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Headlines for Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kevin WilliamsA change of plea hearing will be held next Wednesday for prominent Mount Carmel businessman Kevin C. Williams on charges he misappropriated huge sums of money from the Spond Family Trust. Williams had previously entered a Not Guilty plea to the 40 count federal indictment.  Federal prosecutors allege that Williams’ illegal withdrawals caused the Spond Family Trust to lose over $2 million.

Illinois lawmakers can’t seem to come up with a compromise on concealed carry legislation.  One compromise bill has been rejected because it pre-empts cities and counties on all gun rules, not just on concealed carry. Rep. Brandon Phelps of Saline County says he doesn’t think the House will go for a plan that allows cities to retain their own gun regulations.

Lawmakers still haven’t come up with a plan to solve Illinois’ massive pension problem. One bill has been advanced that would require state universities and community colleges to start paying their own pension costs. Other options include salary caps and an increase in retirement age.

Rivers in the nation’s heartland are rising and heavy rain is in the forecast the rest of this week.  Forecasters say the Mississippi could reach its highest level at St. Louis in nearly two decades. Strong to severe storms are possible across Southern Illinois through Saturday night.

Two area students are recipients of $1,000 Illinois Agriculture Association scholarships.   Katelyn Fryman of Ellery is a pre-pharmacy major at SIU-Edwardsville. Billy Hatfield of Dahlgren is an ag education major at the University of Illinois.

Fairfield Community High School is offering two separate college tour dates for local students. On June 4, students will be able to tour SIU-Edwardsville and McKendree University in Lebanon. On June 11, students will have an opportunity to tour the University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech, both in Evansville.  To sign up, call the high school at 842-2649.

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