An Iroquois County jury (Wednesday) returned a guilty verdict against 23-year-old Romer Gillespie for 2-counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
The jury deliberated just 90 minutes before finding the Watseka man guilty for the 2015 crime. Gillespie faces a minimum 12 years in prison when he’s sentenced December 12th. He was taken into custody by Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police.
The then-12-year-old victim testified in the trial of the sexual encounter. Gillespie was 21-years-old at the time.
The Great Lakes Basin Railroad failed to meet a deadline to appeal its rejected application for a huge rail yard proposal, that would have consumed several thousand acres in Illinois and Wisconsin.
The appeal was due in federal court to request another look at what was earlier rejected. The proposal called for constructing a more than 260-mile freight rail yard.
Kankakee County was included along with counties in north-west Indiana.
The GLBR Transportation Group had a 60-day window from August 31st to appeal the Service Transportation Board’s decision to reject. This may end the project unless a new proposal is drawn up.
--- Rep. Parkhurst legislation strengthens private property rights ---
State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee this week filed legislation to strengthen individual property rights in Illinois. The goal is to curb the practice of using eminent domain for private gain. The legislation, HB 4150, amends the eminent domain act to strengthen eminent domain laws to make sure property acquisition is for a necessary public purpose and removes languages referring to freight railroads.
Concerning the bill’s language, Parkhurst explains “Eminent Domain should be used only in appropriate circumstances truly necessary for public use. We must not allow our government to take private property for private gain. This bill is intended to strengthen private property rights and prevent the taking of private land for private gain such as the attempt by the Great Lakes Basin Railway.”
The Watseka Public Library is hosting a program today, inviting area vterans to hear Milford native and Captain Aarn Hattabaugh share his military experiences. Hattabaugh was apolit during Operation Senior Surprise in the first Gulf War. The 6:30 pm evenmt is open to the public . It is free.
The VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville is hosting a job fair today (Thursday). The event will be open only to Veterans between 9 am and 11 am. Then the public is welcome 11 am until 1 pm. The Job Fair is in the Social Activities Room of Building 104 on the VA campus. Several local employers will participate to showcase job openings they have available. Those attending the job fair are advised to dress for success and bring several copies of your resumes.
Jasper County law enforcement officials in Indiana are searching for the driver of a car that led police on a chase (Wednesday) before the vehicle crashed and man fled on foot.
The driver was described as a male black, approximately 6’3”, 240 pounds, stocky built, in his mid-30’s, wearing a black T-shirt with white lettering. He was seen in the area of County Line Road and State Road 10 in Jasper/Newton County. Anyone who has information or sees this individual please call 911 or your local police agency.
State Police report a traffic stop for speed ended with Hobart Police pursuing a car on I-65 south bound three miles north of State Road 10.
Wednesday morning, a Hobart police officer working a federal grant attempted to pull over a vehicle for speeding. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The driver led police on I-65 then exited and ran through a wire fence into a sub-division. The driver went between two houses in the sub-division and crashed the SUV in a wooded area where the driver fled.
The trooper involved in the crash was taken to Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Crown Point with non-life threatening injuries.