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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Storms leave wind damage in northern Illinois

Thunderstorms that punched through northern Illinois overnight Wednesday caused significant wind damage, mainly in rural areas west and south of Chicago.

Kankakee County was hard hit with at least three tornadoes confirmed by the National Weather Service.
A church under construction was torn down. And a horse was killed when a barn collapsed.

The National Weather Service says intense winds estimated to have reached 70-80 mph in some areas snapped large trees at their trunks or uprooted them entirely. Barns were destroyed in northern Kankakee County.

In Iroquois County, two funnel clouds were reported near Martinton. That prompted sirens to sound in Martinton and Donovan.

The storms that began Wednesday afternoon produced hail and heavy rain that caused some flash flooding. There were also reports of possible tornados from police and trained storm observers, including in the village of Paw Paw in Lee County and to the north in the Rockford area.  Nearly 11,000 customers were still without power Thursday.


Weather service meteorologist Richard Castro says Chicago was largely spared because the intense line of thunderstorms formed to the south and east.

94.1 FM,. WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County Board vote on administrator’s future pending >

A vote by the Ford County Board concerning the future of Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department. Administrator Doug Corbett could come next week.

Board Chairman Rick Bowen reports he may call a special meeting for next Thursday or Friday.

The Iroquois County Board this week (Tues) voted to recommend Corbett's firing. It's up to the Ford County Board and also the Ford-Iroquois Health Board to take the suggestion to the next step.

Corbett's been under the microscope since last fall when the health board was criticized for a proposed move to provide home health care in Indiana. That project has been scrapped. Corbett has also been under fire in recent months over a contract that his health board awarded to the husband of an employee.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Condon Murder case proceeds; police cleared of illegal search

Iroquois County Judge Gordon Lustfeldt has denied a defense argument in the Andrew Condon murder case, claiming police information used to obtain a search warrant was based on false statements.

The judge denied what's legally called a Franks hearing to determine whether the police information to gain the warrant came from false statements.

Condon is jailed in Watseka charged with last October's shooting death of Jonathan Rubin. Rubin was the overnight attendant at the Gilman Shell Gas Station when he was shot multiple times inside the business, just off Route 24.

Condon was arrested and charged with 2-counts of murder.

Court records refer to a surveillance tape showing an argument between Condon and Rubin, but there's no audio providing exactly what was said during the confrontation. The tape however, does show a clear problem between the defendant and the clerk, Rubin.

The prosecution contends the defendant was verbally abusive to Rubin.
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94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Residents, officials survey damage in wake of Wednesday night storms

National Weather Service crews may be headed to several communities in Illinois and Indiana to survey damage. Several reports of funnel clouds are yet to be determined whether it was a tornado or high winds that inflicted damage.

Kankakee County had three reports of tornadoes. Winfield and Lakes of the Four Seasons in Indiana are wondering too.

Richard Castro, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, Ill., said "We are aware of pretty substantial wind damage that occurred in Winfield, Lakes of the Four Seasons and the Crown Point area." Castro said "Based on the damage, it looks like those winds could have been over 70 miles per hour."

The frame of building under construction in Merrillville visible from Interstate 65 on the west side of the interstate south of U.S. 30 was also destroyed.

Other communities reported downed trees, but the storm appears to have largely spared other areas of the damage seen in LOFS, Winfield and Crown Point.

The Indiana Department of Transportation said fallen trees and limbs caused downed power lines on Ind. 2 that forced the closure of the roadway from Interstate 65 to U.S. 231.

As of 8 a.m., NIPSCO reported 7,719 customers remained without power in the utility's northern Indiana service area, with the bulk of the impacted customers -- 2,862 -- being in Crown Point.
At the peak of the storm, more than 44,000 customers were without power.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Horse killed in barn collapse, result of stormy weather

Wednesday night's stormy weather resulted in few, if any human injury, but one horse was killed when a barn collapsed in Manteno.

Firemen rescued a reported dozen horses from the barn south of Manteno.

The shell of the new Risen Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church — being built at 9000N Road in Manteno — came tumbling down in the storm.

There were three reports of tornadoes in Kankakee County.

The result of the weather was felt in several areas of Kankakee County. Winds reached more than 80 mph. Hail and heavy rain was reported.

In Iroquois County, several communities were in clean-up mode today. Trees, power lines and rooftop debris was scattered about.

Donovan fire answered a call to Candace Grissom's residence on Route 52. No injury was reported. The fire's cause was likely weather-related.

Donovan Mayor Ken Ward reported several volunteers were helping clean up tree debris from the streets and village park.

Weather Spotters from the Iroquois County Amateur Radio Club confirmed threatening skies over several communities in the county's northern areas. A funnel cloud was reported NW of Martinton.

Elsewhere, downed power lines and branches, flooded viaducts and standing water closed roadways. The Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency's official rain gauge showed a total of 3.4 inches of rain overnight.

There were several rural spottings in the Wilmington, Essex and Bonfield areas, and others in the Bourbonnais, Bradley, Manteno and Grant Park areas.

Manteno seemed to be the hardest hit by strong straight line winds that blew through about 7:45 p.m. Those blasts would seem to be responsible for the horse barn collapse, downed power poles on U.S. Route 45/52, and the church collapse.

94.1 FM, WGFA