Kankakee Corn Growers Hear from State Organization’s Executive Director >
The 2012 Farm Bill was the focus of what Illinois Corn Growers Association Executive Director had to talk about in Kankakee Thursday evening.
Rod Weinzierl was the featured speaker at the Kankakee County Corn Growers Association Annual Meeting. He said there’s specific issues that local eyes and ears need to pay attention to as Washington leaders put a new plan together……….
Most of the issues of concern, Weinzierl said, are pretty much the same across the Midwest. But what the home-front should be concerned about is – THE NEED TO MAINTAIN/IMPROVE crop insurance, PROVIDE A RISK MANAGEMENT TOOL AGAINST MULTI-YEAR REVENUE DECLINES, and A CROP INSURANCE RE-RATING.
Weinzierl said because costs have gone up so much and prices are more volatile, risk management becomes that much more important than it was 5-10 years ago.
We also Weinzierl his thoughts on this mild winter and what may be ahead with the spring weather ?.....
Rod Weinzierl said the safety net, risk management, and lack of money in Washington, D.C. are issues of greatest concerm.
The Kankakee County Corn Growers Association now makes plans for next year -- IT’S 25TH Anniversary year.
In the Illinois House race for the 106th legislative district, a violation of the State Officials and Employees Act may have triggered an investigation into state ethics laws.
In question is the campaign disclosures of Tom Bennett of Gibson City, one of five Republican candidates seeking the legislative seat in the area covering east-central Illinois.
WGFA News discovered through the five candidates D-1 Statement of Organization documents filed with the Illinois State Board Elections that the ethics violations occurred in March and again June of 2011 when a former campaign manager may have performed election work on taxpayers time.
State Board of Elections records show former campaign treasurer Andrew Killian, while working for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), used office time and equipment to send documents in support of Tom Bennett’s campaign.
Under Illinois law, state employees are not allowed to politick on the state clock. The ethics act states, “political activity is prohibited during any compensated time; employees shall not misappropriate state property or resources for the benefit of any campaign for elective office or political organization.”
The State Board of Elections records reveal documents for Bennett’s campaign committee were faxed to the Board of Elections during state working hours. The fax number, WGFA’s investigation found, was clearly at the top of the faxed page which was sent from the DCFS office in Urbana. The documents are signed by DCFS employee Andrew Killian.
WGFA Newsinquiries about the potential ethics violations were directed to the Governmental Ethics Act & Employees Ethics Act in the Office of Secretary of State. Further investigative questions about possible misconduct—WGFA News learned—could be directed to the Inspector General’s Office.
On a related note--- a former top aide to Governor Pat Quinn was slapped with a $1,000 fine for doing campaign work in June of 2011. Carolyn Brown Hodge, a former deputy chief of staff in Quinn’s office, resigned after her potential ethics violations surfaced in a Chicago Sun-Times report.
Bennett responded, telling WGFA News, “it (the incident) was not intentional; we certainly want to do what’s right. We can only learn.”
Bennett said "in a campaign of this size you depend on volunteers and sometimes a few things like this may be overlooked." But, he said ," I take full responsibility; this is my campaign."
The Ford County resident said "a mistake was made; transparency is important here and we can just move forward."
Bennett is one of five GOP candidates in the 106th House race. Other candidates include Josh Harms of Watseka, Scott McCoy and Brian Gabor, both of Pontiac, and Richard Thomas of Dwight.
I-57 in the Kankakee County area is back open after a series of slide-outs this (Wed) morning.
The interstate was closed down at the 308-mile marker at the south edge of Kankakee to clear the wreckage from accident that occurred in the 3 am hour. No word on injuries, but a state police cruiser, on its way to the initial accident, also spun out.
A northbound pickup hit the retaining wall to start, then while that driver was calling 9-1-1, two more cars hit black ice covered by the fresh snowfall. A state police squad then went spinning followed by a semi roll-over.
District 21 State police at Aashkum reported 11 accidents between one and six this morning.
A light snow covered some already slick roadways overnight. Several other locations had slide-outs, including Route 45 and 50 in both Iroquois and Kankakee County. U-S 41 in Newton County, In was the scene of slide-outs.
Motorists are urged to use caution and slow it down.
Illiana Express Routes Topic of Task Force Meetings
CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) -- A task force will present a narrowed list of possible routes for a proposed highway linking Interstate 65 in northwestern Indiana and Interstate 55 in Illinois south of Chicago
The Times of Munster reports the Illiana Corridor Planning Group will present the list at a meeting at Crown Point High School on Feb. 22 and again the next evening at the Matteson Hotel and Conference Center in Matteson, Ill.
The planning group announced eight possible route corridors at similar meetings in December. The Illiana Corridor Planning Group is made up of representatives of communities and interest groups from Lake County, Ind., and Will and Kankakee counties in Illinois.
The group was formed by the Indiana and Illinois departments of transportation, which are funding a study of the proposed expressway.
Illinois is among the U-S leaders in wind projects and the facts point to that both locally and statewide.
Illinois led the nation in the number of wind turbines installed in 2011. The American Wind Eneruy Association reports the state was also number two in increasing its wind capacity, with 692 megawatts. Illinois is now rated fourth in the nation with 3,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity in use.
In Vermilion County, a second wind project has already cleared the County Board’s Structural Safety Committee. The proposed ‘Hoopeston Wind Project’ is headed to the full county board for a vote February 14th. GDF SUEZ Energy North America, Inc. of Houston, Texas has proposed placing 43 wind turbines across northern Vermilion County from just north of Rossville toward Rankin.