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Local News

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Quality Grocery Store in Watseka set to close

It's been a great family business for nearly 100 years. And it's coming to an end for Watseka's locally-owned grocery store November 27th.

The VanNatta family will close the door at Quality Grocery Store, ending a family tradition that dates back to 1917. Jim and Cathi VanNatta realize it's difficult for the community, employees, and family. But Jim says "it's time."

The store at 210 E. Oak Street will close at 5 pm November 27th.

The last few weeks has found many employees and customers sharing stories and memories of the business started by Jim's grandparents Harold and Mabel. Jim's mom and dad, Bob and Marie, took over the business in 1944. Jim took over in 2000 when his dad died. And Jim's mom, Marie, has remained the business and family matriarch, even at 94.

The business was sold to Berkots Super Foods. Berkots makes a return to the Watseka community in December, but at their former location at 1152 E. Walnut Street – on the city's east side, where much of the community has been expanding.

Jim says he still believes in the downtown presence and hopes city leaders will focus on downtown development. Many of the Quality employees are expected to transfer to the Berkots store.

Jim VanNatta shares memories and thoughts on the business venture on 94.1 FM, WGFA. www.wgfaradio.com

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County employees given pay raises

The Ford County Board voted to grant pay raises to a several employees. At Monday night's meeting, the board approved raising the pay of hourly employees by 25-cents an hour. The finance committee extended the recommendation.

The board also granted raises to probation department workers by 2 1/2 percent. The salary of Chief Probation Officer Cassy Taylor Morris was increased to $52,303.

The board also agreed to increase Circuit Clerk Kim Evans' salary from $49,000 to $51,000. Raises were also granted to Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short, to $51,000, and the sheriff's administrative assistant, Barb King, to $33,280.
The raises are effective December 1st.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Dr. Youssef new head of Iroquois County Animal Control

Dr. Hany Youssef has been named the new administrator of Iroquois County Animal Control. He replaces Dr. James Finnell, who retires effective the end of November.

Youssef operates Watseka Animal Hospital. He's also worked in veterinary medicine in Hoopeston. He's also been a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology at the Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois.

Youssef tells WGFA News he has early goals in the county position.

"My main goal is education. I want to educate clients and work with other doctors on new procedures, new diseases so we're all better prepared," Youssef said.

He adds, "we need to review current operations, sit down with local personnel and determine if any changes are needed."

Dr. Youssef also extends a spirit of cooperation to area veterinarians for the good of the county. He welcomes suggestions and wants to meet with local personnel involved in the program.

Youssef's appointment Tuesday earned unanimous approval from the County Board.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

McNabb woman ID'd in fatal I-39 crash

The Woodford County Coroner's office identified the person killed in a weather-related crash Monday night on I-39.

71-year-old Sharon Goldasich of McNabb was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash near El Paso. Illinois State Police reported the woman's SUV slid out of control while northbound and into the path of a semitrailer truck.

The accident, around 8:15 pm, happened during the first significant snowfall of the season. Several accidents were investigated Monday night and Tuesday morning, resulting in this one fatality.

Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman said the woman was on her way to visit family and friends in Putnam County at the time of the accident.

The semi driver, Abidir Hashi of Minneapolis, Minn., was not injured.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Finance Committee presents balanced budget

It's tight, but it's balanced. And the Kankakee County Board is on the verge of approving its Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

A $33-million dollar budget is on the table. It now awaits the Board's approval.

The Finance committee (Tues) proposed the FY budget. And despite being balanced, Board Chairman Mike Bossert says there's little room for error. The numbers show a 1.3% increase over the current budget still needs the full Board's approval.

94.1 FM, WGFA