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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Wind farm opponents organize in Fairbury

Opponents of a proposed Livingston County wind farm are hosting an informational meeting (Saturday) in Fairbury.

The purpose is to get information to the public about the dangers of wind farms.
The event is from 1 'til 4 p.m. at the North Park Pavilion.

Livingston County officials are considering a wind farm proposal from Invenergy, a Chicago-based company, that could add 136 turbines across 30,000 acres of farmland. The turbines would cover areas in 10 townships.

The towns of Forrest, Fairbury, Strawn and Chatsworth would be impacted by the proposed Pleasant Ridge Wind Energy Project.

The opponents want to make people aware of the known health problems and land problems that have been created for farmers.

A copy of the application for the proposed Pleasant Ridge Wind Energy Project is available online at www.livingstoncountyil.gov. Livingston County zoning administrator Chuck Schopp said the permit will eventually be sent to the county's Zoning Board of Appeals to consider.


Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment at public hearings. There is no time frame on when the review will be completed.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Real GDP Growth Exceeds National Average, Second Highest in State of Illinois

           U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis 2013 numbers released

KANKAKEE, IL –September 18, 2014 – Continuing the trend of favorable economic reports for Kankakee County, the Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area maintained its position as the second highest metro in the state of Illinois in 2013 for growth in real gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. With year-over-year growth 2.3%, which exceeds the national average of 1.7%, the Kankakee-Bradley MSA's Real GDP in 2013 totaled $3.360 billion, positioning the area 138th among 381 metro areas.

Among the 10 MSAs within the state of Illinois, four experienced a decline in real GDP, while four experienced growth of 1.6% or less. Only one MSA exceeded Kankakee-Bradley, at 4% growth.

"From manufacturing to health care to higher education to public infrastructure, Kankakee County is experiencing truly unprecedented capital investment," explains Economic Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. "Put simply, they invest here because they've found success here and can grow more effectively here than in other places.

"The BEA's numbers align perfectly with what we're experiencing on the ground and the outcomes of various national rankings," continued Van Mill. "We're ideally positioned for significant growth."

94.1 WGFA                                                               {SUBMITTED INFO}

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County’s Les Conkling dies, 82

                                                Republican leader

Leslie "Les" Conkling of Kempton, a former Ford County educator, coach and state representative, passed away on Tuesday.

The 82-year-old was a lifelong Republican. Friends and colleagues are remembering him as a genuine public servant who placed people before politics.

Ford County Republican party Chairman Tom Bennett said "He (Les) really was focused on the public and good government. he was the heart and soul of a lot of things that were going on in Ford County."
Bennett added, Les will be missed by a lot of people.

Conkling capped his political career as an Illinois state representative from 1991 to 1993 for the old 87th legislative district. But his ascension to the statehouse was preceded by a long record of public service in numerous roles.

He served as Ford County's Republican Party chairman from 1978 to 1998, the Kempton village board and fire department for more than 30 years, and retired in 1990 after a 30-year career in education as a teacher, coach and principal for both the Kempton-Cabery and Tri-Point School districts. He was the first principal for Tri-Point's newly consolidated high school in 1969.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Smith gets 4-year prison term for domestic battery

Domestic battery has landed a Kankakee man in prison for four years. 35-year-old Allen Smith man was sentenced in Iroquois circuit court (Tuesday) to four years in prison for repeatedly punching a woman in the face.

Prosecutors said it happened in front of the woman's children at a rural Chebanse residence in March 2013.

Iroquois County judge Gordon Lustfeldt found Smith guilty of domestic battery during a bench trial on August 8th.

State's Attorney Jim Devine's news release stated witnesses said they saw Smith holding his girlfriend down in a chair and striking her in the face.

Iroquois County sheriff's police had been called to the couple's rural Chebanse address 14 times during an 18-month period, according to assistant State's Attorney Alex O'Brien. At the sentencing, O'Brien said Smith and the victim continued to live together despite being ordered by the court to stay away from each other.

"We are past the point of talking about rehabilitation," O'Brien said in the news release. "If nothing changes, nobody really doubts that we are going to be in this courtroom again, or in a courtroom in Kankakee, talking about new charges with another victim or maybe the same victim."
Smith has eight prior felony convictions and has been sent to prison six times. He has two prior domestic battery convictions.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

2 Illinois women die from West Nile virus

Two women with West Nile virus have died, becoming the state's first deaths from the illness this year.
One woman was in her 70s and the other was in her 80s, according to reports from the Illinois Department of Health. Another two Chicago residents with the virus have recovered.

Statewide, health officials have reported 15 human cases of West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Last year, 11 people died in Illinois after being infected by the virus and 117 Illinois residents were diagnosed with it.

The virus can cause fever, headache and body aches. People age 50 and older are at a higher risk for serious complications.

Health officials recommend removing standing water where mosquitoes can breed, using insect repellent that contains DEET and repairing torn screens on doors and windows to combat the virus.

94.1 WGFA