Updated: July 28, 2014 6:03AM
Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau and members of the Law Enforcement Medal of Honor Committee recently awarded the Medal of Honor to 16 law enforcement officers from seven police agencies throughout Illinois, including late Illinois State Trooper James M. Sauter, a Chicago Ridge native, according to a news release from the state police.
The honor was awarded posthumously last week to the families of Sauter and Pontiac Officer Casey J. Kohlmeier, both of whom died in the line of duty.
The honor is presented only to those law enforcement officers who have been killed or seriously injured in the line of duty or who have displayed exceptional bravery or heroism while performing their enforcement duties, the release said.
“It is a great privilege to pay tribute to our heroes here today,” Grau said in the release. “The brave recipients we are here to honor remind all of us of the serious nature of law enforcement and the risks that our brave officers face each day while protecting the people of Illinois.”
Detective James R. Burnett, of the Calumet City Police Department, also was honored.
Robin Kelly joins House General Aviation Caucus
U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd, has joined the House General Aviation Caucus, a vehicle for members of Congress to learn about general aviation and legislative issues affecting small airports, a release from her office said.
“As the Southland prepares for a third airport to expand our state’s economic and aviation capacity, there’s no doubt that general aviation will play a critical role in that expansion,” Kelly said in the release, referring to the long-planned South Suburban Airport that supporters want to build near Peotone.
New lottery ticket supports special-needs causes
A plan to help support Special Olympics with a new lottery ticket was signed into law earlier this month. State Sen. Bill Cunningham, D–Chicago, cosponsored the legislation.
The new law creates the Special Olympics Illinois and Special Children’s Charities Fund, which would deposit all proceeds from a specially created lottery scratch-off ticket into an account with the Illinois treasury. Special Olympics Illinois would receive 75 percent of those funds for training, competitions and future programs. The remaining 25 percent would go to Special Children’s Charities funds.
“Helping pass this bill through the General Assembly was much easier than diving into Lake Michigan on a 17-degree day earlier this year,” Cunningham said, referring to a polar plunge event that also benefits Special Olympics. “Either way, I am honored to support and promote the Special Olympics whenever possible.”