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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Birkey’s Farm Store Partners with Food Banks to Provide Meals for the Hungry

"60-Day Hunger Drive" aims to raise $100,000 to alleviate hunger in Illinois and western Indiana

Champaign, Ill. – Birkey's Farm Store, Inc., a full-line Case IH dealer with 13 locations in central Illinois and Indiana, is partnering with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and 6 other local food banks to provide 600,000 meals for the hungry. The 60-Day Hunger Drive fundraiser kicks off on Feb. 3 and runs until April 4 in every Birkey's location. A fully restored 1954 Farmall tractor will travel across the state to encourage donations; individuals who give $10 or more are entered into a drawing to win it.

Customers and community members are invited to an open house at each Birkey's location to talk with food bank representatives and view the restored tractor. Locations within the Eastern Illinois Foodbank territory include Oakland on Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gibson City on Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 1
p.m., Hoopeston on Feb. 20 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Mattoon on Feb. 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A grand opening for Birkey's new building in Urbana will take place on April 4 and 5.

"Instead of asking for food donations, we wanted to take a different approach and leverage the food banks. Using their networks, a dollar donated can be stretched into 6 meals for hungry families," says Mike Hedge, President and CEO of Birkey's.

"The food banks in Illinois and western Indiana are pleased to partner with Birkey's in the fight against hunger," says Jim Hires, President of the board of directors of Feeding Illinois and CEO of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. "Their commitment to local communities will make a huge difference in the lives of
the individuals we serve."

Customers, residents and store employees can donate at any of the company's 13 locations with cash or check, or by adding a donation to their total purchase. Donations can also be made through Birkey's website. Proceeds from each Birkey's location will be allocated to agencies in that store's local
community. More than 550 agencies—food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters—will benefit from the drive.

  • Parent Category: News

Barn fire in Kankakee County

A barn fire in rural Kankakee County this (Tues) morning alerted fire personnel. Further details are un-available. An emergency dispatch came in just after 10 am in Limestone Township.

Chebanse Township Fire answered a mutual aid call to 5735 W and Route 17. The structure fire also alerted Irvin and Reddick firemen.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Pembroke Township fire call for mutual aid >

Several area fire departments were called to a structure fire in Pembroke Township. Mutual aid was called about 10:50 am to 7500 S and 16524 E in eastern Kankakee County.

Beaverville, Papineau, St. Anne, Momence, Aroma Park are among the departments answering a box-alarm. No other information is available at this time.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ashkum Fire Chief: Warming Center “went well”

Some of the estimated 180 stranded motorists who were sheltered in Ashkum overnight were cut loose this (Monday) morning, sent on their way after being pulled off I-57 Sunday due to extreme weather conditions.

Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn said "everything went well," considering the trying conditions for travelers and rescue personnel. Glenn said eight firemen staffed the Ashkum Coliseum from about 8 pm Sunday 'til 8 this (Mon) morning.

Ambulance paramedics were also on scene for a few medical issues, but no patient transports were required.

Illinois State Police will assist those motorists still waiting to have their vehicles towed from ditches.

The Ashkum Coliseum and the Clifton Community Center were staffed by Ashkum and Chebanse Township firemen to assist the many motorists pulled off the interstate.

Several warnings issued Saturday and Sunday advised motorists to stay off the roads. But that warning often times is ignored, leading to problems for many not paying attention to the hazardous weather conditions.

Iroquois and Kankakee County posed problems for travelers along I-57 Sunday night.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

District 21 State Police issue travel update

District 21 experienced blizzard conditions in Kankakee and Iroquois County throughout the night. I-57 is currently snow covered and hazardous. U.S. and State Roadways are snow covered with sections that are not passable. Troopers will be stopping traffic to removing vehicles causing additional hazards on the Interstate. If you are traveling, please use caution and watch out for emergency equipment on the roadways.

Kankakee County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dave Zinanni reported several motorists were assisted overnight, including 23 people on a Greyhound bus that drove off I-57 at Manteno.

Currently more than 80 vehicles are stuck in ditches and medians throughout Kankakee and Iroquois County. Over 200 motorists were using the warming centers in Ashkum and Clifton.

Travel conditions are expected to remain hazardous as a result of continued high winds and dangerously low temperatures through Tuesday.

Before traveling, go to gettingaroundillinois.com for up-to-date winter driving conditions. To report an emergency or request assistance, dial 911 or *999 from your cellular phone.

94.1 WGFA