WIQI News

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 is reporting the arrest of David LaivaMejia, 28, of Chicago for DUI; Alan C. Estrada, 56, of Hazel Crest for DUI; Michael L. Lee, 57, of Harvey for Obstructing Identification; Jani A. Miller, 28, of Bourbonnais for

On July 20, 2019 at approximately 1:40 A.M., an Illinois State Trooper was dispatched to a vehicle on the shoulder of I-57 northbound at milepost 321.  The trooper arrived and spoke with the driver, David Laiva-Mejia.  Laiva-Mejia showed signs of alcohol impairment.  Laiva-Mejia was placed under arrest and transported to the Kankakee County Jail for processing.  Laiva-Mejia was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and issued citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, improper lane usage, operating and uninsured motor vehicle, and illegal transportation of alcohol.   
 
On July 20, 2019 at approximately 7:31 P.M., an Illinois State Trooper was on patrol in Iroquois County.  The trooper observed a vehicle traveling all over the roadway on I-57 southbound at mile post 292.  The trooper stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Alan Estrada.  Estrada showed signs of alcohol impairment.  Estrada was placed under arrest and transported to the Iroquois County Jail for processing.  Estrada was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and issued citations for improper lane usage and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.  
 
On July 21, 2019 at approximately 12:34 A.M., an Illinois State Trooper was on patrol in Kankakee County.  The trooper observed a vehicle traveling all over the roadway.  The trooper stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Michael Lee.  It was discovered that Lee was attempting to use a fraudulent driver’s license and was wanted on a warrant out of Missouri.  A search of the vehicle revealed a second fraudulent driver’s license.  Lee was placed under arrest and transported to the Kankakee County Jail for processing.  Lee was charged with Obstructing Identification and Wanted on Warrant.  Lee was also issued citations for improper lane usage, driving while license suspended, and possession of fraudulent driver’s license.   
 

 
 
On July 21, 2019 at approximately 6:03 A.M., an Illinois State Trooper was on patrol in Kankakee County.  The trooper observed a vehicle on the shoulder of I-57 southbound at milepost 323.  The trooper approached the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Jani Miller.  Miller showed signs of alcohol impairment.  Miller was placed under arrest and transported to the Kankakee County Jail for processing.  Miller was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and issued a citation for operating an uninsured motor vehicle. 
 
On July 21, 2019 at approximately 4:08 P.M., an Illinois State Trooper was dispatched to a vehicle fire on I-57 southbound at milepost 283.  The trooper arrived on scene and spoke with the driver, Nathan Rubio.   A subsequent search Rubio’s property revealed 928.25 grams of cannabis and drug paraphilia.  Rubio was placed under arrest and transported to the Iroquois County Jail for processing. Rubio was charged with Possession of Cannabis More Than 500 Grams But Less Than 2,000 Grams and Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis More Than 500 Grams But Less Than 2,000 Grams.

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BIG R STORES IS NOW STOCK+FIELDS

Big R Stores—the farm, home, and outdoor retailer founded in 1964—announced today that it is changing its name to Stock+Field. 

The new name allows the brand to send a clear message about their offerings and commitment to providing every rural lifestyle enthusiast with a one-stop destination to gather all of the mission-critical products they need to pursue their work and hobbies. 

The retailer has operated under the Big R Stores name since 1964 when Bill and Pat Crabtree opened the first store in Watseka, Illinois. Since then, the company has grown to 25 locations across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan—including new stores opening soon in Portage, Wisconsin and Lansing, Michigan. The Stock+Field Lansing store will mark the Company’s first expansion into Michigan. 

“This is an exciting time for our employees, vendors, and customers. It is a milestone for the company as we continue to grow,” said Matt Whebbe, Chairman and CEO of Stock+Field. “This new brand reintroduces us to the communities we’ve served for decades. At the same time, it aids our expansion into new markets, where we intend to continue building new community partnerships while offering quality products at competitive prices.” 

Stock+Field will be rolling out new logos, signage, and marketing communications soon, and a full transition to the new brand to be completed later this summer. 

 

Stock+Field is a premier farm, home, and outdoor retailer committed to offering a mix of mission-critical, quality products and exclusive offers at competitive prices. Originally founded in 1964 as Big R Stores, the company has grown to more than 25 stores across IL, IN, OH, MI and WI. 

For more information, visit www.StockandField.com

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Watseka Man Gets 9 Years in Prison

 Nearly four years after a shooting in Watseka, a judge has handed down a nine-year prison sentence to the man convicted in the incident.

Jerry Pintelon, 29, learned his sentence Tuesday. A jury earlier convicted him of aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

The shooting happened in August 2015. The Daily Journal in Kankakee reported it stemmed from a neighborhood dispute. Police said Pintelon fired into a crowd and hit a 20-year-old woman in three places.

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Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 is reporting the arrest of Bonnie M. Leroy, 36, of Ashkum for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Theresa L. Sands, 46, of Beecher for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

On July 14, 2019 at approximately 12:58 A.M., an Illinois State Trooper was dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Old Route 45 near 2800N.  The trooper arrived on scene and spoke with the driver, Bonnie Leroy.  Leroy showed signs of alcohol impairment.  Leroy was placed under arrest and transported to the Iroquois County Jail for processing.  Leroy was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.  Leroy was also issued citations for driving while license revoked, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, improper lane usage, and disobeying a control device for designated lanes. 
 
On July 14, 2019 at approximately 11:36 P.M., an Illinois State Trooper was dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Route 24 near 2500E.  The driver, Theresa Sands, was transported to a local hospital with injuries.   The trooper arrived at the hospital and spoke with Sands.  Sands showed signs of drug impairment.  Sands was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.  Sands was also issued citations for driving while license suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, improper lane usage, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. 

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2019 Newton County Fair Opens Today

 

Monday, July 15th offers the LITTLE MISS AND MISTER CONTEST at 6:30 pm and the TEEN and QUEEN CONTEST at 8:00 pm.  In between the contests at 7:30 pm, the fair will host the Centennial Kick Off, which will include the Indiana Skydivers soaring into the grandstand infield.  This evening also marks the opening of the BIG BOUNCE FUN HOUSE AMUSEMENTS.  Come ride all the rides you like for one price; every night is a bracelet night ($10).  Also available is the PUN’KIN VINE SPECIAL -- ride all week (Monday through Saturday) for $30.00.  Visit the website at www.newtoncountyfair.com for details or stop by the fair office to get your special pass.

 

Next is Tuesday, July 16th, the day of crash and smash in the grandstands, the DEMO DERBY starts at 7:30 pm.  Come watch the thrills of the show and see who is the last car running.  The 4-H PORK CHOP SUPPER starts at 5 pm in the Green Building. The PEDAL TRACTOR PULL will be gearing up at 5:30 pm just east of the Sheep Arena.

 

Wednesday night is EARTH NIGHT at the Fair!   Visit the sheep barn between 4:00 pm and 8:30 pm and check out all the free activities and give-aways.  The Brook United Methodist Church will be hosting a RIBEYE STEAK SANDWICH DINNER from 5 to 7 pm in the Green Building.  In addition, 4-H NIGHT AT THE FAIR will be held in the Grandstand at 7:00 pm.  4-H members will be awarded for their accomplishments, followed by the Battle of the Barns rivalry. 

 

Then, it’s Thursday, July 18th.  At 4:00 pm come be a taste tester at the People’s Choice 4H Barbeque Contest.  The IPRA RODEO is coming back to the grandstand at 7 pm, grab your hat and boots and cheer on your favorite cowboy and cowgirl.

 

            Friday, July 19th, don’t forget dinner.  The South Newton Single Young Farmers will be hosting their Fish Fry from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Green Building. The 4-H LIVESTOCK AUCTION is at 6:00 pm. The ANTIQUE TRACTOR PARADE will chug along at 6:30 pm through the fairgrounds and around the grandstand track.   Afterwards, the NTPA TRUCK & TRACTOR PULL will pull its way across the track at 7:00 pm.

 

On July 20th, Saturday is the time to celebrate!  What better way to do that than with another edition of the “Country in the Country” concert series sponsored by the Newton County Fair, Fair Oaks Farms, and Wilson Industrial.   This year fairgoers can enjoy the musical artistry of The Oak Ridge Boys!  The grand finale of the 100th Newton County Fair will include fireworks after the concert.  Tickets are available by visiting the website at www.newtoncountyfair.com.  Don't miss the music and fireworks Saturday, July 20th at 8:00 pm!

 

          And don’t forget all the Newton County Pun’kin Vine Fair events can be found at www.newtoncountyfair.com and on the Newton County Pun’kin Vine Fair Facebook page. 

As you can see there's something for everyone at this year's Pun'kin Vine Fair.  Great events and exciting times await fairgoers all week long.  Make sure to visit the fairgrounds several times during the week and take advantage of all the Newton County Fair has to offer.

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Iroquois County Property Taxes, First installment due.

County Treasurer, Kurt Albers, announced that the deadline to pay the first installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Tuesday, July 16, 2019.  After that date, 1 ½ percent interest on all property must be added to the first installment each month it remains unpaid, according to the Illinois State Statutes.

 

The Treasurer’s Office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  To avoid waiting in line you may also pay by mail or at any bank in the county.  There is also a drop box on the south side of the Administrative Center near the 911 Center.  Payments will not be late if the envelope is marked with a postmark of July 16, 2019, or before.  If a payment stub is not included, a $1.00 fee will be assessed per bill for printing. 

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Fatal Car Crash in Newton County leaves one dead

NEWTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE (7-11-19 08:41 AM)

 

On July 10th, 2019 at approximately 12:26pm the Newton County 911 Center was notified by multiple 911 callers of an erratic driver on southbound US 41 north of SR 10. Callers stated that the vehicle (sliver Toyota Highlander) had struck construction barrels in Lake County and was all over the roadway.

 

Officers from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the area.  While en route, one 911 caller advised the vehicle had struck another vehicle (red Jeep) at the intersection of SR 10 and US 41. 911 callers stated the Highlander had rolled multiple times and the driver was pinned under the vehicle in a ditch.

 

The driver of the Highlander (Timothy Paul Mueller, 40 year old male from Cedar Lake, IN) was pronounced deceased by the Newton County Coroner’s Office. Family has been notified.

 

The driver of the Jeep, 66 year old Daniel Cooper of Grovertown, IN was uninjured in the crash.

 

The crash is under investigation and toxicology results are pending at this time.

 

Assisting agencies: Lake Twp Fire, Lincoln Twp Fire, Morocco Fire, Indiana State Police, Newton County EMS, Lutheran Air, Newton County Coroner’s Office

 

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FATAL CRASH-LINCOLN TOWNSHIP

On July 6th, 2019 at 4:19am the Newton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle rollover crash on CR 600 E approximately ½ mile south of SR 10. Upon first responder’s arrival, a single male occupant was found ejected and lying in the middle of the roadway unresponsive. 

 

Christopher Ratliff, 32 years old of Lake Village, IN was pronounced dead at the scene.  Ratliff was the sole occupant of the vehicle.  Family has been notified.

 

The vehicle appeared to have left the roadway for an unknown reason striking a culvert.  The crash remains under investigation.

 

Assisting Agencies: Jasper County Sheriff, Demotte PD, Kenner Twp Fire/EMS, Newton County Coroner’s Office, Indiana State Police, Newton County Communications.

-end-

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Watseka Police Department News 7/8/19

Watseka Police responded to a report of theft in the 200 block of Brianna Drive at 1:13 P.M. on 07-03-19.

Watseka Police responded to an animal complaint in the 1700 block of E Walnut at 3:31 P.M. on 07-03-19.

Watseka Police arrested Tamie R Burnside, 38 Hoopeston in the 100 block of W Walnut at 5:08 P.M. on 07-03-19. Police observed Burnside walking, and knew that she was wanted on a Vermillion county warrant, as well as a Kankakee County warrant. Police then arrested Burnside and transported her to the Iroquois County jail. Once at the jail, Police found that Burnside had concealed what was believed to be heroin on her person, as well as Clonazepam and a glass pipe. Burnside was then charged with 3 counts of possession of a controlled substance, Bringing contraband into a penal institution and Possession of drug paraphernalia.

Watseka Police responded to an animal complaint in the 300 block of W Victory at 1:00 A.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to an activated alarm in the 100 block of Veteran's Parkway at 4:07 A.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of identity theft in the 300 block of W Victory at 11:27 A.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to an activated alarm in the 300 block of Old US 24 at 12:18 P.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of an intoxicated person in the 200 block of N Fourth at 4:09 P.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of fireworks in the 100 block of W Mulberry at 4:37 P.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a noise complaint in the 1000 block of W Newell at 5:23 P.M. on 07-04-19.

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Watseka Police responded to a report of a reckless driver in the 100 block of N Third at 8:11 P.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of fireworks in the 400 block of N Eighth at 10:29 P.M. on 07-04-19.

Watseka Police responded to a disturbance in the 100 block of W Mulberry at

1:08 A.M. on 07-05-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of trespassing in the 400 block of W Walnut at 4:32 A.M. on 07-05-19.

Watseka Police responded to an animal complaint in the 500 block of E Hickory at 11:54 A.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of S Third at 1:38

P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of W Walnut at 2:15

P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a domestic in the 100 block of S Third at 2:47 P.M.

on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a fight in progress in the 500 block of N Market at 4:43 P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to an activated alarm in the 200 block of E Walnut at 4:49 P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a fight in progress in the 600 block of W Washington at 7:23 P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a fight in progress in the 200 block of W Walnut at 7:58 P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of fireworks in the 500 block of W Park at 8:40 P.M. on 07-06-19.

Watseka Police responded to an activated alarm in the 200 block of W Walnut at

11:22 P.M. on 07-06-19.

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Watseka Police responded to a report of a found bicycle in the 500 block of N Fourth at 11:03 A.M. on 07-07-19,

Watseka Police responded to an animal complaint in the 400 block of S CIPS st at 5:14 P.M. on 07-07-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of harassment in the 700 block of E Sycamore at 9:13 P.M. on 07-07-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of fireworks in the 400 block of N Fifth at 9:38 P.M. on 07-07-19.

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UPDATE: Iroquois County Plane Crash

On July 5th, 2019 at approximately 1:58 pm Iroquois County Sheriffs Police along with Ashkum, Chebanse Twp. , Otto Twp., Beaverville, Aroma Park Fire and Riverside EMS responded to an aircraft accident which had occurred in a wheat field near 1561 E. and 3300 N. Rd rural Chebanse.

The 1981, Beech, A36, fixed wing, single engine air craft owned and piloted by Raymond P- Jakubiak from Naperville ll. was traveling from Nashville Tn. to the Chicago area. Jakubiak had two passengers on board Wrenne M. Jakubiak from Naperville and Dorothy C. Stockard from Hermitage Tennessee,

Jakubiak began to experience engine trouble and attempted to locate an area to make an emergency landing. Jakubiak attempted to land in a wheat field North West of 1561 E. 3300 N, Rd- rural Chebanse. Jakubiak aircraft received damage while landing and subsequently caught fire

Raymond Jakubiak sustained serious injuries and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital and was later transferred to Loyola Hospital. Wrenne M. Jakubiak was transported to Riverside Medical Center where she was treated and later released. Stockard who received more extensive injuries was transported to Riverside Medical Center then transferred to Loyola where she later succumbed to her injuries.

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Police 7/8/19

On July 6th, 2019, Gilman Police arrested Felipe Aranda, age 33, of Gilmant IL. According to police reports, Aranda was charged with aggravated domestic battery, unlaMul restraint, and interfering with reporting of a domestic battery. Aranda was transported to the Iroquois County Jai( where he remains in lieu of bond.

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Plane Crash in Iroquois County

On July 5th , 2019 at approx. 1:58pm, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police, along with Chebanse Twp. Fire, Otto Twp, Fire, Beaverville Fire, Aroma Park Fire, and Riverside EMS were dispatched to a field nodhwest of the intersection of Co. Rd. 3300N and 1600E, in rural Chebanse, IL in reference to a plane crash with injuries. According to police reports, a single engine plane, carrying 3 occupants, crashed in a wheat field southeast of Chebanse, IL. Upon arrival of EMS, the occupants were transported to Riverside Hospital and St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, IL. The extent of the injuries is unknown as of press time. The crash scene is under investigation with the Iroquois County Sheriffs Department and the Federal Aviation Administration. The Illinois State Police also assisted with the scene,

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Watseka Police Department News 7/3/19

Watseka Police investigated a hit and run accident in the 600 block of E Walnut at 2:00 P.M. on 07-02-19. According to Police reports, a vehicle owned by Steven E Gossett, 56 Woodland was parked in a parking lot, and when Gossett came back to his vehicle he observed it had been struck by an unknown vehicle. Damage was estimated at over $1,500.

 

Watseka Police investigated a two vehicle accident in the 100 block of E Cherry at 3:29 P.M. on 07-02-19. According to Police reports, a vehicle driven by William R Cooper, 83 Sheldon was stopped at a stop sign. A vehicle driven by Shane C Huizenga, 23 Watseka had also stopped at a stop sign. Both Cooper and Huizenga then proceeded through the intersection at the same time, causing the accident. Damage was estimated at over $1,500. No injuries were reported and no citations were issued.

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Police 7/3/19

On July 2nd , 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Kameron Blank, age 26, of Watseka. According to police reports, Blank was charged with possession of a hypodermic needle. Blank was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

 

On July 2nd , 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Derek Kaufman, age 26, of Watseka. According to police reports, Kaufman was charged with no valid driver's license. Kaufman was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

 

On July 2nd' 2019, Milford Police arrested Timmy Deaton, age 37, of Milford. According to police reports, Deaton was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with retail theft. Deaton was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

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ILLINOIS STATE POLICE URGES SAFE TRAVEL THIS HOLIDAY PERIOD

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy would like to remind motorists to drive sober or designate a sober driver while celebrating the July 4th holiday period. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) remains the number one cause of fatal crashes during Independence Day celebrations. Additionally, speeding, distracted driving, and not wearing a seatbelt are the other main causes of personal injury and fatal crashes. Troopers will be doing their part to keep the roadway safe by watching for impaired, distracted, and reckless drivers. 
The ISP encourages those at celebrations involving alcohol to avoid impaired driving altogether. The following tips will help you avoid tragedy: 
? Designate a sober driver or arrange for alternate transportation before the celebration begins. ? If you are impaired, utilize a cab service, rideshare service, take public transportation, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. ? If you see what appears to be an impaired driver on the road, call 911. ? If you are aware someone is about to operate a motor vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them to their destination safely.  
 
“Independence Day is celebrated nationwide. In an effort to keep our roadways safe, Illinois State Police District 21 Officers will provide increased patrols, targeting on violations associated with injury or fatal crashes. By increasing visibility and enforcement efforts, District 21 Officers hope to assist in ensuring Independence Day celebrations are safe and memorable, ” added Captain Harsy. 
 
During this holiday period, ISP Troopers will focus their efforts on enforcing Fatal-4 violations: DUI, Speeding, Seatbelts and Distracted Driving, which are all contributing factors to traffic crash related fatalities.   

 

 
Speeding increases your chances of losing control of a vehicle and reduces the reaction time to respond to potential hazards.  Drive the speed limit and pass only when it’s safe to do so.  
 
Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and off the cell phone.  Illinois law prohibits the use of any electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.  Hands-free or Bluetooth Technology is allowed for persons over the age of 18.  Avoid other common distractions such as, eating, adjusting music or controls, and tending to children or pets. 
Buckle up.  It is the law, and it may save your life if you are in a crash.  
The ISP would also like to remind the public to proceed with caution when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with their lights activated or any stationary vehicle with their hazards lights on.  Move over if you can do so safely and slow down.

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Secretary White's Legislation Combating Texting While Driving Takes Effect July 1

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s legislative initiative strengthening the law on texting while driving takes effect July 1. The law cracks down on texting while driving by classifying first-time offenses as moving violations. Under the previous law, second and subsequent texting while driving offenses are treated as moving violations, while first offenses are treated as nonmoving violations.

 

“With the increased use of technological devices, distracted driving has become a serious problem on the roads of our state and throughout the nation,” said White. “This important law will make our roads safer. No driver should be texting while driving.” 

 

The penalty for a violation of this law results in a moving violation that will be recorded to the motorist’s driving record, as well as fines and court costs which will be determined by a judge. A driver who is convicted of three moving violations in a 12-month period is subject to a driver’s license suspension. 

 

Texting while driving is considered among the most deadly forms of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a motorist traveling at 55 mph takes their eyes off the road on average for five seconds when sending or reading a text. This equates to driving blindly for the length of a football field.

 

Public Act 100-0858 was sponsored by state Rep. John D’Amico (D-Chicago) and state Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

 

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Police 6/27/19

On June 19th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Phillip B. Millard, age 41, of Watseka. According to police reports, Millard was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with violation of bail bond. He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

 

On June 20th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested James A. Musselman, age 32, of Watseka. According to police reports, Musselman was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with burglary. He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

 

On June 22nd, 2019, Gilman Police arrested Delbert R. Stevens Ill, age 32, of Gilman. According to police reports, Stevens was charged with two counts of domestic battery, resisting a peace officer, and obstructing justice, He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released-

 

On June 24th, 2019, Roy M. Tykol, age 32, of Watseka turned himself into the Iroquois County Jail. According to police reports, Tykol was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with theft. Tykol later posted the required bond and was released.

 

On June 24th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Derrick S, Hall, age 30, of Loda. According to police reports, Hall was charged with domestic battery. Hall was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.     

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2019 Lil' Mr. & Miss Firecracker Announced

A total of 5 children entered the 2019 Lil’ Mr. & Miss Firecracker contest.  This year’s contest consisted of a coloring contest for area children ages 3 through 7. Lil Mr. Firecracker is Jax Johnson of Watseka, Illinois. Jax is 7 years old and is the son of Sawyer Johnson and Sarah Johnson  Lil Miss Firecracker is Karsyn Valentine of Watseka, Illinois. Karsyn is 3 years old and is the daughter of Terri Valentine and Jerry Wireman.   The winners will ride in the 2019 City of Watseka “Made in America” Independence Day Parade on July 4th beginning at 10:00 a.m.   All of the coloring sheets will be on display at the Chamber office until the 4th of July located at 110 South 3rd Street in Watseka. 

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Watseka Police Department News 6/19/19

Watseka Police responded to a report of an animal complaint in the 100 block of E Jefferson Ave at 7:37 A.M. on 06-17-19.

Watseka Police responded to an animal complaint in the 1000 block of N Jefferson at 8:28 A.M. on 06-17-19.

Watseka Police responded to a domestic in the 400 block of E Walnut at 8:44 A.M. on 06-17-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of an intoxicated person in the 300 block of E Walnut at 1:22 P.M. on 06-17-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of trespassing in the 200 block of W Locust at 8:27 P.M. on 06-17-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of a battery in the 200 block of E Fairman at 12:26 A.M. on 06-18-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of telephone harassment in the 100 block of Hubbard Ct at 3:36 A.M. on 06-18-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of burglary in progress in the 400 block of W Walnut at 10:43 A.M. on 06-18-19.

Watseka Police responded to a report of a battery in the 700 block of E Raymond Rd at 2:24 P.M. on 06-18-19.

Watseka Police arrested Chad C Koester, 30 Watseka in the 100 block of E Walnut at 5:10 P.M. on 06-18-19. Koester was wanted on an Iroquois County warrant charging him the Violation of an order of protection. Once Koester was taken into custody he was found to be in possession of another's check and was also charged with forgery. Koester was transported to the Iroquois County jail.

Watseka Police responded to a report of a suspicious person in the 1000 block of N Jefferson at 8:50 P.M. on 06-18

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UPDATE- CARJACKING SUSPECT'S NAME RELEASED

 

NEWTON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE 

 

The suspect in yesterday’s carjacking is, 61 year old Victor Edward Cihonski Jr of South Bend, IN.

 

Cihonski is currently being held at the Lake County Jail in connection with armed robberies that occurred in Cedar Lake and Lowell, IN.

 

Newton County Sheriff’s Office has placed a hold on Cihonski for several felony charges related to the carjacking.

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Fatal Crash-Route 45/52 @ 7500 N (Kankakee County)

WHAT:  Fatal Crash 
 
WHERE:   Route 45/52 @ 7500 N (Kankakee County) 
 
WHEN:  Tuesday, June 18, 2019, 6:06 a.m. 
 
VEHICLE:  Unit One:  2004 Chevrolet Impala    Unit Two:  2012 Chevrolet Impala  
DRIVER:  Unit One:  Lawrence R. Henitz, 59, Bourbonnais (Deceased)    Unit Two:  Timothy S. Sandt, 22, Joliet 
 
 
PRELIMINARY:  Preliminary investigation has indicated unit two was traveling      southbound on Route 45 at 7500 N.  Unit one was traveling northbound      at the same location attempting to pass another vehicle and struck     unit two head on.  The driver of unit two was transported to a local    hospital with injuries.  The driver of unit one was pronounced deceased    on scene by the Kankakee County Coroner.  
 

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Watseka FFA Chapter to lead this year's 4th of July parade

The Watseka Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the Watseka FFA Chapter will serve as this year’s “Made in America” Grand Marshal in this year’s 4th of July parade sponsored by the City of Watseka.             The Watseka FFA chapter was re-established 13 years ago at the Watseka Community High School. The 2019-2020 Officer Team consists of Co-President Cal Cotter, Co-President Lainey Scher, Vice President Jack Naese, Secretary Allie Hoy, Treasurer Adam Norder, Reporter Sydney McTaggart, and Sentinel Ashton Bowling. The Chapter is more than 100 members strong and growing with members involved in every aspect of church, community, and school activities that make up WCHS. The Watseka FFA Chapter has been affiliated with the Watseka Park District & FFA Alumi Association, four members will be receiving their state degrees and one member will be receiving his American degree. Congratulations to the Watseka FFA Chapter and to Mr. Wilkey on being named this year’s Grand Marshal’s.                  This year’s parade will take place on Wednesday, July 4, 2019 at 10am, the parade route will proceed south on Belmont Avenue, turn west on Fairman Avenue, north on Fourth Street, east on Cherry Street, south on Fifth Street, east on Lincoln Avenue, south on Belmont Avenue ending at the Watseka High School, where the parade will disperse. Announcer and the judges will be located at First Financial Bank parking lot on south Fourth Street. Judging will take place during the parade.             For more information on registering for the parade, contact Amanda at the Chamber office 815-432-2416 or stop by 110 S. Third Street in Watseka. 

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Watseka Man held at gunpoint in carjacking

On June 17, 2019 at 6:20am, Newton County Dispatch received a report of a single vehicle crash on US 41 near CR 300W (north of the Morocco overpass).

 

A  Watseka, Il man witnessed the crash and called 9-1-1.  As the witness was checking on the driver of the crashed vehicle, the driver displayed a gun and forced the Watseka man to drive him in his car.  The Watseka man complied and drove the suspect from the crash scene. 

 

Within a few miles, the suspect released the Watseka man, unharmed.  The suspect then fled east in the stolen vehicle.

 

About 8:25am, the suspect was involved in a short pursuit in Marshall County near Plymouth, IN.  He crashed the stolen vehicle and was taken into custody.

 

Anyone that witnessed the Morocco crash or carjacking should call 219-474-6081 EXT 3108 to speak to Deputy Fellmy.

 

This case remains an active investigation.  Additional details are expected to be released within 24 hours.

 

All suspects are considered innocent until/unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Assisting agencies: Newton County EMS, Newton County EMA, Morocco Fire,  Jasper County Sheriff, Marshall  County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Cedar Lake Police and Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

 

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Police 6/18/19

On June 14th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Jonathan St. Peter, age 36, of Rantoul. According to police reports, St. Peter was charged with possession of methamphetamine less than 5 grams. St. Peter was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

On June 14th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested James Kupferer, age 32, of Kankakee. According to police reports, Kupferer was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with probation violation for possession of methamphetamine, He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

 


On June 15th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriff's Police arrested Phillip B. Millard, age 41, of Milford. According to police reports, Millard was charged with aggravated domestic battery- He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released,
 

On June 16th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriff's Police arrested Kathleen L. Powell, age 23, of Ashkum. According to police reports, Powell was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging her with possession of a controlled substance and theft. She was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where she posted the required bond and was released.

On June 17th, 2019, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Jesse K. McGhee, age 37, of Danforth, According to police reports, McGhee was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with failure to appear for domestic battery- McGhee was aware of his warrant and turned himself into the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

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Iroquois County Tax Bills are in the mail

County Treasurer, Kurt Albers, has announced that the 2018 payable in 2019 real estate tax statements have been mailed to the taxpayers of Iroquois County.  The deadline to pay the first installment without penalty is July 16, 2019.  The second installment due date is September 16, 2019.  After the due dates a 1 ½ percent penalty must be added each month it remains unpaid, according to Illinois State Statutes.  Taxpayers must include their tax bill when paying or a $1.00 fee will be charged.

 

The Treasurer’s Office is open 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.  To avoid waiting in line, you may also pay by mail or at any bank in Iroquois County including Iroquois Federal, Commonwealth Credit Union and the First State Bank of Forrest in Onarga.  Taxpayers paying in person at the Treasurer’s Office or at the local banks should bring the entire bill if they would like a receipt.  Upon payment, the appropriate stub of the bill will be removed and then the date will be stamped on the back of the remaining part of the tax bill.  If you mail your payment and wish to have a receipt, you must enclose the entire bill plus a self-addressed stamped envelope.

 

Credit card payments will be accepted by phone and online starting June 17, 2019.  Call the Treasurer’s Office first at 815-432-6985 during office hours to verify the payment amount.  Then you will be given the Government Payment Service phone number, website address, and the pay location and authorization codes.  Their phone number and the website will be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to receive payments.  Fees will be added based on the amount charged, there is a minimum service fee, and all fees are paid to and kept by Government Payment Service.

 

Members of any United States Armed Forces Reserve Unit can defer their real estate tax payment until 180 days after they return from active duty.  This option is available if you are called to active duty for deployment outside the continental United States and if you are on active duty on the due date of any installment of taxes.

 

Remember that a drop box has been installed at the Administrative Center near the 911 Center so that taxpayers can drop off their payments during non-office hours.

 

If you have any questions about exemptions, assessed valuations, or address changes, please contact the Assessment Office at (815) 432-6978.

 

If you have any questions regarding the tax rates, please contact the County Clerk’s Office at (815) 432-6960.

 

If there are any questions about your tax statements, feel free to call the Treasurer’s Office at (815) 432-6985.

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