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Archive for January, 2012

Double Murder Trial Could Finally Happen

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

While you’ve heard this before, it seems like an accused double-murderer from Seneca is finally set to stand trial.

After a hearing Friday in Ottawa, Judge H. Chris Ryan kept a February 6th trial date for Keith Mackowiak.  During the hearing, Mackowiak talked about wanting to fire his Joliet attorney and defend himself.  He later changed his mind.  Mackowiak has changed his mind a lot since being arrested including the time he wanted to just plead guilty to murder.

Mackowiak has been in the La Salle County Jail since July 2007 after he was arrested for the beating deaths of Al and Catherine Twardowski in Seneca.  Prosecutors think it was a burglary gone wrong.

Mackowiak initially faced the death penalty until Governor Pat Quinn did away with it.  He now faces life in prison.

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Area Inmate’s Death Is Under Scrutiny

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

The death of a 71-year-old inmate at Kendall County Jail is under investigation.

Jailers found the body of Ronald Brown of Newark around 5 p.m. on Friday. He was in his holding cell. Brown had been in custody since Dec. 22.

There were no other inmates in the cell and foul play isn’t  suspected.

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New Ottawa School Unveiled To Public

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

There were a lot of bumps along the way but the new Central Intermediate School in Ottawa has been officially dedicated.

A large crowd turned out yesterday for the official dedication and public open house at the new 5th thru 6th grade school on the south end of town.  Ottawa Elementary Superintendent Cleave Threadgill and Ottawa Mayor Bob Eschbach were among those giving speeches.

The $25 million dollar school was finished in December.  The old Central School was flooded out in September of 2008 and later condemned.  Since then, students went to classes at other district buildings, a church and an old Walmart.

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Pair Of Oglesby Companies Not Happy About Tax Assessment

Posted by wlpo on January 30, 2012

A couple major employers in Oglesby think they’re paying too much in taxes.

Badge-A-Minit and Wire Mesh Corporation are asking to have their property tax assessments lowered.  The Oglesby City Council will talk about their requests at a working meeting today at 5:30.

Also at the meeting, councilmen will talk about DNR work at LeHigh Park, have an electronic waste recycling update and talk about home delivery of liquor licenses.

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Standoff, fire and shooting

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2012

A nearly 10-hour standoff with a southern Illinois truck driver who rammed into a trucking facility has ended after the man shot himself in the head. The 51-year-old from Alton has been taken to a St. Louis hospital for treatment. His condition wasn’t immediately available  Saturday afternoon. Authorities say he rammed his truck into the Schneider National trucking facility in Edwardsville at about 2 a.m. Saturday. He’s a driver for Schneider. The crash ignited a fire that burned itself out. Police received a 911 call from the driver at the time of the crash saying he had no intention of being taken into custody alive. Police say he shot himself just before noon. Madison County state’s attorney Tom Gibbon says about 50 emergency responders were at the scene.

 

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Wellness check becomes tussle

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2012

A LaSalle police officer is sent to 1139 Crosat on a wellness check late Saturday night. He wasn’t expecting to be attacked. One occupant, 18-year old Richard Taylor of LaSalle was charged with aggravated battery to an officer, obstructing an officer, resisting an officer and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor. Taylor was taken to the county jail to await a bond hearing. 18-year old Jessica Kaszynski, also at the scene, was arrested for unlawful consumption of alcohol and given a notice to appear

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Bald Eagle Watch continues

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2012

Visitors to Starved Rock and the Illinois Waterway Visitors Center are learning about eagles, raptors and the Valley’s history this weekend. Bald Eagle Watch is occuring jointly at the Lodge and across the river at the Visitors Center. Displays, Live raptor shows, Rich Escutia, Master Falconer are part of the program at the Lodge. Live raptor shows and displays can be found at the Waterway Visitor’s Center. Live shows are free but you must pick up a ticket in advance. Hours are both locations are 9 – 5 today.

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Bridal Show today

Posted by wlpo on January 29, 2012

The 32nd Annual Illinois Valley Bridal show is today inside Mendota Civic Center.   Starting at 11, you can visit with any of the 49 exhibitors.  A style show will be held at 2.  If you are a bride-to-be and have not registered,  you can do so at the Civic Center.  All registered brides are eligible to win $500 dollars to be spent at any of the show’s sponsors.  The drawing is after the style show. Admission is free.

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Teen wanted on a burglary charge arrested for attempted burglary

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2012

You don’t have to successfully carry out a crime to be arrested.  A teen from La Salle faces a charge of attempted burglary after police say he tried to steal stuff from a car on Fourth Street in La Salle.

Thomas Calderon was arrested Friday night at an apartment near the car in question.  Police say he was hiding in a bathroom and was wanted on a La Salle County failure to appear warrant.  Calderon was take to the La Salle County Jail.

 

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Rezin wants to hear Governor Quinn’s plan for reducing the deficit

Posted by wlpo on January 28, 2012

A dismal credit rating and a backlog of bills are problems facing Illinois.  Those issues and more will likely come up Tuesday during the State of the State speech by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn.

State Senator Sue Rezin will be listening.  The republican says she wants to hear how Quinn plans to let the income tax increase expire as promised while correcting an estimated $800 million deficit.

She also wants him to explain how he’ll improve the state’s poor credit rating.

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