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Brandon Montrece Brooks has been arrested. Police say he was stopped on Interstate 80 at approximately 2:46 p.m. on April 23, 2014 by the Illinois State Police in LaSalle County. He was taken into custody without incident.More >>
Brandon Montrece Brooks has been arrested. Police say he was stopped on Interstate 80 at approximately 2:46 p.m. on April 23, 2014 by the Illinois State Police in LaSalle County. He was taken into custody without incident. More >>
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It's every vacationers nightmare, finding out just a few days before a trip that everything has fallen through.
That happened this week to a Davenport high school choir.
They've been making regular payments to their travel agent for months.
We're less than a week away from Davenport Central's big choir trip to New York City, but the vocal boosters got a phone call on Wednesday from the bus company saying they hadn't been paid yet.
When they called the travel agent to find out what was going on, the travel agent said their money was gone.
"I could tell that something was wrong with the directors, everybody seemed a little tense," says choir student Claire Honsey.
She's been looking forward to the choir's New York City trip for weeks. Going to watch Broadway plays, visiting the 9/11 memorial, and...
"Probably shopping in times square," says Honsey.
So she knew something was up on Thursday when her directors holed up in their offices.
"They just kind of kept to themselves in their offices and they were on the phone a lot and their minds were everywhere, we didn't really do anything in choir the past couple of days."
They were working on the bad news they got the night before, when the bus company asked where the check was.
"Oh my gosh these kids can't go on the trip, and we're not talking a small group of the choir program, we're talking 181 to be exact," says Booster Vice President Sue Honsey.
She says $160,000 was gone. $900 per student.
"Not at all what we were expecting to hear on Wednesday night, Thursday morning."
At first Honsey thought the trip was over with, but then the choral boosters looked in their budget. There was money available.
"It really was our rainy day fund and we had our rainy day this week," says Honsey.
The boosters were able to pay for the entire trip, again. Rebuilding the itinerary the travel agent had set, and doing it without asking for another dime from students.
"They'd already come up with $900 and even another $50 for meals in New York City, you know it's not a five dollar meal necessarily."
Leaving her daughter and the rest of the choir, thankful.
"I'm really happy they did, I'm surprised they did and then I'm not, they know how important this is for the students."
It's wheels up on Tuesday.
The choir boosters is looking into possible legal action against its travel agent.
We called the company to ask some questions but had to leave a message.