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#9 Pride Night at Watseka High School

The Unit 9 Academic Foundation welcomes the public to Pride Night today. Academic awards will recognizes students in grades 5 - 12 and will include special performances from the students.  It begins at 5:30 pm until 8 pm.  A silent auction and refreshments are available.  All proceeds benefit the Unit 9 schools.

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  • Parent Category: News

KCC hosts bar admission ceremony

Forty new lawyers took the attorneys’ oath yesterday (Thursday) at the Kankakee Community College campus. The program was held in the Auditorium. A reception followed hosted by the Illinois Bar Association.

Justice Thomas L. Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court, A Kankakee native and grad of Bishop McNamara High School, presided over the ceremony. And his daughter Mary Colleen Kilbride was among the candidates sworn in.

The group is amongst 1,335 individuals sworn in and admitted to the practice of law in Illinois during bar admission ceremonies held in the state's five Supreme Court judicial districts.

All of the candidates have passed the Illinois State Bar Examination and a required ethics examination and were certified by the Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness.

The new attorneys sworn in at bar admission ceremonies brings the total number of licensed attorneys in Illinois to approximately 98,000. In addition to Kankakee, ceremonies were held Thursday in Chicago, Elgin, Springfield and Carbondale.

Also giving remarks were KCC President John Avendano, Justice William E. Holdridge of the Third District Appellate Court, Chief Judge Michael D. Kramer of the 21st Judicial Circuit, and James F. McCluskey, President-Elect of the Illinois State Bar Association.

Judges of the 21st Circuit in attendance will include Chief Judge Michael D. Kramer, Circuit Judges Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott, Michael J. Kick, Susan Sumner Tungate, James Kinzer, and Associate Judges Kenneth Leshen, Ronald Gerts, Thomas Cunnington, J. Imani Drew, and Michael Sabol. Also attending is Retired Circuit Judge J. Gregory Householter.

Third District Appellate Justices in attendance will include Justice Holdridge, Justice Mary K. O'Brien, and Justice Robert L. Carter.

The Third Judicial District includes the following counties: Bureau, Fulton, Grundy, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Kankakee, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, McDonough, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Whiteside and Will.

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  • Parent Category: News

Watseka man convicted of sexually assaulting child, faces 12-60 years

An Iroquois County jury (Wednesday) returned a guilty verdict against 23-year-old Romer Gillespie for 2-counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.

The jury deliberated just 90 minutes before finding the Watseka man guilty for the 2015 crime. Gillespie faces a minimum 12 years in prison when he’s sentenced December 12th. He was taken into custody by Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police.

The then-12-year-old victim testified in the trial of the sexual encounter. Gillespie was 21-years-old at the time.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

No appeal from GLBR, project may be dead

The Great Lakes Basin Railroad failed to meet a deadline to appeal its rejected application for a huge rail yard proposal, that would have consumed several thousand acres in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The appeal was due in federal court to request another look at what was earlier rejected. The proposal called for constructing a more than 260-mile freight rail yard.

Kankakee County was included along with counties in north-west Indiana.

The GLBR Transportation Group had a 60-day window from August 31st to appeal the Service Transportation Board’s decision to reject. This may end the project unless a new proposal is drawn up.

--- Rep. Parkhurst legislation strengthens private property rights ---

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee this week filed legislation to strengthen individual property rights in Illinois. The goal is to curb the practice of using eminent domain for private gain. The legislation, HB 4150, amends the eminent domain act to strengthen eminent domain laws to make sure property acquisition is for a necessary public purpose and removes languages referring to freight railroads.

Concerning the bill’s language, Parkhurst explains “Eminent Domain should be used only in appropriate circumstances truly necessary for public use. We must not allow our government to take private property for private gain. This bill is intended to strengthen private property rights and prevent the taking of private land for private gain such as the attempt by the Great Lakes Basin Railway.”

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Captain Hattabaugh presents Veterans Day program in Watseka

The Watseka Public Library is hosting a program today, inviting area vterans to hear Milford native and Captain Aarn Hattabaugh share his military experiences.  Hattabaugh was apolit during Operation Senior Surprise in the first Gulf War.  The 6:30 pm evenmt is open to the public .  It is free.

94.1 WGFA