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15-year prison term for Cissna Park DUI offender

An 8-time DUI offender was sentenced to a 15-year prison term Thursday in Iroquois Circuit Court.  60-year-old Rodney Hamrick of Cissna Park was convicted by an Iroquois County jury last October for aggravated driving under the influence.  Judge Gordon Lustfeldt imposed the sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorney Kara Macz.  Hamrick was represented by attorney Ron Boyer.

The case stems from Hamrick's 2009 arrest when he ran through a construction zone near Cissna Park, damaging equipment and puting work crews at serious risk of injury. Construction crews were among those who testified for the state during the trial.

Hamrick fled the area after posting bond in the case. He was absent for six years, until he was arrested at his mother's home in Cissna Park.  During his absence, Hamrick also had DUI cases against him in Indiana and Kentucky.  

Hamrick was facing between 6-30 years due to his extensive record.  The state requested the court impose a 20-year term.

94.1 WGFA



  • Parent Category: News

Pembroke Township man accused of rape

Bond is set at $150,000 for a Pembroke Township man arrested for the rape of an underage relative.

42-year-old Willie Nichols Jr. is accused of impregnating the relative. He was arrested by a U.S. Marshal's Service Task Force and Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group agents. Sheriff's police in Kankakee County assisted.
Nichols is charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault.

The alleged assault took place two years ago.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Earl Park house fire sparked by explosion

Electrical service in Earl Park, Indiana is back on today (Friday) after what was reported as an 'explosion' last night left about one-third of the town without power.

Four fire departments answered a call around 8:30 pm to a house fire at 4th and Locust Streets. Initial reports indicated a transformer blew out. Firemen found the house in flames. Neighboring properties were spared any damage.

The exact cause was unknown. Firemen were monitoring the site overnight.

The four departments responding Earl Park, Boswell, Fowler and Kentland.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Momence school board votes to cut 4 teachers

The Momence school board Monday voted to lay off four teachers. It's an effort to save the district $232,000 next year.

Only first-year teachers would be affected, according to the Superintendent's office. The cuts are expected in the lower grade levels, not the high school.

Board President Tom Madison said the board still is working to retain some of the four teachers. But the board must submit layoff notices by Feb. 22.

The district hasn't had a balanced budget for at least five years and landed on the state board of education's early warning list last year. Since 2010, it has lost $1.8 million the state has not paid.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

#9 School District working on FY17 budget

Health, Life, Safety work is on the get-it-done list for the Unit Nine School District in Watseka. Sup't Kenny Lee tells WGFA News there's quite a bit of detail to work out. Making sure rooftops are in order is high on the priority list. The high school and the GRS and Nette Davis buildings are in line for work.

The school board approved its resolution to issue $425,000 in general obligation bonds.

94.1 WGFA