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11 indicted by grand jury in Iroquois County

A rural Hoopeston woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend multiple times is among 11 defendants indicted by an Iroquois County grand jury.

50-year-old Lisa Bitzel is charged with aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery. It was January 25 when police said Bitzel stabbed her boyfriend about his body. 61-year-old Steve Hofbauer of Rankin was treated for stab wounds at Carle Hospital in Urbana. The injuries were not life-threatening. The incident happened at Bitzel's Iroquois County residence, near Hoopeston.

Also indicted was 31-year-old Michael Shadowen of Crescent City. He faces two-counts of aggravated domestic battery. He allegedly choked two people, including a four-year-old child at the Crescent City residence. Shadowen was arrested after police were called to the Emergency Room at IMH to investigate the alleged choking incidents.

A recent arrest by Watseka Police led to the indictment of 66-year-old Walter Urban of Watseka. He's charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Police investigated a questionable online purchase and then executed a search warrant after intercepting a package delivered to a local address. Urban was arrested when police located cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Urban's residence.

A KAMEG arrest at a rural Watseka location also led to the indictment of 49-year-old James Ward. The rural Watseka man faces charges of unlawful possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, possession of cocaine, unlawful possession of six firearms by a felon and unlawful possession of ammunition by a felon. On January 26th, agents executed a warrant at Ward's residence. Ward is a felon and cannot own or possess firearms or ammo.

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  • Parent Category: News

Aquinas Catholic Academy in Kankakee closing

The Joliet Diocese is closing Kankakee's Aquinas Catholic Academy. Declining enrollment is a factor.

The Daily-Journal reports in its exclusive story, the closing is affective at the end of the current school year. The D-J reports it's a move to keep the Catholic school system viable in Kankakee County. Enrollment is down 27% over the last 10 years, according to the diocese.

The diocese plan also calls for St. Joseph School in Bradley and Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais will offer pre-school thru 6th grade elementary education. Students in 7th and 8th grade will join the high school students at Bishop McNamara.

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  • Parent Category: News

Martinton man dies in Iroquois County traffic crash

A single-vehicle crash on Cable Line Road in Iroquois County killed an elderly motorist. The accident scene was discovered about 4 am this (Wednesday) morning.

Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the victim as 89-year-old Romeo Arseneau of Martinton. The southbound vehicle flipped after running off 2200 E Road. The driver was ejected. Cheatum pronounced him dead at the scene.

Sheriff's Police and Martinton Fire responded.

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  • Parent Category: News


                                ISP Troopers to Step Up DUI Patrols

Illinois State Police (ISP) officials unveiled enforcement plans for the 50th Super Bowl weekend. ISP Troopers will strictly enforce moving violations with an emphasis on FATAL-4 violations: DUI, Speeding, Distracted Driving and Seat Belts. ISP Troopers issued more than 1,850 FATAL-4 citations during the 2015 Super Bowl weekend, 105 of which were DUI.

Alcohol is a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes, especially during celebratory weekends. ISP officials are again reminding Super Bowl fans to celebrate responsibly with a designated driver.

"DUI's are responsible for nearly one-third of all fatal crashes in Illinois. A single DUI can cost thousands of dollars, suspension of driving privileges, potential jail time, or worse, cause the death of another motorist," said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. "Plan ahead to arrive home safe this Super Bowl weekend by designating a driver or catching a cab. Everyone wins when we all make it home safe."

The ISP is urging motorists to make this Super Bowl Sunday one to remember, not one to regret. Help keep the roads safe by planning ahead and designating a driver.

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  • Parent Category: News

DACC hosts Academic Challenge

Milford and Hoopeston Area high school students were among several who participated in the Worldwide Youth in Science & Engineering Society's Academoc Challenge. The competition was held at Danville Area Community College Tuesday.

Eight other schools were part of the challenge, including Armstrong-Potomac, Oakwood, Salt Fork, Chrisman, Bismark-Henning, Danville, Westville, and Georgetown.

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