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Local News

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Train-pedestrian collision kills man

A Bourbonnais man was struck and killed by a train Sunday night. It happened in the in the 1100 block of North Schuyler Avenue.

Roberto Ramirez is identified as the victim. Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner said the 32-year-old's body was observed on the tracks by the engineer of a northbound Amtrak train.

Gessner said his office will meet with Canadian National Railroad officials to review video from security cameras.

Ramirez was believed to have been walking back to his home in Burch's Trailer Court. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:20 pm.

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  • Parent Category: News

Mayor: ‘Watseka has a story to tell…’

Watseka’s 150th Birthday is much more than this weekend’s events scattered throughout the community. The city’s rich heritage dates back to 1867.

And over the years, Mayor John Allhands says the message is the city’s ability to rebound when things don’t always go well......
"We have resiliency. Major fires and floods but we keep coming back. People step in and help," Allhands said.

"Now, we have some new people with new energy and we'll keep building." The mayor said, "our story is strong."

The Slo-Boys Tractor Club display is today (Sat) at the Old Courthouse.

Featured entertainment is Clare Dunn – Live at 9 pm tonight at the Riverside parking lot.

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  • Parent Category: News

Hot-air balloon accident, pilot falls from basket during Chatsworth event

One person was injured in a hot-air balloon mishap at the Chatsworth sesquicentennial celebration Thursday evening, but the balloon landed safely a short distance away.

Four balloons were preparing to launch shortly before 6:30 p.m. when the incident occurred. Witnesses said the wind was calm before the accident.

Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress (Chill-dress) said Friday, “Apparently, there was a wind gust that caused one balloon to lift up.” The basket tipped and the pilot fell out.

The pilot was transported to OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. The injury was not life-threatening.

Mayor Richard Runyon, who was at opening ceremonies said, “Luckily they knew enough to go past the power lines and out of town before pulling the rope” to bring down the balloon.

One witness, Wayne Germain of Pontiac shot video as the drama unfolded.

He said “It was frightening,” Out of nowhere, a gust of wind came — 20 mph at least,” he said. “Twenty seconds later, it was calm again.”

His video of the incident quickly went viral on the internet, receiving more than 100,000 views on Facebook, in addition to being shown on various television outlets.

Germain said he has received calls “from around the world” from people involved in hot-air ballooning who want to use his video for educational and training purposes and he is happy to share it.

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• Activities continue today and Sunday at the Chatsworth celebration.

  • Parent Category: News

Fatal traffic crashes in Kankakee, Livingston, Champaign counties

A Louisiana woman died in a single-vehicle rollover crash Thursday evening on I-57 in Kankakee County.

44-year-old Mia Robinson was a passenger in a van driven by 44-year-old McKinley Jenkins of Harvey (IL). Illinois State Police report the driver’s been charged with DUI. Jenkins is also charged with improper lane usage and failure to reduce speed to avoid the accident.

Jenkins was treated for minor injuries.

Police said the accident happened just before 7 pm in the southbound lane of the Interstate near exit 308. The driver lost control, left the road and overturned in a ditch.

In Livingston County --- a Streator woman is dead following a Thursday afternoon crash on Route 17, about a mile west of Route 23. The woman wasn’t identified.

Coroner Danny Watson reports the 22-year-old woman ran into a guard rail. She died about an hour later at a Peoria hospital.

The accident is under investigation by State Police and the Sheriff’s department.

In Champaign County --- a 10-year-old girl died in a multi-car pile-up that closed I-57 for several hours. The girl was a passenger in a vehicle driven by a Mattoon woman. Her cart was rear-ended by another car, pushing her car into a semi tractor-trailer. Police said the vehicles were travelling slowly at the time.

The Champaign County Coroner and sheriff’s department are investigating along with a state police reconstruction team.

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  • Parent Category: News

150th Birhtday bashes in Watseka, Chatsworth

Sesquicentennial celebrations are set fopr this weekend in Chatsworth and Watseka.  Opening ceremonies are today (Thursday) in both communiites. 

Several published news articles highlight the rich history of the early beginnings in each of the towns in Livingston and Iroquois counties.  Activities are planned at different sites in the two counties. Maps are available showing visitzors where many of the events are being held.

Watseka's opening ceremony is at 6:3 pm today at Lakeview Park/City Hall on Briana Drive. 

Chatsworth has several events on the agenda including a parade, carnival, car show, hot air balloon launches and trolley tours.

94.1 WGFA