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NEWS ARCHIVES
THURSDAY JUNE 30

ACCIDENT

A Iroquois County Sheriffs Deputy suffered unspecified injuries earlier this week when his squad car was struck on the passenger side, forced off the roadway and into a nearby cornfield.    It happened Tuesday at 1700 North and 1500 East Road.  The driver of the other vehicle, an Onarga man was not hurt.  Theres no report of any tickets being issued.

BODY FOUND

A 69 year old Kankakee man apparently shot himself to death with a shotgun overnight in Kankakee’s Cobb Park.  The body was found this morning.   Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner saying a suicide note has been found.

FIRE

Damage is estimated at about 80,000 dollars to a home in the 200 block of North Fairmont in Kankakee following a fire this morning.  No one was at home at the time of the blaze.  There were no injuries.  The cause is yet to be determined, but Kankakee Fire saying this morning it does not appear to be suspicious. 

I65

Traffic is getting through now on northbound I-65 this morning in the Demotte area. Following an accident involving a couple of semi's just after midnight.    Indiana State Police say a truck carrying an empty glass bottles crossed the right fog line and collided with a semi that had been abandoned on the side of the road.   A fire erupted with the driver reportedly suffered third degree burns on his legs.   There is broken glass all over the expressway.   Southbound I65 is not affected.   At one point the northbound back up stretched five miles.

ROBBERY

Three men who implied they have a gun robbed a man of his wallet last night near River and Rosewood in Kankakee.  Now one hurt.  The bad guys got away with about 25 dollars in cash.

STABBING

Two people were stabbed in separate instances the last 24 hours in Kankakee.    Around 2:30 Wednesday a 16 year old male was stabbed in the abdomen following a fight with another juvenile in the 300 block of North Wall Street in Kankakee.  City police say the victim was stabbed after confronting the suspect over the theft of the victims younger brothers bicycle.    The injuries not life threatening.  No arrest has been made.     Early this morning city police were called to St Marys hospital in reference to a stabbing that took place outside a tavern in the 400 block of North Fifth Ave. An arrest has been made in that case.    25 year old Overath Barajas is charged with aggravated battery.

FISHING DERBY

Fishing the Kankakee continued to pay off for anglers Wednesday at the annual fishing derby.   15 year old Zachary Campbell of Kankakee caught two tagged fish yesterday good for a total of 400 dollars.   Overall 11 tagged fish have been pulled from the water but spokesman Sam Thomas says the biggest prizes are still out there.
FRIDAY JULY 1

RYAN MEMORIAL

Family and friends of former Illinois first lady Lura Lynn Ryan will gathered at Schreffler Funeral Home in Kankakee this morning to remember Ryan who passed away on Monday.   The service lasted about two hours. 

ACCIDENT

A Chicago man was hospitalized with non life threatening injuries this morning when the semi he was driving overturned on the off ramp to I57 at exit 308.   59 year old Ed Cooper was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.   The ramp had to be closed for a time because of the accident.

BUS FIRE

A River Valley Metro bus caught fire Thursday morning in Bourbonnais while transporting passengers.  Bourbonnais Fire telling The Daily Journal that the back of the bus was flaming up but the fire never penetrated the passenger area. Everyone evacuated safely.   A cause is yet to be determined.

DRUG ARREST

An undercover investigation conducted by the Watseka and Iroquois County Sheriffs Police departments has lead to the arrest of a Watseka man on drug charges.   33 year old Eric Norris was taken into custody Wednesday after allegedly delivering an unspecified amount of cocaine to undercover officers.

KIDNAPPING PLEA

Attorneys for one of four men accused in the kidnapping of a Kankakee man last month, have been given two more weeks to possible work out a plea deal.  19 year old Lucas Strassenburg of Chebanse and three others allegedly held the victim in a closet for six hours before forcing him to his bank to get some cash.   The next hearing is scheduled for July 13th according to The Daily Journal. 

FIREWORKS SAFETY

If you're planning on celebrating the 4th of July with sparklers, keep in mind they can be dangerous.  Its recommended you play it safe this weekend and leave the fireworks to the pro's.

LOOK A LIKE

Wilmington Police Thursday arrested a man who was allegedly walking down Kankakee Street holding what turned out to be a look alike 44 magnum handgun.   Police of course did not know this at the time and approached the man Thursday morning with guns drawn.    No one was hurt.  25 year old Titus Hiera was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.

COMING HOME

A former Ludlow school superintendent who fled the US 19 years ago to escape prosecution on child sexual abuse charges was arrested this week in Bangkok Thailand.  According to the News Gazette 60 year old Dennis Catron, formerly of Hoopeston, was arrested outside his condo.  He was reportedly teaching English in Thailand schools.  Catron was tried in absentia and sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1994.   He's being returned to the US.

FIREFEST

Theres big doings in Watseka this weekend.  Watseka Firefest gets underway today at Legion Park.   And of course fireworks will be held on Saturday at dusk. 

KCC ON THE 4TH

The place to be on July 4th in Kankakee is KCC.    As usual, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra will user in the fireworks with a concert of holiday favorites.  Along with the music there's also plenty of food and fun for the kids.
Gates open at 3 pm, the music begins at 5:50 with a salute to veterans at 6:30.  Then more music until the fireworks at dusk.   The cost of 15 dollars per carload with the proceeds to benefit the orchestra.  It's all at KCC Monday.
TUESDAY JULY 5

PONTIAC FATAL

A Pontiac woman who was struck by an SUV while walking in downtown Pontiac last Thursday died over the weekend from injuries suffered in the accident.  Police say in the Bloomington Pantagraph that 59 year old Carol Lynch may have been talking on her cell phone when she stepped off the curb and into the path of the turning vehicle. 

PIRATE ARREST

Kankakee City Police arrested a pirate last Thursday at a Washington Street gas station.    A man identified by police reports only as Willie T Clark was allegedly selling pirated dvds and movie videos. Clark is facing initial charges of criminal trespass to property.

GUN FOUND

A Kankakee man in the 500 block of South Myrtle trimming his bushes late last week, got quite a surprise when a gun turned up.   Police were called they say the 9 mm Lugar handgun was loaded.  No one was hurt.

BLOWN TIRE

A blown tire was the cause of an accident Sunday on 600 North and 50 East in Iroquois County.    According to Iroquois County Sheriffs police, 17 year old Zachary Beebe of Watseka lost control and put the vehicle in a ditch.  Nobody was hurt.

DEER VS CAR

There was a single vehicle accident Monday on 1950 North and 1975 East in Iroquois County.  Police say 16 year old Austen Horchem of Watseka was unable to avoid a deer in the middle of the road.  No one was hurt. 

DOGS N CATS

Its now illegal to have more than four cats and or dogs in the city of Watseka.   The city council approved the new numbers at last weeks city council meeting.  This after complaints about dogs running free in city neighborhoods.   According to The Times Republic those currently with more than four animals have to decide which of the pets will have to go. 

STUART PLAYS WATSEKA

Of the many happenings over the holiday weekend was a performance by country music performer Marty Stuart.  Stuart played the Watseka Theatre over the holiday weekend.  Stuart was just off a performance on the David Letterman show and says he enjoyed being in the big apple with Dave.

FIREFEST PARADE

Of the many 4th of July festivals happening over the weekend, Firefest in Watseka was one of the bigger ones.   Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Kendra Martin says the parade Saturday drew more entries than expected.
WEDNESDAY JULY 6

FOILED ROBBERY

Kankakee Police unknowingly foiled an armed robbery July 4th at West Charles and South Washington.  The victim says two men had just demanded money from him at gunpoint when a city police squad car appeared in the area.   The two fled leaving the victim unharmed and still in possession of his valuables.

K3 SPENDING

The City of Kankakee has a balanced budget for fiscal year 2012.    At last nights city council meeting the alderman approved the 22.9 million dollar spending plan.   The mayor says the State of Illinois owes the City of Kankakee close to 900,000.

MAN SHOT

Police today say a man suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen Saturday near a tavern in the 800 block of North Wildwood.  The victim and all witnesses are not cooperating with the police who are still investigating.

RASH OF BURGLARIES

There was a rash of burglaries over the weekend in Kankakee.   Police today say 7 homes were hit.  In one case, the resident heard a noise and discovered a would be burglary half way through a window.    When confronted, the bad guy changed his mind and slipped back outside and disappeared into the night.     In another case the resident discovered a man in his home and gave chase, but ended up losing the suspect.

REBUILD BEGINS

Roadwork starting up today on the I-57/Route 50 rebuild.   The two and a half year project will see the interchange transformed from its current loop design to a diamond configuration. 

ASSAULT

Kankakee City Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault that occurred over the holiday weekend.   A 30 year old woman says she was invited to a local hotel room by a female friend but when they arrived they were greeted by three men.  The victim says that her female friend held her down while she was sexually assaulted by one of the men. 

THE BEARS

Both sides in the NFL lockout resume talks this week in New York.  Meanwhile at Olivet Nazarene University, home of the summer training camp for your Chicago Bears school spokesman Gary Griffen says the school is ready when the NFL and the Bears are.
THURSDAY JULY 7

BURGLARY

Kankakee City Police are investigating a burglary in the 100 block of South Schuyler.  Someone forced their way into a home through a side door Tuesday and took off with about 4000 dollars worth of items from the home.

DRAGGING INJURIES

A 20 year old Kankakee woman suffered deep abrasions to her foot, shoulder, side and arm after being dragged by a car Tuesday in the 100 block of East Court Street.  The victim tells police while talking to a man in a car her arm got caught in an awkward position.  That conversation turned into an argument.  The man then drove off with the woman being dragged alongside.  The driver eventually managed to free the victim as the vehicle took a corner.   She fell to the ground, he took off.  Police later caught up with 25 year old Patrick Chism of Kankakee, he's charged with aggravated domestic battery. 

HALVORSON

Former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson told our Bob Malkowski this morning that  she's concerned  congressman Jessie Jackson Jr, if re-elected in 2012, wont be able to adequately represent new, more  rural portions of the newly redrawn 2nd district.  The new district reaches from Chicago’s Southside all the way south to St Anne.  Halvorson says her concerns stems from a comment made by a Jackson aid.  Halvorson says whoever wins the 2nd will have a challenge ahead of them because the district is now so diverse.

NEW PARK ED

The Kankakee Valley Park District has an executive director today.   At last nights meeting of the park board of commissioners, board members voted to appoint Roy Collins to the position on a permanent basis.   Collins who is a commissioner on the board, had been serving as interim ED.  Since the May departure of Jim Romanik.   The job comes with an 85,000 salary.

PROVENA

Provena Health and Resurrection Heath Care have reached a merger agreement.   If given state approval, the new healthcare system will encompass 12 hospitals including St Marys in Kankakee, 28 long term care and senior facilities and more than 50 primary and specialty care clinics.   Together they employ about 22,000 people.

RYAN

An attorney for George Ryan says the imprisoned former Illinois governor won't give up his legal fight despite a
federal appeals court ruling upholding his corruption convictions. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday flatly rejected arguments that the 2006 convictions should be overturned because prosecutors never proved Ryan took a bribe.  Ryan attorney Jim Thompson says he and Ryan's family were "enormously disappointed with the ruling."  But Thompson vowed to "fight on" for the convictions to be tossed. He says additional appeals could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  He calls the appellate decision a setback. But he hastened to add that it's not Ryan's last available legal recourse.  Ryan has served about three years of a 6 1/2-year sentence in an
Indiana federal prison.

SUGAR CREEK

When the Sugar Creek Symphony presents the daughter of the regiment and little woman at this years Sugar Creek Festival in August, it will be at a new venue.   The shows will be held this year at Clifton High School, but spokesman Dale Straugh says the change in venue does not mean the festival is abandoning its longtime Watseka home.  The Sugar Creek Festival will be held August 4 though the 7th.
FRIDAY JULY 8

THE BEARS

Negotiations between NFL owners and players continued in New York Thursday as the opening of summer training camps around the league loom closer and closer.    In Bourbonnais, home to the summer Chicago Bears, Mayor Paul Shore says if camp is canceled this year the hit on Bourbonnais merchants will be substantial.

COPPER INDICTMENTS

An Iroquois County grand jury has indicted two Watseka men for allegedly stealing copper from settlers trail wind farm in Sheldon   20 year old Christopher Voss and 24 year old James Oliver are both charged with theft and criminal damage to property.   Company officials say the cost to replace the copper and repair the damage to the wind towers is estimated at 80,000 to 90,000 dollars.  Police say the two scrapped the over 500 pounds of copper.

JOHNSON CHALLENGE

Congressman Tim Johnson will have a primary challenge when he runs for the newly drawn 13th congressional district in March of next year.  A 46 year old Springfield truck driver by the name of Sam Spradlin say he will take on Johnson.  Spradlin says he's not happy with Johnson’s voting record on oil production in the Arctic. 

LAWN MOWER THEFTS

Bradley Police are asking for your help in finding whoever it is that's been stealing lawn mowers.  Police say several lawn mowers have been taken recently from garages and sheds in the village.  If you can help out call Crime Stoppers at 93-CRIME. It could lead to a 1000 dollar reward.

NO LONGER DAY

Students at Kankakee High School will not have a longer day in the coming school year.  A plan to extend the day by 39 minutes was scuttled when the district failed to secure a 6 million dollar grant from the State of Illinois.   Also in question is about a million dollars in state funding for three early childhood programs next year.  School officials say in The Daily Journal that a decision on those programs is still pending. 

PUNKIN VINE FAIR

The annual Newton County Pumkin' Vine Fair gets underway this weekend.   The fair continues through next Saturday at the Newton County Fairgrounds in Kentland.

ROBBERY

Kankakee City police are looking for three people who robbed a 53 year old man in the 200 block of East River earlier this week and then tried to throw the victim in the river.   In the end the bad guys got away with about 40 dollars.  The victim escaped before they were able to drag him into the waterway.

SEX CHARGES

A Beecher man has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a family member.  Beecher Police say in the Chicago Sun Times that 42 year old Nasser Zubi allegedly abused a young family member in September of last year. 

YOUNG SUPER

The youngest schools chief in Illinois heads the Rossville Alvin School District.   Crystal Johnson is just 28 years old.   Johnson was named superintendent earlier this month after taking over the position on an interim bases in November when Randy Hird left the district.  Despite her young age, school board members say in the News Gazette that Johnson has all the qualities that make a good administrator.

ACTING OUT THEATRE

The Acting Out Theatre company presents "Into the Woods" tonight,  tomorrow and Sunday at The Perry Farm.    The show features a compilation of characters from Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales in a story about wishes and consequences spokesperson Sharon Richardson hopes the whole family make a night of it.
MONDAY JULY 11

ACCIDENT

A man on a motorcycle traveling through a ditch on Iroquois County Road 31 near 1900 North hit a patch of mud and was tossed off his bike.  Iroquois County Sheriffs Police say 62 year old Daniel Leadingham was hurt, but no word on the extent of the injuries suffered in Fridays accident.

BRADLEY FIRE

Bradley Fire fighters were called to a home in the 100 block of North Blaine Ave Sunday for a kitchen fire.   Bradley Fire saying the blaze was contained to the kitchen.   On resident one injury reported.  A resident suffered a minor burn to the arm.  Damage estimates and a cause are still pending.

CAREER CENTER WIN

Students at the Kankakee Area Career Center brought home national top honors last month at the Skilles USA Championships in Kansas City.  The four student group and an alternate won for their development of a business plan for the Kankakee River Valley called Woodhaven Estates.   Debi Zurek is business instructor.  The kids beat out over 5500 other competitors.

CARR DIES

The Daily Journal reports that retired Kankakee County Circuit Court judge Fred Carr died over the weekend in Virginia Beach North Carolina where he had retired.  Carr served on the bench in Kankakee from 1993 to 2002.  Before becoming a lawyer and subsequently a judge, Carr put in twenty years as a marine.   Serving two tours of duty in Vietnam before retiring as a Lt Colonel.

JASPER FATAL

A head-on collision on US 231 near 1600 North in Jasper County Sunday claimed the life of a DeMotte Indiana man.   Jasper County Sheriffs Police say their investigation found that 24 year old Steven Sopcich crossed the center line and struck another vehicle driven by 25 year old Jimmy Trembly also of DeMotte.  Sopcich was pronounced dead at the scene.  Trembly had to extricate from his vehicle and flown to South Bend Memorial with injuries to his lower extremities.

K3 FIRE

Fire fighters were called to a detached garage fire early this morning just in the 600 block of South Evergreen.   Kankakee Fire saying the structure was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived on the scene.  No one was hurt, damage is estimated at about 15,000 dollars.   A cause is still pending.     

PUNKIN FAIR

The annual Punkin' Vine Fair continues today in Newton County.   The fair continues through Saturday at the Newton County Fairgrounds in Kentland.

WILTON CENTER FATAL

A Lockport man was killed in Wilton Center early Sunday morning when he apparently took a curve at Route 52 and Cedar Road too fast.  Witnesses tell Illinois State Police that 40 year old Kevin Bain was ejected from the bike and struck a guardrail. His passenger Tabitha Bain hit a ditch. She suffered non life threatening.  Kevin Bain was pronounced dead at the scene.
TUESDAY JULY 12

AFSCME PICKET

AFSCMEL Local 29 members will be picketing at the entrance to Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee today to protest what the union says is an attempt by the governor to break a state wide contract by canceling planned raises.  Ciaccio says the union will do what is has to do to protect it's right to collective bargaining.  The informational picket line will be up today from 11 until 1 at Shapiro.

WATSEKA CO. FINED

A Watseka company has been fined over $200,000 after two workers suffered amputation injuries in an 8 day span earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited T & D Metal Products with four safety violations, including three willful violations, after the two employees were hurt at the company in January.  The company, which does metal fabrication has been cited for safety violations a total of 47 times since 1988.  The company has 15 days to appeal the findings.

BRADLEY MEETING

Lils Park in Bradley will be getting an update.   At last nights village board meeting Mayor Bruce Adams says an Oslad grant has been obtained for park improvements.

FIRES

Nine fire department in Will and Kankakee Counties were called in to help put out an home fire in Essex this morning.  The blaze in the 400 block of South Main Street did extensive damage to the home which was unoccupied at the time.   No one was hurt.  A cause and damage estimates are still pending.    Kankakee Fire fighters were called to a vehicle fire overnight in the 400 block of South Poplar.  Officials say the blaze appears to be electrical in nature.

ARMED ROBBERY

Kankakee City Police say three people were relieved of their cash in an armed robbery in the 300 block of West Court Street.   This happening over the weekend.  The victims tell police two men took the money at gunpoint.   No one was hurt.

PUNKIN VINE FAIR

Its a big day at the Punkin Vine Fair in Newton County.   Cory Groover has a look at todays Punkin fun.  The Punkin Vine Fair at the Newton County Fairgrounds through Saturday.

STOLEN VEHICLE

A Kankakee man sits in the county detention center today charged with possession of a stolen vehicle after police were called to the 700 block of South Elm Street for a report of a suspicious vehicle parked behind a vacant home.   Officers arrested the driver after a check found the vehicle to be stolen.  30 year old Travarus Ledbetter tells police an unknown friend lent him the car for the night and he had no idea it was stolen.
WEDNESDAY JULY 13

ARMED ROBBERY

Kankakee City Police are investigating an armed robbery in the 200 block of North Hunter.   The victim says he was robbed of his cash as he entered a home at 216 North Hunter.

POWER OUT

It appears that a blown transformer at Rt 50 and Armour Road is responsible for a power outage Tuesday that effected an estimated 20,000 Com Ed customers from Bradley to Grant Park.     Power was reportedly back on by about 9:30 last night.

RANSACKED APARTMENT

Kankakee City Police are investigating a burglary in the 300 block of South Lincoln Ave.  The resident tells police that while she was being treated at the hospital someone ransacked her apartment.

REX MISSING

Officials are on the lookout for a missing 40 pound tortoise named Rex.    The Daily Journal reports that Rex ran away Tuesday from his Riverview home.  A one hundred dollar reward is being offered for the return of Rex.  If you find the animal dont put him in the river.  He's a land only tortoise who would drown.

SHOTS FIRED

Kankakee City Police were called to Crestlanes Apartments Monday of this week for a report of shots fired.  A woman tells police she found a bullet hole in her window when she returned home from work.  Police say the round was discovered lodged in a nearby wall.  No one was hurt.

SHAPIRO PROTESTS

State workers were chanting and hoisting signs at picket lines across the state Tuesday in protest over Governor Pat Quinns decision to cancel raises for thousands of public employees.  Workers marched at Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee Tuesday where AFSCME Local 29 President Gary Ciaccio said the governor had other options he never explored. About 100 workers were on the informational picket line Tuesday at Shapiro.

PUNKIN VINE FAIR

The Punkin Vine Fair in Kentland continues today at the Newton County Fairgrounds.    Tuesday night, Montgomery Gentry was the entertainment.     Troy Gentry told us before the show that they enjoy playing the county fair circuit.
THURSDAY JULY 14

ACCIDENT

Iroquois County Sheriffs Police report a single vehicle accident Wednesday on 2500 East and 1900 North.   19 year old Kathryn Lavoie of Watseka was northbound on 2500 when she swerved to avoid a deer in the roadway lost control and struck a bridge.    No injuries reported.

K3 MAN ON DEATH ROW

A man who grew up in Kankakee and is now on death row in Arizona, is scheduled for execution by lethal injection next Tuesday.   But today 52 year old Thomas Paul West  will ask the State of Arizona for clemency, arguing that sexual abuse as a child by three different men forever changed him and lead to post traumatic stress disorder.  West was convicted of the 1987 beating death of an Arizona man in a robbery gone bad.  The victim, a father of five, was hogtied and left in a closet where he bled to death.    The victims family is asking that the execution proceed as scheduled.

GILMAN FIGHT

A fight apparently lead to the arrest of two Gilman brothers early today.  22 year old Zackary Weakly and  30 year old Ryan Harrison were both arrested for domestic battery.  Both being held at the Iroquois County Detention Center awaiting a court hearing.

REX STILL MISSING

The reward for Rex the missing tortoise is now up to 300 dollars.  The 40 pound African tortoise wondered away from his South Poplar home in Kankakee on Tuesday and has not been seen since.  The Daily Journal and group transfer in Manteno have added to the pot for the safe return of Rex.    Call 480-236-0494 if you have any information on the whereabouts of Rex the tortoise.

BIKE ILLINOIS

Some 20 bicyclists will spend tonight in Bradley.  Its the 5th for bicycle Illinois, a 500 mile, six day tour of the state that span’s the length of the Land of Lincoln, from Cairo to Chicago.   Participants should be arriving at BBCHS this afternoon.  They'll finish up the ride tomorrow as they make their way to Chicago stopping along the way in Peotone and Matteson.

PUNKIN VINE FAIR

Today is another day of fun and entertainment at the Punkin Vine Fair in Newton County.   Fair continues through Saturday at the Newton County Fairgrounds in Kentland.
FRIDAY JULY 15

BODY ID

Kankakee County Sheriffs Police say a body discovered April first, 2009 in rural Kankakee has now been identified.   After an extensive investigation, authorities say the remains belong to a Ray Acklin who was last seen in the East Chicago area on April 25th 2008.  The death has been ruled a homicide.

BOURBONNAIS BURGLARY

Bourbonnais Police are looking for man in his 20's, black, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds in connection with a robbery Wednesday night outside the Briarcliff Professional Center.  The victim says he left his office about 11:30 when a man approached and pulled gun.  The suspect fled with the wallet when the victim threatened to go to the nearby Bourbonnais police station.   From the description police believe the weapon may have been a pellet gun.

BURGLARY

Kankakee City Police are investigating a burglary to a home in the 300 block of West River Street.   Police say someone trashed the place going through all the draws and cabinets dumping the items on the floor and breaking any glass items in the house. 

EXECUTION IS ON

ON A 3 TO 2 VOTE Arizona's clemency board  turned down a death row inmate's pleas for mercy on Thursday, five days before his scheduled execution for beating another man to death in 1987.  52 YEAR OLD Thomas Paul West, WHO GREW UP IN KANAKKEE, his attorneys and two psychologists argued at Thursday's hearing that sexual abuse as a child by three different men forever changed him and led to post-traumatic stress disorder.  The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency could have recommended that Gov. Jan Brewer lessen his sentence to life in prison.  West, who worked as a drywaller, grew up in Kankakee, Ill., and had only been living in Arizona a short time before the crime.

GASH SENTENCE

Its three years behind bars for 30 year old Travis Gash of Kempton.  Gash ahs pleaded guilty in Ford County Court to arson after he set his home on fire in July of last year during a domestic dispute with in girlfriend.  The woman and three children were in the home at the time of the blaze.  All managed to escape.   Gash was shot three times that night by police when he threatening an officer with a 12 inch knife.

KIDNAPPING PLEA

A Chebanse man has pleaded guilty to a charge of intimidation in connection with the bizarre May kidnapping of a Kankakee man.   The victim told police he was held in a closet by four men with only a six pack of beer and then force to his bank to withdraw cash.  19 year old Lucas Strassenburg was sentenced to two years probation and agreed to testify against the others.   The plot fell apart at the bank when the victim was able to alert bank employees to what was happening.

WEAPON ARREST

Police broke up a confrontation between four people in the 1600 block of East Duane Blvd Thursday morning and arrested one man allegedly armed with a gun.  22 year old Tyrone hill of Kankakee was taken into custody after police found a handgun on his person. 

BLUES FEST

The Milk Cow Blues Festival is Saturday at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana.  Spokesman Jed Stockton says along with some great blues music their plenty food and fun.  The cost is 15 dollars for adults.  Kids 3 to 12 get in for 8 dollars.   Fair Oaks is located just off I-65 at exit 220.  For more information go to fofarms.com.

HARRY POTTER

The first showing of the new and final installment of the Harry Potter series took to the screen at midnight at the Paramount Theatre in Kankakee.    According to The Daily Journal fans began lining up at 1 Thursday afternoon to ensure a good seat.

POKER RUN

Last weekends Tractors for a Cure to benefit the American Cancer Society was a huge success.  The event was a 10 mile poker run on tractors.  Spokesman Dean Betenhousen says they made a lot of money for cancer research.  49 tractors took part in the run.

PUNKIN VINE FAIR

The annual Punkin Vine Fair in Newton County Fair wraps up tomorrow.  All the fun is at the Newton County Fairgrounds in Kentland.

REX UPDATE

There still no sign of runaway Rex.   The missing six year old 40 pound African tortoise.   The Daily Journal reports that the reward for the safe return of Rex has now been increased to 400 dollars.  The animal hasn’t been seen since Tuesday when he wondered away from his South Poplar home. 
MONDAY JULY 18

CAR FIRE

Kankakee Fire called to a car fire overnight at River and Nelson.   The vehicle is total loss.  Damage estimated at about 5000 dollars.   The fire is listed as suspicious.   No one was hurt.

PLANE CRASH

Two people were hurt in a plane crash Saturday afternoon at the Paxton Airport during the Paxton Fly In Drive In event.   The injuries are not believed to be life threatening.   No word yet on the cause of the crash or even the type of plane involved.

TRAIN CRASH

Faulty track is being blamed for a TP and W Freight train derailment Friday afternoon in Crescent City.  A tanker car filled alcohol jumped the tracks and ended up on it's side leaking. The EPA and a Hazmat team were called in to clean up the area. The tanker was the only car to derail. The incident forced the closure of Route 24 between Crescent City and Watseka.  The road reopened Sunday.  Crescent City residents get nervous when a train derails nearby.  The town was the site of a derailment and multiple, massive, explosions in 1970 that leveled most of the business district and destroyed several homes.

WEST EXECUTION

Before 52 year old Thomas Paul West beat a man to death in Arizona in 1987, he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Kankakee County.  According to The Daily Journal, West, who will be put to death tomorrow by the State of Arizona, shot and killed a Manteno man at a party in 1981 and was sentenced to four years in prison.   Last week an Arizona Clemency Board denied the former Kankakee mans request to have his sentenced reduced to life in prison.   He'll be put to death tomorrow by lethal injection.

KINZINGER

Congressman Adam Kinzinger was in the Kankakee area today hosting a business forum at the Kankakee Regional Chamber of Commerce offices.   On debt limit negotiations, Kinzinger says in the end he feels leaders will work it all out.

PAXTON ACCIDENT

A Gibson City couple was hospitalized following an accident over the weekend near Paxton.   Police say a 64 year old Missouri man had just left I57 and was on Route 9 in search of gasoline when he allegedly turned in front of a vehicle driven by 59 year old Katherine Finefield.  Finefield and her 69 year old husband were both hospitalized with non life threatening injuries. The Missouri man was not hurt, but was ticketed for failure to yield.

WHITE GIVES RAISES

Being billions of dollars in debt has not discouraged Illinois Secretary of State Jessie White from handing out raises.  Crains Chicago Business reports that White gave his entire executive staff 6 percent raises this year.  Total cost to Illinois tax payers is 78 thousand dollars per month.   An office spokesman say the raises were necessary to keep executive salaries even with wages of unionized workers after two years of pay freezes.  All this while the governor tries to cancel a scheduled pay raise for AFSCME union members.

AG BREAKFAST

Reservations are now being taken for the 47th annual Kankakee County Fair Ag Professional Breakfast is coming up August 4th.   The cost is 10 dollars.  Again that number 932-6714.  

BRAIDWOOD LOSES

A federal jury Friday awarded a Com Ed meter reader 60,000 dollars from the City of Braidwood and two of its police officers.  This after Braidwood Police in 2005 arrested the woman while responding to a complaint of a person of color photographing houses.  The worker was taken into custody despite being dressed in Com Ed clothing and producing two Com Ed I.D.'s.

MANTENO ELEMENTARY

Changes are coming to Manteno Elementary sSchools.   Superintendent Dawn Russert says the changes will not increase anyone’s taxes.   They hope to break ground next April.

REDDICK FIRE

No word yet on the cause of fire Sunday that destroyed two trailer homes in Reddick.    The early morning blaze jumped from one home to the other, but everyone was able to get out in time.   No word on a damage estimate, the investigation continues today.
TUESDAY JULY 19

ARSON

Kankakee City Fire and Police are investigating arson Monday in the 1100 block of East Maple.  It appears that someone tried to burn down an apartment building there.  Police saying there was fire damage around a lower portion of the building.

EXECUTION TODAY

The way is now clear for the State of Arizona to execute a former Kankakee man.  The US Supreme Court today denied a stay of execution for fifty-two-year-old Thomas Paul West who is now scheduled to die by lethal injection at 1 pm our time at the state prison in Florence 24 years after he beat an Arizona man to death while robbing his home just outside Tucson.   West also served time in Illinois for voluntary manslaughter after shooting a Manteno man to death at a party in 1981.

HOME ALONE

Authorities Monday took custody of two teen boys who were left home alone for a week by their mom without any food.  According to police reports the boys say their mother had been staying with someone in the Marycrest subdivision and told the two that it was not her problem that they had nothing to eat.  Police verified that there was indeed no food in the home in the 300 block of Tedmark and say the place was in disarray.  The Department of Children and Family Services is looking into it.  No charges have yet been filed.

K3 MEETING

At last nights Kankakee City Council meeting the council awarded Einfeldt Construction 57 thousand dollars for curb and sidewalk work.  Work that will be done early in the morning according to Mayor Nina Epsteen.

BOURBONNAIS MEETING

At last nights Bourbonnais Village Board meeting, trustees awarded a contract to Einfelt Construction to resurface the parking lot at administration building.  And there was talk of Bears camp.  Mayor Paul Shore says if camp doesn't happen it would be a blow especially to village businesses.

DEATH INVESTIGATION

Kankakee County Sheriffs Police have a death investigation on their hands this morning.   The investigation on going at Tri Star Estates according to The Daily Journal.

TRAILOR TAKEN

Panozzo's on North Hobbie Monday reported the theft of one of their semi trailers.   The rig was taken from the 700 block of East Gate sometime over the weekend.  No word on what if anything might have been inside.
WEDNESDAY JULY 20

BARN FIRE

Fire departments from around the area were called to a barn fire Tuesday in rural  Momence at 7000 East and 2000 North.   The structure was engulfed in flames when fire fighters arrived.   No one was reported hurt.  Damage estimates and a cause are still pending.

FATAL FALL

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating a fatal accident last week at Silva International in the Momence area.   The Daily Journal reports that 44 year old Antonio Guerra died after apparently falling from the roof of the building.

IRO FAIR

Five Lovely Ladies will take part in tonight’s Iroquois County Fair Queen Pageant.  It's the kickoff to the annual fest at the Iroquois County Fairgrounds in Crescent City.   The fair continues through Sunday.

TRUCKER KILLED

An Ohio truck driver was killed and his rig burst into flames when his truck slammed into a second semi in Jasper County Indiana Tuesday afternoon.   Dead is 62 year old Merle Wyatt of Hamilton Ohio.   Police say the second semi driven by 37 year old Joe Gaston of Joliet was on Rt 16 and turned onto 231 in front of Wyatt’s truck.   The impact ejected Wyatt, his body was later discovered underneath the second truck.  231 and 16 was closed for about 5 hours Tuesday because of the wreck.  Gaston suffered only minor injuries.

WEST

52 year old Thomas Paul West formerly of Kankakee was put to death by the State of Arizona Tuesday shortly after one pm our time.  West was executed by lethal injection for the 1987 beating death of an Arizona man.   West reportedly made no final statements and skipped the best part of being executed the final meal.  Prison officials say West could have ordered anything he wanted within reason.

HEAT

As the temperature soars today the Kankakee County Health Department is advising you to take it easy today.  Executive director Bonnie Scavsma says you need to take it easy in this heat.  Be sure to check on elderly neighbors and relatives to make sure they are taking care of themselves in this heat.   And make sure your dogs and cats have shade and plenty of water.    Dont take Fido along with you today to the store.  Temperatures inside a locked up car can soar to dangerous levels in a very short time.

ROLL OVER

Iroquois County Sheriffs Police report a single vehicle, rollover accident Tuesday morning in Love Joy Township.    Police say 49 year old Susan Henry of Hoopeston veered off 2400 North near 400 North and overturned into a cornfield. 
THURSDAY JULY 21

PANTS DOWN

Watseka Police arrested a man earlier this week after he was seen stumbling near 2nd and Oak Street with his pants pulled down to his knees.    35 year old Brian Urban of Watseka was charged with public indecency, being a pedestrian under the influence and resisting a police officer.

CLOSED CROSSING

The Illinois Department of Transportation says the Union Pacific Railroad crossing on Route 47 in Dwight is closed today and will remain so through Monday.  The crossing is being refurbished.  Your detour is Route 17 via Route 66.

HEAT PROBLEMS

The City of Kankakee nearly had its first heat related death.   Kankakee Fire saying they were called to a home early this morning in the 500 block of South Dearborn where they found a man in his 70's with a core temperature of 108.   The homes air condition was not working and all the windows were sealed shut in the home.  The man was rushed to the hospital for treatment.   Be sure to check on your elderly family and neighbors during this heat wave. 

IRO FAIR

The Iroquois County Fair which kicked off last night with opening ceremonies. Sara Conley was named fair queen beating out for other ladies for the honor.   Spokesman Marvin Perzee says today’s fair highlights include the demolition derby.   Our Chris Nichols and Mike Ruble will be broadcasting live from the fair tonight.  The fair continues through Sunday at the fairgrounds in Crescent City.    

LAPTOP THEFT

Watseka Police wrapped up a burglary investigation in short order Wednesday.  Officers arrested 20 year old Samantha Martin for residential burglary at her home following an investigation into a stolen laptop computer from a home earlier in the day. 

WEEMS ARREST

A Bourbonnais man, 46 year old Joseph Weems, was arrested by Illinois State Police last week on I-57 near Buckley, after a trooper pulled over a relative of Weems who was driving another vehicle, for speeding.  Weems was apparently not to happy about it.  State police say Weems was allegedly tailgating the officers squad car for a time, made aggressive hand motions while passing the officer then pulled over and backed down the shoulder to confront the trooper.  Police say after being warned once, Weems ignored police orders and was placed under arrest.  Weems is facing multiple charges.
FRIDAY JULY 22

BURGLARY ARREST

Three people have been arrested in connection with a recent rash of 14 garage burglaries in Bradley.  Taken into custody are 49 year old Joy Melton, 53 year old Donna Melton and 44 year old Peter Gladkowski all of Bradley.   Joy Melton and Gladkowski are charged with two of the burglaries.   Donna Melton is charged with possession of stolen property. 

CEDAR LAKE DEATH

A four year old Cedar Lake boy is dead today the victim of an apparent accidental shooting at a Beecher liquor store.   Details on the shooting are sketchy.   All police are saying is that the shooting occurred about 10:15 Thursday morning at Tubbys Wine and Spirits in Beecher.   The Chicago Tribune reports that the wound was self inflicted after the child found a shotgun behind a counter.  The child is identifed as Ash Wimberley of Cedar Lake. 

CHARGES UPGRADED

The Daily Journal reports that a 17 year old Kankakee teen, already facing a charge of attempted murder, pleaded not guilty Thursday to upgraded weapons charges in connection with a may 24th gang shooting.  Jessie Dorsett allegedly fired a weapon within a thousand feet of an elementary school on South Wildwood.  The proximity to the school upgrades the original charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm.   No one was hurt in the incident.

DOUBLE SHOOTING

There was a double shooting last night in Kankakee.  It happened in the 300 block of West Hickory.   City police say two people, an 85 year old man and a 21 year old man were struck with gunfire as they walked in the area.  Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.  Police are looking for the gunman. 

REX

As the search for Rex the 40 pound run away African tortoise continues, The Daily Journal reports that a woman who claims to be a psychic called the Kankakee family to say she's envisions Rex under a shed in a back yard near a tan pit bull.   Rex has been missing for 10 days.

CRIME STOPPERS

Kankakee City Police are asking for your help in finding the gunman who shot two people Thursday night in the 300 block of West Hickory.  An 85 year old man and a 21 year old man were both struck with gunfire as they walked in the area.  Neither was seriously injured.    Call Kankakee Police if you can help out or call Crime Stoppers at 93-CRIME.  

FAIR HEAT RELIEF

Dont let the heat stop you from heading out to the Iroquois County Fair this weekend.   That's the message from fair officials.     Spokesman Marvin Perzee says you'll find plenty of shade and refreshments available on the fairgrounds.  Perzee says there are shuttle busses available as well.  The Iroquois County Fair continues through Sunday.

IRO FAIR

The Iroquois County Fair continues today.  The Iroquois County Fair continues through tomorrow at the Iroquois County Fairgrounds in Crescent City.

CAR WASH

Adventure Christian Church in Bradley is sponsoring a car wash today.   The proceeds will help the River Valley Parenting and Pregnancy Resource Center.   The carwash is today from 9 until noon at Adventure Christian Church at 235 North Kinzie in Bradley. 
MONDAY JULY 25

ACCIDENT

A Watseka man put his vehicle in a ditch over the weekend on County Road 43 near Watseka when a cigarette ember fell into his open boot.  While he attempted to put it out his vehicle veered off the road, hit a ditch and some railroad equipment before coming to a stop.   The driver was not injured.

ARMED ROBBERY

A 28 year old man says he was robbed of 400 dollars at gun point over the weekend near River and Chicago in Kankakee.   The man says he was walking on River when a van pulled up.  The victim says while the driver pointed a gun at him two others in the van jumped out and relieved him of the cash.  No one was hurt.

K3 TO BORROW MONEY

Kankakee County officials would like to borrow3 million dollars through the sale of bonds for heating and air conditioning upgrades at county buildings. The County Finance Committee approved the measure last week.   County Board Chairman Mike Bossert says the funds would also cover other needed work.

SEX ASSAULT

A 24 year old woman tells city police she was sexually assaulted by two men over the weekend at Cobb Park.  The woman says she accepted a ride home about 2 am Sunday from the men, but instead they drove to the park where the assault took place.

SHOOTING UPDATE

It was a pistol and not a shotgun that claimed the life of a four year old Cedar Lake boy last week in an accidental shooting in Beecher.  Media reports had been saying that 4 year old Ash Wimberly had discovered a shotgun behind a counter at Tubbys Wine and Spirits and accidentally shot himself in the head.  Authorities telling the Sun Times that the weapon was a pistol.

ANOTHER ARMED ROBBERY

There was an armed robbery early Monday morning in the 100 block of South Rosewood.  The two victims tell police two men approached the couple pulled a gun and order them to lay on the ground while the pair went through their vehicle looking for valuables.   The man lost his wallet and the woman lost her purse during the robbery.  No one was hurt.

KINZINGER

Congressman Adam Kinzinger made an appearance of NBC's Meet The Press program Sunday to discuss the economy and debt ceiling talks.  Kinzinger says Tea Partiers elected last November, who are being blamed in part for holding up a compromise deal that would also close tax loopholes are only staying true to what their constituents called for when they sent them to Washington, cuts in federal spending.

WILMINGTON RATES

Water rates are going up in Wilmington. The city council last week approved the increase from 3.50 to 5.25 per 1000 gallons.  A monthly base of 15.75 will cover the first 3000 gallons.  The billing also changes from every other month to a monthly billing period.

WHEATFIELD INDIANA

Its getting tough to find an apartment in Wheatfield Indiana.  The Jasper County town is seeing a bit of a economic boom being fueled by the nearby Nipso Coal Power Plant.   The plant is undergoing a 300 million dollar renovation to cut emissions.  Some 1200 workers are expected to be on the job at the height of the project and with so many people now moving to the area to fill those jobs, apartments are on the market for only a day or two before their snapped up.    The Wheatfield’s gas stations and restaurants are also enjoying an increase in business since the project got underway.  The renovations are expected to take years to complete.
TUESDAY JULY 26

ARMED ROBBERY

Nobody was hurt in an armed robbery Monday night near Elm and Hickory.   The victim says he was relieved of 250 dollars by the bad guys.  Kankakee Police are investigating.

BRADLEY MEETING

At last nights Bradley Village Board meeting Bradley Police Chief Steve Coy invited the entire area to next weeks 5th annual National Night out at Perry Farm .  National Night Out at Perry Farm includes a concert from the Silhouettes, food, games for the kids and fireworks.  That's august 2nd at Perry Farm.

CAR SWIPED

Kankakee City Police are investigating a car theft Monday in the 500 block of South Wildwood.   The owner tells police the car was taken sometime overnight Monday from the alley behind her home.

CAR TRAIN

There was a fatal car train accident last night in the Buckley area.   He still unidentified Highland Park woman apparently went around the crossing gates on County Road 950 North when she was struck on the drivers side door by the southbound Canadian Central Freight train.  The SUV ended up in a nearby ditch.   Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum says the woman was apparently lost at the time.  The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

IRO FAIR

The numbers are in on this years Iroquois County Fair.   Hot humid weather keeping attendance down a bit.    77 thousand 427 folks came out to the fair last week.   Last nights sales total came in at just over 139,000 dollars.  Thats up about 20 thousand from last years sale. 

FUNNY MONEY

Kankakee City Police are looking for two men who tried to pass two counterfeit 5 dollar bills at a business in the 500 block of South Washington over the weekend.    The clerk realized immeditatly that the bills were fakes.  A conclusion that was confirmed by the use of a counterfeit pen.   At that point the pair fled on foot.

MCTAGGERT

The Iroquois County Board in down one member.  Keith McTaggart of Gilman has resigned his seat.   The Times Republic reports that when contacted by the newspaper McTaggart refused to comment on the move.
WEDNESDAY JULY 27

BURGLARY

Kankakee City Police are called to a tavern in the 1300 block of South East Ave early Tuesday morning for a burglary in progress.   An alarm system apparently scared off the intruder who had fled by the time officers arrived.   Police found a broken window and the door open, but nothing was taken.  

CRIME STOPPERS

Iroquois County Crime Stoppers asking for help in finding two people who swiped several rings from a Crescent City home last Friday.   While one of the suspects distracted the home owner in the basement, an associate, entered the home and went through jewelry boxes in the master bedroom.  If you can help call 43CRIME.  Thats 43 CRIME.  You might end up with a thousand dollar reward.

FUNNY MONEY

Kankakee Police say somebody tried to pass a counterfeit 100 dollar bill earlier this week at a business in the 600 block of South Indiana in Kankakee.   The clerk held on to the funny money and called police.   The man fled the store at that point.

HEROIN BUST

Three people have been arrested in Newton County Indiana for the sale and possession of heroin.  52 year old Phyillis Keen of Morroco, 19 year old Andraya Christi of Sumava resorts and 26 year old Dustin Streean of Sumava Resorts are all being held in lieu of bond.   Newly elected Newton County Prosecutor Jeff Drinski says the heroin problem in Newton County is bigger than he originally thought.  Drinksi says more arrests can be expected in this ongoing investigation.

HUD GRANT

The Kankakee County Housing Authority is in line to receive 414 thousand dollars from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Hud is providing 138 million dollars national wide to allow public housing agencies to make major large scale improvements to their public housing units.  The money to be used for projects like the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems, new roofing and the installation of energy efficient heating and cooling systems.

TRAIN FATAL ID

We have an ID this morning on the Highland Park attorney who was killed this week in a car versus train accident near Buckley.    Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum today identifies the woman as 47 year old Cheryl Wilson Segal.  Segal was killed when she reportedly drove around the crossing gates and was struck on the drivers side door by a southbound Canadian National Freight Train.

BANGKOK

A former school superintendent convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy is in custody in central Illinois after nearly 20 years on the run.  Authorities say 60-year-old Dennis Catron was booked in Danville
on Monday.  The former Hoopeston alderman and superintendent of the Ludlow School District was arrested outside his Bangkok home last month on a fugitive-from-justice warrant.  Catron was first arrested in 1991 on charges that he sexually abused a teenage boy. He jumped bond after that arrest. In July 1991, he turned himself in, posted $5,000 bond and fled again.  Authorities believe he's been living in Thailand since his
disappearance in 1992.  Vermilion County sheriff's Capt. Rod Kaag says Catron will have a local hearing.  It wasn't immediately clear whether Catron has an attorney.

NEW JUDGE

The 21st Judicial Circuit Court in Iroquois and Kankakee Counties has been informed by the state that it has been allotted a new associate judgeship.   

POST OFFICES CLOSING

With an 8.3 billion dollar deficit this year, the US Post Office is considering the closure of some 3700 post office retail locations around the country.  The list of possible closures was released Tuesday.  Area post offices on the list include Woodland, Stockland, Iroquois, Papinaeu, Goodwin, and Buckingham in Illinois.  Along with Earl Park, Sumava Resorts and Mt Ayr in Indiana.  The first round of closings would begin this fall.
THURSDAY JULY 28

PRISON BOUND

A former Hoopeston school superintendent convicted of sexually abusing a 13 year old boy is headed to prison after nearly 20 years on the run.   At a court appearance in Vermillion County on Wednesday 60 year old Dennis Catron waived his right to a hearing to hear what he was entitled to because he was convicted in absentia.  He is being arranged to be delivered to the Illinois Dept. of Corrections.  The former alderman and superintendent of the school district was arrested outside his Bangkok home last month.

I-57 ARREST

City police arrested a Kankakee woman Wednesday after she was spotted walking on the northbound lanes of I-57 and exit 312 in front of moving vehicles in an attempt to get them to stop to ask them for cash or a ride.  Police say its not the first time they had to arrest the 37 year old for soliciting cash from divers.

KANKAKEE BURGLARY

Kankakee City Police are investigating a burglary in the 100 of N. Evergreen and left very little in the home.  Taken was a couch, loveseat, 3 entertainment centers, 2 beds, 2 TVs,  2 TV stands and a deep freezer.   The resident tells police she found the items missing from the home Tuesday after returning from a 2 day absence.

BEARS TRAFFIC

With Bears Camp getting underway at Olivet Nazarene University, Bourbonnais Police are reminding everyone that the so called Bears Stop Sign, will be erected at Armour Rd and Stadium Dr. today.   The sign goes up every year to help with traffic control during camp.  Players arrive tomorrow.

MUSIC FEST

The annual Merchant St. Music Fest gets underway Friday in downtown Kankakee.  This years fest features 35 acts.  There is a jazz and blues stage, a hip-hop/garage pop stage, a main live stage with nationally known acts, including latin/salsa, classic rock, country.   There will also be plenty of games for the kids.  Refreshments will be made available and its all free.
FRIDAY JULY 29

ARMED ROBBERY

Kankakee Police are looking for two men in connection with an armed robbery early Thursday in the 1000 block of South Washington.  A 27 year old male victim says the two came up from behind him.  While one of the men pointed a gun at him the other removed his wallet from his pants pocket.   No one was hurt.  The bad guys got away with twenty bucks.

IRO JAIL

The Iroquois County Jail has gotten a clean bill of health.   The Times Republic reports the county lock up passed its annual inspection by the Illinois Department of Corrections.  Iroquois County Sheriffs Derek Hagen says jail got passing grades in all areas.

JOBLESS NUMBERS

Unemployment in Kankakee ticked up in June.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security puts the number at 10.7 percent.  Thats up from 10 percent in May but way down from the 12.5 percent of June 2010.    Rockford has the highest jobless rate in the state.  Bloomington Normal and Springfield, the lowest at 7 percent.   The May to June unemployment numbers were also up in Iroquois, Livingston, Ford and Will Counties.

NOT GUILTY PLEA

The Daily Journal reports that a 21 year old Thawville man has pleaded not guilty in Kankakee County Court on an attempted first degree murder charge in the stabbing of an 18 year old Kankakee man.  The attack took place in Bourbonnais at last month’s Bourbonnais Friendship Festival.  Police say the victim was stabbed seven times in the 900 block of Stratford Drive in whats believed to be a gang related incident.

RUNAWAY FATAL

State officials now say they aren't sure where a 12-year-old eastern Illinois foster child who died while driving a stolen minivan was heading.  Travis Messenger died Monday after running away from a hospital
in Hoopeston.   Illinois Department of Children and Family Services spokesman Kendall Marlowe says officials aren't sure where Travis was headed. But Marlowe said children who run away from foster care are often
trying to reach family. Marlowe's parents live in Danville, about 30 miles south of Hoopeston.  A court gave custody of Travis and three siblings to the state on July 6.  Travis ran away from a foster home in Urbana on July 12 but was found and put back with state officials when he fled the hospital.

SHOOTING

Kankakee City Police are investigating a shooting over night in the 400 block of South 5th Ave.    One person was struck in the leg with gunfire.   The wounds are not thought to be life threatening.  No arrests have been made, but a gun has reportedly been found at the scene.

REAL ESTATE MERGER

Bennett Commercial Bennett Homes has merged with McColly Real Estate to form McColly Bennett Real Estate in Kankakee County and McColly Bennett Commercial in Kankakee, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.    The newly formed McColly Bennett make the firm the largest independently owned and operated real estate company in the region with over 500 sales professionals in 19 offices.

SUMMERFEST

Summerfest 2011 kicks off today in Kankakee’s Pioneer Park and continues through Sunday.   The event is sponsored each year by Kankakee Alderman Steve Hunter.  Summerfest begins today at 1 pm and continues Saturday and Sunday.  Pioneer Park 700 North Hobbie.
MONDAY AUGUST 1

HOOPESTON STANDOFF

A man armed with a handgun barricaded himself inside of his Hoopeston apartment early Sunday and threatened to kill police officers and himself.   It happened in the 200 block of East Lincoln.  Police say it began as a domestic dispute and escalated from there.  The woman involved managed to escape the apartment before police arrived and was treated at Hoopeston Hospital.   After 3 hours of negotiations with police, 46 year old Darryl Perkins surrendered peacefully.   He has been charged with domestic battery and unlawful use of a weapon by a convicted felon.

K3 SHOOTING

We don’t have any details yet but sources say theres yet been another shooting in Kankakee.  One person has been taken to the hospital; the extent of the injuries is unknown at this time.  We will have more information as it becomes available.

GIBSON CITY FIRE

Damage is estimated at $150,000 from a house fire Saturday night in Gibson City.  Gibson City Fire is saying flames were already showing when they arrived on the scene.  Nobody was hurt.  Several fire fighters were treated for heat exhaustion while battling the blaze in the 90 degree heat.  The fire was  believed to have started in the bedroom and exact cause has yet to be determined.

LOWELL SOLDIER KILLED

A 2008 graduate of Lowell High School has been killed in Afghanistan.  22 year old  Augustus Vicari died Friday when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle.  He had been in the war zone only 3 weeks.

POLICE CLOSING

Rumors are going around that the State of Illinois is considering closing District 21 State Police Headquarters in Ashkum. The Daily Journal reports that the rumor was set off by an email sent to staffers last week saying the buildings lease would not be renewed in December.

COURT ST CLOSING

If you travel East Court Street you may want to give yourself more time this week.  Court St. will be closed all this week at Fairmont for an upgrade at the railroad crossing.  Traffic will be diverted to Fairmont to Hobbie and vice versa.

CAR DEER

There was a car deer accident Sunday in Iroquois County.  19 year old Jeremy Weber of Ashkum was on 770 North near 1200 East when he encountered the animal in the roadway.  Nobody was hurt.
TUESDAY AUGUST 2

ARMED ROBBERY

This guy took a chance but it ended up working out of ok for him.   There was an attempted armed robbery in the 800 block of East Station Street over the weekend.  City police Monday said a man was approached by two others early Sunday morning who pointed a gun at his face and demanded money.   The victim pushed the two offenders away whipped out his cell phone and began calling 911.   The two bad guys ran at that point.

BOURBONNAIS MEETING

At last nights Bourbonnais Village Board meeting, Mayor Paul Shore encouraged everyone to come out to tonight’s National Night Out at Perry Farm featuring the Silhouettes and fireworks.    Mayor Paul Shore reminds us though there is a serious side to the event.  The music begins at 7, the fireworks at dusk.  ALSO, Mayor Paul Shore said the village is delighted to have the Chicago Bears back in town.

COPPER THEFT

City police are investigating a copper theft sometime in the last couple of weeks from a vacant rental property in the 700 block of South Elm.  The landlord checking the building Monday found all the copper piping in the homes basement missing along with a refrigerator and stove. 

COURT STREET

The first day of the Court Street railroad crossing upgrade project saw heavy traffic jams in the area as drivers made their way down Fairmont then Hobbie and back to Court Street.  Semis were reportedly having difficulty making the turn onto Fairmont which slowed traffic even more.  You're advised to seek an alternate. Route to where you need to be.

KINZINGER

Emergency legislation to avert a potentially disastrous government default and make a down payment toward taming passed on a bipartisan vote in the house on Monday and is virtually assured to clear the senate.  Congressman Adam Kinzinger voted for the measure Monday and says one of the things he likes about the bill is it forces congress to make meaningful spending reform.  The bill does not raise taxes and cuts spending by 2 trillion over 10 years.

K3 MEETING

At last nights Kankakee City Council meeting, alderman approved a bond refinance that will save the city a chunk of change.    Last weekends Musicfest in downtown Kankakee received coo does at last nights city council meeting.    Mayor Nina Epsteen it a lot of dedicated people to bring the event together.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3

BURGLARY IN PROGRESS

Kankakee City Police surrounded an apartment building in the 300 block of South Wildwood Tuesday afternoon after receiving a call about someone climbing up the outside of the building to a second floor apartment.   A search turned up a juvenile hiding in a broom closet.  No one was hurt.

FATAL ACCIDENT

A Goodland Indiana man was killed Tuesday morning on Newton County 1300 South and 650 East when he lost control and rolled his vehicle.  Newton County Sheriffs Police identify the victim as 68 year old Richard Ryan of Goodland.   Ryan who was pronounced dead at the scene, was discovered outside his burning vehicle.    Police are not sure if Ryan was thrown from the vehicle or climbed out.

NIGHT OUT

Fireworks, music, fun and games were enjoyed by an estimated 3000 people during National Night Out at Perry Farm last night.    

SEX ASSAULT

A Rensselaer man is facing up to 50 years behind bars if convicted of having sex with a 12 year old girl in the fall of 2010.    Jasper County Sheriffs police say 25 year old Gideon Nagle readily admits that he knew the girl was 12 at the time the alleged assault.   The two were apparently acquaintances who had been sending text messages to each other.

SHOOTING FATAL

A Kankakee man is under arrest this morning in connection with a shooting Tuesday afternoon that left one man dead and another hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the leg.   Charged with first degree murder is 19 year old Demetrius Jones of Kankakee.  Kankakee County Coroner bob Gessner identifies the victim as 27 year old Marcus Sanders of Kankakee.   Sanders was struck in the chest while in a vehicle in the 400 block of South Greenwood in Kankakee.   Sanders died a short time later at a local hospital. 

K3 FAIR

The 47th annual Kankakee County Fair gets underway today.   The fair continues through Sunday at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds.
THURSDAY AUGUST 4

DRUNK ARREST

Kankakee Police were called to Sherwood Forrest Apartments in the 1100 block of West Jeffery just after three Wednesday morning for a report of a woman knocking on doors and screaming for help.     The woman, who police say was intoxicated, told officers that she had been robbed.  However dressed in just a bra and inside out pants, police say the Kankakee woman’s story was not adding up.  When 26 year old Jessica Keller became belligerent, she was arrested for criminal trespassing.

WILMINGTON POWER BACK

The power is back on in Wilmington today after a storm related power outage Tuesday night continued into Wednesday evening before com ed had everyone back online.  At its height, the outage affected about 3000 customers including Wilmington’s Kankakee River Water Plant.  Residents were being asked to conserve water until the emergency had passed.

ROBBERY

There was a robbery Wednesday afternoon in the area of Greenwood and Chestnut in Kankakee.  A 40 year old woman says two men approached her and demanded money.  When she refused to comply one of the men grabbed her purse and relieved her of about 200 dollars before the pair fled on foot.  No one was hurt.

SHOOTING UPDATE

Kankakee City Police say a fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon in the 400 block of South Greenwood appears to have been the result of an ongoing dispute between the alleged gunman and his victim.   27 year old Marcus Sanders was gunned down while sitting in a vehicle with another man who was also wounded by the gunfire.   Arrested a short time later was 19 year old Demetrious Jones of Kankakee.  He's being held on a charge of first degree murder.

KARMA

The Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency board this week approved an 11.8 million dollar plant upgrade.    According to The Daily Journal, the plan is to replace intake pumps, computerized operational systems and more.  None of this is related to repairs being made because of last December’s explosion.   This project is replacing equipment that has outlived its lifespan.  Its being paid for with a 20 year low interest Illinois environmental protection agency loan.

HOG HEARINGS

Opponents to a proposed hog farm near Pontiac plan to make their feelings known during two public agriculture department hearings being held today.   Only three miles from town residents are concerned about odor, and run off into the nearby vermillion river.   The waterway service as the source of water for Pontiacs residents.   The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that the plan submitted to the state for approval is for two hog farm facilities that could house up for 4500 swine.

FAIR DAY 2

The 47th annual Kankakee County Fair kicks off day two today with the annual AG Breakfast featuring comedian Damian Mason as the keynote entertainment.   The Kankakee County Fair continues through Sunday.  Our Mike Ruble will be broadcasting live from the fair today and tomorrow from 3:30 to 4:30. 

SUMMERFEST

Kankakee Alderman Steve Hunter is pleased with the outcome of last weekends Summerfest.    Hunter says the annual event held at Kankakee’s Pioneer Park was a rousing success.
FRIDAY AUGUST 5

OVERTURNED CANOE

An overturned canoe floating down the Kankakee River last night near the YMCA caused a stir.    For a time fire officials thought the three kids may have been in that canoe.  The children were later accounted for elsewhere.  Authorities don’t yet know where the canoe originated from.

SEX ASSAULT

A woman called city police early Thursday morning to report that her new boyfriend had just sexually assaulted her 11 year old niece.   The man reportedly then left the South Curtis home on foot.    Police have a name and are looking for him.

FAIR DAY 3

Today is day three of the Kankakee County Fair.    It'll be a busy day in the barns and they smash em up in the grandstands tonight.   The fair continues through Sunday at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds.

WRESTLER PLEA

The last of four former BBCH wrestlers involved in an alleged assault of a fellow team member in December of 2008 at a meet in Lincoln Illinois, pled guilty in Logan County Court this week.  According to The Daily Journal, 20 year old Colton Beaupre took a plea deal to the reduced charge of misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to two years probation.   Beaupre was originally charged with criminal sexual assault and attempted criminal sexual assault but prosecutors said there was enough evidence to support those charges.

CLERK POLL

As you head out to the Kankakee County Fair this weekend be sure to stop at the County Clerks booth to take this years annual Clerks Office Public Opinion Poll.    County Clerk Bruce Clark says they have some great questions this year.   Poll results should be available late next week.

PROSECUTORS NEED HELP

The Iroquois County States Attorneys office could be getting a needed infusion of 30,000 dollars for an assistant prosecutors salary.   The county board finance committee at a Thursday meeting recommended a transfer from the general fund.   The transfer would keep the office at current staffing levels through the end of the fiscal year.  It still needs the approval of the full county board.

SPICE OF LIFE

The annual Spice of Life Variety Show to benefit Harbor House is this weekend at Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School.  Bonnie Brewer says the two day run which begins tonight is a nice mix of local entertainment.  Brewer says over the last 28 years they've raised a chunk of change for Harbor House.   The Spice of Life for Harbor House starts at 7 tonight and tomorrow night at BBCHS.   Tickets available at the door.
MONDAY AUGUST 8

BOND SET

Bond has been set at two million dollars for a Kankakee man charged with last weeks shooting death of 27 year old Marcus Sanders of Kankakee.  Sanders was shot to death as he sat in his vehicle in the 400 block of South Greenwood.  A passenger was injured by the gunfire.  Being held on two counts of first degree murder is 19 year old Demetrious Jones. 

LAKE VILLAGE FATAL

A Friday afternoon accident has claimed the life of a Lake Village Indiana man. Newton County Sheriffs Police 86 year old Paul Anderson was killed when he reportedly turned in front of a semi at Route 41 and 950 West. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene.

MOMENCE FIRE

A single story home suffered extensive damage and five cars were destroyed in a fire Saturday in the Momence area.  The blaze erupted just after three Saturday morning.  The cause is still under investigation.  No one reported injured.

REX OK

After 26 days on the run, Rex the 40 pound African tortoise missing since July 12th from his Kankakee home, has been returned to his family in the 1100 block of South Poplar. The Daily Journal reports that Rex was discovered Saturday about a block away hiding under some bushes along the side of a home. Rex is reported as healthy but very hungry.

ST ANNE FATAL

A 20 year old St Anne man was killed and his 18 year old passenger was injured in an accident Sunday night in Valparaiso.   The Post Tribune reports that Alan Boudreau blew a red light and was stuck by a semi at Lincolnway and Campbell Streets.  Boudreau later died at the hospital his passenger, 18 year old Marissa Alliss of St Anne was hospitalized; the extent of her injuries are unknown.  The truck driver was not hurt.

WATSEKA FIRE

A fire early Saturday morning did an estimated 60,000 dollars in damage to a two story apartment home in the 200 block of Hickory in Watseka. The fire, that began in the attic of a back addition was electrical in nature and has been ruled accidental. Nobody was hurt. Watseka Police Officer John Marshino is being hailed as a hero today. While on patrol Marshino smelled the smoke from the fire and alerted the fire department all while waking residents and clearing the building.

BRADLEY WEST

When students head back to Bradley West Elementary this year they'll be heading back to a two million dollar new addition.  The ribbon cutting for the new classrooms will be this Thursday. 

LAKE COUNTY FAIR

The Lake County Fair got underway over the weekend.  The 11 day extravaganza continues today with something new.    The Lake County Fair at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.

FARM HONORED

A Newton County farm is being honored this week at the Indiana State Fair. The Burford Lyons farm will be receiving a Hoosier Homestead Award which given to farms owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years. The award will be presented by Lt Gov. Becky Skillman.
TUESDAY AUGUST 9

LAKE HOLIDAY DROWNING

A 23 year old man drowned Monday night while swimming at a campground in DeMotte Indiana.  Divers recovered the body of Chirs Stately about three hours after he began to struggle in the water while swimming with three family members at Lake Holiday campground on Indiana 10.  In a press release the department of natural resources says stately slipped under the water despite his relative attempts to keep him afloat.

ROADWORK

Last week it was Court Street effected by a full closure for a railroad crossing reconstruction, this week its Route 50.   The Illinois Department of Transportation says the KB and S crossing on Route 50 was shut down Monday for the same reason.  Detours are posted.

HEROIN ARREST

Wilmington Police made a couple of heroin busts within a 24 hour period late last week.  Thursday night checking out a suspicious vehicle at the Shell gas station, officers allegedly spotted syringes and a baggie of heroin on a car seat.  Arrested there was 19 year old Kathleen Tutterow.  She faces drug charges.  Then Friday afternoon, a traffic stop at Buren and Washington, turned up 35 hits of heroin in the vehicle.  Three people arrested there.  54 year old Bertha Fronek of Morris, 36 year old Charles Headley of Wilmington and 31 year old Jake Richardson of Wilmington were all booked on drug charges. 

MURDER ARREST

Lowell Indiana Police say a couple found dead in their home over the weekend in the 300 block of East Land Circle was a murder suicide.    Police say the bodies were discovered Sunday by their daughter.  Firends says the woman had alzheimers disease and the couple had just depleted their 401 k and had lost money in the stock market.   Police believe the 84 year old husband shot his wife to death then killed himself.  Names are being withheld on request of the family.

KVTA

You can enjoy a great dinner tonight and help the Kankakee Valley Theater Association at the same time.   Spokesperson Paula Sutter says they will have tickets to sell for Octobers Buddy Holly tribute concert and winter dance party.

BRADLEY MEETING

What kind of effect will the sp and downgrade on US Debt have on small town America, the answer apparently is not much.  At least not in Bradley.   At last nights village board meeting Mayor Bruce Adams said he foresees no effect on village finances at all.

KCF AUCTION

Sale prices were up at this years livestock auction at the just completed Kankakee County Fair.  The overall take Saturday night was 128,000 dollars.  Thats an increase of 8000 over last years auction.    
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10

FIRE

Damage is estimated at about 40,000 dollars from a house fire Tuesday evening in the 1900 block of East Locust.   Kankakee Fire saying the blaze began on the second floor of the home, but an exact cause is still pending.   No one was injured in the fire.  The Red Cross is caring for the family.

IRO PROSECUTOR

The layoff of an assistant prosecutor was averted Tuesday when the Iroquois County Board approved a transfer of 30,000 dollars from the general fund to the states attorneys office.   The funding infusion will cover the salary for the remainder of the fiscal year.  

SHOTS FIRED

Kankakee City Police were called to the 300 block of North Evergreen Tuesday afternoon for a report of shots being fired.  The victim had just exited a vehicle in the area and was speaking with others, when a car pulled up and two men jumped out one armed with a gun.    All three were running when one shot was fired, striking the victim in the leg. Police are looking for the gunman.

KCHA

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that Illinois will receive more than 12 million dollars for the development of affordable housing in the state.  Of the 12 million coming to the state 542 thousand dollars has been earmarked for the Kankakee County Housing Authority.

POLL RESULTS

The results are in from this years County Clerks Office annual public opinion poll taken during the recently completed Kankakee County Fair.  78 percent of the people polled said the economy has changed their spending habits.  76 percent believe the national debt ceiling should not have been raised.  31 percent believe The Bears will make the playoffs this year.  Your favorite movie this summer according to the poll was Bridesmaids.  

GLAD FEST

The 74th annual Momence Gladiolus Festival gets underway tonight.    The theme of this years fest is It's Magic.    The princess and queen coronation will be tonight at 7 at Momence High School football field.  Kids parade tomorrow. 

LAKE COUNTY FAIR

The Lake County Fair continues today at the Lake County Fairgrounds.    The fair continues through Sunday at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.
THURSDAY AUGUST 11

ARMED ROBBERY

There was an armed robbery in Kankakee early Wednesday morning in the 1100 block of West Jeffery.  A woman says she had just exited her car and was walking to a nearby apartment building when two masked men approached put a gun to her head and took her valuables. 

WIFE STRANGELD

A DeMotte Indiana man is facing up to four years behind bars after allegedly strangling his wife during a domestic dispute until she promised to leave the home and let him have the children.   Jasper County Sheriffs Police say in the Rensselaer Republican that 26 year old Thomas James Bolde wife says he put a choke hold on her until she could not breath anymore and dropped to the ground.  Only releasing her after she made the promise to leave the home leaving the kids behind.  

FATAL ACCIDENT

Two people were killed Wednesday on I65 in Jasper County when their semi failed to slow in a construction zone and slammed into the rear of a box truck.  Indiana State Police identifies the victims as residents of Manchester Tennessee.

K3 FIRE

A child playing with a cigarette lighter is to blame for a fire Wednesday afternoon in the 600 block of Eastview in Kankakee.  Damage is estimated at about 15000 dollars to the second story bedroom where the blaze began.   No one was hurt. 

LOWELL FIRE

Damage estimates and a cause are still pending from a massive fire that erupted Wednesday at a vacant manufacturing plant in Lowell Indiana.  The former Rieter Automotive building was being prepared for auction with work crews cutting beams when something sparked a fire.  No one was hurt.  At one point smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles.

POWER OUT

Bears camp had to be moved to Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School last night when summer camp facilities at ONU were plunged into darkness by a power outage.  Com Ed saying a faulty cable is to blame for the outage that effected some 1600 Com Ed customers overall.   The power was back on to everyone by 9:30.

TRAIN FATAL

A Hoopeston man was killed this morning, struck by a train.  The accident occurred near Green Street in Rossville.   The Vermilion County Coroner’s office says 28 year old Derek Rutledge was on foot when he was hit by the southbound train just after 3 this morning.

BRADLEY WEST

Theres a ribbon cutting tonight for the new 2 million dollar addition at Bradley West Elementary.    The new space includes four classrooms, music room and a  multipurpose room.   Superintendent Dr Scott Goselin says they will have some dignities on hand tonight.

COUNTY INSURANCE UP

Health insurance costs are going up for employees of Kankakee County.   Up some 20 percent.     Kankakee County Board Chairman Mike Bossert says how much it will cost the county overall is tough to say.

HALVORSON

Is former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson jumping on the growing Hillary for president band wagon?     There have been suggestions from within the democratic party that current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should challenge President Obama in the primaries.   Halvorson told our Bob Malkowski this morning she personally is disappointed with the presidents leadership skills during the whole debt ceiling controversy. 
FRIDAY AUGUST 12

BURGLARY

A woman who is house sitting for a friend tells police someone broke into the home in the 300 block of North Wildwood on Wednesday of this week.   Taken was a window air condition and a TV.   The homes resident has been out of town since Monday. 

ANOTHER BURGLARY

Kankakee City Police are investigating a burglary to a home in the 900 block of South 8th ave late last week.    The resident says he was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom while someone entered the home through an unlocked door and took off with his Xbox gaming machine.

DRUG ARREST

City police arrested a Kankakee man in the 300 block of West Hickory this week on an outstanding warrant.   Police say 21 year old carols Gomez Jr is also facing drug paraphernalia charges after a search turned up a glass drug pipe with trace amounts of burnt cannabis in his pants pocket.

TRAIN FATAL UPDATE

Vermillion County officials say they are still trying to sort out the details of accident Thursday morning that claimed the life of a Hoopeston man.  28 year old Derek Rutledge was killed when he was stuck by a CSX train near Green Street in Rossville. The coroner’s office says Rutledge was on foot at the time and died of multiple injuries. 

LOOSE BOVINE

Some 60 cattle are on the loose in southwest Iroquois County.   The Daily Journal reports the bovine were part of a herd of 80 that arrived last month to a farm near Loda.  They made their escape a few days later knocking over a heavy gate and an eye beam set in cement in the process.    Some of the cattle have been rounded up, but many are still on the loose.   Some causing accidents, two so far.   No injuries reported.