Illinois farmers are expected to plant 11.7 million acres of corn this year, down two-percent from last year. It would be the lowest acreage planted in corn in the state since 2006. Meanwhile, soybean planting in Illinois is expected to rise by one-percent to 9.90 million acres.
The numbers were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Several law enforcement officers continue their search today for escaped inmate Kamron Taylor. The 23-year-old convicted killer is considered armed and dangerous. He battered a correctional officer and escaped from the Jerome Combs Detention Center early Wednesday.
Armed police officers are combing a Kankakee neighborhood, searching homes and vacant buildings.
Sheriff Tim Bukowski said his office plans an updated press conference later this morning.
Taylor escaped around 3 am Wednesday. It was during a routine cell check when deputies said Taylor choked a guard and hit him in the head. They said Taylor then took the guard's keys and uniform, was able to pass through three security door checks and then sped away in the guard's SUV.
Surveillance video shows Taylor walking out of the jail dressed in the officer's uniform. Kankakee County Sheriff Tim Bukowski admits there was a security breach. Why is the question ? ......
Sheriff Bukowki said, It looks right now - speculation on my part - is that somebody didn't do their job properly."
There is a $5,000 reward for info leading to Taylor's apprehension. Anyone assisting the fugitive will be prosecuted.
Missing 15-year-old Kankakee girl found safe, had no connection with jail escapee
Kankakee County Sheriff's police issued a 'Missing Person' alert Wednesday, stating the department believed a 15-year-old female may be with escaped-convict Kamron Taylor.
But later, a press release said 15-year-old Savannah Bell had been located and she is safe.
Police now said that the Kankakee teenager who was reported missing Wednesday morning by her family had no connection with Taylor.
A sheriff department alert said the girl was believed to be 'in the company" of Taylor, who had escaped from the county jail around 3 am. That information was not fact. Interviewed by police after she found around 3:30 pm (Wed), the girl offered no information that led investigators to believe Miss Bell had any contact with Taylor.
Meanwhile, anyone seeing Taylor should contact police by calling 9-1-1. Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Taylor's arrest.
Stolen SUV found after convicted killer escapes Kankakee County Jail
A convicted killer remained at large today (Wed) after overpowering a correctional guard and then escaping from the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee County.
A stolen vehicle Kamron Taylor took from the jail facility was recovered on Lincoln Avenue in Kankakee.
The Kankakee County Sheriff's Office said 23-year-old Kamron Taylor overpowered the officer around 3 am, and took the officer's keys and uniform, and his SUV. Police believe Taylor also has the officer's service weapon, which would have been in his vehicle.
Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski said Taylor was assigned to a unit where inmates are supposed to be locked down, but he had managed to get out of his cell.
Correctional officer Deandre Harrington was conducting routine rounds at 3 am, Taylor attacked him, choking and beating him unconscious. Harrington was in the intensive care unit at Presence St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.
A lot of other questions are yet to be answered. Sheriff Bukowski said there will be a thorough investigation.
Taylor is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone knowing of his whereabouts should call 9-1-1.
Ameren Illinois says its customers are benefiting from a drop in the cost of natural gas. The company also says because it purchases a significant amount of natural gas for customers during the summer and stores it for later use, the benefits will continue next winter.
Ameren reports the per-therm cost of natural gas has dropped by almost 35-percent, since last year. The price it at its lowest level since 2002, and Ameren says the gas supply charge for April will be 42.05 cents per therm. The amount compares to 51.94 cents per-therm during March, reflecting a decrease of 19 percent.
The continued decline in the cost of natural gas is a reflection of oversupplied market conditions caused by strong production growth from shale gas regions in the United States. The company says natural gas prices continue to decline in the U.S. due to record levels of natural gas production coupled with relatively flat demand.