The Kentland Municipal Airport has a brand new runway, thanks to a $2-million grant.
The Newton County, IN airport was originally built with a 3,500-foot runway. Officials decided to extend it to 4,000 feet, which will accommodate larger private jets.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday afternoon to showcase the improvements.
Airport Manager Charles Classen said the improvements will allow better access to Newton County. Classen explained, "runway length was an insurance issue, keeping larger aircraft away. Now, we have the runway length to meet their criteria." Hopefully, he said, "we can begin to entice them back." The runway project had been in the works for seven years. Construction took about a month and a half.
A single-vehicle crash on River Road Saturday night killed 64-year-old Brian Osterhoff. He died of injuries after losing control of his Corvette. The crash happened at 5950 S. River Road. The car struck a tree.
Brian Osterhoff was the grandfather of seven-year-old Cale Osterhoff who died last winter when a snowmobile he was a passenger on overturned in a ditch. The boy's dad, Chad Osterhoff, was later arrested for DUI in that accident.
High school football games will have an added flavor of caring and sportsmanship tonight (Fri). The area's teams, their fans, and community have organized several fundraisers to assist the family of Watseka High School's Hayden Schaumburg. The junior suffered a broken neck in last Friday's football game against the Central Comets at Clifton. Hayden remains in intensive care at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood.
The Watseka Warriors host Iroquois West tonight at 7 pm. (It's the Dralle featured game on 94.1 WGFA) The local game and several others have 50/50 raffles organized for respective benefits. Proceeds tonight are going to the Schaumburg family. Donation tables will be set up at respective games.
Manteno, Momence, PBL and other schools have stepped up to accept donations for Hayden's benefit. On the field, players plan to wear Schaumburg's No. 66 on their helmets.
An account is also set up at the First Trust & Saving Bank in Watseka.
Illinois jobless numbers continued to improve in September.
Kankakee and other metro areas showed improvement for a sixth consecutive month, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Vermilion County's jobless rate fell from 9.7 percent in August to 8.2 percent. In Danville the unemployment rate fell from 11.8 to 9.5 percent.
It was the fourth consecutive month that unemployment rates fell in each of Illinois' 102 counties. said IDES spokesman Greg Rivara.
"September was a good month for everyone," he said. "Most of the rates are at 2008 or before levels so that's very, very good news. We're at pre-recession levels."
Rivara said many employers don't have enough staff to meet demand and have tapped into overtime as much as they are able.
"Hiring's picked up ... They have confidence that demand is going to continue," he said. Gains were reported in wholesale trade, which added 200 jobs; leisure and hospitality, which also added 200 jobs, and retail trade, which added 100 jobs.
There was no significant change in government employment.
Central Illinois counties and their figures from September (September 2013) include: DeWitt, 5.9 percent (8 percent); Ford, 5.5 percent (7.9 percent); Iroquois, 5.4 percent (7.6 percent); LaSalle, 7.6 percent (10.6 percent); Livingston, 5.9 percent (7.9 percent); Logan, 6.2 percent (8.3 percent); Tazewell 6.1 percent (9 percent); and Woodford, 5.5 percent (7.3 percent).