>07-10 a domestic battery was reported in Piper City.
>07-10 a disturbance was reported in Roberts.
>07-10 a deputy assisted a Gibson City police officer with an arrest.
>07-10 a Roberts resident reported a violation of an Order of Protection.
>07-11 a Piper City resident reported her house window was shot with a BB gun.
>07-12 a disturbance was reported in Piper City.
>07-14 a Roberts resident reported criminal trespass to residence.
>07-14 a Roberts resident reported someone ransacked her unlocked vehicle. Nothing was taken from the car.
>07-14 a Roberts resident reported two of her vehicles were ransacked. Nothing was taken from the unlocked vehicles.
>07-14 a Roberts resident reported his vehicle was ransacked. Nothing was taken from the unlocked vehicle.
>07-14 deputies assisted Gibson Ambulance personnel with a suicidal male in rural Elliott.
>07-15 a missing person from Melvin was reported.
>07-16 a residential burglar alarm was reported in Melvin.
During the week deputies issued 1 traffic citation.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS NONE
>07-16 Joseph Harris of Piper City was arrested for violating an Order of Protection.
CHICAGO – Governor Rauner is among the prominent Illinois Republicans skipping this week’s convention.
Rauner has stopped answering questions about the race for president. Before Donald Trump received the nomination, Rauner said he would support the party’s nominee even if it was Trump.
Rauner has criticized Trump’s rhetoric ever since as nasty, weird and ugly. Now he is not talking about the race at all or his voting preferences.
CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner reaffirmed his commitment to reforming the current school funding formula by creating the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission.
“Education is the most important thing we do as a society, but Illinois has failed to adequately and equitably fund schools for years,” Governor Rauner said. “We should put more money into our schools and focus resources to the students that need them the most. Today we are ensuring the bipartisan momentum to reform our school funding formula does not fade away.”
The Commission’s sole task is to recommend a comprehensive solution to reform Illinois’ school funding formula. The report is due to the Governor and General Assembly by February 1, 2017 in order for the General Assembly to take action in 2017 General Session. The Commission will be composed of five designees from the Administration and each of the legislative leaders. Secretary of Education Beth Purvis will be one of the Governor’s designees and will serve as the Commission’s chairperson. In addition, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Chairman Rev. James Meeks will serve as a liaison between ISBE and the Commission.
“Ensuring our schools are properly funded in an adequate and equitable way will only improve outcomes for Illinois children,” Secretary Purvis said. “I’m honored to chair this Commission and join legislators who are equally as motivated to find a solution to make our school funding formula more equitable.”
JOLIET – Governor Bruce Rauner joined IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, area officials and business leaders to announce an agreement between the state, local governments and CenterPoint Properties.
This agreement includes building a new Houbolt Road bridge linking Interstate 80 and the intermodal facilities in Will County that make up the country’s largest inland port. The first-of-its-kind project in Illinois is estimated to cost a combined $170 million to $190 million, to alleviate traffic congestion on local roads, improve safety and further strengthen the state’s economy.
“The project is long overdue and will only enhance the region’s position as a freight hub for North America and an economic engine for the state,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said. “Illinois needs more projects just like these creative solutions to fund infrastructure and keep Illinois competitive far into the 21st century.”
The historic agreement is the result of the teamwork between the Illinois Department of Transportation, CenterPoint, the City of Joliet and Will County. Under the agreement, CenterPoint will build and operate a new tolled bridge on Houbolt Road over the Des Plaines River and the BNSF Railroad tracks at a cost of $150 million to $170 million.
Will County is required to pass a resolution allowing tolls to be issued and collected by CenterPoint.
“This project will improve the flow of goods and services throughout the region, relieving the congestion and addressing the safety issues that are impacting many surrounding communities,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “By working closely with all stakeholders involved, we have come up with a creative approach that can be a model to solving infrastructure needs elsewhere in the state."
The Illinois Sheriff's Association advises Illinois residents that there is a phone campaign underway which fraudulently uses the name of the Illinois Sheriff's Association in their solicitation.
The association says it never solicits by phone but does conduct a direct mail campaign throughout the state which is endorsed by individual county sheriffs. Officials say telemarketing fraud costs billions of dollars each year. Remember if you have any doubs or are highly pressured just hang up.
Should you receive a call from anyone saying they represent your local sheriff or the Illinois Sheriff's Association and they are asking for donations, contact police immediately or gather as much information as possible from the caller and report it to ISA@ilsheriff.org.
Illinois consumers can use a new tool from the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) to find insurance money they may be owed using the DOI's Life Policy Locator Service.
The Life Policy Locator Service will help executors, legal representatives, or members of the deceasedperson’s immediate family find a life insurance policy or annuity contract left by a deceased loved one. Acting Director Anne Melissa Dowling asked her staff to find a way to help Illinois beneficiaries obtain the money they are owed and bridge the gap between insurance companies and Illinois citizens who think they may be listed as a beneficiary.
“Many times finding life insurance policies can be difficult and time consuming after a loved one’s death,” said Dowling. “But with this new free service, consumers can request help from the Illinois Department of Insuranceto simplify the process of locating lost life insurance policies. This search service eliminates the confusion oftrying to locate missing life insurance policies or annuity contracts and helps get those benefits to the intended beneficiary.
”After the necessary information is submitted, DOI will contact all state-licensed life insurance companiesasking them to search their records for any life insurance policies or annuity contracts insuring the decedent. If a policy is found, that insurance company will contact the beneficiary to complete the claim.
“I’m delighted that the Department of Insurance will now offer Illinois consumers a free service to inquire aboutfamily policies that may have been forgotten or uncovered over the years following a death,” said Dowling. To learn more about the Lost Life Policy Locator Service, click the following link https://insurance.illinois.gov/Applications/LifePolicyLocator/ or visit the Illinois Department of Insurance website. Of note, as of December 31, 2015, the Illinois Department of Insurance has recovered proceeds for more than11,000 beneficiaries worth more than $213 million.
There is plenty to do in Central Illinois this weekend. Here are just some of the events:
The Odell Days celebration takes place July 8 & 9. Friday's activities include the beer tent, music by Chris Corkery, a family movie on the big screen and late night entertainment. On Saturday, it's the 5K run, sand volleyball tourney, kids games, inflatables, bags tournament, street dance and raffle drawing.
Oglesby Summer Fun Fest:
Take a drive north ot enjoy the Oglesby Summer Fun Fest. On Friday night, the Britins perform along with the group Satisfaction. A cruise-in takes place at the Rootbeer Stand from 6-9 p.m. Saturday's events include the water fights, kids party in the park, a performance from an Elvis tribute artis and Lance Lipinsky. Sunday will be the Honor our Heroes parade, a performance from The Chicago 6 and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Towns throughout Central Illinois will have activities for the Fourth of July.
In Chenoa, a flea market will be held in the city park along with a car and motorcycle show. The Methodist Church will have a food stand just west of the park from 10:30-4:00 serving sandwiches and pies and the Chenoa parade steps off at 2 p.m. at the corner of Division and Mill with the theme, “Glittery Sky on the 4th of July.”
The Chenoa parade heads through downtown, south to Lincoln and east to 7th Street. A bicycle decorating contest is included in this year’s parade and fireworks take place at dusk at the football field.
Towanda’s annual celebration includes a flea market and food concessions. The parade steps off from the school at 10 a.m. with registration and lineup at 8:45 and the Grand Marshals Award for the best float at 9:45. The Towanda theme is “Our Citizens Make Towanda Great.” Fireworks will be set off from the Towanda Township Building just east of town at dusk.
A full day of events is planned in Sibley with the theme of “Camp Sibley 2016.” A children’s fishing derby starts at 9 a.m. with a car show from 9-12 and the Sibley Area 4th of July parade steps off at 1 p.m. The annual cardboard boat regatta on Sibley Lake is at 4 with the fireworks over Sibley Lake at dusk.
SPRINGFIELD – State lawmakers have agreed to a six-month budget and education funding just in time for the start of a new fiscal year.
The stopgap budget is designed to keep the state running through the end of the year and ensures schools open in the fall. The compromise includes help for Chicago public schools by letting the city raise property taxes to fund teacher pensions as well as money for higher education and social service programs statewide.
Senator John Sullivan of Quincy reminds residents this is only a short-term fix while House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said this deal had to get done right away.
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 – 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.