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Milford School District looks toward future

                              "Do we want to lead or follow"

A referendum vote in April will offer Milford school district residents the opportunity to direct the future of their education.

A $17.5 million school bond issue over the next 25 years is at stake.

Board president Mary Ronna told an audience of 250+ "we either be a leader in our children's education or we're followers." The district's 103 year-old building needs work, a lot of work, to meet life safety code requirements. Ronna said it's a matter of complying with the State Board of Education and spend millions to meet code or building new.

Superintendent Dale Hastings says "the time is now"

A boatload of problems areas have to be corrected to stay in the current building. A No vote in April could lead to the state someday controlling the district.

Schools in Illinois have struggled to get state funding. Some districts lack of funding dates back to 2003.

Wednesday's audience members, many of them, support the school board's vision for a new school but also have reservations about the planning and cost.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Public invited to Milford School Building Project meeting

It's a meeting about the future. And the Milford Board of Education hopes the public will find the time to consider the future of the educational system locally.

A 6:30 meeting this (Wed) evening at the Milford school gymnasium will find the board members explaining a proposed building project that's going to the voting public in April. A referendum question will seek voter approval for a $17 million capital project that'll take the Milford education system into the future.

Superintendent Dale Hastings says the public can actually tour the current building and see the district's needs.

The school board's bonding company has numbers to show how the proposed project would be paid off in 25 years. And, this project would find Milford in a position to be an educational partner down the road, in that the Milford school district is already one of just two area districts with over 200,000 square miles in its territory.

Tonight's meeting, Hastings says, will provide the voters with the information they need to be an educated voter April 7th.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Leon Mondy escapes prison time, gets 3 years probation for embezzlement

Former Pembroke Township Supervisor Leon Eddie Mondy was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty last year to stealing more than $63,000 from the township.

The 36-year-old from rural St. Anne will have to pay back more than $66, 400 in restitution. Prosecutors said Mondy withdrew just over $63,000 from the township accounts and gambled much of the money away.

A federal judge in Peoria handed down the sentence.
Court records show Mondy made the illegal withdrawals while serving as township supervisor between August 2012 and May 2013.

The federal charges alleged that Mondy withdrew money from an insurance fund, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, water debt fund, community center fund and the senior nutrition fund. One of the withdrawals, $3,114 in cash, was made from a PNC Bank branch in Franklin, N.C., and withdrawn from Pembroke Township's accounts here.

Mondy was appointed supervisor in May 2012, after former supervisor Larry Gibbs resigned and later pleaded guilty to income tax evasion. Mondy, a township trustee for 4 1/2 years, was appointed by other trustees.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Former Police Chief Admits Helicopter Scam

(Countryside, IL) -- The former president of the Illinois police chiefs association and former Kankakee County sheriff deputy has admitted misusing more than 250-thousand-dollars raised for a suburban-Chicago police helicopter program.

Fifty-six-year-old Timothy Swanson of Bourbonnais had started a nonprofit and raised the money from dozens of police departments for the purpose of equipping and flying helicopters across various police jurisdictions. The program was grounded, though, when state and federal officials began to question how Swanson was using the money he raised to finance a side business he operated and to pay personal bills. He'll be sentenced in May.

Swanson entered open pleas of guilty to two-counts of mail fraud, money laundering, two-counts of tax evasion and two-counts of filing a false tax return.

The ruling handed on in U-S Federal Court.

Swanson faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of mail fraud, five years for income tax evasion, and up to three years for each count of filing a false tax return.     {Metro News source}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Sheriff Childress names new chief deputy in Livingston County

Livingston County's new sheriff has a new chief deputy. Lt. Earl Dutko has been named the chief deputy. Sheriff Tony Childress made the announcement.

Dutko, who began his career with the county as a jail dispatcher 24 years ago, has worked his way up through the ranks at the department.

"It was a surprise until the end," Dutko admitted. "I'm honored Sheriff Childress chose me for the position. I know he had good choices."

Dutko is currently is the commander of our investigations unit. Sheriff Childress said Dutko will continue there for awhile, even as chief deputy, because Childress said that's a unit that needs somebody that really knows the job and knows what's needed to bring investigations to a positive closure.

Sgt. John Mitchell and deputies Tom Hardyman and Brad DeMoss were recognized for 20, 20 and five years of service, respectively. They were given a certificate and a plaque.

94.1 WGFA