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Rep. Kinzinger joins House in passing first Farm Bill since 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) today voted in support of legislation to reauthorize and modernize federal farm and nutrition programs for five years. The legislation reduces fraud and abuse in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, streamlines agriculture programs, and results in $23 billion in taxpayer savings.

"After working on this legislation for over three years, I am excited to see Congress finally get this done to give Illinois farmers the certainty and predictability they deserve," said Kinzinger. "This long overdue legislation will allow growers and producers to plan ahead and make smarter decisions about future harvests, giving them more control over their businesses. It strengthens our farm safety net, helping farmers protect against natural disasters, and represents a big step forward for getting things done in Washington."

The bill's passage comes after a recent meeting of a new Sixteenth District Agriculture Advisory Committee established by Kinzinger to serve as a forum for local farmers to weigh in on policy discussions that affect them. Members of the advisory committee include farmers from all 14 counties of the Sixteenth District.

"I appreciate those who worked to push the Farm Bill across the finish line," said Emily Pratt, a crop insurance agent from Dixon and member of the committee. "It contains commitments to improving water quality and land conservation, as well as enhancing the safety net for our farmers and ranchers. This is a win-win for our nation, not only because of the policy improvements, but also because of the savings to taxpayers."

"It's about time! We've been working on this for over two years, and it's great to see a Farm Bill finally get passed," said committee member Monty Whipple, a farmer and President of the La Salle County Farm Bureau. "This bill maintains the best of the old policies, while eliminating direct payments to help reduce our federal deficit. I'm thankful for those on both sides of the aisle who worked hard to get this done."

The five-year reauthorization bill is the result of a conference agreement recently reached between House and Senate members. The legislation repeals or consolidates over 100 programs at the Department of Agriculture while enhancing insurance programs that protect farmers against losses due to natural disasters. In addition, the legislation closes loopholes and reduces fraud in the SNAP program to save taxpayers $8 billion, marking the first reforms to SNAP since 1996. Overall, the legislation results in $23 billion in taxpayer savings over ten years.

The bipartisan bill passed the House today 251 to 166. It now moves to the Senate, where Senators are expected to vote on the legislation shortly. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill will be the first long-term reauthorization of federal farm policy since 2008.

  • Parent Category: News

Riverside Medical Center is Among Top 5% of Hospitals in Nation According to Healthgrades

Healthgrades Hospital Quality Report Names Riverside a Recipient of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™

Posted: Monday, January 27, 2014
KANKAKEE, IL (January 27, 2014) – Healthgrades announced this week that Riverside Medical Center has received the 2014 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™. The distinction makes Riverside one of the top five percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide for its clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

Not all hospitals eligible for the distinction meet the final requirements. For example, in the Chicago, IL region, there were 12 hospitals out of 54 eligible hospitals (22.2%) recognized as Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence award recipients, placing them among top 5% of hospitals nationwide. Riverside Medical Center is among the hospitals in the Chicago, IL region with some of the best quality care across at least 21 of 30 common inpatient conditions and procedures evaluated by Healthgrades.

"Quality care has been Riverside's focus since we opened our doors 50 years ago," said President and CEO Phil Kambic. "It is because of the doctors', nurses' and hospital staff's dedication to excellence that this award is made possible for Riverside."

Earlier this year Healthgrades named Riverside One of Healthgrades America's 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery and Stroke Care. The hospital also has five-star ratings in Cardiac, Orthopedic, Neurosciences, Pulmonary, Gastrointestinal and Critical Care services. {submitted info}

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Iroquois farmer supports Loda Fire Protection District through America’s Farmers Grow Communities

Local farmer Melvin Coulter has directed a $2,500 donation to the Loda Fire Protection District. Funded by America's Farmers Grow Communities, the donation will help the department purchase extrication equipment, specifically air lifting bags. When asked why he chose to direct the donation to the Loda Fire Protection District, Coulter explained that he was raised in the district. His father was also a charter member firefighter who volunteered for 25 years before retiring.

Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.

"It feels great to receive the donation," said Fire Chief Harold Ecker. "It's difficult for volunteer departments, we always need more money. All donations are greatly appreciated."

America's Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like the Loda Fire Protection District, who are doing important work in their communities. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer's nonprofit of choice. The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country. Through America's Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and FFA.

94.1 wgfa

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Remains found at fire site ‘not human’

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson reports remains found at the scene of a house fire near Homer last Friday night are not human. That was the ruling from an anthropologist It was originally feared by authorities that a fire which destroyed a home at 7886 N 200 E Road had claimed a person’s life. That’s not the case. The Coroner says her office was notified Monday that the anthropologist believes the remains are probably that of a small animal. She says the investigation is continuing. 94.1 wgfa
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Kankakee man arrested in connection with son’s death

ASHKUM – Following a joint investigation by Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Kankakee Police, Kankakee County Sheriff's Police and the Kankakee County Coroner's Office, a Kankakee man has been arrested in connection with the death of his 7-year-old son on December 14, 2013.
38-year-old Chad Osterhoff of Kankakee is charged with one count failure to report an accident involving personal injury or death, two counts operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol causing the death of another, one count endangering the life or health of a child, one count leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury, three counts unlawful operation of a snowmobile and one count failure to provide mandatory liability insurance. Osterhoff faces between one and 12 years in prison. The Illinois State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office will handle the case. On December 14, Osterhoff took his 7-year-old son, Cale, for a ride on his snowmobile and crashed into a ditch on 2000E Road, Kankakee. Chad Osterhoff sustained injuries in the crash. Upon his release from care Tuesday afternoon, he turned himself in at the Jerome Combs Detention Center pursuant to an arrest warrant. Osterhoff posted 10 percent of the $100,000 bond and was released. 94.1 WGFA