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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Toys-for-Tots sign-up

You can help make the holiday season a little brighter for less fortunate children. The Iroquois County Toys-for-Tots program is underway.

This is part of a national organization with the U.S. Marines. It's all about helping provide a new toy at Christmas time for the less fortunate.

Sign-up is today and tomorrow (Friday & Saturday). Volunteer Cindy Guttendorf says today's sign-up is at Gilman City Hall from 5 – 8 pm. Sign-up Saturday begins at 10 am at the Watseka Union Depot.

Ms. Guttendorf welcomes parents to sign-up.

Parents need a photo ID or an Illinois driver's license with them when they arrive to sign-up. Deadline for forms to be submitted is December 13th. And then the much-anticipated and always-exciting distribution date. That will be Saturday,December 21 at the Unit Nine Regional School Office in Watseka.

Toys-for-Tots program is for children aged newborn to 13 years-old that live in Iroquois County. (Similar Toys for Tots programs are carried out in other communities).

Cash and toy donations given in Iroquois County stay in Iroquois County. Donations of toys should be new and unwrapped. Businesses that would like a toy collection box are always welcome too.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

PBL High School Principal Trent Eshleman resigns Wed, 11/13/2013 - 10:20pm | Andrew Rosten PAXTON – For 12 years as a principal in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District, Trent Eshleman has tried to teach his students, as he says, to “follow some dreams

2013 is winding down, but the city of Watseka is looking at a North Street improvement project for 2017. The city needs to commit to the project now in order to be included in the funding allocation from the IDOT.

The city's Public Works Director, Marvin DeLahr, says the expectations are to complete an overhaul from Route 1 to 4th Street. It's an estimated $3-million cost.

Despite moans and groans from motorists during the recent Jackson Street construction project, there's a lot of great compliments from citizens now that the project is completed. The 940-feet project included new drainage, curbs and gutters and a road re-surfacing. The now-completed project has brought several positive remarks from motorists and neighbors.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Quality Grocery Store in Watseka set to close

It's been a great family business for nearly 100 years. And it's coming to an end for Watseka's locally-owned grocery store November 27th.

The VanNatta family will close the door at Quality Grocery Store, ending a family tradition that dates back to 1917. Jim and Cathi VanNatta realize it's difficult for the community, employees, and family. But Jim says "it's time."

The store at 210 E. Oak Street will close at 5 pm November 27th.

The last few weeks has found many employees and customers sharing stories and memories of the business started by Jim's grandparents Harold and Mabel. Jim's mom and dad, Bob and Marie, took over the business in 1944. Jim took over in 2000 when his dad died. And Jim's mom, Marie, has remained the business and family matriarch, even at 94.

The business was sold to Berkots Super Foods. Berkots makes a return to the Watseka community in December, but at their former location at 1152 E. Walnut Street – on the city's east side, where much of the community has been expanding.

Jim says he still believes in the downtown presence and hopes city leaders will focus on downtown development. Many of the Quality employees are expected to transfer to the Berkots store.

Jim VanNatta shares memories and thoughts on the business venture on 94.1 FM, WGFA. www.wgfaradio.com

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ford County employees given pay raises

The Ford County Board voted to grant pay raises to a several employees. At Monday night's meeting, the board approved raising the pay of hourly employees by 25-cents an hour. The finance committee extended the recommendation.

The board also granted raises to probation department workers by 2 1/2 percent. The salary of Chief Probation Officer Cassy Taylor Morris was increased to $52,303.

The board also agreed to increase Circuit Clerk Kim Evans' salary from $49,000 to $51,000. Raises were also granted to Supervisor of Assessments Candice Short, to $51,000, and the sheriff's administrative assistant, Barb King, to $33,280.
The raises are effective December 1st.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Dr. Youssef new head of Iroquois County Animal Control

Dr. Hany Youssef has been named the new administrator of Iroquois County Animal Control. He replaces Dr. James Finnell, who retires effective the end of November.

Youssef operates Watseka Animal Hospital. He's also worked in veterinary medicine in Hoopeston. He's also been a consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology at the Animal Poison Control Center in Illinois.

Youssef tells WGFA News he has early goals in the county position.

"My main goal is education. I want to educate clients and work with other doctors on new procedures, new diseases so we're all better prepared," Youssef said.

He adds, "we need to review current operations, sit down with local personnel and determine if any changes are needed."

Dr. Youssef also extends a spirit of cooperation to area veterinarians for the good of the county. He welcomes suggestions and wants to meet with local personnel involved in the program.

Youssef's appointment Tuesday earned unanimous approval from the County Board.

94.1 FM, WGFA