State Briefs 8/21/09
Raptors arrive in Rockford for AirFest
ROCKFORD – Two F-22A Raptors, the new rock stars of U.S. military air superiority worth $143 million each, landed Thursday at Chicago Rockford International Airport to get ready for their next gig.
One will perform in the air and the second will stay grounded for closer viewing Saturday and Sunday by tens of thousands of Rockford AirFest 2009 fans.
Other entertainers in the sky: fighter planes in close formation, parachutists and a wing-walking man. On the ground: planes with names like Warthog, Hercules and Strikemaster.
Rockford Register Star
Funding approved for next stage of Illinois River dredging project
PEORIA – Funding has been received for the second phase of a project to dredge the Illinois River.
Construction began in July to form the outline of a long-awaited 21-acre island north of the McClugage Bridge. Eventually, three islands will be built of mud dredged from 200 acres of Lower Peoria Lake. The $2.7 million first phase was scheduled for completion by year's end. Marshall Plumley, Illinois River Basin Integrator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Stage I is on track so far, and filling it in with Stage II won't be far behind.
"We will be working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to move Stage II towards construction as quickly as possible," Plumley said via e-mail. "The federal, state and local partnerships that exist to get this project started have proved crucial in enabling us to move forward toward completion."
Other federal stimulus allocations the Corps received Thursday included $1.4 million for operations and maintenance of locks at Dresden and Brandon Road, as well as $800,000 for the Illinois Waterway project office here.
Peoria Journal Star
Names released in noose case
SPRINGFIELD – The names of the two men allegedly involved in tying and hanging a noose at City Water, Light and Power’s water plant last month were officially released Thursday.
According to a police report, Kevin M. Conway, 40, admitted to making and tying the rope into what appeared to be a noose and Gregory T. Selinger, 41, admitted to placing it onto a wired rack.
Conway is the brother of Mayor Tim Davlin’s ex-wife, Nancy, and Selinger is the nephew of the city’s human resource director, Larry Selinger.
Conway told police he was playing with the rope to pass time, and there was no intent behind making the knot, which he called a “sportsman knot.” Selinger told police he saw the rope by the computer and he hung it on the wire rack “just to get it out of his way.”
Sangamon County prosecutors are letting a grand jury decide whether to file criminal charges against the two men, who have not been arrested.
Until Thursday, the city had refused to release the names of those involved. The names were redacted in a previously released version of the police report obtained by The State Journal-Register through the Freedom of Information Act. The newspaper, which published the names last week after verifying them through other methods, appealed to the mayor.
Police report: Alderman offered to pay for oral sex
SPRINGFIELD – Ward 5 Ald. Sam Cahnman allegedly agreed to pay as many as three women, two of them undercover police officers, $40 each for a sex act, according to a police report obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The 10-page report, released Thursday by the city, provides more details about the events that allegedly unfolded at Bar Oasis in Springfield in the early hours of Aug. 9. The alderman’s arrest was part of an undercover prostitution/illegal drug buy-bust operation conducted by the Springfield Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit.
Cahnman, 55, has been charged with one count of solicitation of a sex act, which is a Class B misdemeanor. His first court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 13. Cahnman’s attorney, Jay Elmore, declined Thursday to discuss details of the case. But he said Cahnman plans to plead not guilty and take the case to trial.
According to narratives in the police report, two undercover female officers approached a man, later identified as Cahnman, who was sitting at the bar about 1:30 a.m. Cahnman invited the two women back to his apartment and said he had plenty of money to “take care” of the women after they discussed payment for oral sex.
The two officers told him they had to go to another bar and for him to stay at Bar Oasis before they would go to his apartment. He wrote down his number on a pad he gave the women earlier.
As Cahnman exited the club, a sergeant approached and walked him across Washington Street for privacy, the report says. He was advised he was under arrest, and he asked to go to an ATM so that he could get bond money.