The WZOE AG EXPO is TODAY! – 11/22/14

November 22nd, 2014

The WZOE AG EXPO is TODAY from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm at the Bureau County Fairgrounds!

FREE ADMISSION- Enter to win prizes to be spent at any booth vendor.

Come hungry….Kramer’s Kitchen will be serving breakfast and lunch!

No Vote On Minimum Wage – 11/21/14

November 21st, 2014

>>Pension Ruling Coming Today

(Springfield, IL)  –  Lawmakers will know if they need to go back to the drawing board on pension reform later this afternoon.  A judge is set to rule on whether the new pension law is constitutional.  Unions say it is not because it will reduce cost of living raises for retirees and it makes current workers stay on the job longer.  They say that clearly cuts into their pension benefits which are explicitly protected by the Illinoisconstitution.  But attorneys for the state say the constitution leaves room for lawmakers to make changes in emergency situations – and having a 100-billion-dollar shortfall in the pension systems is an emergency.

>>No Vote On Minimum Wage

(Springfield, IL)  –  Lawmakers won’t be voting to increase the minimum wage for at least another two weeks.  They wrapped up their first week of veto session without passing the bill, but Democrats aren’t giving up on it.  They’re hoping to raise the wage to 10-dollars-an-hour before the end of the year for workers who are over the age of 18.  That rate wouldn’t go into effect until July of next year.  The proposal apparently has enough support clear the Senate but not quite enough in the House yet.

>>Jobless Rate Holds Steady

(Springfield, IL)  –  The state’s unemployment rate is holding steady at six-point-six-percent. Officials say the rate didn’t change from September to October, even though the state lost about two-thousand-jobs.  Most of the losses were in the public sector.  The state saw gains in the private sector though, particularly in the education, health care, and manufacturing industries.

>>City Council Votes Alderman Out

(Murphysboro, IL)  –  An alderman who pled guilty to sexual assault is being taken off the job.  The Murphysboro city council voted to remove Ronald Nolan from his post last night.  The move comes just days after Nolan admitted to assaulting a woman last year.  He reportedly pulled up next to her while she was walking on the street and offered her a ride, but when she got in the car, Nolan locked the door and wouldn’t let her out. He’ll spend the next nine-years behind bars.

>>Metropolis Plant Shutting Down For Maintenance

(Metropolis, IL)  –  People who work for the Honeywell plant in Metropolis will be out of a job, at least temporarily, at the start of the new year.  Company officials say they’re closing down for routine maintenance in early January.  The whole process will take about three months.  Workers were handed letters about the shutdown yesterday but it doesn’t say whether they’ll still have a job once the maintenance is complete.  Union leaders won’t comment on the shutdown.

Finally A Winner In State Treasurer’s Race – 11/20/14

November 20th, 2014

>>Finally A Winner In State Treasurer’s Race

(Springfield, IL)  –  Democratic state senator Mike Frerichs [[ Fray-er-ricks ]] is accepting victory in the state treasurer’s race.  He’d been trailing Republican Tom Cross by a very narrow margin since election night, but a final count of absentee and provisional ballots put him over the top.  Frerichs says he’s looking forward to getting to work and helping get the state’s economy back on track. He’ll be sworn in in January.

>>Senate Moves On Minimum Wage Hike Despite GOP Pushback

(Springfield, IL)  –  Lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to raise the minimum wage, despite Republican push back.  The latest proposal would boost the wage to ten-bucks-an-hour next July for workers over the age of 18.  They’d get a 50-cent raise in 2016, and another in 2017 if the proposal clears the House and Senate.  The measure passed a senate committee yesterday and is headed to the floor for a vote but key Republican leaders say they won’t support it.  They’re asking that the measure be part of a package that includes pro-business reforms.

>>Former Cop Behind Matteson Bank Heist

(Matteson, IL)  –  A former cop in Atlanta, Georgia is apparently behind a bank heist in Matteson, Illinois.  Police say 44-year-old Maurice Dodd robbed the BMO Harris bank last Friday.  He displayed a weapon during the robbery and made off with more than four-thousand-dollars.  Police chased Dodd in his vehicle once he left the bank but he reportedly put a gun to his head and killed himself.  Dodd was a 12-year-vet of the Atlanta police force but was fired a few months ago after a DUI arrest.

>>Beardstown Man Allegedly Kills Baby

(Beardstown, IL)  –  A Beardstown man is facing first-degree murder charges after allegedly killing his girlfriend’s baby.  Police say the eight-month-old boy suffered from blunt force trauma and had third-degree burns on most of his body when he was taken to a hospital last month.  Jose Nieto-Roman reportedly caused the injuries while his girlfriend was away.  Police say Nieto-Roman started stabbing himself when cops showed up to the home.  He’s been in the hospital since October 31st but was officially charged yesterday.

>>Illinoisan Lands Gig At White House Correspondents Dinner

(Washington, DC)  –  An Oak Park native will be the featured comedienne at the White House Correspondent’s dinner next spring.  Cecily Strong landed the highly coveted gig.  The 30-year-old got her start in the Chicago comedy circuit and joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 2012.  Conan O’Brian, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert have all provided the laughs in recent years but Strong is the first woman to get the job since 2009, when Comedienne Wanda Sykes was the featured guest.

Food Drive at WZOE Ag Expo – 11/19/14

November 19th, 2014

*Food Drive at WZOE Ag Expo*

The Bureau County Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee will be hosting a food drive at the WZOE Ag Expo, Saturday Nov. 22nd. The committee will be collecting non-perishable food items or monetary donations at the Farm Bureau booth that will be located just inside the entry door. All items collected will be donated to surrounding area food pantries. For more details about the food drive contact the Bureau County Farm Bureau at (815) 875-6468.

*Details of the Princeton Park District Board Meeting *

-Rates are going up at the Metro Center. As of January 1st 2015,  all single memberships will increase $3 and all multiple memberships will increase $5.  Monthly and 6-month membership will not receive an increase.  Daily fees for adults will increase to $6 from $5.25 and Student/Senior memberships will go from $4.50 to $5.  Family memberships will remain the same at $12.

-A new location for the annual Relay for Life was discussed. The board is hoping it will be at Zearing Park in 2015 with the Metro Center as the rainout location.

-Alexander Skate Park will be closed for the winter so that the board can address concerns over the deterioration of the park’s structure and equipment.

*PHS Tech Club get award*

The Princeton High School Tech Club was awarded the Aviation Merit Award for Innovation at the Real World Design Challenge in Washington DC. The award is dedicated to the team that provided the most thought provoking and innovative solution. Princeton High finished 4th out of 312 schools across the country that were competing in the challenge.

*Local Warming Centers*

The local Department of Human Services offices will also serve as warming centers to those in need of a warm spot to beat the cold. The Bureau County Human Service office is located at 225 Backbone Road in Princeton and the LaSalle County Human Services offices are located at 905 2nd St. in LaSalle and at 1560 1st Ave. in Ottawa.

Warming Centers Now Open – 11/18/14

November 18th, 2014

>>Lawmakers Back In Session

(Springfield, IL)  –  Lawmakers are back in session today.  There are a few things on the docket during this veto session, including a plan to revamp the state’s method for funding schools.  A legislative committee will hear details about the plan during a hearing this afternoon.  Governor Quinn wants lawmakers to pass a bill boosting the minimum wage to ten-dollars-an-hour but that could be difficult, considering Republicans haven’t been on board with that idea.

>>Ousted Professor Sues U of I

(Champaign, IL)  –  The U of I professor who was ousted before ever teaching a class wants a judge to step in.  Steven Salaita had been offered a tenured position with the university but was fired over the summer after making anti-Israel comments on Twitter.  The university took quite a bit of backlash over the decision but the board decided against giving Salaita the job back.  Salaita’s attorney has requested emails and other documents relating to the case but the university officials have refused to hand them over.  Salaita is asking a judge to force the university to turn the documents over.

>>Warming Centers Now Open

(Springfield, IL)  –  Warming centers are now open to people who need to beat the cold.  They’re located at Illinois Department of Human Services offices throughout the state and are open between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.  The Tollway Oases in the Chicago area are also being used as warming centers and are open 24-hours-a-day, seven-days a week.

>>Drivers Urged To Slow Down, Prepare For Icy Conditions

(Springfield, IL)  –  The roads are starting to get slick in some areas of the state, as temperatures drop and snow falls.  Drivers are urged to take it slow and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations.  They should also keep an eye out for snow plows and be sure to give them plenty of room to clear the roads.

>>Beardstown Officer Arrested

(Beardstown, IL)  –  A Beardstown police officer is on the other side of the law.  Officials aren’t giving too many details but they say Rodney Wilson was arrested on theft charges last week.  He’s also accused of official misconduct and damaging government-supported property.  Wilson has been on the force for 19 years.  He’s been placed on administrative leave while his superiors continue to investigate.

Cold Start To Work Week – 11/17/14

November 17th, 2014

>>Cold Start To Work Week

(Undated)  –  It’s going to be a brutally cold start to the week.  Temperatures will be stick right around 20-degrees today and tomorrow.  That’s between 20-and-25 degrees below normal for this time of year.  It’ll feel even colder when you add the wind chill to that.  Come tomorrow, the wind chill will range between zero and ten below.

>>First Anniversary Of Deadly Tornadoes

(Washington, IL)  –  It’s been a full year, but people across Illinois are still trying to piece their lives back together after a deadly tornado outbreak ripped through 25 towns across the state.  Eight people were killed and nearly 200 others injured on this day just one year ago.  Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed with property damage topping more than a-billion-dollars statewide.  More than 800-million of that was in the town of Washington, just outside of Peoria.  Debris from that twister was found as far as 150-miles away, in Chicago.

>>Treasurer’s Race Still Too Tight

(Springfield, IL)  –  There’s still no winner in the state treasurer’s race.  The latest count has Republican Tom Cross over Democrat Mike Frerichs by less than 400 votes.  The State Board of Elections hasn’t declared a winner yet because votes are still being counted. A winner could be named by the end of this week.

>>Bill Aims To Save Horse Racing Industry

(Springfield, IL)  –  Lawmakers are still trying to find ways to revive the horse racing industry.  The latest proposal on the table would allow people to bet on old races.  State Rep Dwight Kay is calling it “historical racing.” Officials would pull out the old race terminals and hide all identifying information like horse names, dates, and where the race was run.  Kay tells “Lee Enterprises” that the extra cash would help keep tracks afloat while lawmakers look for ways to expand gambling.

>>ISU Student Dead In Dorm Room

(Normal, IL)  –  An investigation is underway after an Illinois State University student was found dead in his dorm room.  Campus police went looking for the student after his family called and asked for a well-being check.  It doesn’t appear that there was any foul-play involved in the death.  An autopsy is being conducted today.

Quinn Still Pushing For Minimum Wage Hike – 11/14/14

November 14th, 2014

>>Quinn Still Pushing For Minimum Wage Hike

(Chicago, IL)  –  Governor Quinn says lawmakers get paid to work and that’s what he expects them to do when they return to Springfield for the veto session.  That’s next week but there isn’t a whole lot on the docket.  Quinn wants them to pass a bill to increase the minimum wage to ten-bucks-an-hour.  He wants that to be his last hurrah as he wraps up his term in office, but the idea is not very popular in Springfield.  Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been hesitant about supporting the raise.

>>Rauner Meets With Top Democrats

(Chicago, IL)  –  Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner is trying to get acquainted with the state’s top Democrats.  He had a meeting with Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan in Chicago yesterday.  They discussed the state budget, which will be the biggest issue that Rauner faces as he steps into the governor’s role in January.  That’s when the income tax rate will roll-back from five percent to three-point-75-percent, leaving the state with a gaping multi-billion-dollar hole.

>>Open Enrollment For ACA Starts Tomorrow

(Chicago, IL)  –  The open enrollment period for healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act gets underway tomorrow.  Anyone who wants to change their plan must do so by December 15th, otherwise they’ll automatically be re-enrolled into their current plan. Those who don’t have health insurance must get signed up by December 15th if they want their coverage to start on the first of January. For more information, check out

>>University President Gets Sweet Bonus

(Champaign, IL)  –  The president at the University of Illinois is getting a sweet, six-figure bonus.  Trustees agreed to give Robert Easter a one-time, 180-thousand-dollar incentive.  That’s on top of his salary of just over 478-thousand-dollars. Board members say Easter hit most of his performance goals over the past year, from fundraising to making efforts to increase student diversity.  He’s slated to get the cash within the next month.

>>State Police Shooting Ranges Open To Hunters

(Springfield, IL)  –  Hunters who are planning to use the state police shooting ranges to test out their shotguns should call and make a reservation.  Ranges in Joliet, Effingham, Macomb, Pawnee, and Pittsfield will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. tomorrow so hunters can make sure their shotguns are properly sighted.  Targets will be provided but hunters should bring their own ammunition.

Woman Sues To Go Topless – 11/13/14

November 13th, 2014

>>Quinn Calls Rauner

(Chicago, IL)  –  Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner are finally on speaking terms.  Quinn picked up the phone and called Rauner yesterday, eight days after the election.  The two had a brief but cordial conversation about the Open Enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, which will run into February, after Rauner is seated as governor.  Rauner thanked Quinn for his years of service to the people of Illinois.

>>Bost Attending Freshman Orientation In DC

(Washington, DC)  –  Illinois’ new Congressman for the 12th District is already transitioning into his new role.  Republican Mike Bost started orientation yesterday in Washington, DC.  He’s learning how to hire a staff, set up his office, set up his budget, and get his website up and running.  Bost beat out Democrat Bill Enyart last Tuesday.  He’s the first Republican in 70-years to represent the area.

>>Landowners Challenge State Fracking Rules

(Edwardsville, IL)  –  State officials have already given the green light for companies to come in and pull oil and gas from deep underground, but people who don’t like fracking aren’t backing down.  A group of landowners from Southern Illinois has filed suit against the state’s Department of Natural Resources.  They claim the DNR violated rule-making procedures when it developed guidelines for the controversial drilling method.  The suit says the department failed to disclose the studies it relied on to make the rules and didn’t allow the public to review those studies.

>>DMV Offices Up And Running Again

(Springfield, IL)  –  DMV offices are back up and running.  A computer glitch forced a shutdown across the state yesterday.  Officials say there was an internal problem with the mainframe system in Springfield.  It wasn’t properly transmitting information to other facilities across the state.  The problem has been fixed and people can go in and get their plate stickers, driver’s licenses, and other driving-related services.

>>Woman Sues To Go Topless

(Chicago, IL)  –  One woman says it’s illegal for the city of Chicago to ban women from going topless.  Sonoko Tagami has filed a lawsuit against the city, hoping to get the ordinance overturned.  She says it’s a violation of a woman’s free speech and their equal protection under the law, since men can walk around without a shirt.  Tagami was ticketed for indecent exposure back in August while attending a lakefront event promoting the cause.

WZOE Ag Friday and Ag Expo is on the way!

November 12th, 2014

web banner_Ag Expo 2014

The WZOE AG Expo is coming to the Bureau County Fairgrounds Nov 22nd 2014 from 8 to 2.  Featuring free admission.  Ag broadcaster Alan Jarand will be broadcasting live from Princeton, IL at Piehl Motors at 9am on Friday, November 21st and he will be one of our featured speakers at the WZOE Ag Expo on November 22nd.  Chip Flory from Market Rally, will be our other featured speaker at the WZOE Ag Expo this year. He will also be broadcasting his radio show live from Princeton, IL on Friday, November 21st at 2pm. Don’t miss out on this two day event, November 21st for Ag Friday and November 22nd for the WZOE Ag Expo.

Navy Vet Wins Lottery – 11/12/14

November 12th, 2014

>>Cold Weather Sticking Around

(Undated)  –  The cold weather is expected to stick around for a while.  The National Weather Service reports there will be unseasonably cold temperatures coming in around 20-degrees-below-normal for the next several days.  There could be some snow this weekend with light accumulations.

>>Fire Marshal Says Be Careful With Space Heaters

(Springfield, IL)  –  Anyone who pulls out a space heater to help warm their home should keep a few safety tips in mind.  First, be sure to plug the heater directly into the wall and not an extension cord.  That could increase the potential risk of fire.  Second, make sure to keep the heaters at least three feet away from things that are flammable, like rugs and curtains. Now is also a good idea to have a professional tune up your furnace so you can reduce the odds of getting carbon monoxide in your home.

>>Former State Representative, Congressman Gets Highest Honor

(Chicago, IL)  –  A former Illinois state representative and congressman is getting one of the nation’s highest honors.  Abner Mikva is one of 19 people being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  He served ten years in the Illinois Legislature before heading to Washington in 1969, where he served out five terms as a congressman.  He also served as a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals and as White House counsel for President Bill Clinton.  But the 88-year-old Chicagoan says his biggest accomplishment is with the Mikva Challenge, an organization that aims to get Latino and African American youth involved in the civic process.

>>Navy Vet Wins Lottery

(Undated)  –  A Navy veteran from Monmouth is ten-million-dollars richer. Gary Barry recently hit the jackpot on the Ten-Million-Dollar-Cash Bonanza scratch off ticket.  He says he was watching TV when he uncovered the winning numbers and he just couldn’t believe it.  Barry says he stared at the ticket for an hour before it really sank in.  The 60-year-old veteran plans to help his family and make some wise investments with the cash.

>>Judge Orders Matteson Mall To Close

(Matteson, IL)  –  A once booming mall in Matteson is being shut down by a judge’s order.  The Lincoln Mall, right off of I-57, is essentially a ghost town.  Many of the stores have left the mall and the structure is deteriorating.  It will shut down for good on January 7th.  Village officials say that could leave a devastating blow on the local economy and put hundreds of people out of work.