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Iroquois County Board cited for violation of Labor Relations Act

The Iroquois County Board meets in special session Monday (6/29) to make good on its failure to act on a union contract with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Monday's 9 am special meeting finds the agenda stating "discussion and vote on the AFSCME union contract."

The special session also refers to discussion and vote on claims for a boiler replacement.

But the immediate issue has the County Board forced to react to an administrative law judge's order.

AFSCME, in February of 2014, filed an unfair labor practice charge with the State Panel of the Illinois Labor relations Board, claiming Iroquois County failed to ratify a preliminary collective bargaining agreement that the two parties reached through negotiations and mediation.

Whether the contract would have been approved is not the issue. The matter was NOT even presented to the County Board for a vote.

The Law Judge stated in the ruling that AFSCME filed the charge against the county after a tentative agreement was reached in February 2014.  The contract was never presented to the county board for a vote even thoufh the county's own negotiating committee agreed on the pact. Iroquois County had issueswith the 'layoff language,' claiming there was no violation of the Labor Relations Act.  The Judge disagreed.  The ruling agaist the county stated the negotiating committee recommended the agreement be ratified.

94.1 WGFA

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Rain, flooding likely to continue this week

Don't expect much relief from the wet weather this week. The National Weather Service (NWS) extended bad news in its briefing today (6/15).

The forecast says thunderstorms will redevelop again today. Periods of showers and thunderstorms could produce heavy rain. Damaging wind gusts and torrential rainfall will accompany the stronger storms.

The NWS report points to a daily threat for additional heavy rainfall which could worsen ongoing river flooding and enhance flash flood potential. The wet weather will add to the flood warnings already in place on the Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion rivers.

94.1 WGFA

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Iroquois County relays for cancer cure

The program offered a different schedule this year, but the mission was the same – finding a cure for a dreaded disease.

Iroquois County's Relay for Life found several individuals and teams rallying at Watseka High School Friday evening. The event was moved indoors due to the rainy weather. The goal was to raise $116,000 for research to find a cure for cancer.

One of the chairmen, Sarah Seifert, said "we are a little shy of the goal, but the event was fun and it again brought people together for a great cause."

"The rain didn't matter," Seifert said. There were 30 teams and it was a good relay season. She praised the high school custodial staff and the relay's logistic team for making the last-minute adjustments.

WGFA Radio, 94.1 FM, kicked off the event with a brief, special broadcast at 5:30 pm. Key contributors to the annual event shared thoughts and statistics on the years of success in raising money toward cancer research. The opening ceremony a little past 6 pm was followed with the popular Survivor's Lap, The Team lap, and Luminaria.

Friday's Iroquois County Relay was followed up with the Kankakee County Relay for Life Saturday at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee.

94.1 WGFA

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Semi-tractor fire closes I-57 in Iroquois County

A huge fire consumed a semi-tractor trailer Friday evening, closing down Interstate 57 for about four hours. No injury was reported. But the blaze, involving a cargo of deep-fry corn oil, did just that ---fried the semi and trailer.

Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn said "it was a spectacular fire." Ashkum, Gilman and Chebanse Fire answered the call. Emergency crews had to weave their way thru southbound traffic to get to the scene.

Northbound traffic was re-routed to Route 45. Illinois State Police and IDOT assisted with traffic control.

The emergency call came in just after 6:30 pm. It was first dispatched as a van-type trailer fire with a food product. Chief Glenn said once observed, the intensity of the blaze saw the response go to a Class B foam application –in dealing with 40,000 pounds of corn oil in 2-gallon plastic jugs packaged in boxes.

Glenn said a decision was made not to move to the trailer of 8,000 gallons of water and 20 gallons of foam used to extinguish the fire, since the trailer was still leaking.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Fire guts single-family home in Watseka

Two teenagers are safe after fire destroyed the Brian Provo home in Watseka Monday. A box alarm alerted five fire departments about 12:30 pm to 322 W. Victory Avenue.

"It was a single-family home. It started on a porch and spread into the attic," according to Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte.

The Watseka department aerial attack was a big advantage in battling the flames that sent thick smoke into the air. Mayotte said several layers of roof shingles made for a lot of smoke.

Woodland, Milford, Martinton and Crescent City provided mutual aide.

The house was a total loss. An 18 and 13 –year-old occupants escaped from the burning home and called 9-1-1. The cause is being investigated by the State Fire Marshall.

94.1 WGFA