Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says the current drought conditions have been slowly developing since the start of the calendar year.
"Every month, this year, has been below normal on precipitation and above normal on temperatures," says Angel. "You get that combination going and we were drying out in March, which is normally the 'budding' month."
Angel says the situation was not helped by a dry winter, which depleted some soil moisture, and less rain last summer and fall.
Wetzel Hall at Western Illinois University no longer exists -- except in the hearts and memories of those who lived and worked there.
The 13-story building was imploded July 14 during an event that drew hundred of spectators. Many took part in a tailgate-style party in the sprawling parking lot known as Q-lot, which is just west of Wetzel. Many others gathered in the parking lot for the University Services Building, which is northeast of Wetzel.
At 7:00 am, WIU Senior William Schmidt pushed down on the ceremonial plunger to start the implosion.
The fourth day of the murder trial of Keokuk resident Adam Pitman again wrapped up early due to just one witness being on the docket.
Judge Cynthia Danielson is presiding over the case at the South Lee County Courthouse in Keokuk.
Pitman is accused of killing his mother, Rosa Pitman, in her home in the early morning hours of August 30, 2011. He allegedly confessed to the crime after being pulled over for a traffic violation several hours later.
1st Degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.