Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016

Gemini Giant, Launching Pad Fail to Sell at Auction

Tina and Joel Brownlee of Wilmington were the high bidders for the historic Route 66 icon Gemini Giant and Launching Pad restaurant Friday, but walked away without the prize.
The 2,600 square foot former Launching Pad restaurant at 810 E. Baltimore Street in Wilmington drew a $177,500 bid—but that amount failed to match the owner’s reserve.
Auctioneer Jim Bednar said he will negotiate with the Brownlees and the owner over the next couple of days to see if they can come together on price.
The auction drew a mixed crowd of about 40 locals, neighbors, bidders, and watchers.  
After the auction, Brownlee said she grew up in Wilmington “and enjoyed the Launching Pad.” Her family would like to see the restaurant “come back to life.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Plainfield Library Referendum Results 2016

To view results in the March 15, 2016 Plainfield Library Referendums, go here for Will County results.  

Go here for Kendall County results.

Referendums are at the end of the list.  

Results will begin to post after polls close. 

Peotone Schools Referendum Election Results 2016

To view results in the March 15, 2016 Peotone School District 207U Referendum, go here for Will County results.  

Go here for Kankakee County results (the referendum is on the ballot there as well).  

Referendums are at the end of the list.  

Results will begin to post after polls close. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Route 66 Landmark Gemini Giant To Be Sold at Public Auction

The Gemini Giant has welcomed both locals and Route 66 travelers to Wilmington for decades.




On April 8, 2016 at noon, the Gemini Giant will be sold at auction, along with the Launching Pad restaurant.   Bednar Auction Services is conducting the auction and details on the terms of the auction are available here

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Things to do in Will County: See Bison at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie!

Recreation pop quiz:

 Where in Will County can you:
a.) hike next to a restored prairie
b.) view and explore bunkers that housed ammunition produced at the Elwood Ordinance Plant and used in World War II
c.) observe a herd of bison roam a prairie

Any guesses?

Here's a visual clue of the bunkers:

Visual clue of the bison:


Answer: Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie!

Midewin is one of Will County's most unique assets.  At over 19, 000 acres, Midewin was created by a land transfer from the Department of the Army to Department of Agriculture.  

For more info and maps, go to the Midewin website.






Saturday, December 5, 2015

Elwood Creates Website and Videos Highlighting Truck Traffic in Will County

Will County roads such as Route 53, Laraway Road, I-80, and I-55 have experienced increased semi-truck traffic in the last 10 years as new warehouses and intermodals have become operational.

The Village of Elwood, site of one intermodal and petitioner in an Illinois Commerce Commission case that resulted in the closing of Walter Strawn Drive, has now launched a website called Safe Roads Illinois.  The website features statistics on truck-related accidents and deaths in Will County and videos of local residents discussing truck traffic in Will County:

Here, Meri Knauer, grandmother of 8-year old Madison Frost, discussed her granddaughter's death. Madison was killed when her family's van was struck by a semi. Knauer stated, "We don't want Madison's death to be in vain, enough is enough":

A mother discusses her fear regarding having her children driving on Will County roads:


A friend of a man killed when a semi struck his car:


Elwood Police Chief Fred Hayes discusses fatality crashes in Will County:

A man discusses viewing a truck blow through a red light on Manhattan Road:

The website asks visitors to sign a petition stating:
"If you are tired of truck traffic overwhelming your community and creating dangerous roads, sign the Safe Roads Illinois Petition to tell lawmakers and elected officials that Enough is Enough!
As a concerned resident of Will County, I want my elected officials to:
  • Make truckers pay for blatant disregard of the law
  • Hold developers accountable for their actions and impacts
  • Coordinate enforcement of truck traffic
  • Toughen commercial driver licensing, regulations and penalties"

The logistics and warehousing industry in Will County continues to grow.  In 2015, an Amazon Fulfillment Center opened in Joliet:

Ikea is also planning a warehouse in Joliet.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Route 53 in Will County, Public Meeting on Traffic Safety

The Illinois Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Stone City V.F.W. in Joliet, Illinois on IDOT's Phase I Study to address safety and operations along IL-53.


Specifically, IDOT is studying the stretch of 53 from Rt. 52 (Doris Avenue near Nowell Park) to West Arsenal Road in Wilmington.


The purpose of the meeting is for IDOT to "obtain public input on the transportation issues in the study area, describe the project development process, and provide information on additional public involvement opportunitiesaccording to the Illinois Route 53 Study Website.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk Announces Police Foot Patrols for Downtown Joliet

Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk released the following press release regarding the addition of a Joliet Police foot patrol in downtown Joliet:

"Joliet---Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk today announced that two Joliet Police Officers will be assigned to a foot patrol in the Joliet City Center area to increase security for downtown businesses and visitors effective September 27, 2015  

“One of the complaints I heard frequently from both Joliet residents and visitors to our city in the last few years was that they did not feel safe downtown.   Joliet City Center may be one of the safest areas in Joliet due to the presence of the Joliet Police Headquarters, the courthouse and the Sheriff’s department, but all of those uniforms on Jefferson Street can’t be seen for more than a block,” said Mayor O’Dekirk.  “If we want to revitalize downtown Joliet, everyone needs to feel safe in addition to being safe.  The daily presence of two officers patrolling on foot will provide the feeling of security that is necessary for people to want to congregate downtown.”

O’Dekirk compared that need for security downtown to the same security presence on north Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

“Chicago’s premier shopping district has police officers patrolling up and down Michigan Avenue on foot to deter trouble, and it works.  Considering the huge number of people, there are few problems on Michigan Avenue, and those that do arise are handled quickly.  Chicago cannot afford to have people feeling unsafe on Michigan Avenue and Joliet cannot afford to have people feeling unsafe in our City Center,” said O’Dekirk.   “Our new patrol officers will also be closely monitoring the area near the train station.  Union Station is the gateway for many people coming to the city or passing through, and it has become an area of congregation for people with obvious mental imbalances and substance abuse problems.  We will be getting those folks the help they need in the appropriate facilities, which does not include a public train station.”"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Peotone Airport Documentary to Screen at Joliet Junior College Film Fest

Filmmaker Tom Desch has documented Will County residents' fight against the proposed Peotone Airport for more than a decade.  Desch followed members of the citizen group STAND (Shut This Airport Nightmare Down) as they fought against the State of Illinois' use of eminent domain for an airport whose necessity has been argued for decades.  The State of Illinois now owns thousands of acres of land in the proposed airports footprint, including the former Bult Field, which the State of Illinois now operates as the "South Suburban Airport".

Desch's film, The Field, will screen Saturday, October 17th at 4:30 p.m. in the K Building on Joliet Junior College's Main Campus.  Tickets to see the film are free, but should be reserved by calling the Box Office at 815-280-2200.

Trailer for The Field:

The Field: A Fight or Flight Story Trailer from House Painter Media on Vimeo.