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Archive for August, 2016

First Human Case of West Nile in LaSalle County since 2014 Diagnosed

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

It turns out that, in LaSalle County, West Nile virus is no longer just for the birds.

The LaSalle County Health Department confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in the county since 2014. In a statement released Thursday, the department said someone in their 70’s tested positive for the virus earlier in August. It’s just the 6th case detected in the county in the past 10 years.

Chris Pozzi is the Director of Environmental Health and he says this reinforces the need to protect yourself against mosquito and other bites. The disease is often transmitted by the so-called house mosquito biting a person after biting an infected bird.

Pozzi says the best way to protect against the illness is to wear insect repellent. He says you can also reduce the number of mosquitoes around your house by getting rid of stagnant water.

In most cases, a person infected with the virus won’t show any symptoms, or will have mild symptoms like fever, nausea, headaches and muscle aches. People over 50 and those with weak immune systems can catch it easier.

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State Police say Steer Clear of “Fatal Four” for Safe Holiday Weekend Travels

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

If you’re planning on hitting the road this holiday weekend, State Troopers have some advice to help you stay safe during the busy travel time.

The biggest thing police say to avoid while behind the wheel are what they call the “fatal four” violations. They are speeding, DUI, driving distracted, and not wearing a seat-belt.

In addition, they’re in the middle of another “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which actually started last week. According to State Police, alcohol is a factor in one-third of fatal traffic crashes, so they recommend designating a driver.

Distracted driving can be just as deadly, though. Police say looking at your phone for just 5 seconds is like driving the length of nearly 2 football fields while blindfolded.

Despite the warnings, Lieutenant Victor Markowski says the weekend is a time to celebrate, but law enforcement will do what it takes to ensure it is a safe weekend as well.

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Ottawa Teen to Appear in Court, Accused of Hiding Bow Used in Murder

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

While the man behind a bow-and-arrow murder is due to be sentenced in September, the fate of the teen who allegedly tried to hide the murder weapon has yet to be decided.

Nineteen-year old Rachel Milton from Ottawa is due back in court Thursday morning. She’s currently facing a charge of obstruction of justice by destroying evidence. Milton is accused of hiding the bow 23-year old Bradley French used to kill 38-year old Joshua Scaman on Father’s Day of last year.

Milton posted bond shortly after her arrest last year and has been out of custody ever since.

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Boaters survive being sucked through Marseilles dam

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

According to Conservation police officer,  Sgt. Phil Wire, It’s happened 1 other time at Marseilles dam and  it happened again Wednesday night. An Oak Forest man and a female passenger were sucked into a gate, trapped briefly in a swirling water vortex then miraculously escaped out the other side.

Wire said a boat operated by 55-year old John Yorkman lost power before 7:30pm.  It struck the dam so hard, Yorkman and an unidentified  woman were thrown into the water. Both entered the far north gate, were tossed about in the violent churning of the water, and then, somehow, came out the other side. Wire said, many times humans drown while getting caught up in the churning action referred to as “the Hydraulic”.

Yorkman and the woman went to a hospital.. Their boat received some exterior damage. Yorkman will be cited with violations including operating a water craft under the influence of alcohol.

Wire says the river level is high making for a  fast current.  Recreational boating is strongly discouraged at this time.

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Latest on search for Deborah Dewey

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

Everything from helicopters to bloodhounds are being used in the search for 62-year old Deborah Dewey of Ladd.

The Illinois State Police is leading efforts to find the woman who was last seen August 22nd in Spring Valley. On Monday, searchers found her gray 2007 Buick LaCrosse at the TA Truck Stop in Morris. Troopers say the car was unlocked.

On Tuedsay volunteers gathered at Farm and Fleet in Ottawa and blanketed the area from Streator to Morris and beyond with missing person flyers. Deborah’s son Chris says despite spending the day looking, he’s not able to report anything new.

If you have any information about Deborah Dewey, call the state police in La Salle at 224-1171.

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Knife attack under investigation near Ottawa

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

A domestic spat allegedly got ugly north of Ottawa.

Deputies Tuesday night went out to the home of 41-year-old Julie Treest and arrested her for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She’s accused of attacking a family member with a knife.

Treest was taken to the La Salle County Jail.

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Construction planned at Starved Rock

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

Once Labor Day is over, construction crews will move in at Starved Rock State Park.

Beginning Tuesday, crews are expected to start resurfacing roads at the park. There won’t be any road closures but traffic will be down to one lane in some spots. Overnight guests at Starved Rock Lodge are encouraged to enter the park from Route 71 while hikers should get into the park using Route 178.

The construction work at the park could last a month.

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Morris man gets into shootout with federal agents

Posted by wlpo on August 31, 2016

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – An alleged drug dealer from Morris was injured in a shootout with U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officers in the parking lot of a Joliet mall.

The shooting happened Tuesday evening during an undercover drug bust operation outside the Louis Joliet Mall in Joliet. When agents moved in to arrest 31-year-old Adan Godinez, he is accused of firing at them. The officers returned fire, hitting Godinez in the leg. He was being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening. Several vehicles were hit by gunfire but no one else was injured.

Federal agents were looking to get cocaine from Godinez and the other unidentified man.

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Drug Dealing Duo Indicted for Allegedly Selling Crack Cocaine

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2016

Get caught dealing drugs in the Illinois Valley and you can expect to be behind bars for quite a while.

Two suspects who are charged with just that were indicted Tuesday by a grand jury. Fifty-two year old Carl Winchester was arrested at his Peru home for allegedly selling crack cocaine. Also arrested the same day was 32-year old Kandi Davis, a Joliet woman who is also charged with selling crack.

They each remain in custody in Ottawa. Winchester needs $50,000 cash to get out while Davis needs twice that amount.

He will be back in court Thursday, while her next court date isn’t until Friday.

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Murder Parolee Indicted After Alleged Armed Robbery in Streator

Posted by wlpo on August 30, 2016

The man who allegedly robbed a Streator Circle K was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday.

William Webb remains in the LaSalle County Jail after being arrested last Thursday night. He’s accused of shooting at a Streator Police officer while trying to escape after robbing the south side convenience store. The 50-year old Rockford man had just been paroled last October after serving his sentence following a murder conviction in Winnebago County.

He’s been charged with attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, and aggravated discharge of a firearm.  Webb is due back in court Thursday.

If convicted of all three charges he could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison.

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