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Koehler urges caution to avoid scams in wake of Lewistown tornado

Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 01:59 PM

koehler 120418LEWISTOWN – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is urging area residents to be cautious of scams in the wake of a tornado that rolled through southern Fulton County last weekend.

“After these disasters happen, some people will inevitably prey on those affected,” Koehler said. “I urge all residents in Fulton County to proceed with caution and do their due diligence when accepting help.”

Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity can report it to the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline in Springfield by calling 1-800-243-0618.

Saturday’s tornado moved through the Lewistown area, causing damage to structures and trees. No one was reported hurt or missing,

Area residents should follow these steps to avoid scams:

  • Be wary of contractors who go door to door to offer repair services. Ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and, whenever possible, use established local contractors.
  • Call the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-243-0618) to check out a contractor and to learn if any complaints have been filed against a particular business.
  • Visit the Better Business Bureau’s central Illinois , St. Louis or Chicago websites to see if a business is a member and whether any complaints have been lodged against it.
  • Even if there is a need to act quickly, get written estimates from multiple contractors, and don’t be rushed into a deal.
  • Get all of the terms of a contract in writing, and obtain a copy of the signed contract.
  • Never make full payment until all the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
  • Never pay in cash.
  • Be aware that you have the right to cancel a contract within three business days if you signed it based on the contractor’s visit to your home.
  • In the case of disaster repair, you have an additional right to cancel. If your insurance carrier denies coverage, you have the right to cancel the contract within five days of when your insurance carrier denies your coverage.
  • Ask to see required state and local permits and licenses. Insurance adjusters and roofers must be licensed by state agencies. If the contractor does not have a required license, or if the name on the license doesn’t match the name on the contractor’s business card or truck, that should raise a red flag. Please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s website to search licenses. Contact the Department of Insurance at (866) 445-5364 to verify that the public adjuster is licensed and in good standing.

 

 

Manar: Taylorville hospital to receive expedited payment after tornado

Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 01:55 PM

manar 120418TAYLORVILLE – The Illinois comptroller is expediting a state payment of $221,594 to Taylorville Memorial Hospital after the city was struck by a tornado during the weekend, State Senator Andy Manar announced today.

Christian County was declared a state disaster area Monday after severe storms and tornadoes tore across central Illinois. Numerous people were injured and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed.

“Expediting this payment is the right thing to do for the people of Taylorville, and I appreciate the comptroller prioritizing the community’s needs,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat whose district includes Christian County.

The money, which was owed by the state to Taylorville Memorial, was processed Monday, according to the comptroller’s office.

“Our hearts go out to those recovering and rebuilding after the severe storms,” said Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Residents who are experiencing immediate problems or challenges as a result of Saturday’s severe storms may call Manar’s district office in Bunker Hill at 618-585-4848.

Koehler: Keystone Steel sale is good news for Peoria Area

Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 01:49 PM

koehler 051618PEORIA – One of nation’s largest steel manufacturers has reached a deal to purchase a Peoria steel mill that has served the area since 1889.

The Dallas-based parent company of Keystone Steel and Wire, which is located on the south side of Peoria and employs nearly 1,000 people, announced this week that it will become part of Liberty Steel USA.

“The news today is great for the thousands of employees of Keystone Steel and the entire Peoria area,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “We have always been and will continue to be immensely proud of our manufacturing traditions in Peoria as well as the thousands of workers that make it possible.”

Castro to help new governor create jobs

Published: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 09:42 AM

castro 041118ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) was named to governor-elect JB Pritzker’s Job Creation & Economic Opportunity committee today at the 1871, which is a non-profit small business incubator that has created over 7,000 jobs.

Castro currently sits on the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee and is excited to lean her expertise and practical experience to the new administration.

“Our state’s economy is vulnerable right now. We need to prioritize economic growth and job creation so people can feel confident in the future and make Illinois their home,” Castro said. “I am excited to be a part of this vital committee and I can’t wait to get started.”

The 37-member committee will have its first meeting one week from today where members will focus on opportunities across the state, diversity and ensuring small businesses have the tools to grow and thrive.

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