• New charges have been filed in a 2012 Machesney Park slaying. Todd Smith is now facing murder charges for the death of his wife, 30-year-old Katrina Smith. The new indictment replaces the initial one issued in 2012. As a result, Smith could now face up to life in prison if he’s convicted. Katrina Smith disappeared  October 2012 and her body was found in the Rock River a month later. Prosecutors say she was beaten to death by her husband with a baseball bat before throwing her body into the water. He has plead not guilty.
  • Four people are dead after a single vehicle crash. It happened early this morning near Mendota. Officials say the four victims were pronounced dead at the scene. They were identified as 20-year-old Brenda Hampton, 22-year-old Daniel Smith, 24-year-old Gregory Smith and 22-year-old Robert Watson. A fifth victim, 19-year-old Amanda Blackwell was taken to a nearby hospital. According to officials, the five victims were in a vehicle when it went off the roadway and struck objects including trees.  
  • A Rockford man has learned his fate for playing a role in a murder. Clifford Horton has been sentenced to six years in prison for mob action. The incident happened at a party on the city’s northwest side back in January 2011. Four people were shot with one of them being Charles Spivey, who died as a result. In October, a jury found Horton not guilty of first degree murder and other related charges.
  • An abandoned business in Rockford has caught fire. It happened Wednesday night in the 1600 block of South Main Street. Officials say it took a few dozen firefighters almost two hours to put the fire out. The incident is considered to be accidental. Crews estimate the building received $5,000 in damage. No one was hurt.
  • Unemployment in Illinois is at its lowest level since December 2008. Officials say the rate dropped to 7.9 percent in April which is down from 8.4 percent in March. They also note that Illinois’ unemployment is typically higher compared to the national level. The state has had one of the highest jobless rates in the country for some time.
  • Democrats in the Illinois House have begun debate on a state budget that depends on making a temporary income tax increase permanent. Republican Leader Jim Durkin says lawmakers from his party won't support extending the tax that is scheduled to roll back in January. He says it's unconstitutional to pass a budget without the revenue to support it.
  • Some Chicago fast food workers seeking higher pay took part in a nationwide demonstration. They gathered outside a downtown restaurant this morning to get the public behind the idea of a $15-an-hour wage. Businesses say that kind of a pay hike could hurt their ability to create jobs.

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