159th Bureau County Fair Begins Today

August 20th, 2014

The 159th annual Bureau County Fair begins today at the fairgrounds in Princeton. Gates open at noon, with the carnival starting at 5. Other attractions include a chain saw carving artist, a family magic fun show, new this year; the Galaxy Girl Aerial Thrill Show. A beer garden opens at 5 and tonight’s grandstand event is an Antique Tractor Pull beginning at 6. The highlight of the fair’s five-day run is tomorrow night’s grandstand concert by The Beach Boys. WZOE-AM 1490 is broadcasting on-location at the fair from 1 to 4 tomorrow and Friday.

City of Princeton To End Yearly Spring and Fall Cleanup

August 20th, 2014

The City of Princeton is doing away with yearly Spring and Fall cleanup days. Princeton City Manager Jeff Clawson says after the fall cleanup beginning October 6th, the city will begin a new program to pick-up items routinely with your regular weekly garbage pick-up. Beginning on October 20th, all eligible items will be picked up week to week with your regular garbage. No additional fees will be charged as long as the volume of garbage overall does not increase beyond regular routine garbage pick-up. Clawson says if an item is eligible to be thrown away under the current standards, it will be eligible to be tossed under the new standards. He also says recycling pick-up will remain unchanged.

Illinois Briefs – 8/20/14

August 20th, 2014

Quinn Says Illinois Economy Is Strong

(Chicago, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn says he believes that the state’s economy is strong. His Republican challenger Bruce Rauner says data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the state leads the Midwest in job losses this year. Quinn says the state’s unemployment rate has dropped since he took office. Quinn says Illinois has the highest wages compared to its neighbors. Rauner says the BLS data shows Illinois has lost 42-hundred jobs since the beginning of the year. He also says more people have left the workforce than have gained jobs since Quinn took office.

Rauner Pushing For Term Limits

(Springfield, IL) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is making one last push to get term limits put on the November ballot. Rauner is facing a Friday deadline to get the question on the ballot. He’s also facing a ruling by a Cook County judge who ruled the question was not constitutional. Rauner says the people of Illinois want term limits. He says more than half-a-million people signed petitions to put term limits on the ballot. Rauner disagrees with the judge and says the amendment is constitutional.

Governor Signs New Regulations To Prevent Concussions

(Oak Park, IL) — Governor Pat Quinn signed new legislation that’s designed to reduce and prevent concussions among high school athletes. It requires the IHSA to develop an online training course for high school coaches and athletic directors. Coaches and athletic directors will need to renew their certification every two years. Meanwhile, athletes will be required to watch a concussion awareness video each year.

Illinois Crops Fairing Well

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois crops continue to do well. The latest crop report from the USDA shows the state had cool weather last week and some places got some showers. Rainfall averaged just over an inch last week, which is slightly above normal. Crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn crop is progressing nicely with 86 percent in the dough stage and 34 percent in the dent stage. Eighty percent of the crop is rated as good to excellent.

Delong Gets 20 Years In DUI Deaths

(McLeansboro, IL) — The man that killed five people in a crash in November in Hamilton County has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Darrell Delong will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence for aggravated DUI. He was the lone survivor in a crash that killed his wife and other family members. Delong’s Trailblazer went off the road and overturned several times.

Remains Found In Rochester Identified

(Rochester, IL) — Authorities say the skeletal remains found in a shed in Rochester are those of 43-year-old Tracy Trimby. Coroner Cinda Edwards says the remains were found wrapped in plastic and that Trimby had been dead for a number of years. Edwards says they were able to positively identify the remains through DNA testing and by using teeth. Police are investigating when the body was put in the shed. The family that found the remains are not suspects in the death.

Carbondale Police Chief Fired

(Carbondale, IL) — The city of Carbondale has fired police chief Jody O’Guinn. The chief was recently sued by the family of a Southern Illinois University student who died in February. City Manager Kevin Baity says the firing has nothing to do with the lawsuit. Pravin Varughese’s body was found in a wooded area near the campus of SIU. The family asked for an autopsy and it found Varughese died from blunt force trauma to his head. Initially police said he died from the cold weather. O’Guinn has come under fire before. His gun was stolen in 2011 and later used in a fatal shooting. A year later a woman was found dead in a police dispatcher’s apartment.

Multi-Vehicle Accident On Interstate 80 Injures Three

August 19th, 2014

Three people are injured following a traffic accident on Interstate 80 near LaSalle. The accident happened just after 2 yesterday afternoon and closed down the westbound lane of I-80 for more than 2 hours. State Police say 19 year old Kayla Guenther of Ottawa struck a semi while merging onto eastbound I-80. Her car crossed over into the westbound lanes. A Spring Valley couple traveling westbound on a motorcycle tried to avoid the car and crashed into a guardrail. Guenther and the man driving the motorcycle were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The woman passenger on the motorcycle was taken to the hospital by helicopter. Guenther was ticketed of improper lane usage.

Illinois Briefs – 8-19-14

August 19th, 2014

First Human Case Of West Nile Virus Found

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first human case of West Nile Virus for this year has been reported. A woman in the Chicago area in her 70s that became ill in July. Last year there were 117 human cases of West Nile Virus, but IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the weather has been on our side this year. She says the mosquitoes that carry don’t breed as much in cooler, wetter weather. She says you should still take precautions at dusk and dawn to avoid mosquito bites since they spread the disease. Arnold says insect repellents with DEET or picaridin work the best. So far this year, West Nile Virus has been found in birds or mosquitoes in 32 Illinois counties and Arnold says they expect to see more human cases this year.

Aircraft Maintenance Facility Opening In Rockford

(Rockford, IL) — Government leaders announced the AAR Corporation is going to open a new maintenance and repair hangar in Rockford. Governor Pat Quinn says the facility will create up to five-hundred new jobs over five years. The 200-thousand square-foot facility will operate around the clock. It will repair, maintain and overhaul military and commercial aircraft. Construction on the project is expected to start within the next year and the facility will open in the spring of 2016. Quinn says this project also shows that Illinois is an aerospace hub and leader in the industry.

Governor Signs Laws To Protect Seniors

(Chicago, IL) — Two new laws are designed to protect senior citizens and other vulnerable adults in Illinois. The laws improve the procedures for reporting for people in nursing homes and other community settings. Senator Heather Steans sponsored one of the bills, that expands the Long Term Ombudsman Program. She says every senior deserves high quality care while their loved ones deserve to know there’s going to be accountability for that care. The expansion will make sure older adults and people with disabilities living in a community setting have the same rights as those living in nursing homes. Another law creates a pilot program that will let certified nursing assistants administer medication under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Fees, New Challenges Greet Students Going Back To School

(Bloomington, IL) — It is back to school for most students in Illinois this week, and parents and students are being greeted by new costs and challenges. This is the first year where all Illinois students will be tested on the new Common Core learning standards. McLean County Regional Superintendent of School Mark Jontry says almost all of his schools are ready, but says statewide only about half of Illinois’ schools will be able to take the test as planned this spring. Jontry also says he’s gotten calls from parents upset about new fees to register students. Jontry says the average fee is about $300-dollars, but says parents need to be angry with state lawmakers who continue to send just 89-cents on the dollar to local schools.

State Fair Attendance Down

(Springfield, IL) — State Fair organizers say rainy weather is to blame for a drop in attendance this year. Attendance was down 11 percent, but fair manager Amy Bliefnick says they had rain on eight of the 11 days of the fair. They had to cancel seven events this year, including the parade on the opening day of the fair. This year’s fair drew 847-thousand people. That’s down from last year’s record of 961-thousand, but Bliefnick says attendance is up from three years ago.

Thomson Prison Names Warden

(Thomson, IL) — Officials named a longtime veteran of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to be the first warden at the Thomspon Correctional Center. Donald Hudson has spent 24 years with the Bureau of Prisons and was most recently a warden in Pennsylvania. The feds will use Thomson to house 1900 maximum security inmates and two hundred minimum security inmates. The maximum security inmates are expected to arrive by the end of next year.

Interstate 80 Traffic Detoured After Multi-Vehicle Crash

August 18th, 2014

Westbound traffic on Interstate 80 is being detoured this afternoon. District 17 State Police Master Sergeant Anthony Kestner reports they’re handling a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 80 Westbound at mile post 79. Westbound traffic on I-80 is being rerouted at mile post 81 (south) to US Route 6 (west) to Interstate 39 (north) to Interstate 80 (west). This detour is expected to be in effect until at least 4:30 this afternoon. Further information will be released as it’s available.

Three Princeton Residents Arrested On Felony Theft Charges

August 18th, 2014

Several Princeton residents are in trouble after Princeton Police arrested them Sunday in a series of felony theft charges, residential burglary and possession of a controlled substance.  Princeton Police Chief Tom Root says arrested on felony theft charges are 22 year old Matthew Mesick, 20 year old Kristin Bolin and 23 year old Christopher Bookwalter. Bolin is also charged with possession of a controlled substance and Bookwalter with residential burglary. All three are in the Bureau County Jail pending a court appearance. Root says the case remains under investigation because officers recovered many items yet to be reported stolen. He says if you have information on the case or are a possible victim, you should call the Princeton Police Department and ask for Investigator John Shofner.

Illinois Briefs – 8/18/14

August 18th, 2014

Smoking Banned On Illinois Campuses

(Chicago, IL) — Starting next year, you won’t be able to smoke on college campuses in Illinois. Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that bans smoking both indoors and outdoors on all state-supported colleges and universities. The ban begins on July 1st of next year. The Illinois Department of Public Health says the law should help decrease the number of people who smoke and keep people from starting to smoke.

New Laws Keep Drugs Away From Schools

(Chicago, IL) — A trio of new laws in Illinois are designed to keep drugs away from schools. One law increases the penalty for making methamphetamine near schools. The second bill adds some synthetic drugs to the list of controlled substances that are illegal to manufacture or deliver. The drugs have been available online and can be especially dangerous for high school students. The third law makes it illegal for anyone under 18 to purchase or possess any product that contains the herbal drug Kratom. It also makes it illegal to provide the drug to a minor. Kratom can mimic the effects of heroin. All three laws take effect January 1st.

Scam Calls Targeting Illinoisans

(Chicago, IL) — Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Illinois residents are being targeted by scammers that claim to be from Microsoft or other tech support services. Madigan says the scammers call and say they’ve detected viruses or other computer problems and trick people to gain access to their computers and get them to pay for unnecessary software. Madigan says some of the latest calls are targeting people in Central Illinois. She says your best bet is to hang up right away if you get a call like this. She says you should never give up passwords or financial information to a caller like this. If you’ve been a victim of the scam, change your passwords and check your computer for problem software. You should also contact your credit card company.

Rockford Lands Jet Repair Facility

(Rockford, IL) — A new 40-million-dollar facility that will repair jets is coming to the Chicago Rockford International Airport next year. The facility will open in early 2016 and is expected to employ about 500 people. Half of the cost of the project will be covered by Rockford, Winnebago County and the airport and the rest will come from state and federal funds. It will be leased by AAR Corp, which is the largest operator of maintenance, repair and overall facilities in North America.

Woman Arrested In Cancer Scam

(Springfield, IL) — A Troy woman has been charged with scamming people by saying that both she and her son had cancer. Melissa Barton was arrested last week at the Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport in Springfield. Police say she was on her way to Chicago to appear on the “Dr. Phil” show. She’s been charged with theft by deception. Police say Barton used had been saying she and her son had cancer so she could get money.

Rockford Man Robs Bank Nude

(Rockford, IL) — A Rockford man was arrested Friday after he robbed a bank in the buff. Police say that Ezekial Deanda walked into the Associated Bank, took off his clothes and then demanded money from a teller. Police caught up with Deanda quickly. They found him in the basement of the bank getting dressed. He put up a brief struggle with the police before he was taken to jail.

Illinois Briefs – 8/15/14

August 15th, 2014

Edgar Says State Is A Disaster Under Governor Quinn

(Springfield, IL)  –  Former Governor Jim Edgar is jumping into the governor’s race with full support for Bruce Rauner.  Edgar says it’s time to mix things up in Springfield because the state hasn’t fared so well under Democratic leadership.  In fact, he says things have been in a state of disaster under Governor Quinn and former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s watch.  Edgar supported Kirk Dillard in the GOP primary back in March but he says that’s all behind him now and party unity is what’s important.

Rauner Says He’ll Live In Springfield

(Springfield, IL)  –  Bruce Rauner says he’s planning to do what no other Illinois governor has done in years, and that’s to live in the governor’s mansion.  He says the seat of Illinois government should be in the capital city and he’ll make sure that’s the case if he wins the election in November.  But, he isn’t missing the chance to point out at the home is deteriorating under Governor Quinn’s care.  Rauner says he’ll have to put a few contractors to work on fixing the mansion’s leaky roof and pumping out the basement.

Unemployment Rate Falls Again In July

(Springfield, IL)  –  Illinois’ unemployment rate is down to six-point-eight-percent.  That’s the lowest it’s been in six years.  Governor Quinn says the state is seeing a lot of growth in the manufacturing industry.

Day Three Of Galesburg Teachers Strike

(Galesburg, IL) — Galesburg teachers are entering their third day of a strike. Sticking points for the union on the contract include school safety, retirement benefits and just-cause terminations. School district leaders say it’s the money that is causing the stalemate. Both sides say they want to negotiate, but the administration won’t talk without a mediator.

BorgWarner Plant In Dixon Plans To Expand

(Dixon, IL) — A Dixon manufacturing business says it will bring more jobs to the area due to its plans to expand. Officials at BorgWarner expect to invest nine-point-four-million dollars into its Dixon plant. The expansion will mean 40 new jobs. BorgWarner creates technologies that lower emissions in cars and diesel trucks.

Board Member Sees Little Need For Vet Commission

(Paxton, IL) — A Ford County board member is taking a close look at whether a Veterans Assistance Commission is really needed. Randy Ferguson says he’ll do his homework and check with local veterans groups like VFW to see if there is a real need for the commission. The idea of the local commission came from Army vet Anthony Guarino from Piper City. He urged veterans to appear at Monday’s county board meeting to demand action. No one showed, not even Guarino.

Two Medical Marijuana Meetings Set For Next Week

(Peoria, IL) — A pair of town hall meetings are set for next week to discuss the application process for medical marijuana. Those attending the meetings will learn how to fill out the application and what happens next. One meeting is scheduled for Monday at the Peoria Public Library.and another Wednesday at the student union building on Northeastern Illinois University’s campus. Caregivers, patients, and business owners are encouraged to attend.

Amber Alert – Child Abduction Emergency

August 14th, 2014

AmberAlertAn Amber Alert has been issued for an abduction in Waukegan.  The Illinois State Police say Dyniste Finley, 4, and her brother Dejavante, 3, were abducted this morning by their father.  23-year old Dejavante Finley, 23, is described as a black male, 5’5 tall and weighing around 130 pounds.  He was wearing a gray tee-shirt, light blue jeans, and blue and black tennis shoes.  Dyniste was wearing a pink shirt and pink skirt while her brother was dressed in a gray shirt, blue shorts and black and white shoes.  The abduction happened at 9:20 am and Finley was last seen driving a 2006 dark blue Chevy Malibu with temporary Wisconsin license plates K7561C.  Finley is considered armed and dangerous.  If you have any information on this incident, you’re asked to call 9-1-1.