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Oak Forest man dies in I-57 crash

An Oak Forest man is dead following a four-vehicle crash in Champaign County. State Police say the accident happened Sunday on I-57, just northwest of Champaign. 26-year-old Robert Mikolajewski died at the scene. Lanes were temporarily closed while authorities investigated.

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  • Parent Category: News

Fog Today, Plunging Temps later this Week

Illinois motorists can expect some fog and slushy roads this morning. The state can expect a frosty back-half of the week. The National Weather Service says temperatures are going to plummet by Friday. Highs will be in the teens and 20s further north, into the upper 20s down south. Forecasters say windchills will be bitter later this week as well, down to single digits in some parts of the state.

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  • Parent Category: News

Jury Convicts Kankakee County Man for Bank Fraud Related to Construction Loans

A federal jury deliberated for three hours Friday before returning guilty verdicts on all counts of Bank Fraud charged in the trial of 57-year-old Daniel Ballard of Bourbonnais.

Sentencing is set for March 27, 2017. Ballard was allowed to remain on bond pending sentencing.

Evidence presented by the government during the trial, which began on Tuesday, showed that Ballard obtained a construction loan in December 2009, in the amount of $280,000, to build a residence at 3013 Stone Fence Drive in Bourbonnais.

As part of the fraud scheme, and to obtain money from the bank to build the residence, Ballard obtained additional construction loans to build or remodel buildings on other properties he owned in Bradley, Ill.: 411 N. Center; 248 N. Center; and 471 N. Grand. An explicit term of the construction loan disbursing agreement required that work for which Ballard was requesting payment be completed before the bank would disburse funds to the title company.

As part of the scheme to defraud, evidence showed that Ballard falsely stated or caused others to falsely state in documents submitted to the title company that costs had been incurred for labor and / or materials for construction at the Bradley properties. In fact,
the costs of labor and materials were substantially below the amount represented or were not furnished to the Bradley properties at all.

At sentencing, the maximum statutory penalty for each of the three counts of bank fraud, up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.

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  • Parent Category: News

Barickman optimistic about Exelon deal

A measure meant to keep the Clinton and Quad Cities power plants open is nothing more than a multi-billion dollar bailout for the nuclear industry, according to some observers.

State Senator Jason Barickman said it’s better than the alternative.

Barickman said “You are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you close them, the rates go up. If you try to keep them open it’s going to result in a slight rate increase on users.”

Senator Sue Rezin says passage of energy reform saves jobs and protects ratepayers. She said it’s not just about the power plants at Cordova and Clinton. Rezin said “this is an issue that impacts everyone across the state.”

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  • Parent Category: News

Bradley, Manteno welcome Santa Friday

“Christmas Traditions” is this year’s theme for the 31st annual Bradley Christmas Fantasy Parade. The event steps off at 6:30 pm Friday on Broadway Avenue.

Eight-year-old Serena Martinez will serve as ‘Miss Merry Christmas” while 10-year-old Jace Hunt is “Master Jack Frost,” Both were coloring-contest winners, named by the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce. Serena and Jace will ride with Santa Claus in the parade.

The Bradley parade is the original lighted Christmas Parade in Kankakee County.

‘Santa Comes of Main Street’ in Manteno Friday. The Village of Manteno presents its holiday fun with the Lighting of Main Street at 5:45 pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus are part of the fun from 6-8 pm. There’s live entertainment and carriage rides.

Manteno’s Downtown Holiday Business Walk is 6-8 pm.


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