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  • Parent Category: News

Essex party nixed by court

A weekend party in Essex won’t happen. Complaints from residents and nearby neighbors forced the matter to the courtroom, and an emergency order to block what’s been called an alcohol-fueled annual party in the small Kankakee County town was granted.

The village of Essex went looking for a restraining order to stop the party, which has been held over a 5-acre site in past years. This year's party was set to be held Saturday.

In recent years, the much-publicized event has featured kegs of beer and women’s jello-wrestling.

Lack of security, alleged drug and alcohol abuse has raised issues. Reports of up to 2,000 people attending the party in the past keeps neighbors on edge.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Benton County Fair underway at Boswell

The annual Benton County, Indiana Fair is welcoming visitors at Boswell. The livestock shows begin Thursday, starting with the Horse and Pony Show and Rabbit Show. Saturday’s Swine Show is drawing interest.

The fair’s director, Charlie Horwedel, says the event teaches a lot of kids about responsibility and managing their time. He said it never gets old seeing the kids learn and have fun.

So Horwedel wants to make sure the fair brings in as many people as possible.

“We’ve done a lot to the fairgrounds. We’ve tried to improve it,” said Horwedel. “One of the big things this year is we haven’t really had a carnival per se in the last few years. So this year we have a fairly big carnival, so we are hoping a lot of people come out for that.”

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka citizens ask questions, voice concerns about proposed sale of water system

The proposed sale of Watseka's waste water treatment plant and the operation of the city's water system drew residents to city hall Tuesday evening. Questions were asked about Aqua Illinois' offer to buy the Watseka sytem for $10.5 million. 

Aqua Illinois' proposal would include upfront money for improvements and upgrades to aging infrastructure.  But local citizens are not too keen about an outside firm, like Aqua Illinois, taking over thes system and the city losing control of the operations.

Both Aqua Illinois and city officials say no matetr what happens, local water rates will increase and double what's being paid now.

Several residents say they'd gladly pay the double rate and learn to manage, if the city srtill owned and controlled the system.  

About 75 people filed into city hall to listen, ask questions and voice concerns at the public hearing, scheduled by the Watseka City Council.

Mayor Bob Harwood provided background information about the water system, including costs and expected upgrades needed.  The mayor said no decisions have been made and all factors will be studied.  

The city has not been actively involved in operation its water and waste-water treatment system for 18 years.  The system is managed by ERH Enterprises of Westville (IL), which is currently under contract with the city.

94.1 WGFA 



  • Parent Category: News

State Police educate about dangers of speeding

Illinois State Police will have special patrols today (Wed) as part of an effort to raise awareness that speed can be deadly. Air-patrols and radar will assist troopers and other participating officers in cracking down on speeders.

Trooper Tracy Lillard says that in 2014, speed was the reason that resulted with nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the state. The 348 deaths for the year represents one life lost every 25 hours.

The extra details will be on State and U.S. Highways, city streets and county roads throughout the district.
Trooper Lillard notes approximately 16-percent of the speed-related fatalities in Illinois were comprised of pedestrians and cyclists.

Police encourage motorists to do their part at all times by obeying the posted speed limit.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Cabery man arrested after threatening officers

Police arrested a 43-year-old Cabery man Tuesday after he threatened to shoot and kill as many officers as possible.
Jess Hummell is facing a preliminary charge of aggravated assault.

Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey said deputies, with assistance from Ford and Livingston County sheriff deputies, responded to Main Street in Cabery following a report of a person with a gun. That was at 1:23 am.

Hummell allegedly pointed a gun at a person and made threatening statements toward police saying he would harm them. The Daily-Journal reported Hummell asked someone to call police so he could, "shoot them all and make history."

Sheriff Downey added, "This type of incident is a perfect example of how the environment, for which our law enforcement officers respond, is growing more and more unstable and dangerous. I commend our officers for their professional response and thank Livingston and Ford Counties, as well as the Cabery Fire Department, for their assistance."

94.1 WGFA