A two vehicle crash in Bureau County Monday night has left a Rockford man dead. According to Illinois State Police Trooper Craig Graham, 48-year old Tzantera Bach-Dalton was stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 80 westbound near Sheffield when his vehicle was struck by 18-year old Christina Elmers. Authorities say Elmers’ vehicle came to rest in the passing lane while Bach-Dalton’s vehicle was sent into a ditch on the north side of the interstate. Elmers was transported to Perry Memorial in Princeton. Bach-Dalton was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bureau County Coroner’s Office. Authorities continue to investigate the incident.
Dam Repairs Could Take Four Years
Repair work on the Marseilles dam could take up to four years. This according to Andrew Barnes of the Army Corps of Engineers who says the Corps is currently working on temporary repairs and future designs to improve the dam. During last month’s flood, seven barges struck the dam in Illinois River causing significant damage. Barnes says there is a higher probability of river flooding during the next several years as repairs are made. He notes that major repairs will be limited to several month intervals in an attempt to lower the flood risk.
Barge Company Issues Statement
With two lawsuits pending, the company that owns the barges that struck the Marseilles Dam during last month’s flood has issued a statement. The Ingram Barge Company said “The barge incident on April 18 did not cause the flooding of the City of Marseilles. The incident occurred in connection with severe weather conditions that produced historic high water and flooding in many areas along the Illinois River system.” Later on in the statement, the company said, “The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting an investigation into the facts surrounding and the causes of the accident.” The statements came after two Marseilles homeowners filed lawsuits blaming the company for damaging the dam causing much of the flooding in the city.
Area Counties Receive Federal Diasater Aid
Two more area counties will receive federal disaster aid after last month's flooding. Gov. Pat Quinn's office announced the aid on Wednesday afternoon for 14 additional counties including Bureau and Livingston. The state and its congressional delegation originally asked for federal help for 16 more counties. The new federally approved list doesn't include Putnam. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says it is reviewing the status of those counties to determine further action. A disaster declaration allows people and businesses to apply for federal loans and reimbursements to help pay for storm and flood damage repairs.
Lawmakers Override Gov Quin's Veto
Illinois lawmakers have overridden Governor Pat Quinn's veto of legislation that addresses so-called Smart Grid technology. The House voted yesterday to again approve the bill. Quinn vetoed the measure on May 6th, saying it weakened oversight and forced automatic rate hikes.
Legislation to Regulate Concealed Weapons
New Illinois House legislation to regulate the carrying of concealed weapons would ban guns in municipal parks and athletic areas. The bill filed yesterday would also ban firearms on public buses and trains, which was a must for most Chicago Democrats. House Speaker Michael Madigan says the legislation will get a vote tomorrow.
West Nile Season Returns
The return of the spring and summer season’s means it’s West Nile season. Jenny Barrie at the La Salle County Health Department says they have begun collecting dead birds and will continue through October 15th. Barrie says dead birds are important sentinels for early detection of the West Nile Virus. Barrie also says mosquito testing will begin soon as they have acquired the proper testing equipment with the use of grant money. Last year, 290 human cases of the West Nile were reported in Illinois, with twelve of those cases being fatal. No human cases were reported in La Salle County. Residents who find dead birds with no obvious cause of death are asked to contact the health department.
Ottawa to Host Public Hearing for ADM Annexation
Archer Daniels Midland has applied for a Conditional Use Permit to transport sand. Tammy Huftel from Ottawa’s Planning Commission says that on June 19th at 7pm, Ottawa’s City Council and Planning Commission will hold a public hearing, where they will discuss ADM’s Conditional Use Permit. If approved for the permit, ADM would then be allowed to transfer sand to and from their Route 71 location via roadways throughout Ottawa, as well as barges.
Illinois American Water To Run Rescue Drill With Streator Fire Department
This Friday, Illinois American Water and the Streator Fire Department will be partnering up to practice an emergency response scenario. The scenario will begin at 10am at the treatment plant in Streator. Utility spokesman Karen Cotton says that the scenario will have an IAW contract employee on top of the water tower with no way down, and it will be up to the fire department and EMT personnel’s to safely rescue. Cotton says this drill is great practice for the Streator Fire Department, because they do not face many height related rescues.