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Local News

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Election Day Tuesday, exercise your right & vote

Local voters head to the polls today (Tues 4/7) for Illinois' Consolidated election. Polls are open from 6 am 'til 7 pm.

Iroquois County results from contested-races will be covered on 94.1 WGFA, beginning just after the polls close.

There are contested races in select cities/towns ranging from mayoral/village presidents to aldermanic/trustee contests. There is also a variety of park district, school board, and some fire district trustee contests.

Referendum questions also ask voters Yes or No on tax increase issues to support schools and police protection.
Kankakee County Clerk Bruce Clark invites the public to follow results on the clerk office website www.kankakeecountyclerk.com

Trustee seats are challenged in Bradley and Bourbonnais. Six candidates are seeking seats in Bradley. Three incumbents are seeking re-election. In Bourbonnais, seven candidates, including three incumbents, are running for three open seats.

Aldermanic races are on the City of Kankakee ballot. The 3rd and 6th wards offer voters a choice.

Kankakee County also has contested-races for school board seats in Kankakee, Manteno, and Herscher.

Iroquois County school board races are in Central Unit #4, Cissna Park Unit #6, Watseka Unit #9 and Tri-Point district 6-J.

Parkland Community College District trustees are on the ballot; three after two seats.

94.1 WGFA

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Municipal races in Tuesday’s Iroquois County Election

Polls are open Tuesday (4/7) at 6 am for Illinois' Consolidated Election. Iroquois County has contested-races at the municipal level of government. There's also school board races, junior-college trustee contests, and referendums on the ballot.

The City of Gilman has aldermanic races in three wards. five candidates are after three seats in Loda, Onarga has a six-person race for three trustee seats. The Village of Sheldon offers voters a choice of five people for 3 available trustee seats. Woodland has a 4-person race for three seats.

The Crescent-Iroquois Fire District finds two candidates after a single trustee seat.

Three referenda questions are on the Iroquois ballot. School tax issues go before voters in Milford and Crescent City. And the Village of Sheldon will ask voters Yes or No for a tax increase for police protection.

Several school districts have contested races for school board representation.

Polls are open until 7 pm.

94.1 WGFA

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Watseka man acquitted of sex charge in Iroquois County

An Iroquois County jury Friday cleared a man of a 2013 sex charge involving a six-year-old child. 57-year-old Jim Walton was found not guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault. The same jurors were left hanging on a second Class 2 felony charge of criminal sexual abuse involving a 9-year-old girl. The hung jury may result in a new trial.

The 3-day trial ended Friday night in Iroquois County.

Walton was arrested in 2013 accused of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a then 8-year-old girl. A DCFS investigation brought more allegations involving a 4-year-old boy. Both children testified during the trial. The jury's ruling favored the defendant.

The young children, the alleged victims, offered the stories in court.

April 14th the two sides are back in court to decide whether a new trial will be pursued.

94.1 WGFA

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16 Arrests in Vermilion County Crime Sweep

A two day crime sweep by law enforcement officers across Vermilion County resulted in sixteen arrests. Participating police agencies included Danville Police, Vermilion County Sheriff's Police, U.S. Marshal Service, and agents from the Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group.

The operation involved locating fugitives wanted for violent offenses, or who had a violent history. Those taken into custody were wanted on various charges, including aggravated battery, armed robbery, unlawful use of weapons by a felon, burglary, sex offenses, and various drug offenses.

While conducting the fugitive investigation, police located an active meth lab in Hoopeston.

Officers confiscated two guns at one location during the round-up, and also had one of the fugitives located and detained in Chicago. The other arrests were made in Danville, Hoopeston, Georgetown, and Ridge Farm.

94.1 WGFA

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Kamron Taylor’s aunt accused of aiding the killer’s escape

Convicted murderer Kamron Tayler was arrested by Chicago Police Friday night. And his aunt is jailed in Kankakee charged with aiding the fugitive's escape from the Kankakee County jail last Wednesday morning.

Chicago Police issued a statement saying 'officers responding to a call of a suspicious person about 9 pm found escapee Taylor, who led them on a brief foot chase.

The 23-year-old Taylor was carrying a loaded .38-caliber revolver when he was arrested. He was using the alias of 23-year-old Tryeon Smith of Joliet.

Taylor escaped from the Kankakee County jail Wednesday morning. He overpowered a guard, took the guard's keys and uniform, then made his way thru three security doors before locating the guard's SUV and fleeing.

Chicago Police contacted Kankakee authorities and it was Taylor's tattoos and fingerprints that confirmed his identity.
He was charged with several felony weapons offenses including possession of a firearm by a felon and aggravated use of a weapon without a concealed carry license. Police said he was to appear in Cook County Court Saturday and be turned over to Kankakee County authorities at a later time.

Sheriff Tim Bukowski said Taylor arrangements will be made to house the convicted-killer elsewhere.
Meanwhile – the Kankakee Daily-Journal reports authorities have arrested Taylor's aunt on suspicion that she helped with his escape.

50-year-old Tonya Grant was arrested earlier this week. She was charged Saturday with obstructing justice and aiding in the escape of an inmate.

She's accused of giving Taylor confidential security information about the detention center during a jail visit with her nephew. Reports indicated Grant was a one-time correctional officer at the jail.

Sheriff Tim Bukowski said the injured correctional officer's condition is improving at Presence St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.

94.1 WGFA