Outgoing Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride is being remembered for his push to bring cameras into courtrooms and lobbying for a pilot project to allow electronic filing of documents.
Kilbride's three-year term expires this week. He'll be replaced by Justice Rita Garman and resume his associate justice post.
The Democrat was first elected to the high court in 2000. He practiced law for two decades in Rock Island. Even with his push to modernize the courts, he told the Quad Cities-Times ( http://bit.ly/1i6Rp4P) for a story published Sunday that some things haven't changed since the days of Abraham Lincoln.
Kilbride started the cameras pilot project a year ago. It opens trial courtrooms to news photographers and electronic news media to cover cases. More than two dozen counties have participated. ___ Information from: The Dispatch, http://www.qconline.com
Police investigating fatal crash in Livingston County
A Streator man is dead following a single-vehicle accident in northwestern Livingston County late Wednesday.
Sheriff's Police said 30-year-old Matthew Dunning was dead at the scene after being partially ejected and trapped under the overturned pick-up truck he was driving. Livingston County Coroner Michael Burke reported the accident was discovered just before 10:30 pm.
Dunning was apparently northbound on Livingston County Road 900 East when his truck went off the right shoulder, crossed into the ditch on the opposite side, and came to rest on its top in standing corn.
The crash occurred near County Road 2800 North in Newton Township.
Susan Wynn Bence named 2nd V-P of State Federation of GOP Women
The Iroquois County Republican Women's Club has earned gold. The local organization received the Gold Achievement Award from the Illinois Federation of Republican Women. The recognition came during the Fall Convention this past weekend in Springfield.
The Iroquois County GOP club was chosen for the award based on its involvement in several categories including Special Events, Fundraising, Participation in Parades, membership attendance at meetings and board of director meetings and participation on campaign committees.
Local club events included; Candidate forums, 9-11/Remembrance Day Event, a congressional debate, membership luncheons, participation in local parades, Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair, several members hold public office, members participate on state wide committees, and volunteer hours.
The Iroquois County club also sends delegates to the state convention.
Also at the state convention this past weekend Susan Wynn Bence of Watseka was elected the 2nd vice-president for the Illinois Federation of Republican Women. Iroquois County has never had a member hold statewide office in IFRW.
The Illinois Federation of Republican Women is the largest all-volunteer Republican women's organization in Illinois. The IFRW is a grassroots organization organized into nine regions and 41 clubs.
On another note....the Kankakee County Republican Women's Club was honored with the President's Award. Kankakee County's club is a new club that is growing by leaps and bounds. Tinker Parker serves as club president.
Critical Project Receives Yes Vote from MPO Policy Committee; Will Create Thousands of Jobs and Drive Economic Development throughout Region
CHICAGO – After years of pushing to make it a reality, Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illiana Corridor Project – an innovative public-private partnership to build a much-needed, regional highway – is moving forward.
Today's vote by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's MPO Policy Committee approved the project as a priority in the GO TO 2040 Plan. The Illiana, along with the South Suburban Airport, are key parts of Governor Quinn's agenda to drive economic growth throughout the South Suburbs and across Illinois.
Today's vote by the committee, which is comprised of members from throughout the Chicago region, means the Illiana project is eligible for federal funding and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) can proceed to obtain bids from the private sector.
"Today marks a major victory for economic development and jobs in the Southland, which will strengthen Illinois' economy and pave the way for future growth," Governor Quinn said. "I applaud the members of the MPO Policy Committee for making the Illiana a priority. This regional highway will not only serve the largest and fastest growing areas in Illinois, it will have a long-term economic impact of more than $4 billion in the region."
In addition to the South Suburban Airport, Governor Quinn has been pushing to make the Illiana Expressway a reality since taking office as part of his economic vision for the south suburbs of Chicago.
The Illiana will be a 47-mile, access controlled highway that extends from I-55 in Illinois on the west to I-65 in Indiana on the east. When built, the Illiana Corridor Project will be an invaluable regional asset for the south suburbs, the state and the broader Midwest, promoting and supporting the business environment, workforce, local and global economy and quality of life.
Potential economic benefits include the creation of more than 9,000 construction jobs and 28,000 long-term jobs. The South Suburban Airport will serve as the third major Chicago-area airport in the south suburbs and has been one of the Governor's key priorities since 2009. Building the global transportation hub will create more than 11,000 construction jobs and as many as 14,000 long-term jobs after it becomes operational. Earlier this year, the governor secured and signed a new law to break the longstanding gridlock that will allow the airport to be built.
The Illinois and Indiana Departments of Transportation (IDOT and INDOT, respectively) have been engaged in planning the Illiana with the Federal Highway Administration since the spring of 2011. The preferred corridor for the limited access, four-lane toll road is being refined and discussed, with a public hearing on the proposed location later this year. Additional public input on the project will be sought during the state and federal agency and public-private partnership approval process. The Illiana planning process is expected to be complete in early 2014.
IDOT and INDOT will soon begin the process of selecting a private team to finance and build the Illiana Corridor project, the first public-private partnership of its kind in Illinois. This innovative financing method, which has already been used by Indiana on other projects, will bring new investment dollars into the state transportation system and allow IDOT and INDOT to make further infrastructure investments that will benefit the region.
Studies by IDOT and INDOT have shown that the Illiana will provide local and regional congestion relief, create jobs, and serve as a much needed trucking corridor in the bi-state region.