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  • Rochester Resident Who Found Remains Not Suspect In Woman's Death

    The Rochester resident who discovered human remains in a garage last weekend is not considered a person of interest in the case, according to Illinois State Police. 

     

    Investigators say the skeletal remains are those of a white woman between 30 and 40 years of age… and they continue working to make a positive identification and to determine who may have killed her. 

     

    Springfield police say the remains do not appear connected to any of their missing person cold cases.  Sangamon County officials are awaiting test results to see if there may be a connection to Michelle Miles Bianco… who was 43 years old when she disappeared in 2008.

  • Cop Impersonators Rob Man At Gunpoint

    Police are looking for three men who allegedly used a red light to pull over a driver on Interstate 55 near Raymond and rob him at gunpoint Tuesday night. 

     

    Authorities found that driver bound and gagged inside his box truck along the interstate.  He told authorities a vehicle with Illinois plates used a flashing red light to get him to pull over.  Three men inside the vehicle, wearing masks and carrying guns, then approached him and stole more than $5500 in cash and other items.

     

    Police say if someone attempts to pull you over, and you aren’t sure it’s actually a law enforcement official, you should call 911 to verify the stop before pulling over.

  • Man Convicted Of Drug-Induced Homicide For Role In Heroin Death

    A Springfield man has pleaded guilty to a charge of drug-induced homicide in the heroin overdose death of a man whose body was found in a parking lot at Southwind Park, hours before a large Halloween event there. 

     

    28-year-old Gary Clark admitted providing the heroin that killed 43-year-old Daniel Buehrle (BUR’-lee) of New Berlin in October of 2012. 

     

    The State Journal-Register reports it’s the first time in Sangamon County that someone has been tried and convicted on the charge of drug-induced homicide.

  • Environmentalists May Seek To Physically Block Fracking In Illinois

    An anti-fracking activist says environmental groups are preparing to physically disrupt fracking operations if the practice is allowed to move forward in Illinois. 

     

    Appearing live on the 970 WMAY News Feed, Will Reynolds said that sort of civil disobedience may be necessary if the state doesn’t rethink its policy to allow deep drilling for oil and gas… a practice that Reynolds says is linked to pollution and dangerous earthquakes. 

     

    Pro-fracking groups plan a Springfield news conference Thursday to urge faster action by the Quinn administration to let fracking get underway in Illinois.

  • Emails Suggest Politics Played Role In Anti-Violence Program

    Emails recently released by Governor Pat Quinn suggest that politics was a factor in some of the funding decisions made under the governor’s troubled anti-violence program. 

     

    According to the Chicago Sun-Times, an email exchange indicates that a suburban Chicago agency which had been scored as the best choice to receive grant funding under the program saw some of its money diverted elsewhere… because the mayor of Maywood was having a political dispute with officials of that agency. 

     

    The governor’s office says the people involved in that email chain are now gone… and says new oversight has been added to the state grant process.

  • County Still Waits To See If Remains Match Missing Woman From 2008; No Connection Found To Any Springfield Cases

    Sangamon County authorities say they have one missing persons case that might match up to the remains found this week in Rochester. 

     

    Those remains have been identified as belonging to an adult white female.  The only pending missing persons case involving a missing female in Sangamon County is the 2008 disappearance of Michelle Bianco.  The coroner’s office says it could take several days to check dental records to see if there’s a match. 

     

    Springfield police say they don’t believe the remains match up to any of their missing person cold cases.

     

  • Sheriff's Office: Armored Vehicle Worked Just Like It Was Supposed To

    The Sangamon County sheriff’s department is defending its use of its new military-style vehicle to end an armed standoff near Riverton Tuesday. 

     

    The 37,000 pound MRAP vehicle rolled up to the door of the trailer where an armed man had allegedly pointed his gun at a neighbor and at police.  Within minutes, the man surrendered peacefully.  Undersheriff Jack Campbell says the vehicle had exactly the intended effect. 

     

    Campbell admits there are no set procedures for when and how the heavily-armored truck will be deployed… because he says the department doesn’t want to tie its own hands.

  • Sheriff Uses MRAP Armored Vehicle to End Standoff Near Riverton

    An armed standoff at a mobile home park near Riverton has ended peacefully.

     

    The incident started Tuesday evening when a man called police to say someone had pointed a gun at him in the Lincoln Place mobile home park. When deputies arrived, the armed man allegedly pointed his weapon at them, too.

     

    Officers retreated and called in the tactical response unit and hostage negotiators.

     

    After around four hours, the sheriff’s office brought in its recently-acquired MRAP… Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected… armored vehicle. The vehicle pulled up next to the suspect’s home and shined spotlights inside.

     

    Undersheriff Jack Campbell says the man then came out, laid down his weapon and surrendered.

     

    The mobile home park was locked down and some residents were evacuated for hours, but everyone has now been allowed to return to their homes.

  • Autopsy of Human Remains Fails to Answer Most Questions

    An autopsy indicates that the skeletal remains discovered in a garage in Rochester last weekend are those of an adult white female.

     

    But it did not indicate her identity, or how or when she died. Coroner Cinda Edwards says an anthropologist was brought in to help determine the race and gender of the remains.

     

    Now DNA samples and X-rays will be used to match the remains against any missing persons cold cases in the area. Edwards says she believes the death is a homicide.

     

    Illinois State Police are handling the criminal investigation.

  • Subsidies for Health Insurance Will Continue in Illinois Despite Court Rulings

    Officials with the state programs that are encouraging people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act says nothing has changed… despite a court ruling Tuesday threatening the federal subsidies for low-income enrollees in states like Illinois.

     

    A federal appeals court ruled those subsidies only apply to states that set up their own insurance exchanges… not those like Illinois that steered residents to the federal exchange.

     

    However, a second appeals court reached the opposite conclusion in a separate case Tuesday.

     

    Get Covered Illinois says for now, subsidies will continue as the rulings are appealed.

  • Quinn Signs Capital Bill, Includes Millions for Springfield Area Roads Projects

    Governor Pat Quinn has signed a billion-dollar capital construction bill that allocates millions of dollars for Springfield-area projects.

     

    Among the work to be funded under the updated public works plan is a $22 million resurfacing of Interstate 72 between New Berlin and Springfield, $4.6 million for resurfacing and bridge deck repair on I-55 near Lake Springfield, and $3.7 million for resurfacing of Veterans Parkway between J. David Jones Parkway and Jefferson.

  • States Attorney Issues No Confidence Letter to Block ISP Trooper Testimony

    The St. Clair County state’s attorney has issued a “no confidence” letter stating that an Illinois State Police trooper can no longer be called as a witness by prosecutors in criminal cases.

     

    Trooper Bradley Wilkin is currently on restricted duty after being accused of choking a motorist during a traffic stop.

     

    The Belleville News-Democrat reports Wilkin has had a history of questionable incidents… including a training simulation in Springfield that had to be halted when Wilkin allegedly fired deliberately in the direction of participants who were playing the role of hostages in the exercise.

  • Howlett Building Expected to Reopen

    Springfield’s Howlett Building is scheduled to reopen today, one day after a small mechanical fire closed the building.

     

    Secretary of State offices in the Howlett were closed Tuesday because the fire disabled the building’s air conditioning system.

  • Armed Standoff Ends Peacefully Near Riverton

    UPDATE: A nearly four-hour standoff in a mobile home park near Riverton has ended peacefully.

     

    Sangamon County Undersheriff Jack Campbell says the suspected gunman surrendered to authorities after the county deployed its MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) military-style vehicle.  The large armored vehicle pulled up to the man's door, and shined spotlights inside.  Campbell says it appears the suspect was intimidated, prompting him to come outside, lay down his weapon and surrender to authorities.

     

    He says no shots were fired and no one was hurt.  Residents are being allowed to return to their homes in the Lincoln Place mobile home park.

    *********************

     

    [Here is our earlier story on the standoff:]

     

    Hostage negotiators are on the scene of a standoff at a mobile home park near Riverton. 

     

    The incident began around 6pm Tuesday when a man in the Lincoln Place park called police, saying another man had pointed a gun at him.  Sangamon County deputies responded, and Undersheriff Jack Campbell says the armed man then pointed his gun at an officer.  Deputies retreated and called in the tactical response unit. 

     

    Several adjacent mobile homes have been evacuated as police try to bring a peaceful end to the standoff.  Campbell is asking everyone to stay away from the Lincoln Place mobile home park… and says any residents currently at home in the park should stay indoors for their safety.

     

    Stay with 970 WMAY and wmay.com for updates on this developing story.

  • Autopsy Identifies Remains As Those Of White Female, But Few Other Details Emerge

    An autopsy reveals that the skeletal remains found in a garage in Rochester over the weekend are those of a white female.  But there’s still no information on the identity of the woman, her exact cause of death, or when she died. 

     

    Coroner Cinda Edwards says the death appears to be a homicide… and that the victim died quite some time ago.  The coroner’s office will use DNA samples and X-rays in an ongoing effort to identify the victim, while state police handle the criminal investigation.


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