Some Johnson County Illinois residents are asking their county commissioners to consider supporting a 2-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” as oil and gas companies continue to look at southern Illinois land for extraction.
Johnson County Economic Development Director Ronald Duncan said if fracking begins it could bring some money the county’s way.
“If we take examples of the economic impact that it’s had in other places,” he said.” I’m thinking specifically of southeastern Ohio, the Dakotas. You see this very, very strong impact up front. A lot of people coming to town, a lot of trucks, a lot of lunches sold at the counter. Just the sheer number of people doing that work coming in perhaps could boost the retail trade here in our community significantly.”
An Illinois Department of Children and Family Services report shows a 6 percent increase of child sex abuse across the state, but most of the southern counties have a much higher rate. The report compared sex abuse allegations from July 1 to Nov. 30 of this year to the same time period last year. Massac, Hardin, Johnson and Saline counties all had more than twice the state average of reported child sex abuse.
Voters in Southern Illinois’ 12th Congressional District will have their first chance to see the three candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives go toe to toe tonight in Carbondale. The candidates' debate is scheduled for 7 p.m. and features Republican Jason Plummer, Democrat Bill Enyart and the Green Party's Paula Bradshaw. The event will be at WSIU-TV on the Southern Illinois University campus. Reporters from The Belleville News-Democrat, the Southern Illinoisan and WSIU will moderate.