Iroquois and Kankakee County officials are welcoming outside support today for the official ground-breaking for the Pilot Hill wind farm. The project will include a 175-mega watt wind farm in parts of both Iroquois and Kankakee counties.
The ground-breaking is for phase one. The wind farm is expected to be operational by 2015. Microsoft has already purchased the energy output for the next 20 years. The energy generated will power Microsoft's new data center in Chicago.
Teamsters Local 731 workers have returned to their jobs. About two-dozen Allied Waste haulers were back at work (Tuesday) after walking off the job Friday in protest over wages.
Teamsters President Terry Hancock said the workers returned to their jobs, but without a new contract The workers will continue working under their four –year contract which expired January 31st.
Hancock said a negotiating session is planned for Friday.
Allied Waste is the hauler of garbage, recyclable material and yard waste for communities in Kankakee, Iroquois and Will counties.
The company and union have failed to come to an agreement on a new contract and wages. Currently, earning $22 per hour on average, the union is seeking a 45-percent wage hike. They are seeking an hourly wage of $32.
July crash killed Watseka man and injured 6-year-old
The 17-year-old Iroquois County juvenile involved in a fatal crash in July that killed a Watseka man will not face a drunk driving charge.
Toxicology reports confirm the 17-year-old driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs when his car was involved in a rural crash that left 59-year-old Dave Senesac dead. Senesac's 6-year-old grandson was critically injured and continues to undergo extensive rehabilitation.
Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine said the 17-year-old boy will only be charged with traffic offenses, including disobeying a stop sign and failure to yield.
Devine confirmed the toxicology results, by the Illinois State Police crime lab and another private company, that "there was no evidence of alcohol or any illegal substances in the boy's system."
Iroquois County Sheriff's police investigated the accident northwest of Watseka at 1600 E and 1900 N Roads. Police were unable to complete a field sobriety test at the scene because the juvenile was injured and transported to an area hospital. Hospital personnel completed a blood draw. Those toxicology results were returned last week.
Sheriff's police charged the juvenile with drunk driving. Devine said his office elected to hold off on filing charges until the toxicology tests were completed.
Devine said the 17-year-old is cleared of criminal charges, but his family still faces two civil lawsuits from Senesac's family for wrongful death.
The 6-year-old passenger in Senesac's pickup truck suffered extensive life-threatening injuries, which are may have lifelong consequences. Two lawsuits on file seek unspecified damages for providing for the medical care of the boy and the care of Senesac's widow, Terecia Senesac, of Watseka.
Sheriff's Police in Benton County, Indiana responded to a hit-and-run on U.S. 41 which sent one driver to the hospital.
The crash occurred near the intersection of U.S. 41 and County Road 750 South. The driver of a SUV told police he was heading north on U.S. 41 when a black sedan that was also heading north swerved off the road and into a ditch, then came back onto the road. When the black sedan came back on the road, it struck the SUV causing it to go off the road and roll upside down. The black sedan continued north on U.S. 41.
The driver was sent to a Hoopeston, Illinois hospital with minor injuries. A passenger was pinned in the vehicle temporarily, but was not injured.
A 39-year-old man faces charges after a pot-growing operation was busted up in the Grant Park area. Juan Lopez-Gonzalez was arrested. KAMEG agents raided a property site at 8138 N and 11,000 E. Over 20 pounds of marijuana and 55 plants were found.