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  • Parent Category: News

Central Illinois hit by severe weather >

Severe weather swept across parts of central Illinois (Tues) evening. The NWS was busy last night trying to figure it all out – whether it was tornado damage.

Damaging winds, large hail, widespread flooding was reported in many communities. Most of the damage occurred in Clark, Coles, Christian, and Moultrie counties.

The highest recorded wind gust of 71 mph occurred at the Coles County airport at 5:15 PM. Widespread gusts of 60 mph and over occurred too, resulting in 3 semi trucks to be clown over on I-70 in Clark county.

The towns of Sullivan and Bethany in Moultrie county experienced damage with reports of trees and power lines down. There were reports of multiple houses with roofs blown off and a machine shed that was blown over in Sullivan.

Large hail was noted in and around some of the noted areas.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County students showcase their technology demonstrations at state capitol

The annual “Students for the Information Age” TECH 2018 event, held last week in Springfield, featured Iroquois West students. They were among several hundred from various Illinois school districts showcasing their technology knowledge.

The event was at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.

At the event, students showed the public and members of the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives how technology is being used in the classroom to increase student engagement and improve achievement. From elementary to the high school classrooms, TECH 2018 highlights the crucial role that technology plays in education — ranging from increases in collaboration and critical thinking, to promoting learning beyond the limits of the school day — by creating a space for students to share their learning and innovative uses of devices, the internet, and digital curriculum.

Taking part in the demonstrations locally were second grade students from Iroquois West Elementary School: Karsyn Arie, daughter of Nick and Kristy Arie, Watseka, and Jordyn Meents, daughter of Justin and Kara Meents, Gilman.

Read more: Iroquois County students showcase their technology demonstrations at state capitol

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka mayor wants council onboard with push for ‘best business practices’

Watseka Mayor John Allhands says “the time is now” to find direction for the city’s future. And he wants the City Council’s support.

The mayor unveiled a list of matters in need of immediate attention, telling the full-Council (last week) “we have to get away from that old cliché of kicking the can down the street” and make the decisions to move forward.

Allhands knows the flooding will happen again. Steps are being taken to find solutions. But he also says the city’s water and sewer department needs call for action – and list of potential bidders and appraisers would be money well-spent......

"We held a special meeting and agreed to purue this matter, so why the change of heart ?" Allhands asked last week. "In the past we've spent money on matters not as significant as this. Why can't we spend a few thousand to compile a list of bidders and appraisers ?"

Allhands believes compiling the list of potential companies that could operate the city’s water & sewer operation is not taking away from the current operator, ERH Enterprises. It’s just due-diligence.

The mayor says it’s about educating the decision-makers, not to sell the system to the first company stepping forward.

"A public hearing had people telling us that's what they wanted...to attempt to keep the system in-house and get an appraisel."

Allhands says he knows the entire Council supports doing what best for Watseka’s future. But it will take spending research monies to push forward – and allow a lingering problem to fester.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Dugan: Parkhurst’s claims on exit 312 progress another example of Saying One Thing, Doing Another

Following incumbent Lindsay Parkhurst’s touting of progress on the exit 312 interchange project, state Rep. candidate Lisa Dugan issued the following statement:

“Once again, politician Lindsay Parkhurst is taking credit for something she did absolutely nothing to contribute to. Lindsay Parkhurst claims that the I-57 exit 312 interchange project was stalled for 15 years, but if she had been actively engaged in the community, then she would know that Phase 1 started in 2011 after I helped to secure the funding in May 2011. Meetings have been held between the City of Kankakee, stakeholders, and the Illinois Department of Transportation beginning in 2011 and in subsequent years ending in 2015. It should also be noted that Phase II of the project was included and funded in IDOT’s 2016 MYP contrary to statements made by Parkhurst.”

“If anything stalled this project, it’s Lindsay Parkhurst and her allies in Springfield who continue to block reforms that would help our state invest in our infrastructure and fund vital capital projects that would benefit our communities,” Dugan continued. “Lindsay Parkhurst has refused to vote for balanced budgets that fund investment in infrastructure, public safety and our schools. Whether it’s claiming she supports domestic violence shelters while voting against any funding for domestic violence victims, or pointing to local projects that her allies have repeatedly blocked funding for, Lindsay Parkhurst is just another politician who says one thing at home and does another thing in Springfield. As state Representative, I will not only advocate for local infrastructure projects for the Kankakee area in Springfield and work with all members of the community to bring critical developments to our area, I’ll stand by my word by actually voting to fund them.”

“Lindsay Parkhurst’s statements on this issue show that she hasn’t been engaged in our community or on this project,” said Kankakee Alderman Carl Brown. “Lisa Dugan’s record of commitment to Kankakee is unmatched, and as State Representative she’ll fight for resources for our community not just when it’s politically convenient, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

94.1 WGFA      {submitted info}

  • Parent Category: News

Resolution proposed to honor police officers killed in I-57 shootout

It happened 39 years ago --- in Ford County. A bloody gunfight at Paxton, on the I-57 overpass.

That overpass will soon be named the “McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass” --- to honor the law enforcement officers killed in a shootout during a traffic stop that went bad.

Senator Jason Barickman and Representative Tom Bennett sponsored legislation in the Senate and House, respectively, to pay respect to the lawmen who died in the line of duty.

This next week is National Law Enforcement to recognize police officers. An event kicked off the week (Friday) on the Courthouse lawn in Kankakee.

The infamous I-57 shootout at Paxton was on April 7, 1979. The Lampkin Brothers – from Michigan – opened fire on officers during a traffic stop.

The shootout took the lives of Illinois State Trooper Michael McCarter, Paxton Police Officer William Caisse, and a civilian Donald Vice (who was riding along with McCarter, his brother-in-law).

Paxton patrolman Larry Hale was also wounded.

Supporters of the legislation to honor those killed say the resolution is “long overdue.”

94.1 WGFA