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Archive for March 1st, 2016

LaSalle Public Library Offers Free Tax Assistance

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

With six weeks left to file your taxes, do you think you could use a little help? Look no further than the LaSalle Public Library.

From 9:30 until 5:00 on Wednesday, three tax preparers from the AARP will be available to help low and middle income families, as well as senior citizens, with filing tax returns electronically.

If you’d like help, they’re asking you bring last year’s tax returns, photo ID, a copy of your property tax bill if you have one, and your Social Security or Medicare card along with proof of insurance if not covered by Medicare.

The library is at 305 Marquette Street in LaSalle. If you can’t make it today, the program will also be on Wednesday, March 30.

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Accomplice Gives Detailed Account of Night Ottawa Truck Wash Owner was Allegedly Murdered

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Murder defendant William Horman’s alleged accomplice described every grim detail of the night last year when an Ottawa truck wash owner was supposedly killed.

Jonathan Beckman of Wedron testified during the first day of Horman’s trial. The 22-year old said Horman was mad at the victim, Robert Dowd; because he wasn’t made a partner in Dowd’s business. Beckman described how the two went to Rob’s Washouts where Horman beat the sleeping Dowd to death with a 3-foot long club.

The two burned Dowd’s body in a fire pit in front of a trailer he was renting, according to Beckman. Then he kept watch while Horman threw the ashes into the Fox River.

Public Defender Tim Cappellini questioned Beckman’s story, saying he had told police multiple conflicting stories. Cappellini also said that Beckman’s murder charge would be dropped as part of a deal with the state. Because he testified, Beckman now only faces a maximum of 5 years in prison.

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Opening statements made in Ottawa murder trial

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Murder defendant William Horman told others he would make Robert Dowd disappear before the Ottawa truck wash owner did go missing. That’s according to La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne.

During opening arguments Tuesday morning, Towne told the jury that after a business deal fell through between Horman and Dowd, he showed up at Dowd’s truck wash and beat him to death with a homemade club. Horman of Dayton along with the help of 22-year-old Jonathan Beckman of Wedron then allegedly took Dowd’s body to a burn pit and dumped his remains in the Fox River.

Public Defender Doug Kramarsic argued to the jury that the prosecution can’t prove Dowd was murdered and they also can’t prove they found his body. Kramarsic claimed the prosecutions evidence would show nothing to the jury.

Among the witnesses being called during the first day of the murder trial are Jonathan Beckman who worked out a deal to plead guilty to a lesser crime in order to testify against Horman.

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Cigarette butt blamed for fire that gutted an Ottawa home

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Careless smoking is the reason why a family lost their home in Ottawa.

Ottawa firefighters were called to a house fire at 710 Illinois Avenue just before 11 Monday night. When they got to the scene, they saw heavy fire coming from the backside of the one-story house. An Ottawa police officer actually first saw the fire and got the sleeping family out of the home.

Ottawa Fire Chief Steve Haywood says the home is a total loss. He thinks someone smoking behind the house missed a coffee can with their discarded cigarette butt and that led to the fire.

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Ottawa wine festival will also feature locally brewed beer

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Although it’s called the Ottawa Two Rivers Wine & Jazz Festival, beer lovers won’t be left out this year.

Craft beer will be served at the June festival and all the beer will be brewed in Ottawa. Tangled Roots Brewing Company and the Radium City Brewers will provide craft beer to go along with all the wine and jazz music. Tangled Roots Brewing Company is behind the newly opened brewery in downtown Ottawa on La Salle Street.

The festival runs this year June 10th through the 12th. The music lineup and ticket information will be announced soon.

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Morning wintry mix leads to truck rollover

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

There wasn’t a lot of ice and snow but it was enough to overturn a pickup truck north of Leland.

Thirty-one-year-old Sara Garrison of Earlville was on a county road Tuesday morning when she rolled her truck onto the driver’s side. Garrison was taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital with “non-life threatening injuries”.

Deputies say the crash was a combination of wintry weather and Garrison driving too fast for the conditions.

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2016 continues to be a deadly year on the roads

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

The alarming number of fatal crashes continues in the Illinois Valley.

In La Salle County, two more crashes involved deaths in February. So far this year six people have been killed in five crashes in La Salle County. In Bureau County last month, there were two fatal crashes involving two deaths. That brings the 2016 tally to five deaths in five crashes for Bureau County.

When comparing numbers statewide, only Cook, Winnebago and Lake County had more people killed in crashes so far this year than La Salle County. Despite its size, Bureau County has had more traffic deaths than much more populated counties like Rock Island, Champaign and Madison.

Putnam County in 2016 has yet to have a fatal crash.

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Cost of Rotary Park entrance improvements causes debate in La Salle

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

There’s going to be work done later this year to make the entrance into La Salle’s Rotary Park safer.

The La Salle City Council is agreeing to fork over $315,000 to put in turn lanes, curb and gutter and widen the Troy Grove Blacktop at the park’s south entrance. La Salle County plans to resurface the blacktop this year from Route 6 to just north of Rotary Park.

Alderman Jim Bacidore voted against spending the money to redo the Rotary Park entrance saying they don’t have that kind of cash and the park just isn’t busy enough most days to warrant the work. When told by other alderman that the city agreed years back to eventually pay for a wider park entrance, Bacidore said “it must have been a meeting I slept through”.

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Power outage hits Princeton on Monday night

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Ameren has some explaining to do in Princeton.

For the second time in three days, power went out for a chunk of Princeton. Princeton Mayor Joel Quiram says he hasn’t been told what caused Monday night’s outage or one that affected thousands Saturday morning. He’s requesting a report from Ameren about what the problem is and how the issues are being resolved.

On the positive side, when there are problems with Ameren’s lines, Quiram says the city’s generators will be ready and power loss will be limited.

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Weather spotter class returns to IVCC

Posted by wlpo on March 1, 2016

Here’s something to get you thinking about warmer weather. It’s almost time for the annual weather spotter class at Illinois Valley Community College.

The National Weather Service will host a Severe Weather Spotter Course tomorrow night at the college in Oglesby. If you go, you’ll learn the signs of severe weather including tornadoes, the responsibilities of storm spotters and how to remain safe while storm spotting and reporting. The course is free and goes from 7 until 9.

If you can’t make it tomorrow night, there’s another spotter class Monday, March 14th at the New Hope Church of the Nazarene in Princeton. That class runs from 6 until 8.

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