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Archive for May 21st, 2015

High profile murder cases heard this week by judges in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on May 21, 2015

If you noticed Chicago media milling around Ottawa Thursday it was because Drew Peterson’s case is back in the news.

The Third District Court of Appeals in Ottawa heard arguments from Peterson’s attorneys asking to have his 2012 murder conviction overturned. Peterson’s defense team believes prosecutors shouldn’t have been allowed to present second-hand evidence during the trial and that Peterson prior attorney was ineffective.

Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence for killing his third wife Kathleen Savio. Members of the Will County States Attorney’s Office were also in Ottawa defending the murder conviction.

The appeals court will give its decision at a later date. On Tuesday the same judges in Ottawa took up another high profile murder case involving Christopher Vaughn.

Vaughn of Oswego is serving a life sentence for killing his wife and children along Interstate 55 near Channahon.

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Two alleged heroin dealers from Chicago are indicted in La Salle County

Posted by wlpo on May 21, 2015

Alleged drug dealers named “Bobo” and “Tito” remain in the La Salle County Jail.

Deonta “Bobo” Harding and Ricardo “Tito” Hebron of Chicago were indicted Tuesday in La Salle County court for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. They were arrested last week for allegedly dealing heroin in Ottawa and elsewhere around the Illinois Valley.

Bond for both is $750,000.

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National website lists Mendota as the safest town in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on May 21, 2015

How safe do you feel in your city? A new study has been done listing the safest small towns in Illinois.

The website has put out a top 70 ranking of safest Illinois towns with a population under a 100,000. Mendota is ranked as the 7th safest small town in Illinois with La Salle checking in at 13th. Streator is listed as the 19th safest small town just ahead of Ottawa at 20th and Peru rated 23rd. Princeton is rated as the 63rd safest town small city in Illinois, one spot behind Bloomington.

The safety of cities was based on crime rates per person living in a town. Crimes that were part of the study were: murder; assault; robbery; burglary; larceny and vehicle theft.

You can find the safe town rankings here

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Shake up in L-P’s athletics department

Posted by wlpo on May 21, 2015

To fill two administrator spots, the L-P school board looked in-house.

Randy Gunia is the new Director of Athletics and Activities, taking over for D’Wayne Bates, who’s leaving to become the AD at Glenbard East High School. Gunia is a 1987 LP grad and has been teaching English at the school since 2003. He was picked out of four applicants. In order to become the full-time athletic director, Gunia resigned as head coach of varsity boys and girls golf.

Clay Theisinger was named the new Director of Teaching and Learning, a new position that is essentially an offshoot of the former Dean of Students position. Theisinger is a 2006 LP grad and has been teaching at the school since 2010.

To make time for their new jobs, Gunia resigned as boys and girls golf coach while Theisinger resigned as girl’s tennis coach.

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Spring election could include another tax referendum for Waltham Schools

Posted by wlpo on May 21, 2015

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. That’s the approach being considered by the Waltham Elementary School Board.

According to the NewsTribune, board members are thinking about bringing back a referendum question asking Waltham taxpayers to spend nearly $7 million on expanding the Waltham North building. Last month, over 70 percent of the voters in Utica and Waltham said no to increasing taxes for a school expansion.

Board members think the heavy defeat could be at least partially blamed on not having enough time to state their case for voting yes.

While money was a big concern, some voters don’t like the idea of closing the Waltham South School in Utica.

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