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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County's jobless rate drops

Iroquois County’s unemployment rate last month remained steady, dropping a bit, to 8.2%. It’s down from 8.6 in July of 2011.

The Ford County rate is at 9.7….up from last year’s 9.1  Livingston County is listed at 8.5…also down from the 2011 level of 9.2 %.   IDES spokesman Greg Rivara said the fluctuations are part of a stable recovery.

“The economy is improving; overall we’re doing better than we were a year ago and two years ago,” Rivara said. “When looking at the monthly data, we’re seeing numbers that are moving up or moving down ever so slightly. But when we step back and look at the trend, we see that trend line moving downward.”

Over the year, McLean County had an increase of 300 jobs in non-farm positions, ending the month with 88,500 jobs, compared to 88,200 in July 2011. Leisure and hospitality and government saw the biggest gains with 600 and 400 new jobs, respectively. Declines took place in retail trade, where 500 jobs were lost.

Across the state, the July unemployment rate fell in five metro areas, increased in four and remained unchanged in three, compared to last year.

“Today’s data reflects the nature of this uneven recovery with several, but not all, areas of our state showing an improved employment situation,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell in a prepared statement. “Stronger consumer confidence nationally is needed for the employment situation to consistently improve in all corners of our state.”

Other Central Illinois counties and their July (July 2011) rates include: DeWitt, 8.2 percent (8.5 percent); Ford, 9.7 percent (9.1 percent); Iroquois, 8.2 percent (8.6 percent); LaSalle, 11.5 percent (11.5 percent); Livingston, 8.5 percent (9.2 percent.

94.1 FM, WGFA

 

  • Parent Category: News

New School Year Calls for Drivers Reminders about School Zone Safety Issues

There’s plenty of drivers that need reminders about driving in school zones. And school crossing guards are quick to say how often they see motorists not paying attention in school zones..

School guards are already making noise about the drivers they see speeding, or on their cellphones, or totally ignorant of the fact that they're in a school zone.

Police are also reinforcing the message here, early in the new school year, that safety is their first priority.  And if you’re on a cellphone, texting, or speeding….you’re gonna pay.  Stiff fines and reinforced laws don’t allow for negligence behind the wheel.

94.1 fm, wgfa

  • Parent Category: News

Pre-Season High School Football Poll Recognizes Area Teams

The Watseka Warriors and the Milford Bearcats are among area high school football teams getting some pre-season attention as the new season kicks off Friday night.

Wilmington and the Momence Redskins topped local teams in the Illinois High School Football Associated Press preseason polls this week.

The polls are voted on by an Associated Press panel of statewide sportswriters.

Read more: Pre-Season High School Football Poll Recognizes Area Teams

  • Parent Category: News

W9GRS: From Room 104 to the World !

WATSEKA -- Mr. Simpson.  That’s Troy Simpson, an 8th grade science teacher who readily admits he takes learning beyond the classroom.

And his amateur radio handle, W9KVR, is spanning the globe along with his junior-high science students on W9GRS.  Students at the Glenn Raymond School in Watseka are active members of Simpson’s Science Club, which just a few short years ago celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Today, the School Club Round-Up  (SCR) has students excited with amateur radio; the young Hams reaching far and wide with radio waves to make contacts across the world.  Simpson says “the world’s a wave-length away and he loves bringing technology into his lesson plans.

The big reward is the September issue of Monitoring Times magazine, featuring Simpson’s “Amateur Radio in the Classroom” article, which ties nicely to the Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club (ICARC)…….

The support from the Unit Nine School administration and the local Ham radio club has stirred interest from the 6th thru 8th grade students.  Successful grant applications have enhanced the effort with equipment and real-life emergency communications, according to Simpson……….       

94.1 FM, WGFA

 

  • Parent Category: News

Police Search for Aggravated Assault Suspect, 2nd Person Arrested for Resisting

Kankakee Police went to a residence Tuesday looking for a suspect wanted for Aggravated Assault with a Weapon and ended up arresting a homeowner for Obstructing with the investigation.

Agents stopped at 193 N. Taylor Avenue to arrest the unidentified-individual who was listed as armed and dangerous. That suspect fled into the residence. While KAMEG agents were pursuing and attempting to apprehend the wanted felon, 50-year-old James Thompson, who resides at that address, attempted to prevent the officers from proceeding with the investigation. Thompson allegedly made physical contact with the agents and struck an agent in the chest. Thompson then resisted arrest and was subsequently subdued.

While agents entered the home in pursuit of the wanted individual, a canine bit a KAMEG officer on his leg and attempted to attack another. The canine was shot. The injured police officer was treated at a local hospital and released. The wanted person eventually avoided being apprehended and escaped through an upstairs window. KAMEG was assisted by the Kankakee Police Department. The investigation continues.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the fugitive is encouraged to contact the Kankakee Police Department.

Thompson meanwhile, was jailed on a charge of Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer and Resisting/Obstructing a Peace Officer.

94.1 FM, WGFA