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No Charges to Be Filed in Jacob Blake Shooting, Rittenhouse Pleads Not Guilty in Shootings

No Charges Against Police in Blake Shooting
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Kenosha, WI) No criminal charges will be filed against police involved in the Jacob Blake shooting. Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, and former Madison Police Chief Noble Wray spent nearly two hours detailing the evidence in the case, and why the decision was made not to charge Officer Rusten Sheskey, or two others at the scene of the late August incident. Blake family attorney Ben Crump disagreed with the findings, as did some high-profile state politicians including Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

Rittenhouse Pleads Not Guilty
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Kenosha, WI) A Lake County teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a triple shooting in Kenosha. Kyle Rittenhouse appeared at a virtual hearing on Tuesday, to make the plea on charges of first-degree murder and more. The now 18-year-old former Antioch resident is accused of shooting three people, killing two, during late August protests following the Kenosha Police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse and his defense team are expected to claim the shootings were done in self-defense.

Lawsuit Against Antioch For Illegal Phone Recordings
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Antioch, IL) A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Village of Antioch, Antioch Police and local officials. The suit, filed by a Wisconsin man, says the village and police have been unlawfully recording and using phone calls dating back to 2012. The calls were said to be both incoming and outgoing calls from non-emergency lines. Village officials have not commented on the legal filing, including Mayor Larry Hanson who is named as one of several defendants. Outside of class-action status, it’s unclear what kind of money is being sought in damages.

Covid Numbers Illinois, Lake County
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Chicago, IL) The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 366 new confirmed and probable Coronavirus cases in Lake County on Tuesday, with 8 related deaths. In the Region that includes both Lake and McHenry County, Covid-linked hospitalizations stayed flat, while ICU use sits at 76% capacity. The Region’s positivity rate fell slightly to 9.8%, as testing in the region increased after a holiday lull. Statewide, there were just over 68-hundred new confirmed and probable Coronavirus cases announced, with 126 related fatalities.

Indiana Warrant Suspect Arrested in Lake County
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Waukegan, IL) A man wanted on warrants outside of Illinois was found and arrested in Lake County. Sheriff’s officials say Matthew Beach of Greenwood, Indiana was wanted in that state on an outstanding warrant for aggravated domestic battery. Beach was picked up by Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies on December 30th in the Great Lakes area. The 20-year-old is being held in the Lake County Jail on a 500-thousand-dollar bond, and is awaiting extradition to Marion County, Indiana to answer to his warrant.

Former SA Nerheim to Become Lake County Judge
Vander Tuuk 1-6-21

(Waukegan, IL) After losing his re-election bid for Lake County State’s Attorney, Michael Nerheim is moving on. A statement from the 19th Circuit Court says Nerheim will replace Judge Valerie Ceckowski who will step down from the bench on January 29th. The former State’s Attorney will remain on the bench for a term until December of 2022…voters will decide if he will be retained beyond that date.

Challenge to Underwood’s Victory Dismissed by Congresswoman
Associated Press 1-6-21

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood isn’t paying much attention to claims of irregularities by the man she defeated in November, who is attempting to overturn election results. Republican Jim Oberweis is alleging vote fraud and has asked the House of Representatives to void the election in Illinois’ 14th District. Underwood was sworn in Sunday and spokeswoman Andra Belknap on Tuesday dismissed Oberweis’ maneuver as legal bluster. Oberweis claims thousands of illegal votes were counted and in one case, a Wisconsin resident voted illegally in the district, which includes parts of Lake and McHenry Counties.

Activist Priest Michael Pfleger Hit With Abuse Allegations
Associated Press 1-6-21

CHICAGO (AP) Activist Chicago priest the Rev. Michael Pfleger has been asked to step aside due to allegations of sexual abuse. The Archdiocese of Chicago announced Tuesday that it’s Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review received an allegation that Pfleger sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago. Chicago archbishop Cardinal Blase Cupich in a letter to members of Pfleger’s parish, Saint Sabina, noted the allegation hasn’t been proven as true or false and guilt or innocence should not be assumed. However, church leaders released a statement saying they believe the accusations are unfounded and stand behind the integrity of Pfleger.

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