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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

New Unemployment Numbers Drop for some, others increase

Area unemployment rates show improvement across parts of Central Illinois. But Vermilion County's jobless rate rose slightly, going from 11.1 to 11.3 percent.

The Kankakee Metro area improved in August to 10.4%. That's down from 11.2 in August of 2012.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports Danville's unemployment rate dropped from 14.4 percent in July to 14.0 percent in August. In Champaign County, the August unemployment rate of 8.3 percent was down from 8.9 percent of the workforce in August of last year..

In Iroquois County the rate also improved, going from 8.0 percent in July to 7.4 percent in August.

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  • Parent Category: News

Dissolution of Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department considered, no action taken

A committee recommendation is suggesting dissolution of the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department be studied.

Members of the Ford and Iroquois county boards agreed to send a recommendation to both boards, plus the bi-county board of health. The recommendation is to look into the advantages of dissolving the two-county department.

The six-member health department oversight committee expects both county boards and the health board to discuss the issue and make their own recommendations by mid-October.

According to State statute,laws governing multi-county health departments says any health department may be discontinued either "by resolution of the county board or county boards" if it was established by a resolution. The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department was established in 1980 by a resolution approved by both county boards.

On a similar note, any county may withdraw from a consolidated health department by a majority vote of the county board of the withdrawing county, or through a referendum, according to the statute. The effective date of withdrawal is June 30 following completion of withdrawal agreements, the statute says.

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  • Parent Category: News

Indiana couple dies in Illinois Route 17 crash

Laura and Barry Basham of Shelby, Indiana were identified as the victims who died in a fiery crash Thursday morning near Momence.

District 21 State Police and the Kankakee County Coroner's office spent much of Thursday in the investigation. A reconstruction team continues to investigate.

The Basham vehicle was crushed between two semi trucks in a construction zone along Routes 1/17 at 9250 E Road, southwest of Momence. It happened a little before 8:30 am.

Route 17 traffic was shut down for about five hours.

State Police reported 64-year-old Laura Basham and 61-year-old Barry Basham were pronounced dead at the scene.

The drivers of the two semi trucks involved were treated at Riverside Hospital in Kankakee.

Truck driver Krzysztof Sulkowski of Chicago was ticketed for Failure to Reduce Speed.

The second truck driver was identified as 42-year-old Troy Farney of Forrest (IL).

State police report westbound traffic was stopped by a flagger in a construction zone. One lane was open Farney's semi was stopped. So was a car driven by Laura Basham, the car behind the semi.

Sulkowski's semi ran into the rear of the Basham car, crushing it into the back of the Farney semi. The Basham vehicle and semi burst into flames. Police report a fourth vehicle driven by Janice Billadeau of Momence ran off the road into a ditch to avoid hitting the semi.

Several emergency responders were on the scene, including State Police, Kankakee County Sheriff's Police, Momence Police and Fire, Kankakee Fire, County Coroner, Illinois EPA and Illinois Department of Transportation.

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  • Parent Category: News


                                                  Excessive Speed lands Bourbonnais Man in Jail

A Bourbonnais man was arrested by Illinois State Police (ISP) for speeding 106 mph in a construction zone. District 21 at Ashkum reports 25year-old Mark McKune faces charges of Excessive Speed and Reckless Driving.

On Monday, just before 4 pm, a trooper was on patrol in the construction zone on Interstate 57 in Kankakee County. The trooper observed a vehicle in traveling 106 mph in the 45 mph construction zone. McKune was cited for excessive speed, reckless driving, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and illegal registration plate cover.

Captain Bridget Bertrand advises the public, "The Illinois State Police is diligently enforcing speed and distracted driving within construction zones. The public is encouraged to use caution and to slow down as posted in the construction zones."

The Illinois State Police has deployed additional tools to help with the enforcement of the "Fatal Four" Violations in the construction zones. The photo enforcement van is being deployed in the construction zones in Kankakee County. The photo enforcement van will prove to be a vital tool in encouraging motorist to slow down and drive the posted speed limit in the construction zones.

The Illinois state Police wants to remind drivers of the "Fatal Four" Violations:
• Speeding
• Driving Under the Influence
• Seatbelts
• Distracted Driving

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  • Parent Category: News

Traffic fatality in Jasper County, Indiana

One man is dead after a one-car accident today in Jasper County, Indiana. 36-year-old Jason Hopkins of Goodland (IN) was driving on County Road 700 S when his vehicle left the road and hit a tree. The vehicle then rolled on to its top. Hopkins was pronounced dead at the scene.

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