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Back to school: Return dates and events

KANKAKEE — Harbor House and the Illinois Coalition for Community Services hosted the inaugural Back to School Bash last week, in the St. Rose Chapel parking lot at 430 W. Merchant St., Kankakee.

“This event will provide a safe, fun space for families and individuals to gather and increase awareness of many of our incredible, local community resources,” said Jenny Schoenwetter, CEO & Executive Director of Harbor House, ahead of the event.

“We are honored to partner with ICCS and City Life Center students to bring this free event to our community.”

The Back to School Bash included free school supplies, Switch It Up video gaming truck, a bus tug competition, a bounce house, a water inflatable, face painting, henna, arts and crafts, community resource booths, a dunk tank and more. Complimentary food and snacks were provided from Mi Casa, Que It Up BBQ and Oberweis. DJ Swift provided entertainment for the duration of the event.

“The Back to School Bash gives residents of Kankakee County the opportunity to celebrate students going back to school,” said Rhonda Currie, Field Supervisor of ICCS.

“This event will be an opportunity to connect with local organizations, play games, listen to music, interact with other residents, and enjoy different free foods. This will be a fun day for the entire community!”

Iroquois County prepares for General Election

IROQUOIS COUNTY — The United States Election Assistance Commission has designated today, Aug. 16, as Help America Vote Day. This day of action is meant to assist election judge recruitment efforts in communities across the country. Iroquois County is actively recruiting election judges for the upcoming Nov. 8 General Election and beyond.

Election Judges’ duties include setting up and preparing polling locations, including setting up voting equipment, signing in and processing voters, demonstrating voting procedures, assisting voters, closing the polls, canvassing and reporting election results back to the counting center at the end of the night.

To be an Election Judge in Illinois, you must meet the following requirements:

• Be a U.S. Citizen

• Be able to speak, read and write the English language

• Reside in the precinct where selected to serve as a judge

• Not be a candidate for any office in the election

• Not be a sex offender

• If you are 17 years old, you may be eligible to serve if you are a junior or senior in good standing with a GPA of at least 3.0.

Election Judges will be selected and trained by the local election authority and will receive compensation for their work on Election Day.


Iroquois County Clerk Breein B. Suver is informing voters that they may apply to be placed on permanent vote by mail status. This allows those voters who are interested to receive their ballots by mail in all or most elections, depending on the individual’s preference.

Pursuant to 10 ILCS 5/19-2.5, permanent vote by mail enrollment applications are being mailed to each registered voter in Iroquois County on or about Aug. 16.

By completing and mailing in the enrollment application for the permanent vote by mail program, you will automatically receive a ballot by mail for all elections you designate. This is not a request to vote by mail in only one election.

Enrollment in this program will remain in effect until you provide notification, in writing, to cancel registration in the program or if your voter registration becomes inactive for any reason.

To enroll, you must be a registered voter in Iroquois County. You must complete and mail in the permanent vote by mail enrollment application form to the County Clerk’s office. Upon receipt of your signed enrollment application form, you will automatically receive ballots in the elections you specified on the form. There will be no separate application for ballot required for you to sign before your ballot is mailed.

If you do not receive your permanent vote by mail enrollment application in the mail and you would like one sent to you, please contact the Iroquois County Clerk’s office at 815-432-6960. Additionally, an online application can be accessed at

You are not required to sign up for this program. You can still vote at your polling place on election day, vote early in the County Clerk’s office, or vote by mail as allowed in the past.

Ballots will be mailed to applicants beginning on or about Sept. 29, which is also the first day of early voting. The deadline for applying for a mail ballot is 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 3. After Nov. 3, voters can still receive a mail ballot by applying in person at the Iroquois County Clerk’s office, 1001 E. Grant, Watseka, IL. Ballots must be postmarked no later than Nov. 8 to be accepted, and properly postmarked ballots will be accepted through Nov. 22.


A lottery was held at 7:30 p.m. July 27 at the Iroquois County Clerk’s Office to determine party ballot placement for the Nov. 8 General Election.

The results of the ballot placement are:

• Republican

• Democrat

For more information, contact the County Clerk’s office at 815-432-6960.

Husband charged with attempted murder

KANKAKEE — The husband of a Kankakee woman was arrested on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm and is suspected of shooting his wife late Sunday evening.

Arthur Hopewell, 45, of Kankakee, was arrested in the 400 block of Country Club Drive just before 10 p.m. Sunday, according to Kankakee police.

Kankakee police responded to the scene regarding a report of shots being fired. As police arrived, they were flagged down by a woman, later identified as Hopewell’s spouse.

She told police her husband had taken her revolver and shot her at their home, according to police. Police said they found Hopewell only a short distance away, sitting on the front porch with a revolver next to him.

Hopewell was placed under arrest. His spouse was transported to a Kankakee hospital for treatment of her injury, police said.

Further details were not yet available.

One monkeypox case confirmed in Kankakee County; vaccine available

The Kankakee County Health Department confirmed Monday there has been one case of monkeypox (MPV) infection in residents of Kankakee County and announced it has a limited supply of vaccine available for high-risk groups.

Monkeypox spreads through prolonged contact and the risk to Kankakee County residents remains low, according to a press release from the department.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that belongs to the orthopoxviral family. Most infections last two to four weeks and resolve on their own; however, some cases can become severe.

The health department noted that person-to-person transmission is possible through close contact with body fluids, MPV sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.) or through respiratory droplets through prolonged face-to-face contact or sexual contact.

Visit and select the “Monkeypox in the U.S.” box to learn more about how monkeypox spreads.

The health department received doses of the vaccine that protects against monkeypox Friday, according to county health administrator John Bevis. He said both Riverside Medical Center and Ascension St. Mary are expected to receive the vaccine as well.

MPV vaccine is available through the Kankakee County Health Department by appointment only for certain high-risk groups because supply is low nationwide.

“The monkeypox vaccine is more at this point for an individual who has had a direct exposure to somebody who was positive for the monkeypox, not necessarily for somebody that’s just [thinking], ‘You know what, I’ve heard about this so I think I’ll go down and get a vaccine for it,’” Bevis said.

Individuals are eligible for an MPV vaccine if they are 18 years and older and: had a direct exposure to a lab-confirmed case of monkeypox, or, are gay, bisexual, or other (cis or trans) men who have sex with men (MSM), and who have had multiple anonymous sex partners, sex at social or sexual venue, or sex in exchange for money or goods within the last 14 days.

Those who meet one of these eligibilities can make an appointment at KCHD by calling 815-802-9400 Option 1.