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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Chemical smolders at Piper City soybean plant, school dismissed as a precaution

PIPER CITY, Ill. -- Officials say a chemical emitted a toxic gas at a Ford County soybean facility this (Thurs) morning. The unidentified chemical was smoldering after a water-reactive agent used to fumigate soybeans likely got wet during overnight storms.

Patti Thompson is a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Emergency Management. She reports Precision Soya officials in Piper City alerted the state this morning about the incident. The village of about 820 people took precautions, evacuating homes on the south side. The Tri-Point School District also dismissed students for the day and rerouted buses for the students return home.

Thompson says a two-block area around the plant has been evacuated and a hazardous material team from Champaign is heading to the scene. A nearby school district in Kempton canceled all classes for the day. The district's junior high school is across the street from the plant.

Ford County Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dennis Higgins said a pellot-product, used for poison control to control varmints, got wet from overnight rains. The moisture triggered a gas being emitted.
Illinois Route 24 was also shut down from either direction leading to Piper City.

Precision Soya is headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company operates 11 other similar facilities. The agricultural firm serves the seed industry.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Chemical Fire forces school dismissal in Piper City

• Emergency Evacuation

School officials in Piper City are notifying parents of an immediate emergency school dismissal this (Thurs) morning.

A chemical fire at Precision Soya, about a block from the Piper City School, prompted the emergency dismissal. School officials report the emergency dismissal of students finds all bus routes running regular routes. Those parents unable to have someone home needs to contact the school to make other arrangements.

Piper City Fire and neighboring departments have answered the call to the structure fire at Precision Soya at 604 S. Green in Piper City. School officials were notified of the need to evacuate and dismiss student s about 7:15 am.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County Board welcomes 2 new members

Two vacancies were filled on the Kankakee County Board Tuesday.

The Herscher – Otto Township area of District 11 will be represented by Carol Weber. District 22 has a new representative in Steven Einfeldt. The district includes East Bradley. Both appointees were approved by the County Board.

Weber fills a seat that was occupied by Todd Arseneau. Einfeldt replaces Chad Miller.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County OK’s Wind Farm changes

The Iroquois County Board Tuesday approved changes in how wind farms are regulated. The changes, basically, affect those landowners not considered 'participants.'

Non-participating properties now have a setback rule 12 times the rotor diameter, that's an increase from what was 1500 feet. Any future wind farm developers must now also prove shadow-flicker will not affect a home within a mile of the turbine.

Developers must also have more liability insurance.

The ordinance change came from recommendations from the County Board's Planning & Zoning committee.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Sheriff's departure stalls Dwight prison revival

SPRINGFIELD — A plan to use a part of the now-closed Dwight Correctional Center to house county jail inmates is a question mark right now.

Livingston County Board Chairman Marty Fannin said Monday the departure of Sheriff Martin Meredith has put an end to talks aimed at transforming the former all-female prison into a potentially profit-making overflow jail for the county.

Sheriff Meredith, the chief cheerleader for resurrecting at least a part of the facility, announced last week he was stepping down Oct. 1 to pursue other opportunities.
Meredith is under investigation and could face official misconduct charges.

He had been leading talks with the state to use one of the newer cellblocks on Dwight's 100-acre campus to house prisoners from other counties as a way to earn extra money for the county.

As many as 56 additional jobs could be created under the proposal. Before it was closed, the prison employed more than 350 workers.

The Livingston County Board has 60 days to weigh in on who will serve out the remainder of Meredith's term, which runs through January 2015. Meredith has said he'll step down October 1st.

Even before Meredith announced his departure, a number of potential candidates were lining up to challenge him in the 2014 election. Among them are former Sheriff Marvin Rutledge, former Fairbury Police Chief Jack Wiser and Mark Scott, an officer with the Dwight Police Department.

94.1 FM, WGFA