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, Oct. 1, the 274th day of 2014. There are 91 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: It is rumored in the streets that the 13 negroes sent to Quincy on the Moline quota were refused. We think this must be a mistake.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Harvey McKenna, of Detroit, billiard player matched to play Wizard Schafer in New York in January for the world championship, was a professional friend and manager, Billy Catton in Rock Island.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Levi Cralle, former Rock Island county sheriff, had come from his farm near Mitchell, S.D. to visit friends in the city.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Work is being rushed on the new high school building in Orion to replace the one destroyed by fire last winter. Classes are being held in churches.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Rehearsals for the 84th season of the Handel Oratorio Society chorus will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the stage of Centennial Hall, Augustana College.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Rock Island City Council's plan announced this week to have the federal government vacate Valley Homes public housing and move residents to Arsenal Courts to reduce density may not be feasible.






(More History)