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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Storm Damage in Iroquois County….

….Emergency Responders are Victims

 

Two professional emergency response people became are victims of severe weather in Iroquois County Sunday.  No injuries have been reported, but  structural damage was widespread south and east of Watseka.

Ameren utility crews report a few cust9omers still without power this morning.  Those are in select areas near Route 24 between Watseka and crescent City where up to 49 utility poles came down across the T.P.& W. Railroad tracks along Route 24.

Watseka Police Sgt. Jeremy Douglas’ family is OK but a building was destroyed at the family site along County Road 1730 N.  A 40 by 40 cinder-block building was blown apart on the north side of the property. Site.  Debris was scattered a few miles to the east. Crumbled siding and furniture was ripped apart.  The Douglas family was in the basement of the house, which wasn’t hit by the storm.  Douglas said his wife was paying attention to weather reports and made sure the family was safely tucked until the storm had passed.

A few miles to the east, Iroquois County 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble’s 2-story home was shaken and windows blown out.  Dubble said she was sitting inside and heard the winds rumble thru the house.  At least five buildings on the property were damaged by winds.  A camper parked inside one shed was impaled with a board ripped from another building.  One camper, inside the building was moved about 8-feet.  A large evergreen tree was also uprooted.

A farmer east of the same area, near Shewami Country Club, reported seeing a funnel aloft, but it didn’t touch down.    

 

94.1 FM, WGFA

 

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Board addressing transparency in Government….

    … Committee Proposal Continues Elected Officers Salary Freeze

A governmental push to inform citizens of what’s going on with their government finds Iroquois County trying to do just that.

County business transactions will be posted on the county website to comply with Public Act 97-0609.  Total compensation benefits, including wages and benefits over $75,000 is required to be posted.  The board’s management committee is suggesting compliance . since the act was to be implemented in 2011.

Elected officials meanwhile, are required to meet a requirement of being trained on the Freedom of Information (FOIA)Act.  All officials, including county, township and school officials must meet the 2012 required training.

The Iroquois County Board Finance committee also voted 6-3 (Thursday) to continue a freeze on the set-salaries of Circuit Clerk and Coroner.  Election year requirements call for salaries to be set 180 days prior to the election.  The salaries of the Clerk and Coroner Office have been frozen since the last election four years ago…the Circuit Clerk at $52,000 and the Coroner at $36, 600.

The State’s Attorney Salary of $128,950 is set by the State, based on county population.

Finance committee member Rod Copas, who also serves the Negotiation committee, said raising salaries would put the county in a tough position for bargaining.  He said raises could create more problems.

The County Negotiation Committee is currently in talks with AFSCME and FOP union employees.

While current salaries have been frozen for four years, however, the County Board also approved the hiring of a new full-time position (Director of Financing for $65,000 a year) and the former part-time County Board Administrative Assistant position is now a full-time position; both salaries including benefits.

Finance committee members voting FOR the salary freezes were:  Charles Ault, Russell Bills, Kevin Hansen, Kyle Anderson, Dave Hubert and Rod Copas.  The three voting AGAINST included Jim Meyer, Susan Wynn Bence and Don Deany.

 

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Two Juveniles sought in Kankakee Rival Gang Shootings >

 

Kankakee Police report rival gangs gunfire continued an "ongoing feud" Thursday afternoon.

An exchange of gunfire on Kankakee's east side triggered another investigation.  Police reported two separate incidents of shots fired just after noon.  Investigators combed the streets as officers aggressively patrolled the area between South Chicago and South Lincoln avenues along Eagle Street.

Police report no one was hit and no one was taken into custody, but police are searching for two juvenile "persons of interest."

94.1 FM, WGFA

 

  • Parent Category: News

Jim Nabors unable to attend 2012 Indianapolis 500

Entertainer to have heart surgery race weekend

- Actor and entertainer Jim Nabors will not be attending the Indy 500 this year but don't worry, he'll still be singing "Back Home Again in Indiana."

A film crew will be traveling to Nabors' home in Hawaii this month to record him singing the song that's made him a Month of May tradition to race fans. The recording will be played over the public address system and video boards during the pre-race festivities.

Nabors is having heart-valve replacement surgery on Memorial Day weekend.

Race Day is Sunday, May 27, 2012.

The Indy 500 airs Live on 94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kempton Fire Claims a Life, Investigation Continues

KEMPTON — Authorities continue to investigate the cause of a fire last Saturday that claimed the life of a 50-year-old Kempton man.

The Kankakee County Coroner’s Office, the Ford County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Springfield are involved in the investigation.

Ford County Sheriff’s Police and firefighters from Kempton, Cabery, Cullom, Saunemen and Pontiac responded to an active house fire at 304 Township Line Road in the village of Kempton around 3 am Saturday.

Firefighters found an adult male lying just inside the front door. Firefighters began life saving efforts until members of the Cullom Ambulance Service arrived on scene and immediately transported the victim to Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.

The victim, 50-year-old Ricky L. Gossett was pronounced dead at the hospital.  

Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran said smoke inhalation appears to be the likely cause of death, adding that no foul play is suspected. Results of an autopsy were pending.