JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF KPD
Judge Richard Tognarelli has ruled in favor of the Kingsbury Park District in a small claims suit filed by a rural Greenville resident. In his suit, Warren R. Kennedy had alleged that his property sustained damage due to the flooding of his lower pasture, deterioration of a fence, and other hardships created by the overflow of the silt basin from Patriot's Park Lake. Kennedy and the park district share a boundary on the west side of Patriot's Park. Serving as his own legal counsel, Kennedy called no witnesses during a recent bench trial. The KPD’s attorney had several witnesses take the stand including district employees and those involved with the Clean Lakes Grant work done last year at Patriot’s.
On Friday Judge Tognarelli issued his ruling that the plaintiff, Kennedy, had failed to prove the park district was guilty of “willful and wanton conduct.” In his decision, the judge wrote that the KPD had hired an engineering firm to study the problem and to provide a remedy. The judge added that although it was not satisfactory to Kennedy, there was no sign of negligence on the part of the park district. Judge Tognarelli also noted that because the area in question is designated a “wetland,” the remedies available are limited.
BOND COUNTY 9-1-1 TO APPLY FOR FEDERAL GRANT
One of the issues that Bond County 9-1-1 Coordinator Allan Davis tackled in 2006 was the dead spots in radio communication for emergency personnel. In some areas of the county, firefighters, EMS, and law enforcement have had difficulties with their radio signal. Davis tested the StarCom communications system and found that it could solve many of those problems. The price tag would be high but a solution could be on the horizon. At Thursday’s Bond County Emergency Telephone System Board meeting, Davis reported that the federal government is making an “interoperability” grant available to fund upgrades in communications. The money would come from the Homeland Security Department for use during the 2007 fiscal year. The ETSB instructed Davis to apply for the grant which would conceivably fund the purchase of new portable radios for all emergency personnel in Bond County.
The board also approved the expenditure of around $17,000 for purchasing one laptop computer with 9-1-1 mapping for each fire department and EMS district in Bond County.
ILLINOIS JOINS SEVERAL STATES IN RECOGNIZING AMBERT ALERT AWARENESS DAY
It was announced over the weekend, that Illinois is joining several states across the nation to recognize January 13 as AMBER Alert Awareness Day. This past Saturday marked the 11th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman in Arlington, TX. As a tribute to her, the Amber Alert System began in 1997 and today is in place in all 50 states to help find abducted children.
As a part of the anniversary in Illinois, a poster contest for grades K-12 is being sponsored by the Illinois AMBER Alert Task Force. The contest will run through May 25, 2007 with this year's theme being "Bringing Our Missing Children Home". This contest will also allow teachers additional resources to teach students about safety issues.
The Illinois Amber Alert Task Force was created in 2003 and through this partnership, the Illinois State Police has been able to send information on abducted children to radio and television outlets throughout the state for immediate broadcast. According to the U.S Department of Justice, the AMBER Alert System is a proven success and has helped rescue more than 308 children nationwide, including Ben Ownby and Shawn Hornbeck this past Friday.