A crowd of well-wishers in Peotone welcomed home six Illinois Arm National Guard veterans Saturday. It was the largest "welcome home" event thrown by the Peotone Legion's Adopt a Soldier program.
Members of the 933rd Military Police Company returning from approximately three years in Afghanistan were paraded from Legion home to the Will County fairgrounds. They were on classified missions at four remote posts which included guard operations and prison escort.
Justin Hoogeweg, 21, of Peotone; Greg Prunsky, 21, of Frankfort; Jeffrey Blokel, 20, of Manteno; Brandon Johnson, 23, of Braidwood; Amanda Johnson, 22, of Braidwood; and Cooper Ider, 21, of Virdon, each with the rank of specialist, were escorted to Peotone American Legion Post 392 from the Will County Fairgrounds. Warriors Watch Riders, family, friends, World War II military vehicles, and Peotone police and fire vehicles created a raucous presence along a circuitous two-mile route into town.
Residential and downtown streets were lined with well-wishers waving American flags and cheering for the soldiers who sat waving from the bed of a large military transport vehicle. Utility poles and trees along the route were decorated with yellow ribbons, and homes and businesses decorated red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July were more than appropriate for the occasion.
After Sue Wackerlin, Adopt a Soldier program coordinator, welcomed the young soldiers and thanked them for their service, she invited the Vietnam veterans to the stage to honor them for the welcome "they deserved but never got."
By The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers will come through with the predicted corn crop despite the Midwest's wet spring that delayed planting.
Some states, including Michigan, Nebraska and Texas, planted more corn than expected, which will make up for the loss in Iowa, the nation's leading corn producer.
Friday's annual acreage report is based on farmer surveys, and surprised farmers, analysts and commodities traders. Many expected the number of corn acres planted to fall by about 2 million acres.
The report says farmers planted 97.4 million acres and will harvest 89.1 million acres. Earlier predictions were 97.3 million acres planted and 89.5 million acres harvested.
Corn prices fell rapidly as the report was released, because it indicated more corn than expected would be available on the market.
94.1 FM, WGFA
A northbound lane of I-55 near Pontiac will remain closed at least a month. Repairs to the Vermilion River bridge need to be made following an accident.
I-DOT reports the work won't begin for about 2-3 weeks. And in the meantime, there could be some traffic back-ups, especialy with the July 4th holiday.
The Illinois Department of Transportation closed the passing lane of Interstate 55 after a semi truck-trailer unit hit the bridge and caught fire last Sunday night. Bruce Hucker, an operations engineer for IDOT District 3, said the temporary repairs will take about two weeks.
Workers will reinforce two steel support beams that engineers believe were damaged by heat from the fire. Hucker said the state is working on a plan for permanent repairs.