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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

9-1-1 dispatchers praised; Iroquois County Board & FOP head to arbitration

While telecommunicators in 9-1-1 centers are being touted this week as 'heroes behind the scene,' their wages are an issue for the Iroquois County Board.

An arbitrator is the next step in ongoing negotiations between the county and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). The FOP represents the nine radio dispatchers employed by ICOM.

Contract negotiations with the dispatchers date back to July of 2014. That's when the ICOM Board started working on a new contract. Following the break-up of the former ICOM / 911 set-up by the past county board, negotiations resumed with the County Board in January of 2015.

A mediator met with the two sides 6-7 times over several months. Negotiations are now headed to arbitration.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz says telecommunicators are critical to every aspect of public safety. He said 'they hold one of the least visible, yet most stressful jobs in public safety.'

94.1 WGFA

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Watseka Fire Chief named 'Illinois Chief of the Year'

Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte is the Illinois Fire Chief of the Year.  The honor comes from the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

Mayotte will be officially honored at the Association Convention in East Peoria May 25-27th.  Mayotte has served as chief for 15 years.  He's a 30 -year veteran firefighter. In addition to his chief duties locally, he's a professional firefighter with the Tri-State Fire Protection District serving areas of Burr Ridge, Darien and DuPage County.

Mayotte said he's honored with the recognation and expresses his gratitude to his department members and the area firefighting units. "It takes good people and support from the all the departments," he said.  

Mayotte is also a trainer with the Illinois Fire Service.  

94.1 WGFA 

  • Parent Category: News

RP Lumber Company airs grievances with Watseka leaders

A proposed Watseka lumber yard was about ready to pull the plug on its plans to locate in the city after airing problems with efforts to ready its building and open for business.

RP Lumber's Jason Plummer told the City Council's Public Works committee (Tuesday night) the company has never had to jump thru so many hoops in prepping its plans to do business. Plummer was obviously disturbed and let the council hear about the many issues that slowed the company from opening in the former Kaper's Lumber yard business site, on Watseka's east side.

Plummer said a red flag Stop Work Order was recently put on the building.

Council members listened, asked questions and made it clear to Plummer and other RP Lumber reps they want to make it all work.

Aldermen John Allhands and Mike Marcier said it all sounds like "communication problems" between those officials handling building permits and approving work-orders.

Mayor Bob Harwood agreed, adding that the Stop Work order would be rescinded. The mayor said the two sides can certainly sit down and work together.

Those involved met with the city officials privately after the meeting. Progress was made to get the project back on track.

Plummer called Watseka "part of the heartland of America, this is the kind of place we want to be in and do business."

RP Lumber is located in several Midwest communities and has plans in the works to open facilities in several other towns. Plummer said the company should employ 8-10 people and generate up to $4 million in revenues.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee fire Injures 5, 22 displaced

Five people were hospitalized, including two children after a fire in Kankakee.

The fire broke out in the 800 block of West Station Street. One firefighter was injured but did not require hospitalization. Kankakee fire reports 22 people have been displaced, eight of them being children. A two-year-old and four-year-old injured in the fire were taken respectively to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Job Fair at DACC

The Career Connections Job Fair at Danville Area Community College (today) Wednesday invites the public to visit. The event is at the Mary Miller Gymnasium from 9 am ‘til 1 pm. More than 50 businesses will be represented. Visitors can meet with the employers who are recruiting for part-time and full-time positions. You should dress for an interview. The event is in conjunction with DACC’s Annual State University Transfer Day. Representatives from several Illinois universities will be on hand to discuss transfer options. The Job Fair is sponsored by Danville Area Community College’s Career & Employment Services Center. 94.1 WGFA