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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Suburban Kmarts On Chopping Block

Two stores in Chicago's suburbs are among the 28 additional Kmarts that Sears says will be closing. The store on W. 95th Street in Oak Lawn and the store on S. Route 83 in Elmhurst will close as the company struggles to stay afloat amid pressure from online retailers. The 28 closings announced are in addition to the 150 Sears and Kmart closings announced earlier this year and the 180 stores actually closed this year.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Unemployment drops in Kankakee County, rises in Iroquois & Vermilion

New numbers from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show Kankakee County’s unemployment rate was lowered from a year ago. The July figure was at 5.4%... down from 6.2% in July of 2016. The report shows 800 new jobs were created.

In Iroquois County the July jobless rate of 4.2 percent was up a tenth of a percent from June.

In Vermilion County, unemployment increased in July. However, the 7.1 % t rate is up only slightly from June’s 6.8 percent figure. And the county’s unemployment rate is down two-tenths of a percent from where it stood a year ago.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says Champaign County’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Presence Health merging with AMITA Health

The struggling Presence Health is making a move, merging with AMITA Health. Presence Health is the parent company of Presence St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Joliet, and Covenant Hospital in Urbana. AMITA will assume all operational losses. And the hospitals are expected to remain operational.

AMITA will become the largest health care group in the state of Illinois – with 19 hospitals.

A non-binding letter of intent was signed Tuesday. The pending deal means Chicago-based Presence Health is joining Ascension, a St. Louis-based Catholic health care system, to become part of AMITA HEALTH – which is a joint venture of Ascension’s Alexian Brothers Health System and Adventist Midwest Health.

AMITA Health operates six acute-care hospitals in the Chicago-land area.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

10 years for Milford man in beating death

A Milford man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison in connection with the beating death of another man two years ago.

In Iroquois Circuit Court ... 54-yr-ol d Danny R. Murphy earlier pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a Class 3 felony. It was part of plea agreement negotiated with the Iroquois County State’s Attorney’s Office. Two counts of first-degree murder were dismissed.

Murphy allegedly caused fatal injuries to 48-year-old Milford resident David C. Garrett during an altercation at a Milford home on the evening of April 7, 2015. At the time, Murphy was on parole for robbery and false impersonation of a police officer.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka Fire Chief stepping aside after 16 years

An issue over ‘secondary employment’ is forcing Watseka Fire Chief Dave Mayotte to give up a job he loves. Mayotte has informed the City Council he is resigning as fire chief.

The issue is, Mayotte is a professional, career firefighter working with the Tri-State Fire Protection District in suburban Darien (IL). Union rules, according to a letter from the Tri-State District, prohibit members from having secondary employment in firefighting duties.

Mayotte’s argument before the Tri-State trustees was based on the premise that he’s not an active, ‘boots-on-the ground’ active firefighter for Watseka, but instead a chief in command situations. But the argument was declined, forcing Mayotte’s resignation in his Watseka position......

"I was planning on four more years; I'm not looking to leave...but sometimes your fulltime jobs dictates what you have to do," Mayotte said.  "I don't agree what they're (Tri-State) doing.  It's wrong and it's going to hurt a lot of volunteer fire districts in the state of Illinois.  It's an issue of trying to fight 'city hall' and it's not worth it."

Mayotte has been with the Watseka fire department for 30 years, 16 as chief. The many, good experiences are often difficult to talk about. But Mayotte thanks the City Council, present and past administrations, and the neighboring, dedicated firemen who’ve made this all a family affair........

"This has been a fun job.  I love helping the people of Watseka and the area..I've loved the relationships with area departments.  I love being a firefighter," Mayotte added.

Mayotte plans to remain in an administrative position to assist in the transition to a new Watseka fire chief.

94.1 WGFA