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Archive for February 3rd, 2012

Jury selection to begin Monday in Mackowiak trial

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

Going to jury duty Monday?  Jury selection will begin Monday in La Salle County Court in the double murder trial of Keith Mackowiak.

Mackowiak has been in the 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.

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Chief police offers advice for people approached by strangers

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

You’ve taught your children not to accept rides from strangers and to tell you if somebody tries to harm them.  You can also tell your children to use their cell phone if they feel that they’re in danger.

While investigating a child’s claim that he was approached by a man in a black pickup, Mendota Police Chief Thomas Smith says kids should use their phones in those situations.

Smith says if it’s possible to do safely, take a photo of the stranger or the car.  He also says you should call 911.

The attempted kidnapping was called in Tuesday evening.

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Saying Thanks To Westclox Firefighters

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

Firefighters, EMTs and other emergency responders who had their New Year’s Day plans changed due to the blaze at Westclox in Peru are being thanked with a dinner.

400 people are estimated to attend the appreciation dinner Sunday at the Peru Eagles.  More than 40 departments were involved.

The City of Peru will be picking up some of the bill while many people have donated money towards the cost.

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Alleged Purse Snatcher’s Trial Gets Delayed

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

There won’t be a trial next week for the man accused of strong-arming purses away from women leaving bars in La Salle.

At a hearing Thursday, the lawyer for Christopher Coleman of La Salle asked for and received more time to prepare for his client’s robbery trial.  A new trial date was set for April 9th.

After keeping a close eye on Coleman, La Salle Police arrested him in late November for stealing purses from women that were leaving Jake’s Pour House and the Dugout.  Coleman had just been released from prison.

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Fog Again Covers Listening Area

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

It’s another day to be careful behind the wheel with widespread fog covering the Illinois valley.

A Dense Fog Advisory is in effect until 11 for the entire listening area.  The fog will reduce visibilities to a quarter mile or less at times.

Temperatures are again around or below freezing so ice could develop on roads, especially bridges and overpasses.

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Police Chief Gives Opinion Of Alcohol Delivery

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

Whether Oglesby allows alcohol delivery or not, it’s police chief says he’s given his two cents.

Jim Knoblauch says he hopes Brady’s Liquor’s is successful but the delivery aspect concerns him.  He questions how it can be monitored and is concerned with who will be delivery person and will alcohol put that delivery person in danger.

Knoblauch believes store owner is credible and is willing to follow rules but if there’s no ordinance for delivery, what’s to stop a different alcohol delivery store not taking as many safety steps as Steve Beckcom plans to.  The chief says he’s never heard of any town besides Utica allowing delivery of alcohol and comparing Utica to Oglesby is apples to oranges.

The Oglesby City Council could talk about the idea further Monday night at a meeting.  They seemed split on the idea at this week’s working meeting.

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Longer Weekends Proposed For Peru Students

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

Starting in August, Peru Elementary Schools will get a jump start on the weekend before neighboring students.

The district is taking public input on the idea of having early dismissal every Friday for the 2012-2013 school year.  Parkside Elementary will dismiss at 2, Washington School at 2:05 and Northview at 2:15 just like on Wednesday’s this school year.  The staggered dismissal times are an attempt to help parents pick up kids at the different schools.

Superintendent Mark Cross says the early dismissals create more time for administration and staff to work on their school improvement plan.  Cross says another advantage to Friday early dismissals is having Project Success four consecutive days instead of being broken up on Wednesday.

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Police Crackdown For Big Game

Posted by wlpo on February 3, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois officials have launched stepped-up traffic enforcement to stop drunk driving during the
Super Bowl weekend.
State Police and the Department of Transportation are publicizing their “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” before the big game Sunday. Police will add troopers in designated areas around the state
and look for impaired drivers and safety-belt use.

Five traffic fatalities occurred on the last three Super Bowl Sundays in Illinois. Four involved alcohol.

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