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Archive for December 18th, 2014

Carriage rides to benefit holiday charity in Mendota

Posted by wlpo on December 18, 2014

Would you like to go for a carriage ride? For a donation, you can take a horse drawn carriage ride through Mendota. The donations will go to Operation Elf, a program that’s been collecting toys for children.

The rides are available Thursday through Saturday from 5:30-8pm. They leave from the parking lot across from Waterfalls Casual Dining.

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Chester Weger denied parole for the 19th time

Posted by wlpo on December 18, 2014

It’s wait until next year for Chester Weger. For the 19th time, the convicted killer from Oglesby has been denied parole.

The Illinois Prisoner Review Board Thursday voted 9 to 3 to keep Weger in prison for the infamous 1960 “Starved Rock Murders”. He began serving a life sentence in 1961 after being convicted of killing Lillian Oetting at Starved Rock State Park. Two other women from the suburbs were also killed but Weger wasn’t charged with their deaths.

La Salle County States Attorney Brian Towne attended Thursday’s hearing in Springfield along with a niece of Weger.

The 75-year-old Weger is being held at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center. He’s the longest serving inmate in Illinois.

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Crash on Route 23 near Streator sends four people to hospitals

Posted by wlpo on December 18, 2014

A teenage girl was flown to Peoria after a crash on Route 23 north of Streator.

Michala McStoots is in fair condition at St. Francis Medical Center after being flown there Wednesday night. She was riding in a vehicle driven by Aaron Walker of Streator.

According to the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, Walker was turning from Route 23 onto a county road when he was hit by Kathleen Schaefer of Streator. Schaefer, Walker and a second passenger of his Kyle Russo of Streator were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Walker was ticketed for failing to yield while Schaefer was ticketed for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

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Donation drive underway for Seneca teen hurt in head-on crash

Posted by wlpo on December 18, 2014

It’s a parents worse nightmare. Getting a call that your son or daughter has been involved in a crash.

That call for one family came the morning of August 28th when 16-year-old Katelynn Ortiz of Seneca hit a semi head on while on her way to school. She was flown to a Downers Grove Hospital and 13 surgeries later is now at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

She cannot eat, walk or talk on her own. Relatives say Ortiz could come home to Seneca early next year but will have to make frequent trips for therapy to Chicago and the family home needs handicap modifications.

To help with the costs, a fund for Katelynn has been set up at gofundme.com. Donations will be used to buy a wheelchair-accessible van and a wheelchair ramp for her home. Any money leftover will be used to help towards medical costs.

You can donate here http://www.gofundme.com/BringKatelynnHome

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Sand mine developments helping to keep taxes down in Utica

Posted by wlpo on December 18, 2014

Love it or hate it, there’s no debating the sand mining boom is helping Utica’s revenues.

According to the NewsTribune, property taxes in Utica will stay the same thanks in large part to sand mines adding over $3 million to the villages tax base. Trustees hope to use the extra cash coming in from sand mines for infrastructure improvements including sewers.

Village Attorney Herb Klein says Utica’s tax base has tripled since 2002 thanks to developments like sand mines, Love’s Travel Stop and Grand Bear Lodge. This has enabled Utica to have the lowest tax rate in La Salle County according to Klein.

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