All Courts Police and Fire Content

All Courts Police and Fire Content

Police program holds graduation, marks 50 years

James Gentry, a graduate of the original class from the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, pinned an award on the uniform of the top student in this year's class, which marked 50 years of police training.

The historic graduation ceremony marked the culmination of a 12-week basic law enforcement training program for 63 police officers.

Coroner's jury rules teen's death accidental

DANVILLE – On the evening of Charles Christopher Gaston's death at a city parking garage, he and two other juveniles had been loitering at the four-level structure, a Danville police official said Wednesday.

"They were throwing rocks from the top of the ramp," Deputy police Director Doug Miller said.

Panel recommends 1-year suspension for Monticello lawyer

SPRINGFIELD – A state review board has recommended a one-year suspension for Monticello attorney Leonard Keith Hays Jr., who admitted to committing forgery and perjury in his own divorce proceedings.

"This is a sad episode in a long and respectable career, but it is elementary that an attorney cannot deceive the court," the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission review board stated in its report.

Newtown man's trial delayed

DANVILLE – The murder trial of a Newtown man accused of shooting his wife has been pushed back until later this month.

The Vermilion County state's attorney's office asked Monday to continue the trial of Kenneth Gray, 35, of Newtown. The case was rescheduled for June 26.

Area bomb squad called to dispose of fireworks materials

WESTVILLE – Four members of a local bomb squad are returning to a home in Westville to finish disposing of explosives and chemicals found in a garage.

The University of Illinois-Champaign Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was called Saturday afternoon by the Vermilion County Sheriff's Office after deputies responding to a domestic incident in Westville found chemicals and suspected explosive materials in the garage, according to UI police Lt. Skip Frost, leader of the bomb squad.

Urbana man sentenced to 12 years in prison

URBANA – An Urbana man with a history of mental health problems and violent crimes was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison for his latest.

Victor Smith, 37, whose last known address was in the 1500 block of East Washington Street, pleaded guilty in May to robbery, admitting that he took cash from a register at the McDonald's, 1705 Philo Road, U, on Nov. 21.

26-year-old sentenced to 40 years in prison for rapes

URBANA – A Champaign man who pleaded guilty Friday to two violent sexual assaults on women in their homes told a Champaign County judge through a translator that he "just wanted to sign the papers" and get on with his sentence.

Jesus Cervantes Martinez, 26, whose last known address was in the 1600 block of Kiler Drive, also asked Judge Tom Difanis, through the translator, if he would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence, which Difanis assured him he would.

Truck, trailer to aid responders at disaster scenes

CHAMPAIGN – Local officials displayed a new, state-of-the-art communications tool Friday as fire departments from throughout the state gathered in Champaign.

The Champaign Fire Department will be the host for the new mobile center to allow radio, phone, satellite and Internet communications for police, fire and public works departments, along with utility companies and other organizations responding to disaster scenes.

St. Joseph residents watching out for each other

ST. JOSEPH – More than 23 families have already signed up for St. Joseph's first neighborhood watch program in many years, according to Champaign County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Oliger.

Oliger regularly patrols the village as part of a contract with the county, and he decided to pursue a neighborhood watch program last month as a way to protect the community when he isn't on duty.

Longtime law enforcement officers retiring this month

URBANA – Sixty-three years of institutional memory is exiting the Champaign County Sheriff's Office.

Hired with money from a federal grant designed to boost patrols in the county, Walter Wolfe of rural St. Joseph and Richard Quick of rural Urbana, formerly Rantoul, both started Jan. 6, 1975. The two are ending their law enforcement careers this month.