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  • Parent Category: News

Benton County gaining 22 new jobs >

Appalachian Railcar Services out of West Virginia, announced last week that they'll be building their newest facility in Benton County, Indiana.

The company is investing $1.4 million in leasing, constructing, and equipping the 8,000 square-foot facility in Earl Park. The company plans to bring existing rail up to industry standards. The company is going to do maintenance and storage of rail cars.

Benton County Economic Development Director, Kelly Kepner said. "Norfolk Southern had a three and a quarter mile, disconnected track and what they did is now they lease that track to ARS. Kepner said "we were the perfect fit for them."

Kepner said during the next two years, the company will provide 22 new jobs, ranging from secretarial work, to welding jobs.

"My understanding is they're going to be starting out with 8 to 10 jobs this year," Kepner explained. "I do know they already received over 40 applicants which is great. A lot of people that we are going to be needing for these jobs are going to be welders."

For an application, you can stop in the Benton County Economic Development office at the Benton County Courthouse.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Cops out in force this Labor Day weekend

Illinois State Police will be joined by 400 local departments for extra traffic patrols over the holiday weekend.

The cops will be looking for drunk and distracted drivers, speeders, and seat belt violators. The enforcement detail will run through midnight Monday.

Shannon Alderman, the alcohol program coordinator for IDOT, says this is not about ticket revenue. "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is not about making arrests. We want motorists to drive smart to prevent those arrests from ever having to take place. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is about deterrence, it's about prevention, it's about saving lives," he said.

Alderman says these efforts are working, because fatalities caused by drunk drivers, especially at night, are declining in Illinois. There were 374 DUI deaths in Illinois in 2007. That number dropped to 233 in 2011. Between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m., DUI fatalities fell from 121 in 2007 to 71 in 2011. {IRN)

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Full weekend of Labor Day events >

In addition to the start of Illinois high school football this weekend, there's plenty of labor Day events in area communities.

There are boat races at the Kankakee River Regatta, Herscher has its annual Labor Day Celebration, including a Parade at 10:30 Monday morning. It's the 93rd 3-day run at Herscher.

The annual Kankakee River Regatta runs through Monday. Speed boat races on the Kankakee River always a big attraction.

High School football in Illinois kicks off tonight. WGFA sports features the Central Comets hosting Prairie Central. Kickoff at 7:45 pm.

Other games are 7 pm starts...Watseka hosts Robinson, Milford at Tri-County, Eureka at Iroquois West. Momence opens at Oregon, Herscher is at Westmont, Mac openbs at home against Hales Franciscan, Solorio Academy at Kankakee, T.F. North at Bradley-Bourbonnais.

The Threshermen's Reunion is at Pontiac, north on Route 23.

Hoopeston's Sweet Corn Festival runs thru the weekend, including the National Sweetheart Pageant.

Earl Park, Indiana is hosting the Earl Park Festival in Benton County.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Firemen train with Nicor experts for natural gas disasters

Members of the Eastern Illinois Mutual Aide Fire Association conducted a training session in Danforth (Wednesday), education themselves about how to deal with natural gas disasters.

The Danforth Fire Department hosted the organizations' monthly meeting.

Nicor Gas is owned by AGL Resources (Atlanta Gas & Light).

Senior Investigator of Corporate Security, Craig Whyte, tells WGFA News this training offers responders a first-hand experience.

"We come out when requested to provide classroom and field demonstrations," said AGL Resource Senior Investigator Craig Whyte. " "We visit with whoever wants our help. We're giving these firemen a live scenario of what they may experience in their job."

Whyte conducted an outdoor field demonstration.

Bernie Anderson, Community Relations for Nicor, said his classroom instruction is all about safety first.

"This gives responders a chance to ask questions; "What if" and what not to do if it's a real situation," Anderson said. As always, when anyone smells gas, call Nicor and let us do what we do."

The Eastern Ill Mutual Aid Fire Association is affiliated with the MABAS 37 Division (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System). The groups meets monthly on the last Wednesday to share experiences and train for the good of the mutual aid effort.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Another shooting in Pembroke area while officials meet to curb violence

While leaders in the Pembroke Township area gathered to talk about ways to bring some violence activity under control, yet another person shot.

Kankakee County Sheriff's Police report a man was shot in the back Wednesday afternoon in Pembroke Township. It was a few hours after a community to discuss gun violence in the area.

Police answered a call to the shooting just before 2:30 pm. The incident was near Sneed Court and 3000S Road.

The victim, police said, was uncooperative when questioned. No other suspect information has been released.

It was Saturday when gunfire sent hundreds of people scrambling at Martin Luther King Park during the annual Pembroke Days festival. Two men were hit by gunfire. Injuries were not life-threatening.

Students from the area will be offered counseling to talk about the recent violence.

Parents have voiced concerned about safety.

Wednesday's meeting included discussion about hiring a police presence and developing some after-school events for children.

94.1 FM, WGFA