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Archive for October 26th, 2010

La Salle man indicted for sex abuse charges

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

A man accused of sexually assaulting three girls has been indicted in La Salle County.

Andrew Vela was arrested last week after police say a 14 year old girl and her mother reported to police in La Salle that the girl had been sexually assaulted.

Investigators believe Vela also sexually assaulted a 16 year old girl and an 11 year old girl from Princeton.

Vela was indicted Tuesday on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

He remains in the La Salle County Jail with his bond set at $200,000.

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LC Board Vice Chairman faces challenger in Nov. 2 election

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

The county nursing home and the number of county board members are just a couple of the things candidates are considering as Election Day approaches.

A contested La Salle County board seat in an Ottawa district has Democrat Tom Gainiere facing Republican challenger David Smith.

Smith says he wants to the county to retain ownership of the nursing home calling it a “safety net” for elderly people in the county, but he thinks they should hire a consultant to make improvements.

Gainiere says the nursing home is on the right track.

When it comes to the number of county seats, Smith thinks it should be between 8 to 12 members, not 29.  Gainiere thinks there’s some room to reduce but doesn’t want rural representation to be lost.

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Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice keynote speaker at domestic violence awarenss event

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

An annual program designed to raise awareness of the problem of domestic violence featured a speaker that attack ads claim sided with criminals.

Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court Thomas Kilbride told the audience Tuesday night how the legal system and law enforcement have changed since the start of his career to better support abuse victims.  It was part of the Zonta Club’s Luminary of Hope.

Kilbride has been the target of attack ads funded by JUSTPAC.  He says the ads are purposely misleading.  Kilbride is up for retention during next week’s election.

Kilbride became the Chief Justice Tuesday following the retirement of Justice Thomas Fitzgerald.

Other speakers included 3rd District Appellate Judges Mary Kay O’Brien and Mary McDade and 13th Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Raccuglia.

The program was held at the Hegeler Carus Mansion in La Salle.

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Authorities: Remains found near NIU burned

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) – Authorities say human remains found in a park where a missing Northern Illinois University student is believed to have gone were badly burned.

NIU spokesman Joe King cited police as saying the state of the remains complicates the process of determining whether they belong to 18-year-old Antinette “Toni” Keller.

Friends say they last saw the freshman art student from Plainfield on Oct. 14 as she headed to the forested park just south of the 25,000-student university in DeKalb.

DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen told reporters earlier Tuesday that investigators were now treating the case as a homicide investigation.

He says there’s someone out there who “committed this,” and he says they aren’t in custody.

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Drug charges for brother and sister in Streator

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

Drug charges for a brother and sister duo in Streator.

Stacey and Michael Brewer were arrested Friday in Streator after an investigation by the drug team TRIDENT.  Police say Stacey Brewer had delivered heroin to someone working undercover in a parking lot in Streator.

They apparently found her brother Michael while picking her up on a warrant.  He’s accused of delivering cocaine to someone working undercover twice in August while in Peru.

Stacey Brewer is charged with one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance while Michael Brewer is charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.  Both were taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Eight candidates confirmed for political forum in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

At least eight candidates plan to participate in a forum Tuesday night in Oglesby.

The Illinois Policy Institute is bringing their Turnaround Tour to the Oglesby Elks Lodge for a candidate’s forum.

Candidates who have said they will be participating are independent conservative write-in U.S. Senate candidate Robert Zadek, Republican Attorney General candidate Steve Kim, libertarian Attorney General candidate Bill Malan, Republican Secretary of State candidate Robert Enriquez, Green Party U.S. Senate candidate LeAlan Jones, Republican 75th state house district candidate Sue Rezin, Republican State Senator Gary Dahl, and Libertarian U.S. Senate Candidate Mike Labno.

Doors open at 6:30pm.  The program begins at 7pm.  It will be moderated by Kristina Rasmussen the Executive Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute.

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Power outages and other damage caused by wind

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

Scattered power outages continue to pop up as the strong winds refuse to let up.

Ameren Illinois says close to 300 customers in La Salle County were without electricity as of early Tuesday afternoon.  It’s a figure that’s been change all day.  Outages are also being reported in Bureau and Putnam Counties.

A high wind warning continues through 8pm Tuesday.

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Justice Kilbride keynote speaker at domestic violence awareness program

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

Some important names in law will be in La Salle Tuesday evening promoting domestic violence awareness.

Justice Tom Kilbride will be the keynote speaker at the Luminary of Hope.  Also speaking will be Justices Mary McDade and Mary Kay O’Brien of the Third District Appellate Court.

The program is at 6pm at the Hegeler Carus Mansion.

October is domestic violence awareness month.

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High Wind Warning includes La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on October 26, 2010

Downed branches could be an issue today with wind gusts predicted to reach up to 60 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning until this evening.

Winds are expected to increase to 30 to 40 miles per hour.  Things could become airborne and power outages could be caused by falling branches.  You could also have a hard time if you’re driving a large truck.

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