Dixon

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

A couple of years ago, Ronald Reagan’s first boyhood home in Dixon was, as The Washington Post put it, “falling apart.” Today, things are looking much better. But the museum’s director says there’s still more to be done.

Rauner Honors Dixon Resource Officer

Jul 16, 2018
Peter Medlin

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner visited Dixon High School Monday to honor the school’s resource officer. Mark Dallas stopped a gunman at the school in May, shooting him before any students or faculty members were harmed. That student was taken into custody.

Officer Dallas spoke about the events of that day, and how important it was to have a trained professional on site.

Dixon Police Department

A 19-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he opened fire at Dixon High School last month.

 

Matthew Milby Jr. entered his plea Thursday in Lee County. He faces felony gun charges and is being held in jail on $2 million bond.

Milby is accused of taking a semi-automatic rifle to Dixon High School on May 16 as graduation practice was taking place in the gym. Authorities allege that Milby, who was a member of the graduating class, fired at a gym teacher and was running away when he was confronted by school resource officer Mark Dallas.

Dixon Officials Say Graduation Will Be Safe To Attend

May 18, 2018
City of Dixon

Dixon police say the Sunday, May 20 high school graduation ceremonies "will be the safest place in the community." 

That's a turn-around from Wednesday, when authorities say 19-year-old Matthew Milby arrived at Dixon High School during graduation practice and fired several shots inside the building. City Manager Danny Langloss commended the students on their bravery and reassured them that graduation will be safe to attend.

Dixon Police Department

A teenager used a 9mm semi-automatic rifle in firing shots at a northern Illinois high school before he was shot by a school resource officer, police said Thursday.

Illinois State Police also said 19-year-old Matthew Milby’s mother bought the weapon in 2012 and that investigators were working to determine how he obtained it.

Classes were canceled Thursday at Dixon High School, a day after authorities say Milby showed up in the morning as seniors met for a graduation rehearsal and fired several shots inside the building.

Dixon Police Department

Dixon High School’s school resource officer is being lauded for stopping a student who showed up with a gun Wednesday.

Dixon police have identified the officer as one of their own, Officer Mark Dallas. Dallas is a 15 year veteran of the police department, serving the last five as the high school’s resource officer.

City of Dixon

Students at Dixon High School are safe after a shooting in the school around 8:00 Wednesday morning. Police say a 19-year-old student entered the school with a gun and fired shots near the gym, where graduation practice was taking place.

He was pursued by the school’s resource officer, who shot him in the shoulder outside of the building. The shooter was taken into custody. Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell credits active shooter training with preventing casualties.

City of Dixon

In 2012, Dixon officials discovered that city comptroller Rita Crundwell had embezzled more than $53 million over the course of two decades. The insularity afforded by her position played a large part in spurring residents to vote to shift Dixon toward a council-manager form of government.  This involves converting commissioners to council members and appointing a city manager to oversee day-to-day work. The City of Freeport adopted this model earlier this year, hired a city manager, and eliminated its water and sewer departments.

Dixon is a city of around 16,000 people in Lee County.  It’s best known as the boyhood home of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and also hosts IDOT’s Region 2 headquarters. 

However, for a city of its size, NIU economics scholar Brian Richard says Dixon’s seen major growth in the manufacturing sector.

“Lee County, Dixon, manufacturing employment is growing over the last five years 37%, 30-40%, whereas statewide it’s closer to five percent." 

This is based on economic date compiled from 2010-2014. 

Dixon Appoints New City Clerk

Sep 28, 2016
city of Dixon

Dixon is restructuring its finance department by appointing a new city clerk. 

The department’s office manager, Becky Fredericks, will take the position, while retaining her key finance and HR duties.  The job shift is expected to save the city around $70,000 each year. Saukvalley.com reports  some managerial duties will return to Finance Director Paula Meyer, while others will be spread among current administrative staff.

Dixon Park District

 The Dixon Park District has new registration rules for its dog park. 

Starting in October, users of Park 4 Paws in Meadows Park will have to register their dogs at the district office and provide up-to-date copies of the pets’ vaccination records. 

It costs $10 for district families to register up to three dogs, and they’ll be given a special lanyard to take into the park.  Saukvalley.com reports the new requirement is meant to bring peace of mind to owners concerned about their pets’ safety.  Violators will be fined $20.  

Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone Is Approved

Sep 9, 2016

The  Illinois State Enterprise Zone Board recently approved the Lee-Ogle Enterprise Zone.  

The zone provides exemptions to a variety of business taxes, which would then promote economic development in the two counties.  The two counties were ranked sixth among 18 statewide applicants.  They competed for 12 vacant slots.  

Dixon Public Works Director Resigns

Jun 28, 2016
city of Dixon

  Dixon Public Works Director Tim Ridder has resigned.  

He was hired in October to consolidate the city’s various public works departments.  These included water, sewer, cemetery, and public properties. 

Bringing these groups under one roof was part of Dixon’s transition to a city manager form of government.  This transition was designed to avoid individuals isolating themselves within a single department.  These precise conditions allowed former City Comptroller Rita Crundwell to embezzle $53 million from 1983 to 2012.

To Avoid Another Crundwell, Dixon Changes Government

Apr 25, 2016
City of Dixon, Illinois

The city of Dixon radically restructured its government to a council-manager format. The changes come in the wake of the Rita Crundwell embezzlement scandal.  Officials hope these adjustments will prevent a similar case of fraud.  

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Want to buy a trophy? Bridget Edgar hopes so. She’s the winner of the U.S. Marshals Service auction of hundreds of Rita Crundwell’s trophies, plaques, and statues. 

Crundwell is the former comptroller of Dixon who stole nearly $54 million from her hometown. Much of it was used to support her award-winning horse-breeding operations. She is now serving a nearly two-decade prison sentence. Her horses, homes and other possessions have been auctioned off by the federal government to help pay the cost of her prosecution and repay the city of Dixon.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Heroin users in one northwestern Illinois county are finding an unusual ally when they’re ready to give up drugs…their local police.

U.S. Marshals Service

There’s still more money to be wrung from the former Dixon comptroller’s assets. Another auction of Rita Crundwell’s possessions begins next week. 

U.S. Marshals have recovered and returned about $9.5 million of the nearly $54 million Crundwell stole from the city of Dixon. Crundwell embezzled the money from the city’s coffers over two decades. She was convicted of fraud in 2012.

www.txauction.com

The latest online auction for Rita Crundwell's belongings is now over. According to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service, the auction brought in $46,000. The highest sold item was an English saddle for $2,040. The former Dixon comptroller is now behind bars after stealing millions of dollars from the city to support her lavish lifestyle.

twitter.com/DixonPolice / Dixon Police

A police shooting-death in Ferguson, Missouri is the motivation behind a northern Illinois police chief's desire to put body cameras on his officers. Dixon police Chief Danny Langloss requested money from the city to buy eight cameras for the department. 

Langloss says he wanted the cameras after the August 20-14 death of Michael Brown. Brown's death sparked protests across the country and raised questions about increased oversight of police. As more cities consider the use of body cameras, a proposed Illinois law would establish guidelines for their use.

BorgWarner To Expand Operations In Dixon

Aug 14, 2014
BorgWarner

BorgWarner is expanding its operations in Dixon, Illinois.

The loan repayment between Dixon's fire chief and Rita Crundwell has been satisfied, with interest compounded, to the satisfaction of the U.S. government. According to Lynzey Donahue, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals Service, the money from Timothy and Diane Shipman will be applied "in partial satisfaction to the restitution order issued by the U.S. District Court in United States v. Crundwell." 

The repayment, along with other money recently recovered, will be transferred to the city of Dixon.

A New Way Of Cutting Checks At Dixon City Hall

Apr 17, 2014

It was two years ago this week when one of the biggest cases of municipal fraud in U.S. history began to unfold. Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell was arrested for stealing for more than $50 million from the city. Crundwell is now serving time in federal prison.

In Dixon, city officials continue to implement reforms they hope will prevent similar action in the future.

U.S. Marshals

The U.S. Marshals Service has transferred $9.2 million to the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois. According to a news release, the money will be applied to the restitution ordered by the court to be paid to the city of Dixon in the Rita Crundwell fraud case.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Bad news for former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell today: a federal appeals court upheld her nearly 20-year prison sentence.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

About 200 people showed up for a town hall meeting in Dixon last night to hear more about the financial state of their city…and offer suggestions on how to spend nearly 40-million dollars.


Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The city of Dixon has an unusual problem: how to spend $40 million. Citizens get their say tonight.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Dixon City Council approved a $40-million settlement with auditors and Fifth Third Bank at a special meeting today. The out-of-court settlement was reached on Friday with the companies the city blames for allowing former comptroller Rita Crundwell to embezzle $54-million over twenty years. 


Dixon Debating New Form Of Government

Sep 5, 2013

It's been more than a year since the Rita Crundwell scandal rocked the city of Dixon. The former comptroller is serving a federal prison term for embezzling more than $50-million from city coffers. With court proceedings on the back-burner, the community is debating how to move forward with a form of government aimed at restoring public trust.

city of Dixon

The Dixon City Council votes Monday on a credit-card use policy. It comes a month after the resignation of the city's former engineer. He used city-issued credit cards to pay thousands of dollars in personal expenses. He later reimbursed the city for the balance.

SaukValley.com: City Council To Issue Credit Card Policy

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

U.S. Marshals Service Says Selling Crundwell's Assets Was Not All "Smooth Sailing"

Federal marshals have now liquidated all of the known assets of Rita Crundwell, the former Dixon comptroller who admitted to embezzling nearly $53 million from the city.

Last week, marshals sold Crundwell’s final three assets, including two vehicles and a trailer. That sale brought in about $36,000.

Crundwell was sentenced in February to 19.5 years in federal prison.

Pages