State Briefs 4/9/08
Youth baseball coaches arrested on sex abuse charges
MARION - Two Marion men were arrested Tuesday on charges of criminal sexual abuse, the Illinois State Police said.
Brad Carter and Chris Carter were taken into custody and bond was set at $100,000. According to state police, a condition of the men’s bond was that they have no contact with the victim. After arrest they were transported to the Williamson County Jail for processing and booking.
Both men have ties with the Marion Youth Baseball and Softball League. League Vice President Gail Blumenstock said this morning that the two men were former coaches who had participated in the 2007 season. Blumenstock said that the problem was brought to his attention last week when the mother of one of the victims contacted him.
“I am not going to say whether they are guilty or not guilty, that’s not my job,” said Blumenstock. “But until all charges are dropped they are not going to participate in Marion Youth Baseball. There was no indication prior to these charges that anything was wrong. They had both been longtime participants in Marion Youth Baseball.”
The program serves about 900 children with about 80 coaches. The Illinois State Police did not release any information about a victim or victims of the alleged crime. It is also unclear whether the men’s roles as coaches had anything to do with the alleged crime.
Marion Daily Republican
Thieves swipe lawn gnomes, ornaments
CHILLICOTHE - Keep an eye on your dragons, angels and gnomes.
Residents of a Chillicothe subdivision say someone is stealing their lawn ornaments, including a 300-pound, 4-foot tall, cast-iron dragon swiped from a front yard.
Peoria County sheriff's deputies fielded four complaints Monday from residents who said their ornaments were missing.
Another homeowner reported the theft of a 2 1/2-foot tall concrete angel. Nearby, two gnomes and a deer were stolen.
A wooden lighthouse standing 4 feet tall was swiped from a third victim's flower garden.
The value of the ornaments is more than $400, police said.
Journal Star, Peoria
Woman's purse stolen while helping stranger
PEORIA - A good Samaritan was robbed of her purse Monday night after stopping to give money to a woman who claimed to be in need.
The 27-year-old Delavan woman told police she was driving about 11:30 p.m. when a woman walking across the street and flagged her down.
The woman came up to the passenger side of the victim's car, said she'd run out of gas and asked for money.
The victim grabbed a couple dollars from her door and gave it to the woman who then left.
As the victim reached her destination, she noticed her purse was missing from the passenger-side seat. The purse, valued at $25, included her credit cards, checkbook and driver's license.
Journal Star, Peoria
City approves paying jury award to former cop
SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield City Council finance committee approved an ordinance Tuesday to pay $501,200 to former police lieutenant Rickey Davis and his attorneys.
A federal jury awarded $150,000 to Davis on Jan. 11, finding that he had been retaliated against for speaking out about racial issues within the Springfield Police Department. The jury found in favor of the city on four other allegations filed by Davis. In addition, it ruled against Davis’ remaining co-plaintiff, another black former Springfield police lieutenant, Lea Joy.
Because the city lost the one count, it was responsible for Davis’ attorneys’ fees. The city had to transfer $400,000 from its fund balance, or savings account, to pay the judgment, because not enough money was in the liabilities account of the self-insurance fund that pays legal judgments. City budget director Ken Crutcher said only about $300,000 was in that account.
To pay the judgment, about $100,000 will come out of the liabilities account and the rest from the fund balance.
IDOT says fatalities in work zones decreasing
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation says the number of highway construction work zone fatalities in the state has fallen by more than half in the last four years.
The department said Tuesday there were 21 work zone deaths in 2007, including both workers and motorists. That’s down from 44 in 2003.
The department has asked motorists to slow down and be alert as this year’s road construction season begins.
The state convened a Work Zone Safety Task Force after the 2003 deaths to make recommendations to lower fatalities. Statistics show there are an average of 7,000 work zone crashes every year with about 2,600 injuries.