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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Area Agency on Aging selects next Executive Director

Susan Real has been selected as the East Central Illinois Area Agency on Aging's next executive director.

She assumes her new position April 1st when current director Michael O'Donnell retires. O'Donnell has spent 35 years with the agency.

Real has 29 years of experience working with the agency, which serves 16 counties in East Central Illinois, including Ford and Iroquois counties.

The agency's corporate board approved Real's hiring Wednesday. Real was among 30 applicants.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Former Fairbury clerk files federal lawsuit over firing

A former records clerk for the Fairbury Police Department has filed a federal lawsuit accusing city officials of firing her after she voiced concerns about alleged illegal activity.

Records with the U.S. District Court for the Central District in Urbana state Kaci Zimmerman worked as records clerk for two years before she was terminated in February 2014 for "asking too many questions."

"Kaci saw and heard Chief (Michael) Frickey and other city employees violate police department policies and procedures, including appropriating for their own use evidence relating to a pending criminal investigation," said the lawsuit, filed by Chicago attorney Stephen R. Miller.

The city and its officials are accused of violating the Illinois Whistleblower Act and conspiring to violate several constitutional rights of the former worker.
Named in the lawsuit along with Frickey are Mayor Roger Dameron and city Superintendent Leroy McPherson; Deputy City Clerk Nancy Widlacki; Police Officer Randall Vedder; City Council member Charles Hoselton; and the city.

94.1 WGFA {Bloomington Pantagraph}

  • Parent Category: News

Bradley mom facing child porn charges

33-year-old Sara Bell had bond set at $50,000 in Kankakee Circuit Court (Wednesday) after she was arrested for allegedly posting a pornographic photo of her 5-year-old daughter on Facebook.

The Bradley mom is facing child porn charges. The Daily-Journal reports after her arrest, more graphic photos and a video were found on her cellphone.

The pornography and exploitation charges each carry prison terms of between six and 30 years.

The child is in the custody of Sara's mother.

Judge Clark Erickson set Bell's bond at $50,000.

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  • Parent Category: News

Child porn convict arrested again for child porn; also had conviction in Iroquois County

A Rantoul man who allegedly had a cellphone with pornographic images of children on it was arrested by Rantoul police Thursday.

Police said federal probation officers were checking on 48-year-old Christopher Fiore. He's serving a term of mandatory supervised release after having been to federal prison for possession of child pornography.
Fiore also has a conviction for aggravated sexual abuse in Iroquois County.

Police located him at his girlfriend's and found that he had a cellphone that was not equipped with filtering software, one of the conditions of Fiore's release.

Authorities confirmed that the phone had pornographic images of children on it, then arrested Fiore.

He was charged in Champaign County Circuit Court Friday with possession of child pornography, a Class 3 felony carrying penalties ranging from probation to two to five years in prison. Bond was set at $2 million.

Records show Fiore was put on mandatory supervised release after having served a prison sentence for the federal child porn conviction as well as an Iroquois County conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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  • Parent Category: News

Local leaders show support for Illiana Expressway

The Illiana Expressway remains on-hold. Governor Bruce Rauner stopped all capital projects until he can all costs and expenses reviewed. But leaders in Kankakee County are showing continued support for the project that'll link I-55 in Will County with I-65 in NW Indiana.

Five Kankakee County officials signed a letter drawn up by U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly urging Rauner to fund several infrastructure projects, described as regional "game-changing projects" in the 2nd Congressional District represented by Kelly. The district includes Kankakee and Will counties.

Signing off on the letter are Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein, Bourbonnais Mayor Paul Schore, Bradley mayor Bruce Adams, Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent, and County Board Chairman Mike Bossert.

Kelly's project list includes the Illiana Expressway and South Suburban Airport.

Kelly's letter was signed by 35 southland mayors, state representatives, state senators and county board members. Both Democrats and Republicans signed Kelly's letter.
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson also signed off in support of the projects.

Kelly's letter states, "Most congressional districts (and most states, for that matter) would be envious of our plans to build a new airport, national park, presidential library, toll road, and a 500-acre lakefront development (the old USX site)." "Remarkably, all five game-changing projects could break ground in the next four years."

The 47-mile Illiana by itself has a $1.5-billion price tag. Much of its cost is projected to be covered by private developers.

94.1 WGFA