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Iroquois County emergency dispatch service agreement stalls

                 Legal minds not good enough for County Board

The Iroquois County Board Tuesday sent an earlier-agreed-on contract for dispatch services back to committee for further review. A two-year contract agreed on just last Thursday by the Finance committee apparently wasn't good enough to satisfy a group of board members who've delayed progress on the matter for several months.

Finance committee Chairman Keven Hansen, despite being part of a meeting last Thursday when the agreement was reached, said Tuesday more time is needed to look at the contract before signing off.

Several board members questioned whether Hansen consulted with former Board Chairman Rod Copas in a telephone call outside the Tuesday meeting room. The same past-Copas supporters all voted with Hansen to send the contract proposal back to committee.

Hansen couldn't explain what his concerns were about the contract, despite being asked repeatedly to talk about what his issues were...even though his committee OK'd the contract three business days earlier.

Three attornies, including Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine, were OK with the pact last Thursday. The ETSB lawyer, John Kelly, and the County Board's union lawyer David Hibben were OK with the pact last week too.

Devine said some modifications made to the contract actually gives the county the authority to handle union negotiations, since the dispatchers are moving toward union support thru the FOP. The county also gets to oversee finances of the dispatch center.

94.1 WGFA

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Kankakee County Board gets help from 2 banks

A bailout plan for the Kankakee County Board was approved Tuesday after two local banks stepped up to assist the county's crippled budget. The Board approved borrowing $5-million to meet payroll demands into the new year.

People Bank and HomeStar Bank & Financial Services are putting up $3 and $2 million dollars, respectively, to help cover costs until the next tax cycle kicks in.

Substantial cuts to the county budget started Monday when county sheriff's police laid off 17 deputies and 20 jail guards. The layoffs resulted from a $3 million budget cut.
Board Chairman Mike Bossert "We are fortunate our local banks stepped forward in order to assist us."
The loans provide up-front cash in return for short-term repayments when the county collects property tax revenues. Bossert said it works much like a consumer payday loan.

An attempt to seek bids from financial leaders went know where. No one submitted a bid, likely because Moody's Investors Service downgraded the county's bond rating due to the negative financial situation. Bossert said the rating will improve if the county board follows a new board policy to build up its cash reserves.

94.1 WGFA

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Judy Baar Topinka Dies After Suffering Stroke

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois is mourning the death of its sitting Comptroller. Judy Baar Topinka passed away early this morning, less than 24-hours after suffering a stroke. Topinka has served in public office for more than 30-years. She started her political career back in 1980, when she was elected to the state senate. Topinka served as the state's first female state Treasurer from 1995 until 2007. She took over as Comptroller in 2011. She's being remembered as a trailblazer, a straight shooter, and a one-of-a-kind leader who really cared for the people of Illinois. Topinka was 70 years old. {Metro News}

94.1 WGFA

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Kankakee man indicted for sex assault and attempted murder

27-year-old Travien Moore of Kankakee faces 8-counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and attempted first-degree murder for a home invasion crime last month.

Moore was indicted by the Kankakee County grand jury. He's also charged with home invasion, armed robbery, armed violence, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Prosecutors claim on November 10th Moore was armed with a firearm when he restrained and forced sexual contact with a victim over 60-years-old at the victim's residence. Moore also allegedly stole money from the victim.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Pontiac officer’s death nets drunk driver 12 years in prison

The death of a Pontiac patrolman and his canine partner by a drunk driver has landed a South Carolina man in prison for 12 years.

Jason Collins was sentenced to 12 years Monday afternoon for the October 2013 death of Pontiac police officer Casey Kohlmeier and his dog, Draco. The officers were killed on Interstate 55 near Pontiac when Collins ran into the police cruiser they were parked in along the median.

Collins pleaded guilty in August to four counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide in the death of the 29-year-old Kohlmeier.

Collins could have received 14 years in prison on the aggravated DUI charges. The sentencing hearing lasted about two hours in Livingston County Circuit Court and included victim impact statements from members of Kohlmeier's family.

94.1 WGFA