State Briefs 3/18/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Propane tank fire causes $5,000 in damage

ROCKFORD – Firefighters put out a propane-tank fire Tuesday night at a Rockford business.

The fire caused $5,000 damage, confined to the area where the tank and some welding equipment was stored. Firefighters got a call for a propane-tank fire at 11:56 p.m. at Arntzen Corp.

Units arrived to find an 80-pound acetylene tank with a hole on its side with fire coming out of it.

Fire officials say the fire was accidental in nature. The specific cause is not yet determined.

Rockford Register Star

Prosecutors wait for test results to decide charges in death of boy

SPRINGFIELD – Prosecutors are waiting on results of toxicology tests before deciding whether to file upgraded charges against Charles D. Turner after a weekend incident that resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy.

The boy has been identified as Nathan Myers, 15, of Springfield.

First assistant state’s attorney John Milhiser said Tuesday that one of the crimes with which Turner is charged — aggravated leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death — becomes a Class 1 felony instead of a Class 2 because of Myers’ death on Monday. If Turner, 34, of Springfield, is convicted of that charge, he would face four to 15 years in prison without probation as a sentencing option.

Turner was arrested Saturday in connection with an 8:30 p.m. Friday incident in which Myers was found unconscious in the street. Myers died at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities said the youth is believed to have approached a car driven by Turner and began arguing with a passenger, who opened the door. When the car sped off, police said Myers tried to hang onto the car door, but ultimately lost his grip and fell in the street.

Turner was free on bond from 2008 charges of aggravated DUI and driving while license revoked when Friday’s incident occurred.

State Journal-Register

Cigarettes stolen from gas station on back-to-back days

SPRINGFIELD – Several cartons of cigarettes were stolen from a Springfield gas station on consecutive days.

The first theft happened about 5:04 p.m. Sunday, when a man walked into the front door of Qik-N-Ez and stole seven cartons, each of which contains 10 packs of cigarettes, according to police. The cigarettes had a combined value of about $350.

Then, about 2 p.m. Monday, a man in his 30s walked into the same store and stole three cartons of cigarettes, police said.

State Journal-Register

County recorder fined for failing to file campaign documents on time

PEKIN – Tazewell County Recorder of Deeds Robert Lutz must pay a $5,000 fine for failing to file his campaign disclosure documents on time

The amount is an accepted settlement of the $15,960 he was fined in December. Lutz appealed the fines with the Illinois State Board of Elections in January, and the board denied that appeal Monday.

Hearing Examiner John Levin recommended in February that Lutz’s appeal be denied, stating in his report that although he was “sympathetic to Mr. Lutz, I believe it would set a bad precedent to allow his appeal, since he raised and spent money during 2007 and 2008 in support of his successful bid for re-election and did not report the transactions until after the election.”

The board previously fined Lutz $675 for the late filing of a semiannual report in 2006, but that fine was waived because it was his first violation.

Pekin Times