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  • Parent Category: News

Cloonen Demands Answers at Hearing on State Property Record Keeping Flaws

KANKAKEE, IL – During a hearing to address the mismanagement of taxpayer money, state Representative Kate Cloonen demanded answers and solutions from the state agency tasked with tracking state property. The hearing was initiated by Cloonen when she learned that Central Management Services (CMS) failed to properly maintain records of millions of dollars' worth of real property.

"This hearing was called to address gross mismanagement within CMS and to make certain that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted," said Cloonen. "The hearing also provided my colleagues and I the chance to investigate CMS's record keeping problems and hold those accountable for their egregious errors. Illinois is still facing serious fiscal problems, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to cut wasteful spending, hold agencies accountable and eliminate fraud."

Cloonen called for the hearing after a report exposed insufficiency within the CMS's record keeping database. Specifically, CMS's master list of state owned property was incomplete and inaccurate. Millions of dollars in state property were not listed, and the report exposed that some state vendors were paid over 400 dollars an hour. When confronted by Cloonen about what types of services were contracted for the high pay, CMS said they did not know. Moreover, the method for disposing of surplus real property was not adequate or timely. Over the past 7 years, only eight surplus properties had been sold or conveyed by CMS or conveyed by public act.

"Our state government must be an efficient and fiscally sound one," Cloonen said. "Legislators have a duty to the taxpayer to ensure such wasteful mistakes like CMS's record keeping issues are not only fixed, but never repeated."

  • Parent Category: News

Ameren Illinois Crews Work Safely Throughout Night

. (Feb. 21, 2014) – Ameren Illinois crews have safely restored power to more than 54,000 customers and will continue to work throughout the day after Thursday's storms and high winds caused outages across the company's service territory. As of 8:00 this morning, only 147 Ameren Illinois customers remain without power.

The largest areas without power were in Adams, Madison, St. Clair, Champaign, Sangamon, Shelby and Macon counties, but wind-related outages were scattered throughout the Ameren Illinois service territory. In addition, the winds were strong enough in some areas to topple transmission lines.

Ameren Illinois activated its Emergency Operations Center at 4:30 p.m. Thursday to coordinate all restoration efforts.

"Our crews went on alert status at 6:45 a.m. Thursday morning," said Richard J. Mark, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois. "When Mother Nature decided to hit us with series of intense storms with straight-line winds beginning in Quincy and the Metro East area and moving across our service territory, we were immediately able to dispatch field personnel to assess damage but the continual wind gusts initially made it difficult to repair downed lines."

"Please remember, it is hard to tell the difference between an Ameren Illinois electric line and a telephone line or cable line. Treat any line as an energized and dangerous line and stay away from it," Mark added. "If you see a downed power line, please call us 800-755-5000 to report it."

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka flooding nothing new, caution advised

Watseka knows all too well what flooding is all about. And right now, local officials are in stand-by mode but ready to respond just in case.

Several Iroquois County roads, county and township routes, in the southern parts were flooding last night (Thur). Road crews in Stockland Township placed barricades and warning signs. The Woodland area, south of Watseka, had flooded roads.

County Highway Engineer Joel Moore said run-off from farm fields is the issue. The flooding was on even roads that don't usually pose problems.

Moore reminds motorists to find another route if they come across water on their route.

Talk of flooding can make Watseka residents pretty nervous, especially when discussion about the record-flooding of 2008 resurfaces.

Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte says 'don't panic, but just do what's necessary.' Most people in the county-seat know they need to take precautions.

The rapid melt of all the snow and possibility of more heavy rain prompts caution.

In that 2008 flood, Watseka required mutual aid from surrounding fire department sin evacuating some 525 people from their flooded homes.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Flooding closes several Indiana roads

Indiana transportation officials report more than a dozen roads in west-central parts of the state were closed because of flooding.

In Benton County, there's about two feet of standing water closing 1200 East. Stiff winds aren't helping, causing the water to blow across the roadway. The county is also having issues on State Road 352 and State Road 18.

In Fountain County, State Road 55 is closed east of U.S. 41, Stringtown Road is closed between Coopers Chapel and Alan Roads and County Road 350 East is closed between 200 and 300 North.

Tippecanoe County has several road closures: North 9th Street from Burnett's Road to the Battle Ground city limits, County Road 700 West between 200 South to Division Road, County Road 1300 South between 175 and 400 West and County Road 350 West from 1300 South to the county line. Dispatchers say the 6700 block of Harrison Road is "impassable."

Benton, Jasper and Warren County are under a travel watch. This means only essential travel is recommended.

To keep track of travel restrictions, you can go to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website.

  • Parent Category: News

Flood Advisory in Iroquois County; road signs posted

                                           Flooded roads reported in southern sections

A word of caution for area motorists: flooded roadways are posing treacherous driving conditions in east-central Illinois and parts of Indiana.

Illinois State Police District 21 at Ashkum and District 10 (Pesotum) are urging motorists to use extreme caution during their travels tonight and into Friday. Flooded roads from rain and thawing snow are being reported in many areas. Standing water on low-lying roads have township officials posting signs and barricades. Several counties have reported flooded roads.

Iroquois County Highway Supervisor Joel Moore reports Stockland Township highway crews have put up barricades. The Woodland area and several routes in the southern parts of the county are experiencing run-off from farm fields. Moore says many roads not usually flood-prone are experiencing flooded conditions.

As always if you experience a flooded road, turn around and find another route.