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Kankakee County man faces grand jury indictment for bank fraud

A federal grand jury has indicted a Bourbonnais man, 56-year-old Daniel Ballard on charges of bank fraud in an indictment returned yesterday. The U.S. Clerk of the Court will issue a summons to Ballard to appear for arraignment in federal court in Urbana.

The three-count indictment alleges that Ballard obtained a construction loan in December 2009, in the amount of $260,000, to build a residence in Bourbonnais. As part of the fraud scheme, and to allegedly obtain money from the bank to build the residence on Stone Fence Drive, Ballard obtained additional construction loans to build or remodel buildings on other properties he owned in Bradley.

An explicit term of the construction loan disbursing agreement required that work for which Ballard was requesting payment be completed before the bank would disburse funds to the title company.

From December 2009 to May 2012, as part of the scheme to defraud, Ballard allegedly falsely stated or caused others to falsely state in documents submitted to the title company that costs had been incurred for labor and / or materials for construction at the Bradley, Ill., properties. In fact, the indictment alleges the costs of labor and materials were substantially below the amount represented or were not furnished to the Bradley properties at all. As a result, the bank was allegedly exposed to a loss of more than $400,000.

If convicted, each count of bank fraud carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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Kankakee robbery suspects nabbed in Bradley

Two armed robberies in Kankakee Tuesday led to a police chase and two suspects were arrested in Bradley. A car crash in Bradley led to the arrest of two men who allegedly committed two armed robberies in Kankakee on Tuesday.

A car crash in a residential neighborhood enabled police to apprehend 21-year-old Durell Taylor of Kankakee and 20-year-old Nicholas Woods of Bourbonnais. They're both facing charges which include armed robbery, armed violence, aggravated battery, unlawful use of a weapon by felons, and child endangerment.

Kankakee police responded to the first robbery about 3:40 pm in an alley in the 1100 block of South Evergreen Avenue. A second armed robbery was reported nearby in an alley in the 1100 block of South Myrtle Avenue.

The suspects' vehicle description helped. Just before 4 pm, the vehicle was spotted by a Bradley officer near Bradley West Elementary School. A brief chase led to a car crash at Blaine Avenue and Perry Street. Police reported no serious injuries.

Taylor and Woods were arrested after they fled the vehicle.
Police said an infant was found in the suspect vehicle. The baby was not injured.

Kankakee police were investigating the possibility of the suspects being involved in other area crimes.

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Illiana Expressway hits another setback

Kurt Erickson Lee Springfield Bureau

SPRINGFIELD | Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he will suspend plans to build the Illiana Expressway in response to the budget plan approved by Democrats.

With the spending blueprint approved in the General Assembly last week more than $3 billion out of balance, the governor said he must begin taking steps now to prepare for the start of the fiscal year July 1.

The governor promised to shut down work on the Illiana Expressway -- a proposed toll road connecting Interstate 55 in Illinois with Interstate 65 in Indiana.

"In light of the state's current fiscal crisis and a lack of sufficient capital resources, the Illiana Expressway will not move forward at this time," the administration stated.

Indiana House Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, said he received a memo from the Indiana Department of Transportation on Tuesday informing him that Illinois was indefinitely suspending work on the Illiana Expressway.

Soliday said Rauner and IDOT will come to rue the day they indefinitely suspended the project, because traffic volumes will steadily build on Interstate 80/94. He said that traffic will reach a choke point when the Panama Canal widening is done, sending huge volumes of truck traffic to Chicago as new mega-ships unload at coast ports.

"It's like an oil change with the Illiana," Soliday said. "It's either pay for it now or pay for it later. They'll just pay more later when they have to build it."

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American Red Cross encourages adding blood donation to vacation to-do lists

There are 100 days of summer and the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to choose their day to give blood and help ensure a sufficient blood supply.

Summer is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs. Nearly 90 percent of donors surveyed this past spring said they planned to take a vacation this summer, potentially making them less available to give. In addition, many schools that host blood drives are out of session during the summer. But the need for blood donations is constant. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Donors of all blood types – especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative – are needed. The Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Ford County ---

Piper City
6/17/2015: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Piper City Community Building, 64 West Peoria Street

6/29/2015: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. John's Lutheran Church, 110 East Illinois Street

Iroquois County ---

6/16/2015: 12 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Ashkum Coliseum, 117 E Main St

6/29/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Chebanse Community Building, 185 Chestnut

6/18/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St Martin, 108 N Adams

Kankakee County ---

6/18/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive
6/25/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive

6/29/2015: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Church of the Nazarene, 698 N Locust St

6/29/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Momence Fire Department, 15 N Pine

Livingston County ---

6/30/2015: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 114 Mazon Avenue

6/24/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 200 E. Maple Street

6/24/2015: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., VFW, 531 Lincoln Avenue

Vermilion County ---

6/29/2015: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., American Legion Post 384, 502 East Penn Street


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Bears cut back training camp schedule at Olivet

The Chicago Bears' summer training camp in Bourbonnais has been revised a bit. This year's summer camp will be later and shorter.

The Bears will conduct their annual summer training camp from July 29 through August 16 at Olivet Nazarene University. All practice sessions will begin in the morning. There will be a total of just 12 practices this summer.

The Bears will be under the direction of new head Coach John Fox and new General Manager Ryan Pace.

The Bears summer training camp at ONU returns for the 14th straight summer. Fans are still always welcome and parking is free.

The ONU campus features four practice fields, air-conditioned locker rooms and dining facilities, a weight room, meeting rooms and dorms for players and staff.

The Bears announced the team's first practice is at 9:35 am Thursday, July 30. They'll be in pads for the first time at 9:35 am Saturday, August 1. The team's final workout open to the public in Bourbonnais is scheduled for 9:35 am Sunday, August 16.

Of the 12 training camp practices, six will begin at 9:35 in the morning and six will start at 11:15 am.

The Bears will conduct their Family Fest practice at Soldier Field in Chicago at 11:35 am Saturday, August 8. Family Fest tickets cost $8 to $12 and will be available via Ticketmaster beginning June 12.

The training camp site on the Olivet Nazarene campus includes a kids' interactive area, a pro shop and a promotional area with games and prizes. In addition, the Bears will host special family-friendly events.

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