News from around Illinois.
Company reprimanded for spraying chemicals near kids
GALESBURG — The Illinois Department of Agriculture has issued a warning to a company that mistakenly sprayed chemicals on two young children who were playing in a garden near Gilson in August.
Rick Collins said two of his children were playing outside when a crop duster covered the garden with chemicals. “The crop duster was on one of its last passes of the day when it dumped chemicals on them,” he said.
The two children, Liam, 3, and Arianne, 6, showed no signs of harm from the incident. Collins said he eventually found out the chemical was not dangerous to humans. However, he said chemicals sprayed by crop dusters often are harmful, and he was concerned by the potential risk posed to his children.
Warren Goetsch, bureau chief with Illinois Department of Agriculture in Springfield, said crop dusters do not have to give any warning of plans to spray chemicals on land used for agriculture.
He said the department had investigated the Gilson incident, following a complaint from Collins.
It’s understood that Curless Flying Service was contracted to spray fields near where Collins’ children were playing.
Galesburg Register Mail
Man wanted on warrant kills self before police get to him
PEORIA — A 35-year-old Peoria man apparently killed himself Monday night when police arrived at his girlfriend’s West Bluff home to arrest him on a warrant.
Officers received a tip about 9:30 p.m. that Bobby D. Russell, wanted for predatory criminal sexual assault, was at 1316 N. Bourland Ave.
Russell’s girlfriend, Yolanda Code, let two officers inside her home to look for Russell, who she said may be inside, police said. Officers searching the house found Russell in the basement with a knife stuck in his chest.
Russell was taken to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, where he died about 10:20 p.m. in the emergency room, said Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll, adding Russell died of a self-inflicted stab wound.
The incident remains under investigation by the Coroner’s Office and Peoria police.
Peoria Journal Star
Man admits to vegetable scam, gets 2 years in prison
SPRINGFIELD -- A transient with a plan to turn supposedly brown vegetables into green cash decided to plead guilty after his retail theft trial had already begun Tuesday in Sangamon County Circuit Court.
Ronald D. Moore, also known as Phillip Moore, 50, heard a jury selected for his trial before Circuit Judge Leo Zappa on Monday and listened to assistant state’s attorney Amy Wolff’s opening statement to the jury Tuesday before agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a two-year prison sentence.
Wolff said that Moore, who had been staying at a Super 8 Lodge, walked into a Shop ‘N Save store on June 2 and started chatting with employees in the produce department. After wandering around the store for a while, he took several vegetable trays and placed them near the checkout area, she said.
He then went to the customer service desk and asked to speak to a manager on duty. He told the manager that he had bought six vegetable trays at the store for his daughter’s wedding the previous weekend and that the produce had turned brown and had to be thrown out.
He then told the manager on duty that the head manager, whose name he had learned from talking with employees, had assured him he could get his money back - $127 - for the trays, which coincidentally looked just like the ones sitting near the checkout area.
Moore apparently had worked the same scam at a Meijer and a County Market, according to police reports.
Man arrested for driving car into apartment
ROCKFORD — Rockford police arrested a Machesney Park man Sunday for driving his car into an apartment building, injuring a 30-year-old man and a 2-year-old girl.
The driver, Todd Champion, 29, surrendered to police Sunday afternoon at the Winnebago County Public Safety Building, several hours after the crash.
Police said Champion at 5:20 a.m. was driving west on Oakes Avenue when he lost control of his vehicle, jumped the curb and struck an apartment building in the 1400 block. The car slammed into a bedroom area of a first-floor apartment. Champion fled the scene on foot.
Rockford Police Lt. Dane Person said a 30-year-old man and a 2-year-old girl suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Champion has been ticketed for negligent driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury and driving without insurance.
Rockford Register Star