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Archive for August 24th, 2012

Man accused of robbing a Peru bank is also a person of interest in a Peoria bank robbery

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

If you’ve been following the story about the man accused of holding up the Eureka Savings Bank in Peru, it’s getting weirder.  Vernard King of Peoria and more recently Oglesby, is also a person of interest in a bank robbery in Peoria.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says the bank in Peoria was robbed in July.  He also believes King may have been staying at the home on Zinc Street in La Salle where he was arrested Wednesday.   King is accused of going into the Eureka Bank branch Tuesday afternoon and hinting that he had a weapon.

The Newstribune reports that King made his first appearance in La Salle County Court Friday before Judge Cynthia Raccuglia.  His bond has been set at $750,000 and he returns to court next Thursday to be arraigned.

King could face 4-15 years in prison if convicted of aggravated robbery, a Class 1 felony.

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11 teams signed up to “Pull for the United Way”

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

Strength, speed and team work will be put to the test as 11 teams gather at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport Saturday.  Pull for the United Way will have the teams moving a plane, a fire truck, and then a cement truck.  The pull is the kickoff for the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign.

You don’t have to be on a team to help their cause.  Bring your lawn chair and watch.  Gates open at 11am and the competition starts at 1pm.  There will also be food stands and games for kids.  A $5 parking fee will go to the United Way.

Euclide Beverage, Anytime Fitness, the Illinois Valley YMCA, and UPS are a few of the teams participating.

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Taste Of Utica Returns

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

Want to taste what Utica has to offer?  Be in the village tomorrow.

The fourth annual Taste of Utica runs Saturday from one until 11.  Besides all the food there’s a beer tent, bingo, dunk tank, kid’s games and sidewalk sales.

Local favorite Road Angel will close out the “taste” playing from 8 until 11.

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Rabid Bats Showing Up In Illinois

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

Seen a bat in your home lately?  The Illinois Department of Public Health says calls about people being exposed to bats are on the rise.

So far, 52 bats in 24 Illinois counties including La Salle County have tested positive for rabies.  No rabid bats have been reported in Bureau or Putnam County this year.

Last year in Illinois, 51 bats tested positive for rabies, none in the Illinois Valley.

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No Arrests Made In Rural King Robbery

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

Police are still trying to find who’s responsible for a robbery outside Rural King in Peru.

Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei says a manager walked out to her car just after 9 last night when two men in ski masks drove up next to her.  The driver reached into her car stole her purse and some grocery bags.  The men then drove away heading north on Route 251.  The woman wasn’t hurt and no weapon was involved.

Bernabei says the masked men were thin build and driving a silver-colored Pontiac.   It was either four-door silver Pontiac Grand Am or Pontiac Grand Prix.  It had a spoiler and the first letter on the license plate was a “T”.

If you have information, call Peru Police or Crime Stoppers.

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Trial Nears For Accused Westclox Arsonist

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

A teen charged with setting Westclox on fire will put his trust in a judge over a jury.

17-year old Steven Gallacher of La Salle waived his right to a jury trial yesterday, instead choosing to have Judge H. Chris Ryan decide his guilt or innocence.  The bench trial is likely to start Tuesday in Ottawa.

Gallacher was arrested as hundreds of firefighters were trying to control a blaze that took out a large portion of the old clock factory on New Years morning. Gallacher and a 15 boy from Peru were arrested for arson, only Gallacher was charged as an adult.  He’s been in the La Salle County Jail ever since.

The younger boy pled guilty earlier this year and is on probation.

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Drew Peterson Trial Almost Over?

Posted by wlpo on August 24, 2012

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – Prosecutors are expected to rest their case at Drew Peterson’s murder trial.

Today will be the end of their fourth week presenting evidence against the 58-year-old Peterson. They’ve called around 30 witnesses and are expected to call no more than one or two Friday before resting.

Peterson’s attorneys will have a chance to mount a defense. But they could decide to rest without calling any witnesses, then argue prosecutors didn’t meet their burden of proof.

Prosecutors have faced multiple challenges. That’s included a lack of physical evidence and a reliance on hearsay as they built their circumstantial case.

Peterson has pleaded not guilty to killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

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