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Olivet Nazarene University to host environmental conference

As the only four-year university on the Kankakee River, Olivet Nazarene University is uniquely qualified to host the upcoming conference focusing on long-term health of the Kankakee River Basin.

The Kankakee River Watershed Conference will take place Feb. 10, 2017, at Olivet’s main campus in Bourbonnais, Illinois. The conference is designed for sharing information and resources among leaders in science, agriculture, economics, fishing, paddling and education. Registration and the conference schedule are available at olivet.edu/watershed.

The conference theme is “Kankakee: The River That Connects Us.” Among the 15 featured speakers are: Brian D. Anderson, Ph.D., director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Timothy Nugent, president/CEO of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County; Chuck Theiling, Ph.D., of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“Education is an important need for real understanding of watershed issues,” said Dr. Randy Johnson, conference co-chair and biological sciences professor at Olivet. “That is what this conference will address. Solutions to environmental issues don’t happen without stakeholders seeking to understand one another’s perspectives, challenges and needs.”

Johnson said the conference is of particular interest to residents of Illinois and Indiana. Named a National Water Trail, the Kankakee River originates near South Bend, Indiana, and joins the Des Plaines River to form the Illinois River. As the Illinois flows into the Mississippi River and into the Gulf of Mexico, what happens in Illinois and Indiana ultimately impacts Louisiana and beyond, Johnson pointed out.

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Bourbonnais man dies in fatal crash on Illinois Route 50

A 27-year-old Bourbonnais man is dead after his car slammed into a semi-trailer, which had detached from its cab and blocked Route 50 in Bourbonnais.

Jonathan Grams was pronounced dead at the scene early today (Tuesday). State Police and the Kankakee County Coroner’s office investigated just after 2:30 am. The crash happened on Route 50 at 11000 N.

Police report 54-year-old Mitchel Hendricks of Watseka was operating a semi hauling a flatbed trailer westbound on 11000 N. The semi made a left turn onto Route 50 going south. The semi lost the flatbed trailer it was hauling. The trailer came to rest blocking all four lanes of highway 50.

Police stated about five-minutes later the southbound Grams vehicle struck the trailer as it sat in the middle of the roadway.

Route 50 was shut down for about four and a-half hours.

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Armed Robbery in Ford County town of Melvin

Ford County Sheriff deputies and Gibson City Police responded to an armed robbery in Melvin Saturday. The call was in response to an incident at the Melvin Convenient Store on Main Street in Melvin.

Sheriff Mark Doran reported a white male, late 30’s or early 40’s, between 5’5” and 5’7” tall and weighing approximately 155 pounds entered the store. The suspect was armed with what appeared to be a black pistol and wearing a tan ski mask, black shirt, coat and shoes, and blue jeans. The suspect pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded money, then left. The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash heading west bound on foot.

Video surveillance has been reviewed. Citizens with information are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (217) 379-2324 or Ford County Crimestoppers at (217) 784-4173.

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Bank robbed in Lafayette, Indiana

The Lafayette, IN Police Department is investigating a bank robbery that occurred Saturday in Lafayette.

Police were called to the Lafayette Community Bank on Cougill Lane around 11:38 am.

Police said a man entered the bank and demanded money from multiple tellers. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled in an unknown direction.

No one was injured and no weapon was displayed, police said.

The suspect is described as a 6-foot to 6-foot-1 man, wearing glasses, a red sweatshirt and a hat.

This incident is still under investigation. Detectives are also looking into any connection between this robbery and one from November 18 at the Lafayette Bank and Trust on Maple Point Drive.

Anybody with any information regarding the case is asked to call the Lafayette Police Department at 765-807-1200 or use the WeTip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME.

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Chebanse bank robbed

The Federated Bank at Chebanse was robbed this (Monday) morning. A man, described as white, wearing a brown coat, robbed the facility on First North Street at 9:50 am. No one was injured.

Kankakee County Sheriff’s Police report the suspect implied he had a weapon. There was no word on how much money was involved.

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