• Foul plays is not suspected into the death of a 52-year-old rural Effingham man found dead in a soybean field west of Funkhouser Road on Tuesday.

    Erik Douglas Nelson was reported missing by his family on July 25th. The body was found by a farmer harvesting soybeans. Identification was made through dental records by a forensic pathologist.

    The Effingham County Sheriff's Department reports the cause and manner of Nelson's death remain under investigation, but foul play is not suspected. The sheriff's department is being assisted by the Effingham County Coroner's office, Illinois State Police Division of Crime Scene Services.

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  • ROCHELLE, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will not be the home of a $1.6 billion manufacturing plant the automakers Toyota and Mazda plan to build in the United States.

    Intersect Illinois, the nonprofit economic development corporation set up by Gov. Bruce Rauner, informed Rochelle city officials of the news on Wednesday.

    Sauk Valley Media reports Rochelle Economic Development Director Jason Anderson says Intersect Illinois CEO Mark Peterson noted no formal announcement of the decision has been made. But said the automakers' decision was based largely on-site readiness shortcomings and the state's failure to institute a right-to-work law.

    Toyota and Mazda are not commenting on the site selection process, including which states are still in the running.

    Anderson said he was disappointed by the news, but not discouraged. Rochelle is working on two other significant manufacturing projects, and those companies are still requesting information.

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  • OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of Illinois and nine other Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years.

    The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy.

    Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices.

    Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

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  • Quincy Veterans Home

    QUINCY, Ill. (AP) - Two cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported at a western Illinois veterans' home more than two years after an outbreak killed 12 people and sickened 54 at the facility.

    The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs said Wednesday that two residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy contracted the disease. Department spokesman Dave MacDonna said one resident died last week but officials believe the death resulted from other factors. The other resident is recovering.

    The bacteria that cause Legionnaires' disease grow in warm water and are often present in water supplies. MacDonna said the source of the current Legionnaires' disease cases isn't currently known. He said the facility is "testing the water and closely monitoring residents."

    Facility administrator Troy Culbertson says the home's water is tested often and results have been negative.

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  • Jennifer Creps

    Centralia Police say there were some anxious moments early Tuesday morning when a car with three young kids inside was stolen from outside the Skippers Inn on South Locust Street.

    Police say Jennifer Henson of Centralia had stopped briefly outside the bar to get some change and when she came back out her car was missing. Police later stopped 37-year-old Jennifer Creps of East 7th in Centralia driving the car. She apparently thought she had taken someone else's vehicle.

    Creps was arrested for aggravated DUI and possession of a stolen vehicle. Bond was set at $25,000 when she made her first appearance in Marion County Court on Tuesday. Creps had the public defender appointed to represent her.

    There were actually four different counts of aggravated DUI, alleging different factors including her license was revoked, she was driving with a blood-alcohol level of twice the legal limit with children in the car, and that she had two prior DUI convictions.

    Police say the kids, age 8, 6, and infant were upset, but not injured in the incident.

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