18 more of agency's computers to be examined by forensic expert

WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Board last week approved spending up to $5,650 to have a forensic expert examine 18 computers used by ex-employees of the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department.

Those 18 computers are in addition to five that were already examined, free of charge to the county, for evidence of misuse and fraud.

Placards, online reports raise accountability of Ford County food establishments

PAXTON — Patrons of restaurants and other food establishments in Ford County won’t have to wonder any longer about how their favorite eatery is complying with public health regulations.

Bedbugs 'tearing apart' Paxton family

PAXTON — Josh Wright first noticed bedbugs in his apartment about a week ago when he was preparing his 4-year-old daughter’s bed.

“I was making her bed because she had a bunch of toys on it, so I just pulled everything off and I saw like an army of ants. It was a straight army of bedbugs,” the 28-year-old Wright said.

Gibson Area Hospital opens DeWall Maternity Unit

GIBSON CITY — It didn’t take long for Gibson Area Hospital’s newly opened obstetrics unit to be put to use.

Last Tuesday, one day after the Gibson City hospital received permission from the Illinois Department of Public Health to operate its new OB unit, five laboring mothers walked in.

$600,000 grant would help fund referral center for heatlh services

PAXTON — Government boards have seen a lot of Mike Short, the Ford County Public Health Department board’s president, in recent weeks.

Short has been pitching a proposal to area school boards, as well as the Ford County Board, in an effort to get all of them to participate in a newly formed consortium of community agencies and government bodies.

So far, so good.

Forensic audit shows agency's staff used their work computers for 'personal gain'

WATSEKA — Three former top-ranking officials in the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department used their work computers for “personal use and personal gain” at least 70 percent of the time they were on them, a computer forensic expert revealed Wednesday, adding to the list of questionable conduct by ex-employees of the recently dissolved agency.

Area residents form Central Illinois Pink Heals Chapter

PAXTON — The members of the Central Illinois Pink Heals Chapter have all been impacted by cancer.

For Mike and Vanessa Tongate of Roberts, it was learning that Vanessa had been diagnosed with colon cancer, just as they were preparing to leave for their honeymoon in 2006. And it was the daily struggle that followed over the next three years — until she became cancer free in 2009.

Iroquois County Public Health Department offers free breast-cancer screenings

WATSEKA — October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women.  According to the Susan G. Komen organization, it is estimated that there will be 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer among U.S. women in 2014. 

Gibson Area Hospital taking pro-active response to Ebola outbreak

GIBSON CITY — Gibson Area Hospital is taking the initiative to reach out to surrounding communities to enhance understanding of Ebola.

Ebola preparedness to be discussed in Watseka on Tuesday

WATSEKA — The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a Community Partner Ebola Preparedness Meeting at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Iroquois County Board room of the Iroquois County Administrative Center in Watseka. 

All Iroquois County community health and emergency response partners are invited to attend and participate.

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