Local News

Top 5 Stories from 2014 (1-5)

Yesterday on Regional Radio News, we started unveiling the top 10 stories from Clinton and DeWitt County this last year, starting with ten and finishing with six. Today we'll countdown from five to one the top stories of 2014.

The results are based off statistics compiled through DeWittDailyNews.com. The stories as presented have been edited from their original versions.

#5 - Spouse of DeWitt County Official Charged With Drug Crimes (Oct. 21)

The spouse of a DeWitt County Office holder was charged with a pair of Class-A Misdemeanor drug crimes in late October.

Task Force Six investigated Circuit Clerk Pam Barnes' husband, 62-year old Jeff Barnes, who was charged with possession of 10-30 grams of cannabis and also the possession of the plant, both Class A misdemeanors.

A Class misdemeanor is punishable of up to a year in jail.

A special prosecutor, Thomas J. Brown from the Illinois State's Attorneys Appelate Prosecutors Office has been assigned to the case.

UPDATED: Barnes is set to appear January 8.

#4 - Clinton Elementary Principal Resigns (Oct. 1)

The principal of the new Clinton Elementary school resigned amid an impending investigation by DCFS in early October.

The Clinton School District announced October 1, Clinton Elementary School principal Gary Gullone resigned his position effective immediately.

Gullone was on administrative leave pending the outcome of a DCFS investigation. He was a part of the Clinton district for 33 years and had previously served as principal of Lincoln Elementary school prior to his role as principal of Clinton Elementary school.

Mary Diener is now the acting principal, she was serving as assistant principal to Gullone.

Clinton Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes would not make any statements on Gullone's resignation.

DCFS had no comment on the case.

#3- Single Car Accident Claims Life of Clinton Man (May 21)

DeWitt County Coroner, Randy Rice and the DeWitt County Sherriff’s Dept. is investigating a single car accident that resulted in one fatality.

20-year old Erick M. Briseno of Clinton was traveling west on DeWitt Road when he lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle rolled and 2 other occupants were ejected. The 2 ejected were transported to local hospitals.

Briseno was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident May 20.

#2- DeWitt County Leader Dies In Farm Accident (June 26)

Tragedy struck the DeWitt County community mid-summer when a local leader tragically passed away in a work related accident.

54-year old Tom Pruser was reported missing at 6:15 AM the morning of June 26 and was found pinned beneath a utility tractor in Heyworth at 6:45 AM that same morning at Tate and Lyle in Heyworth. No obvious signs of life were visible when he was found by the Heyworth Fire Department and Heyworth Emergency Medical Services. Pruser was pronounced dead at 7:38 AM.

Pruser had been performing maintenance on the property at Tate and Lyle in Heyworth where he was the manager. Employees indicated to McLean County Coroner officials they had last seen Pruser Wednesday at the grain elevator.

Pruser was a member of the Clinton School Board of Education and also sat on the DeWitt County Board.

#1- Clinton Schools Leader Reacts To Death of Student (Sept. 8)

In the early fall tragedy struck the community again as a Clinton High School student took his own life.

The head of the Clinton School district says the death of 17-year old Evan Workman "is a tragedy above any proportion I could have thought".

The Clinton community learned in the late evening [of September 6] of the death of Workman and Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes says when he was first informed by Principal Jerry Wayne of the news he was left speechless and devastated.


Upon learning of the passing, Wayne opened up the high school for students to come and gather to remember and share their stories. Dr. Holmes says Wayne has always preached making the high school a family, and he applauds his efforts over the weekend to bring together the students and staff who make up that family.


To remember Workman, Wayne encouraged his students to write or draw things to remember Evan. Those pieces were put together in a scrap book and given to his parents, Randy and Tammy Workman of Clinton.

Over 25 counselors were on hand at the school to talk with students.

Townhall Top of the Hour News

Local Weather - Sponsored By:


Local News

DeWittDN on Facebook