Flags fly at half staff on the lawn of the Fountain County Courthouse in Covington, in honor of Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Witsman. Corporal Witsman was killed in action in Afghanistan Wednesday. He was on his second tour of duty.
Fountain County Clerk Patty Gritten knew Corporal Witsman his entire life, and said his dream was to serve his country.
Gritten said Witsman was re-deployed to Afghanistan about 12 weeks ago. His family was told he was killed around noon on Wednesday. Gritten said he was looking forward to returning to civilian life and a promising future.
CHATSWORTH – One person is dead following a single-vehicle crash in Livingston County’s Charlotte Township on Wednesday afternoon.
Livingston County Coroner Mike Burke said a car was eastbound when it went into the ditch before crossing the road, flipping and coming to rest on its top in a field on the north side of County Road 1000 North.
First responders from Chatsworth Fire and SELCAS Ambulance responded to the crash and found the driver without signs of life. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:30 p.m.
The crash is under investigation by Livingston County Sheriff’s Police and attempts are being made to notify family members. An autopsy is scheduled for today (Friday).
Barickman Supports Enterprise Zone Extension Legislation
SPRINGFIELD- State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) voted in favor of legislation that will extend the life of current enterprise zones for 25 years and create five new zones throughout the state.
“I am pleased we were finally able to approve this economic development measure that will help ensure our job creators have a reliable, stable business environment within these zones,” said Barickman. “These are proven incentives that attract employers, allow businesses to expand and grow, and help to improve the communities and areas they are located in.”
Since the creation of enterprise zones over 900,000 jobs have been created or retained within the areas. Around $49 billion dollars has been invested by tens of thousands of businesses within the zones.
Enterprise zones are economic development tools which allow businesses located in designated regions to receive specified incentives. Businesses located within the zones can receive a number of benefits, such as tax credits for each new job created or a sales tax exemption for machinery and building supplies. In order to maintain these incentives businesses must meet specified requirements for job creation and retention, as well as capital and infrastructure investments.
Urbana-based Carle Foundation Hospital is moving forward to buy Hoopeston Community Memorial Hospital. An application filed with the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board lists the purchase price is $2.7 million dollars.
Carle also says the proposed transaction will ensure residents of Hoopeston continue to have access to critical services through Carle’s capital loan commitments to Hoopeston; specifically, Hoopeston’s Emergency and Surgery Department project.
Carle Foundation hopes to complete the transaction by October 1st. The proposal, however, must first be approved by the Illinois Health Facilities and Review Board.
Iroquois Zoning Board of Appeals Gives OK for New Fertilizer Plant
Heritage FS has been given a green light to go ahead with plans for a new fertilizer plant in Douglas Township. The Iroquois County Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously to allow for an M-2 zoning manufacturing permit. The site, along Route 45 south of Gilman, is currently zoned A-2 (agricultural).
Heritage FS spokesman Dana Robinson explained the 82 acre tract, between county roads 1600 and 1700 North, would be developed for an agronomy centralized distribution terminal. Several buildings would include a 60 by 120 foot warehouse with an attached 48 by 60 foot shop. An office building with parking lot and gravel driveways are included.
The project has the blessing of the Douglas Township Board, City of Gilman, the Iroquois Economic Development Association, and local businesses and farmers.
The matter now heads to the County Planning & Zoning Committee June 8th and then to the full County Board.