State Briefs 11/04/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Man accused of infecting girl with HIV

CANTON – A Canton man is in jail after allegedly sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl and infecting her with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Charles E. Hoerr Jr., 50, faces two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of criminal transmission of HIV to a child. Police said Hoerr had sexual contact with the girl more than once and knew he was infected with HIV.

Hoerr was arrested Friday and remains in the Fulton County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Canton Daily Ledger

Holiday Farmers Market schedule set

SPRINGFIELD – The third annual Holiday Farmers Market: Meet Your Local Producers event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 in the Illinois Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

On hand will be local producers who raise turkeys, pork, beef, poultry, eggs, produce, cheese, honey, wine and more. About 40 farms, local food businesses and exhibitors will be available to answer questions about their methods of production, the products they carry and where their products are available.

At the free event, consumers will be able to sample and purchase food and Illinois wine.

Cooking demos featuring seasonal, holiday-inspired foods will be conducted at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon by chef Chip Kennedy of 5 Flavors catering. The company will sell prepared soups, sandwiches and beverages. There will be kids’ activities and live music from Tom Irwin. Thanksgiving turkeys will be available through several vendors.

Co-hosts are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and Slow Food Springfield. For more information, contact the alliance at (217) 528-1563 or visit

State Journal-Register

New wood bat baseball league to include Rockford team

ROCKFORD — There will be a new baseball franchise in Rockford next summer.

A group of investors, led by Joe Stefani and former Rockford IceHogs owner Craig Drecktrah, announced Wednesday a summer collegiate wood-bat expansion franchise that will kick off a 27-game home schedule next year.

The yet-unnamed team will be part of the Great Plains Baseball League, which is a new summer collegiate wood-bat league with teams based in the Midwest. Wood-bat teams allow collegiate players to play through the summer while preparing for a potential professional baseball career.

The team is offering season tickets for $79, excluding VIP seats, until Dec. 31. Single-game tickets will be $4, with promotions on Mondays and Tuesdays. Tuesdays will be $2 Ticket Tuesday, and Mondays will be Unemployment Night, where unemployed fans can receive a free ticket with a valid ID and documentation.

There also is a name-the-team contest through Nov. 30. Fans can submit ideas to the team’s Web site at

Rockford Register Star

Man indicted for killing mother-in-law, wounding estranged wife

PEORIA – A Hanna City man was indicted Tuesday by a Peoria County grand jury for allegedly shooting his mother-in-law and trying to kill his estranged wife last month.

Joseph P. Saric, 40, faces counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm for the Oct. 18 killing of Geraldine Worske, 63, of Bartonville, and the shooting of Crystal Saric, 43, of Hanna City, as the two stood in Joseph Saric's driveway.

Peoria County State's Attorney Kevin Lyons indicated at Saric's bond hearing last month that he might seek the death penalty. The prosecutor has 120 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Lyons has said Crystal Saric and her mother arrived at Joseph Saric's house to pick up the couple's daughter. The Sarics are in the midst of a divorce. The girl wasn't there, but Joseph Saric wanted to reconcile with his wife.

When Crystal Saric said no, Joseph Saric allegedly threatened to kill himself and pulled out a gun. Several minutes later, Crystal Saric was able to talk her way out of the house and make it to her Jeep when Joseph Saric allegedly shot at the vehicle, hitting the two women. Crystal Saric drove to the Smithville Bible Church a block away and honked on her horn until parishioners came out.

Peoria Journal Star

Attorney asks for new judge in case of woman accused of shooting granddaughter’s estranged husband

VIRGINIA — The attorney for the 74-year-old great-grandmother charged with the Nov. 25, 2008, shooting death of Steven P. Watkins in Ashland said he will ask for a new judge in the case and probably will ask later to have the case moved out of Cass County.

Shirley J. Skinner was arraigned in Cass County Circuit Court in Virginia on Wednesday on three counts of first-degree murder. She is accused of shooting Watkins, a Chandlerville resident, in the back of the head with a handgun. A grand jury indicted her on the charges last week.

Watkins, 32, was shot once inside Skinner’s home, where he had gone to pick up his 18-month-old daughter for a court-ordered visit. Watkins was scheduled to be in court the next day in a pending divorce case with his estranged wife, Jennifer, who is Skinner’s granddaughter.

Springfield attorney Jon Gray Noll, representing Skinner, said he will ask that Hardwick be recused from the case because Cass County is relatively small (about 15,000 residents), and “he knows everybody in the county and they know him. He knows whose check is good and whose husband is bad.”

If convicted of first-degree murder, Skinner faces a minimum 45 years in prison because she used a gun to kill Watkins.

State Journal-Register