>06-19 a report of disorderly conduct was taken in Cabery.
>06-19 a fireworks complaint was handled in Piper City.
>06-22 deputies assisted a Gibson City police officer with a fight on S. State Street in Gibson City.
>06-22 a report of a pit bull attacking another dog was taken in Roberts.
>06-23 a deputy conducted a welfare check on an elderly resident in Piper City.
>06-23 a complaint of a barking dog was taken in Roberts.
>06-23 a suicidal female resident of Melvin was taken by ambulance for treatment. During the week deputies handled 5 civil matters and issued 1 traffic citation.
>06-19 Dalton Devall of Paxton was involved in a single-vehicle rollover accident at 590N Rt45.
>06-21 Mackenzie Seneca of rural Gibson City failed to yield the right of way to a vehicle driven by Carol King of Gibson City. The crash occurred on 300N at 700E Road. King and her husband, Wayne King, were both transported from the scene by ambulance for injuries received in the crash. Seneca was issued a citation for the crash.
>06-23 a vehicle driven by Sasha Thompson of Melvin struck one driven by Nick Williamson of Paxton. The crash occurred at 500N Rt45.
>06-22 Jeffrey Green of Clarence was arrested for violating an Order of Protection.
New directors have been elected for Corn Belt Energy Corporation.
The cooperative's 78th annual meeting was held June 17 and around 1,200 members and families attended the event with entertainment, a free lunch and workshops. Retiring director Bob Whitwood of Hudson was honored for his years of service. Those elected to three-year terms include: Peter Borowski, Jesse Slager, Steve Schertz, Laverne Malone and Rob Angus.
Around 36,000 households and businesses throughout 18 counties receive electricity through Corn Belt.
BLOOMINGTON - State Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) remains hopeful for a six-month, also referred to as a "stopgap" budget, for the state.
The state is halfway there now, according to Brady. Now the speaker and governor must agree on it to get the rest of the state's work done and continue working on a full budget for Fiscal Year 17.
"If it's not done by June 30, which I wish it would be and hope that it would be, there's still time we can have that done throughout the course of the summer," Brady said.
WESTON – Residents of McLean County’s Yates Township are celebrating a new public hall.
Officials from the township and USDA Rural Development joined local residents at an open house and dedication ceremony Thursday evening. Rural Development provided a $25,000 Community Facility grant for the purchase and renovation of the building. The township funded the remaining $30,775 to reach the total $55,574 total project cost.
“This Yates Township Hall is a testament to a supervisor and board that are proactive and dedicated, a cooperative that is community-minded and supportive and the residents of this township who will benefit over and over again,” said Colleen Callahan, USDA Rural Development Director for Illinois.
Township Supervisor Clayton Rosenberger credits State Rep. Dan Brady with the referral to Rural Development and its programs designed to help rural communities.
“This is going to be a great multi-purpose use here for Yates Township – everything from families to voting,” explained Brady.
Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes, invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses, funded nearly 7,000 community facilities, financed 185,000 miles of electric transmission lines and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses.
“We’re delighted to be a part of the process and success celebrated today,” added Callahan.Members of the public not only had the chance to see the renovated facility, but also enjoyed free food and historical artifacts. The hall is located at 30561 N. 3260 East Road.
Governor Bruce Rauner visited the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) headquarters to talk with employees about their work on important projects and programs impacting the entire state and what they are doing to build upon Illinois’ status as the transportation hub of North America.
“Transportation is one of the cornerstones of our state’s economy. The employees of IDOT are working hard day in and day out to keep our roads safe for all Illinois travelers and at a good value for taxpayers,” Governor Rauner said. “Without a safe, reliable system of transportation, people don’t get to work. Goods and services do not get to where they need to go. Strengthening IDOT will continue to be one of my top priorities so Illinois is an even better place to live, work, raise a family and do business.”
During his visit, the Governor met with frontline employees working on new efforts to keep workers’ compensation claims in check, as well as programs to improve IDOT’s overall operational efficiency by introducing new technology and cutting red tape. Among the highlights was learning about the new electronic bidding system for contractors functions.
The Governor also toured the IDOT Communications Center to hear the latest on how the agency responds to emergencies and weather events on the state’s highway system. Under the Governor’s leadership, IDOT is planning to invest more than $1.8 billion in the state’s highways and bridges in FY16.
Among the biggest projects are the Jane Byrne Interchange reconstruction in Chicago, the Edinburg Bypass in the Springfield area, the Interstate 57/70 reconstruction around Effingham, and the reconstruction of the Interstate 74 and Interstate 155 interchange and the reconfiguration of the I-74 and Morton Avenue interchange in Tazewell County.
6-18-16 (from the Ford County Sheriff)
MELVIN -On 06-09-16 at approximately 8:30 pm, The Ford County Sheriff’s Office was dispatchedto 109 W. Main Street, The Melvin Convenience Store, in Melvin, for an armed robbery.
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office and Officers with a K-9 from the Gibson City Police Department arrived on scene and were told that the suspect had already fled from the scene. Deputies entered the convenience store and spoke to the clerk. She reported that a male, white suspect, armed with a large kitchen type knife and wearing dark clothing, gloves and a slick, black mask with the eyes cut out, ordered her to open the cash register. The suspect then ordered her to lay face down on the floor. The suspect then took an undetermined amount of cash from the register and two packs of cigarettes before fleeing the store on foot towards the north.
Deputies and officers on scene, used the Gibson City K-9 to attempt a track of the suspect. The K-9 tracked the suspect north from the convenient store, up the alley way and through several back yards before losing the scent. No one was injured and there are no suspects at this time. The Ford County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the incident. If anyone has information concerning thisarmed robbery, citizens are to call the Ford County Sheriff’s Office at 217-379-2324 or Ford County Crime Stoppers at 217-784-4173.
CHATSWORTH - A fatal weekend wreck in Livingston County is under investigation.
Authorities say one person has died following the wreck late Friday night near Chatsworth in Charlotte Township. The crash occurred near county roads 3100 East and 1200 North, according to the Livingston County Coroner’s Office.
A 1999 Ford truck reportedly struck a utility pole not far from the intersection. Flames were coming from the vehicle upon the arrival of emergency agencies. A body was found near the truck when the fire was extinguished. An autopsy was ordered and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement on the ratings downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service. This is attributable to Catherine Kelly, Press Secretary for the Governor:
“When the General Assembly adjourned without passing a balanced budget, the Administration warned the super majority in the legislature there would be consequences. This report underscores the need for real structural changes to repair the years of unbalanced budgets and deficit spending by the majority party on Illinois’ finances. Every rank-and-file Democrat who blindly followed the Speaker down this path is directly responsible for the downgrade.”
Chatsworth observes Heritage Days this weekend with numerous activities planned through Saturday.
Friday's events include an alumni gathering at the Legion Hall, food stands, a bags tournament, face painting and performances from Fairchild & Friends, the Bashful Youngens and Rachel Schroen Aupperle. Saturday is a full day with a volleyball tournament in the town park, fishing derby, tractor display, parade, kiddie tractor pull, alumni social, tug-o-war, Little Wheels Derby, face painting and Chatsworth Idol.
All of the Heritage Days events take place on Main Street under the big tent or town park. No dogs are allowed.
A new online survey focuses on identifying ways to improve and increase habitat for monarch butterflies in Illinois.
A conservation summit meeting is planned in Springfield this September on the matter. Groups working to develop a plan to increase monarch butterfly habitat in Illinois include the state's Department of Natural Resources and partners representing agriculture, transportation, conservation and the educational sector.
The online survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IL-Monarchsurvey. Anyone interested in completing the survey should do it by June 17. Officials say monarch butterfly populations have decreased by as much as 90 percent over the last two decades.
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Bruce Rauner today announced appointments to the State Board of Health and Workforce Investment Board. In addition, Jennifer Hammer has been named Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, as Aaron Winters transitions out of the Administration.
Name: Margaret KirkegaardPosition: Board Member - Illinois State Board of Health Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Margaret Kirkegaard to the Illinois State Board of Health. Kirkegaard brings extensive experience as a physician, as well as being an advocate for improving public health in underserved and vulnerable communities. Currently, Kirkegaard is a principal for Health Management Associates where she provides healthcare consulting and research. She is well known in the medical community for working to transform how primary care is delivered in a patient-centered home model. Previously, she was the Medical Director of Automated Health Systems overseeing the Illinois Health Connect and Illinois Medicaid Primary Care Case Management Program. In addition, Kirkegaard is a volunteer physician at DuPage Community Clinic and is a member of the teaching faculty at Hinsdale Family Medicine Residency. Kirkegaard earned her bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College and medical degree from the University of Minnesota. She also holds a master's degree in public health from Benedictine University. Kirkegaard lives in Downers Grove.
Name: Jennifer HammerPosition: Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Jennifer Walsh Hammer has been named Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. Hammer brings years of experience in Illinois policy and private practice to the position. She is currently Special Counsel to the Governor and the Healthcare and Human Services Policy Adviser. Previously, Hammer was the Executive Director of the Healthcare Council and Legal Counsel for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Hammer is also an attorney and has spent a significant amount time in private practice at Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes. In addition, Hammer is a former two-term elected Governor on the Illinois State Bar Association Board of Governors. She was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to the Board of Character and Fitness. She is also a past President of the Central Illinois Women's Bar Association and the Junior League of Springfield. She is the Second Vice President of the Sangamon County Bar Association and a board member of the City of Springfield Community Relations Commission. Hammer earned her bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and law degree from Southern Illinois University. She lives in Springfield.
Workforce Investment Board: Debra DayPatricia FabijanskiGrailing Jones
6-2-16 (from State Sen. Sue Rezin)
“Ending the spring legislative session without a balanced budget is a disgrace and another sad day for Illinois. The intentions of the majority are purely political. This is wrong and a slap in the face to all Illinoisans. “Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton are holding this state hostage with their actions – our children, students, the vulnerable, and every taxpayer. This is reckless behavior and purely partisan antics. It’s a disgrace.
“They have refused to support structural, pro-growth reforms our state desperately needs while at the same time, ignoring a budget proposal on the table that is not only paid for, but would ensure public schools can open in the fall and prisons, universities, colleges, social services, and government operations can stay afloat while we continue to negotiate a complete balanced budget.
“We are sent to Springfield to make difficult decisions, no matter the political consequence. That’s why I am committed to continuing to work through the summer to find common ground, work in a bipartisan fashion, and send a truly balanced budget to the Governor so we can move this state forward. It’s time to end the political games and give certainty to our credit agencies, social service providers, those in the education community, and every Illinoisan.”
SPRINGFIELD – Statement attributable to Catherine Kelly on SB777:
“It’s unfortunate that the legislature voted again to allow the City of Chicago to borrow $843 million at an interest rate of 7.75% from their pensions, putting an additional $18.6 billion on the backs of taxpayers. Clearly, those who supported this measure haven’t recognized what happens when governments fail to promptly fund pension obligations. Instead of kicking the can down the road, local and state governments should instead focus on reforms that will grow our economy, create jobs and enable us live up to the promises we’ve made to police and firefighters.”
5-31-16 (from Coroner Kathy Davis)
HEYWORTH - McLean County Coroner Dr. Kathy Davis is releasing the following information with regard to a dirt bike accident approximately 300 yards in a wooded area, north of 510 North Buchanan, in Heyworth, Illinois.
At 1642 hours of Saturday, May 28, 2016, McLean County Coroner’s Office received notification of a dirt bike accident as noted above. The McLean County Sheriff’s Department, Heyworth Police Department, Bloomington Township Fire Department, Downs Fire Department, and Heyworth Fire and Ambulance were already on scene. Pronounced deceased at 1715 hours on May 28, 2016 was Andrew Johnson, age 22, of Heyworth, Illinois. Preliminary autopsy findings indict that Andrew Johnson died as a result of drowning due to a dirt bike accident. Blunt force head injury sustained from the accident likely rendered him unconscious upon entering the water.
Toxicology testing is pending at this time. This incident remains under investigation by the McLean County Coroner’s Office and the McLean County Sheriff’s Department.
Area towns have planned services in observance of Memorial Day on Monday (May 30).
Fairbury - service at 10:30 a.m. at Graceland Cemetery. Lunch will be served at the VFW post following the service.
Strawn - service starts at 7:30 a.m. with the service at Forrest Cemetery starting at 8.
Chatsworth - memorial service at Germanville Cemetery at 8:30 a.m. with St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery at 9 a.m. and 9:45 at the Chatsworth Charlotte Cemetery.
Cullom - Skinner-Trost American Legion will hold an observance at the community building starting around 10 a.m.
Lexington - Lexington Community Center will host a service at 10 a.m. Military signs from Main Street will be presented to the families of service members who have completed their obligations.
Pontiac - Mill Street Bridge and Southside Cemetery ceremonies will be held. A parade steps off at 10:45 from Central School. In case of rain, the event will be moved inside the school at 10:30 a.m. A wreath ceremony is conducted at the bridge.
Saunemin - service will be held at Five Mile Cemetery at 9 a.m.
Chenoa - service at 11:30 a.m. with flags taken down in the afternoon and volunteers are appreciated to help with this.
Here are some important reminders for the long Memorial Day weekend in Illinois:
- All Monday-Friday Secretary of State offices and facilities will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. In addition, all Tuesday-Saturday facilities will be closed Saturday. All locations will reopen for business on Tuesday.
- Illinois State Police have joined a national effort aimed at reducing highway fatalities. Troopers are expected to increase patrols on portions of interstates, including Interstate 80, to watch out for offenders who speed, drive under the influence or fail to comply with seat belt laws.
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois State Fair organizers are bringing active and classic rock to the fair grandstand stage this summer.
The Thursday Aug. 18 headlining act will be Volbeat, a grammy-nominated Danish metal band. The group recently announced its sixth album which will be released in June. Over the years, the group has received rave reviews and has been praised for its live performances. Volbeat has opened for groups such as Metallica and Slayer.
Killswitch Engage and Black Wizard will open for Volbeat. Fair organizers have created ticket discount packages. There will only be 500 tickets available for each package and the special offer ends July 31.
Springfield, IL – On May 20, 2016, at approximately 12:45 a.m., an Illinois State Police (ISP) officer was struck by a vehicle driven by an intoxicated motorist while assisting another ISP officer on a traffic stop.
The incident occurred on I-55 northbound near Bolingbrook. Arrested for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence (DUI) was Daniel M. Gaeta, male, age 24 of Joliet. An ISP officer was sitting in his parked squad car with emergency lights activated on the right shoulder of I-55. The officer had conducted a traffic stop and arrested a subject. The subject was sitting in the front passenger seat of the officer’s squad car.
A second ISP officer stopped his squad car, with emergency lights activated, behind the first officer and exited the car to assist him. After speaking with the officer, the second officer began walking back to his squad car. As he was walking back, Gaeta’s vehicle, a 2004 Mercedes-Benz, struck the back of his squad car.
The impact from the crash pushed the squad car forward, and it struck the second officer. The squad car then struck the back of the first squad car. Both officers and the subject were transported to local hospitals.
The first officer and the subject were both evaluated and released. The officer who was struck sustained multiple fractures from the impact of the crash and was admitted to the hospital. Gaeta was also transported to a local hospital. He was evaluated and released into ISP custody.Gaeta is currently being held in Will County jail for felony DUI. No further information is available.
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner took action on the following bill: Bill No.: HB 580 An Act Concerning State Government
Veto Message: To the Honorable Members ofThe Illinois House of Representatives,99th General Assembly: Today I veto House Bill 580. Nearly one year ago, the General Assembly passed an almost identical bill, Senate Bill 1229. I vetoed that bill because it was a dangerous, unprecedented attack on our taxpayers. HB 580 recycles the same dangerous proposal that I vetoed last fall. Prior to the veto override vote on SB 1229 and within the last few days, newspaper editorial boards from all corners of the state – north to south, urban and rural, heavily Democrat and Republican districts, and those with large union and non-union readerships – wrote about the dangers of stripping taxpayers of their voice at the collective bargaining table.
EDDYVILLE, Illinois – On Saturday, May 7, 2016, at approximately 10:45 P.M., a Mahomet police officer stopped Dracy “Clint” Pendleton for a traffic violation in front of his home in Mahomet, Champaign County Illinois.
During the stop, a physical altercation occurred where the Mahomet officer attempted to tase Pendleton. Pendleton pulled a handgun, shooting the Mahomet officer in the right arm. Pendleton retreated to his home where he obtained an assault rifle. He then fled the scene in his truck to a local rock quarry. A nearby witness, heard gunshots coming from the area of the quarry and a perimeter was set up around it. Before the perimeter was completely secured, Pendleton obtained the keys and stole one of the quarry’s company trucks and fled the scene to Southern Illinois.
Once in the Shawnee National Forrest, Lusk Creek Wilderness area of Pope County, Pendleton was seen by a nearby resident who reported him to local authorities. Since Sunday, May 8th, law enforcement have been searching for Pendleton.
We are providing the following updates concerning the search for Pendleton. A joint operation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police has located Dracy Pendleton. Pendleton is no longer a threat to the communities of Southern Illinois.
On May 15, 2016, at approximately 12:09 A.M., Pendleton, was observed by ISP SWAT running south from the Sulphur Springs Church cemetery into the woods with what appeared to be a rifle and a bandolier. Operators lost visual on him in the dense woods near the cemetery. A perimeter was established and he was tracked ½ mile to a nearby abandon house. At approximately 5:00 A.M., ISP and FBI SWAT operators cleared the area. Upon approach, Pendleton opened fire. During the subsequent exchange of gunfire, one FBI SWAT Operator was shot and injured.
FBI and ISP SWAT formed a perimeter around the house and sent in a remote controlled robot which discovered Pendleton’s body lying on the second story floor along with the assault rifle. ISP and FBI SWAT entered the house and confirmed his identity. Emergency Services were called to the scene and pronounced Pendleton deceased.