First African-American woman appointed judge in Kankakee County
A veteran member of the Kankakee County Bar Association will serve as the first female, black judge in the 21st Circuit.
J. Imani Drew has been appoinred to fill a vacancy created last fall with the retirement of Judge Kendall Wenzelman. The 62-year-old Drew's appointment was confirmed last week. The judges of the 21st circuit selected Drew. She becomes only the second black to serve as judge in Kankakee County.
Drew has worked as an assistant State's Attorney and in the Public Defender's office.
Emergency responders report a tubing accident on Lake Freeman Saturday led to an arrest and one woman was airlifted.
A Kentland, IN man faces an alcohol-related charge while an Earl Park teenager was injured and flown to an Indianapolis hospital. Emergency crews were dispatched to White Oaks on Lake Freeman about 5:30 pm.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources reported 58-year-old John Tuberty of Kentland was pulling a tube with passengers when the tube hit a large wake and disconnected from the tow rope. The tube and its passengers struck a boat dock. The victims were helped to a nearby boat ramp.
DNR officials reported 18-year-old Hunter Davidson, of Earl Park, was taken by ambulance to IU Health White Memorial Hospital. She was then airlifted to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis because of a possible spinal injury.
She was later said to be in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Tuberty, who was believed to be operating the boat while intoxicated, was arrested. He was taken to the Carroll County Jail facing several charges. He has since been released on bond.
The National Weather Service confirmed at least nine tornadoes touched down last Wednesday in north-central Illinois. Governor Rauner visited Pontiac Friday, saying we're fortunate there were no fatalities or serious injury. Rauner said he's being updated by officials with the state Emergency Service Agency and local officials concerning damage assessments. The NWS called the Pontiac damage an EF-2 tornado.
The NWS also reviewed the damage at other sites, calling the Cissna Park structure damage and building damages at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais EF-1 tornadoes.
Two weekend deaths investigated in Iroquois County
Emergency responders in Iroquois County are looking into the deaths of two men found along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks, near Goodwine.
Saturday's apparent train-vehicle collision leaves questions as to what happened and why. The victims are identified as 27-year-old Jason Mercier of Crescent City and 23-year-old Spencer Mead of Milford.
It was just past 8 am Saturday when officials aboard a U-P train discovered the remains of a person lying on the railroad tracks near a crossing at 650 N and 1800 E.
Identification found at the scene led authorities to I.D. the man as Jason Mercier. How and why he was at that crossing is unknown.
An Iroquois County Sheriff deputy located Mercier's truck tangled up in brush and downed trees on property at 650N, just off the roadway at 1900E. Found dead at the scene of the truck was Spencer Mead.
Police report evidence at the scene indicates Mead may have been trying to free himself from the vehicle and got tangled up between the vehicle and some fallen trees and was unable to free himself from that position.
Agencies involved in the investigation include the Sheriff's Office, Cissna Park Fire, the Iroquois County Coroner's office and the Union Pacific Railroad.
Illinois State Police arrested a St. Anne woman Friday on charges stemming from a May 15th (2016) fatal crash in Kankakee County that killed a 15-year-old Reddick teen.
33-year-old Carmella Larson was indicted (Thursday) on two counts Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The crash on Route 17 resulted in the death of the teenager. The indictment includes 4-counts of Aggravated DUI - causing great bodily harm. The teen's 16-year-old brother, who was driving, was also injured when Larson failed to yield at a T-intersection on county road 19,000 W.
Larson was arrested on a warrant Friday morning. Her bond is set at $250,000.
A passenger in Larson's vehicle was also injured.
The investigation was completed with cooperation from the Kankakee County State's Attorney's Office and the Kankakee County Coroner's Office.