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Watseka Police arrest 2 men on drug charges

Two men are jailed in Watseka after an investigation involving alleged identity theft. 67-year-old Walter Urban of Watseka and 27-year-old Mekiell Burns of Pembroke are jailed in Iroquois County.

Urban is facing charges of possession of a controlled sugbstance and possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. Burns is charged with identity theft and theft over $500 dollars.

Police acted on a tip of an alleged identity theft in which credit cards were opened to purchase items online and then having items shipped to a local address. Police intercepted a package delivered to the address, which then led to a search warrant.

Urban was arrested. Then, the following day, police acted on a tip that another subject would be going to that residence to pick up the package that police had intercepted. Surveillance was set up and Burns was arrested.

Iroquois County Sheriff's Police, the Iroquois County State's Attorney's Office, and Bradley Police were involved in the case.

94.1 WGFA

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Ford County crash kills Springfield man

A 34-year-old Springfield man died in a one-vehicle crash Sunday afternoon in rural Ford County. Christopher Ford was eastbound on Illinois 9 near County Road 2500 E. Illinois State Police report Ford was east of Paxton when the vehicle left the highway and ejected the driver. It happened about 4:20 pm.

The vehicle was fully engulfed in a nearby field on the south side of Illinois 9.

Mr. Ford was pronounced dead at the scene by the Ford County Coroner.

Illinois 9 was closed for about 45 minutes while the fire was put out.

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Gibson Area Hospital receives 2016 Women's Choice Award

                                   One of America's Best Hospitals for Orthopedics


GIBSON CITY --  It's one of the best, again, for a 2nd straight year !  Gibson Area Hospital has been awarded the 2016 Women's Choice recognition as one of America's Best Hospitals for Orthopedics.  The evidence-based designation is the only orthopedics award that identifies the country's best healtcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women say they want from a hospital.

GAHHS CEP Rob Schmitt says "it's a testament to out physicians, staff and volunteers that makes every patient experience a special one. It's an honor to receive this award and recognition." 

Schmitt said "this continues to show our patients and the communities we serve, that GAHHS is living it's Vision, to be THE Model of Excellence in Rural Healthcare."

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Pontiac gaining 160 CAT jobs

Caterpillar announced Friday the company will add about 160 jobs to its existing Pontiac plant. The jobs in Livingston County are the result of company-wide restructuring.

The Peoria-based manufacturer also announced the loss of at least 120 jobs from its East Peoria facilities. Overall, the changes, which include five plant closings, will result in a net loss of about 670 jobs.

Pontiac City Administrator Bob Karls said "We're pleased that Caterpillar had confidence in the Pontiac plant, its employees and our community."

The new jobs in Pontiac, expected to be added within 18 months, will come after the company consolidates engine component manufacturing from facilities in Santa Fe, N.M., and Thomasville, GA.

The announcement came after Livingston County taxing bodies agreed to an economic incentive agreement with Caterpillar. The agreement says taxing bodies would abate property taxes of the Pontiac plant as incentive for the plant to stay in the county.

94.1 WGFA

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Danville Company laying off 48 workers

Officials at ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft Company in Danville is letting 48 employees go. The Danville Forging and Machining operations reports the downturn in the heavy equipment market has forced an adjustment in production capacity.

Workers were notified of the lay-off a week ago. Final discussions with workers was completed Thursday. The company says workers affected will be covered by a severance package and benefits.

The lay-off has an impact on about one-tenth of the ThyssenKrupp employees in Danville. There's approximately 500 employees at the Danville plant.

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