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Archive for March 16th, 2010

Pilot Blamed In Crash That Killed Leland Girl

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

A top official with the National Transportation Safety Board say it was the pilot’s fault when a helicopter crash killed a one-year old Leland girl.

In a public report, NTSB Vice Chairman Christopher Hart says “seeing and avoiding obstacles is solely and exclusively the responsibility of the pilot”.  An earlier report put some of the blame on the air traffic controller for not alerting the pilot that he was on course to hit a radio tower.

An Air Angels helicopter went down October 15th after hitting the tower near Aurora.  On board was one-year old Kristin Blockinger of Leland.  She was being flown from Sandwich to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The pilot, a nurse and paramedic were also killed in the crash.

Blockinger’s family has filed wrongful death lawsuits against the pilot and the helicopter company.

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City Gives Go Ahead To New Goodwill Store

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

Construction should start on a new Goodwill store in Ottawa by the end of the month.

The Ottawa City Council Tuesday night approved the final plat for the 17 thousand square foot store to be north of Interstate 80 near Wal-Mart.  Once construction starts, Goodwill of Northern Illinois President Sam Schmitz says the store should open in August or September.  They’ll employ 30 to 35 full and part-time workers.

Schmitz says the store will be primarily donated goods but they will have some non pre-owned merchandise available.  As in Peru, the Ottawa store will have a drive-up, drop-off point.  Plans are also to have a community room inside the building that other non-profits can use.

Schmitz says Goodwill likes to move into pre-existing buildings but since his territory covers north of Interstate 80, the old K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Value City buildings weren’t an option.

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People Robbed At Gunpoint In Streator

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

Streator investigators are looking for two suspects in an armed robbery.

The initial call to police was made just after 4:30 Tuesday afternoon from a man and woman who claimed to have been robbed while at Marilla Park.  Investigators say the two were forced out of a car and robbed at gunpoint.  Stolen from the victims was an undisclosed amount of money plus a cell phone and shoes.

The suspects are both said to be white with shaved heads and in their 20s.  One suspect is five foot seven and 150 pounds while the other is around six feet tall and weighs about 200.  The larger suspect also has a tattoo of a clover on his left hand.

Investigators say there may a third suspect involved.

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Three Locals Run For Lieutenant Governor

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

55 year Geri Kolczaski of Peru, 52 year old Ron Manchess of Marseilles and 56 year old Kenn Kennedy of Morris are all seeking to be Governor Pat Quinn’s running mate in November.  Each filled out a short questionare in applying for the position.

Kolczaski says her greatest strength is education.  She mentions working towards a master’s degree in Legal Studies.  Kolczaski also says in her application that she’s never been elected to a political office nor does she have any endorsement from a politician or organization.

Manchess likewise says he has no political experience.  When asked if he has any endorsements, Manchess answers “don’t believe in the liars”.  When asked why he is a democrat, Manchess answers “I am none of the above, but I’m a believer”.

Kennedy meanwhile says he ran for mayor in Morris but finished second.  When answering the question of why he’s a democrat, Kennedy says “with a name like Kennedy, what else would I be?”  His answer to whether or not he has any political endorsements is “they don’t know it yet, but I’m endorsed by Governor Quinn and State Representative Careen Gordon”.

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Bar Has Nearly Two Dozen Noise Complaints This Year

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

An updated noise ordinance in Peru is getting used.

Police early Sunday ticketed one of the operators of Venue 815 after receiving a loud noise complaint.  Police say they’ve taken over 20 complaints about the bar on Shooting Park Road since in opened in January.

Sean Niklas of Peru was released with a notice to appear.

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New Company Coming To Princeton

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

A manufacturer is setting up shop in Princeton’s tech park.

SCE USA, Inc. has bought two lots, or about five and a half acres, in the southwest corner of the tech park.  Princeton zoning administrator Pete Nelson says they’re a European company, which makes special application electric motors for a global market.  Their U-S base will be in Chicago and they’ll manufacture, distribute and service products from Princeton.  They’ll have about six employees to start.

Thanks to the Newstribune for information in this story.

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Autopsy Today For Convicted Murderer

Posted by wlpo on March 16, 2010

The Will County Coroner’s Office will do an autopsy today on 40 year old Tony Smith of Lacon.

Smith died Saturday night after being taken to a Joliet hospital from Stateville Prison.  Officials have yet to say how they think Smith died.  Before being transferred to Stateville, Smith did try hanging himself in a Marshall County Jail cell.

Smith was supposed to serve life in prison for shooting and killing his girlfriend last year at a Sparland intersection.

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