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  • Parent Category: News

Jobless rates drop compared to last year

Illinois unemployment by metro area

Metropolitan Area -        April 2013       April 2012

Bloomington-Normal            5.8                 6.2

Champaign-Urbana             6.6                 7.1

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville     9.3                  8.8

  1. 8.9                  9.1

Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl. 6.2                  6.8

  1. 10.3                 9.5

Kankakee-Bradley               9.8                10.6

Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI          7.7                  8.1

  1. 7.9                  7.2
  2. 9.9                 10.9
  3. 6.4                  6.8

St. Louis (IL-Section)           7.4                  8.6

Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security

Iroquois and Ford County unemployment rates dropped slightly last month, down from figures in April 2012.

Kankakee County unemployment is listed at 9.8%.  That’s down from 10.6 in April of last year.

The Bloomington area still tends to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state in large part because of the types of employment you have there,” said Greg Rivara, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, citing larger firms and jobs tied to higher education. “You have entities that tend to weather economic downturns better than others.”

The Bloomington-Normal area’s unemployment is at 5.8%, down from 6.2 in 2012.

Retail trade has been down statewide, and Rivara speculated inclement weather may be one factor.

Other counties and their April 2013 (April 2012) rates include: DeWitt, 7.3 percent (7.5); Ford, 6.8 percent (7.9); Iroquois, 7.2 percent (7.6); LaSalle, 9.7 percent (10.2); Livingston, 7.4 percent (7.4); Logan, 7.3 percent (7.2); Tazewell, 7.7 percent (6.9); and Woodford, 6.6 percent (5.8).

9.4 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Barickman Votes to Stop Automatic Electric Rate Hikes

State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) voted to stop customers of Commonwealth Edison and Ameren from facing steep, annual electric rate hikes.

Barickman joined ten other Senators who voted against Senate Bill 9 May 21. The measure passed the legislature initially in March, but was vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn on May 6. The legislation essentially overrides an Illinois Commerce Commission decision to stop $100 million dollars in rate hikes for ComEd and $50 million for Ameren customers.

In his veto message, Governor Quinn said, "Senate Bill 9 continues a troubling pattern of departing from more than a century of regulatory oversight of utility company monopolies in our state."

Barickman agreed and on Tuesday he voted to uphold the veto when the bill came back before the Senate.

“There is a process in place for utility companies to go to the ICC, ask for a rate increase, prove their case, and hold public hearings, all before increases can be granted,” said Senator Barickman. “Essentially, the legislature just decided to strip the ICC of its oversight authority. This will cost consumers dearly.”

The retroactive rate hikes are tied to a 2011 bill to override the ICC and allow the power utilities to drastically increase rates to pay for a new “smart grid” power system.


94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

State Police issue Holiday Advisory


State Troopers to Strictly Enforce Speeding, DUI, Seatbelt and Distracted Driving

Ashkum – Illinois State Police District 21 officials are reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend travel.  The Memorial Day holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods for motorists and thousands of drivers are expected to hit the roadways and interstates. 

In addition to the statewide Click it or Ticket safety campaign, beginning on Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27, District 21 will push for zero fatalities by enforcing the four most common traffic violations (Fatal Four):  Speeding, DUI, seat belts, and distracted driving. 

Seatbelt enforcement details and speed patrols will be a top priority for law enforcement statewide.  “District 21 Troopers will have an increased presence throughout the holiday weekend and will be placing a special emphasis on enforcing the "Fatal Four" stated Captain Bridget Bertrand.  "Along with the increased police presence, we are reminding motorists to exercise due caution when approaching stopped emergency vehicles and obey the "Move Over" law.  This law requires motorist to yield to all stationary emergency vehicles displaying oscillating, rotating or flashing lights, along with changing lanes (when safe), reduce speed and proceed with caution" stated Captain Bertrand. 

 Driving under the influence is still the number one cause for traffic crashes and fatalities, especially during holiday celebrations.  Drinking and driving is a deadly combination and law enforcement officials are stressing the importance of designating a driver. 

 State Troopers will continue to enforce all traffic violations during the holiday weekend.  Law enforcement officials also stressed the importance of motorcycle safety and proper protective gear.

 The Illinois State Police are responsible for the public safety of more than 20,000 miles of the state’s roads and highways.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Purging Voting Files

County Clerk Lisa Fancher is announcing a purge of voter registration files.  The state-required purge takes place this month.  All registered voters will receive a new voter registration card by mail.  It is important that voters review their new voter registration card for accuracy.  The next election will be the Primary on March 18, 2014.

If you feel you are a registered voter and have not received a card by June 10th, or if you have any questions, please call the County Clerk’s office at: (815) 432-6960.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

George Ryan to pen tell-all book

Former Illinois Governor George Ryan is looking for a publisher --  to get his tell-all book on the market.

The former governor, former secretary of state, former legislator, pharmacist and most-recently, former federal prisoner George Ryan has been taking notes to author a book.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reported today that Ryan is writing a book.

 Ryan plans to tell it like it is.

94.1 FM, WGFA