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Archive for September 23rd, 2016

Man with Ties to Peru to Stand Trial for Murder-for-Hire Charges Before Sex Crime Charge

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

A man accused of a sex crime involving a young child won’t be standing trial for that until his fate is decided on three other charges first.

Cody Smith, a homeless man with ties to Peru and LaMoille, appeared in court today to address the first of 4 Class X felony charges against him. Lawyers for Smith had previously decided he would be tried first on the three murder-for-hire charges, and that trial had been postponed last week.

As a result, Smith’s attorney asked to push back this trial as well, and Judge Cynthia Raccuglia agreed. He will be due back in court for a status hearing on January 6th.

However, for the three murder-for-hire counts against him, Smith is expected to stand trial December 12th.

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Ottawa Woman Given Five Years in Prison for July Burglary

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

An Ottawa woman who had been given a second chance is headed to prison after pleading guilty to another crime.

Kari Kathamegos was on probation for alleged burglaries last year when she was busted again in July. The 31-year old allegedly tried to break into an Ottawa home when the homeowner caught her.

She pled guilty Friday in Ottawa to the charge of residential burglary against her. In exchange, prosecutors agreed to drop a petition to revoke her probation, which could’ve meant more time behind bars.

After pleading guilty, Kathamegos was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

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Sentencing Hearing Delayed for Man Convicted of Murder with Bow-and-Arrow

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

It’ll be a few weeks before a Varna man finds out if he’ll get a new trial, or how much time he can expect to spend behind bars for a 2015 murder.

Alongside his lawyer, 22-year old Bradley French appeared in court today for what was supposed to be his sentencing. However, an extension has been granted so that French’s lawyer can look at transcripts of the trial.

His lawyer had previously filed a motion asking for a new trial. He believes that the jury that convicted French of murdering Joshua Scaman on Father’s Day of last year may have been biased.

The extension means he’s due back in court on October 21st. Until then, he’ll remain in custody at the LaSalle County Jail.

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Police potentially save man’s life during during drug bust in Peru

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

When police serve a warrant, there’s no telling what will be waiting on the other side of the door.

Members of the Peru Police Department, Illinois State Police and the La Salle County State’s Attorney’s Office busted into a home on the west side of Peru Friday morning. When officers got inside, they found an unresponsive man. Several others were in the home including children.

To revive the unconscious man, police used Narcan which is used to block the effects of opioids. The man was then taken to Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru where he’s expected to recover.

Officers say they found felony amounts of marijuana and thousands of dollars. No names or potential charges have been released yet.

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Ottawa musician featured at symphony concert

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

An Ottawa graduate who has struck it big will bring his musical talent back to the Illinois Valley this Sunday.

Clarinetist Cory Tiffin will headline a pops concert starting at 3 inside the Illinois Valley Community College’s Cultural Centre. After graduating from Ottawa, Tiffin went on to perform with the IV symphony in 2001 as the winner of a young performer’s competition. He went on to become the head clarinetist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and had the same positions in Chicago and Green Bay.

For more information about Sunday’s concert and to order tickets, you can click Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra

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County flu clinics won’t offer nasal spray option

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

If you’re looking to prevent the flu this year you’ll have to get past your fear of needles.

The LaSalle County Health Department will offer shots at their flu clinics, but they say “FluMist” will not be available. According to Leslie Dougherty with the county health department, that’s because they have decided to follow CDC guidelines as well as those suggested by the State Department of Public Health.

The state began the push toward using only the shot this year because of concerns over how well “FluMist” or nasal spray worked during last flu season. The spray was offered as an alternative to a needle shot.

The LaSalle County Health Department’s first flu clinic is Tuesday, October 4th at the Health Department from 9:00 to 4:00.

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New online report doesn’t give very high marks for owning a home in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

A new online list claims owning a home in Minonk is a much better idea than being a homeowner in Tonica or Princeton.

The online government watchdog site “Reboot Illinois” studied 259 Illinois cities and put a list together of best cities for homeowners based on three main categories: taxes and insurance costs; home prices; and jobs and economy. Tonica is ranked 257th out of 259 cities based on low marks for home prices and jobs and economy. Princeton is only 20 spots from the bottom with jobs and the economy along with high taxes and home insurance costs hurting its ranking.

Minonk actually is the best town in the Illinois Valley for a homeowner according to the list. Minonk is ranked 68th overall and in the top 20 for best home prices. Mendota is the next best place for a homeowner at 159th in the state with La Salle four spots behind.

You can see the list of best cities for homeowners in Illinois by clicking Reboot Homeowners List

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Empty garage burns in Streator

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

In what seems like an all too common occurrence, Streator firefighters found themselves putting out a fire at an empty garage.

The call Thursday night came in just before 11 about a garage fire at 508 South Vermillion Street, which is a few blocks south of downtown. Firefighters had the fire out in a few minutes. The garage was gutted but no other buildings nearby were damaged.

The cause of the fire is undetermined as the Streator Police Department and Illinois State Fire Marshal were on scene looking into whom or what started it.

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Gas prices trending down in the Illinois Valley

Posted by wlpo on September 23, 2016

It seemed like a long struggle but you can again find gas for less than two dollars a gallon in the Illinois Valley.

According to GasBuddy.com, one station in Peru has gas for $1.99. Several stations in Streator are offering up unleaded for $2.03 a gallon while La Salle has it for $2.05 a gallon. Many spots in the Illinois Valley are charging $2.09 a gallon.

The statewide price of unleaded is $2.27 a gallon, which is actually up a couple cents from last week.

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