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Rauner campaign stops in Iroquois County

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner made Iroquois County part of a ten stop bus tour of the state. The weekend trip was made on a bus called the "Shake Up Springfield Express." Rauner said the bus represents the goal of his campaign.

Rauner said his support is coming from both parties. He said Saturday, "I've even had many members of the general assemble - in both parties, even democrats - say, 'Bruce we need a guy like you down here.

Rauner explained his goals for the office to local Republicans in Iroquois County. He also addressed a recurring issue in the race, his wealth.

Rauner explained, "I made a lot of money. I'm proud of it. And I'm not going to take a salary. I want you guys, the taxpayer to keep the money. I'm not going to take a pension, I want the taxpayers to keep the money."

Rauner's bus tour also made stops in Mclean County in Normal, in Piatt County and in the peoria area.  More bus tours are scheduled Monday.

94.1 WGFA

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Arson suspected in Beaverville structure fire

A dozen area fire departments and up to about 70 firemen responded to a structure fire at a history-ridden, abandoned building in Beaverville Friday. There was no injury, but the former nursing home, restaurant, and residence on St. Charles Street was gutted by flames that kept firemen on the scene for five-hours.

Beaverville Assistant Fire Chief Jim Leveque (Luh-Veck) tells WGFA News, "it's a total loss; the slow-burning fire worked its way into the walls and eaves." The huge structure measured about 70-feet long and 50-feet wide. It's a 3-story structure with a basement.

Leveque said he's heard the structure may have also been a convent, where the nuns stayed, years ago when they served historic St. Mary's Catholic Church, across the street.

The building's been abandoned for about the last eight-plus years.

Police and fire investigators were on the scene. The State Fire Marshall's Office will follow up on leads in the suspected-arson case, which alerted Beaverville firemen just past 11:30 am.

Leveque said the fire response was bumped up to a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th level box alarm. Fire personnel and equipment came from Papineau, Donovan, Martinton, Concord-Iroquois, Aroma Park, Ashkum, Chebanse Township, St. Anne, Momence, Watseka, and Morocco (IN).

94.1 WGFA

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UPDATED: Danville motorcycle-car crash kills Vermilion County correctional officer

The Danville man who died early Thursday when his motorcycle was struck by a vehicle was a Vermilion County corrections officer.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson reports that 33-year-old Christopher A. Williams was pronounced dead at 1:13 am at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville,

Police reported a 17-year-old female driving a passenger car on Avenue G attempted to cross U.S. 150 west of Danville. Williams was westbound on U.S. 150 on his motorcycle and collided with the 17-year-old's vehicle.
The 17-year-old did not suffer serious injury and was the only one in the vehicle. She was ticketed for failure to yield.

An autopsy was scheduled.

94.1 WGFA

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Fatal Iroquois County crash brings wrongful death lawsuits

Two wrongful death lawsuits have been filed in Iroquois County in connection with the July 23rd traffic crash that killed 59-year-old David Senesac of Watseka.

Named as defendants in the suits are the parent of a 17-year-old arrested for DUI. The un-named teen allegedly ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed in rural Crescent City. The resulting crash killed Senesac and critically injured Senesac's six-year-old grandson.

The DUI case against the teen is under investigation. State's Attorney Jim Devine said criminal charges against the youth will be considered once the state police crime lab completes toxicology tests. The teen, who is not identified pending the results of the investigation, could be tried as an adult.

Devine said the Senesac family is aware and has been informed of the ongoing investigation.

The Senesac family filed the two wrongful death lawsuits against the teen's family. One suit is on behalf of Senesac's widow, Terecia Senesac, which seeks an unspecified amount to provide for her. A second suit cites the family of the six-year-old grandson, who remains in a medically-induced coma and could suffer permanent consequences.

The suits do not list any specified amounts in damages.

94.1 WGFA

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Illinois jobless rate falls again in July

• Associated Press

The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. It was the fifth straight monthly decrease in the state's jobless rate.

The July figure represents a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.8 was in August 2008 when it was 6.7. There are 35,600 more jobs than one year ago.

The monthly employment report that the department released Thursday shows employers creating 11,200 private-sector jobs.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the falling jobless rate "seems to be picking up momentum with the warmer weather."  The federal government said earlier this month that national unemployment rate edged up to 6.2 percent in July.

94.1 WGFA