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E-Coli found in romaine lettuce in central-Illinois

The investigation continues into the source of the E-coli outbreak across central Illinois. What is known so far is that there’s 53 cases reported, 31 hospitalizations, at least 16 states affected and, fortunately, zero deaths.

What isn’t known is what specifically happened in the Yuma, Ariz., growing region that led to the contamination of chopped romaine lettuce, as well as hearts and heads of the leafy green, with an especially dangerous strain of E. coli bacteria, which led to a case of infection in an undisclosed part of central Illinois.

Public health officials are taking a wait-and-see approach as to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uncovers in its investigation, which has already uncovered a case of illness in central Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is currently collecting information with the CDC, and is advising Illinois consumers who have store-bought romaine lettuce at home should not eat it and should throw it away. The IDPH also recommends confirming with retailers that romaine lettuce products for sale have not come from the Yuma, Ariz., growing region.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ameren files for rate hike but says bills should go down in 2019

A recent Ameren filing with the Illinois Commerce Commission could lead to an electricity-rate increase, but the utility said other factors will actually lead to an overall decrease on your power bill starting in January.
Ameren spokeswoman Marcelyn Love said the company last week filed its annual reconciliation of costs related to infrastructure upgrades. If approved, it would mean a "slight" rate increase, although Love did not provide an exact figure.

But Love said overall, starting next year, monthly power bills will drop by an average of $3.50.

Read more: Ameren files for rate hike but says bills should go down in 2019

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County cuts pay for County Board Chairman

As recommended by County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler, the Kankakee County Board finance committee slashed the pay for the board chairman Wednesday.

Wheeler was all for it – having his pay reduced in favor paying for a full-time finance director.

Wheeler says “it’s time to reduce the pay for the County Board Chairman.” Wheeler had suggested such a move before he was chairman. He wanted to free up money to pay for the newly-created finance director position.

Wheeler’s chairman’s pay is slashed $12,000 this year. It’ll be cut more in the next two years.

The finance director’s (Anita Speckman) pay starts at $75,000.

The finance committee (Wed) also suggested pay hikes for other office-holders. The sheriff, treasurer and county clerk will see 2% pay increases. Wheeler said those offices haven’t seen increases in the last few years.

The finance committee suggestions will be forwarded to the full county board.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County wind farm ordinance undergoes changes

It’s a ways from being a final draft, but the Ford County Board’s zoning committee is making suggested changes to revise the county’s regulations for wind farms. More meetings are planned before anything is presented to the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission.

Several complaints from residents in the northern part of the county cited TV reception interference.

A five-member committee agreed to raise the minimum blade clearance from 15-feet to 50-feet.

Setbacks have caused friction. Also discussed were noise levels, and decommissioning requirements.

Wind farm study shows tax base increases ---

A News-Gazette analysis recently revealed that four wind farms in a three-county area have generated nearly $10-million in new tax revenue.

A total of 329 wind turbines in Champaign, Ford and Vermilion counties have helped pay the bills for township government, fire districts, school districts, junior colleges and park districts.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Motorists Alert: Road work underway

A section of Bethel Road in Bourbonnais will be closed beginning Monday. More road work includes the Bourbonnais sewer project. Bethel Road at Gettysburg Drive will be closed. A suggestion for motorists is to use Burns Road.
On-street parking in the affected areas will not be allowed.

IN INDIANA ---- the U.S. 231 bridge at Rensselaer is closed today (Wed) and for the next few months. The bridge re-build closes the route until mid-August. The closure is from Division Road to County Road 100 S.

94.1 WGFA