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Archive for September, 2012

Charges Filed Against Mother Accused Of Dumping Baby

Posted by wlpo on September 29, 2012

TOULON, Ill. (AP) – A 19-year-old Toulon mother has been charged with dumping her 3-week-old daughter along a road and lying to police about the baby’s whereabouts.

Kendra Meaker of Toulon was charged Friday with obstruction of justice and endangering the life or health of a child. Bond was set at $100,000. An Amber Alert was issued Thursday for Mia Thompson. The baby was reported abducted from outside the Toulon post office. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says the baby was being cared for at a hospital.

A telephone listing for Meaker in Toulon was disconnected. Her aunt, Sandra Hollingworth of Marseilles, says the family has endured “a hellish 24 hours.”

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Sand Mine Proposed Near Starved Rock Gets State Permits

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

A big hurdle cleared for Mississippi Sand’s plans for mining outside Starved Rock State Park.

The Illinois EPA Bureaus of Air and Water have issued construction and storm water permits to Mississippi Sand for their plant along Route 71.  The permit will allow Mississippi Sand to use crushers, screens, conveyors and other equipment that would be sources of air emissions.  The EPA decision says they’re confident Mississippi Sand will not have a significant impact on air quality.

The Missouri-based company hoped to start mining sand this year near the east entrance of Starved Rock but the permit process has lagged.  Opposition groups like the Sierra Club think the mine will have a negative impact on the state park.

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Huge I-80 Pot Bust Near La Salle

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

A hefty pot bust on Interstate 80 near La Salle.

State Police say they stopped a GMC Yukon Thursday morning for speeding in a construction zone.  A La Salle drug dog led troopers to eight cardboard boxes full of cannabis inside the SUV driven by Raamah Bonilla of New York.  He’s accused of hauling 143 pounds of pot.

Bonilla was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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I-80 Crash Near Princeton Blamed On Drunk Driver

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

A woman accused of driving drunk near Princeton was hurt in a crash.

State troopers say Emily Watson of Granville was westbound on Interstate 80 late Wednesday night when she hit the trailer of a semi she tried passing.  Watson swerved, hit a bridge railing and overturned into a ditch.  She was taken to Perry Memorial Hospital.

Watson was arrested for DUI.

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State Rep Says Starved Rock Could Close Without New Revenue

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

Remember the backlash a few years ago when places like Illini State Park closed because of budget cuts?  Imagine what it would be like if Starved Rock State Park was closed.

During a candidate’s forum last night in Ottawa, State Representative Frank Mautino said Starved Rock could close in around two years if new money doesn’t come in to support the Department of Natural Resources.  A bill that would impose over a dozen user fees has passed the House and Mautino thinks the Senate will vote on it early next year.  If it fails, parks would be closed since the DNR is already broke.

Besides everyone paying two bucks more for their driver’s license to benefit the DNR, Mautino’s bill would have other user fees paid by anyone who hunts, camps or fishes.  Mautino’s election opponent, Republican Don Jensen says he’s also for user fees at state parks.

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Infant Taken From Toulon Post Office Found

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

A search to find a missing infant in Toulon ended with the baby girl being found safe.  But her young mother was arrested.

3-week old Mia Thompson was found by a couple of volunteers Thursday evening according to the Stark County Sheriff’s Department.  She was taken to a nearby hospital.

The girl was reported missing just after 8am Thursday when police were told she was taken from the back of a car that was parked outside of the Toulon post office.

An Amber Alert was issued and police began looking for a woman with brown hair and yellow sweatpants.

It’s unclear if that woman exists.  Mia’s mother, 19-year-old Kendra Meaker was arrested related to the girl’s disappearance.  The sheriff’s office says they’re still investigating.

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Scarecrow Festival Back In Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on September 28, 2012

Here’s a sure sign Fall is here, the annual Scarecrow Festival in Ottawa.

The 26th edition of the festival is this Saturday from 10 until 4 in the downtown area.  Cash prizes will be given out for the best scarecrow designs by non-profit groups and individuals.  A travelling trophy is up for grabs for businesses.  The scarecrow theme this year is the 50 states.

Besides the scarecrows, there will be vendors, hayrack rides, bags tournament, petting zoo and chili cook-off.

Cowboy from 96.5 the Wolf will broadcast from the festival starting at 10 Saturday morning.

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Unemployment numbers slightly down from August 2011

Posted by wlpo on September 27, 2012

If unemployment is any indicator of how the economy is doing, locally it hasn’t changed much since last summer.  Numbers released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that area unemployment levels were slightly better in August than they were last August.

Unemployment in La Salle County last month was 11.1%, in Bureau County it was 10% and in Putnam County was 9.2%.

For the Ottawa-Streator area it was 10.8%.  Over the past year jobs were added in construction and professional-business services but many were lost in manufacturing and retail.

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Peru will have a 9th alderman following April 2013 election

Posted by wlpo on September 27, 2012

A change in ward boundaries will create a ninth alderman seat in Peru.  The new boundaries become effective with the April 2013 election and will put First Ward Alderman Mike Radtke in ward two.

According to a written opinion from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office, Radtke will keep his seat on the council as an alderman at-large and a position will be on the April ballot for a two-year term in ward one along with the seat that would have been up for grabs anyway.  The city received the information Wednesday.

Every two years a council seat from each ward is up for re-election.

You can get a petition to run for the April election by visiting the city clerk’s office or going online to the Illinois State Board of Elections site.

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Motorcyclicst From Ladd In Serious Condition After Crash

Posted by wlpo on September 27, 2012

A local biker is in serious condition after crashing trying to get onto Interstate 80.

William Moore of Ladd was thrown from his motorcycle Wednesday morning while going down the on-ramp from Route 251 to I-80.  Troopers say he went off the left side of the ramp into a grassy area.  He overturned his motorcycle.

Moore was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital and then flown to St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.  He wasn’t wearing a helmet.

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