Afternoon News Update: April 16
- Charges have been filed against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney shot dead in 2008 while clearing snow from his driveway. A grand jury has indicted 52-year-old Richard Wanke on one count of first degree murder in the death of 60-year-old Gregory Clark. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill where he’s been serving a 14-year sentence for an unrelated burglary charge. The Rockford Register Star reports that he has denied involvement in Clark’s death. Wanke is due in court next week.
- A Janesville doctor is in major trouble for prescription fraud. 53-year-old Richard Barney has been sentenced to two years of probation and a $3,000 fine as a result. He pled guilty to the charge in December. Barney must also surrender his DEA registration, which allowed him to prescribe controlled substances.
- Auburn High School was in a brief lockdown this morning. It was due to an ongoing police investigation. The lockdown has since been lifted. Officials say students and staff remained safe at all times.
- The latest scam involves hackers using bogus U.S. Postal Service emails to steal personal information. Officials say the hacker will send an email about online postage charges or intercepted package deliveries. Consumers are then instructed to click on a link that allows the scammer to steal usernames, passwords and financial account information. U.S. Postal Service officials warn that fake emails include poor spelling or grammar, request immediate action and request personal information.
- A daylong hearing in Chicago is examining the latest attempt to increase the number of Illinois casinos. Lawmakers are being asked to decide between one plan to add five casinos along with slot machines at racetracks. A second plan would allow only a Chicago casino. The horse racing industry opposes both ideas.
- Thousands of Illinois residents could lose drug treatment services if a temporary tax increase expires. Addiction experts say the Illinois Department of Public Health’s drug treatment programs could lose $20 million in funding if the income tax falls from 5 percent to 3.75 percent. IDPH official’s estimate that would cut services for almost 16,000 people.
- Thousands of Illinois high school students are preparing for this year’s ACT. State lawmakers, however, are considering whether to continue paying for the college readiness exam. Officials say that schools feel “caught in the middle” of the debate. Illinois could save millions if test costs are passed along to students. State education officials are considering paying fees only for low-income students.