Police and Courts | WGLT

Police and Courts

Michael Hill / WGLT

Illinois State University president Larry Dietz commented on an alleged rape that happened during an ISU Preview orientation program. Speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier today, Dietz said this is the first time this has happened since the event was founded in 1966.

Illinois State University

A father and son are accused of drugging a prospective ISU student and sexually assaulting her in a university dormitory.

It allegedly happened during the orientation program called Preview. ISU Chief of Staff Jay Groves said the situation is unprecedented in the half century of successful summer offerings.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

If you drink and drive, you have a higher risk of getting caught in the Town of Normal than in most cities in the state.

Data from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists show Normal police make more DUI arrests per officer than all but two other cities in Illinois.

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Police in Normal have arrested two men in what could be the overdose death of a 17-year old girl.

Officers aren't saying anything about the cause of death, but Chief Rick Bleichner implied it when he said there can be immunity from offenses if there is a good faith effort to call for medical help or to save a life.

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Police in Normal have arrested a man they believe is a one-man car burglary wave.

Officers say they found 22-year old Marquel Butler of Bloomington in the 1500 block of Torrey Pines Road early Tuesday morning.

Two religious leaders hold hands on sanctuary
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

Leaders from five area religious denominations came together last night for what is becoming a hallmark of Bloomington-Normal’s Not In Our Town efforts -- a bringing together of all faiths and even those questioning their faith. This time it was for prayer service, including a reading of names and moment of silence for victims and the families of shooting victims in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana.

The Reverend Frank McSwain from Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Bloomington delivered a fiery message in which he called racism a moral issue.

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For the last half century  the courts have moved to a jurisprudence of law and order instead of one of individual rights.

That's according to Michael Gizzi, an Illinois State University Professor of Criminal Justice Sciences, who spoke with GLT's Charlie Schlenker. Gizzi has co-authored a new book on the fourth amendment to the constitution, the portion of the bill of rights preventing unreasonable searches and seizures so people can be secure in their property and possessions.

Jim Browne / WGLT

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce urban violence in Illinois.

Il. Dept. Corrections / Facebook via Creative Commons

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys face a midnight deadline for motions regarding the sentence they'd like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to receive when his case returns to court for a resentencing hearing next month. 

Decatur police say a black man shot by a white officer was armed with a BB gun that resembled a real firearm. The 40-year-old Decatur man is listed in serious condition after being shot in the chest early Monday. The Associated Press is not yet identifying the man because he has not been charged with a crime.  
 
Officers responded to a report of a man with a gun around 1 a.m. Interim Police Chief James Getz said during a news conference that Officer Andrew Wittmer fired one round during the encounter that "ended the threat." 
 

Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal

Be safe out there. That's one of the messages police administrators are telling officers in the wake of the ambush of police in Dallas. Rick Bleichner is the Chief in Normal.

"They live with a certain amount of concern and caution when they approach their jobs every day. Something like this obviously just brings it to the forefront. It's another daily reminder of what could happen," Bleichner said. He said just talking about it can help relieve stress.

UPDATE: Prosecutors say they will not file charges against an Urbana man who was arrested Monday, after he posted a photo of himself burning an American flag on Facebook.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said in a news release Tuesday that her office would not file flag desecration and disorderly conduct charges against Bryton Mellott “as the act of burning a flag is protected free speech according to the US Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397 (1989)”.

mikvachallenge.org

Colleagues, friends and family members are paying tribute to Abner Mikva, a former Illinois congressman and judge who died Monday at age 90.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he regarded Mikva as his "North Star for integrity, independence and progressive values." Durbin says Mikva's "record of public service was proof that the good guys can win without selling their souls."

Steve Petteway / Staff Photographer Supreme Court

The absence of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made a big difference in the last session of the high court. That's according to ISU scholar Meghan Leonard. Leonard told Charlie Schlenker not only were the four to four cases a big deal, but some of the 5-3 decisions would have had different emphasis if Scalia were there.

The death of not only affected the decisions handed down in the just completed term of the court, it is shifting what will happen next year too. Leonard said the court has not picked chosen many, if any, blockbuster cases to hear next term.

Federal prosecutors say a Peoria man enticed at least seven minors to have sex with him based on false claims he was a pornography performer.

Court Rules PTSD Should Qualify For Medical Marijuana

Jun 29, 2016
Mike Hager / Vancouver Sun

A Cook County judge has sided with a veteran from Urbana and ordered the state to add Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to the list of conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

Judge Neil Cohen ordered the Department of Public Health's director to add PTSD within 30 days. The sternly worded ruling says Director Nirav Shah “engaged in a private investigation, hidden from public view'' that was “constitutionally inappropriate.''

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Authorities in McLean County have found five malnourished horses, and one has been euthanized. Sheriff Jon Sandage says a neighbor tipped off deputies to the horses.

Jesse Faber

Damage assessment and cleanup has begun in Pontiac after a tornado tore through the west and south parts of town Wednesday night. Mayor Robert Russell said the tornado clipped about two blocks of residential housing on the south end of the city, causing some injuries in a mobile home park.

"The good news is that nobody critical. Some broken bones and maybe a broken hip and some cuts and bruises, but if you saw the devastation that went through, we're very very fortunate," said the Mayor.

NOAA Archive / Creative Commons

Editor's Note: This story has been updated

At least one tornado struck Pontiac, Illinois Wednesday night causing heavy damage and at least three injuries. Information is still being collected by fire and law enforcement officials, though some reports indicate children were among those injured when a mobile home was destroyed. The Fire Department said overnight "some injuries appeared to be somewhat serious."

Normal Police Department

Police in Normal and Bloomington are looking for a man they believe has committed child sexual abuse. 24-year old Deondre A. Watts is believe to have left the state for now.

Tim Evanson / Flickr

In the wake of the deadly terror attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando one leader in the gay community said he's feeling hopeful.

David Bentlin is the President of the Prairie Pride Coalition Board. The group is dedicated to the implementation of full civil rights protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

WGLT

Former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has returned to the floor of the House of Representatives for the first time since his resignation.

WGLT

More than 12 years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast, a fraud case involving State Farm Insurance will go before the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices have agreed to hear arguments in the Bloomington-based company's appeal of 758,000 dollars in damages.

Tannen Maury / EPA

An Illinois lawmaker is pushing legislation to take away former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's taxpayer-funded state pension following his conviction in a hush-money case.  

Hastert receives a $28,000 annual pension from Illinois' General Assembly Retirement System from his service in the Legislature. Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant's bill introduced Tuesday would revoke pensions for lawmakers who commit a felony against a student or other victim.  

A 22-year-old man from Heyworth has drowned as part of a dirt bike crash. McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis said Andrew Johnson sustained a blunt force head injury during a dirt bike crash in a wooded area north of 510 North Buchanan in Heyworth late Saturday afternoon. Davis said the crash likely rendered him unconscious when he entered the water. The case remains under investigation by the coroner's office and the McLean County Sheriff's Department.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

After a decade of lawsuits, Unit Five has settled the final case involving a victim of convicted child molester Jon Andrew White. White was a Unit Five teacher, who later got a job in Urbana schools and continued molesting students.

Bloomington Police Department

It has been three years since someone killed 26-year old Haileigh Eichorn of Bloomington. And police spokeswoman Sara Mayer says detectives are not dropping the investigation.

flickr.com/appleswitch (Creative Commons)

Bloomington Police say a man robbed the Dollar General store in the 900 block of East Oakland Avenue at gunpoint.

Bloomington Police Department

Bloomington police have released two videos of a man applying tar to a downtown bench (scroll down to see videos). The man is unidentifiable in both videos.

The department is ended its investigation on May 12 into an incident last month in which tar was spread over a public bench in an apparent effort to deter a homeless man from using the bench.

The man's only set of clothes was ruined.

Police say they have insufficient evidence to make an arrest.

Police in Normal are asking for public input into a gunfire incident Sunday morning.

Assistant Chief Eric Klingele says the call came in about 5:36 a.m. in the 500 block of Normal Avenue, in the University Court area. Several shots were fired.

A Dodge Charger parked on the street was struck. No injuries were reported. Klingele says officers are interviewing witnesses at the party that turned into a fight among five or six college age people at a rented house. 

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