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Information and forms for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral program are available from the office of Iroquois County Treasurer, Mindy Kuntz Hagan, according to an announcement made by the Treasurer's Office.

The program allows qualified senior citizens to defer all or part of their 2013 property taxes up to $5,000 on their personal residence. Applications must be filed with the Treasurer's office by March 1, 2014 in order to defer 2013 taxes billed in 2014.

To qualify, a person must be 65 or over by June 1, 2014, have a total household income of $55,000 or less, and have lived in the property for at least three years. In addition, there must be no delinquent taxes on the property.

Qualified taxpayers can defer taxes totaling up to 80 percent of the equity interest they have in the home. The program sets up a form of a loan with a six percent interest rate which doesn't become due until the taxpayer sells the property or until after the taxpayer's death.

To apply for the program, the person has to file two forms with the County Treasurer's office. The first form (IL1017 TD) asks for basic information on the taxpayer, their income and their property. It also requires that joint owners agree to the tax deferral. In addition, it requires that evidence be presented of adequate insurance on the property.

The second form (IL1018 TD) is the agreement for the tax deferral. It sets out the conditions of the deferral, including the amount which can be deferred, the interest rate and the arrangements for paying back the "loan".

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State Police Winter Weather Travel Advisory

                                                January 7, 2014 Update >

Ashkum, IL- Illinois State Police District 21 covering Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford Counties are reminding drivers to take precautions as they travel.

The Illinois State Police are advising motorist to be cautious while traveling today. Interstate 57 is down to one lane in some areas throughout Kankakee, Iroquois and Ford Counties due to snow and ice. Several secondary roads are still snow covered and icy.

Yesterday motorist were transported to warming centers in the Gilman and Paxton area. Motorist are advised to be cautious while driving, tow trucks will be out removing the 60 stranded vehicles on Interstate 57 and on the secondary roads.

The Illinois State Police are asking drivers to monitor changing weather conditions, limit their travels, and be prepared to allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Drivers are also encouraged to put extra water, food, and warm clothing their vehicle. Please contact your nearest police department if you vehicle becomes disabled or involved in a crash.

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Gilman, Red Cross extend help to travelers

Iroquois County Red Cross Chairman Dan Raymer is extending a "thank you" to the City of Gilman, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, the Gilman Fire department and local citizens for the help offered to stranded motorists during the winter storm.

Raymer said to respond like they did, in this kind of weather, and on short notice, is well worth mentioning.

Reports of 42-46 travelers were housed in Gilman from Sunday night through (Tues) this morning.

The Illinois State Police was seeking help Sunday when several motorists became stranded along I-57 between Chebanse and Paxton.

Gilman Mayor Rick Theesfeld said a few of the stranded people were from as far away as Texas and Florida.

The Fire department stepped up by opening their Gilman facility Sunday night. Some stayed there, others were in motels and the church. By Monday, St. Paul's Lutheran Church had a little more accommodating surroundings.

Pastor Jim Small also opened the First Christian Church in Onarga as a warming center.

94.1 WGFA

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Newton County, IN government closed Tuesday

All Newton County government offices will be closed again Tuesday, January 7th. Newton County remains under a snow emergency and all county roads are closed until further notice. County plows are operating for emergency fire, EMS, and police calls only.

94.1 WGFA

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Governor Quinn Provides Statewide Update on Response to Historic Winter Storm

Critical State Services Continue; Illinois National Guard Activated to Join Other State Emergency Responders

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by key state emergency officials to provide a comprehensive update on the state's response to the historic winter storm and freeze. As all critical and emergency state services continue, the Governor has also activated the Illinois National Guard to help emergency crews across the state provide assistance during the bitter cold and dangerous weather conditions, which have included a hazardous combination of black ice and snow drifts.

Since last week, the state has deployed nearly 3,700 employees and 1,755 trucks from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) statewide to address the winter weather on state routes, and 200 staff and 182 snow plows from the Illinois Tollway. The Tollway has doubled the number of Zero Weather Road Patrols to assist customers stranded in their cars during the severe weather.

Additionally, Conservation Police Officers in snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel-drive trucks are assisting stranded motorists throughout the state and helping find missing persons.

"The state of Illinois has mobilized all resources to keep residents safe while continuing to provide critical state services," Governor Quinn said. "We are facing a dangerous combination of low temperatures, black ice and snow drifts."

"I want to recognize the heroism of our state's first-responders and emergency personnel who have been working throughout the night and day to rescue motorists and provide critical services and assistance in some of the most difficult conditions imaginable," the Governor said.

94.1 WGFA