Brook nursing home evacuated

BROOK, Ind. -- George Ade Memorial Home is being evacuated because of flooding from the nearby Iroquois River.

Administrator Scott James said the 60 residents are being taken to Rensselaer Care Center and Jasper County Hospital, both in Rensselaer.

The more ambulatory ones are being take to South Newton School Corporation near Kentland, Ind.

He said authorities expect the river to crest this weekend and he is hoping to bring the residents back Sunday or Monday.

The last time such measure was needed because of flooding was in 1958 when the campus was the site of a hospital, James said. He said the water was not getting into the facility itself but was isolating the facility from area service agencies and departments.

The Brook Fire Department has run out of road signs because of the closed roads in the area, says a spokesman.

Firemen from Kentland, Morocco and Goodland helped them sandbagging the home and are also helping with evacuation.

The home is on the estate of the famed 20th century newspaperman and playwright, George Ade, born in Kentland, educated at Purdue (where the football stadium is named in his honor and of alum David Ross.) In the early years of the last century, Ade's Broadway comedies were bringing him the then-incredible sum of $5,000 a week. He is said to have been the first American to become a millionaire through his writing.

His estate also includes his fine Tudor home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is just east of the memorial home.

Dewitt named to Iroquois board

WATSEKA -- Alan "Art" Dewitt of Martinton was sworn in Tuesday as the new Iroquois County board member in District II, replacing the late Jim Lanoue of Martinton.

Dewitt is a Watseka High School graduate and Martinton Township road commissioner, says his colleague in District II and former high school principal John Dowling of Watseka.

Dowling said the District II members looked for a replacement from the Martinton area because that's where Lanoue was from. Dewitt was willing and as road commissioner he is apparently electable.

It's a matter of law that Dewitt can continue to be a road commissioner without a conflict of interest, Dowling said.

Board Chairman Ron Schroeder of Papineau said he has known Dewitt for quite some time.

Dewitt has been elected as road commissioner twice in contested races.

"I felt like he would be a good candidate and an electable candidate if people in Martinton Township thought enough of him to make him road commissioner for a second time. Road commissioners catch an awful lot of heat. If he can handle that he can certainly handle the county board," Schroeder said.

Momence workers win pay hikes

MOMENCE -- Momence water and sewer department employees Mark Nelson and Bob Nickels were granted hourly wage increases of 35 cents and 75 cents, respectively.

Also Monday, the council passed a resolution to barricade various streets for the Gladiolus Festival parades and activities. The festival runs Aug. 6-10.

State Sen. Debbie Halvorson of Crete introduced herself to the council and the community, urging area residents to contact her with concerns at any time. This is the first year Sen. Halvorson has represented Momence.

A sign will be posted on city property near the dam warning children and others of the danger of swimming in the river in that area.

Iroquois buys bulletproof vests

WATSEKA -- The Iroquois County Board has approved buying 19 bulletproof vests and four vest carriers.

Half of the $16,781 cost will be reimbursed through a Department of Justice grant.

The county's five-year-old vests need to be replaced. Two of the new vests will be for the probation department and the rest will be for the sheriff's department.

The winning bid was from Ray O'Herron Police Supply in Danville.

New Iroquois history exhibit room

WATSEKA -- The Iroquois County Historical Society has opened an exhibit room available to villages, organizations and groups to put up exhibits of interest to the public for a period of several months.

This is a new undertaking by the Historical Society in the hopes that others will take advantage of the opportunity to put up displays.

One of the newest displays is by St. Mary's Historic Catholic Church in Beaverville which his getting ready for their Founder's Day on Sept. 7.

The display will be available for viewing 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Sat. from 1 to 4 p.m. It features photos and memorabilia from the historic St. Mary's Catholic Church in Beaverville, the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, and the former Holy Family Academy in Beaverville.

EMT classes offered

WATSEKA -- Continuing education for emergency medical technicians by a certified athletic trainer at four area locations are in the offing.

Dates are: 6-8 p.m. Monday at the hospital in room 216; 5-7 p.m. Tuesday in Hoopeston at a location to be announced, 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Gilman's ambulance station and 7-9 p.m. July 28 at the Milford Fire Department.

Terri Fanning of Iroquois Memorial Hospital says any EMT from the area may attend at any location. She may be reached at 432-7712.

Corn sinks as skies brighten

CHICAGO (AP) -- Corn futures tumbled Thursday in early activity on the Chicago Board of Trade, pressured by improving crop and weather outlooks.

Wheat for September delivery fell 1 cent to $3.16 a bushel; September corn fell 4 1/2 cents to $2.16 1/4; September oats fell 1 3/4 cent to $1.32; August soybeans fell 4 cents to $6.06.

Closing prices at local elevators Wednesday: Prairie Creek LLC, Elwood -- corn $2.20, soybeans, $5.07; Alliance Grain, Campus, (river price) -- corn $2.29, soybeans $6.18; J.R. Short Milling in Kankakee -- corn $2.29; Watseka Farmers Grain -- corn $2.25; soybeans $6.10.

Momence cop vote questioned

MOMENCE -- Citizen Bob Bleyle individually questioned the three aldermen -- Steve Aicher, Jay Kerouac and Bill Spoon -- who opposed the rehiring of part-time police officer Sean Prophet at the previous council meeting.

"Why wouldn't you hire a man who's qualified?" Bleyle asked. "If it's personal reasons, you shouldn't be on the board."

Aicher responded that the council wished to ensure overtime issues were resolved before hiring any new part-time officers. Spoon concurred, stating his desire to beef up full-time personnel and ensure the department has adequate tools to do its job, then consider supplementing the force.

Kerouac stated, "I don't wish to address your question as it is a personnel issue for executive session."

Prophet, a full-time Manteno police officer, forfeited his part-time position in Momence last year while briefly serving as an alderman. He was rehired last month by a slim majority of the council.

Beer lover busted in Watseka

WATSEKA -- Reynaldo Perez Aquino, 22, Mexico, was arrested Wednesday for getting insistent about buying beer from a Watseka business.

Police charged Aquino with criminal trespass and obstructing justice, the latter because he had two sets of ids and social security cards.

Police secretary Sherry Waters says the business owner refused to sell Aquino more alcohol because he was drunk.

Firm owner stole from workers

PONTIAC (AP) -- The owner of a now-closed chair factory is charged with stealing as much as $100,000 that employees contributed for insurance premiums.

Leo Trimpe, 55, owner of the Les Brown Chair Co., was indicted by a Livingston County grand jury last week on three counts of felony theft.

About 20 employees worked at the plant, which also is the target of a foreclosure lawsuit filed last spring in Livingston County Circuit Court. Trimpe allegedly still owes $455,000 on the mortgage.

Solar race on Rt. 66 Sunday

Solar powered cars will soon be humming along historic Route 66 through Wilmington, Braidwood and Dwight.

It's all part of the July 13-23 American Solar Challenge, a 2,300 mile solar car race from Chicago to Claremont California.

The race will leave Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry around 9 a.m. Sunday.

They are expected to begin arriving in Wilmington around 11:30 a.m. The futuristic cars are designed and driven by 31 teams from colleges and universities across the country.

4 hurt when Morris deck falls

MORRIS -- Four people suffered minor injuries about 9 a.m. Tuesday when a second-floor deck collapsed beneath them in Morris.

The accident happened at 1490 Stacy Court. Fire Chief Robert Coleman said no one was on the first-floor deck at the time.

According to Coleman, the deck was new construction and had not been damaged in the storms that came through the area.

Nick Vidito, who rents the duplex in Bristol Point Subdivision, was taken to Morris Hospital by ambulance for treatment of back injuries.

The other three persons involved in the collapse -- Tonya Alonzo, Sonny Vidito and Trish Vidito -- suffered minor bumps and bruises.