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The Founders of a Local-Government Watchdog in Illinois Are Recognized with the 2016 'Unsung Hero Award'

Two self-described "citizen watchdogs" have been awarded the 2016 Vernon K. Krieble Foundation "Unsung Hero Award"--which includes a check for $25,000.  Kirk Allen and John Kraft are known as the "Edgar County (Ill.) Watchdogs"--and were given the award because "their extraordinary achievements in holding government accountable have made them inspiring national models".  In founding the "Edgar County Watchdogs" website ( in 2011, they took it upon themselves to ferret out local corruption; since then, nearly 200 officials have lost their jobs as a result.  Allen and Kraft continue to monitor the activities of their local governments, on their own time--and train other watchdogs, in other communities, helping spawn a wave of citizen involvement that's truly changing Illinois.

The award was presented by the Foundation's founder and president, Helen Krieble, during this year's national convention of the State Policy Network (SPN)--taking place October 3rd-6th in Nashville. (Statements are available in MP3 only.)

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Helen Krieble ("cree-bull") -- founder and president, Vernon K. Krieble Foundation (:45)

John Kraft -- award co-recipient (two bites; :32 total)

Kirk Allen -- award co-recipient (two bites; 1:09 total)

Copyright 2016 North American Network, Inc.

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