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Cloonen Sponsors Legislation to Fund Agricultural Education

State Rep. Kate Cloonen is sponsoring new legislation to reinstate funding for agricultural education programs throughout Illinois.

"Agriculture is one of the largest industries in our area and the economic backbone of so many of the towns and villages throughout the region," said Cloonen. "Supporting our state's number one industry requires that we educate a new generation in the latest practices and technologies in the industry."

Cloonen is co-sponsoring House Bill 6424 to reinstate funding for agriculture education at the full $1.8 million amount, despite Governor Rauner's proposal to eliminate this funding. Kankakee County, like much of Illinois, depends on agriculture as a vital part of the local economy. A recent study by Decision Innovation Solutions showed that nearly one-fifth of the county's economic production is from farming.

"We must continue to fund programs that invest in our future and support core parts of our economy," Cloonen added. "Eliminating funding for agriculture education is a huge mistake for a state that relies so heavily on the agriculture economy. We cannot dig our way out by harming our most productive industries throughout the state."

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  • Parent Category: News

Ag Club at DACC hosts Open House

Danville Area Community College is hosting its Ag Day today (Thursday). The annual event is on the DACC campus, running from 9 am 'thru 1 pm. The public is welcome.

The Ag Club is hosting a barnyard petting zoo, pedal tractor pulls for children, tractors and farm equipment displays, and a tour of the DACC Greenhouse. Other ag exhibits are on display too.

The cost is a mere 50-cents. The fee includes a barbecue lunch, served from 11 am 'til 12:30 pm. in the Mary Miller Gym.

The lunch consists of a pork barbecue sandwich, applesauce, baked beans, potato chips, and milk or pop. The 50-cent cost represents the price the farmer usually receives for these products after producing and selling them.

Any additional donations are welcome. The lunch is served by the DACC Ag Club, DACC students and staff, and local FFA chapters.

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  • Parent Category: News

Ford County: Route 115 re-opended

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that Illinois Route 115 is open again to traffic.  The route was reopened today (Thursday) from U-S Route 24 to Route 54. 

Repairs have been completed on a double barrel box culvert about 7.2 miles south of Route 24 in Ford County.

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  • Parent Category: News

Pontiac Correctional Center inmate sentenced for murder

A Pontiac Correctional Center inmate has received a 60-year sentence for murdering another inmate.

Michael Bragg pleaded guilty to binding Fabian Carrillo's hands behind his back, placing a plastic bag over his head and strangling him in December 2014. The Ottawa Times reports the men were in Pontiac's segregation unit at the time.

Livingston County State's Attorney Seth Uphoff said Bragg told investigators he killed Carrillo so he could remain in prison. The 35-year-old Bragg was set for parole in 2033.

According to Uphoff, Bragg decided to "take out" the first inmate he saw whom he didn't like and is now eligible for parole in 2093.

Bragg was originally serving time for several crimes in Cook County, including aggravated sexual assault. The 36-year-old Carrillo was in prison for a 2000 Chicago murder.

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  • Parent Category: News

Job Fair today at KCC

The public is welcome today (Thursday) at a job fair hosted by Kankakee Community College. The event runs from 9 am 'til Noon.

KCC's Director of Marketing Carrie Nugent says more than 50 business reps and industrial leaders will be present. Veterans are welcome and encouraged to attend. Visitors are urged to dress professionally and bring resumes.

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