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Watseka porn suspect freed on bond >

The Illinois Attorney General's Office has provided more information about last week's arrest of a Watseka man facing multiple counts of child pornography.

As reported earlier on WGFA News, 41-year-old Brandon Shaw was named as part of Operation Glass House, a statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.

Shaw was charged Monday with multiple counts of child pornography. He has since been released from the Iroquois County Jail having posted bond.

Shaw was charged with four counts of possession of child pornography and one count of dissemination of child pornography, each a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Investigators for the Illinois Attorney General's Office, with the assistance of the Watseka Police Department and the Iroquois County Sheriff's Department, conducted a search of Shaw's residence in the 300 block of Cherry Street in Watseka and made the arrest last Thursday after evidence of alleged child pornography was discovered.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office reported this is the 47th arrest since Madigan launched Operation Glass House in August 2010. In 2010, the first year of the initiative, Madigan's investigations revealed a disturbing trend of offenders trading extremely violent videos of young children being raped. As a result, Madigan's office has focused on apprehending offenders who are seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving children, including infants and toddlers.

Madigan's office, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, runs the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which investigates child exploitation crimes and trains law enforcement agencies. Since 2006, Madigan's ICAC task force has been involved in 612 arrests of sexual predators. The task force has also provided Internet safety training and education to more than 299,400 parents, teachers and students and more than 16,400 law enforcement professionals.

Iroquois County State's Attorney James Devine's office will prosecute the case.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Arrests made after High-Speed Chase; crash injures Hoopeston officers

Two Hoopeston police officers were treated for injuries after crashing their squad car during a high-speed chase. The officer and an auxiliary officer, who was riding along, were treated at Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center.

A 33-year-old Danville man faces several charges following the high-speed chase early Saturday. Hoopeston Police say Benjamin Hillsman was stopped for a routine traffic violation near the intersection of Illinois routes 1 and 9.

A Hoopeston officer approached the car and obtained the driver's licenses of both the driver and a passenger. But then police say the car that was stopped suddenly sped away. The Hoopeston officer started pursuing the vehicle shortly after midnight Saturday morning.

Police report the chase went southbound on Route 1 through Rossville to the Bismarck Road. It was there that police say the suspect's vehicle attempted to pass a southbound bus and pulled in front of a northbound pickup truck. Both the suspect's vehicle and pursuing Hoopeston squad car left the road. The squad car struck a tree.

The suspect's vehicle continued to flee and was finally stopped in Danville by Danville Police and Vermilion County Sheriff's Deputies. 33-year-old Benjamin Hillsman of Danville was arrested on charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding and reckless driving. Police also charged both with possession of cannabis over 5,000 grams after officers recovered a package allegedly thrown from the suspect's car during the chase. The package contained approximately 19 pounds of suspected cannabis.

Both Hillsman and the passenger were transported to the Public Safety Building in Danville awaiting the filing of formal charges by the Vermilion County State's Attorney.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

CAMP 9-1-1 focus: Fire Safety

Iroquois County's popular CAMP 9-1-1 is underway for 2013.  This month of September marks the 8th annual CAMP 9-1-1 for all second and third grade students in Iroquois County.  Children learn safety techniques and how to get through emergency situations, knowledge they hopefully, will keep for a lifetime.

Today's (Mon 9/9/13) find camp presenters visiting St. Paul's Lutheran School in Woodworthy.  Friday's (9/13) session is at Crescent City.  Next week's prograqm is scheduled for September 19th at Milford and September 20th at Donovan.

The camps begin at 8:40 am and run until 11:20 am.

Future CAMP 9-1-1 sessions are at: St. John's in Buckley 9/23; Iroquois West 2nd graders in Gilman 9/24; Iroquois West 3rd graders in Gilman 9/25; Chebanse 2nd graders 9/26 and Chebanse 3rd graders/Zion Lutheran School 9/27.

Watseka and Cissna Park students leanred their safety lessons September 4, 5 and 6th.

This year's theme is fire safety.  Several fire departments are providing hands-on experiences for the children.  Approximatley 800 students will take home a reflective book bag and other items courtesy of emergency offices, including the sheriff's department, coroner's office, and several business donations.

Each student is also going home with a smoke detector, courtesy of a grant from Iroquois Federal Foundation.

CAMP 9-1-1 is funded 100% by donations.  Anyone interested in donating CAMP 9-1-1 can send donations to CAMP 9-1-1, 1001 E. Grant Street, Watseka, Il 60970.  Questions can be directed to 9-1-1 Coordinator Nita Dubble 815-432-6956.


94.1 FM, WGFA


  • Parent Category: News

Murder Trial set for Heather Lamie

An October 21, 2013 trial date is scheduled for a former Cullom resident charged in the 2011 death of a child who was in her foster-care. 29-year-old Heather Lamie, who now lives in Kankakee, faces two first-degree murder charges for the May 2011 death of four-year-old Kianna Rudesill.  The girl died of brain injuries while under Lamie's care.  Lamie is also charged with a felony count of endangering the life or health of a child.

Ford County Judge Stephen Pacey last Thursday denied a defense motion to continue the trial date another 60 days. Lamie was recently successful in reducing her bond from $2-million to $1-million.  She then was freed after posting 10 percent.

Another pre-trial hearing is set for 1 pm September 19th.


94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Republican candidates announce intentions

There were a couple of political announcements locally this week.

State Representative Josh Harms of Watseka announced his re-election bid for the 106th House District. Harms is in his freshman term as a legislative voice for Iroquois, Ford, Vermilion, Livingston and Woodford counties. He won a three-person primary in 2012 then won the General Election last November.

Harms called his first year in the Illinois General Assembly an "eye opening" experience.

Also announcing this week was Glenn Nixon. The Bourbonnais resident is a Bourbonnais Police Officer and former Kankakee County Board member. He plans to run again next Spring for the 79th House seat, now held by Rep Kate Cloonen.

Nixon lost to Cloonen in 2012.

94.1 FM, WGFA