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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County waving Volleyball banner

          Watseka, Cissna Park claim Super-Sectional wins

It's not an everyday occurrence, but two Iroquois County communities are celebrating State appearances in high school sports competition.

And when it comes to volleyball prowess, it's not all that surprising that the volleyball tradition in both Watseka and Cissna Park finds the two schools proudly waving their banners.

Cissna Park and Watseka make IHSA volleyball appearances at this next weekend.

At the Danville Schlarman 1A Super-Sectional Saturday, Cissna Park's T'wolves fought off the host Hilltoppers to earn the trip to Redbird Arena at ISU.

In Class 2A at Christ the King High School in Chicago, Watseka's Lady Warriors held off the defending 2A state champs from Elmhurst Immaculate Conception Catholic Prep to earn a state appearance at ISU.

Cissna Park coach Josh Landon and Watseka's Krista PuFahl can't say 'Thank You' enough for all the community support.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Message to Iroquois County Board: ‘butt out, mind your own business’

          "seek and destroy agenda" driven by County Board Chairman

 

Voters sent a message loud and clear Tuesday. The state of Illinois and the country ought to listen.

Several emergency responders in Iroquois County question whether that same message needs to resonate with the County Board ?

Onlookers, including county employees and county employers, elected officials, the judicial system, and especially, fire and emergency responders say 'too much petty interference, and "agenda-driving bullying"...has poisoned county government operations and messed up the spirit of cooperation and working together. Some select county board members have already paid the price. And, fire personnel and other emergency responders are turning to the public to help send a message to elected county board members that "they're out of line."

There's perhaps, no other organized agency in the county that knows what mutual aid is all about than the fire departments. And a signed-letter from all Iroquois County fire chiefs to county board members shows unity....they want the 12-member 9-1-1 Board and the 9-1-1 Coordinator left alone.

The letter addressed to the Iroquois County Board has the full support of the fire chiefs. It clearly tells county board members 'they are being misinformed about 9-1-1 operations, driven by the loaded-propaganda agenda of County Board Chairman Rod Copas.

"Most of us aren't too happy with this push to reduce the size of the 9-1-1 board. We have a 12 member board for a reason," Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte tells WGFA News. "Everyone has a certain expertise with input to offer."

A mere $18-hundred a year to conduct business meetings is nothing, Mayotte says, and reducing membership to six will just dilute the process and eliminate important input from people who understand the operation. Mayotte said six less experts will hurt emergency operations and communications in the county.

Martinton Fire Chief Jim Seabert said it's a step backwards after 35 plus years of building expertise with people who understand emergency communications.

Seabert also laughs and questions where the county board members thinks it's their job to tell a professional organization with an elected board in place to govern it, how to do the job.

Seabert, Mayotte, and other fire chiefs united in the effort to wake up the county board members, also question why the county board members think they have any business interfering with fire, police, and 9-1-1 communication business

Emergency responders already have their own governing board. Elected fire trustees or municipal government direct their own people. Law enforcement has a governing board. Ambulance personnel have protocol thru hospitals and the medical boards. 9-1-1 has trained, knowledgeable professionals with rules in place and governed by the Illinois Commerce Commission..

But in Iroquois County, it seems apparent that the County Board has all the know-how.

Chief Mayotte and Chief Seabert say the letter is asking for open communication.

"The county board members need to hear from the public that this election told the story too; they need to know this isn't right. It's not a cost-cutting measure. There's some other motivating factor involved," Mayotte insists is very obvious.

The fire chiefs letter also supports 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble, who Mayotte said "has been so instrumental in keeping equipment upgraded and emergency personnel in tune to what's always going on in the emergency communication sector.

Mayotte said Iroquois County dispatchers are among the best. Vital communication and trained dispatchers is a must, he said.

Mayotte is also a professional firefighter in the Chicago suburbs, serves as fire trainer and is an officer in MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System).

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Schaumburg family benefits from Danforth Fire cash bash

The support for injured Watseka high school player Hayden Schaumburg and his family just keeps on coming. Support for the Danforth Fire Department turned into another blessing for the Schaumburg family of Watseka.

The Danforth Fire Department held its 17th annual cash bash Saturday, November 1. An Americana hand-made quilt by Carla Jean of Onarga was donated to auction off. Carla had no specific requests on where the proceeds should channelled. The members of the Danforth Fire Department agreed that the proceeds of the auction were to be split between the Schaumburg family and the local food pantry upon the donors approval.

Auctioneer Mike Henrichs (Danforth) went to work and Ken and Tammy Cailteux of KC Communications (Clifton) purchased the quilt for $1,500.00. The Cailteux's DONATED BACK!! The quilt was RE SOLD and purchased by Dave and Rhonda Meyer of Dave's Carpentry (Gilman) for$1,200.00. The quilt was again, DONATED BACK AND RE SOLD!! The quilt was auctioned again and purchased by Greg McMillan and Rene Cox (Gilman) for $500.00.

The last 50/50 raffle, $250.00, was donated back by the winner, David and Shelly Albrecht (Danforth). A free will donation was also collected to assist the Schaumburg family prior to the auction. The free will donation collected $1,200.00 alone.

The total collected for the Schaumburg family from the Danforth Fire Departments cash bash was $3,800.00!!! Another farm community-showing of support from small towns America ! Danforth Fire Department says "Stay Strong, Hayden!


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Gibson City man convicted of mail fraud

PEORIA — A 61-year-old Gibson City man faces federal prison time and fines up to $250,000 following his conviction on federal mail fraud and other charges. Carl Kieser was convicted for selling a product that prosecutors said led to the death of fish in ponds and lakes across the country.

Kieser will be sentenced February 19th in federal court in Peoria.

Following a five-day trial, a jury deliberated for one hour last week before finding l Kieser guilty of mail fraud and illegal application of a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling.

Kieser had previously been convicted of four counts of tax evasion.

The Gibson City man faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for mail fraud; five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for tax evasion; and one year in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for applying a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling.

According to court records, Kieser owned and operated Aquatic Control of Illinois, a business located at his Gibson City Fishing and Camping Club, south of Gibson City on Illinois 47.

"The government presented evidence to establish that from June 2006 to September 2012, Kieser purchased large quantities of a pesticide (Diuron 80DF) registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the control of land-based weeds." U.S. Attorney's office spokeswoman Sharon Paul.said "The EPA-approved labeling for Diuron 80DF warns that the chemical should not be applied directly to water due to its toxicity to fish and other aquatic wildlife."


Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller said Kieser manufactured, advertised, sold and distributed a product he called Pond Clear Plus as part of a fraud scheme. {submitted info from U-S Attorney's Office}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Tax hike questions voted down in Iroquois County

Referendum questions seeking tax hikes were voted down in the Iroquois County communities of Crescent City and Sheldon. The Sheldon proposal was to establish local police protection while voters in the Crescent-Iroquois #249 school district were asked to OK a levy increase.

The school district voters said 'No' voting 250 - 223. It would have increased the EAV to 5.12 percent from the current 4.32%.

Voters in Sheldon were asked to authorize an additional property tax of 0.6 percent of equalized assessed value of taxable property for local police protection.

The voters said 'No' casting 129 opposed votes to 120 in favor. That was a 52% to 48% margin.


94.1 WGFA