State Briefs 10/20/08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Child playing with lighter believed to be cause of fire

ROCKFORD – Investigators believe a Saturday afternoon fire was started by a child playing with a lighter.

Rockford firefighters responded to a 911 call from the residence at 4:44 p.m. to find smoke coming from a second-floor window.

Firefighters entered the home and found a mattress on fire in a bedroom on the second floor of the home.

The fire was extinguished quickly, fire officials said. The home sustained smoke damage to the second floor.

The resident of the home was alerted to the fire by a smoke detector. The resident called 911, removed the child from the home and tried to put out the fire with water before firefighters arrived.

The cause of the fire is listed as accidental. Damage is estimated at $300.

Rockford Register Star

Man killed when SUV crashes, overturns

MONMOUTH — A 22-year-old Galesburg man was killed after a single-vehicle accident Sunday morning near Monmouth.

According to the Illinois State Police in District 14, Matthew A. McLaughlin was driving a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee north on U.S. 67 about 6 a.m. when his vehicle veered off the road just north of the U.S. 34 ramp. The SUV entered a grass median, struck a culvert and barrels, overturned onto its passenger side, then struck a concrete overpass support.

McLaughlin was wearing his seat belt.

Monmouth Fire and Rescue, the Kirkwood Fire Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Monmouth Police assisted at the scene. The accident is under investigation.

Galesburg Register-Mail

No foul play suspected in deadly house fire

PEKIN — Firefighters do not suspect foul play in a house fire that killed a Pekin woman on Friday.

Pekin fire investigators still have not determined the cause of the blaze that spread quickly through the two-story home. Dorothy June Crawford, 69, died in the fire.

Twelve-year-old Thomas M. Redshaw woke his mother, Tracy Redshaw, 46, who was sleeping in her first-floor bedroom about 2:15 a.m. Tracy Redshaw tried to reach Crawford, her mother, but was pushed back by the flames.

Fire officials estimated damage to the home at $45,000 and other property losses at $25,000.

Peoria Journal Star

Cops find marijuana plants during traffic stop

ROCKFORD — A Rockford police officer stopped a man for reckless driving Saturday night only to find the man was driving with a van full of marijuana plants, police reports state.

Police arrested Jarrick M. Franc, 36, at 10:17 p.m. Saturday after an officer witnessed Franc nearly hit a parked car while traveling at a high rate of speed near Rockford Avenue and Augusta Street, police said. The officer pulled over Franc and noticed several large plants occupying the cargo area of the van that Franc was driving. There was a distinct smell of marijuana, the report states.

Upon inspection, the officer discovered several marijuana plants, grow lights, a power-converter box for the lights and fertilizer in the back of the van.

Franc was arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana plants.

Rockford Register Star