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Kankakee County sets up 'financial emergency' committee

The Kankakee County Board's finance committee (Tuesday) voted to established a special subcommittee to oversee the county's spending.

Five board members will serve on the subcommittee, which will focus on reducing nonessential spending, according to the Daily-Journal.

The creation of the subcommittee comes less than a week after county board Chairman Mike Bossert informed county employees "more cuts are coming in one form or another."

A recent assessment of finances showed the county falling deeper into a budget hole.

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Advisory: crash closes Route 1 near Grant Park

Car vs. Semi Crash at Illinois Route 1 at 11000N in Kankakee County has closed a section of the highway. It happened just before 6 this morning.

Route 1 at 9000 N to 12000 N Road is currently shut down due to this incident.

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  • Parent Category: News

Newly-elected members join school boards this week

David Hansen recognized for 24 years at Central #4

School boards conduct reorganization meetings this week. In Watseka, the Unit Nine School Board welcomes back incumbents Kirk McTaggart, Bob Burd, and Crystal Blair. They're joined by Michael Kaeb. They were winners in the April 7th Consolidated Election.

Blair was a one-vote winner over Toby Schippert. Absentee ballots determined the winner after election night results left Blair and Schippert in a tie for the 4th available seat.

At Central Unit #4 – Troy Meier, Kevin Hack, Sarah Shoven, and Lisa Behrens were winners April 7th. The Central Board Monday night recognized veteran board member David Hansen for his 24 years of service. He did not seek re-election.
Jason Edelman, Bud Petry and Jeremy Seggebruch were the top voters in Unit #6 at Cissna Park.

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board meets Wednesday to reorganize.

Incumbents Dave Dowling and Doug Wolken will take their oaths of office. They will be joined by newcomer Steve Pacey. All three Paxton men were winners in a four-way race for three available seats on the board in the April 7 election.

The respective boards will also vote to finalize the canvassed results of the April 7 consolidated election.

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Motorcyclist Killed in Vermilion County crash

The Vermilion County Coroner's Office has identified a motorcyclist killed in a crash near Ridge Farm Monday afternoon. Coroner Peggy Johnson says the victim is 51-year-old Michael E. McNeese, who was pronounced dead at the scene. County Sheriff's Police are continuing their investigation into the accident which occurred northeast of Ridge Farm. Sheriff's Police reported McNeese was killed when a utility tractor that was being used to cut grass pulled into the path of the cycle.

The driver of the tractor was treated for injuries to his wrist. There have been no charges filed in connection with the crash, but the investigation is on-going.
The crash occurred on County Road 1980 East, just south of 500 North Road shortly after 2:00 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled today (Tuesday).

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  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Unemployment Lowest Since ‘07, Job Growth Strongest in Illinois

KANKAKEE, IL – The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shares boundaries with Kankakee County, experienced the strongest job growth in the state of Illinois over the last year. According to preliminary data released April 23 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kankakee County added 1,000 jobs from March 2014 to March 2105, which translated to growth of 2.3%, the greatest increase among metros statewide.

Unemployment rate fell sharply in Kankakee County in the same time period, from 9.7% to 6.9%. This represents the lowest rate that the metro has experienced since November 2007. Neighboring Will and Grundy counties registered 6.8% and 8.1% unemployment rates in March, respectively.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state of Illinois was 6.3% in March. This was the thirteenth month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro are in the state compared to a year ago.

"Unemployment is a key barometer of economic health that our office tracks," remarked Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. "There are many variables that affect joblessness, certainly, however we're always encouraged when we see positive employment trends and signs of growth."

The Kankakee-Bradley MSA is currently ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois by global economic think tank the Milken Institute in its Best-Performing Cities index, which measures economic vitality vis-à-vis growth in jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. The county is also currently ranked ninth nationally among small metros for cost of doing business by Forbes.

{submitted by Economic Alliance of Kankakee County}

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