ONARGA — After a lot of speculation, the University of Illinois has a new place to call home for its Extension Office in Onarga. And that home isn’t far away. It’s next door.
A June 30th deadline had the Extension backed up, forced to find a new location. The current office at 912 W. Seminary in Onarga will soon become a medical facility.
The Extension officials are working with the Bork family to use a building right next door to the current Extension. The Bork family also owns the building Extension now occupies. So, the Onarga location will continue to serve the immediate area.
The Extension was notified earlier this spring that its current office will become the new home of Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services' Onarga Clinic.
A two-hour closed meeting of the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Board is now questioned as a possible illegal meeting. And—action taken by the Board could be challenged.
Administrator Doug Corbett was stripped of any duties concerning the hiring, firing, or other disciplinary matters of any employees. The Board will further discuss the matter.
Corbett’s executive powers were reduced after a two-hour closed session that apparently was not part of the agenda.
The meeting, at the Gilman-Danforth Library Monday, listed “security procedures” as the reason for the closed session. The Board went into the closed session to talk about discipline of specific employees, which included Corbett.
The matter was brought to light by the Paxton Record. The state Open Meetings Act requires a governmental body to name the reason for a closed session.
Bill Would Ban Sale of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines
SPRINGFIELD - Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding the passage of Senate Bill 1002 out of the Illinois Senate Executive Committee. Governor Quinn has been working to enact this common sense public safety policy since July 2012:
“Today, we took the first step towards banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines in Illinois, which will make our communities safer. By adopting Senate Bill 1002, Illinois would join 10 other states across the country that put reasonable restrictions on the size of these weapons.
“Over the past two days we have heard first-hand about the horrifying damage that high-capacity ammunition magazines can inflict. I am incredibly grateful to the Sandy Hook Elementary parents who have traveled to Illinois to share their stories and lend their voices to this important mission. We must work together on responsible gun laws to help ensure that what happened in Tucson, Ariz., Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. does not ever happen here.
“I thank the members of the Senate Executive Committee for advancing this measure today. I urge members of both houses to take up this common sense public safety policy in the days to come.”
SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) joined fellow Senators Monday calling for a confirmation hearing on Dr. David Gill’s nomination to become the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Senators Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), Sam McCann (R-Carlinville), Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), and Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) called on the Senate Executive Appointments Committee to hear testimony from Dr. Gill about the circumstances of his appointment and his qualifications for the position.
Gill, of Bloomington, is a four-time Congressional candidate who had openly stated he was considering another run for office. But the appointment came just days before a preferred candidate announced her intentions to run for the seat. The IDPH position pays more than $127,000 per year.
Under the state constitution, Gill's appointment must be reviewed and voted on by the Senate. However, the committee charged with responsibility for reviewing the Governor's appointments held its last hearing Monday and did not include Gill on the list of appointees to be reviewed. By failing to place Gill on the list for the final meeting of the Senate's Executive Appointments Committee, the Governor and Senate Democrats were able to shield Gill from review before the legislature adjourns at the end of May. Barickman joined his fellow Senators in calling for the Governor and majority Democrats to allow a hearing on Gill's appointment.
“Dr. Gill is my constituent, and he has asked me to sponsor his appointment,” said Senator Barickman. “But, as long as he, the Governor, and the Senate Democratic leadership refuse to put him forward for a public hearing, he won’t have my support.”
Barickman says the state constitution gives the Senate the duty to advise and consent on the Governor’s appointments to major positions.
“We’re not asking for a special hearing on Dr. Gill’s appointment,” he said. “We simply believe that transparency and openness belong in state government. Dr. Gill should be vetted by the Senate and voted on by the Senate. It is in the best interest of taxpayers if we do.”