Don't expect much relief from the wet weather this week. The National Weather Service (NWS) extended bad news in its briefing today (6/15).
The forecast says thunderstorms will redevelop again today. Periods of showers and thunderstorms could produce heavy rain. Damaging wind gusts and torrential rainfall will accompany the stronger storms.
The NWS report points to a daily threat for additional heavy rainfall which could worsen ongoing river flooding and enhance flash flood potential. The wet weather will add to the flood warnings already in place on the Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion rivers.
The program offered a different schedule this year, but the mission was the same – finding a cure for a dreaded disease.
Iroquois County's Relay for Life found several individuals and teams rallying at Watseka High School Friday evening. The event was moved indoors due to the rainy weather. The goal was to raise $116,000 for research to find a cure for cancer.
One of the chairmen, Sarah Seifert, said "we are a little shy of the goal, but the event was fun and it again brought people together for a great cause."
"The rain didn't matter," Seifert said. There were 30 teams and it was a good relay season. She praised the high school custodial staff and the relay's logistic team for making the last-minute adjustments.
WGFA Radio, 94.1 FM, kicked off the event with a brief, special broadcast at 5:30 pm. Key contributors to the annual event shared thoughts and statistics on the years of success in raising money toward cancer research. The opening ceremony a little past 6 pm was followed with the popular Survivor's Lap, The Team lap, and Luminaria.
Friday's Iroquois County Relay was followed up with the Kankakee County Relay for Life Saturday at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee.
A huge fire consumed a semi-tractor trailer Friday evening, closing down Interstate 57 for about four hours. No injury was reported. But the blaze, involving a cargo of deep-fry corn oil, did just that ---fried the semi and trailer.
Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn said "it was a spectacular fire." Ashkum, Gilman and Chebanse Fire answered the call. Emergency crews had to weave their way thru southbound traffic to get to the scene.
Northbound traffic was re-routed to Route 45. Illinois State Police and IDOT assisted with traffic control.
The emergency call came in just after 6:30 pm. It was first dispatched as a van-type trailer fire with a food product. Chief Glenn said once observed, the intensity of the blaze saw the response go to a Class B foam application –in dealing with 40,000 pounds of corn oil in 2-gallon plastic jugs packaged in boxes.
Glenn said a decision was made not to move to the trailer of 8,000 gallons of water and 20 gallons of foam used to extinguish the fire, since the trailer was still leaking.
Notables to appear and speak during Watseka-hosting of ‘Wall that Heals’
State Senator Jason Barickman, Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, and State Representative Tom Bennett will among the notables on hand to help welcome the 'Wall that Heals' in Watseka this week.
Barickman and Sanguinetti will both speak at the 5 pm opening ceremony Tuesday.
Watseka will welcome the Vietnam Memorial Wall which will be on public display this week. It's part of Celebrate Watseka activities all week long, which also includes Watseka FireFest and the Iroquois County Relay for Life at Watseka Community High School.
The Wall that Heals/Vietnam Memorial June 9-15, 2015 Daily Programs and Speakers
Tuesday June 9 – Opening Ceremony – 5PM Speakers: Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and State Senator Jason Barickman
Wednesday June 10 – Blessing of the Wall/Volunteer Recognition – 5PM Speaker: Zack Rice, Crescent City Grade School
Thursday June 11 – Wreath Ceremony - 5PM Speaker: Honorable Judge Susan Tungate
Friday June 12 – Hometown Hero Presentation - 5PM Speaker: State Representative Tom Bennett
Saturday June 13 – Honoring Local Vietnam Soldiers/Reading of the Names/Iroquois Counties Fallen Vietnam Soldiers – 5PM Speaker: Roger Bennett, Thawville, Illinois Past Illinois American Legion Post Commander
Sunday June 14 – Flag Day! Retreat Ceremony – 2PM US Marine 4th Reconnaissance Battalion Speaker – Lonnie Dirks, Iroquois Memorial Hospice.