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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Kankakee among most dangerous cities in Illinois

        Chicago's Windy City wasn't listed in the rankings; flawed numbers

 

Illinois ranks as the 20th most-dangerous state in the nation, according to a new report based on crime statistics from the FBI.

Law Street Media published a ranking of America's "Safest & Most Dangerous States 2015" using the latest violent crime data from the FBI.

Kankakee was ranked sixth. Harvey and Rockford top the list, followed by Springfield, Carbondale and Champaign. Peoria, Bloomington and Decatur also made the list.

Indiana ranked as the 22nd most dangerous state. Indianapolis and Gary are among the top dangerous cities in the Hoosier state.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Pontiac inmate’s death under investigation

Authorities are investigating the death of an Illinois prison inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

36-year-old Fabian Carrillo was found unresponsive on the floor of his cell early Tuesday. The death is being treated as a homicide.

A DOC spokesman said no sharp or blunt objects were found in the cell, and there was no sign of the use of those kinds of objects on the victim. Toxicology tests are pending.

Department of Corrections records show Carrillo was serving a 52-year sentence for a murder conviction out of Cook County and had been imprisoned since 2003.

It's the first murder at the facility in 24 years.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka approves dispatch contract

          Most all Iroquois County emergency agencies onboard

The Watseka City Council has inked the bottom line, approving its part of the contract with the Iroquois County ETSB Board for emergency dispatch service.

The action Tuesday night follows suit with other municipal government boards in Iroquois County and fire districts in their respective approval of the agreements they've had with the ETSB for years.

Iroquois Memorial Hospital, Riverside Medical Center, and respective community ambulance services have also signed new ETSB contracts.

The Watseka Council's share of the dispatch contract with ETSB is for $163,382. Watseka also made good on some past missed payments, delayed over the confusion caused in recent months by the Iroquois County Board's maneuvering to try to take control of the 9-1-1 operations.

Mayor Bob Harwood said the council had actually informally approved the contract last month.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Sheldon shooter will not be charged

It was a justifiable act of self-defense and a Sheldon property owner who shot another man Monday will not face charges.

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine said 68-year-old Thomas Salustro gave Michael Williams ample advance warning to leave his property and that he had a gun.

The 61-year-old Williams left the property but returned in a hostile mood, according to Devine. Williams also allegedly went toward Salustro to the point Salustro felt the need to defend himself.

Devine said the evidence was gathered by Iroquois County Sheriff's Police and both Salustro and a man with Williams provided similar accounts of what happened.

Williams was in stable condition at IMH in Watseka. He was shot in the stomach and underwent surgery. It was confirmed Williams' blood-alcohol content was 3 x the legal limit.

Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen said Williams and Darrin Lambert had gone to Salustro's property to retrieve free firewood, but Salustro asked the men to leave because Williams was drunk.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Onarga man sentenced to 18 years for sexual abuse of two girls

In Iroquois Circuit Court, an Onarga man was handed an 18-year prison term for sexually abusing two girls several years ago. The girls testified they were just eight-years-old when the abuse started.

47-year-old Jose Ramon Villanueva Jr. was found guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual assault, and criminal sexual abuse. All are felony counts.

Villanueva was facing a 45-year prison term. Judge Gordon Lustfeldt handed down the sentence.

The abuse, according to the now-adult victims, started several years ago. Villanueva was arrested in June. State's Attorney Jim Devine said the victims disclosed the abuse to their family in 2006, but Villanueva denied their claims so they were not believed.

Devine said "as the girls grew older and matured, they gained confidence and reported it to our local sexual assault services." The now 23 and 17-year-old victims contacted police.

The 23-year-old victim said the abuse started in 1999, when she was about 8 years old, and continued until she graduated from high school in 2010. The younger now 17-year-old victim had a similar story saing Villanueva abused her over the course of a year when she was 8 years old.


94.1 WGFA