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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Gibson Area Hospital introduces new maternity unit

                    DeWall trust paves the way toward future


Gibson Area Hospital opened its new obstetrics unit, courtesy of an endowment from a trust set up by the late Earl and Laura DeWall of Gibson City.

The DeWall Maternity Unit was built in a 13,000-square-foot area on the hospital's second floor. The area includes 10,000 square feet of space above the emergency department that had gone unused for the past seven years, plus a recently built 3,000-square-foot second-floor addition.

The new OB unit features five private LDRP rooms (for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum).
Hospital CEO Rob Schmitt says the hospital's OB facilities are on par with new maternity units at other hospitals in East Central Illinois. And the new facility has already served more than a handful of new moms.

The old OB unit had been the only remaining inpatient care unit in the original 1952 hospital building.
Also opening in the past week was a new surgery inpatient unit.

Both new units were part of a 16,000-square-foot renovation that began in 2012 under the appropriately named "Project 2012." The $5 million project was paid for, in part, by a multi-million-dollar endowment from a trust set up by the late Earl and Laura DeWall of Gibson City.

The name of the new OB unit — the DeWall Maternity Unit — and the photo of the DeWalls is prominently displayed in its lobby.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ashkum, Clifton village boards OK 9-1-1 contracts

Trustees in Ashkum and Clifton approved new contracts with the Iroquois County 9-1-1 Board this week. The respective village boards signed their contracts with the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB) for emergency communication dispatch service.

The Ashkum Board's agreement is for an annual fee of $1,200 dollars. The Clifton contract is for $1,800 dollars.

The village fees and police department fees are based on an annual review of the amount of communication services provided a year earlier by the 9-1-1 board.

The two communities and others and fire and police departments had received two different bills. That was because the Iroquois County Board also mailed out its own contract proposal, when the County Board was looking to take control and management of the emergency 9-1-1 system.

The county board's medaling in the emergency dispatch operations didn't go over well with the veteran members of the 9-1-1 Board. Several emergency responders voiced strong-concern of county board political control of emergency situations that first-responders say, they have more expertise about.

The Clifton-Advocate reports this week (Thursday) Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn told his village trustees former County Board Chairman Rod Copas directed the county board in cutting the size of the ETSB Board from 12 to six members, replacing veteran ETSB board members including himself, with loyal county board members who supported Copas' agenda.

Glenn said "I served on the 9-1-1 board since 1999 and politics has never been involved...until now." Glenn said the secret Copas plan to take over dispatching service seemed to go away when Copas resigned as County Board Chairman in mid-November.

Ashkum village trustee Ed Tholen said "it sounded like a power grab that didn't work."

Ashkum and Clifton area county board members Lyle Behrends, Kevin Hansen and Dan Rayman were all supporters of Copas.

Other village and city governments and fire and police agencies are in the process of approving their own dispatch contracts with the ETSB-911 Board.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Route 102 accident injures three teens

Illinois State Police were on the scene of a crash Wednesday that injured three teenagers. The accident was on Route 102 at Rivals Road.

Initial reports indicated the 17-year-old driver of a car pulled into the path of a truck. Two other teens in the car were treated for minor injuries. The truck driver was not hurt.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Herscher fire guts Pizza Stone

Officials in Herscher are looking for the cause of an overnight fire that hit the Pizza Stone business. Damage estimates were not immediately available. The Main Street business sustained quite a bit of damage. A business-associate said no one was injured. There was no report of damage to any neighboring structures.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Rep.Bennett will reamain on Parkland College Board

Newly-elected state representative Tom Bennett plans to remain a member of the Parkland College Board of Trustees.

Bennett is Chairman of the Parkland Board of Trustees. He said he plans to serve the board but will step aside as chairman. Bennett said how the next chairman will be chosen isn't known right now.

Bennett also said any state legislation impacting Parkland will find him reviewing each matter and he may abstain his vote to avoid conflict.

The Gibson City resident was elected last month to represent east-central Illinois in the 106th District. He replaces Watseka resident Josh Harms, who withdrew from the election after winning the primary election in March.

The 106th represents Ford and Iroquois county, and parts of Livingston, Vermilion and Woodford counties.


94.1 WGFA