Crescent City house fire blamed on faulty power strip
A house fire in Crescent City Saturday afternoon was contained to an upstairs room. No injury was reported. The homeowners were not at home when neighbors noticed smoke coming from the upper vents of the 2-story house at 504 South Street.
Crescent-Iroquois Fire Chief Scott Schroeder said neighbors also heard a dog barking and were able to rescue the pet. Firemen were at the scene for about four-hours. Watseka, Gilman and Danforth Fire provided mutual aid.
Chief Schroeder reported it appeared the cause may have been a faulty power strip. He advises people to be aware and check for overloads. The State Fire Marshall is also investigating.
Celebrate Red Cross Month by giving blood in March
During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood.
The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors of all blood types are needed to help accident and burn victims, patients undergoing organ transplants, those receiving cancer treatments and others who rely on blood products.
Make an appointment to become a hero to patients in need by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Dwight 3/8/2016: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Dwight Fire Department, 111 South Prairie Ave _______________ Kankakee
Farmer City 3/11/2016: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Blue Ridge High School, 411 North John _______________ Kankakee
Aroma Park 3/12/2016: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., United Methodist Church, 3rd and Division _______________ How to donate blood Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age.
Wind turbines help fuel Milford school building project >
Wind energy in the news --- high-voltage lines will boost wind farms in the Midwest, an Illinois jail is hoping to use wind turbine for power, and the Milford school building project in Iroquois County gains revenue from wind turbines.
NIPSCO is involved in constructing two high-voltage power lines that reports say could be key links to shipping electricity from Midwest wind farms to East Coast markets.
Construction should begin in early spring on a 100-mile line from Reynolds, in White County, to Topeka in LaGrange County.
Officials in a northern Illinois county hope to install a 120-foot wind turbine in an effort to cut electricity costs by 40 – 70 percent.
Stephenson County Sheriff Dave Snyders and jail administrator Dean Schroeder have partnered with Highland Community College's Wind Turbine Technology department on the project. The jail spends about $108,000 annually on electricity. Officials say the turbine could save $65,000 a year.
And -- the Iroquois County school district (MAPS 124) finds a good chunk of its $17.5 million construction project is aided by a wind farm in the district's eastern section.
School Board President Mary Ronna said the wind farm has been very, very beneficial. "It's been a boon for the school district and the area of the county; I have good feelings about the benefits the turbines have given us."
The school board supporters back the wind farm. They point to governmental bodies like park districts, the library board, and road & bridge projects that have gained revenues for improvements – without chasing taxpayers for more money.
MAPS Superintendent Dale Hastings says that additional wind farm revenue is a proven-boost for economic gains.
"Other school districts have shown great strides with projects like wind farms and economic developments from retail sales taxes," Hastings said. "Those districts and counties have forward-thinking people that see the benefits. They're not asking people to increase taxes, they're actually reducing them by using other sources."
An 8-time DUI offender was sentenced to a 15-year prison term Thursday in Iroquois Circuit Court. 60-year-old Rodney Hamrick of Cissna Park was convicted by an Iroquois County jury last October for aggravated driving under the influence. Judge Gordon Lustfeldt imposed the sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Kara Macz. Hamrick was represented by attorney Ron Boyer.
The case stems from Hamrick's 2009 arrest when he ran through a construction zone near Cissna Park, damaging equipment and puting work crews at serious risk of injury. Construction crews were among those who testified for the state during the trial.
Hamrick fled the area after posting bond in the case. He was absent for six years, until he was arrested at his mother's home in Cissna Park. During his absence, Hamrick also had DUI cases against him in Indiana and Kentucky.
Hamrick was facing between 6-30 years due to his extensive record. The state requested the court impose a 20-year term.