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  • Parent Category: News

Public urges Ford County Board to strengthen wind-farm rules

The public wants more teeth in the rules for wind-farms in Ford County. Monday night, the Ford County Board members heard from citizens who say there’s a need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes.

The board earlier, placed a moratorium on granting any future wind farm permits until the county’s permit ordinance, established in 2009, is reviewed and updated.

Problems with television interference for residents living within the footprint of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm in the northern part of Ford County prompted the county board to implement its existing moratorium on approval of further special-use permits for wind farms.

Rogers Township Road Commissioner Leo Weber also said there remain issues with the repair of roads used in constructing the Kelly Creek Wind Farm.

Weber tells the Ford County Record “We have a meeting set up to go back to our attorney to assess what our next steps will be, and we look to the board to get any support they can extend our way to get this resolved.”

Weber said the owner of the Kelly Creek Wind Farm — EDF Renewable Energy — has “failed to uphold the road-use agreement” it made with his township and others.

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  • Parent Category: News

Winter Weather Preparedness Week

It’s yet to be a problem, but snow and ice will eventually fall. And being ready is the key.

We’ve reached the mid-point of November. This is Winter Preparedness Week. Now’s the time to prepare. according to Illinois State Trooper Tracy Lillard ...

Trooper Lillard also recommends having a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Water, extra clothing, dry snow boots, sand or kitty litter, a shovel, and booster cables can be helpful. A metal can and some matches (to melt snow if necessary), along with some extra windshield washer fluid are other items recommended.

Lillard also suggests motorists slow down. It's the drivers traveling too fast for conditions that gets them into trouble.

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  • Parent Category: News

Official News: Nucor to Build Merchant Bar Mill at Nucor Steel Kankakee, Inc.

Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that it will build a full-range merchant bar quality (MBQ) mill at its existing bar steel mill located in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The MBQ mill will have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons and is expected to cost $180 million. The project will take approximately two years to complete.

"This new MBQ mill is right in line with our long-term strategy for profitable growth. It takes advantage of our position as a low-cost producer to displace tons currently being supplied by competitors outside the region. It also builds on our market leadership position by further enhancing our product offerings of merchant bar, light shapes and structural angle and channel in markets in the central U.S.," said John Ferriola, Chairman, CEO & President of Nucor. "Combined with our other full-range bar mills, we are now strategically located to supply all markets with high-quality bar products and exceptional service."

The Midwest region is one of the largest markets for MBQ products, and Nucor is ideally situated to take advantage of existing operating and commercial capabilities to meet this regional demand. This project will allow Nucor to fully utilize the Company's existing bar mill by optimizing its melt capacity and infrastructure that is already in place. It will also take advantage of an abundant scrap supply in the region, as well as the Company's commercial footprint in the central United States. Nucor Steel Kankakee, Inc. will continue to be a supplier of quality reinforcing bar products.

"We are very excited to bring new investment and jobs to the Kankakee community and the State of Illinois," said Johnny Jacobs, Vice President & General Manager of Nucor Steel Kankakee. "We would like to thank Governor Rauner, state and local officials, our teammates and the entire community for their support of this project. Nucor's bar mills have been a cornerstone of our company and, as this project demonstrates, they are an important part of Nucor's future."

Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of steel products, with operating facilities primarily in the U.S. and Canada. Products produced include: carbon and alloy steel -- in bars, beams, sheet and plate; hollow structural section tubing; electrical conduit; steel piling; steel joists and joist girders; steel deck; fabricated concrete reinforcing steel; cold finished steel; steel fasteners; metal building systems; steel grating; and wire and wire mesh. Nucor, through The David J. Joseph Company, also brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron and HBI/DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap. Nucor is North America's largest recycler.

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  • Parent Category: News

Rep. Kinzinger Op-Ed on Opioid Crisis

The time is now to act on opioid crisis
By: Adam Kinzinger writes to the Rockford Register Star

The opioid crisis in our country isn’t new, but it’s becoming more and more real as the number of overdose deaths skyrocket coast to coast. It becomes even more real when you witness the disastrous and heartbreaking effects of opioid abuse up close and personal.

It becomes most real when you realize this epidemic is rapidly wiping out an entire generation — our friends, family members and neighbors.

Last month, I was leaving church on Sunday and going over to my local gym. As I pulled in to a parking spot, I saw someone I knew standing by a wrecked car, covered in dirt and debris. I walked over and looked in to see the driver slumped over, seemingly passed out, and knew right away he was overdosing.

The EMTs arrived shortly after and administered Narcan, a medication that can block the effects of opioids and reverse an overdose. It was a surreal experience, and jarring to witness the victim — a member of my community _ overdosing on heroin.

It’s happening in Channahon, Illinois and all over the country. More than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016. In LaSalle County, drug overdoses killed 25 people per 100,000 in 2015. LaSalle resident Luke Tomsha knows that he could have been a statistic and has witnessed the waves of this epidemic from the front lines.

Tomsha, a constituent of mine, is a former addict who turned his recovery into a charitable foundation to help children and adults affected by substance abuse. But his insights are invaluable. Last week, he shared his story at our community roundtable and called attention to the reality that even the seemingly unlikely candidates can get hooked on these addictive drugs.

Every day, 91 Americans die from opioid overdose. That number terrifies me — and as well it should. The number of opioid overdoses in this country has quadrupled since 1999 — killing more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined. The CDC reports are staggering and a clear cry for help on a national scale.

As a member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve learned a great deal about the many reasons we face this epidemic, but was shocked to learn that Americans consume more opioids than any other country in the world.

From our doctors overprescribing pain medication to patients self-medicating for their mental health disorders, Americans have a serious opioid addiction problem. And it should be treated as such. This is not a moral failing, but an illness that is plaguing our country and requires our help.

We need federal and local government, law enforcement, first responders and healthcare professionals, and our communities to work together in addressing this problem and facilitating the solutions.

Here in Congress, we are working on establishing grants for treatments, increasing resources for research and recovery programs, investigating pill dumping and patient brokers, and legislating to create task forces and increase public awareness.

Last Congress, we passed the Comprehensive Addition and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act — delivering meaningful reforms to combat the epidemic through specific resources for states to bolster relief efforts, provide training programs, and revisit best practices for pain management, among other solutions.

Our committee work includes hearings, investigations, and legislative measures to combat the opioid epidemic from every angle. We will continue that work in the coming weeks and months to deliver on making resources available, implementing policy changes, and finding additional ways to make a difference for those battling addiction.

Without question, this growing crisis demands our attention. In the 16th Congressional District, I’ve seen it firsthand. I’ve visited our outstanding facilities and recovery programs. I know how hard our communities are working to fight this epidemic, raising awareness and hosting forums and holding Drug Take Back Day events. I’m saddened to know we have lost so many to this illness. The heartbreaking stories of overdoses and addiction are tragic, but all too common. We see the images of those suffering from addiction and hear the burdens placed on their loved ones.

Every state in the country is struggling to fight this crisis, and it’s on each one of us to step up and raise awareness, be responsible with medication, learn the signs of addiction, and find more ways to help those in need. While strides are being made, we must do more to combat this drug and opioid overdose crisis. The time is now. This is a national emergency, and it requires all of us to redouble our efforts and work together to save lives.

  • Parent Category: News

Congressman Kinzinger Statement on NDAA Passage

Washington, DC – Following passage of the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) released this statement:

“Our national security is paramount, and today the House acted to support our various departments and agencies who work around-the-clock to keep our country safe.

“I proudly voted in favor of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was pleased to see this bill receive such strong bipartisan support. Additionally, I was pleased that the final NDAA included 3,500 additional special immigrant visas (SIVs) for Afghan translators and interpreters who served with the United States and our allies, and now face threats to their lives from terror groups. This continues to be an issue of great importance to me, and to our country, because we must keep our promises to the brave men and women who risked their lives to assist us during the War in Afghanistan.

“I cannot stress enough how important this authorization is for our Department of Defense and our Armed Forces. We have a worn-out military and sadly, we have seen some of those effects in the last few years. The NDAA provides robust funding that addresses our readiness crisis with a balanced approach to allocating resources. And, it supports our troops. Our men and women in uniform, and their families, deserve our full support and this package includes the largest pay raise to our troops in 8 years.

“I was proud to join my colleagues in supporting this important funding package, and I look forward to seeing my Senate colleagues act on this NDAA soon.”

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