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  • Parent Category: News

U.S. Rep. Kelly supports 3rd Airport, Illiana Expressway

It may me a good foot-hold on strengthening community support in Kankakee County. And the message Friday from U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly just might pull local support together even more.

Kelly told a group of county-supporters in Bradley she's all for the 3rd Chicago-land airport and the Illiana Expressway. A letter signed by several elected officials from a four-county area tells Governor Bruce Rauner the airport and expressway projects are engines that'll move east-central Illinois forward.

Kelly addressed a 'Strengthening Communities Forum" sponsored by the Kankakee County and Manteno Chamber of Commerce organizations. A panel discussion brought comments about what's going in area communities to insight other projects to spur development and jobs.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Momence author’s book sales to benefit humane groups

      "these humane groups are dear to my heart".... Tracy Ahrens


Tracy Ahrens of Momence has spent most of her life rescuing creatures and volunteering for humane organizations.

The publication of her third children's book will find sales profits benefitting as many as NINE area humane organizations. Included are groups in Iroquois, Kankakee, and Will counties.

The book is "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight. And Tracy says the book (for ages 2-8) is a product through Guardian Angel Publishing. She's more than happy to channel a portion of the sales to humane groups that she finds very worthy.

"My interest in helping is that many of the organizations I volunteered with...several I helped to form years ago," Ahrens said. "My cat was adopted from "New Beginnings" and my dog is from "Kankakee County Humane Foundation" so they're dear to my heart."

Purchasers of the book "Sammy Sparrow's First Flight" can note thru the book's web page, the organization they'd like to help. Tracy calls it the Sammy Shelter Project.

What about the book ?

"It's about a young sparrow named Sammy who quickly learns why parents set rules. He was told not to fly alone at night. His wings are weak and Sammy falls from his nest into a bush below." Ahrens explains, "the world looks scary from the ground. A friendly owl flies Sammy back home to sleep under his parents' wings."

Humane organizations that stand to benefit from the project include:
Iroquois County Animal Rescue in Iroquois
Kankakee County Humane Foundation in St. Anne
Because Animals Really Kount in Kankakee
New Beginnings for Cats in Bourbonnais
River Valley Animal Rescue at Momence
It's a Pittie Rescue in Peotone
Illinois Horse Rescue of Will County in Beecher
Cache Creek Animal Rescue (Anna & Joliet)
Grassroots Animal Rescue in Medinah


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Presence Health names new CEO, Kathleen Rhine

A new Regional President and CEO has been named for Presence Health at hospitals in Joliet and Kankakee.

Kathleen Rhine was named to replace Beth Hughes, who resigned this week. Rhine brings more than 20 years of health care leadership expertise to the position. She'll serve as President and CEO at St. Joseph Medical center in Joliet and Presence St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.

Prior to joining Presence Health, Rhine spent 11 years in leadership roles for St. Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Roads still causing problems for drivers

Several slide-off accidents still keeping police and two truck operators busy today. Black ice resulted from re-freezing yesterday and last night, leaving some very click roads this morning. Rural routes were slippery and forced school districts to operate on delayed scheduled and then some closed for the day.

No serious injuries were reported from several accidents in the WGFA-listening areas of Illinois and Indiana.

A snowplow overturned on Route 115 at Kankakee County road 5000W. That was in Pilot Township. A car slid into a train in Reynolds, IN. Police reported the crossing was snow-packed. I-65 in Indiana also posed some slide-offs in the Lafayette area.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

U of I Extension says county fairs generate money

A study released by the University of Illinois Extension and Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs says county fairs produced an estimated $90 million and support 1,000 jobs.

Total expenditures of fair attendees is estimated to be about $170 million statewide.

Fifteen agricultural fairs of varying sizes in three state zones — North, Central and South — were studied and used as an economic model used to calculate the impact.

The Small Newspaper Group reports county fairs in the Northern Zone, which includes La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, Putnam and Bureau counties, generated an estimated economic impact of $44 million.

The average fair generated about $1 million to its local economy.

There were 104 fairs hosted in Illinois in 2014, and the study was conducted at five fairs in each zone. Nearly 5,000 fair attendees completed surveys collected by 4-H youth under the supervision of extension staff. Alex Norr, a graduate student from the U of I Department of Urban and Regional Planning, conducted 33 key informant interviews of local fair board members, fair sponsors and fair participants.

Spending patterns of fair attendees and local economic details provide the data.