>04-06 a complaint of a reckless driver was received in Piper City.
>04-07 a complaint about a neighborhood dog was received from rural Gibson City and was handled by the Ford County animal control officer.
>04-07 a suspicious vehicle call was received from a resident of Stelle. The vehicle was found to be a local resident.
>04-08 a suspicious vehicle was reported in rural Gibson City.
>04-11 a deputy assisted the Roberts Fire dept. with an injured male at a Roberts business.
>04-11 a complaint of criminal trespass was taken in Piper City.
>04-11 a deputy assisted a Paxton police officer with an intoxicated male.
>04-11 deputies assisted the Roberts/Melvin Fire Dept. as well as two other fire departments with a barn fire caused by a controlled burn that became out of control.
>04-12 a deputy responded to a report of a fire along the railroad tracks at 300N and 300E Roads.
>04-12 a rural Sibley resident reported being the victim of two residential burglaries.
>04-12 deputies responded to a residential alarm in Melvin. The alarm was the owner’s error.
>04-12 deputies issued two citations in Sibley for Operation of an Off-Road Vehicle on the Roadway.
>04-12 deputies searched rural Paxton for a female who jumped out of a car and fled into a section of crop land. The female was located without incident and she was uninjured.
>04-12 a Cabery resident reported the theft from her home of her medication.
During the week deputies handled 4 civil matters and issued 14 citations.
>04-12 John Anderson, Jr. of Bellflower lost control of his car for an unknown reason on Rt9 at 150E. The vehicle left the roadway, hit a culvert and overturned in the ditch. Anderson then fled the scene on foot. He was issued multiple citations for the crash.
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is releasing strong first quarter I-Cash numbers today that show the program returned $29,944,349 to 15,063 claimants during the first three months of 2014.
“The I-Cash program continues to flourish under my administration,” said Treasurer Rutherford. “This is terrific news because it has been my pledge as treasurer to return as much money or assets to Illinoisans as possible. I am extremely proud of its success and of all the employees who helped make it happen.”
The treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division’s costs, including staff, computers and travel, are paid for through the Unclaimed Property Trust Fund, and not by tax dollars.
The Unclaimed Property Division has more than $1.8 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois safe deposit boxes that have been inactive for at least five years. The cash comes from inactive bank accounts, utility deposits, insurance policies, paychecks and more. During 2013, the program returned more than $139 million in cash and other assets to their rightful owners, representing a 69 percent increase over 2010. Treasurer Rutherford took office in January 2011.
Treasurer Rutherford encourages everyone to visit the Illinois State Treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and click on the I-Cash link to search for unclaimed property.
PONTIAC - The Livingston County Health Department is now taking appointments for Wellness Clinics, which will be conducted at the health department on Wednesdays, April 30th, and May 7th and 21st. The Wellness Clinic is open to all adults in Livingston County.
Basic Wellness Clinic services include: blood pressure screening, metabolic syndrome screening, and a blood chemistry profile. This profile includes testing for: all cholesterol levels; glucose level; blood count; and liver and kidney function enzymes. The $30 cost for a basic wellness clinic visit includes all lab fees. Lab results are reviewed by a registered nurse at the health department, and sent to participants within one week.
Additional services available through the wellness clinic at additional fees include: PSA (prostate specific antigen) prostate cancer testing for men - $22; Thyroid (TSH) screening - $20; and HbA1c screening for clients with diabetes - $30.
Women participating in the wellness clinic may also receive osteoporosis screening, which is conducted using ultra-sound to measure bone density, for an additional $8. The fee for osteoporosis screening, when not in conjunction with a clinic is $16.
To make an appointment for the wellness clinic call the Livingston County Health Department at 815-844-7174.
BLOOMINGTON - At the regular meeting of the McLean County Board on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, the McLean County Board approved Resolutions of Congratulations to the following schools:
-Central Catholic High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team on winning the IHSA Class 2A State Championship;
-Heyworth High School Varsity Boys Basketball Team on finishing as State runner-up in the State Class 1A Basketball Championship.
The County Board approved a Resolution of Appreciation of the McLean County Board to agencies assisting the County with the March 31, 2014 County Highway Department fire.
The County Board approved two items, namely an Ordinance amending the 2013 Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for the reappropriation of outstanding purchase orders; and an Ordinance amending the 2014 Combined Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for the reappropriation of outstanding purchase orders. An amended Ordinance was distributed at the meeting, which incorporated the results of the Finance Committee Stand-up meeting prior to the Board meeting.
The County Board approved the McLean County Solid Waste Management Technical Committee Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program Agreement.
The Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD) is accepting applications for the George McKibben Memorial Scholarship.
The $500 scholarship has been established by the AISWCD to assist agriculture students in their completion of their education at any Illinois state college (University of Illinois, Western, Southern and Illinois State). Any student who will be a junior or senior for the 2014-2015 academic year and is enrolled in an agriculture degree program at any state college in Illinois is eligible. The student awarded the scholarship should demonstrate superior agriculture academic achievement, commitment to soil and water conservation and potential for innovation and/or leadership ability.
In the early 1960s no-till agriculture was not widely supported among farmers and agriculture specialists in the United States. George Elvert McKibben, however, made no-till the accepted farming technique that it is today. For thirty-seven years George McKibben was an agronomist for the University of Illinois. This work has been called the single most important contribution to corn production since the development and adaptation of hybrid seed corn.
In 1966 McKibben planted plots on which to conduct these experiments at Dixon Springs, Illinois. The plots are now named after George McKibben and are the oldest of their kind not only in Illinois, but also in the world. McKibben was recognized and given many awards during his lifetime. The best recognition he received was the fact that by 1985 more than one million acres of farmland in Illinois were using no-till as a way of farming.
McKibben died February 1, 1988, but the contributions that he made to no-till continue to be beneficial to this state as well as to the nation. He was a man dedicated to what seemed to many an impossible cause. However, McKibben believed in no-till and proved to the state, as well as the nation, that is was a success.
Contact the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District at 815-844-6127 extension 3 to obtain application information. Applications may also be downloaded from: http://www.aiswcd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/2014-G-McKibben-Memorial-Scholarship-fillable-3.pdf
Gas prices in Illinois are among the highest in the country and a new gas tax could force drivers to pay even more at the pump. Bill Fleischli with the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, says this would put an undue burden on drivers and businesses.
The Transportation for Illinois Coalition is asking lawmakers to boost the tax by four-cents-per-gallon because funding for the capital construction program is set to expire this year. They say the extra money will generate enough money to makes sure bad roads and bridges can be fixed up.
Gas station owners disagree. They say the state is already bringing in more than a-billion-dollars-a-year from the gas tax and much of that money isn't being used for roads, like it's supposed to be.
NORMAL – With over 26 years of service to the Normal Fire Department, Assistant Chief John Grussing has announced his retirement effective May 2, 2014.
A reception and retirement ceremony will be held in his honor at Normal Fire Department Headquarters on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm. All are welcome to attend. Casual dress or duty uniforms are preferred in lieu of formal dress uniforms for firefighters.
“I have enjoyed my 26 1/2 years and it has been an honor to serve the Town of Normal. The citizens have a fire department they should be very proud of and it has been a privilege to be a part of it,” said Grussing. He continued, “I look forward to my retirement, but it will be very difficult to find something to do that is as rewarding and meaningful as my fire department career has been.”
Normal Fire Chief Mick Humer added, “John is an example to everyone in our department that you can start as a firefighter and end up a chief officer through hard work and determination. His impact on the Normal Fire Department and this community will be forever lasting. We will greatly miss his leadership, but we congratulate him and wish him and his family the best in his retirement ahead.”
John Grussing joined the Normal Fire Department on October 1, 1987 as a firefighter. Grussing was promoted to Lieutenant in 1998, and then Captain in 2003. Following the promotion of now Chief Mick Humer, Grussing was promoted to be the Assistant Chief of Training in 2009.
As an Assistant Chief, Grussing oversaw and managed training programs for all firefighter and paramedics, apparatus fleet maintenance, and several outreach programs. He has also administered the MABAS 41 Technical Rescue Team.
Grussing has a Bachelor Degree in Fire Science and is a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs EMS Advisory Committee and President of Central Illinois Fire Chief’s Association and has served on the board of Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Assistant Chief Grussing has written articles for Fire Engineering Magazine as well as the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association newsletter.
“John has always been an asset to the Normal Fire Department and has worked tirelessly for his community from his time as a firefighter, a shift commander, and now as a chief officer. His dedication has ensured that our firefighters and paramedics receive the best training in the country,” said Mark Peterson, City Manager for the Town of Normal. He adds, “The Town of Normal will greatly miss his contributions to the safety of our community and we wish him nothing but the best in his retirement.”
Following Grussing’s retirement, a search will begin for his replacement.
FAIRBURY – Students, parents and supporters of Westview Elementary in Fairbury enjoyed Saturday’s warm temperatures during the second annual Wild About Westview Family Fun Day.
A 5K run/walk started the day’s activities at North Park before the action moved to the school later in the morning. Children enjoyed inflatables, carnival games, temporary tattoos and a sandy candy station. Also, local emergency vehicles were on display along with a late model simulator.
Prizes were offered to participants in the Kids Fun Run, which was held behind the school. A food stand featured Marchelloni’s pizza by the slice, chips and drinks.
Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase desks and chairs for the first grade classrooms and chairs for the art room.
See a clip of Saturday's run in VIDEOS.
One person is dead and another sustained life-threatening injuries after an accident in Marshall County on Saturday night.
State Police say a 1993 Buick car was traveling south on Interstate 39 near milepost 31 when the driver, whose name has not been released, drove off the roadway, entered the median and struck a 2004 Pontiac car head-on. After striking one car, the Buick continued south and struck a 2007 Chevy car which was traveling north. Police say a 2002 Ford SUV was traveling northbound and tried to avoid colliding with the other vehicles, causing the vehicle to enter the median and roll over.
The driver of the Buick was pronounced dead at the scene by the Marshall County coroner, while several others involved in the accident were taken to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria and St. Mary’s Hospital in Streator. The interstate was closed for a short period of time following the wreck.
Saturday’s crash remains under investigation by the ISP Crash Reconstruction Unit.
HEYWORTH – One person is dead after a fire broke out at a mobile home north of Heyworth Thursday.
According to the McLean County Coroner’s Office, the Randolph Township Fire Department & EMS, Downs Fire Department, Bloomington Township Fire Department and McLean County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the fire at 14737 East and 425 North roads. Upon their arrival, officials observed flames at the front door of the residence and a charred individual with no signs of life was found inside.
The victim was Terry W. Fox, 55, who was the owner and occupant of the mobile home. Fox reportedly died from carbon monoxide intoxication due to smoke and soot inhalation. According to McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling, Fox was seen entering his residence minutes prior to smoke showing. Fox is originally from Jacksonville, IL where he was a municipal worker for over 30 years.
The MABAS 41 Fire Investigation Team, McLean County Sheriff’s Department and McLean County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the incident.
PONTIAC – Pontiac resident Ron Minnaert is $2.25 million richer now.
He bought a winning lottery ticket earlier this year at the Pontiac Shell station through the lottery’s Hit or Miss contest. Minnaert matched 12 numbers and the good life number to win. Minnaert serves as president of State Bank of Graymont.
An official check presentation was held in Pontiac this week and Minnaert doesn’t expect a lot of changes now that he won. The gas station receives over $22,000 for selling the winning ticket.
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Police (ISP) announced that another firearms instructor from Bolingbrook is no longer approved to instruct Illinois Concealed Carry Curricula, and 327 applicants trained by the instructor will receive notification that their application has been denied due to improper training.
Since January, ISP has investigated numerous complaints from the public alleging that firearms instructors were improperly training and /or awarding certificates to students who had not completed the required 16 hours of training required by law. The Firearms Concealed Carry Act (430 ILCS 66/75) states that firearms instructors are required to teach all applicants, who are not eligible for prior training credit, a minimum of 16 hours of curriculum approved by the Illinois State Police prior to receiving an Illinois Concealed Carry License Training Certificate.
After conducting numerous interviews and reviewing records, ISP investigators have confirmed that the training was not conducted in accordance with the law, and are in the process of providing investigative findings to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“The public expects firearms instructors to provide a thorough understanding and solid foundation of the curriculum and practical training that meets all qualifications of the law,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “When these instructors fall short, safety is compromised and the integrity of the training process raises concerns,” he stressed.
Last week's Fairbury City Council meeting included a lengthy public comment period, with a lot of “he said, she said” remarks made.
At the start of the meeting, Mayor Lynn Dameron reminded audience members that the public comment portion of the meeting is for individuals to share issues they have with the community and is not designed to negotiate, argue or discuss.
Former police records clerk Kaci Zimmerman was the first to appear before the council. She shared some concerns about the police department, among other things.
“I typed a memo on Jan. 8 to support a Fairbury citizen, or a former employee, who was having a fundraiser. Following the memo, there was no mention of any wrongdoing. A month passed before Mayor Dameron brought the memo to my attention on Feb. 7. On Feb. 6, I told an alderman about an incident that occurred in our police department. On Feb. 7, I was told to resign or the city would press criminal charges against me for this memo.”
“That’s not true, Kaci,” replied Dameron. “There was never anything about criminal charges.”
Zimmerman claimed the mayor used the authority of the Attorney General to intimidate her into resigning.
“While I was an employee at the police department, I witnessed the theft of evidence not committed by someone outside this department but rather within. Knowing that this was not what the citizens of Fairbury deserved, I felt the need to inform Mayor Dameron,” added Zimmerman.
The mayor and Zimmerman continued the back-and-forth discussion turned argument for several minutes, interrupting each other at times.
“I’m not going to stand here and let our police chief be slandered. We’ve had interviews with The Pantagraph, the State’s Attorney has been informed of all this stuff, and everybody is coming back to the same thing: it’s baseless,” said Dameron.
“The State’s Attorney has found no issues with it. Some of the stuff is in the vault and if Officer Henkel will be honest, when you mentioned this to me I said I’m not getting involved in this. Nothing’s come of it because there is basically apparently nothing there.”
Following the public confrontation, Dameron tossed a few papers onto the floor of City Hall toward the front row of spectators. The contents of the papers aren’t known, although it appeared he was directing them at someone before Alderman Terry Zimmerman got up from his seat and picked them up.
“I think we would all agree that there is always another side to most every situation,” stated Alderman Zimmerman.
Dameron issued a statement at the end of the council meeting regarding the clash between himself and the former employee.
“I will not sit here in good conscience and let somebody be berated without both sides of the story. That’s why personnel stuff is kept as personnel – whether it’s with us, the school board or any other board. I do apologize if I offended anybody. That’s not my intention. It’s just that we’re trying to run an open shop.”
Resident Diane Pawlowski also appeared before the council. She has concerns over an ordinance which would amend Chapter 8 of the Municipal Code of the City of Fairbury of 1982 in relation to a Class A retail liquor dealer’s license. Pawlowski opposes an increase in the number of Class A licenses at this time.
“You may say that it’s a good thing if a business wants to expand their product line. It may be good for that business but not for the other businesses. The free market system is a great system, but when the government decides to pick winners and losers by changing laws to accommodate newcomers into the market, that’s a bad thing.”
A current business in town wants to sell hard liquor and needs a Class A license for that. They currently have a Class B. The issue was tabled by the council for further discussion.
“The ordinance’s restriction on the number of Class A licenses seems to be arbitrary and ineffective. Why even set a maximum number if you’re just going to change it whenever someone asks for another one? Why cut those pie slices even thinner?” asked Pawlowski.
In other business, the Fairbury City Council:
-Learned from Duane Ifft that two more water mains and a service line have been repaired.
-Approved a memo of understanding between the city and other groups who may need to be called upon in case of a city-wide disaster or emergency.
(Above image is a file photo from a previous Fairbury City Council meeting held in December)
Normal Fire Department Investigators have completed the initial on-scene phase of the investigation into the fire that heavily damaged Green View Landscaping at 1813 Industrial Park Road, however the investigation into the cause and origin continues. There has been no determination made at this time.
"Fire investigation is a very time consuming and difficult process because the fire often times destroys or conceals the evidence of the cause,” said Matt Swaney, Normal Fire Department Public Information Officer.
He added, “Many times, investigators will work a case and isolate where the fire started, and then work to eliminate all of the variables until there is only one left that could have started a fire. But if they can’t prove with 100% certainty that it caused the fire, then the fire has to be deemed as ‘undetermined’. ”
Normal Fire Department has five members who are tasked with determining cause and origin of a fire. They work in conjunction with various local, state and federal investigation and law enforcement agencies to determine what started a fire, where it started, and to prosecute arsonists if it is determined that a fire was intentionally set. Members of the team are certified as investigators by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, and have extensive training in fire cause and origin determination. The results of their investigations are submitted to a nationwide database which helps regulatory agencies and code authorities in determining if product recalls are necessary, if code revisions are necessary, and assist firefighters and prevention officials in educating the public.
STREATOR – Livingston County Sheriff’s Police report John Collins, 51, of Streator, has been arrested for aggravated assault, reckless discharge of a firearm and attempted murder with a firearm.
The arrest was reportedly made early Wednesday morning and the incident occurred at a rural Livingston County residence. Responding agencies included: Livingston County Sheriff’s Police, the Bloomington Police Department Hostage Negotiation Team, Streator Police and the Streator Tactical Response Team.
Officials said earlier this week no further information will be released until an initial court appearance.
The National 9-1-1 Education Coalition is encouraging public safety officials, schools, government officials, and industry leaders to engage in this national effort to educate the general public about the importance and appropriate use of 9-1-1 services.
To support this endeavor, the Coalition has launched 9-1-1: The Number to Know awareness campaign to allow these entities to speak together with one voice while supporting specific 9-1-1 messages being promoted in the local community.
Darren Wolf, Communications Center Manager for the City of Bloomington advised location is the most vital piece of information needed in an emergency. "If you don't know the address, look around for landmarks or cross streets that will help the 9-1-1 operator locate the emergency," said Wolf.
April 13 through April 19, 2014 is recognized as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. This week is dedicated to those individuals who truly are the hidden heroes of the first responder community, 9-1-1 telecommunicators. Wolf described 911 telecommunications as the voice of calm when lives are on the line. "They take control of situations on the phone, get help to the right location, and give instructions that make a difference," said Wolf. The City of Bloomington employs 21 9-1-1 professionals who, in 2013, answered over 25,000 911 calls and dispatched emergency responders over 81,000 times.
The City of Pontiac’s Tourism office is excited to announce that registration is open for the 1st annual Trunkin’ Treasure Sale, located south of the courthouse in downtown Pontiac.
This sale will be taking place during the 8th Annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival which is Saturday, May 3 from 8am-5pm and Sunday, May 4 from 8am-3pm. One of the highlights of the Red Carpet event is the fabulous shopping opportunities found all along the 90-mile festival. Pontiac’s new Trunkin’ Treasure sale will facilitate shoppers finding bargains in one central location. Registration has already begun for the event and is required to participate. Registration is free for individual residents and local non-profits. For commercial vendors a $25 space rental fee will be required.
The Red Carpet Corridor Festival is partnering with the Kicks on 66 Sale for the first time this year. The website, www.kickson66sale.com, will have a map of the sales located along the corridor and is being marketed to a wide audience. Rebecca McCloud, Tourism Intern, and Liz Vincent, Tourism Specialist, feel the Trunkin’ Treasure Sale makes finding garage sales easier by having them in one convenient location and are anticipating big crowds of shoppers.
Residents are invited to load up their car, drive downtown, and sell their treasures. Local organizations and churches are also invited to participate in this event. Space is limited so register today. Please contact Rebecca McCloud or Liz Vincent at the Walldog Museum by calling 815-842-1848 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLOOMINGTON – A 37-year-old Bloomington woman was arrested following a crash early Saturday at the intersection of Main and Empire streets.
Bloomington Police say Jamie M. Webb was charged with aggravated DUI and other traffic-related violations. The crash reportedly occurred at 1:50 a.m. Saturday.
Webb was transferred to the McLean County Jail. The crash investigation is ongoing and no other information is being released at this time, according to police.