State Briefs 8/27/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Woman dies six weeks after accident involving state trooper

ROCKFORD – A 65-year-old woman involved in an auto accident last month with a state trooper died Monday night at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

On July 12, Carole Tierney was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision at U.S. 20 and Winnebago Road.

Trooper Mark Molitor was westbound on U.S. 20, and an SUV driven by Darla Greenberg of Winnebago was headed north on Winnebago Road. Both vehicles entered the intersection, and Molitor struck Greenberg’s front passenger-side door.

Molitor, 26, Greenberg, 37, and Tierney were taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital.

On Monday, six weeks later, Tierney was pronounced dead at 8:23 p.m. in her hospital room, said Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia.

“The trauma physician has stated that Mrs. Tierney’s death was a direct result of injuries she sustained due to the accident,” Fiduccia said.

Tierney died from “a heart attack and multisystem organ failure,” Fiduccia said.

The accident is under investigation by the Illinois State Police.

Rockford Register Star

Man sentenced to 15 months for scalding infant daughter

SPRINGFIELD – Sylvester Henderson, the 23-year-old convicted last month for scalding his 22-month-old daughter last fall, was sentenced Wednesday morning to 15 years in prison.

Henderson was convicted July 10 of aggravated battery to a child after a jury determined he burned his daughter's feet and legs last fall while babysitting her. He could have faced six to 30 years in prison.

Circuit Judge Leo Zappa said it was "deplorable" to hear a doctor testify to the amount of pain the child must have been in when the injury occurred and also that Henderson and the child's mother, Jessica Overall, failed to seek medical attention for six days.

Henderson's attorney, Bruce Locher, started the hearing by asking Circuit Judge Leo Zappa for a new trial in the matter saying, among other things, that prosecutors Jennifer Grady and Jay Magnuson failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Zappa refused the request.

Henderson will spend at least 13 years, 9 month in prison, minus credit for the 320 days he's spent in the Sangamon County Jail.

State Journal-Register

Shawnee National Forest drops fee proposal

SHAWNEE NATIONAL FOREST – The Shawnee National Forest proposed last fall to charge fees to visit recreation sites, ride on designated trails and to increase fees for campgrounds.

Wednesday morning, Supervisor Allen Nicholas announced the agency has changed its mind. The proposal now is to only increase fees at campsites.

The initial proposal included fees of $5 per visit or $50 annually at recreation sites like Garden of the Gods, Bell Smith Springs, Little Grand Canyon and Pounds Hollow. Also proposed were $5 per visit or $50 annually to ride horses on designated trails. Both of those items are no longer being considered, according to a release from the U.S. Forest Service.

The proposal now is to increase fees for Pine Ridge Campground in Pounds Hollow, Pharaoh Campground at Garden of the Gods, Camp Cadiz and Pine Hills Campground from the current price of $5 to $10 per night.

The Johnson Creek Campground per night fee has been $5 for a single site, $9 for a double and $12 for a triple since 1996. The proposed fee is $10 per night for a single, $12 for a double and $15 for a triple site per night.

The final proposal will be forwarded to the Regional Fee Board in Milwaukee, Wis. If approved the proposal goes before the Recreation Resource Advisory Council for consideration Oct. 8. The council's decision will be forwarded to the Regional Forester who will accept it or deny it.

Harrisburg Daily Register

Peoria airport considers name change to honor late general

PEORIA — The Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria is considering renaming a part of the airport in honor of the late Gen. Wayne Downing.

The Airport Authority made the motion after meeting with a group of prominent local community members, including Gerald Shaheen, former group president of Caterpillar Inc. and the president of Bradley University’s board of trustees, former Peoria Mayor Dave Ransburg, auto retailer John Bearce and Downing’s widow, Kathy Downing.

Wayne Downing, 67, a retired four-star general and former Peorian, also was the former commander of the nation’s Special Forces and the man picked by President George H.W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to be the point man for counterterrorism, died in July 2007.

The Airport Authority also voted to form a committee that will research the request. The Authority previously had considered renaming the Greater Peoria Regional Airport to the Peoria International Airport, coinciding with the construction of a new, nearly $60 million terminal building, which also fits with the airport’s current three-letter identifier, "PIA."

Journal Star, Peoria

‘Drive-in’ robbery attempt fails

SPRINGFIELD – Someone crashed a vehicle into Hometown Pantry early Wednesday in an apparent effort to burglarize it, police said.

Officers were sent to the convenience store about 3:40 a.m. after the burglar alarm sounded. They found the front entry on the east side of the building was extensively damaged, with a portion of the framework pushed in as if it had been struck by a vehicle. The front door wouldn’t open, and the framework was knocked off its foundation, police discovered.

Police said they believe no one got into the business because nothing was missing and they found no one inside. Damage, however, was estimated at $5,000.

“It appears to officers that they struck the building with a vehicle in order to make entry but were unable to get in,” said Springfield police Lt. Bob Markovic.

The case remains under investigation.

State Journal-Register