State Briefs 12/15/08

Bradley recruit gets five-game suspension

PEORIA – John Wilkins, the 6-foot-9 orally committed Bradley basketball recruit from Belgium who is trying to gain eligibility to play next semester, has received a five-game suspension from the NCAA amateurism clearinghouse, according to Jeff Wilkins, the recruit's father.

The suspension is for the five games Wilkins appeared in two years ago with a Belgian professional team -- Pepinster of the Belgian League first division.

Wilkins has not yet been cleared academically by the NCAA eligibility center to play college basketball. The center is awaiting original high school transcripts from Wilkins' Belgian high school to compete the process.

If he is cleared to play this week by the NCAA, Wilkins, who is living in Gary, Ind., with his father, would be eligible to suit up and play for the Braves for the Jan. 6 game against Illinois State.

Peoria Journal Star

Man busted with 14 pounds of marijuana

ROCKFORD — Police arrested a 20-year-old Rockford man for possession and intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, authorities said Sunday.

Ricardo R. Rodriguez of Rockford was arrested when police raided a home Friday. Police found Rodriguez at the home and they say the also seized 6,500 grams (about 14 pounds) of cannabis and an undisclosed amount of currency.

Rockford Register Star

Prairie Air Show moved back to summer, will feature Thunderbirds

PEORIA — The 2009 Prairie Air Show is moving back to summertime and will feature the United States Air Force Thunderbirds, not the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels featured last April.

The shows at the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport will be on July 10, 11 and 12. Director Brett Krause said organizers are trying to "hold the line" on ticket prices at $15 for adults and $9 for children. A special promotion from Sunday until midnight Dec. 25 wil offer tickets at 1984 prices of $6 for adults and $4 for children. People can order their tickets through the Web site www.prairieair.org.

Other performers announced Monday for the July shows are the the Army’s Special Operations parachute team the Black Dagger, the Ingenium Aerostars Formation Aerobatic Team, Matt Younkin and Sons of Legends Airshows with Kyle Frankling flying his Waco Mystery Ship, and Mohr Barnstorming, among many others.

Krause also announced a three-year deal to hold the air show at the Peoria airport with an option for two years beyond that. He also said the air show has hired a Texas-based marketing firm, the ADC Group, that specializes in working with air shows.

Peoria Journal Star

Anonymous donation will keep historic site open

VANDALIA — An anonymous Vandalia-area resident has stepped forward with enough money to keep the doors of the Vandalia State House State Historic Site open through the end of the fiscal year.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich made the decision to shut the doors of many historic sites in Illinois as of Nov. 30.

Vandalia’s mayor, Rick Gottman, said the donation is guaranteed as long as the state agrees to accept the money. David Blanchette, spokesman for the IHPA, said the proposal is being reviewed but said the decision to close the statehouse and the other sites was due to funding.

Gottman said the Vandalia Statehouse and the Old State Capitol in Springfield are the only surviving structures where Lincoln served in the legislature. The Vandalia Statehouse, the third location in Vandalia where the state’s business was conducted, served as the state’s capital from 1819 to 1839.

State Journal-Register