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.
>05-08 a deputy assisted the Illinois State Police with a rollover accident on Rt54 at 080N Road.
>05-09 a static-filled 911 call was received at a Piper City residence. The cause was water on the Frontier Communications phone lines.
>05-09 criminal damage to a motor vehicle was reported in Roberts.>05-09 a deputy assisted the Gibson Area Ambulance with a call in rural Piper City.
>05-10 a violation of an order of protection was reported in Elliott.
>05-10 a static-filled 911 call was received at a Piper City residence. The cause was water on the Frontier Communications phone lines.
>05-10 a complaint was received of kids riding a scooter on the roadway in Piper City.
>05-11 a deputy mediated an employee/employer pay dispute.
>05-13 deputies responded to a reported disturbance in Sibley. During the week deputies handled 7 civil matters.
TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS NONE
>05-13 Christopher Scott of Piper City was arrested at his home on a Ford County warrant.>05-14 Joshua Hughes of Cincinnati, Ohio was arrested on a Ford County warrant following a traffic stop in Gibson City.
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.
The Illinois Department of Corrections is pleased that the settlement agreement in the case of Ashoor Rasho v John Baldwin has been approved. U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm accepted the agreement on Friday, May 13th, noting that the Department’s plans for improving the delivery of services for mentally ill offenders are “fair and reasonable.”
The agreement requires the Department to update its policies for treatment and observation, increase out of cell time for mentally ill offenders housed in segregation, construct four residential treatment units aimed at providing individualized care for mentally ill offenders, provide an inpatient level care for offenders who require the most intensive level of treatment, and hire additional staff to accommodate the changes.While the Department does not admit liability regarding the allegations made in the suit, it does recognize that providing adequate care for offenders with mental illness will improve their quality of life and ultimately improve safety within its correctional facilities. The Department has already taken significant steps to comply with the terms of the agreement:
The Department has updated its policies to ensure that Mental Health Professionals are involved in all disciplinary actions taken against those identified as having a mental illness.·
The Department has revised its segregation policies for all offenders, which will continue to result in a significant reduction of segregation time.·
Construction continues on the residential treatment units at Dixon, Pontiac, and Logan Correctional Centers as well as the former IYC Joliet facility.·
The Department has hired additional mental health staff for the treatment units at Dixon and Logan.·
The Department has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Illinois to develop curriculum and ensure all IDOC staff receives training on how to better interact with, communicate with, and understand the needs of those who require treatment. ·
The Department has hired an internal legal advisor and has secured an external monitor to ensure that it remains in compliance with the agreement. The Ashoor Rasho case has lingered in the courts since 2007 after an offender at Pontiac Correctional Center filed suit challenging the delivery of mental health services within the IDOC. The Department reached a partial agreement in 2013 but had not been able to fully implement a plan to streamline mental health services. Governor Rauner’s commitment to improving the state’s correctional system put the case on a fast track and his administration worked diligently with the IDOC legal team to reach a suitable agreement.
SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner attended the 23rd Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighters Memorial Ceremony at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.
The service honors the men and women who have died in the line of duty while protecting the people of Illinois.
“Every day, Illinois firefighters put themselves in harm’s way and their lives on the line to protect the people of Illinois,” Governor Rauner said. “Unfortunately, some of these brave men and women pay the ultimate sacrifice. It’s important to remember and honor these fallen heroes to ensure they are never forgotten.”
Four firefighters died in the line of duty in the past year:·
Daniel V. Capuano – Chicago Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic·
Fidel G. Serrano, Jr. – Chicago Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic·
Mark Zielinski, Sr. – Matteson Fire Department Firefighter/Paramedic·
Kenneth J. Lehr – Medora Fire Protection District Chief
The Illinois Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to the firefighters of Illinois who have died in the line of duty, and to the firefighters who bravely serve each day protecting the lives and property of Illinois residents.
Motorcycle enthusiasts, safety advocates and Gov. Bruce Rauner are launching the latest "Start Seeing Motorcycles" campaign from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
May has been proclaimed Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois by the governor for the 33rd consecutive year. Although motorcycles represent about three percent of total vehicle registrations in Illinois, they account for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities. There were 998 traffic fatalities in Illinois during 2015, according to preliminary IDOT data. Of those, 146 were motorcyclists, an increase of 28 from the previous year.
Throughout the riding season, "Start Seeing Motorcycles" banners and yard signs will be displayed, letting the public know motorcycles are out and they need to stay alert at all times. All riders are urged to take precautions to ensure they are visible to other motorists by wearing the appropriate protective gear, getting regular maintenance checks and taking advantage of IDOT's motorcycle safety courses.
The National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) will take its new red, white and blue campaign RV, "Rosie", on the road next week.
The "Destination: White House" tour will be rolling into Illinois on Sunday, May 15 at 3:00 pm. Join us at Mullens Bar and Grill, 3080 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois, to greet Rosie. Wear your campaign attire and your enthusiasm and get your rally on!
The purpose of the tour is to put a Republican back in the White House by registering Republican-leaning women to vote, and rallying communities and Republican women's clubs across the country. These rallies will feature NFRW President Carrie Almond and other NFRW leaders, as well as local Republican elected officials in Illinois, along with GOP and Federation leaders.
Officials are reminding young drivers to think responsibly as they celebrate during the upcoming prom and graduation season.
Our primary safety message is in the word PROM which asks teens to “Please Return On Monday.” During the next several months, Illinois State Police District 08 Troopers will be conducting high visibility patrols with aggressive enforcement of the Fatal Four violations: DUI, Speeding, Seat Belt, and Distracted Driving, with a focus on DUI violations.
“Our goal is for zero teens to be injured in traffic crashes during this prom and graduation season. We congratulate area students for their accomplishments this year and send our best wishes for continued success.” -said Captain Steven Riesenberg, ISP District 8 Commander.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2014 over 131 teens were involved in fatal crashes. The major reason teens are killed or seriously injured in traffic crashes are: lack of safety belt use, speed, distraction, impaired driving or lack of experience. In 2015, there were 135 teen fatalities due to traffic crashes in Illinois.
Illinois State Police District 8, announced that officers will conduct special Traffic Enforcement Patrols (sTEP) during the month of May in Tazewell and Peoria Counties.
District 8 Troopers will concentrate on speeding, failure to use occupant restraints, and other driving offenses as part of their enforcement efforts. The sTEP program involves a combination of increased enforcement and public information designed to raise public awareness and compliance to all traffic laws. Speeding is a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes nationwide.
In Illinois, speed-related crashes account for 37 percent of all traffic fatalities. Safety Belt Enforcement Zones may also be used during the sTEP program. Troopers will enforce the primary safety belt law to ensure drivers and all of their passengers are buckled up. Every hour someone dies in America simply because they are not wearing their safety belt. Statistics show that half of all people killed in traffic crashes are not properly buckled up. You can save your life by driving safely and simply buckling up. This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.
Governor Bruce Rauner has signed SB 2059 and issued the following statement:
“This legislation doesn't solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Now is the time to build on this bipartisan momentum and focus on enacting a truly balanced budget for Fiscal Years 2016-2017 alongside meaningful reforms that create jobs and free up resources for education, social services and infrastructure.”
Bill No.: SB 2059An Act Concerning AppropriationsAction: Signed Effective: Immediately
SPRINGFIELD – Officials with the Illinois State Police (ISP) announce two successful convictions resulting from investigations conducted by the ISP Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau (MFCB).
Phyllis Wilson, age 51 of Maywood, Illinois, and Lucinda Germann, age 59 of Rockford, Illinois, both plead guilty to felony counts of Vendor Fraud. The ISP MFCB received a tip through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Fraud Hotline that Wilson was being paid for services to an individual that was already in the care of a nursing home in Hinsdale, Illinois.
The ISP MFCB began an investigation and it was determined that Wilson was being paid for services she was not actually providing. Wilson was arrested, charged, and pled guilty to one count of Vendor Fraud. She was sentenced to three years in prison. The total amount of the Medicaid fraud was $6,105.During October of 2013, the ISP MFCB received information from the IDHS that Germann submitted fraudulent time sheets for personal assistant services which were not provided to a Medicaid recipient.
The investigation revealed that Germann was submitting time sheets claiming she provided services to a subject who was actually incarcerated during the same time. On March 11, 2016, Germann pled guilty to one count of vendor fraud. She was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution for the full amount of fraud she committed. The total amount of the Medicaid fraud was $7,241.
Springfield, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) is sponsoring legislation that would help ensure public safety in the event of a nuclear emergency.
Senate Bill 3411 would appropriate $650,000 from the Nuclear Safety Preparedness Fund to help compensate local governments for expenses related to nuclear safety preparedness.
“My legislation helps local governments that are near nuclear facilities pay for training and other expenses to prepare for nuclear emergencies,” Rezin said. “This is critical, as we must be ready to respond if something drastic happens. Everyone must be on the same page. Public safety is of the essence.”
As Minority Spokesperson on the Senate’s Energy Committee, member of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Energy Committee, and participant in the upcoming Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, Rezin is a leading voice on energy issues and an advocate of energy in the 38th District, known as the Energy and Chemical Corridor of America.
“We have dozens of energy and chemical producers in our region, supplying millions of people with power at a low cost, employing thousands of workers, and giving local economies and the state’s economy a huge boost,” Rezin said. “I believe our region, as the Energy and Chemical Corridor of America, can play a big role in boosting Illinois’ economy and bring jobs back to the state.”
April marks the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The U.S Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are sponsoring the 2016 National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign. The Illinois State Police (ISP) will be joining those efforts to crackdown on motorist who fail to abide by the texting while driving law and other distracted driving violations.
The ISP will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crackdown on motorists who text while driving. The national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement campaign has two goals: conduct intense enforcement of anti-texting laws; and couple these efforts with advertising, media and social media outreach to inform drivers about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.
“Driving and texting is not only dangerous and irresponsible—it’s illegal,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. “Drivers who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and fined. Texting and driving is a safety issue, and we’re trying to work toward a resolution by identifying violators. If you drive and text, you will pay,” Williams added.
Violating Illinois’ texting law, which became effective on January 1, 2014, can be costly. A first violation for this offense is $120 and can increase with multiple violations or if a violation occurs in a work zone or school zone.
Illinois State Police (ISP) officials today announced a successful conviction resulting from a thorough investigation by the ISP Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau (MFCB) and aggressive prosecution by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
In June 2015, the ISP-MFCB received a complaint reporting Lola L. White, 53, of Shumway, Illinois, the administrator of Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation, Effingham, Illinois, appeared to be transferring money from an elderly person’s bank account into her personal bank account. It was reported that White was the trustee of the elderly person’s trust and had Power of Attorney over his assets. The elderly person was a resident at Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation. During the investigation it was discovered that White misappropriated $93,632.95 from the elderly person’s trust account and his life insurance accounts.
On April 1, 2016, White was charged with a Class 3 Felony Theft and entered a guilty plea and accepted a pre-negotiated plea agreement in which she was sentenced to 24 months of Second Chance Probation, 30 hours of community service, and $1,367.00 in court costs. The $93,632.35 in misappropriated funds was repaid in full to the elderly person’s trust account. The case against White was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Counsel Steve Swofford.
Governor Bruce Rauner announced he signed Executive Order 16-05 creating the Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force.
The Task Force will take a holistic and comprehensive approach in the prevention and elimination of health care fraud, waste and abuse in taxpayer-funded programs. Governor Rauner made today’s announcement at the Annual Ethics Officer Conference, hosted by the Executive Ethics Commission.
“Reducing fraud and waste is critical in state government to ensure we are delivering the best value to consumers and taxpayers,” Governor Rauner said. “For the first time, we are bringing program-specific and agency efforts together to collaborate and take a multi-pronged approach to preventing and eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse.”
The Task Force will study and utilize the best practices of these agency fraud prevention units, the efforts of the federal government and other state governments, and those in the private sector to root out fraud, waste, and abuse. The costs of state-administered health care programs are driven up when abuse of the system goes unchecked. Annually, Illinois spends more than $19 billion on state-administered Medicaid programs and the State Employee Group Health Insurance Programs.
Governor Bruce Rauner submitted a request for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance to help people and businesses in Christian and Iroquois counties recover from severe storms and floods that occurred in late December.
If approved, the SBA declaration would enable people and businesses in those counties, as well as counties contiguous to each, to apply for low-interest, long-term loans.
“Nearly three months after floodwaters receded, many people still are trying to repair or rebuild their homes and replace personal property damaged in the floods,” said Gov. Rauner. “If approved, these low-interest loans could speed up the recovery process for many people and businesses.”
The state of Illinois requested federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help people recover from the floods, but that request was denied on March 10. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) consulted with the affected counties to see if any additional damage had been reported that could have been used to support an appeal of the denial. However, only minimal damage information for homes and businesses was reported by the impacted counties.
Gov. Rauner today also announced that IEMA will work with FEMA to review additional local government expenses related to the disaster that were recently submitted by eight counties. IEMA and FEMA will review new information submitted by officials from Alexander, Calhoun, Cass, Clark, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties early next week to determine if those costs could support a state appeal for federal assistance to local governments. On March 10, FEMA also denied the state’s request for federal assistance for local governments affected by the December floods. The total costs to state and local governments included in that request totaled $15 million, which was less than FEMA’s population-based threshold for Illinois of $18.1 million. Although state officials understood the total costs fell below the threshold, federal assistance was requested due to the devastating impact of the disaster to the local infrastructure and economy, particularly in areas that were still recovering from flooding that occurred in mid-2015.
Gov. Rauner on Thursday added Clark County to the state declaration for the disaster after local governmental expenses related to the flooding in that county were submitted to IEMA.