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Copas calls it “overwhelming evidence of official misconduct,” A-G ruled ‘not so’

State's Attorney: poor management doesn't mean it's criminal

Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas has been calling for legal action against former public health department employees for quite some time. And at Wednesday's County Board meeting, the Chairman urged State's Attorney Jim Devine to prosecute the employees that he says,"robbed taxpayers using public assets for private gain."

Copas used findings in a forensic audit of three former health department computers alleging management-level employees spent less than 30% of their work time on county business.

The audit findings show company computers were used for personal business, including paying personal bills, online shopping, and even looking at pornography.

Copas made his directed comments before the board prior to introducing Andrew Garrett of Garrett Discovery, a company that conducted a forensic audit of three former Ford-Iroquois Health Department employees computers. Garrett said it was Copas who directed the company to conduct the forensic audit.

Copas is still insisting S-A Devine needs to pursue official misconduct charges against the former employees. Copas expressed his disgust at the lack of prosecution for what he calls 'blatant criminal acts that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Devine says, and the Illinois Attorney General affirms, 'poorly run business doesn't mean it's criminal.' Questions also arise as to why all health department or all county competers aren't part of this 'Copas witch-hunt ?'

The accusations against the chosen-few is now opening doors, by non-Copas supporters, asking why the agenda is limited to those Copas wants to select ?  Copas' county board supporters have offered no answers either.

The now-dissolved F-I Health Department left former health department employees and board members wearing a lot of mud from the accusations. There's current health department employees, observers point out, that should be part of the forensic audit as well.

A 2008 flood grant not only benefited several community flood victims, health department employees (past and present) also walked off with monetary gains that have never been disclosed. (The findings were posted on a watchdog website, but were never part of the Copas agenda, according to observers).

94.1 WGFA

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Computer snafu disrupts Illinois motor vehicle sites

CHICAGO — Illinois' 138 motor vehicle facilities were affected by a computer outage today. The entire state was messed. Repair crews were on job looking for a solution.

Secretary of State spokesman Dave Druker says the outage began this (Wednesday) morning and some facilities were coming back online slowly. But Druker recommends people postpone visits if they can.

Technicians from IBM were working with technology staff at the agency to resolve the problem. There was no official word on the cause.

Some customers were being sent home with courtesy cards allowing them to return another time without having to wait in line.

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Railroad traffic increasing speed thru Gilman

Motorists in Gilman should be aware train speed will increase along the Canadian National Railroad (CN) line.

The CN Railroad recently completed an upgrade at the intersection with the T.P. & W. line, running north-south thru Gilman. A new crossing is in place. Officials report with the improved crossing grade, train speeds will be increased from 30 to 40 mph for freight traffic. Amtrak trains will increase in speed from 50 to 60 mph.

The CN Railroad officials want to alert motorists, especially those at the 2nd, 3rd and 6th Street crossings in Gilman.

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Lincoln Mall at Matteson to close

(Matteson, IL) -- It was once a popular shopping destination for a lot of people in east-central Illinois. Holiday basketball fans spent a lot of time there; next door to high school tournaments. But the once booming mall in Matteson is being shut down by a judge's order.

The Lincoln Mall, right off of I-57, is essentially a ghost town. Many of the stores have left the mall and the structure is deteriorating. It will shut down for good on January 7th. Village officials say that could leave a devastating blow on the local economy and put hundreds of people out of work. They're hoping to find stand-alone retail spaces in the area so the stores that are still operating can move, but stay open.

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Veterans Day activities >

Area communities and American Legion Posts have teamed to honor the nation's veterans today. Cemeteries and Legion homes had scheduled events; some featuring a speaker.

In Watseka, American Legion Post 23 welcomes the public to an 11 am event to honor the veterans. Local attorney Frank Simutis will address the audience.

At Paxton, the American Legion Prairie Post 150 and the PBL High School band is hosting an observance in the school gym. The public is invited. Local veterans presented the colors. A POW/MIA ceremony is also included.

The Kankakee Historical Museum at Governor Small Memorial Park, Kankakee is hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony. It's at10:15 am at the Veterans Walkway. The Ceremony includes many local organizations. Keynote speaker is decorated Vietnam veteran James Wasser.

Limestone Middle School Veterans Day Assembly is at 2 p.m. The event will be honoring local veterans. Speaker will be Joe Krause, of Honor Flight Chicago.

Programs were also held Monday including:
Veterans Day program at Kankakee Community College. The ceremony was honoring veterans at the Harold and Jean Miner Memorial Library. The brief program featured remarks from John Fulton and Roger Bean. Also an art exhibit opening that will be on display until December 5.

Veterans Day Assembly at Bradley Central Middle School gym, Concert by Bradley Central Middle School students honoring veterans. Guest speaker was Major Gary Sprigg.

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