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  • Parent Category: News

Watseka Council OK’s Watseka Ford Sales Tax Agreement

There’s a green light for the proposed move by the Watseka Ford Lincoln dealership to Watseka’s east side.

The Watseka City Council (Tues) voted to approve a sales tax agreement with the dealership and Bell Holdings. It’s an agreement that plugs a $65,000 base sales tax into the city coffers for 15 years. After that, the city receives 100% of the sales tax generated.

In between, after the first five years, Watseka receives the $65,000 base plus five-percent of any sales tax generated. And for the last five years of the original 15 year agreement, the city gets 10% in addition to the $65,000 base.

The vote was not unanimous. It was a 4-2 vote to approve. Two aldermen were absent.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

ATV rider killed by Amtrak train

An Essex man was killed Wednesday afternoon when the all-terrain vehicle he was driving was hit by an Amtrak passenger train. It happened just southwest of Gardner.

28-year-old Brad Emanuelson was pronounced dead at the scene at 1 p.m. by Grundy County Coroner John Callahan.

The victim was one of three ATV drivers who were operating on railroad right-of-way but 12:30 p.m. They were near Old Route 66, when the train struck his ATV.

Callahan said the crash remains under investigation by his office, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Department and the railroad police.

  • Parent Category: News

First Trust and Savings Bank Recognized as Top Guaranteed Housing Lender

Champaign, Ill., February 27, 2013 — First Trust and Savings Bank in Watseka was recognized with top honors by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development as a Million Dollar Lender for 2012. The recognition is made annually to lenders that excel in using the federal agency’s guaranteed loan program to increase home ownership.

“Fiscal Year 2012 was another successful year for Rural Development. Illinois guaranteed 4,671 loans totaling over $450 million. Lending partners like First Trust and Savings Bank make this program possible,” said Colleen Callahan, State Director for Illinois Rural Development.

With the Rural Development guarantee, lenders can offer 100 percent financing with no required down payment, no maximum purchase price, competitive fixed market interest rates and 30-year terms. The program includes flexible credit guidelines and generous income limits.

Interested homebuyers can call First Trust and Savings Bank at 815-432-2494 or Rural Development at 866-481-9575 for more information on the guaranteed home loans.

Rural Development has more than 40 programs that foster growth and economic stability in rural areas by providing affordable financing and technical assistance. In addition to housing, support is available for regional food systems, broadband and biofuel infrastructure, business development and community needs. More information on USDA Rural Development programs is available on the web at www.rurdev.usda.gov/il.

  • Parent Category: News

Riverside Medical Center breaks ground for radiation center

BOURBONNAIS -- Riverside Medical Center is hosting a ground-breaking event today. The new Betty Burch Bridgewater Center will be home for a Radiation Therapy expansion. It’ll offer advanced technology for cancer treatment.

Lead donors for the project will be recognized during the ground-breaking set for 3:30 this afternoon. The event is at 200 Riverside Drive in Bourbonnais.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Harvest Moon Drive-In Saved… … business community steps up

GIBSON CITY - Get ready for the drive-in movie season. The Harvest Moon Drive-In will be back; saved by citizens and the business community.

The Gibson City landmark received a $10,000 donation on Tuesday to pay for necessary equipment upgrades.

Neal Tire and Auto Service made a sizable donation and many concerned citizens responded to a fundraiser over several weeks.

Harvest Moon manager Ben Harroun said “it’s a lot to celebrate.” He said we had over 700 people total donate to the campaign."

The Central Illinois landmark is staying in business after Neal Tire and Auto Service along with Gibson City's "Have a Heart - Save the Drive-In" fund made the donation.

The Bloomington Neal Tire and Auto location spearheaded the fundraiser by donating $25 from each recent oil change. The total number raised from the effort was $5,000.

Harroun said the funds raised will allow for the final payment on new digital projector equipment.

The drive-in theater will be open for business as usual when the summer season approaches.

94.1 FM, WGFA