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Parkland College Theatre renamed for Harold & Jean Miner

Parkland College in Champaign has announced the naming its campus theatre after east-central Illinois residents Harold and Jean Miner of rural Watseka.

Miner Charitable Foundation President Mike Miner recently provided a generous gift honoring his parents to support the Parkland College Theatre.  Parkland College Foundation Interim Executive Director Ellen Schmidt announced the Miner Charitable Foundation was established by Harold and Jean Miner, lifelong farmers in Iroquois County.

Recognizing the gift, the college has renamed the existing theatre "The Harold & Jean Miner Theatre," also known as "The harold & Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College."

The Miners were involved in agriculure, music, and their church.  Schmidt notes, motiviation for the gift also includes Jean Miner's passion for the arts.

Parkland College president Dr. Tom Ramage said "this is an exciting occasion for Parkland College." He said "we're grateful for the philanthropic spirit of the Miner Charitable Foundation, especially Mike Miner, who's honoring his mother and father."

The gift will have significant impact on the students and communities of Parkland College.

Official recognition of the newly named theatre is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 at 7:30 pm.  That's when the theatre will recognize Mike Miner and the Miner Charitable Foundation Board of Directors prior to its spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone.                             {submitted by Parkland College}

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  • Parent Category: News

10-year prison term for fatal home invasion

A 2013 murder case in Kankakee has ended with a 20-year sentence, cut in half, for 26-year-old Curtis J. Edwards. He agreed to a plea deal as his trial was to get underway.

Edwards was facing first-degree murder charges for what prosecutors said was a botched home invasion that left his accomplice dead. Antonio Smith was killed in the March 2013 attempted robbery.

Smith died of a gunshot wound when he and Edwards struggled with the robbery victim.

Two other men are yet to stand trial for first-degree murder.

Edwards decided to accept a plea deal agreement while a jury was being picked. The plea is for 10 years – which was 20 years reduced to 50% for home invasion.

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Letterman thanks Kankakee for rocking chair

A 1999 gift from David Letterman to the city of Kankakee was returned to the TV talk show host. On CBS television Tuesday night, Letterman thanked the students at Kankakee High School for their effort in presenting a retirement rocking chair to the TV host.

It was 1999 when Letterman had two gazebos delivered to Kankakee after the city was declared one of the worst places to live. It was Letterman's way to help the city spruce up its image.

The students rocking chair idea was their way to return the favor to the TV host. Letterman is due to retire in May.

Letterman's intern, Todd, visited Kankakee last week to film the segment that aired Tuesday night on CBS.

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Rauner looks to cities to advance agenda

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner wants cities and villages to join his fight against organized labor.

In an email to mayors across the state, the head of the lobbying organization for municipalities said Rauner has asked for city councils to consider a resolution asking the state to allow local right-to-work zones and to make changes to prevailing wage and workers' compensation laws.

The request is the latest in a series of legal and political maneuvers against unions that Rauner has employed in his first two months in office.

For example, the Republican from Winnetka is pursuing a federal lawsuit through his Turnaround Agenda designed to end mandatory union dues for workers who are covered by bargaining units but are not members of unions.

Rauner also has crisscrossed the state since taking office calling for the creation of local right-to-work zones, in which voters could decide if workers represented by unions in their communities should be forced to join them.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released an opinion last week saying Rauner's concept would violate federal labor law.

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School districts watching Governor Rauner’s budget proposal

Just like most other governmental bodies in Illinois, school districts are keeping a close eye on Governor Bruce Rauner's budget plan.

The Governor's call to tighten the purse strings has some anxious people still hoping the legislature will maintain the money allotted to municipalities. And school districts already struggling due to cuts in funding, are holding their breath.

The state has released its newest "financial watch" list and area districts listed include: Central Unit #4 at Clifton, Momence District #2 and Kankakee School District #111. Manteno District #5 and Pembroke Township are also included.

The financial watch list means the State Board of Education is monitoring downward spirals that could affect long-range finances.

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