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  • Parent Category: News

Shooting in Mattoon high school cafeteria

One person is in custody following a shooting at Mattoon High School this (Wednesday) morning. Police reports in Coles County say there was one shooter and one person was injured. The school remained closed this (Wed) afternoon as police continued to search the area.

Officials said the victim was hospitalized and in stable condition.

The School Resource Officers and school officials headed to the cafeteria just past 11:30 am where they heard shots fired. The suspect fired shots in the school cafeteria, before he was subdued and disarmed.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka looking at 5% water rate hike

Watseka residents are likely to see a 5% water rate increase. And it’s likely to happen by January 1, 2018.

The City Council Finance committee (Tuesday) also talked about perhaps considering a cost-of-living hike rather than the 5% increase to lighten the blow on taxpayers. But the need for building up a surplus is imminent.

Finance committee chairman Rick Elliott informed the aldermen/women there was a 5% rate increase last November, but that’s far from enough to get where the city needs to be for the future....

“The water & sewer fund has lost $136,000, due to the North Street water main project,” Elliott tells 94.1 WGFA News. “The residents have said they want to keep local control of the system. This would that to happen.”

A second 5% hike would be likely in 2019. The city remains under contract with ERH for another two years. Elliott said the 5% hike would generate about $100,000 per fiscal year.
The monies Elliott said, would, the city to explore other options.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News


Newton County Sheriff’s Police always welcome input from the public. Now, a new program finds Sheriff Tom VanVleet initiating a new tool to keep lines of communication open.

The sheriff says over the last couple years his department has been working to continue to improve our public communication. The response to the department’s Facebook, Twitter and the Mobile Patrol APP has been overwhelming, according to VanVleet.

To continue with these efforts, a TIP LINE has been added. Though the tip line is not monitored 24/7 and not for reporting active incidents, the sheriff hopes that it will prove to be an effective tool.

Anyone that has a tip on a crime, they can call 219-234-7014 and give their information. The caller can remain anonymous.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Rankin police officer resigns before starting job

The Rankin village board is again without a police officer. A newly-hired part-time officer resigned before starting his new position. The Ford County “Record” reports Marvin Dobkins’ resignation was due to a timing issue and passing on other opportunities.

Dobkins, of Hoopeston, was expected to be able to start working in Rankin sometime in August. Rankin has been without a police officer of its own since August 2015, when Stewart Stafford left for a full-time job with Paxton police.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Foster mother, Heather Lamie’s murder sentence cut from life to 38 years

A former Cullom woman, convicted for the death of a foster child in her care, has had her life prison term reduced to 38 years. 34-year-old Heather Lamie was convicted in 2015 for the killing of 4-year-old Kianna Rudesill. The girl suffered fatal injuries while in Lamie’s care.
A judge (Tuesday) issued a new sentence in the 2011 death of the 4-year-old girl.

Lamie was entitled to a new sentencing hearing because the state law under which she was sentenced to life has been ruled unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court struck down mandatory sentences for defendants convicted of killing a person under the age of 12, or the murders of more than one victim.

Lamie denied inflicting the blows that led to the child's death, insisting the girl's emotional issues caused her to hurt herself.

The Defense lawyer (Joshua Rinker) argued a 20-year term was appropriate for Lamie-- the minimum term for first degree murder. He said the fact that Lamie has no previous criminal record and leaves two daughters age 11 and 14 to be raised by the father warrant the lower sentence.

Livingston County State's Attorney Randy Yedinak argued for the maximum term of 60 years for Lamie, stating that "if this a parent's greatest nightmare, she's the author of that nightmare."

94.1 WGFA