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Archive for October 2nd, 2011

New island in Illinois

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

An island is under construction in the middle of the Illinois River in Peoria. The Journal Star reports more than 70,000 cubic yards of silt and river soil have been dredged for the
project. Now the soil forms the outline of a 21-acre boomerang-shaped island. The island will be on Peoria Lake near the McClugage Bridge which takes U.S. Routes 24 and 150 over the
waterway. The project is expected to be complete in 2012. Plans have been underway for 15 years to build three islands in the Peoria Lakes. The goal is to restore depth diversity for fish habitats. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers experts say sediment has gathered in the lakes, destroying habitats. Environmental groups oppose the project, saying it won’t solve the underlying problem.

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McCullough’s new trouble

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

The 71-year-old man accused in the 1957 kidnapping and killing of a young Illinois girl has been charged in a separate case with raping a 14-year-old girl. Illinois State Police on Friday announced the indictment of Jack McCullough but didn’t say specifically when the alleged assault happened. A grand jury this summer indicted McCullough on felony murder, kidnapping and abduction charges in the death of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph (RIHD’-uhlf) of Sycamore. McCullough now faces charges of child sexual assault and indecent liberties with a child. State police say the victim told investigators McCullough raped her when she was 14 in Sycamore. DeKalb County public defender Regina Harris did not immediately return telephone and e-mail requests for comment sent Sunday. McCullough is held on $3 million bail in DeKalb County.

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Nt. 4-H week

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

When it started in Clark County, Ohio in 1902, its’ goal was to help public schools connect with rural residents. It’s first name was “The Tomato Club”. It’s being celebrated nation wide this week under its’ current name, 4-H. According to 4-H dot org, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development program administered through one hundred nine land-grant universities. Over six million youth in every corner of the country can choose from over one hundred seventy five project areas each year. The website claims 4-H has five hundred forty thousand volunteers, 35-hundred professionals and more than 60 million alumni. Jill Guynn heads the local four county Extension Service covering LaSalle, Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties.

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Burgoo in one week

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

One week to go until the annual Burgoo Festival – the 42nd edition. The annual gathering in Utica has gone from invisible to one of the standout fall events in Northern Illinois. Vendors line the streets and visitors will find live entertainment at the main building next to the canal. Of course, the Blacksmith shop and one room school will be open, too. The serving of the mysterious ‘Burgoo Stew” will occur by late morning. Preparations for the stew being the previous day with the concoction stirred through the night. Members of AM 1220 WLPO’s staff will be stirring late Sunday morning east of the building along with Craig Sterett of the News Tribune. Utica is seeing much road construction with the revamping of Route 178, however, IDOT has said the road will be open for the Burgoo.

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Cellini trial starts Monday

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

The trial of a former high school teacher who came to be known as the pope of Illinois politics gets underway Monday with jury selection. William Cellini is the subject of the last major trial stemming from the decade-long federal investigation of former Gov. Rod
Blagojevich. The millionaire businessman is charged with conspiring to shake
down the Oscar-winning producer of “Million Dollar Baby” for a $1.5 million donation to Blagojevich. He’s denied any wrongdoing. Blagojevich was convicted at retrial this year of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. Two trials revealed him as charismatic but lacking discipline. The 76-yeaer-old Cellini is in many ways Blagojevich’s opposite. He’s stayed behind the scenes but gained a reputation as savvy,
meticulous and a man not to be crossed.

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Mackowiak trial delayed

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

The trial of a north-central Illinois man charged in the beating deaths of an elderly couple has been postponed again. This marks the third time a trial date has been set for
43-year-old Keith Mackowiak of Seneca. He’s been jailed since his arrest in the July 2007 deaths of 84-year-old Aloysius (al-oh-WISH’-us) and 87-year-old Catherine Twardowski.
Prosecutors say he killed the couple during a break-in at their Seneca home. Proceedings were supposed to begin Monday. But on Friday, a LaSalle County judge postponed the trial until Feb. 6. The delay came after attorneys disagreed on whether a witness should be allowed to testify about the victims’ causes of death.

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Robber at large

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

A man wearing a ski mask and demanding money. Happens on TV and the movies…AND it happened, for real, at Dollar General in LaSalle Friday evening. LaSalle police have nothing new to report on a man described as having a dark complexion, about 5 ft 7 inches and weighing about 150 pounds. The thief was wearing a ski mask, dark hooded sweatshirt and dark jean shorts. He did get away with cash and police department canine officers were not able to locate him. If you have information, call Illinois Valley Crimestoppers.

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Eiten in U of ILL homecoming court

Posted by wlpo on October 2, 2011

A Peru woman has been named to the University of Illinois’ homecoming court. Lauren Eiten is majoring in political science with a minor in the Environmental Fellows Program. She is the daughter of Attorney Gary Eiten. In the past year, Eiten served as Panhellenic Council President, something she claims as the highlight of her college career. The senior will graduate in December and will continue her education in the school’s Civic Leadership Program.

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