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Illinois honor: “Firefighter Dana Schoolman Memorial Highway”

    Senate passes Barickman’s legislation to honor fallen firefighter

Springfield – Illinois is one step closer to honoring the dedication and sacrifice of a firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty 30 years ago, thanks to legislation sponsored by State Sen. or Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and adopted by the Illinois Senate May 10.

“It’s important that we remember and honor those who sacrificed all for our safety,” said Sen. Barickman. “I hope this memorial and Dana’s memory will continue to inspire future generations.”

Dana Schoolman was a volunteer firefighter with the Ashkum Township Fire Protection District for six years. Schoolman was killed in an accident while responding to a medical emergency call on Nov. 6, 1988. He was 31 years old and was survived by his wife, Anne, and two children.

Senate Joint Resolution 8 designates the section of U.S. Route 45 from Illinois State Route 116 to Iroquois County Road 2400 North as the “Firefighter Dana Schoolman Memorial Highway” and directs the Illinois Department of Transportation to place signs denoting it as such.

“November 6 will be the 30th anniversary of his death, so it’s really nice to see this finally moving forward. The Senator and his staff have been amazing, we couldn’t have done this without them,” said Anne Schoolman. “My children and I are so proud of Dana and I’m so glad that he’s finally being recognized for his total sacrifice.”

Senate Joint Resolution 8 is now headed to the Illinois House for consideration in that chamber.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

SBA Outreach Centers opening in Watseka, Kankakee

Flood victims can begin seeking government help this weekend and continuing next week in Iroquois and Kankakee County. Vermilion County will also get SBA support.

The U.S. Small Business Administration announces its Disaster Loan Outreach Centers (DLOC’s) will allow for applications to be submitted. The SBA will help citizens and businesses, affected by the February floods and stormy weather in March, recover from their setbacks.

The Outreach Centers will be open in Watseka, Aroma Park and Danville. Saturday hours are 10 am ‘til 2 pm. Hours next week are 9 am ‘til 6 pm Monday – Thursday. Friday hours 9 am - 4 pm.

The Iroquois County Outreach Center is at the Watseka Union Depot on S. 2nd Street.

Kankakee County has help at the Aroma Park Fire Station #1 on S. Bridge Street.

Vermilion County’s center is at the Administration Building at 201 N. Vermilion Street.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

National Police Week

Law enforcement officials gather today (Friday) at the Kankakee County Courthouse for National Police Week recognition. A week of remembering and saluting police officers begins Sunday.

Several police agencies will participate in today’s event on the north lawn of the courthouse. The program begins at 11 am. The public is welcome.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

ICE program eyeing Newton County, IN

A multi-national operator of prisons and detention facilities, turned away in Gary, IN, is now looking at Newton County.

The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) needs access to the Chicag0-land area and is looking at property near Roselawn, IN. The NW Times reports the ICE detainee program is interested in building an 800-bed facility.

It’s only exploratory. No solid plans have unfolded. Newton County Commissioners earlier (in March) rezoned 46 acres of land at Roselawn as a PGD (Public Government District).

The GEO Group was turned away from Gary, IN two years ago.

The ICE program is what Kankakee County has with the Rent-A-Bed program at the Jerome Combs Detention Center. It generates thousands of dollars per month in revenue.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Gilman fire destroys building, clean-up now underway

A huge, threatening fire in Gilman (Wednesday) destroyed one building, damaged a couple more and had emergency responders on edge for a while. No injuries resulted. But now the Iroquois County town is forced to clean-up.

Strong winds made fighting the flames difficult. Then, came threatening weather.

This was at the intersection of North Central and 2nd Street in Gilman. The fire broke out after 2 pm. And soon, several area fire departments were responding.
The building, an old lumberyard, was made of steel. Fire crews had a tough time gaining access.

Smoke, thick black smoke billowed. It could be seen for miles.

For almost three hours, crews were dousing the flames that destroyed the old lumberyard building. A family lived inside got out safely. People were evacuated from businesses and the Gilman Elementary School sent students to the high school.

The popular Garage – a community center, next door was damaged.

The cause was not immediately determined.

94.1 WGFA