facebook-logo twitter-logo


Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Christmas Tree Lane in Watseka

The 47th Annual Christmas Tree Lane is this weekend in Watseka. Decorated Christmas trees make up this year's theme...."Winter Wonderland".... at the Old Courthouse Museum.

Several groups and individuals were invited to decorate their tree over the last few weeks. Judging is today (Saturday), holiday festivities begin at 1 pm.

Refreshments will be served in the Victorian Room at the Courthouse on Cherry Street.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Peddinghaus in Bradley lays off 55 employees

Sluggish international sales is to blame for lay-offs at Peddinghaus Corporation in Bradley The company announced this week 55 of its approximate 300 workers are to be let go. A company spokesman said "should economic conditions improve, these people could be brought back."

Peddinghaus produces specialty-machines and tools used in fabrication.

Domestic demand for the company's product remains strong, but it's been slow in other countries including Russia, China and Brazil.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Update: Forrest man killed in Ford County crash on U-S 24

A two-vehicle crash Thursday evening in Ford County killed on person and injured another. It happened at the Ford-Iroquois County line, near Piper City.

Pronounced dead at the scene was 48-year-old Michael Cline of Forrest (IL).

District 21 State Police investigated at the intersection of U.S. 24 and County Road 1550 E.

Police reported Cline's car was eastbound and crossed the centerline, colliding with a car driven by 21-year-old Troy Bailey Jr.of Pekin. Bailey was westbound.

Bailey was treated for minor injuries.

Route 24 traffic was hut down for about three hours. The accident occurred just before 5:30 pm.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

KCC proposing tax hike to remedy state shortfall

Illinois' budget problem has pushed the Kankakee Community College Board to pursue a tax increase to make up the lack of money flowing from state officials. The KCC Board will conduct a public hearing on the tax levy at its 5 pm meeting December 14th.

The tax hike of $375,000...it's been reported... would generate about $10.7 million to bolster the $25 million operation budget. The KCC property tax hike follows the $1.6 million tax increase approved this week (Monday) by the Kankakee County Board.

KCC president John Avendano told WGFA News last week "this situation is not unique to KCC. Several community college districts are in the same boat.

"We try to take whatever steps we can to provide quality, affordable education," college president John Avendano said. "This is a unique year."

Avandana said "we don't want to be in this situation. We have to find a way to balance this out."

While Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan continue their budget battle, community colleges across the state are feeling the effect.

Enrollments are down, and fewer students means less tuition reimbursement.

In these past 10 years, the state's support has dwindled from 40 percent funding to 23 percent this year.

To help reduce expenses, Avandano said the school has either eliminated positions or reduced workers from full-time status to part time. The number of employees affected is about 50 and includes teachers, administration and support staff.

In the sports department, the athletic director, an administrative assistant, the men's basketball coach and the volleyball coach have all gone from full- to part-time status.

Avendano said. "even if a new budget happens now, KCC won't see any of the state funding this fiscal year."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Barickman says spending plan for local governments is ‘problematic’

State Sen. Jason Barickman has concerns about the nearly $2 billion spending bill to help fund local government services. The Republican voice for east-central Illinois says the bill falls short .....

"This is problematic in that the legislature needs to pass a comprehensive budget that lives within its means," Barickman said. "We missed the opportunity to do that by our own deadline which was May 31, so we are kind of limping along."

The Illinois House easily passed a bill on Wednesday to fund roads, veterans homes, energy assistance, and lottery prizes. Barickman said he expects the Illinois Senate to pass it on Monday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has indicated he would sign it.

Illinois is now in the sixth month without a budget.

94.1 WGFA