State Briefs 7/29/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Jane Pauley to speak at mental health fundraiser

ROCKFORD – Jane Pauley, a former co-host for 13 years of NBC’s “The Today Show” and 11 years on “Dateline NBC,” will be the keynote speaker Sept. 30 for the Janet Wattles Center annual Celebration of Mental Health fundraiser at Giovanni’s in Rockford.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour and VIP reception before dinner, award presentations and Pauley’s address. Tickets cost $75. VIP tickets cost $150 and include a chance to meet Pauley, hor d’oeuvres and a complimentary copy of Pauley’s book, “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.”

The deadline for reservations is Sept. 18. To make reservations or for information, call (815) 397-3204.

For a limited time, Pauley will autograph her book after her talk. In her book, Pauley writes about being diagnosed with mental illness at age 50, after medical treatment for hives triggered a previously unrecognized vulnerability to bipolar depression.

Rockford Register Star

Cubs fans charged after beating White Sox fan

HUNTLEY – Three Cubs fans have been charged with mob action after beating a White Sox fan so badly at a Huntley birthday party that he lost his right eye.

At 10:45 p.m. on July 19, Huntley police responded to a child’s birthday party after getting a report of a fight in progress.

Boguslaw Czapla, 37, and Maciej Trojnar, 33, both of Elmwood Park, and Jaroslaw Czapla, 30, of Huntley, have been charged with mob action and battery for the beating of Robert Steele, 32, of Gurnee.

Steele was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin for treatment of facial injuries including the loss of his right eye, said Huntley Deputy Chief Todd Fulton.

Trojnar is still at large with a warrant issued for his arrest, Fulton said. The Czapla brothers are free on bond.

After investigating the incident, police said that the men began arguing earlier in the day about their White Sox/Cubs rivalry.

The argument escalated and Steele was pushed to the ground and kicked several times with one kick striking him in the right eye.

Huntley Farmside

More bogus checks pop up in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield police are investigating another string of bogus checks after County Market’s local loss-prevention manager discovered nearly $1,470 worth of returned checks Monday.

The six fraudulent checks ranged in value from $115 to $330 and were used to purchase merchandise at three store locations, according to police.

The suspects were described as three women in their 20s and 30s.

The counterfeit checks were used to purchase groceries July 10, 15 and 18.

Police said Monday they have not yet determined if the fraudulent checks are part of a larger counterfeiting ring.

State Journal-Register

State employee pleads guilty to child porn charges

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois Emergency Management Agency employee pleaded guilty Monday to child pornography charges.

Keith E. Chambers, 47, of Petersburg was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on charges he possessed child pornography from February through May 1, and that he distributed the porn on the Internet on Feb. 12.

He pleaded guilty to distributing and possessing child pornography and faces five to 20 years’ imprisonment on the distribution charge and up to 10 years on the second.

The State Journal-Register reported May 3 that Chambers, a nuclear safety policy analyst who was paid $4,590 per month, had been put on paid leave and escorted from his office. Chambers, a state employee since 2004, was on administrative leave while his case was pending.

According to a press release from U.S. Attorney Rodger Heaton’s office, Chambers used his work computer to commit the crime.

The investigation of the case revealed that Chambers distributed about 20 images of child pornography over the Internet on Feb. 12. While in a chat room known to law enforcement as a fetish/incest site, Chambers engaged in an exchange with a law enforcement officer working undercover with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children task force, the press release said.

Chambers requested an exchange of child porn images and sent about 20 to the undercover officer. The e-mail address was traced to Chambers, and a federal search warrant was carried out May 1. Chambers also admitted he possessed images of child pornography from February to May, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 17.

State Journal-Register

Driver plows through cemetery

DU QUOIN - A 21-year-old Du Quoin man has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, unsafe tires and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident after his car left North Line Street and plowed a path through monuments a the city's historic IOOF cemetery.

Assistant Chief of Police Jamie Ellermeyer identified the young driver as Walton Gibson.

The damage happened at 3:49 a.m. Tuesday morning. All told, Ellermeyer said Gibson damaged seven or eight markers. Gibson posted $300 bond and was released.

Du Quoin Evening Call

Fire breaks out at fire department

PEKIN — The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a Tuesday morning blaze at the Schaeferville Fire Department.

About 10:15 a.m., several members of the volunteer department arrived at the station and discovered smoke.

The fire started and was contained to a second-floor training and office area, said Schaeferville Fire Assistant Chief Tony Smith. Pekin firefighters extinguished the blaze.

No one was at the station when the fire started. Its cause remains under investigation.

Journal Star, Peoria