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Vandals Hit Iuka Park

Considerable vandalism has occurred at the Iuka Community Development Corporation Park.  

The Marion County Sheriff's Department reports the damage included picnic tables that were damaged or destroyed.   One of the park buildings sustained damage where siding was pushed in.  The building also had wiring pulled from the outlets and the plug-ins broken.  Bleachers were turned over, with wood broken from the seats.  

The vandalism was discovered Tuesday morning and is believed to have occurred over the weekend or on Monday.

The sheriff's department is also investigating windows that were shattered at the Brandon Jamison home on the Red Stripe Road in rural Odin.  Jamison returned home around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon to find the damage.    

Four area counties are among those that will be removed from the late-winter deer hunting season as the Illinois Department of Natural Resources makes changes in hunting seasons based on recommendations from department biologists.  

Clinton, Jefferson, Fayette and Bond Counties are being removed from the program.  Marion, Effingham, Clay and Wayne will continue to have the added late winter season.   

The Department has also announced the number of deer hunting permits will remain the same in Marion County for the coming year.  25-hundred either sex permits and 18-hundred antlerless only permits will be issued.  There will be reductions in permit quotas in Clinton, Bond and Jefferson Counties.   

The biologists reviewed deer hunting harvest numbers, deer-vehicle accident data, looked at disease reports and surveyed Illinois deer hunters.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller says the changes reflect the department's commitment to managing the state's deer population "to provide recreational opportunity while being mindful of public safety and the rights of property owners."

Online: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov

If you're traveling roads in South Central Illinois, you're most likely to hit a deer in Clay County. That's according to 2013 statistics released from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. DNR tracked the number of collisions per billion miles of vehicular travel. Clay County registers 719 collisions per billion miles. A billion miles through Wayne County will net around 581 deer collisions.

The same study gives Marion County a collision rate of 494. Jefferson County's rate of 346 collisions came in ahead of Fayette County with 324. Clinton County saw the fewest collisions in the area with 213.

Clay County may score highest in the area, but several counties in the state have a much higher rate of deer collisions. Drivers through Brown County along the Illinois River are many times as likely to hit a deer with 2,128 collisions per billion miles.

You are least likely to collide with a deer in Chicago's Cook County. Drivers near the Windy City see only 13 collisions. DNR released the statistics all the way back to 1989.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has changed its outlook on Illinois' credit rating for the worse.

The agency Wednesday revised its outlook from "developing" to "negative" on Illinois' A-minus rating. 

S&P says the state's $35.7 billion budget isn't structurally balanced. It also cites an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that found the state can't force retirees to pay for part of their health care.   The case is seen as a possible indicator of how the court will rule on a challenge to the statewide pension overhaul approved last year.

S&P says if the pension overhaul is found unconstitutional it could have a "profound and negative effect on Illinois' budgetary performance and liquidity."

Gov. Pat Quinn's budget office says the move is a "predictable result" from the Legislature passing an "incomplete budget."

CHICAGO (AP) - The condition of the James R. Thompson Center, a state office building in Chicago, is getting some grief from former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson.

The former governor tells Crain's Chicago Business the building that bears his name "looks like a scrap heap." He's wondering what message it sends about state government when visitors see the lack of maintenance. He notes the carpeting, which is patched with duct tape, looks like it's the original 1985 floor covering.

The building, designed by architect Helmut Jahn, has been controversial from the start. Crain's reports that lately there have been complaints about leaky ceilings, discolored walls and rusted metal panels.

Illinois Department of Central Management Services operates the building. A spokeswoman says some work is scheduled for the fall.

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