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Gibson City man convicted of mail fraud

PEORIA — A 61-year-old Gibson City man faces federal prison time and fines up to $250,000 following his conviction on federal mail fraud and other charges. Carl Kieser was convicted for selling a product that prosecutors said led to the death of fish in ponds and lakes across the country.

Kieser will be sentenced February 19th in federal court in Peoria.

Following a five-day trial, a jury deliberated for one hour last week before finding l Kieser guilty of mail fraud and illegal application of a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling.

Kieser had previously been convicted of four counts of tax evasion.

The Gibson City man faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for mail fraud; five years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for tax evasion; and one year in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for applying a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling.

According to court records, Kieser owned and operated Aquatic Control of Illinois, a business located at his Gibson City Fishing and Camping Club, south of Gibson City on Illinois 47.

"The government presented evidence to establish that from June 2006 to September 2012, Kieser purchased large quantities of a pesticide (Diuron 80DF) registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the control of land-based weeds." U.S. Attorney's office spokeswoman Sharon Paul.said "The EPA-approved labeling for Diuron 80DF warns that the chemical should not be applied directly to water due to its toxicity to fish and other aquatic wildlife."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller said Kieser manufactured, advertised, sold and distributed a product he called Pond Clear Plus as part of a fraud scheme. {submitted info from U-S Attorney's Office}

94.1 WGFA

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Tax hike questions voted down in Iroquois County

Referendum questions seeking tax hikes were voted down in the Iroquois County communities of Crescent City and Sheldon. The Sheldon proposal was to establish local police protection while voters in the Crescent-Iroquois #249 school district were asked to OK a levy increase.

The school district voters said 'No' voting 250 - 223. It would have increased the EAV to 5.12 percent from the current 4.32%.

Voters in Sheldon were asked to authorize an additional property tax of 0.6 percent of equalized assessed value of taxable property for local police protection.

The voters said 'No' casting 129 opposed votes to 120 in favor. That was a 52% to 48% margin.

94.1 WGFA

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Incumbents win Kankakee County Board races

Nine of 15 seats on the Kankakee County Board were uncontested in Tuesday's election. Of the six contested races, Democrat Sam Payton defeated Republican Jacquelyn Sneed in District 4. (Payton will replace outgoing Democrat John Howard).

Fourteen of the 28 board seats were up in this election.

Republican Janis M. Peters was a winner, defeating Democrat Ray Chamberlain.

Incumbent Republican Chris Tholen defeated Democrat Jeff Jarvis in District 10; Republican Carol Webber, who was appointed to replace Todd Arseneau in District 11 defeated Democrat Budd Meents to fill the rest of the unexpired term; incumbent Republican Stephen Einfeldt defeated Democrat Terri Miazga in District 22, and incumbent Republican Jim Tripp defeated Terry Schnell in District 24.

Republicans now hold a 22-6 advantage.

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Vermilion County un-opposed election winners

Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn, Treasurer Sue Stine and Supervisor of Assessments Mathew Long were re-elected Tuesday without opposition.

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Bennett runs away with 106th House race

Gibson City resident Tom Bennett won easily in the Illinois House race for the 106th district Tuesday. Bennett garnered 21,850 votes to Democrat Bill Nutter's 5,160. The republican Bennett is one of many GOP candidates now celebrating mid-term election victories.

The 106th district includes Iroquois and Ford counties and parts of Livingston, Vermilion and Woodford counties in east-central Illinois.

Bennett was appointed the seat by Republican leaders from the counties when current State Rep Josh Harms of Watseka withdrew from the ballot for personal reasons, after winning a re-election bid in the spring primary.

Bennett wants to work toward improving the Illinois job climate.

94.1 WGFA