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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

CSX Railroad repairs to force road closures

Motorists traveling Iroquois County next week will want to be aware of road closures along the CSX railroad. Work crews will be upgrading crossings. Posted road closings will include detours.

The work is tentatively scheduled June 13th thru the 24th --- weather permitting.

The advance notice is important for emergency vehicles and regular public travel to allow for time considerations.

Area routes scheduled to get upgrade attention along the CSX route include:

County Highway 47 and Township Roads 245 and 253 in the Woodland area

Frederick Street, Lyle Street and Jones Road in Milford. Also County Roads 2200E, 1100N, 700 and 900N in the Milford area.

In the Wellington area – Main Street, First North Road, County Road 600N and Township Route 347A.

The railroad states several routes may be closed at the same time. Detour routes will be set.

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  • Parent Category: News

Toxicology tests reveal Kankakee crash victims were drunk

Three crash victims killed in a single-car crash last month on Route 45 in Kankakee were drunk. That word from the Kankakee County Coroner's office after toxicology tests were completed.

The driver, 25-year-old Lukas Frye of Milford, had a blood alcohol content of .29. That's over three times the legal limit of .08.

The reports also show the two passengers who died, 56-year-old Randy Gates, of Kankakee and 43-year-old Eddie Sarkozi of Iroquois, were also intoxicated. Gates had a blood alcohol content of .23. Sarkozi's toxicology report showed no signs of alcohol, but he had used cocaine.

A fourth passenger survived. His condition was not known.
The four men were southbound in a car on U.S. Route 45/52 near the 308 exit of Interstate 57 on May 23. The speeding car ran into a light pole.

Two of the men who died were pinned inside the vehicle. Frye was ejected from the car.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Website says ‘less expensive to own a home toward the south’

If you're shopping to buy a home, you'll find it more affordable in Iroquois, Ford and Vermilion counties than in Kankakee or north.

That's the word from SmartAsset.com The website company measured median income versus housing costs and found Illinois homes are more affordable the farther south you go.

The Kankakee, Iroquois, Ford Association of Realtors tells the Daily-Journal 'there's a drop in the sales price to the south. And couple that with housing costs like mortgage payments, homeowner's insurance and property taxes – AND it's much cheaper moving south.

In fact, Hoopeston (Vermilion County) ranked as seventh most affordable place to live in the state.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Manteno names new Chamber Director

Sarah Marion is on the job in Manteno. She started her new position this week as executive director of the Manteno Chamber of Commerce. She's also event planner for the village.

Ms. Marion holds a BA degree in corporate communications and public relations from Northern Illinois University. She worked in public relations before earning her Master's degree in teaching from National Louis University in Chicago.

She's lived in Manteno since the age of 5. She says she's looking forward to promoting her community.
Marion spent the last six years teaching first grade at Manteno Elementary School.

Marion replaces Staci Wilken, who recently was named executive director of the Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

She worked in public relations a few years before earning her master's degree in teaching from National Louis University in Chicago. After that, she taught at Manteno elementary.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee river trail gains national recognition

A website has been created to encourage exploration of a new national water trail in Indiana and Illinois.

Kankakee County leaders have stepped up to promote the attractive sites along the Kankakee River, extending into northwest Indiana. The local website launched is www.kankakeeriverwatertrail.org 

Last week's designation of the 133-mile Kankakee River Water Trail in northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois stemmed from efforts of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association.

The national designation may lead to boat launches, campgrounds and a portage service around dams at Kankakee and Wilmington. Boy Scout Troop 319, out of St. George, is helping with public service projects along the waterway.

Troop leader Mike Casagrande hopes the national recognition will interest more people and groups to get involved. Casagrande plans to seek more grants for future development.

Economic development leaders are hailing the news. Tim Nugent is president of the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. He says the region's leaders must take advantage of the national water trail to promote tourism.

The national scope of the project was heightened when the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis announced the designation last Friday.

The Kankakee River now is one of just tyhree water trails in Illinois to receive such a designation.

U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly and Adam Kinzinger are both in support of the trail and the opportunities it creates.

94.1 WGFA