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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Motorcyclist Killed in Vermilion County crash

The Vermilion County Coroner's Office has identified a motorcyclist killed in a crash near Ridge Farm Monday afternoon. Coroner Peggy Johnson says the victim is 51-year-old Michael E. McNeese, who was pronounced dead at the scene. County Sheriff's Police are continuing their investigation into the accident which occurred northeast of Ridge Farm. Sheriff's Police reported McNeese was killed when a utility tractor that was being used to cut grass pulled into the path of the cycle.

The driver of the tractor was treated for injuries to his wrist. There have been no charges filed in connection with the crash, but the investigation is on-going.
The crash occurred on County Road 1980 East, just south of 500 North Road shortly after 2:00 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled today (Tuesday).

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Unemployment Lowest Since ‘07, Job Growth Strongest in Illinois

KANKAKEE, IL – The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shares boundaries with Kankakee County, experienced the strongest job growth in the state of Illinois over the last year. According to preliminary data released April 23 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kankakee County added 1,000 jobs from March 2014 to March 2105, which translated to growth of 2.3%, the greatest increase among metros statewide.

Unemployment rate fell sharply in Kankakee County in the same time period, from 9.7% to 6.9%. This represents the lowest rate that the metro has experienced since November 2007. Neighboring Will and Grundy counties registered 6.8% and 8.1% unemployment rates in March, respectively.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state of Illinois was 6.3% in March. This was the thirteenth month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro are in the state compared to a year ago.

"Unemployment is a key barometer of economic health that our office tracks," remarked Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. "There are many variables that affect joblessness, certainly, however we're always encouraged when we see positive employment trends and signs of growth."

The Kankakee-Bradley MSA is currently ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois by global economic think tank the Milken Institute in its Best-Performing Cities index, which measures economic vitality vis-à-vis growth in jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. The county is also currently ranked ninth nationally among small metros for cost of doing business by Forbes.

{submitted by Economic Alliance of Kankakee County}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Emergency landing; plane settles in on Route 17

The pilot of a twin-engine plane made an emergency landing on Route 17 Saturday evening. No injury was reported when the plane ran out of fuel. The pilot safely brought the plane down near Kankakee County Road 8800 W. The FAA records show the plane was on its sway to Indiana from Kansas.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

KCC honors Watseka’s Betty Meents for 39-years on Board of Trustees

A long-time member of the Board of Trustees at Kankakee Community College was recognized Thursday during a special reception at the KCC campus.

Trustee Betty Meents was honored for her 39 years of service on the board.

Mrs. Meents, from Watseka, served the board from April 1976 until January 2015. She served on the board of trustees longer than anyone else in the college's history.

Betty said "I have enjoyed working with the board of trustees and the great minds of our four presidents. My 39 years have been very satisfying." She also praised the staff and faculty members at KCC.

Meents served with four presidents including L.H Horton, Larry Huffman, Jerry Weber and current president John Avendano.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Unemployment numbers - Job picture shows slight improvement

The latest numbers from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show unemployment rates slightly improved in our region last month. Kankakee County's unemployment rate in March was 6.9%. That's down from last year's March number of 9.7%. The Iroquois County rate dropped from 6.5 to an even 6% this year.
Vermilion County's unemployment rate during March fell by three-tenths of one-percent to 6.9 percent. It had been 7.2 percent in February.

The jobless rate in the City of Danville held steady at 6.7 percent, compared to 6.8 percent in February. In March of 2014, Danville had an unemployment rate pf 10.2%.

In Champaign County, the 4.8 percent jobless rate last month compares to 6.6 percent a year ago. The Bloomington rate was 4.7% in March compared to 6.4 last March.

94.1 WGFA