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  • Parent Category: News

Illiana Expressway hits another setback

Kurt Erickson Lee Springfield Bureau

SPRINGFIELD | Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner said Tuesday he will suspend plans to build the Illiana Expressway in response to the budget plan approved by Democrats.

With the spending blueprint approved in the General Assembly last week more than $3 billion out of balance, the governor said he must begin taking steps now to prepare for the start of the fiscal year July 1.

The governor promised to shut down work on the Illiana Expressway -- a proposed toll road connecting Interstate 55 in Illinois with Interstate 65 in Indiana.

"In light of the state's current fiscal crisis and a lack of sufficient capital resources, the Illiana Expressway will not move forward at this time," the administration stated.

Indiana House Transportation Committee Chairman Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, said he received a memo from the Indiana Department of Transportation on Tuesday informing him that Illinois was indefinitely suspending work on the Illiana Expressway.

Soliday said Rauner and IDOT will come to rue the day they indefinitely suspended the project, because traffic volumes will steadily build on Interstate 80/94. He said that traffic will reach a choke point when the Panama Canal widening is done, sending huge volumes of truck traffic to Chicago as new mega-ships unload at coast ports.

"It's like an oil change with the Illiana," Soliday said. "It's either pay for it now or pay for it later. They'll just pay more later when they have to build it."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

American Red Cross encourages adding blood donation to vacation to-do lists

There are 100 days of summer and the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to choose their day to give blood and help ensure a sufficient blood supply.

Summer is a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs. Nearly 90 percent of donors surveyed this past spring said they planned to take a vacation this summer, potentially making them less available to give. In addition, many schools that host blood drives are out of session during the summer. But the need for blood donations is constant. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Donors of all blood types – especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative – are needed. The Red Cross must collect 15,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Ford County ---

Piper City
6/17/2015: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Piper City Community Building, 64 West Peoria Street

6/29/2015: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. John's Lutheran Church, 110 East Illinois Street

Iroquois County ---

6/16/2015: 12 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Ashkum Coliseum, 117 E Main St

6/29/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Chebanse Community Building, 185 Chestnut

6/18/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., St Martin, 108 N Adams

Kankakee County ---

6/18/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive
6/25/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive

6/29/2015: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Church of the Nazarene, 698 N Locust St

6/29/2015: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Momence Fire Department, 15 N Pine

Livingston County ---

6/30/2015: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 114 Mazon Avenue

6/24/2015: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 200 E. Maple Street

6/24/2015: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., VFW, 531 Lincoln Avenue

Vermilion County ---

6/29/2015: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., American Legion Post 384, 502 East Penn Street


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Bears cut back training camp schedule at Olivet

The Chicago Bears' summer training camp in Bourbonnais has been revised a bit. This year's summer camp will be later and shorter.

The Bears will conduct their annual summer training camp from July 29 through August 16 at Olivet Nazarene University. All practice sessions will begin in the morning. There will be a total of just 12 practices this summer.

The Bears will be under the direction of new head Coach John Fox and new General Manager Ryan Pace.

The Bears summer training camp at ONU returns for the 14th straight summer. Fans are still always welcome and parking is free.

The ONU campus features four practice fields, air-conditioned locker rooms and dining facilities, a weight room, meeting rooms and dorms for players and staff.

The Bears announced the team's first practice is at 9:35 am Thursday, July 30. They'll be in pads for the first time at 9:35 am Saturday, August 1. The team's final workout open to the public in Bourbonnais is scheduled for 9:35 am Sunday, August 16.

Of the 12 training camp practices, six will begin at 9:35 in the morning and six will start at 11:15 am.

The Bears will conduct their Family Fest practice at Soldier Field in Chicago at 11:35 am Saturday, August 8. Family Fest tickets cost $8 to $12 and will be available via Ticketmaster beginning June 12.

The training camp site on the Olivet Nazarene campus includes a kids' interactive area, a pro shop and a promotional area with games and prizes. In addition, the Bears will host special family-friendly events.

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  • Parent Category: News

Indiana crash injures Newton County woman

A traffic accident involving a motorist and a utility pole Sunday sent a Newton County woman to the Jasper County hospital.

Brook firefighters, Newton County EMS and Newton Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the accident site, just before 9:30 am, on State Road 55–just south of County Road 600 South.

Brook Fire chief Kyle Conrad reported the unidentified woman driving a pickup truck hit a pole head on. Conrad said the woman may have been sitting there for 30 minutes after the accident because he noticed a power interruption in Brook prior to discovering the accident. Conrad reported traffic on S.R. 55 is light due to a road closure at the Iroquois River bridge and firefighters suspect that may be what delayed discovery of the accident.

The woman was extricated from the truck. She was transported to Jasper County Hospital in Rensselaer by Newton County EMS.

The top portion of the pole was snapped off and hanging over the scene. S.R. 55 was closed pending arrival of Northern Indiana Public Service.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Lightning may have caused Morocco garage fire

Lightening from Saturday's weather is believed to be the cause of a garage fire in Newton County.

Brook Fire Chief Kyle Conrad said homeowner Rick Elijah was home at South 100 East Road during the fire, but didn't notice it until the garage was fully involved. The garage was to the ground when crews got to the scene.

Elijah said he heard a close lightning strike prior to discovering the fire Saturday afternoon.

The garage was uninsured. It and its contents are a total loss.

94.1 WGFA