Classic Hits 103.9 WLPO

News from the Illinois Valley

Archive for August 5th, 2016

Bradley French Convicted of First Degree Murder in Father’s Day Bow-and-Arrow Killing

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

After several hours, jurors would convict a Varna man of first-degree murder Friday afternoon.

An emotional jury sat in the courtroom as 23-year old Bradley French learned he would be spending the next 20 to 60 years in prison for killing 38-year old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby on Father’s Day of last year.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard the lengthy closing arguments from both the State and the defense. Then, they learned about their options, which also included a lesser possible conviction of second-degree murder.

State’s Attorney Brian Towne said he is happy with the verdict for the family of Scaman, some of whom were in the court throughout the trial. A sentencing hearing for French has been set for September 23rd.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Murder case in the hands of a La Salle County jury

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

The fate of a 23-year old Varna man is now in the hands of 6 men and 6 women.

Closing arguments were heard Friday morning for Bradley French, the man accused of murdering 38-year old Joshua Scaman of Oglesby on Father’s Day of last year with a bow and arrow. The state claimed French was a “hunter” who “boxed in his prey” before firing a hunting arrow at Scaman, in an attempt to play the hero for his friend, whose mother was engaged to Scaman.

French’s lawyer described his client as a “pudgy kid who may have been picked on growing up,” not as a cold-blooded murder. He claimed the events leading up to the killing in the Illinois Valley Community College parking lot were the result of “a whole lotta stupid by a whole lotta people being stupid.” During his statement, which took nearly an hour and a half, he tried to explain inconsistencies in French’s story by calling them “errors of judgment by young, dumb people.”

The jury began deliberations around noon. Judge H. Chris Ryan explained he could be found not guilty, but if he is found guilty it could be of either first- or second-degree murder. If convicted of first-degree murder French faces up to 60 years in prison.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Water main break in north La Salle

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

There are water issues on the far north end of La Salle.

A boil order is in effect for all homes and businesses on Civic Avenue from Motion Industries to Chartres Street. The water main is in the process of being repaired.

The boil order is expected to last the rest of Friday.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Sudden illness takes the life of Peru’s K9

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

For the second time in less than three years, the Peru Police Department is dealing with the sudden loss of their K-9.

Cole, a male German Shepherd died Friday morning after suffering a medical condition that came out of nowhere. Peru Police Chief Doug Bernabei thinks the drug dog died from an intestinal issue that is especially common among German Shepherds.

Cole was born in 2013 and started working with the Peru P.D. in September of 2014. He replaced Kali who was killed in a car crash while responding to an armed robbery call in 2013.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Hiker injures ankle in a fall at Matthiessen State Park

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

A minor fall at Matthiessen State Park had Oglesby firefighters visiting the park Thursday afternoon.

Oglesby Fire Chief Ron Papurello says just after 3:30 they were called about a man who fell near the lake and suffered an ankle injury. He was taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru.

Papurello says the fall victim isn’t a local.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Oil fire breaks out at La Salle chemical plant

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

The Carus Chemical plant in La Salle was evacuated Friday morning after a fire scare.

La Salle and Peru firefighters were called out around 8:30 about an oil fire at the company on 8th Street.  About 20 minutes later, firefighters had the fire out.  The last firefighter left Carus just before 10:30.

Utica firefighters also helped out by covering the La Salle fire station.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

96.5 the Wolf sponsors big night of music at Ottawa Riverfest

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

There’s a lot going on Friday in Ottawa as part of Riverfest.

In Washington Park, the annual book sale opens up while downtown businesses are offering sidewalk sales. This evening closer to the Illinois River, both the “Taste of Ottawa” and carnival open back up.

96.5 the Wolf is sponsoring tonight’s music lineup. “Chicago Farmer” gets things going at 7:15 followed by Chris Gelbuda taking the stage about an hour later. Tonight’s headliner is “Brushville” which will start playing around 10.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Passenger hurt in crash south of Earlville

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

An Earlville woman was hurt after a fender bender on Route 52.

Deputies say 32-year-old Ryan Henderson of Earlville collided with 44-year-old Verne Thompson of Serena Thursday afternoon on Route 52. While the drivers were okay, Henderson’s passenger wasn’t. Thirty-one-year-old Amanda Brown of Earlville was taken to OSF St. Paul Medical Center in Mendota.

Henderson by the way was ticketed for driving without insurance.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Illinois Valley gas prices largely unchanged from last week

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

The price at the pump is holding fairly steady in the Illinois Valley.

According to GasBuddy.com, the lowest price for unleaded in the Illinois Valley is $1.91 a gallon in Ladd. You can find gas for $1.92 in Peru and just a cent more in La Salle and Utica. Mendota, Princeton, Ottawa and Streator also all have gas for less than two dollars a gallon.

The statewide average for unleaded is $2.21, that’s up about a nickel from a week ago.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Proposed distillery clears one potential hurdle in Utica

Posted by wlpo on August 5, 2016

While Ottawa has a fairly new brewery, Utica could soon be the home of a distillery featuring harder liquor like whiskey and vodka.

According to the NewsTribune, the Utica Planning Commission has approved variances and a special use permit for Kenneth Haun of Mendota to open “Kindred Spirits” on Route 178, just north of Route 6. Haun initially approached the Mendota City Council about the distillery but got frustrated with regulations.

The Utica Village Board of Trustees will vote on the planning commission’s recommendations later this month.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »