The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled a weeklong closure on a stretch of U.S. 24 in White County. Beginning today (Monday), U.S. 24 will be shut down between U.S. 231 near Wolcott and State Road 43 in Reynolds.
Drivers headed east will be detoured south on U.S. 231, southeast on Interstate 65, east on State Road 18, north on State Road 43, and then back to U.S. 24.
For those traveling west on U.S. 24, the detour will take them south on State Road 43, west on State Road 18, northwest on Interstate 65, and then north on U.S. 231. INDOT crews will be chip sealing the roadway.
District Court Judge Colin S. Bruce Monday sentenced 41-year-old Valeriano J., aka 'Billy,' Zarate (zah-RAH-te) of Cissna Park to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy to possess more than five kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute. Following release from prison, Zarate was ordered to remain on supervised release for 10 years.
Zarate has been detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on October 9, 2014. Zarate entered a plea of guilty on April 17 (2015) to conspiring with others from 2012 to October 2014 to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. Zarate admitted that he and others conspired to have large quantities of cocaine driven in semi-tractor trailers from outside Illinois to pre-arranged locations in Vermilion County as well as near Indianapolis, and other locations.
According to court documents, overt acts to further the conspiracy included distribution by Zarate on Dec. 8, 2013, of approximately 11 kilograms of cocaine to an individual in Youngstown, Ohio; on Dec. 12, 2013, travel by Zarate with a co-conspirator to Columbus, Ohio to receive approximately $1.2 million in payment for 36 kilograms of cocaine previously distributed by the conspirators; and, in June 2014, co-conspirators drove a semi-tractor trailer from Texas to Vermilion County, Ill., loaded with approximately 49 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in a load of mangos, to deliver to Zarate and others at a location arranged by Zarate. According to DEA agents, the verified 49 kilogram "bricks" of cocaine hidden in the tractor-trailer were valued at more than $1,000,000 wholesale, with a street value of more than $4,000,000. The case against Zarate was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting a series of statewide public meetings on its new five-year, $8.4 billion highway improvement plan. The first meeting is this (Mon) afternoon at the River Valley Metro Mass Transit Center in Bourbonnais.
The meeting is from 4 to 6 pm.
Other sessions are scheduled for Champaign, Decatur, Peoria and 12 other locations through October. The department's first statewide public transportation plan also will be discussed at several of the sessions. Written comments on the highway plan can be submitted at the meetings as well at the department's district offices and online through November 16.
The public is welcome to offer input today (Monday) on proposed cuts in the Kankakee School district. The District #111 Board of education is considering closing an elementary school building to fight off a deficit.
Superintendent Generva Walters said the board needs to hear from the citizens of the district. A 5:15 pm public hearing is the Lincoln Cultural Center.
The district's finance director reported earlier this month the district could go broke by 2018 if cuts are not made.