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  • Parent Category: News

GOP US Rep. Tim Johnson drops re-election bid

URBANA — Six-term Illinois Congressman Tim Johnson abandoned his re-election bid on Thursday, leaving his fellow Republicans scrambling to find a replacement and fueling Democrats' hopes of picking up seats and regaining control of the U.S. House.

Johnson, who built a reputation for breaking with his party on certain issues, said he plans to retire when his current term ends. He cited family obligations for the decision.

"One of my grandsons is 2 years old. I have seen him for a total of about 10 minutes. I have another who asked me not long ago if I was ever going to come to one of his ballgames. I didn't have an answer," Johnson said.

The 65-year-old made the announcement in a statement shortly before holding a news conference in his hometown of Urbana, just weeks after his easy primary win over a Republican challenger.

Read more: GOP US Rep. Tim Johnson drops re-election bid

  • Parent Category: News

Ameren Reports 'equipment failure' for Ford County Power Outage

GIBSON CITY — Nearly 1,000 Ameren Illinois customers in Ford County were without power for more than two hours Wednesday evening, after equipment on a distribution line failed.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris said the outage, known as a “phase burn,”  was caused by an “equipment failure” on a distribution line.  It was in Gibson City at 5:17 p.m. The outage affected 461 customers in Gibson City, 255 in Melvin and 228 in Roberts, Morris said. Power was restored to all customers at 7:28 p.m.


94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Critics Say Dwight Prison Closure Pegs $54 Million Dollar Loss

DWIGHT — Closure of Dwight Correctional Center would take $53.7 million, or about 5 percent, from the regional economy, critics of the closure plan said Wednesday.

“We can’t absorb that the way big metro areas can,” said Larry Vaupel of the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council. He was among officials from Dwight and the unions representing workers at Dwight Correctional Center who called a news conference Wednesday before the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability hearing on the closure plan at Dwight Township High School.

The commission took testimony on the closure proposal, but it is not expected to make a recommendation to Gov. Pat Quinn until late this month or early May. Illinois Department of Corrections Officials argue closing the 961-inmate prison would save the state almost $37 million per year.


  • Parent Category: News

AP Source: Johnson to drop out of Congress race

Associated Press



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- A Republican Party official says veteran Congressman Tim Johnson intends to drop his bid for a seventh term and retire.

The official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the 65-year-old Johnson is expected to make an official announcement on Thursday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn't been officially announced.

The reason for Johnson's decision is not clear. He was considered a strong candidate for re-election in November.

Johnson was first elected to Congress in 2000 and usually ran for re-election unopposed.

The Urbana Republican has sometimes taken positions at odds with most members of his party in Congress. He called last year for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and last month endorsed Ron Paul for president.


  • Parent Category: News

Sources Say U-S Rep. Tim Johnson is Retiring

CHAMPAIGN — Veteran Illinois U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson intends to drop his bid for a seventh term and retire, a Republican official said Wednesday.

Johnson was expected to make a public announcement of his decision on Thursday, said a Republican official who spoke directly with Johnson but would confirm the decision only on condition of anonymity in order not to pre-empt the congressman’s formal announcement.

The reason for the 65-year-old Johnson’s decision was not clear, but the official said he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Johnson is just two weeks removed from a primary victory over two candidates in the new 13th Congressional District, and he was considered a strong candidate for re-election in November.

Read more: Sources Say U-S Rep. Tim Johnson is Retiring