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  • Parent Category: News

Aqua Illinois hosts Watseka Open House, welcomes citizen questions

Informational charts, community endorsements and plenty of Aqua Illinois ‘blue shirt’ personnel were available at Watseka City Hall (Thursday). The water company hosted an open house to give local citizens an opportunity to ask questions and learn what Aqua is about and how the company could help the city’s future water and water treatment operations.

Maybe about 20 local citizens bothered to attend a three-hour session, even though there were a lot of concerns expressed a few short weeks ago at a public hearing.

Most of the concerns are about a large corporation taking over what citizens feel is their community asset, a community service the city owns and its people want to control.

The city council is considering a potential partnership where Aqua Illinois would take over ownership of the water and sewer system.

So often, it’s mis-information that raises concern. Aqua Illinois President Craig Blanchette says the open house was to address questions and any misinformation the public may have received.

Mayor Bob Harwood assures the community no decisions have been made; talks continue as to where the city may go with the water operations. But feedback is positive about Aqua Illinois.

The rates will go up – the mayor says – no matter what decision the city council makes.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Threshermen’s Reunion cancelled

Wet grounds have forced a cancellation of the annual Threshermen’s Reunion at Pontiac.

For the first time in its history, Pontiac’s annual harvest-time rite, the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion, is a no-go this weekend. The event is canceled for the first time due to the recent heavy rains swamping Threshermen’s Park.

The good news: the fest's downtown parade will go as scheduled, at 1:15 pm Sunday.

94.1 wgfa

  • Parent Category: News

Labor Day events underway... Pontiac's Threshermen's Reunion cancelled

Annual Labor Day weekend events have started in area towns, including Herscher, Hoopeston and Earl Park, Indiana. 

Herscher's annual parade is set for Monday (September 5) at 10:30 am.  The 3-day event includes other activities running Saturday thru Monday night.  It's the 96th Labor Day Celebration.

The 73rd National Sweet Corn Festival and Pageant at Hoopeston runs thru the weekend. The Sweetcorn Festival is sponsored by the Hoopeston jaycees.  The Grand parade is 10:30 Saturday morning.

Young women from 27 states will be participating in the Sweetheart Pageant at the Hoopeston Civic Center. Preliminary competition is at 6 pm Saturday.  The Finals are at 6 pm Sunday. 

Labor Day parades and activities are also scheduled in Westville, Bloomington and Lowell, Indiana.

The Earl Park Fall Festival in Benton County, IN also started Friday and runs thru the weekend.  The Grand Parade is 2 pm Monday.

In Livingston County... the popular Threshermen's Reunion at Pontiac is cancelled due to wet grounds.  The parade is still scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

94.1 WGFA   



  • Parent Category: News

KAMEG finds $11M pot-grow operation; plants seized, suspect arrested

A 24-year-old California man is under arrest after KAMEG agents uncovered a pot-growing operation in rural Kankakee. Erick Garcia-Magana was arrested for unlawful production of more than 200 cannabis plants, discovered Tuesday afternoon.

KAMEG agents observed Garcia-Magana near the outdoor cannabis-growing operation. It was along a wooded creek line near county roads 1000 North and 4000 East.

Agents seized 4,431 cannabis plants from a 16,000-square-foot area. The estimated value of the plants was listed at $11-million. Agents also seized equipment used in the outdoor production of cannabis plants.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Update: Fairmount fire victims identified

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson has released the names of the two victims who died in the explosion and fire at Fairmount Tuesday.

The two bodies were recovered from the ruins of the home along 1333 North Road, south of Fithian. 77-year-old Delores Sapp lived at the residence. 64-year-old Floyd Walton of Fairmount was also a victim.

Johnson says they died from blunt force trauma due to the blast from the explosion before the flames engulfed the house. The Illinois State Fire Marshal is looking into the cause of the house explosion.

Fairmount Fire Chief Dave Ferber said firefighters found debris spread over a wide area, but most of the home had collapsed into the basement. Firefighters from a dozen departments answered the call. Chief Ferber expects a lengthy, drawn-out investigation.

The Vermilion County Sheriff’s department was also investigating.

94.1 WGFA