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Archive for March 2nd, 2016

Morris Woman Sentenced for Taking Money while Grundy County Bookkeeper

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

A former Grundy County official will have nearly 500 hours of community service to think about how she shouldn’t have stolen more than $40,000 from the county.

Renae Chronister from Morris was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to stealing the money during her time as a bookkeeper for the Grundy County Health Department. The Illinois Attorney General’s office found out Chronister had made a pattern of deposits between 2009 and 2013 that were used for shopping trips and salon visits, among other things.

Chronister has been sentenced to 24 months of probation and 480 hours of community service. That’s in addition, of course, to being ordered to pay back the $42,000.

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A Winter Weather Advisory Means Snow and Ice Likely for the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

Before you head to work or school Thursday morning, you may need a snow shovel and you’ll want to be careful wherever you’re heading. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that will be in effect from 9:00 Wednesday through 10:00 Thursday  morning.

Snow is expected to start falling across the Illinois Valley Wednesday evening and continue through the morning. Right now spots along Interstate 80 are looking at between 2 to 5 inches of the white stuff. The snow could make it tough to see in some spots and also could make for icy roads.

There’s going to be another chance of snow Friday night into Saturday. But it’s not an entirely snowy forecast, next Tuesday the Illinois Valley could see a high temperature in the mid-60s.


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Experts Describe Crime Scene During Second Day of Horman Murder Trial

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

The second day of the trial for a Dayton man accused of murdering an Ottawa truck wash owner felt a lot like an episode of CSI.

Prosecutors continued to make their case against William Horman, who allegedly beat Robert Dowd to death last April. They used investigators and scientists to try to prove that blood found at Rob’s Washouts came from when Horman attacked him with a homemade club.

They also tried to show that “unknown bone fragments” found in a fire pit and in the Fox River were Dowd’s. They believe the pieces of bone were left when Horman burned Dowd’s body to try to hide the murder.

Public Defender Tim Cappellini took issue with the bones, saying the investigators that found them “aren’t qualified” to say whether they were even human bones, let alone Dowd’s. Horman faces up to 60 years in jail if found guilty of murder.

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Ottawa woman accused of gas station hold up

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

A gas station robbery near Springfield may have been pulled off by a woman from Ottawa.

Twenty-seven-year-old Brittany Cook was arrested by Ottawa P.D. Tuesday at her home on a Sangamon County warrant for armed robbery. She’s accused of holding up a Circle K gas station last month in Divernon. When arresting Cook, officers allegedly found the weapon Cook used in robbing the gas station.

She was hauled off to the county jail needing $10,000 to get out.

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Donations rolling in ahead of Illinois Primary

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

With the Illinois Primary now under two weeks away, more money is funneling into the 76th District State Representative race.

Tuesday a couple big donations were filed in support of Republican Jacob Bramel of Marseilles. Businessman Richard Uihlein with Uline Corporation in Lake Forest donated $5,400 to Bramel’s campaign. Leenie Productions, LLC out of Mundelein donated a thousand dollars to Bramel.

His Republican opponent Jerry Long of Streator has received nearly $20,000 from State Representative Jim Durkin’s team since the beginning of the year. Long has also received thousand dollar donations from State Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine, from the House Republican Organization and from the Tool & Manufacturing Association Political Action Committee.

The winner between Long and Bramel takes on Democrat Andy Skoog of La Salle in November. Since the beginning of the year, Skoog received a $20,000 donation from the Chicago Land Operators PAC and a $2,000 contribution from the Ameren PAC. He’s also received thousand dollar donations from the Operating Engineers, Chicago Council of Carpenters and IBEW.

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Dog killed and family displaced in Streator house fire

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

Fire killed a dog and displaced a family in Streator.

Streator firefighters showed up to a house on Laura Avenue Tuesday afternoon to find heavy smoke coming from the chimney. They had the fire out in about 15 minutes but did find a dead dog inside the one-story house.

The home is unlivable and the family of four who used to live there is getting help from the American Red Cross. The cause of the fire is under investigation but it’s not considered to be anything suspicious.

The home is on the northeast side of Streator, a few blocks east of Northlawn School.

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Grant could mean more firefighters in Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on March 2, 2016

The City of Ottawa is looking to add firefighters in a way that wont’ taxpayers anything.

The Ottawa City Council approved a resolution last night allowing the city to apply for a SAFER Grant. According to Commissioner Tom Ganiere, the grant would allow the fire department to hire six new firefighters, and their salaries and benefits would be paid fully by the federal government for the first two years. After that, the city would have to pay the costs.

The Ottawa Fire Department currently has about 30 employees. Ganiere said there is competition for the SAFER Grants, and the city should know but the fall if they were selected.

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