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Date sent: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 10:39:05 EST
My name is Kathy Cline; I'm the afternoon news anchor at WSOY AM 1340
in Decatur, Illinois. Napoleon Williams is shutting down BLR as of November 30th.
In an interview Thursday, Williams explained to me being there for his
children (even on probation) is more important to him than sitting in
prison. A Macon County jury convicted him on two felony eavesdropping
charges in August. According to the state's attorney's office, it's
illegal to record a conversation in Illinois without the consent of BOTH
parties. They informed Williams it's either probation (and shutting down)
or six years in prison.
Williams said he read in a phone book broadcast stations can record
the sole purpose of broadcast (or re-broadcast, as in studio phone calls
for contests and such). His attorney Scott Ealy made the same argument in
court; Ealy also said to me Thursday that the Illinois eavesdropping
statute is so broad, in certain instances it's technically illegal to
record one's own half of a phone conversation, or a lecture, or a meeting.
He plans on appealing Williams' conviction.
As for all the support he's received, Williams says he's grateful--but
he's disappointed community support seems to be falling off. As he puts
it, if there's no one there to speak out for the poor and the black in
Decatur, who will?
If you'd like more details, feel free to e-mail me.
Kathy Cline KC3853@aol.com
WSOY AM 1340, Decatur, IL