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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Meet the IMH doctors in Watseka Monday

Iroquois Memorial Hospital is inviting the general public and former patients of Dr. Philip Zumwalt to the IMH Multi Specialty Physicians Clinic, 200 North Laird Lane, Watseka, on Monday, June 1st from 5 – 7 pm. The event is a special opportunity to meet the providers of the IMH clinic.

Dr. Philip Zumwalt is retiring. He's been providing care to the areas residents for over 36 years, has delivered over three thousand babies, and has taken care of several generations of families. Monday's special 'meet and greet' will allow his patients to meet the clinic providers that Dr. Zumwalt feels will provide excellent care for his patients.

To learn more about these providers and other Physicians, Physician Assistants, or Nurse Practitioners on staff at Iroquois Memorial Hospital please visit the IMH website www.iroquoismemorial.com.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Unemployment numbers show improvement

New unemployment figures are showing the jobless rate continues to improve across Illinois. All the metro areas were down again...for the 14th consecutive month.

Kankakee's unemployment is at 5.8% for April...down from 7.9% last April. In the Danville – Vermilion County area, the county's jobless rate for April was 5.9 percent – down one-percent from March. The rate is over two-percent lower than where it stood in April of last year.

In the city of Danville, April's unemployment rate of 6.3 percent compares to 8.1 percent in April of 2014. The new report shows non-farm employment in Vermilion County increased by 300 from its level one year ago. The Manufacturing sector gained 500 jobs since April of 2014.

The Bloomington area had the lowest rate in Illinois at 3.9%. That's downa full point from a year ago. Champaign-Urbana was second at 4.1%...down 1.1 from a year earlier.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Prairie Central schedules meetings to discuss closing school

A series of four meetings have been scheduled in the Prairie Central school district that could lead to the closing of one building.

Meadowbrook Elementary School in Forrest would close after the 2015-16 school year under a plan the school board discussed Thursday.

Officials believe the district would save $1 million a year in the move, including cutting a dozen teaching jobs and related administrative and custodial staff.

A decision is expected August 20.

The school board, in March, approved borrowing $4.3 million to cover costs over the next three years.

About a dozen community members and school staff members attended the meeting, but none spoke against the closure. The district is set to host informational meetings on the plan at each of its elementary schools: 7 p.m. June 29 at Meadowbrook, July 6 at Westview, July 20 at Chatsworth and July 27 at Chenoa.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Unemployment Drops to 5.8%, Job Growth Strongest in Illinois Again in April

KANKAKEE, IL – May 28, 2015 – The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shares boundaries with Kankakee County, continued to experience the strongest job growth in the state of Illinois in April over the last year.

According to preliminary data released May 28 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kankakee County added 1,200 jobs from April 2014 to April 2105, which translated to growth of 2.7%, the greatest increase among metros statewide.

In March, Kankakee County saw the addition of 1,000 jobs year or over, according to IDES and BLS reports.

Unemployment rate fell sharply in Kankakee County from April 2014 to April 2015, from 7.9% to 5.8%. This represents the lowest rate that the metro has experienced since May 2007. Neighboring Will and Grundy counties registered 6.1% and 6.5% unemployment rates in April, respectively.

The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state of Illinois was 5.5% in April. This was the 14th month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro are in the state compared to a year ago.

"The job growth trend that we're seeing in Kankakee County continues to be quite encouraging," remarked Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. "Industry sees Kankakee County as a sound investment. "


{courtesy of Economic Alliance of Kankakee County}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Steve Wilder named Chairman of KVAA Board

Steve Wilder has been elected Chair of the Kankakee Valley Airport Authority (KVAA) Board of Directors. Wilder will lead the Board of Directors in fulfilling the KVAA's strategic plan for airport development and aviation in the region.

Wilder was appointed to the KVAA Board in 2009 by Village of Bradley Mayor Bruce Adams. He begins his term as Chair effective May 11, 2015. Wilder brings tremendous business acumen to his role as chairman. Wilder is the President of Sorensen, Wilder, & Associates (SWA), a nationally recognized leader in safety and security, emergency preparedness, disaster management, and public safety consulting services. The company has delivered these specialized services primarily to health care facilities, educational facilities, churches, government, and manufacturing since 1990. Prior to starting SWA, Wilder served as System Director of Safety and Security for Provena Health, and Director of Risk Management for Provena St. Mary's Hospital for many years. He is also a retired 31 year firefighter/paramedic and the former fire chief for the Village of Bradley. He also served for 25 years as an instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, the state fire academy at the University of Illinois. During his time as a KVAA board member, Wilder has served as Board Secretary.

Prior to Wilder's appointment as chairman, the KVAA Board of Directors was chaired for over three decades by Robert Glade, former owner of Glade Plumbing & Heating in Kankakee. During Glade's tenure as board Chairman he was elected to the post three different times. As chairman, Glade led several major accomplishments including:

• Solicitation of funds from then Secretary Elizabeth Dole of the U.S. Department of Transportation for $4,000,000 to extend our primary runway approx. 1,000 feet. Secretary Dole later attended the runway's dedication ceremonies arriving at Kankakee's airfield on Coast Guard #1.
• Authorized the construction of several new buildings on the airfield including the new $1,000,000 FAA Automated Flight Service Station, several new executive hangars as well and additional T-hangars, and a new maintenance facility.
• Acquisition of several hundred acres of farm land to protect the environment
• Negotiation of an agreement with the City of Kankakee to annex into the City.
• And most recently, entering of the Airport Authority into a long term lease agreement with the Illinois Army National Guard for the purpose of construction a new Army Aviation Support Facility and Readiness Center.

"It's humbling to see the legacy left by Chairman Glade," notes Wilder. "I know I speak for all of us in saying how much we applaud and admire his leadership over the years. Under Chairman Glade, KVAA saw significant efficiency and infrastructure improvements, as well as admirable growth and advancement" he added. "I am honored to continuing his commitment to excellence and to supporting the great work of our KVAA leadership going forward." Glade will remain an active member of the board. "I'd be lost without him" Wilder added.

The Kankakee Valley Airport Authority was formed in 1957. The location of the airport was chosen South of Kankakee in 1959, and the Greater Kankakee Airport has been officially serving the Kankakee community since 1962. It is located 50 miles south of downtown Chicago and 70 miles north of Champaign, directly along Interstate 57 at the 308 exit. The airport is home to over 100 private hangars housing helicopter, single engine aircraft, ultralights, and turbine powered aircraft.

The Greater Kankakee Airport has received recognition over the years for its outstanding service to Kankakee County. The airport has been awarded the General Aviation – Publicly Owned Airport of the year award by the Illinois Division of Aeronautics in 2001 and 2012.

The airfield continues to serve the community today through general aviation. Over 100 private tenants and multiple businesses continue to utilize the field. In September of 2014 the Army National Guard broke ground on the Army Aviation Support Facility, which will be completed in 2017. The facility will house 13 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. The Kankakee Valley Airport Authority looks forward to continue to support the surrounding area in the years to come.

94.1 WGFA