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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Flood “drill” preps responders for real disaster

                  * Firefighters Damon Schuldt and Bryan LaRoche coordinated exercise for Master's Degree program

KANKAKEE -- Kankakee Community College was the setting for a 'learning and thinking' exercise for emergency responders Saturday.

First responders, including fire, ambulance personnel, hospital emergency rooms, public health, haz-mat teams, emergency management, County radio communications, ham radio operators, CERT volunteers, and several volunteer victims, worked alongside KCC staff and administrators to simulate the aftermath of a campus flood and related emergency events.

When it was over, participants and organizers shared feedback on their response performance to find ways to improve so they're ready should the real event ever press them into action.

The exercise was organized and controlled by Lt. Bryan LaRoche and Capt. Damon Schuldt of the Kankakee Fire Department. Both men are working toward their Master's degree.

Schuldt said the 3-hour drill went well.

"We wanted to stay within our allotted time and we did that; the drill went well," Schuldt said afterwards.

Schuldt said the exercise plan met Homeland Security Exercise requirements. And he said, it's hoped that KCC's lead in preparing for such a disaster will inspire other business and government officials to realize they too have a public safety responsibility.

Organization and participants followed the National Incident Management System (NIMS) protocol.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Blue Mass at St. Patrick’s Church recognizes 1st Responders

The 8th annual 'Blue Mass' Saturday afternoon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Kankakee honored the many first responders, who answer emergency calls to disasters.

The Mass recognizes the emergency teams, especially those who died in the line of duty.

The 'Blue Mass' is part of the annual Half-Paddy Festival on the grounds at St. Patrick's Church. It's sponsored across the world by local councils of the Knights of Columbus. The Mass finds communities showing appreciation for the first-responders efforts.

Fallen first-responders were recognized at a ceremony on the Kankakee County Courthouse lawn followed by a procession to St. Patrick's Church. The popular event finds hundreds of people lined up along Indiana Avenue in Kankakee.

Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young says " it's a humbling experience, we're humbled by the thoughtfulness of the community."

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Farm Safety Week begins; area Ag leaders sponsor programs

Several area businesses are hosting or sponsoring programs this week to promote farm safety. This week – September 15 thru the 21st – is National Farm Safety Week.

"Working Together for Safety in Agriculture" is the popular theme that finds Iroquois Memorial Hospital coordinating a health and safety event Wednesday 9/18).

A program at Mowrey's Auction Company at Stockland finds several businesses onboard, reinforcing the importance of us all making a joint effort to be sure farmers make it home to their family at night.

Agriculture is the largest industry in Iroquois County. Agriculture is more than seven-times as hazardous as other U.S. industries. And, in 2010, 476 farmers and farm workers died from a work-related injury.

IMH is committed to making safety a top priority this fall. IMH will offer health screens at Wednesday's event at the Mowrey Auction site. The Milford FFA, Milford Fire Protection District, banks, grain companies, and others will also participate.


Farm Credit Services sponsors "Meals-in-the-Field" ....

Also as part of Farm Safety Week, Farm Credit Services of Watseka again visits area farmsites with its "Meals in the Field" program. MORE >

Each day this week, the Farm Credit Service office personnel will provide a lucky farm family operation with a lunch meal delivered on-location. The event promotes farm safety, asking each farming operation to make sure they've reviewed their safety procedures as the fall harvest begins.

Staff members will deliver lunch to a farm family operation and WGFA will visit the Meal-in-the-Field recipients to talk about the harvest and farm safety.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Indiana yard game squabble leads to stabbings

Sheriff's Police in White County, Indiana were called to the town of Chalmers Saturday night where two people were stabbed, after deputies said a yard game turned competitive and got out of hand.

Witnesses told police a verbal argument ensued between several people playing a yard game. The witnesses said that's when the argument escalated into a physical fight, and several people were stabbed.

31-year-old Christopher Walker of Chalmers, 34-year-old Roy Beatty of Lafayette, 26-year-old Keith Moon of Lafayette, and 35-year-old Michael Reed of Lafayette, all sustained injuries during the fight. Deputies did not confirm which two were stabbed.

Two of the injured people that were taken to the hospital, were treated and released and two were admitted for treatment.

Evidence collected in the case will be processed by the Indiana State Police Crime Lab prior to review of the case by the White County Prosecutor's Office.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Champaign County straw poll gives Rutherford nod in GOP race for Governor

A straw poll Sunday in Champaign County gave State Treasurer Dan Rutherford top-billing among the four Republican candidates in the race for Governor.

The Republican Party held its annual fall festival in Urbana, giving each of the four GOP candidates an opportunity to make their pitch to the party faithful.
Rutherford received just over half of the votes cast (50.4 percent) at the event.

Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner was in second place with 22.6 percent. State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale was third with 19.1 percent.

The straw poll state Senator Bill Brady of Bloomingtont just 7.8 percent of the vote. Three years ago Brady was the party's gubernatorial candidate, and got 49 percent of Champaign County in a five-way Republican primary election that year.

Rutherford stressed that he has the know-how to get the needed Chicago-area votes needed to win a statewide race.
The Livingston County native said "statistics have shown that if you don't get 20 percent of the city of Chicago, it doesn't matter what you do in Champaign and Vermilion counties. If you don't get 20 percent in Chicago you don't win a statewide race."

Rutherford added, "As your nominee for governor of the state of Illinois, I got 22 percent of the city of Chicago (for treasurer in 2010). Our Republican candidate that year (Brady) got 18. I won, he lost."

94.1 FM, WGFA