The Ford County Board voted to grant pay raises to a several employees. At Monday night's meeting, the board approved raising the pay of hourly employees by 25-cents an hour. The finance committee extended the recommendation.
The board also granted raises to probation department workers by 2 1/2 percent. The salary of Chief Probation Officer Cassy Taylor Morris was increased to $52,303.
The board also agreed to increase Circuit Clerk Kim Evans' salary from $49,000 to $51,000. Raises were also granted to Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short, to $51,000, and the sheriff's administrative assistant, Barb King, to $33,280. The raises are effective December 1st.
Dr. Youssef new head of Iroquois County Animal Control
Dr. Hany Youssef has been named the new administrator of Iroquois County Animal Control. He replaces Dr. James Finnell, who retires effective the end of November.
Youssef operates Watseka Animal Hospital. He's also worked in veterinary medicine in Hoopeston. He's also been a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology at the Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois.
Youssef tells WGFA News he has early goals in the county position.
"My main goal is education. I want to educate clients and work with other doctors on new procedures, new diseases so we're all better prepared," Youssef said.
He adds, "we need to review current operations, sit down with local personnel and determine if any changes are needed."
Dr. Youssef also extends a spirit of cooperation to area veterinarians for the good of the county. He welcomes suggestions and wants to meet with local personnel involved in the program.
Youssef's appointment Tuesday earned unanimous approval from the County Board.
The Woodford County Coroner's office identified the person killed in a weather-related crash Monday night on I-39.
71-year-old Sharon Goldasich of McNabb was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash near El Paso. Illinois State Police reported the woman's SUV slid out of control while northbound and into the path of a semitrailer truck.
The accident, around 8:15 pm, happened during the first significant snowfall of the season. Several accidents were investigated Monday night and Tuesday morning, resulting in this one fatality.
Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman said the woman was on her way to visit family and friends in Putnam County at the time of the accident.
The semi driver, Abidir Hashi of Minneapolis, Minn., was not injured.
Kankakee County Finance Committee presents balanced budget
It's tight, but it's balanced. And the Kankakee County Board is on the verge of approving its Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
A $33-million dollar budget is on the table. It now awaits the Board's approval.
The Finance committee (Tues) proposed the FY budget. And despite being balanced, Board Chairman Mike Bossert says there's little room for error. The numbers show a 1.3% increase over the current budget still needs the full Board's approval.
Iroquois County moved forward with GIS mapping system
The Iroquois County Board has approved a resolution to seek professional help in creating a countywide Geographic Information System (GIS).
The $570,000 cost will not come from the general fund, but instead will be paid in installments by using an already-approved GIS fund, made up by fee services over the last several years.
Bruce harris & Associates of Batavia (IL) will provide the professional services for the digital orthophotography, a seamless mapping system. A GIS website will also be created.
Bruce Harris explains all county offices will benefit from the mapping. Harris said the digital process builds maps in a layer-fashion that helps much more than just the assessment purposes.
The GIS becomes a land-information system that becomes an important part of what decisions are made through any government entity. The GIS is a wealth of information that the county currently does not have access to.
Iroquois County's Industrial Development Association (IDA) and the Emergency Management Agency (EMA/ESDA) have pushed for GIS for several years. The layered-mapping, Harris explains, is so critical for documentation.
GIS also assists fire departments, and is a powerful tool for business and the private sector for people looking for accurate up-to-date land information.