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Archive for May, 2010

Doctor To Evaluate Accused Thief and Arsonist

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

A woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a church and setting a house on fire in Ottawa will have her mental state evaluated next week.

Judge H. Chris Ryan gave the go ahead for 42 year old Terri James of Ottawa to be evaluated Tuesday before her trial date of June 7th.  The defense is wondering if she’s mentally fit to stand trial for arson and theft.  Lawyers hope to have the mental exam results for James’ next court appearance next Friday morning.

She was arrested in March after fires broke out at an abandoned house on Leland Street and a home on Catherine Street in Ottawa.  Prosecutors think she was trying to destroy evidence showing that she stole over 100,000 thousand dollars from the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Ottawa where she was a secretary.

James remains in the La Salle County Jail on 200 thousand dollars bond.

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A new purpose could be in the future of an old church in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

A new use looks to be in the feature for a former church in La Salle.  An architect from California with ties to the area is a potential buyer for the old St. Roch’s Church.  The property has been on the market for several months after Catholic Charities moved their offices to a new location in La Salle.  It hasn’t been used as a church since the late 70’s.

The potential buyer has plans to convert the building into to a single family home and restore it’s original elements.  The sale is expected to close by the end of June.

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La Salle Pool gets ready to open Saturday

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

If the weather stays as warms as it has been, La Salle’s swimming pool will be a busy place this weekend.  The pool opens for the season noon Saturday.  They’ll be open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5pm and on weekdays from noon until 7pm.  Adult swim will be from 11am until noon.  Admission is $1.25.

Danielle Newell is the pool manager.  She’s says with the chance that Peru’s pool won’t open, they’re predicting they’ll have more kids, but it’s hard to say until everyone’s out of school.

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Local unemployement show improvement from March to April

Posted by wlpo on May 28, 2010

Fewer people were filing unemployment claims last year at this time, but there is one positive sign for local unemployment numbers.

April unemployment numbers for La Salle, Bureau, and Putnam Counties were slightly lower than they were in March.

April unemployment in La Salle County was 14.3%.  It was 11.4% in Bureau County and 13.5% in Putnam County.  This April’s figures, however, were slightly higher than those of April 2009.

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Ottawa woman arrested on heroin related charge

Posted by wlpo on May 27, 2010

More drug charges for a woman already facing charges in La Salle and Cook Counties.

Ottawa Police Narcotics Detectives say they found Ashley Baima hiding in a closet in her Ottawa home while searching it yesterday.  They also say they found what they believe is heroin and paraphernalia for using heroin.

Baima was charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  She was also wanted on a La Salle County failure to appear warrant and a Cook County warrant for similar charges.

She’s being held in the La Salle County Jail.

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Man accused of hitting cars and knocking out power indicted

Posted by wlpo on May 27, 2010

A homeless man is staying at the La Salle County Jail after being indicted this week.

Matthew Sirtoff is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and aggravated DUI.  He was arrested May 17th after allegedly hitting two cars and a power pole in Ottawa.  After hitting the pole, Sirtoff allegedly tried unsuccessfully to run from police.  The crash with the pole knocked out power to people living on the west end of Ottawa.

Sirtoff is being held on $30,000 bond.

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Rural Grand Ridge woman dies following crash south of Seneca

Posted by wlpo on May 27, 2010

A crash in Grundy County south of Seneca has left a woman from rural Grand Ridge dead.  Investigators says 26 year old Hilary Jordan was riding in a car that was heading north on Baker Road south of DuPont Road around 9m Wednesday when the driver lost control on a curve.  They believe her car left the road and overturned several times, tossing Jordan from the car.

She was taken to Morris Hospital and was pronounced dead in the emergency room.

Grundy County Coroner John Callahan says he doesn’t think Jordan was wearing a seat belt because of a medical condition.

It remains under investigation.

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Ottawa Man Accused Of Grabbing Cops Genitals During Scuffle

Posted by wlpo on May 26, 2010

A minor fender bender turned into a lot more.

Ottawa Police officials say Allan Green was driving drunk when he rear-ended a semi on East Dayton Road last night.  After the crash, Green was taken to Ottawa Regional Hospital where he allegedly struggled with an officer.  During the struggle, he’s accused of squeezing the officer’s genitals.

Green appeared in court Wednesday morning and was charged with aggravated battery and felony DUI and driving with a suspended license.  The DUI and suspended license charges were made felonies because of prior convictions.

Green is being held on 25 thousand dollars bond.

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Earlville Teen Dies After Crash

Posted by wlpo on May 26, 2010

Just days before graduation, the class president, valedictorian and prom queen at Earlville High School has died.

18 year old Samantha Fielitz died Monday from injuries suffered in a two-car crash on East 10th Road just west of Earlville back on March 12th.  Fielitz was being treated at Rockford Memorial Hospital.

Sheriff’s deputies say 81 year old Lee Bunton of Compton failed to yield at a stop sign and crashed into the driver’s side door of Fielitz.  Bunton was ticketed for failing to yield.

Earlville High School graduation is this Friday night.

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Parolee accused of threatening witnesses

Posted by wlpo on May 26, 2010

A man on parole for burglary faces a new charge after investigators say he threatened to hurt witnesses if they didn’t change their testimony.

Gregory Longoria of Streator was arrested Tuesday for harassment of a witness, a class 2 felony.  His arrest came after an investigation by the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s office and the Mendota Police Department.

Longoria is accused of making the threats Sunday, two days before the scheduled proceeding.

He’s serving parole for a burglary conviction in 2009.  He’s being held in the county jail with his bond set at $50,000.

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