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April 30, 2013 -- Numbers Prove Home Sales are on the Rise.

CARBONDALE, IL--U.S. home prices are now rising for the first time in almost seven year. Economists see it as a good sign for the economy. According the S&P/Case Shiller index home prices have risen more than 7 percent in last year.

Jean Sanders, a Century 21 broker in Carterville says Southern Illinois hasn't seen as much of a swing as other parts of the country.

"That's probably the case in the places that were hit that hardest and that would be the east and the west coast. Our market was never as inflated as those two markets were, but we still had the hit because of the negative publicity and consumer confidence so we had all of that as well, but our prices, they have not gone up to that extent."

Sanders said that the market is changing, but the buyer still has the upper hand.

"Real estate always goes up and down you know and supply and demand always a factor so right now, yes, I think that it is a buyer's market, but on the flip side, it's a seller's market too because the market's turning around".

The U.S. economy seems to be on the rebound and Sanders says the housing market is a good indicator of economic trends.

"I think it's, we're getting better, I absolutely think they are um a lot of different factors rely on the housing market you know and the housing market has been really good from the first of the year so I really think that reflects consumer confidence. You can see it with the stock market; you can see it in the real estate."

IHS global insight forecasters say they expect 2013 to be the best year for housing since 2007.

Jessica Anderson

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 30, 2013 -- National Franchises Vow to Hire Vets.

WASHINGTON, D.C--Michelle Obama and Jill Biden are teaming up to push for more jobs for veterans in an interview with fortune.com today.

Shawnee trails outfitter owner Rick Reeve says that is important to hire and support more veterans.

“I think so you know they have done their duty and its anything we can do to help them out because I know times are tough for everybody and maybe even tougher for them.”

President Obama wants businesses to hire more veterans.

His campaign started two years ago as a way to show support for the men and women who have risked their lives to fight for our country.

Lieutenant Eric Roberts says that this is the perfect way to support the troops.

Folks want to say we support the troops we support the troops well here’s your opportunity the troops have served their time.

Companies like Wal-Mart, UPS, Home Depot, the Blackstone group, Target, and McDonalds have committed to hire or train about four hundred and thirty five thousand veterans and military spouses over the next five years.

Roberts says veterans want to transition their military skills into civilian culture. So let us show our support for them, you know that's not just words that's bringing them on board.

Going forward the President wants state legislators to change state laws to help businesses hire more veterans.

Eddie Ferrar

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 30, 2013 -- Student Center To Replace All Fast Food Except Mcdonalds.

CARBONDALE, IL--Chartwells, a school and university dining service, ended its SIU contract and as a result, there could be huge changes at the Student Center. Students and faculty may soon lose some favorite student center food chains.

Chartwells, a school and university dining service, ended its SIU contract, so every first-floor food shop besides McDonald's will cease operations by June 1, student center director Tena Bennett said.

The change has led to student speculation as to which restaurants may replace stores such as Rio Frontera, Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks. SIUC junior Malcolm Turner had his own opinion.

"It's unfortunate that they're going to be closing because they're modern of the student center, when you think of the student center now, those are the places in which people go to eat where people go to talk to each other I think it is really unfortunate."

Bennett said Chartwells didn't give a reason why it canceled the contract.

"The way the contract's written, they could request to be released within 180 days of the start date of the contract."

Although all vendors other than McDonald's will leave, she said officials are already in the replacement process. "The university has released a dining request proposal, she said, which allows companies to bid on student center spots.

Companies are now submitting bids to the university and decision will be made by the end of the month.

Desiree Ramirez

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 25, 2013 -- Flood Victims to Receive Break on Their Tax Returns.

SPRINGFIELD, IL--Illinois flood victims are getting a break on filing their taxes.

Governor Pat Quinn toured some flood-damaged areas and announced the extension for Illinois Tax Returns.

Flood victims who still haven't filed their 2012 returns now have until the end of October.

The Governor says families and businesses need time to focus on rebuilding their businesses, homes and lives.

"We will get through this and we will make sure that we do everything necessary to get the kind of reimbursement from the federal government that a natural disaster like this deserves. We've really had pervasive flooding in our state of Illinois."

Typically, Illinois has 30 days to request federal assistance.

The Governor hopes to have more time because of how long the flooding has lasted.

Evening Edition News Team

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April 25, 2013 -- Bank-Robbing Bicyclist Jailed.

MARION, IL--A Marion man will spend 12 years in prison for an October bank robbery. He was arrested after trying to get away on a bicycle after robbing a bank in December, and was sentenced 12 years behind bars.

James Terrell "JT" Bateman of Marion was accused of robbing the Midcountry Bank on December 3rd.

Bateman unsuccessfully tried to escape on a bicycle.

He was arrested by Marion Police Officers and Williamson County Sheriff's Deputies in the 200 block of E. Charles street.

All of the $10,000 plus in cash taken during the robbery was recovered.

Evening Edition News Team

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April 25, 2013 -- SIU at Carbondale and SIU at Edwardsville Considering Split.

CARBONDALE, IL--The long partnership between SIU Carbondale and SIU Edwardsville could be coming to an end. Evening Edition's Ken Blow reports on an effort to separate the campuses.

The Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses of SIU are two Universities with two different atmospheres.

However, they have one thing in common. An academic system that allows students from the Carbondale campus to take classes in Edwardsville that the primary campus does not offer but that may soon change.

The bill that is being proposed is bill 3389; a bill that abolishes the Southern Illinois University Management Act; an act that currently allows both universities to operate under one President and Board of Trustees.

Monique Glenn, a junior from Chicago majoring in nursing tells Evening Edition how the bill can affect student enrollment in her field of study saying, "a lot of students will miss out on a good opportunity because SIU Edwardsville has a good nursing program and that gives the SIU Carbondale students a luxury going into that program."

Evening Edition visited the Stone Center to speak with SIU President Glenn Poshard as he weighed in on the issue and how the bill can affect both schools financially if passed. He stated "it's hard to calculate that at this point of time but it would be into the millions of dollars that would be lost."

If the bill passes, it would go into effect next year.

Ken Blow

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 24, 2013 -- SIU Fashion Students to Showcase their Work.

CARBONDALE, IL--SIU Fashion Design and Merchandising program are busy prepping for their annual student showcase and runway fashion show.

Tomorrow evening, eight seniors will showcase their ensembles of clothing for young women.

The seniors are responsible for every detail in their creations.

The designs will help students build their individual portfolios.

Their final show gives them experience in the design process, from concept to final creation. Another key is utilizing their time. "It takes over four years, so they will show their talent, that they have learned from our program," stated Dr. Seung He Lee, the program's director.

The show starts at 6 p.m. in the Student Center's J.W Corker lounge, showing junior and senior level original garments they created. The runway fashion show begins at 7p.m. in Student Center Ballroom D.

Ralph Monroe

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 23, 2013 -- Local Restaurants Boom in Spring Weather.

CARBONDALE, IL--Spring is here, and some SIU students are taking interest in some local businesses. The Blend is a restaurant right outside of campus, which allows some people to get a bite to eat in a relaxing area.

Sophomore Amy Drabant appreciates the outdoor facilities as well as the indoor amenities. “I like it here because they have really good food. Also I do a lot of my homework here because my WIFI goes out at my house all the time. The WIFI is pretty reliable here.“

The blend can be a one-stop shop restaurant for some patrons. Customers have the option of eating a crepe with savory food inside or a crepe with sweet dessert inside.

“I usually get the grilled chicken Caesar something, its delicious. I also get a chocolate ice cream dessert crepe. Either one, or I get both at the same time.”

First time customer Taylor Pippen believes the blend is the perfect restaurant to go to on a spring day.

“I think now that it's warm outside; I'm going to start coming here more often. I don't know, I think it will be nice to sip on some smoothies and eat some crepes outside. So this will be my spot.”

Some customers prefer the blend to other Carbondale restaurants because of the overall atmosphere, and the quality of service. Blend worker Joe Klontz, believes customer service is extremely important.

“I remember when I first came here, we were always told to say thank you to people and always greet them. We are such a young company and such a young business that you have to make an impact and be closer to the community. That’s something we all really strive for.“

Klontz asserts that a unique quality about the blend is its health conscious menu. Overall it’s a pretty healthy place to go and eat. All of the savory crepes come with organic spinach. We have whole-wheat crepes we can use. We also have sugar free options on our menu. You can really have a healthy meal here.

Chelsea Cunningham

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 23, 2013 -- Local Rivers Teetering on Their Banks amidst Recent Rainfall.

CARBONDALE, IL--The waters continue to rise in Illinois and all hands are on deck to prepare for the potential disaster.

The Ohio River, Illinois River, and the Big Muddy River are concerns for the river region. Sandy Webster is a Disaster Relief Coordinator for the Red Cross. She says for now all they can do is prepare for the worst.

"With all of them cresting in the next day or two we're hoping for the best. Torrential rains could come that we weren't counting on or something, so you still have to be prepared and ready before this is over," Webster claimed.

The Red Cross is standing by, waiting to see about pending evacuations and severe flooding in the area. Webster says the best thing you can do at a time like this, when the waters are on the rise is to be prepared. This means gathering a list of all of your medications, making sure all of your pets are accounted for as well as knowing where all of your local flood shelters are.

Webster also adds, if you are asked to evacuate, make sure you do so.

"Be prepared with a bag ready to go if you have to evacuate-and do evacuate. If the county emergency management and other officials say it is necessary, it really is necessary."

For more information about how you can prepare yourself for flood conditions you can visit the Red Cross' web site or download their mobile app.

Jessica Anderson

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 23, 2013 -- Local No-Kill Shelters Have Reached Kitten Capacity.

MARION, IL--Every year hundreds of stray kittens and cats in Southern Illinois end up in shelters that are forced to put them to death.

Now that the warm weather is here, local shelters are gearing up for kitten season. One cat is able to have up to four litters of kittens a year. This poses a problem for no-kill shelters around the area.

Tammy Kent, the treasurer of the Marion Regional Humane Society says many shelters are at capacity already.

"If someone were to come to the facility now and say that they had kittens, we're at capacity. We can't take them, but what we could do is spay the mother cat and all the kittens, spay or neuter them, whichever is needed."

The Humane Society is home to 100 cats and takes animals to other no-kill shelters up north, but what happens to animals that aren't taken to no-kill shelters?

"Depending on the circumstances, they may take their animal to a kill shelter and many animals are euthanized that way."

The Marion Regional Humane Society is always looking for homes for animals as well as new volunteers.

For more information on local no kill shelters you can visit www.marionrhs.org.

Chelsea Sullivan

Evening Edition Reporter

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April 18, 2013 -- Bombing Suspect Photos Released by FBI.

BOSTON, MA--The FBI has released photos of two suspects in the Boston marathon bombings. The FBI is asking for the public's help in identifying them.

FBI agent Richard Deslauriers says the photos came from surveillance cameras near the explosion sites.

The explosions Monday killed three people and injured more than 180.

The images were released hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service at a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Boston to remember the victims, including an 8-year-old boy.

To See the Pictures, follow the link: http://www.fbi.gov/news/updates-on-investigation-into-multiple-explosions-in-boston/updates-on-investigation-into-multiple-explosions-in-boston.

Evening Edition News Team

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April 18, 2013 -- Free Zumba Lessons This Week, Sign Me Up!

CARBONDALE, IL--The historic African American fraternity strives to better the community and SIU as a whole. This event is a first for the university, and will be in a fun environment to let loose and learn something new.

"Zumba consist of seventy percent Latin music and thirty percent international so we have a combination of salsa, meringue, we can add in any type of music like Greek music or hip hop.”

Waters, and health food snacks are given out at this event.

This event is new and unique to SIU, but "They usually do yoga out at time square out in New York and we wanted to bring the same concept to SIU.

Coordinators said that one of their motivations behind the event was the raise of PR on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday from five to six."

"The event looks like a great time for everyone."

Isaiah Profit

Evening Edition Reporter