Local Talk

Off Duty Will Co Deputies Providing Extra Watch at Rt 53 and Walter Strawn

1340 WJOL has confirmed that the off duty Will County Sheriff's Deputies now being seen at the intersection of Route 53 and Walter Strawn Drive near the CenterPoint intermodal station in Elwood is a cooperative effort that is planned to be permanent.  The off duty officers are parking in the blocked off area between the Route 53 through traffic and left turn lanes, during the peak Abraham Lincoln National Cemetary funeral times of 10 AM to 2 PM.  Extreme truck traffic in the area has been causing lots of controversy, including allegedly interfering at times with fineral processions.  This effort is planned to be paid for by a variety of entities, such as CenterPoint and Union Pacific Railroad.


7-31  6 AM

Students Now Allowed to Carry Epi-Pens for Shots

A new law allows students to carry epi-pens at school and give themselves a shot when they're having a severe allergic reaction. Trained staff will also be allowed to administer the injection when someone is in need. In the past, only nurses were allowed to give the shots, but state officials say this will get students, workers, and even school visitors the help they need when they need it. The law takes effect as of August 1st.

7-31  5:30 AM

State Cutting Back on Medicaid Drug for Hepatitis-C

The state has spent 16-million dollars this year on a drug to treat Medicaid patients that have hepatitis-C, but now they're cutting back. Officials are putting tight restrictions in place that'll require patients to meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before getting access to Sovaldi, the pill that costs one-thousand-dollars a pop. The disease is most typically spread among drug users who share needles. According to the new state rules, anyone with a history of using drugs or alcohol in the past year will be out of luck if they're hoping the state will pick up the tab for their meds.


7-31  5:15 AM

Plainfield Woman Forgets Child in Car

A 36-year-old unincorporated Plainfield woman has received a ticket from Joliet Police after they responded to a call of a woman leaving her child in an automobile while she went shopping. It was at 5:03 p.m. on Tuesday when Joliet Police received a phone call of a 2-year-old child being left alone in a vehicle at the Walmart on Route 59. Patricia Silvar exited the store shortly after police removed the child from the vehicle and told police she had forgotten her daughter was in the car. The Department of Children of Family Services was contacted by police shortly there after. The child was returned to Silvar by DCFS but the case is under investigation and she will be due in court on September 11th. 

Arrest Made in West Side of Joliet Shooting

An arrest has been made in the shooting from earlier this week on the far west side of Joliet.  Michael Antonsa has been charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after turning himself into police when he found out they were looking for him.  The shooting occured around Reflection and Sahara, just east of County Line Road, around 11 PM Monday night.  Police say Antonsa was part of a party that approached a car with three people in it, when an argument soon began.  Antonsa allegedly fired one shot into the air, and another that struck the tire of the car.  Two spent shell casings were found the night of the shooting, and the nine millimeter handgun has now been recovered.


7-30  10:30 AM

Quinn Gets Teachers Unions' Support

Governor Quinn is getting the support of both major teachers' unions.  The Illinois Federation of Teachers announced its support for Quinn yesterday.  Board members say Quinn is committed to making sure students have the resources they need to succeed in school. The group slammed Bruce Rauner's ideas on education, claiming his budget plan would force layoffs, larger class sizes, and deeper cuts to public education.  The Illinois Education Association is also backing Quinn.


7-31  5 AM

BBBS New Mentor Program Aims for High Schoolers

It's a mentoring program for busy professionals in Joliet.  Big Brothers Big Sisters is partnering with Joliet Township High School to launch Mentor 2.0.  It's designed to impact local high school graduation rates and build crucial skills linked to college and career success for youth.  Lisa Las says the program is flexible for busy professionals. 

It's a 3 year commitment to guide students from their sophomore year to their senior year.  But mentors will be guided, through the iMentor program.

Requirements to be a mentor in the Mentor 2.0 program, be at least 21 years old, be a college graduate, live or work in the Joliet area and be able to volunteer 4 hours a month. Contact Lisa Las of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties to volunteer, at 815-723-BBBS (2227)

Jobs Picture Much Better than One Year Ago All Over

A few days back it was mentioned that unemployment numbers are looking much better than one year ago all across the state.  That holds for Will County as well.  The latest unemployment numbers released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show Will County's unemployment having dropped from seven-point-four percent in May to seven-point-three percent in June; but more importantly having dropped three whole points from the 10-point-four percent unemployment Will County had in June of 2013.

In looking at the cities....

Joliet's unemployment actually stayed the same from May to June, at nine-point-three percent.  But it's a full four points better than the 13-point-three from June of last year.

Romeoville also stayed the same from May to June, at seven-point-eight.  Romeoville had a rate of 10-point-three in June of last year.

Bolingbrook's rate improved from seven percent flat in May to six-point-nine in June; and stood at nine-and-a-half one year ago.

Plainfield's actually increased one-tenth of a percent from May to June, going from six-four to six-five.  But it's much better than the nine percent flat from June of 2013.

Unemployment in Lockport dropped May to June from seven-point-four percent to seven-point-one, and came in at nine-point-eight in June of last year.

And in Homer Glen, the rate fell from six-five in May to six-four in June, and checked in at eight-point-eight one year ago.


7-29  11 AM

JTHS Leader Dr. Cheryl McCarthy Wins Athena Award

Joliet Township High School Superintendent Dr. Cheryl McCarthy recently learned that she is the 2014 Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Athena Award recipient.
Joliet Chamber Executive Vice President Mary Jaworski presented the surprise announcement to Dr. McCarthy, who was joined by the Chamber’s Director of Member Events Kelly Baltas, JTHS Board of Education members, administrators and family.
The Athena Award is presented annually to an area leader who demonstrates professional excellence, community service and actively assists women in realizing their full leadership potential.
Dr. McCarthy has served Joliet Township High School throughout her entire career. She started at Joliet West High School in 1986 as a math teacher; and in 1996 she was promoted to Division Chair of the Math and Sciences Department. In 2001, she served as Assistant Principal for Support Operations before becoming principal in 2002 and Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services in 2010.  She is the first female superintendent in the history of Joliet Township High School.

First Lawsuit Filed from July 21st I-55 Accidents

The Southtown Star is reporting that the widow of the truck driver killed in the second of two fatal I-55 crashes last Monday has filed suit against the owner of the truck and the shipping company.  Forty-one year old Deividas Mockus, an independent truck driver from Darian, was hired by Direct Trucking Corp to deliver a load for Mediteranean Shipping.  Mockus was driving southbound, approaching traffic stopped for the Des Plaines River Bridge construction zone, when his semi collided with another truck around 2:30 PM.  Mockus was pronounced deceased at 4:29 PM at Presence St Joseph Medical Center.

The lawsuit filed by Mockus' widow, Neringa Mockus, states that the brakes in the truck Mockus was driving failed when he tried to slow down, causing the accident.  The lawsuit sites Direct Trucking and Mediteranean Shipping for not property inspecting the truck before her husband drove it.  The three count suit is asking for about $150,000 in damages.


7-26  8 AM

I-55 - U S 30 Interchange Project Begins Monday

Exiting off of I-55 on to U S 30 will be a little complicated starting next Monday.  And, it will stay that way for a while.  Starting Monday IDOT will be working on the exit ramps from BOTH the northbound and southbound sides of I-55 on to U S 30.  A new left turn lane will be added to the northbound ramp, and a new right turn lane to the southbound ramp.  There will also be new traffic signals going in at both ramps.  Lanes on the ramps will be narrowed, and the work is scheduled to run until December 15th.  Drivers are asked to be prepared for delays, follow speed limits, and be alert for workers and equipment.


7-28  12 Noon

An Eye Opening Look at the Trucking Industry

Following the fatal crash on I-55, a listener sent WJOL a letter detailing her experience with truckers and trucking companies.  Below is her opinion unedited. 
  I spend a lot of time on the road as our jobs are onsite.  I work with many truckers who are working at the Intermodals. This is what I have learned and I am passing it on as it concerns me. 
       Many of the truck companies own only 1-2 trucks.  The owner will accept a job, at say, $1500. It is local and it is picking up a trailer at an intermodal and delivering it to a location, say, Peoria Caterpillar. The owner of the small firm hires a truck driver as an independent contractor at $800 for the job, leases the truck to the driver at a set fee and makes the driver buy the fuel. However, in order for the driver to collect the $800, he has to make the round trip including delivery of the trailer and pick-up of another trailer  and return the truck with a full load, within 8 hours. If it is beyond the time limit the hired driver gets no money but is still responsible for the payment and bills.
      You know how long it takes to drive to Peoria and back and this seems to be a reasonable amount of time, but if you get caught up in traffic., or it takes a while to load or unload the trailer, suddenly you are running short on time, so you speed, find shortcuts, etc to make sure you get your money.
     Some of these truck owners do not do background checks, you only need to have a current CDL.  Some of the drivers can speak no English and require a translator. They cannot read or write English, but yet they have a current CDL license. They can't read the signs put into place warning them of possible slowdowns or construction or time delays. 
      They are of several nationalities and numerous races of persons. Many have only been here a few short weeks, came here legally, and have this type of job waiting for them.
Thought you might want to know this.

Overview of Centerpoint in Elwood: Watch Video


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.

click here



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