Iroquois County 9-1-1 Board to oversee emergency dispatching
After months of discussion, or lack of it, there's a glimpse of unity. And the Iroquois County 9-1-1 Board is taking control to oversee operations in the 9-1-1 Center, including managing the emergency dispatchers.
The new fiscal year – December 1st – will find the 9-1-1 Board stepping up to keep the county's critical emergency dispatching services intact.
The County Board's Policy & Procedure committee gave its nod of approval (Wednesday).
A newly-organized County Board takes over Monday, December 1st. The Board officially reorganizes following the 2014 elections.
It was the County Board's pressure, led by former Chairman Rod Copas, that kept the two sides apart in trying to resolve differences. Copas had pushed to have the County Board take over dispatching services. But the 9-1-1 Board members insisted they have the expertise to make the necessary critical conditions to operate dispatching to meet the public safety needs of the public.
9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble reported Wednesday that emergency first-response agencies are returning signed-contracts to the 9-1-1 Board that find those agencies are OK with continuing dispatch services as they have been over the years.
The 9-1-1 Board is being reduced from 12 to six members. The County Board will have representation.
Leftover funds from the dissolved ICOM Board are being turned over to the Emergency Telephone System Board (ETSB). That funding totals $96, 633.
Central Illinois will miss out on any snow problems for Thanksgiving. But those in other places, like out east, there could be problems if traveling for the holiday.
If there's any bright spot, it's that gas prices remain low.
The National Weather Service reports no significant accumulation of any snow is expected. If any snow, it'll be a rain and snow mix and won't pose any by travel problems.
Six to 12 inches of snow is forecast for Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York state. Rain, low clouds and poor visibility could lead to airline delays on the busiest traveling day of the year.
Drivers also should continue to see low prices at the gas pump. Average prices at the start of the week were almost 35 cents per gallon lower than the same time last year, and 24 cents lower than a month ago, according to GasBuddy.com.
Illinois is one of 39 states with averages below $3 per gallon.
The weekend should bring warmer temperatures in east-central Illinois and in nearby Indiana. Highs will be around 40 degrees on Friday and above 50 degrees on Saturday. It could be a little cooler on Sunday.
Santa Clause arrives in Watsek Friday, parade at 7 pm
The Watseka Elks Lodge and the Watseka Kiwanis Club will lead the annual Christmas parade in Watseka on Friday, November 28th. Santa Claus arrives via the parade and will greet children at his downtown Santa House.
The parade steps off at 7 pm, beginning at the Glenn Raymond School and following the usual parade route. Parade announcer will be Jake Ray of WGFA Radio. The announcer and parade judges will be stationed at Santa's House on Walnut Street.
The Elks Lodge and Kiwanis were chosen for parade marshal honors for their community service traditions, according to the Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Elks Coats for Kids program has distributed more than 150 coats per year to kids in need for the past three years. They host annual Bingo for Cancer Fighters, a fundraiser benefiting families affected by cancer, as well as a children's carnival.
The Kiwanis club also focuses on helping the children of the community from its annual peanut sales, serving lunch at the local fishing derby and volunteering in many area events.
Santa will be receiving children of all ages after the parade and will be in his downtown house from 10 am.'til noon Saturday, November 29, and again 10 am.'til noon Saturday, December 20.