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Construction jobs at risk with state’s budget impasse

      Watseka  bridge work included.......

Construction workers may be headed home for an extended stay if Illinois lawmakers don't find a way to agree to a budget.

Reports of up to 25,000 construction jobs on the line (Thursday). The deadline for passing a state budget arrives as the new fiscal year begins July 1.

The Illinois Department of Transportation has ordered contractors statewide to stop working until a budget bill is passed. And the stop-work order will only add to the frustration of motorists when local projects are put on hold.

Local projects that would be halted include the Route 1 bridge replacement project at Watseka. Workers there just shrugged when asked if their jobs will be stopped ?

The project was expected to be completed by September 1.

The budget impasse between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled state Legislature will reach into a second year if they are unable to compromise on a budget by Thursday.

94.1 WGFA

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Watseka’s waste-water system future discussed

The City of Watseka will be exploring its waste-water system to determine how best to serve the community in the future.

The cost of maintenance, upgraded equipment and the knowledge of providing adequate safe-guards will be talked about while city leaders weigh the options. And the options include staying with current operator ERH Enterprises, going to Aqua Illinois and even taking the system over itself, to operate from within.

Whatever the decision is, it'll cost money. Sean McBride of ERH Enterprises "yes it will, there's a cost to run a system like this." ERH has contracted with Watseka to run the water treatment plant since 1998.

"The cost will continue to go up, equipment ages and there's break-downs you can't always control...so costs go increase." But McBride also added, "the system has been maintained and it's not in bad shape now."

ERH presented its pitch to city leaders Tuesday night.
Mayor Bob Harwood said all matters will be reviewed, no hasty decisions will be voted on until all the numbers are explored.

94.1 WGFA

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Iroquois County landowners sue wind farm developers

The Pilot Hill Wind Farm in Iroquois County is the subject of a lawsuit. Owners of farmland in Milks Grove Township had the suit filed earlier this month (June 14th), naming EDF Renewable Energy Company and Vision Energy as defendants in the case.

Landowners Charles, George and Howard Haley claim they are still owed money for access roads built on their property and for damage done to their land during construction of the project in northwest Iroquois County.

California-based EDF Renewable Energy owns and operates Pilot Hill Wind Farm. Also named as a defendant is Cincinnati, Ohio-based Vision Energy.

Vision Energy started the project in 2008, then sold its interest to EDF in 2014.

Infrastructure damage and loss of productivity on the farm ground are among the issues the Haley's point to in the lawsuit. The claim is that contract obligations were not met in re-storing the farm ground after access roads were built. That led to other problems like drainage.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Child neglect charges filed in Jasper County

Criminal charges have been filed against a Jasper County, Indiana couple after their 12-year-old child was allegedly found neglected.

Court records show the Department of Child and Family Services removed the child from Jay and Tabitha Rupert's home near Rensselaer June 20th.

According to the Sheriff's office, the 12-year-old was diagnosed from birth with a non-curable brain disorder that required constant care. The child was taken to Riley Children's Hospital, diagnosed as "failure to thrive," weighing just 23 pounds.

Jay and Tabitha Rupert were arrested yesterday (Monday).They face felony counts of child neglect. The bonds were set at $50,000.

94.1 WGFA

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Watseka man dies in I-57 accident Monday

An I-57 traffic accident this (Monday) morning at Chebanse killed a Watseka man.

Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the victim as 38-year-old Claude Burton-Tiffany. He was pronounced dead at 5:16 am. The accident happened at the I-57 entrance ramp.

Illinois State Police report Tiffany's car was northbound, off the ramp, when he made an abrupt turn to the left and was struck on the driver's side by a northbound van. The van's driver (Garey Lee Daniels of Park Forest) was not injured.

94.1 WGFA