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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County Firemen train with Nicor experts for natural gas disasters

Members of the Eastern Illinois Mutual Aide Fire Association conducted a training session in Danforth (Wednesday), education themselves about how to deal with natural gas disasters.

The Danforth Fire Department hosted the organizations' monthly meeting.

Nicor Gas is owned by AGL Resources (Atlanta Gas & Light).

Senior Investigator of Corporate Security, Craig Whyte, tells WGFA News this training offers responders a first-hand experience.

"We come out when requested to provide classroom and field demonstrations," said AGL Resource Senior Investigator Craig Whyte. " "We visit with whoever wants our help. We're giving these firemen a live scenario of what they may experience in their job."

Whyte conducted an outdoor field demonstration.

Bernie Anderson, Community Relations for Nicor, said his classroom instruction is all about safety first.

"This gives responders a chance to ask questions; "What if" and what not to do if it's a real situation," Anderson said. As always, when anyone smells gas, call Nicor and let us do what we do."

The Eastern Ill Mutual Aid Fire Association is affiliated with the MABAS 37 Division (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System). The groups meets monthly on the last Wednesday to share experiences and train for the good of the mutual aid effort.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Another shooting in Pembroke area while officials meet to curb violence

While leaders in the Pembroke Township area gathered to talk about ways to bring some violence activity under control, yet another person shot.

Kankakee County Sheriff's Police report a man was shot in the back Wednesday afternoon in Pembroke Township. It was a few hours after a community to discuss gun violence in the area.

Police answered a call to the shooting just before 2:30 pm. The incident was near Sneed Court and 3000S Road.

The victim, police said, was uncooperative when questioned. No other suspect information has been released.

It was Saturday when gunfire sent hundreds of people scrambling at Martin Luther King Park during the annual Pembroke Days festival. Two men were hit by gunfire. Injuries were not life-threatening.

Students from the area will be offered counseling to talk about the recent violence.

Parents have voiced concerned about safety.

Wednesday's meeting included discussion about hiring a police presence and developing some after-school events for children.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka man killed in single-vehicle crash

Iroquois County Sheriff's police and the County Coroner's office are investigating a one-vehicle crash that killed one man Wednesday night.

The victim is identified as 33-year-old Justin Hawbaker of Watseka. He was a passenger in small pick-up that was northbound on 2100 E. County Coroner Bill Cheatum said the unidentified driver swerved to miss a deer and left the roadway. The truck ran into a westbound ditch and then hit a tree.

No further info was available.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:51 pm. The accident report was received at 8:15 pm.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Iroquois County: Guilty verdict in Meth Manufacturing case

It was the Honorable Judge Gordon Lustfeldt's 100th career jury trial, and Wednesday a jury in Watseka found 50-year-old Doug Depatis guilty of all charges in a local Meth Manufacturing case.

When sentenced in October (10/22), DePatis faces 4-15 years in prison. He is not eligible for probation because of his criminal history.

Co-defendant 38-year-old Josh Huff of Watseka pled guilty, before trial, to Participation in Meth manufacturing. Huff agreed to six-months in the Iroquois County Jail and 48-months probation.

The charges against the men included Meth Mnufacturing, Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursors and other Meth Manufacturing Materials.

Watseka Police and Iroquois County Sheriff's Police testified at trial. A search was executed at 115 S. Sheridan Street, Watseka may 3rd. Both men were found using chemicals and equipment consistent with the manufacture of meth.

The case was prosecuted by State's attorney Jim Devine and Ass't Prosecutor Alex O'Brien. Public Defender Dale Strough represented Depatis.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Wind Ordinance change brings out Pro and Con

The Iroquois County Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) voted 2-2 (Tuesday night), with three members absent, after hearing comments about proposed changes to the county's wind ordinance.

Proposed changes, reported on earlier, were drafted up to protect non-participating landowners. The protection is for those citizens (landowners) who believe their too close to the turbines and the noise is affected their lives.

A motion to accept the proposed changes to the wind ordinance as presented by the Planning & Zoning committee was supported by Marvin Andris and Merle Marshall. Voting against were Russell Perkinson and Betty Thompson. Zoning Board members absent were Howard Loy, Mike Morann and Wayne Wagner.

Matt Hartke and his family live in Vermilion County. He has told the Vermilion County Board repeatedly that the noise from the turbines is obvious, and he wouldn't be wasting his time saying so, it ie wasn't an issue. Hartke is a neighbor to the California Ridge Wind Farm in Vermilion and Champaign County.

The zoning change is likely to go before the Iroquois County board in September.

94.1 FM, WGFA