Nomination forms are available for the annual Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce awards night.
The Professional and Staff Achievement Awards will be presented in conjunction with the Times-Republic's Citizen-of-the-Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Deadline for nominations is April 12th.
The annual banquet is May 4th at Celebrations. It begins at 5:30 pm. Those interested in a nomination can contact the Chamber of Commerce office at 815-432-2416 or find the nomination form online at www.watsekachamber.org
Iroquois County voter turnout tops 46%, Kankakee County 40% +
The growing popularity of early voting and voting when you register contributed to huge numbers for voter turnout in Tuesday's Illinois Primary.
The 46 percent turnout in Iroquois County came from the 8,195 ballots cast. There were 17,844 registered voters, according to records.
County Clerk Lisa Fancher said the Early Vote topped 700. Iroquois County had 487 early voters in 2012 and 367 in 2008.
Kankakee County reported running out of ballots. Steady lines of voters were reported at several precincts. The surprises were equally apparent across Illinois as shortages of printed ballots were reported in Vermillion, Sangamon, Effingham and Adams counties and several precincts in Cook County. Voting hours were even extended in some counties so election officials could print up extra ballots and handle long lines of voters who cast their votes on touchscreens.
Sangamon County Clerk Don Gray said there has been "absolutely historic turnout" this primary as the county harboring Illinois' state capitol drew droves of voters. The growing popularity of early voting and the ability to register voters at polling places contributed to higher turnout. For the first time, Illinois residents could register to vote and cast ballots on the same day at all polling sites. Election Day registration allows unregistered voters, or those who have moved and need to update their information, to get registered and vote all at once.
Iroquois County voters pick new County Board members; also seat incumbents
Six new faces will represent the people on the Iroquois County Board in December. Voters chose new representatives in Districts 1, 2 and 4 in Tuesday's primary election.
Barring any independent runs or a democratic challenge in November, Tuesday's winners will be seated in December.
Chad McGinnis and Michael McTaggart won seats in District 1. They were top vote-getters among four candidates. (Veterans Dale Schultz and Kevin Hansen did not seek re-election).
In District 2, Gerald "Jed" Whitlow and Ernie Curtis won re-election. Newcomer Barbara Offill also was among the three to win three available seats.
Charles Alt and former board member Marvin Stichnoth were winners in District 3 where three newcomers were making their first appearance on the ballot.
District 4 will seat three newcomers. Kevin Bohlmann, Sherry Johnson, and Kevin Coughenour won voter approval in a field of five candidates. Incumbents Dan Joyce and Adam Zumwalt were defeated.
Precinct committee seats ---
Two contested races for Precinct Committeeman also saw Vince LaMie edge out incumbent Paul Bowers by a 99-97 vote margin in Ash Grove; while Kevin Bohlmann grabbed 71% of the vote to defeat incumbent Dan Joyce in Middleport 3.
Kankakee County Board Chairman loses re-election bid
Newcomer Shane Ritter pulled off a political upset Tuesday, defeating Kankakee County Board Chairman Mike Bossert in the Primary Election. It was a 2-1 margin of victory for Ritter. The Olivet Nazarene University dean won 64% of the vote to Bossert's 34%.
Besides Bossert's defeat, two other incumbents lost their county board seats.
Tinker Parker defeated Stanley James and Elizabeth Dunbar was a winner over incumbent Larry Enz.
Bossert was targeted after the County Board ran into financial turmoil, failed to meet payroll and then laid off some three-dozen sheriff deputies and correctional officers. The public safety issue became a major force in the campaign.
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 150, representing the county's law enforcement officers, gave the endorsement to Ritter, who was also endorsed by the taxpayer watchdog group OUTRAGE.
Ritter said the win means opportunity to help set a new direction for county government.