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Rankin man gets 39-year prison term

A 46-year-old Rankin man was been sentenced Friday to 39 years in prison for shooting his former father-in-law year. Vernon Scott Lee had no comment in court before Circuit Judge Thomas O’Shaughnessy handed down the sentence.

Lee pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder for the shooting of 65-year-old Donald Frazier of rural Rankin. Several other charges in the bizarre hostage-situation were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.

Lee had also been charged for allegedly shooting 35-year-old Jeffrey Turner in the November 2015 incident.
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn had said a domestic dispute apparently triggered the incident.

Sheriff’s Deputies found that Donald Frazier and Jeffrey Turner had both been shot several times when they arrived at a residence in northwest Vermilion County.

Donald Frazier is the father of Lee’s estranged wife, Emily Lee. Turner was Emily Lee’s boyfriend.

The episode unfolded after Lee was given a ride by a friend to the victim’s house in rural Rankin. There, Frazier was shot and tied up by Lee. Police said Lee then waited for Frazier’s wife to return home. Sharon Frazier was then forced to lure her daughter, Emily and her
boyfriend, Turner, to the home with a text message.

Police reports stated Sharon Frazier and her daughter were not injured. They contacted police after Lee fled in a stolen vehicle. Lee was later taken into custody at his Rankin home after he shot himself.

All the shooting victims have since recovered.

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  • Parent Category: News

Coroner: death investigation in Kankakee County

A death investigation is underway in Kankakee County after a woman was found unresponsive in her home on Route 113 at County Road 6700W.

71-year-old Sandra Penrod was found dead in a bedroom, according to Coroner Bob Gessner. An autopsy was scheduled.

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  • Parent Category: News

Star Plaza Theatre in northwest Indiana to remain open

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — The owners of a 3,400-seat theater in northwest Indiana that has featured top entertainers such as Bob Dylan, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have changed plans and won't demolish the facility.

Star Plaza Theatre President Charlie Blum told The Times of Northwest Indiana the decision to preserve the theater was made because of an outpouring of community support. White Lodging Services Corp. announced in August it would demolish the theater as part of a project to build a new adjoining Radisson hotel.

The company announced it has determined it could put the new hotel and more green space on the site and still have room for the theater and sufficient parking.

The theater was built in 1979.

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  • Parent Category: News

Mullers’ to lead Watseka Christmas Parade >

Juanita and Randy Muiller, owners of Designer Homes & Development in Watseka, have been chose to serve as Grand Marshal’s for this year’s City of Watseka Annual Lighted Christmas Parade.

The couple has been in business since 1999. Both are active Chamber members, volunteering countless hours to help accomplish projects. Juanita has served on several Chamber committees.

The annual parade is set for Friday, November 25 beginning at 7 pm. Santa Claus arrives and will visit with area children. Parade entries will be judged.

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The Gibson City Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes the public to its annual Lighted Holiday Parade this Saturday, November 19th. It begins at 5:30 pm


Momence is all geared up for its 16th Annual Christmas Gathering “Miracle on Washington Street” Festival. The popular event is Saturday, December 3rd.

Santa and Live Reindeer, Horse-drawn carriage rides and a Christmas Train will be available in historic downtown Momence. Holiday arts and crafts, a Living Nativity and ornament making will be part of the “Dickens of a Christmas” promotion.

More info is at www.mainstreetmomence.com

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  • Parent Category: News

Students welcome the public to weekend scholarship auctions >

The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation Scholarship Auction and the Cissna Park FFA Dinner-Auction are two weekend events in Iroquois County.

The F-I Extension Office has info on Sunday’s 4-H Auction at St. Paul’s School in Woodworth. Larry Haigh says it’s the major fundraiser for the youth program....

A Pork chop dinner begins at 1:30. The auction is at 2 pm. Call the Onarga Extension Office for details 815-268-4051.


The Cissna Park FFA Auction is today (Friday), beginning at 4 pm. It’s at the Cissna Park school.

FFA President Josie Maul says proceeds help several efforts....

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