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Iroquois County Board supports ‘Turnaround Agenda”

There's been a lot of opposition voiced in recent weeks, but the Iroquois County Board voted 12-5 Tuesday to approve a resolution in favor of Governor Bruce Rauner's 'Turnaround Agenda.'

The Local Government Empowerment & Reform Resolution has stirred a lot of controversial remarks since the governor first proposed the concept.

Union workers, and others, argue getting rid of unions in favor of right-to-work zones will hurt the economy. Opposing comments aired Tuesday morning at the County Board meeting. During the public comment section of the meeting, P.J. McCullough told members he begs to differ with the statement that 'Illinois has a one size fits all" approach when it comes to collective bargaining. Added costs, he said, are passed on to local taxpayers.

McCullough also doesn't agree with the 'Turnaround' language which states repealing the prevailing wage law and requirements for labor agreements would be good for local governments. McCullough said when lowering employee wages, it hurts the economy because people have less money to spend.

Regarding the claim that the 'Turnaround' plan helps create jobs, McCullough points to government decisions, like the Iroquois County Board itself, that's defeated work opportunities. Examples, he points to, are votes against wind farm development and an ethanol plant.

Board members voting against the Turnaround resolution were Vince Lamie, Larry Hasbargen, Ernie Curtis, Brett Schmid and Jed Whitlow.

94.1 WGFA

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Kankakee County Board votes No to AFSCME contract

Some unhappy union employees in Kankakee County are commenting about their disappointment about an earlier-agreed-on contract that the county board reneged on.

Kankakee County Board members (Tuesday) turned down the contract for clerks in the Circuit Clerk's Office. The employees in questions have been without a contract since 2013. And although a union ratification vote was accepted, it's now back to negotiations.

Board Chairman Mike Bossert said the county's in no financial position, right now, to hand out raises.

The County Board also voted No to spending money for additional security at the county jail. There was a committee recommendation last week to suggest a fingerprint security system at the jail to prevent a jail escape like the one involving convicted-killer Kamron Taylor. Again, lack of money was the reason.

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Fallen Police Officers to be honored in Vermilion, Grundy Counties

National Police Week continues, and area law enforcement teams are taking time to remember those who have died in the line of duty. Events are planned in area counties this week and next. The state held its service for fire and police personnel in Springfield.

Danville will host a special service Thursday to honor those officers killed in the line of duty. The program is at 10 am ( May 14th) at Sunset Memorial Park. Danville Police and Vermilion County Sheriff's Police and municipal officers will participate. Police Honor Guard units will be among those taking part in the observance.

Three local police officers are recognized in Vermilion County's observance.

Danville Police Officer David Farnsworth died in 1976. He was beaten to death during a routine traffic stop. Danville Officer, August Lind, died on April 10th, 1908 after he was shot when he interrupted a burglary-in-progress. The county's most recent loss involved Vermilion County Sheriff's Sergeant Myron Deckard. He was killed June 6th, 2001 when he was overpowered by a prisoner he was transporting.

Will and Grundy County law enforcement officials are hosting programs; Will County's event is Thursday while Grundy County will gather at Minooka High School in Chanahon.

The public is invited to the ceremonies which will include the presentation of colors, a wreath presentation and Taps.

94.1 WGFA

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Pvt. Jack Redman is coming home; U.S. Marine to be laid to rest in Watseka

A 1943 U.S. Marine, who died in World War II, is coming home this weekend.

Private Jack Redman gave his life at the age of 20 while serving his country as a Marine. He died November 23, 1943 on an island in the Central Pacific Ocean near Australia. His remains, following years of searching by his family, were recently identified this past December by the United States Government.

This Saturday, Jack Redman is being laid to rest at the G.A.R. Cemetery in Watseka.

The Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka is assisting the family with a 12 Noon Funeral Service at the First United Methodist Church in Watseka. Visitation is at the church from 10:30 until Noon.

A full military graveside service will include the United States Marine Corp and Watseka American Legion Post #23.

One of Jack's surviving brothers, Merrill Redman of Watseka, said it's been such a rollercoaster of emotions over the last 70 plus years trying to locate his brother's remains, but he's so grateful for all the help in finding Jack and bringing him home.

Knapp funeral home director Steve Knapp says it's been an overwhelming experience but he too is amazed at the support of everyone in making this day happen. He said "we're trying to accommodate all concerned."

Jack Redman's remains are being flown from Hawaii to O'Hare Airport in Chicago Friday. A brief military service with the Marines is planned on the tarmac. Then, the trip home to Watseka where a Marine honor guard will stand watch over Jack through the night leading up to Saturday's service.

General William Mullen from Quantico, VA and an 18-member color guard from Joliet will be among the military officials participating. A procession of onlookers is also expected to pay respects and lead Jack Redman to his final resting place at the G.A.R. Cemetery.

94.1 WGFA

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Kamron Taylor sentenced to 107 years

A 23-year-old convicted killer was handed a 107-year prison sentence Monday. And in doing so, Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott told Kamron Taylor "you are extremely dangerous."

Taylor was sentenced to prison for the June 2013 murder of 21-year-old Nelson Williams Jr. Prosecutors say he's a suspect in at least one other death, an unsolved homicide that occurred a month earlier.

Taylor appeared in court for sentencing with the same smug look, shackled and wearing a black and white jumpsuit. He showed little emotion as Judge Elliott handed down the sentence.

Taylor's violent and much-publicized escape from the Kankakee County Jail in April made national headlines. He beat and nearly killed a correctional officer in the escape. Three days later, Taylor was captured in Chicago.
In court Monday, prosecutors revealed Taylor was a suspect in the murder of ex-convict Orlando Wilson just a month before Nelson Williams was killed.

The Daily-Journal also reported Taylor was also a suspect in the robbery of a Kankakee credit union in August 2012. But he's never been charged for those crimes.

94.1 WGFA