Local Talk

Lincoln Way Board a Long Way from Final Closing Decision

The seven members of the Lincoln Way School Board are nowhere near making a final decision on which of the four high schools to close starting in the fall of 2016.  But during Saturday's special meeting, they talked about what they are studying.

The Lincoln Way Board has two years to erase a deficit and get off the State Board of Education Financial Watch List.   First, they must decide which campus to close, and then how to draw up the borders for the remaining three schools.  During Saturday's program it was made clear that they'll start by looking at existing boundary lines and school capacities, and then go on to geographic and transportation issues.  But District 210 Board president Kevin Molloy says it must be remembered that all four Lincoln Way High Schools have been consistently ranking between the 30s the 50s among over 600 public high schools in Illinois.  Molloy says no matter what anyone out there is hearing, the board is not leaning towards any kind of consensus at this time.

One very interesting thing was  brought up by superintenent Scott Tingley.  Lots of students and parents have been saying that all groups of juniors who are together for this coming school year should stay together for their senior year of 2016-2017, no matter which school closes.  But if that is done, you'll have a large groups of seniors at one school, many of them not following the newly drawn boundary lines that will exist for all classes afterwards.  This, of course, would affect sports and extra-curriculars.  Tingley says, they're taking to the IHSA about this.  He says other high schools. have had transition boundary line situations, like District 230 with Sandburg, Staff, and Andrew.  Also, you had certain transitions when Lincoln Way Central and East split into, respectively, West and North.

The difference here, of course, is that 230 was expanding at the time; and Lincoln Way was expanding at the time.   This time LIncoln Way would be contracting four down to three; making things much more complicated.  But Tingley says the Lincoln Way Board expects an answer from the IHSA real soon, so that they know whether or not the option for keeping all the 2015-2016 juniors together in 2016-2017 is on the table.  The final closing decision should be sometime this fall.


8-1  4:30 PM

Forest Preserve Police Arrest Three in Car Burlaries

The Forest Preserve District of Will County Police have arrested three people in connection with a series of vehicle burglaries.  This past week three Crest Hill residents; 27 year old Sean Becker, 28 year old Marcellus Pretlow, and 37 year old Sarah Wishish; were all booked into the Will County Adult Detention Facility on multiple burglary and motor vehicle charges.

Police received a call this past Tuesday at 7 PM from a woman who said someone broke into her car window and stole her purse while her vehicle was parked at the Lake Renwick Preserve - Turtle Lake Access.  The three suspects were apprehended when one of the victim's credit cards was used at the Louis Joliet Mall.  Police believe that these suspects may have been responsible for a series of vehilce break-ins in the Plainfield, northern Joliet, and Shorewood areas.  If you believe you may have been victimized please call the Forest Preserve Police at 815-722-9377.


8-1  3:30 PM

Lindall, McDermed Speak Out on Governor's Veto of Arbitration for AFSCME Contract

In Springfield this week: very little progress on either a temporary or permanent budget.  But another big topic was the AFSCME contract for state workers.  1

For the budget situation, it was pretty simple this week.  The House was in session, and the Senate was not.  GOP State Rep Margo McDermed says she sees little progress around the corner, unless a certain thing happens.  She says that "those in charge" in the House need to "enter into dialogue with the governor."

But what we did have this week was a new extension on the AFSCME contract, while the unionized public service workers and the state continue to try and find an agreement.  AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall says it was a huge disappointment when Governor Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 1229 this week.  It called for an arbitrator to be used to solve the AFSCME contract situation.  Lindall says he is now hoping for an override of the governor's veto.

One person in the House who will not help override the veto, and disagreed with the use of an arbitrator from the beginning, is Margo McDermed.  She says, using arbitation for public contracts like this causes major problems.  She compared it to a situation involving sheriffs deputies during her days on the Will County Board; and called it a situation where it's an unelected official making a decision with no accountability to the taxpayers' burden.

For now, talks will continue on a new state deal with the AFSCME workers, while the new two-month extension runs through the end of September.


7-31  11:30 AM

The "Golden Standard" Will Perform The National Anthem At Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup


Jim Cornelison


Returning for the third consecutive year, Jim Cornelison the Chicago Blackhawks national anthem singer and better known as the “Golden Standard,” will perform “The Star Spangled Banner” to kick off the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, September 20.


Cornelison, who has belted out the anthem for the current Stanley Cup Champions on a full-time basis since 2007, is a 1992 graduate of Indiana University’s Masters of Music program has also performed at numerous Chicago Bears games and at Medinah Country Club for the 2012 Ryder Cup.


“We are thrilled to have Jim Cornelison as a part of the pre-race festivities to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway. “The patriotism and pageantry during a NASCAR weekend is unrivaled and to have the iconic voice of Mr. Cornelison perform the national anthem adds to the specialness of the weekend.”


The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Sept. 18-20.  Tickets can be purchased online at ChicagolandSpeedway.com, by calling 888-629-RACE.

The Gillespie Legacy Continues at Lewis


Lewis Director of Athletics Dr. John Planek and women's basketball coach Kristen Gillespie


The Gillespie legacy continues at Lewis University.  Lewis Univeristy Director of Athletics Dr. John Planek has hired Kristen Gillespie as the 12th head women's basketball coach in school history.  Gillespie, who served as head caoch at Division III Benedictine for the past four seasons, is the granddaughter of coaching legend and former Lewis Director of Athletics, head basketball and baseball coach Gordie Gillespie.

Joliet Rotary Announces Raffle Donation to Habitat for Humanity

We featured it right here in our 1340 WJOL studios this morning: Joliet Rotary's annual donation, which this year was a 30-thousand dollar contribution to Habitat for Humanity.  Joliet Rotary president Mark Griglione from First Community Bank explained the tradition of their annual raffle to 1340 WJOL.  It has allowed Joliet Rotary to give the community over one-million dollars since 1984.

New Habitat for Humanity executive director Kathy Miller says this will help with the paying off of Habitat for Humanity's restore van.

Previous Joliet Rotary donations have included playground equipment for United Cerebral Palsy, along with a mens shower at the Daybreak Center.


7-31  10:15 AM

Joliet Police Sergeant Arrested in Kankakee

A Joliet Police Sergeant has been placed on administrative leave after he was arrested for possession of stolen property. It was Wednesday morning in Kankakee that 39-year-old Sgt. Henry Dahl was arrested after a trailer that he was hauling was reported stolen. At 5:28 a.m. the theft of a trailer was reported at Consignment and More in Kankakee. Dahl was hauling the trailer when it became unhinged from his truck in nearby Bradley. Dahl stopped his truck at a Federated Bank nearby and was detained by Kankakee Police when they arrived on scene. He was arrested when the owner of the Kankakee business identified the trailer Dahl was hauling as the one stolen from his location. Dahl is a 12 year veteran of the Joliet Police Department and was promoted to Sergeant in 2009.

Texas Legislators Looking into Sandra Bland's Death

Texas lawmakers are asking questions following the death of Illinois native Sandra Bland.  The House County Affairs Committee held a hearing yesterday in the state capitol to discuss what can be done to avoid another similar incident.  A number of officials grilled Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, who acknowledged the trooper who arrested Bland failed to follow proper protocol.     


7-31  5 AM

JTHS District Hoping County Can Continue to Support Special Program; Mtg on Wednesday

There's a program at Joliet West and Joliet Central High Schools that's shown lots of success, but they'd like to keep it going as is with the help of Will County.  

A couple weeks ago we heard from Joliet Township High School Superintendent Doctor Cheryl McCarthy about the YES program, and what it's been able to do to cut down on District 204 expulsions; and keep students on the right track.  As she explained, it's a matter of having interns from the Will County Health Department on both the West and Central campuses, ready to provide immediate intervention to help students having difficulties.  But it's a county funded program.  That's the main reason for Wednesday's meeting at the JTHS administration center on Caterpillar Drive, which many county leaders have been invited to.  County Executive Walsh says, no doubt, he certainly believes in the program.

But as Walsh also explained, other schools in Will County may also start running similar programs.  And they most likely would want similar county assistance.

And let's not kid ourselves.  The county gets lots of its money from the state.  And right now, the state budget crisis is causing lots of problems.  As an example, Walsh citied the Will County Workforce Services Program, which helps Will County residents find jobs.  He says Workforce Services may be funded by federal money, but it still passes through the state offices in Springfield.  And due to the budget crisis, Will County has not received any money for Workforce Services since the new state fiscal year began on July 1st.

Wednesday's meeting on the JTHS YES program at the administration center is set for 2 PM.


8-1  5 PM

Greuling: State Taking Over Arsenal Road Good First Step

Now that it appears the county and state have struck a deal to transfer control of Arsenal Road from I-55 to Baseline to the state, the question just might be: what's next?   

We all know the story, the Route 53 - Walter Strawn intersection gets closed down, due to all the truck traffic at the railroad crossing there causing some major hazards.  After that, overweight trucks start having trouble figuring out where to go, and Will County starts issuing 60 day extensions allowing overweight trucks to use Arsenal.  Harvest season's on the horizon, so everyone's wondering, how long can this go on.  Whispers began about perhaps having the county turn over that part of Arsenal to the state.  Then the whispers went silent.  But now, pending possible approval at the August 20th Will County Board meeting, the Illinois Department of Transportation could take control of Arsenal, with the understanding that Route 53 and Walter Strawn stays closed for good.  Now that we've done the Cliff Notes version of all that, let's hear from Will County Center for Economic Development Director John Greuling.  He says, it will probably be a lot easier for the state to worry about the overweight trucks.

Greuling says what's really important here is that the gates are now open for more involvement from the state, when it comes to handling Will County freight issues.  And then, maybe we can look far into the future, to that often talked about Houbolt Road extension bridge over I-80 to give trucks a brand new northern access to both Centerpoints.


7-30  11:15 AM

Joliet Police Still Looking for "Paintgun Shooter" Clues

Joliet Police are still looking for information regarding two victims who were shot by paintball guns Monday night, both by orange paint and within minutes of each other.  At 7:03 PM Monday evening, a 51 year old male felt a sting in his left forearm while cutting grass in the 11-hundred block of North Raynor.  He noticed the orange paint, and said a four-door gray Buick or Hyundai was seen speeding away.  He could not provide a description of the occupants in the car.

A while later, a 57 year old male was hit by orange paintgun paint as he was trying to enter the Sunshine Food Mart on Wilcox.  He felt a sharp pain in his right rear thigh, and was told by witnesses that a car was seen speeding away after firing orange paint from a paint gun.   Anyone with information is asked to call Joliet Police Investigations, at 815-724-3020.


7-30  10:15 AM

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