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Aqua Illinois offers $10.5 million for Watseka water works

A public hearing is the next step in Watseka now that Aqua Illinois has formally offered the city $10.5 million for the purchase of the city’s water system and wastewater treatment facility.

Local residents can now ask questions and learn more about any proposed sale of the water system. Taxpaying citizens are invited to a 6 pm public hearing next Tuesday, July 26 at City Hall.

Aldermen want the public to be well-informed.

Aqua Illinois made its formal sale offer to the Finance committee Tuesday night.

The $10.5 million from the sale could be channeled toward infrastructure upgrades. But nothing’s firm as how any sale money would be used.

Aqua Illinois’ proposal would nearly double the rates for taxpayers. Mayor Bob Harwood said should the city take back the water system and operate itself, rates would most likely more than double.

The city water system and waste water treatment plant is currently operated by ERH Enterprises of Westville (IL).

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

25-year-old Paxton man missing

A Paxton man reported missing by his wife is the subject of a ‘Missing Person Report.” Paxton police and Ford County CrimeStoppers are asking anyone with information about the whereabouts of Blake Thorne to contact authorities.

The 25-year-old Paxton man has been missing for several days.

It was Monday morning (July 18) when Mrs. Stacy Thorne reported her husband had not been seen or heard from since last Wednesday, July 13.

Blake Thorne was last seen driving away from his home in a red four-door 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt, with Illinois license plate L850800.

Anyone with information about Blake Thorne’s whereabouts is asked to call Paxton police at 217-379-4315 or Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Weather Alert: Excessive Heat Watch

Hot, sticky weather will take hold Thursday and Friday. An Excessive Heat Watch is posted for our east-central Illinois and Indiana the next couple of days. Thursday’s heat index could reach 105.

The National Weather Service reports a prolonged period of hot temperatures is expected, and combined with high humidity levels dangerous conditions will develop and heat related illnesses are possible.

Temperatures Thursday and Friday are expected to climb to 94 to 98 degrees. And night-time lows are only expected to fall to the mid to upper 70s. Heat index values will reach triple digits. And heat index readings may range from 105 to 113 both Thursday and Friday afternoon. (The heat index is how hot it feels when you factor the heat with the humidity).

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka girl’s injury reinforces importance of paying attention to head trauma

It was only a little more than a month ago when a 12-year-old Watseka girl suffered a life-threatening head injury.

But thanks to quick thinking by her parents and a most-appropriate, immediate diagnosis by medical professionals, Jessica Duhoski has made a remarkable recovery.

And all concerned can’t say enough about how important it is to pay close attention to head injuries.

It was June 1 when Jessica tumbled over the handlebars of a bicycle. She hit her head causing a brain bleed that led to life-threatening surgery.

It was her parents, Cisco and Louise Torres, that observed Jessica’s behavior. Both insist ‘never ignore such an injury’.....
“We wasted no time getting Jessica to the hospital and they did a wonderful job getting her to the help she needed,” mom, Lousie said.

“You need to get the hospital. Don’t hesitate or it could be too late,” Cisco said.

The ER at IMH in Watseka immediately diagnosed the problem and contacted neurosurgeons at Carle Hospital in Urbana.

Jessica’s balance and lack of eye coordination spelled trouble. Louise said the IMH staff did a remarkable job and didn’t waste any time .

An emergency helicopter transport to Carle’s Level 1 Trauma Center proved to be a life-saving move. Jessica was unconscious and near death when she arrived at Carle.

Trauma coordinator Mary Beth Voights tells WGFA News head injuries should never be overlooked. She said everyone concerned, parents and the IMH staff made for a successful emergency surgery.

Jessica continues to rehab. She’s enjoying her summer and learning to slow down.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Weekend traffic accident kills Indiana man

A 27-year-old Morocco, Indiana man was killed Saturday night in a single-car crash. It happened on Route 1 and 17 at the Illinois-Indiana state line.

Bradley Bearden was identified as the victim. The vehicle he was driving ran off the road into a ditch and hit several trees, before going up in flames.

94.1 WGFA