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 Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.








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