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National Public Safety Tele-Communicator Week

They've been called Earth Angels in Headsets. And they often are, the first-responders know one sees and no one knows. And yet, it's their compassion, their wisdom, their
interviewing skills, calming voice and patience that so many times...can be the difference of life or death.

Tele-communicators or emergency dispatchers are the people we all hope we won't ever need. But if we do, it's their voice, their knowledge, their ability to make a criis call seem so routine.

This week is National Public Safety Tele-Communicators Week. And boy, it sure seems like the past week or so shows just how important emergency communications are and can be in life-threatening situations.

From an armed robbery-hostage situation to a jail break by a convicted-killer, or a plane crash, house fires or field fires, traffic accidents, to a baby arriving at that un-expected time....it's that tele-communicator in your 9-1-1 center who sets the stage and puts the wheels in motion for the rest of those heroes involved in that emergency situation.

This week (April 12 thru April 18), 94.1 WGFA News is letting listeners hear from those emergency dispatchers – those often-overlooked and never heard from men and women who operate the 9-1-1 centers and put emergency protocol into action.

94.1 WGFA News salutes the dispatchers who play such an important role in public safety – in all communities !

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Harman sex trial ends in hung jury

                 Watseka man faces new trial

Iroquois County prosecutors will forge ahead in preparing a new trial for a Watseka man facing nearly two dozen charges involving criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse.

A new trial date will have to be determined by the courts.

In Watseka this past week, an Iroquois County jury could not decide guilt or innocence for 50-year-old Jeff Harman.

The Watseka resident is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The accusations stem from alleged incidents between 1995-1999. Three now-grown women testified in court that Harman sexually assaulted them when they were under the age of 13.

And despite Harman's own confession to police investigators in a recorded interrogation, an 8 men, four women jury could not decide the case after several hours over two days of deliberations.

Following his confession, Harman pleaded not guilty and recanted his confession in court.

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine wasn't happy with the 10-2 vote to convict.

"It's disappointing to result in a hung jury. We'll reevaluate the findings and move ahead toward a new trial," Devine said. "We have three witnesses, victims who are committed and ready to go forward."

Defense Attorney Raymond Wigell said he has the utmost respect for the case presented by Devine and ass't S-A Alex O'Brien.

"The jury worked very hard, but they had obvious questions or they wouldn't have been deadlocked," Wigell said afterwards. "We now go back to work and prepare for the next trial."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Peotone Man Dies in Motorcycle - Pickup Crash

A 53 year old Peotone man has died after a motorcycle - pickup truck accident in Peotone Township. It happened Friday at the intersection of Wilmington - Peotone Road and 128th Avenue. Thomas J Keenan was pronounced dead at 5 pm Friday. The motorcycle he was riding was struck by a pickup.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Rt. 49 in Iroquois County closed for repairs

Motorists travelling Iroquois County Route 49 will want to note a section of that road will be closed beginning today. A box culvert is being replaced between Route 24 at Crescent City headed north to County Road 1900 N.


94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Benton County home invasion, man shot

A Benton County, Indiana man suffered a gunshot in the leg during a home invasion Sunday morning.

The intruder has not been caught. And police era advising people to keep their doors locked and do not open the door to any stranger.

Indiana State Police said one person entered a home on South 200 East in Oxford around 11:30 am. He allegedly pointed a gun and demanded money.

Police said the man and his wife were home during the break-in. The person held a gun to the man's head, and then took money and other items of value.

While trying to defend himself, the victim was shot by the intruder in the leg. His wife was not injured. The man show still got to the phone to call 911.

The victim was taken to Franciscan St. Elizabeth East Hospital.

The intruder has not been caught. Anyone with information is asked to call Master Trooper Detective Tim Kendall at 765-567-2125.

94.1 WGFA