State Briefs 12.31.09
Brown's Chicken & Pasta Inc. files for Chapter 11
ELMHURST - Elmhurst-based Brown’s Chicken & Pasta Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday.
“(Chapter 11) gives (Brown’s) the flexibility to focus on what (Brown’s) needs to focus on,” Brown’s spokesman Mark Smith said.
Smith said the reorganization does not mean further restaurant closings, with remaining corporate restaurants to be franchised off.
Smith said the company decided to pursue Chapter 11 reorganization because of the economy and a “legal matter that has to do with certain entities within the organization,” which came to a head recently. Smith would not comment on what the “legal matter” was.
According to a press release issued by the company, the filing arose from a DuPage County Court ruling pertaining to "a shareholder suit that would have required the company to pay monies that would have prevented it from paying its creditors in the ordinary course of its business."
The restaurant chain is perhaps best known for the 1993 mass murder of seven employees working at a now-defunct Palatine location.
Chicago Suburban Life
State gives final OK on Lincoln Hotel sale
SPRINGFIELD - The state has given final approval to the sale of the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center to a Decatur developer.
The property should be turned over by late January.
Steve Horve, whose family also owns hotels in Decatur, Forsyth and Champaign, as well as one in Dearborn, Mich., earlier this month submitted a successful bid of $6.5 million for the 315-room hotel. Horve’s was one of five bids submitted.
“We did sign the purchase and sale agreement after completing a background check,” Scott Burnham, spokesman for Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, said this week.
The original terms called for closing 65 days after the auction, which would mean the property should be turned over in mid- to late January.
“We want to get this taken care of as soon as possible,” said Burnham.
Horve, who said after the sale his first step would be a room upgrade, said Wednesday he hopes to begin work in mid-February.
The state took over the property through foreclosure proceedings in the summer of 2008 after years of political and legal fights over a $15.5 million state-guaranteed loan that was used to build the hotel.
Convicted murderer seeks new trial
PEKIN - Ottawa’s Third District Appellate Court has reversed a ruling by the 10th Judicial Circuit Court denying a petition by a convicted murderer Alan W. Breedlove, who claims his rights were violated because of ineffective counsel.
The appellate court has instructed the circuit court to “both appoint and then compel new, post-conviction counsel to review (the) defendant’s (self-written) post-conviction petition without undue delay. …”
“He wants a retrial,” said minister Greg Ristich, who met Breedlove through prison ministry at the old Tazewell County Jail while Breedlove was awaiting trial. “He still maintains his innocence — as he always has.”
Ristich provided the Daily Times with a letter from Breedlove that says Breedlove will ask for any new trial to be moved from Tazewell County.
“At the time Breedlove was convicted, the evidence was as close to a person being caught in the act as you can get,” said Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz at the time of Breedlove’s first appeal. Umholtz said the same thing Monday.
Pekin Daily Times
Citgo refinery in Lemont to undergo safety audit
LEMONT - An independent federal agency responsible for investigating chemical accidents has called on a Lemont refinery to submit to an audit to ensure the safety of its facility.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board last month issued urgent safety recommendations to Citgo Petroleum Corp., requesting that third-party audits be performed at all three of the company’s refineries, including its refinery in Lemont, 135th Street and New Avenue.
The company-wide audit requests are in response to an explosion and fire that occurred July 19 at Citgo’s Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery.
“(CSB) was down in Corpus Christi and recommended that these audits take place,” said Pete Colarelli, government and public affairs manager at the Citgo refinery in Lemont.
The audits of Citgo refineries in Lemont, Corpus Christi and Lake Charles, La., will include maintenance and equipment checks, and will focus on the refineries’ Hydrofluoric Acid units (HF units), Colarelli said. HF units are used as a catalyst to break down crude oil into different products, he explained.
GateHouse News Service