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Mumps cases spike across Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Public health officials are investigating a sharp increase in the number of mumps cases recorded in central Illinois.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/1f1FbJG ) there has been 52 cases of the viral infection reported in Morgan and Sangamon counties.

The newspaper reports there were 26 cases reported in all of Illinois in 2013.

Jim Stone is director of the Sangamon County Department of Public Health and says “the spike is unusual.”

So far this year, there’s been 65 cases reported across the state, including the cases from Morgan and Sangamon counties. Mumps has also been reported in Fulton, Greene, Champaign, Cook and Will counties. The cases are mostly in adults.

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O’Fallon man pleads guilty to toddler son’s death

O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) _ A southern Illinois man has pleaded guilty in the death of his 23-month-old son, who died in a hot car while his father passed out after drinking.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 33-year-old Wayne M. Hubert of O’Fallon entered the plea Thursday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the life of his 6-year-old daughter.

A complaint says Hubert strapped 23-month-old Nathan into a car seat last June in a vehicle parked in his driveway. Officials say he went into his home, drank alcohol and passed out. The mother later came home and the child was found.

The coroner’s office said the boy’s body temperature was 104.6 degrees.

Hubert faces four years in jail and two years of supervised release.
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Information from: Belleville News-Democrat, http://www.bnd.com

Stranger Danger at Scott Air Force Base

(KTVI) -Scott Air Force Base is on heightened alert after reports of a suspicious man approaching two kids.

It happened Wednesday evening in the housing area of the base.  Reports say the man was driving a black van with a dog and approached two girls separately and asked if they wanted to see a box full of money.

Both said no and ran.  Security crews swept the area looking for him, but came up empty.  Officials say they’ll continue to investigate.

5 teachers given layoff notices in Breese, Ill.

BREESE, IL (KTVI)– A small Illinois school district is facing a big financial problem. The Breese, Illinois district is voting on teacher cuts.

The district is more than $600,000 in the hole.

By law, if the board intends on laying any teachers off next year, it must give them 45 days notice before the end of this school year and that deadline is here. So that`s why they`re starting with teachers, but will still consider other options.

The district blames cuts in state funding for the woes. There are currently a little more than 40 certified teachers and the district is looking to cut 3 or 4 jobs.

The superintendent also says funding for extracurricular activities will likely not be available next year.

Students and their parents will need to pay greater fees. Right now there is a $25 fee they pay.

East St. Louis School District awarded grant to upgrade PE programs

(KTVI)– East St. Louis School District 189 has been awarded a $636,000 grant to upgrade physical activity programs.

It’s one of 67 organizations nationwide sharing $33 million from the U.S. Department of Education.

The philosophy being that a healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success.

The money is intended to help expand physical education and nutrition education programs for students K-12.

Suspicious man approaches kids on Scott Air Force Base

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL (KTVI)– Officials at Scott Air Force base are investigating a report that a suspicious man tried to lure two 8-year-old girls into his van in base housing.

Fox 2 was told security crews swept the area looking for the man but didn’t find anyone.

The search kept base employees from leaving for about 45 minutes Wednesday night.

The suspect is described as a middle aged African American male, blackish greyish hair, bald spot on the back of his head, and missing one or two teeth.

He was last seen driving a black van on Morningside Circle.

If you have information please call the Scott Air Force Base Crime Stop Hot Line at 256-1160.

Fairmount Park wants slot machines to improve revenue

COLLINSVILLE, IL (KTVI) – The president of ‘Fairmount Park is trying to save the region’s only thoroughbred racing track by adding slot machines to the venue. But our partners at the “Post Dispatch” are reporting he’ll be testifying in Chicago Wednesday against a proposal that would allow slot machines in every Illinois horse track except at Fairmount Park.

The amendment was filed last month to protect East St. Louis from losing business at the Casino Queen to Fairmount.

The race track official says, that’s blatantly unfair.