breaking news

Facebook hunting photos lead to wildlife charges for New Carlisle men

Champaign County town rallies to support missing sailor


Family and community members continue to wait for news about Jacob Drake, the Champaign County sailor who’s missing after the naval ship he was aboard collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore.

The 21-year-old was aboard the USS John S. McCain on Sunday Eastern time when the accident occurred. The 2013 Triad graduate is one of 10 sailors reported missing.

“They said they are expecting to know something within the next 24 hours so please say a lot of prayers today for something positive!” his fiance, Megan Partlow, said on Facebook on Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Champaign County missing sailor: ‘A lot of people’ care about him

The North Lewisburg community has planned a candlelight vigil in support of Drake for Thursday evening.

“We care a great deal about what happens to our residents and people in the community,” North Lewisburg Mayor Cheryl Hollingsworth said.

The patriotic community is proud of its Triad graduates, military members and veterans, Hollingsworth said. The vigil will be held at 8:30 p.m. at the ballpark in North Lewisburg.

“I’m so sorry they’re going through this terrible pain right now,” she said of Drake’s family.

READ MORE: Champaign County missing sailor: 3 things to know about Jacob Drake

Drake joined the Navy shortly after graduating high school, his sister Veronica Drake said, and looked forward to the end of the destroyer’s mission when he expected to be stationed closer to home.

He serves as an electronics technician 2nd class and received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in July for his efforts during a Mid-Cycle Inspection aboard the McCain, according to a post on a Naval Facebook page.

North Lewisburg resident Lois Hall said she plans to attend the vigil.

“We all should go and show our support to the family and the community,” she said. “To let them know that we are here for them.”

RELATED: Navy dismisses 7th Fleet commander after warship accidents

The commander of 7th Fleet, which includes the USS John S. McCain, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, has been dismissed. Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Scott Swift, released a statement that said Aucoin was relieved, “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command.” It was the fourth U.S. Naval accident in the Pacific in nine months.

As of Tuesday, Swift reported that Navy divers had found remains of some of the missing in a flooded compartment in the ship. He also said Malaysians assisting in the search had found a body, but it hadn’t been determined if it was a McCain crew member.

A statement from the 7th Fleet on Wednesday said Navy and Marine Corps divers continue to search flooded compartments of the McCain and the sea-based search is expanding.

The collision ripped a hole in the destroyer’s left rear hull and flooded adjacent compartments, including crew berths and machinery and communication rooms.

Drake’s sister told the Springfield News-Sun her brother joined the Navy after graduating from Triad in part because of the possibility for travel. The destroyer is based at the U.S. 7th Fleet’s home port of Yokosuka, Japan, and his sister said he enjoys hiking throughout the country and visiting cat cafes.

“I am slowly losing hope and it hurts to know that I might never get to walk down the aisle and see the love of my life,” Partlow told CBS News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Military

Wright Patt’s Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine marks 100th
Wright Patt’s Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine marks 100th

One of the biggest prizes gained at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in recent years marks its centennial Friday. The massive Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine traces its origins to Hazelhurst Field, N.Y., where it opened as the Medical Research Laboratory of the Air Service in 1918 in the infancy of Army aviation. Base officials planned to mark...
Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers
Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

The specter of a partial federal government shutdown looms at midnight Friday, but many federal employees feel “immune” to the threat of being sent home in a repeated cycle of last-minute stopgap spending measures to avert a shutdown, union leaders say. “I think employees are actually getting immune to it,” said Troy Tingey...
First exercise of new year set at Wright Patt
First exercise of new year set at Wright Patt

Wright-Patterson will launch its first base-wide exercise of 2018 between Jan. 29 to Feb.5, authorities say. RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright-Patt in holding pattern Base personnel and visitors may be delayed getting through or out of gateways at times during the security exercise, officials said. RELATED: Ohio fighter jet unit heads to Baltic...
Fears grow as shutdown deadline nears
Fears grow as shutdown deadline nears

President Donald Trump and Congress appear to be careening toward a partial shutdown of the federal government, though lawmakers expressed some hope Tuesday they can at least approve a temporary spending bill that would keep the government running beyond the Friday deadline. It’s far from a sure bet, though, and there are growing fears the government...
Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in holding pattern
Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in holding pattern

In a familiar and more frequent holding pattern in recent months and years, thousands of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base employees await word on whether the federal government will avert the latest shutdown threat on Friday. Congressional Democrats and Republicans appear further at odds now than perhaps anytime since September. Since then, Congress...
More Stories