State Senator Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) announced his candidacy for U.S. Congress in the 18th Congressional District.
“Throughout my time in Springfield I’ve been a strong, conservative voice for the families I represent,” said LaHood. “I have a proven record of fighting for transparency, higher ethical standards for government, term limits and cutting wasteful government spending, and I want to bring that fight to Washington as Congressman.”
LaHood made his announcement surrounded by his family, friends, and supporters at stops in Peoria, Bloomington, and Springfield on Monday and will be visiting Jacksonville, Quincy, and Macomb on Tuesday.
“I’m running because we have to make the difficult decisions today for a better future for the next generation,” said LaHood. “I will be the conservative champion that gets serious about our $18 trillion debt crisis, fight to repeal ObamaCare, and work for term limits to get rid of the career politicians in both parties.”
Darin LaHood has represented the 37th Senate District in Springfield since 2011. As a State Senator, LaHood was the chief sponsor for term limits legislation and quickly gained the reputation of being a fiscal hawk.
Prior to serving in the Senate, LaHood spent over 10 years as a State and Federal Prosecutor, including as the Chief Terrorism Prosecutor and as the Lead Coordinator for the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program.
LaHood currently practices law with the Peoria law firm of Miller, Hall & Triggs.
LaHood has a B.A. from Loras College and holds a J.D. from The John Marshall Law School. LaHood was recognized as an Edgar Fellow in 2013. He currently resides in Dunlap, with his wife Kristen and their three sons, McKay, Luke, and Teddy.
Peoria, IL – Captain Mike Welsh, District 8 Commander, announced that the Illinois State Police (ISP) will conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols in Peoria and Tazewell County during the month of April.
The ACE patrols allow the ISP to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
Across the country, an average of one alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 51 minutes. Alcohol and drug impairment remain significant factors in over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Each year in Illinois, hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol-related crashes. Don’t risk losing your license, your car, and your freedom. If you drive impaired, law enforcement will arrest you. This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.
The Illinois Senate passed legislation March 26 that balances the current fiscal year budget (fiscal year 2015) without any tax increase or borrowing, two days after the House of Representatives passed the same legislation.
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) voted in support of the budget fix – a vote she called “necessary” given the state’s current fiscal mess.
“For the first time in more than a decade, we have a balanced budget in Springfield,” Rezin said. “Gov. Bruce Rauner inherited a completely out-of-whack budget when he took office; however, working together in a bipartisan fashion, we did what was necessary to solve the first chapter of our state’s budget mess. We wouldn’t have solved this immediate budget crisis without Governor Rauner’s leadership.”
Rezin says funding for areas like child-care, court reporters, and corrections would have had severe funding shortfalls without this legislation.
“I had many constituents talk to me or call my office concerned about funding for certain programs, especially child-care,” Rezin said. “Hearing those concerns, I am pleased lawmakers did the right thing, taking action to save these vital services and protect jobs.”
Rezin said funding for local governments remains intact. There are also exemptions for funding for developmentally disabled, mental health, and autism programs.
“While we did have to make some cuts and use other funds to plug holes left by Democrat legislative leaders and former Governor Pat Quinn, this solution helps get our state back on track, and it stops leaving so many families in limbo about the immediate future,” Rezin said. “I am hopeful we can use this process as an example to move forward and make real reforms to fix Illinois, so we don’t have to make an emergency budget vote again. We have a long way to go with many difficult decisions to come, but working together, under the leadership of Governor Rauner, we can turn the fiscal condition of our state around.”
Governor Rauner issues statement
Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement:
“I want to thank President Cullerton, Speaker Madigan, Leader Radogno and Leader Durkin for their leadership in fixing this year’s fiscal crisis. With their help, a bipartisan group of legislators sent a strong message that the culture in Springfield is changing for the better.
As promised, we are eliminating a $1.6 billion deficit without borrowing or increasing taxes on hard-working Illinois families. By choosing to make difficult decisions on a bipartisan basis, the General Assembly is helping set a new tone for what can be achieved in Springfield.
While today’s action is an important start, many more tough votes and challenging decisions must be made in the weeks ahead to complete the first steps of an Illinois turnaround. I look forward to continuing to partner with the legislature to enact policies that will create more jobs, increase local control and deliver value for taxpayers.”
Governor Rauner plans to sign the legislation as soon as possible.
Bills approved in Springfield
The governor has approved the following bills in Springfield:
Bill No.: HB 317
An Act Concerning: Appropriations
Bill No.: HB 318
An Act Concerning: Finance
>03-15 a rural Gibson City resident reported one of his spruce trees had been run over by a vehicle.
>03-15 a Sibley resident reported her vehicle stolen by a family member.
>03-15 a deputy assisted Gibson Area Ambulance personnel with a suicidal male in Sibley.
>03-15 a suspicious vehicle was reported in rural Elliott.
>03-17 a Guthrie resident was issued a NTA for his dog running at large.
>03-18 a residential burglar alarm was received in rural Kempton. The cause was the owner’s animal.
>03-18 a deputy assisted the Gibson City Police Dept. with transporting an arrestee to the jail.
>03-19 a Piper City man reported his vehicle stolen from his home.
>03-19 a rural Piper City man reported his pickup stolen.
>03-19 a deputy assisted the Kempton Fire dept. with a brush fire along Rt115.
>03-20 a deputy assisted Gibson Area Ambulance personnel with an unresponsive male in rural Paxton.
During the week deputies handled 2 civil matters and issued 21 traffic citations.
>03-17 Amy Goodpasture of Rankin struck a whitetail deer with her vehicle at 2500E Rt9.
>03-15 Joseph Swan of rural Paxton was arrested at his home for Domestic Battery.
OGLESBY - A man was injured at Starved Rock State Park after apparently falling from a waterfall at Wildcat Canyon late last week.
Sources say the man broke both of his legs after falling from the ledge and he was discovered by firefighters shortly after 5 p.m. Friday after receiving a call that someone fell at the park. According to the Chicago Tribune, rescue personnel moved the victim across the Illinois River before he was airlifted to a Central Illinois hospital.
It is not known what the man was doing before the fall. An investigation continues by the Illinois State Conservation Police.
State Senator Darin LaHood announced his intent to run for Congress in the 18th District and will be forming a federal campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission.
LaHood will soon make a formal announcement in locales throughout the 18th Congressional District. The 18th District includes 19 counties in Central and Western Illinois. LaHood is currently serving in his fifth year as a Republican State Senator, elected without opposition in his last election. He has served on the following committees: Judiciary, Criminal Law, Executive Appointments, Public Health, Human Services, Pensions & License Activities, Environment, Insurance, and Transportation.
Since taking office, Senator LaHood has achieved a strong record as a leading fiscal conservative in Springfield. He has been an outspoken advocate for creating a better business climate in Illinois to boost the state’s economy and create jobs for Illinoisans.
From 2001-2006 LaHood served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was the lead prosecutor for the Project Safe Neighborhoods Program and then the Chief Terrorism prosecutor. Additionally, he has worked in both the Cook County and Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Offices. LaHood has also previously worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Legislative Assistant and then an Appropriations Committee Associate. He graduated from The John Marshall Law School and currently practices law with the Peoria law firm of Miller, Hall & Triggs.
Darin LaHood has been married to Kristen for 13 years and together they have three sons: McKay 12, Lucas 10, and Teddy who is 8 years old. The LaHood family resides in Dunlap which is in Peoria County.
Governor Rauner has until April 5th to set a date for a special election which must occur within 115 days.
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has issued the following statement regarding this week's resignation of Congressman Aaron Schock...
"This is a sad day for the people of Illinois and the 18th district."
Schock announced that he will resign his post effective at the end of this month. He represents the Jacksonville and Quincy areas along with parts of Peoria, Springfield and Bloomington. Questions were raised about Schock’s spending. He has served in the U.S. House since 2009.
Springfield – Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Leo P. Schmitz commissioned 37 troopers during the Cadet Class 125 graduation ceremony at the ISP Academy. The new troopers will report to ISP patrol districts throughout the state on Monday, March 16, 2015. Director Schmitz and the ISP command staff welcomed the new troopers after delivering the Oath of an Officer before family and friends.
"Today, these new officers join fellow troopers in the long and proud tradition of the Illinois State Police," said Director Schmitz. "Next week, these new troopers will report to their respective districts in order to reinforce our commitment to making Illinois a safer place for everyone," added Schmitz.
ISP Cadet Class 125 is the fourth class to graduate under the new legislation that allows veterans who have been awarded an Afghan or Iraqi campaign medal by the military or naval services of the United States to apply without having earned a college degree and have been honorably discharged. Nine of the new troopers are veterans, and of those, four were hired under the new legislation.
Members of Cadet Class 125 underscored their commitment to becoming part of “Illinois Finest” by fundraising over $16,000 for the Memorial Park to honor the sacrifice of fallen troopers. When completed, the ISP Memorial Park will serve as a place to honor and remember the brave men and women who have lost their lives while protecting the citizens of our state. A check totaling $16,154 was presented to the ISP Memorial Park during the class banquet.
The troopers have completed a demanding 26-week regimen of physical and classroom instruction which included training in Terrorism Awareness, Domestic Violence, Critical Incident Response, Firearms Training, First Responder Certification, Illinois Vehicle Code, Criminal Law, Motor Carrier Safety, Juvenile Law, and more.
In addition to the 26-week academy training, probationary troopers are required to participate in one-on-one mentoring with Field Training Officers (FTOs) under a 14-week field training program, expanding their training to 40 weeks. Probationary troopers who successfully complete FTO training are advanced to solo-patrol status.
The new officers have been assigned to the following areas of the state and will immediately begin their patrol duties, joining veteran troopers in the effort to safeguard Illinois roadways:
District 1 Sterling, 5 troopers
District 2 Elgin, 2 troopers
District 5 Joliet, 1 trooper
District 6 Pontiac, 3 troopers
District 7 East Moline, 2 troopers
District 8 Metamora, 3 troopers
District 10 Pesotum, 6 troopers
District 11 Collinsville, 2 troopers
District 14 Macomb, 2 troopers
District 15 Downers Grove, 1 trooper
District 16 Pecatonica, 2 troopers
District 17 LaSalle, 5 troopers
District 21 Kankakee, 3 troopers
The ISP Academy is one of the most respected and recognized training facilities in the country. Dozens of law enforcement agencies also use the ISP Academy curriculum to meet standards set forth by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
Anyone interested in joining the ranks of the Illinois State Police is encouraged to visit the Illinois State Police Merit Board website at www.illinoistrooper.com for application information.
A video link of the CC125 Graduation is available for download at:
McLean County Coroner Dr. Kathleen Davis is releasing the following information with regard to a motor vehicle collision on US 51 North near 525 N in rural Heyworth, Illinois.
At 0806 hours of Friday, March 13, 2015, 2015, McLean County Coroner’s Office received notification of a single passenger vehicle collision on US 51 as noted above. The Illinois State Police, Heyworth Police Department, Heyworth Fire Department, and Heyworth Ambulance Department were already on scene.
Pronounced deceased at 0826 hours on March 13, 2015, 2015 was a male occupant. The male occupant was the seat belted driver and sole occupant. An autopsy is scheduled for this afternoon. The name of the decedent is being withheld at this time pending further notification of family.
This incident remains under investigation by the McLean County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police.
GRIDLEY – A house in Gridley was extensively damaged by fire late Friday morning.
Officials say the residence, at 312 East Fourth Street, had damage to some upstairs bedrooms and the kitchen but no one was home at the time. The family did lose a hamster and some dogs in the blaze. The official cause is under investigation, although sources say the fire may have started in the kitchen.
Responding departments came from Gridley, Pontiac, Lexington, El Paso, Chenoa and Flanagan.
Illinois State Police have announced the Agency will begin accepting on-line FOID applications beginning March 16, 2015, to provide a more streamlined and modernized application process.
The ISP will no longer accept the current FOID paper applications after Monday, March 9, 2015; however, like the CCL, the new FOID application will be available through the Department's website or through the paper alternative call center method for those individuals who do not have computer access. Minors under the age of 21 without a state of Illinois Driver’s License or Identification card and Amish applicants will be required to complete an alternative call-in paper application.
The ISP has also made changes to the login for both the CCL and FOID applications. Applicants will no longer be required to obtain a state of Illinois digital I.D. through the Department of Central Management Services. This login change will allow users greater accessibility to the new application process.
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner administered the Oath of an Officer to Leo P. Schmitz, the newly appointed Director of the Illinois State Police (ISP) at the Illinois Capitol Building.
Director Schmitz was appointed by Governor Bruce Rauner on February 4, 2015, and unanimously confirmed by the Illinois State Legislature on February 17, 2015.
Prior to his appointment, Director Schmitz spent more than 28 years in law enforcement and is proven to be uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity. Director Schmitz’ vast law enforcement experience and commitment to the people of Illinois will serve to carry on the finest traditions of Integrity, Service and Pride during his leadership of the ISP.
“It is a great honor to administer the Oath of an Officer to Director Leo Schmitz. The Oath symbolizes the very essence of why brave men and women volunteer to protect and serve others,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “Director Schmitz’ experience, leadership and dedication will continue to move the Illinois State Police forward and improve the safety and quality of life in Illinois communities,” he added.
2-27-15 updated at: 1:48 p.m.
FORREST - One storage building was saved, otherwise about 75 percent of the complex which houses Haab Forrest Products south of Forrest was destroyed by fire early Friday morning.
Forrest Fire Chief Sam Schmidgall said when firefighters arrived on the scene after 4 a.m., one of the building roofs was already on the ground. Crews did manage to save a storage building on the south side of the property along Route 47. According to Schmidgall, firefighters battled the cold weather but "got along pretty well." No injuries were reported.
The official cause of the fire is under investigation and Schmidgall believes a number of factors could have caused it. Responding departments included: Fairbury, Chatsworth, Saunemin, Cullom, Gibson City, Roberts-Melvin, Pontiac, Sibley, Cropsey, Emington-Campus, Piper City and SELCAS. Prairie Land Works, TSC Truck and Ken's Oil Service also assisted.
According to the business's website, Haab Forrest Products produces pallets, skids, crates and boxes for manufacturing.
>02-15 an Elliott resident turned in drug paraphernalia and cannabis found on their property.
>02-15 a commercial burglar alarm was received from the Farmers Merchant Bank of Melvin. The alarm was an employee error.
>02-15 deputies responded to a reported suicidal female in Piper City.
>02-16 a dispute between juveniles in Elliott was reported.
>02-18 a residential burglar alarm was received in the Dog Town area of rural Paxton. The alarm was caused by a family member.
>02-19 a deputy assisted a Gibson City police officer with the transportation of his arrestee to the Ford County jail.
During the week deputies handled 2 civil matters and issued 10 traffic citations.
>02-17 Rick Flessner of Roberts reported that he had been involved in a minor one-vehicle accident in Roberts.
>02-20 Rafael Juan of Rantoul lost control of his vehicle at 915N 1300E Road while driving on three tires and a rim. The vehicle ended up in the ditch at that location.
>02-17 Mark McCoy of rural Piper City was arrested on a Ford County warrant.
>02-20 Rafael Juan of Rantoul was arrested following an accident investigation at 915N 1300E Road. He was charged with Driving under Revocation, Illegal Transportation of Alcohol and Operating an Uninsured Motor vehicle.
>02-21 Collin Movern of Piper City was arrested for Possession of Cannabis following a traffic stop in Piper City.
>02-21 Caroline Meyers of Elmhurst Illinois was arrested for Possession of Cannabis following a traffic stop in Piper City.
>02-21 Pedro Ramirez of Piper City was arrested for Probation Violation when he tested positive for the use of illegal drugs in a urine sample requested by a Ford County Probation officer.
McLean County Coroner Kathleen Davis is releasing the following information with regard to the young woman found deceased in rural Heyworth on February 18, 2015:
Kalie Easton, last of Bloomington, was pronounced deceased at 1144 am on February 18, 2015. An autopsy was performed on February 19, 2015 at the Mclean County Coroner’s Office. Preliminary results indicate that Miss Easton died from non-natural causes. Forensic toxicology tests have been ordered.
The investigation into her death by the McLean County Sheriff’s Office and the McLean County Coroner’s Office continues.
Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call Detective Cory Beverlin at 309-275-8389.
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner outlined a budget on Wednesday which improves public safety, boosts education funding and restructures the core costs of state government.
Rauner spoke of the need to eliminate conflicts of interest in state government and to “end our broken system.”
“We must institute major reforms, or whatever balanced budget we craft this year will be undone in the years ahead by the special interests that make their money from the government and pay politicians to spend more,” he said.
The address also referred to Rauner’s top priority for financial reform which is the pension system. The budget gives employees hired before 2011 a choice to take a buyout option, which is a lump sum payment and defined contribution plan, in return for a voluntary reduction in cost-of-living adjustments.
“It’s time to empower our workforce and address one of the biggest fiscal challenges we face,” said Rauner.
The governor also outlined plans to reduce local government funding, although the reduction in local government sharing in the budget is equal to just 3 percent of their total revenue, according to Rauner.
Rauner’s proposal also reduces Medicaid costs significantly while maintaining eligibility levels for most lower-income Illinoisans. He also called for increased funding for the state’s youngest citizens, calling it “the smart and compassionate thing to do.”
The budget also increases K-12 education funding by $300 million.
The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal wants to encourage residents to take a proactive approach to preventing carbon monoxide poisoning this winter.
Carbon Monoxide causes sickness and can lead to death if not detected. Taking some simple preventative measures can help keep families safe. State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says the poisoning can be prevented by simply having working CO alarms in each household.
During 2013 in Illinois, 11,481 carbon monoxide-related incidents were reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System. According to the Illinois Carbon Monoxide Alarm Act, every dwelling unit should be equipped with at least one approved carbon monoxide alarm in an operating condition within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping purposes. This includes structures that contain more than one dwelling unit.
FORREST - St. Paul Lutheran Church in Forrest has announced the 12th Forrest Growing Project, part of the Foods Resource Bank, has raised $35,023.
The money was raised by local farmers and landowners donating crops and by individual and corporate donations. This year, 29 1/2 acres of crop was donated by 28 farmers. While St. Paul Lutheran sponsors the Growing Project, farmers from several denominations are actually involved.
Urban partnerships with the United Church of Christ in Plainfield and St. Matthew's Church of Christ in Wheaton also contributed financially to the project. The Foods Resource Bank is a Christian-based program that promotes self-sufficiency by providing seeds, tools, training and other essentials to poorly equipped people in under-developed countries. The goal of FRB is to provide individuals with the resources for feeding themselves in the future.
Hennepin, IL – Communities in and around Putnam County will soon see more jobs with good wages and see a boost to their local economy, thanks to IPS Steel out of Michigan purchasing the old Hennepin Steel Mill.
Action on the site is already taking place. This week, there is an on-line public auction for old spare parts, excess tools, etc. That will allow for clean-up and demolition of buildings that have been determined to be inefficient to begin next month.
“It took a lot of work from a number of people to get this site sold and begin the revitalization, and that’s a big reason why it’s so rewarding,” State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Peru) said. “The Hennepin Steel Mill was a huge asset for this area before it closed. Now, Hennepin and the communities around this region can look forward to this site becoming an economic and jobs engine again.”
Cement pads and other valuable infrastructure will remain at the site, including a power station, barge dock, and extensive rail track. Norfolk Southern determined the track in and around the site is in good condition, despite having been not used for years, which should help revitalization at the site move quicker.
“Some of the buildings are no longer cost efficient to heat or cool as well as maintain,” said Kishan Sutariya, Project Manager for IPS Steel. “We are going to remove those and leave all the cement pad so we can build more efficient buildings back on top. Our vision for this site is to have multiple businesses sharing all the resources that it has to offer.”
“The rail track condition is great news for any current tenant or future manufacturer, transload, or warehouse storage company who is interested in the site. We are looking forward to the completion of clean up and ready for phase two,” Marci Duro, the Executive Director and CEO Illinois Valley Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development said. “This multi-use industrial complex is a fantastic site and investors are excited about its future.”
Duro also says IPS Steel has inquired about purchasing a used locomotive to move train cars to the loading dock and inquired about the cost of adding a rail that goes to the river dock location.
“I am thankful IPS Steel also realized the value in the two remaining employees from ArcelorMittal, as they were hired by IPS Steel and have been great resources to make the site valuable again,” Duro said.
“From the closure of the Hennepin Steel Mill to today, Marci Duro has been instrumental in getting IPS Steel to Putnam County,” Rezin said. “In 2010, she immediately realized the remarkable facility Hennepin offered and began actively marketing it. She has worked tirelessly with my office and other local officials to recruit IPS Steel to Putnam County. I am thankful for her hard work and look forward to what the site will become.”
The old Hennepin Steel Mill site offers several assets to a future manufacturer, transload, or warehouse storage company. Three interstates are close by (I-80, I-39, I-180), there is immediate rail access, immediate river access, dual feed electricity, natural gas is accessible on site, local community colleges with industrial programs, and a quality workforce.
“Any future investor or company would be lucky to find three of these assets in one location,” Rezin said. “What I am most proud of is our local workforce. Our people in and around Hennepin work hard, are incredibly knowledgeable, and are very excited about making the old steel site a huge asset to the area again.”