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Special Olympics Torch Run

Illinois State Police and other law enforcement officials are helping to carry the torch for Special Olympics. The annual torch run passes thru Kankakee County today (Wed) on its way to the opening ceremony of the competition in Normal.

The event kicks off Friday in Normal. The Torch Run will make its way on Route 45 at Manteno Road around 1 pm. There will be a police escort.

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  • Parent Category: News

Melvin woman faces home invasion charge

A Melvin woman is charged with two felony counts of home invasion for allegedly entering a home armed with a gun, and threatening to shoot a resident.

38-year-old Tenisha Watson was jailed in Ford County on a $50,000 bond.

Watson is alleged to have entered the residence of Valentina Sanchez-Gutierrez in Melvin


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  • Parent Category: News

Passenger Rail Station in Downtown Pontiac Opens

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn was joined today by city officials and Amtrak to announce the completion of the new station in historic downtown Pontiac, the latest of several station improvements overseen by the Illinois Department of Transportation along the Chicago-St. Louis passenger rail corridor. The new station opens to Amtrak service beginning Tuesday, June 6.

“After years of construction along one of the busiest passenger rail corridors in the country, the benefits are beginning to show with beautiful new stations in our state’s great communities,” Secretary Blankenhorn said. “This building will become a centerpiece of downtown Pontiac and provide travelers a safer, more reliable and convenient option to get to where they want to go.”

The 1,350-square-foot building features a peaked roof, glass façade and modern facilities and amenities for passengers on Amtrak’s Lincoln Service and Texas Eagle. Features include connections to bicycle and pedestrian paths, free Wi-Fi and parking for both vehicles and bikes. Located at 711 W. Water St., one block south of the old station, the new depot follows the successful opening last fall of a new station to the north in Dwight.

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  • Parent Category: News

Update: Grant Park woman’s death may be linked to CO poisoning

The death of a 71-year-old grant Park woman in her apartment Monday may be linked to carbon monoxide poisoning, not an oxygen tank explosion, as reported earlier.

The Kankakee County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of Sharon Baker.

The coroner’s office did say early Monday that the woman’s death was discovered after an explosion and fire in her apartment in the 100-block of N. Griffin Street. She was found in the apartment’s front room.

Initial reports had Coroner Bob Gessner saying there was an explosion inside Baker's apartment, possibly related to an oxygen tank. Gessner later said there was no explosion.

An autopsy was scheduled Monday afternoon.

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  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston native, Thad Matta, out at Ohio State

Thad Matta, a Hoopeston native, who coached Ohio State for 13 seasons is leaving his position as the program's all-time leader in wins (337) and games coached (460) in Ohio State history.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith announced Monday afternoon that Thad Matta will no longer be the Buckeyes' men's basketball coach.

The 49-year-old Matta, who previously was the head coach at Xavier and Butler prior to his stint at Ohio State starting in 2005, guided the Buckeyes to at least 20 wins in 12 consecutive seasons from 2005 to 2016.

Smith said after Ohio State ended the 2016-17 season with a 17-15 record, Matta's future was safe, but some of the offseason developments, like the departure of JaQuan Lyle and questions about Matta's health issues, led Smith to his decision.

"We've dealt with some major negativity in terms of recruitment, my future, all of those things," Matta said. "We were battling some things we couldn't overcome. As I told Gene, 'Hey, timing is never good for a coaching change.' The July period is a huge deal. I'm perfectly fine with it."

Matta will play a role in helping Ohio State find its new coach, Smith said.

"Thad has agreed to help in the search," Smith said. "We've talked about all that. It wasn't a singular conversation."
Whoever the Buckeyes hire, it'll mark the third new coach in the Big Ten once play starts in the 2017-18 season, joining Brad Underwood at Illinois and Archie Miller at Indiana.      {News-Gazette}

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