Early voting gets underway today. Registered voters who want to skip the lines on Election Day can head to their County Clerk's office to cast their ballot. Grace period registration is also underway. Anyone who missed the registration deadline can go to their County Clerk's office and sign up. They'll be required to vote at the same time. The election is November 4th.
10-20 5:15 AM
The harvest of Will County's corn and soybeans is picking up momentum. But as Mark Schneidewind from the Farn Bureau points out, they are still behind schedule from a typical year; due to, what else, Mother Nature, as last week was rather wet and much of the corn in the fields still has excessive moisture. In addition, some of the soybeans that look dry still have green steps, making them more difficult to combine.
What appears to be different about this year's harvest is :instead of starting with corn....going to soybeans....and switching back to corn; lots of Will County farmers are still hoping for more natural drying action in the corn fields, so it just might be soybeans first for a good many of the farmers.
Schniedewind says, no matter how long it takes, this is still looking to be a very good harvest. Thus far, the only bad news is for the small percentage of farmers that tried to plant an additional, late crop of soybeans after their winter wheat crop had been harvested. The slight frost we had this past Saturday night may have eliminated most of that.
10-20 11 AM
With the return of "building activity" in some long "dormant sitting" housing developments, Shorewood is certainly no exception. As Mayor Rick Chapman pointed out to 1340 WJOL, Ryland Homes is picking things up at the Edgewater subdivision southeast of River and Highland, and Ryan Homes is getting things going again at the Town Center subdivision near the Shorewood Village Hall. Mayor Chapman says we are talking about around 80 eventual new houses at Edgewater, and about 60 at Town Center. He also pointed out that the two builders, Ryland at Edgewater and Ryan at Town Center, are operating just a bit differently; with Ryan not building spec homes, and simply building homes after they are sold. Ryland, on the other hand, does build some spec homes.
As we heard last week from Romeoville Mayor John Noak, Ryan Homes is doing some work on stalled developments there as well.
10-20 12 Noon
President Obama is casting his vote for Governor Quinn. He spoke to a crowd of 62-hundred in Chicago last night and said voting was the first thing on his list of things to do today. The President tried to convince the crowd to give Quinn four more years. He says Quinn has taken on challenges and made tough calls during his time in office. Quinn often uses that same line, touting his fight to reform the state's pension system and rein in the state's budget by shutting down prisons.
Meanwhile, a former prosecutor is investigating claims that Republican Bruce Rauner tried to interfere with a "Chicago Sun-Times" reporter's job. Dave McKinney broke the story about Rauner allegedly threatening a former female executive at a business tied to his firm. McKinney was taken off his political beat for five days after the story ran. The "Sun-Times" publisher told "Crain's Chicago Business" that Rauner's campaign spokesman came to him with allegations against McKinney, but they proved to be inaccurate so no action was taken against him. McKinney has hired former U.S. Attorney Patrick Collins to look into the matter.
On the good side for Bruce Rauner, newspaper endorsements seem to be pouring in for the Republican candidate for Illinois governor. Rauner has gained the support of the "Chicago Sun-Times," "Champaign News-Gazette" and "Peoria Journal Star." All of the endorsements came over the weekend.
10-20 5:05 AM
Joliet Police are reporting a robbery at a small restaurant in the one-thousand block of Essington at about 6:30 PM last (sun) night. It's reported that a five-foot-ten caucasian or Hispanic man walked in, wearing a tan workcoat with a hoodie and gray sweatpants. The butt of a handgun appeared to be visible, but was not fully displayed. He demanded money and was given an undisclosed amount. A second person that was waiting in what's recalled as a pickup truck appears to have been involved. No one was hurt.
10-20 5:20 AM
An Indiana man is in custody following the death of one woman in Hammond and three others in Gary. The first woman was found dead Friday evening strangled to death inside a Hammond motel. The body was identified as Afrika Hardy and her death was ruled a homicide. "The Chicago Sun-times" reports that a person of interested who was taken into custody on Saturday confessed to the killings and gave police the location of three other women in Gary. Police say they discovered the body of Anith Jones of Merrillville Saturday night. The two other unidentified victims were found early yesterday morning. So far no charges have been released.
There are now reports as of Monday morning that three more bodies have been found in Gary, and that the person in custody has confessed to one of the killings from the four originally found.
10-20 5 AM
The Joliet Landlords Conference is set for next week, Monday and Tuesday at the Jacob Henry Mansion. As Alfredo Melesio from the City of Joliet reminds us, landlords are a large part of Joliet's population, and economy. Melesio says over 300 landlords will be there talking about everything from eviction processes to how to make their properties more energy efficient.
Melesio points out that the conference is meant for all types of landlords: from mom and pop owners making investments to those that are landlords for a living.
The Joliet Landlords Conference is free; 6 to 9 PM Monday and 9 AM to Noon Tuesday. Just RSVP at jolietlandlords.eventbrite.com.
It has been a rough last few months for the Richland School District, but the superintendent says, they're getting some help to try and get the whole district; from administration to teachers to parents; on the same page.
It was this past summer that the Richland School District, that's the K through 8 district along Caton Farm Road in Crest Hill, saw its teachers union give the administration a vote of no confidence. It was just a handful of years back that Richland 88A was moving into the future with its brand new second building build on its site, as they were growing in enrollment along with everyone else. But Superintendent Mike Early says that in the last few years, things have become more complicated, be it the new Common Core standards and other federal or state requirements, which can lead to some frustrations.
To help battle the tension within the school district, Richland has now hired Green Target, a public relations firm out of Chicago, to help first and foremost with the district's relationship with its residents. Early says, being a smaller school district, it's not uncommon for ones like Richland to bring someone in; when they are not able to have a full time PR person on staff. It's very important, Early says, to get out factural information to the community through sources such as facebook, twitter, and other social medial.nity."
Early says he's had teachers and staff members come up to him in a reassuring tone, with the belief that things will work out. But Early also says, there's lots of work to do, and that's why Green Target was called upon. Early is hoping there will be some specific proposals on the table, within the next few weeks.
10-17 9 AM
Democrat Will County State's Attorney Jim Glasgow has announced his endorsement of GOP State Rep Tom Cross, in his race for the state treasurer. Cross's opponent is Champaign area State Senator Mike Frerichs. Cross told 1340 WJOL that receiving Glasgow's endorsement means a lot to him; as he sees Glasgow as a tough prosecutor who also cares about finding creative ways to help people.
Glasgow says he first met Tom Cross in the 80s, during Cross' eight years as a prosecutor. Glasgow says Cross has always understood the importance of public safety. But more importantly, he says Cross understands "reaching across the aisle to get things done."
Cross added that since he has promised legal action as treasurer if Illinois does not produce a balanced budget, it's important to note that that goes for whoever ends up being governor.
Glasgow pointed out that he seems to be the third democrat supporting Cross for treasurer; with the other two being Aurora mayor Tom Weisner, and former state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
10-16 10:15 AM
Scott Slocum had a chance to take a ride over Centerpoint South in Elwood yesterday. You've heard that it's the largest inland port in North America, see for yourself. Go to Scott Slocum's Facebook page to view the video.