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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois man who was imprisoned before DNA evidence cleared him of murder has filed a new lawsuit accusing authorities of conspiring to frame him for the death of his girlfriend.

Alan Beaman was convicted in the 1993 strangulation death of Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller and spent 13 years in prison. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his conviction in 2008. 

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports (http://bit.ly/1maKJt3) the lawsuit filed in McLean County Circuit Court against the city of Normal and three ex-police officers alleges investigators focused on Beaman as a suspect and ignored other men who may have had motivation and opportunity to kill Lockmiller.

Normal officials have yet to comment on the lawsuit.

In dismissing Beaman's lawsuit in January, a federal ruled his claims didn't show conspiracy. 



A complete overhaul of the computer systems in the South Central School District was approved by the school board on Wednesday. The district will purchase the overhaul, which includes refurbished computers, software licenses, and new operating systems, from Quality Network Solutions for $42,000, which will be paid in three annual installments.

Superintendent Rick Batchelor says that the upgrades are needed as the current computers run on Windows XP, which is no longer supported or upgraded by Microsoft. The PARCC examination, the standardized test that will replace the ISAT next year for elementary students, is meant to be taken electronically, and the schools current equipment would have issues handling the test. 

The new computers will run on the Windows 7 operating system. The upgrades will be completed in time for the 2014-2015 school year.


(Chicago, IL)  --  People aren't happy about the fact that Fairmount Race Track has been taken out of the latest gambling bill.  It would allow slot machines at other races tracks across the state, which would likely boost their revenues.  Fairmount President Brian Zander that alone could mean the end of the track. 

"We're having a difficult time explaining to our horsemen and employees why we would be singled out, and why the assembly would, in effect, put us out of business" Zander said.

Fairmount Park was apparently taken off the bill to ensure public safety in East St. Louis and to ensure that the Casino Queen wouldn't lose revenues.  The groups were supposed to sit down and come to some sort of agreement but apparently, all the options on the table would've hurt the race track.  Lawmakers say they want to add Fairmount Park back to the bill but they want everyone involved to be on the same page.  




Beef Prices On The Rise

(Springfield, IL)  --  It's going to be a bit more pricey to put a burger on the grill this summer.  Reid Blossom with the Illinois Beef Association says beef prices are going up because of high demand.  The problem is there was a drought a-couple of years ago, so the supply is low.  

"We've had a very severe drought, and we saw the worst of it in 2012. These events cause a huge draw down in our herd numbers" said Blossom.

The price per pound has already gone up about 15-cents-per-pound.  That means people in Illinois are dishing out about three-55 for every pound of beef they buy.  Blossom says prices will start to do down once producers can replenish their herds and more cattle are available in the marketplace. 


(Springfield, IL)  --   Medical marijuana patients shouldn't have any problem getting a firearms ID card.   A proposed state rule that would not permit that to happen has been removed.  It's not clear whether Illinoisans who own Concealed Carry Weapons Permits are affected.  Those rules are expected to be made public on Friday.  Federal law states that anyone who uses a controlled substance, including marijuana, is banned from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition.  The rules now head to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which would review and approve the rules following a 45-day public comment period. 





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