Wyoming man’s body and truck found in Indian Creek

manincreekFrancis Barnes, 75, of Wyoming, Illinois was discovered by farm workers Monday morning, March 31, in his pickup truck that had been driven into Indian Creek south of Toulon, near the end of a private farm road.

Stark County Ambulance Service, Toulon Fire Department, and Stark County Sheriff’s office were called to the scene at 10:05 a.m.  Rescue workers discovered Barnes’ body inside the pickup truck that had went into Indian Creek.

Stark County Chief Deputy Robert Winn confirmed Barnes’ death at 10:27 a.m. at the scene after the truck had been removed from the creek.

An autopsy was planned at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday April 1, to determine the cause of death related to the incident.

Toulon charge account purchases analyzed in depth

toulonThe News first reported that several City of Toulon Menard’s charge account purchases have had possible irregularities.
Since that time, The News has thoroughly researched the City of Toulon’s invoices from its account with Menard’s in Kewanee and found a number of significant purchases that appear to be of little use in city operations. The News obtained through the Freedom of Information Act for purchases between January 2012 and October 2013.
Toulon Mayor Larry Hollis has said that he is also researching the invoices to determine what purchases may not be legitimate for city use.
During these 22 months, a total of $28,927.83 was charged on the Menard’s account.

Mayor institutes new purchasing policy

toulonFollowing a News report of possible irregularities in the city purchasing, the Toulon City Council held a lively discussion of the topic at the Monday council meeting.
“No city employee, councilmember, mayor – whoever it might be will use the city account for personal use, no matter what the issue might be, whatever the emergency is – whatever the case may be,” Toulon Mayor Larry Hollis informed those present at the council meeting.
Hollis continued, “It seems like common sense would say I wouldn’t have to come out here and say that kind of thing, but we have had issues that have come up, obviously, and I’m still working out a couple of details on this with regards to the accounts.”
“There have been some items that have obviously come into question and I’m working on that currently – and have hopefully a final solution,” Hollis stated.
The mayor then said that the finance committee would meet at 5:30 p.m. before the monthly meetings. “That’s something I want to have in place…so we have an understanding of what we spent, why we spent it.”
This policy changes the previous procedure in which the mayor informed the council of total amounts spent without clarification.

Bradford holds special Thursday board meeting

bradfordThe Village of Bradford trustees held a special meeting March 20, in addition to their regularly scheduled monthly meetings.
During the finance committee report, Finance Chair Robin Lindner and President Adam Wilson had a heated discussion, but the exchange was inconclusive concerning finances.
The board passed a measure to no longer have work done on or parts ordered for the village’s fire ladder truck. They decided to no longer invest funds in attempting to get the truck fully functional and to “get rid of it.”
The liquor license requirements and insurance for the swimming pool fundraiser was discussed. The board approved the motion that requires JD’Z and My Place businesses to provide the village an insurance certificate with the Village of Bradford named as an additional insured entity.

Hamilton deals on DUI charges

April L. Hamilton, 35, of Edelstein, entered a partially negotiated agreement in Stark County Tenth Circuit Court this past Friday concerning charges she faced, previously reported by The News.
Hamilton’s public defender, Robert M. McBride, stated, “My client pleads guilty to Count One for the dismissal of counts two through four.”
Count One, a Class 2 felony, is for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol on January 27, 2013. She was arrested in the area of Illinois Route 78 and 575N, Toulon, West Jersey Township.
Hamilton previously violated this law on March 6, 2010 in Marshall County and on March 4, 2012 in Knox County. Her third arrest was the Stark County one.
Circuit Judge Thomas A. Keith asked State’s Attorney James Owens if the