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  • Parent Category: News

Hayden Schaumburg inspires community, named Citizen-of-Year by Times-Republic

It was a tragic accident that would have left many people feeling down, feeling sorry for themselves. But for one Watseka teenager, a severe spinal injury suffered during a high school football game, wasn't going to put him on the shelf for very long.

Young Hayden Schaumburg used his injury to teach all of us ... how to better people. And today, Hayden is as active as ever before...walking, talking, attending school, working the farm, and still inspiring his community will his resilience.

The Times-Republic (Wednesday night) named Hayden Schaumburg its Citizen-of-the-Year. The honor came at the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet.

Martha Howe was also recognized and honored as The Times-Republic's Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Her efforts keep the Watseka Area Food Pantry operating and serving many people in need. The nomination pointed to her backbone and energy for a program that's a huge success.

Hayden's inspiration stems from his spinal injury on the football field in October of 2014. After weeks in a Chicago-area hospital and rehab, The high schooler's determination to rebound from the accident sparked a community effort to support his comeback.

A group of people nominated Hayden for the Citizen-of-the-Year, pointing to his journey as something that's made the community better. People have joined together to fundraise and ignite his determination.

The community itself, the nomination states, has helped the town-folks learn to become better...co-workers, friends, neighbors, volunteers and citizens. Hayden's effort, the nomination points to, has inspired people of all ages.

As for the award, Hayden says "thank you to everyone who's been behind me in my journey; I love my community so much."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Veteran Kankakee County Jailer dies

A long-time employee of the Kankakee County Sheriff's Department has died. Veteran Correctional Officer Dean Dyer passed away at his Bonfield home Tuesday. He was 50 years–old. Dyer was a 19-year-old employee of the county.

Dyer had suffered from ALS – Lou Gehrig's disease.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Indiana Primary Election: Trump wins GOP vote, Sanders wins on Democratic ticket

Frontrunner Donald Trump claimed victory in Tuesday's Indiana primary, taking a giant step forward toward the Republican nomination for president. Trump topped rival ted cruz by a sizable margin, including a 64-25% margin in Newton County.  

Cruz meanwhile, dropped out of the presidential race with the loss. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the Presidential primary on the Democratic side.  Sanders won a narrow victory over frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

In county races ---  Incumbent Scott Madison was a winner for Newton County Council At-Large.  Madison won 26% of the GOP vote.  he'll be joined by newcomers Scott McCord and Abbey Rossiter with 24 and 20% of the votes. 

For Newton County Treasurer, Diane Veld fought off a challenge from Tami Jackson. 52 to 48%.  Veld finished with 1364 votes to 1261 for Jackson.

Statistical ties in Jasper County finds numbers un-official at this point.  For County Treasurer, Donya Jordon and Tammy McEwan each tallied 50% of the vote.  Jordan had 14 more votes, recording 2856 votes to 2842 for McEwan. 

The Jasper County Council At-Large contest shows Brett Risner with 28% of the votes (3751).  Andrew Andree and Gerrit Devries each had 25% --  Andreee with 3281 votes to 3277 for Devries. 

The White County Commissioner race in District 2 went to John Heimlich over Christopher Fullerton 62 to 38%.   White County Council At-Large finds James Davis top vote-getter with 3551 (29%) to Kevin Crabb with 3338 (28%).  Art Anderson had 24%.

In Benton County ---  The District 3 Commissioner race went to Bryan Berry over Ed Scroeder 61 to 39%.

Cindy Gretencord won a narrow race over Melissa Kidwell for Fowler Clerk/Treasurer 51 to 49%.  Un-official numbers had Gretencord with 279, Kidwell with 273.

The Benton Treasurer's contest went to Janet Hasser with 44% of the votes.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Judge Kinzer to be appointed to circuit judge seat in 21st circuit

Judge James Kinzer of Watseka will be sworn-in today as the newest circuit judge for the 21st circuit.  The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Kinzer to fill the vacancy created last week by the retirement of Judge Gordon Lustfeldt.

A 1 pm swearing-in ceremony is scheduled at the Kankakee Courthouse.  The Honorable Thomas Kilbride, a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, will officiate the swearing-in event.  

Kinzer has served the bench as an Associate Judge since January 2005 when he filled a vacancy left by the death of Judge David Youck.

94.1 WGFA



  • Parent Category: News

Target's Transgender Policy causes disturbance in Bradley

The man accused of causing a disturbance at a Target store in Bradley was protesting over the company's new policy involving transgender people. Police say 39-year-old Michael Merichko was charged with disorderly conduct following his arrest yesterday (Monday) at the business just off Illinois Route 50.

Target announced last month that employees and customers can use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

Bradley Police Lt. Michael Johnston tells 94.1 WGFA News the transgender issue apparently sparked a nerve with Merichko.....

The episode at the Target store stirred quite a commotion. It started as a frantic 9-1-1 call about an "active shooter." Lt. Johnston said police are still not sure what sparked an active shooter report. No gun was found, no shots were fired. No one was injured.

94.1 WGFA