As the investigation into the cause of last week's fire in Kankakee continues, authorities report the two young boys pulled from the building have died.
The two and four-year-old died over the weekend at separate Chicago hospitals. Four-year-old Justice Stewart died Friday. Two-year-old Jushaun Watson died Sunday. Three others were also injured in the overnight fire in the 800-block of W. Station Street.
The children were airlifted to the Chicago hospitals in critical condition.
There were 22 occupants in the upstairs apartments who were displaced. Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young reported two people jumped and three others were rescued from the building.
The fire started in the rear of the building where the laundry room and a back stairwell are located.
Lyle Behrends of Ashkum and Dale Strough of Watseka will serve as respective Iroquois County Republican and Democratic Party leaders.
Both were seated (Wednesday) when area county conventions re-organized political leadership.
The Republican Precinct Committeemen elected Behrends to lead the GOP party. He's Precinct Committeeman for Ashkum I. Behrends replaces Shane Cultra. The Democratic Party selected Strough to the leadership post. He's Precinct Committeeman for Belmont III.
Paul Ducat of Chebanse, representing Chebanse II, was selected Vice-Chair for the GOP Party. Barb Offill of Gilman will serve Republicans as Secretary and Treasurer is Marty Tilstra of Onarga.
The Democratic Party selected Dustin Wells of rural Hoopeston to serve as Vice-Chairman, PJ McCullough of Watseka will serve as Secretary and Tammy Nietfeldt of Watseka is Treasurer.
The Watseka City Hall will serve as the Small Business Administration's Outreach Center to assist flood victims in Iroquois County.
The Outreach Center is in response to Governor Rauner's announcement that the federal government is extending the SBA help for low-interest loans.
SBA reps will be available at City Hall April 19 thru April 28. Hours are 7:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm. (closed Sunday) The Center will close at 3 pm Thursday, April 28.
WASHINGTON – Illinois businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding between Dec. 23, 2015 and Jan. 13, 2016, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced today.
Administrator Contreras-Sweet made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Bruce Rauner on March 30, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers Christian and Iroquois counties and the adjacent counties of Ford, Kankakee, Macon, Montgomery, Sangamon, Shelby, and Vermilion in Illinois; and Benton and Newton counties in Indiana.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Illinois with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans," said Administrator Contreras-Sweet "Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA."
SBA Customer Service Representatives will be at the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to issue loan applications, answer questions and help individuals complete their applications.
Five people are under arrest in Jasper County after they're accused of holding a homeowner at gunpoint during a burglary.
The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon (around 2 pm) in a subdivision (Tanglewood Subdivision) a couple miles south of Demotte, Indiana.
The homeowner reported four suspects came in armed with guns and used a chemical spray to drive the victim's dog away. They pried open a safe and stole several items. They then took off in a van with a female driver.
The victim ran to a neighbor's home for help and they called police. The victim and witnesses provided authorities with detailed descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle.
Police said an off-duty deputy saw the vehicle in question get on Interstate 65 at the State Road 10 Exit. The deputy called for backup, and the vehicle was pulled over at the Crown Point Exit. The five suspects were removed from vehicle without serious incident.
In custody are: 19-year-old Devon Gaskin, 21-year-old Joshua Vasquez, and 18-year-old Teresa Heider, all of Joliet, Illinois. Two juveniles arrested include a 16-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl both from Illinois. All five face charges of armed robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary to a dwelling while armed with a deadly weapon. Additional charges may be added. The investigation continues.
Investigators learned that the 17-year-old girl was a stepdaughter who had once lived at the home and knew about the safe. Detectives said they also learned one suspect wanted to fire on officers, but another suspect talked the subject out of firing.
He was Herscher's link to news and information. And a friend to all.
Rob Mau, community leader, owner and editor of the Herscher Pilot newspaper, and an all-out friend to everyone in the Kankakee Community, died of a heart attack Tuesday. He was 62.
The community is mourning. The local coffee shop is a quiet, somber place. Town-folks are quietly talking about the leader and community-ambassador Rob Mau had been over the years. Not only did Rob produce the news in the community. He was so involved in so many organizations...always promoting the small town -- and with a smile and a word of encouragement.
Rob did it all with the Pilot newspaper. He was the owner, publisher, editor, reporter, photographer, handled the advertising --- AND ALWAYS WITH THE BEST INTEREST OF HERSCHER IN MIND.
His wife, Janet, said Rob loved the community.
The Schreffler funeral home in Herscher is handling arrangements.