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  • Parent Category: News

Man charged for beating death at veterans home

Kenneth Laura was formally charged last week with aggravated battery and involuntary manslaughter for the beating death of one of his fellow residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno.

But the 65-year-old will not be arraigned to enter a plea until a psychological report is filed with the court.

The court is in the process of determining if Laura is fit to stand trial.

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  • Parent Category: News

Auto mechanic fatally injured when truck falls on him

An autopsy was conducted Thursday on 51-year-old Enrique Serrano of Kankakee, who died Wednesday after a truck he was working on fell on him.

The accident happened at Acme Auto Parts, along I-57 in Kankakee. Serrano was working as a part-time mechanic.

Serrano was underneath a pickup truck when the truck fell. The truck was suspended using an end loader with forks when it fell off.

Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner said Serrano died at Presence St. Mary's Hospital.

Sheriff's Police report Acme owner Mike Baker said the forks on the end loader were not properly attached before the vehicle was lifted by Serrano.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Financial crisis looms for emergency communications in Iroquois County

It's a cry heard before. Now, it's even louder. And the need is now.

Budget concerns for the Emergency Telecommunications Safety Board (ETSB) are at the critical point. What was thought to be a big concern two-three years down the road, hsas found its way to now. Money to fund the ETSB is about to go dry.

9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble brought the dismal news to the Iroquois County Board Budget Committee. Money to fund the county's emergency dispatch center is fast disappearing. That cost would fall in the laps of the county and city of Watseka.

The looming problem has been building. Technology has resulted in so many people giving up their landline phones in favor cellphones. And the budget has relied on the original $2 tax per landline. On the flip side, cellphones are only taxed 73-cents per phone.

Illinois lawmakers have been asked repeatedly for several years to find a solution. It hasn't happened.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston tire fire cleanup underway

They're beginning the slow process of cleaning up debris from last month's massive fire at a tire recycling business in Hoopeston.

The Illinois EPA is monitoring the cleanup process at J&R Used Tire Service. Fire officials say hotspots in the rubble are still being found a month after the blaze was extinguished,

The June 19 fire was sparked by static electricity and eventually engulfed the 400,000-square-foot brick facility. Heavy, black smoke billowed for hours and was seen for miles. More than 100 firefighters from Illinois and Indiana battled the flames at the 10-acre site.
Several dozen trailer loads of debris have been carted from the site.

Environmental officials say they believe the facility had more than a million tires when the fire began. The rubber from the used tires was being converted into products, including mulch.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Red Cross seeks additional blood donors this summer

PEORIA, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2013) — While many volunteers generously responded to the emergency call for blood donations from the American Red Cross in July, donors of all blood types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, are still needed this summer. Blood products are being distributed to hospitals almost as quickly as donations are coming in.

Blood and platelets are needed for many reasons. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant recipients, as well as those receiving treatment for cancer or sickle cell disease, may depend on lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds a patient in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.

The Red Cross, on behalf of the hospitals and patients it serves, appreciates all those who take the time to help save lives. Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to learn more and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Champaign County
Aug. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McKinley Church & Foundation, 809 S. Fifth St. in Champaign, Ill.
Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at University of Illinois YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St. in Champaign, Ill.

Edgar County
Aug. 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 201 S. Central Ave. in Paris, Ill.

Ford County
Aug. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services, 1120 N. Melvin St. in Gibson City, Ill.

Iroquois County
Aug. 23 from 8-11 a.m. at American Red Cross Iroquois County, 700 E. Elm St. in Watseka, Ill.
Aug. 27 from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at Community Center, 330 E. Fourth Ave. in Clifton, Ill.

Kankakee County
Aug. 19 from 3-6:30 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Illinois Veterans Home, 1 Veterans Drive in Manteno, Ill.
Aug. 22 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
Aug. 26 from 2-6 p.m. at Momence Fire Department, 15 N. Pine in Momence, Ill.
Aug. 29 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Livingston County
Aug. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Legion Hall, 600 S. Fourth St. in Fairbury, Ill.
Aug. 20 from 2-6 p.m. at Saunemin Community Center, North Street in Saunemin, Ill.
Aug. 22 from 12-6 p.m. at Dwight Heritage Woods, 701 E. Mazon in Dwight, Ill.
Aug. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at VFW, 531 Lincoln Ave. in Pontiac, Ill.
Aug. 28 from 12-6 p.m. at Walton Centre, 100 W. Locust St. in Fairbury, Ill.

McLean County
Aug. 16 from 12-5 p.m. at Eastland Mall, 1615 E. Empire in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heritage Manor Evergreen Place, 801 Gregory St. in Normal, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at American Red Cross, 1 Westport Court in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 7-11:30 a.m. at Laborers Local 362, 2012 Fox Creek Road in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, 1510 N. Main St. in Normal, Ill.
Aug. 18 from 1-5 p.m. at Christian Church, 308 S. Vine St. in Heyworth, Ill.
Aug. 19 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1 Westport Court in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 19 from 1-6 p.m. at La Gondola Spaghetti House, 1501 E. Vernon Ave. in Bloomington, Ill.
Aug. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at OSF Medical Group on College Avenue, 1701 E. College Ave. in Bloomington, Ill.

94.1 FM, WGFA