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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Vermilion County Board Chairman, Weinard, will step aside

There will be a new Chairman of the Vermilion County Board next month. Current chairman Gary Weinard announced he will be leaving the board.

Weinard said he's been in the seat two years and "we've got some things accomplished, and I've got some other things I'd like to accomplish in life.'' The Chairman said "I think the county's in good shape. We were able to go this year without a tax increase," and he's not promising, but kind of thinking that's going to happen another year.''

In addition to his two years as County Board Chairman, Weinard has also served another 18 years. He says selling the former Vermilion Manor Nursing Home has helped hold the line on taxes. And some of the money received from the sale has gone towards renovating the Vermilion County Courthouse.
Weinard also said over the last several years the conflicts between Republicans and Democrats have gone away.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Season's first State Police travel advisory

Pesotum, IL- Several crashes due to slick roadways has Illinois State Police District 10 issuing a travel advisory this (Thurs) evening. Troopers are responding to multiple crashes on I-57 and I-74. Specifically I-74 at milepost 194, I-57 at milepost 146 and Il. Route 47 near county road 2400 north. I-74 westbound at 194 was at a standstill due to crashes.

District 10 covers Coles, Champaign, Douglas, Edgar, Moultrie, Vermilion, Macon, and Piatt Counties. Officials are reminding drivers to take precautions as they travel.

The Illinois State Police are asking drivers to monitor changing weather conditions and be prepared to allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Drivers are also encouraged to put extra water, food, and warm clothing in their vehicle.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Police investigate year’s 5th homicide

             Thursday afternoon shooting leaves 26-year-old dead


Kankakee City Police are investigating a Thursday afternoon shooting that left a man dead. No arrests were immediately announced. Police are using CrimeStoppers to ask anyone with info to contact authorities.

The shooting happened this afternoon at a residence on the corner of Birch Street and Harrison Avenue.26-year-old DeArrion Harris was pronounced dead just after 1 pm. He was shot multiple times.
Harris is the city's 5th murder victim this year and 10th in the county.

Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner said an autopsy is scheduled for Friday.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

‘Not guilty’ plea in fatal Iroquois County crash case

Eighteen-year-old Dakota Papineau of Bourbonnais entered a 'not guilty' plea Wednesday to charges of reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving. The former Watseka teen appeared for his arraignment in Iroquois Circuit Court.

The charges stem from a fatal crash in July, west of Watseka at a rural intersection. Papineau allegedly ran a stop sign killing 59-year-old David Senesac of Watseka. Senesac's six-year-old grandson was left with serious injuries.

A grand jury indicted Papineau on the traffic charges. An earlier charge of DUI, brought by Iroquois County Sheriff's Police, didn't stick when toxicology tests showed there was no alcohol or other substances in his system.

Prosecutors have said he was driving above the speed limit when he struck Senesac's car on the intersection of 1600E and 1900N roads near Crescent City.

If convicted, the aggravated charges carry a maximum penalty of up to five and three years in prison. A judge could also impose a sentence of just 30 months probation.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Copas calls it “overwhelming evidence of official misconduct,” A-G ruled ‘not so’

State's Attorney: poor management doesn't mean it's criminal

Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas has been calling for legal action against former public health department employees for quite some time. And at Wednesday's County Board meeting, the Chairman urged State's Attorney Jim Devine to prosecute the employees that he says,"robbed taxpayers using public assets for private gain."

Copas used findings in a forensic audit of three former health department computers alleging management-level employees spent less than 30% of their work time on county business.

The audit findings show company computers were used for personal business, including paying personal bills, online shopping, and even looking at pornography.

Copas made his directed comments before the board prior to introducing Andrew Garrett of Garrett Discovery, a company that conducted a forensic audit of three former Ford-Iroquois Health Department employees computers. Garrett said it was Copas who directed the company to conduct the forensic audit.

Copas is still insisting S-A Devine needs to pursue official misconduct charges against the former employees. Copas expressed his disgust at the lack of prosecution for what he calls 'blatant criminal acts that have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Devine says, and the Illinois Attorney General affirms, 'poorly run business doesn't mean it's criminal.' Questions also arise as to why all health department or all county competers aren't part of this 'Copas witch-hunt ?'

The accusations against the chosen-few is now opening doors, by non-Copas supporters, asking why the agenda is limited to those Copas wants to select ?  Copas' county board supporters have offered no answers either.

The now-dissolved F-I Health Department left former health department employees and board members wearing a lot of mud from the accusations. There's current health department employees, observers point out, that should be part of the forensic audit as well.

A 2008 flood grant not only benefited several community flood victims, health department employees (past and present) also walked off with monetary gains that have never been disclosed. (The findings were posted on a watchdog website, but were never part of the Copas agenda, according to observers).

94.1 WGFA