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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


  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee Shootings Again; One Dead, One Injured in Weekend Gunfire

KANKAKEE -- Two people were shot, one dead, the other critically wounded in separate weekend shootings that continue to plague Kankakee.

Following a Sunday afternoon shooting on N. Taylor Avenue in Kankakee that left a man shot in the head, a second man was found dead in his car at a rural intersection southwest of the city. The dead man was not identified by police. The car he was in was towed from 4500W and 2000 S after the discovery Monday morning.

Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner had an autopsy scheduled Monday. No further information about the second shooting was made available from police.

The other man was shot and seriously injured Sunday afternoon, one block north of King Middle School, on Taylor Avenue. He was identified as 27-year-old Jerome Lucius. He was shot in the head and found in the driver's seat of a car parked at a residence.

A press release from Kankakee Police stated Lucius was in very critical condition at an area hospital.

City police investigators and the county Crime Stoppers are asking the public for information about the shootings.

The latest shootings add to the number of gunfire incidents seen in recent months. The Daily-Journal reports there were 13 reports of gunfire in the city of Kankakee from January to March.


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Kankakee Shooting, Man Critically Injured

Kankakee Police are searching for a lone gunman who left a man critically injured Sunday.

The shooting, on North Taylor Avenue near the King Middle School, occurred around 4 pm.  The 27-year-old victim was seated inside a vehicle near a residence having been shot in the head.  

The most-recent news release from Kankakee Police states the victim is listed in very critical condition at an area hospital.

A motive for the shooting was unclear.



94.1 FM, WGFA  --   since 1961

  • Parent Category: News

Wind Turbines Regulated near Rankin

RANKIN — The Rankin Village Board has moved to regulate the location of wind turbines within a mile and a-half of the village’s corporate limits.  Such action has become common practice of smaller communities in the path of developing wind farms.

The local Board passed an ordinance to regulate the construction of wind turbines on farmland immediately outside Rankin's corporate limits.

The ordinance, approved 6-0,  amends Rankin's zoning code to give the village regulatory authority over commercial and private wind turbines. .

Municipal governing boards have expressed concern about wind turbines being built too close to homes. Vermilion County's wind-farm regulations allow 400-foot-tall commercial turbines to be built as close as 1,200 feet from a home.

Rankin is the first municipality in Vermilion County to extend its zoning authority to surrounding farmland to regulate wind turbines.

Read more: Wind Turbines Regulated near Rankin