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Pvt. Jack Redman is coming home; U.S. Marine to be laid to rest in Watseka

A 1943 U.S. Marine, who died in World War II, is coming home this weekend.

Private Jack Redman gave his life at the age of 20 while serving his country as a Marine. He died November 23, 1943 on an island in the Central Pacific Ocean near Australia. His remains, following years of searching by his family, were recently identified this past December by the United States Government.

This Saturday, Jack Redman is being laid to rest at the G.A.R. Cemetery in Watseka.

The Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka is assisting the family with a 12 Noon Funeral Service at the First United Methodist Church in Watseka. Visitation is at the church from 10:30 until Noon.

A full military graveside service will include the United States Marine Corp and Watseka American Legion Post #23.

One of Jack's surviving brothers, Merrill Redman of Watseka, said it's been such a rollercoaster of emotions over the last 70 plus years trying to locate his brother's remains, but he's so grateful for all the help in finding Jack and bringing him home.

Knapp funeral home director Steve Knapp says it's been an overwhelming experience but he too is amazed at the support of everyone in making this day happen. He said "we're trying to accommodate all concerned."

Jack Redman's remains are being flown from Hawaii to O'Hare Airport in Chicago Friday. A brief military service with the Marines is planned on the tarmac. Then, the trip home to Watseka where a Marine honor guard will stand watch over Jack through the night leading up to Saturday's service.

General William Mullen from Quantico, VA and an 18-member color guard from Joliet will be among the military officials participating. A procession of onlookers is also expected to pay respects and lead Jack Redman to his final resting place at the G.A.R. Cemetery.

94.1 WGFA

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Kamron Taylor sentenced to 107 years

A 23-year-old convicted killer was handed a 107-year prison sentence Monday. And in doing so, Circuit Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott told Kamron Taylor "you are extremely dangerous."

Taylor was sentenced to prison for the June 2013 murder of 21-year-old Nelson Williams Jr. Prosecutors say he's a suspect in at least one other death, an unsolved homicide that occurred a month earlier.

Taylor appeared in court for sentencing with the same smug look, shackled and wearing a black and white jumpsuit. He showed little emotion as Judge Elliott handed down the sentence.

Taylor's violent and much-publicized escape from the Kankakee County Jail in April made national headlines. He beat and nearly killed a correctional officer in the escape. Three days later, Taylor was captured in Chicago.
In court Monday, prosecutors revealed Taylor was a suspect in the murder of ex-convict Orlando Wilson just a month before Nelson Williams was killed.

The Daily-Journal also reported Taylor was also a suspect in the robbery of a Kankakee credit union in August 2012. But he's never been charged for those crimes.

94.1 WGFA

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Jeep-pedestrian accident kills Danforth woman

A 21-year-old woman died of injuries Saturday when she was hit by a passing vehicle on Route 24, west of Watseka. Brooke Fleming of Danforth was walking on the highway about 8:30 pm, according to investigating Illinois State Police. The driver of a Jeep told police he suddenly observed a pedestrian in the roadway at 1900 E Road. 88-year-old Frederick Mueller of Milford swerved but was unable to avoid the collision.

Fleming was transported to Iroquois Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead by Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum. The accident remains under investigation.

94.1 WGFA

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Kamron Taylor faces sentencing today

What's in store for convicted-killer Kamron Taylor ? The 23-year-old Kankakee man will learn his fate today in Kankakee Circuit Court for the 2012 shooting death of Nelson Williams Jr. The 21-year-old Nelson was killed in what authorities called a robbery gone bad.

Taylor could be looking at between 45 years and life in prison. He's still facing additional charges for the April 1st escape from the county jail. Taylor was on the run for three days before he was re-captured in Chicago.

94.1 WGFA

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Copper thieves subject of investigation in Iroquois County

It's happened twice now in recent weeks. Iroquois County's emergency 9-1-1 service was taken out of service by copper thieves, cutting and stealing fiber-optic lines.

It happened again early Friday morning. The Donovan 4-8-6 telephone exchange was out of service until the Frontier phone company crews could make repairs. A line was cut around 2:30 am.

Last month, much of Iroquois County went without phones and access to 9-1-1 service for about 20 hours when thieves cut into a fiber-optic line near Papineau. That also started at 2:30 am.

AT&T repair crews were forced to make repairs in the earlier incident. Neither Frontier nor AT&T officials have addressed the matter openly.

Local Iroquois County officials, including emergency responders are expressing concern about the issue. The cut lines and elimination of service have far-reaching effects, other than just the local phone service.

94.1 WGFA