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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

August may be second-driest ever

The Illinois State Water Survey says this may be the second-driest August on record.

And the dry weather is beginning to worry farmers.

Rainfall has been limited to just 4-5 days this month. It's the second-lowest amount in the 124-year history of some record-keeping in east-central Illinois.

The National Weather Service is forecasting hot and dry weather, with highs in the 90s, every day through Sunday.
State climatologist Jim Angel reports only August 1893 — with 6-hundredths of an inch of rain — was drier,

According to the Aug. 20 U.S. Drought Monitor, Champaign County and most of East Central Illinois were considered "abnormally dry" — the lowest level on the drought scale.
Last August was wetter than normal, with 5.56 inches of rain. It followed an usually parched June and July, when only 2.89 inches of rain fell, including 61-hundredths of an inch in July. It was the third driest July in local weather history.

This summer has been almost the opposite, with an above-average 6.27 inches in June and a near normal 3.53 inches in July.

That likely will mean reduced yields in farm fields.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Governor Quinn Launches Statewide Cover Crop Demonstration Project

-- Initiative Aims to Improve Water Quality, Control Erosion and Increase Yields --

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Pat Quinn today announced the start of a three-year demonstration project by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to encourage the planting of environmentally-beneficial cover crops. The initiative's goal is to improve water quality in Illinois lakes and streams by reducing soil erosion and nutrient run-off from farm fields. Today's action is part of Governor Quinn's agenda to protect the state's natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations, while boosting Illinois agriculture.

"Illinois is a leading agricultural state because of its ability to adopt sustainable farming practices that protect our valuable soil and water resources without sacrificing productivity," Governor Quinn said. "This project is a good example of the industry's commitment to our environment."

"The time is right for this initiative," Steve Chard, the Department of Agriculture's bureau chief of Land and Water Resources, added. "New plant varieties and new production techniques have been discovered that eliminate many of the problems that farmers who planted cover crops in the 1980s and 90s experienced."

Cover crops are plants seeded into agricultural fields, either within or outside of the regular growing season, with the primary purpose of improving or maintaining ecosystem quality. Cover crops, typically certain grasses or legumes, can enhance biodiversity; lead to less flooding, leaching, and runoff; create wildlife habitat; attract honey bees and other beneficial insects; improve soil quality; combat weeds; and break disease cycles. Cover crops appear to have a significant competitive advantage compared to the more traditional management practices that have been used to control soil erosion and nutrient run-off.

94.1 fm, wgfa

  • Parent Category: News

Schools dismissing early; Heat factor

Several area school districts are implementing early dismissals today and some, for the remainder of the week, as the heat takes its toll.  Temps are expected in the mid 90s with a heat index near 100.  Check your local school district websites for details on early dismissals.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News


The Iroquois County Republican Women's Club sponsored Ed Hubert on a recent Honor Flight August 7, 2013, to view the World War II memorial in Washington DC. Ed's son Jim accompanied Ed as his guardian for the day.

On the flight back to Midway Airport during "Mail Call", Ed received many letters from several Iroquois County grade school students, American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls' State participants and family members thanking him for his military service. Legionnaires from the Gilman American Legion Post 499, as well as several family members were on hand to greet Ed when he landed. Family and veterans from Gilman welcoming Mr. Hubert home described the celebration with one word, "Wow!" When Mr. Hubert was asked what he enjoyed the most about the trip his comment was the welcome home celebration. He stated, "I've never seen anything like it in my life; this beats all!" As the crowd waited for the plane to arrive, they were entertained by a brass band fanfare. The Patriot Guard lined up and various Boy and Girl Scout troups carried signs announcing the arrival time of the 91 veterans. The crowd consisted of family members, area veterans and Honor Flight volunteers to name a few. Upon arrival the World War II veterans were escorted through the assembled line by servicemen from the Great Lakes Navel Academy.

The World War II Memorial was dedicated in May of 2004. Due to the advancing age of the "Greatest Generation", many of the 16 million men and women who served during World War II never had the opportunity to see their memorial. Honor Flight was formed in order to see that as many World War II veterans would have the opportunity to see their memorial as possible. Thanks to the many volunteers and contributors, Honor Flight is able to fly the veterans to Washington DC for a full day of touring not only the World War II memorial but several of the other war memorials located on the National Mall.

The American veteran is one of our greatest treasures... those men and women who answered our nation's call, especially at times of our greatest need. The Iroquois County Republican Women were proud to sponsor Ed and Jim Hubert on the Honor Flight. As a grateful country it is our job to honor and thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Barickman, Harms Meth Legislation Signed by Governor

Legislation to protect buyers of trailer homes from purchasing former methamphetamine labs, sponosored by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), and Representative Josh Harms (R-Watseka) has been signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn.

Barickman introduced Senate Bill 2101 after a family from Normal came to him after buying a trailer home that had previously been used to produce meth. The meth lab use was not disclosed to the family by the park owner before purchase. It is expected that cleanup of the home will cost thousands of dollars more than the purchase price.

"This new law demonstrates that even in the minority, we can still make meaningful improvements to people's lives. This won't cost the government any money, had the support of the business community, and protects consumers," said Senator Barickman. "We need to make sure families, and especially young children, don't live in toxic, hazardous environments. I'm hopeful this new law will help keep people safe."

Rep. Harms sponsored the measure in the Illinois House. The law will require record-keeping to protect consumers.

Under the legislation, if the operator of a trailer park who fails to disclose that a trailer was used as a meth lab could face a $2,000 fine.

94.1 FM, WGFA