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Watseka man dies in I-57 accident Monday

An I-57 traffic accident this (Monday) morning at Chebanse killed a Watseka man.

Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the victim as 38-year-old Claude Burton-Tiffany. He was pronounced dead at 5:16 am. The accident happened at the I-57 entrance ramp.

Illinois State Police report Tiffany's car was northbound, off the ramp, when he made an abrupt turn to the left and was struck on the driver's side by a northbound van. The van's driver (Garey Lee Daniels of Park Forest) was not injured.

94.1 WGFA

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First African-American woman appointed judge in Kankakee County

A veteran member of the Kankakee County Bar Association will serve as the first female, black judge in the 21st Circuit. 

J. Imani Drew has been appoinred to fill a vacancy created last fall with the retirement of Judge Kendall Wenzelman. The 62-year-old Drew's appointment was confirmed last week.  The judges of the 21st circuit selected Drew.  She becomes only the second black to serve as judge in Kankakee County.

Drew has worked as an assistant State's Attorney and in the Public Defender's office.  

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  • Parent Category: News

Lake Freeman accident leads to injury and arrest

Emergency responders report a tubing accident on Lake Freeman Saturday led to an arrest and one woman was airlifted.

A Kentland, IN man faces an alcohol-related charge while an Earl Park teenager was injured and flown to an Indianapolis hospital. Emergency crews were dispatched to White Oaks on Lake Freeman about 5:30 pm.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources reported 58-year-old John Tuberty of Kentland was pulling a tube with passengers when the tube hit a large wake and disconnected from the tow rope. The tube and its passengers struck a boat dock. The victims were helped to a nearby boat ramp.

DNR officials reported 18-year-old Hunter Davidson, of Earl Park, was taken by ambulance to IU Health White Memorial Hospital. She was then airlifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis because of a possible spinal injury.

She was later said to be in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

Tuberty, who was believed to be operating the boat while intoxicated, was arrested. He was taken to the Carroll County Jail facing several charges. He has since been released on bond.

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Governor Rauner reviews tornado damage

The National Weather Service confirmed at least nine tornadoes touched down last Wednesday in north-central Illinois.  Governor Rauner visited Pontiac Friday, saying we're fortunate there were no fatalities or serious injury.  Rauner said he's being updated by officials with the state Emergency Service Agency and local officials concerning damage assessments.  The NWS called the Pontiac damage an EF-2 tornado.

The NWS also reviewed the damage at other sites, calling the Cissna Park structure damage and building damages at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais EF-1 tornadoes.

94.1 WGFA 

  • Parent Category: News

Two weekend deaths investigated in Iroquois County

Emergency responders in Iroquois County are looking into the deaths of two men found along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, near Goodwine.

Saturday's apparent train-vehicle collision leaves questions as to what happened and why. The victims are identified as 27-year-old Jason Mercier of Crescent City and 23-year-old Spencer Mead of Milford.

It was just past 8 am Saturday when officials aboard a U-P train discovered the remains of a person lying on the railroad tracks near a crossing at 650 N and 1800 E.

Identification found at the scene led authorities to I.D. the man as Jason Mercier. How and why he was at that crossing is unknown.

An Iroquois County Sheriff deputy located Mercier's truck tangled up in brush and downed trees on property at 650N, just off the roadway at 1900E. Found dead at the scene of the truck was Spencer Mead.

Police report evidence at the scene indicates Mead may have been trying to free himself from the vehicle and got tangled up between the vehicle and some fallen trees and was unable to free himself from that position.

Agencies involved in the investigation include the Sheriff's Office, Cissna Park Fire, the Iroquois County Coroner's office and the Union Pacific Railroad.

94.1 WGFA