James Halfaday invested in Snap Fitness to help lose nearly 200 pounds.
PHOTO BY LISA PROVENCE
The race for City Council has barely begun, and candidate
Halfaday is already getting heat. The 31-year-old Native
American and Democrat doesn't flinch when he's asked about his
criminal record or when WINA's Rob Schilling calls him "Chicken
But then, Halfaday is no political novice. He was elected to
City Council in his hometown of Dunfermline, Illinois, when he was
just 18. And perhaps even more indicative of his determination,
this owner of the local franchise of Snap Fitness decided that at
377 pounds he weighed too much and lost more than 180 pounds.
So when a reporter asks him about a 2003 DUI when he was a
student at Western Illinois University, Halfaday readily admits his
deed, which occurred on St. Patrick's Day, when a then 23-year-old
Halfaday barely blew a .08.
"I shouldn't have been drinking," he says, "I've learned from
that," he says. "That's why I don't drink. I drink milk instead. I
can tell people a DUI is not worth it."
The Western Courier, the newspaper of Western Illinois
University, lists two other arrests for Halfaday from that era: a
disorderly conduct charge and an arrest for open container.
Halfaday says he wasn't really arrested for disorderly conduct,
that that was a mistake in the records. As for the open container,
he says he violated a campus ban on toting a six-pack. "I always
chuckle when someone says you were ar...