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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Holiday Highway Construction Work

The Interstate 57 entrance ramp at exit 315 in Bradley will close Friday.

The northbound entrance ramp at State Route 50 will close at noon Friday because of the ongoing construction. Motorists looking to head north on 57 will be redirected south on the interstate to exit 312 at Illinois Route 17 where they can re-enter northbound.

The ramp at Route 50 will be closed until Tuesday at noon.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Some construction suspended over holiday weekend

 
 
 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois transportation officials say they're gearing up for busy roadways this Memorial Day weekend and have a plan to reduce congestion.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Thursday that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended to improve traffic flow at the unofficial start of summer.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says the move helps ensure safety with the increase of motorists expected on the roads.

The suspension starts 3 p.m. on Friday through midnight Monday.

Transportation officials are urging motorists to obey posted speed limits and that posted limits are still in effect for construction zones even if there's no construction in the works.

  • Parent Category: News

Memorial Day Services planned for WGFA-listening area …

Area communities and civic organizations have listed their Memorial Day services for this weekend.

VFW Post 7450 welcomes the public to Legion Park in Watseka at 11 am Monday. Traditional events are planned including the presentation of colors and playing of taps.

The Sugar Creek Chapel at Stockland has its service Sunday, May 26th, at 2 pm. All veterans and the public are welcome. {note: Sugar Creek Bridge is out of service, follow signs after a left turn before the Milford viaduct).

Sheldon American Legion Post 393 conducts its service at 11 am Monday, May 27. It's at the Sheldon Cemetery. A balloon release is planned to honor veterans.

ONARGA / GILMAN / DANFORTH
Memorial Day services are scheduled for Monday, May 27, in Danforth, Gilman and Onarga.

The service in Danforth starts at 8:30 a.m. The Danforth service is followed by a service at the cemetery on the south side of Gilman at 9:30 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., the Onarga Cemetery will host its service.

The Iroquois West High School band will perform at each of the services.

BUCKLEY
The American Legion Byron A. Hickerson Post 432 of Buckley will hold Memorial Day services on Monday, May 27, at three area cemeteries.

There will be a short service at 9:30 a.m. at the Lisk Cemetery in rural Thawville. At 10 a.m. the Legion's honor guard will have a short service at the Ash Grove cemetery in rural Buckley. At 10:30 a.m., a service honoring the area's deceased veterans will be held at Woodland/St. John's Cemetery.

In case of rain, the services will also be held at the Legion post.

LODA
The Loda American Legion Post 503 is hosting a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Pine Ridge Cemetery.

CISSNA PARK
Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 will hold Memorial Day services at 9 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the village park. Rev. Silas Montgomery, pastor at Christian Afterward, coffee and donuts will be served by members of the American Legion Auxiliary at the Legion Home.

RANKIN
The Cissna Park American Legion's drill team will hold a Memorial Day service at Rankin Cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27.

THAWVILLE
The Thawville American Legion post will host a Memorial Day service around 11:15 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Ridgeland Township Cemetery. The service will include music performed by the Iroquois West High School band.

GIBSON CITY
The annual Gibson City Memorial Day parade will kick off at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, from in front of the former Moyer District Library building. Services at the ceremony will feature the GCMS High School Marching Falcons,

Parade entries will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. They will then make their way to Drummer Township Cemetery for special memorial services around 10:30 a.m. at the Drummer Creek Veterans Memorial in Gibson City.

Following the ceremonies in Gibson City, the Legion travels to Elliott Cemetery for the memorial services at around 11:30 a.m.
In the event of inclement weather, the services will be held at the Legion Post in Gibson City.

MELVIN
A Memorial Day service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the Melvin Cemetery in Melvin.

There will be special music by the GCMS High School band and chamber choir.

In the event of rain, the service will be held in the Melvin Community Hall.

PAXTON
Paxton American Legion Prairie Post 150 will hold its annual Memorial Day observance at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Glen Cemetery in Paxton.

The ceremony immediately follows the Memorial Day parade.

PIPER CITY
The Piper City American Legion post is conducting a Memorial Day service at 9 a.m. Monday, May 27, on the local bandstand.

Immediately after the service, additional services will be held by the post at Calvary Catholic Cemetery and Brenton Cemetery.

ROBERTS
The Wagner-Davis Legion Post in Roberts will hold a Memorial Day service at 9 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the Roberts Gym. Coffee and rolls will be served afterwards by the Legion post's auxiliary.

SIBLEY
The Martin H. Suntken American Legion Post 244 of Sibley will hold Memorial Day services at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, at Mount Hope Cemetery in Sibley. The service will feature music performed by the GCMS High School band as well as the Legion unit's color guard.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Jobless rates drop compared to last year

Illinois unemployment by metro area

Metropolitan Area -        April 2013       April 2012

Bloomington-Normal            5.8                 6.2

Champaign-Urbana             6.6                 7.1

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville     9.3                  8.8

  1. 8.9                  9.1

Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl. 6.2                  6.8

  1. 10.3                 9.5

Kankakee-Bradley               9.8                10.6

Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI          7.7                  8.1

  1. 7.9                  7.2
  2. 9.9                 10.9
  3. 6.4                  6.8

St. Louis (IL-Section)           7.4                  8.6

Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security

Iroquois and Ford County unemployment rates dropped slightly last month, down from figures in April 2012.

Kankakee County unemployment is listed at 9.8%.  That’s down from 10.6 in April of last year.

The Bloomington area still tends to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state in large part because of the types of employment you have there,” said Greg Rivara, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Employment Security, citing larger firms and jobs tied to higher education. “You have entities that tend to weather economic downturns better than others.”

The Bloomington-Normal area’s unemployment is at 5.8%, down from 6.2 in 2012.

Retail trade has been down statewide, and Rivara speculated inclement weather may be one factor.

Other counties and their April 2013 (April 2012) rates include: DeWitt, 7.3 percent (7.5); Ford, 6.8 percent (7.9); Iroquois, 7.2 percent (7.6); LaSalle, 9.7 percent (10.2); Livingston, 7.4 percent (7.4); Logan, 7.3 percent (7.2); Tazewell, 7.7 percent (6.9); and Woodford, 6.6 percent (5.8).

9.4 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Barickman Votes to Stop Automatic Electric Rate Hikes

State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) voted to stop customers of Commonwealth Edison and Ameren from facing steep, annual electric rate hikes.

Barickman joined ten other Senators who voted against Senate Bill 9 May 21. The measure passed the legislature initially in March, but was vetoed by Governor Pat Quinn on May 6. The legislation essentially overrides an Illinois Commerce Commission decision to stop $100 million dollars in rate hikes for ComEd and $50 million for Ameren customers.

In his veto message, Governor Quinn said, "Senate Bill 9 continues a troubling pattern of departing from more than a century of regulatory oversight of utility company monopolies in our state."

Barickman agreed and on Tuesday he voted to uphold the veto when the bill came back before the Senate.

“There is a process in place for utility companies to go to the ICC, ask for a rate increase, prove their case, and hold public hearings, all before increases can be granted,” said Senator Barickman. “Essentially, the legislature just decided to strip the ICC of its oversight authority. This will cost consumers dearly.”

The retroactive rate hikes are tied to a 2011 bill to override the ICC and allow the power utilities to drastically increase rates to pay for a new “smart grid” power system.

 

94.1 FM, WGFA