LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES



Updated: 4/26/15 - 12:45 PM

Illinois Nursing Homes Losing Money
Illinois nursing homes are at a loss for how they will deal with a roughly $65 million cut in state Medicaid funding made by Governor Bruce Rauner's office. The office said Thursday that it's cutting $106 million from the health care program for low-income and disabled people.

NIU Frat House Death
An attorney for the family of a Northern Illinois University student who died after a party says five fraternity members charged in his death won't face jail time per plea agreements. The DeKalb Daily Chronicle reports 19-year-old pledge David Bogenberger died at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity house in 2012. A toxicology report said his blood-alcohol content was 0.351 percent. The NIU chapter of the fraternity was closed.

Football Players Helping
Two Chicago Bears players have visited with residents recovering from the tornado that tore through Dekalb and Ogle County this month. Tight end Blake Annen and defensive end Will Sutton visited tornado victims and helped with cleanup efforts Friday in Fairdale. The April 9th storm killed two people in the community of about 150 people.

Guards did not Account for Inmates in Kankakee Escapee
Guards failed to do a count of inmates on the night that a convicted killer escaped a jail in Kankakee. The sheriff has given county leaders more details of Kamron Taylor's April 1st escape and says jail staffers who violated rules will be disciplined. Taylor hid in a shower before attacking a guard and stealing his uniform to get away. He was caught three days later.

Students Opt-out of State Testing
Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to let students opt out of standardized state tests. The exams based on Common Core standards have sparked a national debate about their benefit to schools. The state's education secretary warns the legislation could cost Illinois $1 billion a year in federal aid.

East Peoria Residents Getting Help
Victims of landslides in East Peoria two years ago will receive help from the state. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has approved a $2 million grant applied for by the city. The money will pay to buy and tear down seven homes that were destroyed and help permanently fix parts of one subdivision.

Big Spending at Lincoln Home in Springfield
The National Park Service reports 218,000 visitors to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in 2014 spent $12.7 million in surrounding communities. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey found the spending supported 208 jobs and contributed a total of $16 million. Lincoln Home Superintendent Dale Phillips anticipates more visitors this year because of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's death.

La Salle County Homicide Investigation
Two men are being charged with first degree murder in an ongoing homicide investigation in La Salle County. The La Salle County Sheriff's Office says 48-year old William Horman of Dayton and 21-year old Jonathan Beckman of Wedron have both been charged with first degree murder and concealment of a homicide. Harmon and Beckman are accused of killing and burning the body of 47-year old Robert Dowd of Dayton according to police. La Salle County Sheriff Tom Templeton says the investigation began on a missing persons complaint and through the investigation, the case became a homicide investigation.

La Salle County State's Attorney Brian Towne says Horman and Beckman allegedly bludgeoned-to-death Dowd at his business, Rob's Washout, on Illinois Route 71 at Dayton Road, north of Interstate 80. The two suspects then put Dowd's body into a pickup truck and took it to a property near the Fox River in Dayton. Sheriff Templeton says the body was incinerated on a burn pile on that property and then disposed of in the Fox River. Towne says it took approximately two days for the suspects to burn and dispose of the body.

Towne says Horman was employed at Dowd's truck wash and Beckman worked on an as-needed basis. Through the investigation, Towne says it is believed that Dowd and Horman spoke about becoming business partners, however Dowd thought it was not in his best interest to make Horman a partner. Towne says witnesses that spoke with Horman after his meeting said he was upset about not becoming a partner in the business and that's when Horman told several people that he had the intention to kill Dowd.

Templeton mentioned that the investigation continues at three separate locations, including on the property along the Fox River where investigators are sifting through the burn pile for bodily remains. Ottawa River Rescue along with other divers have also been called in to help in the investigation by searching for remnants in the Fox River.

Both Horman and Beckman have indictment hearing on May 5th with Horman's court date set on May 7th and Beckman's court date on May 8th. Both men were charged with first degree murder which is punishable by 20 to 60 years in prison, along with concealment of a homicide, which carries a sentence of two to five years. Both are currently in the La Salle County Jail being held on a $2 million bond.

Brian Towne commends the La Salle County Sheriff's Office along with the Illinois State Police for their efforts in the ongoing efforts of the investigation.

Jonathan Beckman
Jonathan Beckman (image: La Salle County Sheriff's Office)
 
William Horman
William Horman (image: La Salle County Sheriff's Office)