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News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for September, 2011

Area homeless shelters prepares to open

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2011

There’s a chance of frost tonight with temperatures expected to dip into the 30’s.  That’s not much of a problem if you’re under the covers in your bed, but some people don’t have that comfort.

Pads Shelters in La Salle and Ottawa open their doors for the season at 5pm Saturday.  With 30 beds in Ottawa and 24 in La Salle, they say they saw more people use their services last year and expect even more to do so this season.

They’re always looking for volunteers and supplies.  If you’re interested in helping, visit www.ivpads.com.

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Double Murder Trial Delayed Yet Again

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2011

It’s already been delayed for over four years, so what’s another four months?

In a final appearance before a Monday trial date, Keith Mackowiak’s attorney requested and was able to get another delay in his client’s trial.  Attorney George Kielian complained that planned statements from the prosecution’s pathologist became more detailed then they planned for in trial.  The defense first asked that the doctor’s testimony be barred from trial but Judge H. Chris Ryan denied that motion.  Kielian than said he wouldn’t be ready for trial with the new findings so Ryan set a new February 6th trial date.

State’s Attorney Brian Towne says he’s disappointed in having another delay.  He said the defense had more than enough time to look over the pathologist’s planned testimony.

Keith Mackowiak of Seneca has been in jail since July 2007 after he was arrested for the beating deaths of Al and Catherine Twardowski in Seneca.

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Oglesby Brings Back Harvest Fest

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2011

You can usher in a new season and new month with all kinds of activities in Oglesby.

The city is again hosting Harvest Fest.  Festivities get going tomorrow 10 with the Holy Family 5K Race.  At 11, a chalk drawing contest starts around city hall.  At noon, around 30 vendors will start selling their goods during a marketplace downtown.

The afternoon schedule at Harvest Fest includes a custom car show starting at 1 and the Scarecrow Scramble at 2.  This is a variation of the reality show Amazing Race where contestants race around town to win money.

The action shifts to the Dickenson House starting at 4 with family activities including a bonfire and storytelling.

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Local Police Chief Talks About Synthetic Cannabis

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2011

Finding incense in a smoke shop isn’t anything new, but a new drug that’s marketed as incense isn’t what you were burning back in college.

It’s synthetic cannabis.  Having, selling and using synthetic cannabis becomes a felony January 1.  In the meantime, area towns have been passing rules against it.

Peru banned the drug Monday.  Police Chief Doug Bernabei says these are heavy duty chemicals capable of causing bad reactions.  Bernabei says the drug is used the same way as marijuana and is typically sold in smoke shops under many different brands.

Area stores were being told to no longer carry it.

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Oglesby Police Looking For Clues In Vandalism Outbreak

Posted by wlpo on September 30, 2011

Someone or some people with nothing better to do decide to slash tires of several cars in Oglesby.

Oglesby Police got reports Thursday of six different cars having their tires slashed.  The rash of damage was on South Glen Avenue between East 1st and 2nd Streets.

If you have information, call Oglesby Police or Crimestoppers.

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La Salle Vet Humble In Accepted Purple Heart

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2011

Almost 67 years to the day when he was wounded fighting in World War II, a La Salle man received one of the military’s highest honors.

88 year old Army Private 1st Class Jay Trimmer accepted the Purple Heart yesterday from Congressman and Air Force pilot Adam Kinzinger.  Trimmer was wounded during combat in Italy in September of 1944.  He was captured and spent eight months in a German POW camp where he says he did hard labor and sustained more injuries and illness.  Trimmer was liberated in April of 1945.

Before giving Trimmer the Purple Heart, Kinzinger called the ceremony “an honor of a lifetime”.  He called Trimmer a hero and a member of America’s greatest generation.

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“Buckets of Love” collection this weekend at area stores

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2011

The items that you would find under your kitchen sink are what members of the Zonta Club are collecting this weekend.  You’ll be able to donate brooms, cleaners, and other household items for Buckets of Love Saturday.

The items will go to domestic violence victims who are reestablishing households.  Members of Zonta will be out from 8am until noon at area stores.

Later in October, Zonta will hold their annual Luminary of Hope walk in downtown Peru.  You can learn more by listening to an interview that’s available at the am 1220 wlpo news page.

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17 year old Hall student accused of having synthetic cannabis

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2011

You’ve been hearing a lot about the crackdown on a new drug called synthetic cannabis.  It’s marketed as incense but apparently is smoked like traditional marijuana.

Two weeks after Spring Valley passed a rule against having it, a 17 year old boy at Hall High School has been ticketed for it.  Police were called to the school Tuesday morning.  The boy was cited for breaking the city ordinance and was released to a parent.

Had the boy been found with it after January 1, he would be facing a felony drug charge.

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Escort planned for fallen Mendota Marine

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2011

A fallen marine from Mendota is coming back home.

Services for 27-year old 1st Lieutenant Thomas Heitmann will happen Monday morning in Mendota.  As Heitmann arrives in Mendota, he’ll be escorted by the state police and members of the Patriot Guard.

City officials in Mendota are urging people to put American flags outside their homes and business and to come outside if possible and pay respects as Heitmann passes by.  The city has American flags available at the city clerk’s office.

Heitmann was killed September 19th when his helicopter crash during training near Camp Pendleton, California.

You can hear services for 1st Lieutenant Thomas Heitmann during AM 1220 WLPO’s In Memoriam.

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Hospital’s Annual Variety Show Returns

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2011

Singers, dancers, thespians and pianists are all part of this year’s Illinois Valley Community Hospital Variety Show.

The show happens October 8th at 7 inside L-P’s Matthiessen Auditorium.  At least two different sets of IVCH workers will do dance routines.  There will also be high school students doing dance and music routines.

The show will raise money for IVCH’s new obstetrics and intensive care units which should open soon.  Tickets are 15 dollars a person and are available at the hospital.

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