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Watseka Resource Center to offer help for flood victims

A one-stop resource center to assist flood victims will be open in Watseka Friday. The Trinity Church on E. Walnut Street is where several agencies will set up shop from 10 am 'til 7 pm.  Citizens are invited to stop for assistance.  No appointment is needed.

Meanwhile -- Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency personnel are operating a call-center from 11 am 'til 7 pm.  Assistance with damage assessments is available.

The City of Watseka also announcing a team of volunteers from the Lutheran Disaster relief Program will visit town Saturday.  The volunteer groups will offer help those in need that are cleaning up basements or garages from the flood. Those in need of help can today (Thursday) 815-432-6997 from 11 am until 7 pm.  A scheduled-appointment will be made.  This is a one-time event Saturday.

The City of Watsek also has flood clean-up tips.  Visit the Watseka Facebook page or the website at www.watsekacity.org

94.1 WGFA




  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee County sheriff's squad car broken into, AR-15 and ammo stolen

Law enforcement authorities in Kankakee County are asking for the public's help in solving a burglary involving a squad car. A marked Kankakee County sheriff's squad was broken into during the overnight hours Wednesday (January 6). The person responsible stole an AR-15 firearm, ammunition and a bulletproof vest.

The vehicle's passenger side window had been broken and the squad car ransacked. This was in the area of South Wall and W. Water Streets.

The semi-automatic rifle was concealed inside a gun vault in the back of the vehicle.

CRIMESTOPPERS welcomes any calls about the crime. Call 815-932-7463.

Federal authorities have been notified about the burglary.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Police investigate shootings

The new year already has Kankakee Police investigating shootings. Investigators say a couple of incidents happened Monday night, within an hour of each other.

North West Avenue is where police found spent-casings. Two juveniles were seen running from the scene. More shots were fired on S. Harrison Avenue. A car was discovered with holes in the trunk. No arrests were made. Police also said shots were fired on New Year's Eve on E. Chestnut Street.

94.1 WGFA

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Kankakee eyes downtown hi-rise apartment building

The southwest corner of Merchant Street and Dearborn Avenue in downtown Kankakee is where city officials hope a developer will build a multi-unit apartment complex.

A nonprofit development company based in Rock Island is looking to build and hoped to break ground as soon as next year.

Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein announced the project at the Kankakee City Council meeting Monday.

The Daily-Journal reports the building will consist of several dozen studio and one-bedroom apartments. It would offer "affordable housing," not subsidized housing.

2nd Ward Alderman Mike O'Brien said 'this may not be for everyone, but downtown Kankakee is the place to be for a lot of people.'

O'Brien labeled downtown as the "heart of our community." He noted private business, the city government and the Kankakee Development Corporation helped create a solid foundation during the past 25 years.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Harold Wilken named Sustainable Farmer-of- the-Year


A central Illinois farmer is this year's Sustainable Agriculture Award winner in Illinois. Harold Wilken farms more than 2,000 acres near Danforth in Iroquois County.

He started as a conventional farmer but has been farming organically for eleven years now. Wilken says he still rotates corn, beans, and wheat or oats. But, he mixes it up. Some years the corn is popcorn. The beans may be black turtle beans or clear-hilum beans for tofu.

"We use small grains, legumes, and corn. We confuse the pests. Because in a corn and soybean rotation or corn on corn, they pretty well know what the pattern is."

Wheat may go in the spring or the fall. He also uses pumpkins and ancient grains to fill out the mix of crops.
He says it takes more marketing and business work to farm organic and find outlets for his crops, but it's also less expensive to produce the raw crop than it is for conventional farmers.

"They're talkin about 400 to 500 dollars an acre just in the input costs like the nitrogen, herbicide, and insecticide, those kinds of things that we don't use. We're somewhere between a third to a half on input costs."

And he says prices for some of his crops exceed those of corn and feed beans. His fuel costs are higher than conventional farmers though, because he's making more trips through the fields.

He says the non-monetary benefits of organic farming are the most important to him. More eyes and hands are needed on a diverse, organic operation and Wilken says he has brought in his son and nephew in, who would not be farming if he had a conventional operation.

94.1 WGFA