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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Francis Cardinal George dies of Cancer

(Chicago, IL) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced today that Francis Cardinal George,(archbishop emeritus), has died after a long battle with cancer. The 78-year-old, who had been regarded as the intellectual leader of the Catholic Church in America, decided last fall to cease treatment for his latest bout with cancer after the experimental drugs proved ineffective.

Cardinal George underwent surgery for bladder cancer in 2006 and six years later, the disease showed up in his kidney. Cardinal George led Chicago-area Catholics for 17-years before retiring last fall because of his illness. A native of Chicago's northwest side, Cardinal George had overcome polio as a child to eventually become the eighth archbishop of Chicago's more than two-million Catholics. {Metro News}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

IDOT ready for Rt. 1 bridge replacement in Watseka

A major road improvement project in Iroquois County gets underway a week from Monday. The Route 1 bridge replacement, running north and south through Watseka, will begin April 27th.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will build a new bridge over the Iroquois River. The project will continue through the end of the year.

Motorists travelling Route 1 will need to prepare for delays.

IDOT Resident Engineer Matt Strough said one lane will remain open during construction. A barrier wall will be in place. And narrow-lane restrictions will limit traffic in phases. Flagmen and signal lights will control north-south traffic.

Strough explained the new bridge will be raised 3.5 feet. Work will also be done on County Road 1950 N leading up to Route 1.

IDOT has been studying the project since 2008.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Fog advisory this Friday morning

.DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CDT THIS MORNING.

THE National Weather Service IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A DENSE FOG ADVISORY.WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CDT THIS MORNING.

* VISIBILITY.LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE.

* IMPACTS.VERY HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS EARLY THIS MORNING & JUST AFTER DAYBREAK. THIS INCLUDES THE INTERSTATE 57 AND INTERSTATE 65 CORRIDORS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS.

A DENSE FOG ADVISORY MEANS VISIBILITIES WILL FREQUENTLY BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE. IF DRIVING.SLOW DOWN.
USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS.& LEAVE PLENTY OF DISTANCE AHEAD OF YOU.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

KanCom dispatchers assist in delivering baby

Emergency dispatchers were once labeled 'Earth Angels in Headsets.' In fact, a published piece called 'A Promise' refers to the Angel of Lifework, a network of professional, extraordinary individuals from the Public safety assemblage brought together for a special calling. The people who Answer the Call...

During this, Nat'l Public Safety Tel-Communicator Week, we're hearing from those T/C's who very-seldom get the recognition, that pat-on-the-back for an outstanding job well done.

In the Kankakee County 9-1-1 Center, KAN-Com dispatchers Anne Spanos and Jen Palacio recently helped in delivering an unexpected baby. Anne took the initial call and coached the boyfriend caller...that calm demeanor of Ann and Jen enabled the caller to remain calm. The end result: a positive outcome.

"It was the first time I've had to help with a baby delivery, so I was nervous, but he (the boyfriend) handled it well, he was calm and she (the mother) was calm," Spanos told 94.1 WGFA. "

Spanos credits the boyfriend, but it was her calm demeanor and coaching over the phone that played a major role in the success of the delivery.

Tele-Communicator Jen Palacio was also at the controls in the KanCom 9-1-1 Center.

"Anne did a great job. She handled it great, took the call and took control very quick," Palacio said. The team effort saw Palacio relay vital info the rolling first-responders while Spanos guided the baby's parents with the delivery.

Both women added, dispatching is a team effort. Dispatchers typically have two constant companions, other dispatchers and stress. They depend on one, and try to ignore the other.

The public should come to realize what dispatchers do in every emergency situation.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka gaining up to 200 more jobs, Lyon Work Space Products expanding

It may be an overly-used statement in the industrial job growth world, but the city of Watseka and Iroquois County stands to benefit "in a huge way" with the recent of sale of Republic Storage Systems, LLC in Canton, Ohio.

Republic Storage manufactured lockers and shelving products. The assets of the company have been acquired by Echelon Capital, LLC and a new company has been formed, "Republic Storage Products, LLC, a separate portfolio company of Echelon.

The Echelon manufacturing group owns the Watseka-based Lyon Work Space Products. The Watseka connection means anywhere from 100 - 200 additional jobs at the Watseka Lyon Work Space Product plant.

"This is huge, one of the bigger things that have happened in Iroquois County in a long time," according to Ken Barragree, executive director of the Iroquois Economic Development Corporation.

"I'm looking forward to working with the company and looking forward to the revenue for the county," Barragree adds. "And I'm looking at people being abloe to find jobs right here at home."

Watseka's Lyon facility is undergoing expansion right now with a 50,000 square foot addition. The Lyon's Paris, Illinois plant will remain open.

And the closure of the Ohio metal-locker company eliminates a major competitor. Barragree says some company shuffling on the part of the Lyons group will spin off into big job opportunities in Watseka.

The Canton, Ohio plant closed April 10th. Following the transition period within the ranks of Republic Products, Echelon's four manufacturing facilities, including the Watseka Lyon's Products plant, will be number one in such Locker and shelving products.

94.1 WGFA