Anna Oestreich is retiring after 34 years as executive director of the Bond County Senior Center. Oestreich worked through the end of December, then Jill Jones became the acting director in January 2017. A transition team, which includes staff members, has been formed. Oestreich notes that nothing will change as far as services to the public. Read the full story at WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News or in the Dec 1st issue of the Greenville Advocate newspaper. [CLICK HERE to read full text]

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rep. Cavaletto joined the Retirement Open House for Anna and presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her many years of service to the Bond County Senior Center located in Greenville, Illinois.
The service for the 2016 tax filing season, to be offered by tax assistance centers across Illinois in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), is targeted towards families with incomes up to $55,000 and individuals with incomes up to $30,000. The service offices will help Illinois residents fill out and sign their forms in advance of the tax filing deadline of April 18, 2017, but eligible Illinois residents are urged to come in as soon as possible.

People whose incomes make them potentially eligible for this benefit can find the tax assistance centers that offer this free service. They should visit this website and enter their zip code to find a center close to where they live. This service is being targeted towards individuals and households that are potentially eligible for federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs).
Dear Employees:

By now you've heard the shocking news that Attorney General Lisa Madigan went into court late yesterday to petition a judge to halt state employee pay.

It's disappointing to see any move to stop employee pay and disrupt government services, especially now as the Senate is on the verge of a bipartisan agreement to enact a balanced budget with changes to create jobs and lower property taxes. The Attorney General's court filing seeks to directly harm thousands of employee families and even more who rely on your hard work every day.

Our Administration will use all available legal options to continue employee pay and avoid any disruption to government services. I am hopeful Comptroller Mendoza will stand with state employees - just as Comptroller Munger did previously - and support our legal arguments to continue employee pay.

No matter what, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to stop this attempt to undermine good-faith bipartisan negotiations in the Senate - ensuring employee pay continues, government services remain intact and the General Assembly enacts a bipartisan balanced budget with changes to our broken system.

Sincerely,

Governor Bruce Rauner




(You can read more on this subject by clicking HERE to link ot the Chicago Sun-Times article.)
State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) joined his colleagues in the House and Senate on Wednesday to listen to Governor Bruce Rauner give his third ‘State of the State’ address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“I continue to be encouraged by the governor’s long-term goals to change the broken system in Illinois to one that encourages businesses to stay and re-locate to Illinois to create jobs,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “I agree with the governor that improving transportation is critical to our goal of growing more jobs across the state; like the I-57/70 corridor expansion in Effingham,” added Cavaletto.

One excerpt from the Governor’s speech:

“Our state’s economy could take off like a rocket ship if we could just come together on major pro-jobs changes that need legislation to take effect. Lawmakers from both parties deserve credit for working for many months to find ways to reduce regulatory costs and property tax burdens that make businesses in Illinois less competitive than our neighbors. Hopefully we can build upon these initial proposals to ensure they drive big results on job creation. And hopefully we can work together to cut the red tape even more – reducing filing fees and costly licensing barriers that prevent hard-working Illinoisans from qualifying for good, high-paying jobs.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft a balanced budget that respects the taxpayers of my district and this state and not spend more than we have,” concluded. Rep. Cavaletto
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois hunters harvested about 11,000 fewer deer during the recent hunting seasons as compared to past seasons.

The Illinois Departmen of Natural Resources numbers show hunters harvested a preliminary total of 144,150 deer during the 2016-2017 seasons, including archery, youth, firearm, muzzleloader and other seasons. That number was 155,229 during the 2015-2016 seasons. Increases were seen in the youth and muzzleloader-only deer seasons. And although the archery and traditional firearm seasons had the most deer taken, the numbers were below last year’s harvests.

State officials say 44 percent of the deer taken were does and 56 percent were males.

Fulton County had the most deer taken with a harvest of 4,014 for the seasons.

Today at 12:00 noon, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his third 'State of the State' address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. You may watch or listen live from your home or office by clicking here.
Every winter, Illinois presents visitors with the opportunity to see more than 3,100 bald eagles in their natural habitat - more wintering American bald eagles, in fact, than in any other state outside Alaska. The first eagles of the season are spotted in Illinois in December and remain in residence until they migrate back north in March, with January and February the optimal time for visitors to see eagles.

To accommodate visitors who want to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the bald eagles' majesty and glory, towns and parks across much of the state will host specially planned eagle observation programs and exhibits throughout the prime-viewing season. For anyone interested in American history, bird-watching and the environment, bald eagle season in Illinois is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is pleased to highlight a number of eagle-watching locations and events planned for this winter:

Carlyle Lake Eagle Watch
January 28 (9:00-1:00)
  • Case-Halstead Library
  • The World Bird Sanctuary will present a Bald Eagle demonstration at 10:00 & 12:00
  • Eagle viewing from Carlyle Lake Main Dam, bring binoculars & dress accordingly for the weather.
  • For more information; http://carlylelake.com/eagle-watch-event/, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Carlyle Lake Project Office (618) 594-2484 or email carlylelake@usace.army.mil
State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) today called on Comptroller Susana Mendoza to release more than $1.1 million in Medicaid payments for the Fayette County Hospital and an additional $130 thousand in Medicaid payments for their Long Term Care facility.

“I’m the first person to say you can’t spend money you don’t have, but these payments are required to be made by order of the court, the money is there, so there is no reason to hold up paying these bills to Fayette County Hospital,” said Rep. Cavaletto.

The hospital employs 320 individuals and is the 2nd largest employer in Fayette County.

As of today the Comptroller has more than $369 million on hand that can be used to pay back bills.





In Illinois, 211 counts of falsification were filed. Additionally, those defendants have been ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution and fines, and 21 years of hunting privilege have been revoked.



INDIANAPOLIS — A multi-state investigation into hunting license and permit fraud resulted in more than $85,000 in fines and restitution, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of National Resources.

The investigation was conducted by Indiana Conservation Officers and Illinois Conservation Police, beginning in early 2015 extending through 2016.

Sgt. David Hyatt, Illinois Conservation Police, said "operation double dip" investigated individuals who falsely claimed living in Indiana and Illinois as a way to purchase hunting licenses and deer permits at a cheaper rate.

Both Indiana and Illinois law states, “No person may claim residency in more than one state at the same time for the purpose of purchasing resident hunting or fishing licenses.”

Indiana has recorded an estimated 57 defendants because of this investigation; however, the majority of cases are still pending and final amount of charges has not been determined. Currently, more than $20,500 in restitution has been ordered and 12 years of hunting privileges have been revoked, according to the release.

“Conservation Law Enforcement is an important component in the protection and continual improvement of our state’s natural resources,” said Col. Danny L. East, Indiana DNR Law Enforcement Division director. “The cooperative efforts of both Indiana and Illinois law enforcement divisions were vital to the success of this case.”

In Illinois, 211 counts of falsification were filed. Additionally, those defendants have been ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution and fines, and 21 years of hunting privilege have been revoked.
The National Resource Directory, a website that provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels, unveiled an updated design and layout this week. The updates were implemented to make the site more user- friendly for the thousands of service members, veterans and family members who use the Directory each month.

“The National Resource Directory has been an invaluable collection of resources for our service members, veterans and their families,” said James Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary of defense, Office of Warrior Care Policy. “Improving the site and expanding its capabilities was an easy decision.”

Enhancements to the Directory include a refreshed appearance, updated search engine, and behind the scenes software updates that will improve the speed and accuracy of managing the programs and services listed.

Try the new website yourself by going to www.nrd.gov and let us know what you think on social media through Facebook or Twitter.NRD Screenshot
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner kicked off planning for the state’s 200th birthday Thursday by unveiling the bicentennial logo at the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield, where Abraham Lincoln once served in the Legislature.

Rauner showed off the gold-and-blue symbol with its designer at the first meeting of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which was formed to organize the festivities in 2018.
“We reflect virtually every aspect of America,” he said. “We are a crossroads of the nation.”

Illinois' bicentennial logo was designed and donated by Ben Olson of the Schaumburg-based public relations firm 3 Monkeys and an Aardvark Studios.

Rep. Cavaletto encourages anyone who has ideas for local activities and programs, please contact our historical organizations:
Governor Bruce Rauner today announced on his Facebook page #GovClassroomVisit for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, encouraging classrooms to submit videos showcasing what they’re learning and how. The videos can focus on anything from computer or technology projects to hands-on assignments and everything in between. They should center around the unique ways Illinois students are learning either inside or outside of their classrooms. The governor plans to do a Learning Tour and visit several schools throughout the state to highlight the hard work and creativity of teachers and students. These video submissions will determine where he goes to learn first.

“I get requests to visit schools both in person and on my social media pages, and I thought a Learning Tour would be a fun way to connect with the students of Illinois,” Governor Rauner said. “We all need to put children and education first. It’s the most important thing we can do as a community.”

Entries should be no longer than 5 minutes in length. #GovClassroomVisit submissions will be taken from January 12, 2017, through February 10, 2017, at 5 p.m. Three finalists will be selected. Those finalists will be posted to the governor’s Facebook page, and the people of Illinois will be able to cast their vote to determine which school the governor visits first.
Cavaletto listens to Republican Leader Jim Durkin's plan forward.
On Wednesday, Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) was sworn in to serve his fifth term in the Illinois House of Representatives. The ceremonies took place at the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The representative was joined by his wife Connie and two of his sons as well as local elected officials from the Marion County Board and staff and friends.

“I am eager to continue the fight to turn around the economy in Illinois and my district to create jobs,” said Cavaletto. “With the governor leading the fight, I am hopeful we in the legislature can help craft a balanced budget with reforms that he can sign and we can begin to attract business back to Illinois.”

Constituents can contact Rep. Cavaletto through this on-line web blog to keep updated on the activities of the legislature and log in to watch committee hearings and legislative sessions at www.ilga.gov.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R - Salem) has issued information on several new laws for 2017. Cavaletto is an avid bird hunter and member of the Downstate Sportsman’s Caucus and outlined the laws that took effect January 1st that will have an impact on hunting, fishing and trap shooting in Illinois.
“It is important to educate the public about new laws that effect sportsmen and sportswomen in Illinois,” Cavaletto said. “With 191 new laws taking effect on January 1st, the hunters, fisherman, and trap shooters of Illinois should know how these new laws will affect them.”
Permitting bow-fishing for catfish Public Act 99-867, House Bill 5788
Bow-fishing is the practice of taking a fish with a spear or a bow and arrow. The existing Illinois law limits the kinds of fish that can be taken through bow-fishing. HB 5788 added catfish to the Fish Code list of fish that can be taken with sharp weaponry.

No catch limits on private fish ponds - Public Act 99-532, House Bill 5796
Illinois law limits the number of fish a person with a fishing license can legally catch in a 24 hour period. House Bill 5796 creates an exception for people fishing on fish ponds located on their own private property.

Youth Trapping Licenses - Public Act 99-868, Senate Bill 2410
Persons under the age of 18 may apply for a Youth Trapping License, which will grant to them limited trapping privileges. In order to trap or carry a hunting device, the youth must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian over 21 who has a valid Illinois hunting license.

Agriculture Education Teacher Grant Program Public Act 99-826, Senate Bill 2975
A school district may apply for a grant to fund 50% of the personal services cost for an agriculture education teacher, or if the school is creating a new agriculture education program, 100% of the cost in the first two years and 80% in the third and fourth years. This new act is subject to appropriation.

Landowner hunting permit procedures  - Public Act 99-869, Senate Bill 3003
Amending the Wildlife Code, SB 3003 allows owners and resident tenants who control 40 or more acres of land in Illinois to apply for and receive without fee deer permits, turkey permits or a combination deer/turkey permit. The law also applies to members of hunting clubs, partnerships or cooperatives if the group owns the land in question.

To learn more about sporting activities and sign up for tournaments, click here to connect to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has announced that seven community college districts, including Kaskaskia College, will receive emergency funding. Other community colleges receiving the funding include Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Lake Land College, John A. Logan College, Rend Lake College, Shawnee Community College, and Southeastern Community College.

A total of $3 million will be distributed equally among the seven districts, with each district set to receive $428,571.42 in financial support for essential operations. The districts were selected based on criteria established by the board during a special meeting on December 7, 2016. The criteria was formulated on the assumption that districts with the least amount of local property tax funding will have the hardest time operating without State funding. Colleges meeting this criterion were also required to demonstrate evidence of measures taken to reduce expenditures that required a reduction in staff and programs. (Read the full article at WGEL Radio by clicking here.)