Main event returns to Sparta shooting range despite shutdown

SPARTA, Ill. (AP) — A national trapshooting event is returning to a shuttered state-owned shooting range in southern Illinois with an uncertain future. The American Trapshooting Association and Illinois Department of Natural Resources have agreed to host the Grand American World Trapshooting Championship in August at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta. The complex was temporarily shut down in October because of the ongoing state budget impasse. The state hopes to reopen the facility once Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic-majority lawmakers can agree on a budget for a fiscal year that’s more than half over. The new agreement allows the private shooting association to operate the complex if the state doesn’t reopen it by April 15. The trapshooting association has a state contract to hold its championship in Sparta through 2026.