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Archive for May 18th, 2016

Pedestrian Deaths Rise Statewide, but Illinois Valley Continues to Buck Trend

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

While one alarming stat continues to rise across the country, the issue is almost nonexistent in the Illinois Valley.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 150 pedestrian deaths in the state last year compared to 127 the year before. National data shows a similar increase, with pedestrian deaths at the highest rates seen since 2005.

If those numbers have you worried about taking a walk, you can rest easy. Between 2010 and 2014, there was only one pedestrian death in all of LaSalle, Bureau, and Putnam counties combined, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Fatal crashes not involving pedestrians, however, still appear to be on the rise.

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Son of Chester Weger arrested in Oglesby

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

The son of convicted murderer Chester Weger has found himself in trouble with the law.

Fifty-six-year-old John Weger was arrested Tuesday night at his Oglesby apartment. He was picked up on a La Salle County warrant for violating a court order of being in a public park as a registered sex offender. Weger was also ticketed for loitering.

He’s in the La Salle County Jail needing $500 to get out. Weger is due back in court June 10th.

His father meanwhile has been in prison since April of 1961 for murdering a woman at Starved Rock State Park.

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Sandwich woman scratches off six-figure lotto ticket

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

A five dollar investment has turned into $250,000.

Billie Rix of Sandwich bought a five dollar “Aces High” scratch off ticket while buying a soda at a Shell station in Sandwich. Rix scratched it off in her car and ran back inside to confirm her $250,000 winning ticket.

She plans to share the winnings with her sister along with invest towards retirement and go on a fishing trip. The gas station that sold the ticket gets $2,500.

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Conservation Police making progress in deer head theft in Streator

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

The case of a couple stolen deer heads in Streator could be coming to a resolution soon.

Conservation Police Sgt. Phil Wire says they have a “person of interest” in the theft of deer heads last November from Terry’s Taxidermy in Streator. Wire says a landowner on the north side of Streator recently found the stolen antlers on his property.

Terry Dordan was the victim of the theft. He says in 31 years of business, nothing like this had ever happened before.

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Murder for hire suspect gets indicted by a La Salle County Grand Jury

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

A grand jury in La Salle County has found enough probable cause to charge a homeless man with three counts of solicitation of murder for hire.

Twenty-two-year-old Cody Smith who previously had ties to LaMoille and La Salle was indicted Tuesday. While he was in jail for an unrelated sexual assault charge, prosecutors claim he started talking with someone he thought was a contract killer. The “killer” was in fact another police officer working with deputies to uncover Smith’s alleged plans to have three witnesses to his alleged crime killed.

Smith needs to find $220,000 to get out of jail while he awaits a trial.

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Charges mount against former L-P substitute teacher

Posted by wlpo on May 18, 2016

A grand jury has added more charges in the case of a former L-P volunteer baseball coach and substitute teacher.

Twenty-four-year-old Kyle Pisano of Peru now faces additional counts of criminal sexual assault to go along with his initial two felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The criminal sexual assault charges accuse Pisano of a sex crime against a student while he was in a position of trust and authority. That means Pisano was the victim’s substitute teacher at some point.

Pisano was arrested at his home in Peru a couple weeks ago. He had already resigned as a substitute teacher and coach. Pisano has posted $7,500 bond and is out of custody. He’s due back in court June 6th.

The new charges of criminal sexual assault carry a maximum sentence of 15 years for each charge and if convicted, Pisano would have to serve the penalties separately and not be eligible for probation.

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