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Danville School District 118 mourns death of former principal

The Danville school community and the city of Danville is mourning the death of former high school Principal Mark Neil. The retired administrator, who retired in 2013, passed away unexpectedly on Monday. He died from medical complications. He was 60 years-old.

A native of Chrisman, Neil began his long career teaching at Catlin as a junior high and high school teacher/coach before moving on to Rossville-Alvin's high school and elementary school where he served as a guidance counselor.

He moved to the Danville school district in 1984, where he served "with distinction and honor" for 29 years, according to Superintendent Mark Denman.

"He was a man who expected the very best from others," Denman said. "He had a great sense of humor ... and he was well-respected.

Denman said the two got to know each other when they both served as middle school principals.

Denman credited Mr. Neil with leading the successful restructuring of the high school and implementing the four small learning communities — Freshman House, Danville New Tech High, GLOBAL House and ACE House.

Neil was a graduate of Eastern Illinois University.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News


A 2014 shooting at a Kankakee tavern has led to a 10-year prison term for 25-year-old Sentray Coney of Kankakee. Coney was charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.

U.S. District Judge Harold Baker found that on May 19, 2014, Coney, a convicted felon, used a firearm to shoot a victim in the leg in Kankakee as retaliation for a tavern shooting earlier that morning. The 120 month sentence is the maximum permitted by law. Coney pled guilty to the offense and has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.

At the time of the offense, Coney had prior convictions in Illinois for domestic battery, possession of cannabis, and possession of a firearm by a street gang member.

The case is the result of ongoing investigations related to gun violence in the Kankakee area by the Kankakee Area Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Kankakee Police Department.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Former Cissna Park clerk sued for repayment of stolen funds

The Village of Cissna Park's former collector/bookkeeper is being sued for money stolen from the Iroquois County town.

60-year-old Rhonda Sue Siebert pleaded guilty in 2013 to a felony count of Theft. She was sentenced to a two-year prison term for the theft of nearly $100,000 over a six-year period.

Her sentence included her $10,000 bond money being awarded d to the village for restitution. Now, Cissna Park's insurance carrier is suing Siebert for the near-$100,000 she stole.

The Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association filed the lawsuit in Iroquois County Circuit Court, seeks the repayment of $99,997 from Siebert. Records show the amount reflects both the amount Siebert stole and the amount the Risk Management Association paid as an insurance claim to the village.

The complaint states Siebert allegedly "has refused and continues to refuse" to repay the money.

Siebert served as village clerk from January 1993 and bookkeeper/collector for at least 15 years.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Benton County school bus involved in crash

Twelve students were on a school bus in Benton County, IN Thursday when it was involved in a collision at a county road and U-S 41.

It happened just past 9 am when the students were heading to school after a two-hour delay. Indiana State Police reported the bus was on County Road 550 North attempting to cross U.S. 41, near Earl Park. Police said the bus failed to yield to a northbound car 41.

Two people in the car were injured when the vehicle slammed into the bus. The driver 74-year-old Cecil B. Smiley and his wife 67-year-old Michele Smiley, both of Attica, Ind., were taken to a Lafayette hospital and treated for minor injuries.
The Benton Central School Corporation bus was driven by 52-year-old Karletta Smith, of Oxford, Ind. She was ticketed for failure to yield.

Police reported some of the children suffered minor bumps and bruises.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Mall fight results in five arrests

Bradley Police were called to the Northfield Square Mall Thursday afternoon where a fight between rival gangs broke out. Just a minor injury was reported, but five people are facing charges ranging from mob action and disorderly conduct to battery and criminal damage to property.

Bradley Police Chief Steve Coy assures the public and store-owners the mall is safe. Those involved, the chief said, are known gang members.

The attack started in the mall's food court when the former member and his girlfriend were confronted by the rival gang members, who started the fight.

Those arrested were identified as: 23-year-old Terrance Roundtree of Kankakee, 18-year-old Jordan Dixon of St. Anne, 22-yerar-old Ladonta Tucker of Kankakee,
25-year-old Jenna Simmons of St. Anne, and 25-year-old Brittany Morales-Pizano, was arrested on a warrant.

The incident remains under investigation.

94.1 WGFA