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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Sheriffs win round in court over salaries

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An Illinois appellate court has ruled for county sheriffs who seek to restore salary cuts imposed by state lawmakers.

The Quad City Times reports the 5th District Appellate Court overturned a Franklin County judge's dismissal of a complaint that Gov. Pat Quinn and the General Assembly failed to budget the full amount of a state stipend.

Sheriffs in 101 Illinois counties, but not Cook County, were to receive a $6,500 yearly stipend from state in addition to their county salaries. The Legislature allocated only $4,196 for each sheriff in 2010 and 2011.

Former Rock Island County Sheriff Mike Huff sued for the missing $2,304, arguing the state cannot change the salary of an elected official while they are in office.

The appeals court returned the case to Franklin County.

  • Parent Category: News

Open Range offers Hunters Safety

                             Law Enforcement Officials Promote Deer Hunting Safety

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced today its firing ranges will be open on November 16 to deer hunters for sighting in and test-firing their shotguns in a safe environment for the upcoming deer hunting season.

"The Open Range Program is offered in an effort to promote hunting safety by giving hunters access to ISP ranges for the purpose of sighting in their shotguns," said ISP Director Hiram Grau. "This will provide an opportunity for shotguns to be checked in a controlled environment, with firearms experts present, ensuring the safe and appropriate use of the shotgun," he added.

The Open Range Program is a collaborative effort organized every year by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

"This is a great program for hunters to make sure their equipment is in proper working order before going afield. I appreciate the Illinois State Police and their commitment to promote the safety of our sportsmen and women in Illinois," said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

The public is asked to call one of the ranges listed below before the scheduled date to make a reservation. Targets will be provided, and there is no charge for use of the range. Participants must possess a valid Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card, provide their own ammunition and transport the firearm legally by having it unloaded and enclosed in a case. The Open Range Program is not part of the Concealed Carry License program. Handguns will not be permitted at the ISP Ranges.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Toys-for-Tots sign-up

You can help make the holiday season a little brighter for less fortunate children. The Iroquois County Toys-for-Tots program is underway.

This is part of a national organization with the U.S. Marines. It's all about helping provide a new toy at Christmas time for the less fortunate.

Sign-up is today and tomorrow (Friday & Saturday). Volunteer Cindy Guttendorf says today's sign-up is at Gilman City Hall from 5 – 8 pm. Sign-up Saturday begins at 10 am at the Watseka Union Depot.

Ms. Guttendorf welcomes parents to sign-up.

Parents need a photo ID or an Illinois driver's license with them when they arrive to sign-up. Deadline for forms to be submitted is December 13th. And then the much-anticipated and always-exciting distribution date. That will be Saturday,December 21 at the Unit Nine Regional School Office in Watseka.

Toys-for-Tots program is for children aged newborn to 13 years-old that live in Iroquois County. (Similar Toys for Tots programs are carried out in other communities).

Cash and toy donations given in Iroquois County stay in Iroquois County. Donations of toys should be new and unwrapped. Businesses that would like a toy collection box are always welcome too.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

PBL High School Principal Trent Eshleman resigns Wed, 11/13/2013 - 10:20pm | Andrew Rosten PAXTON – For 12 years as a principal in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District, Trent Eshleman has tried to teach his students, as he says, to “follow some dreams

2013 is winding down, but the city of Watseka is looking at a North Street improvement project for 2017. The city needs to commit to the project now in order to be included in the funding allocation from the IDOT.

The city's Public Works Director, Marvin DeLahr, says the expectations are to complete an overhaul from Route 1 to 4th Street. It's an estimated $3-million cost.

Despite moans and groans from motorists during the recent Jackson Street construction project, there's a lot of great compliments from citizens now that the project is completed. The 940-feet project included new drainage, curbs and gutters and a road re-surfacing. The now-completed project has brought several positive remarks from motorists and neighbors.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Quality Grocery Store in Watseka set to close

It's been a great family business for nearly 100 years. And it's coming to an end for Watseka's locally-owned grocery store November 27th.

The VanNatta family will close the door at Quality Grocery Store, ending a family tradition that dates back to 1917. Jim and Cathi VanNatta realize it's difficult for the community, employees, and family. But Jim says "it's time."

The store at 210 E. Oak Street will close at 5 pm November 27th.

The last few weeks has found many employees and customers sharing stories and memories of the business started by Jim's grandparents Harold and Mabel. Jim's mom and dad, Bob and Marie, took over the business in 1944. Jim took over in 2000 when his dad died. And Jim's mom, Marie, has remained the business and family matriarch, even at 94.

The business was sold to Berkots Super Foods. Berkots makes a return to the Watseka community in December, but at their former location at 1152 E. Walnut Street – on the city's east side, where much of the community has been expanding.

Jim says he still believes in the downtown presence and hopes city leaders will focus on downtown development. Many of the Quality employees are expected to transfer to the Berkots store.

Jim VanNatta shares memories and thoughts on the business venture on 94.1 FM, WGFA. www.wgfaradio.com

94.1 FM, WGFA