Danville Fire Station 4 to close
The Danville City Council has decided that it will be Fire Station 4 that will be closed instead of Station 3. The Danville City Council voted 12-1 to close Fire Station 4. The recommendation came from the city’s Fire Station Closure Committee which said it made more sense than closing Station 3. Alderman earlier had voted to close Fire Station 3 to save money. That station on Griffin Street will remain open. Fire Station 4 on East Main Street will close by the end of the month.
Reasoning behind the committee’s recommendation to close Station 4 include: safety issues related to backing up a fire truck from East Main Street, Fire Station 3 has room for personnel and equipment without renovations, and the fire stations can still respond within five minutes to locations except along Lynch Road.
Concerns raised about run-off into local river
Some citizens and local political leaders are voicing concern about small amounts of run-off from coal ash pits leaching into the Middle Fork River northwest of Danville. State Representative Chad Hays told about 75 citizens attending a forum at Danville Area Community College that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has set into motion a series of tests and requirements of the power company Dynegy. Environmentalist say toxic material from the Dynegy plant's coal ash pits is now leaking into the river. Dynegy bought the power plants in 2001. The ash pits are remains from the power production of the now closed Vermilion Power Station. Dynegy says it completed a riverbank restoration project along the Middle Fork River last fall. But citizens who attended the meeting were shown newly shot video showing discoloration along the bank and areas where some chemicals have settled into small ponds along the riverbank. The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is Illinois’ only National Scenic River.
Former Governor loses another round
Another legal defeat for former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his request for another resentencing. He has exhausted virtually all of his legal options. One of the last options would be to ask President Donald Trump for clemency.
Aqua Illinois begins fire hydrant flushing
Local Residents might experience issues with their water at times this summer. Aqua Illinois has stared its annual system-wide hydrant flushing and maintenance program.
All 1,893 fire hydrants will be flushed and inspected. Crews will work each weekday at different locations throughout the distribution system until all hydrants are flushed. It's expected to take four weeks to complete. Customers may experience decreased water pressure or temporary water discoloration during the flushing. Discoloration can be eliminated by running cold water until it clears.
New Danville TIF approved
The Danville city council has approved a new tax increment financing (TIF) district for the downtown area. Those funds could be used to make improvements to vacant or existing buildings. Mayor Scott Eisenhauer hopes it will encourage some businesses to move downtown. City leaders previously put other tax districts in place with positive results and hope this will have the same impact.
Two more charged in stabbing death
Two more people have been charged in the stabbing death of a 43-year-old Danville man.
Ronald Pettis and Marcus Jefferson were charged in Vermilion County Circuit Court with two counts of murder in the death of Kuron Kimmons. Each also was charged with one count of aggravated battery and one count of mob action. Both men are 23 years old and have Danville addresses. Another defendant — a 15-year-old female — faces five counts of first-degree murder and one count of mob action in connection with Kimmons' death. The teen has not been identified because of her age.
Danville police were called to the 900 block of Campbell Lane early Tuesday. They found Mr. Kimmons lying on the ground, and several people attempting CPR on him.
He was taken to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The preliminary cause of death was a stab wound to the back that ruptured his aorta.
Vermilion County State's Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said Kimmons was stabbed in the back by a juvenile. She said both defendants struck Kimmons with their fists. She added both were captured on video surveillance by a Danville Housing Authority camera. Authorities say Kimmons was stabbed when he tried to break up an argument. Pettis and Jefferson's bond was set at $1 million.
Friendly Town to have reduced schedule
Friendly Town, the Danville Police Department’s traffic safety center for young people, will be open for classes this year. Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason said the center will be open for an abbreviated schedule. It was earlier thought that Friendly Town would not be open at all this summer because of budget cuts. Classes for Friendly Town will be held June 12-14, June 19-22, June 26-29 and July 10-13. The Friendly Town program is a four day instruction period three hours each day.
Thomason said the center has been an integral part of this community since the 1970’s as a unique classroom approach to teach children traffic safety. Registration will be on a first-come first-serve basis with preference given to first time attendees. Registration will be held at Friendly Town in Lincoln Park May 20 from 9am-Noon. Beginning Monday, May 22 and through May 26 registrations for Friendly Town can be made at the Public Safety Building.
Danville Arena gets $3 million gift
The David Palmer Arena in Danville has been given a 3 million dollar donation. Julius W. Hegeler II is gifting the money to build a new “Ice Center” entrance on the south side of the facility and for the replacement of the Civic Center’s aging ice machinery.
General Manager, Peter Blackmon says the ice machinery if a decade past its lifetime expectancy and is well beyond routine care. He says the gift will keep the arena ice service for years to come. The Arena was awarded a grant from the State of Illinois in August of 2014 with the funds just now being distributed. The $850,000 is to go towards much needed roof repair, renovations and upgrades and would leave little, if anything, for the ice machinery and additional construction.
Water company seeks rate hike
Aqua Illinois has filed a rate increase that would have the average monthly residential water bill increasing by $5.42 next year. Aqua filed a proposed change in its rate schedules with the Illinois Commerce Commission. If approved by the ICC, the rate increase would go into effect March 30, 2018. The rate increase request is an 11-month process, which includes hearings. Aqua last filed a rate increase in 2011, with an increase occurring in 2012.
Aqua Illinois serves more than 60,000 Vermilion County residents in Danville, Tilton, the Danville Correctional Center, the Lake Boulevard and Hooton areas, Catlin, Westville, Belgium, Indianola and Philo as well as surrounding unincorporated areas.