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Ford County Jail Inmate Dies, Autopsy Inconclusive

PAXTON — The Ford County Coroner’s office is investigating the death of an inmate found dead in his cell at the Ford County Jail in Paxton early Wednesday.

Coroner Doug Wallace reports correctional officers found 30-year-old Richard Gonzales of Hoopeston dead in his cell around 4 am.  Wallace said it appears to have been a medical issue, but the cause of death remains undetermined.

The cause of death will remain undetermined until toxicology results and medical records from the jail’s medical personnel are reviewed..

Earlier Wednesday, Sheriff  Mark Doran said in his news release that Gonzalez had been evaluated by medical staff, but he did not say for what. Doran said no foul play is suspected.

Wallace said suicide has been ruled out.

An investigation is ongoing by the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Ford County coroner’s office.

Gonzalez had been sentenced on May 14 to four years in prison for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton bank through a fraudulent ATM transaction.  The inmate was awaiting transfer to the Department of Corrections.


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Fitzgerald stepping down as US attorney in Chicago

CHICAGO — Patrick Fitzgerald, one of the most feared U.S. attorneys in the nation and the architect of convictions against two Illinois governors and a former vice presidential aide, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the post he has held for more than a decade in Chicago.

Fitzgerald has overseen thousands of criminal prosecutions and high-profile cases, including against Illinois governors Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan, former Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and media mogul Conrad Black. He took on public corruption, international terrorism, corporate fraud and organized crime.

His office announced Wednesday that he's stepping down effective June 30.

Read more: Fitzgerald stepping down as US attorney in Chicago

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Will County Crash Kills Bourbonnais Man

A traffic crash near Channahon claimed the life of 23-year-old James Vanderweide of Bourbonnais on Sunday.

Illinois State Police report Vanderweide was southbound on Interstate 55 when he drove into the center median, struck a guardrail and left the road. The vehicle came to rest in a parking lot under and Interstate 55 bridge for the Des Plaines River.

When the accident happened isn’t known.  The crash was discovered Sunday morning.

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9-year-old Cub Scout dies on camping trip

BRADLEY, Ill. (AP) -- Authorities say a 9-year-old Lockport boy has died after falling down a ravine during a Cub Scout camp out in Bradley.

The Cook County medical examiner identified the boy as 9-year-old Aiden DiTola of unincorporated Lockport. He was pronounced dead Sunday at an Oak Lawn hospital. The medical examiner says the preliminary cause of death was head trauma.

Kankakee County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ken McCabe says the boy slipped and fell about 15 feet before hitting his head on a rock at Perry Farm.


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  • Parent Category: News

Soybeans progress, Illinois Crop Report

There are almost twice as many soybeans planted than there were last week.

Almost 80 percent of the soybeans in Illinois have been planted. That’s well ahead of the five-year average, which is 37 percent. Corn had similar success. Nearly all the corn has been planted and 88 percent has emerged, according to this week’s USDA crop progress report.

USDA crop statistician Brad Schwab says farmers could start harvesting corn by August, and there’s a similar opportunity for soybeans as well.

“I would say that opportunity exists depending on how the rains play out for the rest of the year,” Schwab says. “They certainly can.”

However, he says the chances of an early harvest for soybeans still aren’t as likely as corn. Schwab says the impressive week was due to nearly seven full days of suitable fieldwork conditions.

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