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  • Parent Category: News

Red Cross calls for blood donors as unique as the patients they help

In honor of Black History Month this February, and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American surgeon who was the first medical director of the American Red Cross and a modern blood-banking pioneer, eligible donors as diverse as the patients who need their blood donations are encouraged to give blood to ensure a sufficient blood supply.

Blood from a donor with a similar ethnic background as that of the patient is less likely to cause complications, particularly for those patients whose chronic conditions require repeated transfusions. Sickle cell disease is one such chronic condition affecting as many as 100,000 people in the United States.

Prior to transfusion, blood type and Rh factor are matched between donated blood and the patient in need. In some cases, additional red cell markers in donated blood must be matched, as well. These markers are best found in blood from donors of a similar ethnicity.

With seasonal flu and inclement winter weather preventing many regular donors from giving, the Red Cross urges healthy, eligible donors to make an appointment to donate blood in the coming days and weeks. All blood types are currently needed to help maintain a diverse and sufficient blood supply, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative.

To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities...

2/10/2015: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., University of Illinois YMCA, 1001 South Wright Street
2/11/2015: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., University of Illinois Alpha Kappa Lambda, 401 E. Daniel St.

2/13/2015: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Champaign/Urbana U of I Townsend Hall,

Iroquois County >

2/2/2015: 1 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Sheldon Community Center, 104 S.Fourth

Kankakee County >

2/5/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross, 20 Heritage Drive
2/12/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Red Cross, 20 Heritage Drive

Livingston County >

2/2/2015: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 320 S. Oak

Vermilion County >

2/2/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Community Church of God, 535 S Bowman Ave

How to donate blood:
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

  • Parent Category: News

Area Agency on Aging selects next Executive Director

Susan Real has been selected as the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging's next executive director.

She assumes her new position April 1st when current director Michael O'Donnell retires. O'Donnell has spent 35 years with the agency.

Real has 29 years of experience working with the agency, which serves 16 counties in East Central Illinois, including Ford and Iroquois counties.

The agency's corporate board approved Real's hiring Wednesday. Real was among 30 applicants.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Former Fairbury clerk files federal lawsuit over firing

A former records clerk for the Fairbury Police Department has filed a federal lawsuit accusing city officials of firing her after she voiced concerns about alleged illegal activity.

Records with the U.S. District Court for the Central District in Urbana state Kaci Zimmerman worked as records clerk for two years before she was terminated in February 2014 for "asking too many questions."

"Kaci saw and heard Chief (Michael) Frickey and other city employees violate police department policies and procedures, including appropriating for their own use evidence relating to a pending criminal investigation," said the lawsuit, filed by Chicago attorney Stephen R. Miller.

The city and its officials are accused of violating the Illinois Whistleblower Act and conspiring to violate several constitutional rights of the former worker.
Named in the lawsuit along with Frickey are Mayor Roger Dameron and city Superintendent Leroy McPherson; Deputy City Clerk Nancy Widlacki; Police Officer Randall Vedder; City Council member Charles Hoselton; and the city.

94.1 WGFA {Bloomington Pantagraph}

  • Parent Category: News

Bradley mom facing child porn charges

33-year-old Sara Bell had bond set at $50,000 in Kankakee Circuit Court (Wednesday) after she was arrested for allegedly posting a pornographic photo of her 5-year-old daughter on Facebook.

The Bradley mom is facing child porn charges. The Daily-Journal reports after her arrest, more graphic photos and a video were found on her cellphone.

The pornography and exploitation charges each carry prison terms of between six and 30 years.

The child is in the custody of Sara's mother.

Judge Clark Erickson set Bell's bond at $50,000.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Child porn convict arrested again for child porn; also had conviction in Iroquois County

A Rantoul man who allegedly had a cellphone with pornographic images of children on it was arrested by Rantoul police Thursday.

Police said federal probation officers were checking on 48-year-old Christopher Fiore. He's serving a term of mandatory supervised release after having been to federal prison for possession of child pornography.
Fiore also has a conviction for aggravated sexual abuse in Iroquois County.

Police located him at his girlfriend's and found that he had a cellphone that was not equipped with filtering software, one of the conditions of Fiore's release.

Authorities confirmed that the phone had pornographic images of children on it, then arrested Fiore.

He was charged in Champaign County Circuit Court Friday with possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to two to five years in prison. Bond was set at $2 million.

Records show Fiore was put on mandatory supervised release after having served a prison sentence for the federal child porn conviction as well as an Iroquois County conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

94.1 WGFA