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Archive for March 10th, 2015

Home invasion charge dropped in La Salle involuntary manslaughter case

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

The La Salle man in jail for allegedly attacking and killing his stepfather with a rock, plastic shovel and gas can is catching a break.

Originally Darnell Williams faced involuntary manslaughter and home invasion charges in last month’s death of 47-year-old Mark Jonas. But after talking to witnesses, La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says the fatal scuffle happened outside Jonas’ home so Williams was indicted yesterday just for involuntary manslaughter which makes him eligible for probation. Home invasion would’ve brought a stiffer potential prison sentence.

The 21-year-old Williams is accused of attacking Jonas after he kicked in his door. Williams was allegedly trying to get his mom to sign over a car title.

Jonas went unresponsive during the scuffle and was pronounced dead at Illinois Valley Community Hospital. The doctor who performed an autopsy on Jonas says he died from a heart attack caused in part by the altercation.
Williams is being held on a million dollars bond.

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La Salle extends time businesses can sell packaged liquor

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

Second shifters in La Salle now have the chance to buy a 12-pack on their way home.

The La Salle City Council changed its liquor ordinance to allow stores to start selling packaged liquor until 2 in the morning. Before the change packaged liquor sales had to end at 11 at night.

With a 24-hour Casey’s already open and a 24-hour Becks opening this year, the council thought it made sense to extend hours businesses can sell liquor. Towns like Peru, Ottawa and Oglesby also allow packaged liquor sales well past midnight.

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Northview Elementary principal gets state recognition

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

An elementary school principal in Peru has been named Illinois’ top principal.

Sara McDonald of Northview Elementary was voted Illinois Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association. She’ll be recognized at a conference in the fall and have a chance at the nationalaward. McDonald also receives $1,000 for her efforts.

Peru Elementary Superintendent Mark Cross says McDonald is “the consummate instructional leader and is very passionate about making positive things happen for our students”.

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Fire breaks out at business in north La Salle

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

Smoke was billowing from M&M News Agency in La Salle as firefighters arrived Tuesday morning.

The initial 9-1-1 call came in around 9:50 about heavy smoke showing from the business on North 30th Road, also known as Civic Road just west of the Flying J truck stop. La Salle and Peru firefighters came to the building while Utica and Oglesby firefighters were asked to help man the La Salle fire station.

Workers got out right when smoke started showing. The cause of the fire is undetermined.

Firefighters were at the scene for two and a half hours.

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Change in leadership coming to St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

There’s going to be a change at the top at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa.

President and CEO Bob Chaffin is retiring March 20th. He started at the Ottawa hospital in 1989 as Vice President of Finance.

Ken Beutke will become the interim president once Chaffin retires. Right now he’s the Vice President of Organizational Development & Planning for OSF St. James Hospital in Pontiac.

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Woman hurt in crash outside Marseilles

Posted by wlpo on March 10, 2015

The lunch hour meant a trip to the hospital for a Marseilles woman involved in a crash.

La Salle County deputies say Ryan Threatt of Riverdale pulled out in front of Kathy Waits at an intersection north of Marseilles Monday afternoon. Waits was taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Hospital in Ottawa.

Threatt wasn’t hurt but was ticketed for disobeying a traffic control device.

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