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Archive for February 22nd, 2012

Victims’ Family Believes Justice Was Done

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

For four and a half years, a dozen or so relatives of Al and Catherine Twardowski made every single hearing of Keith Mackowiak’s, patiently waiting for a resolution.  Just before 3:30 Wednesday afternoon the wait finally ended.

Many hugged and sobbed as the jury said Mackowiak was guilty of killing their father and mother, or grandmother and grandfather, or sister and brother.  La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne spoke on behalf of the family.  He says there were all kinds of emotions.

The Twardowski’s handed the press a prepared statement where they say the damage inflicted on them is irreparable and that no longer are any of their homes safe havens.  They say they believe in the court system and justice is prevailing but claim the system concerns itself with the rights of the accused and less with the rights of the victims.

While the family was emotional, Keith Mackowiak himself was motionless when the verdicts were read.

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Resurfacing of tennis and basketball courts could bring pickle ball to Peru

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

Remember the game in your high school gym class where you used a hard plastic paddle to hit a wiffle ball over a net?  It was like tennis and badminton but not.  It was pickle ball and it’s just not for P.E. classes.

The Peru Recreation Committee wants to have a pickle ball court with their basketball court on 28th Street.  The court is one of three basketball courts they want to resurface.  They also want to redo seven tennis courts.

Alderman Bob Ankiewicz says they’re not sure what kind of work they want done to the courts.  Depending on what they do, it could cost between $35,000 and $80,000.

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Mackowiak Will Get Life Behind Bars

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

After two hours deliberating, a jury of seven men and five women found Keith Mackowiak guilty of first-degree murder.

They believed the prosecution’s story and Mackowiak’s own confession that he burglarized and killed Al and Catherine Twardowski for drug money.  They didn’t believe the defense’s story that Mackowiak friend David Dulabhan and ex-girlfriend Jennifer Bartlett actually committed the murders.

Mackowiak will be sentenced April 12th by Judge H. Chris Ryan.  State’s Attorney Brian Towne says the hearing should be short with Mackowiak getting mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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State Senator says public hearings would have to be held before any state closurers

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

The women’s prison in Dwight and the supermax prison in Tamms are among the 14 places Governor Pat Quinn says he wants to close.  The Democrat outlined the closings and cuts to Medicaid during his budget address Wednesday.

Republican State Senator Sue Rezin has a lot of people that work at those places living in her district.  She says public hearings would have to be held before anything is closed.  Rezin believes some of the proposals could be worked out in the budget process.

The governor has proposed forming a panel to tackle the pension problem.  Rezin blames the problem on years of over-spending by lawmakers.

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Mackowiak found guilty of killing Seneca couple

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

Odds are slim that Keith Mackowiak will ever be a free man again.  The 44 year was found guilty of murder and other charges Wednesday afternoon for the killings of Al and Catherine Twardowski.  They were found dead in their home in July 2007.

The jury deliberated for a little more than two hours before announcing a verdict.  Mackowiak was expressionless while relatives of the Twardowski’s hugged and sobbed.

During closing arguments Prosecutor Greg Sticka played segments of a jailhouse interview during which Mackowiak confesses and tells investigators where to find the murder weapons.

But up until the end, defense attorney Gerald Kielian shifted the blame off of Mackowiak and onto two of his friends.

Mackowiak returns to court April 12 to be sentenced.  He could receive a life sentence.

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Peru City Council to take a closer look at ward-map proposals

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

Living in Peru, you may not realize where on ward starts and another begins.  And that’s okay because those boundaries about to change.  You can see maps and hear the reasoning behind new ward maps at 7:30pm Wednesday night at city hall.

The company that has offered four possible scenarios for new wards will be at the city council meeting.

You can see the maps online at Peru’s website.

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Dueling pianos fundraisers brings in $2,800 for Summer Fun Fest

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

Were you at the dueling pianos fundraiser in Olgesby last Saturday?  It raised $2,800 for the next Summer Fun Fest.

You’ll find more musical entertainment in Oglesby next month when the U.S. Air Force Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble performs at Washington School on March 10 at 7pm.  It’s a free concert but you’ll need a ticket.  Those will be available online and at city hall.

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Jury in Mackowiak murder trial begins deliberating

Posted by wlpo on February 22, 2012

Four and a half years after a married couple was found murdered in their home, the trial of the man accused of killing them is winding down.

The jury in the Keith Mackowiak trial began deliberating Wednesday afternoon.

During closing arguments Wednesday morning Prosecutor Greg Sticka told the jury that Mackowiak knew he would likely kill the couple, meaning Mackowiak knowingly inflicted great bodily harm meeting the requirements of the murder charges.

Defense attorney Gerald Kielian told the jury it was a friend of Mackowiak that actually committed the crimes. He said the jury cannot find Mackowiak guilty because of reasonable doubt.

AM 1220 WLPO will be watching for a verdict and will let you know as more is made available.

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