The Recorder

National news in brief

Illinois governor agrees to allow Medicaid for abortions

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner ended months of speculation Thursday and signed legislation allowing state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions, as the first-term Republican reversed his stance on the proposal from last spring.

The General Assembly controlled by Democrats approved the measure in May but delayed sending it to Rauner until Monday, in part because he has changed his mind about support of the plan.

Rauner announced his intentions to support the plan at a downtown Chicago news conference, saying he’d talked to advocates on both sides of the issue and both had good arguments. But he added that he’s always supported abortion rights and won’t change his views. He signed the bill privately.

The proposal would allow abortions funded by state employee health insurance and Medicaid. Democrats argue all women should have the same access to abortion services. Republicans argued taxpayers should not be forced to fund a morally objectionable procedure, particularly during a state budget crisis.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services estimates the annual taxpayer cost of abortions under the measure would be $1.8 million.

27 years later, arrest is made in killer-clown case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — On a May morning in 1990, Marlene Warren answered her front door in an upscale Florida suburb to find a clown in an orange wig, red nose and white face paint handing her carnations and foil balloons.

“How pretty!” she exclaimed.

The clown then pulled a gun, shot Warren in the face and drove away. She died two days later.

Now, almost three decades later, authorities say they have arrested the clown: a woman who was said to be having an affair with Warren’s husband and, years after the killing, married him.

Detectives said advances in DNA technology, combined with evidence gathered decades ago, show Sheila Keen Warren, now 54, was the killer.

At the time of the shooting, she was an employee of Marlene Warren’s husband, Michael, at his used car lot. Since 2002, she has been his wife.

She was arrested Tuesday at the home she shared with him in Abingdon, Virginia, and was jailed without bail to await transfer to Florida on first-degree murder charges.

Michael Warren, 65, has not been charged, but detectives refused to rule him out as a suspect and said he was interviewed again Wednesday.

Palm Beach County authorities said Thursday the new examination of DNA collected in 1990 gave them what they needed to arrest Sheila Warren, who had been the primary suspect all along. Without it, there might not have been enough evidence to convince a jury, they said.