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Caretakers charged in resident's death at Good Shepherd

Felony charges are on file against two caretakers said to be responsible for the death of an elderly resident at the Good Shepherd Manor in Momence. An autopsy report of Charles McLaughlin indicates he was left inside a hot van for three hours. He died in June at the Good Shepherd Manor.

Good Shepherd Manor is a home for men with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Daily-Journal reports Elizabeth Cook and Heidi Jones were Charles McLaughlin's caretakers on June 11, the day he died after being left in a van on a hot day. Both women have been charged with two Class 3 felony counts of criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident resulting in death.

A Class 3 felony charge carries a minimum sentence of two to five years. At the judge's discretion, the term can be up to 10 years.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe explained that ‘reviewed every single document, every single training manual, every report from the paramedics, from the facility, from the sheriff's department, and it’s his belief the standard of care that a patient should be entitled to in a long-term care facility was not met."

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Veteran Suicide Awareness Golf Outing Saturday at St. Anne

2nd Annual Buddy Check 22: Veteran Suicide Awareness Golf Outing is Saturday at Oak Springs Golf Club in St. Anne.

A “Live” 94.1 WGFA Remote Broadcast will air from 1-2 pm

It’s noted approximately 20 service members commit suicide every day. One in five veterans suffer from PTSD. Buddy Check 22’s mission is to bring awareness to this undertreated epidemic.

Buddy Check 22: Veteran Suicide Awareness Golf Outing raises funds that are going directly to 1Pet 1Vet. Their mission is to save lives of our country’s veterans through the connection, love, and support of specially trained dogs. They match a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of combat military service with a carefully selected canine.

94.1 WGFA

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Colorado authorities say a murder there may have connection to Delphi, IN

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KCNC/ABC News )– Investigators in Colorado are trying to determine whether a murder there may have ties to the Delphi double homicide.

Bicyclist Tim Watkins was shot to death on a Colorado trail two weeks ago. There is speculation the murder could be connected to the deaths of Libby German and Abby Williams in February. However, investigators haven't been specific on what makes them think so.

Furthermore, another incident near the same trail where Watkins was shot has led to an arrest, which may also be connected. Police say 31-year-old Daniel Nations is in custody for allegedly threatening several people with a hatchet.

Authorities will not say if Nations is a suspect in Watkins death, but there are new concerns about him. Nations is a convicted sex offender. He was arrested in Colorado while driving a vehicle with expired Indiana license plates.

94.1 WGFA {ABC News}

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Kankakee County suing drug companies

Kankakee County is making national news, filing a lawsuit, in the battle with opioids. And the case is likely to generate more plaintiffs.

The law firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy filed a lawsuit (Tues) on behalf of the county which contends pharmaceutical companies and physicians have used aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid painkillers, leading to a drug epidemic in the county and throughout the nation.

Simmons Hanly Conroy states in a news release, this lawsuit is focused on consumer protection and mass tort actions.
The county is seeking damages for its claim that they say is ‘aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription-opioid painkillers. The county claims to spend millions of dollars to combat opioid use by consumers.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe isn’t shy in saying local elected officials and taxpayers have been forced to shoulder the expensive fight.......

“We’ve decided it’s time to hold these defendants accountable for their misconduct,” Rowe said.

There are similar lawsuits filed in New York, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

State Treasurers have also urged more drug companies to help fight opioid issues. The coalition of state treasurers, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, W. Virginia and California, have written letters to drug companies seeking greater accountability by the pharmaceutical firms in the wake of a spiraling opioid crisis.

Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs stands behind the pressure being put on the drug companies...

“It’s about better education, more knowledge is needed,” Frerichs told 94.1 WGFA News. “These are about pills labeled non-addictive years ago and that’s not the case. These companies have to reform their practices.”

Kankakee County, on Monday, held the first of three public forums on the opioid and heroin crisis that’s led to 44 overdose deaths since December of 2016.

94.1 WGFA

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Watseka water/sewer rates going up January 1st

The Watseka City Council Tuesday night voted 7-0 to raise the water and sewer rates by 5%.  The rate hike goes into effect January 1, 2018.  The vote follows up on a finance committee recommendation last week to help erase a $136,000 deficit in the city's water & sewer fund.

Finance chairman Rick Elliott said the surplus in mionies will also open up other options for the the city to pursue in the future.

The city is under conctract with ERH Enterprises for water/sewer operations for two more years.

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