State sets October enrollment date for heating bill help
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Seniors and people with disabilities may begin applying on Oct. 1 for help paying their heating bills this winter.
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity this week announced the 2017 start date for enrollment in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The state and federally funded program makes heating bill payments on behalf of low-income households.
Thirty-five agencies across Illinois will accept applications for the program on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers must provide documentation of their income, housing costs and recent heat and electric bills.
A single person may qualify for assistance with an income of up to $1,508 per month, while a family of four may earn up to $3,075 monthly.
Coast Guard terminates 22 Illinois charter boat operations
CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard partnered with Illinois officials to police charter operations on Lake Michigan and the Illinois River, ending voyages for 22 vessels.
The Coast Guard and Illinois Department of Natural Resources undertook the effort over the last two weeks. The Coast Guard says the vessel operators had administrative controls placed, ordering the boats to immediately cease operating as commercial passenger vessels until they comply with federal law.
The Coast Guard says it also issued citations totaling more than $50,000. The IDNR issued 14 misdemeanor charges. The Coast Guard and state officials boarded 39 boats total on Lake Michigan and the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park.
State and Coast Guard officials say the goal of the operation was to ensure passenger safety.
Section of Bloomington cemetery named after killed soldier
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — A section of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington has been named in honor of a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.
The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that at a ceremony on Saturday, the section of the cemetery was named The U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers Veterans Field. Rogers — a graduate of Normal Community High School — was killed along with fellow Ranger Cameron Thomas.
At the ceremony that came just days before what would have been Rodgers’ 23rd birthday, his mother said that her son was not a hero because he died but because he served his country. And Vonda Rodgers thanked veterans and other active military personnel at the ceremony for doing the same thing.
FBI says agency’s New Orleans chief will lead Chicago office
CHICAGO (AP) — The FBI has named a new special agent in charge of its Chicago division.
FBI officials say Jeffrey S. Sallet will take over the Chicago field office in November. Sallet is joining Chicago from the bureau’s New Orleans division, which he’s led since 2015.
He joined the FBI in 1997 and has focused on areas including corruption, counterterrorism and organized crime. He’s worked in New York and led investigations in cities including Boston.
He’ll replace Michael J. Anderson who has announced his retirement from the Chicago office. Anderson has been with the agency for more than two decades and led Chicago since October 2015.
Bond reduced for man charged in crash that killed 4
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Bond has been reduced for a man charged with 16 counts of reckless homicide for a crash that killed a pregnant woman and her three sons.
A Will County judge on Friday reduced bond for Sean B. Woulfe to $250,000 from $1 million. Woulfe’s attorney called the higher bond excessive, saying his client was not a threat to public safety or a flight risk.
Prosecutors say the 25-year-old Woulfe was going 75 mph in a 55 mph speed zone at the time of the incident on July 24. He also blew a clearly displayed stop sign. Authorities said there isn’t any physical evidence of alcohol or drug use.
The crash in Beecher, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Chicago, killed 29-year-old Lindsey Schmidt of Beecher, along with her sons, 6-year-old Owen, 4-year-old Weston and 19-month-old Kaleb.