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Gov. Rauner, Consul General deepen economic ties between Japan, Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner traveled (Wed) with the Japanese Consul General for the Midwest to meet with key educational and manufacturing leaders in southern Illinois, where the state’s business ties with Japan are paying dividends in jobs.

Today’s schedule included a tour of the Aisin Manufacturing campus in Marion. The company’s footprint has grown from one plant to three since the Japanese firm’s first Illinois groundbreaking in fall 2001.

“Aisin — an esteemed, world-class auto supplier — is among the many examples of Illinois’ strong relationship with Japanese investors,” Rauner said while touring with Consul General Naoki Ito. “We have over 630 Japanese companies at 1,206 locations, employing more than 44,000 Illinoisans.”

“Aisin is very pleased to support the Japan Consulate-Midwest visit to our plant and honored that Gov. Rauner was able to attend,” said Glenn Edwards, executive vice president of Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, where a combined 2,500-plus are employed at the three Aisin Group plants. “This type of interaction and activity is key to a positive, long-term business relationship.”

Before the tour, business, government and educational leaders gathered for a working luncheon at Rend Lake College, a community college in Ina. New Southern Illinois University System Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson, state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, were among attendees.

Boosting coordination between colleges, universities and manufacturers to ensure a well-prepared, well-educated workforce is among the Rauner administration’s signature goals.

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Weapons charges against 2 Loda men, Rankin man after gun fired from a car in Rantoul

A Thanksgiving evening incident in rural Rantoul has two Loda men and another from Rankin facing felony weapon charges.
The Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office reports 19-year-old Austin Flessner and 20-year-old Tristan Zoller of Loda have been charged with felony reckless discharge of a firearm.

21-year-old Wyatt Morris of Rankin was charged Monday with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

Bond for all three men was set at $15,000.

Prosecutors said police reported Morris was driving an SUV north near a rural Rantoul intersection at 7:30 pm when the vehicle made a U-turn and traveled back to Rantoul.

Flessner, who was a passenger, was observed putting a firearm out of the window and firing one shot into the air. Rantoul police and Champaign County sheriff’s deputies stopped the vehicle. Police found a spent shotgun shell inside the vehicle and also recovered a firearm containing live ammunition.

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Farmers Reminded to File Annual Acreage Reports

Tammy Hubert, Executive Director of Iroquois County Farm Service Agency said December 15, 2017, is the final date for farmers to file a crop report for 2018 crop year wheat, rye, hay, pasture (including clover and alfalfa) and other fall-seeded small grains.

“Accurate acreage reports are necessary for program eligibility for many of FSA’s programs,” Hubert said. “To maintain eligibility, and to avoid paying a late fee, producers are encouraged to make an appointment to do their acreage report immediately.”

To make an appointment for acreage reporting, contact the Iroquois County FSA office at (815) 432-3946.

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Tractor - car crash in Jasper County

Sheriff’s Police in Jasper County, IN report one person was airlifted Tuesday evening after a head-on colission between a tractor and car.

Sheriff Terry Risner said it happened around 5 pm on U.S. 231 between Remington and Rensselaer.

The operator of the tractor was airlifted to the hospital. The driver of the car was also injured. The sheriff said the crash remains under investigation.

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Ford County crash kills Urbana woman

23-year-old Angel Paiz of Urbana died in a single-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon. It happened just past noon in rural Ford County.

County Coroner Doug Wallace reports Paiz was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident on Illinois 9 near County Road 2400 E, about a mile east of Paxton. Her car, according to State Police, was westbound when the vehicle left the road. The car overturned several times. Paiz was ejected.

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