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Archive for August 30th, 2012

Westclox Arson Trial Starts

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

The Westclox arson trial is officially underway.

Former La Salle firefighter Steve Smith took the stand yesterday in the aggravated arson trial against 17-year old Steven Gallacher of La Salle.  Smith testified how he was hurt just minutes into the New Year’s Eve Westclox fire.  It’s Smith’s injury that elevated the charge against Gallacher from arson to aggravated arson.

Gallacher’s bench trial is now on break until September 20th because of scheduling issues.  He’ll wait until then in jail on 250 thousand dollars bond.

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Drug overdose awareness purpose behind Peru walk

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

Two local mothers who lost their sons to accidental drug overdoses want everyone to know that drugs overdoses are more common than you think.  They’re holding a Memory and Awareness Walk for Drug Overdose Awareness Day Friday evening along Peru’s riverfront.

Lori Brown lost her son Justin Pratt to a drug overdose last November.  Brown has publicized the walk on Facebook.  She expects about 150 people to participate.

If you would like to participate be at the Fourth Street Bakery in Peru by 5:30pm Friday for registration.  At 6pm the group will head west on Fourth Street to Calhoun Street to Putnam Street with a balloon release and speakers at Water Street.  There is no cost to walk.

An interview with Brown is available at the AM 1220 WLPO news page.

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Tri County Fair opens Friday

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

Farm animals, carnival rides and grandstand events will fill the fairgrounds in Mendota this weekend.  Gates open at 3pm Friday for the annual Tri County Fair.

Some of the highlights include megacross racing Friday night, the truck and tractor pulls Saturday, and the demolition derby Monday.

You can also put your skills to the test during a hot dog eating contest, bags tournament, and the farmer Olympics.

It’s free to go to the fair but grandstand events are not.  It runs through Monday.

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Driver Identified In Marseilles Crash That Seriously Injured Young Girl

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

More than two months after the crash, police have finally released the man’s name who hit 12-year old Jennifer Dennis in Marseilles.

According to Marseilles Police, Brandon Mumaugh of Marseilles was driving an SUV the night of June 12th when he hit Dennis who was walking along County Highway 15.  Dennis is still being treated for serious injuries.

Marseilles Police say a toxicology report on Mumaugh has been finished and sent to the State’s Attorney’s Office.  They’re still waiting for an accident reconstruction report to be finished before any kind of charges could be filed.

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Weger Up For Parole Again

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

The man convicted in the “Starved Rock murders” is up for parole again.

73 year old Chester Weger had his 17th parole hearing yesterday in Springfield.  As has been the case for the past several years, La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne told the prisoner review board Weger should stay in prison.

Weger was convicted in 1961 of killing a woman from Riverside.  Prosecutors think he killed two other women at Starved Rock but was only tried for one murder.

The vote to deny parole was 8 to 5 last year after being unanimous against the year before.  The board’s expected to give its latest decision on Weger September 27th.

Weger’s currently being held at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

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Tax Man Calling In La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

It’s that time of the year again, time to pay your property taxes.

The second installment of property taxes in La Salle County is due next Thursday.  If you have taxes automatically withdrawn from a bank account, they will be taken out next Thursday.  You can also pay by credit card at, pay by check and drop it off at your bank, a drive-thru drop box at the county complex in Ottawa or mail the check to the county treasurer’s office.

If you don’t pay property taxes before the deadline, a late fee starts adding up September 7th.

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Attorney General Says She’s Watching For Price Gouging

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois gas stations have been put on notice that the law is watching them for any price gouging in the event Tropical Storm Isaac disrupts fuel supplies from the Gulf of Mexico.

Under state law, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office can investigate gas prices in cases where a natural disaster disrupts supply. She says her office will be watching to see if price increases are justified by a spike in wholesale prices or if they’re the result of illegal gouging.

Madigan says Illinois drivers hitting the roads during the Labor Day weekend should expect to see higher prices, in part because of the storm.

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