Loda Village Board Member Sentenced To Court Supervision
A Loda Village Board member has been placed on three months court supervision. 54-year-old John Zalaker pleaded guilty Monday to disorderly conduct in Iroquois County Court. He was also fined 50 dollars and was ordered to pay 367 dollars in court costs. Zalaker's criminal charge was in connection with a November 12th altercation that involved several others at Loda Village Hall. He's been a village trustee for nearly four years.
Sheldon area shooting incident under investigation
A shooting in rural Sheldon Monday remains under investigation. An un-identified shooting victim was reported in stable condition at Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka.
No arrests have been made.
Iroquois County Sheriff's Police reported it was a confrontation between a homeowner and an individual who came to the property-site to retrieve what had been publicly advertised as free firewood.
Sheriff Derek Hagen said the shooting victim was asked to leave the property because the homeowner claimed the man wanting firewood was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and he didn't want the man on his property in that condition.
Hagen said the men started to leave, but then returned and the victim allegedly confronted the property owner in an aggressive manner even though he was advised that the property owner was armed.
'The Zone' is open for business in downtown Watseka. The 24-hour fitness center calls home in the former Napa Auto Parts building on Walnut Street. And the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed owner Dan Gordon and staff with a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony.
'The Zone' is a 24 hour fitness center offering the latest cardio equipment, circuit training, free weights, personal trainers, and fitness on-demand classes.
Gordon says 'The Zone' is not just a typical workout location..."we're in smaller communities, we have equipment not found in a small town gym and we're open 24-hours." Members can work out on their own time around the clock. Staff members are available 8a -7p Monday thru Friday and 9a –Noon Saturday.
Members earn a key-card and visit whenever around the clock.
Gordon owns four 'The Zone' locations in Illinois.
Flu Season coming on strong, hospitals restricting visitors
It looks like the flu bug is coming on pretty strong across Illinois this year. Stats from the state health department show more than 100 people have already been admitted into hospital intensive care units for treatment. No deaths have been reported. Officials are urging people to get a flu shot to help keep the bug at bay.
Area hospital emergency room visits show that the flu season is taking its toll. In a four-day span, December 7-10, Presence St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee treated 40 patients that tested positive for flu. Melissa Tanner, hospital marketing coordinator, none of those treated were hospitalized.
Katie O'Grady, director of emergency services at Riverside Medical Center, reported "Within the past seven days, we've seen about five patients a day, testing positive for flu."
Several hospitals are also announcing they are restricting visitors due to the flu outbreak.
Watchdog group says closure of Dwight prison a failure
SPRINGFIELD — The Chicago-based John Howard Association says in a 40-page report Governor Pat Quinn's 2013 closure of Dwight Correctional Center did not improve conditions for the state's female prisoners.
The watchdog group said moving more than 1,000 female inmates into a former all-male facility in Lincoln hasn't lived up to assurances Quinn and his staff offered when the cost-cutting plan was revealed in 2012.
The prison watchdog group based its findings on three visits to Logan Correctional Center, which replaced Dwight as the state's main facility for medium- and maximum-security female inmates.
Quinn announced the closure of Dwight as part of a statewide money-saving plan. He said it would cost too much to upgrade the aging facility and that its closure would save $31.3 million.
But the Chicago-based organization found there are 1,985 inmates residing in a facility built to house 1,106.
State Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, said the report validates concerns raised by opponents of the closure. "It is obvious the Department of Corrections lacks a long-term plan for facilities. I believe the closure of Dwight was a political decision," said Barickman, whose 53rd District includes Dwight. "It's frustrating to see."
The association suggests the General Assembly and governor provide IDOC with the money needed to repair and upgrade the facility and to hire adequate numbers of employees.