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  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County to seek a hike in sales tax

It’s called a public safety tax, but it’s really a criminal justice tax, according to Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler.

Kankakee County voters are being asked in April to increase the county's sales tax rate above the state-minimum 6.25 percent. It’s the 5th time in recent years such a referendum is being presented to voters.

This request will be a hike to 6.5%. That’s a far cry from the 1 percentage point increase that was voted down by a 70 percent margin of voters back in November 2014.
And this time—Wheeler said --- a sunset law would be included, cutting it back after four years.

Voters in Kankakee County have not approved a sales tax rate referendum dating back to 2000. Iroquois County residents approved a quarter-cent sales tax hike last November.

Andy Wheeler, the county board chairman, said the extra .25 percent would add an estimated $1.7 million a year to the county's $24.3 million budget.

That money would be earmarked only for public safety and criminal justice, Wheeler said, specifically pointing to more deputies on the road and prosecutors in the courtroom.
Some officials say the negative vote of the past was based on a lack of trust in the county leadership.

Wheeler says we’ve done our due diligence change the culture, we really scaled back spending to the tune of $8-million over three years. Now, he says, we need the public’s help and trust.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Bourbonnais bank robbery, suspect in custody

An Orland Park (IL) man is in custody after robbing the Bank of Bourbonnais Wednesday morning. The suspect was arrested after crashing his vehicle in a get-away attempt.

53-year-old David McDonald was identified by Bourbonnais Police Chief Jim Phelps.

Police reported the arrest was made on Route 45 after McDonald crashed his SUV in a parking lot.

The suspect entered the bank on North Convent Street and Heritage Drive just after 10 a.m. He made off with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured.

It was the fifth bank to be robbed in the area since early November. No one has been arrested in any of the robberies.

Other robberies occurred December 27when a man robbed the Municipal Bank in Momence. Federated Bank branches in Bradley and Chebanse were held up December 5 and 19, respectively. And a MainSource Bank branch in Kankakee was robbed on November 8.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Milford native named new director for Hoopeston Center

A woman well-known in the area has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Hoopeston Multi Agency Service Center. Dana Schaumburg was recently named to the position.

Schaumburg is a Milford native and at one time was the Executive Director of Downtown Danville, Incorporated. She says she looks forward to the opportunity to work with the community members of Hoopeston and surrounding area.

Schaumburg said ‘’The agency has many great programs and I plan to continue to work within these programs and look for opportunities of growth for the agency.

The Hoopeston Multi Agency is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 organization serving residents of northern Vermilion County.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Winter storm ‘Watch’ posted

The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch, effective from 12 noon Friday thru midday Sunday.

Precipitation is expected throughout the weekend that will bring hazardous travel conditions...especially on bridges, overpasses and untreated roads. Sidewalks will also become very slippery. Ice could cause power outages and damage trees.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Freezing rain triggers traffic problems, one killed on Route 113

This (Thursday) morning’s freezing rain finds much of Kankakee and eastern Will Counties under a blanket of ice and flooded roadways. Some reports of more than an inch and a-half of freezing rain led to slide-offs and rollover accidents.

The weather advisory was in place thru mid-morning.
A Grundy County motorist was killed in a mishap on Illinois Route 113. The driver hit a tree after losing control.

In Indiana, I-65 near Lowell was closed late Wednesday afternoon after two semi-trailers collided near State Road 2. One driver veered off the road and hit another semi that was parked on the shoulder.

Both drivers were injured, one seriously.

94.1 WGFA