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Kankakee Man Dies in Traffic Accident

A1-year-old Kankakee man was killed in  a weekend accident on Illinois Route 17 near Reddick. Michael Blakeney was identified as the victim.  Livingston County Coroner Michael Burke said the accident occurred around 7:10 pm Sunday. 

Blakeny was a passenger in a car that was westbound.  he was thrown from the vehicle.  The Coroner's office and Illinois State Police are investigating.

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Ashkum, IL- Illinois State Police District 21 reported a one vehicle fatal crash that occurred on Saturday evening at approximately 7:22 p.m. on U.S. Route 45 at 100 north road in Iroquois county.  A pickup was traveling northbound on U.S Route 45 when it crossed the center dividing line and traveled off the roadway into the west ditch.  The vehicle traveled through the ditch and into a wooded area.  The pickup stuck a tree with the front of the vehicle and debris fell on the vehicle's roof and windshield causing the death of 53-year-old Toni M. Swan of Paxton who was the front seat passenger in the vehicle.  The driver of the vehicle, Dean A. Swan, 49, of Paxton was transported to Carle Hospital for treatment. 

The Illinois State Police Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit is investigating the incident.


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Former Gov. Ryan's appeal Sent back to lower court


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court wants a lower court to look again at the latest attempt by former Ill. Gov. George Ryan to overturn his corruption convictions.

The high court today (Monday) asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to reconsider an appeal by Ryan, who has served more than three years of his 6 1/2-year sentence.

Ryan's lawyer, Jim Thompson, says he called Ryan on Monday at the Indiana federal prison where he is serving his sentence. Thompson says Ryan was particularly pleased because this was the first significant ruling that's gone his way since his legal saga began.

Defense lawyer Albert Alschuler says the high court found the appellate judges erred by not considering aspects of the appeal on their merits.

The decision vacates the appellate court's ruling. But Alschuler says it doesn't automatically mean a new trial and that lots of legal wrangling awaits before that possibility.

Read more: Former Gov. Ryan's appeal Sent back to lower court

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LaCost Guilty says Federal Jury; sentencing ahead

URBANA --  A federal jury has found Jimmy LaCost guilty of 54 counts of illegally structuring financial transactions.

LaCost owned and operated LaCost Amusements in the Kankakee area.  The company, according to court records, took in over $6.4 million in gambling proceeds Federal investigators claimed LaCost’s transactions were to hide detection by the government.  A federal indictment included money laudering.

LaCost and his son, Michael, plead guilty earlier this year.


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  • Parent Category: News

Area County's Jobless Rate Improves in March

Iroquois and Ford County’s jobless rates fell in March; the last report showing all of Illinois’ metro areas falling.  It’s the first time all of the state’s metro areas showed a marked-decline since 2011.

McLean County unemployment fell to 6.7 percent in March, down from 7 percent in March 2011, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

This marks the first time since 2009 that the March jobless rate in McLean County was 6.7 percent or lower, data show.

For the first time since May 2011, all of the state’s metropolitan areas saw a drop in unemployment.

Greg Rivara of the Employment Security Office (IDES) said “The falling rates across the board are another piece of information that tells us that the economy is improving.”  Rivara said “That improvement still could improve in coming months or it could kick back up.”

The jobless rate identifies those who are out of work and actively looking for work regardless of unemployment benefits.

Other Central Illinois counties and their March 2012 (March 2011) rates are: DeWitt, 8.1 percent (9.1 percent); Ford, 8.7 percent (11 percent); Iroquois, 9.2 percent (10.1 percent); LaSalle, 11.2 percent (12.4 percent); Livingston, 8.2 percent (9.6 percent); Logan, 7.9 percent (8.6 percent); Tazewell, 7.6 percent (9 percent); and Woodford, 6.6 percent (7.7 percent).


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