The former St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Kankakee remains closed and costly clean-up and repairs may keep the status of the building in limbo.
The church was closed in mid-September due to bats in the rooftop area. Getting rid of the varmints may cost up to $18,000. And then cleaning the church of bat droppings could find the cost to be another $62,000.
The church has been out of use because of the bats. In a letter to parish members, The Rev. Santos “Sonny” Castillo explains the situation. The Joliet Diocese recently agreed to form St. John Paul II Catholic parish, which is a combination of three Kankakee Catholic churches... St. Rose, St. Martin of Tours and St. Teresa.
On Sept. 19, a church inspection found not only a rabid bat on the ground, but a bat below the church's belfry level. The bat on the ground was captured and taken for testing where it was found to have rabies.
The Kankakee County grand jury has indicted 20-year-old Austin White of Bourbonnais for attempted murder. White is the guy who backed over a squad car with a bulldozer, after he stole the heavy machinery from a construction site along Route 50 in August. The state’s attorney’s office reports White allegedly led police on a slow-speed chase. Authorities report the officer in the squad car was not hurt.
The Children’s Advocacy Center, a program within Child Network, has opened a satellite Center in Watseka to better serve the residents of Iroquois County.
The Kankakee County Center opened in 1994, providing a child-friendly atmosphere for interviews and advocacy services to children of alleged sexual and physical abuse and their non-offending family members. All services are provided free of charge.
Working with a multidisciplinary team comprised of law enforcement, child protective services, the State’s Attorney’s Office and other victim assistance providers, Child Network aims to reduce the incidence of child sexual and physical abuse, minimize trauma to the alleged child victims, and promote healing for victims and their families.
The new Iroquois County Center opened July 1st and provides more immediate and convenient access to services for investigative agencies and families. “In looking at the map and the travel time involved, it was clear we could do better for children and families,” commented Kristin Jackson, Executive Director of Child Network. It’s our hope that by providing the services closer to home, the number of children served will increase significantly.”
The satellite office is located with the Iroquois Mental Health Center at 323 W. Mulberry St. in Watseka. Dr. Dennis Hopkins, Executive Director of the Mental Health Center stated, “We are honored to work alongside the Children’s Advocacy Center and we believe in what they do. We are committed to the children and families in our community and the surrounding communities and we see this partnership as an important part of this effort.”
The Center received start-up dollars from the National Children’s Alliance through a competitive Development Grant and will be sustained through federal, state and local grants and fundraising.
Child Network is a non-profit agency working in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties to improve the response to child sexual and physical abuse and to advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in the court system. The Children’s Advocacy Center is an accredited member of the National Children’s Alliance. For more information about Child Network, visit www.childnetwork.org.