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Illinois jobless rate continues decline

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois unemployment fell in August to 6.7 percent, the sixth straight monthly decrease in the state's jobless rate, according to figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The latest figure represents a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.7 was in July 2008, when it was 6.6 percent.
There are 40,600 more jobs than one year ago, the department said.

"Five months of job creation coupled with increased help-wanted advertising indicate a bit of momentum as we head into the Fall," Jay Rowell, the department's director, said in a statement. "It is not surprising that fewer people are looking for work given retirement trends, although it does underscore that more needs to be done to give the long-term unemployed the skills necessary to secure meaningful employment."

The leisure and hospitality sector led the way last month, adding some 5,000 jobs statewide. Roughly 4,300 jobs were added in the trade, transportation and utilities arena, along with 3,300 in professional and business services.

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DACC Hosting Annual College Day

Danville Area Community College plays host to its annual College Day Thursday. Representatives from over sixty different colleges/universities are on campus providing information and answering students questions.

DACC is hosting the 35th Annual College Day from 9 am until 11 am.in the Mary Miller Center Gymnasium.
Representatives from the Armed Forces will also be on hand.

A list of college/university reps includes the University of Illinois, Ball State University, Butler University, Eastern Illinois University, Olivet Nazarene University among others.

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Kinzinger supports legislation to combat ISIS in Syria

Washington, DC- Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) issued the following statement after the House passed legislation that would grant President Obama authority to provide certain weapons and training to the Free Syrian Army, moderate Syrian rebels who have recently been battling ISIS:

"While I recognize this plan is not perfect, nor will it ultimately be enough to crush ISIS, we must give our Commander in Chief the tools he has requested to confront this evil," said Congressman Kinzinger. "This is only a first step in a long fight to ensure we are safe from brutal extremists who would gladly take innocent American lives if given the chance."

Kinzinger is a U.S. Air Force Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and currently serves as a major in the Air National Guard (ANG). He has been calling for air support in Iraq since January, and last year he criticized President Obama's inaction in Syria against the Assad regime.

In addition to training and equipping elements of the Syrian opposition to fight ISIS, the legislation, H.J. Res. 124, funds the federal government at current levels through December 11th, 2014, avoiding the possibility of a shutdown. It also reauthorizes the Export-Import Bank until June 30th, 2015. The bill passed the House with a vote of 319 to 108.

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Watseka narcotics investigation nets two arrests

The Watseka Enforcement Team and Iroquois County Sheriff's Police arrested a 35-year-old Watseka woman (Friday) as part of an undercover probe targeting the sale of heroin.

Misty Kaufman will appear in court today (Monday). Police executed a search warrant at 559 E. Mulberry Street in Watseka. Authorities targeted the sale of heroin from the residence. The search resulted in the seizure of heroin, crack cocaine, and U-S currency.

Kaufman was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance – heroin, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and possession of a controlled substance (crack) with intent to deliver.

Police also reported the arrest of 34-year-old Jennifer Pederson, who was living in the basement of the residence. She was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Weapons and drug charges in Kankakee County arrests

A federal grand jury has indicted five Kankakee County men on gun and drug charges. Several agencies were involved in the investigation and arrests made last week.

The U-S Attorney's Office will prosecute the case. If convicted, the five felons face up to 10 years in prison on the possession of weapons charges.

The U.S. Marshals Service has the five men in cusody.

Those arrested include four from Kankakee and a Hopkins Park man.

27-year-old Rico Speed was arrested on four counts of a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of distribution of 28 grams of crack cocaine.

22-year-old Roosevelt D. Smith faces four counts of a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession and sale of stolen ammunition.

39-year-old Charles Williams was arrested on one count of a felon in possession of a firearm.

34-year-old Carlton Lashawn Smith is charged with a single-count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

28-year-old Antwon Crite of Hopkns Park was arrested on eight counts of a felon in possession of a firearm.

The charges are the result of ongoing investigations into gun violence in the Kankakee area. The investigation was conducted by the Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and the Kankakee Police Department.

The Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, the Chicago Police Department, the Illinois State Police and Kankakee County Corrections assisted in the arrests.

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