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Illinois: Township government costly

Illinois lawmakers are pushing to give one of the most highly taxed counties in the state the ability to cut their property tax bills through consolidation.

The state has more than 1,400 township districts. Each one is able to tax local residents for services. State Rep. Dave McSweeney says there is little need for them in highly populated places like McHenry County, where the taxing bodies often overlap and send property tax bills soaring.

His new legislation would make it easier for voters there to get a question on the ballot asking to consolidate a township.

Bryan Smith with the Township Officials of Illinois says townships are often the cheapest method of delivery for some services.

Illinois has 1,800 more units of government than any other state.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Samantha Hasselbring crowned Miss Illinois County Fair Queen 2018

Miss Iroquois County Fair Queen, Samantha Hasselbring, will reign over 2018 Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs.

The 19-year-old from Cissna Park was crowned the 59th Miss Illinois County Fair Queen at the state Convention in Springfield Sunday.

The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs (IAAF) held its 108th annual convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield.

One of the highlights of the annual event is the Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant, held Jan. 21. The event also includes the IAAF Talent Show, featuring winners from individual county fairs.

Miss Hasselbring will now become a summer employee of the Department of Agriculture. She’ll travel to some 30 plus county fairs and will be the official hostess of the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and the DuQuoin State Fair. As queen, Hasselbring’s main duty is to emphasize the importance of agriculture and county fairs to Illinois.

Samantha was crowned the 59th Miss Illinois County Fair queen. Hasselbring represented Iroquois County at the 108th Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Convention Sunday

“The feeling is indescribable,” said Hasselbring, after being crowned. “ You never think it’s going to happen. It’s a dream come true.”

Hasselbring grew up on a family farm where her father raises cattle and her mother is a teacher. Her goal as the 2018 Illinois County Fair queen is to be a voice for agriculture.

“I want to show how important agriculture is,” she said. “ I’m the first from my county to be the county fair queen. I’m so proud to say I’m from Iroquois County.”

Samantha is the daughter of Troy and Lynn Hasselbring. She’s a 2016 graduate of Cissna Park High School. She’s attending Millikin University majoring in elementary education.

Kylar Craig of Richland County was named the first runner up, Emily Kuberski of Perry County, was named the second runner up, Meg Meeker of Logan County, was named third runner up, and Heather Simpson of Georgetown Fair in Vermillion County, was named 4th runner up. Also competing was Ford County Fair Queen Kelsey Vaughn of Paxton.


Earlier at the IAAF annual convention, Talent Show winners were chosen. First place in the senior division went to Corey Barlow of McHenry County for a vocal solo; second place to Madalyn Schmitt of Ford County; third place to Lexi Bergschneider of Sangamon County; fourth place to Jenna Zumbahlen of Jasper County and fifth place to Megan Schippert of Iroquois County.

In the Junior Division Talent Show competition, first place went to Meara Seelbach, Laney Teeter and Eliana Wilson of Sangamon County for a dance routine; second place to Lilly Nowak of DuPage County; third place to Olivia Novak and Karissa Brown of Kendall County; fourth place to Scarlet Potter of Morgan County and fifth place to Jaycee Bates of Scott County.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Mason Steiner Benefit Saturday in Hoopeston

                                           2-year-old preps for kidney surgery...

Young two-year-old Mason Steiner is getting The Gift of Life. And aunt Cheryl is more than willing to help – with a smile.

Mason is your typical little 2-year-old boy. Only he has to undergo daily 10-hour dialysis treatments. The East Lynn resident is in need of a kidney transplant. Mason is diagnosed with Bilateral Renal Dysplasia – a condition requiring the transplant to improve his quality of life and preserve his young life.

January 31st is the date for the kidney transplant. And Mason’s aunt, Cheryl Steiner of East Lynn, will donate a kidney to her nephew. Just the second person to be tested, Cheryl was the perfect match.

Mason’s mom and dad, Holly & Karl, anyone can imagine, are so thankful.

The community is rallying too. Local folks, friends and church family are working with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. A community fundraiser for Mason is Saturday (Jan 20). All proceeds benefit the medical needs for Mason and Cheryl’s transplant.

The fundraiser is at the Hoopeston VFW Saturday 4-11 pm. Soup & Sandwich Meal, free-will donation serves from 4-7:30 pm A Silent Auction and Bake Sale is included. Entertainment from 7:30 ‘til 11 pm with a $5 cover.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Manteno fire destroys barn, kills horses, goats

A barn fire two miles east of Manteno Monday killed four horses and three goats. Manteno Chief Scott O'Brien reports the cause is still under investigation. Damage estimates were un-available.

Flames were shooting out of the roof when firemen arrived just before 6:30 pm.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Garage fire in rural Iroquois County

Martinton firefighters had help from seven other departments Thursday battling a 3-car garage fire along the Iroquois River.

John Torres and his wife were not injured when their garage went up in flames along Oak Acres Drive, east of the Iroquois River. The couple had just backed their vehicle into the structure and unloaded groceries when they heard something like an explosion...about 12:40 pm.

Martinton Fire Chief Jeff Meyer said the approximate 24 x 60 foot structure was engulfed when firemen arrived. Meyer said it was the car that caused the fire. The garage and vehicles were a total loss. No injury. The couple’s house, about 15-feet to the north, was spared.

Mutual aid had several departments hauling water to the site, including Ashkumj, Papineau, Crescent –Iroquois, Danforth, Chebanse Township, and St. Anne. Aroma Park Fire provided back-up at the Martinton fire station.

94.1 wgfa