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  • Parent Category: News

FAA: businessmen, coach among plane crash fatalities

Family members have identified at least two of the victims killed in a plane crash in McLean County. Seven people were killed when a C414A Cessna Chancellor crashed outside the Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) at Bloomington.

Among the people onboard, on its way back from Indianapolis to Bloomington, were Pub II co-owner Terry Stralow and Scott Bittner, longtime owner of Eureka's Bittner's Locker. Also aboard was Illinois State assistant basketball coach Torrey Ward, according to the Bloomington Pantagraph.

At a press conference today (Tues), officials could not speculate on the cause of the crash that killed seven people as it approached the CIRA runway.

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage could not speculate as to whether dense fog played a part in the crash of the aircraft designed to hold up to ten passengers.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the deaths. The crash occurred as the occupants were returning to Central Illinois Regional Airport from Indianapolis, site of Monday night's NCAA title game.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Plane crash near Bloomington kills seven

The Federal Aviation Administration is confirming the deaths of up to seven people in a plane crash near Bloomington. A noon press conference is scheduled.

The crash occurred east of Bloomington as the occupants were returning to Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) from Indianapolis, site of Monday night's NCAA title game.

FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators were enroute to the crash scene. The aircraft is to be towed to a secured hanger at CIRA for the investigation.

Reports stated Scott Bittner, longtime owner of Eureka's Bittner's Locker, was on the twin engine C414A Cessna Chancellor that belonged to his father, Terry Bittner. Terry Bittner was not aboard.

According to the National Weather Service, visibility at ground level was one-half mile to a mile at ground level and 200 feet above ground in the area at the time of the crash between 3 and 3:30 am. A NWS meteorologist said there was dense fog starting around 10 pm. but no storms.

Rescue crews and the McLean County Coroner's office have been at the scene since early morning. The McLean County Sheriff's Office said the plane was located in a field near Illinois 9 and 2100 East.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Election Day Tuesday, exercise your right & vote

Local voters head to the polls today (Tues 4/7) for Illinois' Consolidated election. Polls are open from 6 am 'til 7 pm.

Iroquois County results from contested-races will be covered on 94.1 WGFA, beginning just after the polls close.

There are contested races in select cities/towns ranging from mayoral/village presidents to aldermanic/trustee contests. There is also a variety of park district, school board, and some fire district trustee contests.

Referendum questions also ask voters Yes or No on tax increase issues to support schools and police protection.
Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark invites the public to follow results on the clerk office website www.kankakeecountyclerk.com

Trustee seats are challenged in Bradley and Bourbonnais. Six candidates are seeking seats in Bradley. Three incumbents are seeking re-election. In Bourbonnais, seven candidates, including three incumbents, are running for three open seats.

Aldermanic races are on the City of Kankakee ballot. The 3rd and 6th wards offer voters a choice.

Kankakee County also has contested-races for school board seats in Kankakee, Manteno, and Herscher.

Iroquois County school board races are in Central Unit #4, Cissna Park Unit #6, Watseka Unit #9 and Tri-Point district 6-J.

Parkland Community College District trustees are on the ballot; three after two seats.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Municipal races in Tuesday’s Iroquois County Election

Polls are open Tuesday (4/7) at 6 am for Illinois' Consolidated Election. Iroquois County has contested-races at the municipal level of government. There's also school board races, junior-college trustee contests, and referendums on the ballot.

The City of Gilman has aldermanic races in three wards. five candidates are after three seats in Loda, Onarga has a six-person race for three trustee seats. The Village of Sheldon offers voters a choice of five people for 3 available trustee seats. Woodland has a 4-person race for three seats.

The Crescent-Iroquois Fire District finds two candidates after a single trustee seat.

Three referenda questions are on the Iroquois ballot. School tax issues go before voters in Milford and Crescent City. And the Village of Sheldon will ask voters Yes or No for a tax increase for police protection.

Several school districts have contested races for school board representation.

Polls are open until 7 pm.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka man acquitted of sex charge in Iroquois County

An Iroquois County jury Friday cleared a man of a 2013 sex charge involving a six-year-old child. 57-year-old Jim Walton was found not guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault. The same jurors were left hanging on a second Class 2 felony charge of criminal sexual abuse involving a 9-year-old girl. The hung jury may result in a new trial.

The 3-day trial ended Friday night in Iroquois County.

Walton was arrested in 2013 accused of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a then 8-year-old girl. A DCFS investigation brought more allegations involving a 4-year-old boy. Both children testified during the trial. The jury's ruling favored the defendant.

The young children, the alleged victims, offered the stories in court.

April 14th the two sides are back in court to decide whether a new trial will be pursued.

94.1 WGFA