Illinois state briefs: 7.17.08

Target ditches distribution center

MARION -- The proposed Target Distribution Center that had been rumored to be locating east of Marion has been scrapped by the company due to the current economic situation.

Marion was one of two finalists in obtaining the center that would have provided 600 jobs to the local economy, but Target was forced to drop plans to build the center, along with several other proposed expansions.

"This is very disappointing to us, but not totally unexpected," Mayor Robert Butler said. "We still have the property and the improvements that have been made, and we will continue to look for someone to build."

Several impact studies had been completed and upgrading of the infrastructure around the proposed site had begun. All of these improvements will help to lure another company to the area according to Butler.

City engineer Glenn Clarida said that the news was a great disappointment to all who had worked so hard to make the project work.

"It is not like the city of Marion lost out to another area," Clarida said. "Target has decided not to building the distribution center at all. It is a reflection of the economic times."

Marion Daily Republican

Man struck, killed by car while mowing the lawn

WASHINGTON -- A Washington man died Wednesday night at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center after he was hit by a car while mowing his yard.

Robert Donecker, 67, of 29778 Dutch Lane was pronounced dead about 8:55 p.m. in the emergency room, Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said. His autopsy is slated for today.

The accident occurred about 8 p.m. outside Donecker’s house.

A Ford Mustang driven west on Dutch Lane by Joshua K. Hofer, 17, struck Donecker, who was on a riding lawn mower, mowing his grass near the edge of the road.

Hofer, 419 N. Lawndale Ave., Washington, was not injured.

No tickets have been issued in the accident due to the ongoing investigation

The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department is reconstructing the accident.

Peoria Journal Star

Illinois counties declared disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared 91 Illinois counties disaster areas as a result of spring flooding, including Sangamon and several other Springfield-area counties. Farmers in the counties are now eligible for low-interest emergency loans to cover crop losses.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich requested the designation as a result of the wettest January through June period in history in Illinois. According to USDA’s latest report, 1.3 million acres of Illinois corn and soybeans were affected by flooding.

In addition to Sangamon, area counties included are Cass, Christian, Greene, Logan, Macon, Mason, Menard, McLean, Montgomery, Morgan, Macoupin and Schuyler. Farmers who believe they are eligible should contact their local Farm Services Agency office.

Springfield State Journal-Register

Cops to ride to support families of officers who died

More than 30 members of the Illinois Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors are riding from Alton to Chicago as part of a charity bicycle ride in support of the families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

Stops are scheduled today in Waverly and Springfield. This is the fourth year for the event, which ends in Chicago on Aug. 1. Local stops include a 9:30 a.m. dedication ceremony Friday in Illiopolis for Illinois State Police trooper Brian McMillen, who died last October when his squad car was struck by an alleged drunken driver while he was responding to a disturbance call at a tavern near Illiopolis.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 187 police officers died in the line of duty nationwide last year, including two in Illinois.

Springfield State Journal-Register

Drivers beware: Motorcycle rally to draw thousands

UNION COUNTY, Ky. -- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet asks motorists in Kentucky and Illinois to be cautious with the large number of motorcycles on the highways this week because of the Little Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Little Sturgis and the Old Shawneetown Street Rally kicked off today and run through the weekend. Last year about 17,000 bikers arrived at the Union County Fairground for the event, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

U.S. Route 60 through Union County should have especially heavy motorcycle traffic.

Information about the Little Sturgis Rally is at the Web site and the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce number is (270) 333-9316.

Harrisburg Daily Register