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Archive for March 25th, 2011

Ambulance Called To Interstate 80 Rollover

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

At least one person was hurt after a single vehicle rollover crash Friday afternoon near Ottawa.

Naplate Ambulance and Fire were dispatched to the crash scene at about 2:20.  Scanner reports had the rollover happening on Interstate 80 eastbound near milepost 88 which is just west of Ottawa.

A State Police dispatcher says the crash didn’t effect interstate traffic.

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State’s Attorney Moving Ahead With Death Penalty Case

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

The LaSalle County state’s attorney says he still plans to pursue the death penalty against a Seneca man charged in the July 2007 beating deaths of an elderly couple.

Brian Towne said Friday he has no plans to decertify the case of  43-year-old Keith Mackowiak. That would make Mackowiak ineligible for capital punishment. Towne’s announcement comes more than two weeks after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation abolishing the death penalty in the state starting July 1.

Mackowiak is charged in the July 2007 deaths of 84-year-old Al and 87-year-old Catherine Twardowski of Seneca.

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Court Says No To Ex-Streator Doctor In Child Porn Case

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

A former doctor in Streator has been denied a lesser sentence once again after pleading guilty to sexual assault and child pornography.

Joseph Cichon was asking for his original 25-year sentence saying his lawyer didn’t tell him he could get 105 years when he vacated his initial guilty plea and sentence.  The appellate court in Ottawa this week sided with a lower court ruling that Cichon knew his sentence could be longer if he threw out of his initial guilty plea.  Cichon’s attorneys testified he was confident he would win at a retrial so he said no to a guaranteed 25-year sentence.

Cichon was sentenced in 1991 for sex crimes against young girls who were his patients.  He was initially indicted on 54 counts of sexual assault, abuse and child pornography.

If the 57-year old would’ve stuck with his initial sentence and guilty plea, he would be out of prison.  He now won’t get out until at least 2043 when he’s 92 years old.

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Investigation leads to child porn charge for Streator man

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

An investigation that crosses state lines has left a man in Streator arrested for child pornography.

Police searched a home in Streator Thursday.  Troy Westerhold was arrested for one count of possession of child pornography and was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

The investigation involves the Iowa Department of Public Safety, La Salle County States Attorneys Office and Streator Police.  Police say the investigation isn’t over and more charges are possible.

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Earlville man wins Rock Start contest

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

A new 99.3 WAJK Rock Star has been chosen.  Mike Wilson won the singing competition Thursday night at Starved Rock Lodge.

Wilson is from Earlville.  His prize was $1,000 cash.

First runner up was Ryan Cocking of Peru.  The two other finalists were Erica Cocking of Peru and Stephanie Hirschman of La Salle.

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GOP congressman hits Obama for slow Libya reaction

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

NORMAL, Ill (AP) – Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger says President Obama was two weeks late with a declaration of a no-fly zone over Libya.

Kinzinger made the assertion during a talk to communications students at Illinois State University in Normal.

Answering student questions, the first-term congressman said his tactics would have been different from Obama’s on establishing the no-fly zone.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports Kinzinger said he would like the president to state clearly if he thinks it’s time for a regime change. However, he is glad the president did not seek congressional approval before deciding to bomb Libyan forces attacking civilians.

Kinzinger also talked about the Japanese nuclear crisis, saying it has not shaken his preference for “clean energy,” nor does it lessen his support for nuclear power in the United States.

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Rt 6 project expected to begin in June

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

One of the more anticipated road projects of the season should be underway by mid June.  Route 6 through La Salle and Peru will be resurfaced.

Dave Waldorff is the streets chairman in Peru.  He says the Illinois Department of Transportation wants to have a contractor hired and on the job by the second or third week of June.

Crews will start in La Salle and work their way west through Peru redoing ramps and sidewalks as needed.  The resurfacing is expected to take no longer than four months.

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New poles going up soon along I-80

Posted by wlpo on March 25, 2011

New power lines from La Salle to Wedron won’t be up and running for at least another year.

Leigh Morris with Ameren says the revised schedule has the high-powered transmission lines coming online next June or July.  Morris says the schedule was delayed because of the lengthy battle over where to put lines connecting the Ottawa and Wedron substations.

Morris says you’ll start seeing the power poles going up along the south side of Interstate 80 in the next month.  Besides the new power lines, Ameren is building new substations in Wedron and Utica and making upgrades to substations in La Salle and Ottawa.

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