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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Retired NY firefighter addresses Hundred Club

It was the utmost harrowing experience 13 years ago....for the United States and emergency responders.

In New York City, the pain and sorrow will never go away.

Retired New York City Fire Department member Richard Picciotto (Piss-E-oh-toe) delivered his emotional memories of the September 11, 2001 horror story to Kankakee County business people and first-responders Wednesday night.

Picciotto was the speaker at the 100 Club at the Quality Inn & Suites in Bradley. The Hundred Club annually honors police and firefighters with a banquet that raises money for surviving families of emergency responders who die in the line of duty.

Picciotto was the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the collapse of New York City's Twin Towers. He was on the 35th floor when the South Tower came tumbling down. He said those eight-seconds "of my life" will never go away.

The honored-fireman painfully reminded the crowd 2343 firefighters died that day. There were 2,996 total deaths.

Picciotto today, says the U.S. needs to continue to be assertive in the fight against terrorism.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Earthquake Drill today !

If you're not prepared, you should be. If you haven't been educated and trained, you should have been. And—if you're not ready and participating in today's Great American ShakeOut, you should contact your county elected officials and ask Why ?

Today's annual Great American ShakeOut earthquake drill is a well-documented, much-talked about exercise that keeps people on their toes. Schools, hospitals, nursing homes, businesses and people at home should be reviewing and going thru their motions to act if an earthquake hits.

If you're not ready, you have legitimate questions for your Emergency Management Agency office and elected county officials. It's their responsibility to be educated, trained and ready to deliver emergency care in the wake of tragic events.

The Illinois EMA promotes the Great American ShakeOut, an earthquake drill exercises across the country.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Earthquake Drill urges preparation

(Springfield, IL) -- Officials were busy promoting the need to be educated and participate in today's Great American ShakeOut earthquake drill. IEMA's Patti Thompson says it's a one-minute drill that teaches people what to do when the ground starts shaking.

More than half-a-million-people in Illinois participate in the drill at 10:16 in the morning. Any schools, families, businesses, or individuals who'd like to register can do so at Shakeout.org.

State and county government officials are responsible to make sure people are trained and ready.

IEMA's Patti Thompson says people don't often think about earthquakes in Illinois, but parts of the state actually sit along a fault line.

{Metro News, 94.1 WGFA}

  • Parent Category: News

Acquittal in Sean Kelley murder trial

A Ford County jury Wednesday returned a not guilty verdict in the Sean Kelley murder trial in Paxton. The jury of nine women and three men deliberated an hour and a-half before ruling the 34-year-old Paxton man 'not guilty' of second-degree murder in the 2013 death of Jeffery Potts of Paxton.

Kelley was charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of the 49-year-old Potts during a fight on October 17, 2013, in front of a downtown Paxton tavern.

Kelley had faced a sentence ranging from probation to between four and 15 years in prison if convicted of the Class 1 felony.

Kelley's defense attorney successfully argued argued during Kelley's two-day trial that his actions last October were in self-defense. Bruce Ratcliffe also raised doubt about whether Kelley ever possessed the knife that caused the fatal injury to Potts.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois 911 Board says emergency dispatching will continue… …despite County Board action

Feathers have been ruffled and personality differences continue, but Iroquois County 911 board members assure the public emergency services will remain in place.

Several emergency responders, including 911 board members, are not happy with Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas and board members who supported a vote to reduce the size of the ETSB Board. The argument is – professional know-how is lost and the county board does not have a workable plan in place to keep operations intact.

Besides that, the 911 members are insulted by Copas claims that the board is 'neglecting its duties and mismanaging the operations.'

Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn says the county board doesn't have a handle on what's going on.

The 911 Board Tuesday night voted to make a proposal to the County Board to oversee dispatching services, even once the board is reduced from 12 to six members.

Glenn and Milford Fire Chief Frank Hines, both of whom serve the 911 Board, say there's management responsibilities the County Board doesn't understand.

Hines has been on the 911 Board since it started in 1995. He points out the budget problems started when the County and the City of Watseka failed to meet their obligations and the ETSB board picked up the slack. The two organizations, Hines said, are $345,000 behind in payments. He says it was not a lack of planning.

94.1 WGFA