State Briefs 12/23/09

Almost all of state’s corn harvested


SPRINGFIELD – Three days from Christmas, Illinois farmers finally have harvested nearly all of the state's corn crop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday.


As of this week, 95 percent of the crop is in compared to 90 percent a week earlier. The five-year average is 100 percent.


Both the corn and soybean harvests were delayed this year by an unusually wet October, but colder weather this month allowed combines to get into remaining fields. The report noted “moisture is still testing high, (in grain), and elevators still are having trouble keeping up with drying grain.”


The report also showed 95 percent of the winter-wheat crop has emerged compared to 87 percent a year ago and a five-year average of 100 percent.


State Journal-Register


Second elephant dies at Brookfield Zoo


BROOKFIELD – An elephant died Tuesday at the Brookfield Zoo, making it the second elephant the zoo has lost in the last seven months.


Christy, 29, was euthanized as a result of kidney failure, according to a zoo press release. Necropsy findings concluded Christy had a structurally abnormal right kidney, roughly one-tenth the size of a normal kidney, the zoo stated.


In 2007, Christy was diagnosed with the enlarged ureter — one of the tubes that carriers urine from the kidneys to the bladder.


During the past few days, Christy’s condition took a turn for the worse as she went into complete renal failure and began to deteriorate rapidly, according to the zoo. CZS staff consulted with several large animal experts and elephant specialists, who unanimously agreed Christy’s condition was irreversible.


Christy arrived at the Brookfield Zoo in 1984.


The zoo brought in another elephant, Joyce, 26, for companionship to Christy after the death of Affie in May. Affie, 40, died of heart failure, which prompted controversy among animal advocacy groups stating the zoo should not be housing elephants.


Suburban Life Publications


Six corrections officers disciplined after jailbreak


PEORIA – Six correctional officers have been disciplined in the aftermath of a jailbreak last month, Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy announced Wednesday.


The officers officially were informed of their punishment Tuesday, McCoy said. He said two officers received letters of reprimand and four were suspended. The suspensions range from one to three unpaid days off.


McCoy did not identify any of the disciplined employees by name.


Inmates James E. Fuller, 44, and Aaron M. Cook, 28, were found to be missing on the morning of Nov. 17. Using implements fashioned from items within their jail pod, Fuller — later helped by Cook — said he spent more than a year digging through the ceiling and roof, through which they finally escaped.


Cook hid in Fuller’s cell when it was locked for the night, and the two went out the roof and then jumped off the roof to the ground. They had hidden their work on the escape by replacing a cut-away portion of the ceiling when they weren’t digging. They put clothing under the covers in their beds to make it appear they were still in their cells after the escape.


Cook, who was awaiting trial after being accused of hitting and breaking the arm of a 3-year-old girl, was found hiding in the basement of a home the same day the escape was discovered.


Fuller, who was awaiting trial for several sexual assaults, was captured the next afternoon in a vacant home. The day he was caught, Fuller was accused of breaking into a North Valley home, tying up a man and stealing his vehicle, which was later located abandoned in the parking lot at nearby Woodruff High School.


Peoria Journal Star


Four charged with stealing goose decoys


CANTON – Four people were arrested Wednesday for allegedly stealing several dozen goose decoys in Fulton County.


The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department said police stopped a car in rural Fulton County and another in Glasford about 2 a.m. and noticed both cars were filled with goose decoys, a total value of more than $1,000.


The owners of the decoys have not been identified.


Tia K. Logan, 19, of North Pekin, Ryan T. Call, 20, of Groveland, and Kyle W. McManis, 19, and Schuyler J. Groezinger, 18, both of Peoria, all were arrested and booked into the Fulton County Jail on a charge of felony theft. Logan also was ticketed for speeding, and Call was also booked on a charge of obstructing a peace officer.


Peoria Journal Star