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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Financial crisis looms for emergency communications in Iroquois County

It's a cry heard before. Now, it's even louder. And the need is now.

Budget concerns for the Emergency Telecommunications Safety Board (ETSB) are at the critical point. What was thought to be a big concern two-three years down the road, hsas found its way to now. Money to fund the ETSB is about to go dry.

9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble brought the dismal news to the Iroquois County Board Budget Committee. Money to fund the county's emergency dispatch center is fast disappearing. That cost would fall in the laps of the county and city of Watseka.

The looming problem has been building. Technology has resulted in so many people giving up their landline phones in favor cellphones. And the budget has relied on the original $2 tax per landline. On the flip side, cellphones are only taxed 73-cents per phone.

Illinois lawmakers have been asked repeatedly for several years to find a solution. It hasn't happened.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston tire fire cleanup underway

They're beginning the slow process of cleaning up debris from last month's massive fire at a tire recycling business in Hoopeston.

The Illinois EPA is monitoring the cleanup process at J&R Used Tire Service. Fire officials say hotspots in the rubble are still being found a month after the blaze was extinguished,

The June 19 fire was sparked by static electricity and eventually engulfed the 400,000-square-foot brick facility. Heavy, black smoke billowed for hours and was seen for miles. More than 100 firefighters from Illinois and Indiana battled the flames at the 10-acre site.
Several dozen trailer loads of debris have been carted from the site.

Environmental officials say they believe the facility had more than a million tires when the fire began. The rubber from the used tires was being converted into products, including mulch.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Red Cross seeks additional blood donors this summer

PEORIA, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2013) — While many volunteers generously responded to the emergency call for blood donations from the American Red Cross in July, donors of all blood types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, are still needed this summer. Blood products are being distributed to hospitals almost as quickly as donations are coming in.

Blood and platelets are needed for many reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant recipients, as well as those receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease, may depend on lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.

The Red Cross, on behalf of the hospitals and patients it serves, appreciates all those who take the time to help save lives. Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to learn more and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Champaign County
Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McKinley Church & Foundation, 809 S. Fifth St. in Champaign, Ill.
Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at University of Illinois YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St. in Champaign, Ill.

Edgar County
Aug. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 201 S. Central Ave. in Paris, Ill.

Ford County
Aug. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, 1120 N. Melvin St. in Gibson City, Ill.

Iroquois County
Aug. 23 from 8-11 a.m. at American Red Cross Iroquois County, 700 E. Elm St. in Watseka, Ill.
Aug. 27 from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at Community Center, 330 E. Fourth Ave. in Clifton, Ill.

Kankakee County
Aug. 19 from 3-6:30 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Illinois Veterans Home, 1 Veterans Drive in Manteno, Ill.
Aug. 22 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Aug. 26 from 2-6 p.m. at Momence Fire Department, 15 N. Pine in Momence, Ill.
Aug. 29 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Livingston County
Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Legion Hall, 600 S. Fourth St. in Fairbury, Ill.
Aug. 20 from 2-6 p.m. at Saunemin Community Center, North Street in Saunemin, Ill.
Aug. 22 from 12-6 p.m. at Dwight Heritage Woods, 701 E. Mazon in Dwight, Ill.
Aug. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at VFW, 531 Lincoln Ave. in Pontiac, Ill.
Aug. 28 from 12-6 p.m. at Walton Centre, 100 W. Locust St. in Fairbury, Ill.

McLean County
Aug. 16 from 12-5 p.m. at Eastland Mall, 1615 E. Empire in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heritage Manor Evergreen Place, 801 Gregory St. in Normal, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at American Red Cross, 1 Westport Court in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 7-11:30 a.m. at Laborers Local 362, 2012 Fox Creek Road in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 1510 N. Main St. in Normal, Ill.
Aug. 18 from 1-5 p.m. at Christian Church, 308 S. Vine St. in Heyworth, Ill.
Aug. 19 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1 Westport Court in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 19 from 1-6 p.m. at La Gondola Spaghetti House, 1501 E. Vernon Ave. in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at OSF Medical Group on College Avenue, 1701 E. College Ave. in Bloomington, Ill.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Effingham (IL) doctor fills void on F-I Public Health Board

A retired surgeon from Effingham County has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Ford-Iroquois Department of Public Health Board.

At a special meeting of the Iroquois County Board (Tuesday), Dr. Ted Fifer was approved on a 9-7 vote to fill a vacancy for an Iroquois County position on the eight-person health board.

The health board is made up of four appointed people from each of the counties, representing Ford and Iroquois.

Iroquois County has been short one person, representing a medical background, since the Iroquois County Board approved the firing of past members for what was considered alleged "neglect of duty." Since then, two positions were filled by new appointees and Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas appointed himself to the third of four seats. What had been lacking was a person with a medical background.

Following his appointment Tuesday, Dr. Fifer said he hopes to fill a void. Fifer said we asked by Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas to get acquainted with some of the problems the locals were having with the health department.

"Between his (Copas) request and my understanding on what's going on, it seemed I could do some good," Fifer said. The doctor said he has no other interests or connections to Iroquois County.

Reports last week, indicated two doctors had expressed interest in the health board vacancy. A second name was never publicly mentioned before the County Board went into executive session before Fifer was appointed.

The 8-person health board, now balanced, met in Gilman Tuesday night for regular business. A scheduled meeting two weeks ago didn't happen due to a lack of a quorum. The Iroquois County members did not show up at the meeting.

Tuesday's regular business however, resulted in closed sessions and then a 5-3 vote by the health board to buy-out health department administrator Doug Corbett's contract.

The Iroquois and Ford County Boards have been at odds over the position of Corbett. The Iroquois County Board voted to have Corbett removed. The Ford County Board has stated there's no merit for Corbett's removal.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Corbett out as F-I Health Department Chief >

The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Board has a new member. But Doug Corbett is out as administrator.

Following a lengthy meeting, including two executive sessions, that ran into the early-morning hours today (Wed) in Gilman,the health board voted 5-3 to buy out the contract of Corbett.

Corbett's position had been under fire for weeks and had divided the Ford and Iroquois County Boards. Terms of the buy-out are yet to be arranged. Corbett's contract was set to expire in November.

The 5-3 buy-out vote saw health department board president Dr. Kevin Brucker and the Iroquois County members of the health board voting in favor of the buy-out. The remaining members of the Ford County make-up of the health board voted against.

A retired surgeon from Effingham County has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Ford-Iroquois health board. Dr. Ted Fifer, who had an 18-year career and an association with St Anthony's Medical Center in Effingham, took his seat for the health board meeting Tuesday night. Fifer's appointment was approved following an executive session at a special Iroquois County Board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Fifer said he was asked to get involved in the health department here by County Board Chairman Rod Copas. Fifer said he has no other connections to Iroquois County other than the fact, he was asked to help out.

94.1 FM, WGFA