Federal, state and local government offices around Illinois will be closed today in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Classes are canceled at most public schools. The mail won't be delivered and bus service, including Metra and CTA will operate on their normal weekday schedules.
Special MLK observances are being held in Kankakee and Danville.
Governor Pritzker Recommends More Than $3 Million in Grants for Illinois Recreation Projects Federal Grants Will Support Park Land Acquisition, Improved Trails
Governor JB Pritzker today recommended to two federal agencies more than $3 million in federal grants for projects to help communities acquire open space for development of outdoor recreational facilities and meet the growing demand for improved trails. The grants, supported through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP), are awarded by the National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration respectively.
The City of Kankakee Riverwalk West Project is one of several recreational improvement projects recognized. The Riverwalk initiative will get $96, 000 of the $3-million allotment.
“These local projects will allow families to enjoy the outdoors through new recreation and trail options in the communities supporting these projects,” Governor Pritzker said. “These projects also create jobs and boost local economic development efforts, helping local communities thrive.”
Nine local community recreational projects were recommended by Gov. Pritzker to the National Park Service with funds administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The matching grant program, when combined with the investment of local funds, will support more than $7.7 million in local park land acquisitions in Illinois.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 was enacted to help preserve, develop, and ensure access to outdoor recreation facilities to strengthen the health of U.S. citizens. The law created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to implement its outdoor recreation goals. The LWCF program began in Illinois in 1966 and has invested $290.7 million in 751 local park projects over the years. The program receives its revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).
A 37-year-old Gibson City man faces sentencing in March and could be looking at up to 10-years in prison. Noah Ringel was convicted of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. A Ford County jury returned its verdict (Tuesday).
The Ford County Record reports Ringel had a felony conviction for domestic battery out of Tazewell County in 2006. Gibson City Police executed a search warrant at Ringel’s home in 2017 and found weapons and ammunition.
Judge Matt Fitton ordered Ringel into the custody of the Ford County Sheriff’s Office following the conviction. Ringel faces a mandatory sentence ranging from two to 10 years in the Illinois Department or Corrections. Sentencing is March 26.
The former owner of an animal sanctuary in Iroquois County pleaded not guilty (Thursday) to animal cruelty. Corinne DiLorenzo operated the Earth Animal Sanctuary at Thawville. She was was indicted by a grand jury earlier this year, accused of taking in animals for three years after the board of directors for the sanctuary dissolved. The dissolution of the operation was over the alleged failure to report taxes. Last June, a former board member reportedly found the remains of at least 600 animals on the former site.
A plea agreement in Iroquois County Court results in 27-year-old Shayne Weber being sentenced to four-years probation for the beating of a senior citizen outside a tavern in 2017. Weber was scheduled to stand trial this week for the injuries he inflicted on 67-year-old Michael Hilligoss. Court records showed Hilligoss suffered brain hemorrhaging and cuts and bruises, and was hospitalized for two days. Weber was facing 2-counts of aggravated battery and could have been sentenced up to seven years in prison, if convicted. Weber will also pay restitution to cover medical expenses for the victim.