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Luther Starkey guilty of murder, facing 45 years

A Kankakee County jury Friday found 33-year-old Luther Starkey guilty for the shooting death of Tyrone Kennedy. Starkey was also found responsible for injuries that left Kennedy's cousin, Darrien Kennedy, paralyzed.

The verdict came after just under three-hours of deliberations. A sentencing date was not announced. Starkey faces up to 45 years in prison.

The week-long trial included testimony from more than a dozen witnesses. One of those testifying was the paralyzed victim, Darrien Kennedy, who told the court it was Starkey who killed his cousin in March of 2012 after a fight at a local bar.

The Daily-Journal reported Starkey's public defender, Larry Beaumont, repeatedly tried to question witnesses about another fight that he says occurred sometime before the shooting — one, he hoped, would have shown that someone else had a motive.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Indiana Highway Department employee killed

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a Benton County highway department employee. An on-the-job accident killed the man Thursday afternoon.

45-year-old Stephen Etter was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

County Coroner John Cox said Etter was working at the highway garage. He was working on a tire of a road grader which had a split rim.

Cox said the rim blew off the tire and struck the front of Etter's body around 2 p.m. Etter was pronounced dead at the scene about 40 minutes later after paramedics worked on him.
Cox said Etter was a 14-year veteran of the highway department. An autopsy was scheduled.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka felon jailed after shots fired in Hoopeston

29-year-old Tyler Henady of Watseka is being held on a $75,000 bond after police in Hoopeston responded to a report of shots being fired early Friday.

Heandy is charged with Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm and Possession of a Weapon by a felon. He's jailed in Iroquois County.

Hoopeston Police Chief Mark Drollinger reported his officers responded to the 500-block of East Seminary about 2:30 Friday morning concerning a report of shots fired. Officers found a 33-year-old Hoopeston man lying on the ground. The gunshot victim said he was shot by a person he knew. The victim was found not to be injured.

Information provided on the subject and a vehicle description led another Hoopeston officer to locate the suspect-vehicle on Illinois Route 1, entering Iroquois County. Tyler Henady was taken into custody without incident.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Blue’s Café loses a friend, owner Gary Chouinard

The family atmosphere at Blue's Café on West Station Street in Kankakee suffered a blow this week.

Owner Gary Chouinard (Shuh-nard) died. He was 66. The longtime owner/operator is being remembered by many, including business people, politicians, and everyday customers.

Gary died Wednesday evening. Blue's Café has been and continues to be a popular meeting place. And those who gather there are family -- just the way Gary Chouinard (Shu-nard) wanted it.

Gary died after battling leukemia and Parkinson's disease.

A Funeral Service is planned Monday at 11 am at the Clancy-Gernon-Hertz funeral home in west Kankakee. Visitation is Sunday 2-7 pm.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Ashkum Homecoming, Sheldon Fun Days this weekend

The annual Lions Club Ashkum Homecoming and Sheldon Fun Days hi-lite the weekend events around Iroquois County.

The Central Illinois Green Club also conducts its tractor ride in Kankakee County. And the Will County Fair continues at Peotone.

WGFA will broadcast today (Sat) in Ashkum. A 'live' broadcast from the village park runs from 2 – 4 pm. The 3-day event offers food, entertainment, a 5K run/walk, an auto show, an all-faith community worship and the entertainment includes the "Silhouettes" and the "Swing Kings Orchestra."

At Sheldon....Fun Days features a Sunday parade at 2 pm. There's a baby contest, kiddie games, a Bake Contest Auction, Carnival games, Sheldon Fire Department Waterball, Bean Bag Tournament. There's also a Masonic Lodge Breakfast at 7 am today (Sat).

94.1 WGFA