State Briefs 10.10.08
Trial rescheduled for pair charged in baby's death
PEORIA — The trial for a Peoria couple accused of allowing their 5-month-old son to starve to death has been pushed back from November to January.
Attorney William Loeffel, who represents James Sargent, sought the continuance. He said a mental-health evaluation for Sargent has not been completed, adding the report is already more than 500 pages long.
Sargent, 23, and Tracy Hermann, 21, both of 3012 W. Proctor St., were charged in February with first-degree murder in the death of Benjamin Sargent. The child died after going without food or water for eight days in February. He was found in his car seat, wearing the snowsuit he had on when he was dropped off at the house.
The couple's trial originally was set for Aug. 4 and was rescheduled for Nov. 17. It’s now set for Jan. 12
17-year-old dies in Christian County motorcycle accident
TAYLORVILLE — A motorcycle accident Wednesday evening in Christian County killed a 17-year-old man.
James D. Buesinger, address unavailable, was pronounced dead by the Christian County coroner after the 6:15 p.m. accident, according to a news release from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.
The accident occurred about three miles west of Taylorville on 1250 North Road. Buesinger’s Honda off-road motorcycle collided with a Jeep.
Galesburg woman gets 8-year sentence for fatal traffic accident
GALESBURG — A Galesburg woman was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday at a hearing where most of the testimony focused on the deadly toll of her driving under the influence of drugs.
Lori Mahnesmith, 34, pleaded guilty in August in Knox County court to driving under the influence of prescription drugs, cocaine and marijuana on May 9 when she crashed her vehicle into the car of Madge Gossage Stancomb in Stancomb's Allens Avenue driveway.
Stancomb, 75, was sitting in her car at the time. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Judge James Stewart ordered the eight-year prison term for Mahnesmith, who is required by law to serve at least 85 percent of her sentence. She also was sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay costs of $9,875.
College of pharmacy project advances
ROCKFORD — Construction bids should be accepted by next month for a $32 million pharmacy school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, meaning a groundbreaking is on target for July 2009.
Officials are entering the construction phase of the project. Bids have been taken, and college dean Dr. Martin Lipsky said the board of trustees is expected to approve the information at its Nov. 13 meeting.
The first 50 pharmacy students will be accepted for the fall 2010 semester. Tuition for students is about $20,000 a year.
Rockford Register Star
Instructor recognized for Lincoln preservation
A Lincoln College instructor is among 30 people being recognized by Gov. Rod Blagojevich for their continued support of preserving the memory of Abraham Lincoln.
Ron Keller, Lincoln College Museum curator and instructor of history, and the others will be presented with a special Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial edition of The Order of Lincoln, which is the highest honor awarded by the state of Illinois.
A formal ceremony is set for Feb. 7 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.
The ceremony precedes Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday on Feb. 12, 2009.
Man scams seven stores in Morton
MORTON — Police Chief Nick Graff has three words of advice for store cashiers who don't want to get ripped off by a scam artist.
"Count the change. That's the single most effective means of deterring this kind of thief, who is very good at what he does," Graff said. "Many cashiers don't count change anymore. They just hand it to the customer."
Seven Morton businesses reported thefts Oct. 1 through Saturday by the same person - a slender white male in his 60s - using the same scheme.
In each case, the man made a small purchase with a $20 bill while chatting with the cashier. On his way out the door, the man pocketed a $10 bill. He then returned to the cashier and said he'd been short-changed $10.
"He got away with the scam at a variety of businesses. We're not sure how many times he failed," Graff said.