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WIQI News Archives for 2022-01

Iroquois County Sheriff's Police news 1/31/2022

 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police investigated a single-vehicle fire Friday on Rt. 1, approximately one -eighth mile north of County Road 350 N. According to police reports, the vehicle, driven by Paul A. Ross Jr., of Bradley, was southbound when, for an unknown reason, caught on fire. None of the occupants were injured. The vehicle sustained more than $1,500 in damage. Wellington Fire and Milford EMS also responded and assisted with the scene.

 

Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police investigated a single-vehicle accident Saturday on S. West Ave. near Dewey St. in Woodland. Police said a vehicle driven by Dalton J. Trumann, 17, of rural Milford was westbound when he lost control on the snow/ice covered road. The vehicle entered a yard on the west side of the road, striking a power pole and breaking it in half. There was more than $1,500 damage to the vehicle and the private property. No injuries were reported and no tickets were issued. 

Watseka Family Festival Announces Music Artists for this year

Watseka Family Festival is proud to announce our entertainment for the 2022 festival.

Friday, August 26 on the main stage we will have JOHN DAVID DAILY & JOHN JUNIOR acoustic set, to open...followed by very well known, 80's Rock Tribute Band
HAIRBALL!
After the main stage entertainment on Friday, JOHN DAVID DAILY & JOHN JUNIOR will move to the beer garden and close out the night with their acoustic set.

On Saturday, August 27 we are bringing back the
NICK LYNCH BAND on the main stage opening for
TRACY BYRD
and
JOHN DAVID DAILY & JOHN JUNIOR will again finish out the night with their acoustic set in the beer garden.

New this year...ONLINE TICKET SALES from our facebook page opening soon!!

Ticket questions: Contact Cy Westor Angie Marshino.

Early Bird Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Friday January 28th at 7AM and will go quickly, so be sure to order your tickets before they are sold out!

 

GO HERE to order your tickets. 

 

To keep up on what is happening with the festival, be sure to like the Watseka Family Festival Facebook page today!

Fowler man ejected from the vehicle

On Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 12:27pm, Newton County 9-1-1 received reports of a single vehicle roll over crash on SR 55 near CR 1300S (about 3 miles north of Goodland).

 

A 27 year old Fowler man was found to have been ejected from the vehicle.  He was transported by Newton County EMS where he was then flown to a trauma center.  The driver’s name will not be released at this time.

 

Newton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the numerous motorists that stopped at this scene to assist.  We appreciate your efforts.

 

During this time of year there are many occasions where the roads may be clear and dry in one area but there are patches that become snow and/or ice covered.  Please use caution when driving during this time of year.

 

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Newton County 9-1-1, Goodland Fire, Newton County EMS and Lutheran Air.

A Hoopeston man was surfing a pornographic website moments before his tractor-trailer collided with a tar tanker near Lowell, killing the road construction worker

An Illinois man was surfing a pornographic website moments before his tractor-trailer collided with a tar tanker near Lowell, killing the road construction worker who was driving, prosecutors say.

Clark R. Johnson, 69, of Hoopeston, Illinois, was charged Monday with reckless homicide, two counts of criminal recklessness and three counts of misdemeanor distracted driving. He was ordered held on a $4,000 cash bond, the Post-Tribune reported.

The crash occurred at 8:40 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2020, on U.S. 41 in Lowell. Martin Knip, 63, of LaPorte and DeMotte, was killed.

Johnson was treated for minor injuries at a hospital, charges state.

A witness told police he was in a pickup truck behind Knip’s tanker a semitrailer came speeding down a construction zone in their lane. The semitrailer struck the pickup’s rear left corner and then the tanker, causing the tanker to roll over.

At the time, Knip was spraying hot tar on the road shoulder, charges state.

Johnson told hospital workers he was driving 55-65 mph (88-105 kilometers per hour) at the time of the crash. He suffered a forehead cut and a fractured finger, according to hospital records.

Police later found the porn website on Johnson’s cellphone, documents said.

Iroquois County Sheriff's Police news 1/26/2022

On Jan. 14 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Brian D. Walwer, 38, of Gilman. According to police reports, Walter was charged with felony criminal trespass to residence and criminal damage to property over $500. Walwer was placed in custody and taken to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

 

On Jan. 10 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Robert T. Wieringa, 31, no town given. According to police reports, Wieringa was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with criminal damage to property. Wieringa was placed in custody and transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

 

On Jan. 20 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Michelle Coffey, 45, of Hoopeston. According to police reports, Coffey was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging her with failure to appear for burglary. Coffey was placed in custody and transported to the roquois County Jail where she posted the required bond and was released.

 

On Jan. 21 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Heather N. Sutherlin, 41, of Danville. According to police reports, Sutherlin was wanted on an Iroquois County warrant for a petition to revoke probation for a driving while license suspended charge. Sutherlin was transported to the Iroquois County Jail in lieu of bond.

 

On Jan. 22 Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Maximo Patlan Jr., 48, of Danforth. According to police reports, Patlan Jr. was charged with domestic battery. He was taken to the Iroquois County Jail in lieu of bond.

Two Unit Personal Injury Traffic Crash in Kankakee County

ISP TRAFFIC CRASH ALERT 

The Following Preliminary Information is Being Released by the Illinois State Police

District 21

 

WHAT:                      Two Unit Personal Injury Traffic Crash

 

WHERE:                   Illinois Route 113 at 4000 W. Road, Kankakee County

 

WHEN:                      Jan. 24, 2022 at approximately 6:20 a.m.

 

VEHICLE:                Unit 1 – 2006 White Ford Van

 

                                    Unit 2 – 2006 Sliver Ford SUV

 

DRIVER:                   Unit 1 – Dragan D. Suznjevic, 30-year-old male from Kankakee, IL – Transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

                                    Unit 2 – 65-year-old male from Kankakee, IL – Transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

 

PRELIMINARY:        Preliminary investigation indicates the following occurred: Unit 1 was traveling westbound on Illinois Route 113 and Unit 2 was traveling eastbound.  The driver of Unit 1 crossed the center line and struck Unit 2. 

 

Illinois Route 113 was shut down between 4000N Road and Warner Bridge Road and reopened at approximately 11:05 a.m.

 

CHARGES:               Pending Investigation

Iroquois County Covid 19 Update 01/22/2022

As of 01/22/2022, there have been 6,636 cases of COVID-19 and 97 individuals who have passed away with COVID-19 in Iroquois County. We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community members affected by these losses.

 

There have been 311 new cases since our last update. 

 

46.25% of the population of Iroquois County are considered fully vaccinated.

 

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 risk metrics please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/coronavirus/data/countymetrics.html?county=Iroquois

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 statistics and demographic data please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/data.html

 

Watseka Police News 1/24/2022

Police responded to a domestic dispute in the 100 block of North Third Street at 11:05 a.m. Arrested was Haley Strong, homeless, for domestic battery and disorderly conduct. She was taken to the county jail.

A BIT OF GOOD NEWS

On Sunday, January 23, 2022 Newton County 9-1-1 received information from Iroquois County Communications (ICOM) about an elderly male from their area. The man’s family was trying to locate him due to some medical concerns. They believed he may have been in the southern Lake County/northern Newton County area.

 

Newton County Dispatch gave a prompt “attempt to locate” dispatch. Within 11 minutes, a Newton County Deputy spotted the vehicle and made traffic stop.

 

Emergency workers don’t want credit or to be named for what they see as “just doing our job.” However, a quick and concise dispatch (plus a lot of behind the scenes work) and a quick officer response led to easing a family’s worries in 11 minutes. This defines teamwork and a proud moment.

 

So, a huge THANK YOU to ICOM, Newton County Dispatchers Ashley Cook and Emily Fellmy, Newton County Deputy Steve Scheckel; a job well done!

 

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE RELEASE UPDATED STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF BRADLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER TYLER BAILEY

 

Twenty-three days ago, our community lost Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic. It feels like months have passed since that night in December, but it has been just twenty-three days. Over that time, we have watched an immense outpouring of love and kindness during her procession, the services, and when she was laid to rest. She was a true hero, and we miss her dearly. The entire community rallied together to show their unconditional support for her, and we could not have been more proud of the legacy she left for us.

 

Twenty-three days ago, we also got the heart-wrenching call that Tyler was involved in this senseless shooting and poised ourselves to hear that we may never see him again. In the short period since that night, we have given one release regarding Tyler’s condition, delivered by Deputy Chief Anderson during an emotional press conference. At that time, we thanked everyone who was involved in saving Tyler’s life that night, and we continue to be grateful to all of those officers, first responders, doctors, nurses and medical personnel that make it possible for our family to release a second update on Tyler and his progress over this short period. We continue to be thankful for the respect and privacy everyone has allowed us to have during this time. It has made the journey much easier on Tyler’s family, and we appreciate everyone’s continued display of kindness in that respect.

 

These past few weeks, we have witnessed firsthand a community come together in support of their police officers by flying flags, tying blue ribbons on their trees, and turning their front porches blue each night to show their support. We pray that the community continues to show the same level of compassion to all of our police officers. Despite experiencing firsthand, the dangers they face simply doing their job, our local police officers continue to serve us every day, risking their lives for ours every time they put on the badge.

 

We are humbled by the number of events that have occurred already and those that are scheduled to happen over the next few months to support not only Tyler, but his wife Sydney as well. She has been able to stay at Tyler’s side this entire time, holding his hand so that he always feels her touch, talking to him so that he hears a voice he knows and loves. This would not be possible without the support and generosity of everyone involved.

 

In the days following the incident, we stood by simply praying Tyler would survive. During the following three weeks, we have watched Tyler give everything he has to fight for his life. We thank God every day that Tyler is strong and is able to push back against these injuries. He has displayed small improvements on almost a daily basis and has reached real milestones in his recovery over this short time. Earlier this week, after almost three weeks in the intensive care unit, Tyler was strong enough to be released from the ICU to standard hospital care. He is no longer in critical condition, he is stable, and he is getting ready to start the next chapter of his recovery. It appears likely that Tyler will soon be released from the hospital to begin his next phase of treatment. While there remains a long road ahead for Tyler in his recovery, it’s an incredible feeling to be able to share this information with the community that has been with us every step of the way.

 

We will do our best to keep the community updated with Tyler’s future progress as he heals. We are eternally grateful for the support Tyler and Sydney have received in these short twenty-three days. We are so proud of Tyler and his courageous fight. We wish Marlene was here to see it as well, but we know she is watching out for Tyler from above.

 

 

Loda man, 22, jailed in shooting of man, 19

A 22-year-old was arrested Wednesday on a charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm in connection with an early-morning shooting in Loda that left a 19-year-old hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head.

Colton M. Johnson of Loda was arrested Wednesday evening on the Class 1 felony charge and remained Thursday evening at the county jail in Watseka, according to the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office.

Bond was set Thursday at $25,000, meaning Johnson would need to pay $2,500 to be released.

The male gunshot victim, whose name was not immediately released, remained in critical condition at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, a news release from the sheriff’s office said.

According to the news release, the shooting occurred at a residence in Loda early Wednesday morning. A 911 call was made from the residence asking for an ambulance for a person who was bleeding from the head, the release said.

Upon paramedics’ arrival, it was discovered the person had suffered a gunshot wound, and the victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition, the release said.

The shooting remained under investigation by the sheriff’s office and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit.

“This is an isolated incident,” the release said, “and there is no threat to the community.”

Secretary of State Departments and Driver Services Facilities to Reopen Jan. 24

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all Secretary of State departments will reopen for in-person transactions – including Driver Services facilities – on Monday, Jan. 24. Driver Services facilities operating on a Tuesday – Saturday schedule will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 25. All departments and Driver Services facilities had been closed since Jan. 3 due to the surge of COVID-19 cases statewide. “The health and safety of employees and the public is our top priority,” said White. “Masks and social distancing will be required as we safely reopen all offices and Driver Services facilities.” Customers who wish to schedule an appointment at one of the select Driver Services facilities requiring appointments may do so beginning the morning the facilities reopen. Visit ilsos.gov for a list of Driver Services facilities requiring appointments. As a reminder, White has extended all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates to March 31, 2022. Commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and CDL learner’s permits were extended until Jan. 31, 2022, and covers expiration dates between Nov. 1, 2021 and Jan. 31, 2022. Online services remain available at ilsos.gov. Customers can:

· Renew a license plate sticker.

· Renew a driver’s license or ID card for those who qualify (individuals may call 217-785-1424 to confirm their eligibility or to obtain their PIN).

· Obtain a duplicate driver’s license or ID card.

· Obtain a driver record abstract.

· File Business Services documents, such as incorporations and annual reports. Three Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) facilities are currently open for in-person CDL services only. The CDL facilities are: Rockford at 4734 Baxter Rd., Springfield at 2701 S. Dirksen Pkwy. and Marion at 1905 Rendelman St. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023. For more information, visit ilsos.gov.

Iroquois County Fair Talent Show Contestants win in Springfield

Iroquois County Fair 1st place winner, Mitchell Galyen took the stage at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield on January 15, 2022 at The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs convention and state wide talent show.

Mitchell astonished the audience with his rendition of Bumble Boogie and took home 1st place in the Senior Division. Mitchell, from Watseka is the student of Pat Neal of Watseka. He follows the 2020 Senior Division winner Anna Parmenter who is also a student of Pat Neal.

Mitchell was asked to perform at the Finals for the Illinois County Fair Queen pageant, where he received a standing ovation.

Iroquois County Junior Division winners from our fair were a the Hip Hop Mash Up dance group Elite Energy. Making up the team will be Lily Anderson, Beaverville; London Clark, Milford; Annika Greene, Watseka, Vanysah Hickman, Watseka; Addie Kingdon, Watseka; Madelyn Loy, Donovan; Sarah Parsons, Watseka, and Savannah Reed, Danforth. The girls took 9th place in the Junior Division. The dancers are students of Studio on Main, Pam Hibbert.

Person shot in head in Loda

The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate an early-morning incident in Loda that left one person hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head.

The gunshot victim, whose name was not immediately released, was in critical condition Wednesday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The news release said a 911 call was made from a residence in Loda during the early morning Wednesday asking for an ambulance for a person who was bleeding from the head. Upon paramedics’ arrival, it was discovered the person had suffered a gunshot wound, the release said. The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition, the release said.

The sheriff’s office requested assistance at the scene from the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit, the release said.

No other details were released.

“This is an isolated incident,” the release said, “and there is no threat to the community.”

Iroquois County Covid 19 Update 01/19/22

As of 01/19/2022, there have been 6,325 cases of COVID-19 and 94 individuals who have passed away with COVID-19 in Iroquois County. We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community members affected by these losses.

There have been 377 new cases since our last update. 

45.09% of the population of Iroquois County are considered fully vaccinated.

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 risk metrics please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/coronavirus/data/countymetrics.html?county=Iroquois

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 statistics and demographic data please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/data.html

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE MAKE ARRESTS

Ashkum, IL – On Jan. 12, 2022 at approximately 5:28 p.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Troopers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle after observing it commit multiple traffic violations as it traveled on Interstate 57 southbound near Milepost 297 in Iroquois County.

The driver, Elijah M. Johnson, a 25-year-old male from Chicago, IL was arrested and charged with Reckless Driving, Speeding 35+ MPH over the Speed Limit, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Police Officer in Motor Vehicle, Improper Lane Usage, Driving on Wrong Side of Road, Failure to Wear Seatbelt, and Failure to Signal when required.  Johnson was transported to the Iroquois County Jail to await a bond hearing.   

 

On Jan. 16, 2022 at approximately 12:59 a.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Troopers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle after observing it commit multiple traffic violations on Interstate 57 southbound near Milepost 323 in Kankakee County.

The driver, Justin M. Collins, a 22-year-old male from Champaign, IL was arrested and charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Driving While License Suspended, and Speeding Over Statutory Limit 15 – 20 MPH.  Collins was transported to the Kankakee County Jail to await a bond hearing.

 

On Jan. 16, 2022 at approximately 6:25 a.m., Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Troopers were investigating a vehicle crash when a domestic disturbance occurred at a nearby residence in the 1300 block of N. Arthur Burch Drive in Bourbonnais, Kankakee County.  Bianca D. Campbell, a 25-year-old female from Kankakee, IL was arrested and charged with Domestic Battery and Trent J. Schaffer, a 20-year-old male from Bradley, IL was arrested and charged with Battery.  Campbell and Schaffer were both transported to the Kankakee County Jail to await bond hearings.

 

The public is reminded that all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

ICPHD now offering booster shots by appointment

Individuals 12-15 years old are now eligible to receive their Pfizer booster 5 months after receiving their two-dose series. The Iroquois County Public Health Department has booster doses available by appointment. ICPHD also has vaccine available for 1st and 2nd doses for individuals five and up. Individuals ages 12+ are eligible for a booster dose if they are more than five months from their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or more than two months after their Johnson and Johnson vaccine. To schedule an appointment, please call ICPHD at (815)432-2483.

Iroquois County Covid 19 Update 01/11/2022

As of 01/11/2022, there have been 5,948 cases of COVID-19 and 92 individuals who have passed away with COVID-19 in Iroquois County. We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community members affected by these losses.

There have been 410 new cases since our last update. 

44.81% of the population of Iroquois County are considered fully vaccinated.

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 risk metrics please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/coronavirus/data/countymetrics.html?county=Iroquois

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 statistics and demographic data please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/data.html

Fatal Car Crash in Iroquois County

On January 9th, 2022, Iroquois County Sherriff’s police investigated a single car fatal accident in Belmont Township.

At 10:10pm ICOM received a 911 call from a homeowner stating that on County Road 2000E north of Belmont Acres someone had drove into the back of their home. 

Woodland fire, Riverside EMS, and Sherriff’s police responded to the scene where they found the driver, 72-year-old Michael Miner deceased and the sole occupant in the vehicle. The cause of the crash reminds under investigation by the Iroquois County Sherriff’s police and Iroquois county coroner’s office. 

Iroquois County Sheriff's Police news 1/6/2022

On December 24, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police investigated a two-vehicle accident the parking lot of the Gilman McDonalds. According to police reports a vehicle driven by Dashawn L Howard, age 22, of Nashville, TN. was pulling into a parking spot at the establishment. A vehicle driven by Stacie M. Walker, age 43, of Mt. Zion, IL. began to back out of her parking spot and struck Howard’s vehicle. No injuries were reported, and no citations were issued.

On December 30, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police investigated a single-vehicle accident at Co Rd. 2080 E at approx. 1325 N. According to police reports, a vehicle driven by Shay M. Hankey, age 20, of Woodland, was traveling northbound on 2080 E., when Hankey swerved to miss a deer. The vehicle then entered the west ditch which caused the vehicle to overturn. No injuries were reported, and no citations were issued

On December 30, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police investigated a two-vehicle accident in the parking lot of the Onarga Phillip’s 66. According to police reports, a vehicle driven by Dudley 0. Flannagan, age 64, of Batavia, IL, was backing into a parking spot at the establishment when his vehicle struck another vehicle driven by Lisa A. Shadwell, age 51, of Findlay, IL. No injuries were reported, and no citations were issued.

 

On December 28, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested David Blair Jr., age 41, of Gilman. According to police reports, Blair was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with failure to appear for possession of methamphetamine. Blair was aware of his warrant and turned himself into the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.

On December 29, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Kristan M Pelehowski, age 35, of Thawville. According to police reports, Pelehowski was wanted on an outstanding Kankakee County warrant charging her with failure to appear for driving under the influence. She was taken into custody and transported to the Iroquois County Jail where she posted the required bond and was released

 

. On December 31, 2021, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police arrested Haley C Crabtree, age 29, of Martinton According to police reports, Crabtree was charged with domestic battery. She was taken into custody and transported to the Iroquois County Jail where she posted the required bond and was released.

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE RELEASE STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF BRADLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICER TYLER BAILEY

First and most important, our family would like to express our deepest sorrows to the family of Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic. We are devastated by her loss. She was an excellent police officer, an amazing person, and an inspiration to Tyler and many other officers as a mentor and friend. We miss her, and there will always be a void in our hearts from her loss. We continue to pray for her and her family each day.

 

From the start of the incident at the Comfort Inn, the responses of the local police departments, fire personnel, and first responders were nothing short of amazing. Removing wounded officers from the scene of an active shooting is exceedingly dangerous, as officers do not know if a shooter may still be present. Many people put their lives on the line to get Tyler and Sgt. Rittmanic out of the building and to the medical care they needed as quickly as possible.

 

After being removed from the scene of the shooting, Tyler was taken to the emergency room at St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, where the exemplary emergency staff was able to stabilize Tyler and keep him alive to be transported to the surgical staff at a different hospital. Due to the weather conditions, Tyler could not be transported by helicopter but was instead transported by ambulance. The Illinois State Police District 21 provided an emergency escort for the ambulance carrying Tyler to ensure he got the treatment needed as soon as possible. While enroute to the hospital, officers from local area police departments assisted with the escort. We cannot thank these officers and departments enough for all they did and continue to do. Not a moment has passed without one of these heroes at the side of the family and Tyler.

 

Tyler underwent an extensive surgery on December 30, lasting most of the day. The tireless surgical staff at the treating hospital were able to greatly enhance Tyler's chances of surviving this critical injury with their incredible skill and dedication.

 

While we are not able to go into specific details about the severity of Tyler's condition, we can certainly say that without the surgical intervention, Tyler would not have survived the remainder of the day on December 30. After the procedure, we are cautiously optimistic about beginning discussions for Tyler's recovery over the short term, although he is far from out of the woods at this point.

 

Since the surgery, Tyler has continued to fight for his life. He is stable but remains in very critical condition. Unfortunately, there have been several inaccurate social media rumors regarding Tyler's current condition. Without going into specifics, we can say that he is progressing in a positive manner toward what we hope someday to be a full recovery. It will be a long and difficult battle for Tyler. We are elated with every small step forward as he continues under the care of the hospital staff, who have been nothing short of sensational in their care and accommodations.

 

Their family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from not only the local police, fire, and first responders, but also personnel from around the State of Illinois, as well as nationwide. These heroes we have mentioned in this release are not just individuals punching a clock each day at work. They are a huge family, and are there for each other under all circumstances, both on the streets and behind the scenes. We can't thank them enough for all they have done.

 

Tyler's family wishes to express our strongest gratitude to everyone who has had a part in getting Tyler to this point after such a terrible incident. Every helping hand, all of the kind words and prayers, along with the daily supplies and food for the family members who are staying at the hospital and surrounding hotels are greatly appreciated. The immense support and donations to Tyler through various outlets have been incredible.

 

Thank you all for your support and prayers.  We appreciate your dedication to helping the family maintain their privacy at this time, allowing them to concentrate on the aftermath of this tragedy involving both officers

State's Attorney describes body cam footage from shooting of Bradley officers

 During a bond hearing Monday for Xandria Harris, 26, of Bradley, Kankakee County State’s attorney Jim Rowe described details of body camera footage from the night two Bradley police officers were shot last week.

Harris is charged with first degree murder and attempted murder along with her boyfriend, Darius D. Sullivan. He is facing first degree murder charges, attempted murder charges and aggravated battery discharging a firearm.

Sullivan, 25, of Bourbonnais, is charged with shooting Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey, who were called to the Comfort Inn in Bradley Wednesday night to check on a complaint of barking dogs left in a vehicle.

Rittmanic later died at Riverside Medical Center. Bailey is in critical condition at a Chicago area hospital.

Rowe said during Harris’ bond hearing that body cam footage from Rittmanic recorded her pleading with Sullivan not to shoot her.

“Sgt. Rittmanic was pleading with them to leave. ‘You don’t have to do this. Please just go. Please don’t. Please don’t.’ She was desperately pleading for her life,” Rowe said.

Rowe said the body cam footage showed Harris aid Sullivan, whose gun had jammed. Harris reached around the waist of Sullivan while he had Rittmanic pinned up against the wall, according to Rowe.

Harris was either attempting to cock Sullivan’s gun and/or disarm Rittmanic, Rowe said.

Requesting federal charges

Rowe said he would be contacting the U.S. Attorney General’s office to review the cases of Sullivan and Harris, who are charged with shooting two Bradley police officers.

Rowe made the statement Monday during the bond hearing for Harris, 26, of Bradley.

“I will be submitting an official request to the U.S. Attorney General for the Central District of Illinois and to the U.S. Attorney General to review the first degree murder case pending against Darius Sullivan and Xandria Harris for federal murder charges, and pursue a federal sentence of death against both defendants,” Rowe said during Harris’ bond hearing before Kankakee County Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw Elliott.

Although Illinois is not a death penalty state, the U.S. Attorney General can authorize the filing of a petition to seek the death penalty in a federal murder case under certain circumstances, according to Rowe.

The State's Attorney will also seek life sentences for both Sullivan and Harris as the existing state-level charges proceed.

Elliott granted a request to deny Harris bail. She won’t be able to post bond to be released.

“You are a real threat to the community,” Elliott said.

A standing room only crowd, made up mainly of Bradley police officers and other local agencies, attended the hearing. They left after the hearing was over.

Members of Rittmanic’s family were also in attendance.

The case will go before a Kankakee County grand jury on Jan. 22.

The next court date for Harris is Jan. 27 when she will be arraigned.

 

Iroquois County Covid 19 Update 1/4/22

As of 01/01/2022, there have been 5,538 cases of COVID-19 and 89 individuals who have passed away with COVID-19 in Iroquois County. We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and community members affected by these losses.

There have been 238 new cases since our last update. 

44.53% of the population of Iroquois County are considered fully vaccinated.

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 risk metrics please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/coronavirus/data/countymetrics.html?county=Iroquois

For more information on Iroquois County COVID-19 statistics and demographic data please visit: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/data.html

Illinois State Police Release Statement from the family of Bradley Police Department Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic

Kankakee County has lost a leader in community policing – Marlene believed in people and her ability to speak to the community with respect; meet them where they are in life; try to understand their true needs; and work together to find a solution that produced the least disruption in people’s lives.  To her – the job was about making her community safe for everyone, she believed – and stated, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”  Meaning – if you have statutory grounds to arrest a person, tow their car, or fine them, doesn’t mean you should.  If she pulled over a single mother without a $1 to her name but clearly had violations, she would consider the long-term consequences of creating more debt to someone that is already impoverished.  She was awarded Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020 – just to drive home the type of Police Officer she really was. Marlene was also a published poet, amateur photographer and film producer for our family events, Bradley Police Department recruiting and community events.

 

Marlene’s family and friends have affectionately gone out of their way to help us get through the most unnecessary, heartbreaking, painful, deplorable, tragic loss of our lives.  We are deeply beholden and grateful to all of you.

 

Our neighborhoods have lifted us with blue lights beaming through day and night as well as gifts of food and supplies.  We are forever indebted to all of you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

 

The community of Kankakee County came to a complete stop to stand in the cold to witness our hero, wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt – Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic-Stua be transferred from Riverside to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department and again from the Sheriff’s Department to Clancy Funeral Home.  We saw many familiar faces and complete strangers – We are more than grateful for you all and we know that you too are feeling the loss.  For that, you know justice will have to be swift and reflective of their actions.

 

The Police Departments – All of them throughout Illinois – there are a lot, we would miss one if we tried to list them, their unconditional, voluntary, gratuitous, all-encompassing service to Marlene, her family and our extended family is meticulously carried out and ongoing. 

 

A very special thanks to Illinois COPS/ 100 Club team, our close friend Teresa Lanie, Katie Novak, Brian Coash, Clancy Gernon Funeral Home and Olivet Nazarene University.

 

Our world has been turned upside down, obliterated and hopelessly broken. 

 

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor may be made to the Marlene Rittmanic Memorial Fund at Federated Bank in Bradley, IL.  Memorials will be accepted at the services and the Clancy Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais, IL which is assisting with arrangements. The family is not utilizing any online crowdfunding sources.

 

Additional information will be released in the coming days.

 

Inquiries about the incident can be directed to the Illinois State Police at ISP.PIO.PERSONNEL@ILLINOIS.GOV

Iroquois County Youth will be flooding the Crowne Plaza in Springfield

Iroquois County Youth will be flooding the Crowne Plaza in Springfield on January 15, 2022 as The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs will be holding their annual convention and state wide talent show.

Representing Iroquois County as Junior Division winners from our fair will be the Hip Hop Mash UP dance group Elite Energy. Making up the team will be Lily Anderson, Beaverville; London Clark, Milford; Annika Greene, Watseka, Vanysah Hickman, Watseka; Addie Kingdon, Watseka; Madelyn Loy, Donovan; Sarah Parsons, Watseka, and Savannah Reed, Danforth.

The Senior Division winner Mitchell Galyen, Watseka will be entertaining the crowd with his wonderful rendition of “Bumble Boogie”.

Also attending as winner’s from the Ford County Fair’s Junior Division will be The First Impressions Dance Team consisting of Libby Hamilton, Dahlia Johnson, Amelia Marcier, Kate Sobal, Avery Schroeder, Landon Starkey and Harley Valentine.

Ford County Fair’s Senior Division winners are the dance group Voodoo Essence consisting of Hope Aaron, Lilian Eheart, Hannah Eheart, Briana Warren, and Sadee Wuethrich.

Junior Division winner of the Fairbury Fair was Savannah Reed and she will be performing a dance solo to Everything I Wanted.

All the dancers are students of Studio on Main, Pam Hibbert and Mitchell is a student of Pat Neal.

Talent Show Junior Division begins at 1:30 pm followed by the Senior Division at 6:00 pm.

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ANNOUNCE SUSPECTS IS IN CUSTODY IN RELATION TO THE SHOOTING OF BRADLEY POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS

On Dec. 31, 2021, at approximately 9 a.m., the Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 3 officials confirm Darius D. Sullivan is in police custody.  Arrangements are being made to transport Sullivan back to Kankakee County at this time. 

 

On Dec. 31, 2021, at approximately 4 p.m., Xandria A. Harris, 26-year-old female of Bradley, Illinois, accompanied by her attorney, turned herself in at the Bradley Police Department and was taken into custody by the Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 3 Investigators.

 

The ISP would like to extend our appreciation to all the assisting agencies including, but not limited to the United States Marshalls Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force, Bradley Police Department, Kankakee County Sheriffs Department, Kankakee City Police Department, Indiana State Police, and numerous other municipal and county agencies in Illinois and Indiana, who assisted in apprehending Darius D. Sullivan and Xandria A. Harris.

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