BBQ Fest 2014 underway at River Road Park in Kankakee
The Kankakee Valley Park District is hosting the 2014 BBQ Fest this weekend. The event runs Thursday thru Saturday at its River Road Park location. Details available at www.kvpd.com
94.1 WGFA is broadcasting "live" Friday from 4-6 pm.
There's an attractive reduced entrance fee for just $8 if you visit the grounds before 3 pm Friday and before 2 pm Saturday. Otherwise, the entrance fee is $18 but that fee includes unlimited carnival rides and the Family Land attraction.
Statement from Sen. Jason Barickman, Legislative Audit Commission Co-Chairman
"Following a scathing audit issued by the Illinois Auditor General on Governor Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, the Legislative Audit Commission began its legally required public review of that audit and its findings.
We have had a healthy and spirited debate on the Commission. Ultimately, common sense prevailed and – with bipartisan agreement – the Audit Commission has scheduled a two-day public hearing with seven subpoenaed witnesses next week.
The Legislative Affairs office of the Department of Justice – two staff attorneys and an intern from Washington D.C. – has now requested no interviews of those connected to Governor Quinn's failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program for 90 days.
I believe it is appropriate for the Audit Commission to consider that request at our July 16 meeting. We certainly do not want to impede their criminal investigation of the NRI program. However, we also have legislative duties and obligations that we must fulfill to the people of Illinois and our constituents.
Each member of the Audit Commission – myself included – will have to weigh those competing interests to determine whether we change course on a public review of how more than $55 million in taxpayers' money was spent. However, to be clear, the Audit Commission has already taken legal action. Seven witnesses have been subpoenaed and are compelled by law to attend next week's hearings. We've taken legislative action.
This legislative action cannot – and should not – be undone with the sweep of a hand or a backdoor meeting. Only legislative action can rescind those efforts. Unless the Legislative Audit Commission takes new legislative action to change course, then I presume the Audit Commission will proceed with the plan laid out through its bipartisan, transparent process."
Referendum issue goes before Kankakee County Board
The Kankakee County Board today may decide whether to allow voters to say if there should be a one-percent hike in the sales tax. The Board is expected to vote on putting the matter on the November ballot.
The monies raised from an increase in the sales tax would be used to prevent lay-offs in the county sheriff's department. The county lost revenue from the loss of the sales tax sharing revenue program that benefitted both the county and city of Kankakee.
Nancy Rish seeks clemency for 1987 murder conviction of Stephen Small
The 1987 kidnapping and suffocation death of Kankakee businessman Stephen Small is the subject of a clemency hearing today for the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.
Nancy Rish claims she was involved in an abusive relationship with drug-dealer Danny Edwards, who plotted the kidnapping and carried out the crime. Rish was sentenced to life in prison. Now, 27 years later, Rish is asking the Review Board to set her free.
Danny Edwards was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Edwards has since said he planned the kidnapping alone.
Small was lured from his home with a phone call during the early-morning hours of September 2, 1987. He died having been buried alive in a wooden box three feet underground.
Pontiac Officer Casey Kohlmeier’s death takes a new turn
The death of Pontiac Police officer Casey Kohlmeier by a drunk driver last fall is facing a new court challenge. The family of Kohlmeier is being pressed by the owners of a tavern that served the driver of a truck that slammed into and killed Kohlmeier.
Court papers filed by the attorney representing the tavern are claiming Kohlmeier is partly to blame for the crash.
Officer Kohlmeier was sitting in his parked squad car in the median of I-55 when truck driver Jason Collins slammed into the police cruiser. Kohlmeter and his canine-partner, Draco, were killed.
The Bloomington Pantagraph reports a five-point defense by the tavern owner denying the allegations in the lawsuit. The filing also raises the possibility that Kohlmeier could have avoided the accident.
GS Partners, owners of Ride the Nine / Shooters Lounge in Bloomington, are accused of serving the alcohol to Collins for five hours before the accident.