Text message threats cause for early dismissal at Kankakee High School
Kankakee City Police detectives were investigating a threatening text message Monday that led to high school students being abruptly evacuated from the school. A threat was sent to a student that was enough to have school administrators to make the decision.
Police were looking for the source of the message that was sent from outside the county. The early dismissal was a precaution, according to the superintendent's office. All students were safe.
The dismissal was at 20 minutes before the regular dismissal time.
A 32-year-old Momence man is in custody in Alabama facing a Class 4 felony charge of Child Abduction.
The suspect is Dawayne Witham. He allegedly abducted 9-month-old Aubrey Witham from her Momence home Sunday.
Momence Police initiated emergency notification. Illinois State Police, Kentucky State Police, the National Center for Missing Children and Sheriff's Police in Dekalb County, Alabama all worked together, locating the child last evening in Alabama. The child is safe, according to a press release from the Momence Police dept.
The police were notified about 11:30 am Sunday, two hours after the alleged abduction from a residence on Momence. The suspect, police said, is the biological father of the child.
Last month's failed public safety referendum, coupled with the huge loss in sales tax revenue has led to a blow to law enforcement in Kankakee County.
It's the unincorporated areas of the county that will notice the reduced police effectiveness more so than those people in municipalities.
Seventeen patrol officers and 20 correctional officers are off the job, beginning today (Monday). Half of the county sheriff deputies and about one-quarter of the jailers are turning in uniforms and equipment. The Daily-Journal reports the lay-offs are the result of a $3-million cut in the county's operating budget.
Emergency 9-1-1 calls will remain intact, but administrators say many general calls from the public will be handled by automation rather than a live person. Many administrative personnel will be handling general police work.
A meeting last week with area law enforcement will find municipal police helping out when possible, but their local calls come before assisting in unincorporated areas.
The annual Santa Claus Train schedule along the Canadian National /Illinois Central railroad line is set for December 13 and 14th. Santa has planned stops in communities in Ford and Iroquois Counties.
The popular Santa Train continues to be a tradition. Children can visit with Santa during scheduled stops in Gibson City, Melvin, Roberts, Thawville and Gilman on Saturday, December 13th. Sunday's stops are in Onarga, Danforth, Ashkum and Clifton.
Junior Marshals help lead Bradley Christmas parade
The 29th annual Bradley Lighted Christmas Parade this (Friday) evening features a brother-sister team serving as junior marshals. The 6:30 pm event along W. Broadway Street will include seven-year-old Laura Moore and her 10-year-old brother, Brennan.
Laura will serve as Miss Merry Christmas while Brennan is Master Jack Frost. Their parents are Dale and Michelle Moore.
The parade marshals ride in a horse-drawn carriage with Mrs. Claus. They will lead the way for Santa's sleigh. Laura and Brennan also help Santa Claus distribute toys and other goodies to children at the Village Hall after the parade.
The Village of Manteno also welcomes Santa Claus later today. The parade and other activities are scheduled to step-off at 5:45 pm from the Leo Hasset Center.
Activities from 6 – 8 pm include performances by the Manteno High School Madigrals at the Community Center. A business walk thru downtown is also part of the holiday fun.