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Kankakee Riverwalk project wins share of state grant

                        Governor Pritzker Recommends More Than $3 Million in Grants for Illinois Recreation Projects
                                                                                         Federal Grants Will Support Park Land Acquisition, Improved Trails

Governor JB Pritzker today recommended to two federal agencies more than $3 million in federal grants for projects to help communities acquire open space for development of outdoor recreational facilities and meet the growing demand for improved trails. The grants, supported through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP), are awarded by the National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration respectively.

The City of Kankakee Riverwalk West Project is one of several recreational improvement projects recognized.  The Riverwalk initiative will get $96, 000 of the $3-million allotment.

“These local projects will allow families to enjoy the outdoors through new recreation and trail options in the communities supporting these projects,” Governor Pritzker said. “These projects also create jobs and boost local economic development efforts, helping local communities thrive.”

Nine local community recreational projects were recommended by Gov. Pritzker to the National Park Service with funds administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The matching grant program, when combined with the investment of local funds, will support more than $7.7 million in local park land acquisitions in Illinois.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 was enacted to help preserve, develop, and ensure access to outdoor recreation facilities to strengthen the health of U.S. citizens. The law created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to implement its outdoor recreation goals. The LWCF program began in Illinois in 1966 and has invested $290.7 million in 751 local park projects over the years. The program receives its revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

94.1 WGFA

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Gibson City man faces prison time for unlawful possession of weapon conviction

A 37-year-old Gibson City man faces sentencing in March and could be looking at up to 10-years in prison. Noah Ringel was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. A Ford County jury returned its verdict (Tuesday).

The Ford County Record reports Ringel had a felony conviction for domestic battery out of Tazewell County in 2006. Gibson City Police executed a search warrant at Ringel’s home in 2017 and found weapons and ammunition.

Judge Matt Fitton ordered Ringel into the custody of the Ford County Sheriff’s Office following the conviction. Ringel faces a mandatory sentence ranging from two to 10 years in the Illinois Department or Corrections. Sentencing is March 26.

94.1 WGFA

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“Not guilty plea” in animal cruelty case

The former owner of an animal sanctuary in Iroquois County pleaded not guilty (Thursday) to animal cruelty. Corinne DiLorenzo operated the Earth Animal Sanctuary at Thawville. She was was indicted by a grand jury earlier this year, accused of taking in animals for three years after the board of directors for the sanctuary dissolved. The dissolution of the operation was over the alleged failure to report taxes. Last June, a former board member reportedly found the remains of at least 600 animals on the former site.

94.1 WGFA

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Buckley man sentenced to Probation for 2017 beating

A plea agreement in Iroquois County Court results in 27-year-old Shayne Weber being sentenced to four-years probation for the beating of a senior citizen outside a tavern in 2017. Weber was scheduled to stand trial this week for the injuries he inflicted on 67-year-old Michael Hilligoss. Court records showed Hilligoss suffered brain hemorrhaging and cuts and bruises, and was hospitalized for two days. Weber was facing 2-counts of aggravated battery and could have been sentenced up to seven years in prison, if convicted. Weber will also pay restitution to cover medical expenses for the victim.

94.1 WGFA

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Conrad files for re-election for Newton County Commissioner

Brook resident, Kyle D. Conrad, has filed for re-election to the office of Newton County Commissioner, District 1, on the Republican ticket for the upcoming May 5th Primary Election. Conrad has served as commissioner since 2013.

A lifelong resident of Brook, Conrad offers several years of experience in service to his home county in various capacities. He’s been a firefighter with the Brook-Iroquois Township Volunteer Fire Department since 1983 and has been fire chief for the past 20 years. He was a founding member and first president of the current Newton County Historical Society, president of the Brook-Iroquois-Washington Preservation Committee, and is president of the Riverside Cemetery Association at Brook. In addition to finishing his second term as county commissioner, he served as Clerk of the Newton Circuit and Superior Courts from 1991 through 2000 and still holds the record as the youngest clerk in Indiana history.

Since being elected in 2012, Conrad has emphasized his concern for public safety, updating county buildings and facilities, and better communications among county offices and citizens. In his first year as commissioner he orchestrated commissioner meetings being held in the various communities in the county, taking government to the people.

Read more: Conrad files for re-election for Newton County Commissioner