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Weekend fires fueled by winds in Iroquois County Weekend fires fueled by winds in Iroquois County Weekend fires fueled by winds in Iroquois County

A Saturday afternoon fire destroyed a large tool shed in rural Onarga. A truck was also listed as a total loss on the Jim Lee farmstead at 200 E and 1350 N Roads.

The Ford-Iroquois fire department answered the initial call. Mutual aid was provided by Buckley, Loda, Danforth, Onarga and Gilman. Water supplies became an issue during the three-hour battlw ithe flames. No injury was reported. The cause was under investigation.

A field fire Sunday alerted fire crews from Woodland, Milford, Sheldon and Watseka . The field, already harvested, is at 2423 E and 1520 N Roads in rural Woodland. A machine malfunction was the likely cause. The fast-moving flames were fueled by the 25-30 mph winds.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Illinois to vote on amendment about transportation fund use

The amendment question, dubbed the "lockbox" amendment, addresses the state government practice of spending earmarked transportation revenue for other purposes.

On Nov. 8, Illinois voters will determine whether to amend the state constitution to ensure money intended for transportation projects is spent on that.

The amendment question, dubbed the “lockbox” amendment, addresses the state government practice of spending earmarked transportation revenue for other purposes. Money for transportation projects comes from license fees, vehicle registration costs, gas taxes and road tolls.

Benjamin Brockschmidt, policy vice president for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Infrastructure Council, said $6.8 billion of earmarked state funds was not spent on transportation. The proposal was approved for the ballot through bipartisan support of the General Assembly, which was sought by a broad transportation coalition that included the Illinois Chamber, organized labor groups, and road planning and construction groups.

“Illinois Farm Bureau policy has long supported motor fuel tax funds to be used for construction and maintenance of roads, streets and bridges only,” said Kevin Semlow, IFB director of state legislation. “We fully support the ‘lockbox’ constitutional amendment.”

State funds intended for transportation projects regularly are taken for other government purposes.

Brockschmidt highlighted bridge soundness and the need for regular infrastructure investments. About 93 percent of bridges statewide rate “acceptable” condition. If bridges aren’t regularly maintained and repaired, the acceptable percent will decrease to 85 percent, according to Brockschmidt.

"That (lack of upkeep) adds to the cost of transportation, and adds to the wear and tear on other bridges” as motorists seek alternative routes, he noted.
In rural areas, bridges with lower weight restrictions or closed ones can add miles and cost to transport crops and livestock to market.

Brockschmidt said questions have surfaced about which funds will be put in the lockbox and which won’t. “The spirit and goal is to protect transportation funding,” he said.

If voters approve the amendment, legislation will be needed to clarify implementation of the new requirement, Brockschmidt said.

In Brockschmidt’s view the proposed amendment’s fate may impact more than roads and bridges given Illinois’ dire financial situation. If the amendment fails to pass, legislators across the state will view any special funds as available for other expenses, he said. “If we don’t pass this, things can get worse,” Brockschmidt concluded.
Semlow added, “On Nov. 8, we encourage everyone to go to the end of the ballot and vote yes on the ‘lockbox’ amendment.”

For more information about the proposed amendment, visit {saferoadsamendment.com}

94.1 WGFA   * Info submitted

  • Parent Category: News

Indiana: All set for 60th Covered Bridge Festival

It’s one of Illiana’s largest tourist attractions. The Covered Bridge Festival – in Parke County, Indiana. And it’s getting underway today (Friday).

The kick-off of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival finds organizers promoting the 60th annual event.

If you plan on visiting the Covered Bridge Festival, there are a couple of ways you can enjoy seeing the 31 historic bridges. Self-guided routes with directions will guide you to the various covered bridges. And there are bus tours that happen daily during the Festival that take you from Rockville and take you to some of the smaller towns that you wouldn’t necessarily go to when you’re traveling by car.

There are two information booths on the square in Rockville, plus a Visitor’s Center is located three blocks east of the square. For more information visit the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival at www.coveredbridges.com.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

I-65 crash kills Indiana man, dog uninjured

26-year-old Nicholas Vega of Medaryville, IN was killed in a a crash (Wednesday) near DeMotte, IN. Vega was a passenger in a car that ran out of control while entering a rest area along I-65.
State Police said a 25-year-old Crown Point (IN) man was driving when he lost control. The vehicle slammed a highway sign and ran down an embankment.

Police said Vega was ejected in the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene. State Police also reported Vega’s German Shepherd was in the car. The dog was not hurt but stood watch over Vega until emergency personnel arrived.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Jasper County drug-related arrests

Two Jasper County Sheriff’s deputies had to be treated at a hospital after inhaling heroin during a traffic stop. The deputies were decontaminated at the hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputies pulled over 38-year-old Kenneth Baker and 46-year-old Earl Amos, both from Chicago. The traffic stop was on I- 65 Wednesday.

Officers said Baker tried to hide or get rid of a baggie and a powder inside the bag became airborne. It was later identified as heroin.

Baker and Amos were both arrested for conspiracy to deal heroin. Other charges were expected.

Baker is being held without bond at the Tippecanoe County Jail. Amos was released after processing due to an existing medical condition that requires treatment in the Chicago area.

94.1 WGFA