Employees in Lowell, Indiana will see pay hikes. The Town Council is approving two-percent raises for employees. It’s a suggested pay raise. The Council is expected to give formal approval at a December 27th meeting.
The elected officials pay will remain at current levels. Lowell Town Manager Jeff Sheridan says the community’s planned-growth is making good progress. Sheridan said the vision is to grow the community in a smart, planned manner...keeping a small-town character while offering unique characteristics.
Sheridan says two-thirds of rural Indiana communities are declining in population, but Lowell’s population has increased in recent years. He said we want to properly manage growth.
Tilstra to step aside from Onarga mayor’s office, Shane Cultra will seek job
Onarga mayor Mike Tilstra will not seek re-election in April, electing instead to run for a village trustee seat. Former State legislator Shane Cultra is running un-opposed for Onarga Mayor.
Cultra served in the Illinois House for 10 years and two years in the Senate, representing the area. He’s also a former Iroquois County Board member, serving as Chairman.
Tilstra directed Onarga’s village government the last several years, steering several improvement projects. Included is an ongoing effort to obtain a grant to alleviate flooding.
In April, Onarga voters will decide trustee seats. John Talbert, Andrew McCann and Austin Martin’s terms are due. Seeking to fill the seats will be Tilstra, McCann, Holly Zirkle, and Donald “Fred” Walraven.
Claudia Ramirez is running to fill a two-year seat that was occupied by the late Rev. James Small.
Village Clerk Stephanie VonDrehle is also seeking nre-election in April.
April’s Consolidated Election will include a four-way race for mayor of Watseka. Current aldermen Mike Marcier and John Allhands will be joined on the ballot by former alderman Bill Nutter and a former mayoral candidate in John Burch.
Current mayor Bob Harwood will not seek re-election after serving two terms.
Aldermanic seats will also pose contests for voters to choose.
Ward 1 finds petitions on file from Brandon Barragree and John Hanford. Alderman Marvin Purvis is not running again.
Current alderman Dennis Cahoe will seek re-election in Ward 2. A would-be newcomer filing is Stephen Newman. Ward 3 alderman Rick Elliott will seek re-election. He was appointed earlier to fill a vacancy. Former alderwoman Bev Foster will see a seat in Ward 3. Marcier is currently serving Ward 3. He’ll seek the mayor’s office instead.
In Ward 4, alderwoman Monna Ullfers is un-opposed for re-election.
City Clerk Sean Deneau is not seeking re-election. Amanda Hibbs has filed for the clerk’s job.
City Treasurer Carolyn DeLahr is un-opposed for re-election.
Weather-related closings and cancellations are the norm again today (Tuesday), but relief from the cold temps has arrived. Today's high likely around 32 and climbinb to near 40 by Christmas Day.
Slick roads and below-zero temps forced school closings again today, but forecasters say the icy roads should show signs of thawing. There's a gradual warm-up over the next few days.
Iroquois County schools cancelled classes a second straight day. That forces the Watseka High School Holiday Basketball Tournament up two days. THree games are set for Wednesday, beginning at 5 pm and then four games wrap up the 15th annual tourney on Thursday, beginning at 4 pm. (P-B-P of all the games can be heard on 94.1 and at www.wgfaradio.com
The Martinton Food Pantry is closed Tuesday. Regular hours are set to resume Thursday.
Olivet Nazarene University to host environmental conference
As the only four-year university on the Kankakee River, Olivet Nazarene University is uniquely qualified to host the upcoming conference focusing on long-term health of the Kankakee River Basin.
The Kankakee River Watershed Conference will take place Feb. 10, 2017, at Olivet’s main campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The conference is designed for sharing information and resources among leaders in science, agriculture, economics, fishing, paddling and education. Registration and the conference schedule are available at olivet.edu/watershed.
The conference theme is “Kankakee: The River That Connects Us.” Among the 15 featured speakers are: Brian D. Anderson, Ph.D., director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Timothy Nugent, president/CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County; Chuck Theiling, Ph.D., of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Education is an important need for real understanding of watershed issues,” said Dr. Randy Johnson, conference co-chair and biological sciences professor at Olivet. “That is what this conference will address. Solutions to environmental issues don’t happen without stakeholders seeking to understand one another’s perspectives, challenges and needs.”
Johnson said the conference is of particular interest to residents of Illinois and Indiana. Named a National Water Trail, the Kankakee River originates near South Bend, Indiana, and joins the Des Plaines River to form the Illinois River. As the Illinois flows into the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, what happens in Illinois and Indiana ultimately impacts Louisiana and beyond, Johnson pointed out.