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Inside Look at Fairdale Devastation; Funeral Arrangements for Two Women Killed by Tornado

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Mike Buda

Mike joined the newsroom in April 2013 as a Multimedia Journalist. This is his first job in the TV industry since graduating from Northern Illinois University in December 2010 and the Illinois Center for Broadcasting in August 2012.
While attending NIU, Mike discovered his passion for reporting as a sports writer at the school’s newspaper, the Northern Star. To broaden his knowledge beyond print, Mike also joined the Northern Television Center where he acted as both a news and sports anchor.
After graduation and receiving a B.A. in Journalism, he joined the Sun Times’ subsidiary, the Pioneer Press, as a freelance sports writer. Mike covered high school games and wrote feature articles on teams and athletes in the Chicago suburbs.
After freelancing for 10 months, Mike decided to go back to school at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting (ICB). From there, he expanded his skillset even further to radio. At ICB, Mike hosted and produced sports radio shows on the student run station and, in the meantime, interned at Comcast SportsNet and 670 The Score.
In his spare time, Mike likes to stay busy by traveling the country doing play-by-play and producing online broadcasts for soccer and other sports.
His number one love has always been soccer. Although he does not play anymore, he still enjoys doing play-by-play or color commentary wherever he can. In 2012, Mike was Loyola University’s radio announcer for both men’s and women’s soccer.
Mike also occasionally finds the time to support his Chicago teams by attending Fire, Blackhawks, Cubs, Bulls and Bears games.
Although Mike’s passion is sports, he is happy to be in Rockford at WIFR continuing to gain a better grasp of the industry and its many different facets.

FAIRDALE (WIFR) — One week after the devastating EF-4 tornado wreaked havoc on Fairdale, our cameras were allowed to catch the aftermath.

David Richardson’s home is no more. After the storm, it was left as a pile of rubble and now only the foundation remains. The Fairdale resident is overwhelmed by the support.

“All of them guys, I can’t even believe. I shook all of their hands, seven times,” says Richardson. “Those guys came in here and really cleaned house. They really helped me, my mom, my aunt, through all of this.”

Hundreds of volunteers continue to help people like Richardson in cleaning up their homes, or what’s left of them.

Team Rubicon, a group of veterans who respond to disasters is assisting Richardson.
“The hug of a homeowner or just the thanks and praise of the people around here, that’s everything and that’s really all I need in life,” says Pam Gieselman with Team Rubicon.

All across town, people are grabbing rakes, shovels, and using their own hands to remove the debris, all in an effort to rebuild the small town, which Richardson says was easy to overlook before the tornado.

“I’ve never seen this many people try to help this small of a town. The town never existed until the tornado hit it,” says Richardson.

Power has been restored to the entire town. Route 72 will remain closed, but DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott expects it to open back up to traffic early next week.


FAIRDALE (WIFR) — It’s been one week since an EF4 tornado ripped through the small town of Fairdale and today we get a firsthand look at the devastation, for the first time since the night of the storms.

Rubble and debris are still scattered everywhere but there is plenty of help to go around.

At this point, residents and volunteers are clearing away parts of homes and any downed trees. We even walked by the homes of Geraldine Schultz and Jacklyn Klosa, the two women killed by the tornado.

Family and friends set up memorials near the front steps of what are now only foundations but for the most part residents are in good spirits and are ready to rebuild.

To help in the rebuilding more than 1,600 volunteers have registered for the clean-up effort which authorities say should take another week to get rid of all of the debris and ship it out to the dump.

Funeral services are being prepared for the two women who died in Fairdale when the tornado ripped through. Arrangements for 69-year-old Jacklyn Klosa will be at Slater-Butala Funeral home in Genoa. She will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Arrangements for 67-year-old Geraldine Schultz are being done by Anderson-Long-Klontz funeral home services in Rockford. The funeral will be held Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 2821 Bell School Road in Rockford.