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 815-208-2200.

Trailer for The Field:

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 Will County Fair

The 112th Will County Fair begins Wednesday, August 26th and continues through Sunday the 30th at the Will County Fair Grounds in Peotone, Illinois.  For a full schedule, go here.

Videos from previous Will County Fairs:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lincoln-Way School Board to Vote on Which School To Close, Attendance Boundaries

Voting on which school to close and taking action on attendance criteria are on the agenda for the August 13, 2015 Lincoln-Way Board of Education meeting.  The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Lincoln-Way Central Fine Arts Center.

Facing a financial deficit and placement on the State of Illinois financial watch list, the district must submit a deficit reduction plan to the State.

Video from the July Lincoln-Way Board of Education Meeting:

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Amazon Building Fulfillment Center in Joliet

Amazon is building a new fulfillment center in Joliet.  The new warehouse is currently under construction just east of the intersection of Laraway Road and Route 53:

Amazon is advertising full-time jobs to be available at the fulfillment center-- .

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I-55 Bridge Inspections In Will County To Begin August 10, 2015

Will County News received the following Illinois Department of Transportation Press Release on inspections of the Interstate 55 bridge over the Des Plaines River:

"CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that routine inspections of the Interstate 55 truss bridges over the Des Plaines River near Channahon will begin, weather permitting, the morning of Monday, August 10, 2015.

The inspections, required to be conducted every other year, will result in weekday closures, Monday through Thursday, on I-55 during the daytime hours for approximately two to three weeks.

The southbound bridge will be inspected first, with daily lane closures scheduled in the southbound lanes, weather permitting, between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. The inspections on the northbound bridge will follow, with lane closures scheduled in the northbound lanes between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., weather permitting.

Dynamic Message Signs will be in place while the lane closures are in effect to advise motorists of travel times through the work zone.

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to flaggers and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits and be on the alert for workers and equipment.

Find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1 at Updates on the impacts to traffic are available at "

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Forest Preserve District of Will County Programs

Will County Forest Preserve Programs, from the Forest Preserve:

Forest Preserve District Offers Bird, Boat, Farm and Photo Classes

This year’s final two sessions of “Lake Renwick Bird Viewing” tours will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve, located on Renwick Road, 0.5 mile east of Route 30. On Aug. 16 the preserve, which was closed except for the tours as the birds were nesting, will reopen for general use from 8 a.m. to sunset through Feb. 28. Registration is not required for the bird viewings; the program is for ages 7 and older.

 – A “Riverview Farmstead Tour” is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 13, at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Riverview Farmstead, located on Book Road, south of Hassert Boulevard/111th Street. Discover how three generations of the Clow family built the early settlement farmstead into a commercial farm. Registration is required for this free, all-ages program; call815-886-1467.

MONEE – The Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer “Kayak Fishing 101” from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 14, at Monee Reservoir, 27341 Ridgeland Ave. Learn all about fishing from a kayak including the items you will need, safety concerns and registration essentials. The program is for ages 12 and older. Cost: $20 per person. Registration is required; call 708-534-8499

 – Forest Preserve District of Will County “Kayak Kollege” workshops will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Whalon Lake, located on Royce Road, west of Route 53. Participants must be age 12 or older; ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a registered adult. All equipment is provided, including life jackets. No previous experience is required. Cost: $20 per person. Registration is required; call 708-534-8499.
BEECHER – Watch as hummingbirds are banded by an Illinois licensed avian ecologist during a “Hummingbirds up Close” program from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road. The program is being offered by the Forest Preserve District of Will County in cooperation with the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. Registration is required for the free, all-ages program; call 708-946-2216.
BEECHER – The Forest Preserve District of Will County will offer a “Summer Nature Photography” class from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. onSunday, Aug. 16, at Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road. The program is recommended for beginners and for technology ranging from smartphone cameras to digital SLRs. Dress for the weather. The free program is for ages 16 and older. Registration is required; 708-946-2216.

Fishing for Trash” will be offered from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day starting Tuesday, Aug. 11, and ending Sunday, Aug. 16, at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Monee Reservoir, 27341 Ridgeland Ave. Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a garbage bag, fill it with trash and return it to receive a free gift. Registration is not required for the free all-ages program. 
For information on these programs and other Forest Preserve District offerings, visit

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Will County Board Extends Temporary Overweight Permits for Arsenal Road

At the July 16, 2015 Will County Board meeting, the board voted to extend issuing overweight truck permits for Arsenal Road.  The Board heard from people in the trucking and grain exporting industries who described their businesses and their use of Arsenal Road:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

DuPage A.M.E. Church Holds Prayer Walk in Honor of Sandra Bland

A silent prayer walk in memory of Sandra Bland was held today at her church, DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois.

After the prayer walk, Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. James Miller was asked his thoughts on the fact that officials have already said Bland committed suicide.  Miller said:

"When you say what has happened before an investigation has been completed, you are tainting the investigation.  If you want to know Sandra Bland's character and personality, I invite you to her webpage and you will see she was strong willed and outspoken, but a Christian woman who was seeking reconciliation for this present age.  I'll leave you to your own conclusions."

Members of the church collected signatures in support of a petition asking the U.S. Justice Department to conduct an independent investigation into Bland's death.

"We're asking everyone who will to write Attorney Lynch, the Attorney General of the United States of petition the Justice Department for an independent, an independent and objective, thorough investigation," Miller said.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lincoln-Way School Board Votes to Close School to Reduce Deficit

At the July 16, 2015 Lincoln-Way School Board Meeting, the Board voted to stop consideration of two proposed deficit-reduction options: a tax referendum and cutting classes or extracurriculars.  The only proposed option remaining is closing a school.

Superintendent Tingley presented options for attendance boundaries and school closures.  The Board asked for more information on bus travel times for each of the options.  The Board also discussed the possibility of bringing in an outside consultant to analyze the situation.

The Board will discuss which school to consider for closure at the next meeting.

Video of public comment from a father of a Lincoln-Way student and a Lincoln-Way teacher:

New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann on supporting all Lincoln-Way Schools:

The Lincoln-Way Board of Education discusses budget reduction options: