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Iroquois County Board Creates New Position, Hires a CPA

WATSEKA ---  An Iroquois County board member is questioning the conservative values of board members following a 22-2 vote Tuesday to create a $65,000 job.

Jim McCray of Claytonville and Brett Schmid of Gilman cast the only NO votes following an executive session to discuss the hiring of Anita Speckman, a CPA from Clifton, who supporters claim will help provide a better picture of county finances.

The board hired the Certified Public Accountant to help project a better understanding of the budget operations, which some board members claim has become too complicated for part-time members.

McCray said “we’ve had a hiring freeze in place to make sure everyone stayed within their line-items.  Elected officials have asked to replace people who’ve left and we make sure any hires are within the budget..”

McCray said the county board, on the other hand, doesn’t even look at the budget first to see where we get the money for this hire.  He said “we instead do exactly what we tell elected officials not to do.  It’s completely against everything we’ve been preaching the last three years.”

Read more: Iroquois County Board Creates New Position, Hires a CPA

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Earl Park, IN House Fire, no injury

 A house fire in rural Earl Park did substantial damage in Benton County Monday evening.  Fire officials answered the call to 7196 State Road 71.

Firefighters say the fire started around 5 p.m. and was extinguished.  But the flames rekindled and firemen were called back at around 9 p.m.  Investigators said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  No one was injured.


94.1 FM, WGFA

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President Declares Disaster for Indiana

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Indiana to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes.

Federal funding will be available to affected individuals in the counties of Clark, Jefferson, Ripley, Scott, Warrick, and Washington.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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FEMA Denies Tornado Aid for Harrisburg, Southern IL Illinois

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois' senators and Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday sharply criticized a decision by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deny disaster aid to southern Illinois counties ravaged by tornadoes and said they would seek to reverse the ruling.

"After personally surveying the damage and talking to many residents who lost their homes, I firmly believe federal assistance is crucial to help them begin the recovery process," Quinn said Sunday in a statement.

A powerful Feb. 29 tornado left seven people dead in the southern Illinois community of Harrisburg, part of a series of damaging storms that swept the area Feb. 29 through March 2.

Quinn's office on Thursday had sought a major disaster declaration for the state and assistance for Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.

Read more: FEMA Denies Tornado Aid for Harrisburg, Southern IL Illinois

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Illini Collapse Complete, Snubbed by NIT

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- The same collapse that cost Bruce Weber his job will keep Illinois out of the postseason.

Illinois (17-15, 6-12 Big Ten) was left out of the NIT on Sunday. Athletic Director Mike Thomas said after he fired Weber on Friday that the Illini wouldn't be part of the lower-level College Basketball Invitational or collegeinsider.com tournaments.

Weber was fired after his team collapsed over the season's final six weeks.

Some Illinois players reportedly wanted to skip the NIT even if Illinois had gotten a bid.

The snub completed a collapse in which Illinois sank from a likely NCAA tournament bid in mid-January. But after beating then-No. 5 Ohio State, the Illini lost 12 of 14.

This is the second year in the last five that Illinois has missed the postseason altogether.