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Archive for December 19th, 2012

Dwight Prison Closure Inevitable

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

The closure of the Dwight women’s prison could happen at any time.

A judge Wednesday lifted an injunction that was preventing Governor Pat Quinn from closing the prison.  The governor says the closure will be “completed in the coming weeks”.

Quinn wanted to close Dwight and other corrections facilities at the end of August but AFSCME got an injunction stopping him.  The governor says the delay in keeping Dwight and other buildings open after he wanted to close them has cost taxpayers seven million dollars.

According to the governor, workers at the Dwight prison have been offered jobs at other prisons.  Over 300 people work at the women’s prison including dozens who live in La Salle County.


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La Salle County Sheriff’s Department looking for clues in armed robbery

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

Three weeks after a woman was robbed at gun point near Earlville, investigators are asking for your help.

The La Salle County Sheriff’s Department says the holdup happened on December 6 three miles east of Earlville.  A man with a black handgun made an elderly woman give up her keys and purse before pushing her to the ground and leaving in her black Dodge Caravan.

The van was found in Aurora after having been set on fire.

If you have any information call the La Salle County Sheriff’s Department.

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Lacon man arrested after drug investigation in Putnam County

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

An investigation into illegal drugs in Putnam County has left a man from Lacon arrested.  Kyle Schmitt was arrested Wednesday in neighboring Marshall County on warrants for unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Schmitt was being held in the Putnam County Jail with is bond set at $7,500.

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Illinois Valley included in Winter Storm Warning

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

Make sure you have a scraper in your car.  A snow shovel and rock salt would be good to have too.  The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning to begin Thursday afternoon.

Rain is expected to change to wet snow Thursday afternoon.  It will also become colder and windier.  Up to four inches could fall across the region.  Snow will also be blowing.

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Local Coach Facing 2013 Trial For Sex Abuse

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

A trial date has been given for a former local coach and recreation coordinator.

Ryan Luecke of Peru was in Bureau County Court Tuesday being charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  He was arrested last month after allegedly having a young child fondle him.  At the time of his arrest, Luecke was the recreation coordinator at the Bureau County Metro Center.  He also coached girl’s basketball at Cherry Grade School.

Luecke’s trial is supposed to start April 29th.  He’s out of jail after posting 25 hundred dollars bond.

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La Salle Paving Way For New Athletic Complex

Posted by wlpo on December 19, 2012

If the new tax increment financing district in La Salle were a puzzle the final two pieces are in place.  Land belonging to Mertel Investment Company and Betty Diedrick was annexed into La Salle last night to be included in the TIF being created for the LP Athletic Complex.

The land is on the north end of town and amounts roughly 140 acres.  Part of the agreement with the owners and the city is that they’ll receiving city fire and police protection and will be zoned to allowing manufacturing but no multi-family housing.  They also won’t have to pay city property taxes unless until land is sold.

Mayor Jeff Grove wants the council to be able to approve the ordinance creating the TIF district at their January 2 meeting.  Two public hearings have already been held.

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