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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Accused Killer Pleads “Not Guilty” in Kankakee Shooting

31-year-old Luther Starkey appeared in Kankakee Circuit Court Tuesday where he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to murder and attempted murder.  Starkey remains jailed in the Jerome Combs Detention Center on a one-million dollar bond.

During an arraignment hearing, Starkey was informed a grand jury indicted hom on charges of murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery.

He’s accused of the March 10th shooting death of 24-year-old Tyrone Kennedy and the wounding of Kennedy’s cousin, Darrien Kennedy.  Darrien was seriously injured.  The shooting took place in the 900-block of N. Harrison Avenue in Kankakee.


94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Shooting Victim Dies, Organs Donated >

Sunday afternoon’s shooting victim in Kankakee has died.  27-year-old Jerome Lucius was pronounced dead Monday afternoon at Riverside Medical Center.  WGFA News reported Tuesday that Lucius had died, but Kankakee County officials said his death announcement had been on-hold while his organs were harvested for donation.

The death investigation continues.  An autopsy is scheduled today (Thurs).

Lucius was shot in a car parked along N. Taylor Avenue in Kankakee.

While that shooting investigation was underway, authorities discovered the shooting death of 32-year-old Tawayne Sharp early Monday morning.  He was found in  a car in Limestone Township near the intersection of 4500 W and 2000 S Roads.

Police are asking anyone with info about the crimes to contact investigators.


94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Truesdell Pleads Not Guilty, Seeks Jury Trial in Iroquois County >

Accused sex offender Keith Truesdell has entered a “not guilty” plea to 36-counts of sexually abusing a young relative in Iroquois County over a period of about five years.  The 42-year-old Kankakee man has asked for a jury trial.  He remains in the Iroquois County jail on a $100,000 bond and will be back in Court Thursday, when his attorney Dale Strough is expected to ask for a bond reduction.

Circuit Judge Gordon Lustfeldt set a pre-trial hearing for May 29th at 1:30 pm.

State’s Attorney Jim Devine explained 23 of the 36 count indictment are predatory criminal assault charges that stem from the investigation by sheriff’s police that the abuse began when the victim was under the age of 13.  The end result, Devine said, means serious consequences………

                                                    (each count)    :25             #  11

The alleged acts occurred between November of 2007 and March of 2011.

Kankakee County investigators are also looking into possible charges there too………..       #  6


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  • Parent Category: News

Wilmington firefighter charged with arson

The Associated Press

JOLIET, Ill. — Arson charges have been filed against a Will County firefighter and another man who are accused of setting fire to a pickup truck and filing an insurance claim.

Authorities say 22-year-old Wilmington firefighter Ronald Armstrong "torched his own vehicle" then filed an insurance claim. Will County state's attorney spokesman Chuck Pelkie says a judge set bail for Armstrong at $100,000, which the firefighter posted Tuesday.

Pelkie says 31-year-old Jeremy Sorensen of Wilmington is also charged with felony arson. The two men are accused of setting fire to the pickup in February.

Wilmington Fire Protection District Chief Tim Zlomie says Armstrong was placed on administrative leave last week and will be dismissed.


  • Parent Category: News

Starkey, Gunther Dance to 1st Place; $12,400 Raised for Sexual Assault Services >

WATSEKA -- Iroquois County Sheriff Detective Eric Starkey and dance instructor Amber Gunther danced their way to a first-place finish Saturday evening in the annual Dancing for the Stars event in Watseka.

Iroquois Sexual Assault Services (ISAS) held its 3rd annual Dancing for the Stars Event at the Watseka High School.  Five area dance partners vied for top honors to support the important work provided by the agency. 

According to Marcie Sheridan, Executive Director of ISAS, the event raised $12, 400, an increase of $1400 over last year and an increase of $4,000 over the first year.   “The support from the community has been amazing” said Sheridan.  “We are so grateful to the dancers, who were so enthusiastic and put so much time and hard work into this.” 

Along with the entertainment value of the event, ISAS was able to convey the message that services are available close to home for those in the area who have experienced this terrible crime.  Public Service Announcements were unveiled after the intermission with messages from the Iroquois county Sheriff Derek Hagen and the Iroquois County State’s Attorney Jim Devine.  One of the evening’s chief sponsors, WGFA Radio is providing air time for the PSA’s over the next three weeks to continue to get the message out.

This year’s event was organized by ISAS staff Kami Garrison, Community Education Coordinator and Tammy Barragree, Medical/Legal Advocate.

ISAS expressed its thanks to the sponsors of the event, WGFA and Iroquois Federal. 


Winners for the night were:

Judges Choice: Det. Eric Starkey/Amber Gunther

Audience Choice: Dr. Rod Yergler/Angie Hasselbring

Best Costume: Amber Webber/JoeEshelman

Cutest Couple: Coach Steve Lucas/Michelle Brutlag

Most Original: Brittany Cluver/Jose Fuentes

Most Enthusiastic: Coach Lucas