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Cherry Orchard

Second Cherry Orchard landlord released from custody in legal mix-up

By Dave Hinton/Rantoul Press/WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bernard Ramos is a free man again.

A legal mix-up has led to the release of the former caretaker at Cherry Orchard Village apartment complex. 

Ramos was arrested in early April by Washington, D.C., police on one civil contempt warrant and one criminal contempt warrant issued by Champaign County last year. 

But D.C. authorities released Ramos before he could be extradited to Illinois. 

Bill Miller, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the District of Columbia, said Ramos posted $5,000 bond in Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was released April 12.

File photo. Ariel view of Cherry Orchard property south of Rantoul. The complex remains closed under a court order as Champaign County continue to keep its landlords, father-son team Eduardo and Bernardo Ramos, from renting it out until the property's septic lines can be legally repaired.
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County health officials begin eviction process at Cherry Orchard

By Dave Hinton/Rantoul Press/Champaign-Urbana Public Health District officials, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies, went door to door at a rural apartment complex Friday afternoon to inform tenants that they had until Saturday morning to vacate the premises.

Julie Pryde, public health administrator, said many tenants at Cherry Orchard Village apartment complex were not at home, and some did not open their doors.

File photo/ A building at Cherry Orchard apartment complex. A Champaign County judge ordered the complex closed in April, but its managers, Bernard and Eduardo Ramos, continue to rent out units on the property. Champaign County health officials received a temporary injunction Thursday that allows them to evict tenants from the property to stop the use of a broken sewage system that left raw sewage on the ground and in neighboring areas.
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Cherry Orchard tenants to be evicted; managers ordered jailed

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/A Champaign County judge granted a temporary restraining order Thursday that gives public health officials the power to evict tenants living at an unsafe apartment complex north of Thomasboro. The judge also ordered the managers jailed until the complex’s problems are repaired.  

The action follows a previous court hearing in April in which Bernard and Eduardo Ramos, managers of the Cherry Orchard Village apartment complex, were ordered in April to close down the property. In addition, they were fined more than $54,000 following the conclusion of a civil case filed by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. 

Court file/This diagram shows the flow of sewage from six of the eight buildings that make up the Cherry Orchard apartment complex.
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Cars, tenants still observed at Cherry Orchard

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess / It’s been six weeks since a Champaign County judge ordered the closure of an apartment complex between Rantoul and Thomasboro.

But public health officials say people continue to live there. Indeed, as of Thursday, there were several cars parked in front of a far east building, which had a new dumpster nearby and kids playing in the yard.

The first collection buildings in the complex, known as Cherry Orchard, looks empty from the main highway – County Road 1500 East. There appears to be no cars and no people.

A.H. Gorton
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Cherry Orchard still open for business despite health and safety problems

By Pam G. Dempsey, CU-CitizenAccess.org, and Sean Powers, Illinois Public Media - An apartment complex south of Rantoul continues to be open for business despite numerous health and safety issues, a pending public health case and county nuisance violations.

Though occupancy at the property, known as Cherry Orchard, is unknown, public health officials estimated at least eight single men continue to live there and have noted several cars parked outside apartment buildings. 

Acton Gorton/The entrance to Cherry Orchard apartment complex. The landlords of the property are scheduled to stand a bench trial today in a three-and-a-half year old civil case filed by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department. The landlords are accused of failing to repair an illegal septic system on the property.
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Witnesses tell of ongoing sewage problems at Cherry Orchard

By Dave Hinton/Rantoul Press editor — An official with an Urbana wastewater treatment company said he saw raw sewage on top of the ground and children running through it at an apartment building complex.

Steve Johnson, president of J&S Wastewater Systems Inc., testified this week in the trial of Eduardo and Bernard Ramos, managers of Cherry Orchard apartments, located between Rantoul and Thomasboro.

The bench trial before Judge John Kennedy is expected to wrap up Monday at Champaign County Courthouse. The Ramoses, who are representing themselves, will present defense testimony.

Acton Gorton/ Gutters hang off an apartment building at Cherry Orchard complex.
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Problems persist at Rantoul-area complex

By Dave Hinton/ Rantoul Press
Inspectors for the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal were scheduled to examine a dilapidated apartment complex south of Rantoul Tuesday.

But there was one problem: The caretakers who were scheduled to open the Cherry Orchard apartment units for inspection apparently left the scene just minutes before the scheduled inspection.

Julie Pryde, director of the Champaign County Public Health District, said a county sheriff’s deputy stationed near the entrance saw who was believed to be Bernard and Eduardo Ramos leave about 10 minutes prior to the scheduled inspection.

Andrew Richards/Rantoul Press/ John Hall, Champaign County’s director of planning and zoning, aims his camera at a rail located in an apartment stairwell at the Cherry Orchard complex in rural Rantoul Feb. 15. The rickety rail was a code violation. Hall, along with Illinois fire marshal inspectors and the county’s health department, scanned for code violations at the complex’s eight buildings located in rural Rantoul.
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Trial delayed in Rantoul-area apartment sewer case

By Pam G. Dempsey/CHAMPAIGN –  The trial of a Champaign father-son landlord team scheduled for Monday has been continued to Feb. 28.

The pair, Bernard Ramos and his father, Eduardo, have yet to comply with an agreement they made with the Champaign County Public Health Department in December to vacate five of the eight buildings at Cherry Orchard Apartments, a complex south of Rantoul.

Rantoul Press/ A sign at Cherry Orchard apartments, south of Rantoul.
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