Rutherford’s Gubernatorial Bid makes Kankakee Stop
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford made a stop in Kankakee Tuesday, two days after he announced he was running for Governor in 2014. Rutherford is on a three-day swing in the state, stressing his push to change the climate in Illinois.
The 58-year-old from Livingston County says jobs is the focus. He said if unemployment can be lowered, other issues will take care of themselves.
The budget issues – he said – will begin to disappear once the economy show improvement.
Rutherford also talked about Illinois' recent decrease in the bond rating. That's the end result of legislators failing to restructure pensions.
This downgrade is the 10th negative issuance since the start of 2012.
Iroquois Memorial Hospital joining forces with Presence Health
Presence Health and Watseka's Iroquois Memorial Hospital (IMH) have signed a letter of intent to form an affiliation.
"Presence Health welcomes the opportunity to partner with Iroquois Memorial Hospital," said Sandra Bruce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Presence Health. "We believe this partnership has the potential to build on our mutual strengths and vision, resulting in high-quality, coordinated care for the greater community of Watseka and Iroquois County."
"We are pleased to be signing a letter of intent with Presence Health," said Chuck Bohlmann, President and CEO, Iroquois Memorial Hospital. "We feel Presence Health's continuum of services and system resources will strengthen Iroquois' ability to serve the health care needs of the communities we serve."
If completed, this would be the first hospital affiliation for Presence Health since Resurrection Health Care and Provena Health joined together to form the health system in 2011. With the Letter of Intent signed, Presence and IMH will move forward to complete their due diligence and a definitive agreement.
Iroquois Memorial Hospital is a 49-bed hospital and 35-bed skilled nursing facility in Watseka. Located in the Central Illinois region, Iroquois bridges the geographic areas of Presence Health's existing hospitals with St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Presence Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. The hospital also operates four primary care clinics in the surrounding area.
IMH began looking for a partner more than a year ago to ensure the sustainability of local access to high quality health care for the residents of the communities served by IMH, and to maintain jobs at the facility.
Presence Health and Iroquois Memorial Hospital share common services, including acute care, long-term care and a strong program of physician support. Both Presence and IMH are dedicated to patient-centered care and to creating a healthy community for the people and families they serve.
"Presence Health is well-rounded and versed in all facets of health care and we are recognized nationally for our quality," Bruce said. "As we continue to explore opportunities with Iroquois Memorial, we believe our compatible mission, unique capabilities, clinical expertise and contiguous service areas make Presence Health a natural fit for Iroquois Memorial Hospital, for Watseka and for the entire County."
Ford County Sheriff's police sued over inmate’s death
The family of a Hoopeston man who died inside the Ford County Jail last year is suing the Ford County Sheriff's department. The suit alleges Richard Gonzales was put in solitary confinement and denied medical care.
Arthur Gonzalez, the father of Richard Gonzalez, filed the suit in federal court in Urbana claiming correctional officers in Ford County neglected his son's serious shoulder injury.
Gonzalez reportedly died of cardiac arrhythmia while awaiting transfer to a state prison. He was being held for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton ATM.
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money.
A group of local businessman in Fairbury is making noise to place a hotel at what's considered a famous corner in the Livingston County community.
The new facility would occupy the lower level of the Walton Centre in downtown Fairbury. The building was once a retail hub in the region, with three floors of retail space in the tradition of grand American department stores.
Now there's a banquet facility on the second floor, which won't be changed, but a steering committee is hoping to make the lower level profitable by converting it to a 16-unit hotel.
A study was done by the Rural Economic Technical Assistance Center at Western Illinois University in 2008 for a different hotel proposal, and the study determined that a hotel in Fairbury would do a brisk business; perhaps a 67 percent occupancy rate.
The steering committee for the project said events such as the Fairbury fair and established attractions such as the Fairbury Speedway are already drawing significant numbers of people to the community, but the lack of a local hotel means equally significant revenues are leaving the community at the end of the day.
The organizers said the goal is to keep that money in Fairbury. The proposed facility will include two suites, eight rooms with two Queen-size beds, and six rooms with a single King-size bed. There will also be a conference room as part of the hotel, while the upper floor will continue to serve as a banquet facility.