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Kankakee County OK’s new security system at jail

The Kankakee County Board's finance committee voted Tuesday in favor of paying for a new county jail security system. The $69,300 cost...according to Sheriff Tim Bukowski...will be a savings in the big-picture. That's because he says it would cost about $300,000 a year plus benefits to have an employee guard a door.

The move comes after the much-publicized jail break by convicted-killer Kamron Taylor earlier this month.

The Daily-Journal reports the security system is a fingerprint-reading device. It requires jail employees to swipe a keycard and scan their fingerprints. The jail's central command center would view the employee's information and photo ID. Video cameras would then be matching up the employee to their photo ID.

County board members debated whether the fingerprint system was worth the cost as the county continues to deal with dwindling revenues. Expanding the budget comes right after news surfaced last week that more cuts are coming to deal with the budget crisis.

It wasn't too long ago when several sheriff deputies and correctional officers were eliminated.

Sheriff Bukowski also warned the county could lose major revenue if Cook County and the U.S. Marshals Service determine the detention center isn't secure enough. Non-local prisoners thru the federal program brings big dollars to Kankakee County.

Bukowski's request passed on a 7-4 vote. Board Chairman Mike Bossert and board members Jim Vickery, Steve Einfeldt and Janis Peters voted against it.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

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.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

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.

94.1 WGFA

  • 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.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

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).

94.1 WGFA