Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein invites citizens to share in the Christmas during the holiday season. The city's annual tree lighting was held at the downtown railroad depot Thursday evening. The Kankakee Fire Department delivered Santa Claus for the event.
Sheriff's Police in Benton County, Indiana report a Fowler man was found dead after a rollover crash Thursday. Sheriff Butch Pritchett said a local farmer found 22-year-old Dylan Treadway in a field at County Road 300 N. It's about 10 miles north of Fowler. Treadway had been ejected from the vehicle.
Police said it's believed the car was traveling too fast when the driver lost control and rolled multiple times into the field. Pritchett said Treadway was not wearing a seatbelt. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor.
Collision at railroad crossing in Onarga, no injury
A slow-moving railroad maintenance vehicle collided with a car in Onarga Wednesday. Iroquois County Sheriff's Police investigated on West Seminary Avenue, near Oak Street.
84-year-old Delozez Martinez was approaching the crossing westbound on Seminary Avenue. Police report she didn't observe the railroad vehicle headed north at a slow 5 mph speed doing maintenance work along the track. Police said the RR vehicle did have its warning lights and siren activated. The crossing gates and lights do not activate for this type of RR vehicle.
The RR vehicle hit the driver's sided of the Martinez car. No injury was reported and no ticket was issued.
Police in Hoopeston are encouraging residents to sign-up for an alert system allowing them to receive real time public safety messages. Police Chief Mark Drollinger says the department has partnered with Nixle to implement its own Community Notification System.
Drollinger says the system provides an avenue for Hoopeston area residents to receive information regarding localized emergency situations and other relevant community advisories.
Nixle offers all of those things at no cost to the City of Hoopeston or taxpayers.
Nixle alerts can be sent via Text, Email, Web, and the Nixle Mobile App instantly.
To register: Text your zip code to 888777 from your mobile phone. Visit www.hoopestonpolice.org and sign up via the Nixle Widget. Or sign-up and create a User Profile on www.nixle.com.
Gibson Area Hospital introduces new maternity unit
DeWall trust paves the way toward future
Gibson Area Hospital opened its new obstetrics unit, courtesy of an endowment from a trust set up by the late Earl and Laura DeWall of Gibson City.
The DeWall Maternity Unit was built in a 13,000-square-foot area on the hospital's second floor. The area includes 10,000 square feet of space above the emergency department that had gone unused for the past seven years, plus a recently built 3,000-square-foot second-floor addition.
The new OB unit features five private LDRP rooms (for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum). Hospital CEO Rob Schmitt says the hospital's OB facilities are on par with new maternity units at other hospitals in East Central Illinois. And the new facility has already served more than a handful of new moms.
The old OB unit had been the only remaining inpatient care unit in the original 1952 hospital building. Also opening in the past week was a new surgery inpatient unit.
Both new units were part of a 16,000-square-foot renovation that began in 2012 under the appropriately named "Project 2012." The $5 million project was paid for, in part, by a multi-million-dollar endowment from a trust set up by the late Earl and Laura DeWall of Gibson City.
The name of the new OB unit — the DeWall Maternity Unit — and the photo of the DeWalls is prominently displayed in its lobby.