Several communities in the Iroquois, Ford, Kankakee, Vermilion County area have scheduled Memorial Day services planned. Organizations hosting events have submitted their plans to WGFA, including…
GILMAN - The American Legion hosting an event at the South Cemetery in Gilman on Monday, May 28 at 9:30 am. (Rain would move the event to the Iroquois West High School at 9:30 am).
SHELDON - The Sheldon American Legion Post #393 will conduct services Monday, May 28 at 11 am at the Sheldon Cemetery.
STOCKLAND- Annual Memorial Day Services at Sugar Creek Chapel in Stockland are Sunday, May 27 at 2 pm. Patriotic readings and songs are included. All area veterans are invited.
CISSNA PARK- The Cissna Park American Legion Post #527 has its event scheduled for Monday, May 28 at 9 am in the park. The Legion Auxiliary serves coffee and rolls in the Legion home. The Cissna Park Legion Drill Team will also participate in the Memorial Day service at the Rankin Cemetery.
RANKIN - The Cissna Park American Legion’s drill team will hold a Memorial Day service at Rankin Cemetery around 10:15 a.m. Monday, May 28.
WATSEKA- American Legion Post #23, VFW Post #7450 and its Ladies Auxiliary invites the public to a Memorial Day Service at the Legion Hall in Legion Park at 11 am Monday, May 28.
ST. ANNE– A Memorial Day service is at 10:30 am Monday at St. Anne Grade School. The Freedom Riders will be guests.
BRADLEY - The Bradley American Legion is hosting its annual service at the American legion Home on Broadway street at 10:30 am Monday. Several veterans organizations are involved.
BOURBONNAIS- Memorial Day services are planned at 9 am Monday at All Saints Cemetery on Illinois Route 102.
KANKAKEE– Two Memorial Day Services are planned in Kankakee. At 9 am a service is at the Kankakee Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Military rites will be performed. A second service is at 10:30 am on the north lawn at the Kankakee County Courthouse. (Inclement weather would move the event to the Kankakee VFW at 10:30 am).
PAXTON - Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 will hold its annual Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. Monday, May 28, at Glen Cemetery in Paxton. Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s marching band will give a musical tribute. The ceremony immediately follows the Memorial Day parade. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. There will be a special float for veterans to ride.
BUCKLEY - The American Legion Byron A. Hickerson Post 432 of Buckley will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 28, at three area cemeteries. There will be a short service at 9:30 a.m. at the Lisk Cemetery in rural Thawville. At 10 a.m. the Legion’s honor guard will have a short service at the Ash Grove cemetery in rural Buckley. At 10:30 a.m., a service honoring the area’s deceased veterans will be held at Woodland/St. John’s Cemetery.
Immediately following the 10:30 services at Woodland/St. John’s Cemetery, the American Legion Auxiliary of Buckley will serve refreshments at the Legion post. (In case of rain, the services will also be held at the Legion post).
LODA - The Loda American Legion Post 503 is hosting a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at Pine Ridge Cemetery. A dedication of deceased veterans will be held, and the Post 503 color guard will be present. The honor roll will also be read of all the departed members of the military. The oldest person on the list was a veteran of the War of 1812.
(Also during the service, a bronze plaque will be dedicated by the Loda Township Board and Pine Ridge Cemetery Board in honor of Gen. Israel Newton Stiles, a Civil War veteran who is buried at the cemetery).
ONARGA/GILMAN/DANFORTH - Memorial Day services are scheduled for Monday, May 28, in Danforth, Gilman and Onarga. The service in Danforth starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the service at the cemetery on the south side of Gilman at 9:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m., the Onarga Cemetery will host its service. The Iroquois West High School band will perform at each of the services. The Onarga Legion post has invited state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, to be the speaker at the service in Onarga.
THAWVILLE - The Thawville American Legion post will host a Memorial Day service around 11:15 a.m. Monday, May 28, at Ridgeland Township Cemetery. The service will include music performed by the Iroquois West High School band, a gun salute and speaker Rodger Bennett, the commander of the Thawville American Legion post and past state commander.
PIPER CITY - The Piper City American Legion post is conducting a Memorial Day service at 9 a.m. Monday, May 28, on the bandstand in downtown Piper City.
Immediately after the service, additional services will be held by the post at Calvary Catholic Cemetery and Brenton Cemetery.
GIBSON CITY - The annual Gibson City Memorial Day parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, May 28. Parade entries will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. At the Drummer Township Cemetery there will be special memorial services around 10:30 a.m. at the Drummer Creek Veterans Memorial in Gibson City. Services at the ceremony will feature the GCMS High School Marching Falcons, Following the ceremonies in Gibson City, the Legion will travel to Elliott Cemetery for the memorial services there, likely to begin around 11:30 a.m. ( In the event of inclement weather, the services will be held at the Legion post in Gibson City).
MELVIN - A Memorial Day service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Melvin Cemetery in Melvin. It includes a musical selection by the GCMS High School band.. Refreshments will be served at the Melvin Town Hall after the service. (In the event of rain, the service will be held in the Melvin Town Hall)
ROBERTS - A Memorial Day service is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, May 28, at the Roberts Gym.
Ford County Jail Inmate Dies, Autopsy Inconclusive
PAXTON — The Ford County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of an inmate found dead in his cell at the Ford County Jail in Paxton early Wednesday.
Coroner Doug Wallace reports correctional officers found 30-year-old Richard Gonzales of Hoopeston dead in his cell around 4 am. Wallace said it appears to have been a medical issue, but the cause of death remains undetermined.
The cause of death will remain undetermined until toxicology results and medical records from the jail’s medical personnel are reviewed..
Earlier Wednesday, Sheriff Mark Doran said in his news release that Gonzalez had been evaluated by medical staff, but he did not say for what. Doran said no foul play is suspected.
Wallace said suicide has been ruled out.
An investigation is ongoing by the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Ford County coroner’s office.
Gonzalez had been sentenced on May 14 to four years in prison for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton bank through a fraudulent ATM transaction. The inmate was awaiting transfer to the Department of Corrections.
Fitzgerald stepping down as US attorney in Chicago
CHICAGO — Patrick Fitzgerald, one of the most feared U.S. attorneys in the nation and the architect of convictions against two Illinois governors and a former vice presidential aide, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the post he has held for more than a decade in Chicago.
Fitzgerald has overseen thousands of criminal prosecutions and high-profile cases, including against Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and media mogul Conrad Black. He took on public corruption, international terrorism, corporate fraud and organized crime.
His office announced Wednesday that he's stepping down effective June 30.
A traffic crash near Channahon claimed the life of 23-year-old James Vanderweide of Bourbonnais on Sunday.
Illinois State Police report Vanderweide was southbound on Interstate 55 when he drove into the center median, struck a guardrail and left the road. The vehicle came to rest in a parking lot under and Interstate 55 bridge for the Des Plaines River.
When the accident happened isn’t known. The crash was discovered Sunday morning.