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Archive for December 13th, 2011

Chicago-Quad Cities passenger rail service will pass through La Salle and Bureau Counties

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

The announcement of an Amtrak line between the Quad Cities and Chicago will have local impact.

The new line will have stops in Mendota and Princeton and will travel along Interstate 80 to Geneseo and eventually into Moline.  While an Amtrak line is already in place through the area, the track will probably be upgraded.

Work on rail lines means cash for local economies according to IDOT Spokesman Josh Kauffman.

The new Amtrak line should be ready by 2014.  Kauffman says actual construction will start next year.

The state has worked out agreements with Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad from Chicago to Wyanet and Iowa Interstate Railroad from Wyanet to Moline.

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Blagojevich ordered to report to prison March 15

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge has agreed to delay the start of ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prison term.

U.S. District Judge James Zagel agreed Tuesday to allow Blagojevich to report to prison March 15. Blagojevich previously was ordered to begin serving his 14-year term on Feb. 16. He was convicted of corruption charges including allegations that he tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat.

Blagojevich’s attorneys asked for more time so he could help his family move into a new home.

Zagel also agreed to recommend that Blagojevich be sent to the Englewood prison in Colorado. Federal prison officials have the final say.

Attorney Sheldon Sorosky says he isn’t sure why Blagojevich wants that prison; he says the Blagojevich family isn’t moving to Colorado.

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Vandalism Outbreak In Spring Valley

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

Outside Christmas decorations are a festive way to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, they’re being targeted by a vandal or vandals in Spring Valley.

Officers say there were four reports of vandalism during the early morning hours of December 6th and five more reports of vandalism this morning. The things being vandalized are Christmas decorations, a boat trailer and yard ornaments.

If you have information, call Spring Valley Police or Illinois Valley Crime Stoppers.

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Teen Blamed For Bringing Loaded Gun Into Princeton High Back In Court

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

The teen accused of strolling into Princeton High with a loaded shotgun is done is due in court tomorrow.

Blake Schmidt is scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of felony unlawful use of a weapon. The arraignment hearing will start at 2:30 in the Bureau County Courthouse.

Schmidt’s accused of walking into Princeton High School with a loaded shotgun as classes were dismissing November 16th. Police say he never pointed the shotgun at anyone else and they weren’t sure why he entered the school with the gun. He spent nearly a week undergoing psychiatric tests at a Peoria hospital after his arrest.

Schmidt wasn’t a student at Princeton High.

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Ottawa Lawyer Says Her Election Opponent Should Be Thrown Off The Ballot

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

A primary election race to fill a judge vacancy in La Salle County is in doubt now.

Democrat lawyers Anita Kopko and Joseph Navarro of Ottawa are both running to fill a 13th Judicial Circuit vacancy created by the retirement of Judge James Lanuti. Kopko though says Navarro should be taken off the April ballot because he didn’t abide by a state elections rule.

Kopko’s filed an objection saying Navarro didn’t file what’s called a Statement of Economic Interests with the Illinois Secretary of State. She argues that’s reason to drop his name from the ballot.

A hearing on Kopko’s objection is next Tuesday in Springfield.

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House Fire Near Streator

Posted by wlpo on December 13, 2011

An engaged couple and their three kids are without a home after it caught fire Saturday afternoon.

Josh Warfield and Jennifer Zelanek’s two-story, wooden home southeast of Leonore was gutted by flames. The couple was gone when the fire started on North 1650th Road.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to help find a cause.

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