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Archive for December 4th, 2009

Paw Paw Man Killed In Crash

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2009

Investigators think alcohol may have played a role in a fatal crash this morning that killed a Paw Paw man.

21 year old Nathan Bakes was pronounced dead at Mendota Community Hospital after he apparently drove his pickup truck into a tree in rural Paw Paw.  His passenger, 22 year old Chad Albers also of Paw Paw was taken to Mendota Community Hospital before being flown to another hospital for treatment.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office says neither man was wearing a seatbelt and alcohol is considered a contributing factor to the crash.

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Project Santa wraps up for the season

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2009

6301 soldiers serving overseas will be receiving Christmas stockings made and stuffed in the Illinois Valley.  Volunteers with Project Santa have finished this year’s list.

Heidi Milner heads up the operation.  She says the final count is 6301 stockings for soldiers and 100 stockings for children who have both parents deployed. Shipping totaled $13,800.

The final shipment is being sent out Friday.

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Leland man dies after fire

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2009

A man is dead after a fire at a home in Leland.  51 year old Randy Leonhart was pronounced dead Thursday night at Valley West Hospital.

The Dekalb County Coroner says it looks like he died from the fire in the lower level of his home.

It’s being investigated by the State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Leland Fire Department and La Salle County Sheriff’s Office.

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Outlook good for OES receiving state funds

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2009

It looks like the state is coming through in helping to pay for a new Central School in Ottawa.

Ottawa Elementary Superintendent Craig Doster said Governor Pat Quinn has signed off on a bill releasing millions of dollars in capital construction grant money thru the federal government.  Doster has been told he should get an entitlement letter from the state next month saying the district will get cash towards a new school.  Doster thinks they’ll get anywhere between $4-14 million from the state.

This money added to nearly $7 million guaranteed from FEMA and possible money coming from the district selling the old Central School property could mean taxpayers wouldn’t have to shoulder the entire $18.5 million in taxes being proposed in a referendum.  The cost could be more like to 2 to 3 million if all the funding sources come through.

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Blind guilty pleas entered in sexual assault and kidnapping case

Posted by wlpo on December 4, 2009

A Streator man faces up to 60 years in prison for sexual assault and kidnapping.

          George Zelanek Thursday entered blind pleas of guilty to aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual assault.  He faces 6 to 30 years on each charge and has to serve them back to back. 

          Zelanek was arrested in February of last year after allegedly kidnapping a woman from Streator and forcing her to perform a sex act. 

          He’s currently out of jail on $25,000 bond.  He’ll be sentenced January 15th.

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