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Archive for August 27th, 2012

Prison officials drop Aug. 31 as shutdown date

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has officially abandoned his hope of shutting down prisons by Friday.

A letter from the Corrections Department instructs employees at targeted prisons to keep reporting to work. In it, Director S.A. “Tony” Godinez announces a “temporary delay for the layoffs and closures” that were scheduled for Aug. 31.

The letter was obtained today by The Associated Press.

Quinn wanted to empty the Tamms supermax prison and the women’s prison at Dwight to save money.

But the prison workers’ union filed a lawsuit. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees claims Corrections must negotiate conditions, particularly on handling the Tamms population.

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says arbitration hearings will take place daily this week.

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Best Rainfall Totals Of The Summer

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

How much rain did you get Sunday?

According to the National Weather Service, Streator and Mendota each had over 3 inches.  A weather spotter in Earlville measured just over 2 inches of rain while there was an inch and a half in Ottawa.

Peru, Oglesby, Sheridan and Seneca all had just over an inch of rain yesterday.

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Westclox Arson Trial Begins Thursday

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

A bench trial for the La Salle teenager accused of setting Westclox on fire is Thursday.

The first witness will be the La Salle firefighter injured during the Westclox fire.  Judge H. Chris Ryan will then postpone Steven Gallacher’s trial until September 20th because of scheduling conflicts.

Last week Gallacher chose a bench trial instead of a jury.  He and a 15-year old boy from Peru are accused of going into the middle building of Westclox on New Year’s Eve and starting a fire that cost thousands of dollars.

Gallacher remains in the La Salle County Jail on 250 thousand dollars bond.

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Governor Signs Wide Range Of New Laws

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

The governor has been busy signing bills that cover a little of everything.

Governor signed one bill that takes out any mention of disability in state laws and replaces it with the term “person with disability”.  The governor also cracked down on sex offenders, signing a law adds luring or attempted luring of a minor to crimes that require a person to be on the sex offender registry.

The governor signed other crime-related bills like one which establishes sales tax evasion as a felony offense along with “Caylee’s Law” based on the Casey Anthony case.  That law makes it a felony to not report the death or disappearance of a child 13 and under within 24 hours.

And in the case of “that wasn’t a law already?” the governor signed a bill making it a crime to engage in sexual conduct with or involving a corpse.

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Gas Prices About To Go Up?

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

Are you going to rush out and fill up on gas because a hurricane is in the news?

Right now, pre-Hurricane Isaac gas prices in the Illinois Valley range from 3.59 to 3.79 a gallon.  The cheapest gas is at stations in Streator with the most expensive gas in La Salle and Peru.

The average price of gas right now in Illinois is 4 bucks a gallon.  That’s fifth highest in the country.

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Prices Of Sold Homes In The Illinois Valley Soar

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

In the market to buy a house? Prices have gone up.

According to the latest state numbers, the average selling price of a home in La Salle County in July was 113 thousand dollars, an 11 percent jump from a year ago.  In Bureau County, the average sale price of a house last month was 100 thousand dollars, up 13 percent from 2011.

In Putnam County, the average selling price for homes sold last month was 144 thousand dollars, that’s a jump of over a thousand percent.

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Peterson Murder Trial Coming To A End

Posted by wlpo on August 27, 2012

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

Heading into today, they’ve called more than 30 witnesses over a month in their bid to prove Peterson killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.  After the state rests, the defense is expected to ask the judge to enter a not guilty verdict before jurors even begin deliberations. “Directed verdicts” are rarely granted. But the lack of any physical evidence and the state’s reliance on hearsay evidence makes it a possibility in Peterson’s case.

If the motion isn’t granted, Peterson’s lawyers would have their opportunity to start calling their own witnesses.

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