

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – It’s expected a measure giving school staff administrative time off for COVID-19 related absences will be vetoed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

House Bill 2778 was sent to the governor Nov. 30. Pritzker has until Jan. 29 to act. He could do nothing or sign the bill and it becomes law.

But, it’s expected he will veto the measure, which would be against the wishes of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT). IFT’s John Cusick said the measure is imperative.

The measure would apply to school staff, from teachers to bus drivers. Bridget Peach with ED-RED said the bill could run contrary to local labor agreements.

If the measure is vetoed, the Illinois Legislature would have 15 days to override the bill. It passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities.

AT&T, Verizon Pause Some New 5G After Airlines Raise Alarm

AT&T, Verizon Pause Some New 5G After Airlines Raise Alarm

AT&T and Verizon said they will delay some new 5G wireless service after the airline industry raised alarms about potential interference with important systems on planes.

The airlines had warned of massive flight cancellations and disruptions. The Biden administration was then involved to settle the showdown between the telecom companies and airlines over AT&T and Verizon plans to launch new 5G wireless service this week.

Airline CEO’s warned that thousands of flights could be grounded or delayed if the rollout takes place near major airports because the service interferes with key systems on board planes.

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