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Earthquake Drill urges preparation

(Springfield, IL) -- Officials were busy promoting the need to be educated and participate in today's Great American ShakeOut earthquake drill. IEMA's Patti Thompson says it's a one-minute drill that teaches people what to do when the ground starts shaking.

More than half-a-million-people in Illinois participate in the drill at 10:16 in the morning. Any schools, families, businesses, or individuals who'd like to register can do so at Shakeout.org.

State and county government officials are responsible to make sure people are trained and ready.

IEMA's Patti Thompson says people don't often think about earthquakes in Illinois, but parts of the state actually sit along a fault line.

{Metro News, 94.1 WGFA}

  • Parent Category: News

Acquittal in Sean Kelley murder trial

A Ford County jury Wednesday returned a not guilty verdict in the Sean Kelley murder trial in Paxton. The jury of nine women and three men deliberated an hour and a-half before ruling the 34-year-old Paxton man 'not guilty' of second-degree murder in the 2013 death of Jeffery Potts of Paxton.

Kelley was charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of the 49-year-old Potts during a fight on October 17, 2013, in front of a downtown Paxton tavern.

Kelley had faced a sentence ranging from probation to between four and 15 years in prison if convicted of the Class 1 felony.

Kelley's defense attorney successfully argued argued during Kelley's two-day trial that his actions last October were in self-defense. Bruce Ratcliffe also raised doubt about whether Kelley ever possessed the knife that caused the fatal injury to Potts.

94.1 WGFA

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Iroquois 911 Board says emergency dispatching will continue… …despite County Board action

Feathers have been ruffled and personality differences continue, but Iroquois County 911 board members assure the public emergency services will remain in place.

Several emergency responders, including 911 board members, are not happy with Iroquois County Board Chairman Rod Copas and board members who supported a vote to reduce the size of the ETSB Board. The argument is – professional know-how is lost and the county board does not have a workable plan in place to keep operations intact.

Besides that, the 911 members are insulted by Copas claims that the board is 'neglecting its duties and mismanaging the operations.'

Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn says the county board doesn't have a handle on what's going on.

The 911 Board Tuesday night voted to make a proposal to the County Board to oversee dispatching services, even once the board is reduced from 12 to six members.

Glenn and Milford Fire Chief Frank Hines, both of whom serve the 911 Board, say there's management responsibilities the County Board doesn't understand.

Hines has been on the 911 Board since it started in 1995. He points out the budget problems started when the County and the City of Watseka failed to meet their obligations and the ETSB board picked up the slack. The two organizations, Hines said, are $345,000 behind in payments. He says it was not a lack of planning.

94.1 WGFA

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Prison term looms for Onarga man

An Iroquois County jury convicted an Onarga man of a Class X felony. 47-year-old Jose Villanueava faces up to 10 years in prison when he's sentenced for predatory criminal sexual assault.

State's Attorney Jim Devine said Villanueva faces a minimum of 10 years.

Two victims were abused by the defendant, one just 8 years old at the time of the crime in 2006. The victims had reported the abuse back then but family members didn't believe them. Sheriff's Police and the DCFS were involved in the investigation.

Sentencing is set for November 19th.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Paxton motorist charged with DUI with child in car

A 23-year-old Paxton man is facing an aggravated DUI charge for allegedly driving erratically with a 2-year-old child in his vehicle.

Kyle Smith was charged Tuesday with aggravated driving under the influence and aggravated driving under the influence with a suspended driver's license.

Police reported stopping Smith's car after seeing him driving erratically near U.S. 136 and U.S. 45 early Sunday. Police said Smith failed a field sobriety test. Passengers in the car included a 21-year-old and a two-year-old child.

94.1 WGFA