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SVM ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
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Tuesday, December 24, 2013
SERVING DIXON AND THE SURROUNDING AREA SINCE 1851
Sentence a ‘slap on the wrist’? Baby sitter gets probation for brain injuries to baby BY CHRISTI WARREN email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 521
STERLING – A plea agreement Friday led to a baby sitter getting 30 months’ probation for seriously injuring an infant by shaking her – a penalty the judge acknowledged could be seen as a “slap on the wrist.”
Karyn McCallister, 42, of Sterling, pleaded guilty to reckless conduct in the 5-year-old case. That charge was one of two counts that had been filed against her by the state. “I have this feeling that the public thinks that probation is, for lack of a better term, a slap on the wrist, that a more appropriate sentence is a sentence to the department of corrections,” Judge John Hauptman said. In accepting the proposed plea deal negotiated by the state’s attorney and the defendant, Judge Hauptman said that the sentence
Her walking away with just the 30 months, the judge even said it, it seems like a slap on the wrist.
Ann Brandt, the now 5-year-old victim’s mother
should serve as a wake-up call. Before handing down the sentence, the judge allowed Ann and Jacob Brandt, the parents of the now 5-year-old victim, to explain to the court just how McCallister’s actions had affected their family.
“Her walking away with just the 30 months, the judge even said it, it seems like a slap on the wrist,” Ann said after the hearing. “But knowing that she won’t ever be able to watch kids again, and that she has the felony conviction, it helps.”
The Brandts were told about the plea deal in advance of Monday’s hearing, and were joined by a large support group of friends and family. Their church congregation entirely filled the hard, wooden benches behind them. As part of the terms of her sentence, McCallister may no longer provide child care to any juvenile who is not in her immediate family, and she is to have no contact with any member of the Brandt family. SENTENCE CONTINUED ON A2
TAKING A RIDE AT THE PARK IN DIXON
DNR’s solution called ‘sad’ Injured deer shot near business, church BY DAVID GIULIANI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Photos by Philip Marruffoemail@example.com
ABOVE: Mark Youngren, 4, slides down the hill at E.C. Smith Park in Dixon on Monday afternoon with his aunt, Kai Serrano. RIGHT: Jeff Lance pushes his niece, Kennedy Lance, 10, down the hill at E.C. Smith Park on Monday afternoon.
DIXON – Don Knight, a rural Dixon resident, says he tried to help an apparently injured deer avoid a collision with a car. When the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was called, it had another solution: kill the animal. Late Friday morning, Knight, a Vietnam veteran who owns an electrical contracting business, said he was driving on the state Route 2 access road near Schmitt Plumbing & Heating when the small buck walked up within 10 feet of his truck. The deer’s left antler was broken off, and his left eye was damaged. “After standing there for about 10 minutes and talking to the deer, he started to walk up to me,” Knight wrote in a letter to Sauk Valley Media. “I could tell he had been hit by a car and didn’t know where he was.” He was able to get ahold of the animal. “I wanted to keep him from crossing the main highway and getting killed by a car,” he said. “I worked with the deer for about 1 1/2 hours.” A DNR employee told Knight that the deer was sick and needed to be killed, Knight said. A conservation officer later shot the deer, state police said. It happened near Schmitt Plumbing and Sauk Valley Baptist Church. Tim Schweizer, a DNR spokesman, said he didn’t know about the local incident, but he said the agency often kills seriously injured deer. DNR CONTINUED ON A2
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Resident calls DNR â€˜gun-happyâ€™
COMMUNITY WATCH Were we in
CONTINUED FROM A1
â€œA conservation officer makes the decision that a deer needs to be humanely put down,â€? Schweizer said. â€œThat happens all the time. Unfortunately, we have too many deer-vehicle accidents.â€? Debbie Schmitt of Schmitt Plumbing said her 8-year-old daughter was watching the commotion with the deer through a window. But Schmitt said she didnâ€™t expect an officer to shoot it. Schmitt wasnâ€™t looking out, but she heard the gunshot. Her daughter was very upset to watch that, Schmitt said. Knight, who left before the â€œneedless killing,â€? said it was wrong to shot the deer next to a church and a business with a small child watching.
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Don Knight, a rural Dixon resident, says he tried to help an apparently injured deer avoid a collision with a car Friday. A DNR employee told Knight that the deer was sick and needed to be killed, Knight said. A conservation officer later shot the deer, state police said. â€œThey could have tranquilized it and taken it somewhere else to be killed,â€? he said, calling DNR â€œgun-happy.â€?
He said he was an animal lover, but that he wouldnâ€™t deny deer hunters their rights. â€œHow could they say
this deer was sick?â€? Knight said. â€œHe was not trying to hurt me. He let me hold him. What they did was sad.â€?
Brandts went through rounds of questioning SENTENCE
CONTINUED FROM A1
McCallister, though she confessed in February 2009, wasnâ€™t indicted until the following December on charges of aggravated battery of a child and reckless conduct. â€œI canâ€™t begin to imagine what this childâ€™s family has gone through over the last 5 years,â€? Judge Hauptman said. â€œI cannot fathom the trauma that you have experienced over this period of time.â€? Given the chance to address the court, the
Brandts rose, one after the other, from their seats in the front row of the courtroom to describe the anxiety, anger and terror that they had experienced: a 6-day experience in a Peoria hospital during the winter of 2009, not knowing whether their daughter, Alayna, would survive the brain injuries McCallister had caused at her unlicensed daycare. â€œI watched as my daughterâ€™s heart rate would slow,â€? Jacob said. â€œYou could see the life leaving her body.â€? During their first few days at OSF St. Francis
Medical Center in Peoria, the Brandts went through round after round of questioning from police officers and doctors who, until McCallister confessed to shaking the child, suspected the Brandts of abuse. Doctors found three subdural hematomas â€“ clotted blood â€“ in Alaynaâ€™s brain. Two were old, but one was fresh. â€œWe spent 6 full days in that hospital with my daughter almost dying because of you,â€? Jacob said, looking at McCallister as he spoke. â€œWe all knew there was a good chance
she wouldnâ€™t make it through surgery,â€? Ann said. â€œShe is an angel, a miracle, thatâ€™s for sure.â€? They spoke of the toll the experience took on them, on their relationships and their marriage. They talked about how they have had to deal with the anger, how the experience has made them hyper-concerned about their childrenâ€™s safety, how theyâ€™re overprotective now. And how, someday, theyâ€™re going to have to face the terrifying task of explaining to their daughter the surgery scars on her body.
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Whiteside County Sheriff
David L. Laughlin, OF !LBANY AM &RIDAY ON STATE 2OUTE NEAR %BSON 2OAD IN RURAL &ULTON DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS OPERATING AN UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE ISSUED CITATIONS Tara Sears, OF "ETTENDORF )OWA AM &RIDAY ON )NTERSTATE DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS ISSUED CITATION Joshua A. Denomy, OF 3AVANNA AM &RIDAY AT STATE 2OUTE AND #HASE 2OAD IN RURAL &ULTON DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS ISSUED CITATION Jonathan W. Thompson Jr., OF -OLINE AM Rock Falls Police &RIDAY ON STATE 2OUTE NEAR Patrick W. Grassnickle, $IAMOND 2OAD IN RURAL &ULTON OF 3TERLING AM 3ATURDAY DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS IN THE BLOCK OF &IRST !VENUE Courtney P. Lewis, OF SPEEDING POSSESSION OF DRUG #LINTON )OWA PM $EC PARAPHERNALIA POSSESSION OF ON #HASE 2OAD SOUTH OF CANNABIS LESS THAN GRAMS 53 2OUTE IN RURAL &ULTON GIVEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDSonya R. Dawson, OF 2OCK ED POSTED BOND AND GIVEN &ALLS PM &RIDAY ON %DEN NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT 0ARK $RIVE 7HITESIDE #OUNTY Semadin Akiti, OF #LINTON WARRANT FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR n )OWA NOON $EC ON STATE TRAFFIC POSTED BOND 2OUTE NEAR #HASE 2OAD IN RURAL &ULTON DRIVING TOO FAST FOR CONDITIONS ISSUED CITATION Polo Police
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Oregon Police Robert J. Fako, OF /REGON PM $EC IN BLOCK OF .ORTH 3EVENTH 3TREET DISORDERLY CONDUCT AGGRAVATED ASSAULT INTERFERENCE WITH THE REPORTING OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DOMESTIC BATTERY AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC BATTERY TAKEN TO /GLE #OUNTY *AIL
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DIXON | CRUNDWELL AFTERMATH
ENTERPRISE SERIES | ILLINOIS TOWNSHIPS
$9.2M check arrives in mail Numbers in, but Mayor: Panel to advise on how to spend money
are they right?
BY MATT MENCARINI firstname.lastname@example.org 800-798-4085, ext. 529
DIXON â€“ Dixon received a $9.2 million check in the mail Monday, Mayor Jim Burke said. The check is the cityâ€™s portion of money from the sale of former Comptroller Rita Crundwellâ€™s property, which was auctioned off by the U.S. Marshals Service in December 2012. The $9.2 million will be put into the capital development fund, Burke said. A strategic planning committee will be formed with the help of Naperville-based Sikich, to determine projects for the money, the mayor said. That conversation will likely happen after the cityâ€™s budget discussions, which will start in January, Burke said. The city will have a year to cash the check, which arrived via U.S. standard mail, Burke said, adding that it wonâ€™t take the city much time at all to deposit the check.
Trustee â€˜hopefulâ€™ information is correct BY DAVID GIULIANI email@example.com 800-798-4085, ext. 525
Dixon City Commissioner Jeff Kuhn holds the $9.2 million check from the U.S. government for the sale of Rita Crundwellâ€™s assets. Mayor Jim Burke said the city will form a committee to determine how to spend the money. The Marshals Service sold five properties, a luxury motorhome, more than 400 quarter horses, a jewelry collection, and other personal assets for a total of $12.2
million, according to a Dec. 19 news release. After court-ordered claims and expenses, the cityâ€™s share is $9.2 million, the release said.
WHAT A HOOT IN ROCK FALLS
ROCK FALLS â€“ Coloma Townshipâ€™s embattled supervisor has turned in her revenue numbers to the townshipâ€™s auditors. The question for the townshipâ€™s trustees: Are the numbers right? Supervisor Debra Burke last week submitted her numbers to the firm, Wipfli, township officials say. The firm gave the township until Friday to turn in the numbers, or it would wait to finish Colomaâ€™s audit until after tax season ends in April. Asked whether he had confidence in the numbers, Trustee Walter â€œButchâ€? Neal said, â€œIâ€™m hesitant about everything, the way the situation has been going.â€? He said he hopes they are right. â€œI need to talk with the auditors,â€? Neal said. â€œTheyâ€™ll be able to see whether they are the right numbers. When we get their report, weâ€™ll know whatâ€™s going on.â€? Trustee Peggy McFadden said Burke indicated the auditors had a problem with the information she turned in. â€œWe go in the office and check on her,â€? McFadden said. â€œI donâ€™t know what steps we have to do to get the right answers or get the job done. We have no power over her, other
Under the Radar: Many townships, little scrutiny
About this series Todayâ€™s story is part of a yearlong occasional series about townships in Illinois. than questioning her.â€? In recent weeks, Burke has been turning in financial reports from the past 4 years to the state comptrollerâ€™s office. The township hadnâ€™t submitted one since 2009, although itâ€™s required by law to do so every year. Burke also has been late in publishing financial statements in the newspaper, another legal requirement. At one point, Whiteside County withheld more than $400,000 in property tax payments from Coloma because of the late statements. At a recent meeting, the trustees dressed down Burke, an elected official, for the missing reports. Her term expires in 2017. She has served since 1981.
IN BRIEF Police: 15-year-old killed in shooting Michael Krabbenhoeftfirstname.lastname@example.org
A snow sculpture of a snow owl appeared Sunday evening near the intersection of East Second Street and Wood Avenue in Rock Falls. The Gragert family makes snow sculptures every year and plans to build more this winter.
IN BRIEF Election planned for soil district
Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation District will begin at 6 -/22)3/. n !N ANNUAL p.m. Jan. 24 at the Super Wash training facility, 657 meeting and election of W. Lincolnway. three directors for the
Those eligible to vote are all people, firms, and corporations who hold legal title or are in legal possession of any land within the boundaries of the district,
whether as lessee, renter, tenant or otherwise. Call the district at 815 EXT FOR MORE information.