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Gov. Rauner continues Built in Illinois tour

Applauds Nucor Steel for its excellence in steel production

BOURBONNAIS — Gov. Bruce Rauner today continued his Built in Illinois tour with a visit to Nucor Steel, an award-winning national leader in steel production. Nucor’s leaders are deciding between Illinois or Ohio for an expansion of existing merchant bar operations.

The governor was joined by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee. The tour highlights the importance of the manufacturing industry to the Illinois economy as part of National Manufacturing Month.

“Nucor’s steel production is an important part of our state’s manufacturing base and we very much want them to grow here,” Rauner said. “We have a lot to offer, including the best workforce in the country and a distribution network that is second to none.”

Nucor is the largest and most diversified producer of steel products in the country. Additionally, it is the largest recycler of any material in North America. Nucor employs more than 1,000 Illinoisans.

“We want to see companies like Nucor Steel thrive in Illinois,” Rauner said. “That’s why my administration is trying so hard to get government out of the way of business growth.

“We need to create a climate that helps Illinois companies compete successfully so they can start up and grow and hire people,” he continued. “Cutting red tape and burdensome regulation is one way government can help fuel the engine of prosperity.”

Manufacturing is the second largest industry in Illinois. Ninety-two percent of the state’s exports are manufactured products. Nearly 600,000 Illinoisans are employed by over 12,000 firms whose products account for 13 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

“Nucor has always been a great corporate citizen in Kankakee. An expansion at their facility will create jobs and grow our local economy and that is why it is vital we all work to make this happen,” Durkin said. “We are committed to our employers and job creators in Illinois and will fight to keep them in state — and that is what we will do for Nucor.”

“The American steel industry is fundamental to this country’s manufacturing base, strategic infrastructure and national security,” Parkhurst said. “Nucor Steel, our local steel company, plays a vital role in our community by developing a sustainable society, generating employment, adding tax revenues and creating industry innovations.”

Recognizing the importance of the manufacturing sector to the state’s economy, Rauner proclaimed October Built in Illinois Month.

94.1 WGFA

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RAUNER ANNOUNCES: He's running again

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced in a new campaign ad released Monday morning that he is running again.

Narrating the two-minute online video, Rauner said he’s accomplished a lot for education and criminal justice, but there’s still big things that remain unfinished.

“Illinois still needs property tax relief, real term limits and a budget that won’t bankrupt or break us,” Rauner said.

He also said he will work to reverse the recent $5 billion income tax increase that lawmakers imposed on the state when they overrode his veto.

Rauner’s recent approval of taxpayer-funded abortions and the so-called Sanctuary State legislation did upset many in his Republican base, so much so that there have been calls for another Republican to run against him in the primary.

Republican State Central Committeeman Fred Floreth said whatever happens at the primary should stay at the primary.

“That’s where it should be settled,” Floreth said, “but an independent candidate, I’ve heard that idea being floated around, that’s just going to ensure the election of a Democrat.”

The primary is March next year. Only one name has officially been announced. Floreth said he doesn’t think Chicago’s William Kelly is getting enough traction to be considered a true challenger, but there could be others that come out to challenge Rauner. Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, has said she is considering a run in the GOP primary.

But it’s not just about the primary. It’s also about which party will control the legislature.

In the video, Rauner said people told him it was crazy to think he could change Illinois.

“‘The [Michael] Madigan machine is just too strong,’ they say,” Rauner said. “‘It will never go away. It will never fail to fail us.’”

Rauner said he isn’t throwing in the towel and chooses to fight.

94.1 WGFA     {IRN}

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UPDATE: Fatal crash in Kankakee County Friday morning

A 62-year-old woman was killed Friday morning in a 2-vehicle crash northwest of Chebanse. Susan Ader was identified by the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office.

Three others in a second vehicle were injured. The crash happened about 6 am at County Roads 6000 S and 4000 W.

94.1 WGFA

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Bridge work on portion of I-65 this week

- Starting today (Monday), the Interstate 65 northbound on-ramp at Indiana State Road 43 will close for bridge work. Crews will be patching the bridge deck over State Road 43.

The work will close the right lane of the interstate. The closures will run from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. The detour will take motorists on State Road 43 north to State Road 18 and back to I-65.

The closures will last until Oct. 30.

INDOT said all of the work will be done weather permitting.

94.1 WGFA

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Route 115 closes Monday for bridge repairs

Illinois Route 115 south of Kankakee by Koerner (Ker-ner) Airport will be closed and detoured starting at 7 p.m. Monday for removal and replacement of a single span bridge over Gar Creek.

The detour will include Illinois Route 116, Interstate 57, U.S. Route 45/52 and Jeffery Street in Kankakee. The closure should last a week, weather permitting.

A $1.3 million contract was awarded to Tobey's Construction of Herscher for the Illinois Department of Transportation project.

94.1 WGFA