A passerby notified emergency officials about a tractor fire early Tuesday south of Watseka at county roads 1462 E and 2000 N. Woodland Fire Chief Bill Tucker said the tractor, owned by Wayne Janssen, had been parked since about Noon Monday. Woodland Fire responded just before 1 am. The tractor was engulfed when firemen arrived.
Mutual aid was called from Watseka, Crescent City and Milford...Tucker said...because the tractor was near a large tool shed. Firemen extinguished the flames in a hurry. The cause of the fir wasn’t determined.
– Roy Collins, former executive director of the Kankakee Valley Park District, entered pleas of guilty (Tuesday) afternoon to defrauding the park district and a related not-for-profit organization for his personal benefit. Collins appeared before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce.
Each count of wire and mail fraud (one count each) carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. A sentencing date is set for January 19, 2018. Collins was allowed to remain on bond.
The 47-year-old Collins was employed as the Executive Director of the Kankakee Valley Park District from 2011 to 2016. Collins also served as treasurer for a related not-for-profit organization known as the Kankakee Valley Park Foundation.
Collins pled guilty to using park district equipment, labor, and funds, and other park district and foundation resources to build and maintain a pond on his personal property. Collins admitted that he issued a park foundation check in the amount of $3,008., to purchase a tarp or pond liner, and that he kept and used a mower that belonged to the park district at his personal property.
Collins also admitted that he converted park district and park foundation funds intended for annual “BBQ Fest” events to his personal use. The scheme included his demand and receipt of approximately $6,000 from an individual hired in connection with the 2014 and 2015 BBQ Fests. In addition, Collins admitted that he used the park district’s credit card to make unauthorized personal purchases.
The charges are the result of investigation by the Illinois State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine V. Boyle.
The Dearborn Apartment building in Kankakee was evacuated Saturday when a fire broke out in a third-floor apartment. Kankakee Fire reported no injury. But the occupants, a woman and a child, were forced to find a place to stay. Damage estimates were placed at $25,000. None of the other 99 units in the building were affected.
A one-car accident claimed a life Sunday in Pembroke Township. Kankakee County Sheriff’s Police report 38-year-old Tenisha Burton of Chicago was thrown from her vehicle. Police said the vehicle left and roadway and rolled. A passenger was treated and released.
A motorcycle crash at 5th Street and Station Street in Kankakee claimed a life Saturday. 29-year-old Jake Popovich of Kankakee died of injuries at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood Saturday night.
Details about the accident were un-available.
A Chenoa man died when he crashed his Harley Davidson on I-80 near Morris. 51-year-old Kevin Smith was eastbound near the I-55 exchange Saturday when his bike ran into tzhe median and struck a wall in the median. Smith died of injuries at Presence St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet.