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Ford County informational meeting Monday on proposed swine facility expansion

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has scheduled a meeting for 6 pm Monday (7/6) to provide information about a proposed expansion of a hog operation in Ford County.

The Steidinger swine facility northwest of Gibson City is looking to double its size. Colin and Clint Steidinger filed their application with the state in April. The application request would double the size of the current 24-hundred head facility.

Brad Beaver, program manager for the department's Livestock Management Facilities Program. said the informational meeting "will allow the public to learn what is being proposed and provide any comments they have about the facility and ask any questions they have about the operation."

The Ford County Board, within 30 days of the meeting, would then provide the state Ag department with its recommendation on whether the application meets the siting criteria.

The County Board's non-binding recommendation would then be acted on by the Agriculture department. The ag department will have the final say on whether to approve or deny the application, but Beaver stressed that the department usually strongly considers a county board's recommendation.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Dr. Rodney Alford joining IMH medical staff

Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka is announcing that Rodney Alford, M.D., Internal Medicine/Pediatric specialist, will begin seeing patients at the IMH Multi Specialty Physicians Clinic in early August.

Dr. Alford graduated from Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Illinois. He went on to complete his residency at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital (Cook County Hospital), Chicago.

He has served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois School of Medicine and is an Associate Professor at Loyola University – Stritch School of Medicine, Illinois. Dr. Alford is a Preceptor for The Primary Care Immersion Experience for Medical students at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, Illinois. He also is a preceptor for Nurse Practitioners at multiple universities including Purdue University, Olivet Nazarene University, and Governor's State University.

Dr. Alford is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of internal Medicine. He is a member, delegate, and trustee for 11 counties of the Illinois State Medical Society. Dr. Alford speaks Spanish as a second language.

He has won several awards, including: The 50 Most Positive Doctors of America, the National Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service, and the highest award for Public Service given to a U.S. Citizen, the Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis Award. Dr. Alford has been the recipient of the Damien Humanitarian Award of Loyola University, the Dr. Martin Luther King Service and Leadership Award of Loyola University Medical School, the PUSH – EXCEL Above and Beyond Award, as well as the NAACP Image Award for Medicine.

Dr. Alford's philosophy of care is: "Exceptional health care only exists when there is excellent communication between the patient and the entire team of health care providers. My goal of maintaining exceptional health care for my patients always involves providing education as the entire individual (Mind, Body, and Soul) is treated."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

IDOT Suspends Non-Emergency Road Work for Fourth of July Holiday Weekend

Lanes opened where possible to improve traffic flow ......

SPRINGFIELD – To improve traffic flow and reduce congestion for Fourth of July holiday travelers, the Illinois Department of Transportation today announced that non-emergency roadwork will be suspended, where possible, from 3 p.m., Thursday, July 2, until 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 6.

Lanes will be opened, where possible, but motorists should be alert as lane closures in some work zones will remain in effect. Please slow down, eliminate distractions and use extra caution while driving through all work zones. Work zone speed limits remain in effect where posted.

Here are some area lane closures that will remain in place this weekend:  {COURTESY IDOT}


• I-57, MP 297 to MP 283; Multiple projects, multiple work zones. One lane closed in each direction. Recommended alternate route is US 45.
• IL 1, north of US 24 in Watseka; bridge replacement. One lane open, controlled by signals.


• Long Point Road, just west of IL 23; bridge deck replacement. One lane open, controlled by signals.


• I-57, MP 310; replacing Kankakee River bridges. One lane open in each direction.


• The structure carrying US 136 over the Sangamon River near Fisher will narrow down to one lane with barrier wall in place. Traffic signals will be in use to direct traffic.


• Interstate 74 between US 150 (Martin Luther King) and IL 49 will narrow down to one lane in each direction. The bridge carrying Vermilion County Highway 10 at Oakwood over Interstate 74 will narrow down to one lane. Traffic signals will be in use to direct traffic.
• US 150 (Martin Luther King) between Oakwood and Interstate 74 over the Salt Fork Vermilion River next to Vermilion County Fairgrounds. US 150 will narrow down to one lane with barrier wall in place. Traffic signals will be in use to direct traffic.
• IL 119 near Alvin over the North Fork Vermilion River. IL 119 will narrow down to one lane with barrier wall in place. Traffic signals will be in use to direct traffic.


• Blodgett Road at I-55 is closed with a detour posted.
• Jackson St. Bridge over Des Plaines River in Joliet will be closed July 1-3 with a detour posted.
• US 30 from I-55 to the west frontage road in Plainfield will be reduced to one lane in each direction.


• Minooka Road Bridge is closed over I-80; bridge replacement, no detour is posted.
• Lisbon Road Bridge is closed over I-80; bridge replacement, no detour is posted.


• Business 55 / Veterans Parkway over Interstate 74 southwest of Bloomington. Northbound and southbound driving lanes on Business 55 are closed with barrier in place. Ramps from westbound I-74 to southbound I-55, westbound I-74 to northbound Business 55, eastbound I-74 to northbound Business 55 and southbound Business 55 to eastbound I-74 are closed. A marked traffic pattern is in use.
• Old US 66 will be closed between Funks Grove and McLean, a marked detour is in place utilizing Interstate 55.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Resource Center to aid flood victims in Kankakee County

The Kankakee County Emergency Management Agency is stepping up to organize a resource center to assist flood victims.

Several organizations will take part Thursday. It's sort of a one-stop shop. The resource center will be available from 8 am 'til 6 pm at the Kankakee Valley Park District RecCenter (the former Armory) on N. Indiana Avenue in Kankakee.

The American Red Cross, the Volunteer Organizations After Disasters group, the Kankakee County Farm Bureau, insurance agencies.... will all be among 20 organizations offering help. Some volunteer groups will be also be available for debris removal and other clean-up.

EMA director Chad Gessner said any photos of damaged structures would be helpful for assessments. Many farmers are yet to complete damage assessments of flooded fields.

Residents have reported up to 5 inches of water in their basements, and roads throughout the county have been closed. The Kankakee and Iroquois rivers are being monitored.

The areas most affected by flooding include Aroma Park, Momence, Limestone and rural Pembroke.

Emergency responders are warning people to obey barricades on closed roads. The Kankakee River is also closed to recreational activity until further notice. Gessner said Conservation Police have already ticketed intruders who had to be rescued from the fast-flowing river. A person nearly drowned last weekend while kayaking near Momence.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Flooded fields force decisions for farmers

The clock is ticking for area farmers as the June flooding has forced some farmers to make important decisions about planting.

June 5 was the planting date for corn. For soybeans, it was June 20. The 25-day late planting period for corn ends today (Tuesday).

At Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture, Dr. Michael Langemeier said for every day a farmer plants during those 25 days, they see a one percent reduction in crop insurance coverage.

"It doesn't sound like much. But for corn, if you're planting [Tuesday], you're looking at a 25 percent reduction in coverage. However, you still have some coverage," said Langemeier. "And that's important to keep in mind."

Agricultural experts said this month's heavy rains have already cost $300 million in crop losses.

Langemeier said farmers who haven't planted yet — or have crops that are in poor condition because of flooding — have options which may include planting, replanting or planting an alternative crop. He stressed the importance of talking with your insurance agent to determine the best option.

94.1 WGFA