Man pleads guilty to misdemeanor for starting Marshall Island fire


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Posted Online: Feb. 02, 2013, 5:55 pm
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By Rachel Warmke, rwarmke@qconline.com
Kenneth P. Verkruysse, 89, of Cordova, pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property for setting fire to Marshall Island, and was ordered to forfeit the flare gun he apparently used to start the blaze.

He was also sentenced, by Judge F. Michael Meersman, to serve 18 months of court supervision and pay $500 in restitution, court records indicated.

A felony count of arson was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Mr. Verkruysse was charged in Rock Island County Circuit Court after using a flare gun Dec. 14 to set fire to prairie grass on the island, located on the Mississippi River near the south end of Cordova.

The blaze was extinguished by area fire departments and no one was injured, but the fire caused at least $300 worth of damage, including nearly burning down a duck blind belonging to the island's owner.

The prairie grass is home to a number of wildlife fowl, including upland game birds, pheasants and quail, said Sgt. Laura Petreikis, of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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