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Iroquois County Board wants working health department

A poll of Iroquois County Board members Tuesday indicated it may be time to cut ties with Ford County and dissolve the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department.

No decision was made. But it's clear the year-long attempt by some Iroquois officials to get the health department back on track "has been frustrating."

The lack of cooperation between the Iroquois and Ford County Board to work together had one comment relating the situation to the same political problems going on in Washington, D.C.

Is there a way to find a resolution ? County Board Chairman Rod Copas tells WGFA News it's a tough question to answer because there are so many issues that have to be dealt with. He says we tried to have an open conversation. But we need a health department that works.

Copas and Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen have not agreed on a solution, even with former Health Department Administrator, Doug Corbett, out of the picture. Corbett's contract was bought out. He's been cut loose, as of October 1.

The lack of direction within the health department, Copas says, finds the employees in a hostile environment. The employees are suffering because "we've been unable to get it all together."

The poll of Iroquois County Board members has all agreeing, they want a health department that works. How to get there is the question. Can a new administrator get it done as a dual-county operation or maybe some new players in the negotiations ?

Copas said, " some have suggested maybe personalities have gotten in the way." He said under different leadership, maybe it would have been different, but the point is, he said, we as a county board are responsible to all the taxpayers.

We tried to address it quietly, but we've been met with resistance every time we tried to talk about it."

The Ford County Board meets for its October meeting next Monday night in Paxton.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston man accused of Child Porn

A weekend arrest finds a Hoopeston man charged with child pornography. 44-year-old James Lewis was arrested at his home. He's accused of inappropriate touching of a five-year-old girl. The girl's parents filed the complaint saying the man also took photos of the girl. Police said evidence was found at Lewis' home. Additional charges include threatening an officer and resisting arrest.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee looks toward improved residential construction

Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein is hopeful action by the City Council will stimulate residential construction and improve the tax base. More housing, the mayor says, means lower taxes for all.

The City Council Monday passed an ordinance allowing new homeowners in the Indian Meadows sub-division to qualify for a property tax rebate. That rebate will be for 90% over ten years, with another 50% rebate for 10 additional years.

It's not just for that sub-division. The ordinance also allows for a 50% rebate for five-years for those people buying a home built on empty city lots.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Cooler temperatures, but no rain in forecast

National Weather Service reports cooler temperatures, but dry conditions are in the forecast for this week.

Showers and thunderstorms late last week, may help the drought conditions in Central Illinois. A new drought condition report is expected to be released Friday.

Today (Tues) through Saturday, sunshine returns, with warmer temperatures, as the highs are expected to be around 74 degrees. The overnight lows will be about 45 degrees.

The NWS says there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms for the weekend.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Miner Charitable Foundation Grants for KCC students

As part of their commitment to Iroquois County residents, the Miner Charitable Foundation is offering 10 scholarships to Kankakee Community College students for the Spring 2014 semester.

The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 in value. Eligible candidates will be Iroquois County residents who live within the KCC district. Candidates must enroll in classes at the KCC Harold & Jean Miner South Extension Center and have and maintain a 2.5 Grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Preference will be given to students working toward a degree in agriculture, library science, or public safety and service. The scholarships will pay for tuition, books, fees, transportation and housing.

The online application is at www.kcc.edu/scholarships/. Application deadline is Friday, Nov. 8.

The Miner Charitable Foundation was established by Harold and Jean Miner, lifelong farmers who lived in rural Watseka. The Miners were involved in all facets of farming along with being dedicated community supporters who volunteered in agriculture, music and their church.

The Foundation carries out the wishes of the Miners through charitable gifts and college scholarships for Iroquois County high school graduates. Many of the recipients study in areas such as agriculture, library science, music, public service and safety, where the Miners had their strongest interests.

94.1 FM, WGFA