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Miner Foundation donates $100,000

The Central Unit Four School District at Clifton is a beneficiary of the Miner Charitable Foundation. The school district will receive $100,000 to go toward improvements for the school's auditorium and main building.

In return, the auditorium will be renamed in honor of the late Harold and Jean Miner of rural Watseka.

The foundation was established for the benefit of students and communities of Iroquois County.

Unit Four School Superintendent Tonya Evans said "we're very excited about the opportunity to upgrade our facilities and equipment for the fine arts program with this donation."

The program includes band, chorus, theatrical plays and other activities that use the auditorium.

The Miners were especially interested in music and the arts. Jean Miner was an accomplished musician and a member of a professional vocal trio with her sisters. She was a church organist for 30 years and played at the Iroquois County Fair draft horse show for many years.

Harold, a successful farmer and investor, served as one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's feed grains advisers in the 1970s, then on the advisory committee of U.S. Trade Representatives Clayton Yeutter and Carla Hill.

The donation to Central is the largest since the late Charles Studt, a bachelor farmer from rural Ashkum, left the athletic department nearly $108,000 after his death in 2007 and established a $350,000 fund with the University of Illinois Foundation to fund scholarships for Central students pursuing agriculture or engineering degrees.

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  • Parent Category: News

Condom murder trial “a go” in Iroquois County

                                             --Change of venue request denied --

Iroquois County Judge Gordon Lustfeldt (Monday) denied a change of venue request for Andrew Condon's murder trial. The rural Ashkum man's trial will remain in Iroquois County.

Defense attorney Ed Glazar had asked the court to move the trial for his 34-year-old client, claiming Condon cannot receive a fair trial in Iroquois County due to pretrial publicity. Glazar claimed that more than two-dozen newspaper articles that have been published about the case since Nov. 14, 2012, have prejudiced potential Iroquois County jurors.

Condon has pleaded innocent to two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the October 2012 fatal shooting of 27-year-old Jonathan Rubin of Danforth. Records show Rubin was killed at the Shell gas station in Gilman where worked.

Judge Lustfeldt denied Glazar's motion. Assistant State's Attorney Alex O'Brien argued that the defense failed to meet its burden of proof.

O'Brien said the defense had to show that there's nobody in Iroquois County who either doesn't know about the case or who hasn't already made up their mind on it," and they didn't do that."

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Tuesday is Earth Day in Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed Tuesday as Earth Day in Illinois.

The governor says he wants Illinoisans to get outdoors and involved in conservation and sustainability efforts in the state. He says every day should be Earth Day in Illinois and residents should work to make Illinois the greenest state in the nation. He says "everyone should do their part to help preserve, sustain and beautify" Illinois.

The governor notes that later this week he will host The Council of Great Lakes Governors' annual meeting. Quinn is co-chair of the group of governors of eight U.S. states that border the Great Lakes along with leaders of two Canadian provinces. The meeting will address economic and environmental issues.

  • Parent Category: News

Route 17 improvement project funded by state

Kankakee Valley Construction Company has been awarded a $8.2 million stipend for the already-announced Illinois Route 17 widening project.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office sent out a news release Thursday announcing the two-year widening and resurfacing project.
The 3.3-mile segment of Route 17 West out to the Limestone School Road in Limestone will be widened and resurfaced.

A 13-foot wide center turn lane will be added through the entire stretch of highway and 8-foot-wide shoulders also will be added on each side. The entire segment will receive a new asphalt surface.

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  • Parent Category: News

KCC tech programs get help

The workforce is reportedly getting better. And the technology department at Kankakee Community College is playing a role.

The manufacturing technology program at KCC is producing graduates in four separate specializations needed at area companies. The program is in place through a $525,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, which helped the community college refine its efforts with industry.

"Industry helped design it," said Dennis Sorensen, KCC's vice president for instructional and student success. "It provides multiple opportunities for students to qualify for the workforce."

The Daily-Journal reports the federal government announced a second round of grants totaling $450 million, some of which KCC is hopeful to receive. Sorensen said a consortium of Illinois community colleges will be applying for the grants together. But this time, the health careers program will be added to the request along with manufacturing technology.

Sorensen adds, the grant money helps the community college redesign the way it offers courses and helps update and purchase equipment needed to support the programs.

KCC now offers four, two-year courses of manufacturing specializations.

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