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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Bennett runs away with 106th House race

Gibson City resident Tom Bennett won easily in the Illinois House race for the 106th district Tuesday. Bennett garnered 21,850 votes to Democrat Bill Nutter's 5,160. The republican Bennett is one of many GOP candidates now celebrating mid-term election victories.

The 106th district includes Iroquois and Ford counties and parts of Livingston, Vermilion and Woodford counties in east-central Illinois.

Bennett was appointed the seat by Republican leaders from the counties when current State Rep Josh Harms of Watseka withdrew from the ballot for personal reasons, after winning a re-election bid in the spring primary.

Bennett wants to work toward improving the Illinois job climate.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County office-holders win unopposed races

Voters in Iroquois County gave a vote of trust to current office-holders in Tuesday's election.

County Clerk Lisa Fancher won re-election with 8,740 votes. Sheriff Derek Hagen earned 8,621 votes. Treasurer Mindy Kuntz Hagan had 8,568. All are Republicans.

Iroquois-Kankakee regional School Superintendent Gregg Murphy also won another term with 7,538 votes in Iroquois County. The Kankakee vote count was un-available.

Iroquois County Board candidates were also unopposed winners in Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Board re-organizes in December and will vote on a new chairman.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Election turnout ‘great,’ GOP wins big

Area county clerks are reporting 50% and greater voter turnout form Tuesday's mid-term election. Even Iroquois County, with no contested local races, recorded a 52% voter turnout.

"There was so much publicity and advertising about the importance of the election. I think that generated voter interest," Iroquois County Clerk Lisa Fancher said.

Iroquois County had referenda questions in Sheldon and the Crescent-Iroquois school district. Both were defeated. All other county office-holders were un-opposed.

Kankakee County had all sorts of contested matters, county board races and referenda questions.

Voter turnout in Kankakee County was 56%. Ford County and Livingston County turnout came in at 52 and 53%, respectively.

Bruce Rauner was the announced-winner in the Illinois Governor's race. Rauner's victory led the way for several GOP victories across Illinois and the country. Republicans will be in control of the U-S senate when the new Congress convenes in January.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Fire Chiefs say ‘leave the 9-1-1 Board alone’

Iroquois County fire chiefs are on record, telling the Iroquois County Board not to reduce the size of the 9-1-1 governing board.

A letter to county board members finds the fire chiefs standing behind the size of the 12-member board and 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble. The fire chiefs insist, the county board is being misinformed about the operations and the director.

The fire chiefs and other emergency responders take exception, in that the decision-makers aren't talking to those who make the system work. The emergency family encourages county board members to talk to the coordinator, talk to 9-1-1 board members, and talk to the fire chiefs before voting to reduce the size of the 9-1-1 board. The fire chiefs would appreciate an informed decision.

Reducing the size of the 9-1-1 Board, emergency responders say, woule mean a loss of expert input.  The board make-up allows for expertise communication from several disciplines. Decreasing the board would limit the expertise. and be a great detriment to emergency communications.

The fire chiefs, police personnel and ambulance personnel also say 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble has done a great job overseeing the service. The letter to the county board membewrs says Dubble has maintained and updated equipment when needed and does an excellent job keeping emergency response agencies informed about changes affecting operations.  The fire chiefs letter also states Dubble has done a great job with personnel and the dispatch center.

The fire chiefs insist the size of the 9-1-1 Board needs to be kept at its current 12 members. The misinformation, the letter states, is misguided and misinforming the decision-makers.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Combines sweep 1,000 acres to help Schaumburg family

WATSEKA -- Sixteen combines and some 100 area farmers and friends came to the aid of an Iroquois County farm family Saturday.

It was just another familiar act of what farm families do to help each other.

And friends of the Clint and Jolyn Schaumburg family can't say 'Thank You' enough.

It was a farm community stepping up.

"It was just outstanding. The farm community really came together," Alissa Stevens, a friend of the family said. "They cleaned up the field in just a few hours. This is what Clint and Jolynn would do for anyone."

Farm combines and wagons brought in the grain for the stricken-family that has much more important things to deal with right now.

Clint & Jolyn's son, Hayden, remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Loyola Medical Center. Hayden suffered a broken neck in a recent high school football game (Oct 17). The 16-year-old is recovering. While the family is occupied with medical concerns, the farm community's playbook took control. The equipment and players lined up in formation (Saturday) at 7 am. And by 3 pm the field was cleared.

Shawn Peters, a friend of the Schaumburg family, said the rush was on; no one was going to stop this group from reaching the goal line.

"These guys picked between 900 and 1000 acres. It was just amazing," Peters told WGFA News.

And the "Prayers for Hayden" support group has expanded well beyond the local Watseka community. Schools from all over, from Central, Iroquois West, Milford and Manteno, PBL and even St. Joe-Ogden and Tuscola have pooled donations from 50/50 raffles and extended the donations to the Schaumburg family.

94.1 WGFA