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Local News

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1st Illinois West Nile death

                                                     2nd Bird in Ford County with West Nile Virus

A man has died and it could be from West Nile Virus. Thursday, the health department was told a 70-year old man from Decatur died.

A private lab determined he had West Nile. Tests are being done by the Illinois Department of Health to confirm it.

The state confirmed a Logan County man died from the virus and another human case of infection is being reported in Jefferson.

Meanwhile -- The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department reports another bird has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The bird was collected from the Sibley area in Ford County.

The health department's Environmental Health Director, Terry Eimen (eye-men) continues to suggest you use insect repellant and get rid of standing water in-and-around your homes.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

WCHS Inspiration Award Recipients recognized this week; Watseka Homecoming

The 2013 Watseka Community High School Inspiration Award recipients are being honored this week. The 103rd Annual WCHS Alumni Reunion and Banquet is Saturday, September 14th.

The 2013 honorees include: Athletic winners Victor Sampson, Bruce Sullivan, and the 1962-63 Men's Warrior "Sweet 16" Basketball Team. The Academic recipient is David Bergstrom.

The awards will be given out during the 103rd Annual WCHS Alumni Reunion and Banquet Saturday. The honorees will also be recognized during the Homecoming Football game Friday evening when the Warriors host St Thomas More.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Police want to hear about suspicious activity

                                              Air-Conditioners target of thefts

Although it's been a few weeks since thefts have occurred, local law enforcement confirm air-conditioning units have been the target of thefts in Iroquois County.

In fact, reports of stolen air-conditioners have been popular statewide.

Two men were recently arrested in Benton, Illinois when an off-duty deputy stopped a pickup truck and found two A/C units that were stolen from a church.

Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones said one of his deputies saw the pickup pulling away from a church last Tuesday, then noticed the church's air-conditioning units were missing. The sheriff said the thefts have become more common among thieves who sell them off as scrap metal.

Watseka Police Chief Roger Lebeck says up to a dozen central A/C units were stolen in Watseka earlier in the summer. Lebeck said businesses and residences were the target. The chief said the thefts were under surveillance and have since slowed.

Some theft cases have also been investigated in the county area. Police ask the public to report suspicious activity.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Piper City soybean plant fire under investigation

PIPER CITY, Ill. (AP) -- A fire at a north-central Illinois soybean plant remains under investigation.

Authorities lifted a partial evacuation in the tiny village of Piper City on Thursday afternoon and classes are set to resume Friday at a nearby school district.
Officials shut down a section of the Ford County community near the facility after spotting smoke coming from the roof of the building.

No one was injured.

Investigators say they believe a chemical - aluminum phosphide - may have reacted with water from a leaking roof.

Dennis Higgins is Ford County's Emergency Management Agency coordinator. He tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette that authorities were worried about poisonous fumes being released.

Piper City has about 830 residents and is about 45 miles north of Champaign.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Appeal likely for cousins convicted of attempted murder

The Daily-Journal reports an appeal is expected for the Wade cousins, who were sentenced last week to more than 30 years each for attempted murder. The attorney for Jerrell and Jonathon Wade says his clients 25-year add-on sentences were illegal.

The Wades were convicted of shooting and nearly killing an unarmed man outside of a Kankakee barbershop. Both Jerrell and Jonathan Wade faced a mandatory 25 years in addition to their regular sentence.

Attorney John Ridge says the state never warned the Wades of the potential for extended sentences and says he plans to appeal them in Kankakee County Circuit Court.

Last week, a judge sentenced Jerrell to 39 years and Jonathan to 32 years. Ridge argues that the 25 years added on because a gun was used should be dropped. The state appears confident that a judge will uphold the sentences.

Under Illinois law, certain gun crimes carry sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison.

The Journal reports, prosecutors must indicate in writing, when defendants face these extra years behind bars. Whether it is clear that they did in this case is under dispute.

94.1 FM, WGFA