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WIQI News Archives for 2022-09

Iroquois County police news 9/28/2022

On September 21st, 2022, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Devon K. Hodges, age 19, of Kankakee. According to police reports, Hodges was wanted on an outstanding Iroquois County warrant charging him with residential burglary, theft, and possession of a stolen firearm. Hodges was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.

On September 21st, 2022, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Joshua L. Luening, age 36, of Buckley. According to police reports, Luening was taken into custody and charged with driving while license revoked and possession of methamphetamine less than 5 grams. Luening was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and was released.


On September 26, 2022, Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Aaron M. Vice, age 33, of Watseka. According to police reports, Vice was wanted on an Iroquois County warrant for failure to appear on a theft charge. Vice was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he remains in lieu of bond.


On September 26th, 2022, Iroquois County Sheriffs Police investigated a single vehicle accident on County Rd 3100 N at the intersection with County Rd 900 E. According to police reports, a vehicle being driven by Robert D. Majors, age 27, of Pontiac was traveling north on 900 E. The vehicle then failed to reduce speed at the T-intersection, lost control and entered the north ditch of 3100 N and overturned onto its side. One occupant was transported to Riverside Hospital by Riverside EMS with minor suspected injuries. All other occupants were released on scene by EMS. Chebanse Township Fire also assisted with the scene. Majors was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended, disobeying a stop sign, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Majors was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond.

Vermilion County State's Attorney, Lacy files motion against Illinois "Safety Act"

As the Chief Legal Officer in Vermilion County, I am compelled to infom those that I have sworn to protect that the proposals set forth in House Bill 3653, now Public Act 101-652 pose a serious threat to public safety, specifically, to victims of and witnesses to violent crimes in our community.

On January 10, 2021, Senator Sims affixed a 604-page amendment to HB 3653 that, in addition to sweeping changes to law enforcement operations, conduct, and use of force, also included the bulk of the bail modification provisions. At 3:00 a.m. on January 13, 2021, HB 3653 was amended again by Senator Sims, becoming 764 pages in length. During the debate in the Senate at approximately 4:30 a.m.

At 5:00 a.m., having had a little more than an hour to read the Bill, HB 3653 was called for a vote in the

Senate by the Democratic super-majority and passed. That same morning, HB 3653 was sent to the House, its chief House sponsor was changed to Rep. Slaughter, and assigned to the Rules Committee. It immediately passed out of the Rules Committee and received exactly the 60 votes needed to pass in the House, again, after less than an hour of debate HB 3653 was sent to Governor Pritzker on February 4, 2021, and he signed it on February 22, 2021.

The radical increase in the number of pages from the originally introduced bill to what is now Public Act 101-652 was not the only arresting difference. As evidenced by the synopsis of Senate Floor Amendment Number 2 to the bill, the range of issues covered by Amendment No.2 of HB 3643, also increased from the narrow issue of voter registration for incarcerated individuals to a wide range of issues, including, but not limited to: creation or modifications of at least seventeen (17) acts, task forces, criminal laws, and boards.

In short, this poorly drafted Bill containing ill-conceived directives is an effort to systematically dismantle law enforcement, which in turn would affect the integrity of every investigation, prosecution, and the safety of every citizen of our community. We must stand with the men and women of law enforcement who consistently stand up for us.

Therefore, I have filed a motion for declaratory judgement and injunctive relief in my official capacity as Vermilion County State's Attorney and on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. As set forth in the attached complaint for Declaratory Judgment I am requesting the Court to find that HB 3653, now Public Act 101-652, violates Article I, section 8. I(a)(9); Article I, section 9; Article Il, section 1; and Article IV, section 8(d) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 and declare the law null and void. I am also requesting a preliminary injunction to prevent the enforcement of any bail provisions in the Public Act 101-652 until the case can be fully litigated.

Honorable Jacqueline M Lacy, Vermilion County State 's Attorney

The Iroquois County Public Health Department (ICPHD) now has flu vaccine available.

 “The CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are strongly advising vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age or older,” said Jane Newell, RN, BSN, Director of Nursing Services for ICPHD. Adult flu vaccine is available in our office by appointment or walk-in for individuals over the age of 18, MondayFriday; 9 AM- 3:30 PM. Flu vaccine is also available for children 6 months and older by appointment. Please call 815- 432-2483 to schedule your appointment. Please note that individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present at the time of vaccination. A physician’s order is required prior to giving a vaccination to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. The cost for the quadrivalent vaccine is $35 per dose. In addition to the quadrivalent flu vaccine, the Health Department will also be offering the high dose flu vaccine for those 65 years or older. It will cost $70 per dose. If you have coverage for the flu vaccine through Medicare or one of the following listed insurance companies, the Iroquois County Public Health Department can bill them directly. ICPHD can currently bill Aetna, BlueCross/Blue Shield of IL PPO, Health Alliance, HealthLink PPO, HealthLink HMO, Cigna and United Healthcare. A receipt will be provided to enable those with other insurance coverage to obtain reimbursement.

The Iroquois County Republican Women host their 2022 Fall Social

The Iroquois County Republican Women (ICRW) invite you to their 2022 Fall Social on Thursday, October 6, 2022, at Town & Country in Milford, IL. The doors will open at 5 p.m. with heavy hors d’oeuvres by Murdock’s in Loda and a cash bar by Town & Country. The evening program will be state and federal candidates, including, Bailey/Trussel, Governor/Lt. Governor, Tom Lynch, US Representative, 2nd Dist., Kathy Salvi, US Senate, Dan Brady, Secretary of State, Tom Demmer, State Treasurer, Tom DeVore, Attorney General, Jason Barickman, State Senate, 53rd Dist., Tom Bennett, State Representative, 106th Dist., Michael burke, IL Supreme Court, and Liam Brennan, IL Appellate Court. If one of the candidates can’t attend the event, they will be sending a representative from their campaign. Tickets are $25.00/person and can be purchased from any ICRW member or by calling Donna Crow, Chairwomen of the Event, at 815.471.4713. Town and Country is located at 35 E. Jones St. in Milford. Like and Follow Iroquois County Republican Women on Facebook for more information about the club and future events.


 The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office announced late Thursday evening that the search for a fugitive in Gilman is over.

Sergeant Eric Starkey said Joel Smith was arrested just after 11 p.m. on Thursday, ending a search that lasted 36 hours and involved over 75 members of law enforcement.

The search started at 11 a.m. on Wednesday when law enforcement was informed of a sexual assault that happened aboard an Amtrak train that was stopped at Gilman’s train station. Authorities learned the victim was a juvenile girl and identified Smith as the suspect. He had run away from the station by the time they arrived and the authorities launched a manhunt in the area.

After being on the run for almost a day, Smith was seen by two employees at K&H Truck Plaza when he walked into the store and bought a drink. Starkey said surveillance footage confirmed Smith was indeed there, but the employees lost sight of him after he left.

As law enforcement renewed and increased their efforts to find Smith following this sighting, a warrant for his arrest was issued and he was formally charged with criminal sexual assault.

Upon his arrest late Thursday evening, Smith was taken to the Iroquois County Jail. His bond was set at $2 million.

The search for Smith involved Sheriff’s deputies from Iroquois, Vermilion and Kankakee Counties, Illinois State Troopers, and members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. Starkey thanked several companies that aided in the search, inclduing Eastern Illini Electric Co-op, Gilman Fertilizer, Nutrien Ag and FS, as well as the businesses and people who provided law enforcement food and water throughout the search.

Iroquois county police news 9/14/2022

Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Kimberly L. Allen, 40, of Onarga, Sept. 9. According to police reports, Allen was wanted on a Ford County warrant for theft. Allen was transported to the Iroquois County Jail where she posted the required bond.


Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Roscoe Durflinger, 32, of Gilman, Sept. 9. According to police reports, Durflinger was wanted on an Iroquois County warrant for driving while license suspended and a Kankakee county warrant for a traffic offense. Durflinger was transported to the Iroquois County Jail in lieu of bond.


Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Jesse D. Hurst, 25, of Watseka, Sept. 9. According to police reports, Hurst was wanted on an Iroquois County warrant for failure to appear on a possession of drug paraphernalia charge. Hurst was also wanted on a Kankakee County warrant. Hurst was taken to the Iroquois County Jail in lieu of bond.


Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrested Chad A. Mills, 41, of Muncie, Indiana, Sept. 10. According to police reports, Mills was wanted on a Jefferson county, Indiana, warrant for disorderly conducted. He was transported to the Iroquois County Jail to await extradition.


Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police arrayed Ashley L. Kinney, 39, of Watseka, Sept. 10. According to police reports, Kinney was wanted on a Kankakee County warrant for operating a vehicle with revoked registration. Kinney was taken to the Iroquois County Jail where she posted the required bond.


On Sept. 12, Harold P. Wright, 52, of Watseka, turned himself in at the Iroquois County Jail to serve a sentence for driving while license suspended.


 Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Gregg Cavanaugh, announces the ISP will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols (OREP) in Kankakee, Iroquois, and Ford Counties on September 23, 2022. OREPs allow the ISP to focus on safety belt and child safety seat laws. Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers (front and back) to be buckled up. Safety belts are still one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles, estimated to save nearly 14,000 lives each year. Half of vehicle occupants killed in a traffic crash were not properly buckled up. The objective of this program is to increase occupant restraint compliance through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement. 

Watseka Man charged with sex crimes with a minor

A man in Watseka was charged with sex crimes with a minor as well as drug possession with intent to deliver.

On Sept. 2, around 6:20 p.m. the Fairbury Police Department said they concluded an ongoing investigation.

Officials said they charged Ryan C. Peters, a 26-year-old man, with two counts of each: indecent solicitation of a minor, traveling to meet a minor, solicitation to meet a minor, exploitation of a minor, and one count of possession of cocaine with the intent to deliver.


Peters was taken to Fairbury County and released to the Livingston County Jail said, officials.

Officials said the Chatsworth and Watseka Police Departments, Livingston County State Attorney’s office, and VCOM assisted in the investigation.


County Treasurer, Kurt Albers, announced that the deadline to pay the second installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Friday, September 9, 2022. After that date, 1 ½ percent interest on all property must be added to the 2nd installment each month it remains unpaid according to the Illinois State Statutes. The interest rate on the first installment will be 6 percent after September 9, 2022.


The Treasurer’s Office is open 8:30 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. If the postmark reads September 9, 2022, the payment will not be late. There is also a drop box on the south side of the Administrative Center near the 911 Center. The office will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2022 for the Labor Day holiday. Banks will not accept payments after the September 9 due date.


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