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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County Sheriff's police sued over inmate’s death

The family of a Hoopeston man who died inside the Ford County Jail last year is suing the Ford County Sheriff's department. The suit alleges Richard Gonzales was put in solitary confinement and denied medical care.

Arthur Gonzalez, the father of Richard Gonzalez, filed the suit in federal court in Urbana claiming correctional officers in Ford County neglected his son's serious shoulder injury.

Gonzalez reportedly died of cardiac arrhythmia while awaiting transfer to a state prison. He was being held for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton ATM.

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount of money.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Fairbury officials push for local hotel

A group of local businessman in Fairbury is making noise to place a hotel at what's considered a famous corner in the Livingston County community.

The new facility would occupy the lower level of the Walton Centre in downtown Fairbury. The building was once a retail hub in the region, with three floors of retail space in the tradition of grand American department stores.

Now there's a banquet facility on the second floor, which won't be changed, but a steering committee is hoping to make the lower level profitable by converting it to a 16-unit hotel.

A study was done by the Rural Economic Technical Assistance Center at Western Illinois University in 2008 for a different hotel proposal, and the study determined that a hotel in Fairbury would do a brisk business; perhaps a 67 percent occupancy rate.

The steering committee for the project said events such as the Fairbury fair and established attractions such as the Fairbury Speedway are already drawing significant numbers of people to the community, but the lack of a local hotel means equally significant revenues are leaving the community at the end of the day.

The organizers said the goal is to keep that money in Fairbury. The proposed facility will include two suites, eight rooms with two Queen-size beds, and six rooms with a single King-size bed. There will also be a conference room as part of the hotel, while the upper floor will continue to serve as a banquet facility.

94.1 FM, WGFA

 

  • Parent Category: News

I-57 Accident Kills Michigan Man

An autopsy was scheduled for today (Mon) as Iroquois County authorities look into the death of a 51-year-old Michigan man killed Saturday night on I-57.

Charles Clay Jr. of Battle Creek (MI) was pronounced dead at the scene after he was hit by a passing semi. It happened near the Chebanse exit, according to Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum.

Cheatum said Clay had exited his own vehicle when it left the interstate while southbound. Clay walked across the southbound lanes of traffic, apparently trying to flag down traffic in the northbound lanes for help. A semi driver told state police he didn't see the victim until it was too late.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

East Central Illinois spared major damage from Friday night storms

There was a lot of sound and fury with storms that blew through East Central Illinois late Friday night but apparently little property damage.

High winds and heavy rain that rocked the Springfield area around 8:30 p.m. appeared to have weakened as storms worked their way north and east.

Emergency Management Agency directors in Iroquois, Ford, Piatt, Champaign, Douglas and Vermilion counties report no significant damage other than branches down. There was a church fire in Danville early Saturday that may have been caused by a lightning strike.

Champaign County sheriff's police reported a car hydroplaned off a county road north of Champaign at 10:45 p.m. and ended up in a ditch but the driver was not injured.

"We skated," said Douglas County EMA Director Joe Victor, who said he's not gotten any calls about flooding in the usually vulnerable areas of his county like Villa Grove.

Vermilion County EMA Director Ted Fisher reported a couple of downed trees by Hoopeston and said a firefighter in Rankin reported 1-inch hail between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Some of the low-lying roads in Iroquois County, near Milford and Watseka, had water across them. But no serious flooding was reported.

Sugar Creek at Milford and the Iroquois River in both Illinois and Indiana are being monitored. Advisories are likely thru the latter part of the week.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Tornado confirmed in Benton County

BENTON COUNTY, Ind. - The National Weather Service announced Saturday that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Benton County Friday night.

The tornado was captured on video by a Benton County resident Joshua McKinzie.

According to the NWS, the tornado touched down briefly in an open field one mile north of Templeton. The tornado touched down near County Road 500 South and County Road 600 East.

The tornado was on the ground for a half a mile.

94.1 FM, WGFA