Macon County dedicating prosecutor to opioid cases
DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The Macon County State's Attorney's office plans to have a prosecutor specifically dedicated to dealing with opioid cases.
The (Decatur) Herald and Review reports that the Macon County Board unanimously approved the plan Thursday. State's Attorney Jay Scott says opioid cases used to be rare but now the office is "getting these cases all the time." Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Shelton, who heads the drug unit, will take the position.
Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is funding the position through his private foundation. He is providing a three-year grant worth $540,000. Buffett has said he thinks the prosecutor could directly address the opioid epidemic.
Scott says Shelton will pursue drug dealers not everyday users. Macon County had 14 opioid overdose deaths in 2016.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has reversed a recent ruling and will now consider an appeal in a lawsuit against a town and three former police officers filed on behalf of a man who was wrongfully convicted in a 1993 murder case.
The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that the Alan Beaman's lawsuit was dismissed last year. The dismissal was upheld by the Fourth District Appellate Court earlier this year. The state Supreme Court also denied Beaman's case in November, but reversed that decision Thursday and granted a petition to consider arguments in the case.
Beaman served more than 12 years in prison for the 1993 death of Jennifer Lockmiller. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008.
Beaman seeks damages against the town of Normal and the former officers he alleges conspired to frame him.
Chicago's Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's to remodel, lose theme
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's plans to close for remodeling at the end of the year and will lose its music theme when it reopens.
Franchise owner Nick Karavites says the downtown tourist attraction will reopen in the spring. It will have modern decor, self-order kiosks, table service and mobile order and payment. The remodeling also will include solar panels and renovations to the building exterior. The changes are part of McDonald's efforts to attract customers with improved dining experiences.
Karavites says the memorabilia in the restaurant is from his personal collection and will go into storage.
The original Rock 'n' Roll McDonald's opened 1983. It was later razed to build the current two-story, 24,000-square-foot restaurant with large yellow arches.
Rookie bomb-sniffing dog at airport has pooping problem
CHICAGO (AP) — A rookie bomb-sniffing dog at Chicago's Midway International Airport is having a little trouble waiting to poop in the proper place.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the dog has been pooping in the terminals and concourses.
Kevin McCarthy, who heads up Transportation Security Administration operations at Midway, says it doesn't impact the dog's ability to do her work looking for contraband. The dog is four months into her job and McCarthy says he's confident the problem will eventually stop.
The newspaper says the 2-year-old dog has been getting jittery in crowds, but any mess she leaves is quickly cleaned up. Of the issue, McCarthy says: "It's not going to ruin her career."
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago attorneys who had said they wanted to sue the estate of a teen fatally shot by a police officer in 2015 have changed their minds.
They announced the change of heart on Friday — a day after the Chicago Tribune reported the city's intention to sue Quintonio LeGreier's estate.
City law department spokesman Bill McCaffrey declined to explain the reversal but the Tribune reported that the article about the planned lawsuit sparked a display of public outrage on social media.
The proposed lawsuit hinged on the contention that Officer Robert Rialmo only opened fire, killing LeGrier and 55-year-old Bettie Jones, after LeGrier hit him with a baseball bat.
The LeGrier and Jones families have sued the police department. Rialmo also sued the department, alleging he was improperly trained.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 69 years in prison for fatally shooting a man at a party near the University of Illinois.
Robbie Patton was convicted in September of first-degree murder in the 2016 killing of 22-year-old George Korchev and aggravated battery with a firearm for wounding three others. Police say the shooting happened during a fight at the party in Champaign. None of Patton's victims were in the fight.
He was sentenced Thursday.
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Larson had requested a 115-year sentence, noting a pattern of wrongdoing including his guilty plea to an aggravated discharge of a firearm charge when he was a minor.
Defense attorney Tony Allegretti asked for 51 years, saying Patton hadn't planned the shooting and is young.