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Update: Train Hauling Ethanol Derails in Ford County >

GIBSON CITY, Ill. (AP) -- A train carrying ethanol derailed in central Illinois Thursday, slipping off railroad tracks near Gibson City in Ford County.

Ford County Emergency Management Agency Director Dennis Higgins said three tanker cars derailed but no ethanol spilled or leaked. Traffic on a 1-mile stretch of Illinois 9 was diverted around the scene of the derailment, near the One Earth Energy ethanol plant. Higgins said there was no injuries were reported but emergency workers evacuated nearby businesses as a precaution.

The train cars remained upright but dug into the ground after spur track, near the ethanol plant,  broke.  Illinois 9 should be reopened by this (Friday) morning.  A work crew from the St. Louis area was called to upright the derailed tank cars.

Norfolk Southern Railroad officials are investigating the incident.


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Gibson City Evacuation >

Residents of Gibson City were evacuated Thursday after a train derailment.  Two tank cars hauling ethanol were reported to be too close to power lines; a dangerous situation that prompted emergency officials to evacuate.  A one-mile stretch of Illinois Route 9 at Ford County Road 300 E. was closed to traffic.  Utility crews were also considering cutting off power in the area, as a precaution.

No injury was reported when the train derailed.


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  • Parent Category: News

Watseka Burglary Nets Three Arrests >

Watseka Police nabbed three suspects involved in a garage burglary.

Officers were called Tuesday evening about the burglary in progress.  Arrested was 21-yr-old Darrell Jones Jr. of Sheldon, 19-yr-old Connor Wallace of Watseka and a 15-yr-old juvenile.  The three had fled the scene.  Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police assisted in tracking down one of the suspects.

Jones is charged with burglary.  Wallace was arrested for burglary, resisting arrest, illegal consumption of alcohol and violation of bail bond.  The juvenile was also charged with burglary and illegal consumption of alcohol.


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Kankakee Shopping Center Hopes to Breathe New Life, New Owners >

The new owners of the Meadowview Shopping Center in Kankakee are expressing appreciation for the show of support in their effort to re-kindle interest in what was a premier shopping location in years past.

A ribbon-cutting event Wednesday included the new owners of Meadowview, city officials, including Mayor Nina Epstein and alderman, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Owners Dan Wander and Josh Joseph are teaming up with Terico Real Estate and Frontline Real Estate companies in the joint development venture.  Frontline’s Scott Gendall (told WGFA’s Rob West) Ultra Foods grocery will remain as the main anchor; as will several other existing store-fronts.  He also plans to make the property more eye-appealing…………. 

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Bill Yohnka, a Chamber of Commerce member and promoter of Kankakee’s development efforts, said the new owners are to be congratulated for their interest and investment.  Yohnka agreed, the beautification idea is a great improvement.

Mayor Nina Epstein said so many of us grew up with Meadowview being our shopping choice and she’s happy to see this project breathing new life………..

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Boats Burn at Seneca Marina >

SENECA, Ill. (AP) -- More than a dozen boats burned when a fire broke out at a northern Illinois marina.

Firefighters got word of the blaze at about 1 a.m. Thursday at the Spring Brook Marina in Seneca, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

Fire officials report the flames spread to at least 17 boats and yachts.

There are no reports of any injuries.

Investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire.