Friday, April 21, 2017

Village Text Notification System

The Village of Hennepin is looking to start a texting service to provide as prompt as possible communications in regards to, but not limited to, the following:

  • Hydrant Flushing
  • Water/Sewer Service Interruptions
  • Water System Alerts/Notifications (Boil Orders)
  • Roadway Construction Notifications
  • Street Sweeping
  • Fire Department Notifications (Burn Warnings)
  • Health Department Public Statements
  • Office of Emergency Management (Incident Control)
  • Public Park Fertilizing Notices
  • Power Supply Issues
  • Garbage Collection Notifications
  • Snow Parking Bans.

This will be a voluntary opt-in service that can be cancelled at any time. If you feel this would be a value, please contact Village Trustee Matthew Dean directly at with any additional questions or concerns on the program. If we have enough interest, we will look to start this service in the next few months.

Thank you,
Hennepin Village Board


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Electronics Collection Day for Marshall-Putnam Counties

FRIDAY – April 21, 2017 – 1:00 PM UNTIL 5:00 PM

SATURDAY – April 22, 2017 – 8:00 AM UNTIL NOON

Public Works Building
520 W. Railroad Street
Toluca, IL 61369

Phone: 309-246-6401

10 Item Limit and Residents of Marshall and Putnam Counties Only


Computers, Monitors, Printers, Faxes, Copiers, Laptops, TV’s, Main Frames, Peripherals, Mice, Modems, Telephones, Answering Machines, Adding Machines, Microwave Ovens, Scanners, DVD, VCR’s, Stereo Equipment, Pagers, Cell Phones, Camera’s, Camcorders, Video Games, Software, CD/DISC Books, Small Handheld Electronics, Cables, Calculators, Shredders, Scanners, Plotters and Terminals.


Small Kitchen Appliances, Toaster, Coffee Pots, Blenders, Air Conditioners, White Goods, Smoke Detectors, De-Humidifiers, Vacuum’s, Batteries, Fans, Power Tools, Light Fixtures, UPS’s, Refrigerators, Stoves, Dishwashers, Light Bulbs, Broken CRT’s, Broken Glass, Hazardous Material.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Union Members Protest as Razing Begins at Old Hennepin Steel Mill Site

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
The rat is going up and the mill is coming down.

Union members put up an inflated rat in Putnam County, saying non-union, mostly out-of-state workers are being brought in by Hennepin Industrial Development, LLC, the current owners of the old LTV Steel building, to raze the site, stripping the once-productive steel facility.

Bill Marino, manager of the Hennepin Industrial Development, LLC, said it was the company’s policy to do demolition themselves, using subcontractors.

“For this phase, we’re a family business, and we self perform the site preparation, and that’s the way we do it,” Marino said.

Marino doesn’t have specifics on the direction the site will take once it is completely razed, but he has hope his company will be able to return the area to prosperity.

“We’ve done this before,” Marino said. “Something that relaunches and re-births that site. We intend to do good there.”

Lance Yednock, a business representative for the Local 150 Operating Engineers, was on site to help lead the picket.

“They’re basically going to demo the whole place,” Yednock said. “From what we understand, they are going to tear down all but maybe four buildings. It’s going to be all scrapped.”

Image courtesy of Larry Eden

Yednock was on hand to picket companies including E & E Industrial Complex, owned by Dan Elberg, R & M Metal and Demolition, Iowa Metal and Recycling, August Pusatari who was once owner of United Demolitions but is now unaffiliated, according to Yednock, and R & M Metals Rigging and Demolition.

Source: News Tribune


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sheriff Says Public Not in Danger After Response Teams Raids Hennepin Duplex

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
A kidnapping victim found in Kendall County brought the Illinois State Police, Illinois Valley Special Response Team and the Putnam County Sheriff to a residence on 10th Street in Hennepin Wednesday morning.

A press release by the PCSO today gave little information, but assured the safety of the communty.

The press release from the county read:

“The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office along with Illinois State Police are currently investigating an alleged kidnapping that occurred from a residence on 10th street in Hennepin in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 12.

“The victim was discovered along a roadway in Kendall County on March 12 and is currently in the hospital for non-life threatening injuries sustained during the ordeal.

“Persons of interest were developed during the course of the investigation and on  March 15 a search warrant was executed at a resident on Tenth Street in Hennepin with assistance by the Illinois Valley Special Response Team.

“During the execution of the search warrant a firearm was recovered.

“No one is in custody at this time as the investigation continues.

“If anyone has any information concerning the event that occurred in the early morning hours of March 12, they are encouraged to call the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

“It should be noted that this situation is an isolated domestic incident and the public is not considered to be in danger.

“Due to the close proximity to the elementary school in Hennepin it was determined that the school should be put into a soft lockdown. At no time was there any threat in or near school grounds during this situation.

“This investigation continues.”

Two persons of interest have been questioned, but as of now, none have been taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office.

The initial action started at 10:55 a.m. Wednesday at the duplex on Tenth Street in Hennepin, with Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, ISP and the IVSRT entering the left side unit in the course of the investigation. 

Building owner Bill Shafer provided the NewsTribune on Wednesday with the name of renter, as well as the renter’s girlfriend and three young children, who had been living there for the past two weeks. The renter has not been named as a person of interest by the sheriff’s office or police as of 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

Putnam County sheriff Kevin Doyle said late Wednesday afternoon the investigation was still ongoing, and, as of 4 p.m. that day, a Sheriff’s deputy was still stationed outside the duplex. 

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Putnam County Board Members Hear Regional School Report

The regional superintendent of schools, Chris Dvorak, stopped by the Putnam County Board Monday morning to discuss the annual report for the La Salle, Marshall and Putnam Region.

Dvorak was happy with the regional merger that brought in Marshall and Putnam counties, as well as programs going on in the region, including the work study program and the area’s truancy program.

He also discussed the funding issues going on with local schools.

“When you hear we’re fulling funding education, well, no we’re not,” Dvorak said.

He explained that while the state has set a budget for the schools, it is not providing categorical funds, like special education and transportation, and also took other funding sources, like the corporate personal property replacement tax, from districts like Putnam County.

Dvorak also discussed the lack of teachers and substitutes available in the district.

N0 all-clear signal for you

Sheriff Kevin Doyle told the board there had been some talk at other boards in the county about an “all clear” signal after tornado warning sirens have been blown.

Doyle said he didn’t know of any counties that currently used those types of signals, mostly for liability reasons, and told the board he would not be using them either.

Source: News Tribune


Monday, March 13, 2017

Steel Plant Site at Hennepin Sells Again

The old LTV steel mill, most recently purchased by IPS Steel in 2014, has a new owner.

Hennepin Industrial Development, LLC, incorporated on Dec. 7, 2016, purchased the property for $5 million on March 2, according to transfer documents obtained by the NewsTribune.

Hennepin Industrial Development LLC lists 4117 N. Lowell Ave, Chicago, as its main address.

Other documents obtained show IPS Steel continuing to hold the mortgage to the property, with IPS Steel acting as the lending agent and Hennepin Industrial Development LLC as the borrower. 

John R. Joyce, a partner at Chicago real estate development firm Roetzel and Andress, was listed in the mortgage documentation and was unavailable by phone for comment at press time.

Source: News Tribune


Saturday, March 11, 2017

FOID Requirements: Should They Go Away?

Image courtesy of the News Tribune
Since 1968, anyone wanting to legally purchase or possess a firearm or firearm ammunition in the State of Illinois had to apply for and receive a firearm owners identification card.

A local lawmaker wants that to change in the near future, but some local lawmen in his district defend the FOID card system.

State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator), a first-year representative whose district includes parts of La Salle, Putnam, Bureau and Livingston counties, submitted House Bill 699, his first bill, that would repeal the FOID Act and make it unnecessary for gun buyers to have an identification card before purchase. The bill is co-sponsored by 10 other legislators.

Long, who ran on a strong Second Amendment platform but not specifically on doing away with FOID cards, says the cards stop more law-abiding citizens from getting firearms while criminals are able to access guns at any time.

“Gangs don’t care about FOID cards. Gangs don’t care about concealed carry. Gangs don’t care about any of that.”

Long had an issue with FOID himself, almost losing his concealed carry privileges in Florida and Utah because of the slow turnaround when he reapplied as his card was expiring.

“It came down to the last few weeks....It was a concern of mine,” Long said.

He went on to quote the figures that 70 percent of murders in the state of Illinois have been committed by people with stolen guns and 60 percent of all crime involving guns have been used with stolen weapons — citing a recent Associated Press article, “Gangs reap guns from trains in violent Chicago neighborhoods,” as proof of weapons being stolen.

A 2014 study by the City of Chicago tracing seized guns used in crimes contradicts Longs assertion, finding that most of the guns — 60 percent — were purchased legally, mostly from nearby states, such as Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin, with weaker gun laws.

Long asserts, though, that the FOID regulations are redundant, requiring the same background checks by multiple agencies.

“If the Illinois State Police want to do a background check on somebody, they have the ATF and other federal background checks that are necessary when we purchase a handgun or a rifle,” Long said. “I’m a member of a gun club over here in Streator ... and they like the idea of the elimination of the FOID card. I have heard from both sides ... 10 people versus 300, 400, 500 people.”

Long said he is representing his district, which he says, is pro-gun, pro-concealed carry, and pro-Second Amendment.

Defending gun ownership and the FOID card

One of the constituents in Long’s district is Hennepin Mayor Kevin Coleman.

Coleman is a gun owner, hunter, and FOID card carrier. He also is against the proposed bill.

“There are enough people being killed in this state, with guns, why make it easier?” Coleman said. “I think it’s nuts.”

Coleman has owned a FOID card since it was first required, having purchased guns from licensed dealers throughout that time.

“I’ve never heard anyone complaining about it (FOID cards),” Coleman said. “People who are qualified to have guns have guns. It’s really strange that this pops up now from Jerry Long that never said anything about this during his campaign.”

Coleman shared an anecdote about a trip to Missouri years ago where he was able to purchase and pick up a gun on the same day, lending credence to the Chicago study.

Law Enforcement

Putnam County sheriff Kevin Doyle, like Long is a big believer in the Second Amendment, but says the FOID cards have become a system of checks and balances for the police, a sentiment echoed by Detective John Atkins of the Peru Police Department.

“I think it (the FOID program) has worked in general, and the biggest thing is, Illinois residents have just become accustomed to it,” Doyle said. “Now they are doing a lot more revocation of FOIDs through domestic battery ... or mental health issues and we’re getting notifications that we revoked their FOID.”

Atkins says the FOID has its benefits.

“It’s able to identified people who can have firearms and firearms ammunition,” said. “It’s easier for us to identify people who are able to have firearms from a law enforcement point of view, because they (the state police) already do the background check.”

Atkins, who taught concealed carry classes in the past, has heard people complain about having to get FOID cards, most because of the fee.

“I just told them that was the legislation since 1968 and that was a way to identify people that were eligible to carry firearms and firearm ammunition.”

Doyle, who is an avid hunter, says he hasn’t heard anyone complaining about having to get a FOID card, and said wait times have been lower recently for the $10, 10-year application.

It also isn’t an issue to get a FOID card, according to Doyle, if you don’t have anything criminal in your background. And even if you do have something minor, there are ways to clear up issues.

“I have had others come in that have had revoked FOID cards for prior crimes that didn’t believe it should (be revoked) and I’ve helped them go down the right avenues with the Bureau of Identification to get their FOID card back,” Doyle said. “I’ve never had anybody coming in with nothing in their background saying ‘Hey the state police won’t give me my FOID’.”

Atkins says whether FOID is there or not, life will continue on for the police.

“We treat everyone armed the same way. You never know,” Atkins said. “The people who are going to carry guns illegally are going to do it anyway. We’ll still be able to figure out who are firearms owners anyway, just from past knowledge and records keeping. It’s nice to have the information, but it’s not going to change the way we police.”

Source: News Tribune


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

IV Emergency Services Help Each Other in the Wake of Deadly Storm

Image courtesy of The Salvation Army
Naplate and Ottawa bore the brunt of the damage inflicted by storms that howled through the area Tuesday night, and emergency services around the Illinois Valley helped out.

"We were unbelievably, incredibly lucky," said Peru police chief Doug Bernabei. "It went south on the river bank. It was right in between us and South Bluff."

For two hours, Illinois Valley Regional Dispatch fielded Ottawa's emergency calls during the power outage.

"We were inundated with 911 calls," Bernabei said. "I was very, very impressed with the telecommunicators here."

He joined five dispatchers in answering calls, and said it went smoothly.

"It was a tad crowded, but it helped," Bernabei said. "In the past, the calls were coming here no matter what, and we wouldn't have had five telecommunicators in here."

He said the city had sent public services help, including chainsaws, to storm-affected areas.

Mike Skowera, longtime Standard fire chief who previously lost his home to a tornado, said there was a funnel cloud sighted that never touched down north of Standard. He said Cedar Point and Granville sent engines to Naplate to help, but Standard did not.

"We couldn't see stripping a whole county. Especially with more bad weather coming," Skowera said. "Basically, it'd just be us and Hennepin with extrication abilities."

Source: News Tribune