Area Development magazine has ranked the Kankakee, IL, Metropolitan Statistical Area first among 394 MSAs nationwide for year-over-year growth in its “Leading Metro Locations” Q2 2018 report. The foremost site and facility planning publication determined the ranking by reviewing 21 economic and workforce indicators pulled from seven data sets originating from three sources – the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census American Community Survey and Emsi.
In other report findings, the Kankakee MSA ranked 10th in “Top 30 Metros - Economic Strength,” 18th in “Top 30 Metros – Five-Year Economic Growth” and ninth among small metros nationwide.
“Of course, we’re thrilled that the community is again being recognized for its outstanding growth,” remarked Economic Alliance President & CEO Tim Nugent, “particularly by Area Development, a proven industry authority.
“Our number one ranking is a shot in the arm for our community as it pivots to the innovation economy,” Nugent continued, “with high-profile investments like CSL Behring’s 1.8 million square foot expansion in the bioscience sector, Nucor Steel’s $180 million expansion, and multimillion dollar headquarters expansions by leading food innovators Van Drunen Farms and FutureCeuticals.”
The Kankakee MSA has been ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois for Job & Tech Growth by Milken Institute for 4 of the past 5 years. The metro saw $1.5 billion in major capital investment from 2014-17 and is consistently among top job creators in the State of Illinois, seeing leading growth of 3.9 percent and 1,800 jobs in April 2018, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The Illinois EPA is working with the Lake Iroquois Association investigating a huge fish kill. Water samples will be taken today (Monday) to hopefully determine what caused several fish species to die-off.
Early guesses from local officials is run-off, algae-bloom, or a lake turnover that limits oxygen.
After several hours cleaning up the lake Sunday, fishing enthusiasts and the Lake Association officials are confident the fish population will be stabilized.
Property owners discovered the problem when they woke up to floating fish and a wretched smell.
Conservation Police were on the scene Sunday. This issue has surfaced at other lakes and waterways in central Illinois so far this year. Until testing is complete, officials are reserving judgement.
Three new officers have been selected to serve the Iroquois County Fair Board.
Pat Ward of Ashkum is the secretary. She has a lifetime of exhibiting at the Iroquois County Fair, volunteering with the Law Enforcement Association and serving as talent show director.
Brian Zecher of Woodworth is the newly appointed fair treasurer. He has been the announcer and office assistant for over thirty-five years.
Debbie Krones of Danforth is the competitive exhibits coordinator. She is a former 4-H member, assisted in the culinary department for five years and is serving her 20th year in the Swine Department where she is currently a co-superintendent.
All three officers bring to the County Fair a long serving commitment and desire to continue their service to the Iroquois County Fair. They will be working with a Fair Board that has a combined 277 years of experience.
New entertainment, new exhibits, new exhibitors and newly upgraded facilities will greet the 2018 fairgoer.
Five area contestants will vie for the title of 2018 Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen when the fair opens Wednesday (July 18).
Samantha Hasselbring of Cissna Park was named the 2017 Miss Iroquois County Fair and later the 2018 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen. She will crown the new queen at the 8 pm pageant at the Crescent City fairgrounds.
Kaylee Cumbo, 19, Watseka, the daughter of Julie Sluis. She is a 2017 graduate of Watseka Community High School. She is attending Parkland College studying to be a veterinarian technician.
Samantha Gooding, 21, Watseka, the daughter of John and Tina Gooding. She is a 2015 graduate of Watseka Community High School. She currently attends Paul Mitchell The School in Bradley studying cosmetology.
Lyndsey Neukomm, 20, Cissna Park, the daughter of Walt Neukomm and Charlene Neukomm. She is a 2016 graduate of Cissna Park High School. Neukomm currently attends Parkland College studying ag business management, precision ag and agronomy.
Katlyn Post, 21, Crescent City, the daughter of Kristine Blum and Doug Post. She is a 2015 graduate of Herscher High School. Post is attending Illinois State University majoring in agriculture education.
Olivia Powell, 18, Cissna Park, the daughter of Tim Powell and Debra Masters Powell. She is a 2018 graduate of Cissna Park High School. Powell is currently attending Kankakee Community College on a basketball scholarship and is studying nursing.