The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois on January 1, 2003 · Page 3
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The Pantagraph from Bloomington, Illinois · Page 3

Bloomington, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, January 1, 2003
Page 3
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Cancel The Pantagraph Wednesday, January 1, 2003 A3 CENTRAL ILLINOIS Daily (ligeM o ifei state are wide 3C said Rep. Jeff Schoenberg, D-Evanston, who sponsored the law. Two new laws are aimed at deflecting terrorism. One would make a felony of criminal trespassing at a nuclear facility. The other would make it a felony to use a fake or invalid driver's license to try to board an airplane. Both measures were overshadowed by a larger anti-terrorism package pushed by Attorney General Jim Ryan that went into effect in December. That group of laws expands the death penalty to terrorist killings and gives law enforcement agencies more powers to investigate suspected terrorists. Driving laws Several new laws crack down on hazardous drivers and illegal drinking. One lets authorities seize the vehicles of people convicted of driving while their license is revoked or suspended for drunken driving or reckless homicide. Another provides tougher penalties for people who sell or give liquor to minors an attempt to discourage "keg parties" involving minors. Also, drivers convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving deaths or injuries could be locked up for longer prison sentences. Drivers who speed through construction zones will pay an extra $50 if they are caught. Different styles of licenses will be issued to drivers younger than 18 and drivers younger than 21 to make it easier for clerks to spot people trying to buy tobacco and alcohol illegally. Drivers who repeatedly fail to carry car insurance could have their licenses suspended if they are caught three or more times. In the realm of things banned, bestiality, or sex with animals, is now banned in Illinois. Prayer and Amish buggies Students can now pray silently in public schools as long as it's not disruptive and not forced on them by school employees. It reaffirms the rights laid out in the U.S. and Illinois constitutions, supporters say. The Amish will have to watch their step in 2003 their horses' steps. Amish buggies in east-central Illinois are the targets of a new law aimed at preserving area roads. The law allows townships to charge of a fee of up to $50 per driver to repair roads that are damaged by horses pulling carriages. Supporters say the fee is warranted because horses wearing studded shoes for extra traction in the summer are tearing up their oil-and-chip roads. jljO ' -"- '-' ' ' t- ' ' ' : m&WW : " : t The PantagraphSTEPHANIE OBERLANDER . . , , , i i i i i i . i . ill .. l ft i. ! ni. '. L 1. . . . DnAnln -rn nnUinn fkn trinr m it fnr rnAlal nllnn In A discarded tnnstmas tree lay aiong me cum on west wasningion street in Diuuiiimyiun un lucauay mummy, reupic aic ijumny mc um uui jhi K'-n"K Bloomington and Normal. Christmas trees become ground cover Ellsworth man gets 7 years in drug case BLOOMINGTON -An Ellsworth man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing supplies used to cook methamphetamine. Kevin Gilliam, 32, received the prison term for criminal drug conspiracy. In May, Gilliam was searched after police pulled over a car in which he was riding. Police reported finding test tubes, eye-droppers, matchbooks and an over-the-counter cold medicine used as an ingredient in meth, A search of Gilliam's home reportedly uncovered more ingredients, as well as instructions on how to make meth. Fire damages Danvers house DANVERS Danvers firefighters on Tuesday were looking into the cause of a fire that damaged a rural Danvers home. Firefighters were called about 7 p.m. Monday to the Bill Gordon home near Yuton Road and McLean County Road 975 East, said Fire Chief Greg Lemons. No one was injured, but the converted schoolhouse sustained about $10,000 worth of damage, Lemons said. The family, who have insurance, have been staying with relatives in Bloomington after the fire. Gordon's teen daughter discovered the fire when smoke rose through floorboards in a bedroom. Lemons said he suspects an electrical fault caused studs in the wall to smolder for hours. Authorities ID man who died at crash CABERY Authorities on Tuesday identified the man who died at the scene of a single-vehicle crash near Cabery as Ricky L. Ward, 39, of Bradley. Livingston County Coroner Michael P. Burke said Ward's death remains under investigation by his office and sheriff's police. An inquest will be scheduled. Ward was found in his car, which had crashed shortly before 11 a.m. Monday at Livingston County roads 2500 North and 3500 East, police said. Peoria plant closing early this year PEORIA A Peoria manufacturing plant will close in early 2003 after a California company pulled out of a deal to buy the telecommunications supplier. ROHN Industries announced it will shutter the Peoria facility within three months and consolidate production at Frankfort, Ind., the Associated Press reported. Fewer than 100 employees remain in Peoria; more than 200 have been laid off. ROHN President Horace Ward said administrative, engineering and support jobs will remain in Peoria. He declined to say how many. Trash pickup changed in Normal for holiday NORMAL Because of the New Year's Day holiday, Normal residents whose garbage is usually picked up on Wednesday will have it collected on Thursday. Those routes will be added to the regular Thursday pickups, which are not affected by the holiday. There are no changes in garbage collection this week in Bloomington. Information about Normal's garbage collection schedule was incorrect in a Daily Digest item in Tuesday's Pantagraph. Brownie troop to start at Stevenson BLOOMINGTON Centril-lio Council of Girl Scouts is starting a Brownie troop at Stevenson School. The troop will meet from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. on Fridays, starting Jan. 31. It is for girls in grades 1 through 3. A $10 registration and dues fee will be required. For more information, call (309) 662-5384, Ext. 209. Setting it right Library petitions Joan Steinburg is one of six people who picked up petitions for vacancies on the Normal Library Board. Her name was misspelled in a story Tuesday. ASSOCIATED PRESS SPRINGFIELD New state laws deterring pesky telemarketers, clamping down on terrorists and hate groups and targeting dangerous drivers are among more than 80 regulations that go into effect New Year's Day. The law banning some telemarketing calls is official now, but it will be summer, before the phone stops ringing so often. For $5, consumers can put their name on a "no-call" list maintained by the state, and telemarketers will be required to buy the list. Businesses who call people on the list face a fine of up to $1,000 on the first offense. Telemarketers exempted from the requirement include companies that already have an "established business relationship" with customers, such as banks, charitable groups and credit By Mary Ann Ford PANTAGRAPH STAFF NORMAL The ornaments and lights are packed, the pine needles are vacuumed and the once-cherished Christmas tree that graced your home is now at the curb. While your work is done, it's only starting for the employees at the public works department. They're the ones responsible for collecting all the discarded trees and figuring out what to do with them. Normal street supervisor Allan Slagell said the town is do- card and telephone companies. Signup will begin in the spring, and the no-call list will be in place July 1, state regulators say. Hate crimes, terrorism People who incite others to commit hate crimes could face prison time. A new law makes conspiracy to commit a hate crime a felony punishable by up to three years in prison. The push for the law was highlighted by the 1999 shooting spree of Benjamin Smith, a white supremacist who killed two people and injured nine others all minorities before killing himself. Supporters say it will clarify the state's hate crime laws and protect citizens who want to live in peace. "The ultimate goal here is to hold a hate group leader directly accountable for the often violent actions of their followers," ing something a little different with the trees collected this year. They will be chipped and used around trees and other landscaped areas on the Illinois State University campus. The partnership started about three weeks ago when ISU bought grates for Normal's chipping machine, which will produce a finer product. Slagell said the town has agreed to use the special grates for ISU wood chips two or three times a year. The rest of the time, the regular grates will be used. The plan not only helps ISU but Normal as well, Slagell said, because it keeps the town's bunkers from overflowing with chips. There is not as much demand for the chips during the winter; in spring, residents and landscaping companies get the free materials. Slagell said semi-trailer trucks from Wisconsin have stopped by the public works facility on Warriner Street to pick up wood chips for dairy farms. That doesn't happen quite as often now, he said, because more municipalities are chipping trees. The job of chipping trees has slowed somewhat over the years, Slagell said. "The trees aren't as heavy as they used to be," he said. "I think a lot more people are going to the fake ones." Normal will pick up trees on regular garbage collection days. Bloomington also is collecting trees but does it on a random basis, said Public Service Director Dick Paulson. The city takes the trees to Twin City Wood Recycling where they are chipped. Tossing the tree Some tips for discarding holiday trees: I Take off all lights and ornaments I Remove plastic bags I Leave at the curb Normal will pick up trees on regular garbage collection days t Bloomington will pick up trees on a random schedule Man convicted in fraud scheme By Steve Silverman PANTAGRAPH STAFF BLOOMINGTON Andre Brooks had fake names and a fake bank account. He even opened a fake store with a fake business sign, all part of an elaborate scheme to bilk more than $140,000 from a national film company, prosecutors charged Tuesday. In her closing argument, McLean County Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Wong said Brooks tunneled thousands of dollars worth of checks stolen from Fuji Inc. into a fraudulent company account at a Bloomington bank. He later deposited portions of the stolen funds into his own company's business account and a savings account, Wong said. Circuit Judge Donald Bernardi convicted Brooks of theft by deception in excess of $100,000. The 32-year-old Bloomington man faces four to 15 years in prison when he's sentenced Jan. 31. The judge said evidence from the four-day trial which began last week and recessed for several days before resuming Monday established that Brooks embezzled the funds after using another man to open the fake Fuji account. "Although it was set up by stealth, I think the trail is absolutely clear," Bernardi said. Still, some details remain sketchy. For example, prosecutors don't know how Brooks obtained the checks, which were stolen from an unlocked bin at a Chicago bank. Brooks' use of aliases also made it difficult to trace his steps, Wong said. "This was a very clever scheme," Wong said. "When we were investigating this it was extremely difficult to follow." Wong said $142,489.51 worth of checks payable to Fuji were deposited into Brooks' fraudulent Fuji account during about a two-week period in October 2001. Brooks controlled the money, but he deceived another man into signing documents to open the account. He had promised him a job as an area supervisor at a new Fuji branch in Bloomington. Brooks avoided that man after opening the account, though he rented office space at 510 IAA Drive, ordered more than $1,700 worth of furniture and supplies, and put a Fuji sign on the door. Brooks' fingerprints were found inside the office, which never was used for Fuji business, Wong said. Defense attorney Jack Vieley argued that Brooks should be acquitted, partly because an expert couldn't match his handwriting to endorsements for the stolen checks. He also noted that the bank employee who opened the fake Fuji account was unable to identify Brooks. However, other bank employees identified Brooks as the man who handled that account, Wong said. She questioned how funds initially deposited into the account later ended up in Brooks' business account and savings' account if he hadn't stolen the money. Wong also contended that Brooks repeatedly concealed his identity in an attempt to avoid being tied to the embezzlement, citing testimony that he was known by three different aliases. Winter storm expected to bring sleet, snowfall By Kevin Simpson PANTAGRAPH STAFF BLOOMINGTON A winter storm could dump another 4 inches of snow over much of Central Illinois beginning tonight. The National Weather Service at Lincoln issued a winter storm watch because of a storm that was developing Tuesday in the Central Plains, said meteorologist Ed Holicky. The storm is expected to reach Bloomington-Normal sometime tonight and snow should continue into Thursday morning. "Right now in the forecast we have a mixture of snow and sleet likely," Holicky said. "We'll be monitoring it and may issue storm warnings depending on the storm's track. Some areas across the region could see greater than 4 inches of snowfall. We have the watch out to make sure people are aware of the potential for a winter storm." Less than ideal driving conditions are expected. High temperatures in the 20s are expected today and Thursday. Temperatures will dip into the upper teens overnight Thursday before rebounding with a high in the upper 20s Friday. Snow flurries may develop Friday as well. Highs in the middle or upper 30s are expected this weekend with another chance for snow coming Sunday. More than 4 inches of snow fell on the Twin Cities on Dec. 24.

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