Arrest Made In 2016 Sycamore Killing

Feb 25, 2020
DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that Jonathan D. Hurst, formerly of Chicago and currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been arrested for the 2016 murders of rural Sycamore residents Patricia and Robert Wilson. The Sheriff's Office said Hurst was taken into custody on Monday by Cincinnati Police and is currently  being held in the Hamilton County Jail. He will be extradited to DeKalb County, where he will face two counts of First Degree Murder. 

Guy Stephens

A Northern Illinois University professor is looking at ways to reduce incarceration rates for those dealing with mental illness. Professor of Sociology Fred Markowitz will continue his research in Finland thanks to a Fulbright research grant.

Markowitz said both Finland and the U.S have seen an increase in the number of mentally ill in jail as they cut back local treatment programs. He said in the U.S., it’s difficult to get good information on the impact of those cuts, or programs that might prevent jail time for those grappling with mental illness.

The chairs of the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry are holding a press conference to unveil the articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump. Watch their remarks live.

Sarah Jesmer

The recent arrest of Elonte McDowell by DeKalb-area law enforcement has sparked a conversation about racism and fear of police within communities of color. 


McDowell was arrested on a Saturday morning, August 24. Joe Mitchell watched a cell phone video of his arrest on Monday.



A former DeKalb schools superintendent was arrested at his Elgin home today, accused of sending explicit photos of a person without consent.

Police executed an arrest warrant Thursday for former DeKalb schools superintendent Doug Moeller.

The district had placed Moeller on paid leave in the fall of 2016, shortly after a former principal sought an order of protection against him for alleged sexual harassment. He was dismissed the following April.

Matthew Apgar / Daily Chronicle

DeKalb County Judge Robbin Stuckert denied a petition requesting to void a guilty plea for the man convicted of killing Northern Illinois University student Toni Keller.

Judge Stuckert ruled in her 11-page opinion there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that William Curl’s rights were infringed upon throughout the case.

Curl’s lawyer previously argued he had inadequate legal representation before and was not in his right mind when questioned by police. Curl claimed prosecutors coerced him into the guilty plea because they threatened to also charge his son in Keller’s murder.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin has voiced his support for President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director.

In his statement of support for Christopher Wray, the Illinois Democrat expressed concern about the actions of President Trump in dismissing former FBI Director James Comey. But Durbin said he has confidence that Wray would remain independent, even under pressure from the White House.

Courtesy of the Obama Foundation

The Obama Presidential Center won't be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.

That move will free the Obama Foundation from amassing an endowment equivalent to 60 percent of the construction cost, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The foundation won't have to adhere to the agency's architectural and design standards, and it won't have to pay NARA to help run an agency-controlled portion of the center.


U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan says an investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign should remain right where it is - with the FBI and not with a special prosecutor.

Ryan stopped at a southern Wisconsin manufacturer Thursday where he promoted Republican tax-reform plans. The speaker says the investigation involves deeply classified intelligence activity and should not be turned over to independent investigators.

Caterpillar Inc. is hiring a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its headquarters in central Illinois.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer. He'll help Caterpillar review and address issues relating to Caterpillar SARL, a Swiss parts subsidiary, and tax-saving practices.

Issues with Caterpillar SARL have dogged the company for eight years, sparking a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits, and proposed taxes and penalties totaling $2 billion.

The Winnebago County Coroner released the official cause of death for a former Northern Illinois University football player.  

Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz says Alex Kube died from cardiac arrhythmia, cardiomegaly and left ventricular hypertrophy. He says that means Kube’s heart stopped beating because his heart was enlarged due to a thickened left ventricle.

Hintz says Kube’s heart weighed more than 700 grams.

“To give you an example, you know, I’m 220 pounds at five foot, ten inches,” Hintz said. “My heart should weigh about 300 grams.”

Eight Juveniles Charged After Aurora Mall Fight

Dec 28, 2016
Aurora Police Department

Police in Aurora say eight juveniles are charged after a large fight broke out at a mall in the city outside Chicago.

The fight was one of several that broke out at malls the day after Christmas.

Aurora police say the teen girls ages 13 to 17 face misdemeanor charges including battery, resisting police and disorderly conduct. Police officials say they're investigating if social media played a role in organizing the fight and if it was connected to the other disturbances nationwide.


U.S. women are increasingly using pot during pregnancy, sometimes for morning sickness. That's according to an analysis of annual U.S. government drug surveys.

Though the actual numbers are small, researchers and others say the trend raises concerns because of evidence linking the drug with low birth weights and other problems.

In 2014, almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they'd recently used marijuana. That's up from 2.4 percent in 2002.  

The study was published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The FBI is supporting the CIA's conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump.

In a message sent to employees, CIA Director John Brennan said he had spoken with FBI Director James Comey and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

Brennan said in the message that ``there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.''

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is trying to convince a judge not to order a hand recount of presidential ballots.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has requested a recount, saying she's worried results were hacked.

State election officials plan to start the recount today but have rejected Stein's supplemental request that the recount be conducted exclusively by hand.

Stein has filed a lawsuit asking a Madison judge to order a hand recount.

This week, WNIJ is participating in a national week of conversation along with other NPR Member stations in an enterprise we call A Nation Engaged.

We’re asking this question:  “What does it mean to you to be an American?”

We asked community members how they feel about this question and what advice they have for the presidential candidates to help them achieve their goals of truly feeling like a part of the country.

Emily Moody, Plainfield, Ill.

JOSE CASTILLO / Associated Press

Passengers that were supposed to go from O’Hare to Miami on Friday had to evacuate a flight before takeoff due to the plane catching fire. A federal investigator says engine pieces from the American Airlines plane that caught fire at O'Hare were found thousands of feet away.

Lorenda Ward, a National Transportation Safety Board senior investigator, confirms the fire was caused by engine failure. The specific cause of the engine failure has not yet been determined.

Ward says the fire started in a pool of fuel under the right wing of the Boeing 767.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced companies will pay Illinois $2.2 million for deceiving customers into buying cars with over-inflated fuel economy claims. 

According to a news release, companies Hyundai and Kia incorporated the erroneous mileage data into estimated ratings displayed on window stickers and in advertisements and promotional campaigns of more than 40,000 cars in Illinois.

Flickr user Rob / "Clown" (CC v. 2.0)

Alleged scary clown sightings keep happening across the country, which led to a widespread concern – so much so that Target pulled clown masks off its shelves two weeks before Halloween.

But what kinds of people find it appealing to dress up as a scary clown to terrorize people, or what kind of personality traits can indicate that kind of behavior?

Jenna Dooley

This week, WNIJ is participating in a national week of conversation along with other NPR Member stations in an enterprise we call A Nation Engaged.

We’re asking this question:  “What can we do to create economic opportunity for more Americans?”

Beloved Community of DeKalb

President Barack Obama visited Dallas Tuesday in the aftermath of the killing of five officers protecting a Black Lives Matter protest last week. His comments since the event last Thursday have addressed racial tensions in that city and around the country.

Tackling issues of racial tensions has been part of a community dialog in DeKalb in recent months.