Paris Area Chamber of Commerce President Arrested for DWI –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Randy Peterson, the current President of the Board of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce was arrested on March 5, 2017, in Clinton, Indiana on the charge of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated.

According to a Clinton, Indiana newspaper clip we were sent, he was pulled over by Clinton Police Officer Dustin Wall at 3:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, March 5, 2017. His Blood-Alcohol-Content (“BAC”) registered at .203 which is more than 2 and 1/2 times the legal limit – taken to the Vermillion County Indiana Jail and released after posting $9,000.00 bond.

This is not his first DUI, but it appears he gets drunker on every one: Past article located here.

Let’s hope he doesn’t kill someone, or worse, an entire family, the next time he thinks his “alleged” drunk driving is more important than the lives of our children, mothers and fathers, and grandparents who may have the misfortune to confront a drunk on the roads.

This is unacceptable.

We are working on obtaining the charge sheet and mug shot from the Vermillion County Sheriff’s department and will update it when available.
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Edgar County Judge Denies Retrial In Fred Cox Sex Assault Case –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

The Court heard Motions for Retrial yesterday in the case of Fred Cox, who was convicted by a jury last December, but whose sentencing was delayed due to inclement weather this past February, and delayed further when DNA results became available. We wrote about this in this article and again in this one.

In the courtroom were family members from both sides, members of “Bikers Against Child Abuse”, and media.

There were two Motions for New Trial – the first one claimed the Court allowed testimony from a previous conviction when it shouldn’t have been allowed – this Court denied that motion. The second involved new evidence in the form of the DNA testing results. That motion was also denied.

State’s Attorney objected to the Motions stating they were time-barred due to being filed outside the 30 day window after verdict, Def Atty stated the clock doesn’t start until after the sentencing where the Judge affirmed the verdict and not when the Jury made its decision.

There were several lines of questioning different witnesses, one of which was the witness from the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, who testified about DNA Results and the difference between the words “indicated” and “identified”. If I recall correctly, “indicated” means there was (visual) evidence that the sample contained semen, but that it could have also been from another bodily fluid, and “identified” means that it was proven to be semen and not a different bodily fluid.

Defense argued this new DNA evidence could have changed the Jury’s decision, was in fact new evidence not available during trial, was only reported to them in February, and that they are not asking to overturn the Jury decision but rather asking for a new trial.

SA argued that this DNA was never demanded by Defense, they chose to go to trial without it, that there were four prongs to decisions on a new trial and this does not meet all four of them, and that defense has not met their burden as required in order to obtain a new trial.

Our question to both sides of this case, why on earth would you advance a sex crime case without DNA evidence when you know it’s coming?  How is justice served from either side of this matter when DNA results are not part of the trial when it appears both sides knew it was available?

The Court denied both Motions For New Trial, first because the testimony from prior conviction was allowed during trial, and that the new evidence of DNA results were not enough to warrant a new trial because the “chain of custody” of the alleged sample could not be determined, the sample could have been transferred from another source, that DNA results refer to a mixture of 2 males both of which “may” have matched another person not “did” match another person, the victim personally knew the defendant and testified she visually saw him, there was no other cases where this type of DNA evidence and the victim personally knowing the attacker, were cause to overturn a conviction or to warrant a new trial.

Is this a case that DNA evidence clears the convicted but procedural rules take precedence?

Sentencing will continue to a date to be set in October 2016. An appeal to the Appellate Court is likely in this case.
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Photos of Cockroaches Found In B & J’s Restaurant –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

The Edgar County Health Department has provided their report, including photos, on their inspection of B & J Restaurant in Paris, Illinois.

We previously reported on this (B & J’s Restaurant: Customer Complained About Cockroaches, Got Banned From Restaurant) and said we would update it with the actual report of the inspection once it was obtained from the Health Department.

As it turns out, there were 4 complaints between June and July of this year. First was a complaint about proper use of gloves, then live roaches, then gnats and flies, and finally roaches again.

Several people commented on our previous article questioning the truth of the facts presented, and after receiving the Health Department’s inspection report, everything previously reported is proven to be correct, and there are now pictures from the inspection to prove it.

The Health Department did close the restaurant, and the inspection involved more than simply “thermometers and books” as the owner might lead people to believe.

We understand the restaurant has taken steps to fix the problems, which included improper temperatures, freezer burned food, and insects. the last Health Department inspected did not find the same problems – so it is obvious they are trying to fix it and keep it fixed.

The complete 22 page report obtained from the Edgar County Health Department is below:


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Convicted By Jury, DNA Results In Motion For New Trial, Still Locked Up –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Following up on a previous article (here) which could turn out to be a case of wrongful prosecution and conviction, the Illinois State Police Crime Lab has provided the DNA testing results from samples taken from the underwear provided following allegations of predatory sexual abuse of a minor.

Fred Cox, 61, was found guilty on December 16, 2015 of felony predatory criminal sexual assault / victim under 13 years of age, and has been in the Edgar County Jail awaiting sentencing since that time. Sentencing was originally scheduled for February 2016 but had to be postponed due to bad winter weather closing the courthouse.

Since then, the DNA testing results have been returned, there was a hearing scheduled for July 26, 2016, for a Motion for Leave to file Motion for New Trial. The hearing on that motion was postponed until August 24, at 2:15 p.m. where an evidentiary hearing will be heard. Fred Cox is still in custody.

DNA sample was taken from Fred Cox, who was the neighbor and was convicted by a jury – and Robert Burton, who is the boyfriend of the child’s mother and has not been charged with anything.

The DNA results are below, and they consisted of:

  • a major haplotype identified as matching Robert Burton and does not match Fred Cox
  • a minor haplotype identified which Burton and Cox both can be excluded
  • a haplotype identified as matching Robert Burton and does not match Fred Cox
  • a major haplotype identified as matching Robert Burton and does not match Fred Cox
  • a minor haplotype identified which Fred Cox cannot be excluded (but is expected in 1 in 5 African American males, 1 in 3 Caucasian, or 1 in 3 Hispanic unrelated males). Robert Burton can be excluded from this minor haplotype
  • Fred Cox and Robert Burton cannot be excluded from the test in which 77% of unrelated males cannot be excluded
  • a haplotype identified from which Robert Burton cannot be excluded, and Fred Cox can be excluded
  • a major haplotype identified from which Robert Burton cannot be excluded, but Fred Cox can be excluded
  • a minor haplotype identified from which both Cox and Burton can be excluded

We are not experts in reading DNA test results and offer no opinions on them other than to say they are below and you can read them for yourselves.

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Further and more detailed background information is reported in Disclosure News Online (here subscription required) or is available in their print edition available in Paris at the Circle K gas station (by Burger King) or at the Country Junction gas station in Kansas, IL.

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B & J’s Restaurant: Customer Complained About Cockroaches, Got Banned From Restaurant –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

According to a customer of B & J’s restaurant (aka “The Track Shack” as it is also known due to its proximity to the railroad tracks), he complained to the Edgar County Health Department about seeing cockroaches while eating in B &J’s Restaurant. The Health Department performed an inspection and noted the refrigerator was not keeping food cold enough and chose not to continue with their inspection at that point.

The restaurant closed until that problem was fixed.

He complained a second time to the Health Department about cockroaches after observing them in a subsequent visit to drink some coffee, and the health department arrived to perform another inspection.

During this inspection, the owner decided to take the food away from the customer’s (Rob Bogue) 3-year-old grand daughter, who had not finished eating yet, and ordered Rob to leave the premises. Other customers were in there, and they were allowed to stay, so we can assume he knew who filed the second complaint.

But, it did not stop there…

The owner decided to place a letter in the local newspaper after the first inspection that basically stated the Health Department did not know anything about operating a restaurant, they just showed up with a thermometer and book – which, incidentally, is a major part of operating a food establishment (keeping food at the proper temperature).

The Health Department did the job it was supposed to do, in our opinion.

Food not kept at the proper temperature can be a health hazard.

He also placed a poorly written and misspelled letter by the door telling everyone that “Attendtion” . . .  “No service to ‘Robet’ Bogue” in B & J’s.

The bottom line of this story is that if you complain about food safety and cockroaches in B & J’s Restaurant in Paris, Illinois, be prepared to have your name on the wall telling every customer that you are not allowed to be served there again – without any explanation as to why you are not allowed in there again.

Other customers deserve to know why Rob was banned so that they don’t dare complain to the Edgar County Health Department about cockroaches in B & J’s Restaurant at 256 N. Main St. in Paris, IL 61944, phone number  (217) 465-9006,  for fear of being banned and humiliated in a similar way.

Our next article will discuss those complaints, and the Health Department’s inspection results will be provided to our readers so they can formulate their own opinions.

We tried contacting the owner for a statement, by calling the restaurant and leaving a message with an employee, but did not hear back at publication time.

Letter-no-Serve

He Complained About Cockroaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prairie Press and Paris Beacon-News “merging” –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

According to the Press Release, the Prairie Press and Paris Beacon-News will merge operations beginning Thursday, June 16, 2016. Tay Smith will serve as publisher for both publications.

Touting bringing “local ownership” to both papers, Smith says the merger will allow both publications to continue to provide service to Paris and Edgar County.

Smith stated a group called the Paris Reinvestment Group made this possible under the umbrella of the Prairie Beacon, LLC. Paris Reinvestment Group is composed of Scott Ingrum, Drew Griffin, Don Bartos, and Ben Lueken and plan to continue to invest in Paris and Edgar Counties.

Ownership in the merged operation include the investment group, and Tay Smith and Nancy Zeman owning stock in the company.

The Paris Beacon will move to a twice weekly publication on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Prairie Press will publish on Saturdays instead of Thursdays.

Zeman will serve as managing editor for both papers while Gary Henry will serve as senior staff reporter.

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We believe one entity owning both newspapers in Paris is a bad idea. We will provide an in-depth assessment at a later date.
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Zoning in Edgar County – What’s the rush?

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Over the past two years, a Federal Airport Grant was stopped THREE times: once due to a fraudulent grant application in which the former airport manager Jimmy Wells received a letter of appreciation for (even after it was known the grant application was a fraud), another due to questions of whether the law allowed Edgar County to expand its airport, and a third time because it was revealed and verified by IDOT Division of Aeronautics and their attorney that Edgar County was in violation of two prior grant assurance contracts because the county did not have zoning in place.

The law states that no expansions at the airport can occur unless and until the airport is zoned for airport purposes. Which means that the prior two expansions were in violation of the law, and by default in violation of those grant assurance, which are, a contract with the federal government that they will comply with all laws for the duration of the project (normally 20 years).

Once the county board was notified that zoning was required in order to obtain any further funds for expansion or improvement at the airport, the local newspaper (not the Beacon News) wrote article after article pointing the finger at Rob Bogue for filing the complaint with IDOT, when they should have pointed the finger at the county board for acting in violation of law and virtually condoning fraudulent grant applications. Why get mad at the police officer because you got caught speeding? Whose fault is it?

Thank you Rob, for continuing to hold the county board accountable.

Once the zoning issue was thrust into the forefront, it became evident that the county board had expanded in violation of law, and as a result, the county board had used imminent domain to steal real estate for two projects that violated the law. Now they refuse to do the right thing and give the real estate back to its former and rightful owner. Keep in mind, this real estate has nothing on it, the county is farming it out for cash rent, and could easily operate with an air rights easement similar to other property they fly over.

The county could simply petition the court to overturn the imminent domain ruling due to the entire process being in violation of establish law, which would give the real estate back to its rightful owner.

The Zoning Issue

In order to establish zoning, the county board must first appoint a Zoning Commission.

The job of the Zoning Commission is to hold at least one public hearing, to investigate the zoning requirements, to write the county zoning ordinance, to hold a meeting and vote to approve the ordinance they wrote, and them wait for the county board to review and vote on the ordinance at a public meeting.

Once the county board approves the Zoning Ordinance, the zoning commission is dissolved and Edgar County has zoning.

What appears to be happening, is the county board simply wants to hand the zoning commission a finished product for rubber-stamping, and hold a faux hearing without taking any testimony from the hearing into meaningful consideration.

During the May 23, 2016 Edgar County Board Study Session (video here), board member Lorenzen talked about:

  • Appointments to the Zoning Commission
  • Who to appoint to the commission
  • Public Hearing requirements
  • “Cut and Paste” into the document to give the commission for the hearing
  • Try to complete the zoning ordinance “under the wire” for IDOT’s June contract letting
  • Environmental issues are still unresolved with the proposed project
  • When is the deadline for project letting

The entire conversation appeared to be about how fast this Zoning Ordinance could be completed when instead it should have been about how to complete a good, comprehensive ordinance to avoid future problems.

There were no discussions on including adjacent or affected land-owners in any discussions or decisions related to the airport zoning.

They are counting on those land-owner to simply allow them to zone their property without any pushback – even though they are zoning for projects completed in violation of the law.

What’s Next?

Once zoning is established in Edgar County is will be easy to keep expanding it beyond the airport.

Zoning allows all kinds of restrictions to be placed for whatever the county board decides to zone next, be it building permits, grass height (the health department is already pushing that issue) on rural property, business location on rural property, and all types of general encroachment onto private property rights.

Don’t think for a second it will not happen because we all know it will. Whether it be for wind turbines, cell towers, power lines, pig farms, grass too tall, use of firearms, or against someone who they think keeps too many cars parked on their rural property. It will happen.

Main Airport Hangar Proposals

There was only one proposal submitted to lease out the main airport hangar – and from the discussion, it appears the board received a proposal involving less rent than what they had been receiving. Good job! Run out the high rent payer, and get someone that will pay you less rent.
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A Paris, IL. Cosmetology License Revoked for Fraudulent Documents –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

The Illinois Department of Financial and Profession Registration has revoked the Cosmetology License # 011-2981120, of Truc Pham, Paris, IL. due to his submission of fraudulent documents in his application for licensure.

View all IDFPR disciplinary actions from its March 2016 report below:

Download (PDF, 72KB)


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Edgar County Board mulls giving County Airport to City of Paris –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

During the Edgar County Board study session held on April 25, 2016, the board discussed several options they are contemplating with the county airport.

  • develop zoning for the airport
  • annex the airport into the City of Paris
  • give the airport to the City of Paris

Board member Lorenzen contacted IDOT-Division of Aeronautics to figure out what the county needed to do with the airport. They replied that the board needed to work with the State’s Attorney to determine what zoning they wanted to do with the airport. IDOT wants the County to do their part in developing zoning. “Spot Zoning” is one option that would include only zoning for the airport and property within two miles of the airport.

IDOT wants the county to do the zoning – and I suspect it is because they do not want to “own the issue” of they do it for the county.

Heltsley asked bout annexing the airport into the City of Paris – “to make it easy”.

Zuber acted a bit confused, trying to place the blame on this airport issue on other people – we suggest he look at the process and applications used since he has been on the county board – and maybe place the blame on their contracted engineer where it should be placed.

It appeared to us, from watching the video, none of the board members have reviewed or understand the process in instituting zoning in relation to the airport. The process is written in law, and there are certain required steps that must be accomplished. There are requirements for a Zoning Commission to research and investigate the issue and write a proposed county zoning ordinance after holding public hearings. When that process is complete, the county board either accepts or rejects the Zoning Commission recommendation(s). When that is approved, the county must appoint a zoning board to meet and review zoning issues should they arise from time to time.

Zuber also commented that maybe the county is not getting the appropriate return on its investment, and said the City of Paris might be a better option for the airport. Voigt stated the county needed to move forward with figuring out the zoning while they are talking to the city about the possibility of them taking the airport off the county’s hands.

Bruner asked why the county didn’t just spend money on the credit card reader and forget about the new fuel farm. That idea was quickly shot down…because…if they can get the money why not use it?

Here are some new and unique ideas:

  • try being truthful in future grant applications
  • zone the airport – and – zone wind turbines (both can be accomplished without general county-wide zoning)
  • quit doing projects that are not needed
  • treat everyone as equals, in every aspect of the airport
  • when appointing a Zoning Commission, include members who own land within the proposed zoning area
  • hire a permanent airport manager – whether it be the current interim or another person
  • be open and transparent in the main hanger leasing process
  • do the right thing in relation to land that was taken thru imminent domain – and the right thing would be to give that land back to the previous owner while keeping air rights over it
  • quit talking about giving county taxpayer owned property, the airport, to the city
  • review, write, and approve a Policy Manual for the airport – while seeking recommendations from the public at large

The airport discussion starts at about the 53:50 mark in the below video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk6yYXArwlw

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Edgar Co. Local Governments owe the State over $166,000 in overpaid PPRT –

Edgar County, IL. (ECWd) –

The local governments in Edgar County owed the State of Illinois a total of $166,119.51 in overpayments the state made with the personal property replacement tax back in 2014.

A list of all Edgar County overpayments are below, with the School Districts, City of Paris, and County governments making up the majority of the overpayments.

There is no schedule for repayment to the state at this time.

Edgar                               EDGAR COUNTY 0231010023 20,238.31
Edgar BROCTON VILLAGE 0232400010 262.34
Edgar CHRISMAN CITY 0232400016 1,149.74
Edgar HUME VILLAGE 0232400038 55.67
Edgar KANSAS VILLAGE 0232400040 225.61
Edgar METCALF VILLAGE 0232400051 273.15
Edgar PARIS CITY 0232400063 22,667.65
Edgar REDMON VILLAGE 0232400070 24.87
Edgar VERMILION VILLAGE 0232400089 46.00
Edgar BROUILLETTS CREEK TOWNSHIP 0233020010 144.34
Edgar BUCK TOWNSHIP 0233020012 104.68
Edgar EDGAR TOWNSHIP 0233020025 323.63
Edgar ELBRIDGE TOWNSHIP 0233020027 929.25
Edgar EMBARRASS TOWNSHIP 0233020029 104.68
Edgar GRANDVIEW TOWNSHIP 0233020033 85.74
Edgar HUNTER TOWNSHIP 0233020038 46.00
Edgar KANSAS TOWNSHIP 0233020040 495.43
Edgar PARIS TOWNSHIP 0233020063 2,574.50
Edgar PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP 0233020068 229.76
Edgar ROSS TOWNSHIP 0233020073 714.04
Edgar SHILOH TOWNSHIP 0233020077 206.35
Edgar STRATTON TOWNSHIP 0233020082 159.95
Edgar SYMMES TOWNSHIP 0233020084 303.55
Edgar YOUNG AMERICA TOWNSHIP 0233020095 456.09
Edgar BROCTON FPD 0235100082 129.87
Edgar CHRISMAN FPD 0235100131 400.10
Edgar HUME FPD 0235100322 93.13
Edgar KANSAS FPD 0235100336 311.02
Edgar METCALF FPD 0235100434 133.94
Edgar PARIS FPD 0235100533 1,998.13
Edgar PARIS-UNION UNIT SCH 95 0237250950 35,496.18
Edgar SHILOH CUSD  1 0237260010 25,175.03
Edgar KANSAS CUSD 3 0237260030 7,024.88
Edgar PARIS CUSD 4 0237260040 14,682.31
Edgar EDGAR COUNTY CUSD 6 0237260060 17,032.98
Edgar BROUILLETS CRK TWP RD & BRIDGE 0239020010 205.61
Edgar BUCK TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020012 102.40
Edgar EDGAR TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020025 581.57
Edgar ELBRIDGE TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020027 2,072.33
Edgar EMBARRASS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020029 394.90
Edgar GRANDVIEW TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020033 158.07
Edgar HUNTER TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020038 154.42
Edgar KANSAS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020040 634.65
Edgar PARIS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020063 4,008.44
Edgar PRAIRIE TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020068 264.61
Edgar ROSS TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020073 1,028.73
Edgar SHILOH TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020077 600.11
Edgar STRATTON TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020082 272.42
Edgar SYMMES TWP ROAD & BRIDGE 0239020084 308.01
Edgar YOUNG AMERICA TWP RD & BRIDGE 0239020095 1,034.34

IL-Leaks




Untrue Headline on front of Prairie Press today –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

With this week’s edition of the PP looking like a gigantic sob-fest after election results came in, it is no wonder a completely untrue article headline occurred on its front page, below the fold.

FalseTitleLOL. What a joke!

I called the State Board of Elections and asked them about this alleged complaint. They stated that no such complaint was filed by Acklin against Halbrook.

Acklin did, however, file a complaint against the Liberty Principles PAC – but that wouldn’t have been a very sexy title.

The Liberty Principles PAC came out for some candidates and against some candidates this election cycle. Their activities are protectd by law.

The Halbrook campaign had nothing to do with anything the PAC was producing and did not coordinate with them in any way.

See WCIA-3’s article on this with video:  http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2016/03/halbrook-vindcated-by-channel-3-news/

In their article, the PP quotes Acklin as saying the complaint was not an attempt at swaying the election. If that were the case, why would he file it the day before the election – and notify as many news outlets as he could find? We know they didn’t just happen to find out all on their own.

The PP also talks about a similar complaint filed by Jonathan Kaye – but failed to mention it was thrown out with a unanimous vote of 7-0 (see our article here). So that complaint, on Monday of this week, in plenty of time to reflect in their article, was tossed by the State Board of Elections as not a valid complaint, and nothing illegal happened.

For our local readers, we will publish at a later date, all of the vile, lying, offensive robocalls produced by the Acklin campaign and targeting mainly the Champaign, Douglas, and Shelby County areas.

Once hearing them you will never again congratulate Acklin on running a so-called “clean” campaign.

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It’s National Sunshine Week and Prairie Press published anti-Sunshine letter –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

During “National Sunshine Week” in which virtually every organization (and good public official) across the nation, who publish information about government is screaming for more transparency and Freedom of Information Act reforms to enhance access to public records, the Prairie Press publishes a letter from an Edgar County Board member asking people to let their elected officials know their stance on legislation that gives “radicals” like us access to public records and the ability to do something about it when records are hidden from the public.

He wants you to support a more secret government similar to the old USSR.

He wants you to tell your legislators to end the public’s right to know.

We , ECWd, have always had an agenda, and it is easily found on our website:

“Our purpose is to foster accountability, truth, and transparency in our local governing bodies.”

Below is a clipping of part of Heltsley’s letter published in the Prairie Press”

Clip From PP

He is apparently upset with this (State Rep Candidates Jim Acklin and Randy Peterson would impose FOIA fee to access public documents) TRUE article we published about State Rep candidates Acklin and Peterson saying they would support fees to access public records. We even included the video of them saying it in their own words.

Heltsley, arguably the most ignorant county board member in Edgar County history, actually wants to do anything he pleases with no accountability.

Rest assured we will keep pushing to expose fools like Mike Heltsley, the self-proclaimed “good-ole-boy”,  every chance we get.

In a few short days we will have welcomed over half a million readers, in less than three months, to our website since January 1st of this year. Last year far exceeded one million readers – this year may double that, proving to us that people want to stay informed about their local government and public officials.

What we have been trying to figure out is why a so-called newspaper would advocate for more government secrecy by publishing his letter.

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Donate directly to the Paris High School Band, not to the Prairie Press –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

There has been a recent push to collect donations to help the Paris High School Band and their quest to go to Disney World and march in the Parade.

We fully support the band’s fund raising for this trip – it will be a great experience for them.

The Prairie Press has been running articles asking for donations to some sort of “booster club” for themselves, and cloaking it in as helping the Paris High School Band by donating a mere 10% of your donations to the band.

10% ? …and you get nothing other than a bumper sticker advertising the Prairie Press for a $20 “donation”, of which a whole $2 will actually go to the band?

ECWd issues this challenge to the PP: Increase the percentage to make it meaningful!

The Edgar County Watchdogs understand the goal and suggest that instead, you simply make your donation directly to the Paris High School Band Parent Association, who will then apply 100% of your generous donation to their goal of a trip to Disney World.

The Edgar County Watchdogs have pledged to donate $100.00 to the Paris High School Band Parent Association, and we will send it directly to them so that all of it will go to where it is intended to go.

You can mail your donations to the Paris High School Band Parent Association at the below address and have all of it go towards the trip:

PHSBPA
14040 E. 1200th Road
Paris, Illinois 61944

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IL-Leaks

 

 

 

 




Update with pics: Sheriff Dept – School Bus accident –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Updated post from earlier today. I snapped a few pictures at the accident scene earlier this afternoon on my way to Neoga.

No students were on the bus at the time of the accident.

We do not know if anyone was injured and certainly hope they weren’t.

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BREAKING: Sheriff Dept and School Bus involved in accident –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

A school bus, an Edgar County Sheriff Deputy car, and a white truck were all involved in an accident at or around the courthouse square this afternoon.

No students were on the bus.

The drivers are being evaluated.

This is all the information we have at this time.

The Paris Beacon News Facebook page has more info and a photo:

https://www.facebook.com/Paris-Beacon-News-375700176051/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

 

 




State Rep Candidate Randy Peterson – The do-nothing county party chairman –

EDGAR CO., IL. (ECWd) –

When you look at people and how they conduct themselves in their quest for political power, you must take into consideration the actions from their past that may reflect on how they will act once elected.

When we look at candidate Randy Peterson, we clearly see someone who has done absolutely nothing since he became the Edgar County Republican Party Chairman.

He has held no meetings of his own accord (except once to recommend a county board appointment and advertising). There was a meeting a couple months ago, but I scheduled that one, sent out the email blast, and contacted the speakers. He refused to answer emails, phone calls, and text messages about the meeting.

There have been virtually no other meetings in the almost two years since he became the republican party chairman in Edgar County.

The Lincoln Day Dinner from last year was a complete disgrace, with most likely the lowest number of attendees in Edgar County Republican Party history.

Peterson failed to even schedule a Christmas Party for this past year. What a piece of work!

There is no Lincoln Day Dinner scheduled yet for this year, if there will ever be one scheduled.

To top that off, just incase he has been working behind the scenes in his own county – One measure of success at the local level could be based on how many Precinct Committeeman are running for office? In Edgar County, of the 31 Precincts, only 11 have anyone running as Precinct Committeeman. Of those 11, 1 is Peterson and 2 are Watchdogs. For those lousy numbers, he is a failure.

He actively campaigned for Democrat Party candidates over those in his own party during the last election cycle.

More on Peterson: here.
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Randy Peterson photo from his facebook




Edgar County Sample Ballot –

EDGAR CO., IL., (ECWd) –

Below are the sample March 2016 ballots for Edgar County broken down by party.

These came from the Edgar County Clerk a couple of days ago.

They are not broken down by precinct, which is what you will get when you go to vote, but it does show the ballot order of each elected position.

REPUBLICAN:

Download (PDF, 59KB)

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DEMOCRAT:

Download (PDF, 57KB)

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Edgar County’s Mike Heltsley envious of honorable service –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

We left off with the “Proud to be a Good Ole Boy” and “Your County Board is not stealing from you” articles.

Now we will discuss Edgar County Board Member Mike Helsley’s recent self-projected envy of honorable service, through a so-called “newspaper”.

Here is the quote:

We don’t need the so-called Edgar County Watchdogs of John Kraft and Kirk Allen . . . – all of whom enjoy generous government pensions – constantly looking for . . .

It must get to him pretty hard to see people with honorable service receive what he has never been able, and never will achieve – honorable service. Honorable service does not come from “Good Ole Boys” and the “Good Ole Boy System” – as both are frowned upon by those serving honorably. There is no honor in being shackled by the good ole boy system. Honorable service is earned, not given.

Honorable means not placing racist political signs in your front yard like Helsey did last election. Honorable means service above self. Honorable means not pulling vehicles over solely “because they were from out of state” just to see who was in them – when you were a Deputy Sheriff. It’s no wonder he didn’t retire from the Sheriff Dept. It’s also no wonder he didn’t retire from the Department of Corrections, even though he had claimed he did.

They do need us constantly watching and looking. It’s the only way to shine the light on board members stealing health insurance from the public, or enabling conflicts of interest in contracts, or subverting the law and failing to place insurance out for bid, or 911 directors pumping more gas into a vehicle than will fit in the vehicle’s fuel tank – using a county credit card, or 911 money being used for gambling, or former Sheriffs Crippes and Farnham selling guns illegally. This list could go on for several pages, but you get the point.

Then he quibbles about not seeing any indictments or convictions through our work. Of all people, he should know we don’t have anything to do with the State’s Attorney’s office, who is the only person with the power to bring charges in Edgar County. Since he is obviously another one of “the Good Ole Boys” we don’t expect to ever see any charges brought on anything we dig up in Edgar County.

Even the Illinois State Police have stated they don’t invest much time or energy in Edgar County on investigations because when it is turned over the State’s Attorney, it most likely gets filed away and forgotten – which is a waste of their time and resources. Not because it’s not true and shouldn’t be charged, but because it would upset the local apple cart, the local “Good Ole Boys”. It is much easier to deal with shop lifters, traffic violations, and drug offenses, than prosecute public corruption…by the “Good Ole Boys”…

And let’s not bring any attention to the fact our work has in fact led to numerous Federal investigations state wide because there was sufficient probable cause to issue subpoenas and investigate the crimes exposed.  It is only a matter of time before more people will be held accountable in other parts of the state.  Although like I said, we don’t expect that to ever happen in Edgar County……..because of the “Good Ole Boys”.

The simple fact that the county board now posts their meetings like they are supposed to is more than enough confirmation our efforts are needed as in the past that never happen. And we must not forget how many times the Attorney General has in fact proven that what they did relating to Open Meetings was a violation of the law and were directed to comply with the law. How convenient to leave that little fact out of his childish rant.  A violation of the Open Meetings act is a Class C Misdemeanor, of which the State’s Attorney refuses to prosecute, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen!

“[The media role is in] fostering a climate of public opinion which regards the corrupt,
however rich and powerful they may be, with the contempt they deserve.” Dr. Livingston Smith.

More to follow…

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Mike Heltsley – Proud to be a Good Ole Boy –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Next in his “letter” to the so-called editors of the Prairie Press, he talks about getting the work of the people done:

Their agenda is to harass and destroy what is commonly referred to as the “Good Ole Boys”.

Well, he finally got one right. Yes, we mean to destroy the “Good Ole Boy” system in play in Edgar County and across the State.

A “Good Ole Boy” system is the antithesis of good government. They are not compatible, which is clearly evident when watching Mike Heltsley as a county board member. His real name is actually Charles Michael Heltsley.

Good Ole Boy systems give rise to corruption, nepotism, and the entire range of unethical acts. Local examples include hiring relatives, giving special deals to local companies by ignoring laws requiring bidding, participating in bid-rigging, ignoring conflicts of interest, allowing employees to lie on job applications, providing for free storage space in public buildings, assisting in receipt of excess compensation, allowing employees to work two county jobs during the same hours and get paid for both, ignoring theft of credit card funds in ETSB, refusing to collect on a $100,000 debt to the county, refusing to prosecute former elected officials who destroy public property and computers on their way out the door,  just to name a few.

The “connections and relationships”, that Heltsley talks about have given rise to these things in Edgar County. When he talks about this being a way of life and how things get done (that’s the way we’ve always done it). Yes, he is talking about the corrupt Good Ole Boy system in Edgar County.

“What part of getting the work of the people done in an efficient, lawful and just plain common sense manner don’t these guys understand?”

The real problem, as with all Good Ole Boy systems, is they believe “the way they’ve always done it” is the way it should always be done. What we have pointed out in the past is not a lawful way of getting the work of the people done.

Take one of the most recent examples, liability and workman’s compensation insurance. The law REQUIRES it be bid out, but since it was too hard to do the right thing, the County Board chose to violate the law.

It was not efficient, it was not lawful, and it was not just plain common sense – it was violation of law. They are now having to defend their action in Court – and they had plenty of prior warning.

Another example is our trying to get financial records out of the airport. We had to file a lawsuit, and the case has been weaving its way thru the court system for over two years. We will eventually get the records, but it is shameful that the Good Ole Boy system Heltsley is so proud of has taken the stance that they do not have to comply with the Freedom of Information Act – all to cover up for fellow Good Ole Boys’ past actions – because that is his “way of life” in Edgar County.

“Public refusal to remain silent and its refusal to accept corruption is the first line of defense against it.”
Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald, Former United States Attorney, Northern District of Illinois

More coming up…

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Edgar County Airport Policy Update –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

The most recent two meetings of the Edgar County Airport Advisory Board had discussions on using the “Airport Policy Manual” as a weapon against t-hanger leaseholders that certain people are trying to evict – even though they pay their rent just like everyone else.

I brought up the fact that there is no legitimate Airport Policy Manual. By legitimate, I mean no policy has ever been approved for use by the Edgar County Board, or for that matter, by the airport board. A requirement prior to actually using it as policy.

A former county board chairman and his side-kick the former airport manager both stated it was approved, and one stated it was approved while he was still on the county board. Both are wrong. It was never approved.

Our previous article (here) discussed the July 2013 approval of the IDOT Airport Manager’s Handbook as “a guideline to develop their own policies for the airport” as noted on the Agenda and in the Minutes from that meeting.

After publishing the article, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request for the date-stamped coversheets of the IDOT Handbook and the Airport Policy. As I suspected, both were date-stamped and filed the same day. The only one of them that is legitimate is the Handbook, and only legitimate for the sole purpose of developing Edgar County airport policies.

From all appearances, both the handbook and the manual were filed with the Clerk’s office in an attempt at passing them both off as having been approved, which is not the case.

The actual policy has never been approved by the county board during an open meeting, therefore it is not a valid policy manual.

Once again, FOIA comes to the rescue! Using FOIA, as the Illinois State Legislature envisioned, helped us get to the bottom of which policies the airport can actually use – and this is not one of them.

Download (PDF, 88KB)

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Edgar Co. Airport Meeting – The Handbook & Changes coming on Advisory Board

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

Updated January 12, 2015 @ 7:43 a.m. to correct a quote…

Well, another exciting meeting behind us!

This Edgar County Airport Advisory Committee Meeting was held to discuss airport issues.

Some of those were:

County Board Member Lorenzen stated that there are changes coming to the Airport Board, whether it be dissolving it completely, making it larger, or simply writing its mission and procedures. This comes after Farnham decided he didn’t like how the recommended appointment to the advisory board was made, and that the County Board members of the airport committee were under no obligation to forward the name for the appointment the advisory board approved to forward…you know, change the rules when you don’t like them.

Members of the public discussed how things “used to be done” and how they wished for “the old days” to come back again where “they all got along” and “everything went just fine” ….until… “those guys”  started asking questions and demanding they follow the law. Of course no mention of the lying, bullying, more lying, and hiding of public financial records, or have to sue them in court to find out which statute they were operating the airport under. No. Nothing about that…

It’s all this following of statutes bit that they shouldn’t have to do, and, of course, those negative people that insist they follow the law.

Additionally, at the last meeting, I insisted they find out if they had to bid out the fuel purchases. But it appears they will attempt to ignore that part of the law too, forcing my hand on another lawsuit to demand compliance.

I will repeat this once again:

They know the law requires bidding the fuel purchases out, but are going to ignore it thinking the law will go away and no one will notice.

That is what they were all wishing to get back to, and Chris Patrick even said they needed to “get rid of those problems” (speaking of Bogue and I) – I don’t know if that was meant as a threat or simply a figure of speech.

“The Airport Manager’s Handbook”

Here we are visiting this again. The last airport meeting, Chris Patrick referenced the handbook, or policy manual, as a way to get rid of some of the leaseholders of the t-hangars. In tonight’s meeting, him and Jimmy Wells accused me of lying, and stated the manual was approved.

He thinks the handbook was approved when he was on the county board… LOL !

Here is the history of this “handbook” that C. Patrick was attempting to ram thru to extract payback on a certain leaseholder in 2013:

June 19, 2013
Airport Manager’s Handbook

Another document has surfaced, and they are calling it the “Edgar County Airport Policy Manual”, which, according to Jimmy Wells, is simply the IDOT Airport Manager’s Handbook with a few minor name changes made to it.

Since we know that the airport ADVISORY board has no power except to recommend items to the county board, this “Handbook” or “Policy Manual” has never been adopted for use. The IDOT version was mentioned in their meeting minutes almost a year ago, but it was never brought to the county board for adoption.

Why is this such a big issue? Because it changes the powers and duties of the airport manager, basically changing his employment conditions.

 

June 26, 2013

During a recent (June 24, 2013) County Board meeting he claimed the airport adopted the IDOT airport policy manual however when called out on that it apparently became clear that the policy manual he referenced was NEVER presented to the County Board to approve.  In fact, all indications are that is the last thing Patrick wanted to happen.

Fast forward a few weeks and now we have yet another Patrick created urgency to pass a “new” policy manual for the airport that he is claiming is all taken directly out of the IDOT manual, verbatim!

Napoleon now claims this new policy manual is going to be on the agenda for the next county board meeting because we can’t kick the can down the road any longer.

See the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXIsMiQeHzs

Farnham is talking about the manual and how it is not approved yet…

At 6:34 Voigt talks about a page or two missing from the manual he was handed

At 10:25 Chris Patrick talks about putting it (the manual) on the agenda for the next board meeting

July 29, 2013

This is around a month after C. Patrick resigned. – At the 20:00 minute mark, Farnham calls for an airport meeting to discuss things that include “policies”, meaning the manual…

The handbook, or manual, was never approved after this date either, but just to make sure, I will “abuse the FOIA process” again and submit a request for public records to the county clerk for a copy of any meeting minutes where this handbook was approved.

I know it was never approved, but I wish to get official verification and publish what I receive.

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IDOT-D5 and IAHE’s Chapter 5 President –

PARIS, IL. (ECWd) –

UPDATE:  12-15-2015 @ 12:33 – The IAHE-IL website was updated to remove her information, but I had already saved a copy…

———————

I received a call from Bridgette Borries-Pierson, President of the Illinois Association of Highway Engineers, Chapter 5, which covers Paris, Illinois.

She started out stating that the letter we posted in THIS article was fine, but that it included her cell phone number and personal email address. I then stated that I would remove it, and her response was to snipe at me demanding it be removed “now”, then she hung up the phone.

We generally try to accommodate people when they request their personal contact information be redacted from our website, but since she started sniping at me and hung up the phone, even after I said I would remove it, I decided to check out the IAHE-IL.com website to see if any of it was posted there.

Sure enough, under “Paris” tab and “News” tab, her cell phone number and personal email address is listed (they took the item off of their website – so they must be reading this…click here) (proof below) – which means she put it out there for the world to see.

In light of the same information posted on the association website, and the sniping and hanging up on me, and upon further reflection, have decided to leave the previous article as it was originally posted, without any redactions.

IAHE-Logo (WinCE)




Strong Storms Bring Down Paris Community Christmas Tree –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

Strong storms moved thru the Paris, Illinois area last night leaving downed trees in its wake.

One casualty was the community Christmas tree erected on the Edgar County Courthouse lawn a couple weeks ago.The tree was a project of the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce and is the second year a tree has been placed there.

Another tree down was at the Kiwanis Park on the north end of town.

Pictures below.

 




Christmas Tree Delivered to Edgar County Courthouse (Video) –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

This morning, I spotted the Christmas Tree being delivered to the Edgar County Courthouse lawn.

It was cut from a yard on South Main Street in Paris, and later installed on the courthouse lawn, south side.

It took two cranes and several people to install it.

Video clips below:

 

https://youtu.be/ojUeLIc7Dh0

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First Snow in Paris, IL. 11-21-2015 (Videos) –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

First snow of the winter is happening now.

Videos below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jii-A1d_f7Q

 

Getting heavy and starting to stick to the truck…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwAUJNs1rnI

Starting to stick…grass turning white…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G7MWrNPnk0

Sticking to the Jeep…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvVdRmKL890

 

 

 

 




Tay Smith’s Lawsuit v. Paris Beacon News Tossed Out by Judge –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

That lawsuit filed after Taylor Smith left the Paris Beacon News was dismissed on all counts – with leave to refile.

In the Order, the Court determined Smith plead no Causes of Action on any of the three Counts.

Smith’s Complaint contained Counts complaining of Retaliatory Discharge, Whistle-blower Protection, and Contract violations.

It alleged in Count One that he was discharged after complaining of activities he thought were improper on how the PBN collected advertising fees, in Count Two he also complained he was discharged for his complaints and that discharge violated the whistle-blower protection act, and finally in Count Three he alleged that his discharge violated an “oral contract” he allegedly had which would have been “help” in purchasing a newspaper that would gross $750,000 per year , after he worked at the PBN for one year.

He was seeking $50,000 in this complaint.

The PBN filed a Motion to Dismiss and it was granted on all counts with giving Smith leave to refile,

Smith v PBN2

Smith v PBN




A heavy heart –

Yesterday I attended the Honey Bee parade in Paris, IL. A local person walked by that I knew and when I simply said hi, how is it going?, the response was “I don’t like the #$%@ you post”. I asked, you mean the truth? The person angrily disagreed and continued down the sidewalk. I was confused with her reaction as she had been a supporter of our work in the past.

Having spent a lot of time working with people from all walks of life, I have learned a few things that help point me in the direction of my own life. For example, exposing misinformation with the truth sounds logical, however, many don’t want the truth exposed, which is why we have misinformation. There are even companies that make a living on spreading misinformation, which means there are people paying to cover up the truth, which is actually pretty sad when you think about it.

In the past 4 years of exposing local government corruption we have come to realize some very interesting facts about people. Most want you to dig in and expose as long as it does not come close to any of their friends or family, which turned out to be the case with the woman mentioned above.

We saw this very thing happen when a Clark County Park District person wanted us to expose some corruption, and when we did, some of it tracked back to very close relation of his and with the snap of a finger we were the bad guy.

Another example, several years ago I ran this story (Illegal use of credit cards covered up) on a local city commissioner at the request of Randy Peterson, a local who is now running for state representative. Mr. Peterson disagreed with some of our reporting on former State Representative Roger Eddy and said why don’t we expose Commissioner Branson?, which at the time I didn’t know anything about. His request was very telling. He couldn’t dispute the facts on Roger Eddy so instead he asked us to expose someone else, which as reflected above, we did.

We have elected officials from all over the state at almost every level of government who want us to expose wrong doing in their own districts, yet depending on the crowd they are in they either support our work or speak out against it. We see this at every level from common citizen to high level political office holders. Expose, Expose, Expose………………………as long as it doesn’t upset my apple cart or that of my friends.

I share this because yesterday’s interaction with a person who disagrees with our work speaks volumes. She has no clue how many of the very local people she is supporting have asked us to expose things in this county, to include the actions of her close relation. I defend her right to disagree with our work, just as I will defend our work. Sadly, people take a position on matters without ever getting to the truth and in some cases they simply refuse to accept the truth.

Our track record speaks for itself and we are confident that we are in fact making a difference in this state as it relates to exposing bad government, which means exposing bad actors that just might be friends with one or many of our supporters.

Right here in Edgar County our work ensured the county recovered over $150K of misappropriated funds. Clark County was over $60K. District 95 recovered almost $10K. City of Paris, in spite of bid rigging, saved $90K on insurance. Kansas School district saved almost $50K on their insurance. Edgar County ETSB recovered funds illegally paid to a private attorney. College of DuPage exposure has assisted in pushing for reforms that are going to save students and tax payers over a Million dollars next year in taxes and tuition. Over $4 Million dollars of flood grant fraud exposed in Iroquois County with pending Federal investigations that appear to point towards prosecutions. Numerous public officials removed from office for conflicts of interest, others resigning after being exposed, and some even charged with crimes.

Those are just a snippet of some of the things we have accomplished on behalf of the taxpayer. And in each case, the vast majority of the people in those areas greatly appreciate what we did. Those who do not, in every case, have some close tie to the very people who were breaking the law.

We are not here to win a popularity contest or promote ourselves for personal gain of any kind. We are a nonprofit and have not taken a penny of funding from our contributors in our efforts to expose the malfeasance that has infected our local governments. Our contributors should sleep well knowing their assistance went towards fuel to go to the next meeting, or insurance for our vehicle, filing costs for legal action, or in those cases where we must travel away from home and our family, meals that were paid for.

No, this is not about any personal goal to make money with what we are doing. This is about stopping the sickness that is destroying this country. When right is wrong and up is down, most know we are in trouble. We have become a society that demands tolerance of others views and beliefs, and that tolerance attitude has migrated into our government to the point where we no longer hold people accountable while they are violating the law right in front of our face. Instead we create excuses and justify the wrong doing.

For example, U-46 School District recently confirmed the Administrator’s use of public credit for a Baseball game in California was not appropriate and the person was asked to reimburse the funds. When I asked a simple question prior to exposing the criminal act I was shocked how many people justified why it was OK. Even though their own policy outlined that such an abuse is in fact a crime subject to prosecution, nothing was done other than ask for recovery of the funds. Zero accountability to the law.

We see that here in Edgar County with Nanette Crippes who was allowed to bill the county for two paychecks and turn in false claims for meetings to get paid even though half of those meetings never took place. Use of public credit for personal expenditures, cell phone plan for her whole family on the tax payer dime and to this day, no one has held her accountable. No, now the answer is, move forward, and stop living in the past. I wonder how that logic applies to other criminals that do get prosecuted and are not friends with those in power.

Clearly there is a societal break-down in this country and if we don’t come to grasp with what the truth is and what our laws mean, as well as identify what our morals are, we are doomed as a nation. If you don’t think we are at a tipping point then give this some thought. Dan Quinn, commander of a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan was removed from his command after a fight with a U.S.-backed militia leader who had kidnapped a boy and chained him to a bed and used him as a sex slave for upwards of 10 days.

The US policy being pushed on our heroes was to look the other way because such acts are part of that country’s culture. I am of the opinion such a culture is based on evil. If we are going to be a leader in this world we must not allow evil to flourish. This is a case where our good men and women in combat are asked to do nothing, which we all know when we do nothing evil will thrive.

For our commanding officers to claim this is their culture you have to ask how long before we find it in this country, and state that our culture is nothing more than a “culture” of corruption? Most would say we are there. I tend to agree, however, I am still convinced that if we take this fight to the people at the local level we can change the hearts and minds of the people and fix what is so terribly broken in our local government. All of the accomplishments mentioned above were because the local people reached out and asked for help. Sadly, we are only two people and we can only do so much. We have people crying for help daily from all over this state and in some cases from other states.

We must push to get back to our culture from many years ago in which people took pride in public service and actually were there to do our part in helping the community, not to set up a base camp for 30 years of manipulating the system for their own gain. A culture that a man’s word was his bond and that was all that was needed, or a handshake to seal the deal.

The reason I believe the local level can fix this problem, it was the local villagers in Afghanistan pleading for help as those people know in their hearts this is wrong. The following few paragraphs from the New York Times tells us what we need to know. (Soldiers told to ignore child rape)

“By the summer of 2011, Captain Quinn and Sergeant Martland, both Green Berets on their second tour in northern Kunduz Province, began to receive dire complaints about the Afghan Local Police units they were training and supporting.”

If it is their culture then how can there be dire complaints? You see a culture is one where the society as a whole agrees with how things are done. A society in which the men control everything and treat woman and children in this fashion is not a culture. It is a sickness known as evil.

“First, they were told, one of the militia commanders raped a 14- or 15-year-old girl whom he had spotted working in the fields. Captain Quinn informed the provincial police chief, who soon levied punishment. “He got one day in jail, and then she was forced to marry him,” Mr. Quinn said.”

“When he asked a superior officer what more he could do, he was told that he had done well to bring it up with local officials but that there was nothing else to be done. “We’re being praised for doing the right thing, and a guy just got away with raping a 14-year-old girl,” Mr. Quinn said.”

When we have leaders in our military and elected officials making policy that allow this kind of crime to happen and actually punish those who tried to stop it, we are doomed as a civil society in my opinion.

When we have local public officials who manipulate the system for their own gain and state’s attorneys and attorneys general that refuse to prosecute the crimes committed then we have accepted a new path for our society. One of corruption and self-dealing. The playing field is no longer one of equal opportunity and nothing good will come from that.

I am asking that everyone do their own soul searching and think about the long term effects to this great country and ask yourself, If I do nothing will things get better or worse. We need people with hearts to serve and help for the good of the people to step up and root out the corruption in our local governments and bring new meaning to community.

We the People is the key and Benjamin Franklin said it best when asked, “What Sort of Government Have You Given Us Dr. Franklin?”, he responded with “a Republic madam, if you can keep it.”

Today we have people that don’t even know what a Republic is and claim we are a democracy, when in fact we are not. When we no longer even understand the foundation of our own government, that alone should be the cry to everyone that we must get involved and return to the principals that this great nation was founded on.

We need your help!

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State Rep Candidate Randy Peterson’s DUI was more than twice the legal limit –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

The reporting on Randy Peterson’s candidacy by the News-Gazette, which reported Peterson’s ’03 DUI arrest as having “a preliminary blood test said he had a blood alcohol content of 0.156, as detected by a portable breath alcohol test device”  while it may be factually true, the complete truth of the DUI conviction was that Peterson’s BAC was actually 0.162, or more than twice the legal limit.

This is an important distinction, in that some people may have thought it was just a little over the limit and should be dismissed as not important, however, with more than twice the legal limit – it shows just how irresponsible he was to think he could get hammered and drive home while risking the lives of everyone else on the road. Other observations of the arresting officer were: “Driving completely in wrong lane of travel, red-watery eyes, strong odor of alcohol, mumbled speech, failed all field sobriety tests…

So, if Peterson has “learned from his mistakes” and it is “all in his past” maybe he should insist on accurate reporting.

I sent the News-Gazette reporter a copy of the actual ticket and BAC printout the day after the article was posted, but it doesn’t appear he made any attempt at correcting his story.

PetersonCroppedBW

BAC-162

BAC-162-2




Paris School District 95 to get $10k refund from TRS –

Paris, IL. (ECWd) –

In May, we ran an article referencing fines paid to the Teacher’s Retirement System by our local school districts.

Data provided by TRS showed a fine for several D95 employees, one of which was Mr. Whitacre. District 95 Superintendent, Connie Sutton, insisted that D95 did not have to pay a fine for Whitacre when he retired, even though TRS provided the information we reported.

Sutton asked TRS to double check their calculations to make sure the school district actually owed what they had already paid.

On September 18, 2015, TRS responded to District 95 with a letter explaining that TRS had previously miscalculated Mr. Whitacre’s age and erroneously charged the district $9.896.53.

The letter further states they will be sending a refund check to District 95.

Thanks to Sup. Sutton for questioning data we reported, D95 now has a refund check on the way.

Download (PDF, 218KB)

IL-Leaks




Brad Halbrook Announces Candidacy for the 102nd House District

For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Shelden

September 23, 2015 217-493-8543

Brad Halbrook, former State Representative and Republican from Shelbyville, will be announcing his intention to be a candidate for the 102nd State Representative District at a series of press availabilities and events on Thursday, September 24, 2015. His seven county schedule is as follows.

9:00 Paris

Paris City Hall, 206 S Central Avenue, Paris

10:00 Sidell

Sonny’s Cafe, 302 N Gray St, Sidell

10:45 Tolono

Tolono Township Building, 111 E Holden, Tolono

11:45 Tuscola

Douglas County Courthouse, 401 S Center, Tuscola

12:30 Arcola

Village of Arcola, 114 N Locust, Arcola

2:00 Macon

Bullet Trap, 279 N Front St., Macon

3:00 Sullivan

Moultrie County Courthouse, 10 S Main St, Sullivan

4:00 Shelbyville

Shelby County Courthouse, 301 E Main St, Shelbyville