The Dwight Fire Protection District reports investigators were trying today (Tuesday) to determine the cause of a rural house fire at Dwight.
The Monday night blaze alerted several departments. Agencies from Livingston County, Grundy County, Will County and Kankakee County responded to the fire around 7 pm. The location was just south of Dwight on 3100 North Road.
Firefighters found heavy fire and smoke on the first floor with heavy smoke throughout the entire structure. Two firefighters were treated and released at Morris Community Hospital.
No one was home at the time, but two pets died in the fire, according to Deputy Fire Chief Justin Dyer.
The MABAS Division 15 investigation team is looking for the cause.
18-year-old Audrey Bloomquist of Paxton was crowned the new Ford County Fair Queen last evening. The 2016 graduate of PBL High School has plans to attend the University of Wisconsin at Madison this fall. Political Science is her chosen major.
Miss Bloomquist was the judges' choice over nine other contestants. She is the 56th young lady to serve as Ford County Fair Queen. She was crowned by last year's queen, Amy Loschen of Kempton.
Audrey will represent Ford County at the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen pageant next January in Springfield. 20-year-old Amanda Diesburg of Paxton was selected as the first runner-up.
19-year-old Maddie Francis of Gibson City was the second runner-up.
Paxton resident, 18-year-old Karla Rodriguez was chosen as Miss Congeniality.
Stormy weather activity passed through East Central Illinois and moved into Western Indiana Monday night. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued 'Watches' and then 'Warnings' but no severe damage resulted.
The NWS says more storms are expected (Wednesday). There could be locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds.
A few counties under a 'warning' last night, including Ford, Vermilion, Champaign and then off into Benton, Tippecanoe and Warren counties in Indiana.
Power outages were reported along with downed trees. No injuries were reported.
A cold front stretching from northern Missouri, through central Illinois and northern Indiana will kick up chances for showers and thunderstorms tonight (Tuesday) in central Illinois and Indiana.
Five Kankakee area men identified as local leaders and members of the Latin Kings and a girlfriend of one of the men are scheduled for trial in August (2016). They face federal charges after making their respective initial appearances in Urbana before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce.
A federal grand jury returned three indictments earlier in June 2016, but the charges had remained sealed pending their arrests and court appearances.
31-year-old James Atwood of Bourbonnais, 22-year-old Jessie Dorsett and Jovan Saulsberry, both of Kankakee, are charged in one indictment with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. If convicted, both offenses carry statutory penalties of up to 20 years in prison; if a defendant has a prior felony drug conviction, the statutory penalty increases to up to 30 years in prison.
The federal record shows, in a separate indictment, 43-year-old Jesse Guardiola of Martinton is charged with five counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Guardiola's girlfriend, 30-year-old Heather Grad of Kankakee is charged with Guardiola in count two of the indictment, with possession of a firearm by a felon.
A third indictment charges 30-year-old Santos Salgado of Kankakee with two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. That could bring up to 10 years in prison.
Atwood, Saulsberry, Guardiola, and Salgado remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Dorsett is already in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections on unrelated charges. Grad has been released on bond. Trial for the defendants in each case is scheduled on Aug. 16, 2016.